Is this doctrine of representation supported by the Bible?

Hi friends, @Interested_in_Bible,

This question comes from a member of the community who requested to remain anonymous:

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For the past year I have been part of a church, which is part of a broader network.

They preach Christ and character. And it is a lovely community that loves well and seeks to walk in alignment to the word of God. For the sake of this discussion, we will call this church X

For a while however, one of X’s doctrines has been disturbing me in my spirit. I’m actually studying it and matching to the word of God. The doctrine is called: Representation. X defines it as a desire desire birthed by the Holy Spirit in the heart of X to stand before God with accurate biblical functionality on behalf of our brethren in the church around the world so that the Lord would ascribe our (X’s) spiritual achievements and accomplishments on their (church around the world) behalf also.

The problem X sees is:

God has to see the whole of the church achieve an approved standard of maturity and Christ likeness.

It is earthly impossible that each and every member of the church will reach that standard all at the same time.

This will be possible through REPRESENTATION

My honest questions are:

  • What is the basis for concluding that representation will be the “technology” through which

  • God has to see the whole of the church achieve an approved standard of maturity and Christ likeness?

  • How does representation as defined by X fit into to the broader message of the Word of God?

  • Is the context of the bible drawing the conclusion that It is earthly impossible that each and every member of the church will reach that standard all at the same time?

  • Is it God’s desire that we reach that standard at the same time?

  • How does representations as defined by X consistent with the intended meaning/purpose of Ephesians 4 ( X has been using Eph 4 :11-13, Ezek 22:30 to substantiate this teaching of representation.)?

I’ve dealt with the following two questions (see below)

Comparing the Intended meaning of Eph 4 and the problem statements defined by X

God has to see the whole of the church achieve an approved standard of maturity and Christ likeness

Indeed, the bible passage emphasizes that the goal for building up believers is for internal formation of Christ and the growth in size and stature. As grows the individual grows in faith (faith in the saving Gospel truths and faith that makes God’s Word the only rule and norm of its entire life and conduct), so grows the church. The oneness in these two basic factors of church life is the goal toward which we are working. What Paul actually has in mind is a full-grown, fully developed, mature man, the opposite of what he will call children.

It is earthly impossible that each and every member of the church will reach that standard all at the same time

Indeed, there is nothing in this bible passage and in the scripture that indicates that this form of maturity has to be reached at the same time. Just logically thinking about newborns to the faith.

Now I’m dealing with the teaching itself and I’m looking at the intended meaning of Ezekiel 22:30. What I found thus far:

The core of Ezekiel 22:30 is speaking about interceding in the first place with one’s life and secondly with en-treatment on behalf of another, whom God’s anger is burnt against. It speaks of atonement. The ministry of reconciliation.

One that should present himself/herself to the Lord on behalf of the people, seek mercy for them, interpose between God and them. Is it about ascribing spiritual achievements and accomplishments to another?

When God wanted to destroy Israel, it because of Moses plea to His mercy that He didn’t. It did not in the punishment/annihilation they deserved.

The people did not come in the same standing as Moses because of his intercession.

WHAT DID JESUS DO - The sacrifice of Jesus and the doctrine of representation

Is representation the “technology” that has caused that we all have been born in sin? - Study Roman 5

Is representation the technology that caused us to have freedom in Christ? or that we born in sin because of Adam?

I would like to understand better what the sin of Adam meant and what Jesus actually did. Can you help me with more scriptural passages?

My understanding is that because of the rebellion of Adam, a debt was created that could only be paid by death of a holy sacrfice. We all inherited the debt and were not able to settle it, because we had nothing justified by God to offer out of ourselves. This debt accumulated over time, because of the law. In the right time Jesus came settled the loan. All who accept His loan of payment are free from the judgment of debt ad are offered a new life, but in Christ. ( I still have some beauty questions here like: what happened to those who were justified by faith before Christ was born, Abraham and all fathers of faith.)

There is a form of representation (Hebrews 5:1-4), but not as X states.

I need your help, because I’m not really good at remembering were stuff is written in the scripture, but it is in my spirit. Do you have bible passages to refer me to. I also appreciate your feedback on this.

