Christians should judge

There is much discussion where people are trying to say that a Christian should not judge. They seem to think Jesus said to not judge. But that’s not what Jesus said.

Christians ARE to judge – discern between right and wrong and if they have a particular sin in their lives, they need to correct it. Christians are to call other Christians on their sin and pray for them.

Let us look at the words of Jesus:
Matthew 7:1-5 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Luke 6:36-38 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Notice, Jesus said if you do not judge, then you will not be judged. He did not say those who judge will be judged most harshly. Jesus said to not be a hypocrite. But that with the measure you use, that is what you will be judged by. He said to forgive and you will be forgiven. We are to take care of a given sin in our own lives before we rebuke someone else about that sin.

Jesus Himself said we are to judge what is right or wrong  – not merely by how things appear, but with righteous judgment.

John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

Luke 12:57 Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?

In fact, Jesus said to call sinners on their behavior:

Luke 17:3 So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.

Paul said to not be a hypocrite:
Romans 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

But we are to discern what is right and wrong and avoid wrong. Jesus and the apostles were clear we must not sin and must call people on their sin.

Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

1 Corinthians 5:12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

Luke 17:3 So watch yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.

1 Timothy 5:20 Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction

Titus 2:15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

Ephesians 5:11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

Jude 1:3-4 3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. 4 For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

So Christians should judge their own actions first and deal with sin in their own lives. But we are to judge the sins of those inside the church. Even so, this does not mean we are to judge someone as being better or worse than ourselves. If someone outside the church does bad things I still have the responsibility to judge whether that thing is good or bad. Whether someone does something good or bad does not necessarily indicate a person is good or bad. Judging something to be a sin is a good thing. Judging someone is not. There is a distinct difference that people who are doing things that others call wrong do not make.

The Bible says to not cuss

The Bible says to not cuss. What comes out of our mouths is a reflection of what is inside us. We should take every thought captive for the obedience of Christ, destroying strong-holds in our lives which prevent us from being who God has called us to be.

Ephesians 4:29

29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

James 3:10

 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.

1 Peter 3:9-12

 9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 10 For
“The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
11 “He must turn away from evil and do good;
He must seek peace and pursue it.
12 “For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
And His ears attend to their prayer,
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Luke 6:45

45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

2 Corinthians 10:5

 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

So we are to not use foul language, but more than that, we are to even stop ourselves from thinking bad language.

More rebuttels against verses used to counter TULIP

These are some verses which have been used to show that calls everyone, and that people can reject God’s call to salvation. So let us examine each one.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

 Notice that God is longsuffering (meaning patient) toward us (speaking of believers), not willing that any (speaking of believers) should perish. SO this simply means that God is putting up with us until such a time as all who will believe have all repented and turned to Christ.

John 12:32

32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

This says that Jesus will draw all men to himself. Notice, this is very different from the Father drawing people to Christ, which is seen in John 6:37, 44, 64-65. In those verses, we see that no one can come to CHrist unless that person has been granted permission by the Father, and ALL the Father gives to Christ WILL be lifted up (speaking of eternal life). However, in Joh 12:32, We see that Jesus will draw all men to him. We have to look to the fuller context of this passage, which is speaking of judgment (as seen in verse 31). So we see Jesus will draw all men to Himself for judgment – where believers will be found to be justified (so this will become the resurrection of life), but unbelievers will find this to the be resurrection of judgment (or damnation as we see in KJV) spoken of in John 5:29.

1 Timothy 4:10 –

10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

The word translated in 1 Timothy 4:10 as savior means deliverer and preserver. We know from Acts 17:24-25 that God gives all things to all people, including life. In the same way God shows common grace to all people, He has preserved all people, but he has done so in a better way for believers – he has preserved them by giving eternal life.

John 5:40

40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

This passage does not say why they will not come to Christ (which we know from John 10:26 is because they are not of His sheep).

1 Timothy 2:3-4

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Obviously this passage is not speaking of universalism. The word translated as “all” means “all sorts”, which we see in many translations of 1 Timothy 6:10. God will have all sorts of people to be saved – which is clearly seen in the prophecy of Caiaphas the high priest in John 11:50-53, where Jesus would die for the nation and to gather the children of God from the nations.

Acts 2:21

And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

Both people who believe God’s call can not be resisted until death and those who believe they can resist God’s call recognize that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  Acts 2:21 is descriptive. It does not say whether the person who will call upon the name of the Lord was chosen by God and had opportunity to resist the draw of God the Father until death.

These passages are not hard to show as supporting TULIP. There are some who think otherwise, but only if you ignore what other scripture say.

