Can Liberals Listen?

Why politics in this free in Christ blog?

Because freedom, politics, and reality have their origin in God. They came from Him.

God builds up lives that acknowledge Jesus Christ. However if you reject and deny Him, your life will fragment and fall apart, when it encounters The Cornerstone.

“(17) And He [Jesus] beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same has become the head of the corner? (18) Whoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken, but on whomever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. (19) And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on Him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that He had spoken this parable against them.” Luke 20:17-19

Those who reject or deny Him may be religious or irreligious.

But like it or not, Christ Jesus is The Crux, The Meaning of life. Apart from Him, death reigns.

Let’s seek to understand what is happening in our culture.

 

Tom Gilson has written a very interesting article titled Why Liberals Can’t Listen that speaks to the definition of morality. A Jordan Peterson interview illustrates the title. The article centers on New York University psychologist Jonathan Haidt, whose research team conducted a global project to understand human morality. Everywhere in the world, the team found the same five basic moral foundationsCaring, Fairness, Loyalty, Authority/Respect, and Purity [He has since identified a 6th foundation: Liberty].[Here is Haidt’s 2008 TED talk (transcript)].

Haidt observes that liberals are strong on two of the five moral foundations: Caring and Fairness. They are weak on Loyalty, Authority/Respect, and Purity. You may have become accustomed to hearing the two strengths from the political left: that something’s not fair and that their feelings are paramount. We have all too commonly heard news reporters asking horrified victims of tragedy, “How do you feel about that?”

Gilson writes, “Jonathan Haidt, who viewed himself as a liberal before doing this study, extended his research to look at what societies need in order to maintain stability and security. And he realized it [Caring and Fairness] isn’t just the left’s favorite pair. It takes all five moral categories. He paid attention: he’s a moderate now.”

Gilson continues, “Haidt asked liberals and conservatives to put themselves in one another’s shoes; to imagine how the other side would answer a list of ethical questions. Conservatives could do it. Liberals couldn’t. People on the right had the ability to understand people on the left; even to empathize with them to a degree. People on the left couldn’t do the same in return.”

This parallels what we Christians know about ourselves. Why did we come to the Lord? We heard His claim who He was and became informed of what He had done for us. Many of us were in crisis and desperately needed help. We understand what it was like before Him. We were not always believers – we have lived both as unsaved and saved. We see both sides and can empathize with those who are lost.

 

We Christians know that God through the Persons of Father, Son, and Spirit is the basis of our moral foundations – they’re not man-made, accidental, or evolutionary.

The two strengths of Caring and Fairness are used by activists as trump cards in an effort to override and redefine globally recognized morality.

But why?

Why de-emphasize Loyalty, Authority/Respect, and Purity?

These standards are too hard (impossible without God), they require looking beyond me, and they involve accountability.

If any thought is God-less, it must be without universal standards, for everyone can have their own.

Is the following online observation fair? “When you don’t have any sort of standard, how can you be wrong? When you’re never wrong, why should you listen to anyone but yourself? The modern left in a nutshell.”

God-less thought doesn’t truly love and defend anyone (loyalty), even itself. It attacks. It doesn’t honor (authority/respect), it disrespects, name-calls, and tears down. It doesn’t want what’s best (purity), instead it scorns the good.

Is this liberal thought new?

No, it’s as old as the hills.

“(28) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which should not be done; (29) being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (30) backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (31) without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: (32) who knowing the judgment of God, that they who commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them who do them.” Romans 1:28-32

What does God think of their attempts to remove Him from history, of their taunts, and of their gotchas?

“(1) Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? (2) The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His anointed, saying, (3) Let us break Their bands in two, and cast away Their cords from us. (4) He Who sits in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. (5) Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and trouble them in His sore displeasure.” Psalm 2:1-5

“…, they continually say to me, Where is your God?” Psalm 42:3

“… they say daily to me, Where is your God?” Psalm 42:10

“Yes, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eyes have seen it.” Psalm 35:21

“(14) Let them be ashamed and confounded who seek after my soul to destroy it. Let them be driven backward and put to shame who wish me evil. (15) Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame who say to me, Aha, aha.” Psalm 40:14-15

 

Liberals have fought to eliminate God from the classroom, the culture, and from history. They’re doing an effective job, because we haven’t understood what they lack: loyalty/love, respect for authority, and personal purity. They need The Savior.

