[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Empty Hands and Commitment

by Rose

When sinners come to Christ it has to be with empty hands. If a person who is unsaved comes to Christ with something to offer – like “Jesus, if I will be really moral from now on and I hope that you will accept me.” That is not faith in Christ as the SAVIOR. Actually, if someone comes to Christ offering something they deem good in exchange for Christ’s acceptance, it seems they might be missing the point of Jesus Christ being the Savior. He has done it all to make a way to God – He has won our acceptance with the Father – all we need do is receive this from Him. In order to receive it, we would have to know that our hands were empty and void of anything that could gain us that acceptance with God ourselves.

Sinners have to come with commitment. Yes, I said commitment.
“Commit your life to Christ.” To some “Commit your life to Christ” means that the sinner has to be willing to do whatever God wants Him to do - give up this, go there, etc and God will receive Him. He has to lay down his own desires and be willing to do what God wants Him to do. They deem this as part of saving faith. Whether these thinkers have a corner on that phrase or not – I will tell you what I make of it.

Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46)
The word for “commit” there is the Greek word paratithēmi. It means to present for protection. Christ was saying that He trusted His heavenly father with the outcome of His death. In the same way, saving faith is presenting one’s eternal destiny to the Son of God for protection. It is saying “I commit my future to His protection.” It is trusting that He can and will preserve your life’s essence for the long haul…. for eternity… it is believing in Him for everlasting life.

Can a sinner believe in Christ regarding his soul’s protection from destruction... while at the same time having reservations about whether he really needs Christ's help, or about whether he could get right with the Father on his own? It seems like at the moment of faith his hands would have to be empty and he would have to be really committing his soul unto Christ's eternal protection. “Believing in Jesus” is believing in Him regarding our eternal standing with God, is it not? This is something specific. I know plenty of people who “hope” they will get to heaven who “believe in Jesus.” As a great scholar once asked, “What are they believing in Him for – a pastrami sandwich?”

I am still thinking these things through, but at this time I really think unsaved people must have empty hands to receive anything from Christ, and if they receive Christ in saving faith it would imply that they commit themselves to Him, utterly casting their eternal destiny on Him and into His care, without reservation.

80 Comments:

  • Did my quotation inspire this one?

    This is great stuff.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, June 20, 2008 8:49:00 AM  

  • I think it did, yes. I was thinking about this on my walk this morning.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, June 20, 2008 10:25:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You write: To some “Commit your life to Christ” means that the sinner has to be willing to do whatever God wants Him to do - give up this, go there, etc and God will receive Him. He has to lay down his own desires and be willing to do what God wants Him to do. They deem this as part of saving faith.

    Your use of the “word” some is very vague. Who are these “some”? They sound like mere religious moralists to me, rather than Evangelical Christians (of whatever school) who urge people to “repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15) I say this because your explanation of these folk totally omits any thing on their part of trusting alone in the finished work of Christ. As said, it sounds like something the good living, but Pharisaic Anglicans would tell us.

    Personally I am slow to use this phrase “Commit your life to Christ” when preaching. I stick with the more used verbs like “Repent and believe” or “ Receive” – or “Come” etc., If you wish me to define what coming to Christ means, I cannot think of a better example than the Thessalonians of whom we read, with my connotations, that they:

    turned to God [faith] from idols [repentance] to serve the living and true God; [evidence]

    Had they wanted to hold unto their idols, then they would not have turned to God…at least not in any saving fashion.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, June 20, 2008 11:21:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, June 20, 2008 11:24:00 AM  

  • This post is a perfect follow up to the last, Rose. What a great partnership, eh? :)

    I think we often come to God with something we think quite valuable in our hands, and God shows us its true value - and we drop it in the dust to receive Christ. So turning to God is never in vain.

    I also agree with your comments about commitment. I appreciate your words regarding Luke 23:46. I find those very helpful and completely applicable.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at Friday, June 20, 2008 1:46:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Jesus said concerning discipleship to count the cost!

    27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— 29 lest, after he has laid the 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’?

    I believe if someone understands that discipleship cost everything but eternal life is free.
    Knowing this, if they connect discipleship in any way as a condition whether on the front end or the back end they are changing something that is absolutely free to something that costs everything.

    Concerning eternal life:
    Rev 22:17
    17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

    Here the invitation is for everyone, just as in John 3:16. If they hear they are to come! If they are thirsty they are to come! Or even if they don’t even know they are thirsty but just desire they can take the water of life freely!

    I believe that the water of life is the knowledge of Jesus person, that He is the One who gives eternal life!
    (John 4:10,14,25,26)

    To simply believe that Jesus can meet your eternal needs is enough, because that is believing in Him as the Christ!

    When one believes this, they have drunk the living water that springs up into eternal life!

    Other words you don’t even have to know your thirsty or that your hand is empty but you can take the living water. It’s absolutely free! There are NO CONDITIONS, other then believing that He is the One who can meet your eternal needs.

    To believe that is to have already received Him!
    (John 11:25-27)

    At the moment one is persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, then whatever one is holding in their hand is of no consequence because it is dropped. Because you know Jesus has met your eternal needs! If you were like me when this truth dawns upon your mind you are simply amazed that eternal life is absolutely free!

    Your not looking in your hand to see if it is empty, your simply looking to Jesus as the Christ and when you do you are born of God!

