Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Monday, January 02, 2006

The "Gift" that Requires Work

A current discussion over at the Moor entitled "Quote of the Week" got me to thinking.

A woman recieved a birthday gift from her mother one year. The mother handed her daughter an envelope. On the outside of the envelope it said "The Gift of Physical Fitness - for you!"

In scepticism, (understandably) the daughter opened the envelope to find a certificate for a life-long Deluxe Membership to a very exclusive health spa.

"Mom, I think you have misrepresented your gift." said the daughter. "You really aren't giving me the gift of physical fitness at all. You are giving me the opportunity to go to a health spa and spend hours of my life (that I don't have) panting and sweating so I can (maybe) come close to reaching that ever-changing, ambiguous definition of what a physically fit person is. Without my time, commitment and effort, your gift is not worth the paper it is printed on."

"Yes, honey, that is how physical fitness is, you must do it yourself. No one can do it for you. This gift cost me my entire savings, but it will cost you your time, energy, and your suurender to a whole new way of life ... but ... the rewards will be great!"

"Thanks, mom, but haven't you noticed? ... I have no time to go to a health spa because I'm working three jobs to pay off an enormous credit card debt. Why didn't you just take the money and pay off my credit cards instead? Now, that would have been a great gift ... "
the END

83 Comments:

  • A gift you have to work for. Hmmm.

    Well, technically, she did not give her the gift of physical fitness, only the OPPORTUNITY to obtain physical fitness.

    If it had been a real gift, her daughter would have been instantly muscularized and thinned down.

    In the end, her daughter was at least partly right.

    By Blogger Joe, at 1/02/2006 7:01 PM  

  • Rose,

    ooooh. this is tempestuous.

    Joe, you write:
    ----------
    If it had been a real gift, her daughter would have been instantly muscularized and thinned down.
    ----------
    Exactly

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/02/2006 7:24 PM  

  • Rose,
    Is this analogy questioning Free Grace stuff or the Lordship guys? Or am I just missing the fact that its about something else entirely?

    Thanks for visiting my new Pet Theology blog.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 1/02/2006 7:44 PM  

  • There are different types of gifts..gifts of opportunity are nice.

    There are also gifts that bring about work with joy...like the cookware my son got me for Christmas...I love to cook. Many might consider cooking work.

    The cookware would be of no use if I didn't cook however.

    By Blogger ambiance-five, at 1/02/2006 7:45 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    This sounds very much like an allegory to me:

    Jesus:
    "Yes honey, this gift cost My very life and all my blood, but you must work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

    Us:
    "But Jesus, haven't You noticed? We were sinners in the first place, and incapable of doing such things!"

    Jesus:
    "Did I forget to tell you? I'm going with you, and in your weakness My strength will be made perfect. Just trust Me."

    I'm tempted to take this further but dinner is ready. :o)

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 1/02/2006 7:51 PM  

  • This is an excerpt from a post recently did over at Free Grace Theology Blog

    There is a story told of a boy whose family was immersed in poverty. His father was very ill due to a lack of essential nutrients found in fruit. The land they lived in was barren of produce. One day as the boy travelled by the rear of the palace, he came upon a gate, and looked in. The princess was basquing in the fertile groves of imported soils, trees, and luscious fruit. The princess learned about the father of the boy's disposition and immediately had her servants gather up several baskets of the yield of her orchards. The boy searched in his pockets and found the few bits that was the sum total of his family's income and offered it to her.

    She replied, "The fruit is either free, or you can't afford it."

    "To him who works, the wages ARE NOT counted as grace, but as debt. But to him who DOES NOT WORK but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness" (Romans 4:4,5)

    For the whole post, click here:

    Salvation is Absolutely Free!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/02/2006 8:14 PM  

  • Hi Rose~
    Where are you going with this one?

    Here's a thought from 1Tim.4:8,
    "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."

    Love ya,
    John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 1/02/2006 8:50 PM  

  • If you have ever watched Saving Private Ryan you will notice that he was told at the end of the movie by Tom Hanks...Earn this.

    He couldn't possibly earn it as all the men that tried to save him were killed doing it and he had already been saved. He did have to deal with the fact though that he was unwilling to go with them when they first asked and he made them come with him.

    But now after everyone had been slaughtered he was trembling. He couldn't possibly earn it but as he lived his life after that day, he lived as though he could.

    The person who has truly seen what Jesus did will see this and will work out their salvation with fear and trembling.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 1/02/2006 9:08 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    Surrendering to her mother's idea of a "new way of life" could bring her rewards in the way of, anxiety and muscles. With all the guilt that was laid on her now she can worry off those pounds. And now she's got a mother with no savings and will have to get a fourth job to support her. She'll have to get a "five minute" bible. She's doomed! Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 1/02/2006 10:44 PM  

  • God did give the land of Canaan to the Israelites - only they had to go in and take it.

    Perhaps a better analogy would have been:

    Mother: I spent my life savings to find a cure for your terminal illness.

    Daughter: what is it?

    Mother: Exercise.

    Daughter: But I can't afford it, I have three jobs and no time etc.

    Mother: I bought us both a life time membership to a gym so that I can be with you as you train.

    Daughter: Maybe you should have paid off my credit cards and let me die instead.

    Mother: Now that you don't have to die unless you choose to, you can pay off your bills yourself.

    Really, the parallel breaks down after a point.

    This is not unlike working out your own salvation because God works in you to will and to do.

    BTW, I got rid of the over exposed avatar just for you. I went with the classic B&W -- oh so pouty!

    By Blogger Daniel, at 1/02/2006 11:08 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Daniel has a point!

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 1/02/2006 11:38 PM  

  • God did give the land of Canaan to the Israelites - only they had to go in and take it.
    ----------

    Exactly!

    They had to WORK for it!

    Great illustration!

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/03/2006 12:34 AM  

  • Bhedr,
    'The person who has truly seen what Jesus did will see this and will work out their salvation with fear and trembling'.

    Do you consistently work out your salvation with fear and trembling?

    If not, then have you truly seen what Jesus did?

    Is Phillpians written to those who have not truly seen what Jesus did? If so, is this then our gospel message to unbelievers that they should 'work out their slavation with fear and trembling'?

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 1/03/2006 5:20 AM  

  • Joe,
    you are right. If we could figure out how to grant that gift, we would be rich!

    Antonio,
    You inspired me.

