19 August 2009

Grace appeared!

by Frank Turk

First thing today – I wanted to thank Dan for filling in while I was out of the country. You can’t get too much DJP, and someday years from now you’ll wish you had listened to me when I told you that.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
Briefly today, back to Titus in order that we might finish with the Pastorals in 2009. I am tempted to give you 500 words on the use of the word “For” here, but I’m going to refrain from that to tell you this instead: this paragraph ought to make you weep, or want to weep.

If you live in this world at all – if you are actually in the world, even if you are not of the world (and you should not be of the world, but you must be in it)—you can see that people need saving. Often we go to the headlines to work this out to talk in some kind of meta-narrative way, but I can tell you that in my own life, the people around me need saving. The guy who quits his marriage to save his job needs saving from his self-contained and sinful values. The little guy who gets caught in a brush fire needs saving from a world in which the punishment for our sinfulness if death and suffering. The beer-gourmand needs saving from his beer, and the tea-totaler needs saving from his tea.

And most of all, for the readers on this blog, the religious people need saving from the high-fallutin’ idea that their systematics make them the court of final appeal for other Christians and the church. The Grace of God has appeared, people! And it’s bringing salvation to all people -- it’s good news for all the people.

You know: good news. It's a refuge from this world. It's the joy that set before us. And it's good news to people who are hurting and dying. This is why it should make you weep: because it is so lavish, and we are often so stingy with it when it comes down to really being faithful to our alleged ideals.

I know, I know: the meta is now going to break out in the mad dash to fortify election and God’s particular atonement of a peculiar people. Shut Up already. You’re not a hyper-calvinist (I hope), and you don’t believe that there is any person on this planet to whom the Gospel is not addressed, so stop splitting hairs when there are lost people who need to know that the grace of God has appeared.

And if you have read the rest of Titus so far, you’d see what Paul is saying here:
  • The church must be set in order
  • To do so, we need Elders
  • Elders are mature men who have manifested the fruit of the spirit
  • They do so in order to credibly preach the word of God
  • They are credible because they live like they believe this stuff
  • They must teach others to do so as well
  • Because the Grace of God has come, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
Try that out. Live like that. Then, after your life has been used by God to save many through the Gospel, you can start your lectures on the limits of God’s grace. It will look different than the things you’re saying now.







106 comments:

Daryl said...

If ever anyone needed to be told to shut up and act like the Bible is really true...it's me.

David said...

Wonderful post, Frank.

I only wish you'd fleshed out the "training us. . ." part a little more, because day by day, that's the part that I'm lacking.

mike said...

Frank,
As usual, you are so vague in your exhortation that I struggle to ascertain your point,,, ouch…my eye!!!, I think I got it.
My son does not believe the things that I believe are the only things worth believing, the good news of the Word of God. In no small part, because I have failed to act like I believe it either for far too much of his life. (before anyone attempts to save me from myself, I am firmly reformed, and am secure in who saves, and how) God has always done His part; I have been pitiful with my responsibilities. I have loved so poorly the gifts God gave me, and they suffer from my sins as well.
The reason that needs said, is because I had to learn (still learning) the hard way that we are absolutely no good to the ones we know and love, if we do not live like we believe the things that we say we believe.


Verification word “hawkwash” even that convicts me.

danny2 said...

while i do not think we should evangelize by arguing to pragmatism (ie. come to Jesus and your marriage will get better.), it is totally depressing to watch people zealously worship idols that cannot speak, hear, see or deliver. it's also humbling when i see it, for though i know the True Living God, i am often tempted to seek out my own gods of my making.

seeing such vanities, and aware of our depravity, we should be moved to speak of His glory!

mKhulu said...

Isn't Grace a wonderful thing! Seems if we keep in mind our own experience of this lavish giftedness upon us, who are so undeserving, we'd be genuine proclaimers of the gospel. Proclaimers of a truth practiced rather than simply teachers of a system we have learned. Great post.

stratagem said...

The Grace of God has appeared, people! And it’s bringing salvation to all people .

Frank - you're not turning Universalist on us are you?

Yes I'm only kidding about that.

Good exhortation dude.

zostay said...

This post reminds me of the quote from Spurgeon about looking for the marks of the elect here: Spurgeon searching for stripes — apocryphal? Sourcable?

If God had given the elect some sort of marking, I might react differently to Frank's post. As it is, when you practice Calvinism, you find yourself preaching the gospel to just about everyone in earshot because you never know which one of them is ready to respond to the call God elected in eternity past.

Benjamin Nitu said...

"Shut Up already."

Good to have you back, Frank! :)

olan strickland said...

There are lost people who need to know that the grace of God has appeared.

Amen Frank! We are not responsible for people's responses to the Gospel but we are responsible to proclaim it to all people.

chopstickschan said...

"And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard?"

Craig and Heather said...

I'm a new reader. Hopefully it's okay to comment here.

The previous discussion about salvation originally caught my attention but this post brought tears to my eyes.

God's truth is indispensable. Biblical accuracy is essential--especially during these days of "whatever is your reality...". Sound theological understanding is helpful. Examination of doctrine is commendable.

But unless these things are guided and tempered by evidence of genuine, God-wrought love, they are without value.

The process of being humbled before the Lord can be incredibly painful but I'm so grateful that God is faithful to expose the root of pride in my own heart.

Thank you for so articulately expressing some of what has been on my mind.

Heather

Frank Turk said...

Before the caffinated particularists get their boxers in a grip, I've heard this story about these people with 10 kids who, of course, have a hard time making ends meet. One night this husband and wife were at their wits end trying to make sense out of how to run a house full of kids, and as they sat in their small kitchenette, the wife broke down crying.

Her husband was moved by his wife's tears in spite of his own weariness, and as he comforted her he asked, "dear -- what's wrong."

