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Featured Not by works - but by faith

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by FollowHim, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. FollowHim

    FollowHim Well-Known Member

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    8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--
    9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
    10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
    Eph 2:8-10

    Our encounter is with Jesus and anointed with the Holy Spirit through repentance and faith in the Cross.

    It is our changed heart, our cleansed experience, our reformed and transformed lives that we demonstrate the eternal work Christ has worked in us.

    It is impossible to claim the presence of the God in ones heart and not show fruit or life.
    Abiding in Christ will always produce fruit, while not abiding in Him and His word, will destroy and kill whatever life that appears.
     
    logabe, friend of, 07-07-07 and 3 others like this.
  2. Windmillcharge

    Windmillcharge Well-Known Member

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    The competent preacher always applies the point of the sermon in a practical done to earth way.

    So how do we do, practically what you are preaching?
     
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  3. Not me

    Not me Well-Known Member

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    Very nicely wrote out, for there is life and food there for the heart that is hungry....

    This part I posted above I loved with a question, all it needs is a confirmation of God, for it has such a ring of truth in it. But it is definitely something to ask God about...

    Thanks for giving me something to chew on and ponder before God..

    Be blessed in the growing in Him, Not me :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
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  4. FollowHim

    FollowHim Well-Known Member

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    Amen. Firstly, are you a sinner or a saint? Do you desire to repent of evil and know the way of love, the way of Jesus?
    Do you know the basis of sinful behaviour and the attitudes that lead to selfish desires?
    Are you willing to listen to Jesus and His words, night and day, and in each situation put into action what He commands?

    Each step along this path requires the appropriate action.

    6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
    7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
    8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
    9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
    10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
    James 4:6-10

    5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
    6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;
    7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
    8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
    10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall,
    11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    2 Peter 1:5-11

    Here is the beginning and the progress along the way.
    Jesus put it this way
    28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
    29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
    30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
    Matt 11:28-30

    There are many aspects to discover and know, too many to fill such a forum as this.
    But this is a taste of the path and the way. God bless you.
     
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  5. marks

    marks Well-Known Member

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    By making a choice to trust in Jesus for literally everything.

    We are saved by grace through faith, and it is by that same faith that we have access into the grace in which we stand. And I think that includes walking in His works.

    That we choose to love others. And then we take every situation that comes up, and look to God to use my hands and mouth and everything to love others through me. The beauty of the forum is that I can reread my post, and delete it if it doesn't seem like love.

    In real life things happen more quickly, but we can slow ourselves down, give time to pray, to consider, then choose how to act.

    God promises us that if we ask Him for wisdom, that He will Always give it to us. So we ask for wisdom, what is right here?, and then go ahead knowing that He is giving us the wisdom we ask for.

    But only if we're asking because we want to love others in the best way, the right way, and not just to try to win an argument.

    We ask God to direct our lives, and then choose to believe that He will. As we see this develop to fill our lives, we grow in confidence that He is in us.

    As we get centered into His will for us, and begin to learn the difference between those thoughts that signal the lusts of the flesh as opposed to those thoughts that signal the fruit of the Spirit, we look to Jesus for the power to control and elliminate the flesh thoughts, and focus on the Spirit.

    We become more used to thinking in the way the Spirit thinks, and less in the way of the flesh, as we choose to reject the mind of the flesh, knowing we can with Jesus' power in us.

    The more we reject the mind of the flesh, the more our feet say in the works prepared for us.

    Much love!
     
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  6. Windmillcharge

    Windmillcharge Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever spoken to a non Christian about Christianity?
    Do they understand you?

    We do not communicate by quoting texts, but by explaining the truth in those texts.

    Please try it.
     
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  7. marks

    marks Well-Known Member

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    So true, speaking with non-Christians and Christians is very different. In addressing a Christian audience, like on this forum, I found @FollowHim 's response terrific!

    Yes, we sometimes need to add our own words to make a passage more understandable to the non-Christian. Though a proper reading of a passage God is using in a person's heart is all that is needed so much of the time.

    Submit yourself to Him. Do your part to grow. Trust in Him. I thought his answer was pretty good!

    Much love!
     
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  8. VictoryinJesus

    VictoryinJesus Well-Known Member

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    “not by works - but by faith”
    Faith working through love = a new creation. That stands out (imo) that Faith works through love. How similar the verses are giving clarity (again only an opinion) of a new creation.

