the Spirit Watch
The "Do Scriptures" Twisted By Gwen Shamblin : An 8 Part Bible Study
Romans 6:1-2 Rightly Divided
By Rev. Rafael D Martinez, Spiritwatch Ministries
Father God, in the name of our Lord Jesus, your Son and our Master, this morning we come before you thanking and praising you for the magnificent blessings you so freely give to us. Thank you for being both a God of justice and holiness and at the same time, a Sovereign of love and grace beyond our imagination. Lord, truly you are the One, the Way, the Truth, the Door to life eternal for all who fear and love you. It’s your glorious wisdom and might you’ve set forth as that way to life, as the standards by which we live. You give us power to rise to the destiny you’ve given us, the birthright of being your holy people, your children .. thank you O Lord, most High and yet most Near. And by the power of your Spirit now, the same Spirit that glorified your Son at Calvary and from the tomb, fill each of us as we look deeper into your Word, and may we hear you oh so clearly now .. this we ask in that Name above every Name. Quicken our minds, our understanding - be our teacher now, in the name of Jesus, AMEN!
Today we are continuing our look into the list of the so-called “do scriptures” that Gwen Shamblin has compiled concerning her belief that “doing the will of God” is what brings salvation to her Remnant Fellowship flock. Once again, we turn again to the book of Romans, and will turn to Romans 6:1-2. We will first summarize what Gwen teaches from her “expositions” involving these verses drawn from her own writings, then contrast this with a study of what the verses actually say in context. We will have to concede here, but only in part, to the painfully on target observations Gwen Shamblin has made about the backslidings of the Christian Church, but in doing so, we will see it still doesn’t make the case for the Scriptural twisting she does here.
During my study, I read the Scriptures and compared them with how Shamblin herself is on record as using them, and my heart only gets heavier as to how terribly she has gone astray from God’s Word. It is noteworthy indeed as we go deeper into Paul’s epistle to the Romans how much greater the clarity of Shamblin’s utterly twisted interpretation becomes. This is seen, though, largely in the context of how she mingles both truth and error by using the tragically undeniable continuum of sinful church leaders and church members as part of her persuasive, yet ultimately erroneous assumptions about the Christian Church.
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
WHAT GWEN TEACHES ABOUT ROMANS 6:1-2
Now we can look for what the Bible has to say about sin or idolatry, something we had no idea we were committing. The first place to stop is the sixth chapter of Romans. It says, “What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means!” (Rom. 6:1-2a). The Bible says by no means. They were discussing the very thing we are discussing two thousand years later! The question is still “What does God expect from us?” .. So when we come to the Father through Jesus Christ, we die to our old lovers and say “yes” to our new love, God Almighty. We are free from sin in other words, free to love God. (Rise Above, p. 104-105).
"The church leaders are destroying God’s temple by letting the body of Christ believe the biggest lie you have ever heard: you are just human, therefore you can never stop sinning or rebelling. Never mind what Jesus said in Mark 9:42-48. Never mind that the Apostle Paul said, “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means!” (Rom. 6:1b,2a).." (RF website)
"The converts understood that they could not continue being under another god-whether something created or themselves. They had to stop being the king of their life and they were to surrender their body, soul and mind (the temple, 1 Corinthians 3:17) over to the King. In other words, they understood that they could not continue in sin that grace may abound. (Romans 6:1,2) (1 John 3:6) Grace was not abused out of love for Christ and God. Self was not a consideration, only the will of the Father." (RF website)
Shamblin’s rejection of the Christian Church is supposedly strengthened by her citation of Paul’s challenge in Romans 6:1-2. In her “Rise Above” reference, the inference is plain: the church has been ignorant of it’s gross idolatry because, she says, God is still expecting more of us than that. As in the study of Romans 2:6, Gwen’s arguments off the RF website lead off with her trademark distraction, the lambasting of church leaders she believes have bewitched the church and placed it under the bondage of false doctrine, painting the Body of Christ with the broadest strokes of accusatory pigment that she possibly can.
She claims the church is apostate and is leading millions of people into eternal destruction by following false teaching, the core error asserting that we are just weak human beings who can never be sinless or dead to the world. The typical member of the Body of Christ has been taught by “Babylon” that we are all just subject to our passions and weaknesses and have to go with the flow of the carnality of the world. The Church hasn’t been taught about the total surrender to the will of God because of the evil leaders within it: therefore, it lives in a proud state of mind that hides behind the skirts of God’s all-covering grace to continue a sinful life in the heart, mind and flesh.
