Category Archives: SIN

“Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?”

“THOU THAT ABHORREST IDOLS, DOST THOU COMMIT SACRILEGE?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

Romans 2:22 says, “Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?” What are we to make of the terminating expression, “thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?”

The larger context is chapter 1 and verse 18, all the way to chapter 3 and verse 20. God is condemning mankind as nothing but sinners worthy of His wrath. Judgment—the Tribulation period—was on its way when our Dispensation of Grace interrupted Israel’s prophetic timeline. With a new program beginning with the Apostle Paul’s conversion and commission (Acts chapter 9), there is a new Gospel message as well. That Gospel message—called “the Gospel of the Grace of God” in Acts 20:24—begins in Romans chapter 3 and verse 21 and continues until chapter 5 and verse 21.

Romans 1:18-32 is directed toward the wicked, idolatrous Gentiles (or nations) JEHOVAH God had given over to Satan at the Tower of Babel over 2,000 years earlier. Paul would later preach to these idol-worshipping pagans, telling them the reason for their awful condition.

Acts 14:15-17: “[15] And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: [16] Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. [17] Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”

Acts 17:28-30: “[28] For in him [God] we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. [29] Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. [30] And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:….”

Since these pagan Gentiles are cohorts of Satan, they are deserving of God’s wrath. However, God has delayed that wrath, and sent Paul to preach to them all about how Jesus Christ died for their sins, was buried, and rose again the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). They could, by faith, have a relationship with the one true God their ancestors had rejected back at the Tower of Babel. Ultimately, in Christ, they would avoid that wrath altogether (including Hell and the Lake of Fire). After centuries upon centuries of spiritual ignorance, utter darkness, these Gentiles could come into the light of God’s grace! We will stop here and back up a bit.

Ephesians 2:11-13 contrasts the “time past” and “but now” arrangements: “[11] Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; [12] That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: [13] But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” Verse 13 is Paul’s ministry—“but now.” The period known as “time past” was when Israel had a relationship with God while the Gentiles were without Him.

The Jews scorned the Gentiles for their pagan idolatry, but there was one problem. Whether Jew or Gentile, they had all come from one father—Adam! So, God the Holy Spirit began in Romans chapter 2 to show the Jews that they were just as worthy of His wrath as the Gentiles of chapter 1. We see the “Jews” named in verse 17 of chapter 2, but they are implied in verse 1 of chapter 2 and go all the way to verse 20 of chapter 3. By the time chapter 2 winds down and chapter 3 has begun, God begins to lump Jew and Gentile into one pitiful group. Whether unsaved Jew or unsaved Gentile, they are all under sin and Satan’s control!

The following quotes from Romans chapter 3 summarize: “[9] What then? are we [Jews] better than they [Gentiles]? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; [10] As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: [11] There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. [12] They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. [13] Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: [14] Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: [15] Their feet are swift to shed blood: [16] Destruction and misery are in their ways: [17] And the way of peace have they not known: [18] There is no fear of God before their eyes. [19] Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world [Jew and Gentile] may become guilty before God. [20] Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” And, of course, how could we forget verse 23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” “All” have sinned means “Gentiles and Jews.”

We will forgo any further background comments, and proceed to answering your question. Romans chapter 2 reads: “[17] Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, [18] And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; [19] And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, [20] An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.”

The nation Israel had such self-confidence, boastful of knowing God’s Word and will (namely, the Mosaic Law) whereas the Gentiles were given over to spiritual ignorance (cf. Romans 9:4-5 and Ephesians 2:11-12). You can see the Gentiles in Romans chapter 2 (above) described as “the blind… them which are in darkness… the foolish… babes.” The Jews need not get smug (self-righteous) here. Actually, the Holy Spirit through Paul will now issue proofs of His charges against the Jews. He will pose a series of four questions that outright condemn Israel, to counter her pomposity. These questions are God’s way of trying to convert unsaved Jews during Paul’s Acts ministry. The last question is the one with which you are struggling. We need to look at all four separately to get the full picture. The first three will establish a pattern that we can use to interpret the final one (your baffling question).

Romans 2:21a: “Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?”

This question is the primary one, with the last three being derivatives. The Jews that teach others, do they not teach themselves? This is basically another way of saying, “Do you practice what you preach? You tell others to do something and to learn something, but have you yourself done that something and learned that something?” (Of course, the answer is “NO.” Watch the following questions.)

Romans 2:21b: “thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?”

“Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15) is the Eighth Commandment. It was part of the most fundamental portion of the Mosaic Law. Israel had entered this contractual agreement with JEHOVAH God at Mount Sinai (see Exodus 19:1-9). She was expected to keep it perfectly or be cursed/punished severely. As Paul writes, the Jews condemned the Gentiles as thieves (“You Mosaic-Law breakers, you anti-God sinners!”). Yet, Paul asked, “Do you Jews steal?” (The implication is they do.) In effect, the Holy Spirit says, “Then, you have no right to look down on those Gentiles. You are guilty of the same sin!” Or, to say it more bluntly, “You Jews are hypocrites!”

Romans 2:22a: “Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery?”

This was another one of the 10 Commandments—the Seventh, specifically. “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” said Exodus 20:14. Yet, according to Romans chapter 2, the Jews committed adultery as often as their Gentile neighbors. To wit, the Israelites lost their testimony, ignoring Moses’ warnings many centuries earlier in Deuteronomy chapter 4: “[5] Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. [6] Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. [7] For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? [8] And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?”

The Israelites were to use God’s Word in life to show themselves to be different. They were to behave in God’s land like they were God’s people. Yet, they tossed aside that Word and became like everyone else in thought, word, and deed. Remember, this is the whole case the Holy Spirit is laying out in the second chapter of Romans. Israel cannot be self-righteous because she is just as evil and deserving of divine wrath as the Gentiles she criticizes. She needs Paul’s Gospel just as much as the pagan Gentiles to whom he is now preaching in Acts. Without Paul’s ministry, the wrath of God would fall upon all those evildoers.

Israel had the Law, the eternal words of the eternal God, but that did not make them any less sinful than the Gentiles who did not have the Law. Possessing the words of God, and believing and doing the words of God, are two separate matters. Romans chapter 3 opens with the following: “[1] What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? [2] Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.” Israel had the Word of God, and yet acted like they did not!

