1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a Christian Forum that recognizes that all Christians are a work in progress.

    You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

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

Christian Discipleship

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by Wormwood, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. H. Richard

    H. Richard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,345
    Likes Received:
    851
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    So I take it that you are living without sinning, right? -- About James and the Law of Moses, read Acts 21. If you are not blind then understand that Paul was indeed teaching the Jews and Gentiles that they no longer have to live under the Law of Moses. Since the Jews were only mad at Paul then James was not teaching the same thing Paul was teaching. It is only common sense that if both Paul and James were teaching the same message then those Jews would have turned on James too.

    Acts 21:20-21
    20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord. And they said to him, "You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law;
    21 but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs.
    NKJV

    In my opinion the book of James is devoid of the gospel of grace as taught by Paul. However, it was completely compatible with the law of Moses. Since the word of God has to be based on truth, I find the book of James is not meant to be used as a book directed to the grace church. It is only truth to those under the Law of Moses, the Jews.

    Here are some more facts that support my opinion. I find them interesting.

    1. The word “Law” is found in 18 places
    2. The word “grace” is found in 2 places
    3. The word “Christ” is found in 2 places
    4. The word “Justified” is found in 2 place with the words “by works” after them
    5. The words “by faith” is found 1 time (justified by works and not by faith only)
    6. The word “cross” is not found
    7. The word “reconciled” is not found
    8. The word “sanctified” is not found
    9. The word “saved” is not found
    10. The words “in Christ” are not found
    11. The shed blood of Jesus on the cross is not mentioned.
     
  2. Wormwood

    Wormwood Chaps Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    331
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    I dont understand your question. James and Paul both teach grace and holiness. Paul opposed Judiazers who sought to make circumcision and feasts a requirement for a relationship with God. James was teaching that "faith" means nothing if you are abusing the poor or are cursing your brothers. There is a difference. One has to do with legalistic righteousness according to OT ceremonial laws and the other has to do with a character that is consistent with someone who has received mercy from God. Moreover, James clearly teaches that our "works" are based in grace/mercy...not in efforts to obtain righteousness by means of the law.

    The issue here is not whether or not Jews were to follow the feasts or observe their customs. Paul was a Jew. He lived as a Gentile to reach Gentiles. That does not mean he would not have lived as a Jew under normal circumstances. There is nothing wrong with living according to Jewish customs. In fact, many of those customs are reminders of God's plans and purposes in Christ. Paul's contention was against those who believed that obedience to law was a necessary requirement for salvation...so much so that they sought to impose those customs on Gentiles who did not grow up with them. Paul makes this very clear in Romans that the Law is good, holy and just. The problem is not with the Law, but with striving to find righteousness through it. The Law points us to Christ and shows our sin. It is weak in the flesh in that it is unable to save us. It only condemns us by showing that it is good and we are evil.

    In sum, Paul was not opposed to the Law. He knew the Law was good. He was opposed to those who sought to make obedience to the Law a requirement for a right relationship with God (for Jews or Gentiles). The Jews in the above instance were concerned that Paul was striving to do away with Jewish customs or preach the law was a bad thing and that Jews who live among the Gentiles should forsake it. This is not what he taught. He taught that it was not a means of righteousness, nor was it a reason for looking down on Gentiles.

    Paul teaches that the Gospel is necessary for both Jews and Gentiles and we are both saved by grace. The Jews are not saved by grace and law. They are saved by grace, just as the Gentiles are. There are not two plans of salvation and there is not more than one Gospel (as Paul clearly teaches in Galatians 1). To suggest that there is goes against the Scriptures and makes God a respecter of persons. This is strongly and repeatedly rejected in Scripture.
     
  3. H. Richard

    H. Richard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,345
    Likes Received:
    851
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    A good sales pitch for those in religion. Again you are saying that what Paul taught and what James taught are the same. Paul never taught grace in conjunction with holiness. He taught that our holiness was a gift of GOD. That believing in Jesus' shed blood is the basis for our salvation and holiness.

    I agree that the law is holy just as Paul agreed. But since no man can keep the law we are set free from it's condemnation by the Blood of Jesus on the cross.

