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

Friday, August 10, 2007

Repent!

Below is a passage of Scripture that I just love. A woman is caught in adultery and she is about to be stoned for it. Jesus shuts the mouths of all her accusers in a very interesting way. I wonder what he wrote on the ground.

7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

I have found the teaching of repentance and then faith a little perplexing since I learned of it. Some teach that sinners must be willing to go and sin no more before they are believers. The condition for faith is: "are you ready to give up your sin" or "would you like to trade that which you love - whatever sin - for the forgiveness of God?" As I look at the story of the woman caught in adultery, I see that Jesus, when telling her to go and sin no more, had already spoken those wonderful words of life to her: "neither do I condemn you." THEN he said, "go and sin no more." Did He ask her if she was ready to commit her life to Him before He was willing to remove condemnation? Did she have to repent and then be justified?

Surely we should not ask the unregenerate if they are willing to give up x y or z sin before they have even come to faith. This would be getting the order of things mixed up a bit.

Repent! This is a message for the believer. We have the power to do this, Christian brother and sister, because we have Christ in us, the hope of glory. His Spirit gives us the power to live the Christian life. We have His life within us; the unregenerate do not. They need to step into a relationship with God by grace through faith FIRST. This is called receiving a gift in the New Testament.

The woman who Jesus did not condemn ... was then told to repent of her sin. We should likewise repent as Jesus does not condemn us, those of us who are His children. He has given us His life and His regenerating power. Repentance is a message for us.

58 Comments:

  • Good evening Rose.

    Rough hands dragged this woman from her adulterer's bed, manhandled her the whole way to the temple and flung her down before the Lord Jesus and demanded her death. Why do you think she did not make her escape, when her erstwhile captors slunk out in disgrace? Why did she linger on?

    I have yet to hear or read of any preacher (within the Evangelical fold) who has put repentance before faith or insisted on a change of life before faith. Indeed, I wonder do they actually exist?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/10/2007 3:11 PM  

  • GNSH,
    Haven't you read any of the popular books in Christendom?

    Hey, actually, I have a person in mind (who you don't know - not an internet personality) who has been saying these things to prospective converts.

    Don't you preach repentance to the unsaved? I thought that was the Reformed message - repentance and faith. Have I misunderstood?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/10/2007 3:18 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Yes, I preach repentance, but not reformation of character. I wouldn't tell the prodigal in the far country that he should clean himelf up before heading home. But I would make it clear that he couldn't just head home in any frame of mind either and tell his father that he had no regrets for his wicked past or no intention of seeing it change.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/10/2007 4:28 PM  

  • I have read so many differing views of the issue of repentance that I am tempted to give up reading.

    How does repentance, for the Christian relate to confession?

    "If we confess our sins..."

    By Blogger Joe, at 8/10/2007 6:05 PM  

  • Rose,

    Thanks for your earlier post on "One of the Benefits of Non-Calvinism". I enjoyed the commenting conversation but when I exited, you should know, it was with no malice toward you. Your point in the article was well taken..

    This post "Repent" needs some thought. Repentance {Greek = metanoeo (Strong's Concordance)} in virtually every case in the NT means "a mind change, to think differently" and not a change of action. Even when the scripture speaks to believers, it is a change of mind, not action. It MAY lead to a change of action but that is not the meaning of the word.

    One must repent in order to believe in Christ -- in the proper definition of the word, change his/her mind from whatever or whoever they were previously trusting for their eternity. It is NOT turning from sin or changing your life in order to believe.

    Try reading all the "repent" Scriptures -- and when the word "repent" appears, substitute the correct definition, "change your mind" and see how clear those scriptures become.

    You said, "The woman who Jesus did not condemn ... was then told to repent of her sin." No, Jesus told her to "go and sin no more." It probably would have taken a change of mind for her to do it, given her state.. but repentance is not implied here.

    Here is an interesting site by a dear friend Dr. Richard Seymour, Professor of Bible at Frontier School of the Bible in LaGrange, WY. Many good topics there, but scroll down to "Understanding Repentance." You can download any of these PDF files - and all are excellent. You will notice that he addresses Lordship Salvation and Easy Believism among many wonderful essays.
    http://www.clarityministries.org/trumpet/

    Thanks again for your solid stand for Biblical accuracy.

    In Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

    By Anonymous ExPreacherMan, at 8/10/2007 8:04 PM  

  • Rose, here is some of the contradictory tripe that the Reformed folks put out by way of repentance and the gospel:

    In his book, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (pp. 71-72), J. I. Packer, writes, "It is not enough to believe that only through Christ and His death are sinners justified and accepted, and that one's own record is sufficient to bring down God's condemning sentence twenty times over, and that, apart from Christ one has no hope. Knowledge of the gospel, and orthodox belief of it, is no substitute for repentance . . . . The repentance that Christ requires of His people consists in a settled refusal to set any limit to the claims which He may make on their lives . . . . He did not desire to make disciples under false pretenses . . . . In our own presentation of Christ's gospel, therefore, we need to lay a similar stress on the cost of following Christ, and make sinners face it soberly before we urge them to respond to the message of free forgiveness. In common honesty, we must not conceal the fact that free forgiveness in one sense will cost everything; or else our evangelizing becomes a sort of confidence trick. And, where there is no clear knowledge, and hence no realistic recognition of the real claims that Christ makes, there can be no repentance, and therefore, no salvation." (Italics mine.)

