Lucia's Blog: April 2016
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Friday, April 29, 2016

THE LITTLE FOXES THAT SPOIL THE VINEYARD

“Catch the foxes for us,
The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards,
While our vineyards are in blossom.”
Song of Solomon 2:15


We turn green with envy sometimes, but mostly we get over it. It is such a small thing. Yet it was for envy that the Jews asked that Jesus be crucified. Is there really a cure for that?  Let’s consider the causes and cures for envy and jealousy.

Recently, I came across this verse which caught my attention and made me reflect on it. I began thinking about the sins, the little sins that so often destroy our perspective or expectations. They render us weak and limit any fruit bearing in the service of our Lord and His kingdom. Sadly, these little things often destroy the Lord's church, its work and the Christian personally.

Sin is sin regardless of its nature and brings death to our soul.  Paul says, 
“For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)

Sometimes what we call a “little sin” can be more detrimental and fatal to the soul than a so-called big sin. The truth is that sin in its context separates us from God, (James 2:10; Isaiah 59:1; Ephesians 4:18). Sin is sin, and we have an obligation to preach and teach on any sin whether great or small.

How often do we teach or speak against the sins of covetousness, jealousy, selfishness, gossip, anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, unconcern for the lost, prejudice, cynicism, voyeurism, and so on!  These sins are not “little” in any sense. They are as destructive to the soul as are the more shocking sins of adultery and fornication, theft and murder.

There are so many dangerous “little foxes” that often go unnoticed and overlooked. Why? 
  • Because we tend to think that they are insignificant and common among us. 
  • Because we feel uncomfortable rebuking them and are unwilling to rid ourselves of such sins that can wreck our souls.
The danger of these little foxes or “little sins” is that they stay permanently within us without any change whatsoever.

In this study, I would like to focus on the little twin foxes of Jealousy and Envy (the comparison game). I hope this study can edify you.

The word “comparing” means examining the similarities and differences between two or more things, ideas or people.  Comparing ourselves to others can be a form of jealousy and envy that results from not walking in the Light as He is in the Light and not trusting in God's love and fairness.

Sadly, many arenas such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, etc. are a temptation for comparisons which lead to nothing more than discontent and ultimately envy and jealousy. Without even knowing, we find ourselves trapped in these sins of envy and jealousy which is nothing more than comparing ourselves to others. It is insane! Why?

  • Because it drives many to live lives that are merely fake realities. 
  • It makes them slaves of living a life that is censored through status updates on Facebook, Instagram, etc.
  • It makes them compete with one another.
    • Always trying to see who is the best and who is superior; 
    • who has more power and control rather than busying themselves with something else that is more productive (their walk with the Lord and bearing good fruit for His glory). 
  • They play the game of comparing their faith, their talents, educational and intellectual achievements, their friends, their children, their lifestyle, their beauty, their righteous deeds, their popularity, etc. The list can be endless!

You see, comparing ourselves to others can be a very dangerous game. And while it may be perhaps a motivational thing or an inspiration, it can often lead to terrible consequences.

  • It can destroy our primary focus (righteousness and the kingdom of God) and lead us into the path of sin. 
  • It can make us feel better and more worthy than those to whom we are comparing ourselves. 
  • Ultimately this comparison game leads us to pride, boasting, discontent, discouragement, envy and jealousy. 
We must be careful!! Let us not be like the Pharisee of Jesus' day who boasted of being more righteous than other sinners.

The comparison game is nothing new. Cain compared himself to Abel.  Jesus’ disciples also struggled with this, John 21:23. One way or another we all have to fight against the impulse of playing the comparison game, but it must not be so among us.


I.   THE LITTLE TWIN FOXES OF ENVY AND JEALOUSY:

Jealousy is the uneasiness felt due to suspicion, resentment or fear of rivalry, particularly regarding love or affection. Envy is the feeling of resentment, discontent or jealousy of another's position or success.

These little foxes of envy and jealousy are almost identical twins. They walk hand in hand, and it 's hard to tell them apart. These two words are found together often; they are synonyms.

The word “jealousy” is a word that is used many times in a good way, (Romans 10:2; 2 Cor. 7:8,11; Phil. 3:6). It is used both in a good and bad sense whereas envy is often associated with evil. Unfortunately, when this word “jealousy” is adulterated, it turns into something ugly.  Envy is discontent with the good fortune of others while jealousy fears to lose what it has. Both words deal with feelings of discontent and resentment that emerged in the heart as a result of some favor, good fortune, blessing, honor or affection someone else is receiving that makes one think it should be bestowed on him. It is sad to say, but I see so much of this behavior portrayed in the hearts of my brethren whether on Facebook or some other arena, at church and even in the home. This ought not to be among Christians! It is carnal with terrible consequences!

Envy is like gangrene that can destroy a man's heart, causing pain like a knife in the chest. It splits many churches, reduces our circle of friends and destroys our souls. In Proverbs 14:30 we read, 
"A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot." 

Envy is a terrible disease of the heart and sows the seed of discord among brethren. It has two main causes: 
  1. Lack of contentment.
  2. Lack of love.  
When we envy, it is because we are not content with what God provides and has done for us. We are dissatisfied all the time, rendering us weak so that we envy or covet what others have. Envy is a powerful temptation and very destructive as well. Jealousy and envy among brethren leads us to refuse to submit to those in leadership such as elders. Why?  Because if you have your way as the one in control, then you will have a hard time submitting to those who indeed have that responsibility. There are many negative facets to envy.

  • Envy is not just desiring what the other person has. 
  • It is not just being resentful toward those who have blessings that you don't.  
  • Envy does not want the other person to be blessed. 
  • Envy is the root of many other sins as well:  adultery, stealing, slander, hatred, and murder. 
  • Pride is the cause of this terrible disease of the heart. 

