When you’re told that name-calling and hurling an insult or two are bad, first ask,”Why are you so opposed to the use of English grammar’s adjectives?”
If they are Christians, you then should call them “lukewarm believers.” Because not only do they have some strange, misplaced hatred of adjectives, they don’t know the Bible.
Coming out of the woodwork already are those lukewarm believers who talk about the compassion and patience showed by some people in Scripture including Jesus.
Well, yes. You use discernment Mr/Ms Lukewarmer. You don’t be extra bold when someone is hurting or beginning to get a heart change towards the truth of God’s Word and begins to get concerned about where they’ll spend eternity.
Of course I don’t mean you should call everybody names! (You idiot!)
But in your faux biblical worldview (that Satan just loves), you would show gentleness towards everybody in every situation. And to quote God, it just makes me want to vomit.
Names and strong rebuke are more often called for than not. See, that’s where you’re so willfully ignorant of God’s Word. It’s much easier for you to love someone straight to hell than to confront them. Or, Heaven don’t forbid, call them names to get their attention and to show them how immediately in danger they are eternally.
Yes, right, the way I describe here isn’t for everybody every time. (It does seem appropriate for you right now, however. Fool.) But the way I describe here should be in every legitimate Christian’s armory. Because there is so much of this witnessing approach demonstrated in Scripture.
Once in a while, it’s nice to see some of the names and an insult or two that Godly men – and even God! – called people in Scripture.
Below are some instances. Jesus clocks in as the winner with the most personal insults. Go, thou, and be like Him.
What many call The Old Testament, some call “The Hebrew Bible.” This isn’t because it’s written solely for Israel; it was written for all. “The Hebrew Bible” is simply more a accurate description in that the language of the original and inspired words were written down in Hebrew.
Likewise, “The New Testament” is more accurately described as, “The Greek Bible” for the same reason. (Yes, a sliver of it was in Aramaic.) Referring to them by their native languages is not an attempt to separate them in any way other than by language. “The Greek Bible” does, however, separate that part of the canon from the topic known as The New Covenant. People who attempt to rightly divide the Word – scholars far more Godly and wise than I’ll ever be – do not see The New Covenant as having anything to do with the Body of Christ today. To say that it does brings unnecessary problems into our theology.
Was God mean in the Hebrew Bible? Some lukewarm Christians act as though they’re embarrassed for him and think that He was mean. Why? What evidence is there of that? Perhaps the fact that far more billions of people go to hell in the Greek Bible (“The New Testament”) is a good reason not to make such a vapid remark ever again that “God was mean in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).”
Note: He wasn’t mean in the Greek Bible either.
But if the Hebrew Bible was in Hebrew, then maybe it’s not something we should concern ourselves with today.
Yeah, well, perhaps but no, not perhaps. Here are ten extremely good reasons why The Hebrew Bible should be a major part of your constant study to know more about God at the link below:
Given the confusion most believers have between sanctification and justification – and given the fact I was greatly confused too I hate to admit! – I was glad to choose this topic for my most recent final paper in a seminary class I just completed at Tyndale called, Christian Discipleship, taught by Dr. Charles Ryrie.
Sanctification turns out to be a long-term process that the believer has much responsibility in bringing about.
I present my paper:
Tyndale Bible College and Seminary
The Sanctification Process of the Believer in Light of Dr. Charles Ryrie’s
Book Balancing the Christian Life
A final paper submitted to
In partial fulfillment of the course
PAST2301 Christian Discipleship
December 15, 2014
Believers are said to be “sanctified.” The term is most often used in the past tense which implies that sanctification is a one-time event in the past for those who are in Christ. Problems can arise when viewing sanctification solely as a completed act instead of considering sanctification as an on-going process. A common problem appears too often when believers confuse sanctification with justification. Knowing the definitions of the two terms helps differentiate them but still, confusion often occurs by believers who understand only the definitional difference between the terms.