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I will respond briefly. Eph. 4 speaks of us all coming "to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.’ I believe that there will be an ultimate fulfillment of this. Pail said he laboured to’ present e ery man mature/complete in Christ (Col.
1:28) but Paul connected it to teaching. I am on the board at a House of Prayer but I don’t beleive for a moment that Jesus is in heaven praying for you or me. His act of intercession (Heb. 7?) is a priestly role of offering Himself as the sacrifice. In fact prior to going to the cross (Jn. 16:26) Jesus was very clear He would no longer be praying for us. My short response to say I think the group you are part of us going astray.
Randy

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Hi anonymous,

I’m still groping in the dark regarding X’s doctrine and what they plan to achieve with it. Of course, ideally I would try to probe further to clarify any suspect doctrinal theories. I shall attempt to address quickly and briefly 2 angles to approach this question. Addressing the stance of X and my understanding on “representation” based on the Bible.

New Doctrines
Any time someone comes saying they have received a new doctrinal revelation that God exclusively placed in his heart, I will approach with caution, as the bible says there is nothing new under the sun (Ecc 1:9), I believe all doctrines have already been revealed in the bible, and whatever was taught was not exclusive to anyone/church, but for everyone as the body of Christ. But since I do not know exactly what X meant, I will restrain from judging beyond this, and X could very well be misunderstood too by our anonymous questioner and thus misrepresented as well.

Approved Standard
Now, when you mentioned about achieving approved standard of maturity, what is their definition of standard of maturity? It’s funny that mentioning Eph 4, verse 14 says explicitly for us not to be swayed around by “every wind of doctrine”. There will be different roles in the faith to edify the body of Christ, to grow in stature of the fullness of Christ. If that is what X tries to achieve, I find that not wrong at all.

Righteous Intercessor
On my best knowledge of “representation”, God has always given symbols of righteous representation throughout the bible as a precursor to Jesus. Namely Job when he was deemed righteous and to pray for his friends (Job 42:7-10). In fact, Job was considered the righteous sufferer. He didn’t deserve it, and it wasn’t fair. And that’s the point, because he suffered unfairly, he has acquired the rights for God to accept his intercession.

Our Only ONE Mediator
Moses also twice interceded for Israel in Exodus 32 and Numbers 14 (before his transgression), so did many prophets. In fact, that was the point of Israel’s whole sacrificial system. An unblemished lamb to be sacrificed on our behalf, to cleanse our sins. Year after year, until the Lamb of God came to do away with it, ONCE AND FOR ALL. Ultimately, JESUS is the ONLY representation we will ever need. Not sure why we need to burden someone else to do that work which Jesus had perfectly “finished”. IT IS DONE! He is our ultimate intercessor/advocate/representation at the court of God.

1 Tim 2:5 NASB
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

Rom 8:34 NASB
who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us

Prayers of Saints
We can however, as righteous man(sanctified by faith in Jesus, not by works), pray for one another for growth/edification of the body of Christ (James 5:16). But not to cleanse sins nor redeem their lives, that is Jesus’ part.

I’m not sure if I’m on point here, my apologies. Please feel free to clarify if I got it wrong, appreciate it, thanks.

Blessings in Christ,
Roy

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I had a Word document saved that I started writing in response to this last night, and I think you covered all the points I was going to address! I think you did a great job, Roy @RoySujanto! Great confirmation, too, as I was not one hundred percent sure I was on point, either :slight_smile:

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Thank you, Roy. I think you covered the bases well and wisely. I would add an example from Galatians 3 where Paul grieves that others have come in preaching a different doctrine than what he had presented them. If, indeed, X is adding to Biblical doctrine, anonymous does well in questioning it. The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to guide us into all Truth (John 16:13). Seek that Truth.
While Revelation 22:18 specifically warns not to add or take away from the words of the Book of Revelation, the principle can be applied to Scripture as a whole. Moses warned the Israelites in Deuteronomy 4: 2 not to add or subtract from the commands God had given them.
I would recommend that anonymous seek clarity from the leadership of X. He may be relieved that he is hearing incorrectly. Or he may confirm his discomfort, in which case, the Holy Spirit will guide his next step if he will seek that guidance.

