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Atonement

Jesus But the unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man, passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and doesn’t find it. Then he says, ‘I will return into my house from which I came out,’ and when he has come back, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes, and takes with himself seven other spirits more evil than he is, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first. Even so will it be also to this evil generation.” Luke 11:43-45

Socrates says that the soul can be divided between democratic and oligarchic desires, an internal faction within the soul. Outside forces can compel some of the appetites of one to be expelled or to retire and restore order but if education is lacking those expelled desires may return in number and strength. And in the end, they size the temple of the man’s soul being empty and unoccupied by studies and honorable pursuits and true discoures, which are the watchmen and guardians in the minds of men. 788.rep.

During the writing of the New Testament the known world was under the yoke of the Roman empire, and Roman rule and power sustained slavery. Slavery was intrinsic in Roman occupation. Additionally, Slavery or Servants was a recognized institution – a form of occupation and a form of a welfare state for some who where incapable of surviving in agricultural environment such as physically and mentally impaired. Jesus and the Apostles did not seek to overthrow the Roman empire; Jesus came to overthrow the cause of slavery – the sinful nature of man. Jesus “If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” Jn 8.36. To interpret the writing of the New Testament is to view it through the lens of the Atonement – a complete restoration of man to the original image of God – free from the transgression which enslave man and with the result of destroying the institution of slavery.

Ephesian 4.17  “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their hearts; who having become callous gave themselves up to lust, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” WEB

Gaius, Institutes, Book I. “Freedmen are those who are manumitted from lawful slavery.”

Jesus “If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8.36

Note: The slavery that Jesus sets you free is the slavery of sin, and these are true freemen.

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Jesus “This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” Jn 17.3

Socrates says there is in every soul an organ or instrument of knowledge that is purified and made new by certain studies when it has been ruined and blinded by ordinary pursuits, a faculty of preservation which outweighs thousands of eyes, for by it only realty is beheld.” 760

Public Service

Cicero “But the chief thing in all public administration and public service is to avoid even the slightest suspicion of self-seeking.” B2.75

Reason

John of Salisbury says that the rule of voluntary agents are the declarations of reason concerning the goodness of those actions which they are to do. 77

Repentance

John of Salisbury “I do not believe that the granting of counsel must await one who had never committed a sin, but rather one who is not glad to sin, who hates sin, who rejoices in virtue and yearns for it with great desire, a man of manifestly good will. “ 84

Good Conscience

John of Salisbury “…the testimony of his own conscience he may rejoice in his
blameless life.” 84

Fear of the Lord

John of Salisbury writes that wisdom begins with a holy hear of the Lord and if the root endures it become strong with a growth of grace progressing towards branches of virtue, and its strength extends straight out to the fruit of perfecting charity, which is unfamiliar with the sting of punishment since in charity there is no terror which performs a penal function.  This fear is what performs good works continually always embracing justice.” 83

Slavery

Jesus “Jesus answered them, “Most certainly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is the bondservant of sin.” John 8:34

Claudian “”…if you fear, if you desire evil, if you are led by anger, you will bear the yoke of slavery, you will tolerate within yourself iniquitous laws…”  johnsals.80

Plato via Socrates says the when one is under the tyranny of his ruling passions, he will not refrain from any atrocity.  The passion in him as a tyrany will live in anarchy and lawlessness. 801

 

Mind

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ Matt.22.37

Cicero “ As, then, in everything else brain-work is far more important than mere hand-work, so those objects which we strive to attain through intellect and reason gain for us a higher degree of gratitude than those which we strive to gain by physical strength.” De.off.b2.46

Tree of …

Lord “Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it; for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.” Gen.2:16-17

Hooker writes that for framing men’s action the knowledge of good and evil is necessary. 75

Love

John “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…  1John 4:18

Cicero “But, of all motives, none is better adapted to secure influence and hold it fast than love; nothing is more foreign to that end than fear.” B2.23.de.off

Cicero “Let us, then, embrace this policy, which appeals to every heart and is the strongest support not only of security but also of influence and power — namely, to banish fear and cleave to love. And thus we shall most easily secure success both in private and in public life….” B2.24.deoff