Romans 2:22b: “thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?”

This is the problematic question. “Abhor idols… commit sacrilege?” Again, we set the tone by using the inquiries that have preceded this. The Jews condemned the Gentiles for stealing—they also were thieves. They censured the nations for committing adultery—they too were adulterers. They Jews condemned the Gentiles for being unclean idolaters—they too committed sacrilege. Idolatry and sacrilege are paired, please note.

As per The Oxford English Dictionary, “sacrilege” means “violation or misuse of what is regarded as sacred.” It is taken from the Latin sacrilegium, from sacrilegus ‘stealer of sacred things’, from sacer, sacr- ‘sacred’ + legere ‘take possession of.’ The idea of sacrilege then is something “holy” being stolen and used for “unholy” purposes. The Greek word rendered “sacrilege” appears one time in the King James Bible—here in Romans 2:22. It is hierosuleo (hieron, “temple;” sylao, “to rob”).

In the Law, God taught Israel that idols were unclean. They were not to get involved with either idol-making or idol-worship (see Exodus 20:1-6, Exodus 34:13-17, et al.). On one hand, to feel religious, Israel “abhorred” (hated, detested) the idols and criticized the Gentiles for associating with such false deities. Yet, as Paul said, the Jews would rob temples. The tone has already been set, so we can just come out and say it. Israel would greedily seize the idols of the Gentiles! They would take the holy vessels and other objects of the pagan temples and set them up for themselves! Being sinners as well, Israel did not mind touching those filthy objects, dirty instruments used in the offering of unclean animals and blood. (And yet, Israel denounced the Gentiles for being ceremonially unclean and idolatrous!!!)

Romans 2:24 is a stinging reprimand, a most fitting way to conclude this study: “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you [Israel!], as it is written.”

Also see:
» Can you explain Romans 2:24?
» What is the “temptation” in 1 Corinthians 10:13?
» Why do some Christians persistently behave like lost people?

Who are the “fearful” in Revelation 21:8?

WHO ARE THE “FEARFUL” IN REVELATION 21:8?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Revelation 21:7-8 stands near the end of the Bible: “[7] He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. [8] But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” As you can see, verse 8 lists numerous familiar transgressions… but what of “the fearful?” How can fear be a sin? What is this “fear” and who are those “fearful?”

Our 1611 translators rendered the Greek word deilos elsewhere two other times as “fearful.” It appears in the well-known account of Jesus calming the storm as He and His disciples are in a little boat on the Sea of Galilee. The disciples are so afraid of dying in a shipwreck that they frantically awake sleeping Jesus. As the omnipotent Creator, He arises and commands the wind and the sea to cease their violence. They do!

Notice Matthew 8:26: “And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” The parallel verse, Mark 4:40: “And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” People doubt God’s Word here. These are disciples, followers/students, of Christ. Not trusting God’s Word results in timidity, dread, cowardice (lack of courage). No matter the dispensation, God’s people can be cowards. God did not fail them; they failed God. Do you think Jesus would have let the boat suffer so much as a tiny leak… when He Himself was on that boat with them? Oh, certainly not! Yet, the disciples behaved like they were all in jeopardy of losing their lives.

So, is Revelation 21:8 speaking of believers in or followers of Christ being cast into the Lake of Fire? After all, believers can be cowards at times (see the verses above, and consider Christians today who refuse to take a stand for Jesus Christ and His doctrine because they fear negative reactions from others). We have to keep the verse in its context. It is not about us Christians in the Dispensation of Grace; it has nothing to do with believers losing their salvation because they doubted God’s Word.

Re-read Revelation 21:7: “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” Then verse 8 begins, But the fearful….” There is the prominent issue of “overcoming” in Israel’s last days. Remember, this is the prophetic program, not our mystery program. The first sense of “overcoming” was provided already in the opening chapters of the Revelation. They have to “overcome” the deception of the Antichrist—see God’s message to the seven churches in Revelation 2:7,11,17,26 and Revelation 3:5,12,21. God promises those who overcome, they will inherit all things (Revelation 21:7). They will share in Jesus Christ’s inheritance in the earthly kingdom. God will be their God and they will be His people (see verse 3, if necessary).

In contrast to the believers in verse 7, there are unbelievers and these are those in verse 8. There are eight categories of sinners in verse 8:But the (1) fearful, and (2) unbelieving, and the (3) abominable, and (4) murderers, and (5) whoremongers, and (6) sorcerers, and (7) idolaters, and all (8) liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

The first group is the “fearful.” This would not be Christians today but rather Jews who refuse to follow Jesus Christ for fear of persecution during the Antichrist’s (future) reign. They were God’s physical people (through Abraham) but they did not want to become His spiritual people (through Christ) because then they would ridiculed by sinful men. They did not want to confess Jesus Christ before men; they denied Him. How they did this was—we are looking back on Daniel’s 70th Week (as John is doing)—they accepted Antichrist and his mark and worshipped his image. Jesus had warned in Matthew chapter 10: “[32] Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. [33] But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (This was spoken in view of His Second Coming, which is His return to destroy Antichrist and his followers.)

The “deniers” will not overcome because they will not believe that Jesus is Christ. They will completely reject God’s truth. They will fall for Satan’s lie and believe Antichrist is the true Christ. Facing death, they will choose Antichrist over Jesus Christ. They will rather keep their wealth, friends, and prestige than trust Jesus Christ and make a public profession in rejecting Antichrist. Frankly, they will be cowards.

First John chapter 5, especially verse 5, holds the key to Israel’s overcoming the evil world system present during the end-times: “[1] Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. [2] By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. [3] For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. [4] For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. [5] Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

By believing that Jesus “is the Christ… the Son of God,” the “overcomers” will not be fooled into thinking that Antichrist is the real Messiah. Their faith is what prevents them from falling for the deception! Those who are “fearful,” however, they are too timid to take a stand. They will cave in to the peer pressure and refuse to have faith in Jesus Christ. They will naturally thus fall for Antichrist.

Revelation 14:9-11 serves as a warning for any person living in the Tribulation period: “[9] And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, [10] The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: [11] And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” This is the cross-reference to Revelation 21:8. It has nothing to do with followers of or believers in Jesus Christ, either today or yet future. It is unbelievers during the end-times.

