What Do Christians Have to Live For?
A while back, Vjack of Atheist Revolution asked, “What do Christians have to live for?” He then proposed three ideas. First, he posits that we live for God. This is an excellent suggestion, though Vjack has no idea how it would be accomplished. Second, he thought that we might live for either the Rapture or the afterlife. This offers no incentive to take care of the planet since we are only on it for a short time. Third, he asks what incentive that there is for a Christian to be moral if all of his sins are paid for by Christ. Let’s address all three points.
First, how would a Christian go about living for God? One of the cries of the Reformation was soli Deo gloria, for God’s glory alone. The apostle Paul offers this as a suggestion in Romans–“Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Living for God is simple: place God first in everything that you think, do, and say. Everything that you do should be an act of worship.
The second suggestion, living for the Rapture or the afterlife, is a terrible idea. Vjack nails the problem inherent in it; namely, that there is no incentive for taking care of this planet, since the Christian isn’t going to be around long enough for it to matter. But that overlooks that we are stewards of this planet and have been charged by God in Genesis to take care of the planet (Gen 1:28-30).
Finally, Vjack wonders why Christians don’t rape and murder at will because all of their sins are paid for by Christ. The apostle Paul anticipated this sort of mentality when he wrote to the Romans. After building his case for salvation by grace without works of law, he asks if we should go on sinning so that grace may abound all the more. He answers with a resounding NO! Then asks, “How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Rom 6:2) If we are in Christ, we are dead to sin and alive to God (Rom 6:11). We are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). People who are alive to God demonstrate the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control by the power of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). Therefore:
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (Rom 6:12-14)
Posted on December 10, 2008, in Apologetics, Bible Thoughts, Morality, Sin, Theology and tagged atheism, Sin. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.
“Finally, Vjack wonders why Christians don’t rape and murder at will because all of their sins are paid for by Christ.”
Those who believe in once saved always saved do rape and murder at will, but I wouldn’t consider them Christians to begin with, just Calvinists.
These also are fully refuted in their false doctrine by 1st Corinthians 5. There a man is living in fornication, and the apostle commands in verse 5 “to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
Here’s a Christian who is committing fornication. And Paul doesn’t say “Well, its no big deal: Once Saved, Always Saved.” He says instead “You brethren best get on the ball with some disciplinary actions because this guy’s spirit is going to be LOST in the day of the Lord Jesus. Cast this wicked person out from among you! Deliver him to Satan until he repents, so his spirit can be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
You see, true Christianity does not teach that your sins are all covered no matter what you do in the future. True Christianity teaches that if you go and live in willfull sin and don’t repent, you go to hell.
Hebrews 10:26-27 says “For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” Those who persist in willfull sin refusing to repent, after having become Christian, actually lose the sacrifice of Christ and are counted as adversaries against God and punished in hell.
1 John 1:7-9 says “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Notice how John does not teach unconditional “once saved always saved” heresy, but rather has all those IFs in there. If this, if that. We only have the continual cleansing of Christ’s blood IF we constantly repent and confess our sins.
Vjack is right to fear Calvinists and their low morality. You should hop in your car quick if you see a Calvinist in the mall parking lot. And bolt your doors tight if you see a Calvinist in the street. Their false Christianity provides them no reason to obey God whatsoever. After all, Calvinists have turned God via their doctrine into a false god who is as evil as they are, and who is a liar.
the God that you hate so badly does give us many reasons why we should strive to live holy lives…one of those reasons is His sovereignty:
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Notice, our reason for being fearful and trembling is the fact God is working in us according to His good purpose.
You have to wrestle with the God of the Bible, Rey. You are rebelling against Him and His revelation.
The problem is that by “sovereignty” you actually mean “micromanagement of everything” which is a false definition of sovereignty. And this false view of sovereignty means that the god of Calvinism (which you have imagined in your depraved mind) makes you sin when you sin. So, when the Calvinist avails himself of “once saved, always saved” mentality, and rapes someone, it was their false god who made them do so via his micromanagement of their will or his so-called “sovereignty.” You really just proved my point more.
from that verse in Philippians, how do you arrive at the notion that God is not completely sovereign?
Keep it simple, and try to avoid straw man arguments.
He is referring to post conversion there, and even then only in the positive direction. And he is clearly exaggerating, as his own teaching shows the failings of Christians. If God were absolutely micromanagerially remote controlling us, we’d be perfect.
How do you come to the conclusion Paul is exaggerating?
How do you come to the conclusion he is not?
The book of Philippians doesn’t really contain hyperbole…this epistle is much different than Paul’s other writings as the Philippians weren’t really in with false teachers.
Since you seem to think the hyperbole is obvious, please explain what purpose it would have in the instance of Philippians 2:12-13
Surely you can instruct me when I’m sorely in need of it.
not sure if you have forgotten to respond.
Do you have a reason to think Paul was speaking in hyperbole other than the fact that it would contradict the assumption you bring to the text (namely, that God is not sovereign)?
I already stated the reason above: “If God were absolutely micromanagerially remote controlling us, we’d be perfect.” Philippians 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” If this nullifies our free will, as you claim, then we must all be perfect since God would not will for us to do anything wrong or subpar. If he is then truly controlling us and not simply assisting us, then we have already attained, and it is pure blasphemy then to say “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended” (Phil 3:13)
that is *your* straw man version of what sovereignty would be. Why would *I* need to conclude we’d all be perfect? God’s predestination isn’t necessarily concerned with us acting perfectly at all times. Is there a reason, biblically or from my own presuppositions that I should accept your straw man?
In fact, that is not how Calvinists understand sovereignty. See the Calvinistic document, The Westminster Confession Chapter V
“Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly, yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.”
Here, we see Calvinists affirm God’s total sovereignty, yet that sovereignty doesn’t negate secondary causes or contingency nor free agency…rather, God’s Providence orders all things so that He is in total control and we really will things.
Further, Westminster continues in the same vein concerning good works:
“III. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ. And that they may be enabled thereunto, besides the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit to work in them to will and to do of his good pleasure; yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.”
Hopefully you have a better idea of what Calvinism is…and I truly would like you to explain, from the text of Philippians, what significance hyperbole would have served when Paul says “it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
A secondary cause just means an intermediary like when David had Joab kill Uriah rather than get his own hands dirty. If you want to believe that God makes us sin, but does it through Satan as an intermediary so he can have one layer between him and our sin, then go ahead and condemn yourself with your devil worshiping foolishness.
That’s not what I’m saying, Rey. That’s also not what the Westminster Confession says.
Look up info on compatabalism, providence, and moral agency…consider especially how you continue to ignore the question I posed to you concerning Philippians 2:12-13…you say Paul speaks in hyperbole, yet you cannot explain why except to say that it doesn’t jive with your assumptions…you also seem to be unable to explain what the text is actually saying if Paul doesn’t mean what he is saying…typically, hyperbole says something specific…especially when Paul used it in his letters rebuking false teachers.