Thursday, September 24, 2015

Looking forward to the cross?

I recently listened to a sermon called "Looking Forward To The Cross" and it was about how salvation has always been by grace, through faith in the finished work of Christ, without works. I certainly agree that salvation "under grace" (Rom. 6:14) is by putting your faith in Christ's sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection, and that our works have no part in it, but that is not the case in past dispensations.

It is a dangerous doctrine to teach that salvation has always been by "grace through faith without works" ever since Genesis. Why is it dangerous?
  • It is not "rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15)
  • It will lead you to follow Old Testament ordinances that are wrong to follow today.
  • It will confuse people and make them doubt the Bible when they see verses like Luke 18:31-34.
  • It forces you to ignore key doctrines of the Bible such as WHEN believing Israel will have their sins blotted out (at the Second Advent--Matt. 19:28-29, Acts 3:19, Rom. 11:26-27)
The Scriptures used to teach this false doctrine of "one gospel throughout the entire Bible" follows a circular path of the following verses: Galatians 1:6-9, 3:6-8, Revelation 14:6, Acts 10:43, Romans 4:1-3. Can you see anything wrong with that? All those verses are written in the New Testament, shouldn't we see the "on gospel throughout the whole Bible" brethren give verses from the Old Testament to support their claim? I would think so. 

Points to consider:

What is the gospel of the present dispensation and was it preached in the Old Testament?

1 Corinthians 15:
[1] Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
[2] By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
[3] For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
[4] And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures

[This gospel is called "the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24). ]

What do we see in 1 Corinthians 15? The gospel: Christ's death for our sins, His burial, and resurrection. We see that this gospel is "according to the scriptures". Where in the scriptures is this gospel? Not in the Old Testament scriptures. The Old Testament says nothing about Christ dying for our sins, being buried, and rising again the third day. The OT has prophecies about Christ's death (Ps. 22, Isa. 53), but those were not preached in the OT as referring to the Christ. Believers in the OT did not know who those passages were referring to. Not only that, the OT says nothing about Christ's resurrection on the third day. (the resurrection is in the Psalms, but not the "third day") What "scriptures" was Paul referring to? Most likely Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (and maybe Hebrews).

Where in the Old Testament do we see Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Isaiah, or anyone else giving "the gospel of the grace of God" to anyone? That Christ will die for their sins, will be buried, and will rise again the third day? Nowhere. Did John the Baptist, Peter, James, or any of the 12 apostles preach that gospel before the cross? No.

Matthew 16:
[21] From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
[22] Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
[23] But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
[This passage says that it was from Matthew 16 ONWARD that Christ "began" to shew His disciples that He would die, be buried, and rise again. And when He did, they did not understand it and they rebuked Him for it! Obviously they were not preaching that Christ would die, be buried, and rise again.]

Mark 9:
[9] And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.
[10] And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.

Mark 9:
[31] For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.
[32] But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.

Luke 9:
[44] Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.
[45] But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.

Luke 18:
[31] Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.
[32] For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:
[33] And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.
[34] And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.

Luke 24:
[15] And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
[16] But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
[17] And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
[18] And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass therein these days?

[19] And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
[20] And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
[21] But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
[The people living before the cross did NOT know that there was a connection between Christ's death/resurrection and redemption!]

John 20:
[6] Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
[7] And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
[8] Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
[9] For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
[10] Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

Clearly the gospel that Paul preached (1 Cor. 15:1-4) was NOT the gospel preached by the 12 apostles. The gospel preached by the 12 apostles is called "the gospel of the kingdom" (Matt. 4:23, 9:35, 24:14, Mark 1:14) and did not include the death/burial/resurrection.

The apostle Paul said that the gospel he preached was a direct revelation from the Lord and not after man. Paul said that no man taught him the gospel that he preached, which means that the gospel preached by Peter and Stephen to Paul in Acts 4 and Acts 7 is NOT the gospel that Paul received from the Lord. Paul called the gospel he preached "my gospel" and that it was a "mystery". Paul said that when the gospel was committed to his trust, he became "a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him [Christ] to life everlasting".

1 Timothy 1:
[11] According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
[12] And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
[13] Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
[14] And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
[15] This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
[16] Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting

Galatians 1:
[11] But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
[12] For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ
[Paul knew the OT scriptures very well and he also heard Peter and Stephen preach in Acts 4 and Acts 7, therefore the gospel he preached was obviously a new revelation]

Romans 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

2 Timothy 2:
[7] Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
[8] Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel
[Why would Paul call the gospel "MY gospel" if it was not a distinct revelation given to him? Why did he call it the preaching of Jesus Christ "according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began"?]

