Is humanity righteous? (Romans 5:18-19)


If I gave you a million dollars, how would you react? If you were poor, you’d be thrilled. You’d thank me and tell all your friends how awesome I am. But if you were Bill Gates you might say, “Meh. Add it to the pile.”

How you react to a gift reflects your need for that gift. Which is why I am dismayed by the teaching that says humanity is justified and righteous. This is a central claim of inclusionism: “All humans are justified through the faith of Christ… All people, past, present and future, are justified already.” In contrast, the Bible declares that the righteousness you and I both need comes to us a gift through faith in Jesus Christ (Rom 1:17, 5:17).

What does it mean to be righteous?

To be righteous means to be right or straight with God. To be unrighteous is to be bent by sin. A quote from DL Moody comes to mind: “The law tells me how crooked I am. Grace comes along and straightens me out.” It’s the grace of God that straightens us out and makes us righteous. How does it work? Righteousness is a Person (1 Cor 1:30). Receive Christ and you receive his righteousness, and the result is you are justified by God.

So who is righteous? Jesus exhorted us to seek his righteousness and promised that those who want it shall have it (Matt 5:6, 6:33). Receive the gift by faith and you are 100% righteous! In Christ, you are just as righteous as he is. In contrast, inclusionism teaches that all are righteous whether they want it or not:

The disobedience of one man exhibits humanity as sinners; the obedience of another man exhibits humanity as righteous. (Rom 5:19, Mirror)

As far as I know, the Mirror is the only Bible translation that suggests humanity is righteous. Every other Bible says something like “through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” See the difference? One translation suggests all are righteous; the others say many will be made righteous. Big difference. I personally like this translation:

One man’s disobedience placed all men under the threat of condemnation, but one man’s obedience has the power to present all men righteous before God. (Rom 5:19, Phillips)

How do you become righteous? There is nothing you can do to make yourself righteous, but the good news declares that Christ’s obedience has the power to make you righteous. Believe it, and receive that free gift!

Getting straightened out

A miracle takes place whenever God transforms a crooked man like Saul into a righteous man like Paul. Saul was the chief of sinners – a violent man and a blasphemer (1 Tim 1:13) – but by the grace of God he became an apostle and herald of the gospel. That’s a miracle! But the miracle might not have happened if Saul had been convinced that he was righteous to begin with. In fact, that was part of Saul’s problem; he thought he was righteous when he wasn’t.

It would have been a mistake to tell Saul the sinner that he was righteous. And it’s a mistake to tell the Sauls of this world that they are righteous.  The self-righteous aren’t righteous but unrighteous.

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. (Rom 5:18)

Paul is not saying all are righteous, for elsewhere he says the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9). Like Jesus before him (Matt 5:45), Paul distinguished between the righteous and the unrighteous. He wasn’t being judgmental, but simply stating a fact, which is that if you are unrighteous you can be made righteous by grace! Condemnation is for all who follow faithless Adam; justification and life are for all who follow Jesus. So choose Jesus!

Are all righteous?

Paul says the gift of grace righteousness overflows to the many (not all) and on account of the gift “many (not all) will be made righteous” (Rom 5:15,19). Why many and not all? Because not all receive the gift. Light has come into the world but some prefer the darkness.

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. (Rom 5:17)

Only those who receive the gift of righteousness reign in life. Incidentally, this is a particularly awesome passage to read in Phillips’ translation:

For if one man’s offence meant that men should be slaves to death all their lives, it is a far greater thing that through another man, Jesus Christ, men by their acceptance of his more than sufficient grace and righteousness, should live all their lives like kings! (Rom 5:17, Phillips)

If a believer is not living like a king, it is because they do not properly value the gift of Christ’s righteousness. But if an unbeliever is not living like a king, it is because they have not received it, and they won’t receive it if they are told they already have it.

Inclusionism says all are righteous, but Paul says righteousness is received by faith. In the first five chapters of Romans, he says this SEVENTEEN TIMES:

  • I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last… (Rom 1:-16-17)
  • This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. (Rom 3:22)
  • (God is) justifies those who have faith in Jesus. (Rom 3:26)
  • A man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. (Rom 3:28)
  • There is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. (Rom 3:30)
  • However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. (Rom 4:5)
  • Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness… he is the father of all who believe… (and) who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had… the righteousness that comes by faith. (Rom 4:9-13)
  • Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. (Rom 4:16)
  • but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. (Rom 4:24)
  • Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (Rom 5:1-2)

The good news that Paul preached is scandalous: “God justifies the wicked (Rom 4:5).” This is the sort of message that enrages the self-righteous but makes the sinner blush with joy.

God justifies the wicked! He gives grace to the unrighteous!

The law says you have a great need for righteousness; the gospel declares you have a great Christ for your need! “You are broken and in need of straightening out – receive God’s free gift of righteousness!” It is just about the most splendid announcement a bent and broken sinner can ever hear.

What are we to do with the scandalous announcement? “Believe it!” says Paul again and again and again. “Have faith in this good God who loves sinners and justifies the wicked.”

And what will happen if I do?

“Receive it and this powerful gospel will change you,” says Paul. “It will save you and make you righteous (Rom 1:17, 3:22, 30, 5:1). And when you see that – that in Christ you are as righteous and holy as he is – you will reign like a king (Rom 5:17).”

Sounds like very good news to me!

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111 Comments on Is humanity righteous? (Romans 5:18-19)

  1. Knowing you are righteous brings the greatest feeling ever! You can have nothing in this world yet feel like a king! Jesus!

    • Well said! At a conference I once heard a preacher ask two questions: Put your hands up if you know you are righteous? Many did. Put your hands up if you feel righteous? Very few did. It seems that for some there is a disconnect between what they know in their heads and what they believe in their hearts. This is why we must preach the gospel of Christ’s righteousness, because when you know beyond all doubt that you are just as righteous as he is, you’ll feel like a king! “Ye were sanctified, but ye were declared righteous, in the name of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor 6:11, YLT).

  2. // June 27, 2015 at 1:52 am // Reply

    That was excellent, Paul.

  3. Confusion often comes from not specifying who is meant by “me”, the old man or the new man. The old man cannot not sin (1Jn1:9). The new man cannot sin (1Jn 3:9). Which are we? Seemingly both as Eph 4:22-24 is addressed to born again Christians, but only one is ever true (Rom 7:20). The other is the deception of me, the counterfeit The lie is never true, even when all the evidence seems to point to the contrary.

    My understanding of the Mirror Bible is that it addresses who we really are, the image of God that we substitute with the image of the corruptible. Both are referred to in different contexts as “me.” Who am I really, the workmanship of God (Eph 2:10) or my own creation? The way I answer that question determines which I am identifying with, the old man or the new man.

    However identification can only effect the content of my awareness, not the facts, which come from One Cause, not many as I suppose. This error is how all idols are made.

    The facts don’t depend on my belief. My awareness of the facts does depend on it.

    • I would respond that confusion comes from not specifying the “we”, as in, who are the “we in Christ”? Inclusionism teaches that humanity died, rose, and ascended with Christ 2000 years ago and that this is objectively true for all whether we believe it or not. Yet the apostle Paul says “you were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit” (Eph 1:13). This is just one of at least 50 ways inclusionism differs from the gospel.