    By Blogger Antonio, at 8/10/2007 9:05 PM  

  • GNSH,

    you really don't have a contextual foundation whatsoever to claim that the story of the prodigal son is about eternal salvation.

    The son was already a son before he decided to go off into the far country. The father was already the father of the son who went off into the far country. The son squandered the inheritance of the father.

    The prodigal, and the other two repentance pericopes in Luke 15 concern those who already have a basic relationship to the Father, in other words, they are His children.

    These aren't stories of adoption, or the inaguration of a brand new relationship.

    They discuss the repair of a relationship that has already been established.

    When the son left his father, estrangement occurred, in the same fashion that happens when a Christian goes off into wandering. But repentance is what repairs that relationship, thus re-establishing harmony with God.

    The specific constituent parts of the 3 repentance pericopes in Luke 15 have no correspondence to the unsaved, but are applicable only to those who are:

    1) Already a sheep of the Shepherd
    2) Already a possession of the Woman, and
    3) Already a son to the Father

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 8/10/2007 9:11 PM  

  • Rose,

    You will notice that Jack has defined repentance as a change of mind. The most common reason given for this definition is the etymology of the word. The word in the Greek is a compound word, which words are nous "mind" and meta "after", thus the "after thought" or "change of mind".

    Certainly this is what the word meant when it first came into usage in pre-Koine Greek.

    But etymology does not determine word meaning. Usage in a context does. Thus to determine the meaning of repentance, we need to look at the fifty-five NT uses of the words repent and repentance. Having done that we see that the term means more than a mere change of mind, as in, "I changed my mind. I will go with this blue dress instead of that red one." The contexts of the words "repent" and "repentance" in the New Testament suggest something a little deeper. Repentance is a decision to turn from sin that should express itself with works commensurate with that decision, in other words "fruit meet with repentance" (J the B).

    Furthermore, it must be noted that repentance is never given in the Scriptures as a condition for everlasting life. Never are we met with any scripture that conditions the reception of everlasting life, justification, or eternal salvation upon repentance.

    Free Gracers have often thought of repentance as a change of mind necessary for eternal life. This is not my position. In most cases a change of mind may be necessary as a psychological (or logical) necessity, in other words, as a preparation to faith.

    But this is not universally true. Think for instance of a child. They don’t have a mind to change, nor resistances built up. They hear the Word of God in a sort of theological vacuum and believe. No change of mind occurred, as they didn't have any thoughts on the matter to begin with! What some FGers say is that people need to change their mind on what they were trusting for their salvation before, and now trust only in Christ's work. But the child had never thought of these things and was not trusting in anything.

    I think you are totally on track. One must not put the cart before the horse. Repentance is not a theologically necessary condition or requirement for everlasting life.

    Repentance is a decision to turn from sin in order to avoid, or put an end to, God's temporal judgment. But we can also say this: Repentance can and should lead to harmony with God.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 8/10/2007 9:44 PM  

  • Hi Ex Preacherman,

    You said:
    [Repentance {Greek = metanoeo (Strong's Concordance)} in virtually every case in the NT means "a mind change, to think differently" and not a change of action.]

    William Hendrickesen who wrote the New Testament Commentary commented on his Commentary on Matthew
    ---------------
    3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
    And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
    --------
    This also uses the word
    "metanoeo". In Matthew 4:23, Jesus used the identical words.
    Hendrickesn wrote:
    "Genuine sorrow for sin and an earnest resolution to break with the evil past is even emphasized (see especially Matthew 3:6 and Luke 3:13,14) But repentance, though basic, is only one side of the picture. It might be called the negative aspect. The positive is fruit bearing (Matt 3:8,10). The word used in the original looks forward as well as backward. Therefore the word "converted" is probably better than repent. Conversion, moreover, affects not only the emotions but also the mind and the will. In the original the word used by the Baptist indicates a radical change of mind and heart that leads to a complete turnabout of life."(203)
    __William Hendricksen
    FootNote:
    203 See W.D. Chamberlain, the meaning of Repentance, Philadelphia, 1943 p. 22. B.B. Warfield defines (Greek characters here)as "the inner change of mind which regret induces and which itself induces a reformed life" Biblical and Theological Studies, Philadelphia, 1952, P. 366


    The Blue Letter Bible Lexicon's second definition does agree with his broader view of repentance.
    --------------
    "1) to change one's mind, i.e. to repent

    2) to change one's mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins

    http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3340&Version=kjv

    By Anonymous VA~Susan, at 8/10/2007 10:50 PM  

  • Susan,

    Hendricksen is completely gratuitous with his interpretation of repent/repentance as "conversion".

    Clearly fruit is distinguished from repentance. John the Baptizer commanded the Israelites to "repent!". He then commanded them to "bear fruit worthy (or befitting)of repentance".

    It happens to all of us. It has happened to me.

    I sincerely decide with all my heart to get up in the morning an hour early, pray an hour longer, study the bible longer, spend more time with my kids, etc.

    Such a decision is likened to repentance.

    But we should follow through with our decisions, and often we make firm and resolute decisions, sincerely from the heart, and yet fail in their execution.

    Such follow through is likened to producing fruit befitting repentance.

    This is why John the Baptizer distinguishes between repentance and fruit befitting it.

    And because the fruit that is borne is distinguished from the act of repentance, it is therefore erroneous to define repent/repentance with 'conversion'.