This paper addresses the definitional distinction between justification and sanctification. Once defined, the actual process of sanctification as it develops over time will be analyzed. A true understanding of sanctification should encourage believers to develop spiritual maturity within their Christian walk. In addition, misunderstandings related to soteriology can be reduced.
While a study of sanctification can be performed without addressing justification, discussing both can help eliminate common confusion among believers. Perhaps the confusion that occurs between the two is why both are so often compared and contrasted when either is considered. Books such as The Gospel-Mystery of Sanctification and The Doctrine of Sanctification indicate they are studies of sanctification but both books address justification at length as well.
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary defines justification as, “A term that describes the event whereby persons are set or declared to be in right relation to God.” The dictionary further explains that English translations of the New Testament (focusing especially on Paul’s writings) employ the noun “justification” that might more aptly be translated “righteousness” or “justice” and even “not guilty.” The word justification actually appears in Scripture only rarely.
It is exactly that position, being declared righteous, that distinguishes the believer from the unbeliever. The Bible shows that it is God who justifies. Romans 3:30 states, “… since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith…” Paul continued this concept in his letter to the Galatians when he wrote, “The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith…” (Ga. 3:8). Paul also states, “Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, ‘THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.’” (Ga. 3:11).
From these verses, one can see that justification is a transformation performed by God alone. God justifies no one through their works; the Law is not a tool that can justify. It is impossible for man to justify himself by attempting to follow the Law. Justification, or righteousness, is granted by God upon salvation and only through the new believer’s faith in Christ’s completed work. The natural man cannot be justified because he is not righteous. The natural man cannot be justified because he has not believed. The saved man is justified at the moment of salvation; the Holy Spirit baptizes him into the Body of Christ because of that justification (1 Cor. 12:13).
A primary background source required for this paper is Dr. Charles Ryrie’s Balancing the Christian Life. Therefore, Dr. Ryrie’s discussion of justification and the process of sanctification weigh heavily in this paper. In his book, Dr. Ryrie writes the following:
“[O]ur justification, or salvation, is vitally related to being ‘in Christ.’ Too, our future bodily resurrection is guaranteed by being ‘in Christ’ (1 Cor. 15:22). But our principal interest in the concept is its relation to our present sanctification or to the Christian life.”
Dr. Ryrie confirms that justification is virtually synonymous with the act of salvation. By using the relational conjunction or between “justification” and “salvation,” Ryrie connects the two about as closely as possible. He appears to be describing justification solely in a positional terminology. It turns out, there is hardly another way that one can discuss justification. Justification is a one-time positional move from being an unsaved, natural man destined for hell to a righteous, saved man already positionally in Christ and destined for Heaven.
Sanctification usually requires more discussion than justification for a variety of reasons that this paper will address below. Before looking at the definition of sanctification, it is worth noticing that in the previous excerpt, Ryrie quickly moved past a person’s one-time justification at salvation to say that it is sanctification which is “our principal interest.” He is not saying sanctification is more important than justification; they are two entirely different terms. Ryrie is simply setting up his readers to know that sanctification is a process that requires a more detailed discussion to understand, whereas justification is a one-time event and is a past, completed action for the believer.
The previous wording in no way is any attempt to belittle the wondrous aspect of justification. Sinful believers immediately turn righteous upon salvation because of their justification by God. God sees their sins no more because they are clothed in Jesus’ righteousness and they are in Him. Cleansing the new believer in this way, once and for all, is the greatest gift God could give a man.
The definition of sanctification is this: “A term meaning ‘being made holy, or purified.’ It is used broadly of the whole Christian experience…” Notice that this is an ongoing action as opposed to the one-time justification at salvation. Later in the same definition, The Tyndale Bible Dictionary continues by stating, “…that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit… This definition helps us to distinguish sanctification from regeneration in that the latter speaks of the inception of the Christian life.”
This dictionary is attempting to eliminate common confusion between justification and positional sanctification by showing the one-time aspect of justification and the continued process of a believer’s sanctification. A true sanctification does occur at salvation. Nevertheless, the process of sanctification occurs in different ways at different times in a believer’s life. In addition, the previous definition implies (accurately) that at least some part of sanctification is due to the believer’s actions as opposed to God who is the only one who can justify.