      • Hi Paul
        Francois du Toit is not arguing for inclusionism.
        Your representation of his argument as such is rather akin to those who would say grace without law is a licence to sin.
        Without a saving faith in Christ, which is not of your own decision, you will not experience life with God. Francois believes this.
        The problem of humanity is whether we see that we are children of God- until then we are alienated in our minds. Union with Christ, when we are saved, corrects this distorted impression. The renewing of our minds allows us to see the truth and start to live united with Christ.
        God doesn’t hate His creation until we are born again rather we hate Him.
        The view Francois supports allows us to have a better understanding of the heart of God and doesn’t cheapen but powerfully affirms what the cross achieved.

      • My understanding of inclusionism is just as you have described it. Inclusionism teaches that humanity is righteous and holy and seated with Christ but faith is needed to experience these “objective” realities. The problem is that these claims are refuted again and again by scripture. You literally have to rewrite the Bible to make them stack up.

        It seems the height of insanity to suggest to a lost person that they are really saved or to tell the unrighteous they are really righteous and that all they need to do is “wake up.” What happens if such a person never repents? What will they discover then? That God was misleading them and that they weren’t saved after all? Jesus said, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already…” Jesus does not suggest that the unbeliever is righteous and holy or merely needs to awaken to what is objectively true.

        Inclusionism is a mealy-mouthed mixture of life-giving grace and death-dealing humanism. Inclusionism has little in common with the gospel Jesus reveal and the apostles preached.

      • Thanks for your reply Paul
        If a person never believes in Jesus then there fate will be horrendous- no doubt.
        What do you think God’s feelings towards an unbeliever are?
        Do you think God has bound Himself to punish those who are not transformed even though they have absolutely no ability in themselves to do this?
        What control have we not to be sinful before we are born again?
        Grace for some but not for others is no grace.
        Oh no I am starting to sound like a Universalist as well as an Inclusionist!
        I better stop now.

      • Jesus tells us and shows us that the love of God is universal. “For God so loved the whole world…” Jesus didn’t hate the sinner; he loved them, befriended them, and ate with them. The grace of God is for the whole world, Jew and Gentile, male and female and no one is excluded from it (Tit 2:11). Because of Jesus we all get the same choice that was offered to Adam.

      • Thanks Paul
        It always come back to the same root question which we must grapple with;
        What is it in a person that allows them to believe that is not in another and why is this so.
        Unless the person is responsible for their condition is it not unfair, to say the least, to withhold salvation from them?
        I will remain hopeful for the salvation of all.

      • With respect, I don’t believe we are to grapple with that question at all and doing so can be a distraction from the one thing we are supposed to do, which is proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are questions that lead to revelation and there are unanswerable questions that do nothing but engage the intellect. Some questions are healthy; others are not. Some questions point us to Jesus, while others cause us to lean on our own understanding, which is the essence of carnality. Paul said “each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom 14:12), before exhorting us not to judge others and wonder what sort of account they may or may not give.

      • Thanks Paul,
        You may well be right.

  4. Not believing is to walk in darkness, to sow on fig leaves, to produce works that are good or evil by the tree of such – called the flesh – and works of, to trust that HE is your righteousness is to walk in the light. The light is to see that you ARE redeemed, made righteous, to believe this is deliverance every day of your life, we are saved by HIS life in Rom 5:10, saved/delivered everyday because we are holy as HE is holy. HE is the Last Adam, and your identity changed at the cross, your deliverance changed when you were delivered, and we are delivered every day. It’s such a Glory that no beautiful glory that came before can even come close to surpassing HIS glory in us, we truly have complete salvation RIGHT NOW, EVERY DAY, DELIVERANCE for those believing, for those not they just don’t walk in the Light, they walk with an adultering mind lacking salvation/deliverance from condemnation and law, the tree of good and evil in Gen 3. ahhh….. So wonderful the deliverance, wishing more separated justification, redemption, and salvation……

    • God sees the truth about how He created us and how He has always intended mankind to be.
      Our problem is that without being born from above we can’t realise this.
      Believing the lie of a false identity is the issue He came to deal with.

  5. keep up the good work Paul , its a journey, especially for us OLDER GUYS

  6. Dear Paul, great post. As your notes about “inclusionism”.

    My view is this. Christ died for all (1john 2:2) so all are forgiven. At the Judgement people are not judged for their sins, but on the basis of their works (Rev 20:12). It will be shown that on the basis of “good” works nobody can be justified and stay (Is 64:6, Rom 3:20). Only those that believe in the Gospel are spiritually born-again and thus one spirit with the Lord (Romans 6, Rom 8:9, 1Cor 6:17). God is reconciled to all but not all are reconciled to Him (2Cor 5, Rom 8:7). Unless one believes he abides in his hatred (in the flesh) toward God. But God is his friend. But God as a friend is not an invader so people have to allow Him to regenerate them. His grace is resistible (Gen 6:3). Good example of Christ´s attitude is in Rev 3:20. Though I personally believe this passage speaks about born-again people yet carnal in their experience, the principle stays).

    Do you find it correct?

    • Is being a “new creation” in the Last Adam the same as being “born again”?
      I’ve been wondering this for some time, “new creation vs. born again” – are they the same thing? or are we burdened with not being face to Face?
      InHisLove – if you have any insight on the difference, or similarities between “born again” and “new creation” please help a Brother out and share. Just questions I think on, was wondering if you’ve ever thought about this, or the difference between redemption and salvation……. Thanks for anything one can share here. I enjoy this blog, don’t agree with everything, but love most of it’s posts, and I ask the questions no one else will because I have a rock to stand on, as we all do.
      justification – is it for redemption, – or salvation?
      Is new creation the same as “born again”?
      What were the two sticks in the OT that were brought together?
      What does “saved” mean?????

      • inhislove // July 7, 2015 at 1:23 am //

        Dear RB, I think it is clear that we are “in Christ” by the work of the Holy Spirit in the moment of our salvation. 1Cor 12:30, Romans 6, Titus 3:5.

        “In Christ” means we are in vital spiritual union with Christ (Union Mystica).

        1 Corinthians 6:17
        But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

  7. everette johnson // June 27, 2015 at 3:47 am // Reply

    Being justified and being “made” righteous are literally a “world” apart. The Mirror misinterprets “justified” as “being righteous”: they are two entirely different states of being. The Bible is very clear; all men are “justified unto life”, but not all men are “made righteous”. (Rom. 5:18-19) Christ died for every man, (Heb. 2:9) all sin was judged at Calvary; therefore, all men are justified of their sin. (If not, then the unbelievers could not be resurrected. (Rom. 6:23-a, Rev, 20:11-14) But, until a man believes God, he is not made righteous. The only difference between a saved man and a lost man is that the saved man has believed God and has received the righteousness of Christ: The lost man has not believed God, and is still without righteousness. Righteousness—you either have it or you don’t.: Got righteousness? you are eternally saved; no righteousness? you are lost. Jesus died in order to give every man a ticket “unto righteousness”; the man can believe and enter into righteousness, or he can hold on to his ticket and spend eternity in Hell. I used my ticket many years ago, and have been on a marvelous cruise ship ever since. (Body of Christ!) The cruise director comes out every morning with an endless list of activities for the day; (the Bible) never a dull moment!!

    • Is justification for redemption or salvation?
      Is it my faith, or HIs Faithfulness?