II.   BIBLE EXAMPLES OF JEALOUSY AND ENVY:

Cain and Abel: Genesis 4:3-5, 8
“And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto Jehovah.  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And Jehovah had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And Cain told Abel his brother. And it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” 

Envy and Jealousy go back to the beginning with Cain and Abel.  It led to sibling rivalry. God was not pleased with Cain's offering because he did not offer what God had commanded: an animal sacrifice.  But He did approve Abel's offering because “by faith he offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” (Hebrews 11:4)

You see, Cain's envy and jealousy led to wrath and murder. Cain was resentful that his brother had received more honor than he did.


Sarah and Hagar:  Envy and jealousy provided the motivation for wrongdoing: Genesis 16:5-6:
"And Sarai said unto Abram, ‘My wrong be upon thee: I gave my handmaid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: Jehovah judge between me and thee.’ But Abram said unto Sarai, ‘Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her that which is good in thine eyes.’ And Sarai dealt hardly with her, and she fled from her face.'"

Envy and jealousy led to wrongdoing. We see it portrayed in Esther 5:11,13-14; Daniel 6:3-5 when men conspired against God’s servants.


Joseph's brothers:  Genesis chapters 37, 44, 45:

Joseph's brothers envied him and planned to kill him because they were jealous of him. Later, they chose not to kill but rather sell him into slavery because of their envy and jealousy. They had no other choice but to lie to their father about Joseph being killed by a wild beast. By the grace of God, they were all reunited, reconciled and forgiven later on in Egypt.


Aaron and Miriam envied Moses for the position God had given him: Numbers 12:1-2, 9, 10, 15:
“And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman.  And they said, Hath Jehovah indeed spoken only with Moses? hath he not spoken also with us? And Jehovah heard it... And the anger of Jehovah was kindled against them... and, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous... And Miriam was shut up without the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.”

You see, envy and jealousy led to murmuring and complaining.

Rebellious Korah and his followers envied the leadership position that God had given to Moses. Therefore, they spoke against Moses and falsely accused him: Numbers 16:3

“and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and Jehovah is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the assembly of Jehovah?"  (See also Psalm 106:16-18).
Saul and David:  I Samuel 18:7-9
“And the women sang one to another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very wroth, and this saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.”

We see it played out in Saul toward David. David's many accomplishments in battle, his victory over Goliath and all of Israel's approval toward him awoke this sin of envy in the heart of Saul. Saul’s jealousy produced the seeds of many other evils. Remember, he tried to kill David many times. Envy was the cause of his anger, jealousy, paranoia and murderous intent toward David.  Because of this envy and jealousy of heart, Saul ruined the rest of his life. His envy toward David was disturbing to him so much that he became obsessed with attempting to kill David. Saul hunted David like an animal to be killed. Envy and jealousy cause striking and powerful actions. It is the first step in the damaging sins of slander, gossip, fighting and murder.


Because of envy and jealousy Haman wanted to kill Mordechai and all the Jews: Esther 3:8-13; 6:4:


The Jews were filled with envy against Jesus:  Matthew 27:17-18
"So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, 'Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”'For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. '"

Because of this terrible sin, the Jews delivered Jesus into the hands of evil men. The Pharisees resented Jesus' popularity.
“So the Pharisees said to one another, 'You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.'"  (John 12:19).
“But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children that were crying in the temple and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were moved with indignation.” (Matt. 21:15).

Evidently envy and hatred led the Pharisees to rise up against Jesus, calling for His death. Pilot knew Jesus was innocent and that it was envy that led them to kill Him. All because Jesus was getting all the honor and respect of the people and they were getting none. Their envy turned into hate and hate led them to mock and crucify the Son of God.


Acts 13:45, 50: Following the same pattern of envy, a later group of Jews expelled Paul and Barnabas from Antioch of Pisidia.


Acts 17:5:  Envious Jews stirred up a Greek mob to persecute Paul and the brethren in Thessalonica after seeing Paul's success with the people.


The Corinthians were divided because of envy:  I Cor. 3:1-4.  

Some even preached Christ out of envy, in order to add affliction to Paul's chains:  Phil. 1:15-16.


III.  THE REMEDY FOR ENVY AND JEALOUSY:

We all, at times, are guilty of this terrible disease of the heart, but this ought not to be. We must examine our hearts and purge out both envy and jealousy. Those who call themselves children of God ought not to behave in this manner.  We must be more like John the Baptist who refused to begrudge Christ, His success knowing that the success of Christ was his own success, (John 3:30-35). Let's have that same spirit in us.  

"For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.  But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:3-7).

Envy, as well as jealousy, are fruits of the flesh, Galatians 5:19-21. It is demonic, James 3:14-15. My question is:   why do people envy?  We can suggest several more things:  

  1. Immaturity, Gen. 37:3-4.
  2. Ego, Daniel 6:4.
  3. Insecurity, I Samuel 18:7-9.
  4. Greed, Ecclesiastes 4:4.
  5. Frustration, Psalm 73:3.

 Envy and jealousy are seen all around us:

  • in the business and professional world; 
  • in the church; 
  • among preachers, elders, deacons, song leaders, and teachers;
  • among sisters in Christ (Preachers' wives, elders' wives, etc.). In other words, it is common among all Christians.

Many times envy causes us to feel unhappy because others do a better job, are smarter, prettier, or more popular. They get more attention or approval and so on. Sadly, this terrible disease of the heart leads to resentment, pain, and discomfort. Tragically, envy will lead one to use the tongue sinfully to damage others; causing others to doubt, misjudge, and think poorly of us.

Envy and jealousy are a matter of the heart. Jesus said,
"It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man."   (Matthew 15:11). 
"Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life."  (Proverbs 4:23).

