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Featured Does God Accept Imperfect Obedience?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by jimmyjimmy, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. AarontheStudent

    AarontheStudent שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם

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    Although while it's still on my mind, I Have heard it suggested before that the author of John may have written it to correct some teachings about Jesus' dvivinity.

    I mean, makes senses, naturally the messiah being son of God would be the first thing to confuse the early church.
     
  2. ladodgers6

    ladodgers6 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I will provide an excellent retort from one of my favorite theologian list. He is lucid and concise about what the Reformed Faith teaches.

    A believer's justification by faith alone secures his indefectible standing in the presence of God. In justification, the legal dimension of our union with Christ, the guilt and power of sin is broken and Christ's righteousness (obedience) is imputed to the believer by faith Alone in the legal declaration pronounced by God. As Paul explains: "There is therefore NOW no condemnation for hose who are in Christ Jesus' (Rom. 8:1). Our justification is a one-time act, never to be repeated.

    By contrast, sanctification is the ongoing process that removes the pollution of sin and gradually conforms the sinner to the image of Christ (Eph. 4:20-24). The sinner's justification definitively sets the believer apart from the world of sin and God always looks upon him as holy because of the imputed righteousness of Christ.

    The Heidelberg Catechism explains this point as follows:

    60. Q.
    How are you righteous before God?

    A. Only by true faith in Jesus Christ. Although my conscience accuses me that I have grievously sinned against all God's commandments, have never kept any of them, and am still inclined to all evil, yet God, without any merit of my own, out of mere grace, imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ. He grants these to me as if I had never had nor committed any sin, and as if I myself had accomplished all the obedience which Christ has rendered for me, if only I accept this gift with a believing heart.
    If the believer's standing before God were to hinge upon his sanctification, his status would be in question because of its imperfect nature--we constantly battle against sin (Gal. 5:16-26). Or as the Westminster Confession explains it: "This sanctification is throughout, in the whole man; yet imperfect in this life, there abiding still some remnants of corruption in every part; whence arises a continual and irreconcilable war, the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh' (13:2). For this reason, as Wilhelmus a Brakel, a seventeenth-century Dutch Reformed theologian, writes: 'In natural order justification comes first, and sanctification follows as proceeding from justification.

    In similar way, John Calvin observed in his Institutes that the doctrine of justification is the foundation for sanctification. Calvin writes that justification 'is the main hinge on which religion turns' and that apart it, we do not have the foundation upon which to establish our salvation, nor one on which to build piety toward God. Elsewhere, Calvin explains: "They, 'the impious, 'cannot deny that justification by faith is the beginning, foundation, cause, motive, and substance of the righteousness of works'. Why did Calvin believe this? Calvin explains: 'For unless justification by faith remain unimpaired, the impurity of their works will be detected'. The foundational nature of justification is key, then, not only for the preservation f the integrity of our justification, that it is grounded solely upon the work of Christ Alone, but also for the integrity of our sanctification, because until his glorification on the last day, it will always be imperfect. Murray succinctly summarizes these points when he writes: 'Sanctification is a process that begins, we might say, in regeneration, finds its basis in justification, and derives its energizing grace from Union with Christ which s effected in effectual calling.
     
  3. ladodgers6

    ladodgers6 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for the information. There are some concerns I have. But one really sticks out. Hope you can elaborate on it.

    "the soul was damaged and is destroyed by grace;".

    Is this a mistype? Because how is the soul destroyed by Grace?
     
  4. AarontheStudent

    AarontheStudent שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם

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    Sorry! I had to type it out while under some serious multitasking (and nearly 48 hours without sleep, besides a short two hour nap.) There's probably other mistypes also, but that one gave me a smile.

    It was supposed to be RESTORED by grace. It's on pgs. 27- 29, Google books will let you read.

    The anabaptists were/are an independent community, and like the other Reformation groups trying to understand apostolic Christianity through scripture. So although sola scriptura, much of the doctrines are worded differently or even unique altogether.

    There's an anabaptist subforum if you want to create a separate discussion out of it.
     
  5. Dartman

    Dartman Well-Known Member

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    The definition you offer is only a partial definition;

    pleroo (play-ro'-o); from NT:4134; to make replete, i.e. (literally) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.:

    (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

    So, a BETTER understanding is, Jesus did NOT come to DESTROY the Law, he came to FINISH it .... exactly as Jehovah/YHVH God predicted in Deut 18:15-19

    15 Jehovah thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
    16 according to all that thou desiredst of Jehovah thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of Jehovah my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.
    17 And Jehovah said unto me, They have well said that which they have spoken.
    18 I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
    19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.


    Jesus COMMANDED his followers to keep the laws given to Jesus by his God;

    John 12:49-50 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

    John 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
     
  6. Dartman

    Dartman Well-Known Member

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    Your conclusion is incorrect. John was writing to the brethren:
    1 John 2:7
    1 John 3:13
    1 John 3:14
    1 John 3:16

    Those who shared John's beliefs, and from whom the apostasy had departed;
    1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
     
  7. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

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    I've heard people say this, but I haven't a clue where it is written. Can you help?
     