      • It is a faith only God can have and not you or Franscois or anyone else for that matter, we are called to it but for us it is blind faith, RB you try and see what only God can see, he sees his children before and after they are born, and his children are only born by the spirit.His faithfulness is that he saw all his children even before creation. This blind faith is the cross we are called to carry, to share it with Jesus and with this view we will also have Judas in our lives.And as Jesus said I have lost none that you have given to me.

      • Hi Chris, thanks for commenting to me. I’m not sure what you mean? and not sure who “Franscois” is in your comment?
        Anyway, I asked a question that I think the answer to brings rest, joy, a peace that passes understanding, that being this – is justification for redemption or salvation?
        I believe my faith is resting upon the Faithfulness of my Redeemer. I think God sees me like a reflection of His Son Jesus Christ. My faith rests in the raised, resurrected man who was God, who is now God as man – my faith rests in Christ Jesus being raised for my justification. I’m saved by the fact that He was raised from the dead in Rom 5:10. We have every spiritual blessing right now in Eph 1, before the disruption of the kosmos. Ages with aion are very different. He is the Last Adam, He conquered sin and death for all, whether or not all see this, or will see this I have no idea about, just think that the world “adam” means what it means in Romans 5, and that 2+2+4, not 3, and not 5. Hence Rom 6:2-3’s identification. Chris, I enjoy any discussion you can send, thanks for mentioning me in a comment, I am confused by the comment and not sure what do say as I already said too much. I truly think Chris that separating justification, redemption, and salvation might be a year long study to keep in mind. I don’t really know though…..

    • Great Everette and we are called to see all justified.

    • Everette said this – “The only difference between a saved man and a lost man is that the saved man has believed God and has received the righteousness of Christ: The lost man has not believed God, and is still without righteousness.”

      I see it like this (probably wrong). The only difference between a saved man and a lost man is the darkness of understanding in one’s mind. A lost man walks in darkness, a delivered/saved man walks with an understanding that his old man was nailed to a cross securely so it couldn’t be un-fastened, walks in the realization that he is made righteous before the foundation of the world/and in Jesus Christ’s death one’s old man becomes dead, ones old identity is baptized/identified into death through Jesus Christ. In Christ Jesus, one is a new creation. We can know we are justified, not by the resurrection (we’re justified by the blood), but by the resurrection we can know we are “saved” / “delivered” because death is defeated. If it was not then Christ Jesus could not rise from the grave at resurrection 3 days after the cross. His resurrection proves our justification, hence it “delivers” us, we can know we ARE justified by the resurrection, but the resurrection did not justify us. We are saved by HIS life/resurrection in Rom 5:10. Saved vs. Lost = light and darkness, nothing to do with justified or redeemed, only with deliverance! Am I wrong?

  8. All that is great, Paul, and I enjoy reading your posts. There’s one thing however that doesn’t line up from my simple, non-theologian mind. How can I love my kids more that God loves me? Here’s what I mean by that.

    If I had the power to redeem and save my children from eternal suffering, misery, etc., I would do it…regardless of whether or not they “had faith in” or “believed in” me. I have four kids, and under NO circumstance would I let any harm come to them if it was in my power to do so. Or, do I say to them, “Now kids, I love you, and I want to let you know there is an eternal hell fire waiting for you unless you believe and confess your love for me. So, make your choice. I love you enough to let you make your own decision.” NEVER!!!! Anyone who loves their children would NOT do this!!

    If the gap between God’s knowledge and ours is greater than the gap between my knowledge and my children’s (we can all agree that this is true), then why would I make a way but then leave it up to them? That’s like taking an 18 month old to the edge of the freeway and saying, “I love you…now cross if you want.” Oh…smush….to bad, I tried. NO!

    How can the new covenant in Christ be inferior the the Abrahiamic covenant, which God performed on His own? Consider the fact that you may be wrong, my friend. In His grace, John.

    • Hi John, I’m not sure what you think is wrong with the post. I presume you believe humanity to be righteous, but I don’t see what this has to do with Abraham. Abraham was counted righteous by faith, as are we (Rom 4:3-5).

      • johnwiltgen // June 27, 2015 at 10:17 am //

        You dismissed the Mirror Translation and went on to argue your side for the fact that all aren’t righteous. I disagree and would just like an answer to my question. If you have kids (you may, I don’t know), would you leave it up to them to die (if you could stop it)? If so, then does that mean you love your kids more than God does?

        My point on Abraham was that he had nothing to do with sealing the convenant…that’s what made it failure proof and 100% trustworthy. Was the new covenant less trustworthy since, according to you, we individually ultimately decide whether we get to partake or not?

      • Hi John, forgive me but I don’t see the connection between your love for your kids and righteousness. I normally only publish comments that pertain to issues raised in the post. Thanks.

        The new covenant was made between God the Father and God the Son and can never be broken.

      • Warren (South Carolina) // June 30, 2015 at 3:28 am //

        Amen to “The new covenant was made between God the Father and God the Son and can never be broken.” So critical that we get that!!!
        Warren (South Carolina)

    • John’s comment is seconded. I see it as John’s kids not accepting the fact that they’re loved, John is reconciled to them, but they’re not reconciled to John. Smush, they condemn themselves by believing a lie that John is some pissed of Father who doesn’t love his kids (a total lie) but maybe John’s kids believe such because of religion and hatred that’s existed for centuries. John, please send us a though, I honestly appreciate your comment and thought I would share a hopeless thought. I’ll stand by anyone who is seeing a God who is more loving than the “hell” we see in most assemblies. That word itself is worth study….. All this “hellfire” insanity is crazy…….. My father is not the author of such……………………

    • hi John,you brought up some interesting questions and i’m not sure i have a good answer to but just thought i’d share my thoughts. God is the potter and we are just clay.None of us are here by our own choice.We had no say as to who our parents would be,where we would be born,the environment we’d grow up in,our body type,sex,etc..Before I believed in Jesus,I resented this,sometimes wishing I had not been born at all.After I believed, I became overwhelmed with the fact that God chose to create ME,choosing to bring ME into existence. I believe some things with God are just way beyond our grasp of understanding.The question you bring up with children is a difficult one,but could also be asked in a different way. What if one of us has a child who by the time they are in their teens are are stealing cars,robbing,and even murdering someone elses child,completely rejecting us and all our attempts to see them or speak to them?.Another thing I can not fathom is sacrificing my only son….yet that is exactly what God did,and he did it for us so that we might spend eternity WITH Him.What more can He do?He did this for those that hated Him and whom he knew would reject Him.To view this negatively or as inferior to our love for our kids is a wrong perspective i feel. I think a better example,would be one leading their 18 year old son across the freeway and just as they are almost across,the son pulls away from his dad and runs back into traffic.Hope i am not coming off as argumentative or anything.In the past i have had many “dark days”,and a lot of negative thoughts and i’m just hoping maybe something i wrote might be helpful.

      • Jennifer // July 1, 2015 at 8:45 am //

        Daryl, I like this compassionate and thoughtful answer.