Also see:
» How are the Beast and the False Prophet “cast alive” into the Lake of Fire?
» Is Hell almost full?
» Must I maintain my fellowship with God?

Can you explain the “spot” in Deuteronomy 32:5?

CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE “SPOT” IN DEUTERONOMY 32:5?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Moses, speaking prophetically as the Holy Spirit leads him, declares in Deuteronomy 32:5: “They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.” What exactly is this “spot?”

Deuteronomy chapters 30-33 are Moses looking ahead to Israel living in the last days, thousands of years into the future (even beyond our day, actually). The Holy Spirit permits him and the nation Israel to see what will happen to them once they enter the Promised Land under Joshua. Moses will soon die (chapter 34), so these final chapters of Deuteronomy contain his farewell admonitions. He warns the nation repeatedly about not repeating the sins of their ancestors; they are to remain true to JEHOVAH God. What will the Jews do in God’s land once they settle in it? Deuteronomy chapter 32, according to verse 44, is a “song”—the “Song of Moses.” Moses is to teach Israel this song of doctrine: they will deliberately leave JEHOVAH God, wind up in unspeakable error, but He will still be faithful in keeping His promises to them.

Keep reading in Deuteronomy chapter 32: “[12] So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. [15] But Jeshurun [Israel] waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. [16] They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. [17] They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. [18] Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.

“[19] And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters. [20] And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. [21] They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.[36] For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left. [37] And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, [38] Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.”

Based on these verses, friend, what do you suppose were Israel’s most basic sins? Unbelief and idolatry! Israel, once prosperous, became ungrateful; she forgot how God had delivered her from Egyptian slavery and blessed her so abundantly. She refused to be His people; she wanted to do her own thing, and she did it in spite of what JEHOVAH God instructed her.

Re-read it: “[16] They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. [17] They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. [18] Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee…. [20] And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. [21] They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation…. [37] And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, [38] Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.”

This is the context of Deuteronomy 32:5, which says: “They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.” We have some built-in clues as to the meaning of this “spot.” “Perverse” here is the idea of “stubbornly contrary, obstinately unreasonable, adamantly unacceptable.” “Crooked” carries the meaning of “distorted, twisted out of shape.”

Moreover, Satan did not just come along and contaminate Israel. They “corrupted themselves.” They willfully chose to follow Satan’s policy of evil. When the Bible here says, “their spot is not the spot of his children,” the “spot” is a fault, blemish, defect, or stain. God has a controversy with Israel—she has been willfully unfaithful to Him! As a wife would be physically unfaithful to her husband, Israel has had intimate spiritual relations with pagan idols. The Jews no longer resemble JEHOVAH God’s people; in fact, centuries after Moses, He actually divorced Israel for breaking the Old Covenant (the Mosaic Law, Exodus 20:1-6, commanded Israel not to have other gods before JEHOVAH and not to make or worship idols).

Read what the contemporary Prophets Hosea and Isaiah say of Israel’s spiritual condition several centuries after Moses. Hosea chapter 1: “[1] The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. [2] The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD…. [8] Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. [9] Then said God, Call his name Loammi [“not my people”]: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.(Moses’ prophecies in Deuteronomy were proved correct!!)

Now, Isaiah chapter 1: “[1] The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. [2] Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. [3] The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. [4] Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. [5] Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. [6] From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” (Yea, Israel is spiritually ill!)

Fortunately for Israel, God also said through Moses in Deuteronomy chapter 32: “Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people. Praise God for verse 43! Despite Israel’s sin, her breaking of the Old Covenant, and God’s divorcing her, He will (yet future) bring about a new covenant at the Second Coming of Christ. This New Covenant, based on the sinless blood Jesus Christ shed at Calvary, will be the means whereby God can cleanse Israel of her sins and make her His people forever. God will permanently get rid of Israel’s “spot!”

Jeremiah 31:31-34: “[31] Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: [32] Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: [33] But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. [34] And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

The above prophecy from the Prophet Jeremiah is quoted or alluded to on several occasions in what we call the “New Testament” Scriptures—Acts 3:18-21, Romans 11:26-27, Hebrews 8:8-13, and Hebrews 10:15-17. For more information on idolatrous Israel, see especially the “foolish nation” and “jealous” articles linked below.

In light of all this, the Apostle John penned in Revelation 1:5-6: “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, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Israel’s “spot,” that horrible stain, will be “washed” by the blood of Christ, and she will at last become His kingdom of priests that He originally intended her to be in Moses’ day (Exodus 19:3-6)!

Also see:
» Is God finished with Israel?
» Who is the “foolish nation” in Romans 10:19?
» How can God be “jealous” and not sin?

What are the “sins that are past” in Romans 3:25?

WHAT ARE THE “SINS THAT ARE PAST” IN ROMANS 3:25?

by Shawn Brasseaux

“[Jesus Christ] 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;” (Romans 3:25). Does the Bible teach here that we are only forgiven of our past sins? What are these “sins that are past?” In this Bible study, we will tackle this most troubling phrase.

Some believe and teach that, once we trust Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, God will forgive us of our sins only up to that point in life. These are said to be the “sins that are past” in Romans 3:25. Whatever sins we commit after we trust Christ, we are urged to confess them daily (“short accounts with God”). First John 1:9 is then ripped out of its context here: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Whenever we encounter an obscure or difficult verse, we would do well to look for another verse to provide further light. Hebrews 9:14-15 is the best cross-reference to Romans 3:25: “[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? [15] And for this cause he [Jesus Christ] is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” Here, we see how God dealt with Israel’s sins committed under the Old Covenant. Paul’s revelation not only gives us new information (the mystery program), it also further explains the prophetic program (what God has been revealing since man’s creation).

The nation Israel was commanded to offer animal sacrifices, but this animals’ blood did not take away sins. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). Those animal sacrifices typified, or previewed, the perfect blood of Jesus Christ that would one day be shed on Calvary (this blood would be efficacious in taking away sins—see Hebrews 10:1-22 in its entirety). Israel will receive national forgiveness at Christ’s Second Coming (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 11:26,27; Hebrews 8:8-13; Hebrews 10:15-17). What national Israel has yet to experience, we have now received in Christ (Romans 5:11; cf. Romans 3:21-31). God was fair in passing over Israel’s “time past” sins because Christ’s blood, His propitiatory sacrifice, would permanently cover them. Despite their historical idolatry, Israel will still be His people one day by virtue of the New Covenant!