Through her sobs, the woman told him, "I was sitting here thinking that somehow, if we only had one or two fewer children, we could manage to get by." Her sobs welled up again and broke into her confession, but she fought them off to finish, "And no sooner did I think such a thing that I also thought, 'which ones?' And I realized: I would never give one of them up, no matter what."

Listen: we know what love is because God sacrificed his son for sinners who are like us, and who are in fact us. And when God looked at us before all things were created, He decided that he wouldn't give any up, no matter what.

At some point, we should love God's family the way he does -- and because we don't yet know "which ones", we have to go get them all. None of them are worse than you. As you consider that God saved the elect, know that you can't know who they are nuntil they are all glorified for His sake (not yours).

if God's love is a sacrifice, and that's how we know what love is, we should be about that a little more rigorously than we are about finding out who we aren't going to bother with anymore.

Craig and Heather said...

Mr. Turk,

Thank you for sharing that analogy.

I believe God has confirmed as true some of the things I have been considering. Namely, that today's enemy may be tomorrow's brother. And, not being God, I don't know who those people are.

I may need to be corrected, but I believe that it is the type of thing Jesus was referencing when He said "Do not judge, lest ye be judged..." Of course, we are to recognize the difference between right and wrong--and unashamedly choose right. That is simply upholding God's predetermined standard.

But, what a terrifying thing, to have put myself on God's throne, self-righteously declared another person to be unworthy of His Kingdom...and instead find myself to be the one who actually is cast away!

Heather

Frank Turk said...

Funny how the new readers get this stuff.

Sir Brass said...

Frank, not sure how any particularists would get antsy over this post. Nothing here grated against Particular Atonement at all. If one's view of Particular Atonement causes one to LIMIT the scope of the gospel is preached TO, then your view of PA is deficient, IMO.

Craig and Heather said...

I apologize in advance if I am overstepping proper bounds and I am sure Mr. Turk can answer adequately on his own but I wanted to say to Sir Brass:

I didn't see that the post was intended to suggest that there is anything wrong with the doctrine of particular atonement. Rather, that the acceptance of that teaching often has a bad effect on the attitudes of some people.

I remain a "closet Calvinist" because of the way so many people react to the "C-word". And often, the resistance to Calvinism has little to do with the teaching itself but instead is based in a previous association with a smugly condemning presentation.

If you did not find the post offensive, I am guessing you are happily not a member of the target audience :o)

Just a thought.

Heather

Stuart Wood said...

The problem here isn't that particular redemption doesn't allow a universal message to be proclaimed, but that the universal message proclaimed is not the true Gospel of the Bible. The true Gospel contains the word "OUR", how that "Christ died for OUR sins", both "yours" and "mine". The Gospel is proclaimed when I can declare to another human being (whom I may or may not know) that Christ died for his sins personally. Anything short of this is not the Gospel. The Gospel is intensely personal, not just a general "Christ died for sins". In receiving the Gospel, I, a poor and lost miserable sinner, know with certainty (based upon the truth of God's Word alone) that God loves "me", and that Christ suffered and died for "my" sins. Only the true universal atonement allows for such a proclamation.

Sir Aaron said...

Turk:

Some of your regulars get it too. The only response I can offer is, you're right and I need to do better.

DJP said...

Stuart Wood — please quote five evangelistic sermons in Acts where the wording you demand is used.

Failing that, quote four.

Failing that, quote three.

Failing that, quote two.

Failing that, quote one.

Failing that, change your position.

Stuart Wood said...

Verses in Acts which imply a Universal Gospel

2:14 - But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

2:21, 22 - And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

2:36 - Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

2:38, 39 - Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

3:23 - And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

3:26 - Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

4:12 - Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we (speaking to the Jewish leaders) must be saved.

5:20 - Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.

10:28 - And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

10:43 - To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

13:26 - Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.

13:32 - And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,

13:38 - Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

14:15 - And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:

16:10 - And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.

16:31 - And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

17:18 - Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.

17:30 - And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

18:4 - And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

20:21 - Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

22:15 - For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.

26:22 - Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:

26:29 - And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.

DJP said...

Excellent. So, the count being zero, you've changed your position?

Sir Aaron said...

Maybe we need more arithmetic lessons and fewer theology lessons.

Jugulum said...

Pastor Wood,

You placed the same emphasis on 1 Cor. 15:3 when you had your debate with Frank. You take that verse to mean, "Hey, Corinthians--when I preached the Gospel to you, I used the words, 'Christ died for our sins.'"

What I've never understood is why you assume that Paul is quoting the wording he used.

When I read that passage, which starts with "Now I would remind you, brothers", it never would have occurred to me to take "Christ died for our sins" in any way other than "Christ died for our sins, my brothers--yours and mine".

(By the way--I'm not saying that Paul was teaching particular redemption. I don't see any hint there's no hint that he intended to say anything about the scope of the atonement. I'm just saying he was talking to brothers when he wrote the passage, and it's weird to assume that "our" is broader than that.)

Stuart Wood said...

As St. Augustine once said to someone who asked him to show him his God, "It is not that I do not have a God to show, but that you do not have eyes to see".

A simple reflection on those verses quoted should make matters sufficiently clear to anyone who really wants to know the truth.

mike said...

Gee, wouldn't it be swell if Stuart was right? then my wife and i would not need to pray, cry, and lose any more sleep over the unbelief of our son, as Jesus had aready paid for his sins, and he as reconciled before God.
Stoooooopendous!!!!

if only, but not.

Jugulum said...

Stuart,

1.) I hope you'll reply to my question/comment about 1 Cor. 15:3. (For all I know, you're writing a reply now--I'm just reminding you, not assuming you won't.)

2.) I think you missed Dan's point.

You think speaking the gospel to an unbeliever requires saying "our sins". You think anything lacking it is less than the gospel. So why don't any of the evangelistic sermons of Acts contain it?

DJP said...

Yes, Stuart, absolutely clear.

