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Have I ever convinced an atheist to reconsider his or her position? How do we respond to the apparent contradictions in the Synoptic Gospels? Are Mormons right about the identity of Yahweh in the Old Testament? Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at  (866) 348 7884  with your questions and comments.

 

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Let’s remember that God pours out His Spirit so that Jesus will be glorified and the world and His people touched.  Why not embrace everything the Holy Spirit is doing?

 

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: God is a merciful and faithful God who restores when we fall.  How much better though that we do not fall!

 

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Other Resources:

Dr. Brown Interviews Frank Viola and Dr. Norman Geisler

Dr. Brown Interviews Michael Licona on the Resurrection of Jesus; and How What We Believe Affects How We Live

Dr. Brown Debates Homosexuality with Prof. John Corvino and Then Discusses Mean-Spirited Communication in the Body (and More)

88 Comments
  1. Continued from above:

    You Wrote:
    “1. I evaded nothing; I believe all Scripture is true and that all Scripture must be upheld – if I understood it your way, I couldn’t uphold all Scripture.”

    Not so! I uphold all scripture to the point of believing that man is supposes to live by every word of YHWH including the Torah. You do not uphold that part of scripture.

    “2. Concerning the “Gentiles” who have the Law of God written on their hearts [Ro 2]: are you really trying to deny that these are believers?”
    They do no have the law written on their hearts. The Greek, the English, and the commentaries all say that they have the WORK of the law written on their hearts. The context of Romans 2 is speaking of unregenerate Gentiles that live by their consciences and that they do this by NATURE not by the Spirit. At this point in Paul’s argument he is not addressing the subject of believers but natural man that can know by the things that are made, and the way things are, what things are and are not moral.

    “v12 Paul moves to shut down Roman Jewish believers’ “confidence in the flesh” [Pp 3] (in their merely being Jewish) rather than being “doers of the Law”:

    No, not Jewish believers…Jews.

    “v15 Their obedience to God’s Law proves that there has been a work in their hearts where God’s Law has been written in them. They don’t have a physical copy of the Law written out, but the Spirit guides them into all Truth and writes God’s Laws on their hearts, and because they obey they are “doers of the Law”.”

    There is nothing in the context that shows these people to be believers. It directly states that they do some of the things contained in the law by NATURE and conscience, not the Spirit.

    “I. I disagree that the Gentiles in Romans 2 are unbelievers, since NO person who is not born again (be they Jew OR Gentile) keeps God’s Law.”

    Many unbelievers do not murder or commit adultery or steal…esp. of the older generation that was taught to life uprightly. They show the work of the law written upon their hearts. The commentaries and I agree.

    Shalom

  2. I am redoing the previous post for better clarity.

    Continued from above:

    You Wrote:
    “1. I evaded nothing; I believe all Scripture is true and that all Scripture must be upheld – if I understood it your way, I couldn’t uphold all Scripture.”

    Not so! I uphold all scripture to the point of believing that man is supposes to live by every word of YHWH including the Torah. You do not uphold that part of scripture.

    You Wrote:
    “2. Concerning the “Gentiles” who have the Law of God written on their hearts [Ro 2]: are you really trying to deny that these are believers?”
    They do no have the law written on their hearts. The Greek, the English, and the commentaries all say that they have the WORK of the law written on their hearts. The context of Romans 2 is speaking of unregenerate Gentiles that live by their consciences and that they do this by NATURE not by the Spirit. At this point in Paul’s argument he is not addressing the subject of believers but natural man that can know by the things that are made, and the way things are, what things are and are not moral.

    You Wrote:
    “v12 Paul moves to shut down Roman Jewish believers’ “confidence in the flesh” [Pp 3] (in their merely being Jewish) rather than being “doers of the Law”:”

    No, not Jewish believers…Jews.

    You Wrote:
    “v15 Their obedience to God’s Law proves that there has been a work in their hearts where God’s Law has been written in them. They don’t have a physical copy of the Law written out, but the Spirit guides them into all Truth and writes God’s Laws on their hearts, and because they obey they are “doers of the Law”.”

    There is nothing in the context that shows these people to be believers. It directly states that they do some of the things contained in the law by NATURE and conscience, not the Spirit.

    You Wrote:
    “I. I disagree that the Gentiles in Romans 2 are unbelievers, since NO person who is not born again (be they Jew OR Gentile) keeps God’s Law.”

    Many unbelievers do not murder or commit adultery or steal…esp. of the older generation that was taught to life uprightly. They show the work of the law written upon their hearts. The commentaries and I agree.

    Shalom

  3. Continued form above

    You wrote:
    “Paul said, even knowing and delighting in God’s Law, he did not have the ability [Ro 7:18] to be a “doer of the Law” due the Law of Sin in his flesh/bodily members took him captive to do what he hated: it was impossible (according to Paul) for someone who was not liberated from the sinful flesh (affected only through its dying – which death is gifted through faith in Christ) to be a “doer of God’s Law” – let alone to be justified by his being a “doer of God’s Law”. Are you really insisting unregenerate, unbelieving, ignorant-of-God’s-Law, ignoble Gentiles are Romans 2:14′s “doers of God’s Law”?”

    No. Paul is insisting that those unregenerate Gentiles that live according to conscience put to shame and judge Jews that are hearers only.
    If an unregenerate Jew (as Paul of Romans 7), who has explicit knowledge of God’s Will in written form, cannot be a “doer of the Law”, how much more impossible must it have been for an unregenerate Gentile who hasn’t such knowledge – and how could he keep it to that extremity whereby he might even be “justified” in God’s sight by virtue of that keeping of it (something even YOU said you don’t believe is possible)? How would these not, then, boast [Ro 4:2] – is Paul allowing in Romans 2 what he even disallows for father Abraham in Romans 4:2?”
    I fully believe that Romans 2 is not speaking of Gentiles being justified by keeping the law. It is speaking of Gentiles that live by conscience judgeing/condemning those that have heard the law and do not do it.

    You wrote:
    “That the Gentile kept even the smallest Commandment (as you believe Christ will judge by even the most obscure Law)?
    Nonsense!”

    Such rhetoric! I simply quote Yahshua’s words. If you do not believe them, so be it.

    Mt 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    You wrote:
    “The carnal mind is enmity with God, and cannot submit to God’s Law; those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

    I have quoted that very passage to you over and over and you still do not get it. There is no blindness so bad as covering one’s own eyes. The verses above state without a doubt that a carnal man cannot agree to keep YHWH’s law. You do not agree that we should keep YHWH’s law. Therefore you must have a carnal mind.

    You wrote:
    “! How do you know you’re in the flesh? You don’t have Christ’s Spirit. How do you know you’re in the Spirit? You have the Spirit of Christ. If you are not in the Spirit through faith in Christ, you are a sinner.”

    A sinner is one that breaks YWHW’s law. If we continue to break YHWH’s law we are not walking in the Spirit. You may say you have the spirit, but your works must prove that out.