      • Daryl said this and I agree completely – “We had no say as to who our parents would be,where we would be born,the environment we’d grow up in,our body type,sex,etc.”
        We had no say in who we were in the first adam in Romans 5, but that is done away with, and we have no say in who we are in the “other” adam in Romans 5.
        Simply like this, we have no say in the matter, in Christ are all made alive, and if so then all were dead in this verse and that.
        God is not some parent who created kids He can’t love because of “justice” or whatever people measure things with. HE, God is a Father that restores 100% everything! HE’s not in-sufficient to undo the fall, HE created the fall so HE could show us HIS Love, not our faults. We do see through a glass darkly when not understanding who humanity is made, when the veil is taken away we rejoice in seeing our kids and children, mothers & fathers, cousins, friends, and terrorists as perfected forever by our SCANDELOUS Father who created!
        If not, then show us a verse where satan (am not capitalizing it, gives it to much power), a verse where satan/the adversary, and his messangers – where they ever could create a living soul? You’ll never find such, the children of the “devil” were simply those who were adversaries of the Truth! Hence Mat 23! John 5’s words, the book of Rev written to such, the book of Heb. Ahhhhh…….. who knows, not me…… yet maybe….. yet not……

    • I cannot understand how you leave you kids in their death, this is if you have any.Jesus has many titles and one is life, God allows none of his children to die he as the scripture says offers the right of adoption and with this comes life. Dead men can walk and are born my friend, death is not for you or the mirror bible to define, God defines it.

    • Responding to John Whitgen’s entry. The major premise that unregenerated and unsaved man is God’s child is not true. Although Adam was indeed a son of God, he ate of the tree and died spiritually. All of humanity was born in Adam’s image, as spiritually dead/physically alive persons. Read John 3 to see Jesus making a distinction between being born of the flesh versus being born of the Spirit. The book of 1 John goes so far as to call all people living in that time as children of the devil, and that was who we were before we believed. It was at the time that we believed, that by God’s grace and goodness and love, that we were born again of the Spirit, and *adopted* as sons of God regardless of our flesh (there are no daughters of God, since all distinctions of the flesh and made by the flesh and regarded by the flesh as significant, are ignored by God when we are born of the Spirit.) Our Adoption as Children of God comes from Paul, his condescending speech at Mars Hill given to fallen men believing themselves to be the wisest men on the planet notwithstanding.

      The example of God loving us while we were yet sinners and *not* children born of Him, but of the Devil, with His *REAL* Son taking the necessary steps to make our adoption and LITERAL inclusion into the Godhead, is proof that He is serious about our decision to either believe in Jesus and be born again, or not to decide and “perish” (Jesus’ own word). One cannot “spiritualize” (I.e. de-literalize) the word “perish” in John 3:16, because they also would be obligated to spiritualize (also de-literalize) the phrase “Eternal Life”. One cannot have their argumentative cake and eat it too.
      Great post Paul! I regret I have only two thumbs to give, for this deserves a “ten thumbs up”!

    • Seems we’re righteous in Christ, in the spirit that gives life, seems when one accepts this/takes it to heart that the impious are made righteous by HIM and seeing this has nothing to do with the righteousness, it simply sees it as true. When such one is delivered from “THE Lie” maybe?
      YLT Rom 4:5 – and is believing upon Him who is declaring righteous the impious, his faith is reckoned — to righteousness:
      Goodness, we could go to James and debate this verse until the end of time, was James correct or was Paul? Seems they both reference the same OT verses with different conclusions.
      Seems there is no difference to those believing or un-believing in Rom 3:22? Who’s faith is this? and the righteousness of God is through the faith of Jesus Christ to all, and upon all those believing, — for there is no difference,
      Who’s being made sin in 2 Cor 5:21 made us righteous?????? Certainly Jesus Christ, right???????????
      Who believed a lie and ate from a tree? Who conquered death, and by such sin? What is the strength of sin? – 1 Cor 15:56??????
      Who proclaimed miracles, signs, wonders, for an ENTIRE generation before the WRATH of MAN fell on the Nation in 70ad? All I see is the wrath of man falling on those then, the wrath of God burned to deliver them from such, his orgasmic love in Jesus Christ with Mat 24 and Luke 21, etc…. etc…… entire book of Acts, Heb, the Law & the Prophets……

  9. John 6 with special reference to 6:66 reveals the Antichrist, it speaks of acceptable work and addresses all aspects of the true Gospel. There is in my opinion no better summary of the gospel, it addresses all error.Dead people cannot be righteous it is impossible.

  10. Hi Paul
    Not realising our identity is what leads us to sin.
    Jesus shows us our true identity.
    But until we believe in Jesus we can’t believe this.

  11. 1. Paul, you say that, unlike the rich, the poor would be thrilled to receive a million dollars. So, for self-satisfied people to see their need for salvation, the emphasis should be on first helping them honestly recognize that they are POOR in spirit. But how? Your D.L. Moody quote implies it’s by confronting them with the law as a reality check–à la Ray Comfort.
    2. Romans 5:19 (ESV) says, “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”
    You quote the second half of the verse as “many (not all) will be made righteous,” parenthetically specifying “not all”; but by doing that, aren’t you also saying that in the first half of the verse,”many (but NOT all)” were made sinners by one man’s disobedience? Or do you believe these are two different “manys,” thereby destroying the parallel structure?
Finally, let’s reconsider this dichotomy: “If a believer is not living like a king, it is because they do not properly value the gift of Christ’s righteousness. But if an unbeliever is not living like a king, it is because they have not received it, and they won’t receive it if they are told they already have it.” I would argue that in BOTH cases (for Christians and non-Christians), the cause is the same: NOT FREELY RECEIVING what already belongs to them (through ignorance, unbelief, deception, and/or trying to perform adequately).

    • 1. The law is not for everyone. I didn’t need it to know that I needed Jesus. Did you?
      2. You would have to ask Paul that, since he wrote it. But I do talk a little more about verse 19 here.
      3. If a Christian has not received Christ, then he is not a Christian. If he is one with the Lord, then he already possesses Christ’s righteousness, holiness, etc. ALL the blessings of heaven are already his, whether he knows it or not (Eph 1:3).

      • 1. I think I misread you here. Sorry.
        2. I read your link, but I stand by “the many” being the same “many” on both sides of the verse.
        3. You were talking about not valuing vs. not receiving. I think the problem is the same in both cases: not receiving (i.e., having available, but not receiving).

        Blessings to you.

      • 3. I think Eph. 1:3 is true for the unbeliever, as well as the believer.

      • Indeed, the favor of God is offered to all, for God loves the whole world. Yet but in Paul’s understanding, only the “the saints,” “the faithful in Christ Jesus,” and the “sons through Jesus Christ” are actually blessed (vv.1-5). To paraphrase Spurgeon, he who has Christ has everything.

      • inhisgrace // June 27, 2015 at 9:08 pm //


        1 Cor 15:22
        For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

        1 Cor 15:45
        And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

        Are you in Adam or are you born-again by grace through faith and so “in Christ”?

        That is the question. 🙂

    • Total thumbs up for Hermano Cisco’s comment! and Gal 3:24 is to those who were under such. Cheers to those seeing a Last Adam who conquered completely the first adam. We do not have a weak Man to trust. We have a man, Jesus, who is the messiah, who is God in the flesh of man who conquered both sin and death, we can trust HIM, and HE is victorious!!! Our trust is not in our belief, it’s in HIM!!!!!

    • You argue from knowledge that is not yours trying to apply your intellect to Gods words, rather apply Gods attributes to his words, he knows all , the end and beginning.Only God knows who all ready has it , and who never has and never will . And this is how we qualify the many.

