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

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Home From Church

I am home from church with a sick 11-year-old today.

Bugblaster thinks I should blogspot him. Here, Bugblaster. Here is a spot:
Chezkneel Blog by Bugblaster
Bugblaster wants you to read his blog! He has posted a lot of stuff on Leviticus lately. He says we have a lot in common, he and I ... besides that "pesky Calvinism thing." (What is that blond crazy-haired person doing in his sidebar?)

Don't Hate Your Sins. Daniel doesn't want me to blogspot him. I hesitate to do so because he is using that hated phrase "false gospel" in his sidebar, but this is a really good article by him. It almost sounds like he confirms that believers are dual-natured. I am sure, however, with that pesky Calvinism thing in place, it can't be.


By the way, I really hate the way people say that the Free-Grace gospel is a false gospel. I don't agree with everything in the FG theology, but what a stupid thing to say. There is only one gospel. Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again for our sins in fulfillment of the Scriptures. There is life in no other.

Here is a quote from Antonio on the Unashamed of Grace Blog:
The preaching of the cross and resurrection is the vehicle in which we present Christ as the sufficient and authoratative Guarantor of eternal life. Why can Christ be relied upon for one's eternal well-being? Precisely because He is the God-Man who took the penalty for the sins of the world by His death on the cross, and proved that His sacrifice was sufficient to God by His subsequent raising from the dead.

People who are preaching the death, burial and ressurection of Christ as sufficient to save are not preaching a false gospel.

Stop it!

As promised, more on John 6 coming up .....

29 Comments:

  • hope your little one gets better

    By Blogger senior pgadreamer, at 6/24/2007 10:15 AM  

  • Is that you, Chris?
    thanks!
    What is with the "senior"?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/24/2007 10:21 AM  

  • you are not that old.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/24/2007 10:21 AM  

  • well senior is two things i'm a grand father now and well i'm getting that age almost the big "50" where the pga tour dream's are all but gone but maybe there might be that little chance that maybe i could make the senior tour.. a dream as they call it....so thats my story and i'm sticking to it.. :-D

    By Blogger senior pgadreamer, at 6/24/2007 11:54 AM  

  • Well, that makes sense now.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/25/2007 11:21 AM  

  • Rose~ Hey, I am glad you liked the article about sin and our relationship with it in Christ.

    Our flesh is temporal. One day it will go to the grave and remain there never to rise. But our old nature is not temporal, it is eternal. It is the thing that is going to go to hell with the unbeliever, and it is the thing that Christ took to the cross and destroyed in Himself there for the believer.

    Likewise, the new creation is just that - a new, eternal creation. Those who are in Christ "own" the new creation already, but are not in possession of it yet. We won't come into possession of it until we die or Christ returns. Likewise, our old nature will remain with us until we die or Christ returns.

    On Calvary Christ took that eternal part of us that was condemned - "the sin" and condemned it there. There it died, and because this is true, says Paul, we ought to conduct ourselves in accordance with what is eternally true rather than what is temporally visible. That is, we are to reckon ourselves dead indeed to sin, and alive to God -in- Christ Jesus.

    The old nature is with us till the day we die or Christ returns, it will always lead us into sin - it cannot do otherwise. But knowing that this thing is dead, and that our new creation is life and it is hid in Christ, we no longer are in the same relationship with our the old nature as we previously were in. What previously was producing death in us, has already died in Christ, such that it no longer has the same power to reign over us. Sin reigns in death you see, and when that which is producing death in us is understood to be dead, it loses its hold on us.

    We don't reckon on our new creation as though it were a part of us in the hear and now, but rather knowing that it is our inheritance in Christ - knowing that until we die or Christ returns, we have been given a Helper, a Comforter, the Holy Spirit.

    That is why we are to set our minds on the things of the Spirit, and not on the things of the flesh - we are to obey God because having been set free from sin and death, we are actually able to do so - if we stop belly aching about how hard it is, and start repenting like God has given us to grace to do.

    Anyway - the point is that eternally speaking, we have one nature - the new nature - the new creation in Christ. The old nature, in eternity, is destroyed in Christ, and the new nature, in eternity, is hid in Christ. We only ever have the one nature "with" us. Never both residing in the same flesh.