Shamblin exploits the question of the apostle Paul that rhetorically asks if continuing in sin would somehow be God’s way to ensure that more of his grace is poured out on the sinful in the Church. His powerful denial of this is part of his argument against the carnal mindset that would justify sin in the church. But Gwen then cunningly catches the thrust of Paul’s indictment to reinforce her belief that the Church lives entirely for self, abusing “grace” (which according to her theology is “doing the will of God”) and ignoring God’s will completely. As in her other tangents we’ve looked it, she makes a loaded assertion based upon her observation and cites a verse (in this case, Romans 6:1-2) to “prove” her case and moves on with another rapid fire usage of similar argumentation.
She then asserts that the early church didn’t fall for this and that the new converts within it were taught correctly by the apostles to lay aside their idolatrous ways. This instruction, of course, resulted in what we are all so familiar with, what Gwen claims to be the divine remedy: to “seriously consider the state of your heart and enter the ark of the righteous remnant - the called out - and float above the world with the righteous?” (Rise Above, p. 300). Her suggestions on “what you can do today” on page 301 of that book are typical:
“Go where God is leading you in Scripture.” (ultimately, that’s RF)
“Endeavor to be holy ..” (“total obedience” from “growl to growl”)
“Identify false teachers. God’s true messengers call His chosen people to embrace the hard teachings of Jesus and to find joy, peace and love in dying to self. False teachers offer an easier message saying, “`It’s okay to continue in sin.’”
“Rid your life of idols ..”
“Prepare for judgment”
ROMANS 6:1-2 RIGHTLY DIVIDED
The epistle of Paul to the Romans has been called by some Bible expositors “the Gospel according to Paul, in keeping with the titles of the Gospel accounts penned by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I think this is a great way to describe what the book of Romans is about. It is easily the most systematic exposition of the Christian faith we have on hand. Paul was a learned Jewish Pharisee whose academic and theological training was used mightily by the Spirit of God after his Damascus Road conversion to Christ to spread His Gospel to the ends of the world. Each chapter of Romans builds upon each other as Paul carefully and methodically laid down the ABC’s of Christianity. Gwen Shamblin, in the sharpest contrast, reaches briefly down into Paul’s teaching stream to catch away a bucket full of truth to color her cistern of error, but it simply doesn’t work.
This is by far the most Shamblin-twisted Scripture I’ve studied yet. I find myself shaking my head every time I start to write these studies, but this week, it is so unbelievably obvious. When looking directly at the text, you will see that the verses fairly shout to be taken in context. That of course, is lost upon Gwen entirely, but it is ignored or overlooked at the gravest peril of those who submit themselves to her teaching authority. For in so doing, they never fully study what the verses actually mean.
The verse begins “What shall we say, then?” These five words clearly point BACK to the argument that Paul has just previously made. These five words assume the audience understands the truth that the apostle has just set forth in Romans 4. And these five words establish the need to rely upon what these truths have taught in order to understand what Paul is about to say. This is a perfect example of just what Biblical context is - a concept that I say again is continually distorted, twisted or outright ignored by all false teachers. Gwen Shamblin is no different than any of them.
Let us again take heed that we don’t repeat her mistake and let’s see what the context Paul is pointing us to.
Romans 5 builds upon, as I have said, the previous chapters one through four. The dominant theme of Romans 5 is the central place that Jesus Christ’s sacrifice has in atoning for the sins of the world and how faith alone in this justifies us before His Father in verses 1-2 (emphasis mine):
1 Therefore, since we have been justified THROUGH FAITH, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 through whom we have gained access BY FAITH into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
It compares, with Paul’s classic style of sharply contrasted absolutes, the sin and death that Adam brought to humanity in the Fall with the righteousness and eternal life Jesus has made accessible in His death, burial and resurrection. And the chapter concludes with the wonderful heart of the Good News in verses 19-21, a point that as I have said, is totally lost upon Shamblin in her teaching:
19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
20 The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,
21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Read verse 19 again SLOWLY. The disobedience of Adam condemned the world. The obedience of Jesus Christ ALONE saved the world. Where is there room for additional obedience that brings salvation? There is none. Paul is emphatic. It is in the perfect obedience of JESUS CHRIST ALONE that our peace with God has been achieved. No amount of personal obedience can ever hope to begin to equal what Christ has done. You can take that to the bank, as they say. Jesus is the One in whom saving obedience has been accomplished.
