SOMETHING TO REFRESH YOUR #FAITH | #christian #Jesus #discipleship #christianliving #salvation #evangelism #teaching #heresy #biblestudy #theology #baptism #sin |

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Evidence For Forgiveness Of Sins By Faith And Not Works Like Baptism

This document has been written in response to the legalistic heterodoxy I recently encountered that states that: “…our sins are forgiven only upon baptism.”. This article begins by confronting the initial misunderstanding and then provides clarification on how we actually obtain the forgiveness of our sins by faith in Jesus. Following that, I give reasons why the heterodoxy of thinking that our sins are forgiven only upon baptism does not correlate with our post-resurrection era of grace and is an attempt to bring us back to the Law of Moses and why this is not desirable. After that, I explain what grace is, why it’s important for the forgiveness of our sins and I put forward arguments against the forgiveness of sins being earnable through works such as baptism. The latter part of this article is focused on equipping, showing the reader how individuals can achieve forgiveness of their sins through faith, made possible by grace and concludes with an explanation of key scriptures related to the topic.

We Obtain Forgiveness Of Our Sins Through Our Faith In Jesus

We are saved through “faith” in Jesus and this is made possible by “grace”. Our sins are not forgiven at baptism, as this would mean that an individual has to do an action to earn their salvation and salvation cannot be earned. Salvation is not transactional like the Law of Moses. The whole point of Grace is that it is unmerited favour from God, which is transformational as opposed to the transactional like the Law of Moses. If you have not grasped this you have totally misunderstood the Bible, misplaced yourself amongst the Godhead and you do not understand what Jesus did on the cross. This is basic Christianity 101 and all Christians should have a firm grasp on this concept not only for your own information but also so you can teach and educate other Christians who do not have a full understanding of this revelation from the Lord (Bradley 2019, i)

You are justified/saved/forgiven through faith ONLY. Your baptism, although it is a command, comes as a desire to live out of your faith. The heresy of salvation through baptism in the cult I encountered arose from their leaderships misunderstanding of the NIV translation of verses pertaining to baptism such as:

(Acts 2:38 NIV) “[38] Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

This does not mean that your sins are forgiven at baptism, it is saying that you repent then get baptised as a public sign that you believe that through your belief in Jesus, confession of your sins to Jesus and your repentance to Jesus, your sins are forgiven.
Only Jesus can forgive sins not your actions qualifying you for forgiveness. If your actions could qualify you then there would have been no need for Jesus to die and the Law of Moses would have been enough to save you. We see from Galatians that that is not the case:

(Galatians 2:16, 21 NIV) “[16] know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. … [21] I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!””

Clearly the above verse alone disproves any notion that salvation can be earned by works of any kind. It says we are justified by faith. Let us discuss further what it means to be “justified by faith”.

Justified By Faith

When we use the term, “justified by faith” what we mean is that we are made right, (atoned) with God, by our faith in Jesus and not our actions. Abraham, the forerunner of all Christians was justified by his FAITH, not by his actions. His actions were brought about by his faith, look what Romans says:

(Romans 4:3-4, 13-16 NIV) “[3] What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” [4] Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. … [13] It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. [14] For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, [15] because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. [16] 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 have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.”

The promise of salvation and the forgiveness of your sins comes by FAITH not a law like “you must receive baptism” for our sake because not everyone would be able to fulfil it. Think about it, baptism cannot be the thing that means that your sins are forgiven because some people do not have a sufficient source of water due to poverty and drought. If being baptised is when your sins are forgiven poor people who can’t afford water/water is scarce/dry wells will never have their sins forgiven, only rich/middle class people, (who can afford to waste water), will go to heaven.

Jesus can forgive your sins before baptism, take Luke 23:39-43, Matthew 9:1-6, Luke 7:47-48 Jesus just forgave those people, they didn’t get baptised first).

(Luke 23:39-43 NIV) “[39] One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” [40] But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? [41] We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” [42] Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” [43] Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.””

Jesus forgave him without him being baptized, he didn’t get the chance to be baptized as he died before he could get baptized, after believing in Jesus. Let’s look at another example in Matthew:

(Matthew 9:1-8 NIV) “[1] Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. [2] Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” [3] At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” [4] Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? [5] Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? [6] But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” [7] Then the man got up and went home. [8] When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.”

Jesus forgave that man of his sins without him getting baptized. Jesus also said that He has the authority to forgive sins. Why are we trying to strip Jesus of His own authority of forgiving sins, by saying that there are other man made things that you have to do before achieving salvation? This next example is quite important:

(Luke 7:47-50 NIV) “[47] Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” [48] Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” [49] The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” [50] Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.””

Look what Jesus said; it was the woman’s faith in Him that led to her salvation not something that she did, her actions were informed by her faith but her salvation was only received at the point of faith.

Saying that your sins are only forgiven upon baptism is dangerous heterodoxy that has come about by gotten caught up in legalistic semantics, making a human idea fit on to Gods word. Therefore, missing the point and complete mercy of the grace of God. It’s God who calls us not the other way round (Still 2019).

It is the “Grace” of God that allows us the opportunity to receive salvation, if we have “faith” in Jesus. Faith is belief, it is not an action, it is a feeling or a conviction and has nothing to do obeying a law. It is merely a transaction as opposed to a transformation.

Legalistic Thinking

Let’s just confront the elephant in the room. God didn’t always express a deep fondness for the Law of Moses. God always preferred humans to have faith and to love one another, look at what God said in Isaiah:

(Isaiah 1:11-17 NIV) “[11] “The multitude of your sacrifices–what are they to me?” says the LORD. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. [12] When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? [13] Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations–I cannot bear your worthless assemblies. [14] Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. [15] When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood! [16] Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. [17] Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”

The same sentiment is reiterated in Jeremiah:

(Jeremiah 7:22-23 NIV) “[22] For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, [23] but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.”

Again in Hosea:

(Hosea 6:6 NIV) “[6] For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”

Then in Amos:

(Amos 5:21-24 NIV) “[21] “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. [22] Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. [23] Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. [24] But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”

Then Micah:

(Micah 6:6-8 NIV) “[6] With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? [7] Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? [8] He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Lastly, if it’s not clear enough that God did not care for the law, we are taught in Hebrews that Jesus himself expressed God’s dissatisfaction with a legal, transactional salvation:

(Hebrews 10:5-8 NIV) “[5] Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; [6] with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. [7] Then I said, ‘Here I am–it is written about me in the scroll–I have come to do your will, my God.’ ” [8] First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”–though they were offered in accordance with the law.”

So why did God ever give us the law? Well, as we see in Romans, it was just necessary to show US how sinful humans are and how much we need God as it says in Romans:

(Romans 3:20-22 NIV) “[20] Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. [21] But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. [22] This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,”

When the law was followed it didn’t mean anything to God unless their hearts were right. God wants faith, love and obedience above everything else, like it says in Psalms:

(Psalm 50:7-15 NIV) “[7] “Listen, my people, and I will speak; I will testify against you, Israel: I am God, your God. [8] I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me. [9] I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, [10] for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. [11] I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. [12] If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it. [13] Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats? [14] “Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, [15] and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.””

