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Sunday, September 16, 2012

New Covenant, same as Old Covenant

We may not live in ancient Galatia and we may not be the original readers of the letter to the Hebrews. But we are just as guilty of returning to the Old Covenant requirements as either of those two groups. Have you heard all the talk recently concerning obedience?

Obedience is good and right, unless one believes that one's obedience to God is what pleases Him and grants one a right standing before Him. But not only those two errors thrive in this conversation, there's another, one's obedience is what keeps one saved ... or better, justified. Too much lack of obedience or known disobedience means one either loses one's salvation or that one was never saved. New Covenant, same as Old Covenant.

It is true; obedience is what pleases God, it's just not our obedience. To please God by being obedient demands that we understand God-pleasing obedience as "perfect obedience," or, "absolute obedience." And that means that we live in a perpetual state of obedience. Only three People have ever lived in perfect obedience. And they are, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And the only perfect obedience that pleases God perfectly is that obedience of His Son. The Lord's passive obedience and His active obedience before God set us free from the burden of the law. And that's what demands obedience from us, the law.

Our obedience is sporadic at best. But God's grace and mercy and patience are consistent because He does not look at our feeble efforts, He looks at His Son who ever lives to make intercession on our behalf. While my obedience is inconsistent at best, Jesus is my obedience; Jesus is my consistency.

I'm not excused from my disobedience. But neither am I condemned by it. New Covenant, not the same as Old Covenant.

Be careful, beloved, lest we develope a savior complex and believe that our obedience is what saves us.

Homosexuality and the Damnable Heresy of Tolerance

Mainline Christian denominations have given their approval to not only the lifestyle of homosexuality but to the ordination of homosexuals as church leaders, e.g., pastors, elders, and denominational leaders. The Episcopal church, the Church of Christ, and the PCUSA, have all sided with homosexuals who have demanded to be included in the leadership of congregations and their respective denominations highest offices. Gene Robinson is probably the best known of these homosexuals who attained the Episcopal church's top position. Synods of these liberal denominations gave their approval to these actions this past summer. The response by Episcopalians and Presbyterians of the PCUSA has been to leave these liberal denominations. And yet the leaders of these liberal mainline churches have refused to learn from the exodus of millions of their congregants.

But what else should one expect. If the liberals will not hear the word of God on the abominable practice of homosexuality, it only makes sense that they have so callously watched as their people walk out the door.

Giving approval to the homosexual lifestyle and the ordination of homosexuals to leadership roles on denominational and congregational levels is damnable heresy on at least 4 levels:
     1. The Bible, the word of God, is clear on what God says about this practice and its end and to approve such a lifestyle means that the word of God, yes, God Himself, has been rejected. (Rom. 1:18-32)
     2. Approving what God says is an abomination leads those practicing such a lifestyle to believe a lie that  has eternal consequences. (I Cor. 6:9-10)
     3. Approving/tolerating such a sin leaves the leaven of homosexuality in local congregations where it will spread like an inoperable cancer. (I Cor. 5)
     4. The rise of pedophilia in our country is exacerbated by the presence of open homosexuals in our churches and puts all children at risk.

The remedy is repentance, repentance that follows the clear presentation of the gospel followed by the liberal deceived church leaders and members coming to faith in Jesus Christ. We Christians are not to lose our tempers when talking with or to such individuals or groups who resist the truth. But we are to be kind and gentle, hoping that God may "grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to theirs senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will" (2 Tim. 2:24-26).