  12. suepmoseley // June 27, 2015 at 10:25 am // Reply

    I can see that reading Romans leaves us with the perspective that we are saved according to our faith in God and that therefore those who don’t have faith must be left out. If you read Matthew chapter 25 you could also be left with the impression that it is all down to works and keeping that faith alive – that we could loose our salvation even. At this point in my life I have come to a place where I can’t believe anymore that God is willing to leave so many people out of His grace. If we turn to the ‘Word’ of God for an answer – and by ‘Word’ I mean the logos referred to in John 1 vs 1 who became flesh and dwelt among us – Jesus. Jesus, the exact representation of God, who said ‘he who has seen me has seen the father’ – if we look at that ‘Word’, I believe I see the answer. I see patience, compassion, love, faithfulness, forgiveness, kindness, goodness, sacrifice for others and grace, not condemnation. When Thomas refused to believe Jesus had risen from the dead did Jesus tell him he’d blown it and would be burning in hell because he didn’t have faith? No, he loved him and gave him the proof that he needed to believe. Why would Jesus tell us to love our enemies and then not even be prepared to love people who just didn’t have faith, instead, hurling them into hell? Am I more compassionate and loving than God because I wouldn’t cut anyone off simply for not having faith? If Christians really believe that God is going to hurl their friends and family into hell to burn for eternity then why aren’t they tearing their hair out with grief? Why aren’t they offering their own lives in place of their unbelieving children – like instinct naturally drives a parent to sacrifice themselves for their child in peril? Has God really created some half-cocked plan for humanity that leaves most of them burning in hell because they couldn’t make enough sense of the conflicting teachings to figure out the truth? Or have we misunderstood His intentions, because we have been trying to make sense of scripture, instead of looking to ‘The Word’.

    • God is love. He love ALL of us. He come down to the world as Jesus to manifest His love to the world, to ALL of us, His redemptive work at the cross, paid by his blood to redeem our dead sinful spirit and give us a new spirit ( being born again, a new creation, a NEW creature ) so that we can be reconciled back to Him ( sin separated us from God ) . We by and of ourselves is not capable to save ourselves. He love us so much that He does everything to reach out to us to be reconciled back to Him. We just only need to stretch out our hands to accept and believe by His faith. The trouble is not all are willing to receive His love. He love us ALL while we are yet sinners !
      How awesome is His love that when we received and accepted Him, He even give us in the new spirit ( fruit of the Spirit ) the faith to manifest faith in Him. Awesome God !

      • inhislove // July 29, 2015 at 9:54 pm //

        God does not give you anything without your consent. He is not a rapist He is the Lover.

        The context, simple rules of hermeneutics and His enlightment is the way to correct impression.

        God never lies. He does not and will not do anything contrary to what He said.

        Romans is very clear in this regard when God speaks about faith. Everybody has ability to faith but not everybody believes in the Son unto life.

        Romans 5:10
        For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we will be saved by his life.

        It is clear that both Federal and Evangelical (so called) Calvinism (Inclusionism) is demonic doctrine.

      • Inhislove
        With respect I must disagree; It is only God’s initiative that allows one to love Him. Once He allows us to believe we are eternally saved.

      • inhislove // July 30, 2015 at 9:06 pm //

        In reply to Lewis. Yes, of course, it is only God’s initiative that allows one to love Him. Once He allows us to believe we are eternally saved. But it is not without our consent. It is in harmony with free choice not against it. In theology it is called “concurrence”.

        Genesis 6:3
        Yahweh said, “My Spirit will not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh …”

        Romans 1:19
        because that which is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them.

      • Thanks inhislove,
        I think we will find He enables us to love Him and this is entirely of Him.
        He has to put us right (in our minds) before we can love Him…
        and He will..
        put everyone right.
        Be blessed.

      • Since we are all hardwired for love and acceptance, I hardly see what additional work is required of God. Even the worst sinner needs love and God has it in spades.

      • He has to reveal what is true.
        Can I ask you why did you start to believe His love for you when you did?

      • inhislove // July 31, 2015 at 9:07 am //

        Lewis, try book “Refreshing Grace” from John Correia (it’s on Kindle too).

      • Thanks IHL,
        I will.

  13. everette johnson // June 27, 2015 at 1:04 pm // Reply

    Matthew chapter 25 is still under the law; only the Jews were under the law, as Gentiles, we were never under that dispensation. The four gospels are not only “under the law”, they were presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; Jesus, the Word of God. (Matt. 15:24, Rom. 15:8) We are under the dispensation of the grace of God, not the Gospel of the circumcision. (Gal. 2:7-8, Eph. 3:1-6) Paul is our Apostle, (Rom. 11:13) and he never leads us back to before the Cross. The Gospel of Grace begins “after” the Cross, and does not deal with our old nature, the flesh. (2Cor. 5:16-17) Believers are a “New Creation”; we are complete in Him, and all our sins (past, present, and future) are forgiven. (Col. 2:9-14) Once you are saved, you are finished and sealed in Christ. (Eph. 1:13-14, Col.3:3) Nothing can be added to that, and nothing can be taken away. (Ecc.3:14-15) All that is left for us to do is worship Him, learn of Him, and proclaim his glorious Gospel of Grace.

    • Exactly, now take that thought into the book of Acts (the entire thing) and realize the 40 years of wilderness wanderings for a people of the old covenant. Maybe when one sees that during Acts and during the first century our Father had to wrap up the things that were put up to protect us with the middle wall of partition. The wisdom of setting a people apart for Himself and eventually in ONE man who went to a cross. That that middle wall was torn down at the cross, and that in one body both dispensations are brought in. That the shadow of prophesy ended a long time ago, that the Bride is one thing maybe, and the body of Christ contains the Bride but is more than such. Who knows, deep comment, wish I had more space and thoughts. Everette, feel free to tell us more, dispensational stuff is interesting, but many times it puts up a wall of partition that’s torn down, but there’s so much truth in dispensational stuff when adding “some” preterist stuff to it in my opinion. Studying both views at the same time really raised some amazing questions for me. Who knows…. Most dispensational stuff makes hard and fast judgements and think everything is for our “time”. Maybe that’s half the problem…..

    • PS – Paul Ellis, the discussions here really sharpen me, love the comments much more than the blogs, but the blogs tip of the comments and hopefully the comments go from there. Wish there was a “Forum” here, Paul – have your web guy check into WordPress Forums, if not I can make you one dirt cheap, it’s simply a plugin, and an install, and a link on the nav bar that Google will find and it will work. Would be nice……. Post this please….. Love ya’lll……..

      • I’m glad you enjoy the discussions. Regrettably, I’ve had to delete some of your longer comments, including those that are parcelled-up-over-several-comments, as they violate E2R’s comment policy. This is not a blog so plugins won’t work here. You will find a less restricted option for discussion on E2R’s Facebook page. Thanks.

  14. I understand your argument against inclusion and agree. However, I am convinced that the merits of Christ Jesus will extend to all in due time. Physical death cannot defeat the will of God .. that none should perish. Jesus said He holds the keys of hell and of death. What will He, who willingly died for the vilest sinner do with those keys in eternity. We know that Jesus is far superior to Adam, yet the prevailing theology says that Adam condemned every man and Christ will save only some. We know that God is perfect love .. love never fails .. yet are taught that many will suffer eternal conscious torment.

