VI-A. The author then goes on to say:
Note how Paul dealt with similar behavior in the Corinthian believers. They were sleeping with prostitutes, boasting about it, backbiting and arguing with each other, dragging each other to court to sue each other, and generally doing everything possible to make themselves a stink to their neighbors. How did Paul answer this? How do you think MacArthur would answer it?
MacArthur: Thou shall not! For thou art not truly saved if thou remaineth in such sinful behavior!
Paul: Don’t you realize your bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit? Don’t treat His temple this way. Don’t you understand that you were saved for a higher purpose?
Ask yourself which one your question more closely demonstrates.
VI-B. MY RESPONSE: IS IT REALLY “MACARTHUR VS. PAUL” AND WHAT DOES “MAY BE SAVED” MEAN IN 1 CORINTHIANS 5:5?
Once again, the author’s stances do not hold up in light of Scripture.
Firstly, we have to understand that the Apostle was addressing the church at large when he stated in 1 Corinthians 6:19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” He wasn’t specifically addressing the offending wicked ones with such mild words… It was a general reminder/admonition/reproof to the congregation… it was not an assertion that every single professor therein was truly saved.
Secondly, concerning the yet unrepentant one and all those like him, consider (yet again) God’s teaching through Paul, in this most relevant passage:
1 Corinthians 5:6-13 “…deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6. Your glorying [is] not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 PURGE OUT therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened [bread] of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.“
God is stating to purge him out, remove him from fellowship. Through Paul, He commands them to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved. The author had this to say concerning “…spirit may be saved” portion:
“What? Deliver this man to Satan for the purpose of destroying his flesh SO THAT HIS SPIRIT (his spirit, his spirit, his spirit . . . not their spirit, but rather his spirit) MAY BE SAVED? But you just said these people won’t be saved. You just said (over and over and over) that, and I quote:
“Any man who is an ongoing, never-repentant, manifest reprobate, no matter what he professes or mentally assents to, should not be deemed saved. The Bible makes this clear abundantly”
Well, it the Bible makes this clear abundantly, then why isn’t the Bible making this clear abundantly when it says “hand him over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh so that his soul may be saved?” Are you saying this is how God saves, by handing His people over to Satan?”
The “Are you saying this is how God saves, by handing His people over to Satan?” portion is so obviously a straw man (logically fallacious) argument that I feel no need to address it beyond (1) linking to the article concerning such fallacies and (2) pointing out that (a) God uses means to experimentally recover His true people (the wheat) when they go astray (with excommunication, in more egregious scenarios, being one of them) and (b) God uses means to reveal the tares when they depart from God’s people willingly or via excommunication without subsequent repentance.
Regarding the more substantive aspect of his response, we need to answer a key question…. what does “may” mean here? Is may referring to a possible/plausible result, a guaranteed result, or (in the Greek) is it simply part of a statement of purpose? The answer is hard to tell… and the matter has been debated heavily. I struggled to find a clear-cut answer but could not.
We can at least agree that the translated passage doesn’t state ‘deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, KNOWING that the spirit WILL BE saved;’ instead, it uses the language “that the spirit may be saved.” The “may be saved” portion is in the “Aorist Passive Subjunctive – 3rd Person Singular,” which:
Is the mood of possibility and potentiality. The action described may or may not occur, depending upon circumstances. Conditional sentences of the third class (“ean” + the subjunctive) are all of this type, as well as many commands following conditional purpose clauses, such as those beginning with “hina.”
When the subjunctive mode is used with ἵνα, it is meant to indicate purpose, not necessarily actuality. Per NTGreek.org:
The ‘purpose clause’ (a dependent clause) is used to show the purpose or intention of the action of the main verb in the sentence (in the independent clause). This construction is meant to show intention, not to state whether something actually happens or not… “
Note: The above represents one common viewpoint. However, this same source further down states (seemingly contradictorily):
“d) If the subjunctive mood is used in a ‘purpose’ (or in a ‘result’) clause, then the action should not be thought of as a possible result, but should be viewed as the stated outcome that will happen (or has happened) as a result of another stated action. The use of the subjunctive is not to indicate that something ‘may’ or ‘might’ result from a given action, but it is stating the ‘purpose of’ or ‘reason for’ an action.“
[Note: So the question is… does it state a purpose or reason that (a) must actually come to fruition, (b) can come to fruition, or does it (c) ignore the fruition aspect altogether, simply stating the purpose?
