Daily Archives: October 16, 2018


Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world.

John 18:36

In the kingdom of God, the surest way to lose something is to try to protect it, and the best way to keep it is to let it go. This was the word of our Lord Jesus Christ: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross” (Luke 9:23).

Christ turned from the fallen world of Adam and spoke about another world altogether, a world where Adam’s philosophy is invalid and his technique inoperative. He spoke of the kingdom of God whose laws are exactly opposite to those of the kingdom of men.

So, the true Christian is a child of two worlds. He lives among fallen men, but when he is regenerated, he is called to live according to the laws and principles that underlie the new kingdom. He may, then, find himself trying to live a heavenly life after an earthly pattern—and this is what Paul called “carnal” living. That is why it is vitally important to move up into the life of the Spirit of God. Give up your earthly “treasures” and the Lord will keep them for you unto life eternal!

O Lord, help me to elevate my living today into the life of the Spirit of God. Some days that is just not easy to do! Sustain me today, Lord, when I grow spiritually weak.[1]

[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Babies Were Murdered, Women Injured, Media Yawned — David Fiorazo

Two of the main reasons you don’t really know about convicted murderer, Kermit Gosnell are, first, a complicit media covered-up the news and second, America has become apathetic about the abortion industry. At least Christians who are pro-life should care! For the moment, let’s set aside the debate about whether or not the act of an abortion is a sin. The Gosnell case has been described as a true-life saga of good vs. evil, deadly medical malpractice, systemic government corruption, and the devaluing of the most vulnerable in our society.

The movie, Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer, was released to theaters last Friday. I saw it, I recommend it, and though it is verbally descriptive, it is not graphic as you might think. But if we didn’t know that the writers got their information from actual court transcripts, police interviews, eye-witnesses, and FBI documents, the facts in this case would almost be unbelievable.

Tragically, not only is this a true story, but most likely there are many more clinics across the country similar to Kermit Gosnell’s house of horrors.

Since the liberal media refused to cover the trial, it’s no surprise they aren’t reporting on the movie debut. The producers of Gosnell were turned down by advertisers and also had to fight to get even a small number of reviewers to even look at the movie. So let’s be clear about this: the gruesome trial of an evil, warped man who killed at least one woman and murdered babies that had been delivered alive was not of interest to the media? Why? They are committed to protecting women’s so-called, “reproductive freedom.”

Did you know the reason some reporters eventually had to force themselves to go to the 2013 murder trial? A photo was taken in the courtroom of dozens of empty seats that were reserved for the press!

Philadelphia abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell was convicted and is behind bars serving three consecutive life sentences for a decades-long murderous crime spree.

But why did this go on so long and how was he able to continue his horrific practice? He was protected by Democrats in the PA government.

This is a man who had untrained staff, including a fourteen year-old, administer drugs that would induce labor causing many women to deliver babies they came to the clinic to abort. Referred to as being “born alive,” the number of infants who were then murdered could be well into the thousands as Gosnell was in business for over thirty years.

Radicals on the left defend abortion at all costs seeing it as a sacrament to progressivism, “even if it means whitewashing its bloody, half-century legacy of mass genocide in our nation’s inner cities.”

CRTV host and author, Michelle Malkin writes:

Operating under the cover of providing “reproductive health services,” death doc Gosnell brutally executed hundreds of healthy, living, breathing, squirming, viable babies by stabbing them in their necks and severing spinal cords with scissors and knives. This twisted murderer kept newborn baby feet in specimen jars, which he crammed into the grisly refrigerators of his filthy “clinic” for “research.”

There are several major problems in this case that go beyond the abortion issue. First, Gosnell was a millionaire. He would stash away thousands of dollars in cash per day which apparently allowed him to purchase properties and even escape to the Bahamas during an investigation into his questionable abortion methods that sent many women to the hospital.

Second, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health did nothing to stop Gosnell and worse, they looked the other way. His clinic was not inspected for seventeen years! Heck, even a hair and nail salon gets annual inspections by the Health Dept. According to the FBI investigation into the filthy Gosnell clinic, in 1993, the PA Dept. of Health decided to stop inspecting all abortion clinics unless there were major complaints!

For purely political reasons, government agencies allowed Gosnell and others to operate with no accountability and oversight which put countless women at risk of infection, disease, and even death. And they have people believing they are the Party that cares about women’s health? Please.

Gosnell clinic staff used abortion instruments over and over again without sanitizing them, and due to the fact the procedure tables were not wiped down or cleaned after each patient, many women contracted STDs from the clinic. Ironically, the reason the police and FBI raided his abortion business was for illegal prescription drug abuse. Gosnell and his staff sold drugs to women for cash and even payed homeless people for their ID’s to then buy prescription meds.

Gosnell was never charged for his drug crimes, nor was he charged for women overdosing, nor were hospital complaints about his clinic followed up on, nor was he charged for allowing young and untrained clinic workers to perform procedures and also to administer anesthesia – which led to the death of at least one woman.

In 2015, a Philadelphia judge awarded the woman’s daughter $4 million in a settlement. She was with her mother at the clinic when she died. According to reports, Gosnell saved his very late or full-term abortions for Sundays, when only his wife would assist. Since he destroyed all those files, we will never know how many live, full-term babies he killed over the years.

So no, this movie is not just about the brutal act of abortion and the systemic problem of unlawful clinics. It’s about media malpractice, a calloused cover-up, evil being called good, and a nation that used to value human life but has generally become desensitized. Just because a court once decided abortion is legal does not make it moral – especially to God, the Creator of all life.

Jesus Christ died so that we might live eternally; abortion kills so that some might live differently. Please send Democrats, the media, and Hollywood a message by sharing this article and by watching the Gosnell movie. It’s probably true that America will not resist abortion until America sees abortion for what it is.


*Originally published by Freedom Project Media

Babies Were Murdered, Women Injured, Media Yawned — David Fiorazo

Top 10 Russophobes of 2018: See who made RT’s prestigious list this year

It’s that special time of year when RT names the top 10 Russophobes of the last 12 months. This prestigious list is made up of those RT believes have contributed to and benefited the most from the thriving world of Russophobia.

Source: Top 10 Russophobes of 2018: See who made RT’s prestigious list this year

STUDY: TV Coverage of Trump 92% Negative…

In four weeks, Americans go to the polls for the midterm elections that the news media are casting as a referendum on the Trump presidency. Over the summer, the broadcast networks have continued to pound Donald Trump and his team with the most hostile coverage of a President in TV news history — 92 percent negative, vs. just eight percent positive.

For this report, MRC analysts reviewed all 1,007 evening news stories (1,960 minutes of airtime) about the Trump administration on ABC, CBS and NBC from June 1 to September 30, tallying the coverage of each topic and all evaluative comments made by anchors, reporters and non-partisan sources (such as voters or experts).

The results show that, over the past four months, nearly two-thirds of evening news coverage of the Trump presidency has been focused on just five main topics: the Russia investigation; immigration policy; the Kavanaugh nomination; North Korea diplomacy; and U.S. relations with Russia. The networks’ coverage of all of these topics has been highly negative, while bright spots for the administration such as the booming economy received extremely little coverage (less than one percent of the four-month total).


■ Once again, the ongoing Russia investigation received more evening news coverage (342 minutes) than any other individual topic. This does not include the 86 minutes spent on the Michael Cohen investigation and guilty plea, except for a few minutes talking about the possibility that Cohen would cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Since the beginning of the Trump administration, the three networks have spent 1,975 minutes — nearly 33 hours — on the Russia investigation, or nearly 18 percent of all of their coverage of the Trump presidency. As we have previously reported, virtually all of that coverage has been negative, while almost none of it has focused on any of the controversies involving Mueller or his investigative team.

■ As we reported in July, the networks’ coverage of Trump’s immigration policies has been fiercely negative since the first days of his administration. That trend continued this summer, as the networks churned out 308 minutes of mostly (94%) negative coverage the administration’s immigration policies from June to September.

The networks’ attention to this topic has waned over the summer. In June, the three evening broadcasts spent 250 minutes on immigration, but that fell to just 35 minutes in July, 18 minutes in August and a mere five minutes in September as the Kavanaugh confirmation battle took over the airwaves.

■ After Brett Kavanaugh was announced the night of July 9, the networks gave his nomination relatively little airtime. From July 10 through September 6, the three evening newscasts together spent a mere 32 minutes on the Kavanaugh confirmation battle.

That changed on September 13, when the first anonymous allegations against Kavanaugh were revealed. From then until the end of September, the networks produced an additional 249 minutes of coverage centered on accusations of youthful sexual misconduct, or roughly eight times more than was devoted to the earlier debate about Kavanaugh’s judicial record and philosophy. [This heavy coverage continued in early October, leading up to the Senate’s approval of Kavanaugh’s nomination on October 6.]

The chart (above) reflects only the evaluative (82% negative) statements about how President Trump and his team handled the Kavanaugh nomination, including criticism of the President for dismissing the accusations, and for supposedly limiting the scope of the FBI probe.

Comments about Kavanaugh himself were far more numerous, but just as negative (83%) —  nearly all of it focused on the late September misconduct allegations. His performance at the first round of hearings actually earned praise from journalists, especially CBS’s Jan Crawford, who enthused on the September 6 Evening News: “The main takeaway is that Judge Kavanaugh, he is performing well….It’s almost like he’s giving a judicial seminar on these areas of the law.”

Once the coverage moved to the sexual assault allegations, reporters offered nightly recitations of the highly inflammatory (and uncorroborated) charges against Kavanaugh, including that he enabled gang rapes of high school girls in the early 1980s. It is impossible to recall the networks ever giving publicity to a more damning accusation that had not either originated from law enforcement or at least been corroborated by journalistic investigation.

■ The evening newscasts spent 179 minutes on the administration’s diplomacy with North Korea, much of it focused on the June 12 summit between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. In a one-week period from June 9 to June 15, the networks spent a combined 96 minutes on North Korea, or more than half of the total for the four months we examined.

Reaction to the summit was initially somewhat positive — CBS’s expert Mike Morell, a former Obama administration official, pronounced on the June 12 Evening News that it was “a diplomatic win for the United States,” but cautioned that “we are far from a strategic win.”

As the weeks wore on, reporters focused on the lack of specific progress, leading to the 90 percent negative spin on this topic. On the September 10 Nightly News, for example, Andrea Mitchell highlighted the negative take of NBC News Korean Affairs analyst Victor Cha, who declared: “If the President is saying one thing, but the intelligence is showing something else, it’s hard to believe that the diplomacy is working.”

■ The networks spent 151 minutes on the Trump administration’s approach to Russia, virtually all of it (99%) negative. As with the North Korean summit, the networks’ interest peaked in the days surrounding President Trump’s July 16 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with nearly 70 percent of the coverage (107 minutes) taking place during the seven days between July 13 and July 19.

Unlike with North Korea, the networks’ immediate reaction was negative. On the July 16 Nightly News, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell exemplified the media elite’s scolding tone: “He [President Trump] showed he was not willing to stand up to the Russian leader….It is profoundly demoralizing to American intelligence professionals and diplomats around the world.”


Amid this sea of coverage, the networks spent almost no airtime — a mere 14 minutes, or 0.7 percent — on the administration’s economic achievements, including the positive effects of the tax cuts and deregulation, plus historic job growth. Indeed, the only aspect of the Trump economic program that interested the networks during the past four months has been the President’s use of tariffs to push for better trade deals (80 minutes).

Coverage of Trump’s trade policy emphasized the downside: potential higher costs to consumers or the possible harm to industries that rely on foreign imports, as opposed to the potential for job growth or higher wages for American workers. That made the spin of trade news nearly as negative as the other major topics (88% negative), overwhelming the positive (89%) but puny coverage of the broader economic record.

Source: STUDY: TV Coverage of Trump 92% Negative…


Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

—1 Corinthians 9:24

There was a celebrated Englishman who sat with a friend once, watching and listening to a philharmonic orchestra. As they listened, the Englishman watched a man playing second violin. He was playing it well, but he was second violin. The Englishman said to his friend, “See that man there playing second violin? If I were playing second violin in that orchestra, do you know what I would do? I would never rest day or night until I was playing first violin. And then I would never give myself rest day or night until I was directing that orchestra. When I got to be director I would never rest until I had become a composer. And when I got to composing music for the orchestra I would never give myself rest until I was the best composer in England.”

The children of the world are sometimes wiser than the children of light. We have been offered not the directorship of a great orchestra, but glory and truth unsearchable. We have been offered the face of God and the glory of Christ. We have been offered holiness and righteousness and indwelling by the Spirit. We can have our prayers answered and have hell fear us because we have a hold on God who invites us to draw on His omnipotence. We are offered all this, and yet we sit and play second violin without ambition. RRR021

Lord, don’t let me be satisfied with second fiddle. Strengthen me to run in such a way that I might be all that You want me to be, for Your glory. Amen. [1]

[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

10/16/2018 — Wretched


•Mormons support medical marijuana. Why shouldn’t Christians?
•Snatch them from the Flames; Where have signs and wonders been for 2000 years?
•The illogical practice of private prayer tongues
•7 things you need to know about the Bible
•John MacArthur joins us
•Why you should be careful with short-term missions
•Is expository preaching the “easy way out”?

Download Now (right click and save)

via 10/16/2018 — Wretched

Organized Honduran Migrant Caravan Attempts to Reach U.S. Border to Coordinate with Mid-Term Election… — The Last Refuge


Last week there were six unique encounters between President Trump and U.S. journalists where the topic of illegal aliens and family border separations was brought up.  It seemed odd at the time because the issue has not been a topic within discussion.  These exchanges culminated in CBS correspondent Leslie Stahl asking the same question repeatedly during a 60 minutes interview on Sunday night.