We make a mockery of Jesus’ death when we think that we need to add anything to the gospel and do any special actions other than believe that Jesus can forgive our sins in order to receive the forgiveness of our sins. If we needed to do extra things to receive forgiveness then Jesus’ sacrifice was not enough and this does not align with what the scriptures clearly say:

(Hebrews 9:9-12 NIV) “[9] … the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. [10] They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings–external regulations applying until the time of the new order. [11] But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. [12] He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.”

If the bible says in the above verse that Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins, once and that action was enough to ensure the forgiveness of our sins who are we to say otherwise? Physical actions such as baptism and any actions prescribed in the Law of Moses (See Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) were never enough to cleanse, they only dealt with the outside. This idea is reiterated later on in this chapter of Hebrews:

(Hebrews 9:24-28 NIV) “[24] For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. [25] Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. [26] Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. [27] Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, [28] so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

Again, it makes it clear here that Jesus’ death and resurrection was enough and belief in Jesus and repentance all you need. Jesus did this one time, for all and it does not need to be added to by humans, by saying you need baptism to have your sins forgiven. Beliefs like that take us back to the Law. Look what it says in Romans about the Law:

(Romans 3:19-28 NIV) “[19] Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. [20] Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. [21] But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. [22] This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, [23] for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, [24] and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. [25] God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood–to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished– [26] he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. [27] Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. [28] For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.”

To believe that your sins are only forgiven when you are baptised is to resurrect the Law of Moses and we are not living under that now, we are living under grace. The Law was never designed to sanctify you anyway; it was just designed to show you how sinful you were. Following Jesus’ death and resurrection what the bible advocates for the forgiveness of sins is Faith made possible by “grace”.

Lastly, when it comes to any kind of ceremonial washing, such as baptism, we need to remember what Jesus said to the Pharisees when they confronted Him on this issue:

(Matthew 23:25-26 NIV) “[25] “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. [26] Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”

Here Jesus shows that external washing does not make a difference to the inside. It is an internal transformation of faith and love, aided by grace that makes the outside clean.

What is Grace?

Let’s have a look at Grace for further understanding. The classic definition of Grace is that God’s grace is unmerited favor. Grace means that God showered favor and blessing on those who did not in any way deserve or earn it. They deserved God’s judgment and wrath but He showed them favor. (Cole 2019).

The best way to look at this revelation is to look at it like you are looking at a two-sided coin. On the one side of the coin the grace of God is the “unmerited favour and mercy” of God and as mentioned earlier, we are saved by “grace” through our faith in Jesus Christ. The second definition of the word grace, which will be the other side of this same coin, is that the grace of God is referring to the divine life, power and ability of God flowing and operating through us (Bradley 2019, i)

Why Is Grace Important For The Forgiveness Of Sins?

The first definition of grace is what this article is concerned with, the idea that God created an opportunity for our sins to be forgiven through Jesus’ death and resurrection. This opportunity is something that we did not deserve, it was something that we could not go through and it is certainly something that we can never earn. Initially, sin was dealt with through the law, as mentioned earlier but now we have an opportunity to have salvation through faith because of God’s grace.

To understand why grace was necessary we need to go back to the beginning of the bible. If we look at what happened to humanity in the beginning we would come to the conclusion that the truth of the matter is that every human after Adam is dead in her or his trespasses and sins. Paul explains this to the Church at Ephesus, as follows:

(Ephesians 2:1-3 NIV) “[1] As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, [2] in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. [3] All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.”.

And Paul goes on to give us great news:

(Ephesians 2:4-10, 14-15 NIV) “[4] But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, [5] made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. [6] And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, [7] in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. [8] For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– [9] not by works, so that no one can boast. [10] For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. … [14] For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, [15] by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace,”

There was a time, after Adam and Eve first sinned, that God’s law was expanded into more than 600 things that the people could and could not do. The people could not obey these laws and at one point God wiped out all of mankind because they were so evil. He saved only Noah and his family because Noah was righteous in God’s eyes. Even after Noah, man continued to disobey and because God’s chosen people, Israel (the Jewish people), rejected God’s eternal plan of salvation, it was offered to the Gentiles (those who are not Jewish). Paul writes about this in his letter to the Church at Rome:

(Romans 11:30-32 NIV) “[30] Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, [31] so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. [32] For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”(Williams 2019)

It is not that God’s grace is missing from the Old Testament. No one was saved in the Old Testament apart from God’s grace but John 1:17 shows the contrast between the two terms of engagement between God and humans in the two testaments:

(John 1:17 NIV) “[17] For the law was given through Moses [Old Testament*]; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ [New Testament*].”

*Note added by author of this article.

This is because:

(John 3:17-18 NIV) “[17] For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. [18] Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”(Cole 2019)

If you think that your sins are forgiven only at baptism it shows that you do not believe that Jesus alone has the power to forgive sins and you don’t understand Grace. It clearly says here that anyone who believes in Jesus is not condemned. What’s another word for believe? It’s faith, so to reiterate, your sins are forgiven in your faith in Jesus, that Jesus has the power to forgive sins, which is why we go to Jesus and ask Jesus forgiveness of our sins and that is enough. This opportunity to be forgiven is called Grace.

Can Grace Be Earned?

This opportunity to receive salvation just by faith due to the grace of God means that grace is available to all. Instead of only just those who have the ability to waste water and be baptized.

Paul says that the appearance of God’s grace brought “salvation to all men.” The KJV and the NIV err by translating that God’s grace has appeared to all men. That never has been true, in that there have always been many that have never heard of God’s grace in Jesus Christ.

Paul means that God’s grace that appeared in the person of Christ offers salvation to all that hear of it. In the context, Paul has just spoken of various groups: older men, older women, younger women, younger men, and slaves. So when he goes on to say that God’s grace brings salvation to all men, he means, “to all types of people, including those whom the world despises, even to slaves.” No one is beyond the reach of God’s grace.

This does not mean that all people are saved or will be saved. The Bible is uniformly clear that there are two separate final destinations for all people. Those who by God’s grace have the faith to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior will go to heaven. Those who do not believe in Christ will pay the penalty of eternal separation from God in hell.

But the good news of God’s grace is that no sinner is beyond the reach of God’s grace. The apostle Paul was a persecutor of the church. He called himself the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:13, 15). But he experienced God’s grace through the cross. If the chief of sinners found mercy, so can you! (Cole 2019).

The idea that you have to do anything extra other than believe that Jesus can forgive your sins in order to achieve the forgiveness of your sins, like getting baptized or being circumcised is pharisaical heterodoxy that comes from adding human ideas and mixing them with the pure gospel.

God’s pure grace gets polluted from two sides. On the one side, grace runs counter to the way the world works, so it is difficult for us to grasp it and get used to it. The world works on a transactional meritocratic system. If you do well in school, you get good grades and win awards. If you do well in sports, you make the team and get applause. If you get into university, the merit system continues to reward excellence. This carries over into the business world after university. Exceptional performance earns promotions and raises. Sloppy performance will get you fired.

In the spiritual realm, all of the world’s religions, except for biblical Christianity, work on the merit system. Even the major branches of Christianity, the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church teach a system of meritocratic-salvation, where you have to add your works to what Christ did on the cross in order to go to heaven.

This merit system of salvation permeates the public mind. Ask anyone on the street his opinion of how a person gets into heaven and you will hear something about being a good person. It was at the heart of pharisaic, legalistic religion in the times of Jesus and Paul (Willams 2019).

