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Featured Do we have the ability to obey God's Commandments?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by redleghunter, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    God is not an unloving Father or some sort of tyrant who gave the Law in order to curse His children for failing to meet and impossible standard, but rather He said that the Law was given for our own good in order to bless us (Deuteronomy 6:24, 10:12-13). In Deuteronomy 30:11-20, God said that His Law is not too difficult for us to obey and that the one who obeys it will obtain life and blessing while disobedience brings death and a curse, so choose life! So it is presented both as a choice and as a possibility, and if it were impossible for us to obey, then I do not see how we could be held responsible failing to obey it, so yes, God giving a command to us implies the ability to obey it. In Deuteronomy 11:26-32, the distinction between being under God's blessing or His curse was in regard to whether we choose to serve God or to chase after other gods, which is a choice that we can all make.

    If we needed to have perfect obedience, then there would be no point in repentance because it would already be too late to have that, so the fact that repentance has value means that obedience that is less than perfect has value. The consistent message of the prophets up to and including Jesus was to repent from our sins and turn back to obedience to God's Law, so the need to continue to practice repentance when we sin has always been the key division between whether we are choosing to continue to serve God or to chase after other gods. While everyone in the OT sinned and fell short of perfect obedience, it is not the case that everyone in the OT was under God's curse, but just those that chased after other gods.


    In Matthew 23:23, Jesus said that faith is one of the weightier matters of the Law, so obedience to God's instructions has always been about depending on Him to guide us in how to rightly live, and has never been about how much we can accomplish through our own efforts apart from God. When we have a character trait, then we will express it through our actions, so when God imputes His righteousness to us and declares us to be righteous, He is also declaring us to be someone who therefore expresses His righteousness through our actions in obedience to His instructions for how to do that found in His Law. In other words, the reason why we have received the righteousness of God is not in order to hide it under a bushel, but in order to let it shine through our actions. We have been given the righteousness of God, so we have the ability to do what is righteous in obedience to God's Law.

    In Psalm 119:29, David wanted God to be gracious to him by teaching him to obey His Law and in Titus 2:11-14, our salvation is describe as being trained by grace to obey God, so that is how God shows His grace to us, and we are declared righteous when we obey through faith. In other words, God is gracious to us by teaching us to obey His Law and by the same grace we are able to obey His Law through faith. The statement that man should not have to ask for grace in order to be obedient is misguided because we would not have been given laws to be obedient to apart from God's grace.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  2. david tyler

