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I tried that. It didn't work. Got anything else?

Discussion in 'Discipleship: Following Jesus' started by aiki, Aug 8, 2021.

  1. Lifelong_sinner

    Lifelong_sinner Well-Known Member

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    So what you’re saying is, whenever i come into a situation where i want to sin, say look at a porn website, instead of just doing it because i want to, i should fight that urge, and tell God, hey, im submitting to you, guide me elsewhere as you see fit.

    now when i hear preachers talk about repentance, is just in general for all our sins, or do we repent for each sin we commit everyday? How many times do we have to repent to be saved, and declared justified??
     
  2. Jesus is my Superhero

    Jesus is my Superhero Zealot

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    There are obvious sins that should be dealt with as quickly as possible. Some of these may include fornication, adultery, murder, drunkenness, drug abuse and more.
    Over time in your walk with God, the Holy Spirit may point out areas of your life that you need to change. Perhaps speaking ill of others, bad attitude, treatment of fellow man and other sins.

    this walk is a lifelong experience. The closer you draw to God through the Holy Spirit revealing more of Jesus in you, the more that your desire will be to submit and obey. This is being a Christian. Prayer is you speaking to God. Bible study is God speaking to you, but also through His Holy Spirit guiding you to all truth. Be patient! Draw closer to God and He will draw closer to you.
     
  3. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    You should fight a sinful urge by submitting to God. That's the battle, really: submitting and staying submitted in the face of fierce temptation. We are the problem, you see. And you can't fix a problem with the problem itself. We are weak, sin-prone, short-sighted, and ignorant, so we are extremely ill-equipped to fight ourselves successfully. In light of this, God offers to us Himself as our agent of change, as the Power that transforms us. Only as we submit to Him, though, does He act as such in our lives.

    Philippians 1:6
    Philippians 2:13
    1Thessalonians 5:23-24
    Ephesians 3:16
    Romans 8:13
    Romans 6:13
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2021
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  4. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Give this a look:

    Crocodile Tears.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2021
  5. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    I should explain, I think, that sin is merely a symptom of a deeper issue. It is very tempting to go about stamping out the "fires" of sin that appear in our lives, never realizing that they are coming from a blazing bonfire of wickedness: the human heart.

    Jeremiah 17:9
    9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

    Matthew 15:19
    19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

    We will never cease chasing down sin in our lives until we deal with the source of the sin. God knows this, of course, and has explained to us in His word what He has done to free us, not just from sins, but from our own wicked hearts that produce all our sin.

    In Romans 6, the apostle Paul laid out a two-part path to freedom from all sin, the way to stop endlessly running around dealing with individual sins and get right at the root of the problem. The first part of stepping into freedom from sin is to know the truth about yourself as a born-again child of God, to know what God has already done to free you from the "old man," the ultimate source of all your sin. I go into detail about this matter in the following thread:

    The Great Reckoning: Living by Faith.

    The second part of the "way of escape" from the power-source of sin is spelled out in the OP to this thread: submission to God. Here are some thoughts on this:

    I Wanna Be Free!
     
  6. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Bump.
     
  7. EmethAlethia

    EmethAlethia Newbie

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    Submission is not something God does for us. It's an active ongoing way of life that results in habitually doing what it takes to get to the truth of What the Word of God says and means and then seeking to obey all of it exactly that way ... not because it earns us anything, or we get some reward, ... he who is forgiven much loves much, if you love Me you will keep My commandments ... As a new born babe so cries out for food, true Christians cry out for the pure milk of the word that they may grow thereby. Indeed, Christian maturity in the eyes of God comes by practice studying the word of God over and over again so that we can readily tell good from evil.

    None of this is "passive" submitting, or "God you take control", it's an, "You died in my place, I know the debt I had. While I was Your enemy and hostile to You, You died for me, I will seek You and Your will and live for You as a habit and way of life for the rest of my life, response. No one has to teach a baby to cry out for food. If you have experienced that the Lord is gracious, you will cry out for the pure milk of the Word and you will Study to show yourself approved as a workman who need not be ashamed because you will cut it out straight and you will live in accordance with it.

    All submission is this way. It is an active seeking to figure out and live in accordance with the will of the one you are submitting to. This doesn't mean that God hasn't helped me, or that the Holy Spirit doesn't do His part, but living for Jesus is not about Him but about our faith in Him. If you love Me you will ... is not about if He loves us. If you have faith you will, if you believe you will. If you don't love enough to figure out and do His will as a habit and way of life then you don't truly believe the price He paid for you. You don't see the depth of the sin, or the price paid, already paid, for you. You don't believe either the severity of the debt or the payment. Understanding and believing always result in those things.

    Does this mean that there aren't times of rebellion, that there aren't times of struggle where you believe God is far from you? No ... but that's not the focus, it's about your relationship with Him, and in relationships, there are struggles, ... there are rough spots, and that's ok. It's about commitment, it's about dedication, it's about, fine, I blew that one royally, time to pick myself up and get back to the walk. Sure we stumble, so what. If you love Him, you get up. But understanding and believing what we owe as a debt to God, and the price He paid for loving us is key. Submission is natural then. And, having a body of flesh means that I have two natures at war, and sometimes the flesh wins a skirmish or two. Fine ... the war isn't over, the flesh cannot win. I know who has bought me with a price unfathomable.

    You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your own blood in your striving against sin, is not about us being passive and "letting God" control us. It's about US doing whatever it takes. Sorry for the let go and let God group, this is about loving God enough to get back up and give it another go. He doesn't give up on me, now it's not about me ... it's about wanting to please4 Him with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. It's about doing all that I can to figure out, understand, and live pleasing to Him as I understand how much He loves me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
  8. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    John 15:4-5
    4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
    5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.


    Philippians 2:13
    13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

    1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
    23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.


    Everything in the Christian life God calls His children to work out, He must first work into them. It is proud, independent, carnal Self, the "Old Man" of Romans 6:6, who says, "I will do for God!" To this fleshly part of ourselves Jesus says, "Apart from me you can do nothing."