    In this age of God's grace there is only one gospel. The one Paul taught and it did not include the law as a justification for holiness and salvation. Paul's gospel, the one Jesus gave him, states the we are holy only because we trust in JESUS' PROMISE That HE gave us in Paul's gospel of the mystery, The gospel of the promised kingdom (that Jesus and the 12 preached) has been set aside until the time of the Gentiles is completed. When that happens grace will no longer be the gospel.

    1 Cor 6:11-12 -Glorify God in Body and Spirit
    11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
    12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
    NKJV

    Since all things are lawful for the child of God they will not be brought under the power of the law.

    You fail to get your thoughts around the great difference in Paul's and James' writings.

    1. The word “Law” is found in 18 places
    2. The word “grace” is found in 2 places
    3. The word “Christ” is found in 2 places
    4. The word “Justified” is found in 2 place with the words “by works” after them
    5. The words “by faith” is found 1 time (justified by works and not by faith only)
    6. The word “cross” is not found
    7. The word “reconciled” is not found
    8. The word “sanctified” is not found
    9. The word “saved” is not found
    10. The words “in Christ” are not found
    11. The shed blood of Jesus on the cross is not mentioned.

    Paul's writings are full of those things James never mentions. But still people will insist that both Paul and James were on the same page.
     
  4. Wormwood

    Wormwood Chaps Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    331
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    I have no idea what this means.

    No I am not. I am saying they do not contradict each other. That is very different.

    Yes, both Paul and James affirm that we are made holy by Christ. I think you are ignorant of their teaching if you believe otherwise.

    “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (James 1:17–18, ESV)

    “...I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:18b, ESV) (Notice he does not say he has faith IN his works)

    “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:17–18, ESV)

    “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:10, ESV)

    “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:12, ESV)

    “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19–20, ESV) (notice, its following the truth that saves, not how much the person sins. A sinful life is a reflection of a rejection of the truth. Unbelief and disobedience go hand in hand (cf. Heb. 3:18-19)

    Richard, what exactly do you disagree with that James teaches? Are you trying to argue that our actions do not matter at all? Are you trying to argue that a person can profess something with their mouth and their lives and actions do not matter? James is teaching that how we live is a direct reflection of what we believe. Our actions reveal our faith and faith without actions is a dead, lifeless, meaningless thing. If you believe that you can have a concept in your mind and it doesnt matter how you live, than that is Gnosticism, not Christianity. Jesus demanded that those who follow him repent. So did Peter, so did Paul and so does James. Christianity demands repentance and those who argue that how one lives has no relation to the grace they receive is ignorant of the truth of the Gospel. Even Paul teaches this quite clearly...

    “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,” (Ephesians 4:17–21, ESV)

    “And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.” (Romans 3:8, ESV)

    Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7–8, ESV)

    All of the NT affirms that profession with the mouth without taking action is meaningless. Biblical faith is a living faith. We are saved by grace as we make Jesus our Lord. But saying Jesus is Lord is meaningless if we do not respond to him and serve him. We can say we are spiritual all day long and have all the right doctrines, but if our hearts are full of greed, selfishness, arrogance and hated, then our lip service to God means nothing. He wants the surrender of our heart and that surrender is displayed by a life that seeks to honor God and others. James is simply saying, "What kind of nonsense is this that says "I have faith" but then is filled with evil, arrogance, fighting, bad-mouthing, and judgment on your brothers!? That is not true faith. True faith acts on what is believes...or its not really faith at all." Notice, he doesnt say we are saved by our actions. He says we are saved by our faith, but true faith cannot be void of actions. As I have shown, Jesus, Peter, Paul and John all teach the same thing. James' message is consistent with Christianity and if you do not believe so, then you are most likely more Gnostic in your doctrine than Christian.

    In sum, Christian discipleship demands a cross and self-sacrifice. Jesus did not call the rich young ruler to believe a set of doctrines and pray a prayer. He called him to surrender his security blankets and make Jesus first in his life. If a person is unwilling to do that, then their "faith" in Jesus is not the faith he is after. Jesus would send them on their way if they were not ready to unite their profession and lifestyle.
     