    Dyspraxic,
    What do you think?
    Your new pet theolgy blog? That is funny! Is taking shoes off at the door a requirement for godliness now?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/03/2006 11:02 AM  

  • No, but cleanliness is next to godliness.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 1/03/2006 11:07 AM  

  • ambiance-five,
    This is true of many blessings, is it not? I have three kids to love and enjoy, but this means I have three kids to take care of and clean up after!
    The gift of cookware is great for you. It helps you do something you enjoy, better.
    Thank you for visiting again!!

    Cleopas,
    An allegory? Me ... hidden meaning? Maybe it was just a story about my mother's back-handed insult in the form of a gift. (it really wasn't - but that is the kind of thing she would do.) Where's Loren?

    Antonio,
    I have read that story on your blog. I think it is a good comparison to our situation and God's grace.

    J. Wendell,
    I don't know! Thanks for the verse. Love ya too.

    Bhedr,
    I loved that movie. People are unpredictable, even the saved ones.

    Todd,
    Thanks for coming back again! I wondered if you were still out there! I like the way you didn't try to read a lot into the story. Some mothers are good at laying on uilt, aren't they?

    Daniel,
    Your avatar is very "pouty" but at least it is not creepy! But wait ...
    But did the mother give the girl a gift?

    Dyspraxic,
    If so, is this then our gospel message to unbelievers that they should 'work out their salvation with fear and trembling'?
    This is certainly not the gospel.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/03/2006 11:14 AM  

  • No, a believer will not necessarilly work out their salvation with fear and trembling. Its easy to forget the cost of the salvation we have received and to become spiritually lax. That is why that instruction is given.

    I know what Christ did for me and I know that through Him I have eternal life. However, knowing it does not necessarilly make me love Him and strive to please Him.

    To be honest, the message of the cross sometimes makes me feel embarassed. It is wicked that I should feel like that, but it is my sinful flesh. Simply knowing of the salvation of God does not ensure that we love Christ and desire to please Him every day as people make out.

    I just cannot relate to people who say that believing in Christ's death fills them with love for Him.

    I want to love Christ more and to strive to please Him, but it just does not seem to come on tap.

    I dare say that some people are going to question my salvation because I feel like this.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 1/03/2006 11:14 AM  

  • A confession:
    This post was inspired by a quote from Dr. John MacArthur. I can't remember the exact quote, but it went something like this:
    Salvation is a free gift, but it will cost you everything. (can anyone supply the exact quote?)

    I don't like that quote. I think it is like the mother giving the envelope to the daughter.

    I think the idea of a person with a great debt, and then the debt is paid off, is more like what the Bible presents in the gospel. All the years of rules and requirements laid out in the OT, all the burdens that men cannot bear ... and then this carpenter from Galilee comes along and says "your sins are forgiven you ..."

    That was so revolutionary in its time, and apparently, it still is today!

    (before anyone says 'gotcha' - I know He also says 'go and sin no more...' but it seems pretty clear to me that this is not the condition for the forgiveness here or in the gospel explanations given in the NT epistles.)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/03/2006 11:20 AM  

  • Matthew,
    Doesn't it fill you with awe?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/03/2006 11:21 AM  

  • It ought to do, but it does not fill me with as much awe as it should.

    God Bless

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 1/03/2006 11:26 AM  

  • it does not fill me with as much awe as it should.

    This could be said of any honest Christian. We are diminutive.

    I think that is one of the things I like about you, Matthew: honesty.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/03/2006 12:10 PM  

  • Rose,

    I hope you and your family had a blessed holiday time.

    Your short story reminds me of something my wife and I have discussed for many years, namely, that if someone were to pay off all, and I mean ALL, of our debts, we could after that point in time live our lives quite differently. Our thinking was that, without any debt, we would have the time to do the things we REALLY wanted to do, and not have to spend our energies on the necessities of daily living.

    That, of course, without an accompanying, adequate, ongoing amount after the payoff to provide for the continuing needs of a family, would be just a fantasy indeed.

    We prefer to think of what Messiah Yeshua has done for mankind as more of a provision than a gift. He provided for what I owed. And He provided for what I would need to complete the journey, (reference the "good Samaritan parable). I suppose one could expand the current meaning of the word "gift" to include the concept of complete provision. But for most who do not understand "christian-speak", the idea could easily become confused with what most people think of when they hear the word "gift".

    Then I am sure that someone will say that the "gift" they speak of contains all of YHWH's provision through Messiah Yeshua. Fair enough. I certainly won't argue that point.

    But to say that the "gift" is absolutely free is to not understand the gift, the giver or the purpose in why it was given. Perhaps the "man-O-man this is completely free!" is too narrow a focus. Yeshua paid a debt we could not pay. He doesn't pay for what He knows we ourselves can afford.

    Shalom

    By Blogger Ephraim, at 1/03/2006 1:21 PM  

  • Surely salvation is a gift, Ephraim.

    Ephesians 2:8
    'For by grace are ye saved by faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.
    Not of works, lest any man should boast.'

    Romans 6:23
    'For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.'

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 1/03/2006 1:52 PM  

  • Yes, well, there you go. Just as I said.

    By Blogger Ephraim, at 1/03/2006 2:09 PM  

  • Rose, do you think that MacArthur's quote is saying we merit salvation? You say you do not like the quote, but doesn't is sound a lot like Matthew 10:38-9?

    "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it."

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 1/03/2006 3:29 PM  

  • Matthew 10:38-9?

    "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it."

    Why do you assume this passage is referring to loss of eternal life, Jonathan? The person who fears persecution fears loss of physical life. It is quite possible that this passage refers to that.

    The point is that if the audience seek to avoid persecution, God will deal with them in judgment and they will die anyway.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 1/03/2006 3:58 PM  

  • Matthew writes, "Why do you assume this passage is referring to loss of eternal life, Jonathan?"

    Where did I say anything about loss of salvation?

    The point that I am trying to raise is that MacArthur's language is similar to the biblical language. Regards.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 1/03/2006 4:51 PM  

  • Jonathan,
    I don't mean to sound flippant. I don't mean to say "I don't like that quote because it doesn't tickle my ears." What I mean is: "It doesn't ring true to me."

    The quote from Matthew 10:
    And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

    I concede, I am not worthy of Him. But ... if I take up whatever suffering I may receive as a result of being a believer (which is not a lot, at this time in history, here in the US. Think about what those listening were going to face in the way of persecution!) If I take up that suffering, I will be used of Him.