Now things become clear.  There are thousands of Honduran migrants traveling north to the U.S. border timed to arrive in conjunction with the mid-term election.  Obviously an engineered narrative timed by the political left and media allies.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to withdraw funding and aid from Honduras if it does not stop a caravan of migrants that is heading to the United States, in his latest effort to show his administration’s tough stance on immigration.

The message, driven home by Vice President Mike Pence who said he spoke to Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, could further encourage the Central American country to move closer to China because of what it sees as weak U.S. support.

Up to 3,000 migrants crossed from Honduras into Guatemala on Monday on a trek northward, after a standoff with Guatemalan police in riot gear and warnings from Washington that migrants should not try to enter the United States illegally. (read more)



via Organized Honduran Migrant Caravan Attempts to Reach U.S. Border to Coordinate with Mid-Term Election… — The Last Refuge

The State of Theology: The Questions that Matter Most — Ligonier Ministries Blog

The year 1971 was a tumultuous time in American history. Three years earlier, the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago became a stage for riots, with armed police and guardsmen marching through the city streets. That same year, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated. The nation was divided over the war in Vietnam. In May of 1970, gunshots rang out on the campus of Kent State University. In 1971, the Nixon Administration declared a “War on Drugs.” Onlookers thought the American nation might unravel before it was to reach its bicentennial anniversary.

In that precise moment, R.C. Sproul founded Ligonier Ministries. R.C. was well aware of the times. He knew fully that America was a nation in turmoil. He responded to that cultural moment by pushing past the political and cultural matters to the issues that were truly the heart of the problem. He answered the crisis of the day by turning to theology.

There are many who think we are at a crisis in 2018. We have become a nation of security in the face of terror, and many live in fear. We are deeply divided politically, cultivating suspicion and hatred. Our entertainment culture has become more loud, more violent, more graphic, more sexual. We can hardly be shocked anymore, let alone be shamed. Many have lost faith in the American institutions that former generations relied on. Many are asking, “What is the future of America?” Many wonder if indeed it even has one.

As in 1971, the nation in 2018 is in turmoil. And, as in 1971, the heart of the matter is theological.

While we avail ourselves of the political process and apply ourselves to loving our neighbor, we also realize that we must help people—both inside the church and outside of it—confront the questions that dive deeply to the heart of the matter. More importantly, we must help people find biblical answers to those questions. No matter what year it is and no matter what the particular conflict of the day is, the questions that matter most are always the theological questions. The answers that are needed the most are always the sound, time-tested answers that have come down to us in the Bible.

That is why we conduct The State of Theology survey. We started in 2014, administered the second survey in 2016, and now have the results fresh from our third survey. Each of these surveys provides insight into what Americans believe about key doctrines and also significant ethical issues. We are now gaining longitudinal data that will help us see trends. We can see where we are, and we can also begin to see where we are going. All of the data can be analyzed demographically, allowing us to compare by age group, church attendance, and religious affiliation. We can see what Millennials believe. We can compare evangelicals to the general population. We have captured all of this data at The State of Theology website.

The website provides more than enough data for deep forays into particular theological beliefs. For now, consider the survey results on the character of God. If we do not see God as He reveals Himself to us in the Bible, then we will not understand why Jesus died on the cross.

Key Findings on Key Doctrines

One of the most striking findings is that Americans continue to fail to grasp that God is holy. A strong majority, 69 percent, disagree with the following statement:

Even the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation.

If we fail to see how God is holy, we miss who we are as radically corrupt by nature. As the survey reveals, many evangelicals have extreme difficulty in accepting the biblical teaching that we are by nature depraved and under the wrath of God. A slight majority of evangelicals—52 percent—agree with the following statement:

Everyone sins a little, but most people are good by nature.

A total of 44 percent of evangelicals disagree with this statement. If we start with the false notion that people are good by nature, we will end with a false gospel.

Through Jesus Christ, sinners can have access to the Father because of His death on the cross (Eph. 2:18). Jesus famously insisted that no one can come to God the Father any other way (John 14:6). Yet a majority of evangelicals (51 percent) agree that God can be worshiped by people who do not believe in Jesus Christ:

God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

This has increased slightly since 2016, when 48 percent agreed.

One of the most disappointing outcomes of the survey was evangelicals’ lack of clarity on who Jesus is. Evangelicals say they believe in the Trinity, but more than three-fourths (78 percent) also agree that Jesus was in some way created by God the Father:

Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God.

But Jesus is the eternal Son of God who took on human flesh. The Son was not created (John 1:1). We must grasp the true identity of our Savior before we urge others to believe in Him. Jesus is truly man and truly God. And we must be alert to heretical teachings which suggest otherwise.

The Sky Is Falling?

The temptation may very well be to use the survey results for a lot of finger wagging and even self-righteous posturing. We might be equally tempted to despair and simply write off those who hold these false beliefs. From the days of the Old Testament and since the first century, orthodoxy has always been countercultural.

But the survey should not lead us to despair. Rather, the results should serve as yet another reminder of our task of making disciples and teaching sound doctrine. We are surrounded by people in turmoil, distress, and confusion. They have questions, and they have wrongly believed false answers. The results of this survey spur us on to seek out and proclaim the right, biblically sound answers to the questions that matter most.

via The State of Theology: The Questions that Matter Most — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Evangelicals are Confused about Christianity’s Core Beliefs, Survey Says — Blogs

A new survey from LifeWay Research has found that many Christians are confused about the core beliefs of Christianity.

Ligonier Ministries released their 2018 State of Theology survey results this week, and they have found that a majority of evangelicals have found these statements to be true despite the bible distinctly teaching otherwise:

  • Most people are basically good
  • God accepts the worship of all religions
  • Jesus was the first and greatest being created by God the Father

The survey found that in all three cases a majority of survey takers believed these statements to be true.

In the case of human nature, 52 percent of the 3,000 participants found that everyone sins a little, but most people are generally good by nature. This is contrary to what Romans 3:10 dictates of human nature, that it is fundamentally sinful.

In regard to worship, the survey found that 51 percent of evangelicals believe that God accepts the worship of all religions, which, according to a press release from Ligonier Ministries, includes Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Again, this is contrary to what the Bible teaches in John 14:6.

The survey also found that 78 percent of participants believe that Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God, which John 1:1 shows is not the case.

Additional results found:

  • More than two-thirds (69 percent) of Americans disagreed that the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation.
  • A majority of U.S. adults (58 percent) said that worshiping alone or with one’s family is a valid replacement for regularly attending church.
  • A majority of U.S. adults (59 percent) say that the Holy Spirit is a force, not a personal being.

In a press release about the survey, the President and CEO of Ligonier Ministries, Chris Larson, said, “The State of Theology survey highlights the urgent need for courageous ministry that faithfully teaches the historic Christian faith. It’s never been popular to talk about mankind’s sinfulness or the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ, but at a time when a darkened world needs the light of the gospel, it’s disheartening to see many within the evangelical church confused about what the Bible teaches.”

Chief academic officer of Ligonier and president of Reformation Bible College Dr. Stephen Nicholas said of the results, “These results are a serious cause for concern. It is the depth of man’s sin that led Jesus to die on the cross. How, then, can a majority of evangelicals say most people are good by nature? Down through history, Christians have proclaimed that Jesus is truly God, not some sort of created being. The evangelical world is in great danger of slipping into irrelevance when it casually forgets the Bible’s doctrine.”

Not all of the results were as concerning, however.

The survey also found that 91 percent of evangelicals agreed that people are “justified by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.”

The survey also uncovered that a majority of people still believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again.

Ligonier Ministries has conducted this survey twice before, once in 2014 and again in 2016. This is the third time the State of Theology survey has been conducted by the company.

via Evangelicals are Confused about Christianity’s Core Beliefs, Survey Says — Blogs

October 16 Daily Help

SEEING that we have such a God to trust to, let us rest upon him with all our weight; let us resolutely drive out all unbelief, and endeavor to get rid of doubts and fears, which so much mar our comfort; since there is no excuse for fear where God is the foundation of our trust. A loving parent would be sorely grieved if his child could not trust him; and how ungenerous, how unkind is our conduct when we put so little confidence in our heavenly Father, who has never failed us, and who never will! We have been in many trials, but we have never yet been cast where we could not find in our God all that we needed.[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 293). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

RenewAmerica Newsletter for October 16, 2018

October 16, 2018
ALAN KEYES — This morning, the title of Erik Rush’s column for this week captured my attention: “Leftists No Longer Merit Constitutional Protections.” I found myself at once agreeing and disagreeing with its implications. Truth to tell, this dialectical quandary is often my state of mind, which is why I have to spend so much time thinking things through. Let me explain…. (more)

October 15, 2018
BRYAN FISCHER — Above is a screen shot of the Focal Point Facebook page shortly after I posted the daily prayer that I provide for our Facebook followers. You will notice, immediately below the posted prayer, in boldface letters, “Web Site Blocked.” The website in question, as you can see right above the “The Web Site Blocked” message, is “pray.afa.net” That is the link to AFA’s prayer website, which features a Scripture passage for each day and a fresh prayer formed by using the words of the passage for the day…. (more)

October 15, 2018
Came in No. 12 overall, was No. 8 in per screen averages for new films
WORLDNETDAILY — On Friday, just as the movie “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer” was set to open, Facebook was busy trying to limit its publicity. And talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh was recommending people see it because “the story itself is heart-stopping enough.”… (more)

October 15, 2018
Part of purge of 800 conservative pages just before midterm vote
WORLDNETDAILY — Could it be it’s not the Russians tampering with U.S. elections, but Facebook and Google? Maybe the whole Russian thing is just a façade – – a cover for a political coup by the two monoliths of social media and search? Those are the questions being asked around the nation today as Facebook may have reached a bridge too far in what many in independent media circles assert is blacklisting, censorship and the creation of enemies’ lists…. (more)

October 15, 2018
NEWSMAX — Israel’s prime minister says he favors appointing an envoy to the Christian world, a sign of Israel’s efforts to foster close ties with its Christian allies. Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Sunday at a meeting in Jerusalem of visiting journalists from Christian media, where he was warmly received by reporters. He welcomed the idea suggested by one journalist to appoint such an emissary as “a great idea.”… (more)

October 15, 2018
THE DAILY BEAST — In November 1996, President Clinton visited Manila for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum. Protests raged in the streets, with American flags being burned, so local police closed down many roads, allowing the Secret Service to chart a specific route for the president’s motorcade. As the president and members of his cabinet traveled from their hotel to the first venue of the day, “There was intelligence that came in, and we at the last minute decided to change the motorcade route,” a former Secret Service agent recalls. “It was determined that al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden had placed a bomb along the route in anticipation of the motorcade coming that way.”… (more)

October 15, 2018
ROBERT KNIGHT — When I was a Los Angeles Times news editor many years ago in Orange County, California, I suggested to my liberal boss that we should have at least one conservative columnist. She looked at me as if I had lobsters crawling out of my ears. The Times’ Orange County edition’s editorial pages stayed 200-proof liberal…. (more)

October 15, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Well, that didn’t go according to plan. After making a big show of taking a DNA test to determine her ancestry, it turns out that Elizabeth Warren has negligible Native American roots. Not only is the Massachusetts Democrat white, she’s really, really white, possessing less Native American blood than the average European-American…. (more)

October 15, 2018
YOUTUBE — ‘Lord Of the Rings’ director Peter Jackson has seen footage of a mine explosion that his own grandfather was only a hundred yards away from on the Western Front at the time. He spoke about his new film ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ with our reporter Lisa Hartle…. (more)

October 14, 2018
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — When they go low” . . . that’s where they are sure to find Eric Holder. Sometimes, the former attorney general is excusing hard-Left, unrepentant, anti-American FALN separatists by helping a Democratic president spring them from imprisonment for their terrorist crimes. Sometimes, he is helping a Democratic president commute the sentences of hard-Left terrorists whose only regret was their failure to shoot it out against police who interrupted another bombing spree in their war against the United States…. (more)

October 14, 2018
FOX NEWS — Freed American pastor Andrew Brunson met and prayed with President Trump in the Oval Office Saturday, thanking him for having “really fought for us” – – a day after his release from house arrest in Turkey…. (more)

October 13, 2018
‘The establishment hates that the truth is getting out there’
ART MOORE — Facebook’s rejection of promotions for a film debuting this weekend in theaters across the nation is “censorship pure and simple,” claims a producer of “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.” Take it from the woman dubbed President Trump’s “personal pastor.”… (more)

October 13, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Hillary Clinton has given up her security clearance in the wake of the scandal over her handling of secret information on her email server, the Senate Judiciary Committee revealed Friday. Chairman Charles E. Grassley also revealed top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills and four others no longer have clearance…. (more)

October 13, 2018
White House pressured NATO ally with tariffs, sanctions
ART MOORE — A day after reports that the United States worked out a “secret deal” with Turkey, a Turkish court released American pastor Andrew Brunson on Friday. The North Carolina Christian minister had been held since October 2016 on unsubstantiated charges of terrorism and espionage by the hardline regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan…. (more)

October 13, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — The exuberant, pugnacious, crockery-smashing billionaire president Americans elected in November 2016 is a much different man behind closed doors. Take it from the woman dubbed President Trump’s “personal pastor.” The Donald Trump that Florida evangelical minister Paula White sees is a good listener, a man who takes his faith seriously while not always being fluent in “Christianese” and, unlike so many of his predecessors, a politician who has kept his promises to faith voters and evangelical Christian groups after he won the presidency with the help of their votes…. (more)