We see time and time again Paul rebuffing these ideas that you have to add something extra other than faith to the gospel in order to receive forgiveness. Take the issue of circumcision for example.

(Genesis 17:11 NIV) “[11] You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.”

(John 7:22 NIV) “[22] Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath.”

Some Jewish converts to Christianity were telling the Gentiles (non-Jews) that they had to get circumcised (a prescription of the Law of Moses) in order to receive salvation. Paul rebuffed this saying:

(Romans 4:9-13 NIV) “[9] Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. [10] Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! [11] And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. [12] And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. [13] It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.”

We see here that Paul is saying that Abraham’s circumcision was a sign that he was justified by his faith and that justification came before the action not after. In the same fashion Baptism is a sign that you are justified by faith and that justification/sanctification and forgiveness of sins came before you were dunked in water not after.

Again, Paul discusses the issue of Pharisaical individuals trying to pollute the concept of grace in Galatians stating:

(Galatians 3:2-6 NIV) “[2] I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? [3] Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? [4] Have you experienced so much in vain–if it really was in vain? [5] So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? [6] So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.””

This is true, we begin by faith and then some people who misunderstand the Gospel and what Jesus’ death and resurrection meant for us and insist that there is another step or so that we need to do in order to achieve forgiveness. This is not true and I ask the same metaphorical questions that Paul asked. Did you receive the Gospel, miracles and the Holy Spirit by going through an action or did you receive those things by FAITH?

Let’s see further examples from Galatians regarding obtaining salvation through any other action other than faith.

(Galatians 3:8-12, 14, 18-19, 21-24 NIV) “[8] Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” [9] So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. [10] For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” [11] Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” [12] The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” … [14] He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. … [18] For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. [19] Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. … [21] Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. [22] But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. [23] Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. [24] So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.”

We see that we are justified through faith. The opportunity to be justified through faith is called Grace. We also see that if we live by the law and if we could achieve salvation through the law we are also forced to face the consequences of the law and we make God a liar because the promise given to Abraham would be nullified:

(Galatians 3:14-18 NIV) “[14] He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. [15] Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. [16] The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. [17] What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. [18] For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.”

So if you could achieve forgiveness of sins, through a law like “you must be baptised” then we make out God to be a liar because God promised that the righteous would live by faith:

(Habakkuk 2:4 NIV) “[4] “See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright–but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness–“

Every step of the way the bible talks about belief being and faith being synonymous with salvation:

(John 3:31-36 NIV) “[31] The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. [32] He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. [33] Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. [34] For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. [35] The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. [36] Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”

We also condemn ourselves to the consequences of the law because if you don’t fulfil it there are consequences. So if you are not able to get baptised you will never have your sins forgiven. However, if we live by faith, we will be able to partake in the promise of an inheritance of the Spirit and become true children of Abraham and receive justification, salvation and forgiveness of our sins through Jesus.
The opportunity to receive this promise is called Grace. Which as we have seen, cannot be earned, it is only achieved through faith and not works. The patriarch of Christianity, Abraham, was justified through his faith before any of the works, that confirmed his faith, took place.

How To Receive Forgiveness Of Sins Through Grace

Everyone loves receiving gifts but for a gift to be yours, you must accept it. When you believe the truth of the gospel – that Jesus died for your sins, was buried according to the Scriptures and was raised again on the third day and that by believing this, accepting Jesus as your saviour and asking Jesus for forgiveness of your sins – according to the Scriptures, you are guaranteed eternal life and you receive the gift. God seals your name in the Lambs Book of Life and leaves the Holy Spirit as the Promise that Jesus will return to redeem you into eternal life with Him and His Father in Heaven. Your death sentence is lifted and you are no longer condemned. One bible passage to study about the results of this salvation include: John 3:16-18:

(John 3:16-18 NIV) “[16] For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. [17] For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. [18] Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

Grace does not mean that we may now do things that displease the Lord. Under the Law we saw death and we were bound as a slave to that Law. Under grace we have freedom through the leading of the Spirit. We needed the Law to convince us of our personal need of a Saviour (Gal 3:23-26).

(Galatians 3:23-26 NIV) “[23] Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. [24] So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. [25] Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. [26] So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,”

Under grace we are no longer focused on the “dos” and “don’t”, rather, when we follow the Spirit we always do what pleases God (Willams 2019).

Key Bible Verses On Grace And Faith

There are key verses that Christians can study that have to do with our own personal salvation in the Lord. Each one of these are verses have to do with the classic definition of grace – which is that grace is the unmerited favour and mercy of God towards mankind. This mercy is what allows us to have the forgiveness of our sins and justification through FAITHin Jesus, not through some kind of extra activity.

These verses provide an overview of exactly what our eternal salvation in the Lord is really all about. If you can grasp what the Lord is trying to tell you in these specific verses, you will then be able to walk away with a much better and clearer understanding as to who you really are in your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and exactly how you were saved in the first place.

This is a list of the verses together, highlighting the key words and phrases in these verses so you can see exactly what God is trying to show you.

  1. (Ephesians 2:8 NIV) “[8] For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–“

  2. (2 Timothy 1:8-9 NIV) “[8] So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. [9] He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,”

  3. (Romans 11:6 NIV) “[6] And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”

  4. (Romans 5:1-2 NIV) “[1] Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, [2] through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.”

  5. (Titus 2:11 NIV) “[11] For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.”

  6. (Acts 15:11 NIV) “[11] No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.””

  7. (Ephesians 2:4-8 NIV) “[4] But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, [5] made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. [6] And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, [7] in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. [8] For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–“

  8. (Titus 3:7 NIV) “[7] so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

  9. (Romans 3:22-26 NIV) “[22] This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, [23] for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, [24] and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. [25] God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood–to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished– [26] he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

  10. (John 1:17 NIV) “[17] For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

  11. (2 Thessalonians 2:16 NIV) “[16] May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,”

  12. (Ephesians 1:7-8 NIV) “[7] In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace [8] that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,”

  13. (Romans 5:15 NIV) “[15] But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!”

  14. (Ephesians 1:4-6 NIV) “[4] For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love [5] he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will– [6] to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”

  15. (Romans 5:20-21 NIV) “[20] The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, [21] so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

  16. (Galatians 2:21 NIV) “[21] I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!””

The first thing to pick up from these verses is that our personal salvation in the Lord is not earned by any type of good works that we can do in this life – no matter how many good works we may end up doing and no matter how good and holy those works may end up being, like baptism. The quantity and quality of our works for the Lord do not matter to Him.

The very first verse:

  1. (Ephesians 2:8 NIV) “[8] For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–“

is the absolute number one verse on exactly how we are to receive eternal salvation from the Lord. This verse specifically tells us, without any other possible spin or interpretation you can possibly put on it, that our individual personal salvation –which is the forgiveness of our sins and our atonement to God – can only be received by “grace” through our personal faith in Jesus Christ.

This first verse and the two that follow right after it, specifically state that our eternal salvation is simply received by grace through faith – not by any type of works/actions.