    So for here and now, we have one nature - the fallen one, even though we own another, we have yet to come into that inheritance. For the meantime God has given us a down payment on the promise - the Holy Spirit - so that we can live out the remainder of this time as holy individuals in spite of the old nature.

    If that helps to clear it up. There is probably room for a whole series of posts on that, as it seems there are a lot of opinions and questions.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 6/25/2007 3:23 PM  

  • Rose~ With regards to my labeling "free grace" as a false gospel on my blog...

    I should qualify why I do that maybe?

    I didn't come to saving faith having been brought up in the church. I found myself in a pastors office one morning, trying to con him into sending me to some far away country as a missionary in order that I might impress my ex girlfriend. I was as a non practicing catholic, praying to the cross on the wall, and Mary, and believing, as I did, that salvation was pretty much for good people, and that your best hope was to die slowly enough that you could confess your way into heaven at the last minute, because if you had a chance to recover, you would sin and lose whatever hope you had.

    When the fellow showed me from scripture that I was a sinner, and that I was certainly going to go to hell if I should die that day - I suddenly wanted to know how anyone could be saved. His reply wasn't that I should try and obey God in my own strength in order that I could then muster up faith. No, his reply was that I had to trust Jesus to save me, just as God had sent Him to do, and that if I was willing to be reconciled to God, He was willing to receive me into that reconciliation through Christ - for it was for this very reason that Christ was sent to die - to save me from my sin.

    Well, to put it bluntly, I was no small sinner. I was a red hot sinner - the kind that ought to have been in jail. But I found myself standing on the edge of a deep, deep truth. Scripture had been empty right up until that moment, and suddenly Jesus and hell were very real to me - and I knew that whatever else took place before I left that pastor's office, I would either reject Christ eternally, or come to Him in faith and be reconciled.

    I am not sure how long it lasted, but I knew in my heart that I could never come to Christ. I wanted to be saved from hell - (who wouldn't?) but I did -not- want to be reconciled to God. I wanted to sin. I enjoyed sin, and I didn't want to give it up for Christ or for anyone. This was perhaps the darkest moment of my soul - because it wasn't a question of whether or not I could make myself believe a promise or not - it was a question of whether or not I was going to continue to love my sin, or set it all aside and embrace Christ. There was nothing inside me except the fear of hell that could have driven me to Christ in that moment, and frankly, the fear of hell wasn't enough. But out of this despairing darkness, I suddenly had life - it was as if I had somehow been pushed through a membrane that had been holding me back - and in a heartbeat I suddenly had a desire to be with Christ that overcame the desire to sin. In a word, I repented. I turned to Christ, and gave him everything I was or ever would be. My life was His, all I wanted was to be reconciled to God - and it didn't come from me, that was God's gracious free gift to me. In the well of that love, faith was the only avenue open to me, and I took it. It all happened in the same moment, there was no pause, but I describe it this way because that is how I remember it. It happened to me just like that.

    So when someone tells me that they got to Christ in some other way, it not only flies in the face of scripture, it personally offends that grace that saved me. Repentance is not optional, but it may not be what you are thinking it is. Anyone who tries to tell someone who knows who saved them, that you can be saved by Christ without turning to God to do so, is a snake oil salesman peddling a false gospel.

    I don't think anyone comes to Christ except that God grants them repentance, and I don't think it is some work that we do in order to generate faith, I think that scripture describes it accurately as a "gift" that God grants.

    Now, having said all that, I am sure there are some in the FG camp who are simply there because they believe that the "Lordship" people are preaching that you must start doing good works [1] in order to have faith, [2] and in order to maintain your faith, or at the very least, [3] do good works to validate your faith. Such is quite a hack-job indeed, for the "Lordship" people make no such cartoonish claims. They claim only that you cannot come to Christ by intellect alone - but that every genuine faith includes a turning away from self and towards God - that is, they believe that you cannot be a Christian without first being reconciled to God.

    I believe there are many FGers who are genuinely saved, but what they now embrace as the gospel is not what saved them, rather it is backwards glance theology that they have wrongly distilled into something devoid of repentance, and for that reason - I call it a false gospel.