October 13, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — No Senate candidate has ever enjoyed more glowing media profiles than has Beto O’Rourke. Even President Barack Obama circa 2004 would have been embarrassed by the saccharine, formulaic paeans…. (more)

October 11, 2018
JERRY NEWCOMBE — The recent Kavanaugh kerfuffle underscores an important lesson for all of us: Your integrity is your most important asset. Period. What else does anyone have, ultimately? Meanwhile, there are trolls amongst us who don’t care about truth and other people’s reputations…. (more)

October 11, 2018
NATIONAL REVIEW — Can you feel the excitement? Hillary Clinton is in The Atlantic, telling us how democracy is in crisis. She is on CNN, telling Christiane Amanpour that only when Democrats win back both the House and the Senate, “that’s when civility can start again.” She’s on tour: Together with her husband, she plans to embark on a post-midterm 13-city romp during which they’ll bedazzle audience members with “one-of-a-kind conversations [about] some of the most impactful moments in modern history.”… (more)

October 11, 2018
The public will reward Senate Republicans and President Trump for holding firm
NATIONAL REVIEW — This is impetuous, but I think the electoral map has changed with the Kavanaugh decision. The Democrats avoided direct confrontation and tried to sandbag the nominee by a late allegation of sexual assault from 30 years before. They gambled that whipping up post-Weinstein militant-feminist support would induce the president to say something outrageous that would split his party and drench him in another momentary shower of confected outrage, such as during the partial migration ban, the Charlottesville imputations of softness toward Nazis and the Klan, the Helsinki comments, and the detention of abandoned minors of illegal immigrants at the southern borders…. (more)

October 11, 2018
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON — When the Christine Ford saga finally ended with the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, a lot of truth had distilled out, along with the evaporation of prior pretensions and misconceptions…. (more)

October 11, 2018
NATIONAL REVIEW — Tennessee representative Marsha Blackburn is firing back at Taylor Swift after the singer launched a broadside at her in endorsing her Democratic opponent in the race for the seat being vacated by Republican senator Bob Corker…. (more)

October 11, 2018
CAL THOMAS — Arguably, a contributing factor to the continuation of abortion is that it is performed out of sight and thus, out of many minds. A film about one of the worst practitioners of abortion, Kermit Gosnell, opens Oct. 12 in at least 600 theaters. Gosnell is the Philadelphia abortionist sentenced in 2013 to life in prison without parole for the murder of a baby born alive in a botched abortion…. (more)

October 11, 2018
NEWSMAX — The son of former National Security Adviser Susan Rice filed charges against one of his fellow Stanford University students for allegedly assaulting him during a rally for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. John Rice-Cameron, the president of the Stanford College Republicans (SCR), told police Melinda Hernandez physically pushed him during an event the SCR was holding Tuesday to promote support of Kavanaugh, who was confirmed to the nation’s highest court last weekend…. (more)

October 11, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — With the Supreme Court nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh completed, GOP senators are quickly pivoting to filling out the rest of the federal courts, eyeing more than 40 district and circuit judges they want to confirm before the end of the year. One top priority is filling the seat left vacant on the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals when Justice Kavanaugh was elevated…. (more)

October 11, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump, already the most media-accessible president in memory, is talking to journalists almost nonstop as his successes pile up ahead of the midterm elections. Take Tuesday, for example. Mr. Trump opened an Oval Office meeting to the press in late morning to accept the resignation of Nikki Haley as ambassador to the United Nations. Such a high-profile departure ordinarily wouldn’t be a positive for the White House, but the president and Mrs. Haley made clear that the separation was friendly. They took questions from journalists for 20 minutes on a variety of subjects…. (more)


“In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate — look to his character.” —Noah Webster (1789)

“In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate — look to his character.” —Noah Webster (1789)

Why are Western feminists silent about rapes committed outside the United States?


Yazidi sex slave survivor Nadia Murad Yazidi sex slave survivor Nadia Murad is awarded the Nobel Prize

My personal opinion on rape (a violent sexual attack that results in genital penetration without consent) is that the attacker should be killed or castrated (if male). Is the left against rape? They don’t seem to tell women how to minimize risk, and they don’t seem be concerned about rapes committed by their interesectional allies. Take a look at this article from the Daily Signal.


As feminists were busy peddling their “War on Women” narrative in the U.S., Yazidi sex slave survivor Nadia Murad was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting a real War on Women in the Middle East.

Nadia was honored for her efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, together with Dr. Denis Mukwege of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who has been a relentless healer and advocate…

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What Does “Simul Justus et Peccator” Mean? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

By whose righteousness will we be judged? In this brief clip, R.C. Sproul shares the very heart of the gospel as he explains Martin Luther’s Latin phrase, “Simul Justus et Peccator.”

This Reformation Month, watch a short video every day on the history and insights of the Protestant Reformation. And don’t forget that for a donation of any amount this month only, you can also receive a copy of Luther: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer, a documentary featuring interviews with R.C. Sproul and several Ligonier Teaching Fellows, on DVD. Offer ends 10/31/18.


Perhaps the formula that Luther used that is most famous and most telling at this point is his formula simul justus et peccator. And if any formula summarizes and captures the essence of the Reformation view, it is this little formula. Simul is the word from which we get the English word simultaneously. Or, it means ‘at the same time.’ Justus is the Latin word for just or righteous. And you all know what et is. Et the past tense of the verb ‘to eat.’ Have you et your dinner? No, you know that’s not what that means. You remember in the death scene of Caesar after he’s been stabbed by Brutus he says, “Et tu, Brute?” Then fall Caesar. And you too Brutus? It simply means and. Peccator means sinner.

And so with this formula, Luther was saying, in our justification we are one and the same time righteous or just, and sinners. Now if he would say that we are at the same time and in the same relationship just and sinners that would be a contradiction in terms. But that’s not what he was saying. He was saying from one perspective, in one sense, we are just. In another sense, from a different perspective, we are sinners; and how he defines that is simple. In and of ourselves, under the analysis of God’s scrutiny, we still have sin; we’re still sinners. But, by imputation and by faith in Jesus Christ, whose righteousness is now transferred to our account, then we are considered just or righteous. This is the very heart of the gospel.

Will I be judged in order to get into heaven by my righteousness or by the righteousness of Christ? If I had to trust in my righteousness to get into heaven, I would completely and utterly despair of any possibility of ever being redeemed. But when we see that the righteousness that is ours by faith is the perfect righteousness of Christ, then we see how glorious is the good news of the gospel. The good news is simply this, I can be reconciled to God, I can be justified by God not on the basis of what I did, but on the basis of what’s been accomplished for me by Christ.

But at the heart of the gospel is a double-imputation. My sin is imputed to Jesus. His righteousness is imputed to me. And in this two-fold transaction we see that God, Who does not negotiate sin, Who doesn’t compromise His own integrity with our salvation, but rather punishes sin fully and really after it has been imputed to Jesus, retains His own righteousness, and so He is both just and the justifier, as the apostle tells us here. So my sin goes to Jesus, His righteousness comes to me in the sight of God.

via What Does “Simul Justus et Peccator” Mean? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

“Together 2018” – “A New Jesus Movement” for a Mystical All-Inclusive “Christianity” — Lighthouse Trails Inc

Nick Hall’s Together event is back again (October 20-21), this year as Together 2018 at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas (which can hold around 1/2 million people). On the event’s Facebook page, it reads:

Love Matt Chandler? See him and many more for free on October 20-21 as we bring the nation together for an event that we believe will spark another Jesus movement!! Join us for this FREE EVENT at Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas-Fort Worth as we #MoveCloser to Jesus and the world around us! Visit togethergeneration.com to learn more!

On the promotional video (near the 26-second mark) on the Facebook page, it calls this effort “a new Jesus movement” (obviously referring to the Jesus movement of the 1970s). On the promotional video below, it lists the line up of speakers and musicians which includes a conglomeration of popular evangelical and charismatic celebrities including Bethel Music from Bill Johnson’s extreme charismatic, contemplative Bethel Church, Jesus Culture (an offshoot of Bethel Church), Hillsong, Francis Chan (who recently said God was going to kill those who criticize Christian leaders), Priscilla Shirer (a long-time strong advocate for contemplative prayer), her father Tony Evans, Ravi Zacharias (who will share a platform with “anyone” in order to share “his” message), and Loren Cunningham (founder of YWAM, which recently announced it wanted “all” YWAMers to practice contemplative prayer).

According to an article on RNS announcing Together 2018, the “aim [is] to promote unity and lift up the name of Jesus”:

“In an age defined by division that often labels us as those who are for and against politics, issues and each other—Jesus invites all of us to move closer,” said Nick Hall, PULSE founder and evangelist. “He alone offers the hope and leadership we desperately need and Together is about calling people from all backgrounds to move closer to Jesus and the world around us.”

The last Together event took place in 2016. Lighthouse Trails wrote about it in our article titled “DRESS REHEARSAL FOR A FALSE REVIVAL? – Evangelical, Charismatic, Emerging Leaders, & Pope Francis Unite for “Together 2016” in Washington, DC.”

The basic premise of this and other similar events happening throughout evangelical/charismatic Christianity today is: The only way the world is going to see Jesus is if all things and every person identifying as “Christian” unify regardless of doctrine or beliefs. In fact, doctrine stands in the way of unity and must be laid to the sidelines. This is how Nick Hall was able to include the Pope in Together 2016. That is the only way to have this all-inclusive mass unity take place. Catholic mystic Thomas Merton explained how this could happen. During a conversation with a Sufi (Islamic mystic) teacher, Merton acknowledged that unity and fellowship could never happen if doctrine (such as the Cross, he said) was given precedence. Merton said the only way interspiritual unity could take place is through mysticism.1 Tony Campolo, in his book Speaking My Mind, said the same thing. When you consider that a large number of the celebrities speaking or singing at Together 2018 are contemplative mysticism advocates, it is easy to see that the underlying current for this event will draw from the same fountain from which Merton drew.

While doctrine is not equivalent to “faith,” it is the framework of our faith, and without it, there is no Christian faith but rather a watered-down, greyed-out false religious movement led by “another Jesus.”


Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing, 2nd Ed. (Eureka, MT, Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2002, 2006) quoting Thomas Merton from Rob Baker and Gray Henry, Editors, Merton and Sufism (Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 1999), p. 109.

[Read more…]

via “Together 2018” – “A New Jesus Movement” for a Mystical All-Inclusive “Christianity” — Lighthouse Trails Inc

October 16, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


A U.S. judge on Monday dismissed adult film actress Stormy Daniels’s defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump and ordered her to pay his attorney’s fees, saying a tweet the president had written referring to her was protected by free-speech laws.

The U.S. government closed the 2018 fiscal year $779 billion in the red, its highest deficit in six years, as Republican-led tax cuts pinched revenues and expenses rose on a growing national debt, according to data released on Monday by the Treasury Department.

Rescue workers and volunteers searched for more than 1,000 people still missing in the Florida Panhandle and tens of thousands of residents remained without power on Tuesday after the area was devastated by Hurricane Michael last week.

Retiring U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday launched a whirlwind tour of a dozen states, where he aims to pump up the campaigns of 25 embattled Republican members of Congress as the party fights to keep control of Congress.

A group of young Americans suing the federal government over lack of action to fight climate change can proceed with their lawsuit, but U.S. President Donald Trump cannot be named as a defendant, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to withdraw funding and aid from Honduras if it does not stop a caravan of people that is heading to the United States.

North and South Korea held their first three-way talks with the United Nations Command (UNC) on Tuesday to discuss ways to demilitarize the border as the neighbors push for peace, South Korea’s defense ministry said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to discuss the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

U.S. industrial production increased for a fourth straight month in September, boosted by gains in manufacturing and mining output, but momentum slowed sharply in the third quarter.

AP Top Stories

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed named Ahmed Shide his finance minister in sweeping changes to the Horn of Africa nation’s government that included appointing women to half of cabinet posts.

The Catholic archdiocese of Washington divulged on Monday the names of 31 former clergy involved in the abuse of minors over the past 70 years, days after archbishop Donald Wuerl resigned over the scandal.

Yemen is on the verge of the “worst famine in a century”, the United Nations has warned. As many as 13 million civilians are at risk of dying from the lack of food in the war-torn country in the next three months.

At least three million Afghans are in “urgent” need of food and could face famine if they do not get help, the United Nations warned Monday, as the war-torn country battles the worst drought in living memory.

Social Security recipients will get 2.8 percent bigger checks in 2019. The 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment is the largest since 2012. The average Social Security benefit for retired workers is expected to climb by $39 to $1,461 per month as a result of this change. Married couples where both spouses receive benefits will see an estimated $67 increase to an average payment of $2,448 per month in 2019.

Germany has deported a Moroccan man who acted as a “book-keeper” for the 9/11 terrorists, 17 years after the deadly attacks.

Nicaragua’s government on Monday freed 30 protesters who had been detained in a violent police intervention as they tried to march in Managua.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, said on Monday it is committed to meeting India’s rising oil demand as the Kingdom expects its oil production to rise next month from the current 10.7 million barrels per day, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Monday.


The top official in China’s Xinjiang region has given the most detailed description yet of the alleged use of internment camps for Uighur Muslims. The “vocational education” centers were proving effective in staving off terrorism. “Trainees” were grateful for the opportunity to change their ways and make their lives more “colorful”. China’s massive security crackdown in Xinjiang has sparked widespread alarm.

Australia will consider recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving its embassy there from Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.


The growing interest in astrology driven by millennials, as well as the popularity of crystals and tarot cards via the ballooning wellness industry, have brought mysticism from the fringes, and right into your Instagram feed. Though the data is sparse, what we do know is that the practice of witchcraft has seen major growth in recent decades. As the witch aesthetic has risen, so has the number of people who identify as witches.