Dr. Ryrie echoes this view of sanctification, thus securing for this paper ample evidence that sanctification not only differs from justification but occurs over time and its success in part is determined by the way the believer chooses to live his life. Ryrie defines sanctification as follows: “The word sanctify basically means to set apart. It has the same root as the words saint and holy.” He then goes onto describe the three aspects of sanctification which will be addressed in the next section.
The confusion between justification and sanctification is understandable. God justifies a believer upon salvation and immediately considers that believer to be fully righteous. This saved believer is certainly set apart by this righteousness through this act of justification and salvation. From the very moment of salvation, the believer is completely set apart from the unsaved people around him. Many church-going believers learn, through rote hearing of it, that “sanctification means to be set apart.” This is a completely accurate definition, but without understanding that sanctification is a process performed both by the power of the Holy Spirit with the cooperation of the believer, one will be left in possible confusion between the terms justification and sanctification. By looking at sanctification as an ongoing process, however, the distinction becomes completely clear. Most important, by understanding the believer’s own role in the process of his sanctification, it is hoped that the believer will embrace the Holy Spirit’s calling more fully and live a richer, more spiritual, and deeper sanctified life.
Dr. Ryrie describes the sanctification process that a believer goes through as a three-part process. Upon salvation, the regenerated believer is justified and made righteous. In his righteousness, he is set apart from the natural man. This is an initial one-time eternal sanctification that results only by God justifying the man. Ryrie calls this first sanctification positional sanctification. The moment of salvation, when God sets apart a regenerate man through positional sanctification, the new believer is forever within the Body of Christ. His salvation is assured and he has a home in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:4-7).
God produces another aspect of a believer’s sanctification which Ryrie calls the believer’s ultimate sanctification. This step in sanctification occurs only after one’s death and transformation into the eternal, glorified body. At this point, the saint will certainly be about as “set apart” as possible given his position in Heaven as opposed to those experiencing eternal damnation.
Between positional and ultimate sanctification, there exists an on-going sanctification that begins at a believer’s salvation and ends upon the believer’s physical death. Ryrie calls this experiential or progressive sanctification. The Holy Spirit leads, guides, and directs believers. Still, the believer himself has responsibility for how much the Spirit is followed or grieved (Eph. 4:30). Purposefully walking in God’s stated will, without sinning, is the duty of all believers. To the extent a believer lives a spiritual life, that believer will be successful in being progressively sanctified.
Dennis Waltemeyer describes positional sanctification, progressive sanctification, and ultimate sanctification in salvation-related tense terminology: justification salvation (past tense), sanctification salvation (present tense), and glorification salvation (future tense). This time-related terminology helps clarify the fact that justification differs from much of the sanctification process. In addition, this time-related salvation-based terminology serves as an extremely useful framework in which to understand Paul’s instruction to believers when he wrote, “…work out your salvation with fear and trembling…” (Phil. 2:12). Paul is not stressing a works-based salvation but encouraging and even requesting that his audience humbly and joyfully submit themselves to the will of God. The next three verses in this passage clarify Paul’s message if there was any misunderstanding that he was promoting works when he wrote this:
“… for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world…” (Phil. 2:13-15)
Understanding the concept that progressive sanctification (sanctification salvation) correlates closely with the believer’s desire to follow the Holy Spirit can help eliminate confusion that might otherwise result from a more limited view of the salvation process. For example, if one views both justification and sanctification as one-time events that occur only at salvation, then confusion can result if a believer lives his life no differently after salvation from the way a natural man lives.
If sanctification is a one-time event, then if a saved man continues to live in willful sin and shows no fruit, obviously he was not saved to begin with. This is a reasonable argument but a fallacious one. In the context of a literal grammatical-historical hermeneutic, eternal life can mean nothing but “eternal” life. Such a believer’s glorification salvation is equally secure as the believer who joyfully walks in the Spirit’s will. A believer might show no sign of holiness and that greatly affects his experiential sanctification as well as harms his witness to others. His glorification salvation remains intact as Paul explained when he wrote, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness…” (Ro. 4:5). Note this relates to justification and not sanctification.
