• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.
  3. Please note there is a new rule regarding the posting of videos. It reads, "Post a summary of the videos you post . An exception can be made for music videos.". Unless you are simply sharing music, please post a summary, or the gist, of the video you wish to share.

Featured By Grace Through Faith

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by StevenBelievin, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. StevenBelievin

    StevenBelievin Trust In God Supporter

    331
    +197
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    US-Constitution
    So if we are save "By Grace" and it is "Through Faith" then it is Grace (of God) that saves us and the means is Faith.. (Ephesians 2:8)

    I posted this in a previous thread and I believe it bears repeating..

    The question was why do some Christians struggle and fail while other seem to do well with effortless success..

    I think the main problem would be one of perception. People tend to see God the way they see their natural father. If they had an abusive father they think God is mean or cruel. If their dad was absent a lot or ignored them all the time they think God is distant or uncaring.

    They also tend to see themselves the way they feel others see them. If they feel that others see them as unworthy or worthless they will tend to act that out. As a man (or woman) believes in his (their) heart so is he (they). In other words their core beliefs about God and themselves are skewed by their life circumstances and their feelings. They feel unloved and they feel guilty because of their sins, and this keeps them away from the only one who can free them from their false perceptions. The point is that it doesn't matter how you feel if that feeling is opposed to God's truth. The battle is in your mind, and it is a battle for truth. That's why Jesus said the truth will set you free.

    The truth is that God loves you with an everlasting, unconditional and unrelenting love whether you feel it or not. He is for you and not against you. Let me say it again, He is for you and NOT against you. He always seeks what is good for you and you can trust Him even when it looks like you cannot. Your sin is as far from you as the east is from the west, and I'm not talking about this planet. I'm talking about from one side of eternity to the other. He has already walked your life with you from the beginning to end, so He who has started a good work with you He will bring it to completion. You are His adopted child, and bought with a price at the same time. A child of God. All of your sins, past, present and future were placed on Him at the cross and they were paid for forever. Jesus' perfect righteousness was placed upon you in Him at the cross as all believers are "in Him". You want to know the truth?

    Sin WILL NOT have dominion over you because your are under Grace and NOT under law.

    Here's the key. You are completely off the hook. There are NO strings attached.

    Paul said "Recon yourselves as those dead to sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus". Why because you're under grace and not law. Count yourself as one of those who are dead to sin and alive to God because you are, right now, under His Grace.

    The jail door has been unlocked the whole time. The feeling of it being locked has always been so strong we have never even tried to push on it. There are no guards with guns around the corner, but it has always felt like they were there if they even heard the slightest noise. Notice I use the words feeling, because it is our feelings and perceptions that lead us into a self created prison.

    Salvation is the free gift of God and it cannot be earned. It can only be received.

    Paul said that he labored more then them (the apostles) all, but he said it was not him but the grace of God that was with Him. Even when Paul did good works he said it wasn't him but grace.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
    • Winner Winner x 6
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Winken

    Winken Heimat Supporter

    +3,456
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    US-Others
    Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow !!! Preach it and teach it, Brother !!!
     
  3. StevenBelievin

    StevenBelievin Trust In God Supporter

    331
    +197
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    US-Constitution
    Thank You. I felt God tell me a long time ago that He wanted me to speak to His people. Not words of death and guilt but of freedom and life.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  4. RisenInJesus

    RisenInJesus Well-Known Member

    607
    +271
    Christian
    Married
    Such good news is definitely worth repeating!!!
     
  5. Haipule

    Haipule Well-Known Member

    681
    +424
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    I have the same disease! Freedom and Life--No Worry! No Guilt! No Shame! No Fear! Just the Victory!

    Stay shiny my friend
     
  6. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    +3,675
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    Hi, Steven :) God bless you, and thank you for sharing what overall I think is a very good post.

    Even so, I have a few issues for us to consider >
    First of all, they can seem to be doing well, but they might not be.

    In any case, it is as you indicate. God's grace makes us so successful if we really are. So, grace is not only our Heavenly Father smiling down on us and forgiving all our sins; He does so generously forgive us, but His grace does so much more.

    In His love He effectively corrects His children, as Hebrews 12:4-11 shows and encourages us to actively seek God for this correction, instead of going on and on in our own trying and struggling and suffering and failing in relationships.

    And so, His grace includes how His love effects and cures our character and our relating with Him (Colossians 3:15, 1 Peter 3:4) and with people (including Ephesians 5:21, and Ephesians 4:31-5:2). Yes, He loves us unconditionally, but this is our example required of us.

    I think this can be something which comes from secular reasoning. In any case, we can be encouraged that our examples can help people to perceive God better. They can compare how we are, with how their own fathers might have not been good examples.