    Yes, the Christian life is active. Absolutely. We don't only submit to God's will, receiving from Him the wherewithal to be who He wants us to be, we also reflect in our living the transformation He works in us. But this isn't just a matter of establishing, by force of our own will, God-honoring habits. Our holy living is the by-product of the Holy Spirit filling us with himself such that we can't help but manifest him, the "Spirit of Christ" (Romans 8:9), in everything we do.

    Galatians 5:22-23
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
    23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.


    Ephesians 5:8-9
    8 For at one time you were darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
    9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth)


    Romans 8:13
    13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.


    Ephesians 3:16
    16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,


    All throughout the NT, we are encouraged to righteousness and God-centered living by the promise of reward.

    Matthew 5:11-12
    11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
    12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


    Matthew 6:3-4
    3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
    4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.


    Matthew 6:6
    6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.


    1 Corinthians 3:11-14
    11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
    12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—
    13 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.
    14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.


    Hebrews 10:35-36
    35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
    36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.


    And so on. Clearly, God does not think incentivizing our right living with reward is a bad way to induce us to such living. Of course, our "exceeding great reward" is God Himself (Genesis 15:1) in whom we find joy, peace, love and rest. In any case, the idea that we live righteously just because it is "the right thing to do," or because we are obliged to do so, mistakes profoundly the nature and purpose of Christian living.

    Very sad. Very self-centered. Been there; done that. Didn't work. What else you got? God says there is no walking with Him without submission, yielding, humbling ourselves:

    Romans 6:13-22
    Romans 8:14
    Romans 12:1
    James 4:7-10
    1 Peter 5:6
    Micah 6:8


    As John the Baptist said, "He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30)

    Oh? Why, then, does Peter have to tell the Christians to whom he is writing that this is how they ought to desire the word of God? If it is so natural a thing to desire it, why did Peter say anything about it? It seems to me, because they didn't naturally, as "true" Christians, have such a desire. In fact, in the verse just before the one about the "sincere milk of the word," Peter had commanded his readers:

    1 Peter 2:1
    1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,


    So, Peter is issuing a command to his readers that actually continues in verse 2:

    1 Peter 2:2
    2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:


    Why would Peter have to command these things if they were as natural to Christian living as a baby desiring food? Obviously, because they weren't.

    Again, very sad. And exposing serious spiritual immaturity. Study of God's word is very important, yes, but spiritual maturity has primarily to do with knowing God deeply, enjoying daily fellowship with Him, not just being able to discern good from evil.

    1 Corinthians 1:9
    9 God is faithful, by whom you were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.


    2 Corinthians 13:14
    14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.


    1 John 1:3
    3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.


    Philippians 3:8-10
    8 ...I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
    9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
    10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;


    Wow. You don't see the self-centeredness in what you've written here? You don't see how you, your faith, is the center of your "living for Jesus" rather than Jesus himself? Yikes. Friend, this thinking will lead you inevitably to frustration, compromise and hypocrisy.

    It absolutely is!

    1 John 4:19
    19 We love him, because he first loved us.


    Romans 5:5
    5 And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.


    Galatians 5:22
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love...


    The love God wants from us - His own perfect, holy, faithful, self-sacrificing love - He must give to us. And he induces us to accept His love, given to us in the Person of His Spirit, by first showing us its power and infinite scope in Christ's death for us on the cross.

    Lots of you in this, eh? Too much. Way too much. You have to die (Matthew 16:24-25; Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:1-11, Colossians 3:1-3, etc.) so that the life of Christ in the Person of the Spirit can manifest in you. But only God can put you to death. Which He has. When you understand this, all your self-centered thinking concerning the Christian life will dissolve.

    Well, time and experience will beat this "it's all about me" stuff out of you. God will see to it. You can't ever really enjoy Him until you stop doing for God and first let Him do for you - just as you had to do be saved. And it is joyful communion with Him that is the heart of the Christian life. See above.

    Can you see, though, how you're already making accommodation for sin in your thinking, here? Self always does this. Like begets like. You can only beget more of you. Only God can beget godliness in you. It seems you're still a ways off from understanding this.

    No, it's not. Obligation simply hasn't the power to keep you walking with God. In time, obligation turns into an onerous burden, an impediment to doing what one really wants to do, a barrier to doing what one loves to do, and so is inevitably eventually thrown off. Obligation is a weak substitute for the proper basis for Christian living that God commands:

    Matthew 22:36-38
    36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
    37 Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all thy heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
    38 This is the first and great commandment.


    1 Corinthians 13:1-3
    1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
    2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
    3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.


    John 15:5
    5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.


    This is, I'm afraid, the thinking of the spiritually-immature person:

    Hebrews 6:1
    1 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works...

    There is nothing else to be found in the thinking you have described but a cycle in which you lay again and again a foundation of repentance from dead (that is, sinful) works. But this is all Self has to offer. It can't produce in you the life of Christ found only in the indwelling Holy Spirit. Self is too weak, too corrupt to take you into joyful, holy fellowship with God. Anyway, you'll find this out - sooner or later.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2021
  9. EmethAlethia

    EmethAlethia Newbie

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    I see little we disagree on, other than your interpretation that I am making Christianity all about works and our efforts / choices, again, out of love ... If you love Me you will ... He who is forgiven much loves much. You know a gratitude thing, a love response ... but an act of will all the same ...

    I said God's standard for Christian maturity was that we would be so practiced in the word that we could readily tell good from evil ...

    Heb 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

    I stated that it was us who needed to put in the efforts and the striving to figure out and do His will, a choice, a decision ... again, out of love because He first loved us and died for us... and that the consequences for choosing not to do so, for real Christians should be a motivation to pick ourselves up and try again ...

    Heb 12:4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, "MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; 6 FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES." 7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

    If we refuse to do so, and judge ourselves correctly and straighten out our paths as an act of our own will and efforts, God will step in and do so for us, but it us putting in every effort that covers our end of the deal. Yes, God does His part ... I was only referring to our part in this. Waiting for God to correct us is not going to be a healthy choice ...