The revelation of God’s Word (“the law”) brought knowledge of what sin was and accountability for it upon the whole sinful world (see Romans 7:7-11). This accountability is the judgment to come we’ve already spoken of, a prophetic future reality that Gwen loves to rub in the faces of those who disagree with the decretals issued during her personal kingdom building in Franklin. But while the sinfulness of man may increase and spread more insidiously throughout the culture around us, Paul assures us, God’s infinitely greater grace abounds to all of us who are “in the world and not of it.”
Sin may exert its ruthless rule over the created world order of sinful man for a time until death, but the glorious righteousness found in the Lordship of Jesus, the Obedient One, brings eternal life and blessing. Jesus rules, as the young Christian kid’s T-shirt would say. No truer words can be spoken. For He rules an unshakable Kingdom out of which all of God’s people have been called aside as His Bride, His Body - a kingdom reign extended through His inexhaustibly abundant Grace.
So by the grace of God is through the obedience of Jesus that it is now possible for men to be made righteous and live a holy life. Sin may be as blatantly obscene as always, but God’s people - called aside by their faith in His Son - have the privilege to live consecrated lives based first and foremost on HIS righteousness, not ours. This is the Gospel message that Gwen Shamblin seethes at: she hates this Message with a viciousness matched only by the hostility of the other works-based Bible cults. But it is the truth as Biblical Christianity has always presented.
NOW, back to Romans 6:1-2:
Verse one contains a suggestion that the apostle Paul repudiates in the strongest possible terms in verse two. There is a popular assumption he reveals that has been made by unknown parties that he will not tolerate whatsoever and firmly denies. This is the belief that to yielding to sinful lifestyles are necessary to give God’s grace the room it should have to increase among us. “If we ‘go on sinning,’” writes the great Bible scholar Leon Morris in summarizing of Paul’s point, “we provide scope for grace to ‘increase’: should this not be the Christian way?” Some felt for God’s grace to really be experienced that abandonment to sin should be a normative part of life – attitudes all too prevalent in the Roman church as well in the circles of global Christianity today.
Verse two contains Paul’s emphatic almost violent rejection of this thought. He means no such thing at all! The apostle leads us to consider the foundation of our Christian life with an equally compelling question. We who rest by faith in the righteousness of Christ are to have “died to sin” - how can we possibly imagine we can live in our sinful ways any longer? The verb tense of the Greek apothnesko (died) is important for it focuses not on the state of death but on the act of death itself - it literally means “put to death.” To put something to death is to end its life altogether and finally, and Paul bids us to remember a vital truth as believers looking back at our first moments of saving faith: if we call ourselves Christians, how can we do so apart from a wholehearted understanding that we are to have totally renounced sin from our lives? That is a spiritual principle, a godly given, that the Christian will live by. The true Christian has put to death by faith in Christ his association with sin and bears with it no more in his life.
What does it mean, then, to be “dead to sin? Gwen’s spin on what it means to be "dead" is twofold: the Remnant will
1) stop sinning and2) do whatever Gwen thinks they should do that will make them good, thus exhibiting fruit that is beautiful
But absence of wrongdoing and the presence of good behavior is NOT the same as being righteous or holy. That is the plain truth neither Shamblin nor any of us can get past. Stopping sinful behavior and replacing it with a proscribed pattern of good works is NOT the “mere Christianity” Gwen likes to fancy her Remnant lifestyle as. It just means you’ve stopped one kind of sin and enshrined another, the belief that your good doing apart from any actively focused faith in Christ’s righteousness alone for salvation is what makes you holy. This well-meaning, yet ultimately futile attempt to please God is not what “death to sin” involves. It is a clear Biblical teaching that our personal deaths to the sinful ways of the world we’ve formerly embraced truly demonstrates whether we are authentically set apart believers in Christ. Our faith in Christ involves an actively repentance of the sinful lives we’ve hoarded unto ourselves, forsaking them entirely and wholeheartedly. The rest of the chapter explains this fuller and specifically what it means to be dead to sin as Paul meant it to be understood, but we will limit ourselves to verses 3-7 for the remainder of our study.
