Part of my church's doctrinal statement
Salvation Through Christ
We believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace through the mediatory offices of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who, by the appointment of the Father, voluntarily took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin, and honored the divine law by His personal obedience thus qualifying Himself to be our Savior; that by the shedding of His blood in His death He fully satisfied the just demands of a holy and righteous God regarding sin; that His sacrifice consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that having risen from the dead He is now enthroned in heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person the most tender sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior.
In this comment thread, a certain anonymous commenter has said some things about my church that were really strange to read. He/she sounds like he/she knows a lot about our church's heritage, but he/she makes some statements about where we currently are that are really "out there," in my opinion. I went to our web site (in my sidebar) and accessed our "statement of faith" and a link called "God's message." On our statement of faith, I lifted the above paragraph and decided to post it. (I did link to it in a comment to the anonymous blogger, but I also wanted to actually post it.)
When reading "God's Message" and the excerpt above, I find satisfaction. I have heard it said by one Calvinist of our leadership that the membership is about half Calvinist and half non-Calvinist. I think this balance keeps much of our official documentation as it is. Even if our leadership is of the "Doctrines of Grace" persuasion, they are sensitive to the fact that this is not where the church has been ... or is ... as a whole. I think our website is delightfully free of it. Tell me if you disagree or if you see something I am missing. (... or ... feel free to make any sort of miscellaneous comment on the matter.)
Chez Kneel: What is wrong with BUGS?
I was invited to guest blog a post or two at the Bugblaster's blog. He invited me way back on Septemeber 1, I think. I only just sent him my very short, shallow, post on Monday. He posted it today. It is a good thing he had asked many people to guest blog and that he hadn't been depending on me! I am such a slacker, such a "half-way" these days.
Antonio, I haven't forgotten!
Maybe it is because growing a person takes a lot of energy. That will be my excuse for the next couple o' months.
Happy Birthday to YOU!
Some of the posts below are direct links. Others I only refer to by naming them. If you want to see any of the non-linked items, (for those of you who may not know how these blogs work), you can click on the month's archive in my left sidebar and scroll through to find them. I only linked the ones I really liked.
Today is a birthday of sorts. One year ago today, I began my "blog."
Happy Birthday to you, dear blog! It has been an interesting year here at Rose's Reasonings for me.
I have "met" a lot of interesting people around this place! I had had a lot of interesting and challenging discussions too. I have been edified and encouraged also. I hope in some small way I have been a positive for some of those who read here.
I knew Jeremy as a blogger right from the get-go, (where is Jeremy?) as well as Shawn, Brian, Joe, and John Rush. My husband was, of course, my favorite blogger of all (he started about a month before I).
Last October, I posted a series on "What is Worldliness" beginning here.
We talked about Christians participating in holidays (like Halloween) and other aspects of worldliness. I think I met Matthew and Earl this month. (They came as a pair at the time.) I could mention others, but my "meeting" these two really sticks out in my mind.
In November, I pondered living in the third person
, Biblical authority, what to do when the Bible seems to contradict itself, and I began delving into the daunting TULIP (see sidebar.)
In December, I continued down to TULIP path and also posted on a quote from the movie, Batman.
A certain blogger inspired me to create the Reasonable Blogger Award.
(I have a new recipient in mind, but I need to find the time to properly honor this very special person ... soon.) "Why your church is dispensational" was a post from another blogger that brought out a lively discussion. I posted on meeting Jeremy at Christmas. That was pretty neat.
In January, I posted one of my favorite posts What can be done, by whom?
I posted on "God helps those who help themselves?" and another of my favorite discussions, The gift that requires work?
In February, I delved into the question, "Is the Christian Dual Natured?" I was surprised at how much controversy surrounded that subject. These are the kind of discussions that have taught me quite a lot. That same month I helped launch, and joined a new group blog, Unashamed of Grace,
and wow! did I learn alot about html and websiting. I even redesigned my own blog. One reason why I started this blogging was to learn about web graphics. I learned a lot that month with many late nights and HTML!
