What Is The Gospel and what does it do?

Not if people don’t want it. Without choice it isn’t love. After all that is why evil exists. That is the answer to the Epicurus’ argument. If God didn’t want love then evil wouldn’t exist – His power would be the answer to everything. But when love is what you are after then it cannot be just about you and what you want. There can be no love without putting power into the hands of another person, to at least say yes or no. So the reality is that love is the opposite of power – its negation and sacrifice.

It is true that some people, probably with some vestige of humanity left, will be changed by the offer of love – but only because they choose that love. We are often so perverse we only change when we see the innocent suffering because our own actions. And Christ on the cross is an example of that. But again that is a choice.

Frankly, too often we see people using the word “love” in rhetoric when it is all about power and forcing their will on other people. This is often Christianity at its worst. When you are all about lording it over others, just using the word love doesn’t change anything. It is like the way a mafia godfather uses the word “love” also. This is what comes of confusing love and power.

Yes, love is the greatest. And that is why God chose love and freedom over power and control. That is a God I can respect. I cannot respect a god who clings to power the way a lot of Christian theology has God doing. But being great doesn’t make it power, any more than being a servant of servants is power. That Jesus says is what you must be if you would be great. But it is the opposite of power.

God exerts absolute power and control according to His will. It is He who has the power of life and death. If He allows a man to continue in sin without immediate judgment or if He exacts immediate judgement, it is done according to His will, authority and power. He blesses according to His will and power also. By His authority and power He will destroy and recreate this present creation and none can oppose Him. By His authority and power He will condemn to the Lake of Fire, those who continue in wickedness and none will be able to stop Him. Even though He gives mankind the choice to love Him or reject Him, it is through His authority and absolute power that He will judge all of mankind. If you reject His authority, He will by His absolute power cast you out from His presence and you will not be able to resist. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.

and yet you were free to walk past her!

we will all be judged accordingly.

I struggle to see an argument? It is self evident that tyrants, psychopaths’ etc may claim they do evil out of love, but this is deceit. Yet you rile against this constantly. :upside_down_face:


…though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Yep! Phillipians 2:6-8 one of my favorite passages in the Bible. The whole point here is that I do not believe God clings to power and control but readily chooses love and freedom over these especially when He became a helpless human infant to live among us. It is not God who seeks and clings to power but rather men such as those seeking to use religion for their own gain. And thus as I said in the other thread, this is a way we can distinguish what is from God from what is from men.

That is not what we read in Job or many other parts of the Bible. He can exert absolute power and control, sure! But He does not. He lets us decide what we will do – to choose between life or death. That is our choice. But no, He will not change the rules to suit our irrational desires. He created the laws of nature and spirit for a reason. So we cannot bargain our way out of the basic rules of life, physical or spiritual. The first is the essence of life and the second is the essence of love.

And His will is for a relationship of love… which requires choice.

There is nothing wrong with His original creation. The only problem is man. That is the only thing which requires any recreation. But we are the keystone. And so by changing us, He changes everything.

Yes in Romans it is explained that God will give those who choose up to their own passions. And that is lake of fire which will destroy them.

This obsession with empty and arbitrary authority is the weakness of evil human beings, desiring power without the wisdom to use it meaningfully. But God’s real authority is His completely accurate understanding and knowledge of the way things really are. There is no escape from the consequences of sin because these are the product of sin itself and not the product a power hungry soul destroying monster which religionists invent and worship in the place of God to bolster their own feeling of importance.

The devil and mafia bosses rule by fear. And it is very true that in their eyes the only wisdom and virtue is craven cowardice crawling to their will. Is this the god you worship? Such is the misuse and misunderstanding of scripture. The fear of the Lord IS the beginning of wisdom, but not because God rules by fear like the devil and mafia bosses. The rule of God is love. But that love is guided by wisdom and a knowledge of reality which cannot be changed. Thus for sinful human beings who habitually live by manipulating others, this is indeed a cause for fear, because God cannot be bought, or manipulated, and for the most part He cannot be bargained with – no more than you can bargain with your doctor over the required method of treatment. No amount of bargaining can change the doctor’s knowledge of what is required to treat your illness.