    As a result of the prevailing theology, I experience severe depression and severe OCD, which I have suffered from for 50 years. Only in the last few years, by believing in the perfect love of God the unfailing merits of Christ have I experience a measure of health.
    I will never again believe in eternal conscious torment and like George McDonald will remain a convinced universalist.

    • Hi David, I agree that death cannot defeat the will of God, but I wonder about the will of man. The gospel that I preach declares that no one will be condemned on account of Adam. In the end everyone gets what their heart desires. This does not make me a universalist. (Nor do I believe in eternal conscious torment.) I echo the words of CS Lewis who said there are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.”

      • Here’s the problem; You say, rightly, that we are saved not by our own decision but then say it is we who decide to exclude ourselves.
        I don’t pretend to understand but if I know anything I know God is an Inclusive God and His solution is going to blow our minds.

      • Thanks, Paul. My believe is that God will be “all in all” without violating the will of man. The scripture says that the gates of the new and eternal city with never be closed (Rev. 21:25). We are also told that every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. This cannot be a “forced” confession, since that would not bring honor and glory to God. Only a willful confession can bring honor and glory to God and we know that no one can cay “Jesus is Lord” without the Spirit of God – hence, every tongue confesses the truth, everyone indwelt by the Spirit of Truth – the Father is completely glorified and NO pitiable creature is tortured without hope and without end (a theology that transform our God of perfect love into the very worst of sinful man – such as Hitler).

    • It is in a sense correct to say physical death cannot overcome God, but it is also irrelevant God defines death and he says we can be physical and be dead, we see a dead person and what overcomes us is the truth all men hide from , they are looking at themselves, both physically and spiritually.The unconverted soul , the soul given up.You say that the will of God is that none should perish, you are correct it is his will that all should find life, he knew before time all that would , and all that would not. And love prevailed , here we all are because of the son or sons of God.

  15. Well I think that the fact that “inclusionism” label itself by the name “evangelical calvinism” explains a lot. Take federal calvinism and change it from limited atonement to universal without correcting the false thinking behind it and you have “inclusionism”. Karl Barth is at the bottom as a lutheran and the difference between reformed and lutheran is especially in their view of the extent of the atonement.

    Love does not overstep the dicision of the man. If God would overstep this dicision he would “relegate man to lower speicie”. He would make him a robot and puppit. That is why the concept of “irresistible grace” is false and federal and evangelical Calvinism is simply false philosophy.

  16. In the parable in Luke 15 the Father loved the Son as much before he returned as after, always totally. The Son’s real self was the one in his Father’s heart (think heavenly man, the inward man, the man born of the Father), the one his Father loved.

    The Father did not regard the self the Son invented in his mind and lived out (think old man, the earthy, born of the flesh) in his quest for separation from his Father. The Father looked right past the self the Son made and waited for him to “come to himself.”

    The process of coming to himself was only complete when he returned to the self the Father had created (think foreknown, predestined, elected). In the parable there was not even a correction required for the self the Son invented and lived out. No show of remorse, no probation, no sacrifice. Only return. When the true was embraced the false was let go. The false was not validated.

    My Father knows me in His heart as who I only ever am, in Him. Until I acknowledge the truth about me it remains hidden from me. Col 3:3. I am not real cause in any given moment, He is. I create only the virtual and try to give it the status that only God can. Trying to give importance to apparent causes (idols) is what salvation corrects.
    To stand against “inclusionism” is effectively to stand for polytheism, saying there are real causes other than One in this present moment. Free will cannot change reality which comes from the Father. It can either agree with reality or play out in the virtual, ie deception (1Jn5.19).
    Is there any sin in the world apart from the sin we have not forgiven? (Jn 20:23)

    • Nice one Gerry

    • Cheers to the comment above in some ways. In HIM is a timeless view, the reality is not found in “frames” of time, the reality is found in a timeless place. We’ll all get there eventually, but many who have been justified and purchased/redeemed may not be saved until things we don’t know much about, and who knows. My “sins” are in Col 3:3, set your minds on Col 3:1-4 and before you do remember what the WORLD IS in the end of Col 2……. Read the book of Acts and set everything after the division of “old” and “new” testament inside the book of Acts. It is hard, none have yet to totally see the difference between the first century and the two thousand tens……. Sure, opinions abound, but we’re all to selfish thinking everything is “for us”. 2 Cor 3 is insane!

    • And the father saw the son that would be before he was what he would be, but to be that he had to be what he was before, and it is for this reason that God allowed and does allow everything. Those lost were never alive they were always lost God saw the end, but without this, the son would not be what he is, and Gods love for this son he saw allowed time, he was with God in the begining,but time will end

  17. Great Article PAUL
    pls do you have any article about …

  18. Thanks for this great post, Paul. Can I receive the posts in my email?

  19. Hi Paul
    Great article. I totally agree with you. But I have one question though: you explain Romans 5:19 by saying that it doesn’t say “all” but “many” will be made righteous. But it also says that “many” were made sinners by the disobedience of Adam. According to your reasoning this would mean that not everyone was made a sinner through Adam’s disobedience?! But this cannot be true. But then it would mean that satan could affect every person wheather they believe it ot not, but Christ could only affect those who believe. Doesn’t look this as if the devil’s work was more successfull? So could you explain me your thoughts about that? Thanks! Btw I absolutely love your posts, it shaped my understanding of grace a lot! I’m so thankful for your revelations! Love from Switzerland

    • Sorry to intrude. I think it helps to put “a lot” for “many” in Romans 5:19. That is the emphasis. That it was a lot of, big amount, not small amount.

    • Romans 5:19 and the word “many”—“By the disobedience of one, MANY (not all) were made sinners”. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23) But! Not all are Israel! As children of Adam, we are all made sinners by his disobedience. But, Israel is convicted of sin by the Law given to God’s own children. “Many” are made sinners (Gentiles), but Israel is a sinner by “choice”. All are sinners, but the Gentiles are “made” sinners, whereas, Israel “chose” to be sinners (not part of the “many made to be sinners”. Something to think about???

  20. Taylormade // June 29, 2015 at 9:50 pm // Reply

    I am a 44 year old who only recently came into the fullness of grace. The old man was a terrible sinner, seeking for 30 years to find the kingdom of God. Tried all the works, got convinced by a pastor to confess my sins to the church and alpha group, it destroyed my life, and nothing changed. When I hit rock bottom a short while ago, the in pouring of understanding, the grace gift, the absolute joy was indescribable. I almost wanted to be furious for being blind for so long but the joy overrode it. Even now when the flesh is crying out for a return to the death road, just closing my eyes and allowing Christ to take the thought captive is so powerful. Makes you want to laugh out loud. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound. The thing is having had 44 years to practice the wrong things, when you become a new creation, that’s when you really need help. I am abiding in Christ, but I dont know what to do next. Any help or suggestions?

    • Yes, keep abiding! Let nothing move you from the love of God.

      • Jennifer // July 1, 2015 at 9:12 am //

        Amen! Especially not condemning thoughts that will come when you stumble. Your behavior does not keep you in the love of God, the finished work of Christ for you guarantees His love will never fail you.

        Remember your feelings don’t matter, it’s what God says that counts. So, enjoy those “highs”, but don’t despair thinking you are less if the lows come.

    • Warren (South Carolina) // June 30, 2015 at 3:37 am // Reply

      Also, to what Paul said to do. . . .transform your your mind and soul by eating, meditating on, and soaking in God’s word (read it, ponder it, ask Holy Spirit to show you and teach you), letting the Holy Spirit make it alive to you.

