All posts by Peter Ditzel

What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden?

by Peter Ditzel

Probably most Christians who have read the first three chapters of Genesis assume that they know what happened in the Garden of Eden. But there is a problem. It is very difficult to approach this subject without a bias. This is because most theological systems, in order to make their systems work, have made assumptions about what happened in Eden that are not found in the Bible. These assumptions are taught in seminaries and find their way into sermons and Christian books without being challenged. In fact, anyone who does challenge them, even with sound biblical support, runs the risk of being labeled a heretic. Well, I am going to run that risk in this article and, in doing so, pop a few balloons full of hot air theology.

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What is Antinomianism?

by Peter Ditzel

The title page from a book by the English Puritan, Anthony Burgess, intended to vindicate the moral law from the “errours” of “especially” the Antinomians.

Antinomianism comes from the Greek anti, “against,” and nomos, “law.” Literally, it means “against law.” It is used to refer to a doctrine that centers on the belief that grace frees a Christian from the law. Detailed definitions differ. Yet, when a theologian labels someone an antinomian, he or she almost always intends it negatively or pejoratively. Antinomian is a dirty word in theological circles. But do those who fit some of the most common definitions of antinomian really deserve such scorn? Is what these definitions describe truly unbiblical? In this article, I want to discuss the most common definitions of antinomianism and compare them with the Bible. I also want to reveal their origin. Could it be that many of us sovereign grace, New Covenant believers fit the definitions of antinomian and don’t even realize it? Would that be a bad thing?

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Showdown in Antioch: Peter and Paul Face Off

by Peter Ditzel

I think that if you were to ask a representative sample of average churchgoers to name two apostles, they would most often name Peter and Paul. Today, we might call Peter and Paul the powerhouses of early Christianity. Peter was the apostle to the Jews, and Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:7). So, it was no small thing when these two men had a head-to-head confrontation in Antioch. Paul records it in Galatians 2. I want to go over those verses, explain what really happened, and point out why the outcome was crucial for the truth of the Gospel.

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The Sermon on the Mount

by Peter Ditzel

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount has been called the epitome of His ethical teaching, His manifesto, and the key of the whole Bible. To understand the Sermon on the Mount and its relevance for you, you need to know who was Jesus’ intended audience and whether Jesus was correcting the misunderstandings of the scribes and Pharisees, or whether he was giving a new law, fulfilling the role of the new Lawgiver, as a sort of new and greater Moses.

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New Wine

by Peter Ditzel

What do a patch of fabric, a leather bag, and wine have in common? They are all used by Jesus in three related parables—parables that Jesus used to tell us some very important truths about the kingdom of God. These parables deal with a subject that affects both the things we believe and the life we as Christians are to live. They are parables that, if rightly understood, will help us understand the Bible and help us grow and mature as Christians until we come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. But misunderstanding these parables can stunt our spiritual growth.

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Dead to the Law

by Peter Ditzel

The distinction between law and grace is a Bible teaching that, if misunderstood, can put you in real danger of spiritual bondage. The apostle Paul gives us a very solemn warning that we should take very seriously: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).

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Christianity or Moralism, Can You Tell the Difference?

by Peter Ditzel

I imagine that most of you are familiar with the account in John 8 of the woman caught in the act of adultery and brought before Jesus by the Pharisees. They knew that Jesus had many times before cited the law and then said, “But I say unto you.” This time, they figured they had an airtight case of adultery and if Jesus contradicted this, they thought they would be able to charge him with violating the law of Moses.

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Are We At the End of the Reformation?–Part Five: The End of Soli Deo Gloria —”Glory to God Alone”

by Peter Ditzel

Soli Deo Gloria, “Glory to God Alone,” was one of the Five Solas of the Reformation.  They were: 1. Sola Scriptura—”By Scripture Alone,” 2.Sola fide—”by faith alone,” 3. Sola gratia—”by grace alone,” 4. Solus Christus or Solo Christo—”Christ alone” or “through Christ alone,” 5.Soli Deo Gloria—”glory to God alone.” The Reformers specified these Five Solas as central, biblical truths that contrast with the corrupt doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, but today, Protestant and Evangelical churches forsake them with little thought. In this article, we will see the significance of “Glory to God Alone” as taught in the Bible, look at how Catholic dogma contradicts this, briefly point out the many ways Protestant and Evangelical churches have abandoned soli Deo gloria, and conclude this series of articles with a question posed by our Lord.

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Are We At the End of the Reformation?–Part Four: The End of Solus Christus or Solo Christo —”Christ Alone” or “Through Christ Alone”

by Peter Ditzel

Solus Christus “Christ alone” or Solo Christo “through (or “by”) Christ alone” was one of the Five Solas of the Reformation. They were: 1. Sola Scriptura—”By Scripture Alone,” 2. Sola fide—”by faith alone,” 3. Sola gratia—”by grace alone,” 4. Solus Christus or Solo Christo—”Christ alone” or “through Christ alone,” 5. Soli Deo Gloria—”glory to God alone.” As we have seen in previous installments in this series, these Five Solas are today often distorted or even completely abandoned. In this article, we will see where “Christ alone” is taught in the Bible, and see some examples of how it has been abandoned.

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Are We At the End of the Reformation?–Part Three: The End of Sola Gratia —”By Grace Alone”

by Peter Ditzel

Sola gratia was one of the Five Solas of the Reformation. They were: 1. Sola Scriptura—”By Scripture Alone,” 2. Sola fide—”by faith alone,” 3. Sola gratia—”by grace alone,” 4. Solus Christus or Solo Christo—”Christ alone” or “through Christ alone,” 5. Soli Deo Gloria—”glory to God alone.” Over time, the Five Solas have been distorted or completely abandoned by many Protestant and Evangelical churches. In this article, we will see what sola gratia means, where it is taught in the Bible, and see some examples of how it has been abandoned.

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