  5. H. Richard

    H. Richard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,345
    Likes Received:
    851
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    All James is saying is that a person has to keep the Law of Moses by doing what the Law of Moses says to do. Have you not read where ,"if a person breaks the Law of Moses" the penalty for doing so is death by stoning"?

    You are saying Paul taught the same things James is teaching. What do you make of Acts 21;20? I see a whole bunch of believing Jews mad at what Paul was teaching the Jews and not mad at what James was teaching. If they were teaching the same things wouldn't those same Jews be mad at James?

    James 2:24 You see then that a man is ""justified by works,"" and ""not by faith only.""

    But Paul said:

    Gal 2:16 "knowing that a man is ""not justified by the works"" of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

    ""justified by works **/** not justified by the works. In your religious mind there seems to be no difference in these two statements.

    Under grace we are justified by faith in what Jesus did on the cross and NOT BY WORKS.

    There is no way to harmonize or blend the two statements above. Nor is there any reason to want to. In both cases it is being justified before God, not man. Both statements cannot be true unless there is a reason. To try and make them saying the same thing is to ignore that reason.
     
  6. Wormwood

    Wormwood Chaps Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    331
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    No, this is not what he is saying. Not at all. Here is my paraphrase of what James is saying, "Look, if you want to show partiality then you are acting as a judge and relying on law. Are you sure you want to do that? After all, we know that you break one part of the law you are guilty of breaking all of it. So, if you want to act as a judge over other people then you will be judged by the same standards, and you will be condemned because everyone has broken some part of the law and therefore is guilty of all of it. However, if you want to be judged by God's mercy rather than by God's law, then you must show mercy to your brothers rather than judging them. Speak and act as those who need mercy by giving mercy to others. Mercy triumphs over judgment."

    So you see, James is teaching grace here, not law. He is condemning the judgmental, legalistic attitude these people were displaying by giving preference to the rich and treating the poor with contempt. His is showing that we must treat each other with grace and mercy because we each need grace and mercy. His point is that mercy triumphs over judgment and we can triumph over the judgement of the law by relying on and living by the law of mercy and grace. You have greatly misunderstood this text.

    I already referenced this. Let me summarize. James is simply saying that many Jews who were zealous for the Law have put their faith in Jesus. They still honor the law and saw it as good. Paul also saw the law was good. This text says nothing about salvation by works of the law. The law is not evil. The law is good and the Jews were right to love the law. Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. The Jews were concerned that Paul was teaching that the law was a bad thing and that it was to be rejected. This is not what he taught and he showed that by doing what James asked him to do. Do you think Paul was compromising his beliefs by acquiescing to James' demands? Does that sound like the actions of a man who was beaten and nearly killed dozens of times for the Gospel? Surely not! If there was a conflict of views here, Paul certainly would have stood his ground. But there wasn't, so he did what James asked. Paul was not against the law or its customs. He was against seeing the law as the path of salvation and putting trust in it rather than in Jesus. There is nothing here in this text that indicates these Jews were asking him or anyone else to do that.

    I'll ignore the "religious mind" jab and talk about the text. Each of these statements are found in a context. I can say "I like vanilla" and "I dont like vanilla" and not contradict myself. The issue is context. For example.... "John, I would like some ice cream. Could you get me a scoop of vanilla? I like vanilla." And then, "Joe, I would like an air freshener for my car. Can you give me the cinnamon one? I don't like vanilla."