    The person that has believed that Jesus is the Christknows that Jesus has saved them forever.

    If one does not know, then one is yet to know Jesus as the Christ!


    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Friday, June 20, 2008 4:51:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Here's a curve for you. I think there are times when the Lord comes to someone because of what was is in their hand, so to speak. For example: "Cornelius, your prayer and your alms have come up for a memorial before God." (Acts 10:4). In each such scriptural case, He was impressed because their hand was opened, and they did not hold back selfishly (Luke 7:4-6).

    For sure, I think you're basically on the right track but I want to challenge you to see this in a slightly broader way. In the final persective, I think it's about the heart involved.

    A person who comes to the Lord and wants to give may simply be expressing a complete surrender to Him. It may even signal whether his surrender really is complete or not (Matt 19:21-22). It may simply be a practical application of their faith, or a fruit worthy of repentance, the natural result if they really meant it -- and that is to be encouraged. If such things could take place and yet do not, I might reasonably question whether they were really saved at all, or did that, too, exist only in the same untouchable world of theory? I would trust it more if I saw an impact on their lives.

    But back to what I was saying about a partial committment. You have to compare the gospel accounts for this point to emerge, but think about this:

    Jesus called the four fishermen and they forsook their nets and followed him. This was a partial committment. The next morning He asked them to follow Him to the other cities of Galilee, but in the end only Andrew went with Him.

    Matthew and Mark describe how Jesus went out on this circuit, and Luke joins the account at this point, then goes on to describe what followed when Jesus returned. Peter, James and John were back at their nets again! Their partial committment had fallen through, and they had reversed themselves!

    After teaching for awhile, Jesus asked them to launch out, and now they took a great catch. Jesus seemed to be saying to them: "You left Me for your nets, and this is the most happiness your nets can ever give you: your boats are full to sinking, and your nets are full to breaking. Is this the decision you really want to make for yourselves?"

    The contradiction in Peter's heart is evident in his reply, yet Jesus commands him to follow and now he does. But THIS time the Bible says they left ALL to follow Him.

    So I went through all of that to say, sometimes actions speak louder than words. Sometimes they tell the truth much more plainly, and for that reason the Lord sometimes wants to see them. Not that they are the important thing in themselves, but they just might show whether the heart was sincere or not, and that's what He is really after.

    Thoughts?
    Loren

    By Blogger Cleopas, at Friday, June 20, 2008 8:00:00 PM  

  • Hi Loren

    It sounds like your mixing discipleship with the gift of eternal life, unless I am misunderstanding you.

    Loren said:
    A person who comes to the Lord and wants to give may simply be expressing a complete surrender to Him. It may even signal whether his surrender really is complete or not (Matt 19:21-22).

    Jesus called the four fishermen and they forsook their nets and followed him. This was a partial committment.

    Hi Loren

    One must receive eternal life as a gift before one can receive it as a reward (Mat 19:29). The one coming to Jesus in Matt 19:16-22 was trying to justify himself “what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life.”
    So Jesus gave him the law 18-19 and to be justified by the law one needed to be perfectvs. 21.

    Also in Luke 10:
    Jesus said to His disciples in Luke 10:20b “rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “ I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes, Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.
    Then we see in verse 25 one who is wise in his own mind, who comes to test Jesus vs 25. Teacher what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
    He is trying to justify himself vs.29. Jesus gives him the law 26-28.

    Loren as long as a person is trying to justify themselves they are looking to themselves.

    It’s not until they look away from self will they see the sufficiency of “The Christ.”

    When they do they are born of God.

    Then and only then can they be on the road to rewards, a richer experience of life, the abundant life!
    Surrendering ones life and following Jesus has to do with discipleship. And one can be a disciple (learner, pupil)and still not have believed in Jesus for eternal life (John 6:60-66).

    Cornelius was open to the light he was given in the Old Testament Scriptures, therefore God gave him more light by sending Peter to give him words of life (Acts 11:14).

    Repentance does facilitate faith but is not a condition for the gift of eternal life.

    One can simply "take the living water FREELY.
    And when they do they will not need to hold on to anything because they know Jesus has a hold onto them for ever!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Friday, June 20, 2008 11:50:00 PM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    You make a lot of sense in what you've said, but my basic point was really otherwise. Maybe it's the flip-side of the same coin. But He who made the one side of this coin made the other also, so I think it's important to keep both sides in mind.

    A simple way to look at it is that Jesus gave us His all, and expects all in return (2 Corinthians 5:15). Is that what saves us? No, of course not. By grace we have been saved through faith (Eph 2:8). But after all, what does 'faith' really mean? It means to trust in Him and cling to Him with our whole heart.

    When we come to Jesus and other things are in our lives, such as great wealth, it can present an internal struggle for us. Are we really trusting wholly in Him, or are we still reposing some of our trust in our wealth? Again, it goes to the heart of the issue.

    Let's look at the case of the rich young ruler. His wealth could not save him, yet it could hinder him from being saved. Jesus knew this and addressed it up front, and sadly, the young man turned away because of it. Think about that! Jesus loved him; an invitation was made to include him, with the very gift of eternal life itself -- but at least for the time being, that connection was not made, and 'the flip side of the coin' was the reason for it.

