Monday, August 20, 2007

Why do you call Me good?

+In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, One God. Amen.

“Why do you call me good? Only God is good.” This is what our Lord Jesus said to the wealthy young man in today’s gospel lesson. [Matthew 19:16-26]

Why did our Lord say this? Was He denying His inherent deity as the Son of God? I recall a conversation I once had with a Jehovah’s Witness at my front door who tried to use this verse as “proof” that Jesus couldn’t possibly be God. Talking to me as if I were a slow-witted child he asked, “Now, you believe that God is good, right?” Yes, I agreed, God is good. “That’s right!” he said. “And so if God is good and Jesus said ‘don’t call Me good’ then how can Jesus be God?”

The guy seemed very pleased with himself until I pointed out that he had deliberately misread the verse. Jesus didn’t say, “Don’t call Me good” but instead had carefully asked the young man, “Why do you call Me good?” I then asked him if he thought it was right or wrong to call Jesus good. He wasn’t sure what to say, so I continued, “I think we would both have to agree that Jesus is good. That’s why mournful sinners were drawn to Him, that’s why righteous people loved Him, that’s why even His enemies were forced to invent false charges against Him at His trial. We can’t even say that Jesus was relatively good in comparison to the rest of humanity, because the scriptures testify that there was absolutely no sin or unrighteousness in Him whatsoever. Jesus was and is entirely and completely good, with a goodness utterly indistinguishable from God’s goodness.”

I then concluded, “If Jesus is undeniably good, and we both agree that only God is good, then who must this Jesus be?”

Well I’m sorry to say that the unhappy man at my doorstep lost interest in our discussion after this and soon left. But returning to our gospel lesson, we can see that Jesus was by no means denying His deity to the rich young man, or His goodness. If anything, He was confirming it. Reading this verse correctly we can see that our Lord was simply trying to make this man slow down and put the pieces of the puzzle together as to who this “good Jesus” must truly be.

And why would He do that in this particular case? There were many people who came to Jesus, mostly asking for healing, and He usually healed them with only a brief word about the importance of faith or of living without sin. But here Jesus spoke of much more, granting a sort of “mini-Theophany” by way of a subtle revelation of His divinity. Why did He do this? The answer might be found in the fact that this young man’s request was different from anyone else’s. He came, seeking not physical healing, but salvation.

“What good thing must I do to inherit eternal life?” Please notice the wisdom in our Lord’s response. He first spoke of the need to follow the commandments of God, or in other words, of the necessity to not bring further harm to one’s soul by doing those things which are contrary to eternal life. Many Christians today have a rather cavalier attitude about sin, feeling that as long as they are forgiven their actions are more or less irrelevant. But the effects of sin aren’t marked on some scoreboard in heaven, but upon our souls. Righteousness matters, and the commandments of God are important to us, or else Jesus wouldn’t have said so.

Now this young man claimed to have kept all the commandments from his youth. This was apparently not a false boast, for we are told in Mark’s account that Jesus looked upon him and loved him when he said this. From Matthew’s gospel we can see that the young man was even further blessed to recognize that the commandments alone were not enough to save him, and so he asked with urgency, “What do I still lack?”

Have you ever thought to ask God, “Lord, what do I still lack?” Most of us would rather tell God what we think is missing from our lives, and be miserable until He gives it to us. But what a bold thing it is to ask, “Lord, what do I still lack?” We can begin to see why Jesus loved this man. And indeed, here was a fellow about as ready as any person could be to receive the answer from Jesus Christ as to what he needed to gain eternal life.

And Jesus told him, “One thing you lack. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven. And come, take up the cross, and follow Me”. At this command, the man became sad and went away grieving, for he had great possessions.

Our Lord knew He was asking a difficult and unexpected thing of this young man. That is why He first graciously allowed the man a certain spiritual insight into His divine authority. “It is not simply your ‘good teacher’ asking this of you; it is your good God. Follow Me in both life and death, and you will live in My kingdom forever.” The inescapable tragedy of this story is that even with this kind and wonderful revelation, the man still turned his back on Jesus and walked away.

Before we are tempted to think that Jesus was too harsh, notice that the young man didn’t go away angry or offended. He went away grieving. You see, when people think they are being treated unfairly they generally get mad. But when they are asked to do what they know is right, but find that they are unwilling to make the sacrifice, their souls are filled with sorrow.

This is a grief that many Christians know all too well. There may be some impediment in our lives that we know Christ has asked us to give up, to leave behind, or to walk away from that we might follow Him in freedom. Or perhaps there is some good thing He has asked us to do that we are simply unwilling to obey. No matter how much we try to excuse, justify, or distract ourselves, that thing remains as a kind of barricade between us and our good Jesus. Sorrow of soul is the natural result, and this seems to be what was taking place in this young man’s heart.

My brethren, we were created to enjoy an unhindered communion with God, though the path to that through our spiritual darkness is long and difficult. If we must mourn in this life, let it be over our present fallen condition, tempered with hope in God’s mercy and healing. Let us not needlessly add to our sorrow by any stubborn refusal to follow Jesus and obey Him. If we will be careful to do what is right, one day our mourning will be turned into joy, our tears into laughter. We can trust the good Jesus, our God, to save us and have mercy upon us.

+To the glory of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

40 Comments:

At 7/26/2008 9:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for this insight...
grace & peace

 
At 10/07/2008 8:46 AM , Blogger risingsun said...

I agree with you that Jesus simply put forth the question 'why do you call me good?'. If the young rich man recognized that Jesus was truly the Son of God, Jesus would not have asked that question of him. There are so many scriptures in the bible that clearly reveal Him as God. The most powerful scripture to me when I was a new Christian (and it still is) is when Jesus said 'verily, verily I say unto you, before Abraham was, I AM.

 
At 12/23/2008 5:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree with your point of view on Matt. 19:17 and Mark 10:18.

In Matthew 19:17 Jesus is clearly excluding himself from being God. He told the rich man "Why do you call me good? Only God is good." I see Jesus clearly separating himself from God.
Of course Jesus is good. He called himself the good shephard in John 10:11 But then again, he called his disciples "good" in Matt. 5:45, Matt.12:35 (compare Matt. 25:21). That of course does not make his disciples God.
Jesus says that only God is good, because only Jehovah God his Father, in the highest sense, is good, and only God sets the standard as to what is good. Jesus reflects the goodness of his Father. And Christians merely reflect the goodness of Jesus and his Father.
The fact that Jesus reflect God's goodness can be seen in Hebrews 5:8 where it says that "Even though Jesus was God's Son, he learned obedience from the things suffered." Almighty God never had to learn obedience, since he is inherently good and sets the standard of what is good. Jesus, who is God's Son, did learn to obey, thus being qualified by God as a "perfect High Priest." (Hebrews 5:7-10 - New Living Translation).
The Jesus of the Bible is the Son of God, not God himself. The Jesus of the Bible called out to his God when he was dying on the tree/stake. (Matt. 27:4) Who is the God Jesus cried out to when he was dying?