We are all accountable to Him.

To liberals, the idea of accountability to God and each other is loathsome, so they rail against it.

When the human body fights against itself, we call that an auto-immune disorder.

The left has cast its lot with identity-politics, which must fragment everything it touches. The body is fighting itself. It destroys everyone else and itself too.

What is the basis of liberal identity politics? Refuting truth that is plainly evident. A man is a man and a woman is a woman. Marriage is between a man and a woman.

The left hates these obvious truths and is attempting to bypass God by identifying themselves as they choose. Facebook in the UK has added 21 new gender identities to Facebook’s ever-evolving list [It’s 58 now and must continually increase] to have attained 79 gender identity categories.

Don’t I care about two men or two women who want to be married? Isn’t it unfair to think contrary to this?

We can and should all care about them, without sacrificing The Truth.

Here is one example involving the vitriol with which the left blasts those who adhere to traditional marriage.

There is only one way that each of us came into existence – through a mother and a father. There is no other truth. To hate traditional marriage is to hate your own mother and father. To hate them is to hate those begotten by them. Ultimately, it is self-hatred.

What am I for? What’s best for everyone?

I’m for how each of us got here and what’s known to be best for us – traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

 

A healthy society requires Caring, Fairness, Loyalty, Authority/Respect, Purity, and Liberty.

A healthy society requires God to enable us to live in and by them. We cannot live them by ourselves.

Don’t accept the blinders of a subset that can only destroy everyone else and itself.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Learn From the Proverbs Harlot

What do the husband and the wife need to hear from each other?

That your spouse desires you, seeks you, and tells you you’re special.

That your spouse is kind to you.

Interestingly, these are also the actions of the Proverbs harlot.

But though the harlot lies to you to your death, your heart in tune with the Lord brings life and peace from your lips.

What does the harlot know about attraction that you need to know?

Tell your spouse what he/she wants and needs to hear. Be your spouse’s cheerleader.

Let your spouse receive words and life from you, so he/she won’t feel the need to get it from an outsider.

Nor are you to deny giving yourself to your spouse. If you deny one another, an invisible chink in your armor is evident to outsiders who may be seeking your precious life.

“…: the adulteress hunts for the precious life.” Proverbs 6:26b

“(1) Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. (2) Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. (3) Let the husband kindly render to his wife his marital responsibility: and likewise also the wife to her husband. (4) The wife does not have power over her own body, but the husband does: and likewise also the husband does not have power over his own body, but the wife does. (5) Do not defraud one another, except you agree for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan does not tempt you for your inability to control yourselves. (6) But I appeal to your willingness, that you not feel forced by a commandment.” 1 Corinthians 7:1-6

If you do not live in and by Christ, a vulnerability is somehow perceived. There’s a breach in your life that the enemy seeks to exploit.

“Moses stood before Him in the breach” Psalm 106:23
“And I sought for a man among them, who should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.” Ezekiel 22:30

If you have created a breach in your marriage, please stand in the gap with Him and repair the wall.

A Focus on the Family episode related that a husband sensed his wife continually booing him, rather than cheering him. She was unaware of the harmful effects her attitudes were having on him and their marriage.

The harlot doesn’t make this mistake.

Don’t you either.

“Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

The harlot’s ways lead to death and hell.

But by cheering your spouse, your roads will lead to life and peace.

The Lord never denies you His good. He came to serve.

Serve your spouse with Him by knowing what He is saying and doing in your life.

With Him, tell your loved one what is wanted and needed to be heard.

 


The Proverbs Harlot

“(4) Say to wisdom, You are my sister; and call understanding your kinswoman: (5) that they may keep you from the strange woman, from the stranger who flatters with her words. (6) For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, (7) and beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youth, a young man void of understanding, (8) passing through the street near her corner, he went to her house, (9) in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: (10) and, behold, there a woman met him dressed as a harlot, and hiding her heart. (11) (She is loud and stubborn; her feet do not remain at home: (12) now is she outside, now in the streets, and lies in wait at every corner.) (13) So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said to him, (14) I have peace offerings with me; this day I have payed my vows. (15) Therefore I came to meet you, diligently to seek your face, and I have found you. (16) I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. (17) I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. (18) Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us exult in our love. (19) For the good man is not at home. He has gone on a long journey. (20) He has taken a bag of money with him, and will come home on the appointed day. (21) By her fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. (22) He suddenly follows her, like an ox going to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; (23) till an arrow strikes through his liver; as a bird hurries to the snare, and does not know it will cost him his life. (24) Listen to me now therefore, O you children, and attend to my words. (25) Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways. Do not stray into her paths. (26) For she has cast down many wounded: yes, she has slain many strong men. (27) Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.” Proverbs 7:4-27

