A FB friend and acquaintance tweeted this status:
“@JoelOsteen: You are God’s most prized possession. When He made you He stepped back and said, “That was good.” He made you the way you are on purpose.”
Our conversation follows:
Me: He made us good, yes, but we're not any good now b/c of the Fall and our massive sin. Let's not forget that.
Chad: So the ultimate price paid by Jesus Christ has no value in the equation?
Me: Of course! Didn't He die BECAUSE of our sin? BECAUSE we are no good?
Me: Rom 4:25He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.
Chad: Rhology doesn't that sacrifice make us good in Gods eyes?
Chad: Your views come across very negative and pessimistic and legalistic. More in similarity to those of the pharisees of Jesus' day and not of Jesus himself.
Me: No, His sacrifice JUSTIFIES us. We remain evil on the inside though our hearts are new creations. Our sin natures remain.
So, when God made *Adam*, yes, He stepped back and said "Very good." None of us are Adam, however. Our hearts are, as Jeremiah said:
Jer 17:9“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
Is it *I* who am being negative and pessimistic? Or is it God Himself? This is something you have to ask yourself, and I pray you will do so with consideration and prayer.
There is a reason why God revealed the Law, isn't there?
Didn't He do it to reveal sin?
Romans 3:10as it is written,
“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”
13“THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE,
WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,”
“THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS”;
14“WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS”;
15“THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,
16DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,
17AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.”
18“THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”
19Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
Look especially at v20!
Romans 5:18So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Gospel is great because our sin is great.
If our sin is negligible, why did Jesus die on the Cross? Joel Osteen eviscerates the Gospel. He makes it into a small life upgrade. He deceives those who need to know the Gospel!
And as for legalistic, the Pharisees added humans tradition (Mark 7) to the Word of God, in order to lay heavy burdens on men (Matthew 23) and appear more righteous than they really were. It doesn't mean "negative" or "remembering the right place of the Law".
Rather, it would seem that maybe you need to be reminded of the Law's proper place?
I pray you will accept this as not the word of Rhology, but as the Word of God, which I've merely quoted here.
Me: Why did Jesus, then, say in Luke 13:
1Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3“I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4“Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5“I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
6And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. 7“And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ 8“And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”
Or, again, in Luke 18:19:
Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.
Jesus knew well the heart of men - it is evil. He came to seek and save that which is lost, and that's us. It's barely half the truth to say that "God made you good!" That's far from the most important part of what we need to tell people.
Chad: Wow. You are really well versed on the condemning scriptures. That's where I am going to leave this conversation. Jesus did not come to condemn but to save. And he fulfilled the law in the way that it was truly designed to be.
Chad: Sure we all still have to decide daily to die to ourselves and pick up our cross daily.
Me: Those "condemning Scriptures" exist for a reason. Do you deal with them? I don't know, so I'm asking. What role do they play in your theology, and in your evangelism?
The same Jesus Who said John 3:16 also said John 3:17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
The same Jesus Who came to save also warns: John 3:36“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
Wrath. For what? For sin. Joel Osteen has forgotten the main part of the Gospel - why Jesus had to die and what our problem is. Without that, the Gospel is meaningless. Which means Osteen's Gospel is meaningless and we must reject him for what he is - a non-pastor teaching meaningless fluff.
If you disagree, please tell me why. I have no desire to win a debate. I want you to come into the fullness of what it means to be a servant of Jesus.