In March, I asked for prayer for Chad Cole, John's nephew as he had been beaten nearly to death by drug dealers. I posted on why I like Big Buts
and my salute to my frined Matthew, Every Blessing in Christ.
I also posted on "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."
In April, I posted on The Samaritan Woman
and why Christians Should do Good Deeds.
I awarded two moreReasonable Bloggers
, but I had to later, remove it from one of them per his request. I posted on Ephesians 2:8-9
and I began a series on the question "What is Faith? Is Faith a Gift?
It had a Part 1, Part 2, Part 3,
... and spilling into May... Part 4,
and Part 5.
Honestly, I had a part 6 in mind, covering perhaps the most important verse that explains what faith is, but I got so discouraged with some aspects of the discussion, that I had to take a vacation and a break from blogging! It wore me out! I took out my frustrations by tearing apart our master bathroom - John and I stripped it to the bare walls.
(We are finally finishing the remodel just this week. I will post a picture. wow)
Over the summer, I posted on 2 Corinthians 5, a Very Morbid Subject, The Parble of the Sower,
some various other parables in July and aslo The Parable of the Lost Son.
I also started a new series, Mischaracterizations and Logical Conclusions.
I am on the lookout for more entries on this series. They will hopefully be supplied by OTHERS in blogdom! Tell me if you see one from either perspective! At the end of August, I posted my presentation of the gospel, the GOOD NEWS, (find in at the top of my right sidebar) of which I still have some fine-tuning to do.
In September I have discussed biological homosexulaity, renting, zealots and corpses.
(Is this blog going downhill or what?)
Thanks for reading my thoughts all you, my visitors. Thanks for your challenges, your blessings, your input! Thanks to those of you who have your won blogs for sharing your hearts with others.
I hope the next year will be even better than the last.
One-Naturism? Part 2
This is part two of the work by Miles Stanford that I posted just before this post.
I Know You’re In There! -- Every honest believer who knows anything at all about the extensive and all-important Romans Seven experience, realizes that the sins in his Christian life are identical in character to those he experienced prior to salvation. They are "the works of the flesh," the same all-too-familiar traits of the person of the first Adam.
They are not the manifestation of some residual sinful habits, left behind by a long-gone, eradicated, Adamic source. And they certainly aren’t countered and replaced by the development of "good" new habits. Imagine the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our indwelling Christian life, having to develop habits!
Every believer who knows the liberating Romans Eight life, "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (v. 2), realizes that the righteousness manifested in his Christian life has its source in the indwelling life of the Last Adam, "the fruit of the Spirit." "That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh" (2 Cor. 4:11).
The nature is the essential character of a person, a life, the quality or qualities that characterize a person. The traits, the attributes, comprise the nature of a man—whether it be the first Adam man, or the Last Adam Man. We have the life of Adam, hence his sinful nature; we have the Life of the Last Adam, hence His new and divine nature. The Christian has two (2) life sources within, and the manifestation of their natures is the undeniable evidence thereof—"the works of the flesh," and "the fruit of the Spirit."
To mention but a few of the more prominent present-day eradicationists—the late Martyn Lloyd-Jones (via his voluminous writings), John MacArthur, David Needham, Charles Solomon, John Stott, Charles Stanley, Bill Gillham, and Bob George.
Further Personal History -- Positionally free from the Adamic life through my death unto sin in the Lord Jesus, the Father was at liberty to identify the essential me with His Son; and in His resurrection I was recreated "alive unto God" in Him. When He arose, as the beginning of the (new) creation of God (Rev. 3:14), I arose with Him in "newness of life"—a totally new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
When the Lord Jesus, now Head of the new heavenly creation (the Church), ascended to the right hand of His Father, He took me with Him. The Father, having re-created me in His Son, raised me up and made me to sit together in heavenly places in Him. "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6). Abide Above!