The heart is the starting point of envy and jealousy. Sadly, envy and jealousy will determine which paths we will take on our life’s journey. The remedy for this disease is to always guard our hearts against such works of the flesh with all vigilance.

The remedy for envy and jealousy is found in Romans 12:15; Romans 13:13-14; I Corinthians 12:26-27; I Cor. 13:4-7 and I Peter 2:1-2.

So, if God has given my brother or sister a greater talent than He has given to you and me, should I not rejoice in their success? We are neither superior nor inferior to anyone else.  And although we have all been created in God's image, we are not the same. We all have different talents and skills. Why not be thankful for what our Father in heaven has given each one of us? Why not learn to be content? Why not fill ourselves with love, rejoicing for the success of others? Let these words sink deeply into your hearts!!


IV. THE CONSEQUENCES OF COMPARING OURSELVES TO OTHERS:

Consider why comparing ourselves to others is such a dangerous game to play:

Comparing ourselves to others can lead to pride, boasting, and self-righteousness. (Luke 18:9-14; Romans 12:3; Romans 14:13; I Cor. 4:7).

⦁ Comparing ourselves to others can deceive us into thinking that we are superior to others, causing us to stumble (sin), compete, be arrogant and ultimately lose our soul.

Comparing ourselves to others is often the result of carnality and spiritual immaturity: (Romans 8:5; I Cor. 3:1-8; I Cor. 4:5-6; 2 Cor. 5:12; I Peter 4:2).

Comparing ourselves to others will take our primary focus off of God by putting it everywhere else except on the cross.  When we focus on ourselves, we are going to find trouble seeing all that God has done for us:  all of God's mercies and riches.  We will often be disappointed that things are not as they could be.  We will be tempted not to see things as they truly are and be unaware that others might be going through difficulties and challenges as well.

Comparing puts the primary focus on us.  This is wrong!  Because we can become consumed by thinking only about our "wants," indulging in "pity parties."  In our selfish pride, we may try to impress others into thinking that we are what we are not. When we do this, we can no longer live a life that brings glory to God, because our focus is on our own glory.  This can make us miserable!  It can affect our walk with Christ and those around us.

Comparing ourselves to others sets us up for discontent and discouragement that leads us to jealousy and envy. Comparing ourselves to others doesn't lead us to contentment and thankfulness. We must be careful and guard our thoughts properly. "But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. "  (I Timothy 6:6). Let's be careful and not allow this to make us sin against our God by being ungrateful to Him. It is like shaking our fist at God and saying, "What you are providing for me is not enough!" It takes away our trust in our Lord's loving kindness.

Comparing ourselves to others robs us of so much JOY.  When we wrongly compare ourselves to others, we are robbing ourselves of the peace, joy and blessings that God has to give us. We must look back and honestly consider and evaluate what the Lord has done and is doing in our lives. Do we have a roof over our heads? Do we have food to eat? Do we have clothes to wear?  Let us be grateful because the Lord has met all of our needs. "Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning."  His loving and everlasting faithfulness endures forever. It is in this that we need to be focused because He is faithful!

Comparing ourselves to others keeps us away from our GOD GIVEN PURPOSE.  How are we going to reach and save others if we are totally absorbed with what we don't have in comparison to others? God expects us to love others and to do it heartily. He wants us to focus outwardly not inwardly. If we are always comparing ourselves to others, we are not going to be able to love our neighbors and rescue them from the kingdom of darkness. Let's be wise and know that the days are short. Our goals must be eternal. We must think beyond this life, eternity, where the moth and rust do not destroy. 


CONCLUSION:

Comparing ourselves to others leads to the little twin foxes of jealousy and envy, having their roots in pride, vanity, and selfishness, Ecclesiastes 4:4; Galatians 5:26; I Timothy 6:4.  These little twin foxes of envy and jealousy are the products of carnal hearts. If we find ourselves walking this path of destruction, we must repent and let the Word of God work in us in the spirit of love. Envy and jealousy are nothing more than the devices of the devil, and it can rob us of bearing good fruit. On the other hand, jealousy makes us unwilling to share and often results in a total loss of that which is not shared.

We all have gifts that differ, and each of us must do our best with such. It is not fair to make life a constant competition with our brethren and neighbors. That takes the joy out of our relationships. We must not consider everyone as our adversary to be conquered and overcome but rather accept help to improve ourselves and multiply our God given talents. Much of the hostility in the world and in the church is caused by senseless rivalries and foolish efforts to “keep up with the Joneses.”

Comparing ourselves to others leads us to competition. I do not deny that competition is right when is put in the right place. But it is so terrible to think of others as competitors against us. If we are bound to compare ourselves to others, why not compare ourselves to Jesus our Lord, to the stature of His fullness? Why not focus on the Lord and His example when we are tempted to compare ourselves to others?  Ultimately, pleasing Jesus is all that really matters. The game of comparison is a very dangerous game that is not worth playing at all.  So, if you find yourself going down that path, it is time to turn yourself around!  Instead of comparing yourself to someone else (which leads to envy and jealousy) why not compare yourself to Christ Himself and His TRUTH.  His Words will never steer you wrong.  They are light to our feet and a lamp to our path.  He is the ONLY WAY, the HOLY ONE, that will lead you down the RIGHT path of contentment and righteousness.

Contentment is easy to achieve when one kills the dragons of comparison (jealousy and envy) and keep our eyes fixed on our King of kings and Lord of lords. The only one worth our comparison is Jesus.

May our God help us to compare ourselves ONLY to Him and not to others.  He is our ONLY standard of measure.

Luci

P.S. I leave you with the beautiful words of this poem:

The stick I made for measuring
I used most every day.
It helped me to compare myself
with others on my way.
I watched all those behind me,
or further down the road,
and I would readjust my pace
or lighten up my load.
The only real drawback
with how I ran my race
was watching everything around,
except my Savior's face.