“(3) For the lips of a strange woman drop as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: (4) but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. (5) Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. (6) Her ways are ever changing. You cannot know them, lest you should ponder the path of life. (7) Hear me now therefore, O you children, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. (8) Remove your way far from her, and do not come near the door of her house: (9) lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel: (10) lest strangers be filled with your wealth; and your labors be in the house of a stranger; (11) and you mourn at the last, when your flesh and your body are consumed, (12) and say, How I have hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; (13) and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to them who instructed me! (14) I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly. (15) Drink waters out of your own cistern, and running waters out of your own well. (16) Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets? (17) Let them be only your own, and not strangers’ with you. (18) Let your fountain be blessed: rejoice with the wife of your youth. (19) Let her be as the loving and pleasant doe; let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be ravished always with her love. (20) And why will you, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? (21) For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He ponders all his goings. (22) The wicked’s own iniquities shall take him, and he shall be held with the cords of his sins. (23) He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.” Proverbs 5:3-23

 

 

God Is Known by His Creation

“(20) For His invisible things from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (21) because, when they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (23) and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.” Romans 1:20-23

 

Some call for evidence that a creator exists. Evidence is all around and within us.

We are living, breathing, loving, caring, hoping, dreaming, fully-integrated organisms that can make life a lovely or a hellish existence.  Add to these bodies food, water, air, rest, and purpose and they can run for some 80 years without our thinking much about any of it. Their reliability is overwhelmingly incredible.

And besides us, all of the animals, insects, trees and all else boggle the mind. Eyes that can see – multitudes of types of eyes.

Then there’s the process of blood coagulating which requires 7 distinct non-linear processes to save the life of the organism when bleeding occurs. Non-linear dynamics are not answerable by linearly-bound, random evolution.

Cells are micro factories that completely replicate themselves. Imagine a factory that could completely regenerate another factory from itself – not products, but the factory. And yet, scientists have never even created a single, simplistic cell.

We are surrounded by amazing creations, literally overwhelmed by them – and we say, “There’s no evidence.” We slap ourselves on the back for our intelligence and design in constructing robots then turn and say that the humans who made them were mere accidents – no intelligent design required. Something complex cannot be constructed by something less complex.

Ironic ….

 

Saw this online:

How long would all your DNA be if stretched out?
The human body contains about 50 trillion cells.
The distance from Earth to sun is about 150 billion meters.
There are about 6 billion base pairs of nucleotides in each human diploid cell, each separated by 3.4 Angstroms, or 3.4e-10 meters. Therefore the unraveled DNA from one human cell will stretch for about 2 meters.
All the DNA in a human body, unraveled and set end-to-end, would stretch 100 trillion meters. This is 666 times the distance from Earth to the sun.
We might remember that red blood cells contain no nucleus, hence no nuclear DNA, and that human gamete cells have only a haploid set (half of a diploid set). The reduced estimate might well be around 400 times the Earth-to-sun distance.

Thinking that the answer is already given, so a present-day scientist has an advantage, name a scientist who could still design a double-helix that could fit into a cell that when unraveled would be 2 meters long. And if you name a name :>), have him/her demonstrate the process.

Epilogue: DNA = code = programmer = intelligent designer.

 

“(3) When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; (4) what is man, that You are mindful of him? And the son of man, that You visit him? (5) For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and have crowned him with glory and honor. (6) You made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet: (7) all sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field; (8) the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatever passes through the paths of the seas. (9) O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Your Name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:3-9

“(15) Who [Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (16) for by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they are thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: (17) and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” Colossians 1:15-17

“(10) And, You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Your hands. (11) They shall perish, but You remain; and they all shall wax old as does a garment; (12) and as clothing, You shall fold them up, and they shall be changed, but You are the same, and Your years shall not fail.” Hebrews 1:10-12

Spiritual Whac-A-Mole

When you don’t know Him, you play spiritual Whac-A-Mole.