    Also, children can visit other homes and compare other parents with their own parents, and realize their own parents' bad example does not necessarily represent how things have to be. Children can have the ability to see through things :) But, these days, it is popular to claim someone has some problem or preference because of an unloving father. Why miss out on love, because of excuses????

    Again, not all people might be mean to the person. But we can tend to pick and choose who we decide will effect us. It may be the gentle and humble and quiet ones do not seem to be exciting and popular, for example; and so we might not value how they are good to us. They might not be so good-looking, maybe, and we have beauty discrimination in our hearts witch can keep us from appreciating someone who has been kind with us.

    And, of course, our own way of perceiving can have us missing what people really mean to express to us.

    For example, one time my family criticized me for having a smelly shirt; at that time I took that as rejection. But with prayer I realized they really did want to have me in their lives; so they said something to me because they cared about how it would be to have me around . . . not to mention how they should care about my example to the children!!!!

    Thank you for sharing :)

    Bill
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  7. Danthemailman

    Danthemailman Well-Known Member

    +1,058
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Amen! It is by grace (God's enabling power/which is unmerited) that we have been saved through faith (instrumental means) of receiving salvation. (Ephesians 2:8)

    God's grace is His enabling power in which He operates sovereignly in the lives of believers.

    1 Corinthians 15:10 - But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

    2 Corinthians 1:12 - For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.

    2 Corinthians 12:9 - And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  8. StevenBelievin

    StevenBelievin Trust In God Supporter

    331
    +197
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    US-Constitution
    Yes, I agree that His grace includes loving correction at times. I agree that ones parents compared with another are both imperfect compared with God. Ones friends parents are also an imperfect picture of God no matter how "good" they seem. Also if ones friends are generally kind to you, the general rule is that if you portray yourself to your peers as being unworthy that is generally how they will respond to you.

    The two last quotes don't need editing as they are close enough to word for word with Romans 6 as they stand as is..
     
  9. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

    +3,042
    Messianic
    Single
    According to Psalms 119:29 the way that God showed His grace to David was by teaching him to obey His Law. According to Romans 1:5, we have received grace in order to bring about the obedience that faith requires. According to Titus 2:11-14, our salvation involves being trained by grace to do what is godly, righteous, and good, and to renounce doing what is ungodly and sinful, which is a perfect description of what God's Law was given to instruct how to do (Romans 7:7, Romans 7:12). Furthermore, Titus 2:14 says that Jesus did not give himself to redeem us from the Law, but to redeem us from all Lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own possession who are zealous for doing good works, and God's Law is again His instructions for how equip us to do every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Acts 21:20). According to Ephesians 2:8-10, we have been saved by grace through faith, not by doing good works, but for the purpose of doing good works, so if we are under God's grace, then we are under God's Law.

    In Romans 7:21-25, Paul said that he delighted in obeying God's Law and that he served it with his mind, but contrasted that with the law of sin that held him captive and that he served with his flesh. The law of sin is what stirred up sinful passions to bear fruit unto death, that gave sin its power over him, that caused him not to do the good that he wanted to do, and essentially had dominion over him.
    So:

    Sin WILL NOT have dominion over you because your are under Grace and NOT under law.

    It is important to correctly determine whether Romans 6:14 is referring to God's Law or the law of sin, and God's Law is not the one where sin had dominion over us, but rather that fits Paul's description of the law of sin perfectly. Furthermore, it wouldn't make any sense to pit God's grace against His Law, as though a house divided against itself could stand, and God was acting against His grace when He gave the Law, but rather teaching us to obey His Law is how God shows His grace to us, so this verse is clearly not referring not being under God's Law, but the law of sin.

    The surrounding verses also confirm this. In Romans 6:13, it says that we should not offer any part of ourselves to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather we should offer every part of ourselves to God as an instrument of righteousness, and God's Law instructs us how to do that. In Romans 6:15, it says that being under grace doesn't mean that we are permitted to sin, and sin is defined as the transgression of God's Law (1 John 3:4), so it again would make any sense for Paul to say that we aren't under God's Law, but we still aren't permitted to transgress it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  10. StevenBelievin

    StevenBelievin Trust In God Supporter

    331
    +197
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    US-Constitution
    Law is pitted against grace whether you like it or not.

    It is either of grace or it is of law.

    If you mix anything of law into grace it is no longer grace.

    What do you think Galatians is about?

    Paul said who has bewitched you to follow another gospel?

    Do you think that which has been started in the Spirit can be perfected in the flesh?

    The STRENGTH of sin is the law.

    It is only by being free of the law that sin can be overcome.

    Not by Pharisee type law keeping that Jesus Himself so abhorred..

    Those who seek to be qualified by works are disqualified..
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  11. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

    +3,042
    Messianic
    Single
    Please explain this verse:

    Psalms 119:29 Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!

