Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Friday, February 20, 2009

New Quarterly Newsletter from Scripture Unlocked Ministries and René López

Dear Readers of Free Grace Theology Blog,

Exciting news! A new quarterly Free Grace Theology newsletter has come into existence. It is being produced by René López and Scripture Unlocked Ministries, a 501c3 ministry (all donations are tax deductible). The newsletter is free, and can be requested by snail mail or e-mail. I encourage all of you (whether you identify yourself as Free Grace or not!) to subscribe to this professionally constructed and spiritually edifying production. You may find details on how to subscribe at the end of this post. Don't delay, sign up now so you won't miss out on the first edition!


The following is a sneak preview of a small portion of the very first Scripture Unlocked Newsletter, due to be sent out in March.


Our Purpose for Existing
Our unique niche centers on clarifying difficult passages by using correct interpretive methods apart from the undue influence of theological systems (Calvinism, Arminianism, Covenantalism, Dispensationalism, Progressive Dispensationalism, etc…). Though at times people may identify or use components found in theological systems, the ultimate test of truth depends not on whether an interpreter follows a certain system, but whether one applies the common rules of Bible interpretation (hermeneutics) to arrive at the best possible understanding. While our focus centers on interpreting all of Scripture in order to understand and apply difficult passages in our lives, this ministry holds a special place for clarifying the freeness of God’s grace in salvation. Without someone understanding God’s freegrace offer of salvation, it is hard to understand any other part of Scripture. God deals with man simply on the basis of grace. Man does not deserve anything due to the fact that he originally wanted to become independent from God (Genesis 3:1–7). Thus our dual purpose for existing centers on elucidating difficult passages of Scripture and clarifying God’s free-grace offer of salvation which is at the center of His dealings with humanity—by grace.


Our Plans to Implement
To meet our goals, numerous avenues will be employed: publishing books, public speaking, recordings, videos, newsletter articles, website articles, a future blog, and the possibility of a theological journal. Future plans also involve writing commentaries on Matthew, John, Revelation, and books about The Son of God and Deity in the Gospels, Salvation: Condition and Its Basis, Free Grace Biblical Theology, the Pauline Use of the Vice Lists and Inheriting the Kingdom, and many more ideas in the works. We also want to reach out to the Hispanic community in which free grace is almost non-existent.

In every edition of our newsletters we will include one answer to a hard question regarding a Bible passage or free-grace issue. Other answers to questions will be posted on the website. Thus, we urge our readers to send us hard questions of passages that they have longed to understand. We are committed to spreading the Word at all costs. Although SUM takes a stand on issues that are nonnegotiable (e.g., the freeness of salvation), room exists to agree to disagree on other issues, though important. Thus, we should not hold all truth equally dogmatic since some passages are easier to decipher than others.

Also, in the premiere edition of the Scripture Unlocked Ministries newsletter, our very own Agent4Him, Jim Reitman, author of Unlocking Wisdom, Forming Agents of God in the House of Mourning: A canonical-linguistic exposition of the Books of Job and Ecclesiastes, shares with us a timely article of encouragement that borrows from his studies in these two Books. We now can understand his blogger handle! God has molded Jim into His agent through the suffering and perseverance of trials that allow him to live the abundant life in communion with His Savior, and capacitates him for the contingent glories of the Kingdom of God.

Furthermore, I have been given word by René López that a second edition to his very popular Romans Unlocked: Power to Deliver commentary will be printed and available very soon. In this edition he revisits key passages on predestination and free will that my loyal Free Grace Theology blog patrons will all appreciate. René has continued to hone and sharpen his exegetical precision in what is arguably the most important New Testament epistle.

For those of you who would like to sign up for this free newsletter, please follow this link and let René know if you want to receive the newsletter through e-mail or snail mail. Please of course leave your name, e-mail address or home address.

Click Here to Sign Up for the Scripture Unlocked Ministry's Newsletter!

Also, please continue to visit the Scripture Unlocked Ministry's website to keep updated with all the happenings: http://www.scriptureunlocked.com

your Free Grace Theology Host,

Antonio da Rosa
Lakeside, CA

42 Comments:

Blogger Antonio said...

Hey Jim,

You might be interested in this! My pastor just announced a 13 week series on the book of Job! You may have heard of Dr. David Jeremiah of Shadow Mountain Community Church. He is a Dallas grad who even had classes with Zane (I talked to Zane and Dr. Jeremiah about the experience and they had fond memories, lol).

Here is part of the blurb from my weekly email from Shadow Mountain:

One of the most mysterious men of the Bible is the man Job. Most scholars believe that the book of Job represents the earliest history in the Bible with the exception of the first eleven chapters of Genesis. If they are right, and I believe they are, then God has sent a message that we must not miss. You see, the book of Job is about a godly man who experienced adversity and pain that was unexpected, unannounced, and most of all, undeserved. Through it all, while he was being advised to "curse God and die," Job retained his integrity and remained faithful to his Creator.

So just think of it: the oldest book in the Bible is about adversity and how to deal with it. This weekend, I begin a thirteen week series on Job at Shadow Mountain Church. The first message is entitled: "When God Made A Deal With The Devil."

The messages are live on http://www.shadowmountain.org at 9am PST and are also available on CD when the series is over. Just thought you might be interested!

your fg brother,

Antonio

February 20, 2009 4:00 PM  
Blogger agent4him said...

Antonio!

Well, blow me away...! I'm awed and humbled by the spread, my man. I owe you.

Regarding the series on Job, yes, I remember hearing Dr. Jeremiah in chapel when I went to DTS, and more recently on his radio program. If you think he would appreciate the commentary, give me his address by e-mail and I'll send him a free copy.

Regarding your invitation to listen to his radio program, I'll have to wait until I can take a break from contemplating the contingent glories of His Kingdom (which of course you realize has already begun, as the parables of Matt 13 so clearly demonstrate).

February 20, 2009 6:08 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Jim

I ordered your book last night from GES. I can see we have a lot in common, life has been anything but easy! I also ordered Rene's book, and listened to his first half on Romans. I liked how he talked about "sin being in-check." Rose had a Topic on one of her threads called "will sin go on in hell" or something like that.
Rene used Ted Bundy as an example of when sin is not checked and running wild. When he was on the loose there was no peace in the land but much tension. But then when he was caught there was no wrath no tension, everybody was at peace.
Rene explained that in Romans wrath is used 12 times out of the 36 times in the whole Bible and it is never used concerning eternal judgment. God's wrath is against sin when it is not checked either by the unbeliever or the believer. And Romans is telling the believer how he can escape God's wrath by living by the resurrection power that is found in Christ.
I like also how Rene showed the two ways in which God has checked sin.
1. The unbelievers are going to be in the lake of fire, what ever that means. Ok, they will be checked. That does not mean that their sinful nature will be removed. But they aren't going to be running around sinning. Sinning is over! They will be confined, they will be in prison not in jail. They are in jail now, jails only temporary. They will be in prison they won't be running around sinning. So there is no reason for God's wrath to be displayed.
2. The believer will have a glorified nature, and they won’t be sinning.