Friday, April 22, 2016

IT IS NOT EASY ...


"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." 
Philippians 4:8


Recently I came across some thoughts expressed by brother Josue Hernandez in Spanish that have moved me to write the following observations.  We all struggle with these issues.  With God's mercy, we can overcome all of our weaknesses. I hope you find these words helpful and encouraging.

  • It is not easy to forgive when someone has wronged us.  
  • It is not easy to move on and forget whatever grievances we have against someone, and respond with a spirit of love and kindness rather than bitterness and resentment. 
  • It is not easy to ask forgiveness with a heart of humility when we have been the ones who have wronged others, offended or sinned against them; start anew, accept counsel and accept that we have wronged them.
  • It is not easy to be kind and loving without anger, smile and carry on when someone puts us down.  
  • It is not easy to be thoughtful and generous, keeping a good conscience.  
  • It is not easy to be modest when we are thriving and flourishing in everything we do.
  • It is not easy to praise others and give them credit for the good things that they may do as if they were better, more worthy than we are.
  • It is not easy to discipline ourselves, rule our spirits (walk according to the Spirit) and exercise self-control that we might not be disqualified from winning our race.
  • It is not easy to learn from our mistakes or forgive the errors of others.  
  • It is not easy to think before we speak or carefully judge what we are going to say before we act.
  • It is not easy to work our hardest, do our best little by little patiently when everything seems to be so hard and painful.
  • It is not easy to commit to the excellence of God, maintaining a high standard when there is so much darkness and lawlessness all around us.
  • It is not easy to accept the deserved blame and take full responsibility for our actions.
  • It is not easy to be optimistic and see the light at the end of the tunnel when everything seems so wrong and hopeless.
  • It is not easy to take up our cross, die to self, and follow Him in complete obedience, surrendering to His will alone.
  • It is not easy to walk in the Light as He is in the Light, following His example despite all of our trials, valleys of suffering, afflictions and even pain.

NO! IT IS NOT EASY, BUT HEAVEN IS WORTH IT ALL!  

So, why don't we make an effort to finish our race well and receive the crown of life and glory that has been promised to all those who are faithful to Him until the end?!

"To those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life."  (Romans 2:7)


Luci

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

THE CALVINISTIC DOCTRINE OF IMPUTATION


"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness 
for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and 
sweet for bitter!  Woe to those who are wise in their
 own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!"
Isaiah 5:20-21



Untold harm has been done to the followers of Jesus Christ by their leaders who speculate about Bible questions and then base doctrines of salvation on that speculation. Ultimately whole movements of God-fearing people are led to disobey God and disregard the Lordship of Christ. One such doctrine is called “the imputation of righteousness. As with many human speculative doctrines, it gets complicated real quick. For most, it is overwhelming. It is easier just to take their word for it. In this essay, I will try to clarify the issues by examining the Scriptures.

The effort to understand and express the Truth with clarity on this question is exhausting.  At the same time, it is exhilarating to stand in God’s presence and consider afresh His great principles of redemption. We are redeemed! May God be glorified in us!

If the “Tulip Acrostic” of Calvinism had six points, I would add this one as one of their man-made doctrines since each of their tenets leads to more error.  And it seems to me that this false doctrine of imputed righteousness is another one of their biggies.  You see, one of the problems of Calvinism's theological system is that one error leads to more error and those points that follow it usually fall together with the first error.  Although the advocates of the "Tulip Acrostic" may deny the connection, it is nevertheless real.

So what is the meaning of the word “impute”?

The word "impute" is used in the Bible about seven times especially in the King James Version of the New Testament (Romans 4:6,8,11,22,23,24; 2 Cor. 5:19; Gal. 3:6).

“Imputation” is used by modern theologians to designate any action of word or thing as reckoned to a person.  Thus in doctrinal language,
  1. The sin of Adam is imputed to all his descendants, i.e., it is reckoned as theirs, and they are dealt with thereof as guilty.
  2. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to them that believe in Him or so attributed to them as to be considered their own and
  3. Our sins are imputed to Christ, i.e., He assumed our “law-place,” undertook to answer the demands of justice for our sins.  

In all these cases the nature of imputation is the same (Romans 5:12-19; Philemon 1:18-19).

In other words, God does not impute sin, but rather righteousness.  It means that God grants righteousness. Then once one has righteousness laid to one's account, then he is righteous before God. This is absurd!  Why?  Because it is impossible for the personal righteousness of Christ to be imputed to the sinner.   The Word of God does not teach this error at all!  Period!

Think for a moment, if this were true as Calvinism asserts, then the sinner's righteousness is not his own and is not obtained by any action on his part whatsoever.  He simply (by God's choice) becomes a partaker of  Christ's sinless life and righteousness. The doctrine of “imputation” (to attribute to one what belongs to another) is fundamental to Calvinism.  Calvin's concept of imputation (the imputation of  Christ's personal righteousness to the believer) without a doubt is the glue that holds together the five points of the acrostic "Tulip." 

  • Calvinism denies man's ability to do anything good due to his inherited depravity, the sinful nature.  
  • Calvinism firmly believes that Christ's excellent righteousness in some way is transferred to the sinner. 
  • Since man is helpless and lost because of Adam's sin, he then is saved because of Christ's moral excellence and perfection (His own righteousness).

According to the doctrine of “imputation,” Adam's sin is imputed to all mankind.  All of man's sins are likewise imputed to Christ.  Therefore, Christ’s perfect obedience or righteousness is then attributed to the believer, the penitent sinner.  This absurd doctrine, from beginning to end, is fallacious and anti-biblical.  It is full of errors based on more error, and there is no end to it!