 
At 1/23/2009 9:37 AM , Anonymous ruittenb said...

Jesus's comment must be in agreement with John 10:30: "I and the Father are one."

I've always interpreted Jesus's words meaning "If you call me good, and only God is good, then surely you must mean that I am God."

 
At 4/22/2010 3:27 PM , Blogger Agapetos said...

Throughout His ministry, Jesus asked rhetorical questions.

Since Jesus knew the hearts of men, He didn’t need to ask for their thoughts. Asking these rhetorical questions was to benefit those who have to answer it. Since these questions imply its own answer, we are left to ponder the obviousness of the question and as a result we help ourselves to the truth He teaches. Jesus used many rhetorical questions because they are effective. It gets our attention and it gives that illusion we are having a dialogue with Him. It helps us think for ourselves making His teachings more personal to us.

This question Jesus asked “Why do you call me good?” is rhetorical. And if the young man had answered “because you are God”, then Jesus would have acknowledged him as someone with great faith as He did with others who showed great faith like the centurion and the woman who touched His garment. But unfortunately this young man’s heart was in the wrong place and chose the things of this world.

Jesus is God. The Word says so. 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God…..14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-2, 14)

Jehovah witnesses should produce Greek scholars to translate this. They haven’t yet because they have the wrong translation of the original Greek manuscript.

 
At 12/28/2011 8:59 AM , Anonymous Amy G. said...

Found this blog when I was searching for a response to a good friend of mine who was asking the same question...but in response to Anonymous on comment #3 (if you'll ever see this response, it's been a few years since this post)

"Who is the God Jesus cried out to when he was dying?"

Jesus is quoting from Psalm 22, which is a very Messianic psalm. I've heard that since their culture was such an oral one, and the Psalms were used so often, to quote the first verse evoked the whole Psalm. I think the first line is powerful, it's the cry of Adam, of humanity, groaning under the weight of sin, but the Psalm doesn't stop there. I would encourage you to read the Psalm for yourself in conjunction with the original passage in Matthew 27, it's pretty powerful.

 
At 1/29/2012 5:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Michael for the clarification.
Im blessed. Wish u a rejoicing day in Lord Jesus.
Agape - PJ

 
At 8/30/2012 8:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the article, i'm really blessed with the insight you provided..God bless!

 
At 10/01/2012 2:51 PM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

I do not think that this young man had any conception of the diety of Jesus at this point, he was under the misapprehension that men were capable of doing good and working righteousness out under the law to bring God in as a debtor to him. Look at what the young man says 'What must I do', full of his own self importance, and Jesus straight away perceives this about the man and condescends to his condition, asking him why he called him good? because as far as the young man knew Jesus was just another man - though he ascribed goodness to him - and in the scriptures it says concerning men that there are none good, no not one, which is true of all men .. bar one, but he did not confuse the man by explaining his duality of natures, his divine and human nature in union with his one person, this was beyond the young man at this point. He spoke to the man's condition and did not confuse him with things beyond his capacity at that point.
The Lord knew what the man needed, to see his total depravity, as you will not seek a Saviour without seeing this, so he pointed him to the law. The young man is so blind he thinks he has kept it, so Christ shows great love and opens his eyes to his covetousness by telling him to give all that he has away. He also tells the man to renounce all his righteousness - because that is what picking up the cross means, you won't pick up the cross if you think you have righteousness for yourself. But you will if you believe you are a sinner - but I think the man was too absorbed with the prospect of losing his physical possessions to notice the cross part of what Jesus said (besides, the cross had not happened yet, how would he have known what The Lord fully meant? But we know with hindsight) but this discourse is I believe a metaphor for losing the possessions of our own self righteousness as well as our actual wealth (if we have any when called).

Before you come to the Saviour you learn your own total depravity first, otherwise you will always trust in your own ability in some way. Russelite's will use the fact that The Lord Jesus Christ humbled himself by taking manhood to himself for salvation because they do not understand that The Lord condescends for sinners' sakes, as he did with this young man. The Lord is humble and lowly of heart and ascribes - in his manhood, as a man should - goodness to God only, yet he is God, but in his lowly office as man he doesn't say this. Russelite's do not understand this because they are filled with enmity against the true God, God in three person's Father, Son and Holy Ghost blessed forevermore, Amen.
The Son and the Holy Ghost have taken offices lowlier than the Father for the work of salvation. It is not hard to understand, men do it, look at Prince William and Harry, both are princes, yet they have taken relatively lowly military ranks to serve their countries.
Russelite's are not Jehovah's witnesses, they are false witnesses filled with an antichrist spirit, the second epistle of John warns us about such people and all others who do not confess Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (for the real meaning of this confession read John Metcalfe's The First Epistle of John page 413 to 430, available from the John Metcalfe Publishing Trust.).

 
At 10/02/2012 3:47 AM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

Another point, The Lord said 'Why calledst thou me good? There is none good but God'. Well, The Lord did good all his days here, to all men, as Peter says to Cornelious' house in Acts. Who did he not heal? Whom did he not cleanse? How many people did he preach the truth too? Tens of thousands! And if that wasn't enough, he died on the cross to save this evil world from sure destruction at that point in time two thousand years ago if he hadn't been there as a substitute for it. Even whilst its inhabitants mocked him and derided him like beasts, totally heedless he was saving them! And then he suffered the equivelent of eternal wrath against the sin of the world and the sins of his particular people, all for an unthankful, unknowing evil world.

How GOOD is this!!!! Therefore, if none be good other than God, obviously Jesus Christ is God! But he doesn't say it of himself, he ascribes goodness only to God, how good of him! If Russellites say that the Son is not fully God then they are caught in the trap of saying he is not good, because only God is good, therefore they are implying Jesus is included in the words in the 14th psalm 'They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.'
Obviously Jesus can not be included in these words because he did nothing but good, which he could not do if he were not God, therefore he is God. If he isn't Fully God, equal in diety with the Father, then he can not be good. When you think about it is ridiculous to say that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, is not God. You are implying he is a sinner like us! And I don't think even a heretic like a Russellite has the courage to call The Lord evil? Well, it is one or other? Obviously he is good, his works declare it, therefore he is God, as the scriptures prove (the ones that have not been wrested to suit the heretics' disgusting opinions that is).