These are the two ways in which sin has been checked, but when an unbeliever or a believer acts out and sin becomes unchecked it can bring God's wrath to put it in check. We can see that God has given man a conscience to keep him in-check.
You'll have to listen to Rene and tell me whether I got him all wrong or not? But I think I heard him correct, and it made complete sense to me.
I argued for the same point concerning sin in hell that it will be checked. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess Jesus as Lord. The rebellion will be ended and they will be "uterlly consumed by terror" ( Psalm 73:17-20). We surely don't want anyone to go there!!!!

alvin :)

February 24, 2009 8:51 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi Antonio,

Thank you for telling us about this new free grace newsletter. I just sent off a request for it. How exciting!!!

Diane
:-)

February 24, 2009 8:56 PM  
Blogger agent4him said...

Hi Alvin,

On your comments about life not being easy, we are our own biggest problem! My tenacious demand for self-sufficiency is what has caused me the greatest pain, but it has also opened my eyes to the main teaching of Job and Ecclesiastes: God's gracious "remedy" for self-sufficiency.

I think you got Rene's points about wrath keeping sin in check. In my opinion, that is his book's most most helpful contribution to FG theology: Even when believers choose to seek life through the flesh, God's righteousness will be revealed against all ungodliness in the form of wrath. We normally don't get that out of Romans 1, because we see it as primarily speaking of unbelievers.

This is where the ongoing grace of God is so critical: As I've been thinking about the argument of Romans more over the last year, it strikes me that the "business end" of this truth about wrath against sin is directed primarily to believers, because we are called to receive God's grace daily in order to reveal the righteousness of God.

Positive incentive: If we don't continue to freely appropriate the "free gift of grace" in our union with Christ we don't "reign in life through righteousness" (5:17, 21).

Negative incentive: When we choose to become "slaves to sin" rather than daily appropriating God's grace as "slaves to righteousness," it is God's wrath against sin in the life of a believer that makes "the wages of sin death" (6:16, 23).

Alvin, I love your zeal for trying to keep unbelievers out of eternal torment. I guess my calling has evolved into persuading believers to fulfill their present calling to reveal God's righteousness, in part at least by minimizing the consequences of his present wrath against sin in their own lives.

I think pastors like Colin (Goodnightsafehome) instinctively posture against some aspects of the FG message because they don't see it as properly emphasizing the present consequences of sin in the Body. And I think the message of Romans is a wake-up call to keep reminding us that we have been called from dying in our sin to living in righteousness. The difference may lie in how we "interpret" (and respond to) the presence of sin among members of the Body.

February 25, 2009 5:14 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hey Everyone,

Just wanted to let you know that another great commentary is coming out soon, and René Lopez is one of the contributors.

You can read about it at the GES blog.....

www.faithalone.org

"Commentary Moving Along Well; October 31 Release possible"

February 25, 2009 10:35 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Jim

I agree completely with all you said. I studied Zanes message on the "Wrath Dodger" so what Rene was saying was just complementing what Zane had already brought to my attention. I defended the point that the condemnation "katakrima" in Romans 8:1 is conditioned on whether the believer walks by the Spirit or the flesh. The one I was debating brought up the fact that the Greek word there is used by Paul two other times in Romans 5:16 and 5:18 to mean eternal condemnation. But I also seen in those two verses the word judgment used. I just remember Zane saying the word for condmnation in John 3:17 was better rendered judgment. Maybe you could give me some light on this?
I also had a question about Romans 10:1 "saved" there it seems to me by the context that it's speaking of a rightousness that needs to come from God. So the word there would mean not salvation from the power of sin but from the penalty and being declared rightous in Christ? I know Rene believes that the salvation spoken of in Romans is speaking of deliverance from the power of sin and not the gift of eternal life. I see the two types of salvation in Romans 10:9 belief in the heart which brings eternal life and confession with the mouth which brings salvtion from the power of sin. I don't see a problem there if you look at the first part as being saved in the Gospel of John sense and the last part being saved in the Romans sense. One must have the first before they can experince the last. Also I've heard Bob Wilkin say that unbelevers can call on the name of the Lord for deliverance. So not just believers call on the name of the Lord.
I remember visiting a man in the hospital who was dying of cancer. I was asked by a pastor if I would go and sing to him. The pastor said that he didn't want to hear about God, and some of the women of the church had tried to speak to him also. I remember sitting outside the hospital scarred to death praying "what do I sing to a man that doesn't want to hear anything about you Lord?" I came to the room and saw the man laying there with his eyes closed and tubes and wires going to both sides of him. I started to softly sing "Just A little Talk With Jesus" I figured that's what he needed . . .Ha!Ha! I had hit about the second verse when nurses came in. I stopped singing and said to the nurses "he probably didn't hear a word I sang." He said "I heard you." I waited for the nurses to leave, and then told him he was in real bad shape. I told him that Jesus had paid for all his sins and he needed a Savior. I told him he needed to call on the name of the Lord! He cried out Jesus save me! All the machines started beeping, and the nurses came running. But we were rejoicing in the Lord!!!! He died about a couple weeks later. I seen him like the theif on the cross, he had believed in his heart what I had said, and then confessed with his mouth calling on the name of the Lord.
I know we can look at things point by point, but when faith happens in the heart it's not point by point but flows naturally. Just thinking out loud.

alvin :)

February 26, 2009 5:21 AM  
Blogger agent4him said...

Alvin,

The noun katakrima in Rom 5:16, 18 is a clear reference to condemnation (verdict of "guilty") by virtue of the fact that it results in a judgment (krima) of death in 5:16. Moreover, it parallels both dikaioma in 5:16 and dikaiosin in 5:18, words that in this context are properly rendered as a justification ("acquittal") that results in a "judgment" of life (5:17, 18), the only solution to the condemnation that leads to a judgment of death.