I was positionally separated by death via the Cross from the first Adam, to be recreated in union with the Last Adam in His resurrection and ascension. Old Adamic things positionally passed away in the death of Calvary. In my condition, they are (slowly) passing away as I grow spiritually. Actually, finally, they will totally and eternally pass away at my death or at the Rapture--whichever comes first. "Even so, come Lord Jesus."
There I am in my glorious position, "hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3). In the Lord Jesus I am a new creation, I am accepted in the Beloved, complete in Him, sanctified in Him, perfect in Him. With that position, who can question his unconditional eternal security?!
All of that, and much more, has been held in spiritual escrow for me ever since the One who is my life ascended to the right hand of the Father. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1:3).
All had to be completed positionally before a single Christian and the Church could be brought into being, because Christianity is founded upon and springs from the finished work of Christ. "And ye are complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and power" (Col. 2:10).
The Condition Factor -- Born into the world in the life and image of the first Adam, I grew up a condemned sinner, "dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1). In His foreordained time and purpose the Father called me, and by His grace and the Spirit-caused conviction of sin, I responded in unconditional faith—responsibly accepting the Lord Jesus as my own Saviour.
At that moment the Holy Spirit, by His indwelling, brought me the life of the ascended Lord to be my Christian life. Then and there I was placed in my position as a new creation in the Last Adam. Nevertheless, the old Adam life continues to indwell my body of mortal flesh.
In the Spirit’s time I came to know of the positional truths of the Word concerning me—from Romans 5:12 on throughout Paul’s Church Epistles. I saw that I had judicially died to sin on the Cross, crucified with the Lord Jesus (Gal. 2:20).
In time, and years of that, I learned via Romans Seven not to struggle against the fleshly life of Adam within, but to count by faith upon the positional truth of the finished work of the Cross. "For in that He died, He died unto sin once; but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to have died indeed unto sin, but to be alive unto God in Jesus Christ, our Lord" (Rom. 6:11).
Likewise reckoning upon my position—"alive unto God in Christ Jesus"—the Holy Spirit centers my heart and mind upon the One who is my Christian life. As I behold Him by means of the Word, in personal fellowship and worship, the Spirit of Christ causes that completed life to manifest the "fruit of the Spirit." With ever increasing growth I am conformed to the image of the Son. "But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:18).
At the Rapture I will receive my renewed body, like unto His glorious body. Then—and not until then—my body of mortal flesh will be instantly transformed into my spiritual, glorified body. The old Adamic man will finally be eradicated, and I will be in eternal condition what has been my position ever since my death and resurrection in Him at Calvary — yes, ever since my Father formed me in His heart in eternity past.
Doctrinal Dearth -- The question remains: What of these great liberating, positional truths have you learned at church—whether it be through your local Bible church, or elsewhere?
From fifty years of close observation, I would say that your chances are just about one in a thousand. If the leadership in the doctrinally sound church realized who and where they are in the glorified Lord Jesus, would they stop at Romans 5:11, and not enter into Romans 5:12 and beyond? Would they be Old Testament and Synoptic-oriented, holding the Church to the earthly level of Israel and her Law?
Would they substitute the synoptic "Gospel of the Kingdom" for Paul’s exclusive "glorious heavenly Gospel"? Would they subject members of the heavenly Body of the glorified Lord to Israel’s earthly New Covenant, her legal Sermon on the Mount, and her Mosaic and Kingdom law systems--that to which the Christian has died? "For I, through the law, died to the law, that I might live unto God" (Gal. 2:19).
A while back, I had written a few posts delving into the issue of "Is the Christian Dual Natured?"Is the Christian Dual-Natured? Part 1
Is the Christian Dual-Natured? Part 2
Is the Christian Dual-Natured? Part 3
My friend, Matthew,
recently gave me a link to a fellow named Miles Stanford
and I found this below, which he had written on this subject.One-Naturismpart 1by Miles Stanford
We will briefly consider the "one-nature" error.1) Wesleyan One-Naturism
This is the traditional Pentecostal aberration: "Total Depravity does not mean that human nature is essentially and completely evil, but that every part of it is damaged and infected by inherited Adamic sin. "It is insisted that there is no new nature involved at conversion, but rather the impartation of spiritual life that regenerates the old Adamic nature.
