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In the Name of God بسم الله


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About tdawg626

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  1. THREE1THREE, Saying that you're right and I'm wrong doesn't make you any more right. It's just a statement. This does not mean at all that the law is bad or that we throw it out and completely dismiss it. It does change how we look at it though. Jesus came to fulfill, meaning he completed everything the law required. We both know Jesus nor the disciples ever said the law was bad, only that it does not save a person who is under sin. And all of us are. We are saved by putting our faith and trust in Christ based on his grace (unmerited favor) and this cannot be achieved by works (not allowing anyone to boast about how good they are). In Ephesians 2:10 we see that Christ prepares good works for us to do in advance for those who put their faith in him. The world's religions all claim that good works and deeds need to be done in some way or fashion to be right before some god or force. Christ is the only one who tells the truth and portrays us as we really are: loved, but under sin. He pays the price for us so we do not have to and offers us a gift. You may not like gifts, but I sure do and I have accepted this perfect gift with gladness and joy! No writer of the N.T. ever told people to accept Jesus and quit doing good deeds or being righteous or holy. The point is that you cannot achieve this on your own but if you want to follow God you must obey him by putting your faith in Jesus. Then and only then can one begin fulfilling the greatest law to love God and love others which, when practiced as a true believer, automatically fulfills the entire law. Love fulfills the law. We must receive love himself to be saved from sin and live like he lived. When you cherry pick verses, take passages out of context, and discard the whole of scripture and the underlying narrative, yes it's easy to come up with your conclusions. Again, that's not the way the Bible works. James is demonstrating how faith without works is dead. He's speaking to so called "Christians" who are not behaving well towards others at all and saying, "we're Christians!" He's calling them out and showing them that faith produces works. Just like in the parable of the seeds we see that one of the seeds produces fruit and the others fade away, the same is true with a true believer. They will produce fruit and persevere till the end. It's very possible James is talking to some who are not even believers because of what they are practicing. You cannot be murdering and doing other bad things continually and claim to be a Christian. It just doesn't add up. It doesn't take away, however, that faith is a gift from God and not achieved by works. In the gospels Jesus is dealing with the Jewish people, showing them what the true Kingdom of God looked like. All of these people believed in God, but now Jesus shows up and is telling people to follow him and believe in him. He's showing them what the law really means and correcting a lot of their incorrect beliefs about him, many of which developed over hundreds of years of God's silence between the N.T. and O.T. He's dealing with Jewish issues, sins, beliefs, etc. When he tells them to practice good things he is not giving a prescription for automatic salvation but rather showing them the right way and how to live a righteous life. He was calling people to believe in him and follow God's commands, but not in a way that simply produced compliance to a law. How many times does he call out the "righteous" pharisees for their ignorance and sin, showing people how unrighteous they really were. Look at the parables in Luke 15 of things that were lost. God goes out to look for these things or people, not requiring them to do good works to be found and celebrated. Look at the parable of the pharisee and tax collector in Luke 18:9-14. It's not the one who follows the law well that is declared justified. It is the tax collector who cried out to God in repentance. Look at Luke 17:10. Even after all they've done they can still say, "We are worthless servants; we've only done our duty." In Matthew 7 Jesus tells people to ask, seek and knock and the door will be opened to them. Later in 21-23 we see that not everyone who claims to do good works in his name actually knows him. In chapter 8 we see a centurion exhibiting faith which Jesus had not seen in all of Israel. In Matthew 9 Jesus says, "it is not the those who are well who need a doctor but those who are sick. I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I didn't come to call the righteous but sinners." Jesus came and went to those who were considered the worst of society and those who were in blatant sin and perversity and told them they were closer to the kingdom then the pharisees and others who rejected Jesus. Jesus came to seek the lost. He forgives peoples' sins over and over because of their faith and belief, not because they did some kind of work. The thief on the cross is justified because of his belief. It's an error to look at what Jesus says in the sermon on the mount and say that it's salvation or righteousness by good works. Good works are good, but according to Jesus they do not save. The rich young ruler was keeping all the commands. But Jesus, knowing his heart, tells him to sell everything (not one of the commandments by the way) and to follow him. He tells people to pick up their crosses, deny themselves and follow him. It's important to stay in context, know the story, and not pick and choose verses that seem to fit an untrue interpretation of scripture. Please name these people There were absolutely people in the O.T. who followed some laws even though they were wicked or not close to God. They knew what the law said and completed some to try and be okay with God by simply doing them. This doesn't work because it's not what God is looking for. All man made religions do the same thing. They come up with laws and rules to impress their god and hopefully do this enough to get to heaven. When they feel they've been bad, they go to their god and manipulate him into accepting them again. Not so in my faith. God does all the work, provides the way, the sacrifice, the forgiveness, the gift. You can't read the Old Testament and miss the point that God desired a relationship with his people. The law and rules and given because people are stubborn, disobedient and bad. It was a way to help them follow God but not in a dry and rigid manner. God desires a relationship with his people. He doesn't care about them making sacrifices in vain when they are