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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
 
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Sunday, September 16, 2007
You Cannot Bribe An Impartial Judge.
Deuteronomy 16:19, "19 You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous." - [ESV]

Most of us have enough smarts that we would not try and bring a suitcase full of money to God and ask him to overlook our sin in exchange for the suitcase full of money. We know that God is impartial, and that he will not overlook our sin no matter how much currency we bring to the judgment seat.

Yet many today are placing their hope in just such a bribe - only their currency is not gold or silver, it is in what they feel are "good deeds" - and by good deeds, they typically mean not killing, raping, or in some cases, hurting anyone else. That is they believe that they can appease the judgment against their sin by bribing God with what they consider to be good, and commendable behavior.

I should remind the reader that -everything- we have ever done in our whole life (outside of Christ) has been done while either passively or actively rebelling against God, that is, everything we have ever done has been self serving and not God serving. To spell it out, everything we have ever done has been so entirely mingled with sin that even what we consider to be our most righteous acts, God can by no means regard as being righteous since they are all founded primarily in our rebellion (sin) against God - even what we think of as our commendable acts, are in fact thoroughly saturated by our rebellion (sin) and rather than preserving our life, they shall be that much more weight on the anchor that is tied around our neck.

Thus, if it were folly to try and bribe God with our good deeds, it is doubly folly when we try and bribe him with deeds that are mingled with rebellion. These that will be brought out in hope of securing the bribe, will only be more evidence against us; will only damn us that much more, for these are in fact part of the mountain of evidence against us, and will by no means excuse us on that last day.

Now if the cup of folly were not full yet, I should remind the reader that the party whom the sinner is attempting to bribe is in fact the victim of the crime - sin is rebellion against God after all, and attempting to bribe our way out of punishment by offering up more sin to the one who is offended by sin can only be described as a madman's hope.

Listen sinner: You will not succeed in your hope of bribing the judge of all the world with your "good" deeds - your good deeds are not good, and even if they actually were good - their goodness in no way erases your sin. You see, scripture teaches that sin must be paid its wage, and the wages we must pay are not good deeds: the wage sin demands is the forfeiture of life. The penalty for sin is the death of the sinner, not good deeds. No one caught speeding can argue their innocence by saying that previously they weren't speeding - that in no way satisfies the penalty against them. Likewise, the debt for our sin is the forfeiture of our life, and even were it possible for us to have done good deeds in the past, these will by no means satisfy our debt. If we cannot pervert a righteous Judge with a bribe, how much less hope if that bribe is made without any currency, and again how much less if that currency is itself a crime against the judge?

If you haven't surrendered your life to God through Jesus Christ you will stand before Christ one day at the judgement seat. I tell you today that all your good deeds in that day will not remove the penalty for even the smallest lie you have ever told. The fact that you didn't kill anyone will by no means excuse you for even the most petty theft. The time that you gave the beggar a fiver will not pay for the slightest lust, let alone the darker things in your closet. God will not be bamboozled, and I remind you reader, that you are a day closer to this judgment now than you were yesterday - and your days themselves are numbered. How many days have you burned up already? Would that those who read these who do not know how to be reconciled to God would seek Him out while there is still breath to do so.

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posted by Daniel @ 5:46 AM  
7 Comments:
  • At 1:01 PM, September 17, 2007, Blogger Daniel said…

    No comments yet.

     
  • At 2:07 PM, September 17, 2007, Blogger Daniel said…

    Hahah... I fell for it. I peeked in and saw that there was a comment, so I opened it up and blah - it was just throwing out the bait... Now that is funny, well to me at least.

     
  • At 11:55 AM, September 19, 2007, Blogger Sojourner said…

    Here's a real comment. I like this post, and I thought I'd tell you so.

     
  • At 1:18 PM, September 19, 2007, Blogger Daniel said…

    Thanks Brad. It's an old truth, but a good one, though I suspect that not many look at it that way.