Eradication: This is the teaching that all sin is eradicated from the sinful Adamic nature. The Wesleyan "pure heart," is attained when the "second blessing" experience of the "Pentecostal flame" consumes the sinful propensities of the old Adamic nature. Presto, new divine nature!2) Arminian One-Naturism
Another type of "one-naturism" is set forth by J. Sidlow Baxter in his book, A New Call to Holiness. This holiness theory is that of amelioration of the sinful Adamic nature. Dr. Baxter writes:
"Sin is a diffused infection of thought, desire, motive, impulse, inclination, and even of instinct, right through the moral nature. From the moment the Holy Ghost fully possesses us, He begins to correct, purify, refine, inbreathe and renovate all the qualities, tempers, urges, propensities, and functions of the mind, the sensations, and the will. This is how holiness begins and continues to be inwrought" (p. 116).
This is the humanistic theory of change in contradiction to the spiritual principle of exchange; "Not I, but Christ."3) Covenant One-Naturism
The most prevalent and insidious type of "one-naturism" today is that of Covenant Theology. Through the error of considering Romans 6:6 to be actual (condition), rather than positional, it is claimed that the old Adamic man is actually crucified, dead, and gone--eradicated. Those holding this view are forced, however, to admit to indwelling sin in the Christian. Some teach that it is simply a residual influence left over from pre-salvation days.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones and Dr. Jay Adams refer to indwelling sin as "old habits." Dr. John MacArthur terms it the "old coat of humanness." Dr. Charles Solomon says it is the "energy of residual sin." Another erroneous term for the indwelling old man is "condition of flesh." The one-nature proponents separate the alleged eradication of the old man from the indwelling "flesh."
However, the Word teaches that "flesh" is a person, as well as a condition. "My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh" (Gen. 6:3). "Fathers of our flesh" (Heb. 12:9) sire progeny of flesh. Belief in the eradication of the old man tends to relieve the Christian of much of his responsibility concerning the activity of his indwelling Adamic life and nature. He is wont to place the blame for his sinning upon Satan, and upon "residual tendencies" and "habits" developed prior to salvation.
But here is the crux of the matter: it is not possible for the source of indwelling sin to be eradicated, while retaining sin, the product of that sinful source. Effect must have a cause! If you sin, you have its source, i.e., Adam.
Dr. Lloyd-Jones taught that "The old man is non-existent. Your old self is gone" (Romans Six, p. 65). Dr. MacArthur: "The old man is dead, destroyed, removed…it isn’t around" (Tape GC 2147). Dr. Solomon: "The old man and sin nature no longer exist in the Christian" (Rejection Syndrome, p. 106). Dr. Bob George: "That old man is dead and gone; he will never exist again" (Classic Christianity, p. 90). Dr. Bill Gillham: "I claim by faith that the old man is extinct" (Lifetime Guarantee, p. 187).
What the one-nature eradicationist fails to understand is that death ever means separation! Separation from God is living death. I, as a new creation in the Last Adam, was positionally separated from the first Adam at the Cross (Gal. 2:20). Hence I reckon myself dead (separated) from sin and its source, the sinful indwelling old Adamic man. This is the meaning of Romans Six.I will post Part 2 in a couple of days, after you have had a chance to read Part 1.
"I Would Rather Cool Down a Zealot than Heat Up a Corpse."