The condemnation in view in Rom 5:12-21 is clearly not restricted to eternal death. It starts with the physical death that came through Adam (5:12-15, 18) but then extends to include the eternal death that follows imputation of personal sin "after the likeness of Adam" (5:13-14, 18-20). Furthermore, the passage culminates with the notion that death can rule over believers in this present life whenever we sin (5:17a, 21a), if we do not continue to appropriate the free gift of grace to atone for sins and be cleansed (5:17b) so that we might reign over that death in righteousness to eternal life (5:17c, 21b)---from now through the age to come.

The freedom alluded to in 8:1 is in response to the preceding plea "Who shall set me free from this body of death?" (7:24). The question is voiced by any who are condemned to experience death in their present temporal experience by absurdly seeking "life" through sin (Rom 6) or the Law, which is of no avail to protect against sin's lethal effects (Rom 7). The question of 7:24 is unmasked by 8:1 as an absurd error of logic for a believer to ask; in fact they are no longer condemned to death (cf. Rom 5:12-21), because through the "Spirit of life" they have been set free from the necessity of dying from sin's consequences (8:2).

The context thus supports "condemnation" in 8:1 as incurred by sin of any kind and leading to death; this includes guilt for Adam's sin (5:12), our guilt as volitional sinners like Adam (5:18-20), and any guilt we retain daily for choosing to walk according to the flesh and then refusing to appropriate the free gift of grace through the Spirit for forgiveness and cleansing (Rom 5:17; 8:4-8; 1 Jn 1:7, 9). Hence, the sense of 8:1 is we no longer have to be condemned for sin, so there is no reason we have to be slaves to death (7:24)---the solution is always readily available to us!

Regarding your take on Rom 10, I would agree that the context supports both aspects of salvation; I'm not sure how much Paul intended to distinguish the two in a context regarding the future of corporate Israel (Rom 9-11).

February 26, 2009 9:46 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Jim,
You said:
Alvin,
The noun katakrima in Rom 5:16, 18 is a clear reference to condemnation (verdict of "guilty") by virtue of the fact that it results in a judgment (krima) of death in 5:16. Moreover, it parallels both dikaioma in 5:16 and dikaiosin in 5:18, words that in this context are properly rendered as a justification ("acquittal") that results in a "judgment" of life (5:17, 18), the only solution to the condemnation that leads to a judgment of death.

Jim, I agree with what you are saying here.

Jim Said
The condemnation in view in Rom 5:12-21 is clearly not restricted to eternal death. It starts with the physical death that came through Adam (5:12-15, 18) but then extends to include the eternal death that follows imputation of personal sin "after the likeness of Adam" (5:13-14, 18-20). Furthermore, the passage culminates with the notion that death can rule over believers in this present life whenever we sin (5:17a, 21a), if we do not continue to appropriate the free gift of grace to atone for sins and be cleansed (5:17b) so that we might reign over that death in righteousness to eternal life (5:17c, 21b)---from now through the age to come.

Jim, I agree with what you are saying here.

Jim said:
The freedom alluded to in 8:1 is in response to the preceding plea "Who shall set me free from this body of death?" (7:24). The question is voiced by any who are condemned to experience death in their present temporal experience by absurdly seeking "life" through sin (Rom 6) or the Law, which is of no avail to protect against sin's lethal effects (Rom 7). The question of 7:24 is unmasked by 8:1 as an absurd error of logic for a believer to ask; in fact they are no longer condemned to death (cf. Rom 5:12-21), because through the "Spirit of life" they have been set free from the necessity of dying from sin's consequences (8:2).

The context thus supports "condemnation" in 8:1 as incurred by sin of any kind and leading to death; this includes guilt for Adam's sin (5:12), our guilt as volitional sinners like Adam (5:18-20), and any guilt we retain daily for choosing to walk according to the flesh and then refusing to appropriate the free gift of grace through the Spirit for forgiveness and cleansing (Rom 5:17; 8:4-8; 1 Jn 1:7, 9). Hence, the sense of 8:1 is we no longer have to be condemned for sin, so there is no reason we have to be slaves to death (7:24)---the solution is always readily available to us!


Jim, I like what you are saying here because the way I use to see 8:1 I had Paul using the word “Katakrima” differently then the way he uses the word in the other two times in Romans (5:16,18), so this is consistent.

If I remember right, you see Paul here (Romans 7:13-21) speaking as an unbeliever when he was a religious Jew, that he could not fulfill the law?

I see the New Covenant blessing here of the law being written in Paul’s mind (Jer 31:33,34; Romans 7:22). That even though he “knows” God (Jer 31:34; John 17:3) the body is dead because of sin, (8:10), so he needs the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit to experience this new life that he has.
I know I struggled as a new believer as Paul did, and until my mind was renewed I didn’t experience victory. In fact I gave up not thinking the Christian life really worked. I think there is also a big difference in seeing not just that we can go to 1 John 1:7,9 when we sin and confess it, but that in the inward man there is NO sin (Romans 7:22; 1 John 3:9). That when we sin it’s always an expression of the flesh (1 John 3:6). I know Bobby and Antonio and myself were discussing what the gift of “eternal life” is over on the group blog. Antonio and myself were trying to show that the gift of eternal life comes as a “seed” (1 Peter 1:23). And is not fully developed but has all the potential. Bobby was saying that eternal life is Jesus Himself in you fully developed. But Jesus only promised that He and the Father would come to the believer if they were obedient (John 14:23-24). I can see a new believer who has taken of the living water freely but who has not been renewed in his mind walking in death like I did for years. By listening to those of the Calvinistic persuasion (general use here, no one in paticular) you get this fully developed life of Christ in you. So they don’t see the difference between taking the living water freely and eternal life springing up (John 4:14) to a full fledged personal relationship. Zane’s book “Grace In Eclipse” on the chapter “Faith Subtly Redefined” page 14. No one supposes that the English words “believe in” denote a “personal relationship,” much less “submission to,” or anything of the sort.
I think this is where the disconnect is, they see eternal life as a personal relationship rather then a simple gift Jesus offers. I believe as you do Jim that we want to see people “saved” in the full sense of that word. But we need to make clear the difference the gift of eternal life is a gift that can be taken freely, a personal relationship takes what we are talking about in Romans. Seeing who you are in Christ and renewing your mind learning to walk by the Spirit in life rather then death. Some people like myself this took years to see and start walking in life. I was like Paul all the time “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.” Rom 7:19
Remember Paul started out in Romans 7 showing that the “law” was NEVER going to pass away, and the Jew was married to it. But one was free from that marriage in the death of Christ. But when Paul goes on he sees that there is another “law” and that is the law of sin and death that is in everyone of us. And it took more then the death of Christ to have victory over that law, but took the resurrection power of Christ.