The pieces of the puzzle of life in Christ don’t seem to fit, and the picture of what it’s supposed to be, is indistinct.

You put out one fire after another.

You do this and that, out of reflex, as the mole randomly pops out of its hole mostly to be missed by your mallet.

This requires no knowing Him. Just your best knee-jerk reaction.

 

An example of this is a very short radio program presenter who gave husband/wife advice on getting over rough spots.

  • Check your heart.
  • Is your heart hard?
  • If it is, then check yourself out,
  • get rid of it,
  • then go back to your spouse when you’ve cooled down.

Whac-A-Mole.

 

Where is the Lord in this?

Absent.

The connection missed.

The presenter didn’t go to Him first. Ask Him first. Seek Him first.

So certainly, He cannot be found to help.

No, instead you just need to internally talk to yourself, examine yourself as if it’s just you, figure out your solution, then get to the task.

However, the Scripture says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

 

Maybe the next mole you’re hitting is your spouse.

 

Leave God out of it, and you’re already defeated.

Where is your relationship with Him?

You are married to Him first, after all.

When speaking of Biblical marriage, you can analyze Ephesians 5. However there’s a great irony when you do this.

Why?

Because Paul is not ultimately talking about the marriage between a man and a woman.

Not first.

He’s actually talking about Christ and you.

“This is a great mystery, but I am really speaking about Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:32

He in you is the key to you and your spouse. The couple is a derivative of the first marriage which is between Christ The Bridegroom, and you.

The couple’s relationship is actually a snapshot of each one’s relationship with Him.

He’s The Solution to every problem.

Leave Him out, and you will spiritual Whac-A-Mole yourself into confusion, sin and death.

This applies to all aspects of life, not just marriage.

Look to Him.

 

 

Romans 7 Recipe: How to Make Sin (How and Why Sin Beats You)

Ingredients:

Law

The principle of sin [the devil, the spirit behind sin, as contrasted to sins committed by man]

 

Directions:

Fill a bowl with the self-efforts of a person trying to be and do good for self and/or God.

Stir in the yeast of the Law.

No baking is required.

 

The Result:

Voila!

The spiritual principle, that God made, causes sins to particulate out when man’s efforts react with the Law.

Sins form through the catalyst of man trying to perform the holy, righteous, and good Law [or any other beneficial law].

There is a formula in Romans 7: man + Law = sin and death, which means that man living by Law can only sin and die.

Unseen in the process, was the spirit of evil in the shadows tempting, deceiving, and encouraging man to seek righteousness apart from God.

Afterward, the devil revels in the resulting sin and death, for he came to steal, kill, and destroy.

 

Sin, the parasite, requires a host, the Law, in order to be conceived and grow in man.

Sin requires a foothold to step up and manifest itself. The foothold is the Law.

The Law is the catalyst for sin. If man does not live by the Law, sin is dead (Gr. nekros). Apart from the Law, sin has no catalyst to arouse sin in the body (Romans 7:5, 8, 11, 13 – verses below).

 

So what recipe works, i.e. produces righteousness and life, not sin and death?

God’s Life.

Man living by his relationship with God shares His righteousness.

God will not allow the Law, a system of rights and wrongs, to be a substitute ingredient for The Son! [Through the Law, God proves that man is a lawbreaker, a sinner in need of a Savior.]

God uses man’s efforts (which umbrella him under Law, not Christ) to drive him to despair through sin and death, and into the arms of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

Then God + man = righteousness, for we share Him. Man living by God Himself will live and walk rightly by the Spirit.

God, with and in man, faces mans’ entire life, including his temptations. We’re in this together!

And God, with and in man, overcomes sin and death.

Thank You, God!

 

[See Also: Romans 7 Understood in 5 Minutes]
[Related Links: Romans 7, Sinful Nature, Spirit and Nature

 


Verses that explain God’s planned, dynamic interaction of man, sin, and Law:

“The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the Law.” 1 Corinthians 15:56 [Another translation says, “The power of sin is the Law.” Why is the pull of sin so strong? Because it’s using the Law. The weakness of the flesh makes failure to keep the Law a foregone conclusion (Rom 8:3).]