    Yet Jesus replied that it was not impossible for such a man to be saved. Not long afterward, in fact, He encountered another wealthy man named Zacchaeus, and this man's heart was quite otherwise: "Lord, look, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold."

    Jesus responded, "Today salvation has come to this house..." Was it because of the money he gave? No, I argue that it was because of his heart. His actions showed that he wanted to embrace Jesus eagerly and entirely; and when others grumbled and suggested that his wealth was or should have been a barrier to this, he was willing to generously surrender all that he had in order to be wholly pleasing to Jesus.

    This also meant that his wealth would have no deeply seated power to control him in the future, which was the real issue. Remember that Jesus had told the rich young ruler that he must give away all; Zacchaeus did not necessarily give away all, but Jesus pressed it no further because He saw it was not going to be an issue with him. The path was clear for the 'first' side of the coin to be the only consideration in his heart.

    Alvin, with respect, I think I see something else in the 'empty hands' approach that is disturbing to me. Calvinism teaches that our salvation is 100% God and 0% man. But it also goes further. To further exalt God in this way, man must be constantly put down, put off, rejected and turned off, and constantly reminded that he is basically worthless. Somehow this heightened contrast is supposed to accentuate that it is only God and not man, to God's glory. But God really does not need that sort of defense to prove Himself superior to us.

    Furthermore, a constantly self-abasing attitude can simply be another form of confidence in our own flesh. Humble flesh yes, as humble as we can possibly get it, and acceptable at last because we are so 'humble' about ourselves. But in the end it is still flesh, so it is simply a more subtle form of pride.

    I also think the approach makes an artificial separation in our minds. I am wealthy, but I know my wealth cannot save me, so I come with an attitude of 'empty hands'. And yes, this is one side of the coin. But doesn't that leave my wallet in my pocket? In the whole scope of what my life includes, this mentality only commits part of what I am to Him; and the rest (as I attempted to show in my previous comment), would eventually become the snare that causes me to backslide away from Him. That's the other side of the coin. The first is the spirutal reality, the second is the earthly practicality which, unfortunately, still has the ability to effect that reality.

    I also view salvation as a manifestation of God's love and acceptance through Jesus, and the building of a basically family relationship with our heavenly Father. Admiring Him with devotion meets that purpose well. But an attitude of constant self-abasement (as I have described it) is essentially a substitute for this; it is stand-offish, and seems to fret against that purpose, so I think it would be more of a grief to His heart. The separation is from us, not from Him. In the end, it is simply another way of setting aside what He has done and trusting in our own humble flesh after all.

    If our hands are truly empty, we should use them to embrace all that He is and that He wished to share with us. If our hands are empty, it also means we are willing to place everything we have into His hands without conditions or reservation of any kind in our minds.

    Loren

    By Blogger Cleopas, at Saturday, June 21, 2008 9:07:00 AM  

  • Hi Loren

    You seem to be implying by using the Rich young Ruler and Zacchaeus that both sides of the coin have to be there before Jesus will give His gift of life? For sure our wealth can keep one from believing in Jesus for eternal life because were trusting in our wealth to save us. And also Jesus desire is for us to experience the abundant life, but that is not a condition for receiving that life. We know by the testimony of Scripture that Jesus gives life to those who He knows are going to be a disappointment to Him. Ones that He takes home early (Acts 5:5,10; 1 Cor 11:30). Ones who forget that they were washed from their sins (2 Peter 1:9) and do not experience an abundant entrance (2 Peter 1:11). But then there are those the seed is received with joy but in time of temptation fall away (Luke 8:11-15). Notice the seed “sprang up” other words there was life, they were saved (Luke 8:6-8). There were those who let the cares of the world keep them from bearing fruit in their lives, but they were still saved. It was only the first seed that fell by the wayside that Satan snatched away before they could believe and be saved.
    There will be ones who will be ashamed at His coming (1 John 2:28) and ones who will have everything burned but will still be saved as by fire (1 Cor 3:11-15).
    So Loren we can’t use people in the Bible as a broad example for everyone. There are some who will need to be given the law so that they see their need. Others will simply believe in Jesus for His gift of life with no guarantee they will turn from their sin (John 4:7-42).
    With my self I had been taught that the cost of discipleship was part of the gift. But even though I had been led to believe something false I was still open to the Lord. And when He showed me the truth that the gift of eternal life was “absolutely free” all my misconceptions were dropped and I knew for the first time that eternal life was free but discipleship cost everything. It wasn’t dependant on anything I would do or wouldn’t do, but I could take the water of life freely.
    As far as Calvinism, I agree with you. That’s the perfect world where every believer endures to the end IF they got the right “ZAP” some though are fooled into thinking they are the ELECT when they are not. They must have not gotten the real thing but just a little “zap” so their batteries run out. They sing the song the “monster mash” but cant do the dance all the way to the end! This is very sad because they have bought into a man-made system, so they can’t know until the end if they are really the elect. Any system that has to have works to prove it’s the real thing robs the person of the knowledge of “The Christ.” Because Jesus gave two conditions to the women at the well ( 1. If you knew the gift of God. 2. And who it is who said to you, “Give Me a drink” you would have asked and He would have given you living water.
    In verse 15 she new it was a forever gift, and in verse 25 she asked for the living water which was the Knowledge of His person. And with faith that knowledge would spring up into eternal life. In verse 26 Jesus gives her that living water.