Dr. Charles Ray examined problems that arise when one confuses justification and sanctification salvation. He wrote:
“Some aspects of the Reformed faith are puzzling. Brownson writes, ‘… faith in Christ [is] the sole means of our salvation’ (p. xii). Later he states, ‘To be baptized is, quite simply, to become a Christian’ (p. 3). Can these two statements be harmonized? Similarly, ‘… baptism is the rite that marks the beginning of membership in the church’ (p. 16). It seems that those of the Reformed persuasion (like Lordship salvation proponents) confuse salvation and discipleship. Baptism is a feature of discipleship, and does nothing to make one ‘more saved’ (my words).”
If one’s actions were to determine his salvation, then only one Man who walked the earth would have eternal life. The justified man’s actions determine how effective he will be as a witness for God but his actions speak nothing of his eternal security. If his life after justification corresponds well to the Word of God’s description of holiness, and if he allows the Holy Spirit to lead and guide him, his life will appear as a light in this world as Paul so aptly described in his letter to the Philippians.
Viewing justification as the one-time act performed exclusively by God, while viewing sanctification as a process that only begins at the moment of justification salvation, enables one to understand the dynamics of how believers can affect their own sanctification process or hinder it. No matter what the believer does, however, his glorification salvation remains intact. God shows extreme wisdom in giving the believer some responsibility in working out his own salvation. It is hoped that by understanding how much of the sanctification process is up to the believer himself that he will assume more responsibility to be true to the Spirit’s guidance.
 Walter Marshall, The Gospel-Mystery of Sanctification (New York: Southwick and Peluse, 1811).
 Arthur Walkington Pink, The Doctrine of Sanctification (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2005).
 Richard B. Hays, “Justification,” ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 1129.
 Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Balancing the Christian Life (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1994), 63.
 Ibid., 51
 Walter A. Elwell and Philip Wesley Comfort, Tyndale Bible Dictionary, Tyndale Reference Library (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001), 1163.
 Ryrie, 63.
 Ibid., 63.
 Dennis Waltemeyer, “Soteriology #3, A Case Study,” (Podcast), posted November 16, 2014, accessed December 15, 2014, http://www.sundaystreams.com/go/fbgbible/playeronly.
 Charles Ray, “Review of The Promise of Baptism by James Brownson,” Journal of Dispensational Theology Volume 11, no. 34 (2007): 88.
I was speaking on the phone this week with World Net Daily’s Joseph Farah, a man I respect quite a bit. Joseph told me that I’m “splitting hairs” when I say that God never allows sin. Joseph sees little reason to discuss the issue. I see a lot of reason to discuss it because I’m fairly passionate about this subject.
Many times in churches I’ve been in, I’ll sit there and hear the trite phrase, “God allowed that bad thing to happen.” What Bible says that God allows sin?
God rejects sin. All sin. Every sin. God hates sin. God rejects future sin. He rejects past sin. He would never allow one sin.
So my position is that God never allows any sin but that He rejects all sins.
The reason my position is vital is two-fold:
This is my critical position. People make huge leaps when they say that God allows every one of the 3,500 babies to be murdered in the United States every day. God rejects the murder of the most innocent! If you say that He allows the murder of the most innocent then I suggest that you are dangerously close to giving God the attribute of an accomplice to murder.
Does God, in His sovereign being, decree every sin that will ever happen for His glory? Many today say that is true! This is the slippery slope one heads toward when one says “God allows sin.” No! God rejects sin.
A vast number of Christians today say:
“God causes sin for His glory.” The Bible is full of verses such as this one: “Then Jeroboam drove Israel away from following the LORD and [Jeroboam] made them commit a great sin.” (2 Kings 17:21)
Hmmm… God’s own inspired Words say that Jeroboam made Israel sin (I’m sure they helped) and not God. Hmmm…
Many Christians Today: Zero
The Bible: 1
Joseph Farah also brought up the example of Job as being an instance where God allowed sin. I offered Peter as being virtually an identical example. Both my friend and I agree that God allowed Satan to test and sift Job and Peter. But doing that was not God allowing sin. God gave His permission for Satan to test and sift those two people. God rejects all sin so He would not have given Satan permission if doing so would be approving a sin.