Calvinism teaches:
  • that all men are born sinners and that God chooses, those who are to be saved.
  • that Christ lived and died only for the elect.
  • that the Holy Spirit has to touch the heart of the elect to regenerate him (miraculous conversion), and
  • that those who are saved can never fall from grace. 
Men are reduced to robots and salvation becomes the arbitrary reprogramming of lifeless machines.
The means by which the elect, once saved, cannot fall from grace is through imputing Christ's own righteousness.  Therefore, the elect or chosen ones have to be compelled to “persevere” so that they may not fall, since the personal righteousness of Christ cannot fail.  This is another link in the chain of many errors invented in the mind of Calvinism.

This doctrine of “imputation” is based mainly on the misconception that all men must keep God's Law perfectly in order to be righteous.  And since nobody has been able to do it, then Christ did it for him, i.e., Christ's perfect life becomes then a substitute for man's imperfect life.  To these false teachers, man's justification does not happen as a result of God's forgiveness toward man as taught in His revealed Word (Romans 4:7), but rather it is a legalistic system (to keep God's Law perfectly).

Calvinism also teaches:
  • that Christ came into the world to live a perfect life (sinless) as a substitute for us (the believers), and
  • that Christ's perfect life then is attributed to the believers as their clothing.  
Hence, Calvinism asserts that when God sees the elect, He does not observe or care about their imperfect lives, but rather God sees only Christ's perfect life that was attributed to them.  How convenient it is to twist the Truth, putting it on the instrument of torture to say what we want it to say! We must speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent.  We must learn to revere God's Holy Word and surrender to it, speaking as the oracles of God.  Therefore, we must speak where the Bible is explicit (speaks) and be silent where the Bible is implicit (silent).  Lest we forget, God's silence is intentional and not permissive (2 Peter 1:3; Jude 3).  When is man ever going to learn that?  Let us take this to heart!!

I have summarized Calvinism's concept of imputation as follows:


I.   THE IMPUTATION OF ADAM'S SIN TO MANKIND:

Calvinism’s first and most fundamental error is the so-called “original sin.”  It is stunning to me to see some preachers and teachers teaching and promoting some of these errors on the imputation of the personal righteousness of Christ to believers as if it were a Bible doctrine ordained by God.  I just have to shake my head in frustration when I hear them talking and teaching such an error.  They just don’t see the serious implications of what they are teaching and accepting! They are naive, inconsistent and may be unwilling to accept the Truth for what it is on this subject of imputation (Adam's sin imputed to mankind, man's imputed sins to Christ and Christ's personal righteousness imputed to all believers).

There is no verse anywhere in the Bible, from Genesis to the Book of Revelation, that teaches or supports this dull doctrine.  And if there is one at all, I'd like to know!  It is man's invention whose purpose is to keep man responsible and guilty of his own sins.  If indeed, God condemns all men because of Adam's sin, then He is not a just and righteous God.  Period!  This ridiculous doctrine contradicts all common sense.  Do you suppose that it is right and just to punish any man (scourging and put to jail) for the crime of another one?

This is exactly what Calvinism teaches.  They teach that when Adam sinned, he lost the “enabling grace.”  I don't see anywhere in the Bible that gives the slightest hint or suggestion of such a doctrine. Why do I say that?  Because from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, God's grace extends to all, i.e., those who obey God are blessed while those who disobey Him are punished.

This system of theology is pure madness and fallacious.  They teach that when Adam sinned, he lost his free will and all his descendants after him were born sinners.  Therefore, they are depraved or with a sinful nature, without God's "enabling grace" and "free will."  We are no different than the animals, just like Charles Darwin said.  According to them, the humanist unbelievers and the Nature worshipers are right. The Gnostics in the first century denied the deity of Jesus precisely because of this belief. This is irrational and absurd!

Augustine, Luther and Calvin without a doubt failed here in their study.  Once man speculates and accepts such a hypothesis, the rest of their system of theology follows quite logically.  Which system of theology?  The whole system that is explicitly designed to explain their fallacious view of redemption based on the assumption of “original sin,” “total hereditary depravity.”  Once their whole system of theology is removed, their TULIP becomes unnecessary.

In the Bible “imputation” never means "transfer" as Calvinists use it.  The Word of God indeed teaches that He does impute sin (Romans 4:8), but He never transfers sin from one person to another.  Sin is only imputed (put down to the account of) to the one who commits it.  It is vital that we all grasp this.  It is crucial that we understand that God blames each of us when we sin and that He NEVER charges someone else's sin to our account, Adam's or anyone's account.  I must stress this!!!

In Galatians 6:5, Paul declares that “each man shall bear his own burden.”  Moreover, in Ezekiel 18:4,20 we read that,
“The soul that sinneth, it shall die.  The soul that sinneth, it shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”

Therefore, we infer from this passage that sin is not and can never be inherited from previous generations, our ancestors or Adam, nor it is passed or transferred from one person to another.  Take heed!  The basic foundation of the Calvinistic doctrine of total hereditary depravity is the imputation of sin:  the guilt of Adam's sin or transgression is imputed (transferred) to mankind, us. If you allow Calvinists to define “impute” as “transfer,” you will lose your case.  They will sustain their position at all cost!  May the Lord help us to defend His Truth with boldness and correct all error!

Although Albert Barnes was a Calvinist, when it came to the doctrine of imputation he had it right; he gave the right definition of transferring guilt from one to another in his notes of Romans 4, page 102.  Notice what he wrote:
The word is never used to denote imputing in the sense of transferring, or of charging that on one which does not properly belong to him... No doctrine of transferring, or of setting over to a man what does not belong to him, be it sin or holiness, can be derived, therefore, from this word.”

Therefore, imputation never means transfer.  That simple!

It is amazing to me how Calvinists and some of my brethren have tried to make Barnes’ commentary on imputation to mean “transfer” when they quote from him.  It is dishonest!  If you have the Truth, why must you lie to support it?