    You see, both statements are true, but the context shows that "vanilla" is referring to two different things. The same is true with James and Paul. In Galatians, the context reveals that Paul is speaking about "works of the law" (i.e. circumcision, feasts, etc.). Some Judiazers were teaching that a person needed to adhere to the demands of the law of Moses AND have faith in Christ to be saved. Paul is saying, "No, that is another Gospel. Jesus alone has the power to save! If the law could save, Christ died for nothing!" In James' context, he is dealing with a GODLY LIFESTYLE that reflects one's belief. He is not referring to the ceremonial demands of the OT law, but of good deeds that are to reflect a life that has been touched by grace and has surrendered to Christ. How can someone say they belief in Jesus and hate their brother? This is not true faith. This is VERY DIFFERENT from saying that one must be circumcised to be saved, or that one must have more good deeds than bad ones. That is NOT what James is teaching. In fact, John, who's writings are full of love and grace says the same thing!
    What you say with your lips means nothing if your life is full of darkness and evil. Paul is not teaching in Galatians that as long as you profess Jesus to be your Lord, you can live like a devil and still be saved, and James is not saying that in order to be saved you have to adhere to circumcision and the laws of Moses. You have your wires crossed here, my friend. I am not ignoring anything. There is a reason that Christians for 2,000+ years have viewed both James and Paul's writings to be inspired declarations from God...and I assure you it is not because they believed that God was contradicting himself!
     
  7. HammerStone

    HammerStone Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,111
    Likes Received:
    242
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    That's the $64,000 (inflation...) $64,000,000 question.

    I feel like I tried, struggled, and failed miserably to make myself do this. Just to shed some light, my wife and I are the typical working professionals that now seems to personify most college-educated couples. We both work and then the remainder of our time is devoted to each other and our children. I found it very difficult to get all of us to a weekly event at church that didn't involve my wife ending up in the nursery taking care of kids or us feeling guilty for not spending the time with them that we have. I'll be honest, I am not sure that shepherding my kids off to nursery and away from me is the preferred biblical prescription of God anymore. Once a week sure, but not 2-3+ times a week when you have to go to events and programs like a weekday service or service project/ministry.

    So, having done that, crashed miserably and failed, I found healing and solace in a group of guys meeting who pretty much face the same struggles. I also think I unwittingly stumbled into discipleship. That said, I think first and foremost, this discipleship grows organically, basically meaning church leaders and pastors need to probably temper expectations. We are such a begin-with-the-end-in-mind culture that sometimes the cart ends up well before the horse. Start small. We've had 7-8 guys come to a normally 3-4 person gathering. Then add in families with 2,3 or 4 kids. It's not megachurch, but people filter in and out. Do this with say 10 to 50 groups and the math explodes. People just show up. They get invited, get interested, and want more.

    Heck, it might be time to consider the old 80/20 rule a smashing success. Jesus tended to say hard things and people walked away. Why is church different in that regard? Why should a modern pastor be held to a higher retention rate, exactly?

    To me, given that we have so many commitments and jobs that tug at us mentally more than anything, expectations should be lowered. Don't start out to do something grand, do something ordinary and let God do something quite grand. I think we've made the 12 disciples too much of an idealized hippie commune in that they all walked off jobs and survived so we automatically must do that and spend 500 hours a week doing ministry. To me, the most vital part of discipleship is the day-by-day living. That's the really hard part, down in the trenches. Not glorious, you're not converting thousands. You might work 30 years and convert one. Or maybe in the 31st year you do hit that thousands mark.

    Somehow these groups have got to get into the Word, and it will begin to permeate thoughts and actions. That's when Christ's work in us moves towards completion. He's already completed the necessary work on the cross for us to be saved, but clearly our sanctification is a work in progress. (1 Corinthians 13:12). This is what I missed, at least, in the lessons from Christ and the disciples. They really all did quite ordinary things, like just showing up. I think we should spend more time on Jesus' words about going out, and look at what he told the disciples when they went.

    Too many of us formulate our vision in our heads and then grow bitter and into despair when it doesn't pan out, subtly missing the point that it might never have been God's vision because of that whole part about us being the one or one of the ones to lead the charge. Maybe that next charge of the light brigade will be spurred on by the young lieutenant now in your homegroup, or even that annoying girl at work who suddenly opened up her emotions and struggles to you at work.

    What I am getting to? Discipleship begins with humility and certainty of who is discipling us. Christ is the head.
     