I firmly believe that you are committing an unintentional sin if you ever state the trite lie that “God allows sin.”
And I state without hesitation that God would never allow you to say such a thing.
Certainly the central theme of many Bible passages about God’s character is His love, but He isn’t a one-attribute God. He has infinite capacity to contain and promote multiple attributes. To God, being nice and loving are trumped by His holiness and justness.
God’s love comes from His holiness; it doesn’t proceed it or equal it.
The Bible says God is Holy, Holy, Holy… Nowhere does it say God is Love, Love, Love.
Why is this so critical to explain? Putting love as His premier attribute allows today’s lukewarm Christians to water down the Gospel. Who can rebuke someone in sin – as every Godly witness does in the Bible – if they think they can love someone into Heaven without warning them they’re in trouble and need a Savior?
His holiness attribute being more critical than His love attribute has significant ramifications on how people view God and how they witness to others. Today’s “lukewarmness” is the direct result of misunderstanding the prime importance God places on His own holiness and just character in Scripture.
I want to change that!
I want Christians to follow the Bible’s evangelizing pattern: they must love the lost enough to warn them they’re in big trouble.
As I’ve discussed before, a hermeneutic is a method of interpreting text, most usually the Bible.
The acclaimed, classic, well-known clarity hermeneutic that I just made up says this: If the Bible plainly makes a clear statement, a Christian will go out of his way to cloud the meaning of the words.
In his most excellent book Prolegomena, Dr. Christopher cone says this:
“The figurative sense should only be so identified when it is the plain sense or when specifically delineated by use of figures of speech or specifically symbolic language.”
For any public school English teachers reading this who doesn’t understand proper English, let me simplify what Dr. Cone said:
“It means what it says unless it’s obvious it means something else.”
So if God says that to Him, “A day is like a thousand years,” then He is comparing and not defining.
As a kid, when you were dreading a shot while cowering in the doctor’s waiting room, the time slowed to a grave crawl, right? You were in there forever getting more worried by the second, tears coming stronger and stronger; it seemed like years.
It was like 17 hours went by but it may have been 10 minutes.
But when you got a mint chocolate-chip ice cream cone could the time have gone by faster?
It was like seconds went by but it may have been 10 minutes.
See, it was like…
When God says “A day is like a thousand years,” do you think He is confused? Or do you think He knows exactly what He’s saying.
He’s simply making a comparison.
Today’s Christians work extremely hard to make the Bible say what it doesn’t say. As Dr. Cone’s teaching above explains, the Bible means what it says.
If, however, you have a worldview and think you know ahead of time what the Bible is supposed to say but it doesn’t say that – such as a creation day taking millions of years – then you have to work very hard to force that word “day” to mean millions of years.
But it happens all the time today. Most people who call themselves Christians have very good reason to make the Bible say things it doesn’t say.
Ephesians 4:30 says this:
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Theologians are always debating, “Can anyone grieve the Holy Spirit? If so, how could someone grieve the Holy Spirit?”
A hermeneutic is a method of interpreting something, most often used for the Bible.
A famous hermeneutic method that I just made up is called the “Look Up and Down Hermeneutic.”
Often, if a verse or passage confuses you, to understand what it means you look at the one-to-three verses before and after the verse that confuses you. There’s often the explanation!
We don’t have a god of confusion, we have a God who is the greatest communicator in the universe.
The Theologians who argue ad infinitum asking themselves, “In light of Ephesians 4:30, how can someone actually grieve the Holy Spirit”?
