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Sabbath: The Priority of the Promise — 15 Comments

  1. Anele, There isn't a positive and negative side other than the argument with Paul and the Jews. One wanted to use Abraham and his promise as the authority, and Paul wanted to use Moses and the law as equally qualified because God was the source of both, only 430 years apart.

    • I get your point Paul. There is a tendency to down play other God's promises because they don't sound good to us. What do you make of this first ever promise?"...for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die". [Gen 2:17] Was this a promise or condemnation? I call it a promise with negative effects. When God says " A soul that sins shall die", it surely shall die. It's incumbent upon us to point out the bible truth as it is. This appeasement gospel has really twisted the true gospel of the Kingdom. Remember God says in Revelation 14:12 "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus". This is the true gospel of the Kingdom: The Commandments and the Faith of Jesus. Not faith alone. Faith alone is an insipid gospel. Read Rev 3:14-19. This is the Revelation Christ Himself gave to John after dishing out admonitions to some churches established on this principle of 'justification is by faith alone' and neglecting the "If ye love me, keep my commandments". [John 14:15]

      • Anele, as I understand it and as recorded in Paul's letters, "faith alone" as the basis of salvation is exactly what Paul taught. Genuine faith is powerful, and it works! Genuine faith results in law keeping. That's also what Rev 14:12 indicates. The "law keeping" is the outworking of the principle of love in the believer's heart.

        But law keeping has never saved anyone and will never save anyone. We are saved only by God's grace through faith, not works, so that there is no room left for human boasting. (Keeping the Law in order to be saved is working from a false principle in response to a false gospel.)

        A "gospel" of "faith plus works" is what Paul's opponents taught, and he makes very clear that this is a false gospel.

        • James says faith without works is dead Inge. I am of the opinion works and works of the law aren't one and the same thing. Works of the law are basically round of traditions and ceremonies. Like when the Pharisees accused the disciples of not washing their hands before eating even fasting at times. We read some Pharisees could fast three times a week. It had become a tradition. But acts of charity and mercy are good works. Remember the Rich Young Ruler's story.

          • Yes, indeed. God's grace saves us through faith. But faith is "dead" - i.e. useless or not genuine faith - if it does not bring forth the fruit of the Spirit (James 2::26). We are saved only through faith NOT through faith plus works, but through faith that works. There is a significant difference. James is not out of harmony with Paul. Rather, he points out that words of "faith" are meaningless, because genuine faith brings forth the fruit of the Spirit. (Gal 5:22-23)

            Faith that works is in harmony with Paul's testimony in Gal 2:20. Faith plus works as the basis of salvation is out of harmony with the main thrust of everything Paul wrote. Salvation is a gift, pure and simple. We cannot earn it, and we cannot add to it. Eph 2:8-9. If we attempt to add our works to the work of Christ, we spurn His sacrifice for us.

    • Paul, it seems to me that the situation was exactly opposite to what you wrote:
      The Judaizers taught that salvation depended on the promise (the Messiah) *and* the Law (including circumcision).

      Paul argued vehemently against the notion that the Law had anything to do with salvation. If you read all of Paul's letters you will see that he saw the Law as a mirror that shows us our condition, without any power to save.

      Believers keep the law not to be saved (because that is impossible) but because Jesus, the Promised One, inscribes His Law in their hearts, and those who choose Him as Savior delight to do His Law just as He did.

      • Thank you for your answers on this discussion thread, Inge. We are saved through faith in Christ our righteousness. And genuine faith in Jesus Christ as our righteousness produces the fruits of righteousness.

  2. Through faith Abraham claimed the promise of God, likewise we can receive Gods promise but only if we claim it by faith.

  3. What is the contrast between the promise and the law? Paul is continuing his argument of the significance of the walk of faith as displayed by Abraham, and the walk driven by the works of the law. The promise given to Abraham was not a casual promise, but the Everlasting Gospel - the one-sided promise and commitment to redeem man from sin through the coming life, death and resurrection of the Son. That redemption is received by faith of everyone who takes hold of the promise, believes it with all of his heart and allows the in-dwelling of Jesus Christ the Savior to empower, sustain and deliver us from this world of sin. The works of the law have nothing to do in the accomplishment of that end.

    We inordinately focus on what happened 430 years after the most significant encounter between God and Abraham announcing the promise of our salvation. That was a guarantee of our salvation. Paul explains the origin of the giving of the codification in Gal 3:19-23. The law (whether you want to subdivide it into Moral and Ceremonial or not), does not supersede, subjugate or diminish the Everlasting Gospel. The law was designed to bring us back to the realization that we need the promised Savior. That need is not a passed need, but an every-moment need of the presence and control of the Holy Spirit. If we have that indwelling, we will truly be in harmony with God's will, including whatever we think the law requires. In answer to the commenting author's last question - that is what we as a church should be preaching as the full gospel.

  4. The words, "positive" and "negative", are not found in the Bible at all whether in the Old or the New Testament. Only the words: works, law, faith and righteousness are there having anything to do with living and dying for God. And the best of all those words are the words "promise" and "promises". God promises to man and man only has to "Believe," in those promises from the time he or she believes till death parts them or until Jesus' second coming.

  5. All I have to say about today's lesson is God is faithful, and his faithfulness is our salvation. He will do all that He has promised to us in Christ and we can safely put all of our trust in Him!

  6. Even the word Trinity does not appear anywhere in the bible. Does this mean it's not biblical? Only The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are mentioned. But we know the the Son is God and that even the Holy Spirit is God and that there is one God from whom these promise of salvation came and was fulfilled.

  7. Anele, As you can see the original discussion has many contributors and understandings. There are a sufficient number of positives and negatives as opinion allows. The focus on the debate between law and faith is a bit more involved than we fully understand due to the rabbinic forms used in this Gospels mentioned by some Adventist professors. The word trinity is a metaphor used by man and is accurate to mean the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our finite mind have struggled often to understand how they are one God. We end up by saying They all have the same purpose.


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