    1Co 11:27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

    Like I said, it is not that God doesn't play His part, the Holy Spirit His, Christ His ... but those are things God does. Yes, He enables our part. our part is to be done as an outgrowth of our love, our appreciation, our gratitude for all that He has done for us. It isn't works, you don't earn, deserve, maintain, anything we have been given by what we choose to do or don't do, it is the natural outgrowth of true saving faith.

    Letting go and letting God do all the efforts to get right, figure out what His word says and means and alter our beliefs to fit, will end up with Him doing the work of judging us for refusing to judge ourselves and correct our own course ... if we truly are Christians. Do we have the right to choose? Of course. We can sit back and refuse to obey His commands and figure out His will and submit to it, striving against our sinful flesh ... or not. But there are consequences for choosing to be disobedient. What God commands He enables His people to do ... if they choose to do so. If you love God you will ... if you don't you won't ... you might wait for God to do it for you... that ... is a lot more painful, and from a physical standpoint, it could be fatal.
     
  10. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Hmmm...Love and gratitude may be related, or overlap each other somewhat, but they are not the same thing. I can't say I love God just because I feel grateful toward Him. Imagine, asking a woman to marry you on such basis: "I find myself feeling powerfully grateful toward you, Beth! Marry me, please!" Beth would likely respond, "You want to marry me because you are grateful toward me? Do you love me?" And she would ask this question because she knows what we all know to be true: gratitude and love are not the same thing.

    Love, at its core, is desire. I can examine every thing in my life that I love and discover desire at its heart. And the greater the desire, the greater the love. The Psalmist pointed to this:

    Psalm 42:1-2
    1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God.
    2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God...


    Psalm 63:1
    1 O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.


    Psalm 84:1-2
    1 How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts!
    2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.


    There are plenty of folks who obey God. But there are far fewer who really deeply desire Him - not His stuff, His peace, His forgiveness, His mercy, His grace, etc. - but God Himself. This is where obedience to God begins. (Matthew 22:35-38) The First and Great Commandment is to love God with all we are, not go to church, or avoid porn, or stay away from drugs, or to cut your neighbor's lawn for him, or give to charity but to love - desire - God. It's amazing to me how many Christians are caught up in doing righteous deeds but with hearts that are far from God, that don't desire Him.

    This is only one feature of spiritual maturity - and not the most important one, I think. Discerning right from wrong well is merely a means to a greater end: deep, rich, joyful fellowship with God.

    "Put in the effort" is a dangerous way of thinking spiritually, in my experience. We don't need to do so when we are fueled by the power of the Spirit; our effort isn't necessary when God is giving us both the desire and ability to do His will, as Paul wrote to the Philippian Christians. (Philippians 2:13) "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," Paul wrote (Philippians 4:13), not "I can do all things through Christ and through me putting in my own effort." As I already pointed out from Scripture, we only work out what God has first worked into us; we simply manifest His work in us. This is very different than me "putting in the effort" and expecting a supernatural result. I can only produce more of me.

    God disciplines His children primarily by letting them have their own way, which He knows always leads to greater and greater frustration, failure and pain. His discipline lets us "spin our wheels" in the muddy track of sin, miring ourselves more and more in it, until in desperation and humility we cry out to Him for help. And then, He responds to our pleas by saying to us, "I'm the Boss. Will you let me be the Boss of you all the time? It's the only circumstance under which I will change you."

    This is quite contrary to what God says to us in His word. Your thinking is very male, very manly, but it is not at all biblical or godly. We come to God for salvation utterly morally bankrupt and totally bereft of the wherewithal to save ourselves.

    Titus 3:3-7
    3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
    4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,
    5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
    6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
    7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
    (See also: Ephesians 2:1-10)

    We have not the slightest bit to offer to the redemptive work of Christ on our behalf. We can only humble ourselves before God and by faith receive from Him the redemption found in His Son. We are receivers; that's it. And this remains the case once we've been saved. We are still - and always will be - receivers of the work of God on our behalf. He saved us and He changes us.

    Romans 8:13
    13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.


    Philippians 1:6
    6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.


    1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
    23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.


    1 Peter 5:10
    10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.


    Jude 1:24-25
    24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,
    25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.


    Amen!

    His part? You aren't in a partnership - not of equals or near-equals, anyway; you are in a Master-Slave relationship (Romans 6:13-22); you are in a Father-child relationship (2 Corinthians 6:18; Romans 8:15); you are in a Vine-branch relationship (John 15:1-5); you are in a Shepherd-sheep relationship (John 10); you are in a Creator-creature relationship (Colossians 1:13-18) but you are NOT in a partnership; God is not your "co-pilot"; He's your Boss, your Lord, your King, your God. You come to God completely dependent upon Him to be and to do everything He has called you to do.

    Brother, this is way too us/you-centered. "Our part," "our love," "our appreciation," "our gratitude," our faith. Dude, you gotta die (Matthew 16:24-25; Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:6-11; Colossians 3:1-3, etc.). That's your "job," if you like, not centering your life in Christ on your efforts, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with God as though you are on an equal footing. God wants more of Christ in and out of you, not more of you.

    No one is saying you just sit like a brain-dead dummy, waiting for God to drag you around by the neck to do what He wants you to do. It's the order of things, the dynamic between you and Him, that I'm talking about. You only work out what God has first worked in; you are only changed by His work in you, as you submit yourself to Him throughout every day; but as you are changed, you reflect this change in how you live.

    Which is the thinking of the slave under a hard and cruel Master, or the prisoner under the power of a harsh, punitive Warden. Yes, God uses the stick as well as the carrot to motivate us to right living, but the end goal is not right living, but joyful fellowship with Him that right living enables.

    Not according to God. See above.
     