Jesus “‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” MK12.31

Cicero “Good-will is won principally through kind services; next to that, it is elicited by the will to do a kind service, even though nothing happen to come of it. Then, too, the love of people generally is powerfully attracted by a man’s mere name and reputation for generosity, kindness, justice, honour, and all those virtues that belong to gentleness of character and affability of manner…” deoff.b2.32

Image

Exodus 1:27-18 “God created man in his own image. In God’s image he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them. God said to them…”

Cicero “Horses, oxen, and the other cattle, [bees,] whose labour contributes more or less to the service and subsistence of man, are not endowed with reason; of rational beings two divisions are made-gods and men.” b2.11.de.off

Purity

Jesus “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matt.5:8

Cicero “Worship and purity of character will win the favour of the gods…” b2.11.de.off

The Light

Jesus “I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jn.8:12

Socrates says that the author of light and itself in the intelligible world is also the authentic source of truth and reason, and he who is to act wisely in private or public must have caught sight of this. 750

Socrates says when the soul is firmly fixed on truth and reality, the soul comprehends and knows truth and reality, and the soul possesses reason, but when the soul directs its attention toward the passing world, a region which mingles with darkness, it has shifting opinions due to a lack of reason. 744

Socrates says that there is difference between those who are in the light entering into the darkness and those who are darkness entering the light.

1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellence of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 10 

Note: God is light. God is good. It is the goodness of God that shines His light into the mind forming the reasonable. In the shadows where the light of God does not exist forms the irrational. While reason speaks of common sense, the darkness speaks of madness; the former produces good deeds while the later evil.  

Threshing Floor

Soul – How it works…
John 6:63 “It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing…”
The soul animates the body, while thoughts, mental pictures, images, ideas, and feelings, and emotions of the soul are the direct emanation and is regulated by the spirit, good and evil. Because spirit acts as a threshing floor – moving in two directions, from good to evil – the spirit will create good works or evil works according to the particular spirit, good and evil. When the spirit, good and evil, is allowed by the soul to create good works or evil works, the soul will be judged by those works. The merits of the soul are spiritual actions and these merits are judge by God.

Again, the spirit acts as a threshing floor; if the works of the soul are good the soul is allowed to live, but if the works of the soul are evil then the soul will die. It is God’s hope that a soul will seek to do good in order to live, however, God allows personal choice in the way of doing evil including homosexuality, adultery, incest, and illicit drugs. God allows this in order to nullify the eternal life the soul. Eternal life is not free but must be earned by good moral decisions in spite of the feelings, drives, thoughts and temptations that spirit may put in the soul and thus in the body. Jesus said, “Deny yourself,” that is, do not fall victim to an evil spirit but call on the name of the Lord who controls both spirits, good and evil, to remove the spirit of temptation and destruction and allow the Holy Spirit to work through you.

Sinning Against God

King David “Have mercy on me, God…Against you, and you only, I have sinned.”  Psalms 54:1/4

Sidney “The creature having nothing, and being nothing but what the creator makes him, must owe all to him, and nothing to anyone from whom he has received nothing.” 510

Choice

God of Israel  “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17

Hooker says that there are two principal fountains in human action: knowledge and will. However a more extended view would say that knowledge creates either a desire or an aversion thereby allowing for choice which if acted upon by will causes a real action; therefore, the root of all just and unjust action is the knowledge of good and evil and the choice created. Before, Adam receive such knowledge and the ability to choose, he acted only upon the natural and divine impulse of the image and likeness of God. 71 

Prayer

1 Thessalonian 5:17 ”Pray without ceasing.” This is the rule. Education is the obligation of parents, and the focus of primary education is the responsibility of the home where prayer of the united family is central to a good home. When children are removed to public education, it is understood that teachers are filling the role of parents, and the classroom is replacing the child’s living room, and this adopted family ought to imitate the home and to pray in order to receive the blessings of God who has authority over all events and can orchestra the day. Additionally, America’s Declaration of Independence, a mutual compact among citizens, recognized the national obligation to prayer when the signers prayed to the Supreme Judge of the world. In the Book of Matthew, Jesus said “When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets… But you, when you pray, enter into your inner room, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Jesus is not dealing with group or family prayer but with individual prayer; moreover, he is not concerned with prayer but with hypocrites who were displaying a false impiety by public exhibitions of prayer. As an individual Jesus directs us to have one on one prayer with the Father versus displaying our pray as a sign of piety to the world.

