Do Grace Preachers Teach Legalism?

What is Galatianism?

Recently I have encountered people on YouTube teaching that various grace pastors are promoting and teaching Galatianism. These YouTube teachers and preachers in my view are touting hyper-grace, anti-progressive sanctification, anti-correction from God for believers,  and anti-preaching of things to do or not to do as believers. So, what really is Galatianism? Is there room for believers to grow or to be told to apply themselves to be more mature in their faith? Are there scriptures on right and wrong things for believers? Will God at times chasten or rebuke or teach his children? Is a pastor a legalist if they preach God’s given instruction? For answers to all that, let’s go to what the Bible says.

I) Actual Galatianism

Galatianism really is simply trying to be justified (saved) by law keeping. The Galatian believers addressed in Paul’s epistle to the Gatatians were saved. They had been bewitched or tricked into following the Judaisers thinking that they needed to keep following the demands of the law to finish being made perfect (fully justified). However, they were, fully justified in God’s sight by way of His Son Jesus Christ. What wasn’t perfect was their maturity in Jesus Christ. What wasn’t perfect was their development of character and practice. This affected their day to day Christian walk. Some call this progressive sanctification but the YouTube teachers I have run into have basically demonized that concept altogether and instead lump everything onto initial justification. They would contend that a believer can never be out of practical fellowship with the Lord or ever need chastening. They would say we are forgiven in Christ. Which, indeed, we have forgiveness in Christ, but that doesn’t mean believers lack the capacity to grow.

Read what Galatians says.

Gal. 1:6-7  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 

Gal. 2:4  And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

Gal 2:21  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Gal. 3:1-3  O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?  This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 

Gal. 3:24-27  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 

Gal 4:4-10  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.  Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 

Gal 5:1-5  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.  For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 

So, this “yoke of bondage” was law keeping for justification before God. This is not what grace preachers have been teaching. If I tell people to admit their sin to God and move on letting His cleansing to continue, then I am not suggesting they keep the law for salvation as they are already justified. This means they declared righteous in God’s sight. They will always be positionally righteous in Him. It is, however, God’s will for their lives as believers. If I tell people to do things the Bible instructs, then it isn’t legalism. It is simple conveying God’s truth.

2) Progressive sanctification and growth

Is there then a place for practical and progressive sanctification? Perhaps a better question is, should a Christian be given instruction on how to grow as a believer?

Keep in mind the following things. For a believer there is justification, sanctification, and glorification. For all three of these, they are positionally true for all believers the moment they believe. Believers then are sanctified or set apart to God for service the moment they believe. This however does not mean that they are instant super Christians that never fail to serve the Lord. Believers are seated with Christ above yet we still have the flesh and will one day receive our glorified bodies to match our glorified new inner man that was created the moment they believed the gospel. With sanctification, there is the concept then that a believer needs to apply himself to learn. A believer can mature in areas of service.

Most occurrences of the words “sanctify”, or “sanctification” in the New Testament refer to the initial setting apart of believers for service for the Lord. Though there are a few instances of ongoing sanctification in practice. Beyond that there are very clear scriptures as to Christian growth.

I Thess. 4:3-4  For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

1 Cor.1:30; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2 

1 Thess. 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Heb. 13:12  Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

Acts 20:32  And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

Acts 26:18  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Rom. 15:16  That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

1 Cor. 1:2  Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

1 Cor. 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

2 Tim. 2:21  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. (practical element)

Heb. 2:11  For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Heb. 10:10  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Heb. 10:14  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Heb. 10:29  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Jude 1:1  Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

Christian growth/living example verses

Heb. 5:12-13  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

1 Pet. 2:2  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Eph. 4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

2 Pet. 3:18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

2 Pet. 1:5-10  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

1 Thess. 4:11  And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

2 Tim. 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Rom. 13:12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Eph. 4:22  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

Col. 3:8-9  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

James 1:21-24  Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 

Psa. 1:1-3  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

I Jn 1:5-9  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Hyper grace teachers tend to turn I John 1:9 into verses for the lost. However, they speak to a believer admitting sin and moving on in the Christian walk in restoration of practical fellowship.

3) Discipline/Correction

The flesh is still present for believers and believers can moment by moment technically choose right or wrong. They have no permission to do wrong but each person has to choose to obey day in and day out. So, then are there any earthly consequences for choosing wrong?

Job 5:17  Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

Prov. 3:11  My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

Prov. 22:15  Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Heb. 12:5-7  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Are there any instructions as to what to do or not to do? Are there any stated consequences?

I submit the following examples and there are many more.

Rev. 2:14  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

Rev. 2:20  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

Heb. 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Heb 10:29-31  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 

The passage above was directed at eternally saved believers.

1 Cor. 5:1  It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

1 Cor. 6:13  Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

1 Cor. 6:18  Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

Col. 3:5  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Obviously God has a problem with things like fornication and the like. He wants us to glorify Him in all we say and do. Walking in the former lifestyle only brings shame to a believer and ultimately it profanes the name of the Lord that bought us. Why would God our heavenly Father not be grieved by that? Why would he not want us to get right if we ever stumble into those things mentioned?

4) Problems with a justification centric only hyper grace view

Hyper-grace sounds appealing to someone that came formerly out of legalism. However, we must be balanced and honest with what the scriptures teach concerning God’s will for believers in their Christian walk. The danger come in at least two respects that I will highlight but there can be more problems.

The first is that this type of hypergrace preacher will do away with getting right with God in terms of I John 1:9. They would leave a believer to simply go on through life without ever really addressing how their sin impacts their Savior.

The second thing is that they have been willing to throw actual grace preachers under the legalism bus using false accusations based on a flawed understanding of what Galatianism really is. This is especially egregious because they will have to stand in front of God one day and give account for the slander they have spread against men of God that are simply trying to proclaim the full Word of God. I pray that any tempted to run after these teachers, take a pause and think again about choosing to follow amateur Youtube preachers that often have no church accountability for their doctrine and actions.