Jim Said:
Regarding your take on Rom 10, I would agree that the context supports both aspects of salvation; I'm not sure how much Paul intended to distinguish the two in a context regarding the future of corporate Israel (Rom 9-11).

Very good point Jim! I’ve always been fed these verses in the context of salvation for the new believer. But if you look at these Scriptures from the context of corporate Israel, that they had the laws and the covenants (Rom 9:4) they already knew what it meant to call on the name of the Lord for deliverance. So they wouldn’t be looking at these Scriptures the way a normal every day believer would.
I can see I need to do a lot more studying in these areas and not just come at it from the old paradigm.

Alvin :)

February 27, 2009 4:26 AM  
Blogger agent4him said...

Alvin,

I so appreciate the graciousness in your reply. I will focus here on just the issue of the role of Rom 7 in setting up the picture of full freedom in the Spirit in Rom 8.

You have the memory of an elephant! You are right that I take the imagery of 7:7-24 as drawn from Paul's pre-conversion state, which is different than Rene's view in his Romans commentary. But the object lesson that Paul is drawing from that imagery ends up being the same: It is addressed to believers who have deceived themselves into thinking they can keep the Law in their "minds" only to find that they are enslaved by sin in the "body" (the sense of katakrima in 8:1). Let me try to develop this in response to your comments:

I think the New Covenant blessing is written on the heart, not the "mind" (at least the way Paul uses "mind" in Rom 7---more like "will"); the New Covenant concept in the context of Rom 7-8 is realized by "Spirit" not "mind" (IMHO), as it is set up in Rom 7:5-6. (You picked this up in your comment on 8:10 about the need for resurrection power.) The notion that "when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death" (7:5) is exactly what is played out in the retrospective scenario depicted in 7:7-24. (Note that the term "in the flesh" [7:5] is validated by Paul in 8:9 as referring to slavery to sin in the unbeliever.)

So here's the point of how Rom 7 sets up Rom 8, as I see it: "How absurd for a believer to try to please God by going back to works of the Law like a "law-abiding" unbeliever! That's just returning to slavery! Don't you realize that when you received the Spirit you were freed from slavery to sin under the Law?? (8:1) You need to remember this any time you feel trapped by sin and feel death, just like a "law-abiding" unbeliever (7:7-24). You can always put to death the deeds of the flesh by walking according to the Spirit who is now within you (7:5-6; 8:4-8)! So, don't be an idiot by trying in your own strength to please God by fulfilling the Law you agree with in your mind."

You said: I can see a new believer who has taken of the living water freely but who has not been renewed in his mind walking in death like I did for years....I was like Paul all the time “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.” .
I think the scenario I described above pretty well describes the slavery you felt as a believer who in his "mind" felt he could please God by just trying harder, but in fact only returned to the slavery of the unbeliever under law. The way you renewed your mind was to follow the Spirit within you as separate from this self-sufficient "mind"set.

I agree with your take on the "seed" of eternal life. It is "fleshed out" by remembering the distinction between the "mind" set on the Spirit vs. set on the flesh (8:5-6). Since the "mind" in Rom 7 is set on the Law, the body must therefore succumb to the flesh, because the mind is not appropriating the Spirit that has been given in Christ (7:25).

Bless you, my man.

February 27, 2009 6:45 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi Jim and Alvin,

Just wanted you to know that I'm enjoying your discussion and copying out all the verses so that I can have them in front of me when reading your comments and trying to digest the information. I love to learn. I love to see how the pieces fit together. I'm not there yet, but thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on the blog. Appreciate you both.

In Jesus' love,
Diane
:-)

February 27, 2009 8:31 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Jim

Thank you for your kind words!
Jeremiah tells us “I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts” Jer 31:33b
Jim I believe we see in Romans 7-8 both, not only did Paul delight in the law in the inward man but had found victory by not setting his mind on the law but on the Spirit. (Rom 8:5)
Paul was a minister of the New Covenant not of the letter but of the Spirit because the letter brings death but the Spirit brings life 2 Cor 3:5,6. So Paul’s sufficiency was not in the law but in the Spirit to give life to his body.
Paul as a devout Jew loved the law so that was where his focus was. This needed to change because the law could only bring death to his body not life. So Paul starts in Romans 7 by laying out the groundwork by showing the believer is no longer in bondage to the law but is free in the death of Christ. But this is not enough as Paul goes on to show that his focus was still on the law which he loved. He finally sees that there is a law working in his members of sin and death. So there is a war going on between his mind and his flesh, and he was losing the battle because his focus was on the law which could only bring death. He needs deliverance from this body of death and finds it by focusing on the Spirit who gives life to his body. Paul as a new believer had to learn liberty was only found by focusing on the Spirit (2 Cor 3:17-18). We are transformed when the veil is removed and our focus is no longer on the law but the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

Alvin :)

February 27, 2009 10:42 AM  
Blogger agent4him said...

Alvin,

I think we have reached consensus on the primary thrust of Rom 7 and 8. Although we take Paul's referent in Rom 7:7-25 differently, our conclusions are completely parallel.

You can get to that same point by seeing Paul's autobiographical sketch in Rom 7 as alluding to his prior state as a new believer, but I would say that the lesson applies to anyone at any time who thinks they can please God by trying on their own to follow prescribed behavior of any kind (which is the general definition of "law").

Why would Paul's legalistic preconversion experience be a more compelling argument for a "law-abiding" believer than his early experience as a believer? For the same reason as it is in Phil 3:2-14: No one could hope to fulfill the Law any better "in the flesh" than Paul, the Pharisee of Pharisees, yet all it got him was slavery and "death"; so, why try to do the same thing now in one's own strength as a believer who wants to be fully sanctified in Christ?

What finally sells me on seeing Rom 7 as Paul's reflection on the slavery that characterized his previous life under law (7:7-25) is the parallel comparison he makes in the second half of Rom 6 when he also cites the prior condition of unbelief as an object lesson for his readers' in their current lives as believers (6:17-23).

I see the two chapters as parallel in this respect: In both cases, he wants to see his readers live out their freedom in Christ. But many of them were laboring under one of two "opposite" delusions that put them back into slavery to sin.