    I believed because God granted me repentance. That is, I believe because the Lordship of Christ extended to me that day in that pastor's office. Not that I declared Him Lord and was suddenly able to believe - that would make it my own work. No, He showed himself to be Lord in my life in this way - I surrendered to Him - I bowed my "unbendable" knee to the king - I don't know how I managed to surrender, how I managed to submit, but the moment I did, Christ was my Lord and Savior. Not a work that I did, but a work that God did in the economy of my salvation.

    Free grace, under the guise of protecting the gospel from a works based system, ends up emasculating out of the gospel, the very first product of God's free grace - the very God-given repentance that enables saving faith.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 6/25/2007 3:26 PM  

  • Pffft.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 6/25/2007 4:37 PM  

  • Rose, I don't see the problem with
    Daniel calling FG a false gospel. Don't we see his Gospel of faith plus desiring Christ and losing all desire for sin, and giving all our life to Christ, etc as a false gospel?
    We have two different gospels here, can they both be true?

    By Anonymous MT, at 6/26/2007 9:11 AM  

  • Don't we see his Gospel of faith plus desiring Christ and losing all desire for sin, and giving all our life to Christ, etc as a false gospel?

    MT - you misinterpret me. I do not say faith plus anything. What I -do- say is that until God grants repentance, saving faith does not come, that is, that in the same moment that genuine faith is received, it is received on the wings of a repentance that was equally received. Not that we try and generate repentance, or even faith - we can't, but that we receive them in the moment of our salvation.

    It isn't that I must have faith plus something, rather it is that the faith that saves does not come to us in a vacuum, rather it comes through that repentance that only God can grant. If you imagine that I am suggesting you must do something more than have faith - you are mistaken, for I am not, what I am suggesting is that no man can turn to God for eternal life and at the same time continue to reject God in their heart.

    I didn't bow to the King so that I could be saved - rather in trying to believe, God opened my heart and enabled me to believe - and that act of opening my heart (not unlike the opening of Lydia's heart) could only be described otherwise as granting me the ability to turn to God in faith.

    You are right though - at least one of these gospels is false. ;-)

    By Blogger Daniel, at 6/26/2007 11:02 AM  

  • By the way, I really hate the way people say that the Free-Grace gospel is a false gospel. ... what a stupid thing to say. There is only one gospel.

    Rose,
    1. Do you think that a presentation of the 'one gospel' that contradicts other parts of Scripture to be a false gospel?

    he is using that hated phrase "false gospel" in his sidebar

    2. I didn't notice this until you pointed it out. I went to the link to read it. Have you done so? And if so, would you consider writing a post or commenting here about what you disagree with on the website of that link Daniel provides?

    By Blogger Susan, at 6/26/2007 11:27 AM  

  • Daniel,
    I'm reading your comment here on the temporal flesh, the old nature that is eternal (damned) and the new creation, but I confess I'm confused about it all. Not due to you, but to my own lack of looking into these matters better in Scripture.
    Would you consider writing a post on this sometime, if you haven't already?
    After I read through your comments several times and also your post on Don't Hate Your Sins (I haven't read it yet), may I ask questions of you about this over at your site?
    Thnx.

    By Blogger Susan, at 6/26/2007 11:31 AM  

  • Susan,
    I looked at it and skimmed it a moment ago. Here is an example of what it says:

    If you are sinning, then repent! Stop sinning. Change your behavior. Believe in Christ with a repentant application oriented faith, and you will be saved from the wrath of God.

    Who can really stop sinning? Sure, maybe one could stop homosexual behavior, but can he stop lustful desires? One can stop stealing, but can he stop jealous thoughts? Remember, sin is in our very being and Jesus made it clear on the Sermon on the Mount that the dirty dozen is not all that there is to sin - sin is in the very core of our mind. Sinful thoughts are just as offensive to God as sinful actions.

    Stop sinning as a way to salvation - impossible!

    Receiving Christ in thankfulness - Christ, who took all these sins upon himself - is good news indeed for a leapoard who cannot change his spots. Maybe some don't see the utter depravity of their state, but I see mine and I know that if "stop sinning" was the way to heaven, I would be excluded from grace, as would everyone else who ever walked the earth but Jesus.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/26/2007 11:47 AM  

  • Daniel,
    I enjoyed reading your testimony. It was very beautiful. I would never nitpick your testimony. I do see how you would be so passionate against a view that excluded the "turn from your sin" idea.