We must keep in mind that while these hyper-grace teachers want to avoid God’s correction, that God is a kind and loving God full of mercy and patience. He is the only one able to discern perfectly what is needed in any given circumstance. His desire is the best for us. If He corrects us, it is for our ultimate good. He would be hateful to us not to correct us when we sin.

James 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Psa. 145:8  The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

Please do take time to consider the following messages from a few of the grace preachers that have been under attack:

Tom Cucuzza

How Much of the Bible is For Us Today? – YouTube

Dr Ralph Yankee Arnold

A Christian is not to be Antinomian or Legalistic | Dr. Ralph Yankee Arnold | – YouTube

Posted in Bible, Christian living, doctrine, Free Grace, Hyper grace | 3 Comments

A Gift for Pakistan

Christmas is a great time of year to reflect on the Savior that came into the world to be made flesh. He did so to be an eventual sacrifice for all of mankind. Jesus didn’t stay dead, but after He was buried, He rose again and offers His purchased eternal life to all who will believe upon Him for it.

This year I have a great opportunity for like-minded believers to give to a very worthwhile cause. A friend of mine lives in Pakistan and is attempting to translate books into Urdu. Urdu is spoken in Pakistan and portions of India. There is currently a vacuum to be filled in Pakistan. Many seek the truth but do not find it in the nation’s majority religion. There are other groups seeking to fill that void that do not get the gospel right much less the rest of what they teach. The goal is to have materials made available to help train local pastor to reach Pakistan and India with the clear gospel of Jesus Christ. The fields are white already. The financial need is great as it is not cheap to translate thousands of pages of text but the opportunity is eternally great. A gift given toward this project can yield eternal blessings as the gospel can be taken clearly into a part of the world hungry for truth.

The time is short as there is opportunity but there is competition for the minds of those seeking truth. Above are book covers that have been completed. They represent a start of an effort to spread the clear gospel to a part of the world that previously had less ability to receive it.

The books will be part of an online school for training. Students are not able there to meet in person but may access materials online under a self-study model. There will also be potential to make audio books available to those in India.

Here is a list of books slated to be translated:

31 Days with the Master Fisherman – Dr. R. Larry Moyer
A Cultish Side of Calvinism – Micah Coate
Addresses on the Gospel of John (Dr. H. A. Ironside)
Basic Theology – Charles C. Ryrie
Book by Pastor Jim Floyd – Counseling those who were trapped in Cults
Book by Pastor Jim Floyd – Grace and Tricky Passages (Blog)
Charismatic Phenomenon – Peter Masters
Commentary on Revelation – Dr. Tony Garland
Daniel – Dr. Paul N. Benware
Dear God, I’m Ticked Off – Dr. R. Larry Moyer
Free Grace Theology – 5 Ways It Magnifies the Gospel – Various
Freely By His Grace (Classical Free Grace Theology) – Hixson, Whitmire and Zuck
Grace, Salvation, and Discipleship – Dr. Charlie Bing
Growing in the Family – Dr. R. Larry Moyer
Handbook of Personal Evangelism – Dr. A. Ray Stanford
Hermeneutics Workbook 01
Hermeneutics Workbook 02
Let’s Preach the Gospel – Pastor Dennis Rokser
Living in the Family of Grace – Dr. Charlie C. Bing
Seven Reasons not to Ask Jesus in your heart – Pastor Dennis Rokser
Share Christ in the Workplace – Dr. R. Larry Moyer
Show Me How to Share the Gospel – Dr. R. Larry Moyer
Simply by Grace – Dr. Charlie Bing
Survey of the New Testament – Dr. Paul N. Benware
Survey of the Old Testament – Dr. Paul N. Benware
The Dark Side of Calvinism – George L. Bryson
The Perfect Sacrifice – Jim Floyd and Pastor Tyler Leigeb
What about Lordship Salvation

This holiday season, please consider giving a gift toward this project that will keep on giving. Please share this as you are able.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Fundraiser by Jim Floyd : Help translating grace books from English to Urdu (

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Beware of King James Only Extremism

There are many divisive topics in churches but one that keeps coming back is the “King James Only” or “KJVO” Bible version debate. To me, the problem stems around going to extremes that the Bible does not itself go to. KJVO proponents will go so far as to say that the King James 1611 Bible is a perfect preservation of the original Hebrew and Greek texts into English. Along those lines people may say that a person cannot be saved out of any other translation. So they say the KJV, not the original is the new standard. Some may even say that the KJV is to be used now for translations into other languages, not the originals. Recently I have heard some saying that to say the KJV is not perfect is to deny the infallibility of the Word of God itself. Does the Word of God itself promise a perfect preservation of the Bible into English?

Let’s take a look at what the Bible says itself about the preservation of the written Word itself.

Isaiah 40:8 – The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Nothing here is tied to an English or other translation of the written word. But God’s truth stands. What He has said lasts forever.

Matthew 24:35 – Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

God’s words are not constrained by time as neither is He. His words endure whether spoken or written.

Psalms 119:89 – LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

God’s truth is established. It is not earthly.

Psalms 12:6-7 – The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.  

I have seen that these are common go to verses for KJVO support but the context of the passage really is not about the written Word or translations. It is a contrast to the ungodly. It is necessary to know the whole context of the passage and not pull out “proof” texts that sound differently when standing alone.

Psa 12:1  To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David. Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. 

Psa 12:2  They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. 

Psa 12:3  The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: 

Psa 12:4  Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us? 

Psa 12:5  For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him. 

Psa 12:6  The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (This is in contrast to those that “puff” at the faithful. God’s words instead are pure.)

Psa 12:7  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. 