 
At 10/05/2012 1:21 PM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

The author of this blog is rather like that young man. He thinks The Lord loved him because he kept the commandments in the law and that the young man's boast was not false! No man has ever kept the law, neither can they.

The law was given for two reasons, 1, to show man his real state, it was given to show man up for what he is, a corrupt and vile sinner (why do you think we need saving?). The fact that no man could keep it is shown in that sacrifices for sin were instituted straight away after it was first given. Someone who keeps the law has no need of a sacrifice! Sacrifice's are for transgressors. So there was never any possibility of man keeping it, it is a school master that leads to Christ, once you have learnt its hard lessons. 2, It was given to protect people from the gross outward commission of violent and unrestrained outward sins. It stops people outwardly committing sin as bad as they would if it was not there, because of fear of punishment, though their interior (where The Lord looks) is unchanged.
The blogger above needs to have a re-think on his doctrine. Because of the fall man is desperately wicked so how can The Lord love a man that thinks he can please God by works according to the law (as this young man did), was The Lord God pleased with Cains works? No he accepted Abel's sacrifice which was offered by faith, because without faith it is impossible to please God. Not with a mixture of works according to the law and faith in Jesus.
He loved him by shattering his illusion, by showing him his real interior state, the man knew he was a sinner as he coveted goods more than eternal life. That was how The Lord loved him by showing him his real state and not leaving him in ignorance, he didn't love him because he had kept the commandments and was somehow looking to please God with more works.
Works exult man and bring God in as a debtor to give that man life (if he could keep it, which he can't). God will have no boasting before him, this blogger should know that?
Whereas faith is the gift of God, it is entirely gracious, and exalts God, and those with this gift of faith hold him very highly and wouldn't insult him by saying they had kept any part of the law, or that they had righteousness of their own.
Works and faith should never be mixed, and I think that is what the blogger above does, supposedly 'teaching us', he neither understands what he is saying nor whereof he affirms.

Be careful how you hear this man.

 
At 10/05/2012 1:59 PM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

In answer to the anonymous above, Matthew 5:45, 12:35 and 25:21.

5:45, The context here is that Jesus is teaching his disciples that they ought to be like their Father in heaven, because he is good to all men. Now if there is none good but God, shouldn't those begotten by him be good aswell? But they were not good in and of themselves before they were begotten.

Answered.

12:35, Again this verse shows a contrast between those begotten of God, who speak good things from the heart, and those in fallen flesh who speak evil things continually, and can do no other as it is their nature. So this verse is of a similar context to the first, the difference in heart is due to being of the generation of the second man, the last Adam, or being of the generation of vipers (verse 34), the first man Adam. It all hinges on being begotten by the good God.

Answered.

25:21, This scripture shows the reward for progress, growth, increase in spiritual life. After being begotten by the good God in Christ, all Christians should grow in grace and press towards the mark. He who does such things (as a consequence of being born of God) shall surely hear The Lord say those words to them, 'Well done thou good and faithful servant'.

Answered.

There is none good but one, that is God. Now does the anomynous poster above seriously think that those begotten by him being good (how could he begat any other?) prove that Jesus Christ was not God? The only reason those saved are good is because they are begotten by God in Christ.

Just because among human relationships a son is lower than a father does not mean divine relationships follow this. You are measuring God by man, an inadequate ruler to measure with. Divine relationships are everlasting and equal.

 
At 10/05/2012 5:26 PM , Blogger Fr. Michael Reagan said...

Andrew, thank you for your enthusiastic posting and spirited defense of the Christian faith. Yes, I suppose people who listen to me should be careful, because anyone can be in error or make mistakes.

If you care to know, I do understand the purpose of the Law as a tutor leading us to Christ, as St. Paul described it. But surely this does not mean that the Law had no other purpose or benefit to those who faithfully kept it to the best of their ability before the advent of Messiah. Righteousness matters to God, and while the righteousness of the Law was not enough to save without Christ, it still kept and preserved the souls that cultivated it, keeping them from further spiritual darkening and harm. When it says that Jesus loved the young man, why couldn't this be in part because he had kept the commandments so faithfully and tried to please God the best he could? Wouldn't God love those who kept His Law in anticipation of Christ? Isn't this why Jesus made the attempt to reveal Himself to the young man as the Giver of the Law to Moses? I invite you to reread my posting to see the points I was attempting to make along these lines.

Oh, and thanks for comparing me to the young man. It's been a long time since I've been called anything young!

 
At 10/06/2012 11:40 AM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

Fr. Reagan (I do not know what the Fr stands for?),

Yes, we all make mistakes, I have made many, but the gospel is infallible when it is preached by a true gospel minister. If you do not know the gospel then you ought not teach. You should humble yourself and learn. I have learnt through Mr. John Metcalfe's ministry here in England (Have a look on Amazon, I urge you to buy his book 'The Westminster Confession Exploded, Deliverance From The Law.' and read it).

It is impossible to have both the righteousness of God through faith of Jesus Christ, and your own righteousness according to the law.
As Paul says in 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.'

Twice he says 'Not justified by the works of the law' and once 'For by the works of the law shall NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED.' And this is in just one verse! There are many other places that support this doctrine, but do you really need me to copy them all out on this blog? Because if you can not believe this verse, why should I hurt my fingers labouring to convince you when I know you will not believe?

Well, ok, how about a couple more...Galatians 3:11, 'But that NO MAN IS JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith...(verse 12)And the law IS NOT of faith.'

Paul knew the law better then us, and outwardly kept it to the best of his ability (though this is not really keeping it, it is a vain show,or hypocrisy. The law ought to be kept in the heart, that is, the inside of the cup ought to be cleaned first) so what did Paul think of his 'achievements' under it? Philippians 3:6 'Concerning Zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but DUNG, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, NOT HAVING MINE OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHICH IS OF THE LAW, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.'

As to any keeping of the law, Paul's conclusion is according to scripture (as our's should be!) Galatians 3:22, 'But the scripture hath concluded ALL under sin.' All someone can do is keep it outwardly to deceive people, and ourselves, to get the maximum praise of man out of it.

I have used capital letters for emphasis, please do not think I am shouting at you. I think you may probably be elder than me and it would not be right for me to disrespect your age. However, reading your post, I found errors in it. Though I must say that you are totally correct about the diety of Christ and in your refutation of so called 'Jehovah's witnesses' doctrine. You are quite correct on that, but not on your mixing law with gospel. Please do not do this. For God's sake, and your own souls, and those that you preach to, realise that you have gone into grave error, if Paul the apostle were alive today he would say this about you, 'Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.' I Timothy 1:5,6,7.