The traditional interpretation of “sins that are past” really makes no sense; that is how we know it does not apply to our sins. If God forgives us of all our past sins, those we committed prior to coming to faith in Christ, then that means that He can and will impute sin to our account. If there is so much as one sin on our account when we die, that would mean we go to Hell! It would be a contradiction of Romans 4:8, which says that God will never again reckon sin to our account as members of the Church the Body of Christ: “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” Christ’s righteousness has been applied to our account, and that will never be rescinded. God cannot hold us accountable for sin if He already held Jesus Christ responsible. Colossians 2:13 says God has forgiven us Christians ofall trespasses.” Thus, the phrase “sins that are past” (Romans 3:25) could not refer to our past sins. It refers to Israel’s past sins committed under the Old Covenant (Mosaic Law). The blood of Christ will be the basis of the New Covenant, which will take care of Israel’s Old Covenant sin debt.

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving. You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! 🙂

Also see:
» Whose “faith” is in Romans 3:25?
» Why does Romans 3:30 read “by faith” and “through faith?”
» Must I confess my sins to God, to a priest, or neither?

What are some verses to help me stop focusing on myself?

WHAT ARE SOME VERSES TO HELP ME STOP FOCUSING ON MYSELF?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Christian friend, your flesh (sin) is controlling you. You need to overcome it by walking in the Spirit: “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24-25). The following verses will allow the Holy Spirit to renew your mind (Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:9-10), which will then shift focus from you to the Lord Jesus Christ. You need to prayerfully memorize portions of the following Scriptures, or at least have these verses/references ready when you focus on yourself.

The Christian life is exactly how Jesus Christ lived while He was on Earth. It was constant dependence on, faith in, what His Heavenly Father had instructed Him to do and say. He was never self-consumed, so neither should we.

Hebrews chapter 10: “[7] Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. [8] Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; [9] Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” (This, of course, is Christ’s words to Father God concerning Calvary.)

Matthew 26:39: “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Mark 14:36: “And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Luke 22:42: “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (This too, of course, is Christ’s words to Father God concerning Calvary.)

John 4:34: “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” John 6:38: “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” John 7:16: “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” John 9:4: I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”

Jesus Christ was always looking to accomplish His Heavenly Father’s will rather than His own. He was conscience of the fact that He was on Earth to serve His Father rather than Himself. Ultimately, He served His Father by preaching to and then dying for sinners (in perfect accordance with His Father’s will).

Philippians 2:1-8: “[1] If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, [2] Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. [3] Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. [4] Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. [5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: [6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: [7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Watch now how Jesus Christ manifested His life through the Apostle Paul.

First Corinthians 15:10: But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (Paul knew it was because of God’s grace that he was what he was. His religious works had gotten him nowhere. Christ Jesus working on his behalf [at Calvary], as well in and through him in ministry, was the issue.) Second Corinthians 4:5: “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” The focus was not Paul but Jesus Christ! Colossians 1:27-29: “…Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” Paul preached Christ Jesus, not himself! He worked in ministry according to Christ’s working.

Philippians 3:1-9: “[1] Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. [2] Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. [3] For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. [4] Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: [5] Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; [6] Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. [7] But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. [8] Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, [9] And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:….” (As a lost/unsaved man, Paul had been religious, focused on self, self-righteous. He had given that up when trusted Jesus Christ. Now, he has no confidence in his flesh’s performance. He relies by faith in Christ’s performance and Christ’s righteousness! A sure way to focus on yourself is to labor under the Mosaic Law—religion/legalism. A sure way to focus on Christ Jesus is to remember the message of grace!)

If there will be any boasting, it will be in Christ and it will because of Christ, not because of something we have done. First Corinthians 1:30-31: “[30] But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: [31] That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” Remember, Romans 3:26-28: “[26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. [27] Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. [28] Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Never can a Christian boast about anything done on his or her part. The only boasting is in the cross of Christ, in what He did for us! Galatians 6:14: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

Pride, focusing on self, was the original sin of Lucifer before he became Satan, the Devil. Ezekiel 28:17 is God speaking to Lucifer:Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” God also said in Isaiah chapter 14: “[12] How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! [13] For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: [14] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

Hence, in 1 Timothy 3:6, one of the qualifications of a bishop, a church overseer, is that he not be new to Christian (grace) doctrine. “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” These are all wonderful verses to help us remember, “yet not I, but Christ!”

SUPPLEMENTAL: CHRIST AVOIDED ATTENTION WHILE ON EARTH

When Jesus Christ saw that His miracles drew too much attention to Him, He left the area as quickly as possible. He wanted His Heavenly Father to be praised instead. Notice the following samples:

  • Matthew 9:8-9: “But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men. And as Jesus passed forth from thence….
  • Matthew 9:26-27: “And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land. And when Jesus departed thence,….”
  • Mark 1:28-29: “And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee. And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.”
  • Mark 1:45: “But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.”
  • Mark 2:12-13: “And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion. And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.”
  • Mark 3:9-13: “And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him. For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues. And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known. And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.”
  • Mark 5:20-21: “And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel. And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea.”
  • Luke 4:37-38: “And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about. And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house….”
  • Luke 5:24-27: “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day. And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.”

Also see:
» How do we not live after the flesh if we live in bodies of flesh?
» Is it truly a good deed if done for selfish reasons?
» Once Christians fall into gross sin will God use them again?

Was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah inhospitality?

WAS THE SIN OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH INHOSPITALITY?

by Shawn Brasseaux

In an attempt to get around the Bible’s anti-homosexual stance, some suggest (yea, in great desperation) that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was actually inhospitality. The men of Sodom and Gomorrah were supposedly wicked in that they mistreated Lot’s guests. Is this a fair evaluation of the moral conditions of Sodom and Gomorrah? “For what saith the Scriptures?”

Firstly, it is clear from the Bible that God’s problem with Sodom and Gomorrah existed long before Lot’s guests showed up at his home. Genesis 13:13, for example: “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.” Also, Genesis chapter 18: “[20] And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; [21] I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.” Lot’s guests did not arrive in Sodom until chapter 19.