acting wicked. He desired mercy, not sacrifice, yes. But it was him who set up the sacrificial system, rules and laws in the first place and that had a purpose for a time. It was both symbolic and practical. Many of the laws were only for the Jews at a specific time. Others, the moral laws, have been reiterated in the N.T. by Jesus. These people already believed that God was real because they were Jewish. Those that disregarded the law or disobeyed the prophets demonstrated that they did not know God. Those who did showed that they did love God and that what he said was important to them. There were others who simply tried to do laws here and there to falsely earn God's favor and then continue in their sin. The prophets are fallible because it's not only evident by just being human and living in this world, but the Bible shows them as fallible. There is no prophet in the bible that is infallible. Even if their sin is not openly spoken about, other verses and passages demonstrate how no one is good. So this is incorrect. Jesus comes to die because mankind is sinful. He died for the world because "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." I gave you verses that talked about how none are good in the O.T. Again, look at Abraham. He was justified (made right with God) simply because God spoke and he believed him. His actions were the outward confirmation of an inward reality. I'm not sure you answered this (I may have missed your reply because of many replies) but are you Muslim? Anyway, have a great day. Jesus loves you!
  2. Hey! You actually didn’t quote Dave’s full statement. He is saying that God desires us to live a holy life. This verse is just demonstrating how one is not justified or made right with God based on works. Look at Ephesians 2:8-10. It’s by grace through faith that we are saved, not by works. However, this does not mean that the law is not good. We just could not fulfill the law; only Christ can fulfill it perfectly. Now that it’s fulfilled we receive the righteousness of Christ through trusting in and relying (faith) in God’s provision for our sin. Look at Romans 3:22.Righteousness is given through faith. The law is not bad; we just could not fully keep it. No one can. But when we come to Christ we receive the promised one to come who is the Holy Spirit who now helps us in our weaknesses and to be able to turn from sin and become more like Christ throughout our lives. As for Ezekiel 18, here is a good description of what is going on here (look at link below). The Old Testament was a different covenant, the law was not fulfilled, and yes, God expected a lot from his people but if you loved “the Lord God” with all you had, you would do everything he was asking of you. First, people needed to repent and follow God. Second, even the so called “righteous” man’s good deeds won’t save him if he turns away. Read Psalms 14, 53, Isaiah 53, 64, and Ecclesiastes 7. Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. In Genesis 15:6 we see Abram believing God and it being credited to him as righteousness. Yes, the Jews were under strict laws. It was for their own good. God required a lot from these people. They were a light to the nations and his chosen people to carry his message. God’s Spirit also did not reside permanently in people at this time. But a person who believed God would naturally follow what he said like Abraham did. There were others in the O.T. who followed laws but their hearts were wicked even though they made the sacrifices, etc. They were God’s children and he did not spare discipline or punishment, especially because they had seen and witnessed so much in their history. They had the laws, prophets, and more and so if someone lived apart from God’s law, it was outright rejection of what they knew to be true. Even a New Testament Christian, if no fruit is displayed in their life, then one would doubt if they even know God. The O.T. does not hide the flaws of any of the prophets or anyone. It’s raw and real. You could do bad things and have a sacrifice done but God would hate it because it wasn’t real or out of love for God. Look at way the Psalmists write. You see a vibrant and loving relationship between God and whoever writes. God is like a mother and father who mourns, fights for, and protects his child Israel. At many times Israel plays the prostitute, cheating on God. But look at how loving God is like in Hosea! Hosea buys his prostituting wife back among other things. This portrays a loving relationship that God desires with his people, not just completing a list of requirements. But the “righteous” person in Ezekiel 18 demonstrates a person who knows and follows God. Sacrifices would be done on behalf of that person as well. It was done for everyone. We need to see the whole of the story, and we don’t get that from a verse or chapter here and there. It doesn’t work with the Bible. https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/guzik_david/StudyGuide2017-Eze/Eze-18.cfm
  3. This is why sacrifices never could remove sin. You’re taking random verses and cherry-picking them out to try and prove your points. It doesn’t work like that. You need to look at the whole story. God did not want people to just do animal sacrifices just for the sake of doing them. They and his laws were supposed to lead the people to his heart and to love him and others more. The sacrifices were not supposed to be done just to complete a command. Neither were the laws. But that’s how the people were practicing them. They would complete laws and sacrifices and then be wicked to others. That’s not what God desires. He would rather them be loving to one another and especially the weak of society. This does not nullify the symbolic nature of the sacrifices though. They still are a foreshadowing of the ultimate sacrifice to come. Jesus’s sacrifice is done out of love and obedience. It’s very unlike the people’s’ sacrifices. If God never wanted sacrifices to be done to begin with he could have never asked for them anyway, from those before the law and after. Sacrifices acted as a covering of sins, or a removal. It showed the wretchedness of sin and how something had to shed its blood for you so that you could continue living. When God says he does not desire sacrifice it has to do with the people’s hearts in ancient Israel and is not discredit his perfect sacrifice done out of purity, love and mercy. The whole system itself was pointing to Jesus in a subtle way. Jesus would be the sacrificial lamb, the priest that would sacrifice it, the perfect human mediator between God and man, and he would take his sacrifice not to a human altar in a human tent or temple, but to his Father in heaven.