1 Corinthians 2:7-8 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

1 Corinthians 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
[Why was Paul's preach a "mystery" if it had been being preached and believed since Genesis 3?]

Ephesians 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
[Some people say that "the mystery" here is referring to the gospel being unknown to most of the world, but that could not possibly be the meaning of "mystery" here. The gospel was not hid from the world at that time, Paul said that the gospel was made known to every creature under heaven (Col. 1:5-6, 1:23). The "mystery" is referring to the gospel being a secret revealed to Paul.]

Titus 1:
[1] Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
[2] In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
[3] But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour

The book of Galatians makes it very clear that Peter and Paul had different gospels.

Galatians 1:
[11] But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
[12] For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ

Galatians 2:
[1] Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
[2] And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles [If Paul was preaching the same gospel as Peter and James, why was he sent by revelation to communicate it to them? Paul just got through saying in chapter 1 that his gospel was a distinct revelation...], but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
[3] But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
[4] And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
[5] To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
[6] But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me [Paul did not submit to or compromise with these other believers. There were those in the Jerusalem church that "believed" but also taught the Law for salvation, Acts 15:1-5.]:
[7] But contrariwise [Meaning Paul "added" something to them.], when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; [There you have it. Paul came to Jerusalem by REVELATION and COMMUNICATED "that gospel" that he preached among the Gentiles to the Jewish Church. Then everybody saw that "the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed" unto Paul while Peter had the "gospel of the circumcision". Some people suggest that different audiences are in view here and not different gospels. But if that were true, why was Paul sent by revelation to communicate it to them?]
[8] (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) [Paul had an entirely different apostleship from that of the 12 apostles. The 12 apostles were over the 12 tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28) and apostles of the circumcision. Paul was different, Romans 11:13
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:]
[9] And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision
. [A "pillar" is defined by Webster's 1828 dictionary as "A supporter; that which sustains or upholds". What were James/Peter/John supporting or upholding? Something different than Paul's gospel apparently, for they had to "perceive" it which is to understand it or learn it.]

One "proof text" of the 'one gospel throughout the whole Bible' brethren is Ephesians 4:5 and the fact that there is only "ONE faith". Of course, that is true NOW in the present dispensation/revelation, but the truth is that our "faith" (doctrine believed) has not existed since Genesis 2 as some people teach.

Galatians 2:
[16] Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
[17] But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
[18] For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
[19] For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
[20] I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me

Galatians 3:
[22] But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
[23] But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
[24] Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
[25] But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
[26] For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
[27] For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
[28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Clearly there was a time when our faith had not come, the Law was in place keeping people "shut up" from the faith of Christ. Since the faith of Christ is our whole salvation under Grace, obviously salvation was different in time past than it is under Grace (Rom. 6:14). The faith of Christ was not revealed and people were shut up from it. 

If salvation was always "by grace through without works" for all and upon all that believe, why were the Gentiles without Christ, strangers from the covenants of promise, without hope, and without God? Gentiles did not have hope and they did not have Christ until "the blood of Christ" was shed and Christ was crucified...

Ephesians 2:
[11] Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
[12] That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
[13] But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ
[14] For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
[15] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
[16] And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
[17] And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh

It was the "preaching' of "peace" by Christ's shedding of blood that brought the Gentiles hope, before that they were "without Christ" due to being uncircumcised and strangers from Israel.

Question: If salvation was by grace through faith without the works of the Law, why would being uncircumcised and strangers from Israel keep the Gentiles from being without hope and without God? Obviously it was because the temple, the priests, and all of the Law service was done in Israel. As Paul said in Romans 3, Israel had a great advantage over the Gentiles because the oracles of God were committed to them (Rom. 3:1-2). Just as believers under Grace are "born again by the word of God" (1 Pet. 1:23, John 5:24, 6:63), likewise the Old Testament believer's soul was converted by the Law.

Psalms 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

The Law commandments were required for salvation under the Old Testament. Under the OT, man was justified by HIS OWN faith which had to be made perfect by works. They were not saved by the faith of Christ, it was shut up unto them.