    Look at the context of that verse, Jonathan. He is talking about believers going through persecution. This isn't really happening in the US (yet). If you find your eternal life (becoming a believer), you may lose it (under persecution, which many of those believers did at a later date).

    Also, if you find peace and fulfillment in your current life, you may not be interested in eternal life, and therefore lose it.

    It does not necessarily imply that the ... the gift of God which is
    not of works, lest any man should boast
    costs something or else we can't receive it, does it?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/03/2006 4:58 PM  

  • Rose, notice verse 33: "whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." Are those that Jesus denies before the Father believers? This is in the context with those who are not worthy of Christ and those that cannot be his disciples (cf. parallel passages).

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 1/03/2006 5:34 PM  

  • I don't think they are believers, but do you put it past a born-again believer to do it? I guess that is the crux of the issue.

    Would you say that "deny him before my Father ..." means that if you deny Him before men (like Peter did in the days before the resurrection) He will change His mind about accepting you after you have been sealed by the HS?

    Or is this an impossible scenario in your theology? (that is the point, right?)

    Or was He just spelling out the predetermined doom of those who were not marked out to be granted the "gift of faith"? (that is another can of worms, never mind)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/03/2006 6:05 PM  

  • "Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?
    ----------
    This is the call to discipleship and not the call to receive a free gift! Picking up one's cross is a difficult WORK. Giving up one's life is a difficult WORK. There is no talk whatsoever of faith in Christ, or eternal life, or what have you!

    What is Jesus talking about here? This is a challenge to the believer in Christ, and invitation to discipleship.

    Jesus is talking about eternal realities here. From that vantage point one can speak of a life that is lost when viewed from an earthly perspective, but preserved when viewed from a heavenly one.

    Conversely, one may speak of a life preserved fom the standpoint of temporal experience, but lost from the standpoint of eternity.

    The martyr for the cause of Christ has certainly lost his life in a temporal sense. But the life laid down for God is not REALLY lost. Indeed, such a life achieves a kind of immortality. Its value and impact are unending, as is also the glory it gains for the Christian who has made such a sacrifice.

    On the other hand, to shrink from the pathway of obedient suffering may be temporarily self-preserving. But the life selfishly held back is lost in terms of enduring eternal worth.

    It would be a mistake to think here of heaven or hell. The call which precedes this challenging conception is a call to self-denial and bearing one's cross. It is a call to follow Jesus, that is, a call to discipleship.

    There are many who equate the call to self-denial, self-mortification, giving up one's life, and doing all other kinds of hard works, with conversion, but by so doing they either explicitly or implicitly deny the freeness of the gospel. By no stretch of the imagination is the demand for self-denial and self-sacrifice an invitation to receive a free gift. The attempt to harmonize these polarities always ends eiter in hopeless absurdity or in theological sophistry.

    In this respect the man on the street is often more perceptive than the theologian. If someone were to offer him a gift in return for self-denying obedience, he would readily recognize that offer as grotesquely misrepresented!

    The Son of God never engaged in such contradictions. What was free, He represented as free. What was costly, He presented as costly. The experience here described is costly!

    The rubbish put forward these days by MacArthur and his kin is meaningless, such as when they say that "salvation is free but will cost you everything". This, is in fact, ridiculous. It is sophistry and contradiction.

    Jesus is talking about the construction of a life that will have enduring meaning and worth into eternity, that will bring with it the contingent glories of a life that has been laid down for Christ.

    The call to salvation is the call to receive an absolutely free gift: eternal life (that results in many more co-ordinate blessings as well), which is received by purposeful (i.e. in order to receive eternal life) faith alone in Christ alone. Faith in Christ for eternal life begins one's "life".

    The call to discipleship is a call to the "abundant" life. It is the the call to living now that results in purpose, fulfillment, joy, (with sufferings and persecutions), in other words: real living. It is the call to living now that one "loses" his life in an earthly perspective but gains it from a heavenly perspective.

    Eternal life is not a static thing. It can be increased. It can be built upon. Present possesion of eternal life is only one aspect. Eternal life as a future thing is something that is merited by faithful obedience and perseverance. It is a reward. Present possesion of eternal life is just the starting in the life of the believer. The new believer is now called to give up his life to find it.

    Here is where the rubber meets the road:

    The believer who submits himself to discipleship will have meaning, purpose, fulfillment, joy, and the abundant life NOW as a result of his discipleship that includes dying to self, living for Christ, and picking up one's cross. He also in the future life will have provided for himself a richer experience in the kingdom of God that is truely richer! Glories, honors, inheritance, and co-reigning with Christ are some of the things he has to look forward to.

    The Christian who does not submit himself to discipleship will endure chastenings, temporal consequences, lack of real purpose, meaning, and fulfillment (the non-abundant life). He will not be able to look forward to a favorable review at the judgement seat of Christ (the Bema). He will have saved his life (in the present) but lost his life (in the future), the life he could have had in the kingdom of God. Yes he is saved and will be in the kingdom. But he considered the gaining of the world as compensation for him losing his life. He will be in the kingdom; saved, yet as through fire.

    "Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely" (Rev 22:17) is far from being identical with "sell whatever you have and give to the poor." and "Pick up your cross" Such declarations are manifestly not saying the same thing. Casuistry alone can reduce them to some form of equivalence.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/03/2006 6:17 PM  

  • Jonathan's insistence that the call to discipleship is one and the same as the call to receive the absolutely free gift of eternal life makes heaven contingent on our obedience in discipleship.

    Hey Rose,

    read these two very short articles on Matthew 10:32, 33

    Has This Passage Ever Bothered You

    Is Confessing Christ a Condition for Eternal life?

    Please read them as they are SUPER short and chock full of truth.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/03/2006 6:24 PM  

  • Matthew 10:32, 33 being:

    Matt 10:32-33
    "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
    NKJV

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/03/2006 6:25 PM  

  • Antonio!
    I hear you! You are repeating something that I have read before (I do appreciate it, don't get me wrong.) However, it is really long-winded and it doesn't go with the flow of what J. and I were discussing. I appreciate your comments in general, but can you, at this point, offer something more pithy and more directly pointed at Jonathan's last comment and my immediately previous one?

    the decaf is on the right, with the orange handle ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/03/2006 6:25 PM  

  • OK, so that comment was in response to the first comment of your trifecta, Antonio.