(“Keep them” refers to the faithful. Look back at verse 5 relating to the safety the Lord will provide. The “faithful” is what this passage is talking about. KJVO advocates often say “Keep them” is referring to the words that God spoke and that were written. And they extrapolate that therefore the KJV is the preserved pure Word of God and that it is also as perfect as the originals. That strikes me as a lot to assume simply based on a verse taken out of the passage that has a different context.)

Psa 12:8  The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted. 

Again, this passage is about the faithful being surrounded on every side by the wicked and God providing them safety even in their mist. His words are pure whereas the wicked speak words of impurity. Using this for Bible translation arguments is a gross feat of eisegesis. From Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines eisegesis as: “the interpretation of a text (as of the Bible) by reading into it one’s own ideas.” That process has to take place for someone to come up with the notion that fallible men that are not inspired can make a perfect translation from Greek and Hebrew into 1611 English.

Matthew 5:18 – For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

This one is used often as well by KJVO advocates. But it has nothing to do with Bible translations. What it says is true. God’s plan will be carried out.

Nowhere in any of these verses is it promised that God’s written Word will be made available to all people in all languages. The “law” is not the same as “God’s complete written word.” Basically, what God says stands.

The KJVO advocate has to reach to a verse such as Psalm 33:11 which says, “The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.” They will reason then that God’s written word will have to be perfectly preserved into all languages for all generations to come. But the application of this is that the counsel of the Lord is applicable to all. It is forever established and profitable. This compares well to other verses already mentioned.

As seen, there is not a lot to really hang a KJVO hat on. There certainly is not enough actual Bible references to declare with any scripture backed authority that the KJV is as perfect as the original texts. Beyond that, there is no reason for people to insinuate that those who realize the KJV isn’t perfect are saying the Word in it original languages isn’t infallible.

Here are some issues with the KJV. They are not at all reasons to avoid using it but rather reasons to see that it is simply a very good attempt by men to translate the Bible. The KJV uses archaic words. It uses words like “unicorn” and “satyr”. It uses words that are not in use today. It likely misinterprets some words such as “Easter”. The directive behind it made it clear that is was a revision of several already existing English translations none of which were exactly perfect either. I believe the KJV is a good product but it is not the only decent translation. If the KJV were perfect as a translation then there could not even be one mistake. Notice that Jeremiah 49:1 in the 1611 says: “why then doth their king inhereit God.” But the KJV revision later corrects it by saying “why then doth their king inherit Gad.” There is a big difference. The former doesn’t even make sense. And as is the nature of translating work, it can be perfected more and more over time. KJV 1611 readers should be able to understand this as the 1611 KJV was an attempted improvement over the earlier Bishop’s and Tyndale translations. Even the KJV translators themselves didn’t claim they had achieved perfection. Their preface to the reader made it clear that they understood the progression of work on making better translations.

The problem is that people simply are not often diligent enough to study and compare scripture with scripture. In doing so, it is often helpful to look up original tenses and word meanings. There is no perfect way to make complex languages like Hebrew and Greek transition into English. The English language doesn’t have the same complexity or even the full range of words for direct perfect translation. Sometimes the translators used a word that was somewhat close to the root word meaning such as “repentance” from the the root “metanoia.” This doesn’t mean that one has to fret that they cannot trust the KJV etc. but they do need to know that it is wise to let clear passages clarify unclear passages and to take a look at the meanings of words especially when English didn’t have an exact equivalent. The worst thing one can do is eisegesis and make it out as if the Word is saying something it isn’t saying. Being diligent in study is a good way to go toward not letting any translation fool you into something God didn’t say. For example, if anything contradicts the clear truth of the gospel or makes it confusing then look a little longer at other comparable passages, the extended contexts, and word meanings. Don’t lean on the wisdom of men but rather allow the scriptures to speak. You don’t have to become proficient in Greek and Hebrew but you do need to take care to be disciplined to look at the whole picture.

With all that said, I personally still prefer the KJV. I have memorized verses from it and it has a good flow to it. There is a benefit to the difference between words like “thee” and “ye” etc. When studying though it isn’t that I couldn’t once in a while look at other English translations. Remember, you never base whole teachings or doctrines on one word here or there. Scripture needs to agree with itself for doctrinal matters.

The bottom line is that we can be thankful we have not only God’s word but we even have translations into English that make it much more accessible and easier to understand for those of us that don’t read and write in Greek and Hebrew. Don’t let people shame you into thinking you are an enemy of God’s Word if you do not agree that the KJV is perfect in and of itself. Don’t put God’s stamp of perfection on the best efforts of men. Rather let God’s perfection stand as it will anyway for all time. That is what we are to stand on.

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A Call for Kindness and Compassion

The days are commonly filled with agitation and strife. The world wrestles with Covid 19, political angst, and the general curse of sin. Believers in Christ are also often drawn into stressful encounters and situations due to these things. Many have noticed a decline in public civility. There is increased rudeness and growing displays of frustration and impatience. Some are in terrible straights. In my local community, some lost jobs due to Covid 19 and then lost everything else except their own lives to local flooding. Given all these things, there is a real need for the truth. But for believers, there also needs to be real kindness and compassion displayed first to each other and to those afflicted around us. Regardless if someone is struggling with Covid 19 or feelings of oppression, all people are afflicted by the curse of sin in some way.

Notice what our mindset and course of action should be as believers.

Eph. 4:29-32  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Believers ought not say anything that goes against the purpose of edifying those who hear it. Remember that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit. Put away those things listed that accomplish evil things. Rather than that end, be kind. Treat each other, even if you disagree on a topic, with tenderheartedness. We should forgive each other because Christ forgave us. He had great compassion on us by way of the kindness displayed to us in His Son Jesus Christ.

God is a compassionate God.

Psalm 86:15  But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

Psalm 111:4  He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.