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Hi @psalm151ls, thx for the confirmation. I would have loved to see if you could help me add or revise something I may have missed, to cover more bases. I still have a niggling feeling but can only be confirmed if the anonymous questioner would help clarify, via @CarsonWeitnauer again of course, hehe.

Hi @sgewehr, that was really great. I had that Paul’s grieved by different teachings scenario in my mind, but i dropped it as I was writing and forgot to look it up. Glad you covered it and more. The cardinal rule not to add or subtract to the word of God was a clincher for this, as well as the advised approach to X’s leadership. Appreciate them. This is why we need each other as a body of Christ (fitting to sneak in the theme of Eph 4).

Blessings,
Roy

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Hello ‘anonymous’

Honestly, I’m really struggling to get the full concept of what you’re asking and wonder if, through Carson @CarsonWeitnauer, you could confirm or clarify the following:

Is the idea basically that God’s aim is for us all to achieve a standard of maturity as Christians and “X’s” belief is that they (this is where I get a little vague) are either to

  • help other churches reach this same level of maturity
    or
  • somehow that the maturity of “X’s” belief somehow brings the ‘average’ maturity level of all churches up to reach the minimum standard that God has laid out?

Is this what you mean?

I love what @RoySujanto has already said and find it really helpful and thorough in what he has said from what he has understood. I agree that the question itself probably needs a little clarity before an answer is going to be complete, though.

If I’ve understood the question correctly (as above), then I think the misunderstanding would be that God “requires” a minimum standard of maturity. Certainly God desires that we grow in maturity as Christians and, as is said in Ephesians 4, he has given different people the role of teaching us so that we will be mature in our faith so that we will not be thrown by the worlds teaching. But I don’t think that the one phrase of “until we reach” means that God will wait until every Christian reaches a certain level of maturity, or even that collectively reach an overall maturity at some point. I think God just wants us to grow in our knowledge and love of Jesus, who died the death that we deserved because of our sin against God.

Not sure if I’m on course there or not. Maybe some clarification on what is meant exactly by ‘representation’ would help? And by ‘technology’ do you mean ‘mechanism’?

In regards to your query surrounding Adam and Jesus, I think Romans is your best bet… specifically Romans 5. My understanding of this (very very briefly) is that just like the one choice/act of Adam changed every humans nature to be sinful, so too the one act of Jesus allows that his nature (through faith) can be imparted to us for us to be justified (just as if we’d never sinned) before God. It’s not Adam’s debt that we can’t pay, it’s our own… but we were made sinful by the first sinful act of Adam and death is the result of that. Jesus died that death and if we trust in him then Jesus’ righteousness becomes our righteousness. Is that how you see it?

Now I may be getting way off base, so I will stop there and see what you and/or others think.

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Hi everyone, @tsbehan,

I’m much intrigued by this

  • When considering the Calvinistic view of sin, I can somewhat understand where this doctrine of representation as posed by X is coming from.

Calvinism: The Calvinistic doctrine states that Adam’s sin has resulted not only in our having a sin nature, but also in our incurring guilt before God for which we deserve punishment. Being conceived with original sin upon us (Psalm 51:5) results in our inheriting a sin nature so wicked that Jeremiah 17:9 describes the human heart as “deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” Not only was Adam found guilty because he sinned, but his guilt and his punishment (death) belongs to us as well (Romans 5:12, 19). There are two views as to why Adam’s guilt should be seen by God as also belonging to us. The first view states that the human race was within Adam in seed form; thus when Adam sinned, we sinned in him. This is similar to the biblical teaching that Levi (a descendant of Abraham) paid tithes to Melchizedek in Abraham ([Genesis 14:20](https://biblia.com/bible/esv/Gen%2014.20); Hebrews 7:4-9), even though Levi was not born until hundreds of years later. The other main view is that Adam served as our representative and so, when he sinned, we were found guilty as well. (https://www.gotquestions.org/original-sin.html)

When considering the abovementioned the question becomes: Can man “represent” another? Adam could according to one side of this Calvinistic view. Can others still act on behalf of others? Let’s Ezekiel 22:30 that anonymous mentioned. There it is written: " I searched for a man among them to repair the wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, so that I should not destroy it. But I found no one.