  8. Wormwood

    Wormwood Chaps Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    331
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    I appreciate what you had to say there. I agree that it should be an organic and not a forced thing. At the same time, I do wonder about some of the small group concepts as they exist in many places today. In the first century, discipleship meant following a teacher around. You support him, listen to him, watch him live and are essentially in continual "school." I mean, it was that way for a long period of time even before Jesus. Plato, Socrates...all these teachers had disciples that followed them and learned from them continually. Many went on to have their own schools and create their own disciples. I recognize that a small group may be much closer to this than a sanctuary full of people that gathers to meet for an hour on Sunday, but are all these groups to be understood as "discipleship?" I mean, if a group of guys meet and talk about their struggles and pray together...that is encouraging and great faith-building fellowship. But is it discipleship? Is it discipleship to meet and share stories? Is it discipleship to meet and go through a book together and comment about it? Is it discipleship to gather in a living room to watch the latest Francis Chan series or whoever that Priscilla lady is? (seems her stuff is everywhere)

    When I think of Paul making disciples, I see a guy who was himself investing into others. Timothy wasnt just a guy he was hanging out with and listened to his latest struggles with lust or how his politics meshed with the Bible. He was a guy that Paul was actively teaching, directing, praying over and sending out with various tasks. Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ." So, Timothy followed Paul, and in the process, Paul taught him how to follow and be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

    Again, I know our culture is way different and we cannot expect people to give up their jobs and hang out with us so we can teach them and give them intern assignments...however, I wonder if reading the Bible together and everyone sharing a thought...or watching a video series together and people saying what they liked about it qualifies as making disciples. I am not criticizing anything...just wondering out loud. I dont pretend to have any answers, and I think these small group activities and sharing times are a very healthy thing. Just wondering if this is the most effective means of building mature Christ-followers in our age or if our leaning on a book or video diminishes the concept of one man or woman investing in other men and women....no idea...and no real answers. Lol. Just a fly for the ointment. :)
     
  9. HammerStone

    HammerStone Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,111
    Likes Received:
    242
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Well, to me a video lesson or non-Bible book lesson on it's own would not make an "organic" small group. I would work away from full-on planned studies and such. It's forced, which is what I was getting at with church. We need Sunday morning as corporate worship, but worship is only part of the element of discipleship. Discipleship certainly begins with worship. It's the point at salvation where one says "Not me Lord, but you!" The church is the connected body where doctrines and living are not done in isolation. Yet we know that the New Testament makes zero mention of a single (or two-a-week) service where they got together and then went on about their merry lives like we tend to do...

    I probably left out this detail when I should have added it, but out of the guys in my group, one of them has done numerous overseas missions trips and is a deacon. Another guy is an experienced apologist who knows a ton about Islam and actually conducts training on evangelizing other faiths. Another guy is a layman but spends much time in study and is the guy who strikes up conversations most people don't want to have. Others are in church leadership positions or other ministries. To me, these guys are miles ahead of me in their spiritual walks. I'll never be the Evangelist in the caliber of the first guy. I'll never be an expert on other faiths, etc. That said, to me this is what Paul and others meant about Elders and Deacons - rather than a line of physical succession. There is something that brings together all of these experiences and uses them to form me.

    We talk about battles with lust and laziness, but we continually end up in Scripture. It's because it's where we want to be. To me that's the driver of the group, the catalyst. We don't all have similar interests or interpretations. Many of the guys are very good with their hands and repairing stuff, quite unlike me. One guy worked IT but is now a farmer. Others are Engineers, Accountants, and factory workers. What unifies us is Christ. We have a Calvinist, Contrarian, Arminians, Baptists, Methodists, Brethren Church, etc. Yet we sit with one another and discuss.

    So the focus of the group wouldn't just be the book or even Bible passage of the week. We don't meet for six weeks and cut it loose. To me, this is discipleship because we're getting together not just to do A or B, but A, B, C, D and so on in the name of Jesus. As an extension, our families get together and so forth. To me, this is the spiritually mature/somewhat mature mentoring us immature folk. Everyone in Christian circles seems to me to be talking about accountability and the like, but this group isn't just the accountability aspect, it's actually more based upon seeing others live out their faith and spurring me to do the same.
     
  10. Wormwood

    Wormwood Chaps Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    331
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    I appreciate your reflection HS. Sounds like a very sound and fruitful group! I wish I had a group like that. You know me, Id probably be the contrarian of the group! LOL.
     