    Shalom

  4. Continued form above

    You wrote:
    “Based upon what do you assert that unregenerate Gentiles, who do not have Christ’s Spirit, could submit to God’s Law and be justified [Ro 2:13] by its works – something Paul says is not within the realm of possibility (“…by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.” [Ro 3:20])?”

    I have never said that anyone can be justified by works. Paul says that unregenerate Gentiles keep some of the law by NATURE. That does not justify them, it testifies of the wrongdoing by those that know the law.

    You wrote:
    “Are there ANY men who are not dead in sins and trespasses”? If not, aren’t they all breakers of God’s Law? If not, are you contradicting your own interpretation of 1 John 3:4,5:3, “All sin is breaking of God’s Law” “keep God’s Commandments”? If they are “dead in sins and trespasses”, how are they “keepers of God’s Law”?”

    The Gentiles in Romans 2 are honest hearted men that show the WORK of the law, by NATURE some of the things that are contained in the law. They are still dead in their trespasses and sins if they have not been born again.

    You wrote:
    “IIa. Even if your interpretations were true (they aren’t), how could even they not work against you Bo?
    You would still be allowing, “Ignorant-of-God’s-Law Gentiles can be qualified to be called ‘doers of the Law’”.”

    Nope! You are quite confused. Read the commentaries again.

    You wrote:
    “Isn’t this the very thing you are denying – even in two different ways?
    i. You say no one can be justified by the works of the Law.
    ii. You say believers cannot live righteous without reading and doing the Law – they don’t qualify to be ‘doers of the Law’.
    In other words: if a Gentile who is neither regenerate nor knowledgeable of God’s Law can be qualified to be deemed a “doer of the Law” (even to the point of being justified by their keeping God’s Law – a thing which you’ve denied is possible [you said you held that faith in Jesus is necessary for justification]), how much more must you allow the same thing for “ignorant-of-God’s-Law *believing* Gentiles”?”

    Faith Justifies. Works prove that the faith is real. The law tells us what is good/right to do. To him that knows to do good/right and does not do it, it is sin to him. We are not allowed to continue to sin because of grace. We are not allowed to continue to do what the law says is wrong. Real faith wants to do YHWH’s law. Real grace gives us the power to do it.

    You wrote:
    “Why disallow as “impossible” for believers what you allow as “possible” for unbelievers – are unbelievers are of a purer nature than believers? Of course not! Believers have a new nature – they are new creations – and this is why it says they do “by nature” the things contained in the Law.”

    You are mixing contexts and deceiving yourself. Paul in Romans 2 is not speaking of new creation nature. The context in the first part of Romans is the natural way of things.

    Shalom

  5. Continued from above:

    You wrote:
    “Galatians 6:15 “For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a *new creation*.” A new creation doing what? Things that please God – God’s Laws – “by [their new] nature”.”

    Yep. 1Co 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. If we really have this new nature we want to keep the torah/YHWH’s commandments. You do not think that we are to keep torah.

    You wrote:
    “IIb. Let’s pretend, for a moment, that your interpretations are true (of course, they aren’t): even then, how could it be that this entailed Gentile obedience to “even the smallest commandment” (aren’t they justified by keeping the *whole* Law – not failing in any point, becoming breakers of the Law)?
    Do you really think (and do you have actual proof) there were Gentiles who loved YHVH with all their heart mind and soul without failure? Where are the Gentiles of history wearing tzit-tzits and single-fabric clothing, resting on Shabbat in honor of YHVH, observing Pesach (in Jerusalem, because they must go to Jerusalem), circumcising their boys on the 8th day, bringing tithes to priests, etc., etc., etc.,?
    If it is not speaking of keeping even the smallest Commandment, then don’t you allow that a person can be justified without keeping the smallest Commandment? Wouldn’t you, then, be contradicting your own dogma that men ought not teach men even the smallest Laws were nullified?”

    You see contradictions where there are none. There are no unregenerate gentiles that know by NATURE to keep the Sabbath and such. There are some gentiles that keep the Sabbath because it has been passed down to them by culture. There are even some that are unregenerate that read the Bible and have decided to keep the Sabbath. Their testimony will stand against believers that refuse to obey YHWH in this matter. Of course I allow that we will be justified without keeping the smallest or any commandment at all. We just are not allowed to continue to break YHWH’s commandments once we are justified. We will be either great or least in the kingdom by virtue of our commandment keeping and teaching. Messiah is the greatest. He did and taught for us to do them all.

    You wrote:
    “Which is it:
    i. Were there Gentiles keeping every single Law in order to be called “doers of the Law” OR
    ii. Are you nullifying your argument by saying they were justified without keeping every single Law?”

    Which is it: Are you confusing yourself by putting words in my mouth again or are you still beating little children with big sticks? The gentiles in Romans 2 were not justified, neither did they keep every single law. I have already answered this question multiple times.

    You wrote:
    “III. In denying the Gentiles of Romans 2:14 were believers, are you also denying “the work of the Law written on their hearts” was/is in reference to and/or a fulfillment of Jer 31:32,33 – denying that it is about how we are to come to know what God wants us to do as service to Him – i.e.: “come to know the Laws of God”? That those hear and who do this Law (written on their heart) qualify to be considered “doers of the Law”? Again, strange how you allow it for unbelievers, but not believers.”

    I deny that the Romans 2 Gentiles were Jeremiah 31 believers. They simply lived according to naturally imparted morality. The law that YHWH writes on our hearts by the Spirit is the exact same law that He wrote on stone and in the Torah. YHWH’s law is YHWH’s law.

    The idiom of “written on the heart” does not mean that we hear YHWH’s commandments in our spirit without knowing the law. It simply means that He will put the desire to do His commandments in us. We still need the written word to reveal to us YHWH’s righteousness and holiness standards. Keeping Sabbath is one of YHWH’s commandments. The real Spirit deals with our hearts so that we want to keep YHWH’s Sabbath.

    If we do not want to keep YHWH’s every word including zit zits and dietary laws, we are not walking in the spirit in those areas…probably because of false teaching. If we cannot agree with YHWH’s law in these little things we will not be great in the kingdom according to Messiah’s words. If we cannot subject ourselves in these little areas, we prove our carnal mindedness, for the carnal mind cannot be subject to YHWH’s law.

    Shalom

  6. Continued from above:

    You wrote:
    “Isn’t this exactly what is in view in Jer 31:31-33?
    How aren’t these exactly what are in view in Romans 2:14 – how is Romans 2:14 not a picture of Gentile partakers of the New Covenant [Jer 31:32,33; Ro 7:6] ?
    How AREN’T the Gentiles of Romans 2 regenerate believers?
    How DON’T believers qualify as “doers of the Law” without reading the Law?”

    I already answered these questions many times above. The new covenant is not about not reading the law. Or else, why would Paul write this:

    1Ti 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to READING, to exhortation, to doctrine.

    Evidently Paul would disagree with your analysis of his doctrine.

    2 Timothy 3
    15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    Evidently Timothy was made wise about salvation thorough reading Torah. Evidently Paul wanted His son in the faith to learn how to live correctly and teach correctly by reading it too.