To answer that, the same source goes on to state:
“…The ‘purpose clause’ is most frequently introduced by the conjunction ἵνα [transliterated hina]… (The single most common use of the subjunctive is after ἵνα, comprising about one third of all occurrences.) These words are used in clauses that show ‘purpose’, ‘result’, (or other related ideas). But the most frequent use is to show ‘purpose’.“
So the above evidences that it can show both purpose alone, or purpose + result… How one distinguishes, I do not know.
Another source (biblio.org/) states:
“ἵνα customarily signals that the subjunctive mood is coming in the subordinate clause. Since a subordinate clause introduced by ἵva usually expresses something contemplated, desired, intended, the appropriate mood is subjunctive, as the mood appropriate to statements that are not yet fact. The subjunctive is the mood of dubious assertion, the shall and will mood, with reference to the future (§307.2).”
[Note: The language here, with the use of the term “dubious assertion,” with dubious meaning “not to be relied upon; suspect,” suggests that this is indeed referring to stated purpose, without a guarantee of the outcome of that purpose].
A third source (ntgreek.net) states:
“ἵνα, that, in order that, is a conjunction used with the subjunctive mood that begins a clause indicating the purpose or goal of something…. ἵνα is often used with the idea of purpose very much weakened, or non-existent.“
Koine Greek Expert and Professor Bill Mounce states:
“I am starting to seriously question whether we should rethink the standard presentation of the subjunctive, specifically in ἵνα clauses. Much better to generally define the subjunctive as indicating something that is not “is” but is “uncertain but probable” (Wallace, 461).”
[Note: Professor Mounce is deemed one of, if not the best of American teachers of Koine Greek. So when he states that it is best interpreted as “uncertain but probable,” it is strong affirmation that it should not be interpreted as a future certainty… Note that the author at issue, of the blog at issue, seems to presume it to be a certainty].
Thus, the author of the blog post and commentary at issue, would have you believe that the ‘saving of the spirit ‘was a sure thing, a guarantee.’ However, not only has he not proven this, but the preponderance of the evidence suggests otherwise.
Note also that in 1 Corinthians 5:13, God does not state ‘…put away from among yourselves that weak brother,’ or ‘…that back-slidden one,’ or ‘…that brother who has fallen for a season,’ or ‘…that brother who walketh disorderly,’ but instead, God states “…Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person [G4190, ponēros, “wicked, bad; bad-natured; evil; grievous; harm/harmful; lewd; malicious; that which brings toils, annoyances, perils; and that which is full of toil without any positive results].” It’s strong language, language that can absolutely denote wheat walking grievously as tares, but even more so, tares trying to pass themselves off as wheat.
When using Paul to speak forth biblical truth, I believe God was using the apostle’s current level of knowledge concerning the matter. Paul did not know at the time whether the man (who had his father’s wife) was a wheat or a tare. He knew that the wicked man had to be put out of the assembly. He also knew that for the tare appearing as wheat, it would not have been a good outcome (i.e., there would have been no true repentance). However, he also knew that for the wheat appearing as a tare, they would most likely repent, evidencing that they were truly saved after all. The third possibility is that the man was elect, but never saved, and God used this incident as a wake-up call, as an opportunity to quicken, convert, and alarm Him unto true faith and repentance. The bottom-line is that since we cannot separate between wheat and tares before the time, we must look to their repentance to best determine how we should interact with them, once they are initially separated (purged out) from the brethren.
VII-A. Consider the following from the author:
1 Corinthians 11:27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
This is why many of you are weak and ill, and why some of you have even died. Gulp!