  11. EmethAlethia

    EmethAlethia Newbie

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    Hmmm...Love and gratitude may be related, or overlap each other somewhat, but they are not the same thing.
    Luk 7:40 And Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he replied, "Say it, Teacher." 41 "A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 "When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?" 43 Simon answered and said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more." And He said to him, "You have judged correctly." 44 Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 "You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46 "You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. 47 "For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little."

    If you do not understand and believe what God has forgiven you for, you cannot have the love He describes for God. Nor will you grasp what God’s forgiveness means as it pertains to others. Understanding the debt we owed God and what He has forgiven us for is a foundational belief that, without it does not result in salvation.

    Mat 18:24 "When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 "But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. 26 "So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.' 27 "And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. 28 "But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, 'Pay back what you owe.' 29 "So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you.' 30 "But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. 31 "So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. 32 "Then summoning him, his lord *said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 'Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?' 34 "And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. 35 "My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."

    Missing this key part also means that you are not a Christian yet. Your debt is still in place.

    Mat 6:12 'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]' 14 "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

    I can't say I love God just because I feel grateful toward Him. Imagine, asking a woman to marry you on such basis: "I find myself feeling powerfully grateful toward you, Beth! Marry me, please!" Beth would likely respond, "You want to marry me because you are grateful toward me? Do you love me?" And she would ask this question because she knows what we all know to be true: gratitude and love are not the same thing.


    47 "For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little." I get it, to you they are not the same thing. Jesus says that if you miss it though, no matter what you “believe” you love, you will not have the love of God that results in salvation. This is a foundational salvation fact. And if you do not have it, loving God, as He desires us to love Him, cannot be done …

    Love, at its core, is desire. I can examine everything in my life that I love and discover desire at its heart. And the greater the desire, the greater the love.

    Zeal for God in accordance with your beliefs doesn’t even save us. Moslems fly planes into towers, people flagellate themselves, people go on crusades for God … but zeal, being on fire, spending 20 hours a day in prayer, fasting for weeks out of a desire love, zeal for God in accordance with your beliefs has nothing at all to do with salvation. Everyone who believes there is God believes they love the truth and have the truth, many would rather die than give up their beliefs and dedicate their lives to living in accordance with those beliefs.

    Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.

    But having the “spirit” right, getting a zeal for God, doesn’t result in salvation either or all the Jews, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses … would all have the correct gospel and all would be in heaven. Believing you are right with God and believing you are doing His will doesn’t even save you if you believe Jesus is your Lord God and Savior. The target is doing what it takes to get to truth, the things God commands us to keep on doing with His word over and over again, like “Prove all things, hold fast to what is good.” Which is in the present tense. “Keep in proving all things over and over again as a habit and way of life, and never stop, and when you do, hold fast to what is good/true and not to your beliefs.”

    There are plenty of folks who obey God.

    Everyone who believes there is a God pretty much believes that they, and those that follow their belief group, have the truth, believe the truth and live the truth. Believing you do, even with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, does not save.

    Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.' 24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and does them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall."

    Jesus says that the vast majority, the Many, on the broad path that leads to destruction are the many who believe He is their Lord, God, Savior, and that everything in their lives points to them being right with God. I don’t question their zeal for God, their hearts desire for Him, their hours of prayer and reading the bible … but they miss the truth, while believing they are right with Him. The key in this passage is not believing you are doing His will, but getting to the truth of what His word really says and means and living in accordance with that.

    Heb 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

    This is only one feature of spiritual maturity - and not the most important one, I think. Discerning right from wrong well is merely a means to a greater end: deep, rich, joyful fellowship with God.

    Yet God says He still considers you a nursing babe if you are not yet to this point, no matter what else you may have. God says you are still a nursing babe if you aren’t to this point no matter what other standard we may set. God says you are still a baby.

    EmethAlethia said:

    I stated that it was us who needed to put in the efforts and the striving to figure out and do His will, a choice, a decision ... again, out of love because He first loved us and died for us... and that the consequences for choosing not to do so, for real Christians should be a motivation to pick ourselves up and try again ...

    Heb 12:4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, "MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; 6 FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES." 7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.


    "Put in the effort" is a dangerous way of thinking spiritually, in my experience.

    Yet God commands us to “STRIVE”, and keep on “Striving”, even to the point of shedding your own blood … in other words, every possible effort. Spare nothing.

    “We don't need to do so when we are fueled by the power of the Spirit; our effort isn't necessary when God is giving us both the desire and ability to do His will,”

    Ok, so Paul lied, do not keep on habitually striving putting in every effort possible. Let’s correct the word of God.

    Heb 12:4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; Relax and let God fix all your sins. He will give you the desire when He wants to do so. 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, "MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; If God seems to be correcting you because you aren’t choosing to put in your own efforts, ignore it and relax. The Holy Spirit will jump in and fix it all for you without any effort. Trust God to fix you and go on with life.6 FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES." God is going to do all the fixing, don’t worry about Him reproving you for waiting on Him to fix you. Relax. The Holy Spirit has this. 7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. God won’t discipline you for those things that are to be done by Him. That would be unjust. If you seem to be being corrected by God, relax, He doesn’t do that. Wait for the Holy Spirit to take over and do it all for you.

    as Paul wrote to the Philippian Christians. (Philippians 2:13) "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," Paul wrote (Philippians 4:13), not "I can do all things through Christ and through me putting in my own effort."

    Php 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

    The efforts are ours to put in, not God’s. Yes, if we are Christians, the desire to be pleasing to Him, “He who is forgiven much loves much.”, comes from Him. That love results in our desire to figure out and keep His commandments. “If you love Me you will keep My commandments.” It is our job to obey and work out our salvation, for ourselves… out of love.

    As I already pointed out from Scripture, we only work out what God has first worked into us; we simply manifest His work in us. This is very different than me "putting in the effort" and expecting a supernatural result. I can only produce more of me.

    Unfortunately God commands that we DO put in the efforts. And if we are His we will DO, we will strive, we will be what He desires … He does command it. “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

    God disciplines His children primarily by letting them have their own way, which He knows always leads to greater and greater frustration, failure and pain.

