Saturday, September 23, 2017

Section 7: THE DARK LIGHT: Exposing The Antichrist Virus

A Return To The Roman Dilemma:

            Now, with the preceding context in mind, let’s take up where we left off two sections back in chapters 7 of the book of Romans.  And, let’s explore more thoroughly what we previously called, “The Roman Dilemma.”  Again, the picture of the believer which this passage paints is what non-responsible theology describes as the normal, sin dominated state of the believer.

            However, when this passage is correctly interpreted, we find just the opposite to be the case.  As we proceed on to chapter 8, we discover in that chapter, God’s final, spectacular redemptive mechanism which absolutely liberates the believer from this condition.

            In truth, the verses which we are about to consider profoundly embarrass the pitiable pop-gospel of non-responsibility.  And, they thoroughly discredit its prime tenet:  that the believer is ever hopelessly oppressed by the sin value.  In these chapters, we will limit our consideration to those verses which do this by clearly exposing  the transformative work of the Living Christ in the believer.
            And, it would seem that one of the better ways to explore these verses would be to use what preachers call the expository method.  This is just a straight forward, verse-by-verse commentary on what is written.  But, we will also combine with that method a second method to further clarify these verses.

            We will interpret the involved verses “conceptually.”  A conceptual interpretation is a legitimate way to interpret the Bible so that the interpretation actually communicates what the Bible is intending to communicate. Some versions of the Bible are actually entirely conceptually translated.  It is simply a way to help offset language difficulties of various kinds, for example, words and frames of reference which are now much less familiar. 

            Also, combining these two methods will allow us to easily and accurately plug in the more communicative terms and more modern frames of reference which we have been using throughout our previous discussions.  For example, when Paul figuratively uses the word “flesh,” we will use a still accurate, but generally more communicative concept to convey what he actually means by that figurative use of the word. 

            So, we will simply list the passage first – as it is written in the Bible.  And then, we will follow that with expository comments.  And then, as a kind of concluding summary, we will give a conceptual interpretation of the involved verses.   Hopefully, this formula will allow the scriptures themselves to bring a kind of final clarity to the beauty of the authentic Gospel while simultaneously exposing the great failings and fallacy of the antichrist gospel.

Now, Back To The Dilemma:  Romans 7: 14-25
            When we left off, we were looking at the struggling believer which Paul describes in chapter 7.  Now, let’s return to verses 14-23 of that chapter.  Remember that in these verses Paul assumes the position of the universal believer.  Thus, He identifies here with all believers, since all believers experience this dilemma in the normal course of redemption.  So, the apostle speaks as though they were all, one in him. 

            Paul writes in verse 14, “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.  17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
                18 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.  19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
                21 “I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.  
(Ref. Romans 7:14-25 NKJV)

The Carnal State:  “The Big In-between"

            The condition which Paul is describing here is a state of being which the Church typically refers to as “Carnal Christianity.”  This carnal phase is actually a phase which the believer goes through between the time of her conversion to Christ and the time of her completion in the Living Christ by her Spiritual merger with Him. 

            The apostle actually provides something of a label for this phase of the redemptive process when he says in verse 14 of this same chapter, “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin...”  The word “Carnal” always has to do with fleshly, physical and/or material desires.  

            So, in short, this carnal phase is the phase of redemption in which the believer is still experiencing the impact of that essential sin motive, in her subconscious.  This is a real conflict between that deep subliminal instinct to be self-determined and her conscious desire to be always God-directed in her life. 

            Thus, this is, indeed, a time when the believer is often defeated in her faith desire by the subconscious body of very self-centered appetites which live within her as the offspring of that essential sin motive.  It is to these selfish subconscious appetites that Paul refers when he uses the term, “flesh.”

            Thus, on the deepest governing level of her heart, the carnal believer is still being strongly driven by the impulse to be self-determined.  So, though the sin motive has been driven from legitimacy on the conscious level, it continues to flourish on that subconscious level where the believer is powerless to subdue it.

            Obviously, this is a very challenging and frustrating time for a believer.  And, this prompts Paul, in verse 24, to cry out as a proxy for all believers in this condition, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

            It’s no wonder the apostle would describe this condition as “wretched.”  The believer is actually being constantly torn in her divided heart (the conscious and the subconscious) between two competing inner heart governments.  Essentially, the believer can clearly see the high road of faith in her conscious mind, but that stubborn “sin voice” in her subconscious mind is ever forbidding her to walk it.