It seems some students at the Savannah College of Art and Design wanted to make a post-Brett Kavanaugh confirmation “#MeToo” statement, and it went back in time 27 years to do it. Sage Lucero started a Change.org petition to remove Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s name from the school’s Center for Historic Preservation … because “a victim’s trauma should outweigh politics.”

Insects around the world are in a crisis, according to a small but growing number of long-term studies showing dramatic declines in invertebrate populations. A new report suggests that the problem is more widespread than scientists realized. Huge numbers of bugs have been lost in a pristine national forest in Puerto Rico, the study found, and the forest’s insect-eating animals have gone missing, too.

News – 10/16/2018

Witches Outnumber Presbyterians in the US; Wicca, Paganism Growing ‘Astronomically’
“It makes sense that witchcraft and the occult would rise as society becomes increasingly postmodern. The rejection of Christianity has left a void that people, as inherently spiritual beings, will seek to fill,” said author Julie Roys, formerly of Moody Radio, in comments emailed to The Christian Post Tuesday. “Plus, Wicca has effectively repackaged witchcraft for millennial consumption. No longer is witchcraft and paganism satanic and demonic,” she said, “it’s a ‘pre-Christian tradition’ that promotes ‘free thought’ and ‘understanding of earth and nature.’” Yet such repackaging is deceptive, Roys added, “but one that a generation with little or no biblical understanding is prone to accept.”

“Complete And Total Fraud”: Trump Slams Elizabeth Warren After DNA Test Debacle; Thanks Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation issued a statement on Monday, claiming that Warren’s announcement “makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, who ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is prove. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.” President Trump jumped on that too, tweeting: “Thank you to the Cherokee Nation for revealing that Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to as Pocahontas, is a complete and total Fraud!”

GOP Steamrolls Dems Again, Confirms 15 More Judges
Republicans scored another set of victories this week when the Senate “reached a broad deal” Thursday to confirm 15 more judges appointed by President Donald Trump. In exchange, lawmakers were able to head home to campaign for reelection. The Senate will not return to session until after Election Day.

NASA’s asteroid defense program aiming for more impact
The Trump administration has proposed increasing the budget for NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office by three-fold — from some $60 million to $150 million — amid growing concerns that humanity is utterly unprepared for the unlikely but still unthinkable: an asteroid strike of calamitous proportions. The White House also recently issued a new National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan intended to energize a host of agencies who could contribute to potential ways to prevent such as a disaster.

Trump plan includes unification of Judea, Samaria with Gaza
The Trump administration’s ‘Deal of the Century’ to promote a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority includes plans to reunite the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with the Palestinian Authority, a senior White House official said Tuesday. “In contrast, our peace plan intends to bring them together. Make no mistake; we are in this to help all Palestinians, in both the West Bank and Gaza. The type of disinformation being spread by some parties who have not even seen the plan yet wish to be spoilers does nothing to benefit ordinary Palestinian lives.”

US designates Hezbollah a ‘transnational criminal organization’
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday designated five groups, including Hezbollah, as transnational criminal organizations to target with tougher investigations and prosecutions, Reuters reported. In addition to Hezbollah, Sessions also said he had designated MS-13, the Sinaloa Cartel, Clan de Golfo and Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion for a crackdown to be carried out by a special new task force.

Sessions vows ’emergency’ Supreme Court battles amid ‘outrageous’ discovery rulings by federal judges
Sessions specifically singled out New York district court judge Jesse M. Furman, who ruled that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross could be questioned in an ongoing lawsuit concerning the legality of the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The Left’s New Plantation — Intellectual Slavery
on CNN, I watched the “dumbest man on television” host a panel of two African American liberals. They were discussing Kanye West’s newfound political outspokenness in favor of President Donald Trump, and you’d think you were listening to southern Democrats from the 1960s. It got so bad, I was waiting for one of them to use the word “uppity.” In case you missed it, here are the highlights — all assertions by the African American guests: “this is what happens when negroes don’t read”; “black folks” are ready to “trade Kanye West in the racial draft”; West is an “attention whore”; he’s the “token negro of the Trump administration”; “ But it’s worth asking the question: Why? What has West done to merit such vitriol? The answer is frightening and simple: He is thinking for himself. He’s wearing a MAGA hat. And he has influence.

Papadopoulos to spill details to House committees
The Daily Signal said that unlike most witnesses in congressional investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Papadopoulos has asked lawmakers to invite him to provide testimony.

The Supreme Court Recently Sided With Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers. The Ripple Effect Has Begun.
Pregnancy centers were victorious at the Supreme Court earlier this summer, and that win is having a major ripple effect. In NIFLA v. Becerra, the court ruled 5-4 that states cannot require pro-life pregnancy centers to post advertisements promoting abortion, holding that such laws would violate the free speech rights of those centers. The ruling struck down a 2015 California law that had done just that.

Liberman: Israeli operation against Hamas needed to halt Gaza violence
A harsh IDF military strike against Hamas is the only way to halt the continued Palestinian attacks against Israel, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Tuesday morning as he met in the south with some of his top military staff. “Now is the time for decisions. My position is very clear: We must deal a heavy blow against Hamas. This is the only way to return the situation to its previous state and to reduce the level of violence to nearly zero,” Liberman said.

White House ‘reviewing’ bipartisan bill promoting Palestinian fund
The Trump administration is “reviewing legislation” that would create an investment fund for the Palestinian economy… The bill, introduced by Republicans and Democrats in both houses of Congress last week, proposes the establishment of a Palestinian Partnership Fund that would “promote joint economic development and finance joint ventures between Palestinian entrepreneurs and companies in the United States, Israel and countries in the Middle East.”

Xinjiang top official praises Uighur ‘education camps’
The top official in China’s Xinjiang region has given the most detailed description yet of the alleged use of internment camps for Uighur Muslims. In an interview with state media, Shohrat Zakir said the “vocational education” centres were proving effective in staving off terrorism. He said “trainees” were grateful for the opportunity to change their ways and make their lives more “colourful”.

Russian Orthodox Church severs links with Constantinople
In a major religious split, the Russian Orthodox Church has cut ties with the body seen as the spiritual authority of the world’s Orthodox Christians. The break came after the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople recognised the independence of the Ukrainian Church from Moscow. The row is being described as the greatest Orthodox split since the schism with Catholicism in 1054.

Mysterious cosmic radio signal spotted unusually close to Earth
A strange flash of radio waves that was recently detected in space has now been traced to its home galaxy – and appears to originate from relatively nearby. Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are blasts of radio waves that last for only a few milliseconds but can contain as much energy as our sun puts out in decades. Over 50 have been spotted in space since they were first discovered in 2007, however we still don’t know what causes them.

Livery driver beat man walking to synagogue in Brooklyn
Police say a livery driver beat a 62-year-old man as he walked to synagogue on Sunday morning in Brooklyn. Physically and emotionally scarred, Lipa Schwartz described the frightening moment he was attacked in broad daylight in the middle of the street in Borough Park. “All of a sudden, ‘boom,’” he said. “I tried to protect myself, run away. I fell. He come again on me.”

Trump’s envoy reveals plan to unite Gaza and West Bank
The White House’s peace plan entails intentions to unify the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, told Ynet on Tuesday. Palestinian media outlets claim that a key element of the yet-unreleased US peace plan is separating the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip from the Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

IAF strikes Hamas post after explosive on border fence
An IAF aircraft fired at a Hamas position in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday afternoon after two terrorists planted an explosive device near the border fence. The explosive device went off inside the strip and caused damage to the fence. No IDF soldiers were hurt.

Northbound migrant group doubles in size, enters Guatemala
Up to 3,000 migrants crossed from Honduras into Guatemala on Monday on a trek northward, after a standoff with police in riot gear and warnings from Washington that migrants should not try to enter the United States illegally. The crowd more than doubled in size from Saturday, when some 1,300 people set off from northern Honduras in what has been dubbed “March of the Migrant,” an organizer said.

Sweden cancels traditional Christmas concert and increases promotions for Islamic events
Sweden’s, and perhaps the world’s largest outdoor Christmas concert “Oh Holy Night”, which traditionally airs on Swedish national TV on Christmas Eve each year, has been cancelled, SVT news reports.

In Denmark, the world’s only happy Holocaust commemoration event
 …the world’s only country where nearly all the members of the Jewish minority were rescued from the Holocaust by the local population in a grassroots operation that involved thousands of people. It culminated 75 years ago when 7,200 Jews from the Nazi-occupied Scandinavian land were ferried aboard small ships to neutral Sweden in a matter of just a few days.

Storm Callum: “Worst flooding in 30 years” hits Wales
At least two people are dead in Britain as Storm Callum brought heavy rain and flooding on Saturday. Wales suffering the “worst flooding in 30 years,” BBC News reports.

Study says over half of US citizens can be hunted down with a drop of their DNA
..Whatever the reasons for your decision, you handed over your DNA to a company, and if you chose to make that genetic information public in a searchable database you’re contributing to a DNA privacy crisis that is just beginning to take shape.

Assisted suicide plans for children unveiled at Toronto’s Sick Kids hospital
In a prestigious medical journal, doctors from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children have laid out policies and procedures for administering medically assisted death to children, including scenarios where the parents would not be informed until after the child dies.

Yemen Facing Worst Famine in 100 Years as Civil War Tears Country Apart
The humanitarian crisis was triggered three years ago when Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes against Yemen, leaving the country in the grip of an Iran-backed civil war since.According to the United Nations, there are now 13 million people who are on the brink of dying from starvation.

U.S. government statistics reveal that the flu vaccine is the most dangerous vaccine in America (video)
U.S. government statistics reveal that the flu vaccine is the most dangerous vaccine in America

Police: Son stabs dad to death over orders to attend church
There are probably few teens or 20-somethings who have not argued at least once with their parents about going to church.  But a case in Texas, police say, reveals that one young man took his dispute with his father about religious services way too far.

Christian Filmmakers Appeal to 8th Circuit to Make Films Celebrating Marriage Between One Man, One Woman
Two Christian filmmakers will appear before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul Tuesday to challenge Minnesota state law which they say illegally forces them to produce and create films expressing messages that contradict their core beliefs.

Progressivism Takes Its Place among the Major Religions
Progressives have great passion for their cause, and we have seen throughout history the way religion can incite the greatest passion, often leading to murders and wars.  Perhaps if we look at Progressivism through the religious prism, we may better understand the actions of its minions.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledges $38 million to pro-jihad UNRWA
Earlier this year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was confronted by an injured ex-soldier about funding cuts for Canadian veterans. Trudeau’s response to the injured ex-soldier was that veterans were “asking for more than what the federal government can afford.” Most Canadians could not have imagined that a sitting Canadian Prime Minister would display such reprehensible conduct to a Canadian veteran.

Emails: Kyrsten Sinema summoned witches to her anti-war rally
Politicians talk about “witch hunts” so often that the occult has almost become cliche in American politics. But in Arizona, there’s at least one candidate on the ballot who takes sorcery very seriously.

Revealed: Secret Service Foiled ISIS Assassination Attempt On President Trump
Just one year into his term, President Donald Trump was the target of a credible assassination plot attributed to ISIS — but the U.S. Secret Service managed to foil the attempt, according to a report that will air on National Geographic channel on Sunday.

Dem Who Said, ‘I Stand for the Flag, I Kneel at the Cross’ Forced to Resign as Local Party Exec
Mark Salvas has, reportedly been forced to resign his position as Democratic Party Executive Director in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania because of social media posts sympathetic to God, country, and an accused police officer.

Christians Sentenced to Death Under Sharia Law
In speeches, and on paper, these words probably give the impression that Christians are not only welcome in Iran, but given equal rights and protections. However, the everyday experiences of Christians in Iran, tell a very different story.

Gates Foundation leading the way in eugenics depopulation plan to rid the world of humans
Software billionaire Bill Gates, the world’s wealthiest globalist, is funding research into male birth control through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

George Soros Urges Americans to Rise-Up Against ‘Hateful’ Trump
Billionaire globalist George Soros has an uncanny knack for projecting his own wrongdoings onto other leaders, especially President Donald Trump.

Voter Fraud Ring Caught Rigging Elections for Democrats in TexasFour members of a voter fraud ring have been arrested in Texas after they were caught rigging the votes for Democratic candidates ahead of the 2016 primary elections.

Apostasy Watch Daily News

Confessions Of A Former Charismatic

‘Eat the meat and spit out the bones’: A proper response to NAR teaching?