     
  • At 9:34 PM, September 19, 2007, Blogger jazzycat said…

    Daniel,
    I believe the following verse is referring to sanctification rather than justification. (IOW a person trying to add works to his faith in order to be justified):
    Gal. 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

    Any thoughts on this verse?

    wayne

     
  • At 7:57 AM, September 20, 2007, Blogger Daniel said…

    Wayne,

    Well meaning, but doctrinally inept Judaizers began teaching Galatian converts their own confused understanding of how to be sanctified as a believer. Those Judaizers regarded Christianity as an addendum to their Jewish faith. Christ to them, was a new patch sewn into the fabric of their old religious system - their error assumed that Christianity was a new form of Judaism. Thus they acknowledged Christ as the Messiah, but He was a Jewish Messiah, and Christianity was just the new orthodox wing of Judaism.

    These having not so full an understanding of the new wine, as it were, were framing their "new" faith in the wineskin of their old religion. They may have understood that Christ was the lamb of sacrifice, and that the temple system was no longer valid, that is, they may have understood that Christ replaced the temple system of sacrifice, but they still believed that after the dust settled you were now a Jew and you had to behave like a Jew and everything worked more or less like it had in the past except that you didn't have to do your sacrifices in the temple anymore.

    So it was that these Judaizers, were either unable or unwilling to let go of the thought that sanctification is produced by us keeping the law. These same began to teach the Galatians that in order to be good Christians, they had to behave like good Jews.

    They were wrong of course, which is why Paul is correcting them - we are not sanctified by works, that mindset is a carnal mindset - trying to bridge the distance between God and man by doing works to merit God's favor. Even if we could merit God's favor by our tainted works, it would be madness to rely on such as that since all who are in Christ have Christ as their righteousness - if we have sinned all day, we stand before God justified because Christ died for our sin, and if we have been righteous all day our righteousness counts for nothing, for we are regarded by God according to Christ's righteousness and not our own. God does not regard us according to our sin -or- our righteousness, He sees Christ and Christ only in both of these. That is what imputation is all about. Not just that our sins are imputed to Christ, but that His righteousness is imputed to us, such that being in Christ we are "right" before God at all times. Since God's relationship with us depends on Christ's finished conduct and not our own, we do not establish a relationship with God by our conduct, rather just as the relationship that was originally established by faith (the moment we were justified), so too our sanctification is established by faith as well.

    The trouble in understanding this for many people is because while justification is forensic, that is, it is a spiritual truth that happens in eternity, is understood in a moment, yet remains entirely intangible - like a wedding vow, after the ceremony the couple is wed, they are in a new relationship, but nothing has really changed in the individual, yet there is a new (intangible) relationship there.

    But sanctification is not forensic, it is not intangible. We measure it against a standard (Christ) and we find ourselves lacking, and desiring to bridge the gap between where we are at (obedience wise) and where we know we should be (Christ-like), we attempt to do by effort what cannot be done - that is, we attempt to change our own spots by keeping the law.

    It isn't that we should toss the law out the window, which is of course the charge that Paul knew would come first when he began to teach sanctification in Romans six - it is that we are not made one bit more holy by keeping the law. That our holiness is not dependant upon what we do, but rather what we do is dependant upon the holiness God imparts to us through faith. A holy man is an obdient man because he is holy, the Judaizers believed that an obdient man became holy by his obedience, and that error we call the Galatian error.

    This post was directed not at Christians attempting to sanctify themselves, but at non-Christians who imagine that they needn't be too concerned about eternal things, since they live a "better" life than others - surely God will overlook their sin simply because they are so good. In other words, the point of this topic was justification, and not sanctification.

    The Galatian error is a sanctification error - trying to mimic or produce holiness by regimented obedience, rather than extending faith to God in our weaknesses, crying out in faith for Him to provide us what we need - a right love for him that motivates us to obey so that our yoke is light and our burden easy. We do the same stuff, but we don't do them in order to avoid guilt, but rather we do them because it is the joy of our heart to do them.

    The greatest hindrance to sanctification is the flesh, because the flesh doesn't get any better, that is, while our Spirit is redeemed and within us becomes a new heart - yet the old man is ever present with us and he wants no part of it. That is why the cure for the old man is not more instruction or more obedience - it is death, death, death - for the greatest enemy to the process of our sanctification is our own self.

    Anyway, I am off to work - I hope that helps make the distinction.

     
  • At 6:23 PM, September 20, 2007, Blogger jazzycat said…

    Thanks. I also think sanctification is in view in Galatians, but some have considered Galatians to be about justification only.

     
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