Again, the LORD God had a controversy with Sodom and Gomorrah before Lot’s visitors even showed up. “Inhospitality” certainly had nothing—absolutely nothing—to do with it. In fact, the very reason those angelic visitors came to Lot’s residence was that God had sent them to destroy the region. Read the words of God as found in Genesis chapter 19: “[12] And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: [13] For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.”

So, what was it then? What made Sodom and Gomorrah so offensive to God? Let us now go to the passage of Scripture that deals with Lot’s angelic guests. We start at the beginning of Genesis chapter 19:

“[1] And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; [2] And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. [3] And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.”

Lot was already aware of his neighbors’ lifestyles and intentions, for he urged those two men to come into his house for the night. It simply was not in their best interest to live in the streets of Sodom! The next two verses explain: “[4] But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: [5] And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.”

What does it mean that the men of Sodom wanted to “know” Lot’s guests? Keep reading: “[6] And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, [7] And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.” Verse 8 is indisputable: “Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.” Lot gives the men of Sodom permission to “know” his daughters who had not “known” man, hoping those men will be satisfied and leave his guests alone. Obviously, a sexual connection is implied. When the King James Bible speaks of sexual intercourse, the euphemistic term is “know”—Adam “knew” Eve (Genesis 4:1,25), Cain “knew” his wife (Genesis 4:17), Judah “knew not” Tamar (Genesis 38:26), Joseph “knew… not” Mary (Matthew 1:25), and so on.

Reading again from Genesis chapter 19: “[8] Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. [9] And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.” See, the men of Sodom were not interested in taking Lot’s daughters in an intimate union. They wanted to gang rape his male visitors! Without doubt, homosexual behavior is the “wickedness” of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot called it as such and so did the Bible.

Just so you are not left to wonder what happened, we continue in Genesis chapter 19: “[10] But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. [11] And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.”

You keep reading that chapter, friend, and you learn God gives Lot and his family a chance to escape Sodom unharmed. Ultimately, “[24] Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; [25] And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.” Again, it would seem strange that God would consume these cities with such devastation simply because of inhospitality. No, there was sexual perversion here. Homosexual behavior is not God’s intention for mankind: it is contrary to nature. It makes a mockery of His design in human reproduction. Unless there is a heterosexual union, human procreation is impossible, and fulfilling God’s command of man to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:26-28) is unattainable.

Second Peter 2:6-10 is more of the Holy Spirit’s commentary on the subject: “[6] And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; [7] And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: [8] (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds; ) [9] The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: [10] But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.”

This author does not want to get too graphic, but the following information is pertinent to our discussion and extremely enlightening. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “sodomy” as “anal intercourse.” Notice the etymology of the word: “Middle English: from medieval Latin sodomia, from late Latin peccatum Sodomiticum ‘sin of Sodom’ (after Gen. 19:5, which implies that the men of Sodom practised homosexual rape) (see Sodom).” Even these lexicographers—who may or may not be Bible believers—understand the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was homosexualism; it had nothing to do with “inhospitality.”

In closing, it is very important to know that, while homosexualism is indeed a sin (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:9-11), it is forgivable! The Lord Jesus Christ died and shed His blood to deliver us from all our sins. My dear friend, there is more forgiveness than you can imagine in Christ. It does not matter what we have done, what we are doing, or what we will do; there is acceptance and forgiveness in Christ. In His great (!) love and care for us and His great (!) kindness and mercy toward us, Almighty God made provisions to take care of that eternal penalty of our sin (Hell and, ultimately, the Lake of Fire). We do not have to go to Hell… unless we choose to die without Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour. There is absolutely nothing that God cannot forgive, absolutely nothing that His grace cannot overcome, and absolutely nothing that His blood cannot cover. Come to Calvary quickly, dear friend, come quickly! Come to God by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone: “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31)!

Also see:
» How many daughters did Lot have?
» What advice can be given to homosexual Christians?
» How do we not live after the flesh if we live in bodies of flesh?

Can you explain Genesis 4:7?

CAN YOU EXPLAIN GENESIS 4:7?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Genesis 4:7 says, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” What are we to make of this verse? We will search the Scriptures!

CRITICISM, CONTROVERSY, AND CONFUSION

Dr. Scofield, in his eponymous study Bible, has the following footnote on “sin” in Genesis 4:7:

“Or, sin-offering. In Hebrew the same word is used for ‘sin,’ and ‘sin-offering,’ thus emphasizing in a remarkable way the complete identification of the believer’s sin with his sin-offering (cf. John 3. 14 with 2 Cor. 5. 21). Here both meanings are brought together. ‘Sin lieth at the door,’ but so also ‘a sin-offering croucheth at the [tent] door.’ It is ‘where sin abounded’ that ‘grace did much more abound’ (Rom. 5. 20). Abel’s offering implies a previous instruction (cf. Gen. 3. 21), for it was ‘by faith’ (Heb. 11. 4), and faith is taking God at His word; so that Cain’s unbloody offering was a refusal of the divine way. But Jehovah made a last appeal to Cain (Gen. 4. 7) even yet to bring the required offering.” (Bold emphasis mine.)

While Brother Scofield has furnished us with much sound instruction in the Scriptures in his notes quoted above, this author has one major disagreement. It is an objection to the dear brother’s alternate translation of Genesis 4:7, “a sin-offering croucheth at the [tent] door.” Let me explain.

Some believe that since Cain did not originally bring the required blood sacrifice as the LORD God commanded, God has now (as in Genesis 4:7) actually supplied the animal Cain should offer. Like Dr. Scofield, they assume the term “sin” is really a “sin-offering” and the “door” is actually “a tent door.” In fact, oddly enough, they may say something such as: “God knew Cain still refused to go through the ‘trouble’ of obtaining a blood sacrifice, so He put an animal at Cain’s tent door for Cain to take and offer.” They blast our King James Bible translators for not making it clear that God really gave Cain a sacrificial animal at the tent door in Genesis 4:7.

