That's awesome, Goodnews!
I told my daughter that I saw a deer on the way to work this morning. She asked me, "How did you know it was on its way to work?"
What did the pirate say when he turned 80? Aye Matey.
What an awesome achievement, rvfc2!
I tried to catch fog yesterday. Mist.
Someone stole my mood ring. I don't know how I feel about that.
My wife accused me of being immature. I told her to get out of my fort.
I'm a fan of dark humor as well, Carla, within reason. Here's one I've heard recently.
Last night my girlfriend came over to my house upset because her stylist took two inches too much off of her hair. I don't know why she's crying. I'm the one who has to find a new girlfriend.
Here are a few classics from Stephen Wright, a one-liner comedian from the 80s that no one on here has probably ever heard of.
Last night I spilled spot remover on my dog and now he's gone.
If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
I installed a skylight in my apartment... the people who live above me are furious!
Someone asked me, if I were stranded on a desert island what book would I bring... 'How to Build a Boat.'
I'm addicted to placebos.
That's great, Carla!
A thousand! That's insane! Way to go, mrsmoo! We're so proud of you!
Grats on the deuce!
Great job, 321!
Congrats to our newest millionaire!
Great start, Marianne!
That's awesome, Brenda!
You'll get there Camila, don't give up! It takes about a year to get your first. Once that first one drops, you'll be at 100 before you know it.
I appreciate the kind words. I've noticed you doing the same. Keep it up!
Nice job, CLC!
That's awesome, Goodnews! We celebrate your dedication to God's Word!
Congrats on reaching a million!
Great job on two weeks!
For wanting a conversation to end, you guys have a funny way of showing it...
Welcome to the group. And Go Vols! Although today was a rough day for Tennessee. Still, 8-1 is a great record considering how bad they've been lately.
Great job, Paul. One hundred is a big accomplishment!
Congrats on two weeks!
Way to go, Silent!
I was not setting up a straw man. I was responding to the following statement of yours:
"But does God have any limits on his grace?Can a Christian commit any kind of sin and still get to heaven?When you read the entire New Testament, that seems very unlikely."
It is hard to read that statement as anything other than you must live a sinless life to be saved. Perhaps you did not mean it that way, but it certainly goes with the rest of your arguments so far.
It is possible to take the "works" words of Jesus too far. I mean, one of Jesus' primary opponents (the Pharisees) did that very same thing. Indeed, some of Jesus' harshest words were for those who focused on works at the exclusion of love.
Of course, we should all work for the kingdom. Of course, we will all stand before God on the day of judgment. Of course, there will be those who are surprised by the outcome. But it won't be those who didn't strive for sinless perfection. It will be those who failed to love God by loving their neighbor, which naturally leads to good works.
This conversation has gone far afield from the original topic, so I will finish my part with this. Dressing up for Halloween will not lead you to hell. It will not override your ability to hear from God or be a functioning member of the kingdom. It will not allow evil spirits to invade you. You are not worshiping Satan if you dress up like Spiderman and get Sweet Tarts for Halloween. But if any of these things cause you to stumble before God, or affects your walk with Him in any way, then simply do not do it. Do not let my freedom be a stumbling block to you. But at the same time, do not judge me for my choices. I will not celebrate Halloween around you if it causes you to stumble, because that's what Romans 14 demands. I also will not judge you if you think Halloween is evil and wish not to participate, because that is what Matthew 7 demands. And we can still continue to have unity even if we have diverse opinions on the subject because that is what John 13:35 demands.
So, if I am understanding you correctly, you interpret the Bible to mean that Jesus death on the cross opens the door into Heaven, and that you can only walk through the door by being sinless? Then what is the point of the cross if you have to live a perfect life to enter heaven. This sounds very much like the Muslim idea of salvation where your good works are measured against your bad works on a giant set of scales. Also, that is basically what Pelagius suggested before he was labeled a heretic 1600 years ago.
Are we to believe that Jesus did not bring grace because he didn't talk about it. Well, I guess we should throw out the Trinity as well, because that word is never used by Jesus. We also need to throw out "Christian," "Christianity," "discipleship," "rapture," and finally, "responsibility." Besides, to say that Jesus did not mean something does not mean he did not have it in mind. There are plenty of things Jesus did not talk about. Where is the discussion of Halloween if it is so important? Why does Jesus not mention the word "abortion," an evil that was definitely present in the Roman empire during his day? This is nothing more than an argument from silence, which is a well-known logical fallacy.
How can you read any of the letters of Paul and come away with the belief that salvation must be received through being perfectly sinless? And how do you reconcile the following verses which seem to indicate that salvation only comes from grace. Here are just a few:
Gal. 2:16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
Gal. 3:2-5 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—
Phil 3:8-9 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—
Rom. 3:22-27 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.
Rom. 3:30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
Rom. 4:1-5 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,
Rom. 5:15-17But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Rom. 9:14-16 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
Rom. 9:30-32 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone,
2 Tim. 1:8-10 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
Titus 3:4-7 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
1 Cor. 1:26-31 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
In regards to Ephesians 2:8-9, which you so easily dismiss, it is true that sometimes Paul uses "works" to mean "works of the law," but not in this verse. After all, this letter was written to Gentile readers, not Jews. Indeed, the only reference to "Law" in the letter is found in 2:15, where Paul is reminding the reader of what God did in the past to open up salvation to the Gentiles. But here, he is talking about just works in general. He is letting his readers know of what a privilege they have by God's grace, that can only be received through faith and not through human activity. This meshes well with the words of Jesus where he says "my yolk is easy and my burden is light." How in the world can living a sinless perfection be a light yolk?