Using the famous “Look Up and Down Hermeneutic” that I just made up, we first look up. Let’s travel just three verses up in the Bible and see Ephesians 4:26-29:
BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
For completeness, the famous “Look Up and Down Hermeneutic” that I just made up requires that we also look down a ways. The chapter ends in just two more verses so let’s look at the first of those in Ephesians 4:31:
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
So we have a fairly good list of things that grieve the Holy Spirit! So… don’t do them!
It’s not an exhaustive list but it’s a full one that will keep most of us busy for a while.
Finding out what God means seems pretty simple to me. What do you think?
The following is a true story.
I was at a Las Vegas conference with a friend a few years ago. He’d gone somewhere for the afternoon and when he came back to our hotel, he was “spitting angry.”
I asked what was wrong and he said, “This freak on the bus I was just on had a T-shirt that said God Is Nowhere and it was all I could do not to give him a piece of my mind!”
When I began laughing, he said something like, “You’re laughing but let me tell you, you wouldn’t have liked this long-haired freak and his atheist shirt!”
Stifling more laughter, I told him this: “I wish you’d told him how you felt. He would have thanked you! If I’d been there, I would have sincerely told him that I appreciated the Godly message on his shirt and that I hope it got lots of remarks.”
My friend was beginning to think I’d gone nuts. I then explained that the GODISNOWHERE shirt was a play on words with the words all strung together. He didn’t wear it because it said “God Is Nowhere” but instead, he wore it because it said “God Is Now Here.” The guy on the bus no doubt used that shirt as an unexpected witnessing tool for unbelievers who first see his shirt and think they agree with him!
After thinking through what I said, my friend got kind of sheepish and grinned knowing he had fallen for the trick. No doubt, that “long-haired freak” was certainly a believer and welcomed the chance to talk about the message on his shirt any time.
“God’s going to come back for us, the church, His bride, soon!”
Uh, well… okay. Maybe. I say “maybe” only because you say He’s coming back soon. I have no idea if He is coming back soon. And I don’t think you know either really.
Certainly the winds of war and rumors or war and cataclysmic earthquakes and such are bad indicators if that’s all what you’re going by. You sound a lot like the global warming fanatics when you use weather to predict His imminent return. Do you like sounding like them?
I know one thing about His return that I’d wager $10,000 in Vegas if I got the chance: His return is one day sooner today than yesterday.
Believers today sometimes agree that they are in something called The Body of Christ.
Paul is the minister to the Gentiles, the one giving us marching orders today. (More like marching instructions.) Read just about any passage Paul writes and you’ll see all these phrases:
“In Him” “In Christ” “In His Body”
Those descriptions are synonyms with “Body of Christ” and Paul uses those as well as “Body of Christ” heavily in his inspired writings. My Facebook friend Beau Ballentine said this:
Paul emphasize being in Christ’s body 117 times, mentioning the Body 24 times, and that believers are “in Christ”(77 times) and being “in Him”(16 times).
Paul uses those references over and over to refer to us, the “church” today. I don’t much care for the word “church” to describe believers today. I prefer to use Paul’s preferred term, “The Body of Christ.”
Paul’s using the term Body of Christ to refer to the aggregate group of believers today (and in Paul’s day). It’s a reflection of our position with God. When He looks at someone who is saved, He sees Jesus and not the corrupt beings we were. We are clothed in His righteousness – He sees righteousness and not the filthy rags we were. It’s an amazing concept really. But it speaks to the power of His death on the cross and His subsequent resurrection.
So “Body of Christ” is a good term for us.
My problem is this: most Christians today say that we are “His bride” too.
God almost constantly refers to Israel as a “she.”
In one of the most passionate quotes from God in the Bible, Jeremiah says this in Jeremiah 3:6:
Then the LORD said to me in the days of Josiah the king, “Have you seen what faithless Israel did? She went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there.”
God is distraught with Israel. In this one verse, He refers to Israel as “she” twice and given her rejection of Him for other idols, He goes one step further and calls Israel a “Harlot.” Those are strong words. God is deeply saddened by Israel’s rejection after He constantly blessed Israel all those times before.
This is one of the most agonizing quotes of God in my opinion. This is the heart of someone whose bride has just played the harlot and the bridegroom found out.