The aforementioned individuals thus read the verse as: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, [the sin offering stoops at thy tent door]. [If you want to take that animal and offer it, you can dominate him and he will submit to your will.] Is this an acceptable interpretation? Friends, must we really resort to changing Scripture to gain understanding? Or, ironically, dear brethren, will we lose understanding in “correcting” the Bible? Here are some considerations, clarifications, and corrections to bear in mind.

CONSIDERATIONS, CLARIFICATIONS, AND CORRECTIONS

As Dr. Scofield pointed out, the Hebrew word chatta’ath indeed can, depending on the context, mean “sin” or “sin offering.” Of the 300 times that it appears in the Hebrew Bible, our King James translators rendered it—“sin” (182 times), “sin offering” (116 times), “punishment” (3 times), “purification for sin” (2 times), “purifying” (1 time), “sinful” (1 time), “sinner” (1 time). Our 1611 Authorized Version translators knew the Hebrew word and how to handle it. As we can see, they rendered it “sin offering” over 100 times, and “sin” nearly 200 times. To fault them at Genesis 4:7 is very unfair. Charging them with “clumsiness” by putting “sin” instead of “sin offering” in Genesis 4:7 is for we to be ignorant of truth. Those King James Bible translators were fully competent to handle the original languages, and we trust their—yea, the Holy Spirit’s—judgment. What can “sin” teach us if left alone in Genesis 4:7 (that “sin offering” inserted cannot)?

Re-reading Genesis 4:7 as it appears in the King James text: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

Firstly, God asks questions when dealing with people in Scripture, that they think and confess/admit to some truth. The LORD asks Cain, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” The answer is YES. If Cain does by faith what God’s Word says, God will indeed receive Cain’s payment for sin.

Appealing to Hebrews chapter 11 for commentary: “[1] Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. [2] For by it the elders obtained a good report. [3] Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. [4] By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh…. [6] But without faith it is impossible to please him [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Read Genesis 4:7 in context: “[5] But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. [6] And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? [7] If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

Simply put, Cain had no valid reason for growing very angry. God had rejected his bloodless sacrifice, true, but God had already told him what to bring. Cain deliberately brought what he wanted. Sinful Cain had no justification for frowning, feeling mistreated and acting disappointed. Remember, like his brother Abel, he could have done what God commanded. Cain could have come to God, God’s way, and God would have accepted him as He had Abel. God asked Cain questions in verse 6 to generate deep thought. Those warnings could have led to faith and sacrifice if Cain responded positively to the reproof. This was faithful God dealing patiently with a most headstrong sinner!

“And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” As noted earlier, this is the problem part of the verse. Here, some will argue that the word “sin” is really highlighting the “sin offering” (a supposed sacrificial animal God has now supplied Cain). Allegedly, the animal sacrifice will submit to Cain, allowing him to kill and offer it. However, this is to read something into the Bible text that simply is not there. A sin offering is not under discussion; sin itself is the issue God is underscoring. Remember, we already grasped the thought-flow of the verse by looking at previous verses. Verse 7 is not going to suddenly talk about a sacrifice; it continues to highlight Cain’s unbelief and waywardness.

God reminds Cain that if he does not obey His Word, then sin (the attitude of unbelief and the action of not bringing the blood sacrifice) is present. Sin wants to control, dominate, Cain. However, the LORD God says Cain can overcome it. Cain can still do right if he so chooses. Notice the issue of free will (obscured if “sin” is changed to “sin offering”). He can walk by faith in God’s Word to him, and have victory over sin. Notice again how the LORD God is very patient with Cain, the stubborn works-religion man that he is. God is very generous in allowing ample time for Cain to get right even now. Cain willfully disregarded His Word, but He still gives Cain the opportunity to reform.

There are two ways Cain can go at this point. His first option is to let sin continue reigning over him, persist in his refusal to bring the blood sacrifice, and let sin ultimately destroy him. The second option is to conquer sin by faith, find and bring his own mandatory blood sacrifice, and thereby obtain fellowship and favor with God. What will Cain do? Verse 8 is the historical record: “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” The Apostle John remarks in 1 John chapter 3: “[11] For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. [12] Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one [Satan!], and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. [13] Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.”

CONCLUSION

To use Genesis 4:7 to say that God provided Cain with a blood sacrifice, and God laid that blood sacrifice at Cain’s tent door, is to miss the verse’s point entirely. It is preposterous for someone to argue that God gave a sacrifice to Cain when He knew Cain was not interested in bringing one anyway. Why would God help an unbeliever in disobeying His Word? If the unbeliever was not interested in bringing the blood sacrifice as instructed, would God then bring the animal for the person to catch and offer? Of course not! God would not provide the sacrifice if Cain refused it in the first place. Even after counsel from God, Cain declined to do what was right. There is no way God would do for Cain what He expected Cain to do! Cain had to find and bring the sacrifice, or God would not accept him.

Does this really matter? Why, yes it does! What we can learn from the King James Bible’s reading of Genesis 4:7 is simple. Sin is always lurking, ready to attack us, crouching just on the other side of the “door.” We can doubt God’s Word (open the door) and sin will devour us. Or, we can trust God’s Word (keep the door shut) and sin will not reign over us! Cain was unprepared, but it was deliberate unpreparedness. He was given two opportunities to make the right choice (and ultimately conquer sin). Cain failed both times because he was not walking by faith in either instance.

Dear brethren, we can make application in our lives even today, some 6,000 years after Cain and Abel. If we want to make decisions that honor and please the LORD God, we need to by faith follow His words to us. We need to especially heed His instructions to us Gentiles, the Pauline Bible Books of Romans through Philemon. Remember, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving. You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! 🙂

Also see:
» Why did God reject Cain’s offering?
» Why did God demand blood sacrifices?
» What does “kicking against the pricks” mean?

What does “implacable” mean?

WHAT DOES “IMPLACABLE” MEAN?

by Shawn Brasseaux

The word appears once in the King James Bible—Romans 1:31 to be exact. What does it mean? And why does it occur in that part of Scripture?

Romans 1:18-32 is the historical record of how the world wound up in the mess we now find it. When the nations assembled around the Tower of Babel in pagan idol worship (Genesis chapter 11), they made a conscious decision to give up the one true God. The trait “implacable” is part of the final installment of that record, the ultimate condemnation, of those nations. However, we have gotten ahead of ourselves. We should start from the beginning.