To quote you, before you changed your position after seeing that Scripture contradicted it:

The true Gospel contains the word "OUR", how that "Christ died for OUR sins", both "yours" and "mine". The Gospel is proclaimed when I can declare to another human being (whom I may or may not know) that Christ died for his sins personally. Anything short of this is not the Gospel. The Gospel is intensely personal, not just a general "Christ died for sins". In receiving the Gospel, I, a poor and lost miserable sinner, know with certainty (based upon the truth of God's Word alone) that God loves "me", and that Christ suffered and died for "my" sins. Only the true universal atonement allows for such a proclamation.

Before you repented, you insisted that those exact words MUST be used, or it isn't the Gospel at all.

Then you went to Acts to find 5, or even 4, or even 3, or even 2, or eve 1 such passage(s).

You found none!

Praise God for the sufficiency and perspicuity of His Word!

DJP said...

(I could, but won't, say...






...NEXT!)

Stuart Wood said...

Jugulum,

Paul himself defines his Gospel with those specific words "Christ died for OUR sins" (1 Cor. 15:1-4). He says in verse 1 that this is the Gospel "which I preached (aor.) unto you, which also ye have received". The point is that he preached this Gospel BEFORE the brethren received it, before he knew if they were his brethren. And yet he used the word "OUR" (while they were yet lost sinners).

Jugulum said...

Stuart, did you not read my question?

DJP said...

Gosh, that's silly.

Aren't you glad you abandoned that position?

Jugulum said...

I'll clarify the part you seem to have missed.

"What I've never understood is why you assume that Paul is quoting the wording he used."

Craig and Heather said...

You all are way out of my league, but concerning the subject of particular atonement, I've wondered if it makes sense to look at Christ's death as involving the purchase of the whole world (thus making the Gospel message universal in that we all need to be reconciled with the owner).

And as exclusive, rightful owner, He will redeem that produce which suits His purpose (thus making atonement particular in it's effect).

Everything belongs to Him, but when harvest time comes, the wormy apples, unproductive wheat heads and moldy grapes will be rejected.

Could not both aspects be considered true?

Perhaps I'm missing something important. I've never done an in-depth study...

H

stratagem said...

Are you guys arguing about Universalism vs. something else? Or not about Universalism at all? I can't tell what the heck you are all arguing about, except whether the word "our" ought to be used, or not, when presenting the Gospel. Which makes me wonder why all the hair-splitting, when Frank's message was about the big picture of grace and at a high level, about staying away from hair-splitting?
Maybe one has to be a theologian to enjoy this.

DJP said...

That's called Amyraldianism. It is "possible," in the sense that a truckload of good people hold to it.

One immediate problem is that "purchase" and "redeem" are pretty much synonyms. What was the price He paid for the whole world that didn't actually get anyone saved? His blood? Then what would be the extra price He'd pay actually to redeem that subset?

Stuart Wood said...

Jugulum,

I understood your question. Of course he's speaking about the wording. He begins the passage with "I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you", and further says, "I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received". This is his prelude to the fact that is going to give his readers the exact content of the Gospel. And this Gospel he defines as, "how that Christ died for OUR sins". Paul was very concerned that the Corinthians understood the exact content of his Gospel. This is why he wrote to the Galatians, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:8,9). In Colossians he writes similarly, "Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus" (Col. 1:28). As we have seen in this discussion (and even more clearly in the debate at D-blog), changing one word of the Gospel completely changes the nature of Christianity.

DJP said...

...though, as Stuart just ably demonstrated, the evangelists in Acts never once preached the Gospel in a way one syllable different from the way Biblically-faithful Calvinists preach it.

In fact, they preached it exactly as Calvinists do.

Stefan said...

Frank:

A good, convicting post to have you back on.

The Lord God knows I need a stern kick in the posterior like this every other day or so.

Craig and Heather said...

One immediate problem is that "purchase" and "redeem" are pretty much synonyms. What was the price He paid for the whole world that didn't actually get anyone saved? His blood? Then what would be the extra price He'd pay actually to redeem that subset?
**********************
"Amyraldianism" I don't think I can even pronounce that.

Hm. Okay, I think I see what you mean. I'm a stay at home mom, so I hope I can be forgiven for not "getting" this quickly.

I guess I didn't see that "purchase" and "redeem" are considered to be the same thing. It is confusing to me how that would require an extra payment, though. If He already owns everything, and is the one solely in control of what happens, how would the single payment be ineffective if He decides to harvest some but not others? Isn't it the owner's priority to do so?

As I said, you all are discussing finer points which still seem to evade my understanding.

Maybe I need to just read quietly.

Heather

DJP said...

Heather, I'm totally delighted with you asking questions. But I'm getting that feeling that pretty soon Frank is going to thunder in about the fact that we're not actually discussing his post anymore, he'll shut it down, and I'll feel guilty.

So how about if I answer that question, then maybe we try hard only to talk directly about Frank's post?

Your question underscores the Calvinist's argument. It's our position that God never failed at anything He set out to accomplish, and that Christ came in the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), and not merely to give them an opportunity to save themselves.

So it would be (most of) our position that what He bought, He got. (That's T-shirtable.)

Who He died for, He redeemed. So the yet-unanswered Owen conundrum comes back up.

Read more HERE, if you like, and also read the article linked to in that one.

Jugulum said...

There's a difference, Stuart, between someone describing what he preached and quoting what he preached.

If I had preached to someone, "Christ died to save all those who believe in Him," I would easily say to them later, "Remember how I told you that Christ died for us?"

I could not, however, say "Remember how I said to you, 'Christ died for us'."

The former is description, the latter is quoting.

In your mind, 1 Cor. 15 can only be quotation, not description. You reject any other possibility. And from what I can tell, that's just based on some weird assumption you're making about the way language works. But it's not true.

"I delivered to you what I received" does not imply "What follows is a quotation".