  11. H. Richard

    H. Richard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,345
    Likes Received:
    851
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    All you are doing is putting your slant, interpretation, of what they meant.

    So as you say the words do not meant what they say in context.

    It is either, faith plus works, OR faith plus nothing. Which is it to you? It can't be both. Personally I will go with Paul's gospel of grace, faith plus nothing.

    1 Cor 1:27-30
    27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
    28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,
    29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.
    30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption
    NKJV

    Acts 10:13-15
    13 And a voice came to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat."
    14 But Peter said, "Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean."
    15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, "What God has cleansed you must not call common."
    NKJV
     
  12. Wormwood

    Wormwood Chaps Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    331
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Well, we all do that. If you think you read the Bible in a vacuum that is void of any predispositions or assumptions, you are sadly mistaken. I encourage you to read through the book of Galatians and Romans in their entirety and see if I have misrepresented anything. I assure you my interpretation of those texts is based on a great deal of historical and contextual study. If I have misrepresented the texts, please show how and I would be happy to give a response. This response seems like a non-answer.

    What is faith? How do you define it? Is faith merely an idea in your head that requires no action, no response and no sacrifice? Can a rapist pray a "sinner's prayer" and continue a life of raping and abusing women and have the assurance of God's grace and blessing because of this "faith" as you understand it?
     
  13. H. Richard

    H. Richard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,345
    Likes Received:
    851
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    I have already shown you where you have misrepresented what the scriptures say and you just ignore it in order to hang on to your religious traditions.

    Since you have to ask "what is faith" you obviously think faith is in your works to get and keep salvation You believe, trust, have confidence in your religion and interpretation of scripture. That those works of religion are a faith in what you do that will allow you into heaven. My take on that is that it is being self righteous and is a faith is that is based on the flesh.

    My belief, faith, trust, and confidence is in Jesus' promise of grace brought about by His shed blood on the cross. Can't you see any difference. One is placing your B, F,T, C. in fleshly works to earn salvation. The other is B, F, T, C, in Jesus' work on the cross that HAS (past tense) already paid for our sins. You must think these two are one and the same but one is placing those things in yourself and the other is placing those things in Jesus.

    Church tradition takes what Jesus and the 12 taught the Jews under the law and mixes it in with grace that Jesus revealed to Paul.

    Tradition ignores that the grace gospel given to Paul was "":"HIDDEN""" in God and revealed to Paul as the Mystery. Tradition ignores it because it does not support the idea that Paul's gospel was any different than what was taught to the Jews.

    God had a hidden secondary purpose for the death of Jesus on the cross. From Jesus, and the preaching of the "Kingdom of Heaven," to this time in which we now live is a new dispensation and it was not mentioned in the O.T. it was not mentioned in the first 4 books of the N.T. nor was it mentioned in the Jewish writings of the 12. This new gospel was ""hidden in God"" and revealed to Paul by Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, Acts 9:3-6 and Eph 3:8-9.

    But traditional religion will not believe was hidden in God. They rationalize that it was the same gospel Jesus and the 12 revealed to the Jews. If it had been revealed to the 12 they certainly didn't show it.

    Only Paul penned the words "in Christ" for he understood that God places those that believe in Him "in Christ" by the operation of the Holy Spirit (new birth). Man cannot accomplish this new birth. This idea of being "in Christ" was totally new. Up to this time it was all in a religious relationship of works, rituals and ceremonies.



    If there was never any other gospel (covenant) than the one Jesus and the 12 taught, as some claim, why was it necessary to replace an old covenant (gospel)? If one was "unprofitable" then it must have failed to be profitable. In order to replace the old, the old had to exist in order to be replaced.
     
  14. Wormwood

    Wormwood Chaps Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    331
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    You have responded with vague responses and insults...giving no scripture to validate your comments or specific responses to any particular text I have used. You just say things like, "You are religious" or "You are just putting your slant on things."

    Just asking for your views, not your insults. If you cant do the former without the latter, then I would say you are the one operating in the flesh. Cant we have an honest and respectful discussion without you attacking my faith or salvation? I assure you, I trust in Christ alone to save me. I just dont think "trust" is a wag of the tongue or lip-service.