So it is true that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. But love of the Lord is the maturation of wisdom. If it stops with fear then you are in danger of the same fate as the slothful servant in Matthew 25, who buried what was given Him and returned it the same way.

Well, all right. If you change your mind, I’ll have an interested ear.

Jesus shows his desire for his Father’s exaltation and sets the example for us in the very first petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Hallowed be thy name!”, so I’m not sure where the problem is.

Perhaps it is for you to tell me what phantom “problems” you are chasing?

The phantom I am chasing is the thought of a reasonable conversation with you. :grin:

That is up to you.

My message in this thread has been that there is middle ground be the vengeful god of infernalism and the Hakuna matata god of universalism in the God who chose love and freedom over power and control. It is only natural that Phillipians 2:6-8 would be one of the first passages I would quote in support of this.

He is still the Sovereign God of providence, whom, as I recall, you decry.

I have little doubt my understanding of the sovereignty and providence of God is not the same as yours.

If you want me to explains something I said, then you need to quote or link what it is you want me to explain. Apparently your vague misunderstandings of me are the phantoms you are chasing at this moment. And since these only exist in your own mind then you can hardly expect me to do anything about them.

Why did you quote Phillipians 2:6-8? Was that a misunderstanding?

There would not be much point in that, thanks.

Mitchell, do you believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus does anything actually spiritually (magical) in a person. Do they literally become born of God, become a real new creation when they repent and fully trust in Jesus? Does His act on the cross and His resurrection cause their spirit to die and become actually united to Him, in contrast to just the person changing their attitude? Does a person actually get born again? Now, in this lifetime.

I believe in spiritual things but I don’t believe in literal magic, and I certainly don’t equate spiritual with magical. I think divine magic is particularly nonsensical. I believe that the notion of magic comes from the experience of infancy when by merely crying out, someone more powerful and knowledgeable makes our discomfort go away. But obviously there is no one for God to cry out to. Obviously, anything God does must come from His own knowledge and ability. In other words, just because God does something doesn’t mean there is no asking how, as if all it takes is for God to make a wish or give a command. And God’s omnipotence doesn’t mean He can do whatever you say by whatever means you care to dictate – logical coherence applies.

So can God literally shape something from clay and make it come “alive?” Probably – though it may take alterations of the laws of nature to do so. But the results are not independent of the means. In that case the result would not be a human being but a golem. Likewise, the redemption of human beings comes from the work of God upon us in our experiences to change how we think, feel, and desire. And the substance of our salvation is the removal of the self-destructive habits of sin, and as the Bible says over and over again, to write the law of God on our hearts (i.e. the good habits which liberate our potential so that we can come alive and learn all God has to teach us).

Jesus’ death and resurrection was to overcome some fundamental misunderstandings which were in the way of a good, healthy, and proper relationship with God. The cross was to teach us that God will do anything to help us, and the problem was always us entirely – that our sins would crucify anyone God sent to help us. Thus we are called to repent and to change, but it is only our own perversity that we quite often do not change unless the innocent suffer because of us. The resurrection was to teach us that physical death is not the end, for our spirit can be reborn to life more substantial and real than anything physical.

It was first by Adam that we were born of God with an inheritance of mind from God speaking to him. But then this was corrupted by self-destructive habits. Jesus was the second Adam and through Him came a restoration the inheritance by which we can literally be reborn as children of God, when we put our trust in Him.

Is there some power of necromancy in the divine-human sacrifice of Jesus on the cross? No. Does God require some magical spell in order to forgive people? No. Can the innocent actually pay for the crimes of the guilty? No. Are Christians magically transformed so they are now without sin? No. Does God really have to pay something to Satan in order to save us from him? No. There is certainly a great deal of truth to all these metaphors in the Bible, but taking them literally is a mockery, like making Jesus’ parable of the sower to be about agriculture.