4 Personality Traits Cult Leaders Have In Common

John MacArthur to speak at the NRB Convention: There’s More To The Story

Cessationism Is Heretical Great Apostasy Says Prophet Charlie Shamp

Media Ignore “Gosnell” Movie, But Viewers Give It a 99% Rating at Rotten Tomatoes

Biological Male Wins World Championship in Women’s Cycling

Headlines – 10/16/2018

Signaling war, Liberman urges cabinet to okay ‘serious blow’ to Hamas in Gaza

Defense Chief: Israel Must Deal Hamas a Blow – Even if It Means War in Gaza

Liberman: Bringing quiet to Gaza border will come at a high cost

Hamas: Israel’s ’empty threats’ don’t scare Palestinians

Steinitz: Military action in Gaza would be the ‘Mahmoud Abbas War’

PM, Liberman back IDF chief after ex-coalition whip blames him for Gaza unrest

Egyptian delegation enters Gaza for talks with Hamas

Israeli fire wounds 32 Palestinians in Gaza beach protest

IDF aircraft fires at cell launching incendiary balloons from Gaza

Palestine blames Israel for its sanitation woes at Swachh meet

Gaza’s Dying of Thirst, and Its Water Crisis Will Become a Threat to Israel

US envoy calls rock attack that killed Palestinian woman ‘reprehensible’

Border cop suspected of firing sponge-tipped bullet at Palestinian ‘for fun’

Trump’s envoy reveals plan to unite Gaza and West Bank

Australia open to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving embassy

Australia may also recognize East Jerusalem as future Palestinian capital

Moving Australia’s embassy to Jerusalem a ‘fatal mistake’, Middle Eastern envoys warn

Egypt, Indonesia Warn Australia Against Moving Embassy to Jerusalem

Indonesia denies putting trade deal on hold over Australia’s possible embassy move

Explosion targets Russian Jewish community leader, WJC condemns attack

‘Anti-racism’ rally in Berlin calls for destruction of Israel

Man shot driving tractor towards Israeli ambassador’s house in Ankara, Turkey

Egypt says security forces kill 9 ‘terrorists’ in Nile raid

US designates Hezbollah a transnational crime threat

Israel, US send secret delegation to Ukraine to train against S-300 – report

Iran says its land-to-sea ballistic missile range now 700 kilometers

Market can cope with push for zero Iranian oil sales, says U.S. envoy

US says Iran protestors have clear message: ‘Stop wasting our wealth abroad’

14 Iranian security personnel abducted on Pakistan border

Iran ambassador to Ankara: News of embassy evacuation are ‘lies’

Pompeo lands in Saudi Arabia for talks with king on fate of Khashoggi

Saudis Reportedly Plan To Announce Jamal Khashoggi Was Killed Accidentally

Saudis said ready to concede writer was slain in botched interrogation

Donald Trump says ‘rogue killers’ may have murdered Khashoggi

Trump’s Weak Response to Missing Journalist Puts His Deep Saudis Ties Under Scrutiny

Forensics team searches Saudi consulate over missing writer

Turkey’s Erdogan says some material at Saudi consulate painted over

Nigeria: IS-linked extremists kill abducted health worker

Two Koreas, UN Command to hold first meeting on demilitarising border

China says internment camps are ‘free vocational training’

Ecuador tells Assange to avoid political activity online – and feed the cat

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5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

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5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

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October 16, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

His Defense

But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the Law I died to the Law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” (2:17–21)

By their behavior, Peter and the other Jewish Christians at Antioch had given approval to the Judaizers’ idea that it was necessary for a Gentile to keep the Jewish rituals before he could become a Christian. Paul’s defense of justification by faith in verses 17–21 continues his contradiction of this Judaistic legalism to which Peter and the others had succumbed.

It is crucial to understand that, as in the previous two verses, we refers to Jewish Christians. But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves, as Jewish Christians, have also been found sinners, Paul asks rhetorically, is Christ then a minister of sin?

His first point was to show that, if the Judaizers were correct in their doctrine that believers are saved in part by keeping the ceremonial law of Moses and continue to be bound by that law to maintain their salvation, then, even before the Judaizers arrived in Antioch, Peter, Barnabas, and all the other Jewish believers, including Paul, had fallen back into the category of sinners by having freely eaten and fellowshiped with Gentile Christians.

Paul’s second point was even more devastating. “If you became sinners because of fellowshiping with your Gentile brothers,” he implies, “then Christ Himself became a minister of sin, did he not?” How? Jesus had clearly taught that no food can spiritually contaminate a person, because food cannot affect the heart (Mark 7:19). Through the vision of the unclean animals and the dramatic conversion and anointing of Cornelius, the Lord had given Peter direct evidence that Gentile believers are in every way equal to Jewish believers (Acts 10). On many other occasions and in many other ways Jesus had taught that all those who belong to Him are one with Him and therefore one with each other. Shortly before His arrest, trial, and crucifixion, Jesus earnestly and repeatedly prayed to His Father that those who believed in Him “may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us … that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity” (John 17:21–23).

But if the Judaizers were right, Paul pointed out, Jesus was wrong; if they taught the truth, He had taught falsehood and was thereby a minister of sin! Such an accusation must have shaken Peter to his bones. To be called a hypocrite stung enough, but to be called a sinner was unthinkable, and to be accused of making Jesus a minister of sin was shocking and repulsive. Yet the logic of Paul’s argument was inescapable. By his actions, Peter had in effect condemned Jesus Christ. He therefore had to forsake his Judaistic sympathies or continue to make His Lord a liar.

To his own question Paul immediately responded, May it never be! It must have been painful to Paul to suggest even hypothetically that Christ could participate in, much less promote, sin. But the drastic danger of Judaistic legalism demanded such drastic logic. He knew of no other way to bring Peter and the others to their senses.

By using the term we in the previous verses, Paul had graciously identified himself with the compromisers to a certain extent. Now he even more graciously and lovingly softens the blow to his friends by using himself as a hypothetical example. For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, he said, I prove myself to be a transgressor. In other words, if anyone, including myself, tries to rebuild a system of legalism after he has once destroyed it by believing and preaching the gospel of God’s powerful grace and man’s sinful helplessness, he proves himself, not Christ, to be a transgressor. He proves himself to be a hypocrite and a sinner by abandoning grace for law.

“I could never do such a thing,” Paul asserts, “for through the Law I died to the Law, that I might live to God. The idea of legalism clashes with God’s clearest truth and my own deepest convictions. Now that I have accepted grace and died to the Law, I could never go back to its system of rituals and ordinances. Otherwise I could not live to God.” The law is not the believer’s master; God is. It is not his relation to the law that saves him, but his relation to God.

“Do you not know, brethren,” Paul asked the believers at Rome, “that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.… Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead that we might bear fruit for God” (Rom. 7:1–2, 4).

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace. (Rom. 6:1–14)

In both Romans and Galatians, Paul is referring to the fact that when a person exercises faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, he is placed in transcendent spiritual union with Christ in the historical event of His death and resurrection, in which the penalty of sin was paid in full.

If a man is convicted of a capital crime and is put to death, the law obviously has no more claim on him. He has paid his debt to society. Therefore, even if he were to rise from the dead, he would still be guiltless before the law, which would have no claim on his new life. So it is with the believer who dies in Christ to rise in new life. He is free forever from any claim of the law on him. He paid the law’s demand when he died in Christ. His physical death is no punishment, only a release to glory provided in his union with Christ.

Legalism’s most destructive effect is that it cancels the effect of the cross. I have been crucified with Christ, Paul testifies, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. To go back under the law would be to cancel one’s union with Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and therefore to go back under sin.

I died to the Law, Paul explains, because I was crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live. The old man, the old self, is dead, crucified with Christ, and the new man lives (cf. Col. 3:9–10). Now I … live to God, because Christ lives in me (cf. Rom. 8:9). The life I received by faith I now also live by faith. The Greek verb behind live is in the perfect tense, indicating a past completed action that has continuing results. When a believer trusts in Christ for salvation he spiritually participates with the Lord in His crucifixion and in His victory over sin and death.

That is why, the apostle continues, the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. The true Christian life is not so much a believer’s living for Christ as Christ’s living through the believer. Because in Christ “all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col. 2:9), the fulness of God also dwells in every believer, as “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4).

I do not have such a divine life and the magnanimous privilege of being indwelt with the living, powerful Son of God because of anything I have done or merited, but only because He loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.

The surpassing motive, therefore, for all spiritual devotion and obedience is gratitude to the sovereign, gracious Lord. The statement who loved me refers to the motive behind God’s saving grace. The New Testament is replete with teaching on this great truth (see, e.g., John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; Eph. 2:5). The gift of love was not taken from Christ, but He delivered Himself up for me, says the apostle. This is reminiscent of our Lord’s words in John 10:17–18, “I lay down my life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down of My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.”

All of this saving work is the gift of God’s sovereign grace. Consequently, Paul concludes, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. In effect he was saying to Peter, “By withdrawing from fellowship with your Gentile brothers you take your stand with the Judaizers and against Christ. You nullify the grace of God by denying the need for Christ’s death, just as you did when you rebuked the Lord for declaring it was necessary for Him to suffer, be killed, and raised on the third day (see Matt. 16:21–22).

The two pillars of the gospel are the grace of God and the death of Christ, and those are the two pillars that, by its very nature, legalism destroys. The person who insists that he can earn salvation by his own efforts undermines the very foundation of Christianity and nullifies the precious death of Christ on his behalf.[1]

Dying to Live

Galatians 2:17–21

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:19–20)

What Paul said in Galatians 2:16 bears repeating: “We know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ.” This is the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone in Christ alone. As John Calvin (1509–1564) said, “we are justified in no other way than by faith, or, which comes to the same thing, … that we are justified by faith alone.”

“Justification” is a legal term that refers to a person’s standing before the bar of God’s justice. In order to be declared right with God, I must be righteous. But I am not righteous; I am a sinner. How, then, can I justify myself to God? This is the question that the doctrine of justification answers.

Righteous by Faith

It would be hard to think of a more important issue than how to be accepted by God. Certainly it was important during the Reformation, when Protestants defended the doctrine of justification by faith alone over against the Roman Catholic doctrine of justification by faith plus works. Martin Luther claimed that “if the doctrine of justification is lost, the whole of Christian doctrine is lost.”

Justification remains a vital doctrine to this day, even if many evangelical Christians are not sure what it means or if it matters. The situation is reminiscent of the man who when asked to explain the difference between ignorance and apathy said, “I don’t know and I don’t care!” “Precisely!” came the reply. And ignorance and apathy are precisely the words to describe the church’s present attitude. Christians do not know and do not care to know the doctrine of justification by faith. Yet there is no true Christianity without it. J. I. Packer once wrote, “The doctrine of justification by faith is like Atlas: it bears a world on its shoulders, the entire evangelical knowledge of saving grace.” Packer went on to say what happens “when Protestants let the thought of justification drop out of their minds: the true knowledge of salvation drops out with it, and cannot be restored till the truth of justification is back in its proper place. When Atlas falls, everything that rested on his shoulders comes crashing down too.”

As crucial as justification is to Christianity, it is even more crucial to the Christian. It is of paramount personal importance to get into a right relationship with God. How can a righteous God accept an unrighteous individual like me?

Part of the answer is contained in the last phrase of Galatians 2:16: “By works of the law no one will be justified.” In the previous chapter we noted that this phrase is a quotation from the Old Testament. It is important to realize that the New Testament writers did not simply quote a verse here and a verse there. Rather, they quoted verses in their original biblical contexts. Often, a single phrase is intended to call to mind an entire passage from the Old Testament.

This is what Paul does in Galatians 2. The psalm from which he quotes begins with a problem. David is pursued by enemies and tormented by guilt. He asks God to deliver him even though he knows that what he really deserves is divine judgment:

Hear my prayer, O Lord;

give ear to my pleas for mercy!

In your faithfulness answer me,

in your righteousness.

Enter not into judgment with your servant,

for no one living is righteous before you. (Ps. 143:1–2)

David did not want to be brought before the bar of God’s justice, where no living person can be acquitted, least of all himself. Yet David still appealed to God for his salvation, and the basis for his appeal was God’s own righteousness. David asked God to come to his relief, not because he was righteous, but because God was righteous. He makes the same appeal at the end of the psalm: “For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble” (Ps. 143:11). David asked to be saved by a righteousness that comes from God.

Psalm 143 is a psalm for the justified sinner, for an unrighteous man saved by the gift of God’s righteousness. By quoting from this psalm, Paul showed that God’s ultimate answer to David’s prayer came through Jesus Christ. No one can be made right with God by obeying the law, for no one is righteous. But Jesus Christ the Righteous One makes us right with God.

It happens like this. When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, God treats us as if we were as righteous as Jesus is. God credits us with his righteousness. To use the proper term for this, God “imputes” Christ’s righteousness to us, so that what Jesus did through the cross and the empty tomb counts for us. Justification is the judicial act in which God pardons sinners, considering them righteous because of the righteousness of Christ. When he justifies a sinner, God declares that as far as he is concerned, that sinner is as righteous as his own Son.

This doctrine of imputed righteousness is so important that it is worth taking the time to define. Martin Luther explained it like this: “ ‘Because you believe in me,’ God says, ‘and your faith takes hold of Christ, whom I have given to you as your Justifier and Savior, therefore be righteous.’ Thus God accepts you or reputes you righteous solely on account of Christ, in whom you believe.” Calvin wrote: “It is entirely by the intervention of Christ’s righteousness that we obtain justification before God. This is equivalent to saying that man is not just in himself, but that the righteousness of Christ is communicated to him by imputation, while he is strictly deserving of punishment.”5 Similarly, the Westminster Shorter Catechism defines justification as “an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone” (Answer 33). An even fuller explanation comes from the Heidelberg Catechism, which asks, “How art thou righteous before God?” The answer is:

Only by a true faith in Jesus Christ; so that, though my conscience accuse me that I have grossly transgressed all the commands of God, and kept none of them, and am still inclined to all evil; notwithstanding God, without any merit of mine, but only of mere grace, grants and imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ; even so, as if I never had had, nor committed any sin; yea, as if I had fully accomplished all that obedience which Christ hath accomplished for me; inasmuch as I embrace such benefit with a believing heart. (A. 60)

Objection: The Problem of Sin

The doctrine of justification by faith alone raises an obvious problem. If by his free grace God has already declared us righteous, then why bother to become a better person? What incentive do we have to live for God? The doctrine of justification seems irresponsible. It sounds, in fact, like winning the spiritual lottery. If God gives righteousness away for free, who will ever work for him again?