Psalm 112:4  Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

Psalm 145:8  The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

So if God is our example, and He has forgiven us, shouldn’t we also be slow to anger and have great mercy toward others? James 1:19-20 gives us the direction: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

Be quick to hear out another person. Do not be quick to judge. Do not quickly  blast someone out of pride. Do not snap at someone because you have let yourself soak in frustration like a sponge. Show them you care first before speaking. Plan what you say so that it can be beneficial to them. Model Christ in your conduct toward them.

Think on Christ’s example.

Mark 6:34  And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

Many times He had compassion on the multitudes or even the individuals that He healed. Jesus was here because God cares. We need to also care about each other and the lost.

Remember the things that are revealed as God’s will for us in this.

1 Peter 3:8  Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

1 John 3:17  But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

There are real needs out there, but will we do what we each can to help meet them? Sometimes that love requires some real world action and sacrifice on our parts.

Jude 1:22  And of some have compassion, making a difference:

The world is full of falsehood and false teachers but we need to have compassion on each other to make a difference. People can be rescued.

Finally think on this passage.

Col. 4:2-6  Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

There is certainly a door open for the sharing of the gospel of Jesus Christ. With so much despair and turmoil, there is a longing for a remedy. The world will offer its cures and reforms but why not offer people something that will remedy their sin curse for all of eternity? Why not offer hurting believers some true rescue from the clutches of deception? Let us walk wisely knowing the time is short. Let us have grace come out of our mouths as much as is possible. We represent Christ and He is the key.

Posted in Bible Basics, Christian living | 10 Comments

Beware of the “grace” view on “Jesus died spiritually”

As resurrection Sunday is upon us, I would like us to consider the perfect sacrifice that is Jesus Christ. I am reminded again of the importance of not placing a spot on our Savior. Unfortunately, the grace community of believers is not a stranger to allowing teaching that in some way has Christ dying spiritually on the cross. Some, like R.B Thieme, went so far as to say the blood is basically unimportant but that His supposed spiritual death atoned for sin. As many know, my Pastor and I have written a book explaining the reasons why the Bible simply does not teach that Jesus died spiritually. We also state why it is such an important topic. This isn’t a trifle of an issue because doctrine of the atonement matters.

Part of the big impetus for the book was coming into contact with those in our midst that teach JDS. I would like to review (blog style) an article that we deal with quite a bit in the book. Hopefully this can be supplemental to the book.

Tom Stegall, a preacher who I have no issue with personally, in 2017 published an article on Grace Gospel Press titled “Did Christ Die Spiritually and Physically”. Here is my reaction section by section. I will put his words in quotes and mine in ( ).

Stegall starts off by talking about a Catholic error that has people believe that their members can add their suffering to Christ’s work. This is supposed to somehow gain them completed forgiveness. It boils down to helping God pay for one’s sins. Obviously, this is incorrect but be careful always about how you correct an error. It does not help to correct an error with your own error.

Tom Stegall rightly sees that the aforementioned Catholic teaching is a problem. That is good but look at what his resolution is.

“Having been raised Roman Catholic, I can attest to having missed the spiritual significance of Jesus’ death on the cross. Although I was moved with emotional sympathy for the great injustice and physical agony Christ endured, I never understood that He was paying the penalty for my sins completely because I was too occupied with my own attempts to tip the scales of God’s favor by my own good works. Without faith in Christ alone, I could see only His external, physical suffering and was blind to the spiritual aspect of His death.”

(I bolded the last words of his quote for emphasis. Stegall makes it sound as though the thing that makes Christ’s atonement complete is the spiritual aspect of His death.)

Tom says there are difficult questions to answer and that,

“…not every aspect of the Lord’s death is addressed in Scripture (Deut. 29:29); but enough has been revealed for us to study (Ps. 111:2)…”

(I find this a curious statement as Deut. 29:29 appears to be used out of context. Though there is enough to study indeed. As with anything, use the clearest passages to interpret the less clear or confusing passages. I simply do not see that being done by JDS advocates.)

One must understand the rationale behind a view. Stegall on the outset attempts to define death. This is a fine thing to do but be careful of application. Careful attention to detail will have to be given to this section.

“In order to understand why Christ died in our place and what it means to die spiritually, it is necessary first to understand the Bible’s teaching on death.”

(An understanding of kinds of death is fine but it is key not to miss is what was required of Christ in order to be the propitiation.)

“Scripture states that the penalty for sin is death: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).”

(Yes this is true for mankind. For them there is an eternal separation from God forever.)

“Death in the Bible does not mean cessation of existence, but separation.”

(It could be said that the body is separated from the spirit at death. It could be said that spiritual separation occurs for men in God’s sight.)

“When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, he did not cease to exist. But something changed immediately in his relationship with God. Adam died spiritually.”

(Yes, this is what has happened for mankind.)

“Adam died spiritually in the sense of being separated in his relationship with God. Obviously, Adam did not die physically that day since Genesis 5:5 states that he went on to live for hundreds of years before dying at the age of 930.”

(Yes, that much is true.)

Now here is the misstep.

“The example of Adam helps us to see how it was possible for Christ to be physically alive on the cross, while at the same time undergoing a spiritual death or judicial separation from God the Father.”

(This is a critical error to make. Adam’s spiritual death and eventual physical death is no help to understand Christ why Christ would have died spiritually. Christ came not to be punished with what man was punished with. He came to do what man could not as in dying as the pure sacrifice without sin. He came to fulfill what the Father wanted in that of a perfect sacrifice for sin. Hebrews goes into great detail on this. In order to be pure and accepted as the proper sacrifice, Christ needed to be without sin all the way through. Dying spiritually is not being without sin on his account. Taking sins upon his body, however, leaves his spirit intact. Christ came to shed His spotless blood and lay down His life for us physically. It needed to be the sacrifice of himself.)

See this table for and illustration of the difference:


Stegall mentions other verses about the concept for men and spiritual separation, but they are irrelevant to the question on whether or not Christ died spiritually.