But even if you interpret the "works" that Paul describes as "works of the law," that does not nullify the theme of grace vs. works found all over Paul. For him, grace and faith are inseparable, and salvation through sinlessness is their antithesis. After all, what are the "works of the law" but ways that the Law brought about salvation for the Jews until the true salvation could be revealed through Christ's death on the cross (Rom 3)? This is why we have a new and better covenant filled with better promises.
To believe that sinless perfection is required to make salvation effective is to minimize the work of Christ on the cross. It is also to completely ignore the writings of Paul, or interpret them in such a way that the letters might as well be thrown out of the Canon. Finally, it is to ignore the teachings of the vast majority of Biblical scholars for the last 2000 years, who one must assume where guided by the Holy Spirit in their interpretations of the Word.
We, as Gentiles Christians do not minimize the words of Jesus. When we read him saying that there is a day of Judgment, and that we will give an account for our actions, we take those things seriously. It helps us to understand that we should be living a holy life because that is his will. But we also understand that it is impossible to escape that judgment without God's grace. I mean, really, who can stand up to God when he judges every random thought a person has without Jesus' blood to cover over that sin? And we also understand that the process of sanctification takes a lifetime to achieve, where every year we sin a little bit less as we become closer and closer to God.
But as we take Jesus' words seriously, we must also interpret the words of Jesus through Paul. It was the Council of Jerusalem who decided that Paul was to take the message of Jesus to reach the Gentiles. That was God's will from the beginning, and I see no reason why that directive should not stand today. It does not minimize the words of Jesus to interpret them through Paul. After all, if you read Paul, you find that he and Jesus agree on every topic when Jesus' words are interpreted in light of the cross.
Sorry I missed this. I'm praying as well.
I agree, Jappel. It is difficult to have discussions like this because people have different beliefs and come from different backgrounds (and even countries). It is also difficult not to get defensive when you think eternal souls are at risk. I saw myself getting a little testy because of the baggage of my childhood, and for that, I apologize to everyone who has read this. And to Saintman, whom I do not know in person but respect greatly because of his contributions on here (and his heart). I find that I am guilty of reading perhaps too deeply into his comments, and for that, I apologize again.
Carla, it is always a balancing act. How can you get into the mud with the lost without getting lost yourself? I wish I could say there is but one answer. Ultimately, you have to do what God tells you to do, for He provides the strength. Both Treeswallow and Saintman are correct that you must put on the armor of God and be constantly walking in the Spirit to have any hope. If any activity, Halloween or otherwise, prevents that, then don't do it. God deals with each of us differently, and we all respond to him differently because we are all made differently.
One of the confessions I pray during my devotionals is that the light within me would push back the darkness around me. More specifically, "I thank you, Jesus, that all demonic oppression is broken in the lives of those who come into your presence. Therefore, since you are within me, everywhere I go, your light in me pierces through the deception of the enemy and pushes back the darkness around me. I declare all demonic oppression broken in the lives of those who come into contact with me in Jesus' name" (2 Cor 4:4; Isa 58:6; Isa 61:1-4; Luke 4:17-21; Acts 10:38).
goldendoodlelover, I agree some people make bad decisions on Halloween. When I was in youth group, we decided to TP our youth pastor's house as a prank one Halloween. Well, we almost got shot. So yeah, a bad decision all around. In hindsight, I really regret that act. We meant it in love at the time, but as a homeowner, I now know how difficult it is to clean stuff like that up.
You bring up a good side point, Saintman. I think we all have our favorite verses, but it is important that we judge anything written within the Word of God in context with what is written in the other books of the Bible. This includes the words of Jesus. For example, we have to take into consideration that the author of Matthew was writing to a Jewish audience. How does that message intended for a Jewish audience change for us who are not Jewish? You also have to consider the words of Jesus in context with the cross. Does the works-based message to a works-based Jewish people mean the same thing after Jesus' death on the cross where he paid for the sins of all? We also have to take into account the words of Paul on the matter. How are we to understand the words of Matt 7:21 in light of the words of Paul to the Ephesians: "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (2:8-9)"? Then there is the contributions of James and Peter on the matter that have to be considered. Having looked at these factors, I have come to the following conclusions.
As a Gentile, the cross freed us from a works-based salvation. This does not mean, however, that we no longer work for the kingdom. To be sure, we work, but not as an obligation. We do it out of gratitude for his works on the cross. And we do it out of love, because we want our neighbors to have the same opportunities for salvation that we have freely received from God. To think that works will somehow equal salvation is to misunderstand the work that Jesus did on the cross. Even 1 Corinthians 13 makes it clear that you can do all the works you want, but if you do not have love, you have gained nothing. We work because we love God, and we love our neighbor. Working for any other purpose is a waste of time, for it leads to nothing.
But back to the point at hand, I'm happy for your contributions here, Saintman. I believe your voice needs to be heard here within our community. The differences we have on topics have been debated for years (sometimes centuries), and will likely never be resolved. The question is, can we remain in unity while having diverse opinions? I believe we can. When one's salvation is brought into question as part of a discussion, however, no matter how nicely it is done, then I would argue that unity is not possible. This is now the second conversation - the KJV discussion being the first - we have had where that has been implied. I would respectfully ask that it not occur a third time.