  4. Hey, sorry it took so long to respond! Hope you're doing well today. I should clarify what I mean by, "has to." You're right, God doesn't have to do anything. I believe he chooses to out of love for us. What theological conclusion we come to, though, from understanding who God is in the Old Testament, is that sin is so utterly bad in God's eyes that a payment must be made. One verse of many that speaks of this is Habakkuk 1:13, "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?" What we also see in the Bible, unlike in Islam, is that all people "have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:123) and that "the wages (or payment) of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23). Romans 5:10 says, "10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" So we sin how bad sin is, that everyone is under it and that no one has even a chance. All of these scriptural facts are observed because of God's holiness and righteousness, not because any man made up some law or story. So, when I say God has to, I don't mean he has to do anything if he does not want to, but has to in the sense that it was the only way. God is so passionate about his rules and laws and punishment for breaking them in the Bible does not just disappear. It is assumed in the beginning of Genesis that God commits the first sacrifice because he clothes Adam and Even with skin. Even if one could argue that was not the case, we quickly see evidence of sacrifices by others who descended from Adam and Eve, like their son Abel. The animal sacrifice was important because it would be a symbol of the ultimate sacrifice to come. Hebrews 10:4 says, "It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." The O.T. sacrifices were a symbol and a covering for sins, not a removal. It was an act of faith demonstrating that something greater was coming to be sacrificed (even though O.T. people probably didn't understand that fully) and that the blood of something needed to take the blow and become a substitute for another. Otherwise, the sacrifices would just be for nothing and make absolutely no sense. We see how even Abraham was justified by faith, not by works in Genesis 15:6. Sacrifices were basically like buying time until the ultimate sacrifice came which was effective and applicable to O.T. people and future generations. In the Bible, there is no room to just have sin vanish without a sacrifice. There are no non-sinners so biblically we'd all be guilty and even one sin (which we all do more) or anything short of his holiness would automatically place us in enmity with God. If we could picture a sinless person, that person could die for him/herself without consequences in the afterlife, but they could never pay for the sins of another because the other would not be perfect and have sin. None of us can pay for another's sins. And for someone to change where a person ends up in the afterlife, well that has to be the judge of the universe. He's got the final word. Now, if you put those two together, this is what we find in Jesus. He was God so he could have authority over the afterlife and he became fully human, fulfilling his own standard of justice that he could not go back on, and took our place on the cross. The just God of the universe does not simply overlook our transgressions but pays for them himself. He does not simply disregard our wrong doings because that would be to make a mockery of himself and his perfect law that he is so passionate about. No, the animal sacrifices screamed of a future spotless and blemish-less lamb that would come and Jesus fulfills that perfectly and pays the debt becoming the scapegoat and the substitute in our place. Justice is now fulfilled completely and a gift is offered to humanity. This gift is explained in Ephesians 2 below. I want to be honest and tell you that there are two camps of thought about salvation in Christianity. Those who believe you cannot lose your salvation and those who believe you can. Now, despite what you believe, there are grave warnings for those who apostatize, or completely abandon Christ and never look back. Some say that person can lose their salvation. My viewpoint is that someone could come awfully close to that point, however if truly saved and with the Holy Spirit, God will not let them fall away or will even take their life before they do. In either case, it would be a situation where the person knows a lot about Christ and has experienced him in many ways, but abandons everything and never ever looks back until maybe after he dies. So a true Christian needs to be concerned of his/her sins because the Bible states that we've been transformed and have become a new creation in 1 Corinthians 5:17. Jeremiah 31:33 is a prophecy about when the Lord would put his law in us and write it on our hearts. When we receive the Holy Spirit Jesus promised, He comes into us to transform us and make us more and more like Christ. However, there still is a will that we have and the memory and temptations of the old person which battle with us till the day we die. But now we do have the ability to overcome sin in our lives, although no one will be sinless until we are with Christ forever. But a true Christian will feel conviction about sin as opposed to being a "slave" like before. Sinning or not sinning does not save us. It simply is the fruit or characteristic of the Holy Spirit in us which is describes in Galatians 5. Jesus promises us assurance of salvation for the true believer which is based in his work on the cross and resurrection. When doubts or fears come, we only need to shift our focus and attention back to the promises in scripture which promise us continued forgiveness based not on what we have done, but what he already did. Therefore, a Christian can know without a doubt that they will be with God forever. No scales involved because Jesus stood on the scale for us and it was accredited to our account. The Bible also speaks of a process of becoming sanctified and more like Christ. From the time one is saved, the Spirit begins tearing down the walls of sin and slavery to sin in the believer's life. So everyone is at