“In reference to Christ’s physical death, Scripture states that He bore our sins “in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24) and was “put to death in the flesh” (1 Peter 2:24; 3:18). In addition, we have been set apart to God (positional sanctification) by “the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:10).”

(Stegall should have stopped there.)

But he went on to say,

“This article, along with extensive quotations from leading Bible teachers to show that the spiritual aspect of Christ’s death, far from being a novel view, is in fact the normal view.”

(Let’s get this straight. As for the Bible, this is not a normal view. As for people, it wouldn’t be easy to quantify normal. There is disagreement and variances of opinion across the board on this through every possible group and stripe of person that remotely calls themselves Christian. I’ve talked to many that reject this flat out right away. Some don’t know. Some tolerate it a bit and toy with it like a cat that found a mole. Some heartily defend JDS. I take what Tom is saying as meaning that, as far as he is concerned, the people he cares about agree with him. Now that may be true, but are they correct? The same thing could be said for Calvinism. Grace is not the majority view on salvation. It is the common view to add something to Christ’s work.)

“Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

“Some who deny the spiritual aspect of Christ’s death claim that He only intended this statement as a figurative expression of His physical agony and that He was simply reciting this verse to the crowd assembled at Calvary, not crying out directly and personally to God. But this interpretation seems hollow in light of the particular verse Jesus chose to quote and when He spoke it.”

(It is important to understand the context of Psalm 22. David describes his predicament. Remember that David had not died spiritually after salvation. Rather he was facing physical and emotional distress. He wondered how long it would take for the Lord to answer him but yet he had faith in that the Lord did hear him and would help. The passage also goes into a foreshadowing of Christ’s physical and great emotional suffering. It is possible that Christ both prayed to God and pointed to this verse as a way of identifying himself as the promised lamb of God. Note also that “forsaken” is not spiritual in context here. It is a physical leaving of Christ to suffer and die alone on the cross.)

“Christ’s choice to quote Psalm 22:1a was significant. Out of 23,145 verses in the Old Testament, He chose just one that precisely conveyed what He was experiencing at that moment in His personal relationship with God the Father.”

(This is misleading since nothing happened to the relationship between the Son and the Father. There was no rupture in the Trinity as at least one grace pastor has said. Further than that, Christ was and is always pleasing to the Father. There is no statement in scripture to say otherwise. Remember back to the old testament sacrifices. The Lord was greatly pleased by the proper sacrifice. That thing offered was considered most holy and the people were not to defile it. Christ was not defiled in any way while bearing our sin in His body on the tree. 1 Pet 2:24)

“Furthermore, no other verse in Psalm 22 uses the word “forsaken” or conveys as strongly the idea that the Son of God was separated from God the Father on the cross.”

(This loses apparent significance for the JDS advocate if the context is physical suffering as opposed to spiritual death. Really it just bolsters the fact that Christ physically suffered for us as foretold.)

“Christ did not quote Psalm 22:1a during the first three hours of His crucifixion, but yelled it out during the hours of darkness, when God the Father was pouring out His wrath in judgment on His own Son. Why? Because at that time our sins were judicially imputed to Christ (2 Cor. 5:21) and He was punished in our place, bearing the wages of sin that we deserved—death—even spiritual death.”

(The JDS advocate, like Stegall, tends to presume that part of God’s wrath is separating Christ spiritually. They even go to lengths to say that what Christ really wanted to avoid in the garden prayer was the coming “spiritual” separation.)

(Notice another problem here. The Bible does not say that our sins were judicially imputed to Christ as in making it so that He dies spiritually. He doesn’t become an actual sinner. But you would have to be if you are spiritually dead. It would be the same difference. Nor did Christ become sin itself. (More on that later.) He was sentenced to die physically for us. The Bible says cursed is every man that hangeth upon a tree. He bore that reproach for us as an innocent.)

Stegall then proceeds to based his argument on the opinions of others.

“J. Vernon McGee ex-plains the unique nature of this death:

He did not die as martyrs who in their death sang praises of joy and confessed that Christ was standing by them. . . . Our Lord didn’t die like that. He was forsaken of God. He said, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Matt. 27:46). His death was different. He died alone—alone with the sins of the world upon Him.2”

(This statement would be fine if he means physically forsaken.)

“But in those last three hours He made His soul an offering for sin, and it pleased the Father to bruise Him (see Isa. 53:10). Forsaken. My friend, you do not know what that is; and I do not know what it is to be forsaken of God. The vilest man on this earth today is not forsaken of God. Anyone can turn to Him. But when Christ takes my sin upon Himself, He is forsaken of God. “Why hast thou forsaken me?” It is not the why of impatience. It is not the why of despair; it is not the why of doubt.”

(Christ had no doubt in the Father. That is an absurd statement.)

“McGee’s interpretation of Christ’s cry of abandonment is shared by other sound Bible teachers and theologians, such as John Walvoord:”

(It is not sound to get the atonement wrong. That HAS to be correct or what basis do you have for anything theologically?)

“The cry of Jesus has been variously interpreted, but it seems clear that God had judicially forsaken Jesus on the cross in contrast to the fact that He had strengthened Him in the garden of Gethsemane. Here Jesus was bearing the sins of the whole world, and even God the Father had to turn away as Jesus bore the curse and identified Himself with the sins of the whole world. When Jesus actually died, He commended Himself back into the Father’s hands.4″

(First, there is no such thing as “judicially forsaken”. It sounds like a philosophical construct conjured up by some seminary professor. While one could play around with this term in regard to being sentenced to die physically, it would be incorrect to say Christ was judicially spiritually forsaken.)

“Saying that Jesus was “judicially forsaken” is a vital qualification regarding the spiritual aspect of Christ’s substitutionary death.”

(I am sure it is for the JDS advocate, but again, what is the context?)

“The Son of God was not spatially or ontologically separated from God the Father and God the Holy Spirit since it is impossible for God in His essence or being to be separated. Christ’s separation from the Father was a judicial and relational act of judgment, not a metaphysical or spatial separation, as if God the Son ceased to be a member of the Triune Godhead for the finite period in which He died in our place.”