    Why can you not see this? Eyes wide shut, maybe?

    They (the Gentiles of Romans 2) aren’t Jeremiah 31ers because that is not what Paul is addressing. The context shows what Paul is speaking about. Just because you see a similar phrase somewhere does not mean that the subject matter is the same in two different books. Context is always the first and main way to know the meaning of a passage. You are importing ideas instead of reading what is there. This will not likely produce truth in the end.

    Shalom

  7. Continued from above:

    You wrote:
    “Yet, Romans 7:6 undeniably refers to the same method of coming to know “God’s Law”/”what God wants us to do in service of Him”, and of becoming qualified to be “doers of the Law” when it says “serve in the newness of the Spirit”.
    What is “new”, except in view of what is “old”?
    What would the old” be, except “the old way of finding out what God wants us to do in service to Him” – of “the written code”?”

    The old way and new way are not differentiated by the way we find out what YHWH wants us to do. The old way is outward imposition of law on an unregenerate people that refused to hear YHWH’s further commandments after only hearing the ten words. The new way is allowing YHWH to change our hearts so that no one has to make us learn and do His commandments.

    It is not old or new to read YHWH’s word to know what He desires. The words that people were inspired to write, that are now contained in the Bible, cannot be contradicted by the Spirit. Those commandments are the Spirit’s words as much as they are the Father’s and the Son’s and vice’ versa.

    You are using written words to try to teach us what you think is right. You are reading written words of men that you are using to understand what YHWH wants. Paul used the written Torah to teach believers. So, in actuality, you are using written words based upon written words of Torah to produce more written words.

    If we did it your way no one would listen to or read anyone’s words, because we would expect them all to just enter our minds by the Spirit.

    You are contradicting your very premise by using Paul’s written words to be taught and to teach. Why should we listen to a man that goes against his own teaching. Why should we listen to a man that speaks self-contradictory statements?

    You did not learn the things you say by only listening to a Spirit. You read them or heard others say them. And you evidently do not believe that the Spirit can teach us without the written word or you would stop producing so many written words. Your argument defeats itself.

    Deuteronomy 30
    10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
    11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
    12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
    13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
    14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
    15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;

    Romans 10
    6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
    7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
    8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach…
    13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
    15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

    The Spirit does not generally just drop in on people and impart the gospel to them. Someone has to teach and preach the truth. The men that wrote the scripture are preachers and teachers.

    The word is supposed to be in our mouths and in our hearts. This is another idiom. I hope you can get it. “In our mouths” means that we can recite it…that we have it memorized…or at least know what it says. “In our hearts” means that we want to do it. YHWH’s torah, that Paul quotes, is not too difficult for us if we know it and want to do it.

    The word of faith has not changed. It must be preached…if only by reading of the scripture. They cannot hear without a preacher. the Spirit of YHWH is not a preacher. Though He inspired men to write and to teach.

    The torah is the word of faith. It is all about the difference between life and good, death and evil. When we do not know it and desire to do it we are not walking in the word of faith…the word that we can trust. When we ignore YHWH’s torah to supposedly listen to YHWH’s Spirit, we hear a different spirit and we get deceived.

    The new way of the Spirit is about listening to those that the Spirit speaks through by writing and by mouth while having the desire to know and do YHWH’s every word. The old way of the letter is being forced into hearing and doing. The old way of the letter is working for salvation. The new way is working out our salvation with fear and trembling.

    Shalom

  8. Continued form above:

    Romans 10
    6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
    7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
    8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach…
    13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
    15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
    16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
    17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    Terms like: “Preach the gospel”, “Preached”, Believed our report”, and “Faith commeth by hearing” all show that we need the words of men to know the truth. The Spirit by Himself, without a human agent, is not in veiw in Paul’s theology.

    Ac 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

    The scripture is the final authority on any revelation from a spirit or message from a man. The Torah is what Paul told Timothy to use to know correct doctrine, the right way to live (instruction in righteousness) and good works. He said to give attention to reading the Torah.

    You teach directly contrary to Paul in this matter and think that the Spirit is the final authority. You think that it does not matter what the Word of YHWH says because only the Spirit has the right to teach us YHWH’s law. It is the Spirit that spoke through men in the writing of scripture. You reject that Spirit to listen to another spirit that does not uphold every word of YHWH.

    The gospel was preached to Israel at Mt Sinai.

    Heb 3:18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that were DISOBEDIENT?
    19 And we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief.
    1 Let us fear therefore, lest haply, a promise being left of entering into his rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it.
    2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

    It is the same forever. From the beginning of creation till the end of this heaven and earth.

    Re 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
    7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

    That everlasting gospel has two parts. Faith/fear of YHWH and obedience/worship.

    Here it is at Sinai:

    Exodus 19
    4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.
    5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
    6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
    7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.
    8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.
    9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever…

    Here it is related to us by Peter:

    1 Peter 2
    5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
    6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
    7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
    8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being DISOBEDIENT: whereunto also they were appointed.
    9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

    We can stumble at the word being disobedient and not mix what we have heard with faithfulness, or we can keep His covenant and believe Moses forever. YHWH’s marvelous light includes the revelation of His Torah/instructions. Though the Israelites proclaimed, “All that YHWH says, that we will do.” they went back on their word. We do the same thing when we ignore YHWH’s Torah.

    We need to fear lest we come short of receiving the promise of entering His rest. The only way to do this is to learn YHWH’s every word and do it. The only way to do it is if we want to do it. It must not be grievous to us. The work of the Spirit is this: to cause us to love YHWH and His word. The power to obey comes from this love. This is what is meant by the Spirit writing YHWH’s law upon our hearts.

    2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

    The new covenant contains the same gospel as the old. It contains the same law. It contains promise of being kings and priests. But we have a part to play in insuring our calling and election, by working out our salvation with fear and trembling. Not working for our salvation. Working it out by doing the good works that YHWH laid out before in His Torah, that Paul taught us to use for doctrine, instruction in righteousness and good works. And if we only did this it would make us just unprofitable servants, for this is our duty. We will also want to do those things that are pleasing in His sight that go beyond the letter. We will never truly go beyond the letter without knowing and doing the letter by the power of grace.

    Lu 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

    1Jo 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

    Re 14:12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

    Will we endure like true saints? Will we come short of the grace of YHWH?

    Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

    Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

    What is the root of bitterness that the Hebrew author to the Hebrews speaks of?

    Deuteronomy 29
    14 Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath;
    15 But with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day…
    18 Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;
    19 And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:
    20 The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.

    Walking in the imagination of our hearts means that we turn from obeying YHWH’s commandments to doing things like the nations around us. It means doing our own thing instead of keeping YHWH’s commandments. This presumptuous/willingly sinful attitude spreads and defiles many. What spirit would teach us to not obey YHWH’s every word?

    YHWH’s covenant and oath is made with those that were there and those that were not. That includes us all. The jealous wrath of YHWH comes upon those that deserve it. Those that deserve it are those that are the hearers only of the word that refuse to do it. They are children of disobedience.