Romans chapter 1: “[18] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; [19] Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. [20] For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: [21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

“[22] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, [23] And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. [24] Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: [25] Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.Did you notice carefully verses 21, 24, and 25? They hold the key to understanding the trait “implacable.”

Romans chapter 1 continues: “[26] For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: [27] And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

Now, we read “implacable” with its context: “[28] And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; [29] Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, [30] Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, [31] Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: [32] Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

Now turning to read from 2 Timothy chapter 3, the closing days of our Dispensation of Grace: “[1] This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. [2] For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, [3] Without natural affection, trucebreakers [same Greek word as “implacable”], false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, [4] Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; [5] Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” Did you notice verses 2 and 4?

CONCLUSION

What does “implacable” mean? Why are these individuals suffering from “implacability” anyway? The world got into “this mess” because its ancient inhabitants—at the Tower of Babel (Genesis chapter 11)—willfully abandoned the one true God, the God of the Bible, to pursue their own agenda. “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful…” (Romans 1:21). They forsook the Creator God. Therefore, He “gave them up… gave them up… gave them over” (verses 24,26,28) to their preferred ideas and behaviors. Consequently, they were left with an internal void… a vacuum that only He can fill. “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (verse 25). Self-serving and self-reliant, they are unnatural (against God’s design in creation) and thus miserable.

Second Timothy chapter 3 mentions “lovers of their own selves,… unthankful,… trucebreakers [same as “implacable”],… lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (verses 2,3,4). The Greek word rendered “implacable” and “trucebreakers” is aspondos, “without libation.” In ancient days, such sacrifices accompanied the making of treaties or agreements. However, these individuals cannot be persuaded into a settlement. Constantly fighting and bickering, they are uninterested in peaceful resolutions. Nothing can satisfy them. Why? They did not want God, they hate Him, and what they thought would pacify them (all their anti-God thoughts and behaviors) does not. There is a frantic, manic panic to fill that God-shaped void. Doing anything and everything to entertain themselves, those sinful pleasures are only temporary (Hebrews 11:25).

Using the Scriptures (with Greek and English lexicographical expansions), we see that “implacable” means “unable to be appeased, relentless in hostility, uninterested in a truce.” They gave up God—the most valuable relationship of all—and (unless they come to Him by faith in Christ) their lusts will never be satiated!

Also see:
» Are we all God’s children?
» Why do the wicked prosper?
» Does “once saved, always saved” entitle us to abuse God’s grace?

Why do we suffer?

WHY DO WE SUFFER?

by Shawn Brasseaux

According to the Bible, there are three reasons why we suffer.

1. LIVING IN A SIN-CURSED WORLD

We live in a sin-cursed world, a fallen creation. We suffer the effects of sin. This includes bodily aches, pains, and illnesses. If the Lord tarries, we all will experience physical death as well! Lost and saved people alike suffer the effects of sin. No modern-day “miracle healing” will rescue us from sickness, old age, and death. This does not mean that we do not do the best we can with what we have. We should visit doctors and take medication, but our main concern is the renewal of the inner man (soul). We need to be constantly reminding ourselves of God’s truth by reading and studying God’s Word, the Bible, rightly divided, on a daily basis.

Let us consult Romans 8:18-25: “[18] For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. [19] For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. [20] For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, [21] Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. [22] For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. [23] And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. [24] For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? [25] But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

The only way we have “hope” of being rescued from these frail, limited, deteriorating bodies is to be reminded of the above Scriptures. One day, we will be physically redeemed from the effects of sin. What happened to our soul when we trusted Christ will also happen to these physical bodies! Our physical bodies will be redeemed from sin one day. Let us wait patiently for the Lord at the Rapture, to take us out of this present evil world (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; Philippians 3:20-21)!

2. LIVING THROUGH THE CONSEQUENCES OF MISTAKES

We also suffer because we make mistakes and others around us make mistakes. Some of these mistakes are unintentional; others are committed deliberately. Again, lost and saved people alike suffer because of mistakes. The Bible says we reap what we sow. God will not prevent us from reaping the consequences of our actions, both good and bad. If we are make poor decisions, we will suffer those terrible results. If we are make good choices, we will experience good results. The same applies to those around us. Whatever we do will affect them, and whatever they do will affect us.

The Bible says in Galatians 6:7-9: “[7] Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. [8] For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. [9] And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” And, Job 4:8: “Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.” Finally, Romans 8:13: “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”

3. LIVING AS CHRISTIANS IN THE MIDST OF UNBELIEVERS

We Christians suffer because we live in this present evil world. Satan’s policy of evil and its associates aim to persecute God’s people in various ways. Corrupt human governments can pass legislation against Christians to scare them into silence. These Christians can be threatened with imprisonment, fines, torture, and/or death. In the United States of America, we are fortunate that we still have religious liberty. People in other countries are being imprisoned, tortured, and/or put to death for Jesus Christ. Satan can use others to threaten us and ridicule us. Furthermore, he can use our loved ones (family members and friends) to cause us grief and hinder our testimony (cf. Matthew 10:14-39, Jesus’ words to His 12 apostles).

Second Timothy 2:3 says: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” And, Acts 14:22: “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Finally, 2 Timothy 3:10-12: “[10] But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, [11] Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. [12] Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

The Lord Jesus said in John chapter 15: “[17] These things I command you, that ye love one another. [18] If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. [19] If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. [20] Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. [21] But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. [22] If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. [23] He that hateth me hateth my Father also. [24] If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. [25] But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.” First John chapter 3 warns Israel’s believing remnant in light of Jesus’ words: “[11] For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. [12] Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. [13] Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.”

Second Corinthians chapter 12 says that, no matter we suffer, no matter how much hatred the world spews at us, brethren, God’s grace has fully equipped us in Christ to handle all of life’s situations, good and bad: “[7] And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. [8] For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. [9] And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [10] Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Finally, Philippians 4:11-13: “[11] Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. [12] I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. [13] I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

In closing…. If we must suffer, dear saints, let it be because of Christian living and not because of foolish living! 🙂

Also see:
» Was God “unfair” to punish us for Adam’s sin?
» Is God chastening me?
» Why do the wicked prosper?

Are we humans created in “the image of God?”