Paul anticipates this objection by making it part of his argument. “But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin?” (Gal. 2:17). This is a fair question, and from the way he poses it, Paul seems to have something specific in mind. The clue is the word “sinners,” which Paul used back in verse 15 to indicate the Jewish attitude toward Gentiles. The Gentiles were “sinners,” not so much because they were immoral, but because they lived outside the boundaries of the law. According to the Judaizers, this was precisely the problem with Peter and Paul: they had become outlaws. In their personal habits, they were living like Gentile sinners rather than like Jews. They used to keep the law in all its detail. Now they were doing things like eating unholy food with uncircumcised Gentiles.

Hence the accusation that they were making Jesus a servant of sin, almost as if he were doing promotional work for the devil. Peter and Paul had sought to be justified by faith in Christ. This included giving up on the law as a way to get right with God. Whereas before they had always been law-abiding Jews, they were sinking to the level of pagans. When the Judaizers discovered that Peter and Paul were living like “Gentile sinners,” they reached the obvious conclusion: being justified by faith causes people to sin in the name of Christ. And if Peter and Paul were guilty of this charge, then so were the Gentiles. They had come to faith in Christ, but they were still living like so-called sinners. Someone needed to hold them to a higher moral standard, and the Judaizers were just the men to do it!

What is the best way to answer this line of thinking? It must be admitted that Christians do not always make good advertisements for Christianity. When this is the case, it helps to remember that by definition, all Christians are sinners. Martin Luther said, “A Christian is not someone who has no sin or feels no sin; he is someone to whom, because of his faith in Christ, God does not impute his sin.” This is the crucial difference. Christians are sinners too, but their sins do not count against them. Therefore, with the possible exception of the prison system, the church is the only institution in the world for bad people.

This does not mean, however, that God himself is in the business of sin. “Certainly not!” Paul says (Gal. 2:17). God forbid! Or to put it in the vernacular, “No way!” Perish the thought that Christ is a “servant of sin,” as if his grace is somehow to be blamed for my guilt. When God justifies sinners by faith, he is not aiding and abetting their sin. The very suggestion is blasphemous. God cannot sin (James 1:13), nor can he be held responsible for my sin. If I am still a sinner after I become a Christian, it is no one’s fault but my own.

The doctrine that really does promote sin is justification by the law rather than by faith. Paul shows this by using his opponents’ argument against them: “For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor” (Gal. 2:18). As we shall see, when Paul spoke of rebuilding what he tore down, he was referring to the Old Testament law that he had torn down by preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. So what would happen if someone tried to rebuild the law? This was exactly what Peter was trying to do in Antioch. At first, he had destroyed the law by welcoming Gentiles into the church as full-fledged Christians. But then he allowed himself to be pressured into separating himself from them. In effect, Peter was rebuilding with one hand what he had destroyed with the other. First he told the Gentiles that they were saved by faith, not by works, but then he made the works of the law a test of Christian fellowship.

Not only is this what Peter did, but it is also what the Galatians were tempted to do. Some Jews had come to urge them to rebuild the law in place of the gospel. If the Galatians did that, they would become lawbreakers all over again. The law’s purpose is to show that we are sinners, so the more of it that gets rebuilt, the more sinful we become! In the words of F. F. Bruce, “Any one who, having received justification through faith in Christ, thereafter reinstates law in place of Christ makes himself a sinner all over again.” To rebuild the law is actually to transgress it, because we cannot keep the law in its perfection.

Dead to the Law

In Christ the law has been destroyed as a way of getting right with God. And now that it has been knocked down, it has to stay down. This has profound personal implications. “For through the law I died to the law,” wrote Paul, “so that I might live to God” (Gal. 2:19).

The first question to ask about this verse is, What does it mean to “die to the law”? Notice that the law is not what does the dying. Rather, Paul is the one who dies with respect to the law. This is a remarkable thing for a former Pharisee to say. When Paul was a Pharisee he lived for the law, but now that he is a Christian he is dead to it. That is to say, he is no longer under its power. Calvin said, “To die to the law is to renounce it and to be freed from its dominion, so that we have no confidence in it and it does not hold us captive under the yoke of slavery.”

But then another question arises: How can someone die to the law through the law? It would seem to make more sense for Paul to say something like this: “Through the gospel I died to the law so that I might live for God.” Instead he says that it was the law itself that persuaded him to abandon the law.

There are several ways to understand this. Perhaps Paul was saying that the law “did him in” by showing him that he was a sinner. This is certainly a point he makes elsewhere (Rom. 7:9–11). The law cannot save. All it can do is condemn us by proving that we cannot keep it. In the words of the old Scottish commentator John Brown (1784–1858), the Christian must therefore cease “to expect justification and salvation by obedience to its requisitions.” The law cannot promise life; it can only threaten death. Thus it is through the law that one dies to the law.

There is another possibility, however, which is based on the law’s penalty. Remember that the law came with a deadly curse. Anyone who failed to keep everything God’s law required (and note that in Galatians 2:19 Paul is referring to the whole law of God, not just the ceremonial law, as the New Perspective on Paul and the law would have it) was condemned to die. So the worst the law could do to a man was kill him. However, once the law had exacted its death penalty, there was nothing else it could do. A man can be executed only once, and once he has been executed, the law has no further claim on him. Perhaps this is why Paul considered himself dead to the law: because the law had already put him to death.

Now as far as the Christian is concerned, the penalty of the law has already been carried out. The law’s demand of death was satisfied in the death of Christ. It was the law that put Christ to death on the cross. When Christ died, Paul died too, at least as far as the law was concerned. He died to the law in the death of his substitute. Hence his triumphant statement: “Through the law I died to the law” (Gal. 2:19).

Alive in Christ

Having written his own obituary, Paul proceeds to explain the circumstances of his demise: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:19–20). Here the apostle indicates when he died to the law: he died to the law when Christ died on the cross.

This text reveals something very surprising about the cross. It shows that at least four things were nailed to the cross of Calvary. The most obvious, of course, was Jesus himself, through his hands and feet. As the records plainly show, he was put to death by being nailed to the cross. Also fastened to the cross with a hammer and a nail was the public announcement that read: “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” (John 19:19). The third thing that was nailed to the cross was the debt of our sin. Paul explained this to the Colossians: God forgave “all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross” (Col. 2:13–14). The record of debt was the law of God, which condemns us by listing all our sins and which God canceled by nailing it to the cross.

But here is the surprise: if you are a follower of Christ, then you were nailed to the cross too! The crucifixion is not just a fact about the life of Christ and a momentous event in human history, but is also part of every Christian’s personal life story. The Cambridge Puritan William Perkins (1558–1602) said, “We are in mind and meditation to consider Christ crucified: and first, we are to believe that he was crucified for us. This being done, we must go yet further, and as it were spread ourselves on the cross of Christ, believing and withall beholding ourselves crucified with him.”

Do not misunderstand this. Jesus Christ died once for all. He alone was the God-man, so he alone could atone for the sins of the world by offering his life in our place. Yet the Scripture also says that the Christian has been crucified with Christ. It uses the perfect tense to show that this is something that really and truly happened, as if we were nailed to the very tree of Calvary. This is not a subjective experience in the life of the believer, but an objective reality that is based on the believer’s relationship to Christ. Mark Seifrid writes, “Paul does not have merely his inward life in view, but his whole person and history, which has now been manifestly taken up in the cross and resurrection of Christ.”

The surprising truth that the Christian has been crucified in Christ rests on the most magnificent of all doctrines: union with Christ, which the Scottish theologian John Murray (1898–1975) called “the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation.” We encounter it everywhere in the New Testament. Again and again, the Scripture teaches that the Christian is in Christ. To use the proper theological category, the Christian is united to Christ.

The way anyone becomes united to Christ is by faith. Paul said this in verse 16: “we also have believed in Christ Jesus.” Once we put our faith in Christ, then we are in Christ. Our union with Christ becomes a spiritual reality. Martin Luther said, “By [faith] you are so cemented to Christ that He and you are as one person, which cannot be separated but remains attached to Him forever.”

The reason union with Christ is such a magnificent doctrine is that once we get into Christ by faith, then everything Christ has ever done becomes something we have done. It is as if we had lived his perfect life and died his painful death. It is as if we were buried in his tomb and then raised up to his glorious heaven (Rom. 6:3–5). God attaches us to the events of Christ’s life so that they become part of our lives. His story—the story of the cross and the empty tomb—becomes our story.

The only way to get what Christ has to offer is to be united to him by faith. Calvin said, “We must understand that as long as Christ remains outside of us, and we are separated from him, all that he has suffered and done for the salvation of the human race remains useless and of no value for us.” But once we get into Christ, then we get everything he has to offer, especially his righteousness. When we are in Christ, God considers us as righteous as his own Son, not because we are righteous, but because we are in Christ.

The doctrine of union with Christ explains why the Christian is dead to the law. We were united to Christ in his crucifixion. As far as God is concerned, we were really and truly nailed to the cross with Christ. It was on the cross that the law carried out its death penalty against us. Therefore, as far as the law is concerned, we are now dead. There is nothing the law can do to improve our standing before God. We can live for Christ because we are dead to the law.

Not only are we dead to the law, it is almost as if we have stopped living altogether: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:19–20). Paul is saying something like this: “I no longer have a life of my own. The only life I have is the life that God puts into me through Jesus Christ.”

It would be hard to imagine a text more antithetical to our contemporary culture. Consider these words from the actress Shirley MacLaine:

The most pleasurable journey you take is through yourself.… The only sustaining love involvement is with yourself.… When you look back on your life and try to figure out where you’ve been and where you are going, when you look at your work, your love affairs, your marriages, your children, your pain, your happiness—when you examine all that closely, what you really find out is that the only person you really go to bed with is yourself. The only person you really dress is yourself. The only thing you have is working to the consummation of your own identity.

MacLaine’s words capture the spirit of this selfish age. Moderns and postmoderns alike are obsessed with themselves. Self-esteem, self-improvement, self-fulfillment, self-indulgence—whatever you want, as long as it begins with your “self.”

In these self-absorbed times, the Bible announces the death of the self: “It is no longer I who live” (Gal. 2:20). The world no longer revolves around me. I am no longer dominated by thoughts of my own pleasure and prestige. If I have a life at all, it is only the life that Christ lives in me.

This does not mean that becoming a Christian is a kind of suicide. We still have a normal physical existence, of course, what Paul calls “the life I now live in the flesh” (Gal. 2:20). Since it is the life I live, I even have a self. But the only self I have is the one that is united to Christ by faith. My life is the life that Christ “lives in me,” the life “I live by faith in the Son of God” (Gal. 2:20).

This is the mystery of Christ’s indwelling presence by the Holy Spirit. Theologians have tried to explain this mystery in various ways. Calvin said that the Christian “does not live by his own life but is animated by the secret power of Christ, so that Christ may be said to live and grow in him.” The Scottish theologian Henry Scougal (1650–1678) called it “the life of God in the soul of man.” One thing this means is that becoming a Christian is the best and only way to discover our identity. We will never find our true selves until we find ourselves in Christ. Our identity is established by our union with Christ. We have no self, except the self that we have in him. To have a “healthy self-image,” then, is to see ourselves as we are in Christ.

Christ Died for Someone

Union with Christ provides the answer to the question we posed earlier: If God justifies bad people, then why be good? Isn’t justification by faith alone a dangerous doctrine that encourages people to be immoral?

The answer is “Certainly not!” The reason the doctrine of justification by faith does not promote sin is that justifying faith is what gets us into Christ, and when we are in Christ we become new people. We are not simply justified by faith; we also live by faith. By faith we are in the crucified Christ. By the same faith Christ lives in us. Since we live in Christ, we no longer live in sin. We live in Christ, by Christ, and through Christ for the glory of God.

The Christian life is like life after death. We were crucified with Christ, dead both to the law and to ourselves. But we are still united to Christ by faith. Therefore, our story did not end at the cross, but went on to the empty tomb. Just as Jesus was brought back to life in his resurrection, so we also have been raised from the dead. God has given us a whole new life to live for him, a life of faith responding to love.

If this is not Christianity, then there is no such thing as Christianity, which is the point with which Paul concludes the first major part of his letter: “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose” (Gal. 2:21). J. Gresham Machen identified this as

the key verse of the Epistle to the Galatians; it expresses the central thought of the Epistle. The Judaizers attempted to supplement the saving work of Christ by merit of their own obedience to the law. That, says Paul, is impossible; Christ will do everything or nothing: earn your salvation if your obedience to the law is perfect, or else trust wholly to Christ’s completed work; you cannot do both; you cannot combine merit and grace; if justification even in slightest measure is through human merit, then Christ died in vain.

For the sake of argument, assume that there is another way to be justified, apart from the work of Christ. Suppose that there is some other procedure for getting right with God. Imagine, for example, that what Paul’s opponents were saying was true, that God will accept us only if we keep the law of Moses, getting circumcised and all the rest of it. Now explain why Christ died on the cross. Obviously not to justify sinners, because this is something that sinners must do for themselves. The cross is necessary only if it has the power to bring sinners into a right relationship with God.

Paul’s point is that if it is possible to be justified by working the law, then there was no reason for Christ to be crucified. His death was pointless. His work was in vain. His cross was unnecessary. For if our own works can save us, then Christ’s death was superfluous. Or perhaps Christ’s death was insufficient, so that when he hung, dying on the cross, and said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), it wasn’t really finished after all. Either salvation comes through the finished work of Jesus Christ, or it comes through human effort, but not both. If we can be saved by our own works, then Jesus was a false Messiah who died a worthless death on a meaningless cross.