Paul writes, “Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered dishonors her head. For it is one and the same thing as if she were shaved.” To understand the force of Paul’s requirement we have to differentiate between a law versus a recommendation. A law comes with a penalty. A recommendation is a suggestion without a penalty. “Do not murder” comes with the penalty of death, and this is law. Paul did not and could add a penalty because prayer is based on liberty of conscience, a personal relationship with the Creator. However, Paul was inspired and may of be offering something spiritual significant, a benefit only discovered by doing but no penalty for not doing.

   

Homer writes through Phoenix that Prayers are the daughters of Zeus, and they are always lagging behind Sin; Prayers are sad creatures with wrinkled skin and downcast eyes while Sin is lusty and quick, and so outdistancing Prayers, Sin arrives first over the world in order to do damage to man before Prayer can arrive and heal the wounds. The man who reveres Prayers is greatly blessed, and when he prayers, Prayers heed him. But if a man stubbornly ignores the Prayers and sends them away, then Prayers leave praying to Zeus that Sin may follow the man till he falls and pays the full price of his pride. 153

End of the Law

Paul “For Christ is the fulfillment (or, completion, or end ) of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Roman 10:4

Pufendorf “In like manner we find an Account, in the History of the West‐Indies, concerning the People of Nicaragua; that in their Laws no Punishment was appointed for those who should kill the Cacique, by which Name they call their Princes; because, say they, there can be no Subject, who would contrive or perpetrate so base an Action.” pref.

Note: The word of Atonement is the process of restoring natural obedience to the the image and likeness of God; this is the work of Christ’s spirit. The law of Moses was written because the image and likeness of man was being violated by criminal passions, for example, Cain in his jealousy murdered Abel thereby violating the original nature of man in God’s image. On Pentecost God send down the Holy Spirit which in order to give mankind a spirit and a process that can overcome even remove inordinate passions allowing the goodness of God’s to rule.

Knowing God and the Son

Jesus “This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” John 17:3

Socrates says it is the real nature of the lover of knowledge to strive emulously for true being and not to be distracted, but keep on his way…consorting with reality…he should beget intelligence and truth, attain knowledge, and truly live and grow…”

Cicero “Again, that wisdom which I have given the foremost place is the knowledge of things human and divine, which is concerned also with the bonds of union between gods and men and the relations of man to man. If wisdom is the most important of the virtues, as it certainly is, it necessarily follows that that duty which is connected with the social obligation is the most important duty.” 153

Character Development

Peter “Yes, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence; and in moral excellence, knowledge; and in knowledge, self-control; and in self-control perseverance; and in perseverance godliness; and in godliness brotherly affection; and in brotherly affection, love. 2 Peter 1:5-7

Note: Cicero in De Officiis writes about the propriety of virtues. For example, when working with the virtue temperance, we say an action that is appropriate for temperance is restraint from indulgent drinking and eating and a violation of temperance is excess drinking or drunkenness and gluttony which in impropriety. Considering the virtue charity, giving to a friend in need is an act that demonstrates propriety while stealing from a friend in need demonstrates cruelty. Peter speaks of several virtues: diligence, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance,and godliness. The work that Peter sets out in the construction of godly character can be inculcated by reflecting upon the actions that are tied, or appropriate to each virtue. This is the work of the Saints. (Benjamin Franklin and George Washington worked extensively at character development.)

Holy Spirit

Paul “For we were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love toward mankind appeared, not by works of righteousness which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit..” Titus 3:3-5

Cicero “The appetites, moreover, must be made to obey the reins of reason and neither allowed to run ahead of it nor from listlessness or indolence to lag behind; but people should enjoy calm of soul and be free from every sort of passion. As a result strength of character and self-control will shine forth in all their lustre. For when appetites overstep their bounds and, galloping away, so to speak, whether in desire or aversion, are not well held in hand by reason, they clearly overleap all bound and measure; for they throw obedience off and leave it behind and refuse to obey the reins of reason, to which they are subject by Nature’s laws.”  de.off.102

Note: Cicero says it is for reason to rule over passion resulting in character and self-control while passions that rule over indolent reason allow for bad behavior. Paul speaks of cure for those who fall victim to inordinate passions and pleasure and that is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit counsels reason against criminal and sinful passions.