Am I suggesting that God’s discipline can sometimes lead up to and include sickness and even death?
Yep. That’s exactly what I am suggesting. And I’m not the only suggesting it either. It’s what Paul himself said. Deliver this man to Satan FOR THE PURPOSE OF DESTROYING HIS FLESH so that his soul may be saved.
There comes a point when a brother can grow so corrupt in his flesh that God has to kill him in order to preserve him. Now, we don’t know a person’s heart. I can’t read minds and neither can you, so it’s impossible from our vantage point to know whether a person has just been caught in some debilitating sin or whether they have forsaken the gospel. Either way, the behavior can become corrosive to the body, and so the body is instructed to dispel the infected agent. We are to, in your words, excommunicate them.
VII-B. WHY WERE MANY SICK?
Firstly, I’ve already addressed that some wheat can appear as tares, and some tares as wheat, and it is repentance (and other fruit of the Spirit) that distinguishes for us. When there is no repentance, when one never forsakes the evil way leading to their purging/excommunication, there is no cause to count them as brethren any longer.
Secondly, the author failed to fully address the matter of the mixed nature of their spiritual state. Consider again,
1 Corinthians 11:27-32 “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink [this] cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many [are] weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.”
At no point did the author of the blog at issue prove that all in view in 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 were true born again believers. It is clear that the bulk of the admonition is written to those who are true brethren. However, once again, in the congregation there are wheat acting as tares and tares acting as wheat… both were in view with the above scriptural warning. For the wheat acting as tares, this chastening was unto their recovery, unto their restoration to a walk befitting their profession. To the false brethren, it was unto their utter damnation. To some, physical death was in view and it may have remained ambiguous as to their final state. John Gill’s Commentary on this passage does an excellent job expounding upon these things. He recognises the intent was the recovery of God’s people; and yet, addresses those aspects that provide a greater warning.
Note that a similar case, linked here: Acts 5:1-11, is with Ananias and Sapphira. Some believe both were true Christians whom God killed (caused to sleep) due to their sin, as chastisement. Many others believe they were examples of false brethren whom God removed from the body of believers due to their wickedness. Do I know their absolute state? No… I lean towards them being reprobate but cannot say with absolute certainty. However, such ambiguity, in itself, is sobering. To die in a manner wherein people just do not know where you will end up, is a horrible way for a Christian (if they are truly a Christian) to die. Having the brethren “stand in doubt of you,” wondering, hoping, that God saved you after all, is not a joyous way to depart from this world.
Returning to the author’s argument, the bottom line is that he has to show, for his argument to hold, that all in view in 1 Corinthians 11 are sheep, not goats… wheat, not tares. And I simply do not believe he has come anywhere closing to proving that.
Thirdly, the author failed again to address the subjunctive aspect.
1 Corinthians 11:32 “But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.”
This is another ἵνα/hina + subjunctive verbal setup; it is indeed a “purpose clause.” As Prof. Mounce noted, this grammatical scheme is best described as a purpose with a probable result, but not a guaranteed one. In amongst the local body of believers, such chastening is likely to recover those therein, because one would think that the true believers outnumber the false. However, for some, the stated purpose of the chastening will not come to fruition (either because they are too far gone and God has purposed to remove them via physical death…. or because they are false brethren after all, and set for spiritual death).
Fourthly, God does not save His people to leave them to wallow in their filth. If one’s purported quickening and conversion does not result in an improved outward & inner walk, then per passage… after passage… after passage… nothing suggests that such a one is truly a child of God. Why? Because God declares: You will know them by their fruits. It doesn’t state, ‘you will know them by their mental assent, or by their mere profession, but by their fruit!’ Those lacking such fruit, those who have an ongoing reprobate/depraved/ungodly walk despite their profession, have a form of godliness without the power thereof. Thus, any man or woman who is an ongoing, never-repentant, manifest reprobate (no matter what he/she professes or mentally assents to), should not be deemed a brother or sister in Christ.