    Galatians 5:6 Lexicon: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.

    Galatians 6:15 Lexicon: For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.

    Faith working through love: Whose effectual working though? Ephesians 4:15-16 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: [16] From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

    Ephesians 3:5-7 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; [6] That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: [7] Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
     
  9. DNB

    DNB Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that's true, for even an Atheist or Charlatan can quote Scripture, having absolutely no understanding of the depth of what they're saying.
    For it's even incriminating when a Christian does it, for without exposition, the expressions appear as nothing more than pretentious clichés.
    I think that a real effective evangelist or pastor, can motivate people in believing and acting in God's Word, without citing a single text.
    That is, they are able to convey the principle in various manners, and impart the significance behind them.
    In other words, don't just relay what is God's Word, but rather, what it means, and therefore, why it's God's Word.
    That's wisdom!
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
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  10. FollowHim

    FollowHim Well-Known Member

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    I have spoken to many non-believers and helped people come to faith.
    What you are sharing about is personal to you, because the texts obviously do not convey enough.

    How much do we need to hear to know God loves us?
    This is an emotional question not an intellectual one, or with large amounts of explanation.

    For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only son, so that whoever believes in Him might have eternal life.
    John 3:16

    And this is a forum for discussion as believers, and to encourage people to listen to Jesus and follow in His paths.
     
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  11. FollowHim

    FollowHim Well-Known Member

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    On a forum I started sharing the principles from scripture but in my own words.
    I was accused of just sharing opinion and not Gods word.
    I soon realised that actually what I was sharing was Gods word, so I would take the words I wanted to share, find them in scripture and write them out.

    In one forum I was accused of just parroting others beliefs, like the nicene creed.
    It was ironic, because I believed what I shared, and felt the words expressed it perfectly.
    The truth is Gods fruit comes from our hearts and what we share.

    Until you know someones heart, it is best not to judge or dig. I have had many dig into me, as if the words I share will have more or less importance depending on separate theological positions I might hold. One "believer" decided I was a hyprocritical liar who was pretending to be loving, righteous and kind, so set out to annoy, lie, slander, miss-represent and cause me to stumble so I would show the real me.

    This was ironic, because their theology was being a sinner and sinning was ok, no need to repent, because God had already forgiven it all, and responsibility for the evil and sin was the flesh, which God will remove at the last day. So I must be a liar, and just be as compromised and lost in my behaviour as they are. Boy did they get angry, apoplectic. The idea that they were wrong and did not understand Jesus or the gospel was a step too far. If I compared their life style and theology with the world, it was the same. When I was told I was worse than a murderer, you know the next step. Jesus was told exactly the same things.

    This experience motivated me to start this thread, to highlight the lostness of some who claim to know Jesus and believe followers of Christ are worse than sinners in the world. So bad is the acceptance of this easy believism, to oppose it is to be rejected from some fellowships as anti-Christ.
     
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  12. Windmillcharge

    Windmillcharge Well-Known Member

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    Understanding what the Bible says is an intellectual activity and not an emotional one.
    Having understood what it says and what it means to one, might cause an emotional reaction, but Christianity is first and foremost something that is understood and never ever just an emotional feeling.
     
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  13. DNB

    DNB Well-Known Member

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    Well, you just explained yourself very well, now. I'm sorry, but what you just described about certain people, sounds utterly ridiculous, as in, too fanatical to take serious? ....I think that was your point?

    I actually, very rarely quote Scripture, assuming that on a Christian site, i don't need to, because the principles that I'm conveying, should remind one of the passages that I'm alluding to.
    My point, and I think the same for @Windmillcharge , was that because the principle of Faith over Works is so controversial, it requires an explanation. Because, let's face it, verse wise, there's equal weight on both sides of the argument.
    In other words, I personally may have included in my defense of the superiority of Faith, is that, to me, Faith is wisdom, it reveals the deepest thoughts and understanding of one's heart. Abiding mechanically to legislated precepts, don't expose one's motive behind their actions. Many can do the right thing, but for the wrong reason.
    On the other hand, faith in the intangible, requires a great deal of conviction, and thus, understanding. Meaning, that you can't be convicted of something, that you don't understand. And therefore, I equate faith with wisdom.
    Especially, in regard to the Gospel of Christ, where both the miraculous and absurd are part of the message (crucified Messiah, by the people that he was sent to, and then, raised from the dead).
     