The notion that Christ died for nothing is scandalous, of course. Luther considered it “an intolerable and horrible blasphemy to think up some work by which you presume to placate God, when you see that He cannot be placated except by this immense, infinite price, the death and the blood of the Son of God, one drop of which is more precious than all creation.” In fact, anyone who tries to add works to faith is treating Jesus exactly the way his enemies treated him when he was dying on the cross. Timothy George writes that “if we add works of the law to the sacrifice of the cross, then indeed we make a mockery of Jesus’ death just as the soldiers who spat upon him, the thieves who hurled insults at him, and the rabble who shouted, ‘Come down from the cross!’ ”21This is exactly what the Judaizers were doing. They were adding works to faith as their basis for being justified before God. By doing this they were saying that Christ died for nothing. They were nullifying the grace of God. But the one thing the apostle Paul absolutely refused to do was to nullify the grace of God. He had come to Christ by faith, not by works. He understood that to go back now and argue that the law can save sinners would be to deny the saving power of the cross. All by itself the cross proves that justification comes by grace, through faith, and not by works. If the righteousness of the crucified Christ is not accepted, then the grace of God must be abrogated. For in order for salvation to be by grace alone, through faith alone, it must come from Christ alone. Otherwise, Christ died for nothing.

Christ did die for something, of course. Or to put it more accurately, Christ died for someone. He died for me. Notice the intensely personal terms that Paul uses to describe his relationship to Jesus Christ. Although Jesus is the very Son of God, he “loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). The same God who loved the world loves me, specifically and individually. He not only loves me, but also gave himself for me when he died for my sins on the cross. Jesus freely and willingly volunteered to be my Savior. I, personally, was crucified with the Christ who died, personally, for me. Divine love is not some abstract concept. It is a passionate affection that has been expressed through sacrificial action.

When John Wesley (1703–1791) was coming to faith in Christ, this truth made a deep and lasting impression upon him. In his journal he describes what it was like to come to the end of the second chapter in Luther’s Commentary on Galatians:“I laboured, waited, and prayed to feel ‘who loved me and gave himself for me.’ ” Wesley found that these verses were well worth the effort. So does everyone who comes to Christ by faith, becoming united to him in his crucifixion, and thereby receiving the free grace of the loving God.[2]

19–20 These verses contain four propositions: (1) “Through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God”; (2) “I have been crucified with Christ”; (3) “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”; and (4) “the life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Determining the meaning of each of these statements will aid in understanding Paul’s intention in this section.

Stating “through the law I died to the law” further expounds the assertion Paul made at v. 18 that he is not a transgressor of the law. When Paul speaks of “dying to” something elsewhere, he means to say metaphorically that all relationship to that entity has been cut off (cf. “died to sin,” Ro 6:2, 10–11; “died to the law,” Ro 7:2–6). So here he contends that the believer cannot be a transgressor of the law because one who has trusted Jesus Christ has been cut off from any (intended redemptive) relationship to the law. Paul does not indicate that the believer is cut off from the law in any and every sense—the context of this statement is the propositio, in which he sets forth his thesis statement regarding justification and observance of the law—but in both the “legalistic” connotation and in the sense of the law functioning as the nomistic guideline for life (as argued by Paul’s opponents), the believer is “dead” to the law and thus no longer in relationship to it (cf. Burton, 132–33; Bruce, 142). This death to the law came about “through the law,” i. e., the believer’s death to the law is through the law because he died in Christ’s death (Ro 7:4). Paul will further expand on this statement in the probatio section of 3:19–4:7, particularly at 3:19–25.

“I have been crucified with Christ” speaks to the believer’s incorporation into the work of Christ. This is the basis of Paul’s earlier statements regarding the believer’s death to the law and living for God. This is a “Spirit-ual” identification with Christ (i. e., “of the Spirit,” “sourced” in the person of God’s Holy Spirit) in his death. It indicates that union with Christ by faith includes one’s being united with him in his experience of death to the old order, to the law.

The statement “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” extends this incorporation into Christ beyond death to the law to life in Christ. The Christian’s life is “hidden with Christ” (Col 3:3). The believer is transferred by virtue of incorporation with the crucified Christ to the sphere of resurrection life in him (cf. Matera, 103; Bruce, 144). The believer’s life is now lived out under the ethic and guidance of Jesus Christ by means of the Holy Spirit. Just as sin was the operative power of the former life, exercised through the law and the self, now Christ lives both in and through the believer.

Paul goes on to explain, “The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” The present life in the mortal body is, for the believer, a life that is lived “in Christ.” This is life lived in union with Christ, through faith in him who is the “Son of God.” This is a life of commitment to him who “loved me and gave himself for me.” The title “Son of God” both defines Jesus’ identity as God’s Servant and describes the close bond between him and the Father. It also emphasizes the greatness of Jesus’ sacrifice, as he gave himself up to be crucified in order to provide redemption for lost humanity. This sacrificial activity made the way clear for the faith life of union with Christ Paul describes here.

In these verses Paul has expressed the crux of his theology of the Christian life: the believer has died to the law by virtue of incorporation into Christ, with whom the believer has been co-crucified. Life is now lived in union with him in a daily existence of faith “outworked” (cf. 5:13–6:10). The law has no dominion over the believer, who lives now in the ethical sphere of Christ’s life by his Spirit, whose power it is that energizes and empowers one by faith in Christ’s person and work.[3]

Paul’s Continuing Defense of His Gospel in the Face of Peter’s Hypocrisy (Gal. 2:18–21)

2:18–21 / Paul continues to argue with Peter by pointing out that adding the law to the gospel would be to go backward, to rebuild what has already been destroyed and so to admit that one was mistaken all along. If Paul were now to adopt the law it would effectively prove that he was a lawbreaker when he believed in Christ as the means of justification. Paul reasons that rather than becoming a “lawbreaker” he has become one able to live for God. He has not broken the law but rather died to the law, and through the law itself Paul was able to die to the law. He explains this new condition by saying that he has been crucified with Christ.

Paul’s shift to the first person may be for rhetorical purposes, in order to bring home the force of his argument by encouraging his readers to identify personally with the consequences of their view. The shift may also indicate that Paul is responding to the charge that he had advocated the law at one point but has now changed his mind. Note that the words what I destroyed may be read in parallelism to those in verse 19, “for through the law I died to the law.” At other places in the letter Paul seems to be defending himself against such an allegation (e.g., 1:10; 5:11). In each place Paul denies this charge.

In the context of verse 18, in which Paul appears to be responding to the accusation that he is rebuilding the Judaism that he once tore down, the law refers to the whole Jewish way of life. Paul died to the Jewish way of life through two aspects of Jewish law. First, Paul’s zeal for the traditions of his fathers (1:14) was in some way a preparation for God’s choice of him (1:15). So by means of devotion to the law he came to die to the law. And second, Christ’s death, in which Paul shares and which is now the key to righteousness, was through the law. Later in the letter Paul directly connects Christ’s death with the demands of the law (3:13). By being crucified with Christ Paul shares in the circumstances and consequences of Christ’s death, which are through the law dying to the law.

Being “crucified with Christ” is a central feature of Paul’s understanding of the meaning of the Christian life. The believer becomes conformed to Christ and Christ’s death. Paul makes his meaning especially plain in verse 20, where he juxtaposes “I” with “Christ.” In the first clause he states that he no longer lives and in the second that it is Christ who now lives in him.

For Paul the power of the Christian life resides not in intellectual assent to truth, nor in personal rigor, nor even in the simple power of confidence in God, but in recognizing that one has become incorporated into Christ. The Christian life is one of conformity with Christ. Paul uses the Greek aorist (past) tense when he says that he died to the law and the Greek perfect tense (which indicates that an event in the past has continuing results in the present) when he says he has been crucified with Christ. This suggests that Paul thought of his death to the law as having happened in the past, but he defines his life in the present as one of being crucified with Christ. This is why Paul can say I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. At the start of his letter Paul connects Christ’s self-sacrifice with overcoming sin and rescuing believers from the present evil age (1:4). Now Paul connects the sacrifice of Christ with the believers’ conformity with Christ, which involves sharing in Christ’s crucifixion.

The idea of sharing in Christ’s death is a central one that Paul uses to describe the type of religious life he has experienced and seeks to convey. For Paul, belief in Jesus Christ entails identifying with Christ’s death and resurrection. As noted in the Introduction, when Paul refers to the faith of Christ he is speaking of the type of human life Jesus lived and in which believers too may partake. Believers do not dedicate themselves to an example but are incorporated into the archetypal human being. Paul speaks most often of the believer in Christ participating in Christ’s death and resurrection. In Romans and Galatians, in particular, Paul speaks of believers conforming to Jesus’ death (see esp. Rom. 6; 8). For Paul the Christian life is one of conformity to Christ, of being “in Christ,” of “dying with Christ” and so being raised with Christ.

Paul’s connection in verse 20 of the idea of Christ’s death with the idea of being “in Christ” is consonant with his statements elsewhere (e.g., Rom. 3:24–25; 8:1–4). Scholars have often thought of Paul’s “in Christ” language as mystical and seen this as a separate and sometimes antithetical theological approach from his juridical interpretation of the meaning of Christ’s death, in which Christ’s death is thought to atone for humanity’s sin and allow believers to be righteous in God’s sight. Yet here as elsewhere, Paul combines the idea of Christ living in the believer with reference to Christ’s death. This suggests that Paul’s understanding of the meaning of Christ’s death was both a juridical and a mystical one. Paul could write about righteousness, the word that has typically been associated with a juridical understanding of Christ’s death, and in the same breath he could refer to being in Christ. So Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21: “God made him who had no sin to be sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” In Galatians 2:16, when Paul speaks of Christ’s death he refers to what has been called its “mystical” result instead of its juridical consequences.

Paul’s understanding of the consequences of Christ’s death cannot then be easily compartmentalized. Even to characterize part of his understanding as mystical requires qualification. Unlike ancient mystical understandings, which regarded the body as a grave for the soul and so looked forward to the separation of body and soul in order that the soul might achieve union with the incorporeal God, Paul speaks of the whole being of believers, including their “body,” as being vitally affected by faith in Christ’s death and resurrection (cf. Rom. 8:11).

Paul maintains a dialectic between the historical fact of the death of Christ, “who loved me and gave himself for me,” and the personal appropriation of that fact (“who loved me and gave himself for me”; also “I have been crucified with Christ”).

Paul typically speaks of the idea of conformity with Christ by speaking of being “in Christ” (e.g., 1:22; 2:4; 3:14, 26, 28; 5:6, 10). It is unusual for him to speak of Christ being “in him.” But in verse 20 he may be saying what he said in 2:16—that faith in Christ results in justification through sharing the faith of Christ (see Introduction). That is, justification is being as Christ is, having the same faith that Christ has, which occurs because Christ lives in the believer.

“By faith” (en pistei) reads literally in Greek “in faith.” This phrase resonates with “in Christ” and also with Paul’s statement in 1:16 that God “revealed his Son in me.” If a subjective genitive reading of 2:16 be accepted, thereby giving the sense of Christ’s faith as that in which believers participate through their faith (see Introduction), then in 2:20 Paul would be saying that his life in the flesh is life lived in the faith of the Son of God. The quality of Paul’s life of faith is that of Jesus Christ—it is Christ’s faith in which Paul lives. The demonstration of that faith is that Christ loved Paul and gave himself for him. These actions are the actions of faith. And in them Paul now lives.

Righteousness translates the same Greek word as “justification” (dikaiosynē). Paul asserts that through the death of Christ God’s righteousness is now available for those who believe, and he will go on to claim that since Christ’s death the law’s role of guiding toward righteousness has ceased. Therefore, the problem is not that Paul is setting aside the grace of God by disregarding the law as a means to righteousness. Rather, the problem is that the rival evangelists do not understand that the grace of God is now manifested in the death of Christ. Faith in Christ allows one to be joined to Christ, to live in Christ, and to have Christ live in oneself—to be as Christ and so to live out of the same faithfulness as Christ. This is righteousness.

The role of Christ’s death is to deal with sin. The role of faith in Christ is to be able to share in Christ’s death and resurrection and furthermore to live with a faith that is similar to Christ’s. It may be significant that in 2:20, when speaking of identification with Christ through faith, Paul refers to Christ as “the Son of God,” exactly the phrase that Paul later uses to describe the identity of those who have believed in Christ Jesus. At 3:26 he writes, “you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

The switch Paul made to the first person at verse 18 continues until the end of chapter 2. In the verses in which Paul is most personal (2:18–21) he vividly describes identification with Christ: his co-crucifixion with Christ, and the fact that Christ, not Paul, is living in Paul’s body. The use of the first person makes explicit Paul’s own faith convictions and highlights that for Paul, individual believers become incorporated into Christ. This results in a unity of believers in Christ and so is diametrically opposed to the rival evangelists’ contention that there should be a division between circumcised and uncircumcised. Paul’s adversaries would probably respond that the division need not be there if all believers in Christ were to follow the law. Paul’s vision, however, is of a single community of Gentiles and Jews in which Gentiles can remain as Gentiles. For Paul, law observance for Gentiles is a denial of the efficacy of Christ’s death (2:21). For Paul, the only way for circumcised and uncircumcised believers to live is with the understanding that “in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value” (5:6). Paul’s attitude to unity in Christ requires not that all Jews become Greeks or all Greeks become Jews but only that, whether Jew or Greek, all live in Christ.

Paul’s record of his confrontation with Peter at Antioch speaks directly to the Galatian situation. Paul lets the Galatians know that in front of eminent Jewish Jerusalem Christians, he called even Peter to account. Paul now turns his attention to the Galatians’ own experience of the power of the gospel.[4]

Argument (verses 17–21)

Plain and pungent as Paul’s exposition is, it was challenged in his day, and it is still being challenged today. So in these verses he turns from exposition to argument. He tells us both the argument which his critics used to try to overthrow his doctrine, and the argument which he used to overthrow their doctrine and to establish his. We hear them arguing with one another, as it were.