    david tyler JESUS LOVES YOU

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    I PRAY AND HOPE YOU FOLLOW OLD SCHOOL,,THE FIRST WORDS AND LAW TO THE PEOPLE, FROM GOD ,,,TEN COMMANDMENTS...ARE THE ONLY WORDS THAT CAN TOTALLY DEFEAT SATAN..WHEN YOUR TIME COMES TO DO SO!!!!….DEMONS ARE DEFEATED BY JESUS'S WORDS,BY SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY..SATAN IS OLD SCHOOL...DOES NOT AKNOWLEDGE JESUS... AND IS LAID TO WASTE WITH THE WORDS OF GOD,,, BE WARNED,,SATAN WILL SAY JESUS WHO!!!,,AND RIGHT THIER YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THIS TRIAL. I DID WHEN I SAW I REACTED WITH IN THE NAME OF JESUS..DID NOT WORK,,,AND SATAN SAID I DO NOT KNOW JESUS,,,OK WHAT NOW ,,,FOUGHT ALL DEMONS USING IN THE NAME OF JESUS!!!,,,,AHHH!! OLD SCHOOL, I ASKED ,,WHAT GOD DO YOU FOLLOW/,,, HE SAID I'M IN CONTROL OF MANY!!!, WELL I FROZE.. SAID NOTHING,I LOOKED FOR A WAY OUT OF THE BUBBLE ,BUT WAS BLOCKED BY DEMONS,,SO I FORCED A THOUGHT TO END THE DREAM ,I SHOULD NOT HAVE BECAUSE,, I WAS SUPPOSE TO SAY IT IS WRITTIN THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME, AND THEN I SHOULD HAVE KEPT GOING THE GOD OF ABRAHAM /ISSAC / JACOB...AND THEN SHOULD HAVE SAID ,, SATAN BEGONE,,I THINK I WOULD HAVE WON!!!..HOWEVER HE DID HAVE A BIG LIST !!!SO BE PREPARED. I HAVE BEEN DISIPLINED AND RETURNED TO THE BLACK TIER,WITH THE LORDS MERCY YOU CAN GET OUT OF THE BLACK TEIR IN 2-3 DAYS , MADE IT OUT OF THE RED TEIR 1-2 DAYS WITH MERCY, AND IN A FALSE SATAN TIER I THINK .HOW DO I KNOW???, THE SUN OVER-HEAD IS THE SUN!!!!… NOT THE SON/ JESUS .. I WILL NOT CHALLANGE THE TRIALS IT IS FORBIDDN TO DO SO,, CHANCES ARE,, I DONT KNOW IF YOU WILL HAVE THIS HAPPEN ..BUT GOOD TO KNOW EH!!!!.ALWAYS LEARNING NEVER LOOSING OR FAILING...YOUR TRIALS ARE FOR LEARNING..AND SO YOU LEARN TO DRAW GOD NEARER TO YOU...ALL GOOD.. JUST VERY SAD I SAW JESUS WAITING ON A HORSE, A WAYS FROM ME...NOT TO FAR, I COULD FEEL HIS LOVE HUNDREDS OF FEET AWAY,,,I JUST COULD NOT GET TO HIM YET!!!,,BUT STILL TRYING,, AMEN..NOW I KNOW HOW TO BEAT SATAN , AND HAVE FINALLY MADE HIM SCARED/FRIGHTENED, ENDING..ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO HELP YOU REMEMBER THE BIBLE/SCRIPTURES. I HAVE READ IT OVER AND OVER AND WILL UNTIL I DIE,, AND I STILL CANNOT REMEMBER TO USE IT, OR HARDLY REMEMBER IT,,,SO ASK FOR HELP!!! I HAVE SEEN JESUS/FATHER 5-6 TIMES, BUT STILL CANNOT FULLY GET TO HIM, EVEN WHEN I WAS IN THE WHITE TEIR WHERE SATAN WAS NOT ALLOWED CAME AND GOT ME WITH A BUBBLE, HE HAS TO PROTECT HIMSELF IN THE WHITE ZONE AND DID SO WITH A LARGE BUBBLE!!!,,I THOUGHT IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN HOLY, BUT WAS NOT, TAKEN INTO THE BUBBLE AND I COULD NOT FUNCTION, PROPERLY,, I LOST THE TRIAL. BUT LEARNED!!! A HUNDRED FEET FROM JESUS AND I WEEP AND WEEP AND WEEP..AMEN
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  3. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    You would think the church could put Pelagius to rest by quoting St Paul in Galatians:

    Galatians 3: NASB

    19Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. 20Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. 21Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

    23But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.
     
  4. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    The question is can we obey apart from His Grace? I think the resounding answer is "no." Unless of course you can explain how one can obey without His Grace.

    I think Paul summed it up in Galatians 3:

    19Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. 20Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. 21Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

    23But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.
     
  5. PaulCyp1

    PaulCyp1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Grace is what empowers us to resist the many forces that are drawing us to be disobedient. Some of those forces are spiritual in nature, and far stronger than our mere human will. But with God's grace we can resist such temptations and overcome them.
     
  6. Blade

    Blade Veteran Supporter

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    Well if you are asking of anyone that believes in Christ... well good lord.. I was born in a sinful word. And this flesh loves to sin. As a believer follower of Christ. There is NOTHING I cant do.. NOTHING! For with though Christ all things are possible.

    So.. for me.. with out Him? I can't do anything. But since HE is IN ME! Oh praise GOD GLORY TO JESUS.. thank you FATHER for the grace the mercy the POWER that I can do ALL things through Christ
     
  7. David Cabrera

    David Cabrera Well-Known Member

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    Is St. Augustine the only Church Father the Calvinists know?
     
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  8. Aquila0121

    Aquila0121 Brother In Christ

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    It appears to me that while God gave mankind commandments to keep... God also chose to include a method of atonement, knowing that we'd not keep His commandments on account of our fallen and sinful nature.