    That’s not what He says… those in the world do get natural consequences for their actions, but they are not His kids, so God does not focus on reproof of the lost now. They will have their time of judgment.

    1Co 11:28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

    That’s how God says He reproves His kids NOW, while they are still on the earth. We can make up anything else we want, but that’s what He says. That’s “HIS” reproof of His kids. Otherwise we would be lost and judged with the world. If you refuse to “DO” this, for yourself and by yourself, God, if He is your Father, WILL do the above work of reproof in you because you refuse to put in the efforts yourself.

    Heb. 12: 7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

    His discipline lets us "spin our wheels" in the muddy track of sin, miring ourselves more and more in it, until in desperation and humility we cry out to Him for help. And then, He responds to our pleas by saying to us, "I'm the Boss. Will you let me be the Boss of you all the time? It's the only circumstance under which I will change you."

    Again, that’s not what God says. He says that if we refuse to listen and put in the efforts ourselves, that He will step in and do so.

    Heb 12:9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? (and a number sleep. (1Co. 11:29) 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. 12 Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak(1Co. 11:30 For this reason many among you are weak) and the knees that are feeble, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.
     
  12. EmethAlethia

    EmethAlethia Newbie

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    EmethAlethia said:

    If we refuse to do so, and judge ourselves correctly and straighten out our paths as an act of our own will and efforts, God will step in and do so for us, but it us putting in every effort that covers our end of the deal.

    This is quite contrary to what God says to us in His word. Your thinking is very male, very manly, but it is not at all biblical or godly. We come to God for salvation utterly morally bankrupt and totally bereft of the wherewithal to save ourselves.

    Huh? Who said anything about saving ourselves? This is after salvation. These are efforts Christians are commanded to put in, and if they don’t God will reprove them for not fixing the problem themselves. There is a sin that leads to death … 1Co 5:5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

    Not putting in the work to fix your problems yourself will get true Christians killed, i.e. taken home to be in heaven for being an embarrassment to Him here.

    Titus 3:3-7
    3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
    (See also: Ephesians 2:1-10)

    You are correct, none of this striving results in us earning, deserving or maintaining anything at all pertaining to salvation. This is AFTER salvation. His people will figure out what His word says and means and will do what it takes to live in accordance with it or they are sick, weak, or He takes them home and they physically die.

    We have not the slightest bit to offer to the redemptive work of Christ on our behalf.
    I agree.
    We can only humble ourselves before God and by faith receive from Him the redemption found in His Son.
    I agree.
    We are receivers; that's it.
    When it comes to salvation I agree.

    And this remains the case once we've been saved. We are still - and always will be - receivers of the work of God on our behalf. He saved us and He changes us.

    Yes and no. God commands US to put in the effort, “If we love Him” If we don’t we won’t. Those unwilling to obey/put in the effort, out of love, because they understand all they have been forgiven, are not His.

    Romans 8:13
    13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.


    Yes, YOU are to be putting to death the deeds of the body, “IF” you have the Spirit of God. And if YOU are doing that you will live. If not … you will die.

    Philippians 1:6
    6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.


    He has His part, and He commands us to be doing ours.

    1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
    23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.


    1 Peter 5:10
    10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.


    Jude 1:24-25
    24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

    Here’s the problem … you are leaving out all of the passages where God commands us to strive, resist, do, … and that if we don’t God will judge us for not DOING. If we aren’t supposed to strive, do, … then why does He command us to DO those things. Salvation results in certain things, the biggest is loving to the point of figuring out and doing His will. Yes, God enables what He commands US TO BE HABITUALLY DOING! Yes, apart from Him there is nothing worthwhile we can DO. But the point remains, He commands us to be DOING them for ourselves and by ourselves, and our refusal to do so for ourselves and by ourselves will get us killed if we are His, or demonstrates that He never knew us in the first place.

    EmethAlethia said:

    Waiting for God to correct us is not going to be a healthy choice ...

    Amen!
    EmethAlethia said:

    Like I said, it is not that God doesn't play His part

    His part? You aren't in a partnership - not of equals or near-equals, anyway; you are in a Master-Slave relationship (Romans 6:13-22); you are in a Father-child relationship (2 Corinthians 6:18; Romans 8:15); you are in a Vine-branch relationship (John 15:1-5); you are in a Shepherd-sheep relationship (John 10); you are in a Creator-creature relationship (Colossians 1:13-18) but you are NOT in a partnership; God is not your "co-pilot"; He's your Boss, your Lord, your King, your God. You come to God completely dependent upon Him to be and to do everything He has called you to do.
    EmethAlethia said:

    our part is to be done as an outgrowth of our love, our appreciation, our gratitude for all that He has done for us. It isn't works, you don't earn, deserve, maintain, anything we have been given by what we choose to do or don't do, it is the natural outgrowth of true saving faith.

    Brother, this is way too us/you-centered. "Our part," "our love," "our appreciation," "our gratitude," our faith. Dude, you gotta die (Matthew 16:24-25; Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:6-11; Colossians 3:1-3, etc.). That's your "job," if you like, not centering your life in Christ on your efforts, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with God as though you are on an equal footing. God wants more of Christ in and out of you, not more of you.

    EmethAlethia said:

    Letting go and letting God do all the efforts to get right, figure out what His word says and means and alter our beliefs to fit, will end up with Him doing the work of judging us for refusing to judge ourselves and correct our own course ... if we truly are Christians.

    No one is saying you just sit like a brain-dead dummy, waiting for God to drag you around by the neck to do what He wants you to do. It's the order of things, the dynamic between you and Him, that I'm talking about. You only work out what God has first worked in; you are only changed by His work in you, as you submit yourself to Him throughout every day; but as you are changed, you reflect this change in how you live.
    EmethAlethia said:

    Do we have the right to choose? Of course. We can sit back and refuse to obey His commands and figure out His will and submit to it, striving against our sinful flesh ... or not. But there are consequences for choosing to be disobedient.