    (it passed your other two in cyberspace)

    Your middle one is more like it. (You even used my name, wow!)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/03/2006 6:27 PM  

  • Rose,

    Quotes are easy to argue with.

    I didn't like Antonio's quote that Macarthur is most likely unsaved, but those who follow Christ temporarily and believed in Christ alone, but later hate Christ and his Church are saved. Talk about by their fruits you will know them.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 1/03/2006 6:30 PM  

  • Side Note 1 :

    Considering the verses that Moor brought up. Does anyone just fall on their face before God and love the scriptures more when they hear steve Camp's Song "Consider the Cost" or do you hate the song? This song is about all I can hear when I hear these scriptures because it was so ingrained in my teen years. I listened to steve camp about every day when I was 15 years old and that was a great song to use with evangelism and my friends. They all thought I was crazy but it was a great time sharing Christ.

    Well every blessing in Christ.....



    Side note #2 :

    I'm thinking about getting out of debating type blogging. Why? Because at my church there has been so many ministry opportunities like in encouraging those in prison and praying with the college age ministry and other things like that. Also I've noticed I have neglected some of the ministry of the Word with my kids more. My sister feels like calling the Christian life quits and a friend at church is probably going to jail. Also my through the bible in a year is suffering.

    Considering all of this I feel I have to spend more time encouraging others in the Lord and that any blogging I do should focus around that and debating doesn't seem profitable for anyone.

    This verse is meaning alot more to me lately as it does in many parts of my life.

    Hebrews 3:12-14 "Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end."

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 1/03/2006 6:32 PM  

  • Oh and my wife misses me. ;0)

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 1/03/2006 6:33 PM  

  • Rosie writes, "I don't think they are believers, but do you put it past a born-again believer to do it? I guess that is the crux of the issue."

    I agree. Make no mistake about it, questioning someone's salvation is a very serious charge. I do not take it lightly. However, I believe there are biblical grounds for doing so based upon doctrine (2 John 9) and deed (1 Cor 6).

    Those who violate these principles are to be put out of the church and treated as unbelievers (Matt. 18:17 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”). This means that they are to be evangelized because Scripture, not me, says they are unregenerate.

    P.S.- Peter's denial does not apply here because he was not an apostate. Motives are important in his case. Off to watch football . . .

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 1/03/2006 7:07 PM  

  • Hey guys, I am just a messenger. Don't try to hide behind me to justify yourselves.

    We have got to stop looking at other people and their sin. You yourselve are accountable to what the Word of God says.

    Jesus said,"A Servant is not above his Master."

    Salvation cost Jesus and indeed it will cost you. You must Love others as he loved you. That is costly. He said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."

    You cannot hide behind me or David or Samson or Soloman or on anybody else that makes you feel more comfortable about disobediance. You alone are accountable to God and as Ephraim said, He as provided more than enough to not only Save you but also give you the strength to do what he said.

    These are not my words, these are the very words of God. I call you to read the book of 1 John again.

    BTW, Rose God gives the exercise machine and the health as well as pays off all debts. Then he says to go and obey as I have given you all you need and I will give you added strength along with himself being your personal trainer and best friend.

    Now if someone says, "God I don't want the exercise machine and neither do I want you but I want my debts paid off, then he is selecting according to his lusts and does not have a proper understanding of the fear of the Lord nor of the ways of God, but is seeking rather physical and temporary blessings rather than the God who himself is eternal life. Heaven is knowing God. He himself is the gift. I speak not of perfection but of the true motive of wanting God himself and to sit at his banqueting table.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 1/03/2006 7:46 PM  

  • So I am not misunderstood: I do not believe that 100% of people disciplined out of church are unregenerate.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 1/03/2006 8:04 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I suppose I've always been backward, or perhaps I back in to things. I questioned if we could be certain we had been given the gift of eternal life. It seems that 1 John 4 and 5, and more, were given specifically so that we could know that we have eternal life. If we can know that we have it now, yet not know if we can keep it, then it is either not eternal or we can't know now if we have it. It would seem we must deny the scripture to accept either of these conclusions. My complete soteriology

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/03/2006 9:18 PM  

  • >So I am not misunderstood: I do not believe that 100% of people disciplined out of church are unregenerate.<

    Neither do I Jonathan, but it seems these days we have a quest to want to comfort those who have gone out and are not of us. That is my main point. Truly men and women can backslide but to use the backslider to make excuse for backsliding is backwards.

    Ah well, like Shawn, I think I need to get away for a little bit as well. We push each others into corners with our rhetoric. There are extremes on both ends and maybe we all need to take stock and seek the Lord out a little more.

    I heard Chuck Swindoll say a few weeks ago that Heresy is extreme truth. Selah

    Perhaps we should all meditate on that. Myself included. We have got t be sure that we don't deny biblical doctrine trying to defend another part of biblical doctrine.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 1/03/2006 9:29 PM  

  • Hey,

    A little late about the Matthew passage, but what about the parallel in Luke 9:23-27.

    I think C. Gordon Olson points out nicely that Luke added the word Daily!

    Isn’t this little word very important as to whether we are talking about how to be saved as opposed to what saved people are supposed to do.

    By Blogger Nate, at 1/03/2006 10:14 PM  

  • Jonathon wrote:

    I do not believe that 100% of people disciplined out of church are unregenerate.

    Amen!

    Rose, this is a truly awesome post! There's somany different ways of understanding this story of yours. And you've been so gracious about the way you have responded to each idea! You're such a Pastor's wife!! Is J. Wendall a Pastor at your church??

    And Shawn and Bhedr, we are real too. These are real relationships too. Why not just put the brakes on a bit for a while?

    God was pleased with the heat and flash of the Reformation. Shoot me but IMO he's pleased with much of this as well.

    Anyway this is an amazing post of Rose's. And an amazing discussion.

    Lord Bless everyone!

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at 1/04/2006 2:44 AM  

  • Hi Jonathan,
    What you have said about church discipline is as I thought it to be; I only wonder about one part:

    This means that they are to be evangelized

    How does that work if the person insistes that they have believed the gospel and they are forgiven?

    Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (Galatians 5:26-6:3)

    That passage is actually to the church in regards to a fault found in a person's life, (sin) and not an offense against a brother. (as the Matthew passage). It could be said that the Galatians passage is more directly related to the church.

    In a way, this is all sort of theoretical. Is the person saved, isn't the person saved. We can't really know. We can't say for certain that true Christians won't do certain things. We can say we don't think they shoud. We can say we don't know how they could.