    If you really trust in and love Jesus, then you will keep his commands. That is all I am saying. I am not saying I can save myself. Of course I cannot. What I am saying is that calling Jesus, "Lord, Lord" and then living a wicked life is not true trust. I am not saying you do this. I am just affirming what Jesus said and what James said. You see, Richard, for 2000 years, the church has agreed that both James and Paul were inspired and had no problem reconciling their teaching. You are the one who has a lot of explaining to do if you are suggesting we rip out a portion of the Bible because you happen to know more about Jesus and faith than his own brother.

    Says who? You have been so steeped in Reformed, Zwinglian teaching that you discredit the Word of God. I dont believe in keeping the law. I believe in grace. Richard, you are pettling Gnosticism...which teaches that Jesus basically came to give knowledge and if you have the right ideas then it doesnt matter how you live. 1 John specifically condemns this teaching.

    “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” (1 John 1:6, ESV)

    “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” (1 John 2:3–6, ESV)

    “But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” (1 John 2:11, ESV)

    “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15, ESV)

    “If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.” (1 John 2:29, ESV)

    “And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” (1 John 3:3, ESV)

    “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.” (1 John 3:6, ESV)

    “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.” (1 John 3:8–9, ESV)

    “By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” (1 John 3:10, ESV)

    I think you get the point. Gnosticism argued that the only thing that mattered was your "gnosis" (knowledge). If you have the right knowledge, then how you lived your life didnt matter. You could sin all you wanted and it didnt matter since the flesh was corrupt anyway and Jesus came to save the spirit...and the spirit was saved with the right gnosis. This is what John is condemning in this letter by making it abundantly clear that true followers of Jesus live transformed lives. Anyone who REALLY knows Jesus turns from sin and repents. So, are you arguing we should throw out the book of Jame AND 1 John from our Bibles? Is John, the disciple Jesus loved, perverting the gospel and teaching works here since he says that those who walk with Christ must stop sinning and walk in purity? Because, as I see it, John and James are saying the same thing. A true faith that surrenders to Christ, does so in words and deeds. As Jesus put it, "You will know a tree by its fruit." Sounds to me like you are saying, "You will know a tree by its knowledge....the fruit doesnt matter."
     
  15. H. Richard

    H. Richard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,345
    Likes Received:
    851
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    1A See 2A.

    2A . I give and gave my views openly. I support what I say with the actual scripture or a scripture reference. Nor have I insulted your views. I try to replace the word you with the words some and many. But you doni't.

    3A what you mean is that I am suppose to keep the commandments of the Law. I see a much better commandment and that is the offer of grace in the Gospel Jesus gave to Paul. Keeping the commandments of the Law of Moses only condemns those that refuse to accept grace by faith.

    4A Says my Bible. It is a sure sign that I have hit the nail of truth when a person has to place a label on me and then condemn that label. You still see salvation under grace to be law keeping.

    5A obviously your views on walking with Jesus all about what you do. My view is it is about trusting in the salvation that Jesus gave His life to give me and all the children of God. I say a lot about Jesus' work on the cross that paid for all the sins of the world you don't because you don't believe it does. You think everyman has to keep laws to pay for their sins.

    6A Again you use a writing from a Jew who was under the Law of Moses as if it applies to those under grace.

    7A same as 6A

    8A same as 6A

    9A same as 6A and is under law. Under grace it is not man's righteousness that is applied to a person. It is God's righteousness that is given to the children of God.

    10A Again this is law in that a person has to purify him/her self by what they do. That is not grace. Under grace God applies the righteousness of His Son to the child of God. Salvation is the work of God, not mankind trying to do it themselves.

    11A Under grace the children of God have been re-born with the Spirit. It is the spirt that is born of God that does not sin because it is born of God. However the child of God is still living in a sinful body that will sin. That is what Romans 7 is all about.

    12A you are still under law. I am beginning to see that since I teach we are not under law you think you can lay every sin in the world at my feet. Why do you do that?