 
At 10/06/2012 11:40 AM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

I strongly recommend you repent, buy the book I told you about above and study it. I would recommend you read all of his books as real preaching is so rare these days! Don't be like every single other person I have spoke to and ignore sound counsel to the severe detriment of your soul (though you wont realise it now, you will find out on the day of judgment, then you will realise I told you the truth, for your good and not your harm).

The law and faith are diametrically opposed to each other. Grace and works are aswell, either you have grace where God freely gives the righteousness of God to your account by faith, or you deceive yourself into thinking you have your own righteousness by works according to the law, and spurn the righteousness of God!

This is to be the well people who need not a physician because they have their own strength! Sick people need a physician, not well people.

God does it all or he does nothing at all. He will not share his glory with another, there is no mixing of works and faith, as if you could help to your own salvation and claim some of the credit for it! Lazarus shows this, he was dead, what did he do to save himself? Nothing! The lord said 'Lazarus come forth' and he did!


One more point, in answer to your question, is there anything more the to the law, by the law is the knowledge of sin, and nothing else. It was never meant for a righteous man, I Tomothy 1:9 ..'but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.'

That is the character of those who the law is for, now, tell me, how can someone please God who is not a righteous man? Because if your under it then the character explained above is yours, how can those attributes please God? Please tell me, don't avoid it or wrest the context (as every other person does when I point these things out) if the law is not made for a righteous man, and Paul says it isn't at all, how can a unrighteous man who is under it with the character described above please God? Because if you are under it (and your text above shows that you want to be under it!) then you are not righteous, the apostle explicity says, 'Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient' therefore you are not righteous. Your clinging to it is an admission of your depravity, though you do not think so!

Seek Christ and him alone, give up thinking you can please God by your works, it can never ever be done.

 
At 10/06/2012 12:35 PM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

One more thing. As for making it worse (I take it you mean stopping transgressing whilst under the law?), that is impossible. A person under the law has the character I explained above from I Timothy, so how can they clean up such a filthy character like that so as to not make it worse for themselves? That is why Christ died in the place of his people and they died in him, that was the only solution to such a character under the law, death and punishment. And it is righteous that it was so, though it was altogether gracious that the Lord suffered in our place (though with us in him, in a mystery, yet not feeling what he felt) when we were not worthy at all!
He died to bring us out from underneath the law because death is the last word the law has on any man, after that it has shot it last bolt. You can not bring a dead man into court and charge him with crimes can you? He is dead, the law has nothing to say to a dead man.

Now, when Christ was raised from the dead, in a mystery, all of his people were in him. That is, the union that was effected on the cross by the creative power of God still holds good in resurrection. Yet the sin and sins are gone, judged and put away. His resurrection is a testament to the effectiveness of the Lord's work in getting rid of all that sin, it proves that all of his people are totally righteous before God because he could be raised if sin was still in him. It was all gone, and all gone in those that were purchased in him. In a word, they were brought out from underneath the law, lawfully, by death, judgment, and resurrection. Though the amazing thing is that it was done to, and in, another, Jesus Christ!

If we could have saved ourselves at all(the idea of half and half, saved by law and gospel is ridiculous, so please don't even think that, you can not earn grace, otherwise it becomes no more grace, but entirely based on works) by applying ourselves to the law then Christ need not have died and gone through all that for us.

Just please buy the book and read it and then post your honest opinion on it. If you send me your address I would even buy it and post it to you.

 
At 10/06/2012 12:38 PM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

I meant he could NOT be raised if sin was still in him!

 
At 10/06/2012 2:32 PM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

I keep thinking of other things,...I guess I am a young man and like a babbling brook!

There is another amazing thing that is not considered as much as it ought to be. In the other post I explained that Christ's resurrection proves beyond a shadow of doubt that all our sins and sinful state are judged and put away in the counsel of God. The righteousness of the law is totally satisfied with the death of Christ for his people and has nothing more to say.

Well, Christ's ascension shows even more, not only is the righteousness of the law satisfied but the righteousness of God is aswell! That is, God is totally satisfied, or well pleased with those who are raised in him according to the righteousness of his own nature! If he wasn't Christ could not have ascended to be in his presence. It is the same as if his people went to that height and nearness to God themselves. This goes above and beyond the righteousness of the law!

Righteousness under law grants temporal life here on earth for the man who has it, but Christ wasn't just raised from the dead to live here on earth (though he did for forty days), he went to heaven and sat at God's right hand! Now, the union with his people still holds good even here, so how satisfied is God with us who are in Christ?! Pleased beyond what ever could be conceived of under law.

 
At 12/06/2012 9:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Andrew

your saying you can follow the law and be faithful to god at the same time? Most basic laws are based on the general theme of religion in the first place.

 
At 12/25/2012 3:28 PM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

No I am not! No man can possibly keep the law and earn righteousness before God and have faith, as faith and works are diametrically opposed. You either live by works and fail miserably, or live by faith, which is proof that you have been saved at the cross and have been brought out from underneath the law by death to it in Christ. The just shall live by faith, and nothing else! All those that have real faith have it because they are already justified and it was wrought on the cross by the faith of Jesus Christ. Not the works of Jesus Christ but the faith of Jesus Christ.

I know most countries laws are based on the law of God, that is because the work of the law is written in all men's hearts. Every one has a dim perception inherently of the rightness of the law, that is why when it is read you will say inside 'that is right'. It is because we all recognise what is right deep down, even though we may often try and kick against it.

 
At 12/29/2012 12:32 AM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

Mr. Reagan,

Did you get the book I told you about? I hope so.

I learnt last night that it is not nothing to God that you seek him and righteousness (even though it is by works), it isn't nothing to God. He does notice it and has pity because it is so pathetic, because you go about it the wrong way.

Look to Abraham, he just believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. That is, his believing was counted as righteousness even though he was ungodly. Abraham knew nothing of the law as he lived 430 years before it was even given, so if the law was needed for righteousness you are going to have to exclude every man born before Moses, would you exclude Abraham? No I don't think so!

I hope you got the book and read it and that it has arrested you from destruction. And I hope that you do not become hardened by your zeal for law like the Jews did against Paul the apostle and against Stephen etc... They thought they were doing the right thing you know? Thought that was what God wanted, they were so zealous for the law and earnestly sought for God by approving their works to him by it.

But it can never ever be done, it is impossible (because we have fallen into death by the fall of man, and you need life to keep the law, spiritual life, whoso thinks otherwise is ignoring the fall. Besides, if any man had kept it he would not have died and that would be the evidence that he had kept it, but the fact is that everyone dies which is proof that no one is keeping it!), that is why it is so pathetic and pitiful. It's like trying to overturn a mountain with a toothpick!