      Warren (South Carolina)

      p.s. I am still coming out of and being set free from 30 plus years of the religious mindset. . . praise God! This website (ETR) helps!!!

    • Here’s a quote from Phil Drysdale: “When you gaze upon Christ it’s as though you are looking in a mirror – you see your true identity and are transformed.” THIS is the great news that Paul preached. Some churches might tell you it simply isn’t true. What they’re implying is that Jesus didn’t in fact succeed on the cross and in His resurrection. Don’t believe them, Warren! Keep dwelling on the truths of this current covenant and the expiration/fulfilment of the former. You’ll soon identify the teaching of a mixture between the two and quite easily want no part of it. Life in Him, with His righteousness – and all of His characteristics that can’t be shaken off you, no matter what you feel or are told, is brilliant. Confidence, peace and grace becomes the norm. No fear, and wrongdoing becomes simply undesirable.

    • Taylormade…just saw your comment and rejoice with you. As you keep abiding, i would encourage you to write down your thoughts as you study the Word.There is something about seeing them on paper,and it will really help .Read a lot of books by other christians having to do with your interests or situation,but recognize they are not “gospel” just a help to you.The Holy Spirit will lead you. I was saved after starting attending a Christ based 12 step group many years ago and to this day,it is the greatest times I ever had at a church…no pretense or phoniness,just a small group of men who were incredibly grateful for what God had done for them.Hang out with other grateful people. You mentioned the flesh crying out and something that was helpful to me that I learned from my 12 step group to deal with that was the word H.A.L.T. Hungry,Angry,Lonely,Tired. At those times when the flesh is crying out,halt…ask yourself “am i hungry,angry,lonely,tired”?Often times, simply recognizing one of these triggers and getting something to eat,working out,calling or visiting someone(who also may be lonely),or getting some sleep…will get you through. Hope this will help “I will lift up my eyes to the hills-From whence comes my help?My help comes from the Lord,Who made heaven and earth”Psalm 121:1-2

    • @TaylorMade.
      If you happen to read this, do you recommend any resources that help set you free? I know this site has some but do you have any specific ones that “rattled your cage and set you free”? (Anyone else, any suggestions?)
      I’m dying to have joy and peace (permanent) in my life. Just dying.

      • I know a few books that might help. Destined to Reign by Joseph Prince, Classic Christianity by Bob George, Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennen Manning, All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon, Grace: Unmerited Favor by Charles Spurgeon.
        All of them are good but for me the two best ones are Destined to Reign and All of Grace.

      • Anonymous // October 11, 2015 at 8:39 am //

        @ Colleen G.
        Thank you for your suggestions. I will definitely check them out. I am a bit wary about Jospeh Prince though because of how he is often given bad reviews on Amazon for his false doctrine. (But I know this sounds ridiculous for some of you)

      • I have only listened to about 2 sermons of his and Destined to Reign is the only book of his I have read. That being said that specific book is chock full of amazing connections showing from old testament to new how what Jesus did and what God offers us is unlike anything else in scripture. It thoroughly explains the how’s of grace and the new covenant fully backed with scripture.

  21. The parable of the wheat and the tares may be helpful here. Jesus says the wheat are the children of the kingdom sown by God, and tares are the children of the devil. The tares do not become wheat by faith in Jesus. The wheat do not become tares by falling short of any set requirements. All the wheat is gathered into the storehouse at the end of time. All the tares are burned up.

    The wheat and the tares are not people as we think of people. God is not a monster and the devil cannot create people. The devil only produces lies (Jn 8:44).

    There is only one interpretation that fits the parable and the character of God. God created man in and part of himself, spirit (wheat), like himself invisible with awareness and free will. Awareness is our kingdom. When we give awareness to the truth, we experience the kingdom of God, when we give it to the lie we experience the kingdom of the devil.

    When we turn to God (Jesus is God made visible) we identify with the truth, the incorruptible, and know ourselves as children of God (new man, inner man, heavenly man) in God. When we identify with the flesh we know ourselves according to the lie, the corruptible (old man).

    Identification is investment. When the lie is burned up by the consuming fire of truth (God’s presence) we will experience loss of the idol, the lie, the “me” that was never true and never will be.

    The lie never changes the truth. Our truth remains true even when we are hell bent on investing in the lie (Rom 8:29). What God has done eternally is much more than what we imagine we do in time (Rom 5:9,10.15,17,20). We are never the flesh (old man) that is born and dies with the body and in truth never cease to be in God.

    • inhislove // July 1, 2015 at 8:47 am // Reply

      Just to chimp in. The old man already died with Christ. There is no old man. Just the new man.

      “Numerous popular explanations of Paul’s doctrine of the Christian life argue, or assume, that the Apostle distinguishes with these phrases two parts or natures of a person. Following this misguided thinking is the debate as to whether the ‘old nature’ is replaced by the ‘new nature’ at conversion, or whether the “new nature” is added to the old. The interpretation that ‘ho palaios anthropos’ and ‘ho kainos anthropos’ refer to parts is wrong and misleading. These terms rather designate the complete person viewed in the corporate whole to which he or she belongs. Thus these terms are better translated as ‘old person’ and “new person”…The translation “old self” and ‘new self’ is too individualistic, since the idea certainly means the individual Christian (Rom 6:6), but is much more than merely individual. The ‘old person’ is not just the sin nature, which was judged at the Cross and to which is added a ‘new person’. The ‘old person’ is what believers were ‘in Adam’ (in the old era). The ‘old’ points to everything connected with the fall of humanity and with the subjection to the distress and death of a transitory life, separated from God. The ‘new person’ is what believers are ‘in Christ’ (in the new era). Paul directs us to the completely new, to the salvation and healing that believers receive when they are crucified with Christ and raised with him.” (I hope it does not exceed the 250 limit)

  22. Paul, Great post. There are so many that profess Christ as their savior but still strive daily to “become more righteous” through all their sin management programs and introspection not knowing or refusing to believe that if they are in Christ, then he has made them fully righteous. What Christ has placed on the inside of us manifest itself on the outside by faith in what Jesus has done and beholding Him and not our efforts. Our only work in this manner is to believe! Thank you Paul for the great message.

    • Yeah, that becoming more righteous is the small g gospel of “sanctification” one can spend a year or two exploring. In Christ Jesus, the Spirit, you’re made the righteousness of God once for all time in Heb 10:2 and Rom 6:2-3. TB, your’ focus is on the above, outside of the flesh, in a timeless place, your focus TB is in Col 3:1-4 with that comment. Just thought I would add some scripture to your’ amazing comment that truly is Romans 8:2 – for the law of the Spirit of the life in Christ Jesus did set me free from the law of the sin and of the death;

      TB – Thanks for your comment, you truly are sanctified/set apart. Am sure you’re aware but something called LS is the bad news of sanctification. If you want more info message me and I’ll send you a few hundred links to work on the MIND with.

  23. Great article Paul. I agree with the article. Those who don’t are operating in reasoning and emotions and not the clear Word of God. Francois rewrote portions of the New Covenant Epistles to promote his presupposed view of inclusionism.