    Which is the thinking of the slave under a hard and cruel Master, or the prisoner under the power of a harsh, punitive Warden. Yes, God uses the stick as well as the carrot to motivate us to right living, but the end goal is not right living, but joyful fellowship with Him that right living enables.
    EmethAlethia said:

    If you love God you will ... if you don't you won't ... you might wait for God to do it for you... that ... is a lot more painful, and from a physical standpoint, it could be fatal.

    Not according to God. See above.

    Joh 14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16 "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;

    If YOU love me YOU will keep My commandments. The Holy Spirit (Paraclete: One who comes alongside to help) is there to “help” you to do so. If you love Me you will … If you don’t you won’t.
     
  13. mama2one

    mama2one Well-Known Member Supporter

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    "You're in good company when you're feeling insecure, when you're feeling like a failure, when you're feeling like you're not good enough, like you've made too many mistakes, you've spent too much. Remember that the Bible is full from front to back of people who are just like you who messed up, who sinned, who missed the mark.
    Jacob cheated,
    Peter had a temper,
    David had an affair,
    Noah was a drunk,
    Jonah ran from God,
    Moses was a murderer,
    Gideon was insecure,
    Zacchaeus was short,
    Miriam was a gossip,
    Martha was a worrier,
    Thomas doubted,
    Sarah was impatient,
    Abraham was old,
    and Lazarus was dead.
    But God used them all because God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”

    ^ not my words, but found this
     
  14. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    I'm sure this isn't what you intended, but this sounds like you're making an excuse for sin (though a number of your examples are of things that are not sin - ie. Zacchaeus's height, Abraham's age, etc.). Yes, we all of us are guilty of living wickedly, of doing evil, which is why God doesn't ever tell us to look about us at the moral failures of others and comfort ourselves with the notion that He will use us in spite of our sin. In fact, Scripture is very clear that our sin bars us from fellowship with God:

    Psalm 66:18
    18 If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear;

    Isaiah 59:2
    2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

    1 Peter 3:10-12
    10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;
    11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.
    12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”


    James 4:4-6
    4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
    5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?
    6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”


    I agree wholeheartedly, though, with the idea that God does not need us to be "qualified" before He uses us to His glory. As we walk in humble submission to Him, by faith trusting in His promises to transform us and "pour" Himself into and out of us, we become "vessels meet for the Master's use." This can be so regardless of our height, or parentage, or culture, or age, or education, etc.
     
  15. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Yes. But this speaks past my point that love and gratefulness are not one-and-the-same thing. I haven't suggested that gratefulness has no part to play in our relationship with God, so I'm not sure why you're making the point here that you are...

    Again, this speaks past my point about there being a distinct difference between gratefulness and love. In noting that love and gratefulness are not the same thing, I did not indicate that gratefulness has no place at all in the Christian's attitude toward God.

    And it isn't just that I have a quirk in my thinking about this; there is a real, discernible difference between the two things - signified in no small part by the fact we use two entirely different words to refer to love and gratefulness.

    I meet far too many Christians who think love for God resolves down into gratefulness to Him. But as I've pointed out, this is not the case. The two things - love and gratefulness - overlap each other, but they are not synonymous. Imagine those who stand before God one day able only to claim gratefulness to Him, having confused gratefulness with love. Like the woman who has been proposed to on the basis of mere gratefulness, God will say, "But did you love me? This was my First and Great Commandment to you. Have you done my will? Do you love me with all you are? Or are you just really grateful?" And just like the woman who knows mere gratefulness is not enough to warrant marriage, God has told us in His word it is not, by itself, sufficient to bring us in to relationship with Him.

    ??? I never used the word "zeal." Because it isn't what I mean by "desire." I offered you the words of the Psalmist, not my own words, to describe what love is at its core, and he didn't use the word "zeal." What you have described above is the result of desire, not desire itself. I trained in the martial arts for nearly thirty years day-in, day-out, sacrificing, suffering and developing as a martial artist. But I did this, as a consequence of my desire to be a martial artist. My zeal for training was a reflection, the by-product of, my desire; my martial "zeal" was not my desire for martial skill itself.

    If I had not possessed this desire to be a martial artist, separate from and preceding my martial training, I would never have begun to train. This desire gave rise to training; it is not, then, synonymous with its effects. But this is how many Christians think about love for God. They conflate that love with its effects, mistaking obedience to God (the effect), for love for Him (the cause) itself.

    This was the case for those in Jesus's story who stand before him at the Final Judgment and claim obedience to him, describing a series of good things they had done in his name, but to whom he says, "Depart from me. I never knew you." (Matthew 7:21-23) They don't make their case by saying, "We obeyed your First and Great Commandment"; they don't ever claim to love him with all of their being; instead, they point to their good deeds done in his name. And its not enough. At all. Obedience does not equate to love, nor is obedience by itself sufficient to be accepted by God, and so these people who thought obedience and love were one-and-the-same thing are cast out. Yikes.

    ??? This talks past my points.

    Then salvation is dependent upon you, upon your efforts to understand, to study well, God's word. I don't see that in Scripture. Trust in Christ as Saviour and Lord is the means of entry into God's family (Romans 10:9-10). Love for him is the motivation for all Christian obedience to him (1 Corinthians 13:1-3; Matthew 22:35-38). These don't require intense study or arcane spiritual knowledge to see in Scripture and comprehend.

    False dilemma. It isn't one or the other but both. They aren't mutually-exclusive things, as you're trying to make out here that they are. As Paul explained to the Philippian Christians, we work out only what God has first worked in. (Philippians 2:12-13) We manifest God's power at work in and through us, and when we do, the "striving" we do is fueled by God's infinite resources. When we don't, we soon run dry in our striving, quickly consuming our own small pool of human power, then falling inevitably into sin. As Paul wrote, "I can DO all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13) In other words, we spare nothing of God's empowerment of us in doing His will. And when we do, we find we can do all things whatsoever He has commanded of us - things impossible to accomplish in our own strength.