That word “on behalf of” has t.he same sense as “for”, which does speak to representation.

2 metaph . on behalf of (ὑπέρ); very frequently after הִתְמַּלֵּל Genesis 20:7; Numbers 21:7; 1 Samuel 7:5; Psalm 72:15 +; also with other verbs of entreating Exodus 8:24; 1 Samuel 7:9, or consulting (דָּרַשׁ) Isaiah 8:19; 2 Kings 22:13; Jeremiah 21:2; with כִּמֶּר atone Exodus 32:30; Leviticus 9:7; Leviticus 11:6,11 +, עָשָׂה (= offer) Ezekiel 45:22: see also 2 Samuel 10:12; 2 Samuel 12:16; Isaiah 37:4; Jeremiah 7:16; Jeremiah 11:4; Ezekiel 22:30; Proverbs 20:16; Proverbs 27:13; Psalm 138:8; Job 2:4 עוֺר בְּעַד עוֺר (see עוֺר), Job 6:22. Almost = for the sake of, an account of Proverbs 6:26; Jeremiah 11:14 (but ᵐ5. ᵑ6 ᵑ9 ᵑ7 and many MSS. בְּעֵת רָעָתָם, compare Jeremiah 11:12; Jeremiah 15:11). Isaiah 32:14 hill and watch-tower הָיָה בְעַד מְעָרוֺת are come to be on behalf of (i.e. take the place of, serve as) caves for ever: but use is singular, and בְּעַד is probably only dittograph from מער in מערות (so Gr). — With מִן, ׳מִבַּעַד לְ (compare ׳מִמַּעַל לְ, ׳מִתַּחַת לְ): Songs 4:1,3; Songs 6:7 thine eyes are doves מִבַּעַד לְצַמָּתֵךְ from behind thy veil. compare on בַּעַד GrätzMonatsschrift, 1879, 49 ff. (https://biblehub.com/hebrew/1157.htm0

  • Then we have this whole issue of “imputed sin”, which anonymous is maybe speaking too

Used in both financial and legal settings, the Greek word translated “imputed” means “to take something that belongs to someone and credit it to another’s account.” Before the Law of Moses was given, sin was not imputed to man, although men were still sinners because of inherited sin. After the Law was given, sins committed in violation of the Law were imputed (accounted) to them (Romans 5:13). Even before transgressions of the law were imputed to men, the ultimate penalty for sin (death) continued to reign (Romans 5:14). All humans, from Adam to Moses, were subject to death, not because of their sinful acts against the Mosaic Law (which they did not have), but because of their own inherited sinful nature. After Moses, humans were subject to death both because of inherited sin from Adam and imputed sin from violating the laws of God.

God used the principle of imputation to benefit mankind when He imputed the sin of believers to the account of Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for that sin—death—on the cross. Imputing our sin to Jesus, God treated Him as if He were a sinner, though He was not, and had Him die for the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2). It is important to understand that sin was imputed to Him, but He did not inherit it from Adam. He bore the penalty for sin, but He never became a sinner. His pure and perfect nature was untouched by sin. He was treated as though He were guilty of all the sins ever committed by the human race, even though He committed none. In exchange, God imputed the righteousness of Christ to believers and credited our accounts with His righteousness, just as He had credited our sins to Christ’s account (2 Corinthians 5:21).

  • The problem statements that X formulated are raising questions? If I understand correctly they are saying that the only way the church reaches an approved standard of maturity is through representation.

Now about this approved standard that X deriving from Eph 4. I found an interesting exegesis that deals with Ephesians 4, by James R. Janke.:

He writes the following: θεοῦ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God. μέχρι is a particle with the force here of a conjunction which indicates the goal of the building up of the body, the terminus ad quem. καταντήσωμεν is an aorist subjunctive “used in a temporal clause with a purpose idea” from καταντάω, to come down to the goal, to arrive at or attain to. The stated goal is εἰς τὴν ἑνότητα τῆς πίστεως καὶ τῆς ἐπιγνώσεως τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ, to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God.