II.   THE IMPUTATION OF THE SINS OF MANKIND TO CHRIST

This second fallacious doctrine teaches that the sins of mankind are imputed to Christ.  Again, I am perplexed to see many brethren misuse Scriptures and wrongly define the terms “transfer” instead of “impute.”  When are they going to learn about the right definition of imputation?!!

They must do violence to one of our most beloved Scriptures to make their point.  Isaiah 53:8 expresses the sacrifice of the Suffering Servant Messiah.  Jesus took upon Himself our sins and our sorrows when He died on that cruel cross.  They surely abuse this text when teaching the transfer of our guilt to Jesus.  I can accept this from false teachers but from my brethren, come on!!!  The Bible does not teach that man's sins are transferred to Christ in any sense whatsoever, period!!  All that Isaiah 53:8 is saying is that Jesus our Lord and Savior died for our sins. This is how Christ took upon Himself our sins, our offenses, and our iniquities.  Jesus, the Christ, died for “our transgressions,” was “bruised for our iniquities.”  Take note that our own sins are imputed to us alone and no one else; we are accountable and responsible for them.  And though Jesus took our punishment upon Himself, He DID NOT take our guilt upon Himself.  If we say otherwise, we are rejecting Ezekiel 18:20.  Paul stated the same in 2 Cor. 5:21 saying,Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf,” i.e., Jesus took the penalty and punishment of sin (death on the cross) that we might live again.

Jesus, our Lord, was sinless. Therefore, no sins can be imputed to Him at all.  He through love took the punishment and the penalty for our sins that were charged to us.  Please, let us not destroy the beauty of Jesus' suffering and death on the cross by teaching error saying that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ had sin imputed to Him.  This is pure foolishness and madness!!!!


III.   THE IMPUTATION OF THE PERSONAL RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST TO     BELIEVERS:

  • Romans 4:1-8:
"What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh?  For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.  For what does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.'  Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.  And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:  'Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.'" 

Now, the synonym of “to impute” in verse 6 (KJV) is “to count” in verse 3. The two words are used interchangeably.  The word “counted,” of course, is a term that is used in accounting, i.e., that which is put or added to someone's account.

Romans 4:1-8 is one of those Scriptures that is terribly misused to teach that the personal righteousness of Christ is imputed to believers.  There is not a word of Scripture anywhere in the Bible that says such a thing, not in this text nor any other.  Take heed!

Notice that in Romans 4:3-6, Paul at no time is saying that Abraham was counted (reckoned) righteous because he received that righteousness from some else.  God can only reckon a man what he is or becomes.  Abraham believed in God and because he believed it was reckoned to him, or put down to his account, or considered.  Nowhere in this text, do we see anything that would imply that faith was counted or reckoned as a substitute for righteousness.

Indeed, Abraham's faith was reckoned or counted to him for righteousness (“eis” meaning into, or in order to, or unto).  Paul used the word “eis” which is used in Acts 2:38, “for the forgiveness of your sins.” This same word “eis” is employed in Romans 4:3 and Gal. 3:6 to express purpose: righteousness. On the grounds of his faith, all that faith included, God forgave him (Abraham) of his sins, thus declaring him to be righteous.  If man is guiltless of sin (sins charged against him), then he is a righteous man.  In like manner, if a man never sinned then he would be righteous by works; if he sinned and God forgave him, removing sins entirely from him, then he would be righteous by God's grace or favor.  Abraham, therefore, had no grounds for boasting when he obtained righteousness through forgiveness.  The faith of Abraham was not an “experience of faith,” (an irresistible gift of God imposed on him) but rather it was his life lived, walking by faith, (Romans 4:12), thus in righteousness, (Genesis 15:6); his obedient faith. When God called him (Genesis 12; Hebrews 11:8), he left his home to go where God told him to go. His life of obedience was counted, reckoned (attributed) to him (put to his own account) for righteousness.

Many of us are flat out wrong in our definition of the word “imputation.”  It is in no sense a “transfer” of one person’s assets into another’s account. The Bible nowhere teaches that the “righteousness of Christ” is transferred to the believer. The moral excellence or the “perfect doing of Christ” is not transferred from His account to the account of anyone else.  This is the point that Protestants assume without an iota of Scripture. It is just like the doctrine of Original Sin, where they assume that we inherit not just the guilt but the depravity of a sinful nature.  No Scripture is given, just the assumption. Christ was sinless, walked in perfect obedience, and He was absolutely pure.  If this were not true, Christ's sacrifice and death on the cross would have no more effect for paying the penalty for our sins on our behalf than the deaths of the two thieves that were crucified at the same time with Him.  Christ was sinless, and that is why His death paid the penalty for our sins:

“for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.  And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”  (Hebrews 9:26-28).

Jesus, our Lord, was the anti-type, a shadow, a figure of all the Old Testament Law sacrifices.  All the Old Testament Scriptures were pointing us to Christ, (Hebrews 10:11-12; Hebrews 8:5).   Christ's perfect, sinless, innocent and holy life qualified Him for that sacrifice:

 “For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.  He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.  For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son, who has been made perfect forever.

From these Scriptures, we can infer and establish that Christ’s perfect and sinless life, as well as His death on that cruel cross, paid the penalty for our sins.  YET, nowhere in the entire Bible is there a single word that gives us the slightest indication that His moral excellence or His righteousness is put to our account, that is, imputed to us; much less that we (the believers) wear a robe of Christ's righteousness to cover our sins.  Indeed, Christ's death on the cross propitiated the wrath of God (Romans 3:24-26) and reconciled us back to the Father through His Son so that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:18-21).  But take heed. This propitiation is possible only when one repents and is baptized into Christ, believing in Jesus, surrendering to His will alone. It is then that God the Father forgives us of our sins (those sins which have been put to our account).  It is through this process that God can impute righteousness to you and me.  Therefore, since our sins are then forgiven, there is no way at all for the sins to be imputed (reckoned, counted, counted, taken into account against) any longer:

“Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”  (Romans 4:8).  