    David had no problem mixing law and grace, so do you think he misunderstood grace? I used to have a similar view of grace as you until I came to realization that what I had been taught about grace did not conform to what is said about grace in Scripture. Again, everything described in Titus 2:11-14 as what our salvation involves God's grace training us to do is in accordance with God's Law. How can God's grace train us to follow God's instructions while grace is opposed to God's instructions? Again, Romans 1:5 says that we have received grace to bring about the obedience that faith requires, so how can you say that grace is opposed to obedience? Didn't you just agree in a previous post that God's grace involves loving correction? Strong's defines "grace" as "the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life" and when God's will is reflected in our lives it straightforwardly takes the form of obedience to His commands.

    The issue in Galatians was not whether followers of God should follow the commands of their God, but whether Gentiles had to obey man-made works of law in order to become saved. God never required anyone to obey His Law in order to become saved, so it is that much more true of man-made works of law.

    Jesus began his ministry with the Gospel message to repent from our sins for the Kingdom of God is at hand, and God's Law is how they knew what their sins were that they needed to repent of doing, so the Gospel message that does not include repentance from our disobedience to God's Law is a different Gospel than from what Jesus taught. Paul's Gospel message also involved brining the Gentiles to obedience in word and in deed, so he also taught repentance from what God has revealed to be sin (Romans 15:18-19).

    Again, it is important to correctly determine which law is being talked about here. In Romans 7:8, Paul said that apart from the law of sin sin lies dead, so the strength of sin is the law of sin.

    God never found fault with His righteous standard, but rather He found fault with His people because of the hardness of our hearts, so the solution to the problem was not to do away with God's righteous standard, but to do away with what was hindering us from obeying God (aka the the law of sin) so that we might be free to obey God's Law and meet its righteous requirement (Romans 8:3-4).

    Do you really think that the problem Jesus had with the Pharisees was that they were obeying what God commanded them to do? Rather, Jesus criticized them because they were following their own traditions instead of what God commanded them to do. In Matthew 15:2-3, Jesus was asked why his disciples broke the traditions of the elders and he responded by asking them why they broke the command of God for the sake of their tradition. He went on to say that they made void the Word of God for the sake of their tradition (Matthew 15:6), that they worshiped God in vain because they taught as doctrines the commands of men (Matthew 15:8-9), and that they were hypocrites for setting aside the commands of God in order to establish their own traditions (Mark 7:6-9).

    God's Law has never been about trying to become qualified by our works, but rather as Jesus said in Matthew 23:23, faith is one of the weightier matters of the Law, and obedience to it is straightforwardly about trusting God to guide us in how to rightly live.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  12. StevenBelievin

    StevenBelievin Trust In God Supporter

    331
    +197
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    US-Constitution
    Good luck being saved by your law keeping
     
  13. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

    +3,042
    Messianic
    Single
    You appear not to be reading what I said. I have never suggested anything like that we need to obey God's Law in order to become saved, but rather I said that God never required anyone to obey His law in order to become saved. The one and only way that there has ever been to become saved is by grace through faith. But again, please at least try to explain how Psalms 119:29 is consistent with your understanding of grace.
     
  14. Wordkeeper

    Wordkeeper Newbie

    +460
    Christian
    Married
    Can you give a practical example of how this works out?

    If I believe in Jesus, do I have to avoid things that are against His teachings? If not, why not? If yes, why?
     
  15. StevenBelievin

    StevenBelievin Trust In God Supporter

    331
    +197
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    US-Constitution
    The bible says to abstain from every appearance of evil, so yes one should avoid sin and temptation when possible. I'm not against avoiding sin and doing good, I just know that the empowerment of that is grace and not self effort. I am by no means saying one should use grace as a cloak to live however one wants, but it is the truth that Jesus has already set you free (forgiven past, present, future) that empowers and allows you to walk in that freedom. Freedom isn't the absence of sin, but the presence of God. When one runs to Him and remains in His presence sinful desires will fall away of their own accord.

    If your focused on you avoiding sin and you doing good then your focus is on you. The focus should be on Him and He will take care of you.
     
  16. Wordkeeper

    Wordkeeper Newbie

    +460
    Christian
    Married
    If I avoid sin, the focus is on me... Okay. Why is it bad that the focus is on me? Will it lose me my salvation?
     
  17. Phil 1:21

    Phil 1:21 Well-Known Member

    +4,328
    Christian
    Married
    Amen, brother! God calls us to be His witnesses, not His judges.
     