There doesnt seem something wrong with what X sees about the church not being able to reach that standard at the same time. But I can’t reconcile X’s mandate sharply from scripture: "that the maturity of “X’s” belief somehow brings the ‘average’ maturity level of all churches up to reach the minimum standard that God has laid out

But I appreciate more feedback on this as well.

Love & Peace,
Eunike

I am as confused as everyone but if the above quote is close to the core belief church X then I would have to ask to what end the second coming? Where would one find any biblical support for this?

Honestly this sound very much like the Pharisees of the 2nd temple period of Saul’s days. He was part of a group that believed that if all Jews would just live right in the observance of the written Torah and the oral Torah then this would set the stage for Messiah and God long promised rescue. That was pre-resurrected Jesus. Post Jesus Paul, I believe, understood that Jesus was that prefect Israelite and that his life, death and resurrection would be that representative for Israel and the world. In short he (Jesus) achieved what no other human could prefect submission to God’s law.

If this is true then the idea of ‘representation’, a right standing before God, the full realization of what this means and the right to lay claim to this representative has been accomplished once for all. Any additional attempt would from my view be unnecessary.

My thoughts.

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Hello Anonymous & all,

If there is one thing besides a relationship with Christ that is common amongst all believers it is this, that sooner or later we all come across a doctrinal stance that is unique to either a local congregation or one’s denomination at large that gives us pause. I personally believe this is the healthy behavior of a rational mind and I commend you for your dedication to discovering the truth.

I would like to thank you for bringing this question to this community of believers and for the opportunity to give an answer to this peculiar doctrinal stance held by “Church X.” There are a number of points that can be, and I believe, should be addressed. I will begin with the doctrine as you stated it.

“The doctrine is called: Representation. X defines it as a desire desire birthed by the Holy Spirit in the heart of X to stand before God with accurate biblical functionality on behalf of our brethren in the church around the world so that the Lord would ascribe our (X’s) spiritual achievements and accomplishments on their (church around the world) behalf also.”

The first thing that stands out to me as a point I would immediately challenge is who determines which church possesses, “accurate biblical functionality?” The single greatest reason that the modern church stands so fractured and divided is precisely because there are such vast and complex disputes about what “accurate biblical functionality” looks like in a church. In fact, I would go so far as to challenge “Church X” to define satisfactorily what “accurate biblical functionality” actually entails. I know that Jesus is the Son of God who came in the flesh, died on a cross as a propitiation for the sins of every one and rose again three days later, establishing a holy covenant between God and everyone who believes that this is true. I believe that the Bible is the Word of God. I believe that for any church to be a part of the body of believers they must also be founded on these two beliefs. However, beyond that, there is a vast and multifaceted array of valid interpretations that can be applied to how a church ought to function. Who among us is worthy to judge which church or denomination is correct? I know of only one who is worthy to do this, and He sits in Heaven at the right hand of God. So, for starters, I would really focus my attention on exactly how your church came to the conclusion that their way is the one and only “accurate biblical functionality,” that must necessarily be applied to all individuals of all churches throughout the world. By what metric was this conclusion reached?

Next, let’s look at this idea of “representation” as you have presented it. What it sounds like “Church X” is actually saying is that they want to serve as a substitute for someone who is less spiritually mature so that God will accept them as part of the mature church. If that is the case, then I would first ask, “why is it necessary for God to see the church as mature?” Are they hinging the second coming of Christ on this event? Does this have to happen for the church to experience the rapture? Just what is it that “Church X” believes will come to pass if they succeed in getting God to account “Church X’s” spiritual state to the Church as a whole?