    I think what Antonio and others like him (myself included) are irked about ... is the idea that we are supposed to be looking to ourselves for the proof of our salvation. Doubts arise, but Chrsit is the solid rock and our only hope is to be "in Him" through faith. Even as a believer, we are filled with sin; maybe not sins that others can see, but sin is in our very being. We must look to Chirst alone. Sola Christos.

    Actually, though, this is a bit of a rabbit-trail. The point was, do you receive the gift of eternal life ... of forgiveness ... or do you receive the opportunity to cleanse yourself? I think the debt being paid off is the gospel message.

    J. Vernon McGee used to say something like this:
    "friend, there are a lot of people in evangelsim today that will tell you to give your heart to Jesus, or to ask Jesus to come into your heart. Friends, may I say very kindly to you, he doesn't want your filthy heart! He wants to give you a new heart. On that side of salvation, before you are saved, there is nothing that you can give Him that is of any value. It is all about what He can give to you. Won't you receive Him today, my friend?"

    (Rosie!)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/04/2006 11:26 AM  

  • Then again, physical fitness could be compared with Spiritual fitness (not salvation). IOW, growing in Grace and knowledge and laying up treasure in heaven, as a believer, a saved one, already.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/04/2006 11:28 AM  

  • Hi Shawn,
    That is cute the way you said "every blessing in Christ"

    That is the Dyspraxic Fundamentalist's saying. I love it! I used it on most all of my Christmas cards this year.

    I think you and Brian are all tuckered out after the long "debate" at the Moor. But I don't really think of this as useless debate. These discussions that have been on my blog (and a couple of other blogs recently that I have participated in) have helped me! It is not debate if you are listening and thinking and looking in the Bible. You must do what is right for you, though. I will look for your comments on my "nice" posts, then. :~)

    Tell your wife hi!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/04/2006 11:32 AM  

  • Bhedr,
    I don't think DF was trying to hide behind you. I think he was just trying to ask you if looking at your own behaviour really provides you with any assurance? I think. Anyways, if you decide to not comment and challenge, I will miss it.

    Ephraim,
    You said:
    But to say that the "gift" is absolutely free is to not understand the gift, the giver or the purpose in why it was given.

    But when presenting the gospel, this is the gospel! (not Christian growth). We should present the gospel that way, I am convinced! To call on an unregenerate to "commmit your life and serve God" is too tall an order for him.

    I think I can understand this:

    Perhaps the "man-O-man this is completely free!" is too narrow a focus. Yeshua paid a debt we could not pay.

    After one has salvation, we should strive to grow, but realizing what great love (absolutely free to us) the Father has bestowed upon us has caused many to serve Him more fervently.

    I don't get this:

    He doesn't pay for what He knows we ourselves can afford.

    :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/04/2006 11:42 AM  

  • KC,
    You have now provided me with two awesome links in my comments section! I can't wait to read through that. Thanks for visiting.

    Nate:
    very important as to whether we are talking about how to be saved as opposed to what saved people are supposed to do.

    This is a supremely important distinction! Thanks for dropping by!

    HK,
    You flatter me too much. Thanks for your kind words. My husband is a mail man! (He has been teaching an Adult Bible Fellowship Class at church, though).

    I liked the story because it makes one think. Analogies are like that. On Earl's Metaschema a couple of weeks ago, there was a great discussion of how figures of speach and analogies help us to better understand. Thanks for visiting and for yor nice-ness! I need nice-ness!!!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/04/2006 11:46 AM  

  • Hey Rose,

    I think my long post was cogent or else I wouldn't have given it. ANd it was going with the flow because Jonathan consistently fails to make critical distinctions in the Bible. I am seriously wearied by people who equate the call to discipleship with the invititation to eternal life so illegitametly.

    On another note, were you able to read those two small articles?

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/04/2006 12:52 PM  

  • Matt 10:32-33
    "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
    NKJV (I do not endorse this Bible Version)

    Is this talking about fianl judgment? I do not think so.

    Hebrews 4:15-16
    'For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
    Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.'

    James 1:6-8
    'But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
    For let noth that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.
    A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.'

    I would suggest that the denial of Christ to the Father refers to Christ's intercessory ministry. Thus, if we do not confess Christ, our prayers will not be heard before the Father. In which case, we may suffer and die anyway. This makes Jesus' warning much more pertinent.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 1/04/2006 2:53 PM  

  • Rose,

    It is my weakness when writing, I attempt to make too many points at once.

    And Antonio has a valid point as well when he says that there is an illegitimate equating of the call to eternal life and the resulting discipleship which should take place afterward. They are often lumped in together. They shouldn't be, I am as guilty of doing it as anyone.

    But it is how our finite minds try to come to grips with what seems to be a situation of complete tension. Namely, that we are offered a gift (provision) that is at the same time free and yet will cost you everything.

    That it may come in this life to have to lose all for His sake would not change the fact that what you were given (eternal life) was free at the time you received it. Is losing everything in this world a cost? In one sense, yes, it would be a cost. Yeshua acknowledged that it would be by saying that there would be rewards for those who willing participated in that cost.

    As far as "He doesn't pay for what He knows we ourselves can afford.", well, let me get a verse or two for that after lunch.

    Shalom

    By Blogger Ephraim, at 1/04/2006 2:55 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Philippians 2:12b-13 "...work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure"

    It Cost Him....And
    There is a path less traveled that we have to go..Amen
    Pick up your Cross

    Thank You

    By Blogger forgiven, at 1/04/2006 5:46 PM  

  • 'But it is how our finite minds try to come to grips with what seems to be a situation of complete tension. Namely, that we are offered a gift (provision) that is at the same time free and yet will cost you everything.'

    Ephraim, with respect, I must ask is eternal life a gift or is it not a gift? Or does God dlight in confusing us?

    There is simply no paradox here. The Bible says that eternal life is a gift. It does not say that eternal life costs us everything.
    It does say that there are consequences for not being willing to sacrifice ourselves in our Lord's service, namely loss of rewards and chastisement.

    Why are you trying to make this complicated?

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 1/04/2006 6:08 PM  

  • Rose,

    Yes I have been hanging out with Matthew alot and that little quote stuck with me I guess and I don't remember typing that up, I must have just typed it.

    Also I guess I'm just exhausted from the debating in general and in specific for the last 2 months. Before that I felt like blogging wasn't so much of a chore. I started blogging because I remember how much Steve Camp helped me in Christ on his blog.
    I feel I have more important things to do from here.