  8. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Here's part of 1 John. I read it and I agree with Hammster, it was written to the church. Take note of the text in bold below that clearly shows who St. John was addressing (in the church*), and what is either being said to them or about them :) This letter was written to the saints, both young and old in the faith.

    *(this is a quick look at this passage, IOW, I just hit some of the obvious highlights to make my point)



    Chapter 2

    Christ Is Our Advocate

    1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
    2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
    3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
    4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
    5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:
    6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
    7 Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.
    8 On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.
    9 The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.
    10 The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
    11 But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

    12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake.
    13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father.
    14 I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.


    Do Not Love the World

    15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
    16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
    17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
    18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.
    19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.
    20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.
    21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.
    22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
    23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.
    24 As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

    The Promise Is Eternal Life

    25 This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.
    26 These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. 27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
    28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.
    29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.

    In Christ,
    David

    1 John 5
    13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
  9. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Hi 1stCL, I hope you and Rick don't mind me jumping in, but here's one place that talks about rewards. I included the context, but take particular note of v10-15. I believe the end of this passage describes part of the Bema Seat Judgment of Christians at the end of the Age, not for salvation (as that was decided in this life .. John 3:18; John 5:24), but for rewards (or the lack thereof).

    1 Corinthians 3
    1 I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.
    2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,
    3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?
    4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?
    5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.
    6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
    7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.
    8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
    9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
    10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.
    11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
    12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
    13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.
    14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.
    15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

    Yours and His,
    David
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
  10. ladodgers6

    ladodgers6 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I thought so, thanks for the correction. Get some sleep :sleep:
     
  11. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    That is true Darkhorse, if we have to obey the law to be saved, then we are ALL doomed :eek: The Good News is, God is apparently in the business of justifying the wicked/ungodly .. Romans 4:5. So while it's true that God doesn't accept our "obedience" (since we aren't obedient .. James 2:10-11), He does accept His Son's obedience on our behalf .. 2 Corinthians 5:21 :amen:

    --David

    Romans 4
    5 To the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

    James 2

    10 Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.
    11 For He who said, “DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,” also said, “DO NOT COMMIT MURDER.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.

    2 Corinthians 5
    21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
  12. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    I know, I know, pulled this out of all context.... just to point out this is wrong;

    I don't know if Anabaptists actually thought this or not, or someone later claimed or said they did, for whatever reason.
     
  13. AarontheStudent

    AarontheStudent שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם

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    Anabaptists always had a strong view on tzelem -- the idea we're made in God's likeness -- understanding that likeness is similar to being an exact shadow. And they held this view because the earliest Christians did too. This concept played a large part in their core beliefs: believer's baptism, pacifism, and ideas on free will.

    Today, though, probably all over the place.

    But it's clear the anabaptists of old were very familiar with scripture and the culture of Biblical times, often using exact Biblical language in their writing.
     
  14. jimmyjimmy

    jimmyjimmy Pardoned Rebel Supporter

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    Obedience was always about perfection.

    10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”
     
  15. OrthodoxyUSA

    OrthodoxyUSA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's that you have never heard a homily from the saints that teach that. You've read it on your own.

    I could recommend St. John Chrysostom's "Adversus Judaeos" -"Against Judaism".

    Adversus Judaeos - Wikipedia

    Forgive me...
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
  16. Rick Otto

    Rick Otto The Dude Abides

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    Seems like there is a raft of verses that confirm rewards in heaven, but only a few that warn of losing them...
    2 Cor 5:10
    For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

    And it's looking like the loss is inferred, not directly stated. I think Paul may have actually used words like "lose your crown". Still looking...
    Revelation 2:10
    Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
    More inferring...
    1 Corinthians 3:12-14
    Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.

    Matthew 5:17-19
    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
    Matthew 25:14-30
    “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. ...

    If you need more, here's a link to a site I found by typing "verses about rewards in heaven" into the search engine I use called "Duck, duck, go"
    What Does the Bible Say About Rewards In Heaven?
     
  17. Wordkeeper

    Wordkeeper Newbie

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    1 Corinthians 3

    1 I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.

    2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,

    3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?

    4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?

    5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.

    6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.

    7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.

    8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

    9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

    10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.

    11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

    12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,

    13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.

    14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.

    15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.



    The passage is about factions, identified by doctrine of the teachers: Apollos, Paul, Cephas:

    1 Corinthians 3:21-23
    21So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours,22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephasc or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.


    Each person boasted his rabbi was better than the rabbi of the other, continuing the habit of their pre-Christian lives.

    Paul taught that all the teachings were from Christ, for different stages of a believer’s spiritual growth. Soon, they would have to start building their own doctrine. The apostles were there only to lay the foundation. If they built with precious material, their contributions would survive the test of fire:

    Jeremiah 23:28,29
    28“The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in commonwith grain?” declares the LORD. 29“Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?


    The prophet would survive, he would not lose his life like the Old Testament prophet, but his escape would be as through fire, his doctrine would be destroyed.
     
  18. Thursday

    Thursday Well-Known Member

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    Imperfect obedience is sin. God will accept our confessions and forgive us when we sin.
     
  19. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

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    Thanks. I love first John and always nice to read him. I didn't see anything about rewards though, except eternal life, of course.
     
  20. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

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    Thank you. That must be it. I'll have to study it further.
     
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