Christians still sin, For these same sins the wrath of God comes upon nonChristians

Ephesians 5:3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous ( that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

the pietist puritan concludes from the above

1. The wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience, and we know who they are because they continue to sin, and even on purpose.
2. In reality it makes no sense that God is going to punish the condemned non-elect for these sins and not also punish the justified elect for the same specific sins.
3. Therefore, the pietist puritan concludes that the justified elect don’t commit these sins, or at least not for long, and never on purpose.

I thank God for another gospel, one in which Christ’s life in justified sinners gives us assurance that sin shall not be our master, because we are not under law but under grace. This other good news gospel teaches us to fear God and God’s law, because we know that not even Christ in us causes us to satisfy God’s law and we trust in the death of Christ as that which answers the demands of God’s holy law.

Yes, those who are without Christ are under the wrath of God for the very same sins which we continue to commit. Our hope is not that we are no longer coveting idolaters, but that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Why tell Christians not to be coveting idolaters, if Christians can’t be coveting idolaters, at least not on purpose?

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10 Comments on “Christians still sin, For these same sins the wrath of God comes upon nonChristians”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    ” Walk in newness of life.” Many people are I think confused when they come to the word “walk”, and therefore read the Christian life of obeying Christ’s commands into Romans 6. “Walk” is used by Paul that way in other texts. Seven times in Ephesians. But it is the context that determines the meaning of words. A very important parallel to Romans 6:4 is 8:4 where the same word is used and the context again is justification by Christ having fulfilled the demands of the law. Those who believe the gospel are people who walk by the Spirit. Those who don’t believe the gospel do NOT walk by the Spirit. But people see “walk” in 8:4 and think of Christian obedience after justification. Haldane I think has it right when he says that to walk according to the Spirit is following the gospel, and not walking according to the flesh is not relying on the flesh, or any false gospel as in Phil. 3:3 and Gal. 3:3.

  2. markmcculley Says:

    On Romans 8:4, Vickers (southern baptist seminary) comments: “I do not think it is likely that Paul is speaking here of the imputation of Christ’s righteousness as the fulfillment, but rather of what Christ’s work accomplishes in us through the Spirit.” P 160, Justification by Grace Through Faith, P and R, 2013) But since Vickers is not into polemics (except with those who use commercial metaphors for the atonement or for justification), he does not interact with Hodge or Smeaton or anybody else who has a different view. He thinks the word “walking” proves his point.

    As to the question of which law it is that we are imperfectly fulfilling, Vickers tells us that “it is not the law of Moses per se but the aim of it that believers fulfill through the Spirit. This does not mean that justification is based on works done through us by the Spirit, but that the Spirit-driven obedience is part and parcel of the life of the justified. A tree is known by its fruit.” So he doe not think perfection is necessary for “fulfillment”. Fudge things a bit-the intent of the law, and the intent of us wanting to be perfect.

  3. markmcculley Says:

    ” Walk in newness of life.” Many people are I think confused when they come to the word “walk”, and therefore read the Christian life of obeying Christ’s commands into Romans 6. “Walk” is used by Paul that way in other texts. Seven times in Ephesians. But it is the context that determines the meaning of words. A very important parallel to Romans 6:4 is 8:4 where the same word is used and the context again is justification by Christ having fulfilled the demands of the law. Those who believe the gospel are people who walk by the Spirit. Those who don’t believe the gospel do NOT walk by the Spirit. But people see “walk” in 8:4 and think of Christian obedience after justification. Haldane I think has it right when he says that to walk according to the Spirit is following the gospel, and not walking according to the flesh is not relying on the flesh, or any false gospel as in Phil. 3:3 and Gal. 3:3.

  4. markmcculley Says:

    David Bishop — When Aaron was appointed priest, many new laws came in. It was no longer in the day you eat of it you shall die. This doesn’t mean that Aaron wasn’t still guilty of disobeying Adam’s law, or that God had swept aside Adam’s law and then treated everyone as if it no longer mattered that they had disobeyed it. Aaron still stands guilty of disobeying Adam’s law. But now Aaron’s has more new laws he’s guilty of breaking. Even after you are redeemed, your lawlessness is still sin.
    When Christ died the cross, Christ satisfied the death demanded vy both Adam’s law and those new laws which came with Aaron’s priesthood. Christ died vicariously, on behalf of His elect. But because He is a high priest after the order of Melchizedek, there was also another change in the laws. Christ not only satisfied the demands of the old laws, but He brought in a new law too.
    These new laws are NOT the gospel! . Christ’s new law is not the gospel. A new commandment I leave you, love one another even as I have loved you is Christ’s new law but it’s NOT the gospel.
    Christ’s new law also demands the death of sinners if they are not redeemed. The justified elect are redeemed but not by their keeping Christ’s new law. Christ’s death satisfied the demands for the death of His elect for breaking His laws, both old and new.
    Love one another even as I have loved you.. But Christ has died for all the sins of His elect, even their continuing sins after they are justified.