    We need to be like the Bereans who were unbelievers at the time (so much for being dead like a rock) searched the Scriptures (OT)to see if the things Paul was saying were true.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, June 21, 2008 12:18:00 PM  

  • Alvin,
    Do you consider yourself a disciple of Christ?

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Saturday, June 21, 2008 1:05:00 PM  

  • Good afternoon, Rose.

    Hi Loren,

    I don't think that I have discussed anything with you here on spiritual matters. Nice to do so now.

    Just for the record, as a Calvinist, I don't hold that "man must be constantly put down, put off, rejected and turned off, and constantly reminded that he is basically worthless."

    While I must necessarily deal with the sin issue, yet I remind sinners that they were made in God's image and that God so loved the world, even though it lies in wickedness and that Christ madea definate atonement for guilty sinners and that whosoever will may come and drink freely of the water of life.

    Maybe you know of some Calvinists who do what you say. This is just a gentle reminder/first time note to the effect that the vast majority do not.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Saturday, June 21, 2008 1:14:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I just got around to reading this excellent musing of yours. It is totally spot on. I couldn't agree more, and as I was reading it, I was like, "Amen!" all the way through it.

    I haven't read many of the comments yet, but I would like to. I can't imagine anyone objecting to this. And if they object to it, then they do not understand grace.

    The scholar with the quote about a pastrami sandwich seems like a sharp guy.

    Your fg friend,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, June 21, 2008 1:33:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Antonio

    I'm not objecting but simply widening Rose's horizons, so to speak,,,ha!ha!

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, June 21, 2008 5:55:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Hi Jazzycat

    Yes I am a disciple of Christ.

    The original Greek word meant neither more nor less than a pupil, a learner. The heavy religious overtones which the word “disciple” has today in English did not exist for the multitudes to whom Jesus spoke the words we are discussing. (Absolutely Free by Zane Hodges page 67)
    Today there exists in part of the evangelical church a wholly unrealistic view of the nature of Christian experience. According to those who hold this view, effective Christian living is virtually an inevitable result of new birth. But this view is as remote from the Bible as east is remote from west.
    Of course, it is a miraculous truth that at the moment of new birth, the very life of God is imparted to the believer. But like the impartation of physical life itself, spiritual life is not granted in fully developed form. It does not come to us in a prefabricated condition.
    On the contrary, regeneration brings with it immense capacities and staggering possibilities. But all these capabilities come, so to speak, not in their ripened maturity, but in the form of a “seed” which requires cultivation. (Absolutely Free page 69)
    The Cost of Education
    Every human being possesses physical life as a parental gift, just as every Christian possesses eternal life as a gift from God, our heavenly Father. But education—in both spheres—requires hard work.
    There was a cost involved in becoming His disciple, just as there was a cost involved in building a tower. No sensible builder would start to erect a tower (through some foolish ones had done so) without calculating whether he could afford to see it through to completion. Any failure to make this preliminary reckoning could lead to considerable embarrassment later.
    Thus Jesus went on to say, “…lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish’” (14:29,30).
    “It is possible,” Jesus is saying, “that you might start out as a ‘pupil’ of mine, but that you might not be able to stay the course. You may not be able to finish.”
    Unfortunately, many Christian teachers do not posses the frankness that Jesus Himself displayed on the subject of discipleship. They are not very candid in warning believers that the educational process can be hard, and that “dropping out” of it is a danger that must be faced frankly.
    The simple fact is that the New Testament never takes for granted that believers will see discipleship through to the end. And it never makes this kind of perseverance either a condition or a proof of final salvation from hell.
    What it does do, repeatedly, is to warn believers about the danger of not persevering. To put it in modern terms, the Bible warns Christians against “droping out” of the educational process. (ZH p.80)

    Sorry for the long read, but I think Zane puts things in very good perspective. I am a realist, I am aware that I possible could not finish the race. So I take the warnings very seriously. I saw my Dad start the race and end up losing his wife and being in and out of mental institutes most of his life. And later fall into false teaching, so there is no guarantee one will finish the race. If you think so your just fooling yourself, because Jesus clearly put forth the possibility. And He was more frank then most Christian teachers as Zane has pointed out. I don’t believe in counting my chickens before there hatched! Don't get me wrong, the lack would not be on Jesus part the new creation in us, but on our part of failing to abide. If you don't think that is possible, all it takes is the evidence from Scripture showing one person who did not persevere unto the end. And I have given more then enough evidence in my last post to Loren to that fact. If Christ is in you, then the body is dead because of sin. So that's a problem! Only by abiding will we experince resurrection life, giving our dead bodies life and that is a choice we make moment by moment.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, June 21, 2008 6:14:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight said:
    Just for the record, as a Calvinist, I don't hold that "man must be constantly put down, put off, rejected and turned off, and constantly reminded that he is basically worthless."

    But Goodnight wouldn't you say that man is dead like a rock so regeneration has to take place first?
    And the ones who do not get "ZAPPED" are reprobates, isn't that another word for worthless?
    Jesus could have saved All by the Calvinist reasoning but just "ZAPPED" a few because they were all running as fast as they could for hell?
    But God chose some just to give a little "zap" to, so that they would "think" that they were saved but they really aren't?