    Let me tell you - my testimony and my experience also lead me into a disdain for the "stop sinning" requirement that seems to be placed upon the potential convert. I was a drunken fool and other things when the gospel was presented to me. The preacher said "Don't worry about the sin - it'll kill you eventually - but this message is not about you stopping it. This message is about coming to Christ who has done everything necessary for you to, right now, just as you are, be justified." I was told to trust Him for my eternity and leave no place for trust in myself, relaizing my utter helplessness. This "repent" requirement - if defined as "stop sinning" - seems to place a bit of trust in oneself. I imagine one searching his heart to see if he is willing to give up his sin (although I realize you said it came at you bam! right from God, that you could do it).

    Anyway, I am prit-near certain that if I were told to stop sinning, or even less, stop drinking, I would have laughed the preacher out of my life, for at that point, I never knew that I would ever **want** to be anything but a drinker. A convert I was not, at that point. I am glad that I was encouraged to receive Him just as a I was. (Excuse the reference to the Billy Graham crusade song - I am not into Billy Graham).

    I am also glad that as I learned of Him, I did indeed forsake the lifestyle I was involved in. This was after conversion.

    So I guess this just goes to show you - we all have our biases.

    I know you say repentance is a gift. I realize you have said that. I also realize that the Bible says that God grants us repentance. God granted me repentance! I also see that He is capable of encrsuting one in their sin so that they can not turn from it - this would be the opposite of "granting repentance."

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/26/2007 12:08 PM  

  • Who are you, MT?
    Yes, I see what you mean.
    I hate the phrase "false gospel" but this:
    If you are sinning, then repent! Stop sinning. Change your behavior. Believe in Christ with a repentant application oriented faith, and you will be saved from the wrath of God

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/26/2007 12:11 PM  

  • Stop sinning as a way to salvation - impossible!

    Amen, a thousand times, amen.

    I will re-examine the link on my blog, perhaps there is someone who has tackled this "other gospel" with more tact and precision than the one I am linked to.

    Susan,

    Feel free to ask me any questions you want on the matter. Sometimes it is easier to answer what is not understood than to try and guess at what is missing?

    By Blogger Daniel, at 6/26/2007 12:12 PM  

  • Daniel,
    Aslo what you said about the old nature is not at all what I have read from those who hold to Reformed theology. I really appreciated reading it. It is much more Scriptural, IMO. I am going to read it again, because I think there is one point that I would differ from you on.

    Thanks for your participation, Daniel. Feel free to add any more thoughts.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/26/2007 12:15 PM  

  • Antonio,
    That is the shortest comment I have ever seen from you!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/26/2007 12:15 PM  

  • Rose~ like yourself, I find this phrase troubling:

    If you are sinning, then repent! Stop sinning. Change your behavior. Believe in Christ with a repentant application oriented faith, and you will be saved from the wrath of God

    Not that the call for sinners to repent is troubling, mercy no! Christ Himself called sinners to repent - and so should we. But that is not the troubling part, what troubles me is the instruction on "how to repent" - change your behavior?

    A behavioral change is not repentance. Doing "good works" is not repentances. Stopping sinning - is not repentance. Those are the fruits of genuine repentance, but they can be had without repenting.

    Repentance is turning away from self and towards God - period. That is what we are called to do.

    I have changed the link on my blog, it no longer points to that site, but now points to a more even handed response.

    Thanks for pointing it out!

    By Blogger Daniel, at 6/26/2007 12:20 PM  

  • Well, I will have to read the new link another time. I am glad that you did not like that phrase.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/26/2007 12:27 PM  

  • Rose~ on the other point -

    I know I differ from many "classically trained" reformers on a few points, which I chalk up to not having inherited a reformed understanding of scripture through the study of, or instruction in, reformed theology.

    I don't consider myself a "rebel" - or any such thing. But I do think that I understand what the reformers meant and I have come to that understanding not through having it interpreted to me through confessions and reformed tradition inherited from some teacher or denomination.