It is then after the forgiveness of one's sins that God restores us to a condition of righteousness which we had before we sinned.  "Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices."  (Ecclesiastes 7:29).  He then declares the one who is forgiven righteous through God's forgiveness on the basis of pardon.

Therefore, the only inference in Romans 4 is that righteousness is supplied by God to us on the basis of pardon or forgiveness and not something supplied or given to us on the grounds of Christ’s own personal righteousness being transferred to us.  When a man sins, he cannot become righteous again without the forgiveness of God.  No act of charity or sacrifice, no matter who noble or heroic, can redeem us from our sin. Take to heart the words of Ezekiel 18:20 that says:

“The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.”

From Ezekiel’s statement, we can infer that neither sin nor lawlessness nor righteousness can be transferred.  Take heed!

Let’s consider some other Bible texts that are severely abused to teach the imputation of the personal righteousness of Christ attributed (reckoned or counted) to believers:

  • Romans 5:10:
“For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
Calvinism teaches that during Christ's earthly life, He kept all the commandments of God perfectly and therefore we are saved by his perfect life which is counted, reckoned, attributed to us, the believers.

BUT, that is not what Romans 5:10 says.  This passage says,

  • that Christ's death and suffering opened for us a way through which we could be reconciled to God;
  • that Jesus now intercedes for us, ruling in our hearts and directing our lives as well; that we might be eternally saved.  
BUT it is up to us to take advantage of the resulting blessings of his death and life.

If we go back to Romans 5:9 we will notice that it says “justified by his blood,” and not justified by his perfect life.”

“Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through him.”

Later on in Romans 5:10 He explicitly says that “we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son.”   So, my question is: Which “life” is Paul talking about when he says “shall we be saved by his life.”?  Obviously His resurrected life.  This text is not talking at all about Jesus' earthly life before He died on the cross.

Notice what Romans 4:25 says, “who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised (resurrected) for our justification.”

So we infer from both these texts that we are not justified by Christ's perfect earthly life but rather that he was raised (resurrected) for our justification.

Hebrews 7:24-25:
“but he, because he abideth for ever, hath his priesthood unchangeable. Wherefore also he is able to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

Jesus is our High Priest in His resurrected life; He is our Advocate, our Mediator with the Father. Through this Mediator, Christ, we have the forgiveness of our sins since He is our Propitiation for them, (I John 1:9-2:2).


  • I Corinthians 1:30: 
“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”

Calvinism wrongly uses this verse saying that Christ's perfect (righteous) life is attributed (reckoned, counted) to the believer.  The problem is that if this were to be true, the wisdom of Christ is imputed to the believer as well, and no one will believe that.

So what is this text really saying?  It is saying that the blessings that the believer (Christian) receives (justification, sanctification, and redemption) are God's expression or the demonstration of the wisdom of God (true wisdom) in contrast to the so-called wisdom of the world (verses 19-20).

Take note that these blessings mentioned above are not attained as a result of the perfect (righteous) earthly life of Christ but rather as a result of His death on the cross.  This wisdom of God “is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us who are saved it is the power of God,” (verse 18).

  • Hebrews 5:8-9: 
“though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation.”

This Scripture clearly emphasizes Christ’s obedience.  God prepared Jesus' body to be offered as a sacrifice for the sins of men.  It is undeniable that Christ lived a perfect, righteous life to be a perfect sacrifice

“but with precious blood, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, even the blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:19).

So in Hebrews 5:8-9, what obedience is it speaking of?  The obedience that He learned in suffering. When was He made perfect?

  • When Jesus died on the cross.
  • When He was raised from the dead.
  • When He was seated at the right hand of God as our High Priest interceding for us, (Romans 8:34).  

  • Hebrews 10:4-5: 
“For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.   Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, But a body didst thou prepare for me.”

This Scripture is speaking of Jesus Christ's body.  Then in verse 10, we were sanctified through the blood of the body of Jesus:  “By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Christ's body was offered that we might be justified and sanctified by His obedience.  What obedience is the verse speaking of?  The answer is found in Philippians 2:8: “and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross.”

  • Romans 5:18-19: 
“So then as through one trespass the judgment came unto all men to condemnation; even so through one act of righteousness the free gift came unto all men to justification of life. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous.”

Calvinists love to cite these verses to say that Adam's sin is imputed to mankind; and that the personal perfect (righteous) life of Christ is then attributed, transferred to the believer.  But this passage does not affirm such an error.  Go back a few verses and notice what Paul is saying in verse 12: “Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned.”

There is not the remotest implication of “imputation” at all.  The truth is that Adam introduced sin into the world and that his descendants after him did not inherit sin nor a supposed sinful nature; but imitated Adam: “because all sinned.”

Moreover, Paul is not talking about Adam's life of disobedience and much less of a life of obedience to Christ.  Paul is speaking of only one act of Adam and one only act of Christ, His death on the cross.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:21: 
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Again, the world of Calvinism misuses this Scripture by implying that the sins of man were imputed to Christ, therefore, when Jesus died on the cross, He was the worst sinner in the world.  How?  When they interpret the phrase: “to be sin.”  There is nothing here that implies “impute,” “reckon,” or “count.” Rather the word “sin” means “sacrifice for sin.”  We see it in Exodus 29:14, “it is a sin-offering.”  In Hebrew, the word does not say “offering for but rather “sin.”  In Hosea 4:8: “They feed on the sin of my people, and set their heart on their iniquity.”  Here, the word sin obviously means “sin offering,” (sin cannot be eaten, but the sin offering was indeed eaten).

Isaiah 53:10:  “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”

  • Galatians 3:13: 
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.”