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, June 21, 2008 7:07:00 PM  

  • Alvin,
    Thanks for the response. If I understand your view right from your comments, you believe there are:

    1) believers that are disciples of Christ
    2) unbelievers that are disciples of Christ
    3) believers that are not disciples of Christ

    However, I am confused by the following in your last comment where you said:

    Only by abiding will we experince resurrection life, giving our dead bodies life and that is a choice we make moment by moment.

    That sounds like you believe in a works salvation that can be lost, but I don’t think that is the FG view, so what do you mean with that statement?

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Saturday, June 21, 2008 8:15:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Here is evidence of the little “zap.”

    “enlightening some with a present sense of grace, which afterwards proves evanescent.”
    John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. Henry Beveridge (Wm. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1998 ed.), III:ii,11.

    “There is nothing to prevent his [God’s] giving some a slight knowledge of his gospel, and imbuing others thoroughly…the light which glimmers in the reprobate is afterward quenched…”
    (Op. Cit.,III:ii,12.)

    Luther, too, in The Bondage of the Will, seemed to present a “God” who was just as sadistic, “deservedly taunting and mocking” (Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will, trans. J,I. Packer and O.R. Johnston (Fleming H. Revell, 1957, 11th prtg. 1999), 153.) the lost by calling upon them to come to Christ when they couldn’t without the help He refused to give them!

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, June 21, 2008 8:26:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Jazzycat said:

    However, I am confused by the following in your last comment where you said:

    Only by abiding will we experince resurrection life, giving our dead bodies life and that is a choice we make moment by moment.

    Jazzycat I would highly recommend Zane Hodges book “Six Secrets of the Christian Life.” Here is just a little:
    The Christian’s Dead Body
    And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:10-11
    Here in a nutshell we have the fundamental problem of Christian living. Every Christian inhabits a dead body.
    We often forget this. Or we do not realize it at all. After all, we are physically alive. We are not naturally inclined to regard our physical body as dead. But from God’s point of view that is precisely what it is.
    Paul leaves no doubt about this fact. He states plainly: And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin. He does not say that the body is dead “if Christ is not in you, “but rather if Christ is in you! This describes the spiritual condition of a Christian body!
    A Christian, of course, is a person who has been born again by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ for the free gift of eternal life (see John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47 and many other verses). When this happens, his inward being, or nature, changes. But the physical body remains unchanged, the same as it was before. It is still infected by the deadly virus of sin, and as a result is completely unresponsive to the new life the Christian now posses.
    Jazzycat, you can get a good picture of this in Romans 7. Paul’s struggle: He says, “I delight in the law of God according to the inward man” (Rom. 7:22). Yet immediately he adds (vs.23), “But I see another law in my members [that is, the ‘members’ of his body], warring against thelaw of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”
    No wonder that in exasperation he exclaims (vs. 24), “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” His own dead body frustrated him.
    It is safe to say, therefore, that we have not grasped the true nature of Christian living unless we perceive this basic truth. If we imagine that by some effort of our own will we can do what the Lord expects of us, we are seriously mistaken. Paul sets forth this reality in Romans 7 with great clarity, Every Christian urgently needs to understand it too.
    I hope this clears up what I was trying to say.
    Jazzycat the salvation that a believer can lose is the "saving of their life" in order to save your life you must lose it. The ones in 1 Cor 3 were saved in the sense they went to heaven, but all the wood hey and stubble was burnt up. That is what their life produced and it did not stand the testing by fire, so it did not endure but was loss.
    goodnight
    alvin

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, June 21, 2008 9:15:00 PM  

  • Good morning, Rose.

    Alvin: In the language that you are now using about sacred matters – we are discussing the means whereby the Lord causes a guilty sinner to pass from spiritual death unto eternal life – would you say (and I use your own words which you also choose to highlight) that the Lord Jesus zapped Lazarus? Or the widow of Nain’s son? Are we are liberty to mock these things?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 1:43:00 AM  

  • Alvin,
    Thanks again. You affirm believers who are disciples (including you) and also disciples who are not believers as well as believers who are not disciples.

    Since I have been following this blog, I have noticed that the whole concept of FG evangelism has included only the offer of the free gift of eternal life to the lost by "simple" faith. Yet Jesus commands us in the great commission to make disciples. In the great commission of Mt. 28:19-20 Jesus is only referring to believers who are disciples. Why do you suppose he did not include evangelizing believers who are not disciples?

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 5:35:00 AM  

  • Wayne, I do not see what your problem is in that last comment.

    We are to make disciples of all. This is a process.