    I find myself at odds sometimes with people in the reformed camp who profess to believe the same truths that I hold true, but who have come to these truths second hand, as it were, through confessions, proof texts, and someone telling them - "this is how to understand that" so that when they come to the text they see what they have been told they will find there.

    So don't take anything I say as though I were a spokes person for the reformed tradition - I am just a guy who reads the bible, and in doing so I find myself more in line with the reformed camp than any other.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 6/26/2007 12:47 PM  

  • Daniel said, "I don't consider myself a "rebel" - or any such thing. But I do think that I understand what the reformers meant and I have come to that understanding not through having it interpreted to me through confessions and reformed tradition inherited from some teacher or denomination.

    I find myself at odds sometimes with people in the reformed camp who profess to believe the same truths that I hold true, but who have come to these truths second hand, as it were, through confessions, proof texts, and someone telling them - "this is how to understand that" so that when they come to the text they see what they have been told they will find there.

    So don't take anything I say as though I were a spokes person for the reformed tradition - I am just a guy who reads the bible, and in doing so I find myself more in line with the reformed camp than any other."


    This describes myself. To a T. Exactly. 'Cept for I'm a just a girl who reads.... :)

    Excellent stuff, Daniel, Rose.

    By Blogger Gayla, at 6/26/2007 1:19 PM  

  • Rose,
    If you don't mind, would you answer my first question as well?:

    1. Do you think that a presentation of the 'one gospel' that contradicts other parts of Scripture to be a false gospel?

    By Blogger Susan, at 6/26/2007 1:33 PM  

  • Secondarily, I don't read the following statement the same way you and Daniel did.:

    If you are sinning, then repent! Stop sinning. Change your behavior. Believe in Christ with a repentant application oriented faith, and you will be saved from the wrath of God

    I agree that a change of behavior isn't repentance, but I see in the above counsel to "believe in Christ" first. I also see direction to someone in sin first to "repent" and then "stop sinning."

    I don't think that advice to be unwise. The author of that website noted right before that quote you pulled that while Jesus forgave the adulterous woman of John 8, He then told her to go and sin no more.

    I think the statements that precede what you quoted helps put it in context a bit. Here's what preceded what you quoted:

    "FG is the idea that faith that is acceptable to God for salvation is a non-application oriented mental assent to ideas" and that "repentance is viewed simply a 'change of mind' without necessarily any change in behavior."

    It also says that in FG "there is not necessarily any correlation between a person's behavior and their salvation status."

    That's why the author counseled a change in behavior as important as well, based on what the author said about FG not viewing change of behavior as connected with repentance. At least that's how I read it.

    I don't, however, understand what that author means by "application-oriented" faith, unless he simply means to apply what you read in Scripture, which makes sense.

    By Blogger Susan, at 6/26/2007 1:36 PM  

  • Susan writes:

    "It also says that in FG 'there is not necessarily any correlation between a person's behavior and their salvation status.'"

    Tell you what, in Reformed theology:

    "There is a necessary correlation between a person's behavior and their salvation (period)."

    It is Reformed common knowledge.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 6/26/2007 4:57 PM  

  • Susan,
    Every Scripture has to be taken in it's dispensational context. If not, there would seem to be many contradictions between the OT and NT, between pre-crucifixion and post-ressurection.

    To answer your question:

    1. Do you think that a presentation of the 'one gospel' that contradicts other parts of Scripture to be a false gospel?

    Yes, if it contradicts clear and easy-to-understand passages describing the good news.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/27/2007 9:05 AM  

  • Gayla and Antonio,
    Thanks for your visits and your thoughts. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/27/2007 9:06 AM  

  • BTW, Zane Hodges doesn't view repentance as "cahnge of mind" which is a misrepresentation in the link, at least a misrepresentation of his views as a FGer.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/27/2007 9:07 AM  

  • I must say I am enjoying this thread. I especially enjoyed bro. Daniel's & sister Rose's testimonies. I love to hear how sinners came to Christ. I have shared mine I believe on this site before, so I will not go into it again here. If anyone else would share theirs I know I'd love to hear it, but this is not my blog, so Rose, forgive me for jumping the gun. Thanks also for your blog, it is wonderful. I especially appreciated your opening post. God Bless.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at 7/14/2007 10:34 PM  

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