  18. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

    +16,617
    United States
    Lutheran
    In Relationship
    US-Others
    Lutherans recognize three uses of the Law:

    "Since the Law of God is useful, 1. not only to the end that external discipline and decency are maintained by it against wild, disobedient men; 2. likewise, that through it men are brought to a knowledge of their sins; 3. but also that, when they have been born anew by the Spirit of God, converted to the Lord, and thus the veil of Moses has been lifted from them, they live and walk in the law," - Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord, VI.1

    Explained more fully:

    1. The Law curbs disobedience, that is, to declare what is good and right; the Law says "do this" and "don't do this" concerning righteousness and unrighteousness.

    2. The Law is a mirror that reveals out own unrighteousness and sin, as we behold the righteous commandments of God we see our own failure to rightly obey them, and so the Law reveals our own sinfulness, that as the Apostle says, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" and "There is none righteous, no not one", we have fall fallen away, gone our own way, under sin, death, and disobedience. Which is why no one can be righteous through their works and efforts, the Law cannot justify sinners, it can only condemn them.

    3. The Law exists that we, born again of God, might walk in new obedience.

    The "under grace, not Law" is probably trying to articulate what Lutherans mean by the Second Use of the Law; but where it can be dangerous is thinking that the Second Use only deals with the unbelieving--that the believer, having been freely justified and made new in Christ by the Holy Spirit no longer needs to worry about the Law and what it says. This is dangerous because it can lead to Antinomianism, in which the Christian might be tempted to say, "Since grace abounds, let us go on sinning." If not explicitly, at least implicitly; or at the very least imagine himself or herself as no longer a sinner who, by his or her own efforts and failures to do what they ought, no longer has the command of God showing them what is right and that they do not do it--they therefore no longer grieve over their sins and dwell in repentance believing themselves somehow "more spiritual"--and thus is borne licentiousness, pride, and vainglory.

    Lutherans emphasize, quite strongly, the paradoxical dichotomy that we are simul iustus et peccator, we are both saint and sinner. We are saints because of the new man, our regeneration from God by which we are new creatures, born again, renewed, with our sins freely forgiven, and alive to God in Jesus and His imputed righteousness by the power of the Spirit; but we are sinners because the old man continues to dwell in our members, the flesh is still clinging to us, and we sin; as the Apostle says, "The good that I want to do I do not do, and the evil I do not want to do I do"--the struggle between the old man and the new is a defining characteristic of the Christian life. Which is why repentance is so important, which is why the preaching of the Law and the Gospel, rightly divided, is so important. We preach the Law in order to crucify and mortify the flesh, that we might drown the old man in repentance; and we preach the Gospel that the new man might live, for our sins are forgiven and we are freely justified, being alive to God, and having all the promises of God freely by the Gospel.

    The new man is free from the condemnation of the Law, but the Law remains for the new man the good works which we are called to do, for we have been created for good works in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10); but it is not works of the law that justify us, only the grace of God justifies us as we have been saved by grace alone, through faith which is God's gift, apart from ourselves, not by our own efforts so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). As such the third use of the Law does not abrogate the second use; the Law condemns sinners and the Law teaches the regenerate how they ought to live; and because we are sinner-saints we will strive to live in accordance to God's will to the service of our fellow man though, also, regularly fail to be righteous as we ought; therefore it is only the grace of God that saves us, and gives us life, and in which we can hope; never hoping or trusting in our efforts--and still called to live faithfully and obediently for the good of our neighbor according to God's will and command (even though we fall). There is grace for the broken, freedom for the captive, and resurrection for the dead.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  19. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

    +3,042
    Messianic
    Single
    I think the issue here is that the Law was given to instruct how to do what is righteous in accordance with God's righteousness and how to avoid doing what is unrighteous, but it was never given for the purpose of making us righteous through obedience to it, perfect or otherwise. For example, the Law instructs us to help the poor, and by doing so we are acting in accordance with and reflecting God's righteousness to the world, but no amount of helping the poor will ever cause us to become righteous because the one and only way that there has ever been to become righteous is by grace through faith, and by the same grace through the same faith we are trained and required to be careful to act in accordance with God's righteousness. In other words, we are required to follow God's instructions for how to do what is righteous because we have been declared righteous, not in order to become righteous. The Law reveals our unrighteous acts not in order to show us that no one can be righteous through their works and efforts, that the Law cannot justify sinners, or it can only condemn them, but rather to show us where we need to repent and turn back to God by grace through faith. A relationship with Christ has always been the goal of the Law since the day it was given to Moses and there has never been condemnation for those who are in Christ. According to Jude 1:4, those who ungodly pervert grace into a licence to sin, or in other words, a licence to transgress God's Law.
     
  20. Tangible

    Tangible Decision Theology = Ex Opere Operato

    +1,247
    United States
    Lutheran
    Married
    I'm not sure what the two have to do with each other.

    How are you defining struggling/success? If God is the one graciously saving us by giving us faith, how can we fail other than to willingly reject God's gift of faith through apostasy?
     
Loading...