    Many legalists will argue that we are expected to keep the Law to attain righteousness worthy of Heaven. However, I've noticed that each legalist has their own brand of legalism with their own lists of commandments they believe God expects us to obey. Some include the Sabbath, various Sabbath laws, dietary requirements, dress codes, etc... while others do not. It quickly becomes a rather arbitrary and subjective notion that we are to keep God's commandments when everyone has a different list or expectation of exactly what those commandments are. LOL

    But Jesus brought a lot of clarity to the subject. Jesus said:

    Matthew 22:36-40 King James Version (KJV)
    36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
    38 This is the first and great commandment.
    39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
    Here, Jesus specifies that the entire Law (every law in the OT) rests on two commandments.


    1.) Love God with all of one's being.
    2.) Love others as one's self.​

    Interestingly, Paul wrote something that speaks to this. Paul wrote:

    Galatians 5:14 King James Version (KJV)
    14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    Romans 13:8-10 King James Version (KJV)
    8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
    9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
    Here we read that loving one's neighbor (others) fulfills the entire Law in one fell swoop. This means that we demonstrate our love for God not by what days we hallow, what foods we eat, what crazy hats we wear, but in our love towards others. If we love others, we would not conceive of stealing from them, harming them, lying to them, seducing them, etc. Love alone fulfills the righteous intentions of the Law.

    So, when we consider this... is it impossible to keep God's Law? No. However, when we do break God's Law the root of the problem is more than wrong behavior. It is a lack of love. If you find yourself stealing from your neighbor, it isn't the act of stealing that is the problem... the problem is that you didn't love your neighbor enough not to covet what was his, nor did you love your neighbor enough not to take it.

    So, I would say that it isn't impossible to obey God's commandments, for they are fulfilled in simply focusing on living a life of love towards God and others.

    Love God.
    Love others.

    The rest is merely commentary.
     
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  9. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Why we pray each day for God to "deliver us from evil."
     
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  10. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    He's the one who battled the heresies of Pelagius. He did write a lot too. Calvinists like long polemics. :)
     
  11. David Cabrera

    David Cabrera Well-Known Member

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    I did a project on Pelagius based on a King Arthur film, since it tried to put him as a poor guy who wanted freedom and who was executed by the Catholic Church.
     
  12. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Executed you mean metaphorically? The Church did not execute him but let him resettle in Egypt.
     
  13. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    Again, would not have even been given laws to obey without God's grace.

    In Leviticus 18:5, Deuteronomy 30:15-16, Galatians 3:12, Romans 10:5, and Matthew 19:17, the one who obeys God's Law will obtain life by it, yet Galatians 3:21-22 is also true in that if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would have been based on the Law and the promise comes by faith. The way that I reconcile these verses is by recognizing that faith is the key to everything in the Bible. In Matthew 23:23, Jesus criticized the Pharisees for neglecting the weightier matters of justice, mercy and faithfulness, so the Law can be outwardly obeyed apart from faith, and this does not bring life. So obedience to the Law by itself does not bring life, but rather it is only when the Law is obeyed through faith that it brings life, which means that faith is implied in Leviticus 18:5 and the other verses I listed, otherwise they would be speaking about salvation through obedience apart from faith.

    Having no more need for a tutor is not the same as having no more need to live by what they taught you. Someone who disregarded everything their tutor taught them after they left would be completely missing the whole point of a tutor. Now that Christ has come we are under a superior teacher, but the subject matter is still how to walk in God's ways in obedience to His Law in accordance with what he taught by word and by example.
     
  14. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    We become the teacher.
     
  15. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    Regardless of who the teacher is, the subject matter is still how to walk in God's ways in obedience to His Law.
     
  16. Hazelelponi

    Hazelelponi Well-Known Member

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    I consider the statement absolutely false.

    I believe that God gives us commandments to show us our desperate need of HIM, to show us our weakness outside of Him, and finally our strength in Him.

    How would we know we needed a savior if there was nothing to be saved from? Why would we need a Savior if all we had to do was "obey".

    The fact we have a Savior is our biggest clue that we are outside ability itself.