a different point in this process. Some people who claim to be Christians are not really saved. Others are still immature. Others may have bad days here and there but God is still at work. Ephesians 2:8-10 says, "8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." One other thing. Look through the O.T. and see the burnt offerings that were made before God. Even before the law comes to Moses we see prophets doing this very thing. There's a reason that Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc. Read about their animal sacrifices. This is before Moses. Read about the covenant the Lord made with Abraham with animal sacrifices in Gen. 15. God never ever simply chose to forgive without something postponing or taking his punishment and justice. It happens all throughout the Bible. Hebrews, like the other N.T. books is dated to be a first century document and their are clues that are within the book. I don't have time to go into much right now because my baby is crying, but I will give you some things. One clue is that is accurately portrays the first century. Another is that it can be seen that the author know Judaism and the O.T. very well and has a very high level Greek. He is familiar with his listeners and is writing in an authoritative way. There are no theological inconsistencies with the Bible as a whole. Early Christians spoke about the letter and for a long time it was attributed to Paul. Tertullian actually believed it to be Barnabas, Paul's associate. I cannot remember other reasons and will look more into it. It's been a while since I have read about this particular topic. Hope you understand! My theology yes, but apart from that I think that it's something people just know. Someone could do something loving here on earth, but if someone challenged you to think of a more loving act you could. There are loving acts, and then there is a loving act that only God could do which would have to be the most loving, so much so that our minds couldn't fathom something greater than that. I think of it as having a rocket of some sort and someone makes it to go to Mars. Everyone is like "wow" it can go so far!" But then someone comes along and makes a rocket that goes further, and then someone else even further, and so on. You can keep on fathoming circumstances and scenarios where someone could one-up the next person's rocket. But if there was a rocket that could go on forever and never burn out or run out of fuel, who could top that? Obviously this is a silly example, but the point is that we're not just thinking of a nice act of love, or a really really really crazy act of love. We're trying to fathom the ultimate act of eternal love, so loving that the mind can try and think of other examples of love and scenarios but come up with nothing because the act of love just described already encompasses everything and anything that could be considered loving and then goes beyond that. Imagine for a moment that Allah took a bullet for you. I know it's hard to imagine but just try. If he did that it would be amazing. What I'm speaking about is God taking the bullet for all of humanity. Literally the worst of creatures who have all sinned against God and are separated from him because of this and he in his love dies for every last one of them, no exceptions. If he would only have been whipped for us, I would still say there could be something more he could have done. But indeed he goes and gives everything, even having become a full human and suffering just as you or I suffer before even doing this. Only God knows the reasons why he waited until he did. The Bible talks about when the "fullness of time" came he came to usher in the second covenant. God has his reasons for everything. One thing I do know is that, although God had not fulfilled the law in the Old Covenant, the law was never supposed to be something that kept people away from him. It was supposed to lead them to his heart, aid in relationship with him. He was also establishing a people and even allowing people to carry out their own wills at the same time. The means of salvation were always the same, though. It was always by grace through faith. People in the O.T. walked with God and looked forward to the promise and now we look back at the promise. The laws were also to distinguish the Jews from the rest of the nations. They were actually supposed to be a light for the nations but they failed time and time again. The law was good and still is good today. God knew the people would never be able to completely follow all of them. The law showed them how holy he was but also how sinful they were. He was also setting the stage for the new covenant. Ultimately God has and had a plan for why he did what he did. Original sin is something we observe in the Bible and even something I've learned from a Neuroscientist. The Bible shows how were not guilty for Adam's sin. I will not be punished for what Adam specifically did, however, the nature of humanity now has a curse on it and we all inherit a sinful nature. Whether or not you believe this, I have never witnessed a person that has fulfilled perfectly God's law. We see sinful tendencies inherited in every family, even if a person did not even know the person or person he/she inherited it from. Our sins affect our children and so on. Then they also have their own sins and sinful tendencies and I believe the Bible is correct when it says that all have sinned. The Bible shows how we can even sin in our mind or heart. There is a nueroscientist that I listen to that has, over the last 30 years, done a lot of research on the brain, and has even seen how sins of ancestors can affect our DNA and our brains in physical and different negative ways. It's amazing how all this works. This is why the Bible talks about the sins of our ancestors. It's not that I am judged for what my grandpa did, but tendencies are transported on the DNA somehow and given to the future generations. We all end up making bad decisions at some point and sinning. Ezekiel 18 is talking about righteous people and wicked people and how a son will not be responsible for his father's sin. This is