(Here you have some philosophical wrangling. The judicial act was that of the sentence of physical death. There was no stated relational act ever mentioned as being required. Nor did any occur. Oddly, some grace guys apparently are ok with going as far as to say there was a rupture in the Trinity. They chalk it up to some great mystery. The real mystery to me is why they think they need to read between the lines.)

Stegall quotes Erwin Lutzer who said, “This was a break in fellowship, not a breach of the fundamental unity of the Father and the Son.5″

(That might sound impressive except for the fact that the Bible mentions no break in fellowship.)

“Of course, God cannot die, if by death we mean some form of annihilation. But if death is defined as separation (for us the separation of the spirit and the body), then God died in the sense that the Son was separated from the Father.6

(This is still theologically impossible seeing that there are a multitude of verses tying the Father to the Son to the Holy Spirit. You cannot simply say the Son of God is separated from the Father. What of the person of the Holy Spirit? What about verses like I and my Father are one. Or Jesus Christ the same today and forever…?)

Charles Ryrie reiterates the same point:

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34). The first three sayings were probably all spoken before noon. This one, which is in every way central, was uttered about 3 P.M., after three hours of darkness and silence during which the Son of God bore the sin of the world. In that work He had to be forsaken by God, and yet at the same time there was no splitting up of the Trinity. All that is involved is inscrutable, but He gave Himself, He was made sin, He bore our sins, and His soul was made an offering for sin.7

(Understand that “soul” does not mean a spiritual death. It means life and can carry with it mental and emotional aspects. This becomes an important distinction in the upcoming section.)

Stegall directs the discussion to Isaiah 53 where supposedly the word nephesh means spirit or some immaterial part of man. Also in this section, notice the context of Isaiah 53. It is all about physical and emotional suffering of Christ and not spiritual death.

“10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul [nephesh] an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul [nephesh], and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul [nephesh] unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

(Replace the word nephesh for “life” and it is clear. Also, notice the physical and emotional context words such as bruise and grief.)

“Some who hold that Christ died only physically interpret “soul” (nephesh) in these verses as referring only to Christ’s body or physical life that He offered on the cross.”

(Yes, this view is the most consistent with scripture.)

“They say the word “soul” in verses 10‒12 is limited in meaning to just Christ’s body rather than the immaterial part of Him.”

(Look up the definition of the word.)

“The interpretation that “soul” in Isaiah 53:10‒12 refers only to Christ’s body appears to be theologically driven based on a preconceived doctrinal conclusion, for there is nothing in the context, grammar, or parallel usage of nephesh within Isaiah to limit its meaning to the physical body alone.”

(I would say the whole JDS view is driven based on a philosophical construct read back into certain less clear texts while ignoring much of the rest of the Bible. There is nothing in the context of Isaiah 53 that indicates spiritual death or loss of fellowship. You would only think so if you are doing eisegesis to try to fit your preconceived notion. Here are the other uses of “nephesh” in Isaiah: herself, fish, themselves, man, life, and greedy dogs.)

Strong’s gives this definition: נֶפֶשׁ nephesh, neh’-fesh; from H5314; properly, a breathing creature, i.e. animal of (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental):—any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, × dead(-ly), desire, × (dis-) contented, × fish, ghost, greedy, he, heart(-y), (hath, × jeopardy of) life (× in jeopardy), lust, man, me, mind, mortally, one, own, person, pleasure, (her-, him-, my-, thy-) self, them (your) -selves, slay, soul, tablet, they, thing, (× she) will, × would have it.

So you see it can be used as body or mental. Isaiah 53 talks about physical and emotional suffering. That seems to fit.  Spirit is different. Try Isaiah 42:1. It uses “nephesh” as “soul”, but notice also the word “spirit”. Isa 42:1  Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. They are not the same.

“Isaiah 26:9 also uses Hebrew poetry’s standard form of synonymous parallelism to speak of the “soul” (nephesh) and “spirit” (ruach) as the immaterial, inner part of man (ruach cf. Dan. 7:15). Therefore, Isaiah’s use of nephesh permits the meaning of the word in 53:10-12 as being either (a) the immaterial part of man, or (b) the body plus the immaterial part of man (the whole person), but not (c) the body alone.8 Since nephesh never means the body alone everywhere else it occurs in Isaiah, to interpret the word this way in 53:10 would be an example of forcing one’s theological views onto the verse, which would be eisegesis rather than exegesis.”

(This is still misleading and incorrect. Spiritual death is different than simply the mind or the will or emotions or those things unseen by sight. Also consider again that soul and spirit are not necessarily the same:

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

1 Th 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Heb_4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.)

Stegall quotes Ironside who says,

“Let me remind you that it was not simply the physical suffering which our blessed Lord endured upon the cross that made expiation for iniquity. It was what He suffered in His holy, spotless soul, in His sinless being, when the judgment that our sins deserved fell on Him.9″

(What!? You’d better have scripture to back up that whopper of a statement. Sadly there are none. There are a multitude of ones that refute this.)

“Another crucial clarification about Christ’s sacrificial death in Isaiah 53 is that He died only one death, not two.” Some who speak of Christ’s “two deaths” appeal to the plural use of “death” in Isaiah 53:9, which says He was “with the rich in His death,” where the Hebrew word for “death” is plural. However, the plural here for “deaths” is simply an instance of the intensive plural,10 which is a well-recognized category of usage.11

(That is correct. But note that Robert Dean teaches the two death view.)

“Technically, there were two aspects to Christ’s one death—a spiritual and a physical aspect—not two separate deaths.”

(Technically there was no such thing for Christ. For Adam yes, but not Christ. This is compound death of Christ mentioned earlier.)