    Furthermore, the term 'conversion' need not to have eternal salvation overtones (see the dictionary where it can mean "a change of attitude, emotion, or viewpoint from one of indifference or antagonism to one of acceptance or enthusiastic support"), but surely in the arena of Christianity it has become somewhat synonomous with getting saved. Nowhere is repentance given as a condition for eternal salvation!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 8/11/2007 12:31 AM  

  • >I have read so many differing views of the issue of repentance that I am tempted to give up reading.<

    .............*..........................:-{........:-}...........ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...........ahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha......eh...heh...heh....oh that was funny.

    Hi Rose,

    Yes repentance is something only the Christian can do as only he has the power within from the resurrection life, but the call goes out to the whole world to alarm the conscience of the need and our inablility without Christ to be able to do this in the same sense the law drives us to the cross and to Christ and his grace alone. So the call is used as a prepatory work to alarm the consience of man. You have this adulterous woman, the woman at the well, Zacheaus and the Philipian Jailer, the Ehiopian Eunich or Cornelius and each situation was unique, yet they were led to the same rest in Christ alone.

    Yes Joe, I guess this is hash and rehash but I guess thats my 2 cents worth of useless writ on the matter. I was getting tired of not only reading on this but commenting on it as well, but ahh...why not throw another stick on the fire for old times sake:-)

    By Blogger Only Look, at 8/11/2007 12:44 AM  

  • Rose, you must be a woman full of compassion, a trait I envision is the center of who Christ is.

    This bit you've written struck a chord with my personal testimony.

    The condition for faith is: "are you ready to give up your sin" or "would you like to trade that which you love - whatever sin - for the forgiveness of God?"

    This was a question either implied or asked directly each time I studied the Bible with someone - and always the reason I walked away, with my head down, truly believing I was rejected by Christ. I spent years trying to get rid of the sin in my life so I could be good enough for Him. Yes, I'm a silly, silly girl.

    Finally, one day while listening to a sermon, I was reading ahead (as I often do). This scripture jumped up to me:

    "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:7-8

    Realizing Jesus was meeting right where I was - that knocked me out! Somehow God has worked miracles and changed many things since then, but I would be in the same hole digging to get out if I thought repentance came first.

    By Blogger Missy, at 8/11/2007 1:10 AM  

  • Missy, great comment! I've been to your blog before, and I noticed that you once stated that you weren't sure whether a person could lose their salvation or not. If that's a question that still lingers for you, I and everyone else here can confidently answer that once a person receives eternal life, they are forever secure. Jesus made it clear in John 4:13-14 that in contrast to earthly water, which a person has to keep drinking to stay alive, the water of eternal life that He gives only needs to be drank once to forever quench the thirst for eternal life.

    One drink (one moment of faith in Jesus for irrevocable eternal life) and you will never thirst again (eternally secure). 1 John 5:11 makes it clear that God has already given eternal life to those who have believed in Jesus for eternal life. Eternal life is eternal, not probationary, so since God has already given believers eternal life, then all believers are eternally secure from the moment of faith.

    A person is saved when they believe that they are eternally secure through Christ. Also see John 11:25-27 and 20:31. To believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, is to believe that He guarantees eternal, not probationary, life. He told Martha that whoever lives and believes in Him will never die (eternally secure), and asked her if she believed that. She responded, "Yes, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God who is to come into the world." Her response makes it obvious that believing Jesus to be the Christ means believing that one will never die because Jesus guarantees eternal life from the moment of faith.

    1 John 5:11: And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

    By Anonymous danny, at 8/11/2007 1:57 AM  

  • And of course Missy, eternally security is written all over the Cross. Since he paid for the sin of the world in full (John 19:30 -It is Finished) and is Raised, He freely gives eternal life to everyone who believes in Him for it. All sins past, present, future are paid for, so the believer is permanently justified from the moment of faith.

    By Anonymous danny, at 8/11/2007 2:04 AM  

  • Rose, I forgot to say Hi! Please don't hurt me :)

    By Anonymous danny, at 8/11/2007 2:07 AM  

  • Good morning Rose: Is it a sin for the ungodly to refuse to repent?

    Antonio: The context of Luke 15 is given in the opening verses where the Pharisee complained that Christ received sinners and ate with them. The lost sheep/silver and son are all part of one parable (v3) although they are commonly referred to as three. If you are taking the son to be a child of God, then how was he "dead but is alive again" and was lost but now is found"? (v32) If you insist on pushing the details of the passage, you are going to end up with a child of God effectively losing his spiritual life and salvation, only to refind it again. The repentance with which this young man returned is as much central to the story as is the Father's acceptance of him on his return.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/11/2007 4:24 AM  

  • I was thinking about posting on that text.

    Why does our Lord not offer her eternal life and instead tell het not to sin?

    Some commentators have observed the whole set up is rather artificial; there is no man under arrest and there are doubts about whether they would have put her to death.

    It is possible that the woman was a willing participant in this trap for our Lord. In that case she would have been as hard-hearted and wicked as the Pharisees.

    Our Lord offered eternal life to the woman at the well without bringing up sin. She was ready to believe.

    This woman could not receive that message until she had come to terms with the implications of her sin.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 8/11/2007 5:47 AM  

  • Matthew: Nice to be able to chat with you while our American cousins are still in their beds.

    I don't think that this scene was set up, at least not as far as the woman was concerned. The absence of the male participant is, of course, noted (Was he a Pharisee? Who knows and evidently we don't beed to know) while I think they could have stoned her - they didn't hesitate to stone Stephen later on in Acts 7. Again, they wanted Christeither to order her execution (as so deny that He has compassion on sinners) or deny Moses, as so invalidate His claims re: the law.