 
At 1/10/2013 2:59 PM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

Mr. Reagan,

I see you are not going to reply. Righteousness does matter, it does matter immensely, you are right on that, it's just it does not come the way you thought.
It came by the faith of Jesus Christ, particularly his faith whilst he was on the cross. That is how righteousness was brought in. Christ was believing, whilst God was active bringing in the righteousness that Christ believed that God would bring in. Christ was passive, God was active.
These things are revelation, they are hidden, that is why it was dark for three hours on the cross whilst these things were being done. Men could not see what was going on, because it was invisible and spiritual. All men saw was a man hanging on a cross, but so much more happened which has been revealed by the apostles in their doctrine which we see in their letters of the New Testament. The Holy Ghost showed the things of Christ to the apostles after they had been brought in by God in Christ on the cross.
Righteousness matters so much that Christ had to die to bring it in! Because man can not sin with impunity, it has to be punished, either in us or in another, because God does not let iniquity go unanswered. He is not like us slack men, every single transgression has to be answered. Which is exactly what happened in Christ for all his people. The sins and sin (the fallen state) were judged, punished and taken away; yet the persons who were fallen and committed the sins were lawfully forgiven. But the sins and state were not forgiven, you have to distinguish between these things.
Our efforts under the law were actually iniquities that were judged, punished and taken away in Christ; like it says, All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. That's not the 'evil' things that are filthy rags, it's our righteousnesses, the good things we think we have done! It is them that are like filthy lepers rags. It is not a question of our dirty, filthy, obvious sins, no, it is our best efforts, the things we are most proud of that are filthy rags in the sight of God. That is why we need to wash our robes in the blood of the Lamb. Which is what you will never do if you think you already have worked some righteousness by your own efforts, even if you do give a sop to Jesus by crediting him with part of your salvation by his work on the cross, yet crowning and completing salvation with your own works!
Either it entirely by faith, or else it is entirely by works, one or the other. But they can not be mixed, ever.
I have learnt these things by listening to a God sent preacher (as hard and as best as I can), and I would be a liar if I said God had not furnished me with wisdom and faith, and I testify to you Mr Reagan that it came by hearing the word of God; all my own efforts previous to this resulted in failure. I did nothing to attain to it at all. That is why I know you are not right in that you say the law has some part to play towards our salvation (other than being a schoolmaster), or to make things less worse for us. The law was always a complete failure in bringing in righteousness and if you cling to it till death you will see that the strength of sin is the law. I really hope that does not happen to you.
I'll not keep messaging on here anymore as I worry I am just annoying you or something?

 
At 1/20/2013 6:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect he is not replying to you because you basically told him to discard the entire Christian tradition by reading of Mr. Metcalfe. There is not much farther to go from Metcalfe's "most Christians throughout history have been wrong" to "Christianity itself is a lie".

 
At 1/20/2013 7:35 AM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

It is sad yet true that most of professing Christianity is apostate, which is not really a surprise as it has been prophesied that it would happen. How does that make Christianity a lie when the words of Christ have been proved time and time again, as they have in this case by the fact that there is a great falling away?
I would say there is a world away from linking those two statements that you say together! Christ prophesied of a great falling away, and it has happened, what did you expect? Now, because Mr Metcalfe preaches in accord with Christ's words (by his Spirit), and says the same things, why do you find fault?

There is supposed to be only one Church...yet how many are there?! Thousands!! Obvious proof (except to the most blind) that a great falling away has happened.

A similar thing happened to the Jews, most of them were lost and blind to their own Messiah, yet they thought they were the chosen people, and confidently rested in their traditional heritage. But they were cut off, and in 70AD their temple and country were utterly destroyed for their disregard of Christ's testimony.
I would be carefull if I were you because the same thing (but worse) is going to happen to Christendom. Be careful, they thought they were in the right aswell, they were so confident, but we can see that they were not in the right at all. It is easy to see others mistakes though, with hindsight, but not so easy to see our own eh?

Look through your bible, the majority is never the safest place to be! Elijah verses 850. Miciah versus 400. Jesus Christ versus the entire world, and the religious world at that! It was the most religious that crucified him!

Christianity is not a lie. But many men have perverted it, which was foretold, and will be recompensed severely on the Day of Judgment.

I have told Mr. Reagan the truth, which you have not, and I suspect you would push him back to his legalising denomination, and have him bowing to his icon/idols that men have made which can not talk, see, hear or do anything because they are inanimate objects. What utter stupidity is in man, myself included.

 
At 1/20/2013 7:00 PM , Blogger Fr. Michael Reagan said...

Andrew,

You have mentioned that you are a young man. Although many decades have passed to weave much gray hair within my beard, I still can remember when I too was a young Christian man filled with great zeal but very little experience of the broader Christian world. Zeal is good and I admire yours, but without experience, unbridled zeal can lead us to criticize, correct, and even rebuke others without any real understanding of their true beliefs or practices. Often such attacks occur simply because another person expresses their Christian faith in ways that are unfamiliar to us, and we assume anything unfamiliar or different from our own expression must be wrong. In your case here, you have erected straw man arguments that in no way resemble what I actually believe and attacked them, never asking for any clarification from me or a more in-depth explanation of my theology. In your mind it seems that I am simply wrong, a man to warn others against, and a man who is likely even apostate. This is why I have been slow to respond to your comments. One might ask, “What is the point of trying to answer a young man who won’t listen to what you say?”

Despite all this, I truly think very highly of you. You have expressed genuine concern for my salvation. You have offered me correction, a correction that equates to conversion to your belief system without consideration for my own, but which nevertheless I take as a sincere concern on your part. Therefore, I will make the following offer. As you grow in Christ, please keep this discussion in mind. I guarantee you that the God you and I love will take you on in your spiritual journey to a point at which you will question all you currently believe--a time of crisis, if you will--during which many lose their faith. Nevertheless, if you allow it, this crisis can provide the opportunity for great spiritual growth. At that point, I ask you to please contact me again. God willing, I will still be around. Perhaps then I can provide you some help that you will receive and be blessed by. Perhaps then I will not appear to be the heretic you may now perceive me as. If so, our present encounter will not have been in vain, and it can be truly said that God was with us. I hope that will be the case.

In the meantime, I will exercise my option to delete any further unedifying comments to my blog that stray toward personal attacks, and will continue my efforts to express traditional Christian orthodoxy on my blog. May our God richly bless you and guide you into the fullness of the Christian faith.