I know a lady who went to her a pastor for help. Her cousin was experiencing a conversion. He was reading the Bible, coming to church, and suddenly seeming very interested in Spiritual things. He was devouring TV and radio programs on the Bible. Whenever this woman would talk to him about the basic gospel ... that Jesus died in our place and that salvation is truly a gift, not to be earned, not to be lost ... he would not easily accept this. He kept repeating that he believed in Jesus for many years, but that as he had continued to live in sin, he couldn't have been saved. He insisted that he hadn't the Spirit of God at that time, but that now he did. She had known the cousin then and could see that yes, he did not seem to be at all serious about faith in Christ. She suggested that perhaps the gospel was not real to him at that time. He said that he absolutely believed, but was not born again. He then said that he felt his committing his life to Christ and being willing to lay down all disobedience and desires of the flesh was what clinched the deal for him and was a sign that he was chosen by God now, but not then.
The woman was very concerned. She did not want her cousin's new found zeal to be spent spreading an unclear gospel to the other members of the family. Besides that, she wanted him to clearly understand that salvation is all based on the work of Christ, not any of his own work, willingness to obey, or any of the like. She wanted him to be sure to see it ... that looking to Christ
alone in faith is how the restfulness of salvation is brought. She just wanted him to get it right. She also found it offensive when he would talk about his many years of faith in the Lord, but faith not having been enough.
She really felt that if he would think about it more, that he would come to the conclusion that he was not believing on the true gospel message then, it was not real to him, or that he was just remaining a baby for those years ... anything but to say that faith in Christ's finished work had not been enough!
She went to her pastor, as the cousin had been attending her church. She had heard that her pastor was a some kind of a Lordship Salvation (soft?) adherent, but he certainly was not incredibly vocal about it.
She explained her concerns.
Her pastor didn't seem to share the concern over the fundamental mis-statements or misunderstnding that this cousin seemed to have. He said of the cousin:"I would rather cool down a zealot than heat up a corpse."
And so this woman left the pastor's office feeling very sad.
Is it OK to allow someone to miss the beauty of justification by faith because they have zeal and enthusiasm?
Is it OK to allow someone to mistake that they have committed themselves into God's favor by obedience and committing their life, rather than finding favor and life with God by simple faith in Christ's work? ... Christ's work!"I would rather cool down a zealot than heat up a corpse."
It occurred to the lady then, that perhaps this was the point of Lordship Salvation teaching all along.
Jesus Paid it All
I love this hymn. We sang it today at church. I don't remember ever singing it in our church before, but I have hearda small bit of it for many years at the end of J. Vernon McGee's Thru the Bible Radio program every time it airs.
I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”
RefrainJesus paid it all,All to Him I owe;Sin had left a crimson stain,He washed it white as snow.
For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim,
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.
And now complete in Him
My robe His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.
Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.
And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
My lips shall still repeat.
To Rent or NOT to Rent?
The photo in the post below is a picture of the house across the street from me. What you see is the final stage of EVICTION. The people who owned the house really made some mistakes and I want to tell you about it so you can be informed of what someone could do to you IF you rent to the wrong person. The man of the house was a builder and he put on a beautiful addition on the back of the property for his grandmother who was living with him, his wife and their three kids. They lived there for about 2 years and then he lost his job. (It seems there was a lack of call for mansions - his specialty - in the Toledo area). He got a job in Naples, Florida and they moved while this house here was still for sale. That was Spring 2005.
The house didn't sell. Somehow they got a call from a prospective renter. Although the man had bad credit, he offered them 2 months rent (2400 dollars) and explained all his credit problems away. He was very impressive, a religious man (JW) and they bought his pitch. They gave him the keys and he then moved in with his 4 teenage boys, his newer caucasian wife who breeds dogs and cats, his older daughter and her 5 children.That 2400 dollars was the only rent money that the owners of this home ever received.
The man stopped paying the water bill sometime back in February and finally the water was shut off in June. The owners kept talking to him on the phone as he kept explaining away his financial lapse. They were so gullible. They really thought when the 6 month lease was up, he would leave. Finally, when it became clear that the man was snowing them and lying to gain another week, another month etc... they had to hire a lawyer to do a formal eviction. I put them in touch with a relative who is a realtor and she helped them with some of the details of the eviction.