    Shalom

  9. Bo,
    I wanted to stay focused on the one issue of Romans 2:14, as I believe it is pivotal to this discussion.

    1. “I think that your pride is showing.”
    i. Commentaries are mere human opinion, not inspired Scripture; why am I “proud” to reject them?
    I’m sure there are commentaries which will teach the “pre-trib” rapture: would I be “proud” for disagreeing?
    Likewise, I’m sure there are commentaries written by proponents of (the oxymoronic) “Christian homosexuality”, wherein arguments would be made in favor of Christian homosexuality: would it be right to call you “proud” for disagreeing?
    The same reason you and I would disagree with those commentators is the same reason I disagree with you, and the commentators you cited, now: knowing God’s nature, my own experience with God and knowing the evidence, which do not allow me to accept that the Gentiles of Romans 2:14 were unbelievers. Based on the evidence, I am fully convinced (based on evidence) these Gentiles can be nothing other than believers; I am also fully convinced that you have not properly understood the contexts in which Romans 2:14 finds itself (as I will now prove).
    Bearing in mind that it is no uncommon thing for scholars to disagree, is condemning me as “proud” for not agreeing with a commentator – a commentator with whom other commentators disagree (one of whom being N.T. Wright, a leading contemporary New Testament scholar [see: page 11 of http://ntwrightpage.com/wright_Law_Romans2.pdf%5D) a just thing for you to do?

    2. “They do not have the law written on their hearts. The Greek, the English, and the commentaries all say that they have the WORK of the law written on their hearts.
    Honestly, is there any meaningful difference between “the work of the Law written on their hearts” and “the Law written on their hearts”?

    No, there isn’t.

    That there is “work” being performed is simply referring to God’s (“work” of) “writing” (Jer 31 promise to the partakers in God’s New Covenant) the His Law/Will in the believer.
    Does God “work”?
    Jesus seemed to think so:
    i. “My Father is working until now, and I work.” [John 5:17]
    ii. “…the Father Who dwells in Me does His works.” [John 14:10]
    Paul also seemed to think so:
    i. “…it is God Who is at work in(side of) them to will and do for His good pleasure.” [Pp 2:13]
    ii. “I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the (Spirit of the) grace of God that is with me.” [1 Cor 15:10].

    3. “The context of Romans 2 is speaking of unregenerate Gentiles that live by their consciences and that they do this by NATURE not by the Spirit”.
    i. I would say the mere fact that they were said to have “by nature” done these things would already necessitate that these Gentiles be believers. How could you say unbelievers were “doers of the Law… justified” – “by” (their “carnal”) “nature”? Scripture never supports such theories. If Paul was not “by nature” a “doer of the Law” [Ro 7], how much less, Gentiles? Some of the things Scripture does say are that they are:
    a. “by nature children of wrath” [Ep 2:3]
    b. “not subject to God’s Law… neither, indeed, can be” [Ro 8:7]
    c. “in the flesh…” [Ro 8:9] by reason of not having “the Spirit of Christ” – thus, they “cannot please God” [Ro 8:8]
    d. “enemies of God” [Ro 5:10; 8:7]
    e. “taken captive to the Law of Sin” [Ro 7:23]
    f. “…sinful Gentiles” [Gal 2:15]
    Where are the verses teaching unregenerate Gentiles are “by nature doers of the Law”, because everything I’ve read (up to this point) says the opposite – thus, I must reject your view of the Romans 2:14 Gentiles: unregenerate men are not “by nature” “doers of the Law… justified”; they are “by nature” (that, without exception) law-breakers.
    ii. Are you not (perhaps unwittingly) teaching that an unbelieving Gentile’s conscience will be God’s “Holy” standard whereby He will judge the unbeliever at his resurrection for judgment? What about unbelieving Gentiles who see nothing wrong with homosexuality (e.g.: the Romans) – will God excuse them because their consciences are not bothered by these things? No. Does God really stoop so low on the Day of Judgment so as to use the conscience of an unregenerate man as His Standard? That is an abominable thought. If that were the case could God be a just Judge? Any sociopath could enter God’s Kingdom.
    If, on the other hand, Romans 2:14’s Gentiles are believers, then God is not lowering His standard in the day of judgment one iota: He put His Standard/Law into their “minds” (thoughts and consciences). Because the mind (thoughts and conscience) of the believer (unlike the mind of the unbeliever) is i. washed, and given new (God’s) life; and ii. informed by the Spirit of the Word (the “ingraft Word” [Ja 1:21] – whereby we are to be apprised of God’s will, and serve Him [Jer 31:33; Ro 7:6]), the believer’s conscience is converted into a “sounding board” (“a Law”) for him in the presence of his Lord, Jesus Christ (“unto themselves”). It is to believers that Paul says, “let each man be fully convinced in his own mind… anything that is not of faith is sin…”: if a believer does something he thinks is wrong (which he, thus, doubts is right [why does he do it, unless his body wants to, indulging in the flesh Col 2:23?]), his thoughts (infused with the Law of God) will condemn him (and his conscience will bear witness that he knew it was wrong); if he does what he is fully convinced is correct (with no doubts), his thoughts will not condemn him (his conscience – kept clear/clean – bearing witness).
    The believer “by nature” seeks to please God, thus is “by nature” a “doer of the Law… justified” in his actions, because his new nature is inherently holy – this is contrasted against those who try to find out God’s will on a piece of paper (which piece of paper was given to people because they were sinful [Gal 3:19; 1 Ti 1:9], and not holy – again, in order to condemn them [2 Cor 3:9] so they would cry out for a savior from themselves [Ro 7:24] – a reality which is not true for the believer).
    iii. What was in view in Ro 2:14 is 2:6-13
    “He will repay each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immorality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the Truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality. For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law. For it is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the Law who will be justified. For when the Gentiles, who do not have the Law, by nature do what the Law requires, they are a Law to themselves, even though they do not have the Law.”
    That is, the context Romans 2:14 “doers of the Law… justified” Gentiles is “being repaid by God according to our works” (the result of which will be: i. glory, honor, immortality, eternal life and peace [for patient well-doers], or ii. tribulation, distress, wrath, fury, [for self-seeking, disobeyers of Truth, obeyers of unrighteousness, evildoers]), which would have to be “eternal life”.
    Whether you realize it or not, what you are saying is, “These unregenerate, unbelieving, ignorant-of-the-Law Gentiles are going to escape the wrath of God by their own merits. They will also merit eternal life, since they are ‘justified’ by being ‘doers of the Law’ (well, they do [at least] “some” of the Law – such is God’s low standard), even though Scripture says ‘by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified’ and they are ‘in the flesh’ since they ‘don’t have the Spirit of Christ’.”
    Do you really believe these unbelievers (yet you call them “doers of the Law… justified” – justified doers of the Law cannot simultaneously be “in the flesh” because of not having the Spirit of Christ, “dead in sins and trespasses” [Ep 2:1], since “no flesh will be justified by the works of the Law”) will have merited (“He will repay each one according to his works”) eternal life? That view would not be an Orthodox Christian view.
    iv. The function of the knowledge of the Law of God prior to the New Covenant was to minister condemnation [2 Cor 3:9], and “increase the trespass” [Ro 5:20] (because “the strength of sin is the Law” [1 Cor 15:56]): never did God expect, “I will make men righteous by this Law”, since that was something He knew “…the Law could not do…” in that it was “weakened through the [sinful] flesh” of those under it [Ro 8:3]. “By the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified” [Ro 5:20] stands true – both for Jew and Gentile alike.
    Therefore, even if the unregenerate Gentile had “the work of God’s Law in his conscience” (or however you define it/see it as working), the Law would need to function in the same way: i. ministering condemnation upon any person who was not a partaker of the New Covenant, ii. arousing his sinful desires, iii. strengthening the man to sin, iv. increasing the trespass, v. disallowing him to escape the sin of boasting, and vi. he would never be “justified” by it. By contrast (to point “vi.”), these Gentiles are (according to your view – even unwittingly) a people who are slated to be repaid eternal life for being “doers of [the works of] the Law”. How do you deal with that? My view does not face that conundrum.
    v. Don’t forget that the entire context of Romans 2 is contrary to your contention (that “those [in this case, believers] who do not know the Law cannot be called ‘doers of the Law'”): Paul calls these unbelieving, ignorant-of-God’s-Law Gentiles, “doers of the Law” – but, how much more would a Gentile partaker of the New Covenant (who must have the Law written on his heart) qualify?
    How do you reconcile this with your contention that “believers MUST read Torah and live by its explicit knowledge if they are to be called ‘doers of the Law'”?
    As I stated previously, I believe God’s own righteousness is being revealed apart from the Law [Ro 3:21] – viz: “YHVH our righteousness” [Jer 33:16]. God, Himself is the (only) “Holy One”; His works (based on His knowledge – “call unto Me, and I will show you great and mighty things which you do not know” [Jer 33:3]: if you doubt God can impart knowledge to people, how did He bring His Law to mankind; what is a “word of knowledge”, etc., ?) are being accomplished through people who hear and submit to Him, [Ro 1:17; 3:21]. “By grace through faith” they “establish the Law” [Ro 3:31]. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ”: if you think hearing the Spirit does not produce faith, why is the Spirit called ‘the Spirit of Faith’ [Gal 5:5]? How could Abraham qualify as a man of faith (which faith was “counted as righteousness”?) The Word of God is that Word which God’s Spirit speaks – otherwise, the Orthodox Jews would have to be the most faith-filled people on the planet, since they know tons of the Word of God. The written Word of God, itself, doesn’t produce faith towards God; it is the Spirit of Faith Who gives and authors faith which is “counted as righteousness” – whereby the righteousness of God is revealed [Ro 1:17].
    Again, you unjustly employ an self-contradicting double-standard when you allow that unbelievers who do not have explicit knowledge of God’s Law may be called “doers of the Law… justified”, but disallow it (based on what?) when it comes to Gentile believers who do not have explicit knowledge of God’s Law; this seems (to me) to be an injustice.
    vii. Why would Paul be comparing believing and regenerate Jews to the unbelieving and unregenerate – saying that these unbelievers will sit as judge over Jewish saints (and how would that work – would the unbelievers be resurrected to judge the believers at the first resurrection; then return to the dust to await the second resurrection and judgment at the Great White Throne)? He isn’t.
    How do I know, for certain, the Jews of Romans 2 are believers? The letter addresses a church – a church consisting of both Jews and Gentiles. The Romans 2 Jews are the same ones he is addressing in Romans 7, when he says, “you have died to the Law through the Body of Christ” (upon which “death” Paul bases his argument that they are free from the Law [it is binding upon a Jew only so long as he is alive [Ro 7:1]): that the Jews he is addressing have died, and yet Paul expects them to read his epistle (they’re not buried in the ground) proves that the Jews must be believers (not unbelieving Jews, as you later claim).
    Paul is comparing the miserable performance of believing Jews, Who are righteousness-snobs thinking they are better based solely upon their Jewishness, to the acceptable performance of believing Gentiles.