God's Purposes Served

            While this in-between time is, indeed, a difficult phase for God’s child, we should note that God does use this challenging experience to achieve His redemptive ends.  Again, this time is very analogous to the Jewish Exodus journey recorded in the Old Testament.  Like that journey, this “time of the divided heart” becomes the New Testament believer’s personal “wilderness experience.”  Thus, as was that Exodus journey for the Jews, this is a time of profound soul-searching and humbling.  

            It is during this period, which typically follows not long after our conversion to Christ,  that the new believer is asked to confront the reality of his divided heart.  And through these confrontations he begins to better understand his desperate need to be done with that sin engendering value of self-determination which still lingers deep within his subconscious.   So, in all of this, he is being prepared for his liberation through his personal Spiritual merger with the empowering character essence of the Living Christ.

And, The Answer Does Come

             Thus eventually, when the believer is now in a very humbled condition, precisely as the apostle describes it, God’s child begins to tenaciously cry out for his final deliverance from this latent sin value which divides his conscious and subconscious person.  And, very obviously, help is truly needed here. 

            This condition of division at his core is simply not something the believer, in and of himself, has the capacity to remedy.  So, spontaneously he cries out for help.   And, ultimately, it is to this humbled, desperate, insistent cry for help that the Living Christ responds by giving the gift of His empowering Spirit to the believer. 

            And so, finally, in verse 25, Paul, himself, seems to freshly comprehend the wonder of God’s mystical deliverance from this “wretched” condition.  And so, he shouts,I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!

The Conceptual Interpretation:  Romans 7:14-25a
            Conceptual Interpretation:  14. “For we know that God’s governing values come from the goodness of the divine Spirit: but I am governed by a body of selfish appetites.  15. For what I consciously want to do, I do not do; but instead, I end up doing what I consciously abhor.
            16. “If, then, I do what I don’t consciously want to do, then consciously, I agree with God that his values are good.  17. But now, it is not my conscious person who is in control, but my rebellious subconscious person. 18. For I know that in me (that is, in that subconscious body of selfish appetites) nothing good dwells; for the will to do good is present in my conscious mind, but the means to overcome those wayward subconscious drives to consistently do what is good I simply cannot find .
So again, the good that I consciously want to do, I do not do; but the evil I don’t want to do, that is what I end up doing.   20. So, if I don’t consciously agree with the evil I am doing, it must not be the conscious me who is driving my actions, but the subconscious me who remains stubbornly given to determining my own way. 
            21. “So, I am seeing then a governing principle in my life:  it is simply that this incorrigibly selfish subconscious me is ever present with the conscious me, the one who wants to be faithful and do good in my conscious mind. 22. For I delight in the good values of God in my conscious person.  23. But, I see another governing principle in my subconscious - that of self-rule. And it is warring against the aspirations of faith in my conscious mind, and bringing me under the domination of my subconscious person which still stubbornly rebels against God’s values and directions. 
            24. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this subconscious body of death? 25a. I thank God – deliverance has finally come! through Jesus Christ our Lord.

            After Paul’s tortured outcry in verse 24 and his spontaneous celebration of deliverance in Christ in the first part of verse 25, he then gives a kind of summary statement in the last part of that verse.  It is as if he wants to, again, emphasize the “wretched” nature of this carnal phase of redemption. 

            Conceptual Interpretation continued  25b. So, as I am passing through this “divided-heart phase” of the redemptive process, I joyously embrace God’s values and directions in my conscious mind.  But, in my subconscious mind, I am still dominated by those entirely self-centered appetites which spring from that essential sin motive in my subconscious.”

            With this simple summary, we then move on to chapter 8 where the apostle begins to explain God’s deliverance from this draining conflict.  And, he simply begins by filling in the primary details behind his spontaneous celebration of deliverance in verse 25a of chapter 7.

 “Flesh” Guided vs. Spirit Empowered:  Romans 8:1-2
  Paul writes, 1. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Ref. Romans 8: 1-2 NKJV)

The Fallacy Exposed
            So, the prime tenet of the antichrist’s gospel:  the contention that mankind is hopelessly consigned to the ravages of a chronic and dominant sin value is exposed as a glaring error by these opening verses of chapter 8.  Rather, we see, there, that the believer, when empowered by the vitality of Christ’s Spirit, is, indeed, delivered from this carnal condition of a divided heart and set free from the power of that subconscious instinct to remain self-directed.   