    If we don't understand the nature of sin itself and the depravity of mankind, we cant understand Jesus at all.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  17. Hazelelponi

    Hazelelponi Well-Known Member

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    I think when we begin seeking the truth it's because God gives us that desire. I think that too is a gift somehow.

    I wanted to know what Jesus was for, and in a perfect storm finally was in a position where I not only had the desire to know, but also the person to ask, and even the partial ability to understand (although understanding in full took time).

    But I believe the Bible says all of this is a gift from a soverign God who chooses His people, the elect. Not based on who they are, but to bring Glory to His Name.

    So I'm no better, I was given a desire in order that God might manifest His mercy and power in me. I never deserved it, but I am thankful God chose me.
     
  18. Aquila0121

    Aquila0121 Brother In Christ

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    Exactly what commandments in the Law are we to obey?

    Can anyone list them?
     
  19. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    In Deuteronomy 30:11-14, God said that His Law was not too difficult for us to keep.

    If God is legalistic for requiring His followers to obey his Law and Jesus is legalistic for living in complete obedience to the Law and for teaching his followers to obey it by word and by example, then being a legalist is being in good company, however, that is not what legalism refers to. Legalism has always been a perversion of God's Law that undermines both the intent of what God commanded us to do and why He commanded us to do it.

    Even when the Law was first given to Moses, there wasn't a single person who was required to obey every single law, and not even Jesus obeyed the laws in regard to having a period or to giving birth. Some of the laws were only for the King, the High Priest, priests, judges, men, women, widows, children, those who are married, those with animals, those with crops, those with servants, those with leprosy, people living in the land, strangers living among them, and for everyone. Furthermore, many of the laws came with additional conditions under which they should be obeyed, such as the Sabbath, which should only be obeyed under the condition that it is the 7th day, so even when someone agrees that followers of God should follow God, understanding how to follow His Law today is still a matter of careful study, prayer, and leading of the Spirit.

    However, God's Law is a precious gift from God to us for our own good in order to bless us, to teach us how to walk in God's ways, how to rightly live, how to turn from sin, and how to grow in a relationship with him based on faith and love, so this study should be done with the attitude of looking for reasons why we have privilege and the delight of getting to obey God's instructions as though we think that He can be trust to guide us rather than with the attitude of looking for every excuse under the Sun to avoid following God's guidance as though someone thinks that God can't be trust to guide them.


    All of the 613 commandments in the OT and 1,050 commandments in the NT can be put into one of both of the categories of being God's instructions for how He wants us to love Him or how He wants us to love our neighbor, so all of the other commandments hang on the greatest two because they are all examples of what it looks like to correctly obey them. For example, obedience to the command to help the poor looks like obedience to the command to love our neighbor, so the command to love does not replace the other commands, but rather it is the essence of them. Love fulfills the Law because that is what it is essentially about how to do. Jesus expressed his love through his actions and what that looked like was complete obedience to the Mosaic Law, so that is how we are to love as he loved. Another way to put it would be that Christ's obedience to the greatest two commandments looked exactly like his complete obedience to the Mosaic Law, so it would make no sense for someone to want to follow God's command to love while wanting nothing to do with following His instructions for how He wants us to love.

    In 1 John 5:3, to love God is to obey His commands, so if we love God and our neighbor, then we will refrain from stealing, murder, lying, adultery, but we also refrain from breaking His other commands like to keep the Sabbath holy or from eating unclean animals.
     
  20. Aquila0121

    Aquila0121 Brother In Christ

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    It is important to note that the NT specifies that love fulfills the entire law... the law doesn't fulfill love.

    "How?", one might ask.

    Well, let's say my neighbor has angered me and I choose not to kill him. Have I obeyed the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill."? Yes. However, does that prove that I love my neighbor? Nope. I might just not want to go to prison.

    But love... just focusing on love... if I love my neighbor, I will not even conceive of harming him.

    The notion that obedience to the Law describes the love God requires is errant. Because the Law can be obeyed without love. However, love will fulfill the spirit and intent of the entire Law in one fell swoop.

    Love God.
    Love others.

    The rest is merely commentary.
     
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