Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Bible Lies for Tomorrow we Die

And if there is no resurrection“Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!” wrote Paul to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 15:32b

Just so you know what Paul was talking about, when he was suggesting we party, I read this basic description of ancient middle eastern parties or feasts in the Sacrilege of Belshazzar: "Great feasts were characteristic of antiquity. Persian kings frequently dined with as many as 15,000 guests," and "It was the custom at Ancient Near Eastern feasts for the king to sit on a raised platform, apart from the guests. Excessive drinking after the dinner was common in this period. Many feasts became drunken orgies, since people who are overly excited by alcohol are apt to lose control of their thoughts and actions." 

So Paul is suggesting that if the Gospel is NOT true, we should party hardy, and do it now. 
For more on Persian Feast, check out Ken Raggio's bible study.

If the Bible is wrong in one place, it is wrong, since its claim is that it all true.  If it is wrong, we die.   Here is one of the classic examples of where the bible is wrong by contradiction, and therefor our ticket to drunken debauchery.


Paul writes in Romans 3:24 “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” – NKJV  Pretty clear.  Justified means making a sinner righteous before God, or leading a life that God approves of. Pauline Doctrine of Faith IS saved by Grace. We get to go to heaven, according to Paul, because we are justified "freely" by God's grace, or unmerited favor.

Paul does not stop there though, just in case his readers in Rome don’t get it yet, in Romans 5:1 he writes “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  So God reaches out to you, because he wants to, and gives you GRACE, and you reach back and accept it with FAITH.  Clearer yet. Yea.  Life with God is good.


Then James shows up, and writes, James 2:14 “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” NKJV  

Ok James, I really want to thank you.  Paul says Grace and Faith, God reaching to us, and we accepting.  You, brother, say that Faith without Works is dead. Way to contradict Paul, invalidate the whole bible, and call on the party of all time.


Ouch.  Hope not. 

So, let us explore what else this might mean, starting with a pretty fair assumption. 

Jesus, Paul and James did not speak English or write English or think in English.  They wrote in Greek.  So let us see what James said in Greek.


The word that is used in Romans 5:1 and James 2:17 for "faith" is the same greek word and it means: assurance, belief, faith, fidelity, for them that believe (Studylight.org Lexicon) – drum roll please ….. sounds like a contradiction and we all get to die … 
But let’s look at what James actually says before we start the party.


The subject of the sentence is “Faith,” thus it is Faith that is dead, not us. 

What does James mean by dead?  The Greek word used either means physical death, (but since Faith is NOT corporal), and the second definition is what he was using the word for.  

It is a metaphor for Spiritually dead, or destitute of a life that that is devoted to God or inactive as respects doing right or destitute of force or power, inactive, inoperative. - as taken from http://www.studylight.org.


So it is seems James is saying that once you have been justified by Grace and Faith, you will do good works.  If you do not, you still have faith, but it is inactive, destitute of force or power (from God) in active, inoperative, destitute of a life that recognizes the Lord, and you seem to have given up.


Looks like we are Saved (as in we don’t have to pay the ultimate price for our sins) by Grace, a free gift of God through the life and death (sacrifice) of his son Jesus.  Yet, by faith we accept that gift, thus accepting the free gift of eternal life.  


So why did James write that thingee he wrote about faith and works (behavior – actions)?

Let’s look at what comes after – James 2:18 – 22 (NLT) -  “Now someone may argue, ‘Some people have faith; others have good deeds.’ But I say, ‘How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.’  You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?  Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete.”

James is saying the Proof of your Faith is your good works.  They are like the “fruit” of your salvation.  Just believing in God and Jesus can’t be enough, for even the demons do that. You need to "believe" in Jesus, that he paid the price for your sin, he died for it, he rose from the dead proving his words were true.

Wow.  So, if you are saved by faith, your behavior changes.  If you behaviors has not changed, you have issues, like stubbornness.  HIS ACTIONS MADE HIS FAITH COMPLETE. 

Justified by Grace; Saved by Faith in the Grace of God; Fruits that prove the Faith, that James calls works.

Darn No Party after all, for tomorrow we live.
Wait a minute.  Tomorrow we live.  Party Time!!!


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