    I do find it a little bit discouraging that the most popular discussions from Christians are those in which are constantly disagreeing rather than encouraging one another daily as long as it is called today to keep from sins deceitfulness. I do know there is a way to provoke without continually be devisive (which I think you and your husband and Jodie and Earl are really good at).

    Well anyway probably it's mostly I have less time now and important things to not neglect.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 1/04/2006 6:20 PM  

  • I guess I'll throw this in.

    2 questions (Btw if you study you will discover that Jesus did lump the two together although they are differant...search 'cause in a few days I will blog on what I am calling cell phone grace)

    Anyway question 1. What is you alls spin on Jesus' admonition to pluck out the eye or cut off the hand that offends you so that you don't go to hell? Temporal/Eternal?

    Question 2. If Jesus didn't lump the two together then why did he send the rich man away sorrowful over his great possesions? Why didn't he just say..receive me as a gift and then descide to follow in discipleship later.

    Shawn you give me much to think on and thank you for the admonition to place family first. I will remember you in prayer along with your sister. I think about you guy a lot as well as your mom.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 1/04/2006 9:07 PM  

  • God has had me meditating on I suppose in my reading Ephesians 4:29-32 and then I realized I neglected a few things for the last 2 months..

    It actually may be a symptom of my own wicked heart I suppose, but God made me realize I was going after the wrong thing rather than the right thing... I think this is just plain tricky because I'm not against growing and learning and spuring one another on.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 1/04/2006 9:57 PM  

  • Matthew,
    Interresting thoughts! I have heard of that before, but I couldn't pull it up when I was thinking of this last night. That is certainly a possibility as to what is meant in that passage.

    Ephraim,
    That is a really long lunch! It is now the new Gregorian year. Whenever I click on your blue name, it still says:
    "Profile Not Available"

    Hi forgiven,
    Where have you been?
    What is my cross? (I need to know this to see if I have it in hand already or not). I look forward to reading your new post.

    Matthew,
    Ephraim, with respect, I must ask is eternal life a gift or is it not a gift?
    This is a good question. I share it.

    Shawn,
    If blogging is a chore, you should stop. If it is not helpful for you, quit it.

    I do find it a little bit discouraging that the most popular discussions from Christians are those in which are constantly disagreeing rather than encouraging one another

    I see what you mean, but I have a little different take on that than you. When I do a "non-controversial post", what do people comment? It is very limited.
    I agree.
    Sound stuff.
    Good thoughts.
    I do like to do these kind of posts because they are devotional.
    But, when I do a post on a controversial subject, it helps me greatly, and perhaps other readers in the same way as it does me. I get to hear how other brothers and sisters are thinking. It has really helped me to be less "sheltered" theologically. (eg: I had no idea that the "free-gift" was in dispute as widely as it was. I had no idea that dispensationalism was a controversial doctrine!)

    So, although it may seem "raucous" to you, this helps us all to think through things that aren't as crystal clear as the "non-controversial" things. Don't let that discourage you. This is necessary in the body. (But time with family is more necessary!)

    Bhedr,
    Question 1: (If this were literal, a lot of men would have no hands or eyes, eh?)
    Perhaps Jesus was trying to make sin exceedingly sinful.
    IOW, perhaps Jesus was illustrating how important it is to have your sins off of you? (How can we do this? Lobotomy?)

    Think about it - sin, offense, is to our very core in the flesh! We can't cut it out!

    Also - look at the context - it is about looking at a woman to lust after her (connection: eyes, hand, lust). He then took it to the level of the thoughts. How can you cut off a thought? If salvation rested on eradicating all sinful thought, we'd be hopeless. So ... where do you draw the line, bhedr? What is holy and repentant enough to merit His favor or keep His favor?

    On the other hand, we should want to please Him, should. We can help by radically amputating things that would cause us to stumble - to stumble, not out of salvation, but out of the joy of a good relationship with our heavenly Father.

    Think about this:
    Our new nature cannot sin - our old nature is sin! The two are not blended and one cannot become like the other.

    Question 2: What was the rich man asking?

    He said:
    Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?

    He never asked for the "gift" of eternal life ... or ... forgivenes of sins. He wanted to know how he could merit eternal life!!!
    Jesus again, illustrated the failure of our natures to do that good thing ... to get eternal life, by giving this man something that he would not do. It is that simple.

    Nice to see you again!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/04/2006 10:14 PM  

  • Rose,

    I mean debating blogging is a chore. So I'm sticking with encouraging one another blogging....

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 1/04/2006 10:52 PM  

  • Antonio,
    I read those two short articles just now. They seem to make sense to me! Thanks for the links.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/04/2006 10:55 PM  

  • Shawn,
    There you go. I enjoy seeing that distinction in blogging as well. To me debating is but a very small part of blogging, and thankfully, a dispensible one. Debating in itself can't be a bad thing but doesn't it seem like just the fact that there is so much debate going on in God's word, and the type of debate, sometimes sort of misses the fact that there is one Truth out there. God has it. During those times of respite when we are not battling inside our own flesh, it can be a nice break to find others who also are trying to fight the good fight in their inner man, and build each other up in preparation to finish the race well.

    Well, anyway, all I'm saying is I like your sentiment about keeping debate blogging from being a chore.

    With the love of Christ, Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 1/05/2006 9:47 AM  

  • Rose,
    I can't help but be convinced that this blog of yours is a very nice extention of yourself as a very effective and capable Christian teacher in you local community, as well as even much farther than that. I just appreciate many of your well informed comments so much that I just had to say it again. O.k., sorry for changing the subject, sorry for all the flattery, see you.
    Yours in Christ, Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 1/05/2006 10:04 AM  

  • Hi Rose
    I have been away alot ..It nice to hear from all the bloggers

    Mark 8:34
    And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.


    The cross stands forever as a symbol of those circumstances and events in our experience which humble us, expose us, offend our pride, shame us, and reveal our basic evil

    People think that a cross is any kind of trial or hardship you are going through, or any kind of handicap you must endure -- like a mother-in-law, or a ding-a-ling neighbor or a physical handicap. "That's my cross," we say. But that is not what Jesus means. He himself had many handicaps, many difficulties and trials he endured before he came to his cross. So it is not merely handicap or difficulty or trial. The cross was something different. The cross stood for something in the life of Jesus connected with shame and humiliation. It was a criminal's cross on which he was hung. It was a place of degradation, where he was demeaned and debased.