How do we know this? The Bible makes it abundantly clear that there is a warning process, and then an excommunication process. Those who fail to repent thereafter are to be deemed as heathens. Paul gives a general warning (the “temple” language) but he did this after telling them to put away the wicked one from amongst them (notice the use of the term wicked). If he repents, the Bible tells us to deem him a brother again. However, if he doesn’t, he is to be counted as a heathen (as one unsaved). We see this in the following:
Matthew 18:15-17 “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear [thee, then] take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell [it] unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.“
Romans 16:17-18 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
2 Timothy 3:1-7 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Titus 3:8-11 “[This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. 9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. 10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.”
[NOTE: Regarding “strivings about the law,” it is not meant discussions on the right use of the extant/spiritual law… but rather, as John Gill states:
“Verse 9. But avoid foolish questions,…. Such as were started in the schools of the Jews; see 2 Timothy 2:23
….contentions and strivings about the law; the rites and ceremonies of it, and about the sense of it, and its various precepts, as litigated in the schools of Hillell and Shammai, the one giving it one way, and the other another; and what one declared to be free according to the law, the other declared forbidden; which occasioned great contentions and quarrels between the followers of the one, and of the other, as both the Misna and Talmud show: and agreeably to this sense, the Syriac version renders it, “the contentions and strifes of the scribes”; the Jewish doctors, who were some on the side of Hillell, and others on the side of Shammai; as well as went into parties and strifes among themselves, and oftentimes about mere trifles; things of no manner of importance…].
2 John 1:5-6, 9-11 “And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. … 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.“
Clearly, we are not to associate with, or deem as fellow-brethren, those who prolongedly, unrepentantly engage in habitual, continuous gross/manifest immorality, who bring in false doctrines regarding liberty or salvation despite such conduct, or who otherwise introduce damnable errors (charismatic movement, annihilationism, etc.) into the midst of the brethren.
VIII-A. REVISITING SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS.
“You still see righteousness in terms of self righteous behavior rather than legal status… I am more interested in knowing why you picked these sins in particular rather than in the far more serious sin of self righteousness. “
VIII-B. MY RESPONSE: THE ERROR OF CONFUSING AN UPRIGHT WALK, IN AND OF ITSELF, WITH SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS.
We already know that the author deems examining one’s walk as it relates to assurance as (1) serious error and (2) self-righteousness. The question is whether the author seriously views any and all attempts to (a) mortify our members (b) crucify the flesh; (c) die daily (to sin in self and the world); (d) bear one’s cross; (e) keep God’s commandments; (f) obey His extant law; (g) strive against sin, etc., as self-righteousness as well. Unfortunately, many Anomians think just that, so it is a possibility (one that he must affirm or deny).
Consider, however, that when we read of righteousness and holiness in…:
Romans 6:12-23 “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness/sanctification.
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things [is] death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
… God isn’t telling us to ‘yield our members [as] instruments of imputed righteousness unto God.’ He isn’t telling us to ‘yield obedience UNTO imputed righteousness.‘ He isn’t declaring that we became ‘the servants of imputed righteousness’ or the servants of ‘our legal standing before God!‘ He doesn’t exhort and command us to ‘yield your members servants to imputed righteousness unto imputed holiness/sanctification.‘ God isn’t informing us that ‘we have our fruit unto imputed holiness/sanctification.‘ These verses are not talking about righteousness/sanctification imputed, or about Christ alone being our righteousness/sanctification, etc. Instead, these verses are teaching that in light of who Christ is, what He did, and who we are in Him, we should make MANIFEST the righteousness and sanctification we have in Him via our walk.
1 John 3:7-10 “Little children, LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU: HE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are MANIFEST, and the children of the devil: WHOSOEVER DOETH NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OF GO, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
Likewise, the entire context of:
1) The whole of 1 Peter 2 teaches us that when we read in verse 24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed,” Peter was not talking there about us living unto “imputed righteousness,” but rather unto virtue, unto an upright walk (which is manifest righteousness, or establishing/fulfilling righteousness experimentally).