3 Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Shamblin’s obsession with works-based religion (“doing the will of God”) has completely twisted her ability to see the clear sense of the Scripture here. Note this revealing quote from her book “Rise Above” demonstrates - it shows how she equates the baptism into Christ with personal acts of sanctity based upon “the teachings,” namely her own interpretations of what “the will of the Father” is:
At that time, it was understood that to be baptized meant to be totally indoctrinated, surrounded by, and immersed into the teachings. So to abide by or be baptized into Jesus Christ is to surround yourself with the heart and life-behavior of Jesus, who followed the will of the Father - not just on one day, but daily. (“Rise Above”, p. 22)
Paul would categorically reject Gwen Shamblin’s stubborn insistence that surrounding ourselves with her teaching and good behavior is the Gospel message at all. Our death to sin is intimately connected with our baptism into Christ’s death, one of the most foundational precepts of basic Christian belief Paul reminds us with. He uses the word picture of baptism figuratively here - not literally. All believers who have embraced by faith the salvation that the righteousness of Jesus Christ alone bestows will also understand that they’ve immersed themselves with Him (“buried with him”) through His death, burial and resurrection. This isn’t a burial in water, but Christ’s agonizing and atoning work at Calvary that we are to fully identify and exercise faith in.
Although the Christian ceremony of water baptism is clearly meant to evoke in symbol the sanctifying rebirth of the fallen man or woman who comes to now life in Christ, it is not what Paul is referring to at all. He is now speaking of the heart and soul of the Gospel itself, the transforming power of faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus our Lord. In the great scheme of God’s wisdom on the salvation He bestows, it is from death that life comes forth, and without that death, life would not be possible. This is what Paul’s reference to baptism is alluding to. And as the power of God raised Jesus as Son of man from the dead, so will Jesus Himself, by the Spirit, raise all who trust Him to a new state of existence, new spiritual life like nothing else before.
This is the essence of true Christian life; in the death of Jesus is the answer for our sinful existence, that being our call to put to death by repentance our sinful deeds and to place our faith in His power to cleanse and change us beyond our wildest dreams into what He has ordained us to be. It is quite literally the death of our sinful ways, a death that will be broken by His resurrection power as we claim it by our faith (see Romans 8:13-15), thanks be to God!
It is vital that we note that in light of this glorious truth, there is no room here for any of the “doing” or the “obedience” Shamblin would have you do to gain your salvation. There simply can’t be. Before the work of the Cross, all of the rambling, lofty traditions of man pale into shrunken, shadowy dust. As we’ve pointed out, it is in the obedience of the One Christ alone that Romans 5:19 says brought this saving power to mankind. How can Remnant Fellowship, Gwen Shamblin or anyone else presume that what they do can improve on the shed blood of Jesus Christ? It is simply impossible, yet it is what Gwen and her cadre of thought police would demand we accept as their version of the “Truth.”
5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin--
7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
The divine remedy of the Scriptures for the sin-sick souls of man is our unity by the Spirit of God with the Son of God Himself. In the sharpest contrast, in another place in her writings as she quotes these verses, Shamblin’s unbiblical twistings can still be seen advocating her works-based obedience apart from real faith in Christ as the truth:
Okay, the struggle is over, because anyone who has died is free from sin. Anyone who has died to self in all areas is free from the battle of doing things their way. They don’t have a will left -they are a dead man! No temptation can tempt them, and no one who is trying to persecute them can hurt them, because they are dead. Simple. It makes sense if you want to stop playing God. You can make a choice to die right now. Make it. Make it now, and live for God’s instructions, precepts and commands. They will be sweeter than the honeycomb and better than your daily meals. (WDA Advanced guide, p. 40)
As mentioned, we will get more into Shamblin's teaching on “death to self” at a future date. We raise this only to emphasize that she persists in her advocacy of “doing” to bring one freedom from sin. Her argument is persuasive, but a shallow one based upon the vain hope that if you can just empty enough of yourself through self-denial you will automatically find yourself lining up with God’s will, find yourself above temptation and immune to pain from persecution or attack. This is a cruel sham, a tantalizing yet empty hope that offers hope through the “doing” of “God’s instructions, precepts and commands.” As we have said, absence of X doesn’t guarantee that Y automatically follows. Just because you don’t do one thing doesn’t mean you automatically are impervious from anything else. If you empty yourself of who and what you are, what are you left with if Christ is not filling your heart by faith? What remains would be a barren heart of self-sacrifice empty of the righteousness that only Jesus Christ Himself gives by faith in Him alone. What a horrible fate, to starve to death in the midst of a land of plenty because you were convinced the food was bad for you!