  1. (Ephesians 2:8 NIV) “[8] For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–“

  2. (2 Timothy 1:8-9 NIV) “[8] So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. [9] He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,”

  3. (Romans 11:6 NIV) “[6] And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”

The first verse tells us that our eternal salvation is a direct, free gift from God and “not of works.” The second verse once again says that God has saved us through His grace and not “according to our works”. The third verse then really hammers this point home when it literally shouts out that both grace and works cannot save us. It says if we are saved by grace, then works has no part in our salvation whatsoever. You cannot have this revelation both ways. If we are saved by grace, which we are, then works has absolutely no part in our personal salvation with the Lord. It’s all Him and none of us. The first verse says that being saved by grace through our faith in Jesus all comes direct from God and that it is “not from yourselves” because it is direct from God!

As simple as this revelation is to fully grasp and understand, there are still some Christians who are walking around thinking that they still have to try and earn their way into heaven by doing as many good and holy works as they possibly can or by being baptized. As a result, they spend most of their life in misery and torment, as they never know for sure if they will make it into heaven after they die and “cross over”.

The first set of verses above are an absolute top priority for any newborn Christian or any unbeliever you may be witnessing to. Bottom line – eternal salvation, that is the forgiveness of your sins and atonement to God is received direct from the Lord as a free gift and it can only be received by grace through our personal faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross.

Salvation is simply just a matter of believing – and then accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour once you are ready to admit that you are truly a sinner in need of a personal Saviour to save you from your sins.

I am going to highlight some of the key phrases in the above verses so you can see how the Lord is really trying to drive home the point that we can only be saved by and through His grace.

  • For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith
  • He has saved us…because of his own purpose and grace
  • …we have gained access by faith into this grace
  • For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people
  • …justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
  • …through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved,
  • …it is by grace you have been saved
  • …having been justified by his grace
  • …justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
  • grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope
  • In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

Notice in every single one of these key phrases the word “grace” is specifically being used in reference to our own personal salvation in Jesus. With the basic definition of the word “grace” being “unmerited favour,” there can be no question that the forgiveness of our sins and atonement to God can only be received by God’s grace through our faith in His Son Jesus.

No amount of works or baptism, no matter how good and holy we think baptism and good works may be, will ever be good enough to ensure our sins are forgiven by our Lord Jesus Christ.

They have no place in our personal salvation with the Lord – and they have absolutely no place when working with an unsaved person in an effort to try and get them saved. God has made accepting His free gift of eternal salvation/forgiveness of sins through His Son Jesus Christ as easy possible.

These Scripture verses are as clear as they can possibly be on this issue (Bradley 2019, ii).

Concluding Remarks

It is the personal opinion of this author that teaching salvation through any means other than faith is a dangerous heterodoxy that is going to leave Christians and early converts confused.

It diminishes the power of Jesus by assuming that God needs help to forgive our sins by an extra action.

It diminishes the suffering of Jesus by assuming that Jesus’ death and resurrection was not good enough for the absolution of our sins and this is a painful insult to Jesus.

It puts man on the same level of the Godhead by assuming that salvation is only achieved when we are baptised, as it is man that baptises us, therefore, man and not God completes the final step of salvation.

It makes assumptions that diminish the meaning and power of Jesus.

It makes Christianity and righteousness transactional instead of transformative.

It also ignores what the rest of the bible says about salvation, which is feckless.

It is also a Eurocentric if not racist reading of the bible, as it elevates the English translation and understanding provided in one version of the English bible, above the original Greek text, (I did not go into this issue in this article).

It recklessly creates a doctrine that is based on only one verse in the bible as opposed to taking in the whole bible in context.

It also creates further mental and physical barriers between humans and God, as not everyone has access to water that they can waste, also, some people like the disabled may not be able to be baptised at all or easily and they will be excluded and never achieve the forgiveness of their sins.

It focuses on acts to achieve righteousness as opposed to faith as the bible says.

It also makes God to be a liar because it nullifies all of the promises that humans would live and be justified by faith and that we would all be children of Abraham’s by faith and as we know, God cannot lie.

It generally takes focus away from Jesus and His power.

It also brings Christianity away from Christ and into the realm of the occult because it is at odds with clear and plain instruction in the bible.

Finally, it forms a barrier to people developing a sense of humility, something that God desires. This is because an individual would have felt that they “earned” their salvation through baptism, completely missing the fact that salvation is something that we do not deserve, we cannot earn and we can never thank Jesus enough, understanding this situates our minds and spirits correctly in a place of humility and thankfulness before God, fully understanding God’s overwhelming mercy.

I have been a Christian for many years and I have been in Christian leadership and Christian study for many years and frankly, searching the scriptures, I cannot say with any certainty that anyone teaching or propagating this heterodoxy will go to heaven. God will have mercy on whomever God will but what we do know is that it says in the scriptures that the teachers, the ones who are in charge of teaching Christian doctrine, well… they will be judged more harshly.

(James 3:1 NIV) “[1] Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

For those of you who made it to the bottom here is a music video that sums up this entire article:

Catherine x

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[VIDEO] Update on my #PhD as well as an explanation of last weeks #educational resource | #Christianity #PhDlife #freelance #youtube

Don’t know what happened to this post but it all got deleted!

hah hah here’s the video again!

Here the resource I was talking about: www.catherinewaithe-arnold.com/free-church-smallgroup-educational-resource-a-good-tool-to-really-makes-you-think

Catherine x

I’M WORKING ON #NEWMUSIC ! #np #soundcloud #hiphop #composer #freelancer #musician #music teacher #phdlife

Hey everybody!

So I’m working on a song for my PhD project. This song is basically about the conversation I had with Jesus whilst I was on my hospital bed when I had to take time out from my studies.
Here’s a snippet of what I’m up to enjoy!

Listen to Work in Progress – Hip-Hop (follow this link or play in the embedded player below)

Love Catherine x

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Guess where I am! On a #date with #Jesus #cheekynandos

A post shared by Catherine Waithe-Arnold (@catherinewaithe.arnoldmusic) on

#New Ways To #Pray #Christian #Jesus

Hello everybody,

A short one today I’m v. busy. Two days ago I was very tired after doing a lot and praying a lot. So when it came to bedtime prayers I was very tired. (Every morning I pray and read the Bible before getting out of bed and every night I pray and read the Bible before I go to sleep).

So I decided that that night I would try something different as I was exhausted physically and emotionally. I invited Jesus to come and sit on the bed with me and listen to Christian music with me. Music that I wrote actually and just meditated on the lyrics, what they mean, what I can do better, how can I use these, the themes, reflecting on my relationship with Jesus, where we have been and asking Jesus questions.

I found it refreshing just to meditate in Jesus’ presence. The stress just washed off me and I don’t remember when I fell asleep! 

Try it. Put on some Christian music, if you write Christian music and it’s recorded put it on! Invite God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit to come and sit with you, meditate on God, ask Jesus questions and bask in the Holy Spirit.

Much love,

Catherine

God Saves The Best For Last #Jesus #feminist #Christian #marriage

I’m so sorry I posted the wrong revision of this yesterday, please note I added extra parts at the bottom in the section talking about women basically noting that although women are made as a helper for the men, we aren’t just an afterthought designed to only service men. Women are equal to men and like every other created being, are for the glory of Jesus, created in the image of God and I noted that it would be heretical to assume otherwise, we just have other cool skills/functions men don’t have like e.g childbirth. I don’t subscribe to submission theology, I’m an egalitarian.

Hey Gals and Guys!,

Remember this song? Save The Best For Last by Vanessa Williams (follow this link or play it in the embedded player below)

The lyrics got me thinking, God saves the best for last, lets examine this!

