The pastor was dealing with the end of the book of James. He read from a translation that was very close to mine, which says,
(Jas 5:17 NAS77) Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.He pointed out that we have the same nature as Elijah. I was good with that. It is what the Bible says, but then he began interpreting that to us. He said that we are all sinners like Elijah. Then he went on with the standard Calvinist approach about how we are all sinners and need continual forgiveness for our continual sin.
Excuse me. I may commit sin but I am not a sinner. I have been saved by grace, redeemed by the blood and filled with the Spirit. The Biblical term for me, and I hope you, is “saint”. We are holy ones. The church, eklessia, is the called out ones. Don’t put me in the same category as the generic pagan. That says that redemption didn’t make any difference in me.
But the Bible says I have the same nature as Elijah. That is the human nature. It means that we are fallible. It means that before Jesus touched us we were in the bonds of our original sin. At the same time it means we are created in His image. It is what Solomon was referring to,
(Pro 22:2 KJV) The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.I did a few word searches and could not find the name Elisha in the same verse as “sinner” or any variation of the word I could think of. Let’s try not to force the Bible into our personal interpretation or system of theology.
homo unius libri