 
At 1/21/2013 12:26 PM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

Mr. Reagan,

I am not that young, I am 34. I have had that crises point that I think you mean just over two years ago. I was with a group who I now know to be heretics, they cut me off for speaking the doctrine of Christ but I didn't think it was for that reason at the time, I thought I had done something and really believed I was damned. It is a strange feeling to feel like you are damned, just trying to function in front of people normally is virtually impossible.
I attributed my salvation to my association with who I thought were God's people, a very foolish thing to do (I know that now). When it was taken away I felt like I had nothing. As a result of this I called on the name of The Lord as hard as I could, vibrating in grief hoping he would help me and restore me to those people. He did help me but not in the way I thought. By John Metcalfe's ministry, and in strong leading whilst reading the second epistle of John, I was answered! At the end of a tape called 'The Doctrine of Christ' I heard these words inside; 'Take thy meat'. I did not know what it meant but thought those words were very gracious. After that, I immediately ate something. I now know that those words mean more than taking of food, and have been taking my 'meat' by John Metcalfe's ministry ever since.
By being taught the true doctrine of Christ (his person and work), I saw how erroneous my former company was (which I was blind to before). All they had done was obscure the true gospel and confused me all that time. Now I wouldn't go near them with a barge pole! I avoid them like the plague. I know this was from God because I could not have changed my mentality so radically, and no man could have changed my mind like that, as it seems I cannot change yours (neither anyone else I speak to).

I have not told you the things above out of a love of rebuking you, neither have I erected straw man arguments. I have actually been entreating you, and have answered the doctrine you posted above. You believe the law has more to do with our salvation than as a school master to Christ, and you believe it can be kept. Am I wrong? I have used reasonable biblical arguments which you have not answered. And yes I am concerned about your salvation (and those you preach to) because I have been blind and know I would want to be warned if I was heading in the wrong direction. I am doing what I would want done to me as The Lord teaches us to do.

The only belief system I would recommend conversion to is the faith in the New Testament. Faith in the blood of Jesus Christ totally apart from works by law in any way.

If you want law, as you seem not to want (neither can hear) the faith (as it truly is, apart from law), then hear the law; 'Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me'

Your Orthodox denomination transgresses the law it insists on others. It is going to damn you and those that you preach to, I can not wrap it up and present it any more diplomatically than that I am afraid, and if I am wrong have the charity to show me how, and prove from the scriptures how I am wrong? I would thank you if you truly corrected me and convinced me of error, and I am not too young as I won't listen, I know without God I am blind, dumb, stupid, gullible, confused, impotent, lame...in fact I am dead! I know that because I have experienced the difference from that state to now.

 
At 1/21/2013 3:15 PM , Blogger Fr. Michael Reagan said...

Andrew,

Since you asked, I don't believe nor have I implied that anyone is saved by works of the law. I am well-versed on St. Paul's teaching on that matter. The Orthodox Church does not blend OT legalism with the righteousness of Christ. All I tried to get across is that the efforts of people to live righteous lives before God truly matters, which is well-attested to by scripture in both the Old and New Testaments. Are we not commanded in both Testaments to live righteous lives before God? Is there anywhere in scripture that we are commanded to live unrighteously as if to prove the “purity” of “salvation by faith alone?” On the contrary, are we not told that “if we go on sinning willfully after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a propitiation for sins, but a certain, terrifying expectation of judgment?” Interpret that as you will, but there can be no avoiding the implied message that even Christians must live obediently to God.

Our efforts to obey God and live as righteously as we can do not produce salvation by themselves nor “add to” the righteousness of Christ, but they are obviously important or else the apostles’ would not have spent so much ink exhorting us to live “godly, righteous lives” in the Lord.

Your characterization of the Eastern Orthodox Church as worshipping graven images is also quite false. Have you never heard of the Seventh Ecumenical council, held in 787? You might want to Google that and do a bit of research before you accuse fellow believers of idolatry.

You have made many assumptions in this discussions that are not rooted in fact, but in your own misinformed perceptions. I honestly did think you were a much younger man because of that. If you prefer to base your entire understanding of the scriptures on the teachings of one man, I suppose that is your prerogative. I do think however that you are old enough to do some research into historic Christian thought and teaching to hopefully form more well-balanced ideas. Surely it must bother you at least a bit to think that only Christians who believe as you and Mr. Metcalfe do are right and all the rest of Christendom both today and throughout history are wrong. Then again, I suppose there are certain individuals who are comfortable thinking that way.

 
At 1/23/2013 1:14 PM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

Mr. Reagan,

First of all, it is the righteousness of God, not the righteousness of Christ. The latter is not found in scripture for a very good reason because it implies we are saved by Christ's work's when in fact the righteousness of God was wrought by faith of Jesus Christ. His faith whilst on the cross, specifically his faith during the last three hours of darkness. That was when it was wrought, and was finished when he said 'It is finished'.

Regarding living righteous lives and being obedient; it is not according to works of the law, that is, it is not doing. It is hearing and faith that comes by hearing that we are to do. We are to believe, not to work. And we are to believe rightly in The Lord Jesus Christ, his person and work. Faith brings in the holiness to do God's good pleasure which is to honour the Son and depart from iniquity. The Holy Ghost mortifies the flesh and sanctifies us within, but it is a constant battle whilst in this body of sin and death. It is impossible to please God but by faith as it says in the scriptures. Besides, if you break the law once it's counted as if you broke the whole law, as it is taught in James. There is no 'starting over', as you say in America, with regards to the law. Neither can you make it better for yourself by trying to keep it so as to not bring yourself into further harm, the reason is because by trying to keep it you are calling God a liar - as he has said that there is none good, no not one - and you are showing a complete disregard for his Son's sacrifice as being sufficient for ALL the righteousness needed for all eternity. You also show complete lack of trust in God by thinking that something depends on you to keep it up, not to mention pride. Any leaning to works at all is leaven which will leaven the whole lump.

You have to keep it out completely otherwise the curses come in. In short, living righteous and godly lives is living by faith in believing the gospel, and not deviating from the apostolic doctrine on the person and work of Jesus Christ, that is the righteousness of faith. All men everywhere are commanded to repent and believe the gospel, to honour the Son, depart from iniquity, to love God and your neighbour (the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in this without trying to). God does all of this to us and in us. We do not generate our own faith. He does it all.

The apostles were exhorting and contending for faith, not works. It is easy to be confused (I was for years) between law and gospel, works and faith. That is why a true gospel minister is needed to preach and teach, otherwise we would all be like the Ethiopean on the chariot forever saying 'What does the prophet mean in this place?'.

 
At 1/23/2013 2:15 PM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

Regarding icons; I looked up the seventh ecumenical council of 787 on Wikipedia, the heart of the matter said this: 'Fourth session ( October 1, 787 ) Proof of the lawfulness of the veneration of icons was drawn from Exodus 25:19, Numbers 7:89, Hebrews 9:5, Ezekiel 41:18 and Genesis 31:34, but especially from a series of passages of the Church Fathers; the authority of the latter was decisive.'