My third point of concern about “Church X’s” idea of “representation,” and this is perhaps the greatest of my concerns, is regarding what appears to be the assertion that a flawed human being can somehow serve as the relational intermediary between God and another flawed human being. First, this seems completely unnecessary. Christ is our substitute. He died in our place so that His righteousness would be accounted to us, and so that our sins would be accounted to His death on the cross. This transfer of our guiltiness to His death and of His righteousness to us is what serves as the foundation for our relationship with the Father. What profit would it be for me if “Church X” prayed for God to view me as though I were them? Is not every member of “Church X” a sinner saved by grace, the same as myself? How is the life of a sinner of any beneficial service to the way God views me? If, the answer to that question is because of their regenerate standing purchased for them by Christ, then is not all simply Christ? And, if it be Christ who stands as our propitiation then I, along with all believers, am already put into “accurate biblical functionality” before God through my faith in Christ. At what point did the servants become greater than their Lord that we should rather wear the creature as our covering before God instead of the precious and sacred covering of Jesus, our Lord and Savior? The scripture says, “He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it until the day of Christ (Php. 1:6).” Therefore it is Christ in each of us and through each of us that brings about this process of maturation.

A second objection to this notion of “representation” is that the mature believer is not puffed up, believing that they are worthy to stand as a substitute before God on the behalf of another person. This is not to dispute the idea of intercessory prayer. But, rather to clarify it. When Abraham interceded for Lot in Sodom, when Moses interceded for the Hebrews, when Daniel interceded for Israel; in each case, these men did not presume that God was going to view the subject of their prayers as if they were the person making the supplication. They came before God, recognizing that they were flawed men pleading with a righteous God to show mercy to the subjects of their prayers who were in danger of judgement. Not one of these men believed they could have saved the subject of their prayers. Not one of them tried to ask God to treat the subject of their prayers as if they were the entreating party. Rather, the entreating party (that is the person interceding) treated themselves as if they were the same as the offending party. They recognized that all humanity is flawed and appealed to God as a supplicant in like condition to the party for whom they were interceding. This means they humbled themselves to be viewed as one of the condemned. This is a wholly different attitude than what is presented in “Church x’s” concept, where they seem to think themselves in some sort of superior state than other believers and somehow are better suited to represent those “lessor” believers before God. I dare say that God is likely to reject such an attitude. After all, is it not written that, “ Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (1 Pet. 5:5)?”

Now, you asked about Adam’s sin and what Jesus did. Adam was made by the WORD (John 1:1-3) in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27). When Adam sinned, he corrupted that image which brought death as a consequence. Therefore, all of Adam’s children (the human race) were born into this same corrupted image and death. Therefore sin and death had dominion over all of humanity (Rom. 5:12). Jesus, who is the WORD (John 1:14), came as the perfect Image of God (Heb. 1:3). He overcame both sin and death, offering all of fallen humanity the restoration of God’s image through the covenant of faith, whereby we become partakers in Christ’s image (Rom. 5:1-11; 8:29). We therefore have no need for any other image to be placed on us than what Christ has already given us. I therefore hold this doctrine of “representation” as presented by “Church X” as highly suspect, and frankly heretical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I hope this helps. Please respond with any questions you might have, or corrections if I have misunderstood some portion of the doctrine your church is espousing.

God bless,

Benjamin

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[quote=“CarsonWeitnauer, post:1, topic:20796”]
Representation. X defines it as a desire [desire] birthed by the Holy Spirit in the heart of X to stand before God…"
Hello again, Anonymous. Although I responded earlier this week to your question, something caught my eye last night that I hadn’t seen prior because I was focused on what Representation was and not the source.
If you are correctly quoting X in its definition of Representation, then I think the answer to your concern lies within the first few words I’ve highlighted above. The claim is that the Holy Spirit birthed the desire of Representation. If you will look at John 16: 5-16, Jesus describes the work of the Holy Spirit. Also, 1 Cor. 6-13 further amplifies the work of the Spirit. We see: He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; guides us into all truth; glorifies Christ and makes Christ’s glory known to us. He speaks wisdom from God; and searches the thoughts of God, revealing them to us.
The one point I have left out is what I want to emphasize as it relates to the definition from X. Verse 13 specifically states that the Holy Spirit will not speak of His own, but only what He hears and what is to come. (The Book of Revelation would be a great example of “what is to come”: John states that he was “in the Spirit” on the Lord’s Day when he received the Revelation of Christ.) We also know that the Holy Spirit enables us to live a Christian life by the phrase, "…through the Spirit ", that is seen throughout the New Testament.
The Holy Spirit does not initiate anything or “birth” anything, especially new doctrine. God has given us all we need to know for now in Scripture, concluded by John in Revelation. As was mentioned earlier, we are not to add anything. So, if X is saying that this new doctrine came from the Holy Spirit, you are correct in questioning.
I can see, of course, that what Paul said in 1 Corinthians could be misconstrued by saying that God had the thought of Representation and conveyed it to the Holy Spirit to convey. But the problem there is why would God only reveal it to X and not the entire Church (body of Christ) if this is a new doctrine. Again, I encourage you to seek clarification from your leadership and then make a prayerful decision about your next steps.
Sharon