    4. “At this point in Paul’s argument he is not addressing the subject of believers but natural man that can know by the things that are made, and the way things are, what things are and are not moral.”
    I would disagree (see above and Romans 7, which states that even if they knew what was right, they could never do right and be earn the title “doers of the Law… justified”).

    5. “No, not Jewish believers…Jews.”
    I’m sure you don’t believe that. Did Paul write this letter to an assembly of unbelieving Jews (and would those Jews even care what Paul has to say?) with the expectation they would do him the favor of passing it on to the local assembly of believers? Sorry, but that makes no sense.
    Didn’t Paul write the letter to an assembly of believers? If he wrote to an assembly of believers, why wouldn’t he be addressing Jewish believers? Is it such a stretch – too far out in the left field – to believe there are Jewish believers in an assembly of believers?
    As I’ve already laid out, it is this same group which he later states has been freed from the Law by virtue of having died through faith in Christ [Ro 7]: Romans 2 is addressing Jewish saints; not unbelieving Jews.

    6. “It directly states that they do some of the things contained in the law by NATURE and conscience, not the Spirit.”
    Bo, this entire debate is about whether a person could be called a “doer of the Law” even without knowing the Law; now it seems you’re siding with me!
    Again I ask: can the same apply for Gentile saints, or is there a double-standard (and what is it based on?) – can saints be called “doers of the Law” without knowing the Law or do the unregenerate unbelievers who don’t know the Law own a monopoly over this moniker?

    6. “Many unbelievers do not murder or commit adultery or steal…esp. of the older generation that was taught to life uprightly.”
    a. A person who does “some” of the things the Law commands is not a “doer of the Law… justified” (as the Ro 2:14 Gentiles are); partially-obedient people are not given the appellation “doer of the Law” (that was the whole point of the Law: to “shut every mouth” with its “ministry of condemnation” – “by the works of the Law no flesh shall be justified”): “For whoever keeps the whole Law, but fails in ONE point has become accountable for all of it.” [Ja 2:10].
    b. In deed, “by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified” [Ro 5:20] – not even Paul ventured to deem himself “justified” in his efforts striving according to the Law (to think so would be error [Ro 9:32]) [Ro 7]. Are you telling me you think unregenerate Gentiles, who did not even have a copy of God’s Law, were more successful and reached a higher level of righteousness than a Pharisee who delighted in God’s Law like Paul? According to your view (righteousness is not possible without direct knowledge of the Law), this should have been impossible.

  10. Dan1el,

    Your problem is that you import your own doctrine into the text instead of reading what it says in context. Paul is beginning a complex argument and laying out the premises, not stating conclusions.

    With your view Paul’s next statement makes no sense.

    Romans 3
    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.