Notice how the authority of the 'Church Fathers' is vaunted higher than scripture with them! They hold no weight with me though, scripture is supreme, so what about those scriptures they have included as 'proof' for the lawfulness of the veneration of icons?

These scriptures concern Old Testament figures that were given to Moses to strictly keep according to the pattern shown to him. They were figures of Christ to be kept until he came ( and afterwards discarded, as that which was prefigured was come ). The one from Genesis concerns Laban's idol's ( or gods ), so I don't understand how that justifies the veneration of icons? Laban used and persecuted Jacob, he didn't worship the God of Jacob, why use him to justify icon worship ( or veneration ).

Contained within the law were figures, types and shadows of a better testament yet to come, but once that testament has come there is no more need for figures. It would be like looking at signposts all the time when you already have gotten to the destination!

Anyway, notice how all the scriptures that these blind 'Fathers' have used are from the Old Testament, apart from one in Hebrews which does not help them in their quest to impose idolatry on the world, as; 'in that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away' Hebrews 8:13. Chapter 9 contrasts the Old Testament with the New, and shows that the Old Testament figures were 'a figure for the time then present' verse 9, and were ' imposed until the time of reformation'. It then goes on to say, in contrast with the whole Old Testament ways, 'But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption - past tense - for us.' Verses 11 and 12.

What I am getting at is this; the scriptures they use are all Old Testament scriptures apart from one New Testament scripture in a place that teaches that all the fleshly, carnal, figures and priesthood in the Old Testament are done away with. So how does that justify the veneration of icons? Even the figures that were instituted by God ( which your icons were not, only the figures contained in the bible, shown to Moses, who was to strictly keep to the pattern shown him in the mount, were divinely authorised ) are over with now as Christ has come. They are finished. That is the teaching in that place in Hebrews, and it is laughable that these 'Fathers' used that place ( of all places! ) to support their notions of rearing their own figurative representations to 'venerate' when the whole concept of material representations of heavenly things is taught as having passed away!

I have seen this kind of blindness before, with my former company, and in myself. It still makes me marvel though, these are supposed to be intelligent men!

Besides all this, there is no command from The Lord Jesus Christ in his New Testament to make icons for veneration. I believe he hates them with a perfect hatred. And we are to look for apostolic authority in scripture for all things, not to 'Church Fathers' that came afterwards speaking perverse things to draw away people after them, 787AD was 787 years too late to have any say in the matter.

 
At 1/23/2013 2:57 PM , Blogger Andrew Wraight said...

In answer to your last point; I don't think that all men in history were not believers, I think there has been many true men of God in times past. Especially in my country in past centuries. In our time though I only know of one real preacher, Mr. Metcalfe. There may be others in the world, it is just I do not know about them. I am just trying to recommend the only preacher I know of to you. The Lord said that the labourers were few, never more true than in our days.
As for 'Church history', it was foretold by The Lord, in the time of the apostles leaven was brought in to the church by men sneaking in unawares ( this is leaven hid in three measures of meal ), and over the succeeding two thousand years I would say the whole is nearly leavened. The Church started out as a mustard seed but now it is grown into something completely different to what it should have been, in size and in what is lodged in it.

The Lord taught about the apostasy, so where is it? Is it every denomination bar yours? There can only be one Church because there is only one God and one world to come, so where is it? If it is yours, how come it does things contrary to scripture, such as icon veneration ( now that I have explained that all material representations of heavenly things have passed away since Christ came and brought in the New Testament )?

The truth is that the real Church is tiny in our day, virtually unknown, yet it is here and I believe and hope there will be a revival of it soon, right before the end ( as I believe it is near, the end that is ). If your interested, a great wrong that was committed in this country in 1881 is being rectified. In that year the KJV was supposed to have the errors corrected that are in it ( English translation errors ), but instead they ( Westcott and Hort ) substituted the underlying Greek text and translated that instead. This is where all the multitudes of versions of the bible have sprung from ever since. To cut a long story short, Mr. Metcalfe is doing what they should have done in 1881, that is, translated the right Greek text faithfully into English without error. He has been doing it for years now, and I hope The Lord sustains him to finish his work and publishes it greatly and a great revival follows in the English speaking world. I think it is amazing that The Lord is showing such grace after all the abuse his word has been put through!

 
At 1/23/2013 3:10 PM , Blogger Fr. Michael Reagan said...

Thank you, Andrew.

The few readers of my blog may wonder why I let this discussion run for as long as I have. I generally leave all comments up because I think those aforementioned few may appreciate hearing the views of other believers on the subjects I raise. This discussion seems to have run its course however, so I will attempt to refrain from further input.

Andrew, if you wish to continue this discussion privately--ie, through email--I would welcome it and will try to respond as I can.

Thank you for your participation.

 
At 5/03/2013 12:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I strongly believe that God is all-knowing,but after reading about jesus encounter with the fig tree.I asked myself,how come jesus did not know that there were no figs on the tree..thus had to curse the tree for his own ignorance..I am still puzzled by this..I deduced frm dis blog and some other on the good teacher argument..if jesus says .ONLY God is good(pertfect).,and he says he is good(perfect,with no sin)..in conclusion jesus says he is God...buh i believe and consider true that God is allknowing,.if jesus is not all-knowing..based on how I was taught logic I don't think I can conclude that jesus is (allknowing) God..please help clear my doubts,perhaps ignorance..

 
At 5/04/2013 7:16 PM , Blogger Fr. Michael Reagan said...

The story of the Fig Tree is for our benefit. As has been mentioned in a previous comment, the Fig Tree represented the Council of the Jews--the Ruling Elders and Scribes and Pharisees--which bore no spiritual fruits for Israel despite God's relentless husbandry. His cursing of the tree was symbolic of God withdrawing His grace from those "dry branches," a grace that would soon reside with the Apostles and Elders of the New Testament Church.

 
At 9/09/2013 11:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I THINK THE MOST OBVIOUS AND EASIEST WAY SAY TO EXPLAIN "WHY DO YOU CALL ME GOOD" IS TO EXPOSE WHETHER THIS MAN HAD THE SAME REVELATION AS TRUE BELIEVERS LIKE PETER AND NATHANIEL
IN OTHER WORDS IT'S ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM...OR DO YOU KNOW WHY YOU ARE CALLIG ME GOOD?

 
At 12/11/2013 1:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

trying to send a view on above but will try with annonymous option.

 
At 12/11/2013 5:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In regards to the above verses of scripture i would like to say a few words in regards a similarity in connection which struck when reading through the discussions.