  5. markmcculley Says:

    False generalization by Phil Johnson–” All those who deny that Christ’s law-keeping is imputed are teaching that redemption is accomplished by the setting aside of the law’s absolute demands, not by Christ’s satisfying the law.”
    I don’t think that Christ was watered as our substitute
    But I do think there could be other motives for our being watered (don’t ask me which, I don’t care).
    I don’t think Christ’s law keeping is a substitute for our obeying the law.
    But I do think that Christ’s death is a substitute for our needing to (or being motivated to) keep the law as a means of obtaining blessings,.

    Because i do think Christ’s death means our not being under the law.

    But I do NOT think that our not being under the law means that we cannot sin by disobeying the law of Christ.

    There was no Jewish law that commanded Christ or anyone else to be baptized with water . Christ was not offering obedience to the Jewish law, His water baptism was necessary, but the question is: In what way was it necessary? The Bible does not teach that His water baptism merited part of the righteousness which is imputed to the elect. The Bible does not teach that his incarnation or his resurrection or his resurrection status or his physical circumcision is part of the righteousness which is imputed.
    https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/piper-calls-thanksgiving-a-debtors-ethic/

  6. markmcculley Says:

    James 1: 17 Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with the Father there is no variation or shadow cast by turning. 18 By His own choice, the Father gave us a new birth by the message of truth so that we would be the first fruits of His creatures.

    I Corinthians 4: 7 ? What do you have that you didn’t receive? If, in fact, you did receive it, why do you boast as if you hadn’t received it?

    Romans 3: 4 They are justified by His grace as a gift (freely) through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

  7. markmcculley Says:

    isn’t there a political use of law and condemnation to “restrain sin”?

    i did not give my guilt to Jesus
    Jesus took my guilt from me
    while i was still a sinner sinning
    while I am a sinner sinning
    Jesus has already taken from me my guilt
    isn’t that kind of dangerous?
    guilt-free sinners set free on the world?

    https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/god-does-see-sin-even-in-the-justified-elect-by-flavel/

    https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/the-survivors-guilt-of-the-elect-we-did-not-make-our-own-luck/

    Wesley’s sermon vs “Justification by Imputation”—- “Neither can it ever consist with God’s unerring wisdom, to think that I am innocent, to judge that I am righteous or holy, BECAUSE ANOTHER IS SO. God can no more, in this manner, confound me with Christ, than with David or Abraham. Let any man to whom God hath given understanding, weigh this without prejudice; and he cannot but perceive, that such a notion of justification is neither reconcilable to reason nor Scripture.”

    Martin Luther King— “If Christ by his death paid the full penalty of sin, there is no valid ground for repentance or moral obedience as a condition of forgiveness. The debt is paid; the penalty exacted, and there is, consequently, nothing to forgive..T.he orthodox view of the divinity of Christ is in my mind quite readily denied. Christ’s achievement is prophetic for every other true son of man who is willing to submit his will to God. Christ was to be only the prototype of one among many brothers. The divine quality or unity with God was a achievement through the process of moral struggle and self-abnegation.”

  8. markmcculley Says:

    Forgiveness of sins without me changing? to some people it sounds too good to be true, and to other people it sounds like playing a game of pretend that doesn’t do anybody good

    so they don’t like it, and they say it can’t be true
    but if it is not true, then what do you think the solution is?

    forget the cynics, who say that truth does not matter and what works to improve people should be “imputed as true”

    are such cynical legalists REALLY improving anybody, including themselves?

    maybe not, they tell me, but you are only telling yourself
    that there is forgiveness of sins without changing
    because you want it to be true
    such forgiveness, they say, is wishful thinking, presumption

    it’s true that I see no other hope or solution for me

    kathistemi

    logizomai.