“From Christ’s perspective, His work was so certain to be finished that He could speak of it beforehand as already finished.”

(I don’t have a problem with that but then comes the issue.)

“Theologically, this is significant, for it shows that when Christ said “It is finished” He clearly meant to encompass both aspects of His death—His spiritual separation from God the Father on the cross and the moment that His spirit separated from His body at physical death.”

(Clearly? Not hardly.)

“While on the cross, Christ trusted God His Father to receive His spirit and have their fellowship restored immediately upon physical death since at that point the debt of sin would be fully paid and God the Father would be fully propitiated or satisfied (Isa. 53:11; Rom. 3:25). For this reason, Christ could not have gone to Hell after His death.”

(So Christ is spiritually separated / dead on the cross yet is somehow going to be restored upon giving up His physical life?? Talk about eisegesis. That is totally reading something in. Nothing corroborates this. It is only there out of necessity to complete the previous missteps without having to have the big misstep of sending Christ also to hell itself. Dennis Rokser and Stegall seem content to have Christ suffering a type of hell on the cross but don’t want to go as far as the Joyce Meyer’s of the world and send Jesus to hell itself. But why was there a need to even go that far?? It boggles the mind.)

Stegall mentions Hebrews 5:7 and quotes Dwight Pentecost who said, ”

“Another explanation is that Christ was praying not concerning physical death, but spiritual death. The penalty for disobedience to God was death (Gen. 2:17). This death was the separation of the sinner from God—that is, spiritual death—and physical death was the result of prior spiritual death. Therefore if Jesus Christ was to satisfy the demands of God’s holiness, righteousness, and justice to provide salvation for people who are dead, He would have to experience the same death that separated them from God. He must enter into spiritual death, as anticipated in the prophetic 22nd Psalm where the sufferer cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (22:1). Here is a mystery deeper than any human mind can comprehend: How could God the Father and God the Son—who are one—be separated one from the other? Yet Christ realized such separation was involved in providing salvation for sinners. Since only that kind of separation or spiritual death could satisfy the demands of a holy, just God, Christ could not have been praying that He would be spared that which was essential.14″

(So Pentecost got it wrong to. He didn’t understand the requirement as illustrated earlier. He though as some do that more than a perfect sacrifice was required. He thought that Christ had to suffer the same spiritual death man suffers in order for expiation of sin to occur. The Bible never says this. The Old testament types don’t show this. The new testament verses do not say it.)

“Robert Gromacki also interprets Hebrews 5:7 as a reference to Christ’s spiritual death:

The most plausible position is that He prayed to be delivered from the realm of eternal death, the second death of separation from God. The punishment for sin is both physical and spiritual death (Rom. 6:23). At the cross Christ experienced this double death in order to provide both physical and spiritual redemption for lost humanity.15″

(So another guy gets this flat wrong. The punishment for man is Rom 6:23. Christ wasn’t punished that way because He was innocent. Period. Double death nullifies the spotless lamb.)

Concerning 1 Peter 3:18 Stegall says, “The New American Standard Bible and English Standard Version translate the end of the verse to say that Christ was “put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit” rather than “made alive in the Spirit.””

(The KJV says, “1 Pet 3:18  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” Jesus was simply made alive again by the Spirit. This is not talking about being restored to fellowship or regeneration. I find it odd that Stegall talks about spiritual death so freely on one hand for Christ but dances away from Him needing to be regenerated. In that regard, he couches it in softer terms of restoration of fellowship. No guiltless sinless person needs restoration of any fellowship. If it is just like men then yes, He would have also had to have been regenerated! See why it doesn’t follow?)

“The Lord did not need to be born again because He never became a sinner like the rest of humanity. Even when He took our sins upon Himself and died as our substitute, our sins did not become part of His nature but were legally imputed to Him.”

(This is contradictory to earlier statements. If he lost fellowship and was separated spiritually, then he is spiritually dead like humans and, as others have said, in line to suffer their fate. Some say as seen above that He supposedly had to do this to atone for sin. The sins were not legal imputed to Him spiritually. Remember, his physical life was forfeited for us.)

“When 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be made sin for us,” it does not mean that Christ metaphysically became sin itself, but only that He became a sin-offering for us.”

(This is true. Some with JDS views do say he became sin itself.)

“Ironside says in reference to this verse, “In both the original languages in which the two Testaments were written, the same words were used for sin and sin offering; so we may understand this expression to mean, ‘He was made the sin offering.’”16″

(Yes this makes my point. Christ was a sin offering that was spotless all the way through.)

“Christ never became unregenerate or a sinner when our sins were placed upon Him and He was judicially condemned in our place. Therefore, He did not need, as we do, the “washing of regeneration” (Titus 3:5) or to have the old man put off through the new birth (Col. 2:11; 3:9).”

(Again, this is contradictory. They want one side to be right but force the other side to stick. It doesn’t jive. It is actually really bad theology. What spiritually dead or separated person was not unregenerate? The uniqueness of Christ was not that He was the only spiritually separated person to not be unregenerate but rather He was the only person to live a sinless life and be able to be the propitiation for sin.)

“John Whitcomb joins Gromacki, Pentecost, Ironside, Ryrie, Lutzer, Walvoord, McGee, and a host of other sound Bible teachers in accurately summa-rizing the biblical view of Christ’s death:”

(So far it has proven to be a bad list. Maybe everyone should take notes and be wary of things these guys taught. It is problematic that they got the atonement wrong.)

Whitcomb says, “The last three hours that Jesus was on the cross He was physically alive, right? But He was spiritually dead. Why? The Father turned away from Him.”

(People might not be aware but no verse says that the Father turned away. Yet Whitcomb says so.)

“But the minute He died physically He became alive spiritually. Why? Because He said, “Into Thy hands I commend My spirit.” ”

(Now I have heard everything. This should make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. The Bible says no such thing. This is all eisegesis and speculation. It may sound logical in isolation but fall straight apart upon even a rudimentary comparison of other scriptures.)