“For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were aroused by the Law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death.” Romans 7:5

“But sin took opportunity by the commandment and forged in me all manner of lusting. For apart from the Law, sin is dead.” Romans 7:8

“For sin took opportunity by the commandment and deceived and slew me.” Romans 7:11

“Was then that which is good [the Law] made death to me? God forbid. But sin, that it might be shown to be sin, worked death in me by that which is good; so that sin by the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.” Romans 7:13

 

The above Romans 7 verses complete from 5-13:

“(5) For when we were [past tense] in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were aroused by the Law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death. (6) But now we are delivered from the Law, since we died to that which held us [the Law]; that we should now serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter [the Law]. (7) What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? God forbid. No, I would not have become aware of sin if it had not been for the Law: for I would not have understood my desires, except the Law had said, You shall not covet. (8) But sin took opportunity by the commandment and forged in me all manner of lusting. For apart from the Law, sin is dead. (9) And I was alive apart the Law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. (10) And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to result in death. (11) For sin took opportunity by the commandment and deceived and slew me. (12) Therefore the Law is holy, and the commandment holy, just, and good. (13) Was then that which is good [the Law] made death to me? God forbid. But sin, that it might be shown to be sin, worked death in me by that which is good; so that sin by the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.” Romans 7:5-13

Does God Still Consider You a Sinner in Christ?


Slavery to sin is perpetuated by preaching and teaching we’ve heard for generations.

“Of course, we will sin. We are sinners.” And by definition, a sinner sins! It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. By placing faith in the negative, predetermined outcome, we will sin.

But what if God says that’s no longer true in Christ? That the premise is wrong – that we’re now saints!

The following is from the free eBook: The Cross Divider – Free in Christ


 

All who have ever lived or will are born sinners – except for Jesus Christ, The Son of God.

After you’ve placed faith in Him, does God still call you a sinner, or has He remade you as a saint? If you contemptuously cry out, “Sinner!”,  ask yourself why. Is it because you have carefully researched the New Testament and it squarely labels you one? Or is that what you have always been told, but not Scripturally examined?

Consider this: sinner occurs forty-two times in the New Testament. [i] Do you know that 81% of these [34 of 42] refer to the unsaved? 12% [5 of 42] refer to the Pharisees calling Jesus a sinner! One time, Paul uses the word ironically (Galatians 2:15). And finally, less than 5%—two occurrences—can be erroneously thought to declare you a dirty, rotten, no-good, scoundrel in Christ. [ii] In contrast, the word saint occurs sixty-one times in the New Testament. How many of these times refer to Jesus-loving Christians? 100%. Should you slander yourself when God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit do not? Stop berating yourself in Christ! He loves you, delights in you, and adores you. Christ took sinners to the cross, and the great news is what went to the cross died (2 Corinthians 5:14)! Your old sinner cannot climb down from the cross to pick up where it left off. Instead, a saint rose with Him. Jesus guaranteed that.

Welcome home, Saint.

See Also:
Spirit and Nature
The Most Destructive Belief

 

References:

[i] New Testament only references are used since Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

[ii] sinners in James 4:8 and 5:20. James writes to the Jews (not the Gentiles), the twelve tribes scattered abroad (James1:1 and Gal 2:9). His focus, in contrast to Paul’s, is on what you do, not Who indwells you. Focusing on the what in Scripture equates to law, while focusing on the Who equates to Christ (grace). Concentrating on the outer what instead of the inner Christ can never yield holiness. In fact, it leads to sin, guilt, and condemnation. James’  law focus (see also Acts 15:20, 28-29) directs his labeling believers as sinners. In contrast, in grace, which is embodied by Christ Himself,

  • You died to the law (Romans 7:4, 6).
  • You are no longer under the law (Romans 10:4, Galatians 3:23-26).
  • The law was only the shadow, not the substance – Christ is the substance by Whom you live (Colossians 2:16-17, Hebrews 10:1).
  • Sin is dead (Gr. nekros), apart from the law (Romans 7:8b). Without law, sin no longer has a catalyst to arouse sin (Romans 7:5, 8, 11, 13).
  • Sin gets its power from the law (1 Corinthians 15:56). Live by Christ instead of the law, and the result is that sin is dead/powerless.