correct. I am not responsible for the tendencies inherited or whatever was not inherited. I am responsible for what I do and only what I do. The fact is, I will do something. Now, there are examples in Old Testament of other "righteous" people who ended up sinning. This "righteous" person may do a lot of good things, but the Bible would never support a sinless person. Those that are receiving these dreams are so many now, that it is widely known. Book, articles, and even university classes have been made on them. Dreams and visions are important for Muslims and this is happening all over the Middle East and Muslims in other countries. I've even had personal experience with two that this has happened to. From the many testimonies I've read about this, if the person knows about Jesus they may just believe there and then. In the case they do not know, they are sent to someone who can tell them. This phenomenon is happening mostly with Muslims now. You should look into it. It's fascinating. As with other people throughout the centuries, I don't know how God has worked but I know that the maker of the universe is god and just and will do the right thing always. Look at John 3:16. In the Bible there seems to be language to support both sides. This is definitely a challenging topic! Philippians talks about how Jesus "emptied himself." There were divine rights that he puts on hold, although he does not cease to be God. God can never cease to be God at any point. But we are told that his humanness was completely human and that he suffered and experienced anything and everything that we could go through, even every temptation. He thoroughly experiences every aspect of human life, even being a baby and having to be under the authority of parents. The ultimate price is not becoming a man either, unless he gives the ultimate thing a man can give, which is his life. These topics are very intricate and so much has been written over the centuries about it. When you dig into the very core of what Jesus was feeling or thinking or exactly what it was like inside his body to be fully God and man at the same time, I think one can venture into mere speculation. But what I do know is that the Bible demonstrates how Jesus was fully God and fully man throughout his life and death. Jesus was fully human and becoming the perfect sacrifice to fulfill the laws, prophets and sacrificial system. He needed to be fully human to become our interceding representative and priest. It was a human priest that interceded for the people and sacrificed on behalf of them. God required full human beings to pay the price for their own sins so God becomes one of us fully. So, it seems that in a sense Jesus could have sins but he did not. Remember, Jesus is fully human but not human through human relations. He did not inherit any sin from Mary and Joseph and did not have any tendencies from them or his own. If God sins, think of the mess that we would be in? He would go against his own law and need to punish himself. Jesus completely relies on God's power and goes through the same type of temptation that any of us go through but never caved in, proving himself to be a perfect human. The point is that Jesus become fully like us to pay the price. He does not have to sin to be human. Actually, to be fully human was to be like Adam and Eve before the fall. We are now fallen human beings because of sin. So Jesus becomes fully human in ever way and is tested just like we are, proving to have been and become the exact sacrifice that would be a perfect substitute on behalf of the mankind. Jesus is considered the second Adam in the Bible. The first Adam brought death, the second life through the Spirit. God allows himself to be tempted because he was demonstrating that he could overcome even the harshest of temptation, unlike Adam and Eve. It is a valid category because it shows how powerful God is and the love for us that he showed on the cross while fulfilling the justice of God and now allowing us to all be apart from him forever because of our sin. God shows us how to live rightly. He demonstrated how to be a real human being. He shows us what Adam should have done and defeats death and the enemy forever. He could have destroyed Satan but God has a plan for human being to believe in him. He is working in and through all situations, turning bad into good and saving many. God cannot go against himself and his law. His laws show that we need to die physically and spiritually because of our sin. Instead, God works and interacts with human beings who have a free will to bring his purpose to fruition on this earth. He uses everything for his purpose, even suffering and evil. When you begin to realize how bad your sin is before a holy God with a perfect law that does not simply disappear, it makes perfect sense. I am so bad but he is so good, enough to give up his very life so that I could walk free. When Satan is tempting Jesus he is a full man, able to be tempted in every way so this would mean that Jesus was tempted, yet resisted. How he felt the temptation I do not know. But Satan knew who he was and tempted Adam and even with power and being like God in a similar way. This is the most sense anything has ever made to me in life. Again, if one does not think they are that bad and that their sin is not that bad, you wouldn't think you needed a savior. Jesus came to save the world from sin. The Bible makes no effort to try and pose humanity as good or that we can for heaven or his love. It shows how we all, because of our sin, have completely missed the mark and are doomed for hell. God steps in and pays the price he knows his own law demands. God does not cheat on his laws or his demands. His demands and laws have been the his and the same for all eternity. You sin, you die. But his love was so great for you and I that he became like you and I to pay the price and give us true freedom, assurance of salvation in him, to share in his glory, to become co-laborers in his work on earth, to experience true love and relationship, and much more. Okay, that's all I can write for today. Sorry if some parts were long. God bless!
