Pickle Publishing "It Leads to Holiness" Research Papers

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A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church

by Bob Pickle

Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and

Discern Fact from Fiction

Salvation, Grace, and Obedience

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#155: "In contrast, being under grace leads to holiness. I love what Titus 2 verses 11 and 12 says. 'For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men. It instructs us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.' "—Mark Martin.

#155: Grace leads to holiness and righteousness. This too, similar to #153, is contradictory and self-destructive to Mr. Martin's principal argument. If we do not have to worry about keeping the law under the gospel of grace, why would that grace lead to holiness?

The Old Testament connects holiness with commandment keeping:

That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. (Num. 15:40)

The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. (Deut. 28:9)

Both the New Testament and the Old Testament connect righteousness with commandment keeping:

And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. (Luke 1:6)

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Rom. 8:4)

For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (2 Pet. 2:21)

And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us. (Deut. 6:25)

O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me. (Is. 48:18, 19)

Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. (Is. 51:7)

Did you notice the last two texts? These clearly connected commandment keeping with the fulfillment of God's covenant with Abraham and the New Covenant. Isaiah 48 referred to God's promise to Abraham that his seed would be as numerous as the sand of the sea (Gen. 22:17). Isaiah 51 referred to the New Covenant promise that God's law will be written in our hearts (Heb. 10:16; Jer. 31:33). Thus once again we see that the righteousness of Christ offered through the Abrahamic covenant, the New Covenant of grace, is vitally connected to the commandments of God.

According to Paul, God accounts a Gentile to be a Jew if he keeps the righteousness of the law: "Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?" (Rom. 2:26). This is not to [p. 104] say that righteousness comes by the law, for this idea the New Testament emphatically denies (Gal. 2:21). Rather, the gospel of grace leads one into obedience to all of God's commandments. To quote Mrs. White,

[John Wesley] continued his strict and self-denying life, not now as the ground, but the result of faith; not the root, but the fruit of holiness. The grace of God in Christ is the foundation of the Christian's hope, and that grace will be manifested in obedience. Wesley's life was devoted to the preaching of the great truths which he had received—justification through faith in the atoning blood of Christ, and the renewing power of the Holy Spirit upon the heart, bringing forth fruit in a life conformed to the example of Christ.—Great Controversy, p. 256.

For Mr. Martin to say that the grace of God leads to holiness while seeking to avoid obedience to the fourth commandment is extremely contradictory. This is because the Sabbath in Scripture is a sign of sanctification and holiness:

Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. (Ex. 31:13)

Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them. (Ezek. 20:12)

"Sanctification" and "holiness" come from the same root words in both Old Testament Hebrew and New Testament Greek. Thus, when the Bible says that the Sabbath is a sign of sanctification, it is also saying that it is a sign of holiness. So if the grace of God does in fact lead to holiness, which it does, surely it will lead to obedience to the fourth commandment as well as to the other nine!

A Response to the Video

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The above page was found at https://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/jeremiah-films/response-to-video-155.htm on May 26, 2024.

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