    It's one of the ways, yes - particularly in connection with taking Communion "unworthily." I can think of a great number of instances of believers acting sinfully who did not become sick and then died. Was this what had happened to the Corinthian believer in 1 Corinthians 5? Was there any indication in the account of his behaviour given in the chapter that he had fallen ill or was nearing death as a result of his gross, sexual sin? What sickness did Peter suffer when He denied Christ publicly three times? Anyway, my point is that the above passage is not the only way God disciplines His children. I think Romans 1:18-32 also describes what God does to those, children and not, who are determined to live in sin, as does 1 Thessalonians 5:19, 1 Timothy 4:2, 1 Peter 3:10-12, James 4:4-6, etc.

    Nope. Wrong. You can lead a horse to water...

    This is a Strawman version of what I've been saying. You are arguing here against a view I have never described or hold.

    And where does this love for God come from?

    Romans 5:5
    5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.


    Galatians 5:22
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love...


    Again, you can only work out what God has first worked into you.

    See how you've filtered this verse, contorting it to say what it does not? I do.

    I am leaving them out because my purpose is to highlight the Power Source of all Christian living who is God. In doing this, I am not denying that the Christian person has a role to play in living for God; this is your assumption, not what I have asserted. It doesn't follow that because God gives us both the power and desire to do His will (Philippians 2:13) that we have nothing to do. And so, I have never suggested such a thing, though you argue with me as though I have.
     
  16. EmethAlethia

    EmethAlethia Newbie

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    Yes. But this speaks past my point that love and gratefulness are not one-and-the-same thing. I haven't suggested that gratefulness has no part to play in our relationship with God, so I'm not sure why you're making the point here that you are...

    Everybody who believes in a God thinks love of God is important. They all have different gospels. They all have different beliefs. Loving God apart from the standards He sets for it, is impossible. Gratefulness is the smallest part. It entails the love of God our own sins, God's view of sin, the wages of it, what we truly deserve, Christ's payment ... tons of doctrines are involved with understanding and believing that results in the love of God that saves ... but apart from those things you cannot have the love of God that saves. Just a love for the God you believe in. People, most people, love their beliefs about God, not God.

    Again, this speaks past my point about there being a distinct difference between gratefulness and love. In noting that love and gratefulness are not the same thing, I did not indicate that gratefulness has no place at all in the Christian's attitude toward God.

    Lot's of people believe they love God and are grateful to Him. Moslems, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses ... neither, or even both together, necessarily results in salvation.

    There are about 900 verses in the N.T. where God describes the differences between people who believe they are right with God, who believe they love truth, who believe they have truth and those who truly do and are. All of them together, put together absolutely perfectly with no meaning added, subtracted or distorted narrows the playing field down.

    ??? I never used the word "zeal." Because it isn't what I mean by "desire." I offered you the words of the Psalmist, not my own words, to describe what love is at its core, and he didn't use the word "zeal." What you have described above is the result of desire, not desire itself. I trained in the martial arts for nearly thirty years day-in, day-out, sacrificing, suffering and developing as a martial artist. But I did this, as a consequence of my desire to be a martial artist. My zeal for training was a reflection, the by-product of, my desire; my martial "zeal" was not my desire for martial skill itself.

    And every person from every belief group that believes in a God believes their group passes this test as best as is possible. Everything they do is an outgrowth of their desire to learn about and be closer to the God they believe in. Are all dedicated Mormon's saved? Roman Catholics? Jehovah's Witnesses? Look at their lives, their dedication ... it's all a byproduct of their desire.

    If I had not possessed this desire to be a martial artist, separate from and preceding my martial training, I would never have begun to train. This desire gave rise to training; it is not, then, synonymous with its effects. But this is how many Christians think about love for God. They conflate that love with its effects, mistaking obedience to God (the effect), for love for Him (the cause) itself.

    Why do Mormon's go on their missions? Why do Jehovah's Witnesses show up at my door many Saturday mornings? They would all state that they do so because they love God and want to b e pleasing to Him.

    This was the case for those in Jesus's story who stand before him at the Final Judgment and claim obedience to him, describing a series of good things they had done in his name, but to whom he says, "Depart from me. I never knew you." (Matthew 7:21-23) They don't make their case by saying, "We obeyed your First and Great Commandment"; they don't ever claim to love him with all of their being; instead, they point to their good deeds done in his name. And its not enough. At all. Obedience does not equate to love, nor is obedience by itself sufficient to be accepted by God, and so these people who thought obedience and love were one-and-the-same thing are cast out. Yikes.

    They missed the truth. Period. And no group on the face of the planet that believes there is a God, has ever believed that they ever fall short. The question I ask is why? How are they deceived? How do they get hardened into believing lies as truth and truth to be lies? Jesus says that it is the vast majority of everyone who believes they are Christians who are not "Doing" the will of the Father. If you are not DOING that will, you are not going to get in. If you are not OBEYING that you lose.

    ??? This talks past my points.

    Then salvation is dependent upon you, upon your efforts to understand, to study well, God's word.

    God has sought all of us. It is how we "CHOOSE' to respond to what God gives us that determines the outcome. No man has an excuse because every man has been sought by God and every man chooses the responses to what He gives.

    Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

    It is the response we give to God's seeking that determines our outcome...

    2Th 2:10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.

    I don't see that in Scripture. Trust in Christ as Savior and Lord is the means of entry into God's family (Romans 10:9-10). Love for him is the motivation for all Christian obedience to him (1 Corinthians 13:1-3; Matthew 22:35-38). These don't require intense study or arcane spiritual knowledge to see in Scripture and comprehend.

    He who is forgiven much loves much. If you love Me you will keep My commandments. Accepting a love of truth, not what we want to believe as truth is what eventually leads to salvation. Most love what they believe, not truth.