  5. If you read the O.T. for refutation purposes only, yes, you will probably only see that God is indeed one,but miss the subtle prophetic themes throughout the O.T. Jesus claims to have fulfilled the prophecies and that O.T. writers wrote about him. It's only when we examine Jesus's life that we can observe how he indeed fulfill the prophecies. He also fulfilled the law, yes. No one could complete the laws perfectly and everyone ultimately failed except Christ. Jesus is not claiming that the prophets or the laws were bad. They had their time and place but Jesus ushers in a new covenant with people reflected in this O.T. passage... Jeremiah 31:33 New International Version (NIV) 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jesus is who the people were waiting for. The "Elijah" (John the Baptist-who fulfilled O.T. prophecies) had come and now the awaited prophet, king, son, priest, sacrifice, suffering servant, Mighty God etc., (the one who would fulfill literally everything that human prophets and all people could not fulfill) had come as the fulfillment of everything that was predicted about him. Jesus did not abolish the law in that the law is good, but does not save. It's only a "schoolmaster" or a teacher, and a mirror that shows where you went wrong. Now the greatest commands are summed up by love. When you love, you automatically fulfill the law. You automatically treat God and others right. But Jesus instructs that we must "be born again," or receive his Spirit through faith and trust in him. You quote a lot of verses where Jesus is subordinate to the Father or where we see God is ONE. It's all true and Christians do not try and hide or deny these verses. See, if Jesus came and did not submit to his Father or do only what he sees his Father doing, then you might think that Jesus is saying that He is a God and his Father is God with equal roles. But he shows that this is not the case. Contrary to what you state, he does claim divinity. The submission verses do not reject this. The Father, Son and Spirit are all equally God and share one being. Each person of this one being fulfills different roles and all are submissive to the Father. We're not saying that Jesus has the same role as the Father or that there are two gods of exact equal being, therefore making two beings. What is being said is that Jesus, though being divine and equal to God, is at the same time submissive to the Father's will and does not act outside of that. The Spirit also has a submissive role, although equally God and with the same One being. That is why we see this relationship language with the Father, Son and Spirit going on throughout the New Testament. We know that Jesus is only doing what the Father wills and what he see his Father doing. We know and believe everything he says. But when he claims to be divine and we compare him to the O.T. prophecies and what they were expecting, we see how this ONE God that we worship is not quite like us as humans. He is beyond us, yet intimately involved with us. As Isaiah 55:8-9 says, "“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord.9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Again, if you're not careful and studying the O.T. intentionally trying to push Jesus out, then that's what you will end up doing. Look up the prophecies and place Jesus in there. He fits like a puzzle piece. Take care
  6. I agree with you that he did just that and so did the others, but not perfectly like Jesus did. If you haven't done so already, take a look at the responses that good Christian scholars/professors, like Michael Brown or Tony Costa and others. Reading the O.T. with eyes only to refute something will not allow you to see what is really going on. You have many different writers spanning over 1,000 years who preached the same message throughout the entirety of the O.T., with symbolism, foreshadowing, hints, and even rather clear statements of the promised Davidic king who would not fail as the previous prophets all did. Did the O.T. writers completely understand what God was doing and how he would fulfill these prophecies and reveal himself to humanity? Probably not. But interwoven into the pages of the Old Testament are promises and a hope of someone who would come to make things right, affect the nations, be given all the offices of the previous prophets but fulfill it in a greater way without sinning or messing up. God was using humanity as instruments to do his work on earth and Israel and the prophets are spoken of using some of the same terminology. Yet in a subtle way every writer of the O.T. keeps looking forward to this coming Messiah who would be better, be the "Son of Man" and "Emmanuel" and who would be eternal like God. It's really fascinating how it all fits together.
  7. Hi, We obviously will disagree on this point because what we see in the New Testament is that Jesus says things like this: "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does (John 5:19). We see the Son not only claiming to be God but also doing what he does. Calling Jesus his "Father" was blasphemous to many Jews because this was equating himself with God. God does have a lot of names in the Old Testament, you're right. And yes, Yahweh is not the way to correctly spell his name. Vowels were added later and yes, the English Bibles have LORD. I am referring to Exodus 3 when God tells Moses who he should say sent him to Pharaoh. So I'm using that title. Allah and YHWH or LORD are similar in ways, but ultimately a different God altogether. God is seen as a father in the Old Testament and New. Jesus does not resemble Allah at all. I see God in the Old Testament interacting with people in a much more paternal and even maternal way, and I even the way prophecies are constructed and the way God speaks in the O.T. does not resemble Allah at all in my opinion. I do not see Allah desiring to step into humanity to suffer alongside his creation but rather unknowable and far off. I know we disagree on this. Have a good one!
