(09/30/2016) Law, Vengeance, and Punishment?

Posted: September 30, 2016 in Authority, Christian Beliefs, Creation, Judgment, Knowledge, Law, Purpose, Revelation, Sin, Truth
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Today, a reply is shared on the importance of law, judgment, and justice among Christian beliefs.  While atonement, redemption and salvation have overcoming and resisting sin as a major focus, the revelation of GOD through Jesus Christ centers more upon mankind becoming a new creation through the Savior’s blood.  Many now are in an ongoing process of permanent change that will be completed at the Advent (we say, the Rapture, the Second Coming) of Jesus.  Mortality is to no longer exist, and the committed believers will live as immortal, incorruptible companions of divinity.  On the one hand, every aspect of ministry and service to GOD must be understood as being in accordance with divine law.  Included are accountability within congregations, discipline within families, healing, inheritance, miracles, fulfillment of divine promises and prophecy as well as praise, proclamation of the Gospel, and preaching.  On the other hand, instead of being a formal codex or system of questionable demands, law is to be understood as “the force of truth” and the imperative that emerges by operations of the divine Spirit.  Thus, law is to be acknowledged as content from the character, makeup and substance of divinity.  Included are faith, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  In no way does grace, mercy, and divine prerogative corrupt or oppose the delivery of divine justice.  A writer at “Yahoo! 7 Answers (Australia) using the ID “John” (Level 1 with 1 point, a member since January 08, 2015 ) posted the following:

 

Is vengeance and punishment an important part of christianity?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.   For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  (Romans 8:  1-10, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Presumption Is Never Helping (05/23/2016); Justice Not Revenge? (01/15/2015); A Culture of Judgment? (03/20/2014); Beyond Punishment (03/21/2014); A Guarantee of Heaven? (03/22/2014); Lawful Revenge? (01/02/2014); As GOD Loves Us? (01/03/2014)

 

“John”, throughout the holy writings, the word “vengeance” is used to speak of “justice”.  Mature Christian believers all acknowledge the sovereign authority of GOD—who is the Creator and owner of all that exists—to include administering judgment (we say, assigning value, determining quality, relegating purpose, and maintaining the extent of duration for the living as brief, finite, or eternal).  While divine law conveys the wrath of GOD against sin, it does so in agreement with divine love, promise, righteousness, truth, and wisdom.  Correction (i.e., demonstrations, encouragement, and added instruction to change attitudes,  behavior, and knowledge) and punishment (i.e., penalties and reprimand that may include physical beatings and death) come into view where judgment is also (1) the resolution of conflicts and the settlement of disputes by applying divine law; (2) enforcement of the sanctions in the law (i.e., allowances, boundaries, limits, methods, and restrictions established); and (3) the continuance or restoration of balance, fairness, impartiality, and stability (that may include appeals and further adjudication).  The fullness of law to maintain and provide justice includes admonitions, cautions, and warnings; applying outcomes (e.g., process, sentences, verdicts) from earlier tribunals; commandments; confiscation; licensing; monetary assessments, fines and liens; ordinances and statutes; precepts and principles; registration of boundaries and property lines; removal and separation of violators from the community/prey/victims (e.g., banishment, death, exile, incarceration); as well as returning stolen goods and property.  Such elements as ceremonies, rituals, and traditions that seem to be arbitrary and pertain more to chance often are condemned as irrelevant and nonessential.  However, the character, nature, and substance of the law always is to be received as exalted, for sacred law is also the expressed will of GOD, and is to be a pure revelation of divinity.  Consider how some of this is stated using language from the Bible:

(1.)  Isaiah 5:  20-25, King James Version (KJV):  20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!  22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:  23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!  24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust:  because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.  25 Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them:  and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

(2.)  Romans 7:  12-15, KJV:  12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.  13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.  14 For we know that the law is spiritual:  but I am carnal, sold under sin.  15 For that which I do I allow not:  for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

(3.)  Romans 7:  21-25, KJV:  21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:  23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

(4.)  Luke 9:  51-56, KJV:  51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,  52 And sent messengers before his face:  and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.  53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.  54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?  55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.  56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

(5.)  John 3:  16-21, KJV:  16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  18 He that believeth on him is not condemned:  but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

There is far more to be said, carefully examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  Romans 12:  18-20, KJV:  18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.  19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath:  for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink:  for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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