    You do not stop making a disciple of somebody after she is born again, because a convert still has much to learn about the ways of God.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 6:14:00 AM  

  • Hey all,
    I am sorry to start something and then not engage in it. We are leaving on a six day vacation this morning and I have been busy getting stuff ready for the last couple of days. I think you all have been having an interesting discussion. I have read every comment cuz they have been in my inbox. I aways read the commentsin my inbox even if I don't go to any blogs.
    Thanks, Antonio and Matthew for your votes of confidence. I will look forward to reading some more commetns in my inbox when I come home. Thanks for visiting Loren! Long time no see.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 8:12:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight, that shows your confusion. Lazarus was already born again. How can he be an example of someone spiritualy passing from death to life? I'm one who believes in the power of God's word to bring life. You believe a person has to be regenerated ("ZAPPED") before thay can even believe God's word.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 8:48:00 AM  

  • Alvin,

    I apologise for not making myself clear here. I was drawing the parallel between the Lord giving Lazarus back his physical life and the Lord giving spiritual life to the sinner. (I know that Lazarus was already born from above at this time.) I was drawing attention to your somewhat fond though frivolous use of the word ZAP which you readily apply to the work of regeneration. I was querying whether you were prepared to use it in relation to the Lord physically raising people from the dead albeit in the physical sense e.g. Lazarus and the widow of Cain’s son? I trust this makes clearer where I am coming from.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 9:00:00 AM  

  • Jazzycat

    Evedently you didn't read my verse's to Loren but must have just skimmed over them. But here are the verses from John 6
    vs.60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?"

    Jesus speaking to His disciples:

    vs. 64 "But there are some of you who do not believe."

    vs.66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.

    We have every reason to believe that in that "many" disciples who went back "some" of them were believers.

    Yes we are to make disciples. Disciples are made over a life time, believers are born again at the moment they believe Jesus saving words. Discipleship cost, the living water anyone can take freely.
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 9:04:00 AM  

  • Hi Goodnight

    I think why you used Lazarus is because you believe people are dead like rocks, so their not able to read Jesus life giving words and be born again.


    have a great Lord's day

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 9:15:00 AM  

  • Alvin,

    Thank you for your views. I reiterate my question:

    Are you prepared to use the somewhat frivolous word ZAPPED (emphasis yours) in relation to the Lord physically raising people from the dead albeit in the physical sense e.g. Lazarus and the widow of Cain’s son?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 9:28:00 AM  

  • Alvin,
    I was aware of your take on John 6. That is where I learned you believe there are non-believing disciples. I believe John explains that these John 6 disciples were really false disciples as he indicates in 1 John 2:19.

    My question that you didn't answer concerned the great commission where Jesus commanded us to make disciples. He did not mention evanglizing for believers who are not disciples and I was asking how FG evangelism squares with this command of Jesus.

    Thanks

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 10:25:00 AM  

  • Alvin,
    Over at the True Free Grace team blog, we have been discussing the great commission. Your comments have been very interesting and I am planning a post in a few days on your beliefs over at True Free Grace

    Rose and Matthew have both commented there and you and everyone are certainly welcome to take part. I do not want to mischaracterize your thinking in any way, so please let me know if I do. Since I have seen my doctrinal position mischaracterized many times, I do not want do the same thing.

    Thanks

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 10:36:00 AM  

  • Jazzycat your first mistake is going to a book that is written for the purpose to show if your in fellowship with Christ, not to prove whether your born again ( 1 John 1:3,6).

    Notice the contrast between (they, us, you).
    1 John 2:19-22 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
    But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.
    I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
    Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

    Gal 2:4 And this occurred because of false brethern secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty, which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage),

    I believe when John says in 1 John 2:19 that they went out from us he means the Church at Jerusalem. And that they denied that “Jesus is the Christ” which is saving truth, so they were never of them. The Church at Jerusalem was in confusion there were ones in it who believed that you had to be circumcised and keep the law of Moses, but they were believers (Acts 15:5). Also there were ones who were false brethren who probably got in to the Church at Galatia by saying they were from the Jerusalem Chruch. Today our churches are filled with disciples (learners, pupils) seeking the truth but have yet to believe in Jesus as the Christ. In the Churches back then most were small and the leadership new that their disciples were born again. They came together on the first day of the week to break bread. Now days in most of the churches just about anyone can break bread.

    Concerning the Great Commission I believe it was completed in their day, they turned the world upside down. John thought they were in the last hour and that Jesus could come back at any time (Acts 17:6; 1 John 2:18; Acts 3:19,20).


    (What’s the promise Rachel if you’re reading this? A clue:Eternal life)
    John knows that his readership know the truth that “Jesus is the Christ.” But goes on to remind them in vs.25 And this is the promise that He has promised us eternal life.
    This is what it means to believe in Jesus as the Christ, that He has promised eternal life to the one who believes!

    Concerning disciples, I have already shown that a disciple is a learner or pupil. And that some or (many) are in our very Churches who come seeking truth but have not yet believed in Jesus as the Christ.
    Of course we know many when contrasted to some is a different number. Or do we?

    Jazzycat, I love that name! Antonio is far more qualified to speak on what FG believes then me. I’m not representing anyone but myself, there is probably some things they would disagree with me on. But concerning “The Christ” that truth is essential and goes all the way back to Jesus (1 John 1:1,7; 2:21,22,25; 5:13).

    Jazzycat, true free grace starts here "The Christ"

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 1:35:00 PM  

  • Hi Goodnight

    Your view of regeneration is unbiblical, so the "ZAP" fits it well. By using that frivolous word as you call it, fits the god of Calvinism. Being everyone is supposibly "dead like a rock" they need the "ZAP" before they can believe, and ONLY the real elect get the one that lasts (according to the one from which you get your name).

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 1:46:00 PM  

  • Alvin,

    Did the Lord Jesus ZAP Lazarus? A simple "Yes" or "No" will suffice.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 1:57:00 PM  

  • Hi Goodnight

    No! "ZAP" is only deserving of unbiblical references along with monster mash and Frankenstien. They help to denote "dead like a rock."