    Thank Rose

    By Blogger forgiven, at 1/05/2006 10:39 AM  

  • No,
    Thank you, forgiven!
    I think that you are exactly right! Suffering shame for Christ's sake is the joy of a Christian.

    I used to feel like I was suffering when I first believed. I would argue much with family members over the truths of the Bible. They didn't like the Bible and they didn't like what I was telling them. They would make fun of me and didn't like me (some of them really didn't like me much before I was saved, either). They loved pointing out character flaws as a way of casting doubt on whether I realy "had" anything (in the way of a "religion" that works). eg: like if I got upset and expressed it in a bad way, they might respond like, "aha! You say you've been saved...huh!"

    Then I remember thinking a lot "I would love to suffer for Christ's sake, but I don't want to suffer for my own sake, because of my self."

    Good words, forgiven.


    Todd,
    Thank you! (((blushing)))
    No, really, brother, I appreciate those words of encouragement. You are a good encourager. I'm glad to know you are reading. (I keep checking your blog). :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/05/2006 10:50 AM  

  • Rose & Matthew,

    Yes, eternal life is a gift. I have never said otherwise. It is in attempting to explain the ramifications of having received that gift where we seem to part company.

    For the record:

    YHWH is not confused, nor does He try to confuse anyone intentionally.

    I am not confused, nor do I intentionally, for whatever reason, try to confuse anyone else.

    This concept of receiving a gift from YHWH is NOT complicated. It may be difficult for some to discern how it works, but it is not complicated. If it seems that I am complicating a simple truth, then I have chosen my words poorly. That's on me.

    I will have to think about this issue some more before trying to respond to the original post again. Maybe we could explore the fact that our salvation is not fully realized yet as we are living in our flesh. As Sha'ul (Paul) said, "that I might apprehend that for which I am apprehended", knowing that he had not as yet "arrived" at the completion of his redemption. Even though he had already received the gift of eternal life. I would say that he knew he had more to "work" on before he left this world.

    Shalom

    By Blogger Ephraim, at 1/05/2006 2:20 PM  

  • Bhedr
    'Anyway question 1. What is you alls spin on Jesus' admonition to pluck out the eye or cut off the hand that offends you so that you don't go to hell? Temporal/Eternal?'

    Jesus is not talking about either as a possibility. This is a hyperbolic statement that illustrates a practical point. If we were striving to be saved by law-keeping, then we would indeed need to sever our members. Jesus is teachign Law, not Gospel here. The law shows us our sinful condition.

    'Question 2. If Jesus didn't lump the two together then why did he send the rich man away sorrowful over his great possesions? Why didn't he just say..receive me as a gift and then descide to follow in discipleship later.'

    This passage must also be reelated to Israel's position under the Law. The man's sinful condition was revealed by his inability to keep the law; he loved his riches more than he loved God.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 1/05/2006 3:25 PM  

  • Me: “This means that they are to be evangelized”

    Rose: “How does that work if the person insists that they have believed the gospel and they are forgiven?”

    Me: If the person does not repent, Matthew says “let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” Whether or not the person is saved, we are told to treat him or her as an unbeliever, regardless of what is claimed. This is very sobering.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 1/05/2006 4:00 PM  

  • 'Me: If the person does not repent, Matthew says “let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” Whether or not the person is saved, we are told to treat him or her as an unbeliever, regardless of what is claimed. This is very sobering.'

    Indeed, it is a very serious thing to be put out of the Christian assembly. To be excluded from the fellowship of the Saints.

    The Church finds its unity in Christ and Christ is absolute in His holiness. Therefore those involved in wickedness must be put out.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 1/05/2006 4:23 PM  

  • Hi Jonathan,
    I agree, it is sobering. Furthermore, I read something on your blog (maybe in the comments) where someone expressed dismay at the way often other churchmembers will all flock to the person who has been "put out", being way too sympathetic. I can see the truth in that, too. If a person is "put out", they ought to feel the impact of that. It should not be done lightly. (Although they may be saved, if they will not hear the church, they should be treated thus.) However, do we really treat them as an evangelistic prospect (to use a bad phrase)? Aren't they in a worse position than that? We are much friendlier to prospective converts than we would be to one who has been "put out" of the church, as long as that one is not willing to talk about restoration of fellowship.

    Sobering indeed.

    I agree with you and Matthew in the last two comments.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/05/2006 5:53 PM  

  • Ephraim,
    This is a great understatement!

    This concept of receiving a gift from YHWH ... It may be difficult for some to discern how it works ...
    ;~)
    (but actually Antonio has THE best theological understatement of all time on his blog. Do you know which one I am talking about?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/05/2006 7:23 PM  

  • Rose,

    Truly cutting off the hand and plucking out the eye is hyperbole, but its admonition is very real and eternal.

    your assement of the Rich Young Ruler did indeed open up some understanding yet I still believe it to be incomplete.

    Truly the admonition of Jesus was Law and the Law is what cuts the Hand off and plucks the eyes off.Lets use this as a telescope to understanding the Rich Young Ruler as Jesus was indeed applying the Law to Him.

    Rose, why didn't Jesus call out to the Rich Young Ruler when he left and say,"Hey recieve me as your saviour as you are sorrowful now?"

    Why did he let him go away sorrowful? I mean Hell hung in the balance didn't it?

    Another question to think on:

    What did the younger prodigal son run out of?

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 1/05/2006 8:12 PM  

  • 72 Comments! Amazing.

    I haven't followed the comments, and I may be a day late and a dollar short, but I can relate to the post since my wife and I "got each other" a treadmill for Christmas. A nice one. We put the money out. Now we have to put ourselves out. But I feel better already.

    I am a firm believer in financial freedom. Credit Cards, bad. Debt-free living good. Have tried life on both sides and prefer the latter. If more and more Christians were able to dig out of the credit trap, they'd be able to walk more, spend time with spouses and kids, and even sleep better.

    JRush

    By Blogger John Rush, at 1/05/2006 9:21 PM  

  • Bhedr asks:
    Rose, why didn't Jesus call out to the Rich Young Ruler when he left and say, "Hey receive me as your saviour as you are sorrowful now?"

    How do you know he didn't? Are you so sure that we don't hear of him later on in the NT (or even in the gospels?) We have no name, so we can not be sure.

    Right after this, when discussing salvation of rich young rulers with His disciples:

    Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

    Was He "foreshadowing" a future conversion they would witness in this man? We just don't know. All things are possible.