Jugulum said...

Dan,
"So how about if I answer that question, then maybe we try hard only to talk directly about Frank's post?"

OK. No more from me. If Stuart posts, I'll let him have the last word.

Rachael Starke said...

S/He who has been forgiven much, loves much.

Remembering the former informs how we live out the latter.

Don't stop writing stuff like this, Frank. I have a tendency to forget on a roughly daily basis.

Craig and Heather said...

Thank you, Mr Phillips (and Mr. Turk) for your patience. When I don't think over-think my intellectual ability, I can easily accept what you said as true. No argument really and I didn't realize my thought could be considered contrary to what the Bible says.

I will check your link and continue to try to get a better understanding.

I apologize for getting off track.

Heather

Jugulum said...

Going back to the post...

"I know, I know: the meta is now going to break out in the mad dash to fortify election and God’s particular atonement of a peculiar people. Shut Up already. You’re not a hyper-calvinist (I hope), and you don’t believe that there is any person on this planet to whom the Gospel is not addressed, so stop splitting hairs when there are lost people who need to know that the grace of God has appeared."

Sorry, Frank.

Stuart Wood said...

Jugulum,

Unless addressed, this is my last post (so eveyone else can move on). If it was just 1 Cor. 15:3, I could counsider your alternative explanation (although I would also ask you to consider mine). But the most compelling reason that I believe the "OUR" is part of that definition and of the content of the true Gospel is that the rest of the New Testament literally screams it.

The false doctrine of particular redemption is contrary to the plain, simple, clear Word of God, as evidenced by “behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luk. 2:10); “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29); “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16); “This is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42); “who is the Saviour of all men” (1 Tim. 4:10); “who will have all men to be saved” (1 Tim. 2:4); “who gave himself a ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2:6); “one died for all” (2 Cor. 5:14); “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” (2 Cor. 5:19); “who tasted death for every man” (Heb. 2:9); false prophets “even denying the Lord that bought them” (2 Pet. 2:1); “who is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9); “he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2); along with the equally clear Luke 14:16-24; 22:20, 21; John 3:17-18; 6:33, 51; 8:26; 12:47; 16:8, 9; Acts 13:26; 17:31; Rom. 14:15; 1 Cor. 8:11; 15:1-4; 2 Cor. 4:3,4; 1 Tim. 2:5; Tit. 2:11; 3:4; Heb. 10:28, 29; and 1 John 4:13, 14.

mike said...

Hetaher, you are right there, the "hair" being split is;
have all sins of all men been atoned? well, shoot no.
Is the blood of Christ able to atone all sins of all men? you betcha, and more.
then which sins are atoned? why the ones of the repentant man, called by God, through the Holy Spirit.
So, should we rush out and tell anyone that Christ died for his sins? like my son, Christ paid a price infinitely greater than my son could, so that if/ when he believes, the richeousness of Christ will be imputed to him and he will be saved/ reborn/ regenerated. etc. and my wife and I will sleep for 2 days.
But if you can convince my son that the price for his sins are already paid, and he then already stands right before God, then what Gospel? why?
The soveriegn God has already planned and proceeded, the work of the cross has more than sufficiently covered the sins of all that will ever believe, and now it stands between my son and God, to complete an unfinished interaction, and Bryan's eternity hangs on that.
and we pray, beg, discuss, preach, entice, cry, and... Grace abounds.

mike said...

where is NLB, my spelling rivals my righteousness

Craig and Heather said...

Mike,

We have 5 children and I believe I understand what you mean.

If we really care for the souls of those whom we contact, we won't stop to try to determine whether they are part of God's chosen, redeemed, particular, foreknown people.

We will plead with God to soften their hearts so that they recognize the need to humble themselves before Him. And we will live in a way so that our example testifies to the life-changing power of the Gospel. And we will be willing to extend the same measure of mercy that was shown to us while we were yet Christ's enemies.

I will pray that your son is found.

Heather

mike said...

Back to the post, I have due to the circumstances that the Lord has provided me with, been neck deep in trying to understand the circumstances that would cause a church that had been several years pursuing what the Word of God, as best they could, then with the addition of one associate pastor, drinking the “kingdom now” EM cool aid.
In a very real way, we are all to blame. We profess one thing, and live another. People, our children, neighbors co-workers etc, see and hear, and are forced to choose between two totally different messages. Sadly, action really often do speak louder than words, and we do great harm to the reputation of our churches and fellow believers.
Recently finished watching The Truth Project, and am again haunted by the question; “do we live like we believe the Bible is true?”
Sadly far too often I do not.

Chad V. said...

Funny, the reason the post breaks down into a argument about particular redemption is not because of a Hyper-Calvinist, it was because of a non-Calvinisit.

Michael said...

Stuart,

And yet just one verse from the Lord himself shows that your solution to the apparent paradox is not the right one:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." Matthew 7:13

All those verses you quote are telling us something, but it cannot be the thing you want it to be because Jesus himself plainly contradicts that understanding.

We have to preach to everybody because these verses tell us that it is possible for all men to be saved (under God's sovereignty). That we don't know who will or won't and that there is no one too far off (in time, distance, connection or worthiness) and that representatives of all peoples will be saved.

We've got to preach to all.

The really challenging part of this post as a pastor is to reflect on my example. Do my poeple not love evangelism because they don't see me do it? Do my people not live a vibrant faith because I haven't shown them what it looks like.

You don't wnat to go overboard with that, but you do need to ask the questions...

God Bless,
Michael

Michael said...

Mike,

I hope you are not being too hard on yourself. Don't forget God's sovereignty and also the perfidity of man.

Don't take too much on yourself for what your son(s) do(es).

On the other hand, I hope you are being too hard on yourself. You aren't perfect, but there shouldn't be a huge dichotomy between faith and life. You've got to get it fixed if it's not right.