    • inhislove // July 1, 2015 at 7:05 pm // Reply

      Yes that’s right. On the other hand there are very good points and in his translation. But he lost me when I found out he let part of the scripture intentionally out because it does not fit his understanding (1Cor 11:3-17). When you start to butcher the Bible, something is wrong.

      Seems to me that this whole idea of “inclusionism” is just taking the true grace outside of context (outside of Christ). It is true in Christ. Not outside of Him. To be “in Christ” is Paul’s favorite term when he speaks about born-again people, people of God.

      I think Paul wrote very good study notes about “inclusionism” and he touched and elaborated upon many interesting points.

      What is also interesting to me is their (“inclusion promoters”) desperate attempt to bring this idea to a side of orthodoxy by coopting many historical figures and so called “widely acclaimed” theologians.

  24. inhislove // July 1, 2015 at 8:33 pm // Reply

    Sorry to jump in. “Saving faith” – here lies the whole issue. Clearly saving faith is not some “work” of ours. Faith is actually “anti work”. Some explain that faith is not meritorious. But there something called “concurrence”, meaning God saves every one that concures with that, never “against their will”. I like so called “ambulatory model of salvation” for example used by John Correia in his book “Refreshing Grace”.

    “However, just like a patient can refuse to accept transport to the hospital, so a sinner can refuse to allow Christ to save them.”

    He who rejects me, and doesn’t receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day. (John 12:48)

  25. inhislove // July 1, 2015 at 8:56 pm // Reply

    Amen to that! Well said. So here it goes again, mixed gospel.

  26. I would like to toss this possiblity out here for consideration: is hell solely an instrument of the Law? We know the Law condemns sin and sinners, but what good is served if It did not have any teeth to enforce its condemnations? Imagine a court system which condemned a man to jail, but had no jail into which to toss him? Where would bailiffs/police/sheriffs put them? This was a very real issue during the period of the Judges in Israel: all their punishments of lawbreakers were administrative, not involving long periods of confinement or extended punishment. Death. Beatings. Amputations. The people who actually were confined for any period of time were not the guilty, but the Innocent who accidentally killed someone and had to flee to a city of Refuge to avoid an unjust death penalty administered by the slain person’s kinsman (Legally!). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus preached Law to the max, and backed it up with the threat of violators being thrown into Hell. No hell, no teeth to the Law. If Jesus’ atoning death would have included all sin, it would have included the sins he preached about committed before the Cross as well as after. He didn’t preach inclusionism, because they would have to believe in a sacrifice that hadn’t taken place yet (God is not bound by time, but humans are). Jesus’ message was “repent and believe the Gospel”, while inclusionism says “no belief in the Gospel necessary.”

    • You may be interested in this post where I talk about how hell being the punchline to the bad news of the law.

    • I think the biggest problem in relation to Hell – lake of fire, is when people ignore the fact that it was originally designed for satan and demons. Existence of evil is the greatest reason for the necessity of Hell.

  27. Thanks Paul for your boldness to speak the truth of the gospel. As you know this inclusion philosophy has been around for quite sometime. There is nothing new under the sun. If all are already righteous how and when did the lost (or those who have not received His free gift of grace), receive the gift of righteousness? If they never “awaken” to the “reality” that they are already righteous, already adopted into the Family of God, and already indwelt by the Spirit what is their end? Can saved people now be lost? So there is no eternal security in inclusion. This is why many of the teachers of inclusion have morphed into straight universalism and/or ultimate reconciliation.

  28. Warren Murray (South Carolina) // July 5, 2015 at 4:24 am // Reply

    Father (Papa), please continue to give your wisdom and grace to Paul, as he responds in Your love to represent You truthfully and clearly, to those of us still in darkness and captivity.
    Warren (South Carolina)

  29. The scripture says, blessed are the merciful. And yet we misinterpret the word to believe God is not merciful or faithful. Through faith and by faith. We had not received mercy, and then we received mercy. The second death (in Christ) we cannot die again. So we do not get to make it to the lake (water,multitudes of people) of fire (Jesus) God is a consuming fire. We were baptised with the Holy Spirit and fire. All will be salted with fire. Tounges of fire fell upon the apostles in their baptism. My goodness. What have we come to believe . I am an inclusionist. I do not believe that everyone is in Christ, born again. But I believe that at the end of ages, after a baptisim in the lake of fire, every knee will bow and call on the name of the Lord. By the same birth we received. Not forced, but by a revelation in the Holy Spirit. His mercy endures forever. Your focus is not on his mercy, his faith, Jesus, but as usual by the self righteous, on man. There is not one good, no one can choose Him, and after our new birth, totally inadequate without Him and can do nothing without him, as the scripture says. But, ignore that and tell him, it’s up to you bro. He is only merciful and faithful if you play your part.

  30. I thank God for this forum and for all the thoughts shared. If we take the word of God as it is without addition or subtracting, God has made His will so plain. He didnt make man as robot but gave him free will to choose. 1) when God created Adam and Eve He said eat freely of all the trees in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, man chose to disobey God which led to the fall of man. 2) In Gen.6&7, the story of Noah when he built an Ark because he believed God’s warning that flood would destroy the earth, he preached to people to enter but they didn’t believe so they perished (only him and family were saved). 3) Num. 21 tells us that the Israelites in the wilderness sinned and God allowed snake to bite them but when Moses cried to God he was asked to make a bronze serpent and anyone bitten by snake should look up at the bronze serpent and they lived. 4) Jesus came and said in Jn.3:15&16, if anyone believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. All the examples above didn’t indicate that God is not loving, rather they tell me how loving, kind and merciful He is. Believing in His son Jesus is key to having eternal life. Keep up the good work bro. Paul.

  31. I wrote this with this the topic at in hand in the only way i know how to see me father and the rest of the human race.. My father is created all me in his image. That image no matter what can never be truly tarnished..

  32. This subject has troubled me at times and the above is pretty clear faith in Christ.
    But I also think passages like Acts 10:28
    He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.
    Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the World.

    No ones unclean because that’s been moped up but not all are Righteousness of God.
    And it does say All have died.

    But As stated above when you believe you are sealed with the Holy Spirit.
    Faith Righteousness

    What do you think about mankind been cleaned 2000yrs ago but faith in Christ declares you Righteousness of God?

    • Some use Acts 10:28 verse to say humanity is holy or righteous, but that’s not the issue being addressed. Acts 10:28 is about doing away with an old covenant bit of prejudice. Peter says, “You know how unlawful… but…” In other words, the old covenant says bacon is bad and Gentiles are bad, but the old covenant has been rendered obsolete by a new and better covenant. So if you wish to eat bacon burgers with Basil the Brazilian, that’s perfectly fine. What’s not fine is calling Basil a filthy foreign swine, because that’s not how God rolls. The old covenant is racist, but Jesus is not.

      Regarding the issue of whether “all died with Christ” please see this post.

    • If I can chimp in. The context of Acts 10:28 is about the jews and gentiles issue. Because of the Cross “the middle wall of partion” no longer exists. Before that you had to be or become a jew to be saved. Now there is no separation and all can be saved, nor just jews but gentiles also. The Good News is for everybody. 1John 2:2

  33. Warren (South Carolina, USA) // December 14, 2015 at 1:49 am // Reply

    “Thank You Father for the righteousness You have provided for me through the blood of Your Son Jesus.”

    Just my “sinner’s prayer” and Saint Paul probably has a shorter one.

    Warren (South Carolina, USA)

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