    There is no advantage to being a Jew if the hypothetical Gentiles of Romans 2 in question are believers. In such a case the believers that do not know the law would have the advantage, but Paul says the opposite. The law could only serve as a disadvantage according to your doctrine, because you think that it is wrong to learn doctrine from reading the law, even though Paul instructs Timothy to get his doctrine and instruction in righteousness from the law.

    And it would be good if you addressed the following or recant from the position you hold on rejecting the written word of YHWH for listening to some Spirit that contradicts His word.

    You wrote:
    “Yet, Romans 7:6 undeniably refers to the same method of coming to know “God’s Law”/”what God wants us to do in service of Him”, and of becoming qualified to be “doers of the Law” when it says “serve in the newness of the Spirit”.
    What is “new”, except in view of what is “old”?
    What would the old” be, except “the old way of finding out what God wants us to do in service to Him” – of “the written code”?”

    The old way and new way are not differentiated by the way we find out what YHWH wants us to do. The old way is outward imposition of law on an unregenerate people that refused to hear YHWH’s further commandments after only hearing the ten words. The new way is allowing YHWH to change our hearts so that no one has to make us learn and do His commandments.

    It is not old or new to read YHWH’s word to know what He desires. The words that people were inspired to write, that are now contained in the Bible, cannot be contradicted by the Spirit. Those commandments are the Spirit’s words as much as they are the Father’s and the Son’s and vice’ versa.

    You are using written words to try to teach us what you think is right. You are reading written words of men that you are using to understand what YHWH wants. Paul used the written Torah to teach believers. So, in actuality, you are using written words based upon written words of Torah to produce more written words.

    If we did it your way no one would listen to or read anyone’s words, because we would expect them all to just enter our minds by the Spirit.

    You are contradicting your very premise by using Paul’s written words to be taught and to teach. Why should we listen to a man that goes against his own teaching. Why should we listen to a man that speaks self-contradictory statements?

    You did not learn the things you say by only listening to a Spirit. You read them or heard others say them. And you evidently do not believe that the Spirit can teach us without the written word or you would stop producing so many written words. Your argument defeats itself.

    Deuteronomy 30
    10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
    11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
    12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
    13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
    14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
    15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;

    Romans 10
    6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
    7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
    8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach…
    13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
    15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

    The Spirit does not generally just drop in on people and impart the gospel to them. Someone has to teach and preach the truth. The men that wrote the scripture are preachers and teachers.

    The word is supposed to be in our mouths and in our hearts. This is another idiom. I hope you can get it. “In our mouths” means that we can recite it…that we have it memorized…or at least know what it says. “In our hearts” means that we want to do it. YHWH’s torah, that Paul quotes, is not too difficult for us if we know it and want to do it.

    The word of faith has not changed. It must be preached…if only by reading of the scripture. They cannot hear without a preacher. the Spirit of YHWH is not a preacher. Though He inspired men to write and to teach.

    The torah is the word of faith. It is all about the difference between life and good, death and evil. When we do not know it and desire to do it we are not walking in the word of faith…the word that we can trust. When we ignore YHWH’s torah to supposedly listen to YHWH’s Spirit, we hear a different spirit and we get deceived.

    The new way of the Spirit is about listening to those that the Spirit speaks through by writing and by mouth while having the desire to know and do YHWH’s every word. The old way of the letter is being forced into hearing and doing. The old way of the letter is working for salvation. The new way is working out our salvation with fear and trembling.

    Romans 10
    6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
    7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
    8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach…
    13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
    15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
    16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
    17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    Terms like: “Preach the gospel”, “Preached”, Believed our report”, and “Faith commeth by hearing” all show that we need the words of men to know the truth. The Spirit by Himself, without a human agent, is not in veiw in Paul’s theology.

    Ac 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

    The scripture is the final authority on any revelation from a spirit or message from a man. The Torah is what Paul told Timothy to use to know correct doctrine, the right way to live (instruction in righteousness) and good works. He said to give attention to reading the Torah.

    You teach directly contrary to Paul in this matter and think that the Spirit is the final authority. You think that it does not matter what the Word of YHWH says because only the Spirit has the right to teach us YHWH’s law. It is the Spirit that spoke through men in the writing of scripture. You reject that Spirit to listen to another spirit that does not uphold every word of YHWH.

    The gospel was preached to Israel at Mt Sinai.

    Heb 3:18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that were DISOBEDIENT?
    19 And we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief.
    1 Let us fear therefore, lest haply, a promise being left of entering into his rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it.
    2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

    It is the same forever. From the beginning of creation till the end of this heaven and earth.

    Re 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
    7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

    That everlasting gospel has two parts. Faith/fear of YHWH and obedience/worship.

    Here it is at Sinai:

    Exodus 19
    4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.
    5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
    6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
    7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.
    8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.
    9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever…

    Here it is related to us by Peter:

    1 Peter 2
    5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
    6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
    7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
    8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being DISOBEDIENT: whereunto also they were appointed.
    9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

    We can stumble at the word being disobedient and not mix what we have heard with faithfulness, or we can keep His covenant and believe Moses forever. YHWH’s marvelous light includes the revelation of His Torah/instructions. Though the Israelites proclaimed, “All that YHWH says, that we will do.” they went back on their word. We do the same thing when we ignore YHWH’s Torah.

    We need to fear lest we come short of receiving the promise of entering His rest. The only way to do this is to learn YHWH’s every word and do it. The only way to do it is if we want to do it. It must not be grievous to us. The work of the Spirit is this: to cause us to love YHWH and His word. The power to obey comes from this love. This is what is meant by the Spirit writing YHWH’s law upon our hearts.

    2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

    The new covenant contains the same gospel as the old. It contains the same law. It contains promise of being kings and priests. But we have a part to play in insuring our calling and election, by working out our salvation with fear and trembling. Not working for our salvation. Working it out by doing the good works that YHWH laid out before in His Torah, that Paul taught us to use for doctrine, instruction in righteousness and good works. And if we only did this it would make us just unprofitable servants, for this is our duty. We will also want to do those things that are pleasing in His sight that go beyond the letter. We will never truly go beyond the letter without knowing and doing the letter by the power of grace.

    Lu 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

    1Jo 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

    Re 14:12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

    Will we endure like true saints? Will we come short of the grace of YHWH?

    Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

    Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

    What is the root of bitterness that the Hebrew author to the Hebrews speaks of?

    Deuteronomy 29
    14 Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath;
    15 But with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day…
    18 Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;
    19 And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:
    20 The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.

    Walking in the imagination of our hearts means that we turn from obeying YHWH’s commandments to doing things like the nations around us. It means doing our own thing instead of keeping YHWH’s commandments. This presumptuous/willingly sinful attitude spreads and defiles many. What spirit would teach us to not obey YHWH’s every word?

    YHWH’s covenant and oath is made with those that were there and those that were not. That includes us all. The jealous wrath of YHWH comes upon those that deserve it. Those that deserve it are those that are the hearers only of the word that refuse to do it. They are children of disobedience.

    Shalom

  11. Bo,
    Please give a detailed response to each point. Please also order them sequentially. I need to know your response to each of these (except when they repeat, such as with the question of whether the Jews were believers).