This seems to be a big issue for you at the moment. Do you have someone faithful and godly to talk it over with? There's a lot of grief there, I suspect.

I guess my heart goes out to you. I've prayed for you.

God Bless,
Michael

PS: The Christian is not the one who never stumbles, but the one who gets up and keeps walking (in faith).

Frank Turk said...

I'm sorry I didn't say this sooner, but I was busy today:

Stuart -- with all due respect, when you say such a thing you should link to our D-blog exchange.

Frank Turk said...

Also, I'm just glad anyone is commenting on this post. The last 4 in this series have been complete dogs.

But that said, at some point the grace of God has to be gotten after. Stuart isn't getting after it: he's getting after something akin to a lesser KJVO-ism with respect to the wording of the Gospel message.

Carry on. I have to balance the checkbook.

Stuart Wood said...

I said, "unless addressed..." With all due respect, Frank, I'm not sure how you can equate the correct definition of the one and only saving Gospel (apart from which a person is under God's eternal curse) with "a lesser KJVO-ism". If you don't perceive the importance of being able to tell another poor sinner that Christ died for his sins personally, then we clearly have a different religion.

Frank Turk said...

Pastor Wood said this:

| I said, "unless addressed..." With
| all due respect, Frank, I'm not sure
| how you can equate the correct
| definition of the one and only saving
| Gospel (apart from which a person is
| under God's eternal curse) with "a
| lesser KJVO-ism".

Here's what I mean, Stuart: the KJVO-ist believes that one particular sequence of words is the only uncorrupted and therefore acceptable version of the Scripture. Nevermind that he can't actually produce that specific sequence of words: anyone who disagrees is advocating postmodernism, or worse -- a person might be a heretic who is advocating a false religion (cf. Kent).

You personally have plainly and clearly advocated that if one does not present the Gospel as actually saving every person -- rather than, as in Acts 2 for example, the charge from God to receive forgiveness for repentance -- one has simply distorted the Gospel into heresy. You have said as much to me and to others without question -- yet in cross examination you believe every systematic point I believe and merely cling somewhat intransigently to the idea that you have no ground of agreement with "calvinists", and that they are themselves heretics.

Your enthusiasm for one brand of Lutheranism and one formula for the Gospel is frankly excessive because it anathematizes people who have faith in Christ. That's why I said what I said.

| If you don't
| perceive the importance of being
| able to tell another poor sinner
| that Christ died for his sins personally,
| then we clearly have a different religion.

Yeah, well, I'll let the record speak for itself. You are welcome to distort what I have said as you please, but the reader isn't deceived by your exciting accounts.

mike said...

michael,
brother, thanks so much for the concern, and in advance for the prayers.
"this" is a big issue to me right now, and i pray it stays there until the day i meet my Lord.
"this" is me, finally coming to terms with who im am, not much, and who God is, everything. more than ever before in my life, and i was a MK, and have spent 40 some years in the church, have i known so well in whom is my hope of glory.
i pray that i never forget my rebellion, lazyness, and pride that allowed me to judge my Lord as insufficient, and therefore choose another way to live.
i have many fine people to talk to, and most of them prolly want a break from me by now.
i say what i say not for pity, i deserve none, or compassion, i have come to know that in all i have done, against God only have i sinned, and that has hurt many people whom i love. i did it, and whitout the mercy and grace of God, i will probably do it again. but as Frank said "the grace of God has appeared." and if i can spare anyone even a bit of what i have done, then all is a bit better:)

Stuart,
the Gospel, the word of God is 66 books of good news to a lost and dying world, but yours seems to only be one sentence long. i would encourage you to pray about that.

Stuart Wood said...

I stand by what I have said. If you can't tell a lost sinner that Christ died for his sins personally you do not have the Gospel, nor do you have the true Christian faith. This Gospel alone is the one and only door to the kingdom of God. It is the one and only foundation upon which we must build. Any other foundation will most certainly prove to be sinking sand. I write these things out of the deepest-felt responsibility and love.

Mike, for your sake, I share with you the very words of Martin Luther, the father of the Reformation. This is the Gospel that you yourself greatly need, as God has so clearly prepared you to receive it by breaking up your stony heart with the hammer of His Law. Luther writes, "If you ask: What is the Gospel? No better answer can be given than these words of the New Testament. Christ gave His body and shed His blood for us for the forgiveness of sins. This alone is to be preached to Christians, impressed upon them, and faithfully commended to them for constant meditation." (Luther’s Works, Vol. 36, p. 183). Again, he says, "'Evangel' (Gospel) is a Greek word and in German means a good message, good tidings, good news, a good report, which one sings and tells with rejoicing. So when David overcame the huge Goliath, the good report and the comforting news came among the Jewish people that their terrible enemy had been slain, that they had been delivered, and that joy and peace had been given them; and they sang and danced and were happy because of this. So the Gospel of God and of the New Testament is also a good message and report. The Gospel has resounded in all the world, proclaimed by the apostles. It tells of a true David who fought with sin, death, and the devil, overcame them, and thereby delivered, without any merit of their own, all those who were held captive in sin, were plagued by death, and were overpowered by the devil. He made them righteous, gave them life, and saved them. Thus their needs were satisfied, and they were brought back to God. Because of this they sing, thank God, praise Him, and are happy forever if only they believe and remain steadfast in this faith." (Luther’s Works, Vol. 35, p. 358).

DJP said...

How sad.

Now Pastor Wood asserts that the apostles "[did] not have the Gospel, nor [did they] have the true Christian faith."

See what happens when an un-Biblical dogma rules over the text of Scripture?

Sad warning to all.

Frank Turk said...

Funny how Luther says, "This alone is to be preached to Christians, impressed upon them, and faithfully commended to them for constant meditation," and I would agree with him without any reservation.

He must have been a Calvinist.

:-)

Stuart Wood said...