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 2:12:00 PM  

  • Hi Goodnight

    Out of respect for you, I will not use those words again. Although I believe they fit.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 4:15:00 PM  

  • Jazzycat

    I also believe there are born again believers who are not Christians. A Christian is not just a born again believer but a baptised disciple of Christ.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 6:38:00 PM  

  • Jazzycat

    I went to your new Free Grace site, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

    Oh taste and see that the Lord is good!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 6:52:00 PM  

  • Alvin,
    Sorry you didn't like our site.
    You said.....
    I also believe there are born again believers who are not Christians. A Christian is not just a born again believer but a baptised disciple of Christ.

    (Using your theology) Does your church wait until a believer qualifies as disciple before they baptize him?

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 7:37:00 PM  

  • Alvin,
    Apparently by your definitions and what Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus directs the church to make disciples that are Christians. IOW, he wants evangelism to produce only born again, baptized, believers who are disciples.

    How much discipleship or works does it take to move from a born again believer to a born again Christian?

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 8:02:00 PM  

  • Wayne, when a person should be baptized is an area of disagreement amongst FGers, just as there are disagreements about baptism amongst Calvinists.

    Some hold that a person should be baptized when they show signs of repentance, others that they should be baptized simply when they believe, as baptism represents the work of regeneration and justification.

    Bob Wilkin takes the view that baptism is the first step of discipleship. A person should be baptized, in his view, when she believes. By being baptized she embarks on the process of discipleship.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Sunday, June 22, 2008 11:46:00 PM  

  • Alvin,

    I appreciate you resisting the urge to apply the word ZAP to the doctrine of regeneration. If it is inappropriate (as I guess by your response that you believe it to be) to apply it to the (physical) life giving example of Christ at Bethany etc., then it is no less inappropriate to apply it to the spiritual raising of the dead which Christ undertakes.

    Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. (John 5:25)

    For the record (again, - I think we had this discussion a few months ago) I do not think it is appropriate to refer to the spiritually dead sinners as rocks. They are real human beings with human souls that will spend eternity either in heaven (by grace) or in hell (through sin). They are fully accountable to God for their actions and treated as such. They can be reasoned with and pleaded with and they show themselves able to answer back. At the risk of upsetting you by quoting Calvin, yet on the key verse on spiritual death, he observed: ”Some kind of life, I acknowledge, does remain in us, while we are still at a distance from Christ; for unbelief does not altogether destroy the outward senses, or the will, or the other faculties of the soul.”

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Monday, June 23, 2008 5:39:00 AM  

  • Matthew,
    Thanks. I will explore this further at True Free Grace soon. You never did finish your work on my thread at TFG. I answered your questions, but you left mine unanswered....

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Monday, June 23, 2008 6:37:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Monday, June 23, 2008 6:37:00 AM  

  • Alvin,
    In this thread you have made the following two statements that give different definitions of a Christian:

    you said......
    1) I also believe there are born again believers who are not Christians. A Christian is not just a born again believer but a baptised disciple of Christ.

    2) A Christian, of course, is a person who has been born again by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ for the free gift of eternal life.

    IOW, in one place you said all born again believers are not Christians unless they are baptized disciples and in another place you say believing and being born again is makes one a Christian. Could it be that your theological foundation is not solid and set on this point?

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Monday, June 23, 2008 2:00:00 PM  

  • Hi Jazzycat

    I think your trying to make more out of it then is there.

    I will admit that in the past I'm sure I've used the word Christian and believer as synonyms just from thinking and saying that for so long. But as I've studied more on this subject I've come to believe a disciple and a Christian mean the same thing.

    But the two quotes that you have shown are both true. There is no Christian that hasn't been born again. And a Christian is also one that is a disciple. Both things are true.
    You could just as easily replace the word Christian with disciple. Disciples were first known as Christians in Antioch Acts 11:26. And we know that not all believers are followers of Christ

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, June 23, 2008 7:31:00 PM  

  • Hi Jazzycat


    The Gospel of John is written to lost people on how to have life (John 20:30,31).

    John 20:30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

    Lost people need life first.

    Born again believers are born.

    Matthew 28:19-20 is instruction written to believers on how to make disciples.

    Matt 28:19-2019 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

    Disciples are made.

    Two different audiences and when the message is wrongly divided this is the outcome.

    Churches are filled with baptised disciples who have never been born again.

    They take Scriptures like Mark 16:15,16 which is also written instructing believers on how to make disciples. They come up with two conditions to get to heaven. By doing this they have combined something that is free with something that is costly.

    Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

    Jazzycat, I hope you can see from this verse that if the word is not properly divided we can come up with all kinds of conditions to get into heaven.

    An unbeliever first needs life!

    And the good news is "its Absolutely Free."

    Baptism is for believers only, and is to be the first act of discipleship.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, June 23, 2008 7:34:00 PM  

  • Jazzycat

    Just for your benefit, that is the first time I had ever voiced that belief "not every believer is a Christian." Quite some time ago I heard Bob Wilkins say that on a GES DVD. But he said it kinda sounds a little weird. And I thought it did sound strange, but the more I thought about it and looked at the Scriptures I noticed that a Christian is a disciple and one who suffers for Christ. And that’s not true of all believers. The word for Christian is only used three times in the NT.
    We know that there were ones who believed but did not confess Christ (John 12:42,43). And then there were the some of many in John 6:60,64,66 (Therefore many of His disciples when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?) (But there are some of you who do not believe) vrs. (From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more)

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, June 23, 2008 8:38:00 PM  

  • Alvin,
    I to believe in absolutely free grace. True free grace is wholly from God that saves sinners from the penalty of sin and sets them free from the power of sin (Romans 6).