The man moved out most of his stuff and stopped staying here about two weeks before the eviction process was complete ... but then he still wouldn't give the keys to the realtor, so the eviciton had to go to completion. When it was final and the sherrif came last Friday, we went in the house. It was ruined! The walls that the previous owner had painted were now colored all over with crayon and were as filthy as the bottom of a shoe. The light tan carpets reminded me of my garage floor. There was dog doo all over the basement where this woman was breeding animals. It also came with a crop of fleas that got on the legs of anyone that went down there. There was a bee hive in the master bedroom - live and dead bees all over the room and bathroom. (It seems if you knock a screen out of a window and the keep opening the window anyways, things like this can happen.)
The worst of all was the buckets of human waste in the bathroom. Since the man had no water for the last three weeks that he stayed there, he couldn't flush the toilet, so he just used a bucket next to the toilet. It was disgusting!!! There is more, but I think you get the idea.
The thing that gets me about this situation is how the laws are written to protect people like this - dishonest, careless renters. He did not pay for this property, so in my view, he had no right to it. However, the owners had to hire a lawyer to remove him. Furthermore, renters like this can ruin someone's property and they are innocent until proven guilty - but you must find them. This guy apparently has a track record for this (the lawyer told the owners after they hired him) and his pattern is to dissapear so legal papers etc.. cannot be served. I guess they call him a "professional renter."
I know there are many fine renters out there, but I think there should be provisions for these types of abusers of property to be swiftly removed without all the red tape. If John and I ever find ourselves in a similar situation, wewill think thrice before renting a house out to someone!
Homeowners/would-be landlords BEWARE!
You Supply the Caption
We Can't Imagine
I have been preparing a funeral bulletin for an older man who has died in our church at work today. The family wants this verse opposite the order of service. I was so awestruck at this verse, I wanted to post it. Although I have read it many times before, it really hit me today. Wow!
"…Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." (I Cor. 2:9)
Born to it ... or ... A CHOICE?
I was at the grocery store yesterday afternoon. I approached the deli counter to ask for some potato salad and cole slaw. I heard a large, 50ish man talking with the young clerk behind the counter. Based on the content of the conversation, this man seemed to be a college professor. He spoke very loudly and had a slight lisp that reminded me of the way gay men sometimes talk. I don't automatically assume that just because someone talks this way they are homosexual, though. He was speaking very audibly and was a very friendly man. He even turned and said something to me about the potato salad. As he was ready to walk away, he asked the clerk a final question and then said, "We just moved here. We'll be back." Then he went to his cart and he and a smaller, more effeminate, 50ish man began making their way around the store.
I immediately deduced they were homosexuals. Judging by the looks on the young men's faces behind the counter, I could tell they had the same thought.
I again found myself in the proximity of these men when I arrived at the dairy case. They were huddled together very closely, examining a jar of hot pickles and peppers. I now felt sure they were homosexuals. It is not uncommon to see these couples around the Toledo area. We again exchanged a couple of friendly comments. As I went to the car, I began thinking about the two men.
My heart went out to them. While what they do is so very dreadful and disgusting, I thought, they must be so miserable in it. It is sad that otherwise nice people are found in this terrible, empty lifestyle. Then I had another thought that always follows when I start to think this way: "Why do they live that way? It is their decision to live such a lifestyle. They don't have to do this."
I firmly believe this. I don't believe men or women are "BORN GAY" as many different people assert these days. I think homosexuals are probably influenced to it by other people ... and after a series of wrong decisions, they wind up thinking there is no other option for them but the gay lifestyle of their choice. They then lie to themselves by telling themselves they were born this way.
I am reminded of this verse:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. (Romans 1:27)
I think they can find the mercy and grace of God in Jesus Christ also, just like any other sinner. Their particular sin is such a blight on our families, our societies and our world. I don't believe God foreordained that these men should live this way.
I don't believe they were born to it.
What are your thoughts?
The Earnest Contender"How Can I Understand the Bible? Installment 1"
I think John touches on some really important issues in this post. I look forward to how he is going to develop this.