  14. DNB

    DNB Well-Known Member

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    That's right, ....you're not convicted, if you don't understand it, first and foremost!
     
  15. FollowHim

    FollowHim Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever read the 4 spiritual laws from the Navigators?
    I mentioned this on one forum and it was like a bomb going off.

    Another time I mentioned the sermon on the mount as our guide.
    For one group that was pure legalism.

    So forums, are not actually good places to get to the heart of many of these issues.
    What is funny, is I can spend 30 minutes with an enquirer and cover what would take here 30 pages to fill, yet here you are wanting me not to quote scripture but maybe write out 30 pages.

    There is one strategy that does work. 1 minute on life as a sinner, 1 minute on finding Christ and coming to faith, 1 minute on how ones life changed and the walk with Jesus is on going. The ironic part of this, is it does not need to happen very often, because it is mostly sharing, testifying and encouraging others. What would be your approach, kind sir?
     
  16. FollowHim

    FollowHim Well-Known Member

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    You sound like exactly how I started. Surely I am sharing with believers who know scripture.
    And sadly the answer was no. Some do, but a lot do not, and assume if they disagree with you, you are a deceiver.
    On one forum 50% of the contributors came from easy believism group, who specifically labelled certain beliefs or words as indicators of being pharisees. For them specific verses were crucial, upon which they built a whole theology and reinterpretation of both scripture and God.

    It all sounded plausible, until you began to take apart the logical foundations, which required scripture.
    I also came with a different emotional message about the heart, and the need for openness and cleansing within.
    The forums helped me see often two or three verses pointed at another step in the chain of faith and logic that showed where Jesus actually is.

    So I no longer have rules, I just like sharing.
    And there are believers who do not know Jesus. As John observed, they could walk by starving believers and not even notice.
    There is something so subtle about hard heartedness, none of us can take it for granted.

    13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
    14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.
    15 As has just been said: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion."
    Heb 3:13-15

    Self justification and compromise is so easy, so we must all be careful.
     
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  17. Ernest T. Bass

    Ernest T. Bass Well-Known Member

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    This means the "not of works" of verse 9 cannot eliminate the "good works" of verse 10. And good works (bringing forth fruit) is a form of obedience that is necessary to salvation (Matthew 7:19; John 15:2). Therefore "not of works" cannot eliminate obedience that is necessary in becoming saved (faith, repentance, confession, baptism) nor eliminate the obedience (good works) that is necessary in maintaining salvation in producing good fruit.
     
  18. FollowHim

    FollowHim Well-Known Member

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    "maintaining salvation" - this may sound pedantic, but for me this image is something that is achieved like sitting on a blow up bed that is always leaking. For faith to be alive, it has to be active, daily, constant. It is this dynamic relationship and life, that is the Kingdom come to earth, Gods presence in our hearts.

    The focus is on love and the beauty of eternity made real in us. We are involved and wholly wrapped up in it, rather than like a person who has this added part of their life, which makes it all heaven bound, while others, who are the same, are doomed to the fire.

    Many who have grown up in the church feel they are this extra expression, while in their hearts slaves to sin. Without the experience of both abandoning our self justification and committing whole heartedly to follow Jesus and His teaching, the words can remain just words.

    So for some when I repeat the words, it is assumed I do not mean them.
    Until love breaks in, which only each individual knows for themselves, it is just words.

    I read a testimony of this man, who knew faith, but did not feel a reality within.
    It turned out their father was diagnosed with cancer. For the first time in their lives father and son expressed their mutual appreciation and love for each other, and this man found Jesus talking to Him for the first time. We often do not know how we shut love out, we just feel dead and unresponsive. The Holy Spirit comes to heal and make us alive. Praise the Lord.
     
  19. marks

    marks Well-Known Member

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    Been there done that . . .

    All who desire to live godly will suffer persecution.

    Much love!
     
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  20. Ernest T. Bass

    Ernest T. Bass Well-Known Member

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    Salvation is not an unconditional guarantee therefore many verses have the verb "believe" in the present tense denoting that salvation is a process that must be ongoing, sustained. Per Ephesians 2:10; Titus 3:8; Titus 2:14 Christians are to "maintain good works" keep producing fruit else will fall away and become lost (Matthew 7:19).
     
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