Higher Power

Jesus “Then his lord called him in, and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me. Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?’ His lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, until he should pay all that was due to him. So my heavenly Father will also do to you, if you don’t each forgive your brother from your hearts for his misdeeds.”  Matt. 18:32-35

Seneca says a prince ought to deal with his subjects as he would wish the gods to deal with him. 145

Law of Innocent

Paul “But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.” Rom.7:6

Pufendorf “ In like manner, what Need was there expressly to forbid Adultery, among those married Persons, whose mutual Love was so ardent and sincere? Or, what Occasion was there to forbid Theft, when as yet Covetousness and Poverty were not known, nor did any Man think that properly his own, which might be useful or profitable to another? Or, to what purpose was it to forbid the bearing False Witness, when as yet there were not any to be found, who sought after Honour and Reputation to themselves, by Slandering and Aspersing others with false and groundless Calumnies? So that not unfitly, you may here apply the Saying of Tacitus, “Whilst no corrupt Desires deprav’d Mankind, the first Men liv’d without Sin and Wickedness, and therefore free from Restraint and Punishment; and whereas they coveted nothing but what was their due, they were barr’d from nothing by Fear.”

Note: Pufendorf offers insight into the state of man in a state of innocence when living in the garden before the fall. In the garden there was not the commandment “Do not Steal” because the notion to steal did not exist until the serpent created that notion by enticing Adam and Eve with a lie so they would take and eat that which did not belong to them. Mankind is often enticed into violations of his own conscience by committing wrongs against others; therefore, criminal statutes are now required such as those given to Israel by the God of Israel. It is the work of the gospels by the Holy Spirit to restore mankind to the law of innocence by restoring natural obedience through an undefiled and good conscience thus ending the curse of the law (punishments).

In Writing

Vattel “Having but too much reason to be convinced of the little dependence that is to be placed on the natural obligations of bodies politic, and on the reciprocal duties imposed upon them by humanity, – the most prudent nations endeavor to procure by treaties those succors and advantages which the law of nature would insure to them, if it were not rendered ineffectual by the pernicious counsels of a false policy.” 338

Note: Vattel is laying out an immutable and divine principle. According to Locke man existing in the state of nature (without instituted government) lives according to the laws of nature (innate moral sense.) In the state of nature justice depends on the moral sense of the individual which suffers from prejudice, self interest and passion leading to in justice. Man leaves the state of nature by entering into a state of civil society by the establishment of government (covenant, treaties, charters) which are written rules or law to secure a more perfect justice. The God of Israel demonstrates this principle by  writing laws in stone which he gave to Moses. James WIlson writes in his book on laws that the work of the legislature is to increase natural rights through written law.

Power of the Gospels

Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey writes, “The concepts of honesty, personal responsibility, opposition to violence, concern for others and respect for their property — which are all part of the fabric of our laws — lie at the heart of the gospels.”

Moral Divinity

Pufendorf “But Moral Divinity does not content itself in regulating only the Exterior Actions; but is more peculiarly intent in forming the Mind, and its internal Motions, agreeable to the good Pleasure of the Divine Being; disallowing those very Actions, which outwardly look well enough, but proceed from an impure and corrupted Mind. “   m.divin.preface.

Note: Judicial education is the inculcation of moral virtues to create within the soul a barrier to mischief.

Pufendorf   “altho’, as even those Christian Virtues do very much dispose the Minds of Men towards the maintaining of mutual Society; so likewise Moral Divinity does mightily promote the Practice of all the main Duties that are enjoyn’d us in our Civil Deportment. So that, if you should observe any one behave himself like a restless and troublesome Member in the Common-wealth, you may fairly conclude, that the Christian Religion has made but a very slight Impression on that Person, and that it has taken no Root in his Heart.” pref.moral obl.

Note: The revealed way of keeping a democracy from turning in a mobocracy is by inculcating those principles and lessons revealed in letters of the New Testament. If a judge in the community sees a member acting lawlessly then the inculcation of law of Moses was insufficient, if a judge sees disturbances of the peace then the inculcation of the law of grace was insufficient.

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This entry was posted on October 20, 2013 by .
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