Romans 6:5-7 is some of the richest truth God reveals to us through Paul’s teaching here, an unending feast of merciful grace we’ve scarcely tasted! Here, Paul again emphasizes the profoundly intimate intertwining and melding of the Christian with the Christ that brings eternal life to him or her. We are brought to peace with God through our entering into and embracing the death of Jesus alone for our salvation. No human religious tradition can ever come close to crudely replicating this awesome work of God’s mercy. His death becomes our death and his resurrection is our very own as well - no sort of self-renunciation Shamblin or any other religious system could command can ever match this.
Paul writes that we must become “united with him” (the KJV uses the phrase “planted together”) and that such a union is life-changing in a deeply personal yet transforming way. The word picture implicit in the verse’s Greek construction is that of the grafting of a branch into a tree and that the branch’s life entirely depends upon the life flow of the tree itself. This suggests the beautiful parable of the vine that Jesus Himself taught (John 15:5) that teaches just how totally dependent upon His work in our lives we must be. We are identifying fully with Jesus Himself - NOT our obedience.
His vivid description of sin itself as a literal bondage that has kept us in slavery is another powerful metaphor that we can all identify with. All too often, sin is indeed a cruel tyrant that seems to compel us to wickedness all often, but in the transforming power of Christ, it has now been decisively broken. The Remnant member who is endlessly reminded of the need to break down idols that they - or others around them - identify in their lives certainly needs to understand this good news. In Jesus, we’ve been freed! He is the true Deliverer! The Resurrection of Christ brings deliverance from the slavish fetters of our “body of sin,” the “old man” of our carnally sinful nature that is also mentioned in Ephesians 4:22 and Colossians 3:9 as having been put to death in Christ.
The “old man” is crucified with Christ so the rulership of the “body of sin” can finally be destroyed by God’s might alone. That power within us has been broken and yet it must be firmly dealt with daily, through a walk of daily obedience to God’s Word (faith perfected by our works as we’ve mentioned in our James 2 studies: see 1 Corinthians 15:31 also). The way back to God is the royal road of grace that any and everyone can and must seek earnestly. If this is done, we will not serve sin any longer (Galatians 2:20) no matter how foul the situations around us may be. .
If we’ve placed our faith in Christ, therefore, we have identified with Him totally and our hope for the imputed righteousness of Jesus is secure. Death to sin means freedom from sin (Colossians 3:1-4, 5-10). We are indeed FREE! Glory be to God!
But asserting and glorying in this truth doesn’t leave the Christian Church off the hook whatsoever.
It is at this juncture we have to concede that Gwen is not altogether incorrect in her criticisms of the church. Even though Shamblin and her Remnant flock certainly miss the mark here in understanding that faith in Christ’s obedient ministry alone makes us holy, there is no little disagreement we can have with them concerning the state of many churches in the Body of Christ. At this point, I cannot but painfully “amen” them when they point out the examples of those who impudently sin and reckon themselves above correction because of their carnal abuse and twisted definition of what God’s grace is.
It is true that many in the church who would lay hold of that precious freedom that Jesus has died to provide to us have done so in callously blatant abuse of that liberty. It is true that many have used the liberty of Christian freedom as a cloak for their warped, sinful ways. There is much in the church culture of today that frankly makes me wince with pain or boil with anger when I behold the rank wickedness many of our brothers and sisters wallow in. Some of it is indeed advanced by minister and teachers whose twistings of Scripture are as abominable as any other false teacher on the scene today. It proves that there are more than just a few people who claim to be Spirit-guided believers in Jesus who are hardly any more dead to sin than the unbelievers they live among. We know of these all too well. From the revolting “Pray TV” televangelism scandals of the 1980’s to the more anonymous shatterings of Christian homes by divorce and rebellious children, we’ve seen it all. In the ministry, I’ve come across scores of people struggling with every sin imaginable from the lowliest teenager to those in high places. Truly, Paul again was right when he wrote that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
As a Christian minister for over 21 years, I can certainly affirm to being witness to many a private and public debacle where Christian carnality was the rule of the day, from nondenominational ministry implosions to sex scandals in high places in my own denomination. All of us know this to be a reality that is inexcusable yet undeniable in its prevalence among the Christian Church. Many an earnest Remnant member’s testimony cites some immoral outrage or indifferent laxity they saw in their church circles that helped to precondition or convince them that the Christian Church really is in a state of creeping corruption. Such offenses are part of the dark side of Christian culture today that are indefensible and painful reminders that we are a people still in need of a Savior.