While preaching on John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”, Luther beautifully states the importance of the universal Gospel. He says, “This is an extraordinarily fine and comforting sermon on Christ our Savior. Neither our thoughts nor our words can do the subject full justice, but in the life beyond it will redound to our eternal joy and bliss that the Son of God abased himself so and burdened himself with my sins. Yes, he assumes not only my sins but also those of the whole world, from Adam down to the very last mortal. These sins he takes upon himself; for these he is willing to suffer and die that our sins may be expunged and we may attain eternal life and blessedness... This is the basis of all Christian doctrine. Whoever believes it is a Christian; whoever does not is no Christian, and will get what he has coming to him. The statement is clear enough: “This is the Lamb of God who bears the sins of the world.” Moreover, this text is the Word of God, not our word. Nor is it our invention that the Lamb was sacrificed by God and that, in obedience to the Father, this Lamb took upon himself the sin of the whole world. But the world refuses to believe this; it does not want to concede the honor to this dear Lamb that our salvation depends entirely on his bearing our sin. The world insists on playing a role in this too, but the more it aspires to do in atonement for sin, the worse it fares.”

Luther continues, “For the Lamb itself preaches to us, ‘Behold how I bear your sins!’ However, no one will accept it. If we believed and accepted it, no one would be damned. What more is the Lamb to do? He says, ‘You are all condemned, but I will take your sins upon myself. I have become the whole world. I have incorporated all people since Adam into my person.’ Thus he wants to give us righteousness in exchange for the sins we have received from Adam. And I should reply, ‘I will believe that, my dear, dear Lord, the Lamb of God, has taken all sins upon himself.’ Still the world will not believe and accept this. If it did, no one would be lost... Refusal to believe this is not Christ’s fault, it is mine. If I do not believe this, I am doomed. It is for me to say simply that the Lamb of God has borne the sin of the world. I have been earnestly commanded to believe and confess this, and then also to die in this faith. You may say, ‘Who knows whether Christ also bore my sin? I have no doubt that he bore the sin of St. Peter, St. Paul, and other saints; these were pious people, O that I were like St. Peter or St. Paul.’ Don’t you hear what St. John says in our text: ‘This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.’ And you cannot deny that you are also a part of this world.’ For if you are in the world, and your sins form a part of the sins of the world, then the text applies to you.” (Luther’s Works, Vol. 22, pp. 162-169)

Sir Aaron said...

The world? So every human being that lives, will live, or ever has lived? That's where you want to stand?

Stuart Wood said...

I'm happy to stand where Luther and the Word of God stand. Yes, Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man, suffered and died on the cross of Calvary for the sins of all men, from Adam down to the very last mortal. This Gospel, this Good News, is the one and only faith of all those who have ever been or ever will be saved.

Stan McCullars said...

Stuart Wood,
So Christ shed his blood for the sins of every human being that lives, will live, or ever has lived?

Does that mean that every human being that lives, will live, or ever has lived will be saved from their sins?

Or is something in addition to the shed blood of Christ necessary for the salvation of every human being that lives, will live, or ever has lived?

Stuart Wood said...

We are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). While Christ did indeed suffer and die for the sins of the whole world, this work is only effectual through faith. If a person does not receive the atoning work of Christ in true faith, then it is ineffectual to them, and they are yet in their sins. God will indeed punish them everlastingly for each and every one of their sins, though it is true that Christ atoned for these sins. Human reason may not apprehend this, but this is the plain testimony of the Word of God. A great example is Judas, “the son of perdition”, who is surely now suffering in hell for his sins. And yet Luke tells us that he was “at the table” (Luk. 22:21) when Jesus said, “This is my body which is given for you… This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luk. 22:19,20). Also, on what basis did Jesus cry out from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luk. 23:34)? Are we to believe that these chief priests, Pharisees, scribes, and mockers gathered around the cross were all God’s elect? (cf. also Stephen – Acts 7:60).

Craig and Heather said...

I'm guessing it's okay to continue the side discussion?

*********************************
Stuart: "I'm happy to stand where Luther and the Word of God stand. Yes, Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man, suffered and died on the cross of Calvary for the sins of all men, from Adam down to the very last mortal. This Gospel, this Good News, is the one and only faith of all those who have ever been or ever will be saved."

***********************************
I've already proven I'm no theologian but isn't that a Universalistic perspective? Wouldn't the logical end of this thought be that eventually, all men must be saved in order to fulfill Christ's purpose?

****************************
Stuart: If you can't tell a lost sinner that Christ died for his sins personally you do not have the Gospel, nor do you have the true Christian faith.
******************************

Of course we are to say that Christ died for a lost sinner "personally!" The message of the Gospel is to be preached without prejudice because we are human and don't know who the "elect" are who have been chosen to respond. It isn't our place to determine who is and is not worthy of Christ's Kingdom.

On the other hand, God knows who His lost sheep are and, as they step into His Light, He will be faithful to draw them to true repentance, impute Christ's righteousness and continue to perfect and sanctify them over whatever lifespan He has ordained for them. If the message isn't "universally applied", preachers would spend all of their time trying to root out an approved audience.

Jesus died not only for the Jews but for "the whole world". Every nation, tribe and tongue will be represented when we worship before His throne.

I'm still trying to work through the concept of Amyraldianism.

Heather

DJP said...

Again, we can rejoice in the glory of the truth that Luther recovered - Sola Scriptura. We are not chained to tradition or manmade doctrines, but to the Word of God.

So there is no need to end up in the hopeless muddle of self-contradiction under which Stuart labors.

Stuart Wood said...

Heather,

Let me ask you one question. Having never met me, and not knowing anything about me, can you declare to me the Good News that Jesus Christ died for my sins? Yes, or no.

DJP said...

Heather,

In other words, do you feel any obligation to say what NO APOSTLE and NO PROPHET and NO EARLY CHRISTIAN EVANGELIST IN ACTS ever felt the need to say?