    Think about this one:
    Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." Then Jesus answered, "Will you really lay down your life for me? ... (John 13:37-38)

    He told the rich young ruler "Come and follow me" and he didn't. Here, he tells Peter "You can't follow me" even though Peter wanted to. It is the timing at issue perhaps. Any good Calvinist ;~) should know, that God has a time for people, an appointed time. Perhaps this r.y.ruler needed to go and ponder some of this ... or experience something that would help him to see his need. What do you think?

    Bhedr says:
    What did the younger prodigal son run out of?

    There must be a "deeper, hidden meaning" that you want me to discover. But, at first glance, he ran out of money. He ran out of the delusion of sin: ...When he came to his senses ...

    What are you getting at?
    :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/05/2006 9:50 PM  

  • Your right Rose, he ran out of money.

    In luke 16 in the parable of the Unjust Steward we learn that the well of his riches went dry on him as his master was firing him. With the prodigal son...he ran out of money and no one helped him. This is key to understanding the cell phone grace that America has.I will post on this soon.(consider kids that get sent off to college and continue to this day to drain their parents dry vs the Prodigal who walked home empty wanting only to be his fathers servent)

    Intresting that you mentioned Peter as Oswald Chambers spoke of this today. Did you read it?

    Peter had to follow Jesus in order to learn experientially and not intellectually that he didn't have the strength to follow.

    The Love of Money is at the root of all sorts of evil.

    Jesus said not to fear man but to fear God who could cast into Hell. In that same breath in one text he tells everyone to fear not little flock for it is the Fathers good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.

    The Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Proverbs 2:1-5 states that this fear will come to the one who seeks.

    I used to teach an intellectual free Grace, but Jesus teaches one that must be discovered and if anything stands in the way of that(for most it is money that is the hand that must be cut off as it fuels most sin), then it cannot be discovered.

    What did the unjust steward in Luke 16 have in common with the theif on the cross?

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 1/05/2006 10:24 PM  

  • 'Rose, why didn't Jesus call out to the Rich Young Ruler when he left and say,"Hey recieve me as your saviour as you are sorrowful now?"'

    The reason that Jesus did not do this was that the Gospel had not yet been offered, except in terms of the offer of the Kingdom.

    While Christ was one earth, the hearts of the Jews were being hardened and only those drawn by the Father could come to Him.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 1/06/2006 3:51 AM  

  • JRush,
    Thank you for visiting mine
    (h)umble blog.
    I like the fact that you didn't read a lot into the story. It is interesting that you are the only one that went into the debt issue much. I alos feel that credit card debt is the wrong way to go. Bad news.

    Take care at Anvil and Fire!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/06/2006 7:31 AM  

  • Bhedr,
    They were both desperate.
    Both were going to be called into account very soon.

    I just realized, we are back to the same mode that I remember from a couple of months ago. (you asking a lot of questions.) :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/06/2006 10:48 AM  

  • Rose and all, concerning the rich young ruler:

    There are several things that people miss in the story of the rich young ruler. What Jesus was doing with him I would call "pre-evangelism". Jesus' discourse with the man was crafted to show him that no one is good but God; that it is very difficult for the one trusting in riches to "enter" the kingdom.

    There are many nuances in this story that I do not wish to merely be superficial, but unfortunately I must:

    The exact question he asks "inherit" not "enter" the kingdom.

    The self-righteousness of the ruler.

    The absence of any talk of "faith" in Christ.

    Have you ever heard of the Engels scale? This ruler had many obstacles to overcome before he would trust in Christ for salvation. He was too self-rightoeus and trusted in riches. What Christ did was "pre-evangelism" to get the man to realize some things. I have hope that this young man came to his senses and is now in heaven.

    I could go on about this passage! How the Lordship folk's eclipse of grace casts its shadow over the interpretation of scripture. I mean, do you really consider selling all that you have and giving it to the poor conditions for going to heaven? Were they really conditions for this man? And if they are or were, how can that conception of things be harmonized with the simple offer of a free gift of life to needy men?

    As I have said before:

    "Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely" (Rev 22:17) is far from being identical with "sell whatever you have and give to the poor." Such declarations are manifestly not saying the same thing. Casuistry alone can reduce them to some form of equivalence.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/06/2006 11:14 AM  

  • Thank you Antonio. Very good insights.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/06/2006 11:21 AM  

  • Hey Antonio,

    Much of what you say I agree with. Allthough I disagree with the dispensational reasoning again.
    Let it be known that only faith saves and it must be a faith that penetrates the intellect and emotions and starts in the house of the will itself trusting the saviour. One cannot trust the saviour unless his volitional will has been crushed and regenerated. intellect and emotions will follow.

    Here again you speak and put words into our mouths>I could go on about this passage! How the Lordship folk's eclipse of grace casts its shadow over the interpretation of scripture. I mean, do you really consider selling all that you have and giving it to the poor conditions for going to heaven?

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 1/06/2006 3:40 PM  

  • Bhedr,
    What did the unjust steward in Luke 16 have in common with the theif on the cross?

    What are you getting at here? I did give you an answer, what do it mean?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/06/2006 9:39 PM  

  • They both discovered it was over.

    The unjust steward trusted in his friends by use of money spawned from the anxiety of what to do.

    The theif on the cross took that same trust but rested it on Christ. It was not born of the intellect but out of the fear of God.

    The same faith that one has in money to deliver them, is the same faith Christ must have placed upon Him.

    It starts with fear. If you fear man? you will trust man.

    in Jeremiah 17 we learn of this trust that either leads to blessings or leads to cursings.

    If you fear God? You will trust Him. That is the realm in which true faith exists. Not in the mind but in the core of your being.

    The Hebrew writ terms this as the Kidneys which were believed by many to house the very heart of trust. The reins of your mind. The Hebrew word for mind was not the Brain but the Kidneys.

    Herod feared man, thus he confessed the confession to his niece.

    If you take that same fear and place it instead on God confessing Him as Lord, then you will have the trust in the blood He shed on the cross.

    This can only come when you realize that your life is over and condemnation and judgment await you.

    The good news? Trust Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour and he will save you from the penalty of your sin by the blood he shed on the cross that works as currency against damnation. Money can only buy time. The blood of Christ purchases your eternal life.

    Within the reins of your very being and fear...I call on all to trust only Him.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 1/08/2006 2:02 PM  

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