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Hi @SeanO, I would appreciate your feedback
Thanks

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@Eunike In my opinion, the idea that one believer can represent another believer or group believers is not Biblical. We can pray for other believers according to 1 John that they may be forgiven when their sin does not lead to death (what that means is another issue). So we can pray for other believers.

1 John 5:16-17 - If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

But only Christ can be a substitute for anyone - it is His righteousness alone that can be imputed. One person cannot impute their righteousness to anyone else…

Furthermore, I think X is confused about the word Church. The Church we go into on Sunday most likely has both believers and unbelievers. Christ said that the tares will grow together with the wheat - the Church we go to on Sunday will have both believers and unbelievers until the day of the Lord’s return and the new creation. When the Bible talks about God’s Church - it is those who have truly repented and are walking in obedience. Christ’s Kingdom is not of this world - it is a spiritual kingdom.

Hope that helps :slight_smile:

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Thanks for responding @SeanO :slight_smile:.
I think what I’m still struggling with is what Anonymous referred to as one of the scriptural references. Namely, Ezekiel 22:30: " I searched for a man among them to repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, so that I should destroy it. But I found no one" As mentioned in my previous post, this word does speak in a certain sense to representation.

However is quite clear from the cross references that it is not per-se speaking to imputation. I have also been researching if this Hebrew word translated as “on behalf of” is found in the new testament. I found the following: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=kjv&strongs=g5228
This word is also used to translate in the case of prayer for an other and for what Jesus has done for us by dying in our place. It has the gist of "for ones safety or for one’s advantage

I am carefully concluding that this posture of representation derived fro Ezekiel 22:30 is alright, when it is not interpreted as " God imputing ones own righteousness to another", because that is impossible, however by standing in Christ we can come before the Father for the sake of others and plea for their wellbeing.

Appreciate your feedback again @SeanO and other beloved friends. Please check my earlier posts as well and give your critical feedback.

Thanks,
Eunike

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@Eunike I would tend to say Ezekiel is referring to intercession - not representation. And even intercession can only go so far - at some point even a righteous individual cannot prevent the inevitable from coming upon those who do what is wrong.

Jeremiah 15:1 - Then the LORD said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go!”

I understand what you mean by representation, but I think it could be easily misunderstood.

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Hi @BenIAm I like how you answered the questioner <3
Something stood out to me about you said.

This statement has caused me to think a lot?
For a whole while I was worried about the fact that biblical functionality is the cause for many divisions. Until my mind was opened to realize something.

Jesus, the perfect image of the invisible God. The one set before us as the PATTERN, did not prioritize accurate biblical functionality. (if functionality means operations - the how to ) He prioritized “purpose” or the “why”. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 that He came to fulfill the law. Which is, “the re-
establishment of their absolute meaning, so that now nothing more is wanting to what they ought to be in accordance with the divine ideas which lie at the
foundation of their commands”

Logically if we get a clear understanding of His purpose that He revealed to us we will function accurately in any given situation. So, different contexts will have different functionalities, according to the wisdom that has been given to us… That is the beauty of God and how he relates to us. Our eyes should be fixed on Christ Jesus who showed us the Father and what He is after. I believe that biblical functionality in a sense becomes inaccurate when it is not connected to the purposes that Christ has revealed. And instead has become about being right and not doing the right thing (as in what God’s after)

Just sharing some of my thoughts.

Blessings