    Also the Lord clearly forgave her for her sin. I think her repentance is signalled by the fact that she did not escape when she could have, indicating (at least to my Reformed mind) that she came to faith and repentance and so was saved, not merely from temporal troubles, but with eternal salvation.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/11/2007 5:57 AM  

  • Rose, I hope you are having a good weekend.

    Goodnight, our Lord says 'neither do I condemn you.'

    In the context, this simply means that He was not going to execute her.

    Possibly because He knew she was only pretending to be an adulteress or if she was He was simply affirming that His kingdom was not of this world.

    The Lord's comment has nothing to do with eternal acceptance, but with legal condemnation under the law.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 8/11/2007 10:38 AM  

  • Hi Matthew

    That interpretation throws a right spanner in the works :-) Should we tell unsaved people to "go and sin no more" - like Jesus did?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/11/2007 12:26 PM  

  • Hi, Danny. Thanks for remembering me.

    By Blogger Missy, at 8/11/2007 2:19 PM  

  • We do not know peoples' hearts as the Lord Jesus Christ did.

    If you know that somebody will not believe if you present the message of the Gospel to them, but telling them to sin no more will convict them, then go ahead, do as He did.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 8/11/2007 2:49 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    Good post, and a very thought provoking comment thread.

    Hi DF & GNSH,
    You Brits are fun brothers (not cousins) to listen to.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 8/11/2007 4:30 PM  

  • Hi John,

    I'm into Americana a bit at the moment. What are your own roots? A bit off topic, but it'll do no harm to lighten the thread up for those interested.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/11/2007 4:45 PM  

  • Rose,
    I hope no one here will want to throw stones at me for saying this, but my Bible has this as a footnote for the story of the woman caught in adultery. It is a questionable text. In my Bible, those verses are surrounded by [[double brackets]] showing that they are probably not part of the original.

    FN. [The earliest manuscripts do not include 7:53–8:11.] [7]

    By Anonymous VA~Susan, at 8/12/2007 8:36 PM  

  • [quoting J I Packer]
    [He did not desire to make disciples under false pretenses . . . . In our own presentation of Christ's gospel, therefore, we need to lay a similar stress on the cost of following Christ, and make sinners face it soberly before we urge them to respond to the message of free forgiveness.]

    Antonio,
    This is exactly true. What is wrong with telling people to count the cost of discipleship? He is not saying-- nor would he ever say --that we can add anything to Christ's perfect finished work for our salvation. You are sadly mistaken if that is what you think he meant.

    Before I was a Christian, I was speaking to my Father in Law one time about my worries about what my (anti-Christian) family would think of me if I became a Christian. He said that it was a good question for me to consider. He said Jesus said to count the cost before following and warned me that it was possible that I could lose my family and friends, which sadly turned out to be the case. I was very thankful that he was honest with me and did not try to hurry me to make "a quick decision" without understanding what it might entail.
    Jesus said many things which had the effect of people no longer following him. He told them to pick up their cross and follow Him and that if they loved anyone more than Him, they were not worthy of Him. He said the way is hard that leads to life. The Christian life is a battle. It is only honest to explain what following Christ does involve.

    This chapter from Bishop Ryle's book Holiness explains what I am trying to say much better than I am able to.

    The Cost

    http://www.gracegems.org/Ryle/h05.htm

    If the link is too long and does not work, go to the www.gracegems.org site, click on books, then Ryle then Holiness and it is the chapter called "The Cost".

    By Anonymous VA~Susan, at 8/12/2007 9:19 PM  

  • Good morning, Rose.

    Va-susan, the earliest manuscripts are not the original manuscripts. In determining what is the true New Testament, we should look at the texts that have been preserved, the majority of manuscripts, rather than a few odd texts that are very old, but which are significantly corrupted.

    I would suggest that you chuck out 'Holiness' by J.C. Ryle. I read that a couple of times. I believe it is a wicked book that will significantly harm your spiritual life. J.C. Ryle was blind to some of the deeper truths of the New Testament.

    "He said Jesus said to count the cost before following and warned me that it was possible that I could lose my family and friends, which sadly turned out to be the case."

    There certainly is a cost to following our Lord. However, that is not the same as receiving eternal life.

    A person that has not been born-again is spiritually dead. They cannot follow Christ until they have received eternal life.

    How does one receive eternal life?

    Our Lord said:

    'I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live and he that liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?'

    If a person asnwers 'Yes!' to this question, they have eternal life.

    They are then in a position to follow the Lord and to work for Him. That is not for salvation, but it is to earn rewards and to receive a glorious position, sharing in Christ's rule over the universe when the kingdom is established.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 8/13/2007 3:37 AM  

  • Good morning Rose,

    It would be helpful if any accusations against long accepted and recognised Christian authors could be backed up with specific quotes. Already Packer and Ryle have been mentioned as if they taught that eternal life was obtainable through (i.e. on the basis of) the price Christians sometimes pay for professing their faith. As far as I know, neither of these men (BTW: I would rather defend Ryle than Packer, as I am more familiar with him) taught this. Ryle was very strong on the doctrine that we are saved by grace alone without the deeds of the law. It is a pity to see his name sullied without adequate proof being given to substantiate any charges or suggestions.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/13/2007 5:37 AM  