 

FIRST LAST AND LAST FIRST

We already know that God promotes the people in last place all the time. David was the youngest son 1 Samuel 16:11-13, it says in the Bible that the first will be last and last first Matthew 20:16, also, if you want to be a leader you have to be a servant of all:

Matthew 20:25-28 [NLT]

“[25] But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. [26] But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, [27] and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. [28] For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.””

 

HUMANS – THE FIRST MAN

  • FIRST – Adam, imperfect son of God, here’s the genealogy from Jesus to Adam:

Luke 3:23-38 [NLT]

“[23] Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry. Jesus was known as the son of Joseph. Joseph was the son of Heli. [24] Heli was the son of Matthat. Matthat was the son of Levi. Levi was the son of Melki. Melki was the son of Jannai. Jannai was the son of Joseph. [25] Joseph was the son of Mattathias. Mattathias was the son of Amos. Amos was the son of Nahum. Nahum was the son of Esli. Esli was the son of Naggai. [26] Naggai was the son of Maath. Maath was the son of Mattathias. Mattathias was the son of Semein. Semein was the son of Josech. Josech was the son of Joda. [27] Joda was the son of Joanan. Joanan was the son of Rhesa. Rhesa was the son of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the son of Shealtiel. Shealtiel was the son of Neri. [28] Neri was the son of Melki. Melki was the son of Addi. Addi was the son of Cosam. Cosam was the son of Elmadam. Elmadam was the son of Er. [29] Er was the son of Joshua. Joshua was the son of Eliezer. Eliezer was the son of Jorim. Jorim was the son of Matthat. Matthat was the son of Levi. [30] Levi was the son of Simeon. Simeon was the son of Judah. Judah was the son of Joseph. Joseph was the son of Jonam. Jonam was the son of Eliakim. [31] Eliakim was the son of Melea. Melea was the son of Menna. Menna was the son of Mattatha. Mattatha was the son of Nathan. Nathan was the son of David. [32] David was the son of Jesse. Jesse was the son of Obed. Obed was the son of Boaz. Boaz was the son of Salmon. Salmon was the son of Nahshon. [33] Nahshon was the son of Amminadab. Amminadab was the son of Admin. Admin was the son of Arni. Arni was the son of Hezron. Hezron was the son of Perez. Perez was the son of Judah. [34] Judah was the son of Jacob. Jacob was the son of Isaac. Isaac was the son of Abraham. Abraham was the son of Terah. Terah was the son of Nahor. [35] Nahor was the son of Serug. Serug was the son of Reu. Reu was the son of Peleg. Peleg was the son of Eber. Eber was the son of Shelah. [36] Shelah was the son of Cainan. Cainan was the son of Arphaxad. Arphaxad was the son of Shem. Shem was the son of Noah. Noah was the son of Lamech. [37] Lamech was the son of Methuselah. Methuselah was the son of Enoch. Enoch was the son of Jared. Jared was the son of Mahalalel. Mahalalel was the son of Kenan. [38] Kenan was the son of Enosh. Enosh was the son of Seth. Seth was the son of Adam. Adam was the son of God.”

 

  • Stood there whilst his wife was tricked into sinning and did nothing

Genesis 3:1-7 [NLT]

“[1] The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” [2] “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. [3] “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.'” [4] “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. [5] “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” [6] The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. [7] At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.”

 

  • Then proceeded to disobey an explicit command, this one act condemned everybody

Genesis 2:15-17 [NLT]

“[15] The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. [16] But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden– [17] except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.””

 

  • Death and sin entered the world because of him

Romans 5:12-19 [NLT]

“[12] When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. [13] Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. [14] Still, everyone died–from the time of Adam to the time of Moses–even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. [15] But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. [16] And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. [17] For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. [18] Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. [19] Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.”

 

  • SECOND – Jesus Christ was the Perfect Son of God, part of the Godhead, not created like Adam.

Matthew 3:16-17 [NLT]

“[16] After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. [17] And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.””

 

John 17:1-5, 20-23 [NLT]

“[1] After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. [2] For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. [3] And this is the way to have eternal life–to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. [4] I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. [5] Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began. … [20] “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. [21] I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one–as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. [22] “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. [23] I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.”

 

  • Jesus was also the second Adam, metaphorically/figuratively speaking

1 Corinthians 15:45 [NLT]

“[45] The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam–that is, Christ–is a life-giving Spirit.”

 

  • Jesus was perfect, didn’t stand by  whilst his “wife” (1 Cor 12:27, 2 Cor 11:2, Rev 21:9), the church, was being tricked instead He corrected the mistake, the true Son of God, Jesus’ one act of righteousness saved everyone from Adam’s one act of sin

Romans 5:18-19 [NLT]

“[18] Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. [19] Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.”

 

  • Jesus was perfect, didn’t stand by  whilst his “wife”, the church, was being tricked instead He corrected the mistake,

Matthew 23:1-5 [NLT]

“[1] Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, [2] “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. [3] So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. [4] They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. [5] “Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels.”

 

Mark 2:15-17 [NLT]

“[15] Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) [16] But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?” [17] When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.””

 

Matthew 4:17 [NLT]

“[17] From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.””

 

Ephesians 5:25-30 [NLT]

“[25] For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her [26] to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. [27] He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. [28] In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. [29] No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. [30] And we are members of his body.”

 

Colossians 1:22 [NLT]

“[22] Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.”

 

Revelation 21:3-8 [NLT]

“[3] I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. [4] He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” [5] And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” [6] And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega–the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. [7] All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. [8] “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars–their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.””

 

SALVATION

  • FIRST – The Law of Moses and the Aaronic priesthood came first, as a way to atone the Israelites to God – this was imperfect and could only temporarily atone IMPERFECT

Hebrews 7:18-26 [NLT]

“[18] Yes, the old requirement about the priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless. [19] For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God. [20] This new system was established with a solemn oath. Aaron’s descendants became priests without such an oath, [21] but there was an oath regarding Jesus. For God said to him, “The LORD has taken an oath and will not break his vow: ‘You are a priest forever.'” [22] Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God. [23] There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. [24] But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. [25] Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. [26] He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven.”

 

 

  • SECOND – Salvation through faith alone – came second and this was a perfect way to atone not only the Israelites but the Gentiles (everybody who isn’t a Jew) to Christ. This was PERFECT

Hebrews 10:1-5, 10-12, 14, 18-20 [NLT]

“[1] The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. [2] If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. [3] But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. [4] For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. [5] That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer. … [10] For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. [11] Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. [12] But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. … [14] For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy. … [18] And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices. [19] And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. [20] By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.”

 

John 3:16-18 [NLT]

“[16] “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. [17] God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. [18] “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.”

 

 

EARTH

  • FIRST – The Earth we are on now is only “good”, as it says in Genesis, however, as any reasonable scientist will tell you it’s not going to last forever, the Sun will become a supernova one day and engulf the Earth. Also, global warming etc. Most importantly

[Genesis 1:31 NLT]

“[31] Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.”

 

  • Humans don’t at present enjoy the close relationship we had in the Garden of Eden where Jesus would walk around with us face to face.

Genesis 3:8-9 [NLT]

“[8] When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees. [9] Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?””