In Rom 6, some readers were presuming on grace, trying to get more life by freely indulging sinful pleasures rather than living in grace to reign in righteousness to life as God intended for them in Christ (5:21). What they needed to know was that the choice to indulge oneself now would only enslave them again to sin, which leads to death, just like it did when they were unbelievers and had no choice (6:17-23).

In Rom 7, some readers fell prey to the "opposite" delusion that they could find life by nobly ("in my mind") living according to the prescribed behaviors of Law, only to find that they were again enslaved to another law that resides in the flesh, rather than finding true freedom in walking according to the Spirit (8:1). What they needed to know, by exact analogy to Rom 6, was that the choice to follow the law on their own as believers would only enslave them again to sin, which leads to death, just like it did when they were unbelievers and had no choice (7:7-25).

Again, Alvin, I think you get to the same point by seeing Paul's retrospective as a believer---and this is the position that Rene Lopez takes---but the parallel pattern of the arguments in Rom 6 (regarding sin) and Rom 7 (regarding law) makes the "previous law-abiding Paul" view in 7:7-25 hermeneutically more compelling. The passage is still intended as an object lesson for law abiding believers, just like the allusion to the prior state of unbelief in 6:17-23 was intended as an object lesson for licentious believers. I think it's harder to defend the other view exegetically.

February 27, 2009 12:47 PM  
Blogger Sanctification said...

Hi Jim & Alvin,

This topic of inward obedience by the Spirit apart from the law is my most favorite topic, hands down!

Jim said:
anyone at any time who thinks they can please God by trying on their own to follow prescribed behavior of any kind (which is the general definition of "law").

When I try to explain what I believe, that walking by the Spirit means to be freed from all law, Christians usually reply saying that I must only mean some law, not all of it. For instance I hear, Christ died for only the ceremonial laws. Or that the New Testament teaches Jesus' commands, which are our laws now. Etc. etc.

Is Jim saying what I probably would -- law means any good standard I can be convinced about as something I should do, think, or say? How do you show this in the scriptures? All I know are these:

Romans 7:7
...I would not have known sin except through the law.

Romans 3:20
...for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

and if I have to, James 4:17
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

All this says to me is whatever I absorb as what I need to be doing, stop! Trust God and walk in union with Christ because His directions are pure of heart.

Looking forward to your reply!
Michele

February 27, 2009 3:49 PM  
Blogger agent4him said...

OK, Michelle...

Yeah, this "law" thing is huge, all right. My last few posts have generated a fair amount of interest both on and off-line. And I'm preaching Sunday on a completely different topic, but it's hard to break away from the fire I started---even if I didn't intend to---once the wind starts to pick up. Besides, how could I turn you down?

In short, yes, I agree with the general thrust of your response. However, the NT use of "law" is not as simple as it might seem from your verses. James and John have an annoying habit of using "law" terminology that might seem prima facie to conflict with Paul.

James speaks to believers twice of the "law of liberty" (1:25; 2:12) and once of the "royal law" (2:8)---the latter a virtual clone of Lev 19:18 ("You shall love your neighbor as yourself"). I think all three of these refs. in James refer to loving people who are "growing" in the same patch of land where God has planted you...especially the really, really needy ones that bother us the most.

OK, now fast-forward to John: Jesus said something about obeying his "new" commandment that really isn't a "new" commandment; it's an "old" commandment that needs to be repeated (1 John 2:3-11; cf. John 13:34; 15:12-14). That sounds like some kind of "law" to me. Could it be the very same Lev 19:18? Yep. He might as well have said "Love those really 'needy' Christians that are so hard to love (just like you guys)."

Meanwhile, back at the ranch with Paul---in his very most "anti-law" book---we find him saying what sounds a lot like James' "law of liberty" (Gal 5:13-14).

"But... but... Paaaauul... you said...!"

Bottom line? You said: ...inward obedience by the Spirit... and Trust God and walk in union with Christ because His directions are pure of heart. Exactly. When it comes to loving the kind of people Jesus commands us to love, there is no way we could ever get through more than one or two before we totally crater, if we think we can satisfy his "commandment" as a matter of "prescribed behavior."

John says about that kind of (sacrificial) love "We love [only] because he first loved us." And Paul further explains, "the righteous requirement of the law...fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" (Rom 8:4). Jesus "commands" us to love certain people and then empowers us by his Spirit; he expects it of us but knows we could never do it on our own.

Finally, we go to the gospels and find that Jesus is annoyingly consistent when he boils down all the law into the shema (Deut 6:4) plus Lev 19:18. And John puts the frosting on the cake when he confirms that we can never separate the two---they always have to go together in one "law," or we're just plain liars (1 Jn 4:20-21).

So, who's your "neighbor"?

OK, I'll take a breath...

February 27, 2009 5:22 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

We have to look at what the purpose of the law was (Gal 3:19).

It was to keep sin in-check but also to show us we could not keep it and as a schoolmaster bring us to Christ. And there was a provision in the law when they broke it there was grace they could bring a sacrifice.

The law was the power of sin (1 Cor 15:56), so instead of accomplishing it’s purpose because there is nothing good in our flesh the law just made matters worse because we could not keep it (Gal 3:10-12).

So Paul experienced this vicious cycle realizing he could not keep the law because there was another law working in his members the law of sin and death which was aroused when the law was applied to his flesh (Rom 7:15-24).

By Paul taking his focus off the law (stop trying to keep the law) and putting it on the Spirit caused a different reaction in his flesh, it did not stir up the flesh to sin. Because that is all the flesh can do is sin, and the law being the power of sin is there to condemn it when it does.

By focusing on the Spirit which gives resurrection life to the body Paul was set free to follow the will of God which was to love God and his neighbor as himself.

So this does not mean that we don’t keep Gods law (His will) but we keep it by walking by the Spirit who fulfills the law in us (Rom 8:4). The letter kills but the Spirit gives life.
This is how I understand it but am open to correction.
Alvin :)

February 27, 2009 8:20 PM  
Blogger agent4him said...

Alvin, Michelle

Very nice survey, Alvin; indeed, a good, succinct job of placing Rom 7:15-24 within the larger NT framework of the law.

Putting our two posts together, in one sense we could see the Spirit's job as getting us from the slavery of law to the liberty of love.

Jim

February 27, 2009 9:24 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Amen Jim!!!!

Thanks for helping me to flesh these truths out it's been a very beneficail conversation!

And I don't think I spelt to many things wrong or made up any new words...:)
benefishal . . .that don't look right, theirs NO fish in beneficial ...i got a big dictionary! Now if I could just remember the alfabit, I'll stop while I'm ahead :)

February 27, 2009 9:57 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Jim and Alvin.....

