Three Rules For Understanding The Bible.

Dear Stacy, (The so-called “Freewill Chick”)
I know you are trying hard to piece this thing together in your mind and all.
But what if you can’t?
What if you can’t answer each question, each puzzle, each query, to your’s or anyone’s satisfaction???
Isn’t it truly God’s responsibility to save?
After all, God is the savior, agreed?
Not you !!!
When I was a young man, going to church, (mostly evangelical churches, the kind you hang out with) I would ask the minister questions… questions that puzzled my little mind.
And generally, they gave me two kinds of answers.

  1. They would kind of stomp their foot, and say with an emphatic voice — “It’s this way, young man, and don’t you forget it!”
  2. Or, they could say, “Just keep coming back to church, and you’ll catch on, you’ll understand it eventually.”
    I was too young and naive to argue with either kind of answer.

But, over the years, I discovered a model, to filter the bible’s message through.
And this model, seems to satisfy my deepest questions and deepest longing, as it paints God in the purest light.

Here is that model in a nutshell:

  1. Clean up mistranslated words. Especially when those words hold such significant power in our understanding of things. For example: the word AION — it cannot mean both unlimited time and limited time. If you don’t clean up that mess, you’ll “forever” have no footing… a slippery slope of slosh will be yours… when trying to understand God’s word. (See Kirk’s study of the word AION here.)
  2. “Rightly divide the word of truth” — In other words, divide that message which belongs to Israel from that which belongs to the nations. If you mix them up, again, there’s no end to your sliding around in every direction and any direction theologically.
  3. Understand figurative language. Figures of speech are so important in every language. Especially the language of the scriptures. Brother Bullinger wrote an amazing book on figurative language in the bible. Look for it.

or here:

Some things are literally true… but some things are only true as to “feeling.”
When God said to Adam, “Where are you?” — It’s ridiculous to suggest that God literally did not know where Adam was. Some things are true as to feeling. But not as to fact.

Some things are ABSOLUTELY TRUE and some things are only RELATIVELY TRUE.

For example: It is absolutely true that NOTHING is condemnation to those in Christ. And it is relatively true that we are NOT walking according to the flesh — because sometimes we do walk according to the flesh. (Romans 8:1)

You can see the difference in these two NEGATIVES in the Concordant Literal New Testament… as they indicate a difference in the two negatives from the Greek of the New Testament. (An absolute negative, and a relative negative.)

Regarding the universal state of man… “Death passed through to all mankind” — in other words, all are mortal… “on which all sinned”… in other words, being mortal causes us to sin.
I think you have it backwards… you’re saying “we all sin, therefore we all die.” — Now that’s an understandable boo boo… but truthfully, even little babies die. Little babies who have not sinned. So, it would make more sense to say that the phrase “on which” all sinned, is more a RESULT of death/dying/mortality than a CAUSE of it.
In other words, we sin because we are mortal.
If we were immortal, we would not steal for food, We could not die if someone pushed us off a cliff. So there’d be no hard feelings there. If we were immortal, we wouldn’t even gossip.
Romans 5:12 is a key verse to consider.
Death passed through…thus… all sinned.
Again… the little 5-day old baby dies… and had no ability to “sin”… but it dies BECAUSE DEATH PASSED THROUGH ONTO ALL MANKIND.

Some things are universally true. Adam’s sin. Christ’s redemption. Both universally true.

Some things are relatively true. Some folks don’t appreciate Adam’s sin. But Adam’s sin effects them anyway. Like it or not. Believe Adam’s act or not… The result is… DEATH PASSED THROUGH ONTO ALL MANKIND… You don’t need to believe Adam’s sin to order to die.

Now, some folks believe Adam’s folly. And it helps them see what’s going on in God’s eonian purpose. But God’s purpose stands, whether or not they believe in Adam’s fall.

And similarly with Christ’s redemptive act on the cross. Some folks don’t appreciate it or believe it… but the result effects them anyway. The result STANDS. The result is… LIFE’S JUSTIFYING FOR ALL (Romans 5:18-19) — just six verses away from your V 12.

So what if they don’t believe Adam or Christ… the results of both men (the first Adam and the Last Adam) are universally efficacious.

“No one gets outta here alive.” — one might say. And…
“No one stays dead forever.” — one could also say.

After all,
“God vivifies the dead.” (Romans 4:17)
As in Adam, all die, so in Christ ALL SHALL BE VIVIFIED.” (I Cor 15:22)

I know you are so fond of limiting the redemptive work of Christ on the cross — to all those who cooperate…
But you don’t limit the destructive work of Adam in the garden. Why?
God’s man, Paul, pits those two in perfectly effective equations. (Romans 5:15-19)
In fact, Paul reveals that Christ redemptive work has EVEN MORE POWER than Adam’s destruction work.
Note his words on V.15:
But not as the offense, thus also the grace
And note his words on V.16:
not as through one act of sinning is the gratuity

Yet, you make a lopsided equation… giving Adam more destructive power than Christ’s redemptive power. Shame on you.

You say you “believe” in Christ, but your belief is more in Adam than in Christ.

Not as the offense, thus also the grace…
not as through one act of sinning is the gratuity

Powerful words.

The Grace to all who sin — SUPERABOUNDS.
And the GRACE is out of many, many offensive acts, into a just award. Wow.

I hope this helps.

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