    False dilemma. It isn't one or the other but both. They aren't mutually-exclusive things, as you're trying to make out here that they are. As Paul explained to the Philippian Christians, we work out only what God has first worked in. (Philippians 2:12-13)

    True, once we have the Holy Spirit, after we receive the love of the truth and believe the truth.

    We manifest God's power at work in and through us, and when we do, the "striving" we do is fueled by God's infinite resources. When we don't, we soon run dry in our striving, quickly consuming our own small pool of human power, then falling inevitably into sin. As Paul wrote, "I can DO all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13) In other words, we spare nothing of God's empowerment of us in doing His will. And when we do, we find we can do all things whatsoever He has commanded of us - things impossible to accomplish in our own strength.

    You go Baahhhh walk on all fours and eat grass because you are a sheep, not to become a sheep. You get saved "because" you love truth more than any of your beliefs and pursue truth no matter what beliefs need to change, not you are saved and then you receive a love of the truth. Cart before the horse or horse before the cart. It is the love of the truth that is offered to all men/. Men accept it or reject what God offers. God gives consequences for the valid choices men make. Apart from a real choice, there can be no just rewards or punishments.

    It's one of the ways, yes - particularly in connection with taking Communion "unworthily." I can think of a great number of instances of believers acting sinfully who did not become sick and then died.

    Yes, every belief group that believes themselves to be Christians can make a list of these. Mormon's Jehovah's Witnesses, Roman Catholics, ... Jesus says the vast masses, the "Many" who believe Jesus is their Lord God and Savior never were His and He never knew them at all. God only promises to reprove those who are His true kids, and He says that if they don't see it they never were His, and He says what He does in that 1Co. passage. Sick, weak and physical death.

    Was this what had happened to the Corinthian believer in 1 Corinthians 5?

    Yep.

    Was there any indication in the account of his behavior given in the chapter that he had fallen ill or was nearing death as a result of his gross, sexual sin?

    Destruction of his flesh... that his soul might be saved...

    1Co 11:30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

    Yes, if they live in habitual sin and they do not see what God says He does to reprove His kids now, they are going to get their judgment with the trest of the world.


    What sickness did Peter suffer when He denied Christ publicly three times? Anyway, my point is that the above passage is not the only way God disciplines His children. I think Romans 1:18-32 also describes what God does to those, children and not, who are determined to live in sin,

    Rom. 1:18-32 is the world who refuse to even acknowledge that there is a God any longer in spite of what God has done in His seeking them. God gives, man responds. God gives consequences. Man makes another choice in spite of God's seeking and God gives consequences. These are storing up wrath for themselves in the day of judgment, not receiving their consequences now so that they won't be judged with the world.

    Rom 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: But this is the judgment after death. We get judged now.

    Romans 5:5
    5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.


    Galatians 5:22
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love...


    Again, you can only work out what God has first worked into you.

    No problem ... I agree, apart from God's first seeking us we never would have had teh opportunity to seek Him. Yes, once the Spirit is inside us we have a "Paraclete" who comes alongside to help... I am saying 2 parts, God does His, we respond. God gives consequences, good or evil, based on our responses / practice. He helps, He empowers. He gives us what we need to do His will... IF we choose to do so.
     
  17. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    ??? Not sure what your point is...

    Gratefulness is not love; its not even a part of love. I may be grateful to my dentist, or doctor, or barber, to the driver who lets me in on a busy roadway, and so on, but none of these people do I love. And this is why gratefulness must never be confused for love, as it is in the minds of so many Christians.

    Knowledge of the Gospel, of the goodness and mercy of God in the face our sinfulness, may result in love for Him, but this knowledge isn't itself that love. You appear to be conflating effects with their causes and joining related but distinctly discrete things together, making them synonymous, or constituent elements, one of another.

    Do you think yourself immune from the danger of loving your beliefs about God rather than God Himself?

    ??? Have I said otherwise? No.

    It seems you're assuming this must be done in order to tell if one is loving God correctly. Is this so? Again, though, you are here speaking, not of love itself, but of how it manifests, its effects, in people's lives. Love itself is very simple: Desire. As the Psalmist described.

    ??? And your point is?

    The object of their desire - of their love - is wrong, but this doesn't mean their love is itself something other than love. The Mormon may love a false god, but this doesn't mean his love isn't love.

    Yes, and? Their claim that they are motivated by love isn't the problem. The problem is with their understanding of the nature of the object of their love, of their desire.

    Why is this "the question"? There are likely a great complex of reasons why people become deceived about God and how best to walk with Him. But unwinding the knot of their misconceptions doesn't necessarily do anything to rid them of their misplaced love. Fundamentally, they must be illuminated by the Spirit (2 Timothy 2:25; John 16:8), who only fully knows God and in tandem with Scripture teaches us the unadulterated truth about Him. (John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14)

    Which begins with the First and Great Commandment: Love God with all of your being. (Matthew 22:35-38) Paul goes so far as to say that all that we say, or know, or do, separated from a deep hunger, a deep longing, a deep desire, for God is useless. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). How easy it is, though, to act the Pharisee, obeying carefully God's commands while never actually having a heart for Him. (Matthew 15:7-8)

    Do you have a personal knowledge of "most"? How do you know, exactly, what is true of "most"?

    I'm not a Calvinist, if this is what you're driving at.

    This isn't what I asked. Is there, in chapter 5, any indication that as a consequence of his gross sexual sin the man under Paul's apostolic discipline had fallen ill or was near death? No. Paul turns him over to Satan, understanding this may be the result of doing so, but there is nowhere in Scripture where we read that the man was actually sick and/or dying from his sin.

    The Spirit is the Source of the Christian's spiritual life. He it is who gives to us the new life we have in Christ (Titus 3:5; Romans 8:9-13); he it is who strengthens us (Ephesians 3:16; Romans 8:13), and transforms us (2 Corinthians 3:18). The Spirit doesn't merely help us, He is the wellspring of all of our spiritual living; without him, the Spirit of Christ, we can do nothing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2021
  18. mama2one

    mama2one Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Last edited: Nov 1, 2021
  19. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Bump.
     
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