            And now, through this renewing integration with the character essence of the Living Jesus, the believer’s heart, her core person, is no longer divided between a conscious devotion to God and a subconscious devotion to self.  Thus, now this heart is the very definition of holy: having a singular primary devotion (singular meaning undivided and primary meaning foundational).  So, on its most foundational governing level, this heart is now entirely devoted to humbly pleasing God. 

            Now, instead of the dark and defeated non-responsible picture of a completely anemic believer, we start to get a bright picture of the Christ empowered believer who is no longer dictated to by his wayward subconscious person.  Indeed, now the believer’s subconscious mind has also embraced the Lordship of Christ and the desire to be faith-expressive. 

            So, in simple terms, what Paul is describing here is the work of the Living Christ as he penetrates that deeper level of the believer’s consciousness and subjugates the sin value which still exists there.  And, Christ’s impact doesn’t stop there.  He also, simultaneously, establishes the Faith Value as the always ascendant and governing value.  So now, this is the case on both the conscious and subconscious level of the believer’s heart.

The Conceptual Interpretation:  Romans 8:1-2

Conceptual Interpretation:  1.“There is, therefore, now,  no remaining rebellion in our core person which warrants God’s condemnation since Christ has subdued that latent sin value in my subconscious and replaced it with His own superseding faith value. So now, the new principle which governs my life in Christ is freedom – freedom from the dominance of the sin value with its demanding selfish appetites.  And I am now also free of the consequence of eternal death toward which that subconscious sin value was driving me.

Inner Values vs. External Rules:  Romans 8: 3-4

            The apostle then goes on to expose the refreshing superiority of a naturally occurring, grace-based, heart government in Christ as opposed to one which depends on awkward, non-natural, externalized rules.  In verses 3 and 4 he says, 3. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Ref. Romans 8: 3-4 KJV)

Two Essential Objectives

            What we see being described in the verses above is the extraordinary work of the Living Christ who does, indeed, take on the likeness of our sinful flesh and blood to complete His redemptive role.  And in these verses Paul describes a Savior who comes to do two very essential things, simultaneously. 

            Through the Spiritual merger, the Living Christ establishes a profound contempt in the heart of the believer for that subconscious sin motive of self-determination (“He condemned sin in the flesh”).   And, at the same time, he establishes a wholehearted (conscious and subconscious) devotion to the good valves of His own heart, which the believer now shares (“that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”).

The Conceptual Interpretation:  Romans 8: 3-4

Conceptual Interpretation: 3. So, what externalized values, even the divine externalized values, could never achieve because they depended on the impossible:  the cooperation of that fleshly subconscious person, who only cares about his own ambitions – yet still – God has found a way in Christ to achieve the complete (conscious and subconscious) renewal of our core being.  He has successfully accomplished this transformation by sending His own Son to live within us, in order to deal with our deep rooted sin motive.  Thus, through our Spiritual merger with Christ, He has entirely subjugated that subconscious sin impulse 4. While, at the same time, fulfilling, in us, the righteousness of God’s good values by internalizing them in our hearts by sharing His character essence.  So now, the divine values have finally become the natural and comfortable driving motives of our heart, entirely replacing those previous sin-generated selfish appetites.

A Sobering Contrast:  Romans 8: 5-9

            Beginning with verse 5, Paul begins to paint a very stark contrast between the believer who yet remains in the carnal phase of redemption and the believer who is completed by the indwelling Spirit of Christ.  And obviously, the statements regarding carnality in these verses also apply equally well to the unconverted, since non-believers are entirely driven (both consciously and subconsciously) by the motive of self-determination.

            So, the apostle continues, 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
                7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
(Ref. Romans 8: 5-9 NKJV)

The Statement-Of-Faith Age

            We live in an age of Christian redemption which is, indeed, dominated by the ethos of non-responsibility in the Protestant/ Evangelical Church.  It is also a time which is heavily impacted by the widespread belief that a momentary Statement-of-Faith in Christ is, essentially, the be-all, end-all of redemption. 