I’m often ashamed of my own struggles to remain in the freedom of holiness that Christ has bestowed, as my living sacrifice keeps trying to crawl off the altar .. and sometimes does so all too messily. You can ask my wife. She knows what manner of man I can be. Most importantly is that God knows. I am reminded painfully of the hard hitting old Steve Taylor song from the 1980's Sin For A Season that can’t be heard without feeling convicted.
Gonna get the good Lord to forgive a little sin
Get the slate clean so you can dirty it again
And no one else will ever know
But he reaps his harvest as his heart grows hard
No man’s going to make a mockery of God
I’m only human, got no other reason
Sin for a season .. sin for a season ..
I am thankful that I serve a God of mercy who sees me just as I am and who will receive me as I repent and break anew before Him the fallow places of my heart. I have felt his gracious touch of forgiveness and mercy over and over all my life and doubtlessly will need it again as the End draws near. And I am grateful that it isn’t MY obedience that brings this to me .. oh, GLORY to God .. but it is HIS.
It’s likely that as Gwen Shamblin took time to hear the confessions and struggles of her WDW members across the nation during the height of her popularity in the late 1990’s that she heard many a horror story about preachers and church members whose lives were as wickedly warped as the reprobate culture around them. I can’t remember where I read them, but I recall reading a few places in Remnant materials where the testimonies of several Remnant members gave lurid details on the sinful lives of people in the churches they used to go to. The truth may indeed be somewhat less bleak, but probably not too much so. We cannot but agree with the fact that sin is indeed part of the church today to a far too tolerated degree. It is this undisputed reality that gives traction to Gwen Shamblin’s claim to bearing a “prophetic” mantle which she arranges to have herself wrapped in to prove how God-called she is.
BUT that in no way means that Jesus is through with the church. God forbid! Gwen Shamblin’s “historical cycles” teaching pushes the fable that God has called aside a new remnant of faithful and has forsaken the rest. The promises of the New Testament concerning the Body of Christ and the New Covenant’s glorious blessings are under the exclusively divine copyright of Remnant Fellowship International. Jesus’ promise still is good today as it ever was, no matter how dark the spiritual times are:
18 .. on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
The church lives on in the lives of the tens of millions of anonymous God fearers who die daily, still do have consciences, still are sensitive to the Spirit's conviction, and all whom sanctify themselves daily before God in their private and not so private times of encounter with God. They do so out of a fear of God that is quite without the showy Remnant fanfare of self-exalting “idol breaking” and endless testimonies as to how holy they reckon themselves to be. There were other people in the New Testament who did the same thing :
Luke 18:11, 13-14
11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men-- robbers, evildoers, adulterers-- or even like this tax collector ...
Some of them will have red faces in the Judgment if they aren't careful:
13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Thank you, Jesus, for being just Who You Are.
Millions of these anonymous people - called Christians - still occupy responsible and fruitful places in the churches today around the world, and have a walk with God no cult like Remnant or no cult leader like Gwen Shamblin can ever dismiss. They build hospitals for lepers in the stinkholes of the Third World, man rescue missions in the inner city, and single parent in low income housing. They are all around us and, yes, a few of them even reside in Franklin, Tennessee (how about that) and happily go about their lives without an ounce of conscious need for the “Remnant Nation” in mind, thank you very much.
Gwen is RIGHT when she says that there are many who abuse their liberty and sin flagrantly in the church - it is a painfully inescapable.
Gwen is WRONG when she insists that God has completely rejected the church enmasse for Remnant Fellowship, for God so loved the WORLD ..
Gwen is RIGHT by pointing out that the righteousness of God would compel us to cease our sinful ways and to live a holy life
Gwen is WRONG when she reckons that keeping the “precepts” that she sets forth as the “doing of God’s will” will lead us in that path
And Gwen may be RIGHT when she identifies idolatry as part of the sinfulness of those who “keep on sinning.”
But Gwen is WRONG when she fails to see that her compulsory exercises of self-denial-based salvation sets up an idol just as offensive to God
My closing remarks on the study may have been pointed, but they are what God’s been burning on my heart as I’ve studied this past week.
Our next study will continue in the same vein in Romans 2:5-8.
Go To Romans 2:5-8 Rightly Divided Back To The Spiritwatch Home Page