“To say that Christ died both spiritually and physically on the cross does not contradict the unity of the Trinity or the sinlessness of Christ but is simply the teaching of Scripture.”

(It does indeed contradict a huge swath of scriptures. Yes, it does damage the Trinity. IT spots the Savior. It destroys the concept of the object of our faith. How can you say a spiritually dead person is sinless at the same time. And if He is sinless then He need restoration of fellowship for what exactly??)

“As man is material and immaterial, having body, soul, and spirit (1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 4:12), so Christ died both physically and spiritually as our perfect substitute in body (1 Peter 2:24), soul (Isa. 53:10), and spirit (1 Peter 3:18). ■”

(No, this does not square with the concept of the sacrifice that please God the Father.)

In summary, here are the verses for JDS that were given: Isa 53:10-12, Psalm 22, Forsaken me, I Pet, Heb 5:7 and 2 Cor 5:21. Some also try to use the garden passage the night before the crucifixion. That is pretty much it. But all of these are easily shown to have better interpretations in their given contexts. Please see my book for those. Here are some verses that say otherwise.

John 10:17  Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
John 10:18  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (Christ took it again because He was always righteous. He had the power over sin and death.)

Lev 6:17  It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering.

Lev 6:25  Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy. (Over and over again the thing offered was seen as most holy. So was Christ. He was always pure and seen as most Holy in God’s sight. He is the object that the sacrifices pointed to.

1 Pet 2:24  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
(A JDS advocate would have to reword this as Who his own self bare our sins in his own spirit on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness, by whose spiritual separation ye were healed.)

Eph 1:7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Eph 2:15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Eph 2:16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Eph 5:2  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. (Christ was not separated but rather a sweet smelling savour similar to the drink offering.)

Mat 27:24  When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

Mar 14:24  And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

John 6:54  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Rom 3:25  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Rom 5:9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (you see blood over and over yet never justified by his spiritual death)

1 Cor 11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

1 Cor 10:16  The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

1 Cor 11:27  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. (body and blood, not spiritual death of the Lord)

Col 1:14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Col 1:20  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Col 1:22  In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Heb_2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Heb 9:12  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Heb 9:13  For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
Heb 9:14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Heb 9:22  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (the guys above would have one to believe that without the spiritual separation of Christ there is no remission)

Heb 9:25  Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

Heb 10:5  Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

Heb 10:19  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Heb 10:29  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Heb 13:12  Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

Heb 13:20  Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

1 Pet 1:2  Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

1 Pet 1:19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Rev 1:5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Rev 5:9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; Rev 7:14

Please see many more verse mentioned in my book The Perfect Sacrifice. I pray that you all will embrace the miraculous spotless Savior and rejoice in the great deliverance that Christ provided us by virtue of His broken body and shed blood. He laid down His life, was buried, and rose again. Praise the Lord for our Savior. Don’t let anyone tarnish Him.

Please see also:

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A God so Loving

A profound thought struck me recently in a discussion with a friend. Isn’t it entirely incredible that the creator God of the universe loved me so much that He sent His only begotten Son to the cross for me despite His knowledge of my sin and failures (past, present, and future). Despite all that, He did it anyway. Not only that, but He loved the whole world of mankind just that much. (Jn 3:16) Christ would have to live perfectly then bear reproach, ridicule, mockery, shame, humiliation, and excruciating physical pain. He had to lay down his physical life all for redemption of those that offend Him so much so often. Think about that. Would you do all that for anyone. Much less for people that sin against you? Would you be that sacrificial and pure in unconditioned love?

Some may be tempted to question God’s goodness at times of struggle and hardship. But remember His love. During current times the world wrestles with pandemic outbreaks and panic lacking hope yet there is, above it all, a wondrous loving Savior. This Savior provides salvation from something far more important than physical distress. He has secured the cure for our death sentence of sin. This penalty results in a sentence of eternal damnation and separation from God forever. Go back to his love. God not willing that any should perish sent His Son to seek and to save. (2 Pet 3:9, Lk 19:10)  And, praise the Lord, He has been successful. He stands now with open arms offering this deliverance freely to us upon the merits of Christ. No standing in line is needed. There is no waiting list to receive this cure. Simply accept it by faith.  It is based on His gracious love after all, not our merit.

Think of the tragedy of not accepting this free gift. Use the current world situation as an illustration. So often upon realization of need, people run to the stores for goods often times to find that they are too late. Don’t be too late to realize your need of the Savior and accept His salvation by faith. (Acts 16:31) You only have this lifetime to accept it and you do not know how long that will be. The matter is far more urgent than any earthly concern.

For believers, know that your God loved you and loves you now and forever. His love is undying. Walk with a motivated assurance and spring in your step knowing that you are redeemed and no matter what happens you have hope. Believers have the calm assurance that one day we will be with our Savior. We will be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. (I John 3:2)  No matter what comes about in this fallen world ultimately due to the curse of sin, we can look to fix our minds upon our loving Savior and conquer any situation. We are already conquerors in Him who loved us. (Rom 8:37)

Let peace then reign in your life. Do not be cast about here and there by fear and doubts and worry but rather heed God’s Word. The Bible mentions this principle in Isaiah 26:3-4  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:. Christ has taken away the power and sting of death itself (Isa 25:8, I Cor 15:55, Heb 2:14, 2 Tim 1:10) and there constantly to make intersession for us. Likewise He can always help with our infirmities (global pandemics included).

Scriptures for inspiration:

Rom 8:26  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Rom 8:27  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Rom 8:34  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Heb 7:25  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Christ has conquered sin and death motived by love. Will you be motivated by the same love and show it to others? Please remember that is God so loving and His continual love is shown to us that don’t deserve it. Today if you have not trusted Christ as Savior then receive His cure by faith.

I wish you blessing in Christ,

Jim Floyd

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