            So, it is hard for most contemporary Christians to accept the realities which are clearly exposed in these verses.  Oh, we typically get that the unconverted are going to suffer because of their self-determined attitude.  But, what we struggle to admit to ourselves is that these scriptures indicate a similar fate for the incomplete in Christ.

The Sin Essence Will Be Eradicated

            But, we must remember that the rebellious instinct of self-determination is ever the essential sin-generating motive, no matter in what heart, or on what level of the heart it is found. And, it is God’s stated intention to entirely eradicate that essential motive and all of its offspring. (Ref. Rev. 21:27) 

            Obviously, God’s preference is to do this by the renewing work of the Living Christ, as we’ve described.  But, beyond that, it will also be eradicated by His final judgement against all who have made themselves comfortable with the existence of that instinct in their heart – whether it’s on the conscious or the subconscious level, or both. 

Again, A Process Requiring Completion

            So, we are back to that earlier imperative:  the understanding that redemption is a process which requires completion.  And these verses make the importance of that completion very clear.  Thus, in the typical redemptive experience, the believer’s ultimate security lies her symbiotic relationship with Living Christ.

The “What If’s”

            However, many will no doubt have some “what if” questions, at this point, about the possibilities of an atypical redemptive experience.  For example, “What if, before the believer experiences her Spiritual completion in Christ, there is an untimely accident and the believer is suddenly killed.” 

            But, the ultimate question here is not one of unexpected turns in life.  It is one of volition, or willful intent.  The ultimate question is, “If and when death should interrupt the redemptive process, in what condition will the believer be found?  Will she be found apathetic about her completion in Christ, merely comfortably co-existing with her, still, self-determined subconscious person?  Or, will she be found faithfully and actively seeking deliverance from her divided heart through Christ.

            Thus, the important thing, in any such case, would simply be to always be found faithfully moving through the redemptive process toward completion.  The danger comes only when, instead, we accustom ourselves to a perpetual state of peaceful co-existence with that subconscious sin motive and stop seeking, through our Spiritual merger with Christ, to become free of it.  Sadly, however, that is precisely what the antichrist gospel prescribes:  “Just make yourself comfortable with a dominating sin motive in your heart; because, you have absolutely no hope of rising above it.”

            In any case, true faithfulness to the redemptive process is all that is required for the believer’s safety during the process.  So, the best admonition would simply be, “Just embrace and faithfully pursue the process.” And, trust a just God for the twists, turns, and timing of life’s providence.”

The Important Take-away

            But, the important take-away from these verses in chapter 8 is the need to rise above the intellectual numbness created by the non-responsible lie.  The idea is simply to honestly read verses 5 through 9 as they actually read.  And then, courageously apply them wherever they actually apply

            And certainly, the implications of these verses are very sobering.  They are intended to be so.  And, as such, they are perfectly suited to awaken the modern Church.  And it needs to be awakened from the widespread intellectual stupor created by the non-responsible teaching that a minimal investment and involvement on the part of the believer is acceptable to God.

            Nothing could possibly be further from the truth.  But certainly, real intellectual honesty and a very high level of personal courage are required to rise above, not only this, now, long familiar paradigm, but also, the reality of its easy and wide acceptability.  Nevertheless, such are the challenges of these times for honest hearts.

The Conceptual Interpretation:  Romans 8: 5-9

                Conceptual Translation: 5. “For those who are defined and driven by their selfish appetites set their minds on the objects of those appetites. But those who are defined and moved by the Spirit of Christ are enamored by the higher plane of life in the divine Spirit.  6. For, to give your mind in service only your own selfish appetites ultimately results in eternal death, but to give your mind to the higher pursuits of the divine Spirit brings a meaningful and fulfilling life experience, and a surpassing peace with God, and a profound peace within.
            7. But, such things could never occur with the self-centered heart, for that self-concentric heart is incorrigibly hostile toward God’s authority, so it can never voluntarily embrace divine values or guidance.  8. Thus, those who remain stubbornly devoted only to their own selfish ends can never please God, who highly treasures the humility of faith, and entirely abhors the arrogance of self-determination.   
            9. But you, dear believer, are not driven by such arrogance if, indeed, you are living in the faith-empowering Spirit of Christ.  But, do be warned, dear one.  Anyone who has not yet been integrated into His renewing character essence through the Spiritual merger is not yet fully accepted by Christ.