    I am interested in this entire “playing games” thing

    is all this stuff about imputation merely an intellectual puzzle to me?

    and now i have friends and
    acquaintance asking me because they know I am interested in this stuff

    and yes, they are all a bit curious about all kinds of things
    tea leaves in China the gold in Fort Knox and the basketball tournament

    which is to say

    is this only a game to God, some tricky book-keeping, a fiction
    forgiveness they call it, but does that really change anything

    punishment may or may not deter
    i doubt it one way or the other

    but what does forgiveness really do?

    and what does it matter how or why God “does forgiveness ?

    a preacher quotation– “It was not enough that our sins were imputed to him. His death on the cross was much, much more than a legal matter.”

    if God just by being God says I forgive you and I forgive that other person but I do not forgive that person

    if God says I forgive that person because they confessed their sins before mass
    if not once a day or once a week
    at least they did come back to the church and they did ritual they confessed their sins
    and then God let them eat God while God was still living, and while they were stilling
    so before they died God forgave them and they can pay off the rest in purgatory

    and what does it matter if God forgives by just doing it, or if God has to play legal fiction games with Himself?
    Paying Himself off with His death
    God counting the sins of those God forgives to Himself
    God really dying to pay off the price
    God counting God’s death AS F pretending but it’s not real
    God counting God’s death to those God forgives

    like I am asking
    what does it matter

    sure I am not a perfect person
    but I am not worse than other people
    pretty average
    and does it matter if you call it sin?
    whatever it is, it’s already done and forgiveness won’t change the past, and ritual won’t change the past
    and what does it really matter?

    does forgiving your past connect in any real way to your not doing the same thing in the future?

    is there anything existential happening?

    is there a reason to be moral?
    yes it helps people to get along better
    but if you are immoral, does somebody really need to pay?

    what does punishment matter, it was still immoral
    and we hope the secret shame does not come out
    but what does “seeing justice done” change?
    if you are only moral so you don’t have to pay for it, is that really moral?

    well most people need to have some sort of threat to keep them from doing the wrong
    and yes, I am not special, I am not unlike most people, I am not exempt from having to pay
    or at least thinking I will need to pay, like everybody else I need the same threat to keep me straight

    but what did I ever do which was so bad
    in the last 24 hours?
    suppose I did confess to some priest every day
    wouldn’t that be boring?
    the same stuff the same thoughts as everybody else as anybody else
    thank you god I am not like people in that family?
    everybody is about the same it’s all so boring
    is anybody interesting to that priest falling asleep listening to this stuff?
    so it’s not as important as you pretend to think
    for sure what you did was not hurting God
    God is still God still unchanged by what you did

    so for what you did or did not do, why do you want it to matter?
    if it doesn’t matter to God, why bring it up again and why think it needs forgiveness?
    maybe it matters to you but then if it’s only you
    forgive yourself, tell yourself whatever you need or want to say

    but these games about what God needed to do
    or about what you need to know about that game
    who gives a —–

    beneath that foot of snow that does not tell and does not show
    what’s not pretty underneath the beauty-show
    it’s just dirt, plain dirt, like all other dirt
    and eating God alive in this game you play
    or learning a vocabulary of imputation
    a grammar of forgiveness
    none of it changes the dirt into gold, the dirt is really still dirt

    yes, Jesus Christ was or is a real person
    who died and yes he rose from the dead
    but why play the game of saying why or what all that means
    does the reality of the death prove that the “transfer of sin”
    and the “justification of the ungodly” is real?

    only if the imputation is real
    and not a game
    would I then care if Jesus really died?

    yes I will stipulate now, Jesus really died
    but why bother and who cares?

    there must be more to “faith and hope” than legal fiction
    God cooking the books
    God making it look like it’s all square

    but why take the time?
    who is God making it look square to?
    if God is making it look square to God?
    why do the puzzle and jump through hoops?

    can’t we all agree?
    that God is God is sovereign God is just
    and God does not need to prove it to God
    and God does not need to prove to us that God is just

    God is just because God is just
    not because we say so
    a person is immoral and not because God says so

    God’s say so, God’s word

    kathistemi

    logizomai.

    God would not be at peace with God
    and God would not be at peace with any justified sinner

    unless God “saw the blood”, ie, saw the death satisfy the law

    Romans 3: 25 God presented Christ as a propitiation in His bloody death to show God’s righteousness… 26 God presented God to show His righteousness at the present time, so that God would be righteous (and declared righteous) and so that God declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.

    Psalm 51: Be gracious to me, God,
    according to Your faithful love;
    according to Your abundant compassion,
    blot out my rebellion.
    2 Wash away my guilt
    3 For I am conscious of my rebellion,
    and my sin is always before me.
    4 Against You—You alone—I have sinned
    and done this evil in Your sight.
    So You are right when You pass sentence;
    You are blameless when You judge.
    5 Indeed, I was guilty when I was born;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
    9 Turn Your face away from my sins
    and blot out all my guilt.

    Colossians 2:20 If with Christ you died to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations – ‘Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch’ (referring to things that all perish as they are used) – according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.


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