 

sinners in Gal 2:17. Verse 16 (16-18 are immediately below) notes that there are two ways people seek justification towards God: either by the faith of Christ (grace), or by the works of the law. If you are not living by Him, Who is grace, the only alternative is to walk fleshly by the law (see the link between law and flesh in Gal 5:16, 18). Though your old identification with law was destroyed (verse 18), in unbelief you can act out-of-character as a sinner.

“(16) knowing that a person is not justified by the works of the law [what a person does], but by Jesus Christ’s faith, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by Christ’s faith, and not by the works of the law. For no one shall be justified by the works of the law. (17) But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found to be sinners, did Christ cause the sin? God forbid. (18) For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.” Galatians 2:16-18

 


The use of sinner(s) in the New Testament:

 

Sinners used ironically by Paul, 1 of 42

“We are Jews by nature, not Gentile sinners,” Galatians 2:15

 

Sinners used to potentially describe Christians , 2 of 42

“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found to be sinners, did Christ cause the sin? God forbid.” Galatians 2:17

“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8

 

Sinner(s) used to describe Jesus by the Pharisees, 5 of 42

“Therefore some of the Pharisees said, This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath day. Others said, How can a man who is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.” John 9:16

“Then they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.” John 9:24

“He answered and said, Whether he is a sinner or not, I do not know: one thing I know, I was blind, but now I see.” John 9:25

“Now we know that God does not hear sinners, but if any man is a worshipper of God and does His will, He hears him.” John 9:31

“For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;” Hebrews 7:26

 

Sinner(s) used to describe the lost, without salvation, 34 of 42

[This is the concatenated list from which the full verses follow immediately below: Matt 9:10-11,13; Matt 11:19; Matt 26:45; Mark 2:15-17; Mark 14:41; Luke 5:30,32; Luke 6:32-34; Luke 7:34,37,39; Luke 13:2,4; Luke 15:1-2,7,10; Luke 18:13; Luke 19:7; Rom 3:7; Rom 5:8,19; 1 Tim 1:9; Heb 12:3; 1 Peter 4:18; Jude 1:15]

“(10) And it came to pass, as Jesus sat to eat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. (11) And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, Why does your Master eat with publicans and sinners?” Matthew 9:10-11

“But go and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matthew 9:13

“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a drunkard, a friend of publicans and sinners.
But wisdom is justified by her children.” Matthew 11:19

“Then he came to His disciples, and said to them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man
is betrayed into the hands of sinners.” Matthew 26:45

“(15) And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat to eat in his house,many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and His disciples: for there were many, and they followed Him. (16) And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eat with publicans and sinners, they said to His disciples, How is it that He eats and drinks with publicans and sinners? (17) When Jesus heard it, He said to them, They who are whole have no need of the physician, but they who are sick: I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Mark 2:15-17

“And He came the third time, and said to them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour has come; behold, the Son of
Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.” Mark 14:41

“But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against His disciples, saying, Why do you eat and drink with publicans and sinners?” Luke
5:30

“I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:32

“(32) For if you love them who love you, what thanks should you receive? For sinners also love those who love them. (33) And if you
do good to them who do good to you, what thanks should you receive? For sinners also do the same. (34) And if you lend to them from whom you hope to receive, what thanks should you receive? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.” Luke 6:32-34

“The Son of Man has come eating and drinking; and you say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a drunkard, a friend of publicans and sinners!” Luke 7:34

“And, behold, a woman in the city, who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus was dining in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,” Luke 7:37

“Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw it, he spoke within himself, saying, This man, if He was a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is who touches Him: for she is a sinner.” Luke 7:39

“And Jesus answering said to them, Do you suppose that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered
such things?” Luke 13:2

“Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, do you think that they were sinners above all men who dwelt in Jerusalem?” Luke 13:4

“(1) Then all the publicans and sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. (2) And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receives sinners, and eats with them.” Luke 15:1-2

“I say to you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner who repents, more than over ninety nine just persons, who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7

“Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10

“And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift so much as his eyes to heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” Luke 18:13

“And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That He was gone to be guest with a man who is a sinner.” Luke 19:7