You guys are just having too much fun!!!!
:-)

February 27, 2009 10:02 PM  
Blogger agent4him said...

Well, fry me in oil and call me "crispy"!!! Lord have mercy on us all: Brother Alvin has a wonderful, self-effacing sense of humor!!

...who would ever have thunk it?

(I actually laughed out loud, Alvin; my wife can't believe it.)

February 27, 2009 10:05 PM  
Blogger Sanctification said...

Jim!

I'm not around today but maybe tomorrow after your sermon is given - looking forward to learning!

Michele

February 28, 2009 8:28 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Michele!

Im looking forward to learning too! I go on ten weeks of days starting tomorrow so my time will be limited but will drop in ever so often to keep up with you all.

alvin :)

March 01, 2009 6:35 AM  
Blogger Sanctification said...

Hi Alvin!

I'm so blessed to read the post you wrote above summarizing the role of the law, and obedience by the Spirit. It fulfills me to hear other Christians able to say the kinds of things I believe!

I like this statement, and maybe you can answer this question for me, because I don't know why this seems to throw some Christians off. Have you noticed this kind of reaction before too? Here is a good statement I like:

Romans 7:4 "So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God."

I believe God has contrasted the law to show the Way.

:D Michele

March 01, 2009 3:52 PM  
Blogger Sanctification said...

Alvin and Jim,

If either of you can answer, I'd love to know. I have a lot of questions. I don't know which one I should start with. Jim mentioned 1 John and James so now I can't choose.

My sunday school teacher drew a continuum on the white board, with legalism on one end and no law on the other. He labeled the no law end "antinomianism." That really got my ire up. Then he said that for our sanctification we ought to try and land somewhere in the middle, with "some" law, and the one he picks is James' "royal law."

Jim you mentioned that James brought up the royal law. Are you saying that he is referring to it not instituting it?

I raised my hand and gently said to him that he thinks compartmentalized about the law, that we might be able to break it down into 613, or summarize it with 10 or 2 but all are contained by the greatest. If Jesus didn't fulfill the greatest by his obedience... then He didn't fulfill any of those 613, in my mind.

He doesn't see that by using the greatest commandment, he resurrects the entire law, the whole thing that Jesus nailed to the cross.

This is exactly the problem Paul warned against in Galatians 5: those of you who try to be justified by law must obey the whole thing.

And "justified" in Galatians 5:4 means... sanctification because there is the potential to fall away from grace once had....

Seriously. Therapy.

March 01, 2009 4:30 PM  
Blogger agent4him said...

Michelle,

I didn't quite grasp the last couple of things you said, but here is what I took as the essence of Alvin's excellent summary of the connection between law and Spirit (posted Feb 27, 8:27 PM):
By focusing on the Spirit which gives resurrection life to the body Paul was set free to follow the will of God which was to love God and his neighbor as himself.

In response to your description of the SS class teacher's drawing a line between "law" and "antinomian," Paul's point in Rom 6 and 7 is that the whole line is a problem, because anywhere along the line is something we try to do or not do out of self-sufficiency, rather than the Spirit's leading.

In reply to the angst you express on behalf of many, I am sure, with respect to "law" of any kind this is what Paul says:
So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh---for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Rom 8:12-14)

My take on this is that our only "obligation" is to behave like "sons" made in the image of God by submitting to the Spirit's lead in our lives. Some would make a mad dash out of the room whenever they hear the word "obligation" in any way, shape, or form, because they mindlessly equate "obligation" with "law" in Paul's typical sense of Torah obedience or works driven by conscience (cf. e.g., Rom 2:12-14).

But isn't this "obligation" in Rom 8:12-14 all that Jesus, John, and James mean when cite the "new commandment," "law of liberty," or "royal law," all of which are drawn from the same two OT loci I previously mentioned? Our "obligation" is to attend to the Spirit's lead in loving God and loving others---anything else that is "prescribed" and can be done on one's own initiative and in one's own strength to try to meet God's "expectations" cannot be sustained.

If all we "worry about" is hearing His voice clearly, the irony is that we end up fulfilling the "law" without even trying (Rom 8:4). This is why Jesus can say in Matt 5 "you have heard it said..., but I say to you..." and would thereby seem to place any fulfillment of the law totally out of reach for any human. Not if we are living in Him by the Spirit's empowerment.

March 01, 2009 5:35 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Michele

I'm kind a in a rush at the time so through these verse together hope you make sense of them.

alvin :)
If a believer is walking by law they have fallen from the path of grace.

Jesus is the end of the law, once the law as a schoolmaster has brought one to Christ they are no longer under the schoolmaster.
Gal 3:24,25
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are NO LONGER UNDER THE TUTOR.

The law is not for the righteous man
1 Timothy 1:8,9a
But we know the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is NOT MADE for a righteous person, but for lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners

Galatians 5:4
You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law: YOU HAVE FALLEN FROM GRACE.
Remember the law demands perfection!
Galatians 3:10
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written; “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in ALL things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”



What do we make of this?
Galatians 5:18
But if you are led by the Spirit, YOU ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW.

By a person trying to use the law as their rule of life they have stopped walking by the Spirit and have brought themselves back under the law. What they are saying by this is they are no longer dead in Christ.

That’s where Romans 7 comes in to show us that there is a stipulation in the law that if ones spouse is dead they are free to marry another. The law was our spouse but it was not going to die, so as long as we were alive we were in bondage to it. But we have died in the death of Christ!!!! So we have been set free from the law, but if we try to walk by the law we are saying were alive again and find ourselves in bondage to what we were set free from.

Galatians 5:1
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

1 Cor 7:39
A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

Romans 7:4
Therefore, my brethern, you also have become DEAD TO THE LAW through the BODY OF CHRIST, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

Michele, the believer is married to Christ so is dead to the law. The law was a bad husband it could only condemn us when we messed up. But the Lord gives us much grace, abounding grace!!!!!!

Romans 5:21
Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more
Romans 6:7
For he who has died has been freed from sin.
Romans 6:11
Like wise you also, REKON yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but ALIVE to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

March 01, 2009 6:20 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hey Jim,

I hope you didn't get fried in that oil to long! But thank you for your kind words! I think we work good together, sometime old guys like us it takes a lot to get the wheels turning!

alvin :)/@\(:

March 01, 2009 8:21 PM  
Blogger agent4him said...

You're all right, old man...

(I can say that, 'cause I'm older!)

