Jesus, Paul and James all agree with each other that all men are wicked and evil sinners

Jesus said:

Luke 11:13 “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

Paul said:

Romans 3:

There is No One Righteous

(Psalm 14:1-7)

9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:

16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:

17 And the way of peace have they not known:

18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

James said:

James 3:1-2 “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all.

So the law can not be a means of justification. It can only be the means of the condemnation of all mankind before God.

Why do some apologists for Islam, e.g. Paul Williams, speak of the law as if it could justify us before God? By quoting verses such as:

Leviticus 18:5 Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys

You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person
does them, he shall live by them: I am the LORD.
//biblehub.com/leviticus/18-5.htm – 17k

Ezekiel 20:11 I gave them my decrees and made known to them my

And I gave them my statutes, and showed them mine ordinances,
which if a man do, he shall live in them.
//biblehub.com/ezekiel/20-11.htm – 17k

Nehemiah 9:29 “You warned them in order to turn them back to your

Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against
your rules, which if a person does them, he shall live by them, and they
//biblehub.com/nehemiah/9-29.htm – 20k

Ezekiel 18:22 None of the offenses they have committed will be

None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. be remembered
against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live.
//biblehub.com/ezekiel/18-22.htm – 18k

Galatians 3:12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it

However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary,
HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.”
//biblehub.com/galatians/3-12.htm – 17k

Ezekiel 20:13 “‘Yet the people of Israel rebelled against me in

rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they
rejected mine ordinances, which if a man keep, he shall live in them; and my
//biblehub.com/ezekiel/20-13.htm – 21k

Does “live in them” or “live by them” mean have eternal life through them? This is where I think apologists like Paul Williams read too much in to the text. He reaches and performs his own eisegesis on the text. No, I don’t believe that we can say that these verses mean that man can earn eternal life through keeping the law. The word “live” does not mean have eternal life. In the context it just means staying alive during the exile and remaining within the promises of restoration for an earthly Israel, but not, in my view, any more than that. The burden of proof is on those who take this word “life” to mean eternal life in this context. It means nothing more than deliverance from the judgement that God’s people were going through in the land of Babylon and returning to a restored land with a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem once again at its epicentre.

Those to whom the words of Ezekiel 18, for example, were given were already under condemnation and judgement. They were in the middle of being punished for their unfaithfulness by being taken captive and sent to Babylon. So how could they earn eternal life through keeping the law after they had already broken it with the rest of the people of Israel?

Even our Muslim friends would not argue, I suppose, that a man can justify himself through the law without some means of forgiveness. No man can be justified alone through the law without being forgiven for his sins in some way. Do our Muslims friends agree with me on this?

What about the rich young man and the lawyer who tempted Jesus to deprecate the law? Didn’t Jesus tell them that they could earn eternal life through keeping the law? No, I don’t think so. Why? That is a subject for another post.

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11 Responses to Jesus, Paul and James all agree with each other that all men are wicked and evil sinners

  1. Sam Shamoun says:

    You may need to tidy up the article a bit since there are boxes all over. Here are a few more texts showing what Jesus thinks of mankind: John 2:23-25; 7:7, 19.

  2. θ says:

    Why does no one get wondered that the Holy Ghost doesn’t intervene to rebut James when he is “correcting” Paul (who self-claimed being dictated by Spirit) in the 1st Apostolic Decree in Jerusalem. Worse, James re-affirms “Apocryphal law” (Rabbinical Oral Torah) that has a legend how Moses forbade Gentiles to avoid 4 sins:
    (i) Idolatry and Offering of idols.
    (ii) Fornication
    (iii) Blood
    (iv) Carcass.

    Where’s Sola Fide or Sola Gratia when Paul needs it? Why does his Spirit not come to defend Paul’s anti-Moses doctrine?
    Acts 15:21
    For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

  3. madmanna says:

    Paul and James agreed at the council. Paul was not corrected by James, he was commended and blessed by the Jerusalem church.

    The Jewish Christians were caught up in the transition to the new form of the kingdom of God. They were simultaneously members of the old and the new covenant, the old and the new kingdom until the final destruction of the temple. The early church had to go through this transitional phase which would never be repeated.

    The Gentiles had no such relation to the law and they were under no obligation to keep any of the Jewish temple laws. They kept a few laws for the sake of the weaker Jewish believers.

  4. madmanna says:

    The doctrines of salvation are seemingly revealed progressively and is a part of the church’s growth. Growth in spiritual knowledge is gradual. God has ordained Paul to lead the way on this. Both Jew and Gentile christians are agreed that salvation comes through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Revelation is a gradual process, like the claimed giving of the Quran over 23 years. Everybody eventually catches up with Paul as the canon of the NT is completed.