As Stuart documented - NOT ONE TIME?

Just trying to help.

DJP said...

Heather,

In other words, do you feel any obligation to say what NO APOSTLE and NO PROPHET and NO EARLY CHRISTIAN EVANGELIST IN ACTS ever felt the need to say?

As Stuart documented - NOT ONE TIME?

Just trying to help.

Craig and Heather said...

Stuart,

I don't mean to sound cheeky, but I am not aware of the command to "personally" inform currently lost and unquestioning sinners that "Jesus died for their sins". Please show me if you know.

I understand that this recognition of need comes after the sinner has been made aware that He stands condemned before a Holy and Righteous Judge. The Good News won't make much sense to someone who doesn't yet understand the bad news.

What I meant was that none of us can honestly assess the soul of another and determine whether he is a "serious seeker".

So, in short, yes, I believe it is appropriate to tell a stranger that Jesus died for their sins personally IF/ the "Good News" message is first balanced with the groundwork of where that person stands apart from Christ's covering blood.

What that person does with that information is between him and God.

Again, I'm not a theologian. I'm trying to learn through this conversation and I'm willing to accept correction if I'm in error.

Sorry, it seems i'm incapable of simply answering "yes" or "no"
:oS

Heather

Stan McCullars said...

Stuart,
God will indeed punish them everlastingly for each and every one of their sins, though it is true that Christ atoned for these sins.

The basic definition of atone I keep coming up with is to make satisfaction for or to expiate.

If satisfaction has been made for everyone's sin, how can they possibly be punished for eternity?

DJP said...

Get your theology from the Bible, the answer is "they can't."

If you're just as chained to a tradition as any Roman Catholic priest... then you're enslaved to that institution's position.

Stuart Wood said...

Heather,

This illustrates my point. If it is true that Christ only died for the elect, then you cannot in truth tell any poor lost sinner tht Christ died for his sins personally (because you can never know with certainty that he is one of God's elect). However, if it is true that Christ died for all men, then you can in truth indiscriminantly proclaim to any man that Christ died for his sins personally. It is this latter procalamation that is truly the Gospel, as Paul clearly defines for us in 1 Cor. 15, how that "Christ died for OUR sins". As for the verses I quoted in Acts, re-read them, and ask yourself this question, "could that verse have been said if Christ only died for some people and not all?"

Hope this helps,

Pastor Wood

DJP said...

Heather,

Since you're neither a theologian nor enslaved to a manmade tradition, you're in a perfect position to answer this question.

If I tell you, as a lost sinner, that if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you absolutely, positively, and certainly will be forgiven, declared righteous, saved and kept to God's eternal kingdom...

...and that if you won't, you will be damned forever for your sin...

...does that tell you everything you need to know?

Craig and Heather said...

It is this latter procalamation that is truly the Gospel, as Paul clearly defines for us in 1 Cor. 15, how that "Christ died for OUR sins".
*******************************8

Paul is writing to a church--, which, hopefully, is composed mainly of professing Christians who have already heard and recognized their need for forgiveness of sins---am I missing something important?

I'll go back and re-read your Acts references. I'm trying to determine where we are supposed to declare that Jesus died indiscriminately for everyone's forgiveness and where we are to make that declaration APART from the preliminary message of condemnation and the command to repent.

I'll go back and re-read your comment.

Heather

Craig and Heather said...

If I tell you, as a lost sinner, that if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you absolutely, positively, and certainly will be forgiven, declared righteous, saved and kept to God's eternal kingdom...

...and that if you won't, you will be damned forever for your sin...

...does that tell you everything you need to know?
*********************************8

You have no idea how many times I have been driven to my knees in awe over this revelation! Every single day I see more clearly how hopeless it is to try to "be good"!

And I can't see to do anything but beg God to be merciful to me. to continue to cleanse me and not let go...


Even though I KNOW that those who come to Him will not be cast away, the knowledge of my transgression is heavy. And the peace that comes from confession and obedience is amazing.

Heather

:o)

DJP said...

Amen.

It really isn't rocket science, is it? Isn't the Gospel wonderful?

If you are going to believe in Jesus, you need to know that He will receive you - and He will, absolutely (John 6:37).

If you are not going to believe in Him, all you need to know is that you're doomed and hopeless.

Praise God for the Gospel, and for the sufficiency of Sola Scriptura!

Craig and Heather said...

God has been faithful to train me at a pace that won't kill me as He strips away the garbage.

I do get confused when I don't wait for Him, though.

Stuart:

I re-read your Acts comment and noticed that a large proportion of the references were directed toward "Men of Judea", "men of Israel", "Jews", "Jewish leaders" or those who "feared God" or were meeting in the synagogue.

These would have been people who were familiar with the Law, I think, so they would have already been exposed to teaching that exposed their need for forgiveness of sin.

The preaching appears to involve the message "repent" and "believe", but I don't yet see a precedent for saying "Jesus died for your sins" apart from the foreknowledge that the listeners ARE sinners.

Maybe I need to take a closer look at the full context.

I need to get about my day but wanted to thank you all for being gracious and patient with my input.

Heather

DJP said...

It's no problem at all, Heather.

You will notice that not one of the speakers in Acts — not one! — says what Stuart says must be said, or one is preaching a false Gospel.

Stuart Wood said...

The problem here is that you talk of "believing in Jesus" in the same way that a Charismatic, Catholic, or Mormon could also say they "believe in Jesus". This will do you and them no good. The reason is that there is no "believing in Jesus" unless you believe His Word, and most importantly and foundationally, His Word of the Gospel, how that "Christ died for OUR sins". When we speak correctly about "believing in Jesus" we mean that we are trusting Him with our greatest and deepest concern, that is, our sins and the judgment to come. We are trusting His Gospel Word that out of His great love for us He has died for our sins and rescued us from the wrath to come. This is what it means to "believe in Jesus". Any other "belief" without this belief is a figment of one's own imagination. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God". There is no such thing as faith without the truth of God's Word.