 

  • SECOND – New Jerusalem, impressive, clean, powered by Jesus not electricity or the sun, only good people can live there so there is no crime, there’s the tree of life for healing as well as Jesus so there is no sickness either, people don’t have to pay for water so there is no poverty either.

Revelation 21:1-2, 5-6, 9-10, 22-27 [NLT]

“[1] Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. [2] And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. … [5] And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” [6] And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega–the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. … [9] Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls containing the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come with me! I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” [10] So he took me in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. … [22] I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. [23] And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. [24] The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. [25] Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. [26] And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. [27] Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty–but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

 

Revelation 22:1-5 [NLT]

“[1] Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. [2] It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. [3] No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. [4] And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. [5] And there will be no night there–no need for lamps or sun–for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.”

 

 

NEW WINE

  • FIRST – Old wine, representing the old ways in the scriptures

Luke 5:33-35 [NLT]

“[33] One day some people said to Jesus, “John the Baptist’s disciples fast and pray regularly, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees. Why are your disciples always eating and drinking?” [34] Jesus responded, “Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. [35] But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.””

 

  • SECOND – New wine, representing salvation through faith in Jesus and not by works

Luke 5:36-39 [NLT]

“[36] Then Jesus gave them this illustration: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and uses it to patch an old garment. For then the new garment would be ruined, and the new patch wouldn’t even match the old garment. [37] “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the new wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. [38] New wine must be stored in new wineskins. [39] But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the new wine. ‘The old is just fine,’ they say.””

 

MORE WINE! DRINKS AT THE WEDDING AT CANA

  • FIRST – The wine that the hosts had provided was ok but ran out. Representing the old ways, imperfect nature of the old covenant and the finite nature of atonement under the old priestly system

John 2:1-3 [NLT]

“[1] The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, [2] and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. [3] The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.””

 

  • SECOND – The wine that Jesus made last, at the end of the party was the best!

John 2:4-11 [NLT]

“[4] “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” [5] But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” [6] Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. [7] Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, [8] he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions. [9] When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. [10] “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!” [11] This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.”

 

CREATION – BACK TO ADAM


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Genesis 2:7-8, 15-17 [NLT]

“[7] Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person. [8] Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. … [15] The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. [16] But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden– [17] except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.””

Men are good at stuff, like opening cans! Hitting wood with hammers, killing spiders, I’m trying to think of things men can do that women can’t, umm, wee standing up?

According to the Telegraph newspaper men are better than women at the following things: Drinking, going bald, getting ready, going to the toilet standing up, shopping, making it to the end of the street without being ogled, ageing (read the article here)

Huffington Post says men are good at the following: Being on top saving our jowls being exposed lol, seeing a woman as prettier than she thinks she is, being patient when women shop, they love commitment, half-listening (this has happened to me so many times, I’m pretty sure none of my guy friends listen to 100% verbatim everything that I say lol they skim the important bits, I don’t like it when I can tell their not listening)

 

  • SECOND – Woman  – humanity would have died out ages ago if there weren’t any woman due to our reproductive capabilities, we have a better sense of smell, wider peripheral vision, we’re physically warmer (higher body temperature) than men, stronger connections in our brains between the sensory parts of our brains so we are more in touch with our feelings, 🙂

[Genesis 2:18-25 NLT]

“[18] Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” [19] So the LORD God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. [20] He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him. [21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. [23] “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'” [24] This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. [25] Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.”

women-empowerment

The Metro says women are apparently better than men at the following: walking in heels, holding babies, comforting people when they cry, getting drinks bought for them, accessorising, shopping, giving advice, exercise, makeup, thanks Metro for that…

The Telegraph also says women are better at the following: Multi-tasking, Job interviews, driving, empathising, running successful businesses, coding, not being ill apparently men are more susceptible to illness due to their higher levels of testosterone.

Now look, all this aside the Bible says that women were created because Men cannot do life on their own, the word helper that is used here is ezer

Genesis 2:18-25 [NLT]

“[18] Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.””

It appears again in other places in the Bible like Psalms, it’s actually a word that is used to describe the help that God gives people,

[Psalm 54:4 NLT] [4] But God is my helper. The Lord keeps me alive!

It’s also used to describe the kind of help that happens in battle when one unit gives aid to another. In fact this verb shows up mostly in combat/battle situations. To quote one of my favourite theologians:

When God sees Adam all by himself, He concludes that he needs a helper, and creates Eve (Genesis 2:8). It does, however, show that Eve was not Adam’s secretary or maid, but rather an indispensable pillar. In any situation described in the Bible by this verb, without the helper, the person who needed the help would either die or fade away. So God “helps” the fatherless (Psalm 10:14), the ill (Psalm 28:7), those who suffer great spiritual discomfort (Psalm 54:4), and the poor (Psalm 72:12).” Read the article here

Although the two sexes are interdependent of each other:

1 Corinthians 11:11-12 [NLT]

“[11] But among the Lord’s people, women are not independent of men, and men are not independent of women. [12] For although the first woman came from man, every other man was born from a woman, and everything comes from God.”

Women are there because men need help, company, hugs and someone who will cancel “adult nap time” in order to sit and talk through problems.:

[1 Corinthians 11:9 NLT]

“[9] And man was not made for woman, but woman was made for man.”

Men with all their strength and good ideas need a partner in life, I must admit, I’ve seen a lot of single guys just in general in life, particularly in the church, who poor souls are whithering away, due to loneliness or just making stupid decisions because there is no woman in their life to tell them no! Lovely, lovely, people and they are soo desperately lonely and unhappy, would really benefit from a nice little wife just for someone to talk to lol. Also, people are built to be loved, so understandably there is a strong desire for physical, intimate union with someone. Don’t do it before marriage! Wait, everyone wants to be loved but wait. I sang about that here: (follow this link or listen in the embedded player below)

 

You can also listen to it on SoundCloud (follow this link or play it in the embedded player below)

Reminds me of what I was saying about being the last the other day (follow this link it’s well worth the read).

I want to make it clear, everyone is created to worship Jesus. Women are not created for the exclusive use of men. That’s not a biblical standpoint, it’s in fact, heretical and contradictory to what it clearly says in the Bible:

Revelation 4:11 [NLT]

“[11] “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.””

 

Ephesians 2:10 [NLT]

“[10] For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

 

1 Corinthians 8:6 [NLT]

“[6] But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.”

Don’t misinterpret this blog post as saying women are there just for men, I’m not an advocate of submission theology, I’m an egalitarian. I’m not saying women are better than men because they were made second etc, please I don’t advocate that. It’s not biblical because Jesus said:

Matthew 23:8 [NLT]

“[8] “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.”

 

What I am doing is retrieving lost narratives about women and their usefulness, the prominence of God using the second and the underdog for great things and how it relates to our God ordained function. Women are made in the image of God too:

[Genesis 1:26-28 NLT]

“[26] Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” [27] So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. [28] Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.””

We actually reflect God’s creative and reproductive power, due to our reproductive capabilities.

James 1:16-18 [NLT]

“[16] So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. [17] Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. [18] He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.”

Twice the word and spiritual instruction is described as mothers milk, only women and female animals (to my knowledge) can lactate, this shows how God nourishes us. God is speaking to us about Himself through women’s bodies:

1 Peter 2:2-3 [NLT]

“[2] Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, [3] now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.”