  12. Bo,
    I’d like to focus on Romans 2:14, because there are potentially millions of points we could talk about, but we’ve already begun discussing Romans 2:14 and it is absolutely key.

  13. Dan1el,

    Romans 3 follows Romans 2 and is part of the immediate context. Also the idea of the Spirit imparting YHWH’s law is the central theme that we are discussing Romans 2 in the light of. So, please answer the parts of post that deal with this.

    Thanks,

    Bo

  14. Bo,
    Any point made in Romans 3 would be moot if it would serve to prove a point which has already been disproven. Why deal with the fruit if I could just deal with the root?
    As I said before, I believe the evidence points to the Gentiles being believers.
    I limited my reply to questions surrounding Romans 2:14, because everything else is just theory and allegations – why bother with that when we have a living example in the Gentiles?
    Why waste time going “all over the map” when we could just stick to one passage until we have reached its conclusion?

  15. Dan1el,

    You have already brought up passages way out of context to try to apply them to Romans 2. We need to get back to the context to determine what Paul was saying. You brought up the idea of the law being revealed by the Spirit. The line of reasoning that Paul is using is in sequence. He starts with unbelieving Gentiles in Romans 1, continues with that in Romans 2, then he brings the unbelieving Jew into the picture at the end of 2 and going into 3.

    You are the one that has gone all over the map. I am trying to bring the discussion back into context and deal with the ideas that you have erroneously imported into the text.

    I have already addressed the all of your points concerning Romans 2:14 and you just repeat yourself. I would only be repeating myself to answer again.

    Please answer post 61, especially concerning the Jews having much advantage, chiefly because they had the written word of YHWH. How can be an advantage, in your false understanding, over the believing Gentile?

    From post 61:
    “Your problem is that you import your own doctrine into the text instead of reading what it says in context. Paul is beginning a complex argument and laying out the premises, not stating conclusions.

    With your view Paul’s next statement makes no sense.

    Romans 3
    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.

    There is no advantage to being a Jew if the hypothetical Gentiles of Romans 2 in question are believers. In such a case the believers that do not know the law would have the advantage, but Paul says the opposite. The law could only serve as a disadvantage according to your doctrine, because you think that it is wrong to learn doctrine from reading the law, even though Paul instructs Timothy to get his doctrine and instruction in righteousness from the law.

    And it would be good if you addressed the following or recant from the position you hold on rejecting the written word of YHWH for listening to some Spirit that contradicts His word.”

    Shalom

  16. Bo,
    With the Gentiles of Romans 2:14: I’d like to stick to a discussion on the facts surrounding their standing before God – how they got to be the way they were (“doers of the Law… justified”); how they stood to inherit eternal life (etc., etc.,). To me, everything else would be throwing around uncertain theories or allegations (“By your reasoning, there was no advantage to being a Jew.”, etc., etc.,).
    Romans 3 does not need to come into the picture; the immediate contexts are enough – the questions wouldn’t end with Romans 3, either, because similar questions are being asked all the way up to chapter 9:6 “It is not as though God’s Word has failed.”

    I am concerned that going into all these other areas will only serve as a distraction which will keep us from ever coming to a conclusion on this matter which was first raised in #11 (50+ posts ago).
    You could raise scores of challenges to my beliefs on the question of whether believers must read Torah and perform the mitzvahs to be deemed “doers of the Law… justified” (of course, I believe Paul would disagree: Romans 10:5-10 “5For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” – there is a righteousness from the Law [wherein a person stands condemned] and there is a righteousness from faith [wherein a person stands justified]); but few would be as pivotal to the discussion as this question I raised of the “Romans 2:14” Gentiles.

    Let’s go back: you made some comments about how you believed my view of the Romans 2:14 Gentiles was in error? I would like to address your objections (and I have). I know you’re saying you believe Romans 3 to be related, but we would just be veering off from the indissoluble truths surrounding Romans 2:14 in its obvious and immediate contexts. There are times when the immediate context is simple enough – e.g.: I don’t need to go a chapter further to understand that Jesus was crucified; I can understand that from the simple truths being expressed in the immediately surrounding words.

  17. Bo,
    You sure did give answers to my Romans 2:14 points; but since we’re in a discussion, I have raised more points in response to your responses; now I’m waiting for your answer to those.

    I’m sure you don’t believe that they are the same points – they most certainly are not.

  18. Dan1el,

    My response is post 61, 65, and 67. We are not leaving the discussion or even branching a bit away from it, as the context is the main source for determining the meaning of Romans 2. Romans 1 and 3 are the immediate context.

    If you cannot answer these posts with something substantial, you have not proven your point about the Gentiles in Romans 2 being believers.

    Shalom

  19. Bo,
    “If you cannot answer these posts with something substantial, you have not proven your point…” – I guess I could say the same (and it should hold the same weight) to you about yourself and #60 right?

    I am concerned that no matter how many valid responses I could give to anything in 61, 65, 67, you would just bring up more and more endless objections to those and we might never return to the simple truths of how the Gentiles of Romans 2:14 must be believers.

  20. Dan1el,

    If you cannot answer just admit you do not know the answer. I have already answered your assertions that you have posted multiple times. Please answer the following simple post. If you do not answer, then I have shown that the context proves your assertions to be incorrect.

    From post 61:
    “Your problem is that you import your own doctrine into the text instead of reading what it says in context. Paul is beginning a complex argument and laying out the premises, not stating conclusions.

    With your view Paul’s next statement makes no sense.

    Romans 3
    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.

    There is no advantage to being a Jew if the hypothetical Gentiles of Romans 2 in question are believers. In such a case the believers that do not know the law would have the advantage, but Paul says the opposite. The law could only serve as a disadvantage according to your doctrine, because you think that it is wrong to learn doctrine from reading the law, even though Paul instructs Timothy to get his doctrine and instruction in righteousness from the law.

    And it would be good if you addressed the following or recant from the position you hold on rejecting the written word of YHWH for listening to some Spirit that contradicts His word.”

    Shalom

  21. Dan1el,

    No! It boils down to you not being willing to discuss the context of Paul’s statements. You can end the impasse by answering post 72. Here it is again:

    If you cannot answer just admit you do not know the answer. I have already answered your assertions that you have posted multiple times. Please answer the following simple post. If you do not answer, then I have shown that the context proves your assertions to be incorrect.

    From post 61:
    “Your problem is that you import your own doctrine into the text instead of reading what it says in context. Paul is beginning a complex argument and laying out the premises, not stating conclusions.

    With your view Paul’s next statement makes no sense.

    Romans 3
    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.

    There is no advantage to being a Jew if the hypothetical Gentiles of Romans 2 in question are believers. In such a case the believers that do not know the law would have the advantage, but Paul says the opposite. The law could only serve as a disadvantage according to your doctrine, because you think that it is wrong to learn doctrine from reading the law, even though Paul instructs Timothy to get his doctrine and instruction in righteousness from the law.