  • Hi Joe!
    Long time no see. I guess I mis-titled my post. :~(
    I should have been more clear that I meant 'ceasing sin'. The word "repentance" is really confusing - there is so much controversy surrounding it and there seems to be no real concensus as to what it means.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/13/2007 8:48 AM  

  • Jack,
    Yes, I have heard that meaning of the word repentance. I find it a confusing word. I suppose I should have been clear that in this post I meant "ceasing from sin" for repentance or "go and sin no more"

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/13/2007 9:00 AM  

  • Colin,
    Antonio brought up what I wanted to say to you about that parable. I posted on that last summer. I agree with him mostly. I don't see that as a picture of coming to faith, but of returning home. The prodigal was always a son.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/13/2007 9:24 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Sorry I missed that debate last summer. I'm still the relative new boy on the block. Obviously I don't agree with your position due to context (v2) and the fact that the son was said to be dead and lost.

    I would be interested to know if you think it is a sin for the ungodly to refuse to repent? To declare my hand beforehand, I believe it is, because the Lord Jesus began to upbraid these cities which refused to do so and pointed out their prospective damnation for refusing to do so in Matthew 11

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/13/2007 9:30 AM  

  • wow, that was a quick response, Colin!
    Yes, I think it is a sin to continue in sin.
    I think man is very sinful indeed.
    Does that answer your question?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/13/2007 9:35 AM  

  • I don't think we had a debate last summer. I just posted my thoughts/study on the parable.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/13/2007 9:36 AM  

  • J.C. Ryle-

    "We must be holy, because it is the only sound evidence that we have a ssving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ"

    Holiness, p.40

    "We must be holy , because this is the only sound evidence that we are true children of God."

    Holiness, p.41

    We are not justified by faith, then?

    Was Abraham justified because he was holy?

    While it is a different thing theologically to say we are saved by works and to say that we are saved by a faith that does works, in practice there is no difference. A person under Ryles' system, can have no peace unless he is striving for his salvation.

    "I grant it costs much to be a true Christian. But who in his sound senses can doubt that it is worth any cost to have the soul saved? When the ship is in danger of seeking, the crew think nothing of casting overboard the precious cargo. When a limb is mortified, a man will sumbit to any operation, even amputation to save his life. Surely any Christian should be willing to give up anything that stands between him and heaven."

    Holiness, p.70

    Ryle is ignorant of the distinction between earning the crown of inheritance and receiving eternal life.

    His was a religion of works, in which a man must pay a cost to enter heaven.

    This talk of cost is an utter denial of grace. The cost of eternal life was paid by our blessed Saviour. For us to talk of our paying any cost to obtain redemption is blasphemy.

    "The main thing I urge on ypu is this: if you have not an assured hope of your acceptance in Christ, resolve this day to seek it. Labour for it. Strive after it. Give the Lord no rest till you 'know whom you have believed."

    Holiness, p.118

    This is utter nonsense. If we have true faith in Christ, we will be assured of posessing eternal life. Ryle is teaching that assurance must come through effort and struggle.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 8/13/2007 9:53 AM  

  • Antonio,
    As always, thanks for your thoughts!

    Brian,
    Thanks for your thoughts too.

    Missy,
    That is nice of you to say. I am not sure how you would see that about me, but I am glad I somehow show compassion in writing. I think I do have a measure of it. If I do, that would be from the Lord!
    Your story is exactly why I despise the repent/faith message. I think if the repentance/faith message had come to me, I would have responded differently than you. I would not have tried to dig out of the hole. I would have just laughed and walked away. Either response is not too good. The LORD has done this great thing on Calvary for all of us. It is truly GOOD NEWS.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/13/2007 9:59 AM  

  • Danny,
    That was a close one.

    :~)

    Matthew,
    Now you just messed up my whole thinking on this! Actually, I did notice when I was composing the post that there is no record of anything this woman said here. There is no record of her faith.
    On the other hand, I don't think we can downplay the significance of His saying "neither do I condemn you." I mean, the Maker says that to a woman caught in bed with another man. That is pretty big, set-up or not.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/13/2007 10:25 AM  

  • Matthew,
    Possibly because He knew she was only pretending to be an adulteress or if she was He was simply affirming that His kingdom was not of this world.

    The Lord's comment has nothing to do with eternal acceptance, but with legal condemnation under the law.


    How can you be sure about this? Can you give me a reason why you think this? Thanks!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/13/2007 10:27 AM  

  • VA Susan,
    I suppose I would say that I would rather assume it is a word from God and deal with it then avoid it because it may not be in the manuscripts. Safe? Thanks for your comment.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/13/2007 10:30 AM  

  • Rose

    'Neither do I condemn you'.

    In other words, 'they are not going to accuse you and neither do I.'

    Our Lord simply says He will not do what the Pharisees would have done.

    The factors that indicate that the whole thing is artificial are the absence of a male accused, doubts about whether an execution would have been carried out, the fact it was a trap and the fact that the accused woman is left after the Pharisees disappear.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 8/13/2007 10:32 AM  

  • Antonio,

    Suppose we run with your gospel that all the soul has to do is believe that some one called Jesus, alone gives eternal life to all who ask for it. Well and good. Indeed, as far as it goes, I agree 100%, but again, as far as it goes. (This is because I think we must explain who Jesus is etc., but that is another debate for another day) Suppose I meet an orthodox Jew who utterly hates this name of Jesus. He spits on the ground every time I mention his name. He tears up my tracts and wants to set fire to all my NT's. But I keep witnessing and over a period of time, he calms down and listens. Eventually, he takes a copy of John's gospel from me and reads it. He comes back and he says: "I would love to believe this Jesus you have faithfully told me about. But if I do, my family will disown me, disinherit me and put my obituary in the Jewish newspapers as if I were dead and buried. My name will not be mentioned again at the table. I cannot bear that thought. Sorry, the cost is too high for me to pay."