Works of righteousness, trusting in the Lord, were required to receive mercy from God:

Deuteronomy 5:10  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

Deuteronomy 6:24-25 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

Ezekiel 3:
[19] Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
[20] Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
[21] Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul

Ezekiel 14:14 Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 14:20 Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

Ezekiel 18:
[4] Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
[5] But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,
[6] And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman,
[7] And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment;
[8] He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man,
[9] Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD
[10] If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things,
[11] And that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour's wife,
[12] Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination,
[13] Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.
[14] Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father's sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like,
[15] That hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour's wife,
[16] Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment,
[17] That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.
[18] As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.
[19] Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.
[20] 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.
[21] But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
[22] All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.
[23] Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
[24] But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
[25] Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
[26] When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.
[27] Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
[28] Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
[29] Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?
[30] Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
[31] Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
[32] For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye

Exodus 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Amos 5:
[14] Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.
[15] Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph

Psalms 103:17-18 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

Psalms 62:12 Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work

Psalms 18:
[20] The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
[21] For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.
[22] For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.
[23] I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.
[24] Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

2 Samuel 22:21 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

Isaiah 55:
[6] Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
[7] Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon

Daniel 9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

Proverbs 6:32 But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.
Proverbs 7:27 Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

Proverbs 13:6 Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.

Proverbs 16:17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

Proverbs 28:18 Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once.


[3] But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
[4] Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
[5] Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD

7:8 The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.

37:27-29 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

106:3-4 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times. Remember me, O LORD, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation;

119:2-3 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.

119:118 Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood.

Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

The 'one gospel only' brethren love to run to the case of Abraham and say that he received imputed righteousness without works. They cite Genesis 15:6, which says "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." However, this is a "cherry picking" method of Bible study, they are finding a verse and then isolating it from its context. Man had to be saved by his own faith before the cross, shut up unto the faith that would afterwards be revealed (the faith of Christ), and personal faith must be MADE PERFECT and FULFILLED. Abraham did not receive imputed righteousness and justification at the same time like we do in the New Testament.

James 2:
[21] Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
[22] Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
[23] And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God

The statement in Genesis 15:6 "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." was something that had to be "fulfilled". Abraham's faith had to be "made perfect". This is contrary to how justification obtained under Grace. We are justified by the faith of Christ when we believe in Christ, after that we could cease to believe and cease to do works and yet He will abide faithful since we are members of His body. 

2 Timothy 2:
[11] It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
[12] If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
[13] If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself

[Under Grace we are justified by "the faith of Christ", not our own faith. When we believe on Christ we are made members of His Body and are justified by His faith. Christ is Faithful and it is by His faith that we are justified by (1 Cor. 1:9, 1 Thes. 5:23-24, 2 Thes. 3:3, 2 Tim. 2:13, Rom. 3:22, Gal. 2:16-20, 3:22, Eph. 3:12, Phil. 3:9)]

Galatians 3:
[2] This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
[3] Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh
[Notice how Paul's statement directly contradicts James's, they are writing to and about different people. James was written to Israel, James 1:1)

Some have suggested that James was referring to "justification before men" and not justification before God, but the context of James is being SAVED (James 2:14) and the Bible condemns people for trying to be justified before men...

Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Nobody else was around when Abraham offered up Isaac, how was he "justified before men" by doing that? It does not make sense.

By the way, Abraham did not believe the gospel of the grace of God. He did not believe that Christ died for his sins, was buried, and rose again. The good news that Abraham believed was that he would have a lot of children

"And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." (Gal. 3:8)

Genesis 15:5-6 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Romans 4:
[18] Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
[19] And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb:
[20] He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
[21] And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform

Another example of Old Testament salvation being by works is Phinehas. How did Phinehas receive imputed righteousness?

Psalms 106:
[30] Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed.
[31] And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore

In the Dispensation of Grace (Rom. 6:14, Eph. 3:2) we are saved by grace through faith without works of righteousness (1 Cor. 15:1-4, Acts 13:38-39, Eph. 2:8-9, Titus 3:4-7), we receive imputed righteousness and justification at the same time because we are justified by the faith of Christ and not by our own faith. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. (Gal. 3:22)

Salvation in the Old Testament was not by "looking forward to the cross", the 12 apostles were not even looking forward to the cross. Yes David and Isaiah prophesied of Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection, but they did not realize what they were prophesying about according to 1 Peter....

1 Peter 1:
[10] Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
[11] Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
[12] Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into

Yes God showed extra mercy to King David, but the exception proves the rule. If everyone had the blessings that David had, they would NOT be called "the sure mercies of David" (Isa. 55:3).

--Eli Caldwell

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