Tithing to God in the New Testament

Giving from the heart was not a new concept in New Testament times. In the time of Moses, Scripture records numerous instances of freewill giving (e.g. Exodus 25:2, Exodus 35:4-5, Exodus 35:21-29, Leviticus 22:29). The people’s hearts were stirred, and they gave as they were willing. On one occasion, they gave far too much! They had to be restrained from bringing anymore (Exodus 36:2-7).

We will look at the idea of tithes and offerings in the New Testament.  It’s clear that the poor, needy, and widows are still a priority, which we also saw in Old Testament in a previous post.

New Testament teaching is that we belong completely to God, and we are not our own, for we were bought with a price (e.g. I Corinthians 6:19-20). Everything we have belongs to God, and we are to be good stewards of all that we have temporarily been given (e.g. Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 12:42-48, 16:1-13, 19:11-27).

Abraham gave a tenth before the Law was given, Hebrews 7:6

But the one whose genealogy is not traced from them collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises.

In the New Testament, we do not see a repeat of the command to tithe. However, we DO see a command to give sacrificially.  I think its evident we should give. Otherwise how would the elder get their support from the Gospel? But again, the question is motivation. God wants us to want to give. I happen to think God will discipline us for not doing as we should (Hebrews 12:6-7), but will reward us for seeking Him (Hebrews 11:6).

Jesus made it clear that the while the religious leaders of the day tithed on their goods, they forgot to live out the more important parts of the law – justice and mercy and faithfulness.
Matthew 23:23

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

Jesus told the Pharisees they should have tithed while also giving justice and loving God.

Luke 11:42

42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

Notice that tithing and doing other religious things does not make you righteous.

Luke 18:9-14

And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’

 14 “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

We see in Hebrews that Abraham gave a tithe before the Law was given – so the concept of giving some part of your gain to God through giving it to someone is not due to the Law. In fact, the author of Hebrews said even the priest Levi paid tithes through His forefather Abraham.

Hebrews 7:1-10

 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.

Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils. And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have commandment in the Law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, from their brethren, although these are descended from Abraham. But the one whose genealogy is not traced from them collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises. But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater. In this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on. And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

In the New Testament church, believers shared with each other as anyone had need. People did not act as if anything they owned was their own. They recognized that GOD provided. They in turn took what God had provided and shared that with those believers who had need.

Acts 2:44-45

42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people And the Lord was adding to their number day by day hose who were being saved.

Acts 4:32-37

 32 And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. 34 For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales 35 and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need36 Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement), 37 and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

We see in Acts 6 that there was a daily distribution of food. One group of widows was being left out, so seven men were chosen to be overseers. But that food came from believers who donated it.

Acts 6:1-4

1Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of foodSo the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.  But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

When God spoke through some one to predict a great famine, the disciples, in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, sent relief to believers in Judea.

Acts 11:27-30

 27 Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world And this took place in the reign of Claudius.  29 And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea.  30 And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.

Believers from Macedonia and Achaia contributed to poor believers in Jerusalem, out of desire and debt because they received spiritual things from those in Jerusalem. So at least part of the reason for giving is to give to those in need.

Romans 15:26-7

26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27 Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things.

The question has also been asked about whether pastors should earn money from the tithe.

Note that Paul earned at least some of his salary in his trade as a tentmaker.

Acts 18:3

 and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working, for by trade they were tent-makers.

But look at least part of the reason he worked: Paul worked to help support himself and his companions, and to demonstrate that “you must help the weak.”

Acts 20:34-35

34 “You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. 35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

Paul and his companions, at times, went hungry and thirsty, was poorly clothed, was beaten and was homeless – yet they worked with their own hands.

1 Corinthians 4:11-13

11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; 12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13 when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.

Although Paul chose to not take money for proclaiming the gospel, God has decreed that those who preach the gospel deserve to earn money from those who are served by them.  Giving was to be done 1) as one purposes in his heart, 2) “not grudgingly or under compulsion”, 3) cheerfully, and 4) by God’s grace.

1 Corinthians 9:1-18

1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

3 My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 Do we not have a right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6 Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working? 7 Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?

8 I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. 11 If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? 14 So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.

15 But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one. 16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. 17 For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. 18 What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

Paul spoke in Christ, but refused to peddle the word of God – in that he refused to make money from those he ministered to.

2 Corinthians 2:17

17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.

The question has been asked WHEN should the tithe be taken up?

Historically, the money for the collection for the saints (in particularly for missions work) should be saved up on the first day of the week.

1 Corinthians 16:1-4

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. 2 On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. 3 When I arrive, whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem; 4 and if it is fitting for me to go also, they will go with me.

How much should we give?

I think we are to give generously – not merely 10%. Apparently God will give to you as you give to God. If you give sparingly, you will reap the same. If you give bountifully, you will reap the same. God provides and multiplies the seed for your sowing.