March 01, 2009 8:32 PM  
Blogger Sanctification said...

Jim,

Thank you for answering that question. It always blesses me greatly to hear the right response. In fact I think it's time for me to start building a free grace library. This should be fun. I'm looking forward to reading your book. The reviewer wrote,

"Reitman’s excellent expostion of the books of Job and Ecclesiastes shows how unjust suffering and self-motivated ambitious schemes result in frustration and confusion, and how only the fear of God can resolve disillusionment."

And you teach hermeneutics and spiritual formation, which means what you write, I'd both trust and benefit by!

Michele

March 02, 2009 12:21 PM  
Blogger Sanctification said...

Alvin,

I'm glad you wrote back though you're tangled up with other things. The things you wrote in your last post are exactly the sorts of things I've been writing too, I can't tell you how confirming it is to hear other Christians say what you just said.

Dr. Ron Allen said during his "Love for the Hebrew Scriptures" course that because Paul writes a lot about the law being impossible to satisfy, there is a need to answer why then God gave the law to the Israelites if He knew they could only fail. Is that the gift of a loving Father?

I believe his response is, that the ten commandments aren't all that difficult to follow. They are do-able. It's just that through time the purpose of the commandments was distorted by pride into a form of religious tradition.

I certainly don't have an answer for this question myself though I have wondered.

1- The law is good.

but also

2- The law cannot be used because of sin in us (and should not be used any longer, for the old has passed away and we have a better covenant).

I'd like to be able to explain this in a little more well-rounded manner.

Yay! Michele

March 02, 2009 12:33 PM  
Blogger agent4him said...

Thank you, Michele, for your kind words...

I hesitate to say this, but I wouldn’t trust "credentials" as much as how one's contributions are received by "normal" folks (including Alvin, of course, though he would not meet that criterion) in growing, dialoguing communities such as Antonio's, Rose's, UoG, etc. Credentials only go so far, because scholars typically have agendas that they feel compelled to push or defend, and I fear I am no different, though in some respects I have fewer academic "attachments" than others---but we all have baggage.

As an example of how this kind of dialogue works, the first articles that came out on Wikipedia were a complete "crap shoot," because no one knew whether the scholarship behind these unofficial pieces was good or not. But over time, the articles "belonged to everyone" so they could be edited and fine-tuned for historical/scientific accuracy, etc. As a result, some Wikipedia articles have become outstanding pieces that can compete with the best stuff "out there."

It is my hope that a similar kind of theological fine-tuning can progressively mature on these websites through this process of give and take. A big problem is that when some of the most basic theological tenets are not agreed upon, it is difficult to build on the foundation. I just don't see it happening as freely in the halls of academia or in the church as it should be. IMO it will just take a greater willingness to tap into God's grace for the task at hand. Too many scholars treat the work as "science" and bifurcate it from other Spirit-led activities that characterize Body life.

Thanks for your commitment to that process!

March 02, 2009 4:43 PM  
Blogger Sanctification said...

Jim,

Thanks for the carefully given warning. I think my soul would be happier if I could just figure out all by myself what the scriptures say about everything. I'm glad I did for awhile but if I keep things at that level I'll spend a lifetime rediscovering the wheel. A body's got to give in at some point. I'm thankful to have had the chance to interact with you!

Michele

March 02, 2009 9:37 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi!

Haven't had anytime for blogging! Their doing my five year investigation, so I'm running too and fro for information.

alvin :)

March 03, 2009 4:03 AM  
Blogger agent4him said...

Alvin,

It's about time someone did an investigation!

Michele (and others),

I just appreciate people tenacious enough to keep asking the difficult questions and pointing us back to our Creator. One of my main prayers over the last 5 years has been this: that by earnestly seeking to know the One who saved us and is redeeming us to His purposes by the shed blood of Son, we might come to know how absolutely valuable we are in His eyes.

We recently spent some time in Ephesians 1 and 2. Consider this:
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory (1:13-14).

I love the song "Touch of the Master's Hand," because it so nicely portrays this truth, how valuable we are to Him and how he intends to "play us" and create redemptive beauty in us by the power of Christ, both now and in the age to come (Eph 1:17-21).

This has given me new perspective on the parables of the Pearl of Great Price and the Buried Treasure in Matt 13. Our Creator paid the greatest price---the shed blood of His one and only Son---to redeem us back to our created purpose(s) as his infinitely valuable chosen people.

Do we live daily in light of the ultimate revealing of the treasure he bought to display in us forever when the world is finally redeemed from futility at the end of the age (Rom 8:18-21)? We've spent a lot of time on Rose's contemplating the extent of the atonement (and yes, he did buy the whole field in which the treasure is buried), but how many of us live each day understanding how valuable to him we really are?

March 03, 2009 5:02 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Jim,

I think there needs to be an investigation on both of us


I think Diane’s been praying for me
I got blessed at the dentist office
What’s up with that? :)

I have always approached dentist offices with
Fear and trembling, especially new ones :(

I had mentioned something to Diane about having to go to the dentist.
I had a broken tooth…ouch! :(

When I went into the emergency office I was placed in the middle booth.
On both sides of me were little children

That meant I couldn’t cry and scream, an ex-Marine has to maintain a certain
tough image!

But, I was expecting to hear crying and screaming, but nothing!
And before I knew it there was a little old man sitting in front of me smiling and shaking my hand :)

I was very impacted by this man, he was going back and forth working on the three of us,
And he was so gentle and truly a gifted dentist

I thought later how fulfilling it would be to be able to help people like that,
When they are hurting as an instrument of God

Then I thought of agent4him and how he had said God has put certain people on our patch of ground,
And we needed to love them, even if they are very unlovable :)

This gave some new insight to me into the men I work with, and I began to see myself as an agent of God in their lives,
An instrument to pray for them and too point them to Christ the Great Physician who want’s to bring healing to their lost and broken lives.

I knew I couldn’t meet all their needs, but I knew Someone who could, AND He wanted to use me as an instrument in their lives, like that little dentist with such a gentle spirit and a soft hand.

Who’s on your patch of ground today?

God has put them there for you to touch with His gentle loving hand.

Alvin :)

Thanks Doc, and Diane!!!!!

March 04, 2009 4:54 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

How could God meet with sinful dying man? His law showed His righteous standard, and the sacrifice showed His justice. There is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood. The nation Israel was to be a nation of Priest to the world. No one could come before God in their own righteousness, the law showed everyone their sin and shut their mouth. Just think how humbling it would be to know you could not approach God without blood, something had to die because you’re a sinner.