ARE WE HUMANS CREATED IN “THE IMAGE OF GOD?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

In the Christian world, it is common to hear that we are created in God’s image. If we have heard it all of our lives then it must be true, right? Probably 99 percent of Christendom is under the impression that we are made in God’s image. But, what does the Bible say? Of course, it says something else entirely. Let the Bible speak for itself.

The Bible says in Genesis 1:26-27: “[26] And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. [27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

While the Bible does indeed say that Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, and thus in no way were animals (animals were not created in God’s image), it never says that we were created in God’s image. Here is why it is important to make the distinction. Genesis 5:1-3 says: “[1] This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; [2] Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. [3] And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:”

Notice above how the language that describes Adam is starkly different from the language that describes his son Seth. Adam was “created… in the likeness of God” (verse 1). That is clearly what the Bible says. However, post-Fall, Adam and Eve had a son, and that son was born after Adam’s “own likeness, and after his image” (verse 3). The entrance of sin into the world changed human makeup. What was once the reflection of God’s glory was now the reflection of man’s wretchedness. Seth was not sinless as Adam originally was. Adam’s progeny, even today, has inherited a sin nature, or what the Bible calls the “old man” (Romans 6:6).

Rather than being after God’s image, we are after Adam’s image. We are naturally sinful, dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-3). To be made in God’s image means that man reflects God and His righteousness. Sinful man is not an accurate representation of God. However, Jesus Christ is a perfect representation of God. Notice these few Scriptures:

  • John 14:9: “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”
  • Hebrews 1:3 says Jesus Christ is “the brightness of [His Father’s] glory, and the express image of his person.”
  • The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that Jesus is “the image of God.”
  • Colossians 1:15 says Christ is “the image of the invisible God.”
  • Colossians 2:9 says that “in [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”

Before the Fall in Genesis chapter 3, Adam was a perfect representation of God and His righteousness. One Adam sinned, however, death has passed upon all men (Romans 5:12). In order to gain God’s righteousness, we have to be in Jesus Christ, and the only way that will happen is if we rely on Calvary’s finished crosswork, the exhibition of Christ’s righteousness. As 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he [God the Father] hath made him [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

The danger in believing that we are made in God’s image can be summed up in the following statement: “Human nature is not evil in itself. We are still made in God’s image. We are not completely corrupted by sin. Sin has merely impaired or weakened us.” I have read this claim before and I have heard others say it before. (Even religious people claim this nonsense.) It takes little discernment to see that this statement is very appealing and flattering to the flesh. (“I am not that bad! Although I am not perfect, I still have something to offer God. I want to do the best I can with what I have so God will be happy with me! God helps those who help themselves!”)

Friends, to suppose that we are made in God’s image means we completely miss the fact that we have no fellowship with God in our natural state. As David said, we are conceived in sin. We were shapen in iniquity. Psalm 51:5 says: “Behold, I was shapen in inquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” From birth, no human reflects God’s righteousness and holiness. That is what sin is! This is why God wants to give us a new nature in Christ, one that is not offensive to Him, one that will generate good works instead of sinful actions.

In the Bible, we read that a rainbow of colors surrounds God’s throne. The Prophet Ezekiel saw a yellow rainbow (Ezekiel 1:4,27) contrasted with a throne the color of sapphire (deep blue); centuries later, John the Apostle saw the rainbow as emerald green (Revelation 4:3). You can envision a kaleidoscope of colors, perhaps flashing lights, around God’s throne. This is the manifestation of God’s righteousness. Let us return to Adam being made “in the image of God.” There is additional detail to provide. The Bible says Adam and Eve “were both naked…and were not ashamed” (Genesis 1:25). How could they be naked, and yet unashamed?

In 1 Timothy 6:16 we read of Jesus Christ “dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto….” Again, God’s righteousness and holiness emanate from His body in the form of a bright light. “O LORD my God… who coverest thyself with light as with a garment” (Psalm 104:2). Originally, before the Fall, Adam and Eve did not wear physical clothes, but they were clothed with something… they were clothed with the righteousness of God Himself because sin had not entered into creation yet.

As we mentioned earlier, God created man in His image (Genesis 1:26-27); man was originally sinless, as perfect as God. When Adam and Eve disobeyed by eating the forbidden fruit, God’s righteousness left their bodies. They were sinners now, so God’s light no longer covered them (spiritually and physically). Adam and Eve were physically and spiritually naked, so they frantically gathered itchy fig leaves and covered themselves (Genesis 3:7). The LORD God, in His great love and grace, sought these lost souls. Adam and Eve hid, too afraid to approach our holy and righteous God. But, God in His brilliance devised a plan to restore them. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). The Bible says that God killed innocent animals. He used the blood to provide Adam and Eve’s spiritual clothes (forgiveness), and the skins served as their physical clothes.

By the way, if you are familiar with your Bible, you will recall that Joseph had a coat of many colors. God was using Joseph to preview Jesus Christ: “Now Israel [Jacob] loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of a many colours” (Genesis 37:3). God was going to use Israel, Joseph’s family, to reflect His glory in the Earth. This is what Adam and Eve failed to do.

Isaiah 61:10 summarizes (saved Israel speaking): “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” God did that for Adam, Eve, Israel, and in Christ He does that for us too! If we have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have been clothed with God’s righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). In Christ, we are just as Adam and Eve were before the fall, in perfect standing before God.

Our physical bodies are still connected to Adam, but the day is coming when we in Christ Jesus will receive glorified bodies “fashioned like unto His glorious body” (Philippians 3:20-21). This is what we call “the Rapture,” or what the Bible calls “the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23). We close by reading 1 Corinthians chapter 15, noting especially verse 49: “And as we have borne the image of the earthy [Adam], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly [Christ].”

First Corinthians chapter 15: “[38] But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. [39] All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. [40] There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. [41] There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. [42] So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: [43] It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: [44] It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. [45] And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. [46] Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. [47] The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. [48] As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. [49] And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. [50] Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. [51] Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [53] For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. [54] So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. [55] O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? [56] The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. [57] But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. [58] Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

Also see:
» Why did God ask where Adam was?
» Does God give us “points” for trying to be good?
» Does “once saved, always saved” entitle us to abuse God’s grace?