That the creator of the world would appear so petty as to avenge his unsatisfied hunger on a solitary fig tree is to see only a man and fallen man at that who through there hunger (lust for money and power)have destroyed virtually all creation.No this perfect man 'the son of man' even the son of God,who elsewhere was without food a full forty days,was and is sublime in his every utternce, i agree with mr Reagan that the actions here speak of
something much more profound as is meet for he whose goings forth are from everlasting.

The young rich man likewise seen horizontally so to speak,also ;although he loved his riches,at the command of he who framed the worlds by the word of his mouth,would have,even though it be harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle,in an instant,forsaken all,if as was seen with peter and andrew for instance the word was wrought with devine power.

I believe the greater hindrance to the seeker after eternal life is displayed in his own words "what must I DO".

Jesus in love interprets for the young man and us with the words "why callest me good".
These words of jesus have ever since i was brought to believe the scriptures of God more than the traditions of men,struct me with the upmost significance to me for those who still think there is some part for man to do in his being saved other than belief even faith in the gospel.

To show the utter depravity in fallen man jesus stands ,as it were, in the
young mans shoes,he only saw a man,although superior in religion to himself,his view was not of faith or belief nor was it scriptural as was jesus who knew what was in all men and as paul the apostle was to latter underline through the Holy Spirit, that "there is none righreous no not one" they are all gone out of the way there is none that have done "good".Even though he give up his goods to feed the poor or give his body to be burned it profiteth not.Not the law required(on his eyes) this much sacrifice,but "by deeds of the law no flesh in his sight should be justified"as says paul an apostle in romans 9

what shall we say then?That the Gentiles,which followed not after righteousness,have attained to righteousness,even the righteousness which is of faith.
But Israel,which followed afer the law of righteousness,hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

wherefore?Because they sought it not by faith,but as it were by the works of the law."verses 30,31 and 32.

 
At 12/12/2013 5:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much has been proven already from scripture on my point above by andrew ,who as was observed in acts 4:13 manifests the same and certainly all reading of his post ought also to have(verse13)"marvelled" and taken "knowledge of them,that they had been with jesus". As someone who was freed from roman catholic doctrine (which exhaults mens tradition over Gods word in holy scripture) by the word of truth even through the king james bible given to me by a family member.

It is my testimony as a former roman catholic that andrew has indeed spoken with great accuracy in regards my state under so called orthodox religion.when my good God and saviour Jesus christ showed me by his word of truth in the 'revelation of the mystery' and that by grace are ye saved,it is a gift of God,'and with the witness of the holy spirit within from the Father above:my saviour is 'the Christ, the son of the living God' and so blessed and inexpressably happy knowing that (mat16:17) 'for flesh and blood had not revealed it unto thee,but my Father which is in heaven'
Before i knew the great high priest ,just as it says in hebrews7:23,i went to a human priest (being but a mere shadow :that is the sons of Levi)
'And they(human priests)were many priests,because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death' then since all die then and now :the shadow naturally vanishes when the substance appears(verse24)
But this man continueth ever,hath an unchangable priesthood'see also verse 28.
It all made sense :there is now an highpriest in heaven who 'ever liveth to make intercession for them'(heb7:25) no more death(or priests who die).

It seemed to me (a vile lost sinner and hater of God and true Good) all to good to be true but believe i could not but do. salvation in a substitute, a finished work on my behalf for time and eternity.Friends only this can cause one to rest from his own works and enjoy the peace that the world (or 'this do 'worldly religion )cannot give.

Although i have never met you andrew ,i count you my senior by far(though somewhat older than you) and will join you in prayer for mr reagan who rather like the young man in the garden,fled away naked (for all to see) when through that wisdom and truth given you from our melchisedec above, his garment or fig leaf was removed.
please be patient though for there is much to commend him: i have never seen in my experience one so highly esteemed among s't men to be so open (in his blog) as i see here , usually one trapped in (as i was )in this system has so much invested in it to entertain doubt;also i got great satisfaction from his admission that he 'admires' you, from a distance maybe but as you fully know :not you but 'christ in you the hope of glory'
kind regards your brother bernard.
ps please excuse my text errors i am so afraid to press the wrong button and loose the whole lot(as i have done twice before and that near the end)i dare not try and correct the whole.
Thank you mr Reagan i love you in the truth.

 
At 1/10/2014 3:11 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting article. As a youngster (22) learning about Christ and his love, I question everything and try to test all fruits. I believe God had shown me something similar through this scripture to what Mr Reagan has written and this was some confirmation. While I'm still learning the verse, the one thing that immediately strikes me is that this isn't about works. The young man seeks salvation, Jesus points him to faith. Then, to answer the young man in the way he was seeking, Jesus gave him a task almost impossible to the man, breaking his pride and pointing back to the man's need of Jesus. I'm not necessarily convinced Jesus is instructing all Christians to give up everything in this passage.. And I wonder if Jesus would have given the same commandment had the man not been relying on his own works. I'm still journeying it though.

But essentially, I think Mr Reagan and Andrew were holding very similar views. We are not saved by law, but through the grace of God and sacrifice of Christ. How cool? Amen to that.

"Love fulfills the requirements of the law." Romans.
Mr Reagan, I admire how you handled what to me was harsh judgement. I don't cast Andrew off, but I stopped taking his opinion into account when i felt his messages turned judgmental. I may have been more receptive to his words with more gentleness and love.

However, God is beyond our understanding. May He reveal truth to us. And thankfully, He doesn't desire that we perish, regardless of our views, He is always working for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. God is more than capable of correcting us- May He teach us, and may we not think we know it all.

 
At 6/28/2014 2:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I truly learned a lot from this posting and it definitely made me think. Thank you so much for helping to clarify several questions I had. May God continue to bless you. I can tell He is truly working in your heart.

 
At 1/30/2017 4:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was confused for a long time about whether Jesus is God the Father (One) or just his son, who is holy but not fully God. If you read the NT plainly without the help of the Holy Spirit it seems as if Jesus never claimed to be God but only the Son. It seems that way from the disciples too. It bothered me endlessly as I was confronted by a cult known as The Way/The Truth that deny Jesus is God but claim to follow the Bible... so I prayed and fasted and Jesus revealed to me in his kindness that He is God. Every single scripture I thought pointed out that he is only the son/seperate to God, I reread with understanding and it shows me now that Jesus is God, this word is alive! I rejoiced greatly. The cult people were very upset and thought I was uneducated and stupid.. but I cant deny Jesus who revealed himself and gave me understanding. Those who seek will find. I smile now at God's sweet nature.. how Jesus said the greatest love is to lay down your life for another, and then he went ahead and did it... he was telling us he loves us greatly. God is good! Love this blogpost. Thank you!

 

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