    How do I respond to him in your scheme of things? He understands entirely that eternal life is a free gift "without money and without price" so he isn't coming at it from a works point of view. He is merely telling me that simply believing that Jesus Christ was anything less than apostate will cost him his family, his business and possibly his life. How in your scheme of things do I tell him that it is still better for him to pay that price and simply believe for eternal life without having you or those from your school of thought breathing down my neck and accusing me of propagating a gospel of works?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/13/2007 10:48 AM  

  • Goodnight, are you talking to Antonio or myself?

    If he believes in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life, how will his family and his fellow Jews know?

    With the heart we believe.

    I think you are talking about confessing Christ, which is an entirely different thing.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 8/13/2007 10:55 AM  

  • Matthew: I addressed (as indicated)my last post to Antonio.

    If he believes in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life, how will his family and his fellow Jews know? With the heart we believe. I think you are talking about confessing Christ, which is an entirely different thing.

    The point of the scenario is that he won't identify himself to himself or others as a Christian. He says that the price is too high. He hands me back my John's gospel and walks away sad. Later he gets bitter again and I can't approach him at all without risking physical attack. Are you telling me that he is a child of God?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/13/2007 11:26 AM  

  • [Surely any Christian should be willing to give up anything that stands between him and heaven."

    Holiness, p.70

    Ryle is ignorant of the distinction between earning the crown of inheritance and receiving eternal life.]
    DF,

    Ryle is one of my very favorite authors and it is very sad you have read him without profit to your soul. He has a great heart for the gospel and his love for his Lord shines through on every page. He never has taught salvation by works anywhere. He is just being realistic about what it actually means to follow Christ in a hostile world with the world, flesh and devil opposing us. We enter into a spiritual war when we become Christians. We are bought at a price and we are not our own. But anything we lose in this world is nothing next to the eternal blessings and relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
    ----------------
    Mark 10:23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is [2] to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, [3] “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

    By Anonymous VA~Susan, at 8/13/2007 1:32 PM  

  • Goodnight, it is not about whether he comes out as a Christian or not. The question is whther he has placed his trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Have you not read in the Gospel of John of Joseph of Arimathea who was slow in confessing his faith?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 8/13/2007 2:02 PM  

  • Va-Susan

    "He never has taught salvation by works anywhere."

    Ryle certainly did not teach that we are justified by works.

    However, he did teach that we cannot be saved unless we do works. There is a theological difference between those two positions, but in practice they are the same.

    Under Ryles's system, a person cannot go to heaven unless she does works. Faith is not sufficent alone.

    "We enter into a spiritual war when we become Christians. We are bought at a price and we are not our own. But anything we lose in this world is nothing next to the eternal blessings and relationship with God through Jesus Christ."

    I agree. However, the outcome of this war in our lives plays no part in the question of whether we posess eternal life. If we fail to live victoriously, we shall lose rewards and privilege in the kingdom, but we still be saved as one saved by fire (1 Cor 3).

    You quote Mark chapter 10. What do you understand by this passage?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 8/13/2007 2:07 PM  

  • [Ryle certainly did not teach that we are justified by works.

    However, he did teach that we cannot be saved unless we do works. There is a theological difference between those two positions, but in practice they are the same.]
    DF,
    I do not agree that the positions are the same in practice. One who is saved will not fail to bring forth fruit. Works are notthe condition of our salvation or we would be saved because of our works, but instead works are the result of abiding in Christ,not the cause. James 2:14 teaches the very same thing. We show evidence of that faith we have by bearing fruit. This does not deny that Christ has purchased us with His holy blood and that salvation is of the Lord. Apart from Him we can do absolutely nothing. Our fruitfulness comes form Him.
    If we do not bear fruit we give no evidence of being true Christians.
    God has created us to do good works.
    ---------------
    Ephesians 2:10
    For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
    -----------------------
    [However, the outcome of this war in our lives plays no part in the question of whether we posess eternal life. If we fail to live victoriously, we shall lose rewards and privilege in the kingdom, but we still be saved as one saved by fire (1 Cor 3).]
    That is very true if the person is a Christian, but if someone shows little evidence of spiritual life, it might not be so safe to assume the person is a Christian. Out of concern for their soul, if there is little evidence of a changed life, I would plead with that person to make sure they are really God's child.
    [You quote Mark chapter 10. What do you understand by this passage?]

    It is both a sobering and a shocking passage of Scripture. Salvation is not only difficult, but is actually impossible for man! Camels cannot go through eyes of needles and the "needle gate" theory is a total denial of the text here. Wealth is mentioned as being the biggest worldly obstacle to a man's salvation. We should be very careful what we love while we are on this earth.

    Even though salvation is impossible with man, with God all things are possible. We need to realize how absolutely helpless we are spiritually. We know we cannot either come to God or live the Christian life in our own strength. By God's grace we are to follow Him and not turn back when things become hard. God will make up any losses we have to suffer many times over.
    ------------------
    Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
    3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood...