2 Corinthians 9

1For it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints; 2 for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, namely, that Achaia has been prepared since last year, and your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3 But I have sent the brethren, in order that our boasting about you may not be made empty in this case, so that, as I was saying, you may be prepared; 4 otherwise if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to speak of you—will be put to shame by this confidence. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, so that the same would be ready as a bountiful gift and not affected by covetousness.

6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; 9 as it is written,

“He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor,
His righteousness endures forever.”

10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; 11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 13 Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, 14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Paul rejoiced that the Macedonian Church had given freely, willingly, and beyond their ability – in the same way that Christ, having been rich, became poor (human) so that they might become rich (sons of God).

2 Corinthians 8

 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well.

But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also. I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. 10 I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it. 11 But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability. 12 For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.13 For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality— 14 at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; 15 as it is written, “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little had no lack.”

16 But thanks be to God who puts the same earnestness on your behalf in the heart of Titus. 17 For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest, he has gone to you of his own accord. 18 We have sent along with him the brother whose fame in the things of the gospel has spread through all the churches; 19 and not only this, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work, which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself, and to show our readiness, 20 taking precaution so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift; 21 for we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. 22 We have sent with them our brother, whom we have often tested and found diligent in many things, but now even more diligent because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ. 24 Therefore openly before the churches, show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.

Paul took money from other churches (like a missionary would do) rather than take money from the newly planted churches. 

2 Corinthians 11:7-9

Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge? I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to serve you; and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so.

Paul had learned to be content, whether hungry and suffering need, or full and abounding. He was grateful to the Philippian believers for often sending for his necessities. They would receive fruit in their own accounts, and Paul promised that God would supply all their needs.
Philippians 4:10-19

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.

15 You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; 16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. 17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. 18 But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Paul and his companions labored and toiled night and day, so they wouldn’t be a burden to the believers. They did it to be an example.

1 Thessalonians 2:9

For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.

2 Thessalonians 3:7-9

For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example.

The church was to give relief to genuine widows, who had no one to take care of them. But if a widow still had believing family members, they were to take care of her. Those failing to provide for their own households had “denied the faith.” Younger widows were advised to remarry.

Elders who ruled well were to be “counted worthy of double honor.”

1 Timothy 5:3-18

Honor widows who are widows indeed; but if any widow has children or grandchildren,they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God. Now she who is a widow indeed and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day. But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives. Prescribe these things as well, so that they may be above reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, 10 having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, 12 thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge. 13 At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. 14 Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; 15 for some have already turned aside to follow Satan. 16 If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, she must assist them and the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed.

17 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”

 

Giving should be done in such a way so others do not praise you for it.

Matthew 6:1-4

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

“So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Notice the warning we see in Acts 5:1-11 where lying to God to make people think better of you has consequences – even in giving.

 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. 

But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?  While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

 And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it. The young men got up and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him.

 Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter responded to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.”

 Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.”

 10 And immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.

If God gifted you with giving, do it generously.

Romans 12:8

or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Before offering your gift to God, be sure you are right with others, whether you are at fault or they are.

Mt 5:22-25

22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. 23 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25 Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.

Matthew 18:15

15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.

Mark 11:25

25 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions

Loving God and your neighbor is more important than tithing or sacrifice.

Mark 12:33

33 and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.

Our bodies and lives should be living sacrifices to God.

Romans 12:1

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

 Ephesians 5:2

and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

In summary, we saw that at least while Jesus was alive, tithing was something the Jews did. In the early times of the church, believers gave to the church to help support those in need, as well as to provide for the elders and missionaries. The bible seems to expect people to give, though we are cautioned to give generously and not give in such a way so as to be thought well of. Indeed, it is clear our relationships with God and with others are more important than giving.

John 11:49-52

So who did Jesus die for? The high priest Caiaphas predicted that Jesus was going to die not just for the nation of Israel, but to gather into one people the children of God from all nations. This would include both Jewish and Gentile believers from all nations – NOT unbelievers.

John 11:49-52

49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” 51 Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.

 

1 John 2:2

We will examine 1 John 2:2

and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

Does 1 John 2:2 teach that Jesus died for everyone’s sins and therefore everyone will be saved? Or does it teach that Jesus died for everyone’s sins and everyone will have the ability to be saved? Or does it teach something else?

Some of this post comes from a previous blog entry, but much of it is new.

We have to realize that while it might appear that Christ is the propitiation for everyone, we must realize what scripture actually says concerning Christ being the propitiation.

Notice that the high priest Caiaphas prophesied that Jesus was going to die  not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.

John 11:49-52

49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” 51 Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.