Redemption:  A Very Serious Business

            This last statement reminds us that Jesus once said, in the book of Matthew, chapter 14, “Many are called but few are chosen.” And, He also said to and of his disciples in John 15, “You did not choose me, but I chose you…”  The idea is that we make the first choice to embrace the Lordship of Christ, but He makes the final choice of our acceptance based on our completion of the redemptive process, i.e., our Spiritual completion in Him. 

            So, in spite of the teachings of minimalism in the non-responsible gospel, the truth is, authentic Christian redemption, involves a very stringent selection process.  That is why Jesus would say in Matthew, chapter 7, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

            Therefore, all of this just reminds us that, again, it is imperative that we rise above this apathetic, non-responsible ethos of our times.  It is urgent that we get beyond the destructive fallacy that the believer’s minimal investment and involvement in his own redemption is approved by God.   The true requirement is an energized and wholehearted investment in the redemptive process – which is really just an investment in our friendship with the Living Christ.

The Spirit of Life:  Romans 8: 10-11

            Now, on to verses 10 and 11 where the apostle speaks of the believer’s power source.  The apostle writes, 10. “And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  11. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Ref. Romans 8:10-11 NKJV)

            These verses are a confirmation of the nature and the source of the transformation which the Living Christ brings to the believer.  And this confirmation, one more time, absolutely refutes the contention of the prime tenet of the non-responsible gospel that the believer is left permanently powerless after conversion. Indeed, these verses confirm that he or she is truly energized every day by the shared energy of the Living Christ.

The Conceptual Interpretation:  Romans 8: 10-11

            Conceptual Interpretation:  10. And if the Spirit of Christ lives within you, the physical body is going to eventually die because of the impact of sin upon it.  But, your Spiritual person will live on because of your righteousness in Christ.  11.  And, if the Spirit of God (who is the one who raised Christ from the dead) lives within you, then He who raised Christ from the dead, can certainly provide a sustaining life-energy to your physical bodies through His divine Spirit who is living within you.

A Vision Of Renewal:  Romans 8: 12-17

            In verses 12-17 the apostle lays out a very basic vision of what happens, and, in fact, what must happen, in the process of our completion in Christ.  He writes in those verses, 12 “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors--not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
            15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
17 and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
(Ref. Romans 8:12-17 NKJV)

Subjugation and Empowerment

            In the early verses (12-14) of this passage, which is something of a summation of the preceding verses, Paul begins by very simply setting out the obvious conclusion.  He notes that we have no obligations to serve the appetites of the flesh because that brings death.  But then note, He is very clear that, in the power of the divine Spirit, the believer absolutely has the power to destroy the influence of those selfish appetites.   And, he goes on to indicate that this ability to act in the divine Spirit actually identifies the true children of God. 

            So again, in these verses, Paul, once more, absolutely refutes the prime tenet of the non-responsible redemptive approach.  Paul simply allows no room for the claim that the believer remains powerless and is therefore permanently doomed to a chronic domination by the sin motive.

            Then in the final verses (15-17) of this passage, Paul sets out a beautiful vision of the real results of the divine empowerment of the believer by the Living Christ.  He speaks of the wonderful endearment which now exists between the believer and his Holy Creator and Savior – an endearment which is so empowered and so durable as to be able even to experience suffering when necessary, and see it only as a confirming part of our oneness with Christ.

            This is a far different picture than the one the non-responsible gospel paints.  That dark lie can only portray the believer as anemic, and chronically wayward, and very out of tune with the heart of God, due to his inability to control his own.  What an obvious farce.  And, what a shame that so many have bought into it.  To think that such a relationship would be the best that an almighty God could produce should really be absolutely “unthinkable.”

The Conceptual Interpretation:  Romans 8: 12-17

            Conceptual Interpretation:  12. So, based on the previous explanations, brothers and sisters, it should be easily obvious that we are not at all obligated to that subconscious sin motive and the selfish appetites it produces to live any longer under those directives and demands.  13. For if you live according to its directives, you will die.  But, if by the power of the divine Spirit within you, you entirely subjugate the sinful expressions of that old self-determined subconscious man, you will live. 14.  And, such is the identifying distinction of the children of God, they are in a Christ-empowered lock step with the divine Spirit.
            15. For, in Christ, you did not receive the character essence of a slave, to be always intimidated, but rather, in Christ, you have received the character essence of an adopted son.  And so, in Christ we spontaneously cry out in the joy and confidence of our heart, Daddy! Father!  16. And, in loving response, the divine Spirit confirms in the inner most part of our character essence that we are, indeed, the children of God, 17.And thus, joint heirs with Christ in the divine heritage.  And so, if we experience some suffering in Christ, it only deepens our connection to the glory that we shall someday share together.     