2) Hebrews 12:4-17 clearly evidences the fact that Hebrews 12:11 “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” is not talking about ‘the peaceable fruit of imputed righteousness,‘ or ”the peaceable fruit of our legal standing before God,” but rather ‘the peaceable fruit that pertains to improved character, conduct, and our overall walk’ in light of our perfect righteousness in/by/through Christ.
3) 2 Timothy 3:1-17 proves that the righteousness in verses 16-17 “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect [i.e., mature], throughly furnished unto all good works,” is not talking about being instructed in imputed righteousness,‘ or ‘instruction in [one’s] legal standing,‘ but ‘instruction in an upright walk‘ (wherein, if we deviate from such, we need the accurate doctrine required for reproof and correction).
4) All of Ephesians 5:1-16 shows us that the righteousness in verses 8-11 “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them]…” is not about the “fruit of the Spirit” being in all ‘imputed goodness‘ and in all ‘imputed righteousness,‘ but rather in virtue (improved character, conduct, etc.).
5) 1 Corinthians 15:33-34 evidences that the righteousness in “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak [this] to your shame,” is not talking about ‘awake to imputed righteousness! Awake to your legal standing!‘ — but rather, awakening to an upright walk, even manifest righteousness, in light of the righteousness of Christ imputed, and in light of our (resulting) legal standing before God.
6) Romans 8:4-5 shows us, contextually speaking, that the righteousness in “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 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..,” is not talking about our legal standing being fulfilled in us, or the “imputed righteousness of the law” being fulfilled in us, but about our walk and warfare in light of our perfect righteousness in/by/through Christ Jesus.
For the Christian, the righteousness of the law is (aorist-passively) fulfilled (performed fully, brought to pass richly) in those, literally, “who are actively, continuously, habitually walking” (given the present active participle form) after the Spirit. As proof, notice that the word “fulfilled” is G4137/Plēroō and it means:
1. to make full, to fill, to fill up; 2) to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally (or be furnished/supplied liberally when passive tense is used); pervaded with / richly furnished; 3. to render full, to complete, to fill up to the top; 4. to perfect, consummate; 5. to carry through to the end, to accomplish, TO CARRY OUT, 6. TO CARRY INTO EFFECT, BRING TO REALIZATION, REALIZE; 6. TO PERFORM, TO EXECUTE (as with matters of duty); 7. (of sayings, promises, prophecies) TO BRING TO PASS, ACCOMPLISH; 8. TO FULFIL (i.e., “to cause God’s will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God’s promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfilment.”).
7) Titus 2:12-14, in context (and in light of common sense), undoubtedly demonstrates that the righteousness in “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works…,” is not talking about how we should live “imputed soberly,” or “imputed righteously,” or “imputed godly,” but that we should walk in the manner in which the passage clearly indicates that we should.
It is impossible for the unbeliever (the unquickened, the unregenerate) to obey one iota of God’s extant law, or to obey even one of His commandments. Those who have not been born again are in a constant/continuous state of sin, despite being given some measure of secular morality (i.e., to maintain societal peace, order, and stability). Without faith, it is impossible to please God. No one can do any true (spiritual) good if they are not in Christ. And yet, those who are in Christ, they alone can most certainly obey the Lord, they can most certainly do His will (again, not inerrantly, not without lapses, but they alone can do that which pleases God in a moral/upright sense).
As a result, the chief desire of the Christian should be to glorify God, in the highest, through our praise, worship, and obedience. We should, and must, strive to walk as Christ walked — and Christ walked in perfect obedience to the Father. We cannot so walk perfectly; however, we can press on. Anyone who says otherwise is operating on Satan’s side at that moment, or perhaps ongoingly, and not the Lord’s. It is the true Christian who, by the Holy Spirit, through union with Christ, in accordance with the sovereign will of the Father, establishes/manifests the law of God (in our obedience) experimentally.