In Romans 2:21-26, we see that the righteousness of God through faith in Christ for all who BELIEVE. Indeed, Christ is a propitiation in His blood through faith. Thus we see Christ is not the propitiation for everyone, but for those who have faith.

21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

So going back to 1 John 2:2, the world Greek translated as ‘whole’ means ‘all’, ‘whole’, ‘completely’. But we must examine what the word world mean here.

The Greek word translated as ‘world’ is transliterated as Kosmos. This is the word we get cosmos from, which means universe. But this word has many connocations, many meanings:

  1. an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government
  2. ornament, decoration, adornment, i.e. the arrangement of the stars, ‘the heavenly hosts’, as the ornament of the heavens. 1 Pet. 3:
  3. the world, the universe
  4. the circle of the earth, the earth
  5. the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human family
  6. the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ
  7. world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly
    1. the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc, which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ
  8. any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort
  9. the Gentiles as contrasted to the Jews (Rom. 11:12 etc)
  10. of believers only, John 1:29; 3:16; 3:17; 6:33; 12:47 1 Cor. 4:9; 2 Cor. 5:19

So, there are times when the phrases “all” or “whole world” do not automatically mean “every individual in the entire world.”

We see one example in Luke 2:1-3

 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.

Obviously “all the inhabited earth” did not mean “every inhabitant of the world.” Caesar’s decree did not apply to people who were not of the Roman empire, so it could not have means everyone in the world. The context was limited to those of the Roman empire.

Another example is when the Pharisees were speaking about everyone following Christ in John 12:19

19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.”

The world did not go after Him – only those who followed Christ did, there were plenty left (in the local area and in the entire world) who did not.

So one meaning would be universe, another world, another all the people of the world, another all the people who hate God, another all the people who love God.

By itself, this verse can not be used to show whether God is speaking of everyone everywhere or of people who would be come believers only.

We see in 2 Cor. 5:17-21 that God is “reconciling the world to Himself.” Now, before we think that “the world” means everyone in the world, we have to read the REST of the verse: “not counting their trespasses against them.” So the world is those people whose sins are not counted against them, namely: believers.

17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Notice in Hebrews 2:16-17 that Jesus gives help to the descendant of Abraham. We know from Romans 9:6-8 that the descendants of Abraham are the children of the promise – believers from both Jews and Gentiles. These are the people for whom God makes propitiation for sins.

16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. 17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

So then what does it mean that Jesus is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world?

1 John 2:2
and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

I see a number of possibilities for what ‘whole world’ means:

  1. This COULD mean that Jesus atoned for the sins for everyone – whether they would come to believe or not.
  2. This COULD mean that Jesus atoned for the sins for everyone who might believe, regardless of whether they will 0r not. I fail to see how this is any different than the first option.
  3. This could mean that Jesus atoned for the sins of everyone and everyone will be saved. We know from other scripture that not everyone is saved (Matthew 7:21-23), so it can not be this one.
  4. This could mean that Jesus atoned for the sins of everyone, but it only is effective, it is only applied, when one has faith in Christ.
  5. This could mean that Jesus atoned for the sins of all kinds of people, people of every nation – which sounds similar to what we see in
Revelation 5:9
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation

Personally, I think both #4 and #5 fit the text well.

But what DOES Limited Atonement mean? It means that Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, but only effective for some. We see this in scripture.

Jesus’ blood was poured out for many – Matthew 26:28

for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

Christ lays down His life for the sheep – so… does that mean for everyone?

John 10:11

I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

John 10:15

even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

We see in Matthew 25:32-46 that the sheep are the righteous ones and not the goats, who are the unrighteous ones.

32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

34 Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

41 Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Indeed, Jesus interceded only for those given to Christ by the Father

John 17:6-9

6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; 8 for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9 I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours

The church is what Christ purchased with His blood – not everyone.

Acts 20:28

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood

Just as Christ bought the church with his own blood, just as Christ was given people out of the world, just as Christ laid down His life for the sheep,  just as Christ was slain, and purchased for God with His blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, is the propitiation for those who have believed, do believe, and will believe in Christ.

John 6:37, John 6:44, John 6:64-65

There is debate as to whether someone can reject Christ if God has drawn them to Christ.
Scripture states ALL the Father gives Christ WILL come to Him.
John 6:37
ALL that the Father gives Me WILL come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.
Further, scripture states NO ONE can come to Christ unless the Father draws him and Christ WILL raise those up.
John 6:44
NO ONE can come to Me UNLESS the Father who sent Me draws him; and I WILL raise him up on the last day.
 
John 6:64-65
64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. 65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”
It seems to me that Jesus was clear:
1) EVERYONE God the Father gives to the Son WILL come to the Son.
2) NOT EVERYONE comes to Christ.

3) ONLY those who have been granted permission can come to Christ

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