The “Roman Dilemma”- The Real Picture

            So, hopefully by now, regarding this passage in Romans, it has become easily obvious that Paul is not intending to portray, as normal, a permanently defeated believer, hopelessly consigned to a sin dominated heart.  Rather, the truth is, what he is really describing is the Christ-empowered deliverance from that condition.  And, it is a deliverance which is immediately available to every believer through his or her Spiritual merger with Christ. 

            And, in fact, the scriptures have, by now, many times, confirmed the availability and the importance of experiencing this deliverance as a normal and indispensable part of the redemptive process.  And, just as many times, they have refuted the Prime Tenet of the non-responsible gospel that after conversion, believers are simply left abandoned to a feckless faith, entirely under the domination of the sin motive

            However, in point of fact, God’s authentic redemptive plan has never even come close to embracing as acceptable, this devilish notion of a permanent broken-ness on the part of believers.  Rather, God’s plan has only ever been about a radical and thorough deliverance from that brokenness through the work of both the Dying Christ of the Cross and the Living Christ of the Resurrection.

A Head-To-Head Summary: The True vs. The False

            So, is it really true that God has simply assigned a non-responsible status to believers because He “just couldn't get it done” with His people?  Did Christ die only to achieve such a feckless fallback position?  Is the Living Christ that powerless?  After all that God has said, and planned, and sacrificed is that all there is to divine redemption?

            The true Gospel message rings with a resounding, “No!  This is absolutely not all there is to it.”   Rather, the authentic Gospel presents a view of the immediate and radical renewal of the believer through a matchless Christ in both of His roles.  It contends for a plan that answers perfectly and thoroughly, not only the human need, but also the expectations of the Creator for a sensitive and faith-expressive people. 

            The authentic Gospel speaks of a plan to conquer that essential sin value, along with all of its secondary offshoots and expressions.  And, the true Gospel allows no place for a permanent and peaceful coexist with a dominant sin value in the life of the believer.

            And, the authentic Gospel speaks of a believer who is completely secure, but not by a heart numbing subscription to the devilish idea of non-responsibility.   Nor does it teach us to singularly rely on imputed righteousness to secure our soul, while disavowing even the possibility of a consistent, reality based righteousness.  Rather, the true Gospel of Christ shows us a believer who is secured by a vital faith which absolutely expresses itself consistently and in real terms . 

            Indeed, the genuine Gospel says nothing of the non-responsibility of the believer, but it speaks volumes on the subject of actually becoming a new creature in Christ.  The antichrist gospel says, “Man cannot live without daily sin; therefore, God cannot and does not require him to do so.”   The authentic Gospel, on the other hand, encourages the believer to embrace, pursue, and experience the divine admonition of old“Be ye holy, for I am holy.”

            To counter the lie of a God who just couldn’t pull that off with His people, the true Gospel would serve notice of the believer-shared power of the Living Christ.  And, it very convincingly points us to a redemptive process which logically proceeds from its beginning in God’s forgiveness to its magnificent completion in the believer’s empowering Spiritual merger with that Living Christ.

            Again, the revised antichrist gospel layers on error after error by this progression of thought:  “Because I, even as a believer, cannot conquer the inner sin motive, then, grace has to mean mercy, and righteousness can only be imputed, and God’s love has to be always unconditional, and faith cannot require expression, so I can be released from all real accountability, and thereby, measure up under divine scrutiny.”

            In truth, however, our ability to “measure up” under God’s scrutiny does not rest in these twisted  corruptions of redemptive truth.  Rather, our ability to stand before God’s final judgement simply depends on the actual existence of a vital, heart-oneness with Him through Christ.  Thus, “Measuring up” actually comes by simply embracing God’s true, Christ-empowered, heart-transforming process - not by mentally excusing ourselves from it.

                                [Continue to Section 8]