    And it would be good if you addressed the following or recant from the position you hold on rejecting the written word of YHWH for listening to some Spirit that contradicts His word.”

    Shalom

  22. Folks, we don’t need yet another thread dominated by a debate about believers and the Law. There have been thousands of posts about this, many of them hijacking other threads, so please move the discussion to a designated thread instead — or better still, let it lie for now. Thanks!

  23. Dr. Brown,

    Thank you for your continued tolerance to views other than your own. I certainly believe that believers should obey YHWH’s every word, and would gladly defend that position here or elsewhere.

    That said, there has not been much discussion of believers and the law for quite some time on this site, that I am aware of, and this is not exactly a discussion about believers and the law. It is about the meaning of “the work of the law being written on our hearts.” I didn’t think the discussion here was hijacking anything since no one was discussing anything else. If we may have your permission to continue along these lines, I believe that subject matter is in need of discussing.

    And for the record, I did not initiate the discussion, but entered it on account of a comment early on, and I am attempting to bring it to a conclusion by discussing the context in which the passage in question is found.

    As to the thousands of posts concerning believers and the law, maybe folks here want to discuss such things as much as the pretrib rapture and calvanism. It is your site and I will attempt to follow the rules, but maybe you could initiate a thread about believes and the law or something along that line in the near future for the benefit of a new and lively discussion 🙂

    Thanks again!

    Shalom,

    Bo

  24. Bo,
    Questions:
    1. Did you read #60? It is so bizarre that you would claim to have already answered it when you obviously haven’t, I thought maybe you thought you answered them because you just glanced at #60 but hadn’t actually taken a close look at it?
    2. So, if you are judged according to your own standard, does your refusal to give a point-for-point reply to #60 prove that you cannot answer the questions – that you are proven wrong, and I am (by default) proven right?
    3. Am I also allowed to say I’ve already answered all your questions?
    If so, “I have answered your questions.”
    If not, why not stop saying you’ve answered #60?
    If you will neither allow me to say I’ve answered your questions, nor cease claiming you’ve answered mine, I wouldn’t be surprised. It reminds me of #60/Question 3/point v., wherein you allow unbelieving Gentiles who do not know the Law to be called “doers of the Law… justified” (strangely, simultaneously denying them their “justification”, in contradiction of the selfsame verse – selfsame phrase even), but disallow that believers (in this case, specifically Gentiles) who do not know the Law may be called “doers of the Law… justified” (demanding they read and obey Torah, lest they be unworthy of that title [“doers of the Law… justified”]): it is a self-contradicting/defeating double-standard – hypocritical, unjust.
    4. New Questions (you haven’t seen or answered them yet). If you claim:
    i. believers who do not read and practice every possible Torah mitzvah are not “doers of the Law… justified”, and
    ii. believers don’t really NEED to obey the Torah to be saved (to say this would be a “misrepresentation” of “Bo”‘s view – #17) – they only need to believe in Jesus to be saved – but, anyone who teaches the nullification of even the least of the mitzvahs (while not jeopardizing their *entrance into God’s Kingdom) jeopardizes his or her *place in the Kingdom (they could enter but may be “least”)
    …aren’t you teaching that “unjust” people (i.e.: those believers in Jesus who do not read/practice every Torah mitzvah possible – “whoever keeps all the law but offends in one point is accountable for all”) will enter the Kingdom of God?
    If you don’t allow that they will enter after believing in Jesus, wouldn’t you be you (falsely) declaring that no person who has not read and lived by Torah mitzvahs is going to be saved? Aren’t you, then, contradicting your own claims about the Gentiles in Romans 2:14?

    Seriously, setting those things aside for the moment: I don’t want to make Jesus look bad, so if you’re going to refuse to find it in yourself to be honest (you never answered the questions in #60, so you are being dishonest in claiming that you have) let’s just end the discussion with decency, in stead of allowing it to devolve further; otherwise, it is going to bring shame to God’s Name – and it is already beginning to (due to your lawless behavior).
    If you want, we can just part ways without name-calling or declaring ourselves the victor over one another (as you’ve already tried to do for yourself).

  25. Dan1el,

    You have time and energy to post and rant and rave and produce questions that seem different than the previous ones to you, but you cannot take 10 minutes to answer two simple question of mine concerning the context. Strange.

    I just want you to address this:

    Your problem is that you import your own doctrine into the text instead of reading what it says in context. Paul is beginning a complex argument and laying out the premises, not stating conclusions.

    In your view Paul’s next statement makes no sense.

    Romans 3
    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.

    There is no advantage to being a Jew if the hypothetical Gentiles of Romans 2 in question are believers. In such a case the believers that do not know the law would have the advantage, but Paul says the opposite. The law could only serve as a disadvantage according to your doctrine, because you think that it is wrong to learn doctrine from reading the law, even though Paul instructs Timothy to get his doctrine and instruction in righteousness from the law.

    Question one: How can the Jew that knows the law from reading the written Torah have “advantage” to the extent of “much every way” over the believing gentile that has learned the law by the Spirit?

    Question two: Why would Paul tell Timothy to give attention to reading the Torah in the congregation and to learn doctrine, instruction in righteousness, and the good works that were before ordained in Torah that we should walk in them if he taught as you think that we should only get our teaching of the YHWH’s law from the Spirit?

    Shalom

  26. Dan1el,

    He said we can shift it to a thread that is appropriate. Would you like to do that? Or do you give up?

    Shalom

  27. Bo,
    Dr. Brown said, “…or better still, let it lie for now”; even in the face of that, you want to force the issue, “…do you give up?” – if you want to abuse the fact that I am honoring Dr. Brown’s wishes, I can’t stop you.

    Good day

  28. Dan1el,

    Once upon a time I had a next door neighbor that came over to play. When it was time to pick up the toys, he said, “I think I hear my mother calling.” and promptly left without cleaning up his share of the mess. I think that I just found another neighbor just like him.

    And I am not abusing anything. We have permission to continue on the thread that I gave a link to. You have refused to answer the questions from the first because it demolishes your false interpretation. Even all the conservative Christian commentaries that would love to have another passage to add to their arsenal against keeping YHWH’s commandments refuse your outrageous isegesis.

    And if I am not mistaken, you posted 77 after you knew Dr. Browns statement. This shows your true intent is probably not to honor his wishes, but that you simply do not have a valid answer and do not want to face the facts. Click on the link and give an answer for the hope that lies within you if you really have an answer. Otherwise you stand refuted.

    http://www.lineoffireradio.com/2013/02/28/the-law-of-the-lord-is-good/#comment-357389

    Shalom

  29. Bo,
    Not coincidentally, God moved me to close the conversation just as Dr. Brown wished – without my knowing he had asked us to do so in #75.

  30. Dan1el,

    Was it “God” or the realization that you could not answer my questions in any way that would support your view. You sure did stall a long time. Convenient to not have to pick up your mess isn’t it?

    Your silence speaks volumes. You have the opportunity to answer still, but you won’t because you can’t without admitting your false interpretation.

    So be it.

    Shalom

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