  8. Hi! I agree with you. Some people have a belief about who wrote it, but most agree it was not Paul. Thanks for pointing this out!
  9. I am a person who has being. You are a person who has being. God is three persons who have one being.
  10. Suicide is taking a life away by someone who has no right to take that life away. Only the creator has that right. Suicide is selfish and is an ultimate lack of faith (I do feel for those who are going through depression and stuff that would lead to suicide because I know it's very hard). God has every right to give his life as he pleases because it's his life and he is God and creator. It's not selfish because he knows he's the best thing for humanity and his act is saving humanity. Big difference here.
  11. Hi, welcome to the conversation! The price Jesus is paying is for the sin of mankind. God is a just God who has to do something with our sin. Simply forgiving sin does not take care of the problem of sin. Sin is horrible before God and will separate us from him. In the Bible we see how God is disgusted with sin and how much he hates it. A sacrificial system, among other things, is set up as a foreshadowing of the perfect sacrifice to come. God does something with our sin. All the injustices and horrible acts including the ones you and I have done (even with our thoughts) do not just disappear into thin air. The Quran does not speak of a need for a cross or a death and shows that God simply forgives people. In the Bible, sin is so much more serious. It is serious enough to kick Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden and not give them a second chance to return. It was so serious that cities and peoples were destroyed. It was so serious that even his own people were killed by their enemies and disciplined harshly by God. A sacrifice is made for Adam and Eve in the garden when God kills the first animal to cloth them. He is the provider or the sacrifice and help, not them. Abel makes a better sacrifice to the Lord because it was a living creature, not just plants. When Abraham is tested at the same place where Jesus would later die, God provides the sacrifice, foreshadowing the ultimate sacrifice that was to come. There is a price that needs to be paid for sin. It does not simply vanish. It's on our records forever unless it's paid for. This is why Jesus dies. He pays for our sins so we don't have to. This is what the O.T. is pointing to. Jesus shows how the O.T. spoke about him. John 5:39-You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me." Luke 24:25-27-25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Jesus becomes a human being to pay the price that was required by humans to pay. We sinned, therefore we needed to pay for every last sin we committed. Only a just judge will require, "an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth." God is not going to simply overlook something that he declared to be so evil as to separate us from him. Something has to be done with sin and a just judge will do something. In this case, the judge takes our place and voluntarily put himself under the curse that was meant for all mankind. So Jesus has to come to earth. If a human could be perfect he/she could pay for their own sins. The Bible teaches in places like the book of Romans, that no human is without sin and all will die spiritually because of this. God in his nature cannot let sin go unpunished, unless he takes the punishment for us. We know that when an unjust judge on earth lets a bad criminal go free that an injustice has occurred. Not only does the criminal not have to pay for what they did, the victim is left without justice and is overlooked. God does not do that. He will repay us for our sins, unless we are cleansed by the blood of Christ who is eternally more pure and powerful than any of the blood taken from animals in the Old Testament. Why not? God can do whatever he would like to do and God has revealed in the Bible that his being and nature are not like ours. The Bible says that God's thoughts and ways are much greater than ours. Who can fully comprehend God? We understand love because love himself gave himself for us. This is the greatest act of love that can be conceived in all the universe. Forgiveness is good, but a just God who has to punish sin with eternal consequences who instead gives up his very life for me? That is the essence of love. I cannot think of a greater act of love than that of the ultimate God giving himself for the most wretched of humans. You see, with God and life there are always extremes. We see extreme rebellion, sin and separation from God on the one hand and on the other, an amazing God who has done the inconceivable and perfectly loving act. There are a lot of good reasons to take this book as credible. The author clearly knows what he's talking about because he understand the sacrificial system and the Jews very well. He also knows the Old Testament prophecies. There are in depth studies about each book and it's validation so you can read about this from a Christian perspective if you want. I can give you some resources if you want. People can argue about whatever they'd like to. You can point to any religion and complain about something. People simply want to do what they want and not be held accountable to anyone for what they do. The God of the Bible is serious about sin and sinful people are either drawn to this God of mercy, justice and love who gives up himself so we can be free and saved, or they are repelled. God is inclusive in that all are welcome and as the book of Acts says, "anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved," and "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." God is offering us freedom in Christ to live for him and following the law of love. Matthew 22:37 says, "Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' God is not presenting us with a long list of laws to follow to be saved. He already paid the price for us and fulfilled the law and now tells us to receive his