  • The critics’ argument against Paul (verses 17–20)

Verses 17, 18: But if, in our endeavour to be justified in Christ, we ourselves were found to be sinners, is Christ then an agent of sin? Certainly not! But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself a transgressor. These verses are not easy, and have been differently understood. Of the two main interpretations, I have chosen that which seems the more consistent with Paul’s writing elsewhere, and in particular with the parallel teaching in the Epistle to the Romans.

Paul’s critics argued like this: ‘Your doctrine of justification through faith in Christ only, apart from the works of the law, is a highly dangerous doctrine. It fatally weakens a man’s sense of moral responsibility. If he can be accepted through trusting in Christ, without any necessity to do good works, you are actually encouraging him to break the law, which is the vile heresy of “antinomianism”.’ People still argue like this today: ‘If God justifies bad people, what is the point of being good? Can’t we do as we like and live as we please?’

Paul’s first response to his critics is to deny their suggestion with hot indignation: ‘God forbid’ he says (verse 17, av). He specially denies the added allegation that he was guilty of making Christ the agent or author of men’s sins. On the contrary, he goes on, ‘I make myself a transgressor’ (verse 18, av). In other words, ‘if after my justification I am still a sinner, it is my fault and not Christ’s. I have only myself to blame; no-one can blame Christ.’

Paul now proceeds to refute his critics’ argument. Their charge that justification by faith encouraged a continuance in sin was ludicrous. They grossly misunderstood the gospel of justification. Justification is not a legal fiction, in which a man’s status is changed, while his character is left untouched. Verse 17: We are ‘justified in Christ’. That is, our justification takes place when we are united to Christ by faith. And someone who is united to Christ is never the same person again. Instead, he is changed. It is not just his standing before God which has changed; it is he himself—radically, permanently changed. To talk of his going back to the old life, and even sinning as he pleases, is frankly impossible. He has become a new creation and begun a new life.

This amazing change, which comes over somebody who is justified in Christ, Paul now unfolds. He describes it in terms of a death and a resurrection. Twice in verses 19 and 20 he speaks of this dying and this rising to life again. Both take place through union with Christ. It is Christ’s death and resurrection in which we share. Verse 19: For I through the law died to the law (the law’s demand of death was satisfied in the death of Christ), that I might live to God. Verse 20: I have been crucified with Christ (that is, being united to Christ in His sin-bearing death, my sinful past has been blotted out); it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Perhaps now it is becoming clearer why a Christian who is ‘justified in Christ’ is not free to sin. In Christ ‘old things are passed away’ and ‘all things are become new’ (2 Cor. 5:17, av). This is because the death and resurrection of Christ are not only historical events (He ‘gave himself’ and now ‘lives’), but events in which through faith-union with Him His people have come to share (‘I have been crucified with Christ’ and now ‘I live’). Once we have been united to Christ in His death, our old life is finished; it is ridiculous to suggest that we could ever go back to it. Besides, we have risen to a new life. In one sense, we live this new life through faith in Christ. In another sense, it is not we who live it at all, but Christ who lives it in us. And, living in us, He gives us new desires for holiness, for God, for heaven. It is not that we cannot sin again; we can. But we do not want to. The whole tenor of our life has changed. Everything is different now, because we ourselves are different. See how daringly personal Paul makes it: Christ ‘gave himself for me’. ‘Christ … lives in me.’ No Christian who has grasped these truths could ever seriously contemplate reverting to the old life.

  • Paul’s argument against his critics (verse 21)

We have seen how Paul counters his critics’ attempt to overthrow his doctrine; we must now consider how he sets about overthrowing theirs. Verse 21: I do not (neb ‘will not’) nullify the grace of God; for if justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose. We must try to feel the force of this argument. The two foundation planks of the Christian religion are the grace of God and the death of Christ. The Christian gospel is the gospel of the grace of God. The Christian faith is the faith of Christ crucified. So if anybody insists that justification is by works, and that he can earn his salvation by his own efforts, he is undermining the foundations of the Christian religion. He is nullifying the grace of God (because if salvation is by works, it is not by grace) and he is making Christ’s death superfluous (because if salvation is our own work, then Christ’s work was unnecessary).

Yet there are large numbers of people who, like the Judaizers, are making these very mistakes. They are seeking to commend themselves to God by their own works. They think it noble to try to win their way to God and to heaven. But it is not noble; it is dreadfully ignoble. For, in effect, it is to deny both the nature of God and the mission of Christ. It is to refuse to let God be gracious. It is to tell Christ that He need not have bothered to die. For both the grace of God and the death of Christ become redundant, if we are masters of our own destiny and can save ourselves.


Four Christian truths seem to stand out from this paragraph.

First, man’s greatest need is justification, or acceptance with God. In comparison with this, all other human needs pale into insignificance. How can we be put right with God, so that we spend time and eternity in His favour and service?

Secondly, justification is not by works of the law, but through faith in Christ. Luther expresses it succinctly: ‘I must hearken to the Gospel, which teacheth me, not what I ought to do (for that is the proper office of the Law), but what Jesus Christ the Son of God hath done for me: to wit, that he suffered and died to deliver me from sin and death.’

Thirdly, not to trust in Jesus Christ, because of self-trust, is an insult both to the grace of God and to the cross of Christ, for it declares both to be unnecessary.

Fourthly, to trust in Jesus Christ, and thus to become united to Him, is to begin an altogether new life. If we are ‘in Christ’, we are more than justified; we find that we have actually died and risen with Him. So we are able to say with Paul: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (verse 20).[5]

2:20. Now Paul expands upon verse 19. He died to the law (v. 19) by being crucified with Christ. He lives for God (v. 19) because Christ lives in him. Believers are in union with Christ. We are united with him in his death, burial, and resurrection. Thus, we died with him to the law (see Rom. 6).

Again, we are uncertain as to what Paul meant by I have been crucified with Christ. It certainly did not mean that he was physically crucified. Dead people don’t write letters. In what sense was he crucified? He may have used the sentence as a figure of speech, referring to the effects of Christ’s death which every believer experiences. It might be reworded, “I have been as good as crucified, since the results of Christ’s crucifixion count for me.” Or he may have referred to a sense in which every believer is required to endure a similar experience of spiritual crucifixion to the desires of self. We put to death our own plans to follow Jesus. It might be reworded, “I have crucified my right to self-control in life, in the same way that Christ was crucified physically. He gave up his right to physical life; I gave up my right to self-life.”

Or he may have referred to some sense in which the believer, because he is “in Christ” is seen by God as having actually died. He may have been referring to the union between the believer and Jesus, when the believer in Jesus experiences, spiritually, everything Jesus experienced. More will be said of these options in the “Deeper Discoveries” section of this chapter.

Whatever Paul meant about having died in Christ, the point is that his death severed him from the requirements of the law. Therefore, for Peter and the Judaizers to go back to the law is to visit the graveyard. Paul goes on to say that he can live for God because Christ lives in him. Finally, Paul says that faith is the principle that unlocks the life of Christ in the believer. The more we exercise faith in Christ the more he is free to live through us. The more we are obedient to the Scripture and the leading of the Holy Spirit, the more our life approximates what Jesus would do if he were in our shoes. In that sense, the life he lives, he lives by faith in the Son of God.[6]

2:19–21. Christians are no longer obligated to the commands of OT law because, through their union with Christ in His death (crucified with; cf. the comments on Rm 6:3; Col 3:3) they have died to the Law (death implies separation—in this case, separation from the law; cf. the comments on Rm 6:10; 7:1–4). Paul’s death with Christ was through the Law since its curse demanded death (3:10–13). Jesus took this penalty demanded by (through) law; since we died with Him our death happens through law as well.

Paradoxically this death produces real life (live to God; cf. the comments on Rm 7:1–6), for under the new covenant what lives in the believer is not law but Christ. We live a human life (in the flesh) but it is lived by faith. As in Jn 3:16, the Son loved and gave; Paul took this love personally (me), as should every believer (Eph 3:14–19). Verse 21 implies that Peter’s actions (shunning fellowship with Gentiles) have nullified grace, because they communicated that righteousness (what is needed for one to be right before God; cf. Rm 3:21–22; 1Co 1:30) comes through obedience to the Law.[7]

2:19–20. Paul then distinguished himself from Peter, contrasting what he did with the Law with what Peter did with the Law. Paul described the transformation in a person who has come to God by faith in Christ in terms of a death and a resurrection. The concept is repeated in both verses and the reference in both cases is to a believer’s union with Christ in His death and resurrection. First, Paul stated that through the Law he died to the Law. The Law demanded death for those who broke it, but Christ paid that death penalty for all sinners. Thus the Law killed Him and those joined to Him by faith, freeing them to be joined to another, to live for God (cf. Rom. 7:4).

In Galatians 2:20 Paul enlarged on the meaning of verse 19. He “died to the Law” because he was crucified with Christ; he was able “to live for God” because Christ lived in him. Basic to an understanding of this verse is the meaning of union with Christ. This doctrine is based on such passages as Romans 6:1–6 and 1 Corinthians 12:13, which explain that believers have been baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ and into the church, the body of all true believers. Having been thus united to Christ, believers share in His death, burial, and resurrection. Paul could therefore write, I have been “crucified with Christ” (lit., “I have been and am now crucified with Christ”). This brought death to the Law. It also brought a change in regard to one’s self: and I no longer live. The self-righteous, self-centered Saul died. Further, death with Christ ended Paul’s enthronement of self; he yielded the throne of his life to Another, to Christ. But it was not in his own strength that Paul was able to live the Christian life; the living Christ Himself took up His abode in Paul’s heart: Christ lives in me. Yet Christ does not operate automatically in a believer’s life; it is a matter of living the new life by faith in the Son of God. It is then faith and not works or legal obedience that releases divine power to live a Christian life. This faith, stated Paul, builds on the sacrifice of Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us. In essence Paul affirmed, “If He loved me enough to give Himself for me, then He loves me enough to live out His life in me.”[8]

2:20 The believer is identified with Christ in His death. Not only was He crucified on Calvary, I was crucified there as well—in Him. This means the end of me as a sinner in God’s sight. It means the end of me as a person seeking to merit or earn salvation by my own efforts. It means the end of me as a child of Adam, as a man under the condemnation of the law, as my old, unregenerate self. The old, evil “I” has been crucified; it has no more claims on my daily life. This is true as to my standing before God; it should be true as to my behavior.

The believer does not cease to live as a personality or as an individual. But the one who is seen by God as having died is not the same one who lives. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The Savior did not die for me in order that I might go on living my life as I choose. He died for me so that from now on He might be able to live His life in me. The life which I now live in this human body, I live by faith in the Son of God. Faith means reliance or dependence. The Christian lives by continual dependence on Christ, by yielding to Him, by allowing Christ to live His life in him.

Thus the believer’s rule of life is Christ and not the law. It is not a matter of striving, but of trusting. He lives a holy life, not out of fear of punishment, but out of love to the Son of God, who loved him and gave Himself for him.

Have you ever turned your life over to the Lord Jesus with the prayer that His life might be manifest in your body?[9]

2:20 — I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith .…

The secret to the Christian life is to allow Jesus Christ to live in and through you, by faith. When you invite and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life, you become a vital representative of Christ.


to Life’s


Why do I still have the impulse to sin?

Gal. 2:20

One day the gospel made sense to you and you placed your faith in Jesus Christ to forgive you of all your sins. You felt thrilled with this new life and marveled that many of the ungodly things you once did had lost their attraction. Perhaps you even thought you had conquered every sinful impulse.

And then you stumbled … badly. A new temptation or a new set of trials brought to light some area of your life that you thought you had whipped. You felt confused, ashamed, maybe even alarmed. Perhaps you wondered, How could this happen? I thought I was supposed to be free from sin!

The truth is, Jesus has set us free from sin—but it is a kind of freedom that sets us free from ourselves. When Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ,” he means that God had broken his selfish individuality and united his spirit with his Lord. He truly became one with Jesus, and therefore he had many of the same resources available to him that Jesus enjoyed on this earth.

If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, then you are one with Him. His likeness and holiness are present within your life. The very power that enabled Jesus to resist all temptation dwells within you.

Still, there remains within your mortal body an impulse to sin, a “sinful nature” that must be surrendered to God. So Paul writes, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells” (Rom. 7:18). Yet we are not stranded in this barren place, for Paul also says, “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20). Through faith we access God’s power to overcome our sinful impulses. A little later in Galatians, the apostle explains it in slightly different terms: “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).

We receive Jesus’ gift of freedom only by exercising faith in God. We must believe that He can remove ungodly strongholds within our hearts and that He continuously works to make us free from all sin and bondage. Our responsibility is to say “no” to sin and “yes” to God as we trust Him to provide the all-encompassing liberty that our souls crave.

See the Life Principles Index for further study:

  9. Trusting God means looking beyond what we can see to what God sees.

24. To live the Christian life is to allow Jesus to live His life in and through us.[10]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Galatians (pp. 57–60). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Ryken, P. G. (2005). Galatians. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (pp. 66–79). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[3] Rapa, R. K. (2008). Galatians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, pp. 586–587). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Jervis, L. A. (2011). Galatians (pp. 73–77). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book.

[5] Stott, J. R. W. (1986). The message of Galatians: Only one way (pp. 64–67). Leicester, England; Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[6] Anders, M. (1999). Galatians-Colossians (Vol. 8, pp. 24–25). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[7] Peterman, G. W. (2014). Galatians. In M. A. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham (Eds.), The moody bible commentary (p. 1833). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[8] Campbell, D. K. (1985). Galatians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 596). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[9] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1880). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[10] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Ga 2:20). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.