“For if the truth of God has more abounded through my lie to His glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?” Romans 3:7

“But God shows His love for us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one the many shall be made righteous.” Romans 5:19

“knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and mothers, for man-slayers,” 1 Timothy 1:9

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I was the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15

“For consider Him Who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest you become wearied and faint in your minds.” Hebrews 12:3

“Let him know, that he who turns the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death and hide a multitude of sins.” James 5:20

“And if the righteous scarcely are saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 1 Peter 4:18

“To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Jude 1:15

It’s Whom You Know, Not What You Know

Ministries overwhelmingly focus on the what , the how-tos, the DIYs of the faith, not knowing The Father, Jesus Christ The Son, and The Holy Spirit.

Here’s an example of this from a radio ministry’s schedule:

How To:
live authentically
love and lead
forgive the past
understand behavior
bring hope and healing
change relationships through kindness
establish good communication
be a hero
find joy
navigate sexual sin to find your identity
cherish your spouse
serve God
grow closer through devotions
make a difference
connect with your tech-absorbed kid
support your spouse in marriage
equip kids to handle money
understand why God allows suffering
discipline your children
express pro-life views in winsome ways
stay strong in the face of medical struggles
raise well-behaved children
enjoy physical intimacy

Reading this list is reminiscent of Donald Miller’s book Searching For God Knows What where Christian college students construct a word list describing the Christian life. Amazingly, their list does not include Jesus Christ.

Yet knowing Him should consume us, for we depend on Him to live with and in us, not on outside others to lead and guide us.

 

All the topics in the list above are good things.

But unless the disclosed principles and precepts in these topics are linked directly to Him doing the leading and guiding, then the authors must default to research and study apart from Him.

It’s not that they don’t or won’t pray to Him and ask Him something – it’s just that in our everyday view of God, He’s distant and separate in a far off heaven somewhere and not practical to us.

If we do not know our new creation lives consist of Him and us, one spirit (1 Cor 6:17), then the only thing we can do is talk about Him, but not know Him.

 

Think of juggling all of the Christian how-tos that exist, along with the 613 laws of the Bible, plus details from every Bible study and ministry, and the endless data mining for principles and precepts. Can we keep all those things in the air at the same time?

That’s law. We cannot possibly do them (Romans 7). They require zero faith. And if we want to live like that, then God demands that we perfectly follow all of them, which is impossible.

“Following the law requires no faith. The man who agrees with and follows the demands of the law is required to do them his whole life.” Galatians 3:12

Uh-oh. We cannot please God without faith.

Yet that’s what Christianity is to many Christians.

Tell us what and how to do what we need to do. Law.

None of the above radio programs dwell on knowing Him. Grace.

It’s assumed, but missed.

And it’s possible that those who do the above list items, would hear Jesus’ same response that He gave to the doers of the following list who:

prophesy in His Name
cast out demons in His name
do many mighty wonderful miracles in His Name

What was His response to them?

“(21) Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. (22) Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name? And in Your Name cast out devils? And in Your Name done many wonderful miracles? (23) And then I will profess to them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you who work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23  [So the ultimate question is not, “Do you know Him?” It’s actually, “Does He know you?”]

 

In both lists and to many Christians, He’s inferred, but neither known nor acknowledged as a Person with Whom we are intimately familiar from moment-to-moment.

By studying and researching His stuff, we made Him the object of study, not a Person of relationship. Thus we made our endeavors irrelevant in regard to knowing Him. Study and research became the paradigm, an irrelevant substitute, a prostituting of Him, for we made Him irrelevant. We sought other lovers and became slaves of sin. We treated Him as the absentee builder of the house who left us as poor tenants to take care of it, not realizing that He is The Builder and Dweller of us, His house. We reduced Him to sidebar discussions of things that eliminated His Person and Presence from us. We approached Him like a Ph.D.

A double Ph.D. seminarian disclosed that after fifteen years in the ministry, he recognized that he had lost his first love. Only knowing about Him can do that to us.

Until we are known by Him and know Him, we will forever be asking irrelevant questions like the host of the radio program, “How do you do that? What does that look like?”

We can never do the things that are asked of us. Only He in us can and does with us.


Christian Intellectual Irrelevance

Which Test Does God Give?