Is repenting of ones sins and the beginning of a personal relationship with Jesus an important tool in God’s arsenal for restoring a life-giving relationship with God to remove our self-destructive habits and write the law of God on our hearts so we do what is right for its own sake? Yes. It was blaming God for our problems which separated us from God, and it is sin which causes the spirit to die. The death and resurrection of Jesus overcomes that separation so that God can work in our lives to overcome the bad habits which are destroying us. But that takes a great deal of time, and it is referred to as sanctification in the Bible. We are reborn to a new relationship with God, but that is only the beginning of a life of faith, in which there can be no entitlement.

Faith is not is an agreement to a set of doctrines interpreting the Bible in some approved way. That is a Gnostic gospel of salvation by knowledge of sound doctrine. I believe in this stuff for one reason only – because I believe it to be correct. It does not earn me anything. This is not about making a deal with God that you can be saved if you believe the right things, perform rituals in the correct way, obey enough commandments, or do enough good works. This is about God changing us to be the kind of people who inhabit a heavenly kingdom – because as it is we will make any place we go to into a living hell.

Jesus Christ ,this thread is all over the place😅

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I deserved to be executed for my crimes against God. Justice demanded my execution. I had no hope, the Law of God declared me guilty. By my thoughts, words, actions and very nature I was an enemy of God. Those who acted as my friends (my sins) sought my death. Powerless to free myself, I was a condemned man. Then God showed mercy to me by doing that which was necessary to free me, HE EXECUTED ME! Yes, God executed me which set me free. He took me into the boosem of Jesus and nailed me to a cross. In Jesus I died for my crimes, my sins. But in Jesus I was carried through death and judgment, then I was raised up to life and seated with Him in Heaven. Through Jesus I died to sin, Satan and the world. The very thing that I deserved (execution) was the very thing that delivered me, but only because it was done through Jesus. I was crucified to the world. I died to sin and was raised up to life in Jesus. Born again, a new creation, a child of the Father. Jesus who knew no sin, became my sin. And through His resurrection I was raised to eternal life. THAT IS GOOD NEWS! It is no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me and the life I now live, I live by dependence (faith) in the Son of God. Through the righteous and merciful judgement of God I now stand as a free man.
The cross of Jesus is my death. His resurrection is mine. In this life.
He paid the ransom to God for my freedom. The debt I owed (my death) He paid. My inner man, the hidden man of the heart, my spirit has been born of God, NOW!!! It is through the new creation He has made me, that His salvation is working in me, NOW!!! I am a New Creation in Christ Jesus.

Do you know this SALVATION? Is Christ in you? Is the Father living in you? Are you born of God, NOW?

[quote=“mitchellmckain, post:149, topic:44478”]
Is there some power of necromancy in the divine-human sacrifice of Jesus on the cross?
By Jesus becoming sin for us, He took on our guilt. He was the sacrifice lamb that was offered in our place. Through His blood we have been redeemed. His life offered as ours, sets us free from sin and the powers of this age. Through Him we are more than conquerors , in this life.

He who knew no sin, became sin, so that we would become the rightiousness of God through Him. That is in this life. Christ living in our newly created spirits empowers us to be free from our old master sin. Through Jesus becoming my sin, then raising from the dead, I have died to sin and have been raised a New Creation. It’s all right there in the scriptures. Paul lays it out very plainly.

The payment was made to God, not to Satan. God required the death of the rebellious. Only by the shedding of blood is there the remission of sins.

Not taking what Jesus actually did in His death and resurrection literally is a mockery. It is rejection of the way that God delivers people from their sin and His just wrath. The cross of Christ is our salvation, rejection of it is our condemnation. The New Creation that is created through His death and resurrection is the writing of God’s laws on our hearts. It is actually being born again, born of the Father and it happens in this life.

Faith is a trust and reliance on what God did for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is not an example, it is the act of our execution in Christ and a new spirit being birthed in us, now. Unless a man is born again, he can not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. That happens now, in this life.

I will only boast in the cross of Christ, for through it I have been crucified to the world and the world to me.
We must repent, turn, and believe the Good News.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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