 

1 Corinthians 3:2 [NLT]

“[2] I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready,”

Our emphasis on feelings and the ethereal/intangible nature of feelings reminds me of the work of the Holy Spirit who is like breath, I remember that somewhere in the Bible, in the Hebrew the translation is something like wind or breath, not tangible. I’ll revisit this and post it when I find it but I’m really hungry right now lol.

The unity that men and women experience, during sexual union also reflects the oneness of God spoken about in John 17.

Us helping men, helps to reflect God on earth. (obviously you help other women as well, Jesus said love your neighbour Matthew 22:39, so that’s obvious). As I said earlier, the word helper that is used for women the same Hebrew word is also used for the help that God gives humanity. Everything about a perfected and holy friendship/marriage/kinship between a man and a woman reflects God, His kingdom and purpose and the way that God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit work together like a family and a team. We are supposed to be like God:

James 1:16-18 [NLT]

“[16] So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. [17] Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. [18] He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.”

 

It’s like Jesus says if you want to be first you have to be last and a servant of everyone. Quite often we are last, whether it’s in pay, people listening to our views, enjoying sex! or even just having a night off from cooking! We do tend to be servants, literally! Domestic workers are mainly women! Our lives are full of a lot of pain, periods etc, sex can hurt the first time. Something that bothers me, thinking about getting married (once I meet my future husband lol). The first time, oh my goodness, I worry a lot that it’s going to hurt, it bothers me. It really does lol (Read about what I said about women’s physical pain and why we persevere here).

Again, I’m not saying women are better than men, I’m just pointing out how much men need women and how undervalued we are and how dangerous it is to oppress us because that disables us from being able to perform our function which is to help. When a woman is educated and fulfilled she is in the best possible position to help. Sometimes that help comes in the form of being a stay at home mother and sometimes that help comes in the form of being a CEO of a company or the Prime Minister or the President. Knowing what God created us to do it’s up to the men to decide whether or not they take it but they reject and oppress us knowing fully well that it’s not in their interest, according to the scriptures above. Who leaves their armour at home or tells discourages natural nurturer it not to talk up in a board meeting? We are created to help humanity survive, we want to help companies make decisions that will make them better and more money so we can have money to feed our children…

Women might be smaller and yes we might have been created second but we are not second class or second best! God will use us because we are second and oppressed. Watch this space, what comes second is usually the thing that God does something powerful with and we are equipped with the sense and nature to do something incredible! We give birth to the men, we teach them as they grow and when they become adults, we love them 🙂 Everybody needs that, the physical and emotional nurturing that comes from things like breastfeeding is so key in growing a person into a stable fully functioning adult. A stable fully functioning adult is able to spread the Gospel and worship Jesus! We are soo useful and necessary!

Hope that educated you!

Catherine

Foolish Things?

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

I’ve been thinking about gender issues again, that’s what my PhD is about I’m looking at attitudes towards women worship leaders and that involves looking at intersectionality, that is basically describing looking at overlapping (intersecting) systems of oppression. For example, a person, man or woman, might dislike a women leader because of her ethnicity, class, education status, financial status or even her accent? So there are many reasons why a person might dislike a woman leader and none of them might have anything to do with her sex, the woman thing is just a more socially acceptable reason for them to dislike her and they jump on that bandwagon with their own hidden agenda…

Anyway, that’s not what this post is about lol… I’ve been thinking about sex again. I’m not married and I don’t have a boyfriend (not that that would matter either because as a Christian I wouldn’t be sleeping with my boyfriend anyway) so all I can do is philosophize on the matter, it is relevant to my PhD with the whole gender issues thing. I was thinking about this scripture:

[1Cor 12:12-26 NLT]

[12] The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. [13] Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. [14] Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. [15] If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. [16] And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? [17] If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? [18] But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. [19] How strange a body would be if it had only one part! [20] Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. [21] The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

[22] In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. [23] And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, [24] while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.

[25] This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. [26] If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

I isolated v 22-24 because those are the ones that I’m going to talk about.

I was thinking about men and women’s anatomy, which parts we “…clothe with the greatest care” (1Cor 12:23). For men, it is socially acceptable across most cultures for them to walk around with no tops on or trousers but they must have their penis and testicles covered at all times! For women it is socially acceptable in Anglo-American society for them to walk around with not much on but we must have our breasts covered and have pants on! Even in cultures where they live in the forests, in fact, I’ve actually noticed watching documentaries on the BBC that in many of those cultures that still live in forests the women are at least wearing some kind of covering over their lower half like a grass skirt. In Anglo-American culture any other forms of undress for men and women are considered to be inappropriate and quite right too.

Now… it’s it interesting that the afore mentioned parts that we always keep hidden are really soft, squishy and delicate but oh so necessary for life? Like Paul said in 1Cor 12:22:

[22] In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.

Our genitals are amongst our weakest points of our bodies but regardless of whether you get a baby by IVF/adoption etc you still at one point need a man’s genitals and a woman’s genitals to create a baby. They are also used for sex to bond a couple together, I guess creating “life” within a marriage.

A man might be attracted to a woman’s face and kiss it but yet the most intimate way he can physically express his love to her is through a very humble part of his body that has  “…less dignity...” (1Cor 12:24) than his face. Think about it, our genitals have a nasty job, they handle urine, sweat, semen, menstrual blood (if you’re a woman), discharge, a baby (if you’re a woman), there is also certain bacteria which is down there which is fine if it’s down there but causes problems if its anywhere else. They also handle the pressure of being sat on all day as well (if you’re a woman). Furthermore, lets just be realistic and adult about this, there is going to be some excrement on them as well, due to their proximity to our anus. Moreover, between you and me if I could choose whether or not to look at a man’s face or his penis all day I’d choose his face… A penis looks like a big worm that lives in the guys pants all day, next to his sweaty hairy balls. A vagina looks like something from outer space.

Our faces on the other hand look sooooo beautiful in comparison and they have all the nice jobs like singing, speaking, eating, laughing, smiling and kissing! Our faces don’t do the nasty jobs, in fact, some of the things our faces do we don’t even need them to do to survive, it’s just extra things like smiling that make life much more fun! Our genitals on the other hand, everything they do is 100% necessary for us to survive, they seem the “…weakest and least important…” (1Cor 12:22) but “…are actually the most necessary” (1Cor 12:22). They’re super useful but much more delicate than our faces. You can take a punch in the face but not in the groin! Also, we hide them because of what they look like and what they do.

Now, why does God use the parts with “…less dignity…” (1Cor 12:24) to be vessels he uses to facilitate life and love? God does things like that so no one can ever boast.

[1Co 1:26-31 NLT] [26] Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.

[27] Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. [28] God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.

[29] As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. [30] God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. [31] Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.”

Yeah the world does consider genitals to be shameful, “…foolish...”, “…powerless…“, “…counted as nothing at all…” (1Cor 1:27-28), they aren’t really talked about because of the private and humble functions they perform and are always hidden (which isn’t a bad thing, I don’t personally believe that Naturism is compatible with Christianity unless you are unclothed in front of your spouse/doctor/close family member/parent/guardian (basically a person you have a reason to be naked in front of or a person who isn’t going to hurt you and you’re just close and have that kind of relationship with them but outside of that those examples it’s not a good idea).