Spirit and live out the life of Jesus through the power of this Spirit and by love. The Bible shows us how we have "all fallen short of the glory of God," and how the "wages" or payment for sin is death, "but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. In the Bible no one is seen as righteous or good enough for heaven because of sin, therefore showing that all are already guilty. God flooded the earth, destroyed cities and people, etc. because he hates sin. Now, to be clear, when he judged people like this it was because what they were doing was nothing short of horrible and he waited sometimes hundreds of years to sentence them. God has paved the way to eternal life by sending Jesus to die in place of us. This is love. Paying the ultimate price to save someone else is love. It is completely self sacrificial and paying the ultimate price. When you give your life you have nothing else to give. God is not leaving us alone in our sin and destroying us afterwards without even trying to help us. People never hearing of God is a hard issue and it's a very important question. In short, I am not God so I don't know how he has interacted with all humankind since day 1. I don't know if he's shown them something and they rejected it, I simply don't know. I do know that Romans 1 shows us how, because of conscience and the reality of creation, that we can be guilty on that alone. God is good, righteous and just and I believe he will always do what is right. There is actually something so crazy happening in the world right now that has caused many books to written, videos made, and discussions even at the university level. People in certain places are having dreams and visions about a man in a white robe who usually is said to be Jesus. Many are turning to Christ because of these things. Many have this dream or vision over and over, some for years on end. Interesting stuff and it shows that God works in miraculous and mysterious ways. To answer the last part, when Jesus dies or becomes a human, he is not giving up his right to being God. He is both simultaneously. Jesus is fully human and therefore goes through every human thing that we go through, even temptation, yet overcomes everything. Adam and Eve are tempted like Jesus with food, power, being like God and in their obedience. The Bible shows how Jesus is the second Adam that fulfills everything perfectly and never fails. Satan knows who Jesus is, just like the demons, and just like Satan always does he tries to mess things up and tempt God into sinning. He knows that God became a man but still tries to get Jesus to sin. Why he's that dumb? I don't have an answer. Jesus is becoming the perfect sacrifice by becoming perfectly human. Humans are tempted. Humans get hungry, thirsty, hurt, and have problems. In order to pay the price for humanity that God is requiring, God must become a full man. God is holding us to his standards yet we could never meet those standards but God always could and he did this in Jesus. Satan may have thought that he could have overcome God. He still is trying to this day yet he's already defeated. Jesus would not have been fully man if he had not been tempted like a man is. God was showing how, even though he's tempted, he will overcome. The Bible says that he is our high priest. The high priest in the O.T. was the man who interceded between man and God on behalf of the people. Jesus is a better priest, a better man, a better sacrifice, a better everything. These are good questions. Thanks for them and God bless you!
  12. There are always attacks on Christianity about being pagan, this and that. They're a dime a dozen. I'm not sure what you are trying to say in your first statement. Are you referring to when the demons call Jesus "son of God?" Jesus being tempted in the desert does not mean he is not God. Not sure how you arrive at that conclusion based on what the Bible teaches, not the Quran. He was tempted because he was a full and complete man but never sinned and resisted each temptation perfectly. If he had sinned, then you would have a point. Jesus becomes a full human to pay the price that we as humans needed to pay for our sins. To be a complete human, he would need to be tested as a human, be born and suffer as a human and go through all things humans go through. By becoming a full human being he is able to take our place and become our substitute on the cross to pay for our sin. Read through the book of Hebrews. The author had an amazing understanding of Jewish law and how Christ fulfilled it. Also, we see in Philippians how Christ emptied himself to become a human. He surrenders this right he had for all eternity to do this out of love for humankind. If God is love he will do the greatest act of love known to the universe. Whether or not you believe Jesus died or is God, how is God all loving if humans can do more loving acts then him? Jesus shows us this ultimate form or great and inconceivable love by dying for the most wretched of sinners. God pays the ultimate price. He takes my place instead of me having to take it. He pays the fine for me. He gives the most precious thing that he has which is his very life. And no, he does not cease to exist when he dies because no one does. The devil taking Jesus shows how God allows for this to happen just as he gives permission to Satan to test Job in the book of Job. Adam and Eve and Jesus were all tempted with the same things. They were tested with something physical, with power, and obedience. Adam and Eve fail miserably in the garden and bring physical, and also spiritual death. Jesus, who is considered the second Adam, bring life through the Spirit. Him allowing the devil to tempt him was part of the plan of God to test Jesus thoroughly as a man. This goes in step with his mission so I don't see any problem here...
  13. The ability to think and reason is given by God. Biblical "shirk" is rejecting Jesus as God and denying that God raised him from the dead.
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