Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What does a solely redemptive hermeneutic mean to faith and practice?


So far, the articles of this blog have established the fact that Jesus, his apostles and, first century followers redefined the phrase word of God and put a totally redemptive focus on the scripture. With this in mind; what should it mean to our faith and practice?

First and foremost, it changes the method of obedience. It shifts from a read and do obedience to what Paul called the obedience of faith. The exact meaning of the phrase can best be understood by examining the original language. This phrase is found in Romans 1:5 & 16:26. It is HUPAKOEN PISTEOS and it means the attentive hearing of faith. Paul uses a similar idea in Romans 6:17 when he says you have “obeyed from the heart” HUPAKOUO KARDIA.

It seems to me that the obedience of faith and obeying from the heart are essentially the same concept. It is interesting and informative that Paul uses this term to describe obedience. It is a contrast to read and do, law obedience. How does obeying from the heart and the obedience of faith differ from read and do obedience? Actually it is in the motivation for the obedience… you could even go so far as to call it the catalyst for the obedience. To explain further… it is the source of the obedience. In the first instance, read and do obedience--  it is merely the cognitive awareness of what needs to be obeyed and the expectation that the knowledge will result in obedience.

In the case of the obedience of faith--  faith… not the law is the focus. In the obedience of faith the prime method of obedience is believing; believing is the obedience.  All other obedience grows from faith and belief. This is where the redemptive focus comes into play.  When one shifts the definition of the word of God to gospel instead of scripture, the focus automatically goes from law obedience to faith obedience. This is precisely why the Lord and his apostles changed the definition and the hermeneutic. It was in anticipation of the redemption that had drawn nigh.

Further, the obedience of faith puts the emphasis on the promises and the performance of God. It directly removes it from the performance of humans. This allows us to have peace with God and rest in his mercy and grace. The mercy and grace of God is the source of growing obedience, but the obedience has all been fulfilled in trusting God in Christ. Trusting God’s mercy and grace promotes the development of the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness goodness, kindness and temperance  flow from trusting God’s grace with the obedience of faith. 

So then, why does current church doctrine put such great emphasis on read and do obedience? I believe that the answer is prophesied in Matthew 16:12 and 2Thess 2:11. Much of current church doctrine is the leaven of the Pharisees and the strong delusion. This is precisely the reason that there is so much burn out in people that are on a tread mill trying desperately to please each other and subsequently please God.  The leaven of the Pharisees works to abrogate the gospel of God’s grace.

8 comments:

  1. So if Faith is Obedience, is the only real sin unbelief?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Absolutely!!! In the book of Hebrews chapters 3 & 4 the author interchanges sin and unbelief and disobedience.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Melanie,

    I went to the bible and looked it up so I will post it here. Heb 3:16-19 For who heard and rebelled? Wasn't it really all who came out of Egypt under Moses? (17) And who was He provoked with for 40 years? Was it not with those who *sinned,* whose bodies fell in the wilderness? (18) And who did He swear to that they would not enter His rest, if not those who *disobeyed?* (19) So we see that they were unable to enter because of *unbelief.*

    ReplyDelete
  4. I read Heb 3-10. It finally makes sense to me when considering sin as being unbelief in total redemption through Christ's sacrifice. I read it in young's literal translation, instead of the KJV. So Christ perfected us if we put our faith in him. I was told to pray the sinners prayer as a child and baptized, but now it all makes sense to me. Thanks for your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am convinced that Hebrews is the Rosetta Stone for the New Covenant and the New Heavens and Earth. There is so much we do not yet understand but, our kingdom power and presence is far greater than we realize.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Why do some books in the New Testament sound like read and do?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Melanie,
    Great question... One must understand that the New Testament writings were transitional. You had the Jews with the Torah and the Gentiles who were not under the Torah. The transition was moving from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant; as long as the temple was still standing, the Jews, even believers, participated in the temple services. The Jews of the time had a read and do mentality and, it was necessary to have the Christians not look like they were throwing the Law aside. This is the source of all of the confusion and mixture that exists yet today in the church.

    It is not that the Christian should disregard the ethical and moral instructions. It is rather the method of obedience and fulfillment. As I have pointed out through out the blog the obedience stems from resting in Jesus and redemption *no matter what.* The fact is that Christ is the end of the Torah for righteousness.

    I am often amazed at people that accuse me of giving people a license to sin. That is absurd. Our license to sin came from our Adamic nature. Resting in Jesus is the only thing that helps us overcome the Adamic nature. It has to be totally apart from the law. I hope this helps answer... if not get back to me and I will continue.

    ReplyDelete
  8. To me, obeying from your heart means that you have a strong faith in your Father. It means that you trust Him with your all. When you give someone your heart most of the time it is well earned. Once you have experienced heartache and heartbreak, you are not so eager to just give your heart to just anyone. So when you have grown in Christ and have found that He is who He says He is you then give Him all you have to give and it comes from your heart; WILLING and LOVING.

    ReplyDelete