Speaking of bride and bridegroom, all throughout Scripture you see God’s people being called “His bride.” Even in the above passage in Jeremiah, the “harlot” reference is an indicator that she – Israel – left her one true love for others, just as a bridegroom might feel if his new bride did the same.
Look at this amazing passage from Isaiah 62 with boldface emphasis I added:
1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet,
Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness,
And her salvation like a torch that is burning.
[…] 3 You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
[…]4 […]But you will be called, “My delight is in her,”
And your land, “Married”;
For the LORD delights in you,
And to Him your land will be married.
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So your God will rejoice over you.
Only people who prefer the writings of dead Germans over Scripture will be able to disagree that God is talking to and about Israel and His relationship to her – Israel. The bridegroom analogy and bride are clearly evident here about as strongly as anywhere else.
So My Only Question is: Why Do So Many People Think God Marries Himself and that He is Gender Confused?
You can dislike my phrasing of that section header. But I charge that it’s a bunch of Christians today who say all of that, not me.
The big issue for me is this: Can the Bridegroom be the Bride?
Is the church today “His bride” that He’s going to come take away as so many songs and Christians say is in Scripture?
So many today act as though Jesus is going to marry Himself, only when He does, that He somehow takes on female attributes or something.
It’s a sick notion. That is why I wrote this post.
Paul never uses the term “bride” when referring to a relationship with Christ. Paul seems stuck on this “Body of Christ” notion we’re all in.
If we were to put ourselves in a category of either being in the Body of Christ Paul teaches about or in something else, would you say today that we, both men and women believers, are part of the Body of Christ?
Next question: Ah, we’re now upon the $64,000 question!!!
Is the Body of Christ to be considered in any way feminine? In our hearts, minds, and souls, do we ever talk about the Body of Christ in terms of “she” or “her”? In the most dramatic way, such a question brings up the term strict heresy, doesn’t it? There has never been and never will be anything but a pure, masculine referral to the Body of Christ, to the Son, or to the Father, of whom they are both one, right?
We cannot conceive of referring to the Body of Christ as a she.
I need to repeat a question: Who was sent specifically to preach to the Body of Christ? (Paul.)
Now for my final question. And for many this would be a very uncomfortable question: Did God mess up a little bit when he talks about the Body of Christ in pure, Son of God, masculine terms, but also referred to God’s bride to mean the Body of Christ? …. Did God forget that he kept referring to one in loving feminine terms throughout most of Scripture and the other, Himself and His Son, in masculine terms in Scripture… did someone forget to remind God that these groups can’t be feminine and masculine at once…?
OR… is the “bride” different from the Body of Christ?
And if the Body of Christ is not the same as the bride, then if that is true and I’m not saying it is but I’d need you to find one verse that shows the Body of Christ is His bride…
I’ll even give you help because you’re going to need help if you think that we are His bride and body. Paul fleetingly uses a marriage analogy twice in his writings. A third time (2 Co 11:2) Paul uses a simile to teach a close relationship.
Oh, I suppose you can work on trying to make Paul’s fleeting references fit a formula that says God is masculine but marries Himself, a “she” bride, but I bet you can’t do that.
But if the Body of Christ is not the same as God’s oft-referenced bride, then do you think that if that were true – You might read almost every passage of Scripture somewhat differently from this point forward?
A dead German was so jealous of Israel, he started a virus called Replacement Theology that infiltrates many churches today that says we are now Israel. It’s laughable since it is Israel who is supposed to be jealous of us who are in Christ. (Romans 11:11)
The opposite of the dead German’s virus is a growing Messianic movement today where Christians – jealous of Israel’s promised blessings – decide they are now Jews for all intents and purposes (they deny this in words but their actions and arguments belie their denial). Again… Laughable since it is Israel who is supposed to be jealous of us who are in Christ. (Romans 11:11)
We don’t have to change the Bridegroom’s gender to fit our dogma.
And we don’t need to steal any blessings from Israel.
We’re already His body.