    By Anonymous VA~Susan, at 8/14/2007 1:01 AM  

  • Va-Susan

    What you are saying is that if a person is a true believer, they will do works. On your view, a person would go to hell if she did not do works.

    So if that is the case, why is it such a pressing issue whether we are justified by faith or by faith and works? Naturally, the position that we are justified by faith and works is incorrect is wrong. But why is it so very wrong? After all we can get along with Christians who take a different view of the millennium or spiritual gifts.

    If works are essential to salvation, what is so important about faith being the instrument of our justification as opposed to works?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 8/14/2007 4:18 AM  

  • I hope you are havng a nice sleep at the moment, Rose~.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 8/14/2007 4:19 AM  

  • [What you are saying is that if a person is a true believer, they will do works. On your view, a person would go to hell if she did not do works.]
    The thief on the cross had no time to do any works aside from confessing his faith in Christ, yet that infant faith was very evident by his words he spoken from the cross to the Lord and to the other thief. I believe God can save a child in the womb or in infancy who dies, but the issue here is about living the normal Christian life. Can a person who claims to be a Christian live the life of a pagan and still be counted among God's people or should there be some evidence of the reality of that faith in how he lives his life?

    [DF: So if that is the case, why is it such a pressing issue whether we are justified by faith or by faith and works? Naturally, the position that we are justified by faith and works is incorrect is wrong. But why is it so very wrong? After all we can get along with Christians who take a different view of the millennium or spiritual gifts.]
    Again, you are misunderstanding him. We are not justified by both faith and works. Justification is being declared not guilty before God and is "once for all" and is by faith alone. Sanctification is being conformed to Christlikeness day by day as we live the Christian life and bear fruit for God. They are not to be confused, but both are essential.
    Ryle's chapter on Sanctification makes this clear.
    Hope this helps.
    -----------
    From his chapter on Sanctification:


    If the Bible is true, it is certain that unless we are "sanctified," we shall not be saved. There are three things which, according to the Bible, are absolutely necessary to the salvation of every man and woman in Christendom. These three are justification, regeneration and sanctification. All three meet in every child of God: he is both born again and justified and sanctified. He who lacks any one of these three things is not a true Christian in the sight of God and, dying in that condition, will not be found in heaven and glorified in the last day.

    It is a subject which is peculiarly seasonable in the present day. Strange doctrines have risen up of late upon the whole subject of sanctification. Some appear to confound it with justification. Others fritter it away to nothing, under the presence of zeal for free grace, and practically neglect it altogether. Others are so much afraid of "works" being made a part of justification that they can hardly find any place at all for "works" in their religion...

    He who supposes that Jesus Christ only lived and died and rose again in order to provide justification and forgiveness of sins for His people has yet much to learn. Whether he knows it or not, he is dishonoring our blessed Lord and making Him only a half Savior. The Lord Jesus has undertaken everything that His people’s souls require: not only to deliver them from the guilt of their sins by His atoning death, but from the dominion of their sins, by placing in their hearts the Holy Spirit; not only to justify them, but also to sanctify them. He is, thus, not only their "righteousness," but their "sanctification" (1 Cor. 1:30). Let us hear what the Bible says: "For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified." "Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it." "Christ . . . gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." "Christ . . . bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness." Christ "has . . . reconciled [you] in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight" (John 17:19; Eph. 5:25, 26; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24; Col. 1:22). Let the meaning of these five texts be carefully considered. If words mean anything, they teach that Christ undertakes the sanctification, no less than the justification, of His believing people. Both are alike provided for in that "everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure," of which the Mediator is Christ. In fact, Christ in one place is called "He who sanctifies," and His people "they who are sanctified" (Heb. 2:11).
    http://www.gracegems.org/Ryle/h02.htm

    --------------------------
    Here are some of the points he develops in the above chapter. As always, he backs up everything he says with Scripture.


    1. Sanctification is the invariable result of that vital union with Christ which true faith gives to a Christian.
    2. Sanctification is the outcome and inseparable consequence of regeneration.
    3. Sanctification is the only certain evidence of that indwelling of the Holy Spirit which is essential to salvation.
    4. Sanctification is the only sure mark of God’s election.
    5. Sanctification is a reality that will always be seen.
    6. Sanctification is a reality for which every believer is responsible.
    7. Sanctification is a thing which admits of growth and degrees.
    8. Sanctification depends greatly on a diligent use of scriptural means.
    9. Sanctification is a thing which does not prevent a man having a great deal of inward spiritual conflict.
    10. Sanctification is a thing which cannot justify a man, and yet it pleases God.
    11. Sanctification is a thing which will be found absolutely necessary as a witness to our character in the great Day of Judgment.
    12. Sanctification, in the last place, is absolutely necessary in order to train and prepare us for heaven.

    By Anonymous VA~Susan, at 8/14/2007 9:49 AM  

  • I understand Ryle perfectly.

    He separates justification and sanctification in a way that I would not.

    I actually think Ryle is rather confused about what sanctification is, but that is another topic in itself.

    Let me ask you a question:

    If we are saved by faith in Christ, why does one need to think about counting the cost?

    If one has been born-again under your system, then the the person who believes will do works.

    There is surely no cost to count at all is there? One just believes and is born again.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 8/14/2007 9:58 AM  

  • [Let me ask you a question:

    If we are saved by faith in Christ, why does one need to think about counting the cost?

    If one has been born-again under your system, then the the person who believes will do works.