It seems as though God is for raising up the disenfranchised and for humility. Jesus Christ King of Kings and Lord of Lords was born in a stable and He had humility and servant heartedness and God elevated Him higher than anything or anyone in forever as it says in Philippians:

[Phl 2:5-11 NLT] [5] You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. [6] Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. [7] Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, [8] he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. [9] Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, [10] that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, [11] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

We can see other examples of what Paul was talking about in 1Cor 12:22-24 and 1Cor 1:27-28 in the Genesis story. Humans, the most exciting part of God’s creation were made from what Genesis describes as “…dust...” (Gen 2:7).

[Gen 2:7 NLT] [7] Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.

You would have thought that God would have used something more exciting but no, just dust and God reminds us that we are made of dust when He cursed Adam:

[Gen 3:19 NLT] [19] By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.”

and when we speak to God and try and reason with Him it seems as though a good way is to remind God that we are dust like Abraham, Job and David did:

[Gen 18:27-28 NLT] [27] Then Abraham spoke again. “Since I have begun, let me speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes. [28] Suppose there are only forty-five righteous people rather than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And the LORD said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five righteous people there.”

Job:

[Job 10:9 NLT] [9] Remember that you made me from dust–will you turn me back to dust so soon?

David: Also see the whole of Psalm 90 & 103:

[Psa 30:9-10 NLT] [9] “What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the grave? Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness? [10] Hear me, LORD, and have mercy on me. Help me, O LORD.”

God consistently uses the seemingly weak things and promotes them, look at the story of Jacob and Esau, the older brother ended up serving the younger brother Gen 25, the Parable of the Landowner Mat 20:1-16 where Jesus famously said:

[Mat 20:16 NLT] [16] “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”

and Jesus reiterated this sentiment again in Mark:

[Mar 9:35 NLT] [35] He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”

 

Conclusion

So we have learned that God uses the parts that have “…less dignity…” (1Cor 12:24), the things that are “…weakest and least important…” (1Cor 12:22), “…foolish…“, “…powerless…“, “…counted as nothing at all…” (1Cor 1:27-28), “…dust…” (Gen 2:7) and the “…last…” (Matt 20:16) (which would make you a loser) for great things!. That means that we can assume  that whatever it is in your life that is you consider “…least important…” (1Cor 12:22) or “…less honourable…” (1Cor 12:23) or maybe it’s something that you are embarrassed about physically/emotionally/something in your past or maybe you’re not the most popular person, you’re last all the time, a loser, you have an injury, a learning difficulty like me, Autism like me or a disease then you’re in prime place to be used by God. That very thing that you think disqualifies you for success is the thing that God is  going to use to make you shine! Extra care will be given to those things, as it says in 1Cor 12:24, “…extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity“. God knows the things that you are embarrassed about, He will take care of you.

For some, learning difficulties are a source of shame. For me my learning difficulties are the things that actually help me to make money because of the creativity and focus that coexists with them. The Autism makes me prefer my own company to crowds, which helps me with my career because making music/arrangements/planning lessons etc is a lonely process and if you need people around you all the time it’s not for you lol. My preference for my own company also means that I spend a lot of time alone with Jesus which is good and the intense focus that accompanies ASD means I meditate on the Bible and philosophize intensely, which helps my walk with Christ and has helped me to be currently working on my third degree lol.

If God can take something humble like our genitals, the parts of our bodies that are not even polite to have on show, the parts that literally handle: filth, bacteria, bodily fluids, sweat and smelliness and use them to produce actual life and be facilitators of sex, something so overwhelmingly beautiful and a deep physical expression of pleasure and love, He can use you and because He used you despite your disadvantages you will never be able to boast about doing it yourself. You will gain a deeper understanding of His power and magnificence, worship Him like you should and your faith will increase! I think Paul’s statement below sums up my hopes for you:

[Eph 3:14-21 NLT] [14] When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, [15] the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. [16] I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. [17] Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. [18] And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. [19] May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. [20] Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. [21] Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

You can do it! God believes in you! Below is a picture with me with no make-up on, showing hyper-pigmentation on my body, something that happened to me a number of years ago and I’m very embarrassed/mortified about it but Jesus can use it somehow for His glory.

Catherine x

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENT: Ride The Fader Productions

Hey everybody,

Did you know that I provide UK based music production, composition, peripatetic music tuition (alto sax, flute, clarinet, lever harp), performing, songwriting and worship leader services on a freelance basis?

Did you know that I trade under Catherine Waithe-Arnold and also under Ride The Fader Productions?

I am now consolidating all of my trading under Ride The Fader Productions, please take a look at my website! or drop me an email at catherine@ridethefaderproductions.com

www.ridethefaderproductions.com

 

Then Connect with Ride The Fader Productions on social media!

Facebook – @ridethefaderproductions www.facebook.com/ridethefaderproductions

Twitter – @ridethefader www.twitter.com/ridethefader

Instagram – @ridethefaderproductions – www.instagram.com/ridethefaderproductions

LinkedIn – Ride The Fader Productions www.linkedin.com/company/ridethefaderproductions

 

Thank you for your time!,

Catherine Waithe-Arnold BA (Hons), MMus
CEO @ Ride The Fader Productions

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Homeward bound!

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CONTACT ME 

Good afternoon!

Did you know I have a Contact Me page? (Follow this link to my Contact Me page) No? Well… I have a Contact Me page lol (Follow this link to my Contact Me page).

I created it in the event that if you are interested in anything you see on this site you, you have any questions/comments or you wish to hire me (for music tuition, composing/arranging/producing, harping) you can contact me!

No need to be scared, I’ve dropped the form I had and put my email address there instead.

Check it out! (Follow this link to my Contact Me page)

 

We can also connect through social media:

SoundCloud – Catherine Waithe-Arnold www.soundcloud.com/waithey

Facebook – Catherine Waithe-Arnold Music www.facebook.com/catherinewaithearnoldmusic

LinkedIn – Catherine Waithe-Arnold  www.linkedin.com/in/catherinewaithe-arnold

YouTube – Catherine Waithe-Arnold www.youtube.com/CatherineWAmusic

Twitter – @CatherineW_A https://twitter.com/CatherineW_A

Instagram – @catherinewaithe.arnoldmusic https://www.instagram.com/catherinewaithe.arnoldmusic/

 

Catherine

FOOTAGE FROM MY #GIG #freelance #musician #singer #songwriter #composer #instrumentalpop

Hello everybody!

Remember I had a gig last Friday? (follow this link for more info) well I filmed it and I thought that I would share the footage with you guys!

I really went for it!

DSC00329.JPG

Enjoy! (follow this link to my YouTube channel or play it in the embedded player below)

You can also listen to the audio on SoundCloud (follow this link or use the embedded player below)

Catherine x

I Have A Gig Friday 28th Jul, 6.30pm @ The Gospel Centre

Hey guys!

I have a gig! Sorry for the lateness I was doing my hair lol.

When: Tomorrow! Friday 28th July 2017

Time: 6.30 pm

Where: The Gospel Centre, Wightman Roadd, Harringay Ladder, London N8 0LT http://gospelcentre.co.uk/how_to_find_us.html

Description: A variety evening featuring poets, soloists and contemporary gospel groups. This follows a week of daily community outreach by the Nserve team from 24th – 30th July. Our aim is to reach the unsaved in our community with a particular focus on encouraging the involvement of young people in reaching out and serving.

Okedokey, I expect to see all of you there!

Catherine x