Stefan said...

Stuart:

Jesus Christ died for the sins of whoever will believe in Him. (Amen!)

The whoever was decreed before the foundation of the world.

DJP said...

Wow. Such dogmatic assertions, contrary to explicit Scripture, from a professed heir of Luther. Sad!

Stefan said...

DJP:

I assume you're not referring to me, but that guy up there (↑)?

DJP said...

Mm hmm

mike said...

funny how the message of John the Baptist was so clearly carried on by Christ was "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand". then we are told over the reast of the book what that looks like.

to have so very much truth smashed into one tiny keyhole that excludes all else makes me wonder if that is what God wanted us to know, why waste so much time beating around the bush, saying all that other stuff.

Frank Turk said...

Ah -- the problem of the elect.

Too bad the Bible doesn't say anything about "the elect".

... oh ... waitaminit ... nevermind ...

Frank Turk said...

BTW, how many lost people got saved reading this thread?

... that's what I thought ... go back and re-read my original post. You need it, whosoever you are.

Stefan said...

To paraphrase what I wrote earlier, I needed this post like a I need a good, swift kick in the posterior—which is to say, every other day or so (actually, more like every day).

mike said...

But,

mike said...

Frank, we

mike said...

just wanted to

mike said...

get to 100 posts.

DJP said...

Mike's discovered the way to Frank's heart.

mike said...

unable to give truly good gifts, we humbly do what we can.





word verification: OQUERS........ nevermind

Craig and Heather said...

Peeking in for a minute.

Hopefully, I don't qualify as a "whosoever" that needed to re-read the post. But I did anyway just in case.

Two thoughts.

1. Human pride is highly resistant to the idea that man is, at his core, evil and helpless be able to change. The Gospel message is enough of a "stumbling block" without my abrasive personality making it harder for someone else to swallow.

2. To paraphrase Paul in 1 Corinthians 13: "Regardless of how well I understand how God effects the redemption of sinners, if I have not love, it profits me nothing."

Embarrassingly, personal experience has shown me that I can preach the concept of repentance at my kids all day long, but unless I am personally engaged in a life of repentance, they WILL eventually see through the hypocrisy. And the results won't be pretty.

My disobedience to God doesn't affect their status as far as goes "election", but it certainly affects my relationship with my Lord--and I am ashamed to see how I might be hindering them from freely coming to Him (which Jesus rather condemned with His millstone necklace imagery).

As the Steve Camp song goes "Don't tell them Jesus loves them until YOU'RE ready to love them, too."

I definitely have a lot of room for improvement.

Heather

mike said...

Heather,
so you are saying that the plan is perfect and people are the problem? hmmmmm.
sounds right to me.

the thing is, i think, that we never lack love, it is just that the oblect of our undying affection is ourselves. when we do finally break down and accept that we are our own worst enemy, we turn to God, sort of.

He says that the critical issue is the heart, the intent over the action. well, we want saved, blessed, loved, healed, and served. not so good.

Only through that supernatural event wherein the heart of stone is replaced, can we begin to start to ever love anything more than ourselves. and even then we got some splainin to do.

Stuart Wood said...

Daryl - "If ever anyone needed to be told to shut up and act like the Bible is really true...it's me."

Mike - "I have failed to act like I believe it either for far too much of his life."

Danny2 - "though i know the True Living God, i am often tempted to seek out my own gods of my making."

Sir Aaron - "The only response I can offer is, you're right and I need to do better."

Stefan - "The Lord God knows I need a stern kick in the posterior like this every other day or so."

mike - "Recently finished watching The Truth Project, and am again haunted by the question; “do we live like we believe the Bible is true?” Sadly far too often I do not."

Michael - "Do my poeple not love evangelism because they don't see me do it? Do my people not live a vibrant faith because I haven't shown them what it looks like."

Heather - "my abrasive personality... Embarrassingly, personal experience has shown me... My disobedience to God... I definitely have a lot of room for improvement."

Mike - "Gee, wouldn't it be swell if Stuart was right? then my wife and i would not need to pray, cry, and lose any more sleep over the unbelief of our son, as Jesus had aready paid for his sins, and he as reconciled before God."

mike said...

100

thanks Stuart:)

Stefan said...

Job - "I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

David - "Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment."

Isaiah - "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips...."

Paul - "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate."

Stuart Wood said...

Jesus - "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31,32).

Paul - "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." (Rom. 10:4).

Paul - "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 8:1).

Paul - "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (Rom. 5:1,2).

Paul - "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Cor. 5:17).

Peter - "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:" (1 Pet. 1:8).

Jesus - "Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." (Matt. 6:16).

Sir Aaron said...

Stuart:

Are you just collecting quotes from all of us for your scrapbook?

Daryl said...

Notice how all those quotes never said that we don't understand or don't believe, but that we don't do.

This thread, if nothing else, has shown that we do understand, Stuart excepted, but that still we all (Stuart included)need a Saviour.

My only hope is that I know he died FOR ME. That is my hope, the unbeliever has no such hope, because he has no basis for it, biblical or otherwise.
Particulary because the only way we can know if anyone is elect, is whether or not they have exercised the gift of repentance that God gives to all those for whom he died.

Craig and Heather said...

I have to admit that I'm baffled by the quote-fest.



Yes, I sometimes sin by allowing my abrasive personality to rule in my heart. I'm not a bit pleased with it and try to vigilantly guard against it.

Stuart, are you suggesting that those who battle with their flesh are not truly saved? Or are hypocrites? Have my comments been understood to be condescending or mean-spirited?

Are we not to regularly confess and turn away from our sins so that our Father will faithfully cleanse us?

I honestly am confused about your point.

Frank Turk said...

And someone quoted Steve Camp, too.

I think our work is done here.