    There is surely no cost to count at all is there? One just believes and is born again.]
    DF,
    These are the words that the Lord Jesus Christ spoke. That's why it matters.
    --
    Luke 14: 25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

    By Anonymous VA~Susan, at 8/14/2007 3:18 PM  

  • Rose and all,

    Was beach camping with the fam. Still on vacation from work.

    Hope all is fine!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 8/14/2007 9:33 PM  

  • Va-Susan,

    So you would say that faith is not enough on its own, then?

    It is necessary to:

    1. Have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life, believing in His saving work.

    +

    2. Be willing to hate one's relations and take up one's cross and become a disciple.

    Am I understanding you correctly?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 8/15/2007 3:33 AM  

  • Matthew,

    So you would say that faith is not enough on its own, then?

    Along with James, I would say that a faith that shows no evidence of fruit is a "dead faith" that cannot save.
    When Luther and the Reformers coined the phrase "justification by faith alone" they did not mean that faith can exist without any fruit or obedience. They meant that reliance on the merits of Christ alone is what justifies a man.

    The Geneva Study Bible says :
    "The New Testament does not teach justification by the profession of faith or the claim to faith, it teaches justification by the possession of true faith".

    How do you understand James 2:14-26?

    Maybe it will help to show you what the reformed position is on justification and good works from the Westminster Confession. It would be too long to include the whole entries so I am picking out the most important things.

    WCF — Chapter XI: Of Justification
    1. Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth: not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God.
    2. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love.
    2. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love...

    ----------
    WCF — Chapter XVI: Of Good Works
    1. Good works are only such as God hath commanded in his holy Word, and not such as, without the warrant thereof, are devised by men out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence of good intention.
    2. These good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith: and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance, edify their brethren, adorn the profession of the gospel, stop the mouths of the adversaries, and glorify God, whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto, that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life.
    3. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ. And that they may be enabled thereunto, besides the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit to work in them to will and to do of his good pleasure; yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.
    ...
    5. We can not, by our best works, merit pardon of sin, or eternal life, at the hand of God, because of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come, and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom by them we can neither profit, nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins; but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants: and because, as they are good, they proceed from his Spirit; and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection that they can not endure the severity of God's judgement.
    6. Yet notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in him, not as though they were in this life wholly unblameable and unreprovable in God's sight; but that he, looking upon them in his Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections.

    By Anonymous VA~Susan, at 8/15/2007 9:26 PM  

  • Va-Susan

    Okay, so somebody places their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    She believe that He died to save her and rose from the dead and has given her eternal life.

    She has never heard any of that stuff about counting the cost or hating one's family, or taking up her cross daily. She has not given any thought to the idea that believing in Jesus must necessitate her changing her lifestyle.

    Nevertheless, she has faith in Christ for His gift of eternal life.


    Will she become a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and do the works which you believe a true believer will do?

    If so, why is it necessary to count the cost if one will do works anyway?

    If not, will she go to hell for not commiting herself to becoming a disciple?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 8/16/2007 4:59 AM  

  • [Will she become a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and do the works which you believe a true believer will do?

    If so, why is it necessary to count the cost if one will do works anyway?

    If not, will she go to hell for not commiting herself to becoming a disciple?]

    It's not just my opinion that a true believer bears fruit. It is what the Bible teaches. Any person who goes to hell does so because his sins deserve it. You keep trying to make this about my opinion. My opinion is not the issue. Jesus teaches what it means to be his disciple.
    In answer to your last question, I don't believe that a person who has been regenerated would refuse to follow Christ. Would Lazarus refuse to come forth from the grave after Christ called him? That attitude or refusing to follow shows the person's heart has not been changed. He who has been forgiven much loves much and wants to obey out of gratitude. A true believer may for a time backslide, but God will chasten him and bring him back in His own time. I don't see your option here about a person who is actually in Christ being fruitless.

    ----------------------
    -15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
    -----------------------

    When a person is regenerated, they are given a new heart by God and are given grace to repent and believe. They are justified and from that point on, by the indwelling Holy Spirit, they are progressively sanctified. If someone dies one second after they believe in Christ, they will go to heaven.

    I never said or implied that no one can go to heaven unless they first count the cost. I said that I appreciated my father in law's honesty to me in telling me the truth about what being a Christian might "costs" in terms of how it might affect my relationships with unsaved family. My point in bringing up the counting the cost issue is that Antonio was trying to use Packer's quote to imply he was denying justification by grace alone, which was not the truth. I also agreed with Packer that we should take time to explain things thoroughly to someone before pressing a decision on them to decide for Christ.


    My purpose in writing is not to add on extra burdens to those who need Christ. Christ welcomes sinners and we do not want to put any stumblingblocks before anyone, but having said that, as ambassadors for Christ we need to tell sinners the TRUTH about their soul's danger, their sin and deserved condemnation, and about the person and work of Christ and their desparate need to come to Him in repentance and faith. We also need to explain something about what being a Christian means.
    Would you agree that it is a good idea to explain to someone what being a disciple of Christ could "cost" them? Do you agree that it "costs something" to follow Christ (not speaking at all of justification)? Or do you think being an inactive and fruitless Christian is a true option?
    Would you agree that we should give someone adequate information before expecting them to respond to the gospel?
    ------
    Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in [2] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

    By Anonymous VA~Susan, at 8/16/2007 4:02 PM  

  • Great questions, Matt! I think that you should post that question on UoG and see what people say!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 8/16/2007 4:50 PM  

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