Dualism in the New Testament

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1. This should be addressed to Samantha Williams

Paul teaches about the importance of believing in God and repenting of your sins so you can live an eternal life. He talks about forgiveness and the grace God shows. In my opinion, if you are truly saved, you will want to leave a Christian life. I think he thinks of it as a given. It is important but it is something that goes without saying. Of course Christians are not perfect so they will know if they mess up and should repent. If they continue doing the same things over and over, that is a different story. Good works are something that all Christians should do but these are not the things that get you into Heaven. You have to acknowledge God as your Savior and ask him into your heart. This is supposed to change someone’s heart. If they have been forgiven and have asked him into their heart, they will want to act differently. For instance, I previously did things that are not ok in my life now. I am a Christian and I try to lead a good Christian life. I think of it like abiding by the law. I do not go into places and steal things because it is against the law. Also, I know in my heart it is wrong and I choose not to do it. You have to have different morals if you are a Christian.

Dualism is defined as the religious or philosophical doctrine which holds that reality consists, or is the outcome, of two ultimate principles which cannot be reduced to one more ultimate first cause (American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2018). Paul looks at this as a difference between flesh and spirit. He talks about how Christ was led by the Spirit and good he did was corrupted by the world (Middleton, 2014). He talks about how we need to follow in Christ’s footsteps and act like him and not let the worldly things influence us. This is a topic our pastor preaches on quite a bit. We need to represent God and act like Christ.

References

American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (2018). Dualism. Retrieved from: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/dualism

Middleton, Richard (2014). Paul on the “Soul”-Not What You Might Think. Retrieved from: https://jrichardmiddleton.wordpress.com/2014/10/23..


2. This should be addressed to Richard Roach

Paul does focus a lot on all believers being saved from sin and free from the laws of the Torah because of God's grace and Jesus sacrifice on the cross (Harris, 2104). That being said, he still states that it is important for those believers to lead an ethnically pure life while waiting for Christ's return. Faith may replace Mosaic law, but Paul does feel that Mosaic lw was given in order for believers to practice their faith, so to speak. He does not discount good works, however, In fact, much of Paul's early letters to congregations emphasize the need to achieve unity and purity until Parousia, and it was something he strongly preached (Harris, 2014). While all are guilty of sin, they should do their best to show gratitude for God's grace and forgiveness, and Jesus' ultimate sacrifice to save them. According to Paul, his gracious will to love and to give life-far exceeds the measure of human failings Harris, 2014). One does not win God's forgiveness and grace by following the law of the Torah. Jesus' Crucifixion paid the price for all lawbreakers and sinners. According to Grace, faith, and sacrifice by man should naturally leads to good works, and thus eternal life when Jesus returns. Also, Paul feels that leading others into ethical purity until the return of Christ will be a crown of pride for him, thus fulfilling his duties to God (Harris, 2014). This declaration almost seems overly prideful to me, which I found interesting since he preached to the Corinthians that no one has the right to be boastful since all are equally able to receive divine benefits.

Although we are justified, or made right by faith in Christ alone, works play an important role in the life of the Christian after redemption. As the process of sanctification is carried out in the believer, works will be present. They will be present to help believers identify with Christ and each other, to prove obedience and allegiance to Christ, to express gratitude for one's salvation, and to work out the very purpose(s) of God in one's life (Aernie, 2017). After all, one of God's messages to the children is this, "God's grace teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:11-14).

The writings of Paul have been a source of great controversy for nearly two thousand years. Even his own peers had difficulty understanding his teachings ,and stated that his writings were hard to be understood, and that those unlearned in the Scriptures would twist to their own destruction (2 Pet. 16). Christian scholars have debated about Paul's seemingly ambivalent view of the Torah-law. They have been hard pressed to rationally explain Paul's supposed waffling on what he taught and practiced, one moment he seems to be advocating adherence to the Torah, while other times he seems to be abrogating it. Instead of being the villain, from the Christian perspective, the hero who, set them free form the law, Paul becomes the most authentic expositor of Torah that the Jewish people have ever had, apart for the Messiah Yeshua himself (Aernie, 2017).

References:

Harris, S.L. (2014). The New Testament: A Student's Introduction (8th ed.). Dubuque: McGrawHill Education. Retrieved from: https://www.betheluniversityonline.net

Aernie, J.W. (2017). Faith, Judgment, and the Life of the Believer: A Reassessment of 2 Corinthians 5:6-10. Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 79(3), 438-454. Retrieved form https://www.web-b-ebscohost-com.bethelu.idm.oclc.o...

Tutor Answer

Kishnewt2017
School: UIUC

Attached.

Response 1
Hello Samantha Williams, I really like your post. I agree with you that those who are saved
should leave a Christian life to be an example to others who are not saved. For sure no one is
perfect and we are all sinners. However, Christians should av...

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Anonymous
Thanks, good work

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