    13A So you are saying I don't love my brother. Another lie. If I didn't love my brother I would not be on this forum having to repply to a person that teaches law knowing full well that they can't keep it either.

    14A you place me as a teacher of Gnosticism. You want me to wear your label so you can belittle me. That shows a true love doesn't it. I have never said we should through any part of the Bible out. But that is what you have me saying. What I have shown is that unless you can separate what was written under the law from Paul's gospel of grace the true nature of God's grace will always be turned to works.
     
  16. mjrhealth

    mjrhealth Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,861
    Likes Received:
    4,125
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    Australia
    I dont see where wormwood stated that anywhere?? Did I miss something.
     
  17. H. Richard

    H. Richard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,345
    Likes Received:
    851
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Wormwood said:

    3. "If you really trust in and love Jesus, then you will keep his commands. That is all I am saying. I am not saying I can save myself. Of course I cannot. What I am saying is that calling Jesus, "Lord, Lord" and then living a wicked life is not true trust. I am not saying you do this. I am just affirming what Jesus said and what James said. You see, Richard, for 2000 years, the church has agreed that both James and Paul were inspired and had no problem reconciling their teaching. You are the one who has a lot of explaining to do if you are suggesting we rip out a portion of the Bible because you happen to know more about Jesus and faith than his own brother."

    Of course in order for Wormwoods to say this he must think he keeps the commandments.

    For 2000 years the church has drifted into apostasy. The only way to reconcile the difference between Paul and James is to realize that James teachings were under the law and Paul's was under grace.

    As ripping out a portion of the Bible why do you say this. I have never condoned doing this. But I do know that the whole Bible is given to us for instructions and to be able to understand how God has dealt with mankind down through the ages. However, my Bible tells me that Paul was the Apostle that Jesus sent to me, a Gentile and I will hear him. Now I know that many will say that it was to the Jews too. Well I know that. It was a message of God's grace to the whole world in that salvation has been accomplished on the cross for everyone that will believe in it.

    I believe that man has founded the church on the O.T. and the 12 (under the law) and not on Paul's gospel of grace.
     
  18. Wormwood

    Wormwood Chaps Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    331
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    In the last three posts you have only cited two Scriptures and neither with any commentary or explanation as to why you quoted them.


    This is true mjrhealth. I have not said anything like this. I have only said a believer should live a consistent life..a life of love. Someone who claims Jesus to be their Lord but lives wickedly is self-deceived. I am surprised anyone would debate the point, but it seems H. Richard sees this as some form of legalism.

    I have not said we are to be law keepers, as mj pointed out, and this is a non-answer. If you just want to argue with points like, "My Bible says you are wrong" then there is no point continuing this. If you have a point to make, make it. If you just want to accuse me of being a legalist who doesnt believe the Bible, then I guess you are welcome to your opinion and I feel no need to defend myself to you.

    Well, considering the entire Bible was written by Jews (except Luke and Acts), then I suppose that none of the NT applies to us?
     
  19. Wormwood

    Wormwood Chaps Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    331
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Do you even know what the commands of Jesus are? Pitting the Bible against itself is pure heresy. It makes you the arbitrator of what is right and wrong...what you will accept and what you wont...rather than being subject to God and His Word.
     
  20. H. Richard

    H. Richard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,345
    Likes Received:
    851
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    It is not about ME. It is about the work of God (Jesus) on the cross.

    I know the gospel that Jesus gave to Paul. It is called the gospel of God's grace.

    Instead of your throwing words around why don't you tell me your take on the commandments of Jesus.

    So I am wanting to put the Bible against the Bible. How you want to frame what I believe and do.

    God instituted the law to the Jews and grace to the Gentiles but you can't seem to understand that they are totally different.

    Paul's gospel was "hidden in God" but you refuse to see it. God has dealt with mankind in different ways down through the ages. But you just refuse to see it. You think by putting labels on me that you can just attack the label and defeat what I write. Your labels are off base and just as you can't see that the gospel for this age of grace is not the same as the age of law you can't see that the scriptures are divided by the different ages. You can't just blend the Bible you must rightly divide it into the right age.

    Deut 29:29
    29 "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
    NKJV
     
Loading...