  5. θ says:

    “madmanna says: The doctrines of salvation are seemingly revealed progressively and is a part of the church’s growth. Growth in spiritual knowledge is gradual. ”

    If so, then the questions:
    (i) Is the Apocrypha (Moses’ acts) valid for spiritual growth?

    (ii) Why is it that the long span of time from Moses to James and Paul (about 1500 years) doesn’t yet give the Christ’s grace a sufficient power to replace Moses’ Law?

    (iii) When have Christians annulled the 1st Apostolic Decree?
    Is it still valid now as much as the Nicene Decree on the Trinity?

  6. θ says:

    “madmanna says: They were simultaneously members of the old and the new covenant, the old and the new kingdom until the final destruction of the temple. ”

    The 1st Apostolic Decree in Jerusalem is for Gentiles, not for Jews. James’ 4 rulings have nothing to do with the Temple for Gentiles.

  7. madmanna says:

    (i) Is the Apocrypha (Moses’ acts) valid for spiritual growth?

    No, it is not part of scripture.

    “(ii) Why is it that the long span of time from Moses to James and Paul (about 1500 years) doesn’t yet give the Christ’s grace a sufficient power to replace Moses’ Law?”

    It was never the purpose of grace to replace the law because it was never the purpose of God to use the law to justify, except through Christ. Sinners can not use it to this end.

    The law as the expression of God’s will for the ethical life of man can never be changed or replaced. Only the temple law could be abrogated by the death and resurrection of Jesus.

    6And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 7And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

    18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. 19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

    (iii) When have Christians annulled the 1st Apostolic Decree?
    Is it still valid now as much as the Nicene Decree on the Trinity?

    Good question. I would say it was a temporary law in that form but Paul wrote about abstaining from things that offend weak believers. In that sense the law must constantly be adapted to the situation that prevails in the local church.

    1 Cor 8 v 9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

    Of course abstaining from fornication cannot be annulled from the law.

  8. θ says:

    Christian answer is always lukewarm, dubious, unconvincing, even doubtful on the 1st Apostolic Decree. Typical false religion. Spirit that inspires Moses and James on Gentiles is not the same Ghost that inspires Paul on Gentiles.

    First, Validity. Can the Non-canon be valid as temporary law?
    Since the ruling of 4 forbidden things of Moses’ act is not a part of Torah, why does Spirit not entice Paul to immediately reject “Non-canonical” source for “temporary” law? Where is his Ghost when Paul witnesses James to use one invalid Non-Scriptural ruling for spiritual growth?
    Spirit should have validated the Talmud, Book of Jubilee and Enoch too. Worse, the Spirit just lets James use a Non-canon, and dismisses the canonical Torah, for temporary law.

    By the way, there’s no any precedence previously that a Non-canonical source can be temporary law.

    Next, Gentile thing. Since the 1st Apostolic Decree is for Gentiles specifically, hence it has nothing to do with Temple’s rulings. Gentiles don’t need Temple. As consequence, the 1st Apostolic Decree is not affected by the later abrogation of the Christ grace of both the Temple’s services and the Jewish customs.

    Therefore, the New Testament has one supplementary first Apostolic Decree that is not abrogated by the grace. Sola Scriptura is a myth.

  9. madmanna says:

    “Since the ruling of 4 forbidden things of Moses’ act is not a part of Torah”

    Why are they not part of the Torah if they are forbidden by Moses? Surely you are contradicting yourself?

  10. madmanna says:

    “As consequence, the 1st Apostolic Decree is not affected by the later abrogation of the Christ grace of both the Temple’s services and the Jewish customs.”

    But Christ’s grace is shown in that all the temple laws are all abrogated for Gentiles.

    The moral law consisting of the Royal Law ( love your neighbor as yourself ) and the Golden Rule ( do as you would be done by, which is just the Royal Law in another form ), both contained in the law of Moses, was not abrogated, it was fulfilled by Jesus on our behalf. It was never the purpose of Jesus to abrogate this law.

    The apostolic decree are laws that are either not abrogated or imposed by the royal law applied to the weak Jewish believers.

  11. θ says:

    “madmanna says: Why are they not part of the Torah if they are forbidden by Moses?”

    What can I say, as you keep insisting on the Law for so-called “weak Jews” but in fact James talks clearly about Moses’ Law for Gentiles?
    What does this nonsense mean? Why does the Paul’s Ghost not know a basic thing of what or who a Gentile is? Although Trinitarians try to sound good but they do not make any sense at all when rebutting the 1st Apostolic Decree of James.
    Under Ghost’s error, the 1st Apostolic Decree evidently uses Apocrypha – a tale of limiting 631 Laws to 4 for Gentiles? – that may be only found in unknown Jewish legends and embeds it in to the New Testament. Trinitarians want to make it more plausible but they just show they are either contradicting themselves on the meaning of Gentiles or Apocrypha.

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