The law was never “do-able” for sinners for if you broke one law you broke them all. The law was never meant to be done but to show the world it’s need before a Holy God and point to the ONLY sacrifice who is the ONLY One who could keep God’s standard, God Himself!

One of the greatest gifts God could give to us is the knowledge of our sin and that is what the law did.

We could NEVER approach God by law because it would ALWAYS condemn us.

Alvin :)

March 04, 2009 8:12 AM  
Blogger agent4him said...

Alvin,

You got the point, my man! (I'm just going to have to call you "Patch").

March 04, 2009 11:05 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Alvin,

First you made me laugh AGAIN.... seeing this big tough marine sitting between those children at the Dentist Office.

But then you touched my heart with your very tender reminder of what we're here for. Thanks for that reminder. SO TRUE!!!

Diane

March 04, 2009 9:27 PM  
Blogger Lou Martuneac said...

Antonio:

Your attempts to influence other individuals to give you leverage with me have not resonated with them and will not yield anything for you. Even if they were inclined to sympathize with you they have no leverage or authority over me in the first place.

If you want to sort this out so that the mutual ban can be reinstated you will need to communicate directly with me.

Whatever feelings you have about my ministry in defense of the Gospel you need to put them aside just long enough to work this out with me. If you ever want to have the mutual ban restored you will need to work it out with me, and me alone.

I’m not trying to be harsh when I say this, but I am absolutely resolute that I will participate in discussions at both of your blogs (at will) unless you contact me to discuss closure.

You can e-mail me at indefense06@gmail.com to initiate contact to resolve the issue. I would have e-mailed you, but you told me you are blocking my e-mails.

Resolution of this issue rests solely with what initiative you will take to end it. I am giving you a window of opportunity to send me an e-mail so that we can sort this out together. I think a 48-hour window is fair.

For the next 48 hours I will not post at your blogs. I do, however, request that you (including any admin at your blogs) do NOT delete this offer. If this comment is deleted and/or you do not contact me by the end of the day Friday I will then consider the mutual ban permanently dissolved.

To reiterate, I am giving you a 48 hour opportunity to bring closure. This is completely up to you where we go from here. I have posted this at your blogs so that your friends can see that you have this opportunity.


LM
Micah 5:8

March 18, 2009 10:13 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Antonio, Rene, and my brothers and sisters in Christ....

Just wanted to end the evening saying thank you for your ministry. I love being in the family of God. I love having brothers and sisters who love Jesus because He first loved them.
I love this prayer of His in....

John 17:22, 23... "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one; I in Them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have LOVED THEM AS YOU HAVE LOVED ME."

WOW! That's love!

Good night my friends.

In Jesus love,
Diane
:-)

March 18, 2009 10:47 PM  
Blogger Lou Martuneac said...

Antonio/Rose:

Just sent his to Gary (goe). Antonio, you prayers are hindered, (Ps. 66:18).


Gary: (goe)

Maybe you'd appreciate knowing that the "gracious" Antonio, using another one of his fake ID's published a rumor that another brother in Christ is an accused child molester. Of course Antonio lied to JP and then Rose when he/she asked him about it. Here is the e-mail I sent Bob Wilkin, who in reply, (predictably) could not have cared less.


Dr. Bob Wilkin (GES Members):

I am forwarding this report of and proof that in Sept. 2007 Antonio da Rosa published at my blog and in a series of e-mails rumors of child molestation against a brother in Christ, Ron Shea.

I am pasting below facsimiles of the blog comment and then a series of e-mails all of which were originated by Antonio da Rosa. He posted at my blog as “Anonymous.” The e-mails are from an alias e-mail address he used from his own computer. That e-mail is the_truthdetector@yahoo.com which is still active today. All of these blog comments and/or e-mails were originated from the same computer that was used to post the rumor of child molestation, the same computer he uses for his own personal correspondence via e-mails from his agdarosa@cox.net.

One of my blog trackers immediately recorded the geographic location from which the child molestation comment at my blog originated. The location was El Cajon/Lakeside, CA- Antonio’s hometown. As I responded to “Anonymous” in the thread and Mr. TD in e-mails I was interacting with who I was very certain to be Antonio.

It was not until a few weeks later that proof positive was received that Antonio, “Anonymous” and The (Mr.) Truth Detector were one and the same persons. The proof was compiled by an IT professional whose background and/or current specialties include military cyber-ops and evidence gathering for investigation of Internet crimes.

Antonio unwittingly left clear, irrefutable evidence that he was “Anonymous” who posted at my blog and the author of the e-mails from Mr. TD who identified himself as the author of the blog comment rumoring that Brother Shea is a child molester. Antonio also unwittingly provided future additional electronic proof that Antonio was “Anonymous” and Mr. Truth Detector.

Bob Wilkin, what you will be especially disturbed by as you read the e-mail from Antonio (as Mr. TD) is that Antonio was acting on your behalf. His motive was to blackmail Ron into retracting his challenge to debate you. See- THIS NOTE.

Antonio has been informed that I am sending this to you and the others under carbon.

I’ll close and will follow my signature with the blog comment first, then the series of e-mails in chronological order. Note all of this occurred on the same day- 09/08/07. Only the last mail came on Sept. 12.

Finally, you will also note that I left my appeals and interaction with Antonio (Mr. TD) so that you can see how I tried to reason with him. The final e-mail (#4) from Sept. 12 is the response from Ron Shea to Antonio (Mr. TD) and his (Antonio’s) reply.

On the first item below you will find a link to the thread where Antonio posted the rumor that Brother Shea is a child molester. Click on it- you will see the location and my follow up to him. In my thread replies you will see that I noted purposely the geographic location from which “Anonymous” sent his rumor of child molestation.

Do with this whatever you choose. If Antonio had not lied in the public forum when he was asked by another blogger if he (Antonio) had anything to do with the libel and defamation of Ron Shea, I would not have pursued this issue.



LM



BLOG COMMENT: Click link to see location and my reply:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Not Losing Sight of Lordship Salvation":



Lou,


did you know that Ron Shea faced charges of child-molesting and this is a reason why his wife left him? Check up on it, if you think it is falsehood. It sadly is not.

Posted by Anonymous to In Defense of the Gospel at 9/08/2007 12:19 PM

March 29, 2009 9:05 PM  
Blogger prophetic said...

This is a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us! I hope to read more of your post which is very informative and useful to all the readers. I salute writers like you for doing a great job!

Prophetic

October 20, 2011 1:38 AM  

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