Another verse badly twisted to teach the imputation of man's sins to Christ.  In Martin Luther's commentary on Galatians, he implied that Jesus became the greatest of all sinners, murderer, adulterer, thief, blasphemous, etc., (page 254).  But the truth is that Christ was offered “as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, even the blood of Christ.”  If Christ indeed had any blemish or spot, having sinned, He would not have been offered as a sacrifice.  That simple!!

Our Lord Jesus Christ “bore our sins in his body on the tree (the cross), that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds, you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24).  When Christ bore our sins on the cross as if he were guilty of them, He became a curse for us.  God was not displeased with Christ, His ministry, or His sacrifice.  Christ never sinned, and no sin was imputed to Him.  Period!  It is pure blasphemy to teach that God imputed the sins of all the men of the world to Christ and then later abhorred Jesus, turning His back on Him.  It is ridiculous, madness and absurd!!

Therefore, to bear our sins is the same as to forgive them.  In Matthew 8:17 we read, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities and bare our diseases.”

So the phrase "took our infirmities" is the same as heal them.  So when Christ “bore” our sins, He died so that we can be healed spiritually (forgiven).  When Jesus took our infirmities, He did not get sick.  Likewise, when He bore our sins, He did not become a sinner.


CONCLUSION:

The false doctrine of “imputation” has been invented in the minds of Calvinists to support the false teaching otherwise known as the Doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints.  The fifth point of Calvinism states that the elect, those chosen by God, cannot fall from grace.

Calvinism is a three-fold imputation:  1. The imputation of the sins of Adam to mankind; 2. The imputation of the sins of mankind to Christ and 3. The imputation of the personal righteousness of Christ to believers.  Indeed, this false doctrine is another outstanding example of building error upon error.

All of the Scriptures cited by Calvinism to support their errors are twisted and tortured by them (2 Peter 3:16).  For there is nowhere in the Word of God that teaches that the sin or the righteousness of one person can be imputed (counted, reckoned, attributed) to someone else.  Such a false doctrine eats away the soul as gangrene eats away the flesh.  God abhors and rejects such false teachings as well as its teachers.  They do not rightly handle the Word of Truth.  Alas, how many souls have been perverted by this kind of false teaching!

In Matthew 15:14 Jesus said,
“Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

Paul also warned of those who were insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.”  (Titus 1:10-11).  God does not have fellowship with those who practice false religion or man-made religions (i.e., any religion besides what He has authorized in the New Testament).

The Word of God clearly teaches that one is considered righteous by God when he obeys the glorious Gospel of Jesus and walks in righteousness, (1 John 3:7)  rather than inputing the personal righteousness of Christ to us, the believers.  The penitent sinner becomes righteous by God's pardon or forgiveness which is made possible by the atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ and not by imputing His perfect, righteous life, (Matt. 26:28; Rom. 5:8-9).  It is the penitent sinner's responsibility to repent and obey God's Law of Pardon, the Gospel of Grace, to be forgiven thus becoming justified, sanctified and made righteous, (Acts 3:38; 1 John 1:7-9).

The Calvinistic doctrine of imputation or imputed righteousness is in full rebellion and conflict with the divine nature of God and His glorious message of salvation, the Gospel, from Genesis to the book of Revelation.

Undoubtedly, Christ lived a perfect, righteous life without sin whatsoever.  "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin, and live to righeousness; for by His wounds you were healed."  (1 Peter 2:24).  "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us -- for it is written, 'Cursed is every one who hangs on a tree.'" (Galatians 3:13).  He never sinned, and no sin was imputed to Him.  He died so that we might be healed spiritually (forgiven).

Therefore, the sinless, perfect life of Christ is never transferred to the obedient believer.  Not at all!! It was His sinless and perfect life that enabled Him to become a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Christ, our Lord, became the sacrifice for our sins dying on that cruel cross for our redemption.  It was God's eternal plan to save all men through His blood. Jesus' obedience to His Father made it possible for God to dictate the terms upon which all sinners can be forgiven or redeemed.  All this is possible by God's loving kindness and grace.  We do not deserve it, yet God did it because of His love for us, (John 3:16).  This moves me deeply!!!

“Imputed righteousness” in the Word of God does not mean that Christ's personal excellence or perfect obedience is transferred to the believer.  What it does mean is that the sinner who has been forgiven can stand justified, sanctified before His Creator, our God.  Christ's sinless life and sacrificial death made all this possible for the penitent sinner when he obeys the glorious Gospel of Christ that the apostles preached.  And as long as he “walks in the Light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”  Therefore, God will not impute sin to his account.

The whole system of Calvinist theology can be defeated when one applies the Truth of Scripture to it.   This can be accomplished only when we allow the Bible to interpret itself, especially those texts that are difficult to understand.  God's Word is the only thing that can direct us in the right way and guide us in righteousness.  God's Word is indeed "sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12).  God's Word teaches us pure doctrine to convict us, but we must love the Truth at all cost, spending time studying the riches of His Word that we might not be deceived by false doctrines that lead us to our destruction.  YES, God's Word can fix all doctrinal errors and save those who have been taught error.

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."  (Isaiah 55:10-11)

May we allow God's Word to be our only standard of truth.  May we speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where it is silent.  May we practice that which the Word of God authorizes and reject that which is the foolishness of the world, that which the Lord does not authorize for us.  May we always affirm and hold fast to the preaching of the Truth rather than error.  May we always walk by faith, in the Light as He is in the light to please our Almighty God in heaven.   May we never abandon the revealed Truth of God but surrender to the yoke of Christ.  May we never walk the path of rebellion and foolishness but rather walk the path of righteousness.  May we always love, guard and defend the Truth no matter the price.


Luci

P.S. Upon the counsel of a beloved brother, I have rewritten my conclusion so as to clarify any misunderstanding.