    I have posted over a True Free Grace a post on your views. I would be happy for you to defend them over there if your like.

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Tuesday, June 24, 2008 7:50:00 AM  

  • Sin is not mans fundamental problem, death is!

    (Gen 2:17 shall die! Sin is not mentioned until Gen 4:7 sin lies at the door)

    This is why God can offer the living water to everyone without any other conditions other then to believe!

    (John 3:16; 4:10; 5:24; 6:47; 11:25-27; Rev 22:17)

    Until you see that you believe in a grace that has NO power!

    Sin was dealt with on the cross!

    (John 1:29; Rev 20:11-15; 2 Cor 5:19)

    Jesus made propitiation for the sins of the WHOLE world!

    (1 John 2:2)

    Proof:

    The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!”

    And let him who hears say, “Come!”

    And let him who thirsts come.

    Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

    Anyone can take it freely!

    Now that’s the “absolutely free” I’m talking about, and behind that is ALL the grace and power of God!

    True Grace is not limited to a select group of people but provision was made for the WHOLE world!

    Then the angel said to them,
    "Do not be afraid, for behold,
    I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
    Luke 2:10

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, June 26, 2008 3:45:00 PM  

  • Good afternoon Rose ( I hope that your holiday/vacation has gone well so far.)

    Alvin:

    Answer me this: How could the Pharisee’s sin remain (John 9:41) if (according to you) they were part of the world whose sin was taken away (John 1:29)

    Regards

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, June 27, 2008 12:15:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Hi Goodnight,

    I believe in what is called the analogy of faith. Scripture never contradicts Scripture, and you always interpret the more difficult Scriptures by the clear ones.



    They don’t get any clearer then John 1:29; 3:16; 4:10; 5:24; 6:47; Rev 22:17. And the ONLY way that God could freely let someone take the living water freely without any other conditions other than to believe is because all sin has been paid for just as Scripture says.



    Clear:

    John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!



    Goodnight, you don’t accept what John 1:29 clearly says but instead have to go to other more difficult verses to try to prove it doesn’t say what it says.



    More difficult:



    John 9:41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.





    Your Question:

    How could the Pharisees sin remain (John 9:41) if (according to you) they were part of the world whose sin was taken away (John 1:29)



    My answer:

    Using the analogy of faith since John 1:29 clearly says that Jesus took away the sin of the world, the sin that remains for the Pharisees has to do with forgiveness, and their personal experience. Even though their sin has been propitiated for on the cross and there is no judicial condemnation that does not mean they are automatically declared righteous and forgiven. What they need is life that only Jesus can give. Without it they are separated from God and their experience is one of death and sin. This is consistent with other Scriptures (2 Cor 5:19; 1 Tim 2:5,6; Rev 20:13-15) and with the water of life that can be taken freely.

    Quote from Zane:

    As a result of the cross every man or women is eligible for the free gift of eternal life, all they need to do is believe in Jesus for that gift.

    But those who do not believe remain dead in their sin and subject to the corruption that sin always brings. Though eligible for life they have remained in spiritual death, hell is the consequence of remaining dead to God. (end quote)

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, June 28, 2008 7:00:00 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Alvin:

    Alvin: The issue is not that I do not believe John 1:29 but that I do not believe the unsatisfactory interpretation which you put upon it. We both believe in the Analogy of Faith (AOF) and so I have introduced a verse that must regulate either the sense in which the Lord Jesus “took away the sin” of the world, or regulate the sense of the “world” whose sin Jesus took away. Like many from your school, you seem keyed in solely to the idea that the word “world” can only mean every last sinner without exception, yet 5 simple minutes with a basic concordance would show you that this cannot be.

    I accept that the main thrust of John 9:41 lies in the condemnation of the Pharisees who refused to receive the truth of the gospel. But their condemnation lay in the fact that their sin remained. If their sins were taken away in the atonement of Christ (as you teach) then their refusal to believe must also be accounted a sin, but (according to you) that sin has been paid for in full and there is no judicial condemnation for it.

    If we follow your teaching through, then the word “condemnation” should never be used of their sinner. Yet we know that this is the case, not least in John 5:24 where only the Believer passes from it and again in Romans 8:1 where the words “who walk not after the flesh etc.,” are applicable only to the Believer.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Sunday, June 29, 2008 12:58:00 AM  

  • Good morning Rose

    Goodnight,

    by the time you get through with child like verse's they can only be understood by theologians

    "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, June 29, 2008 4:07:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    "And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the WHOLE WORLD." 1 John 2:2
    (emphasis mine)

    In the same way He is the propitiation for the believers sin He is the propitiation for the whole world.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, June 29, 2008 4:29:00 AM  

  • Alvin writes: By the time you get through with child like verse's they can only be understood by theologians

    Alvin, Does someone need to be a theologian to see that sinners are still under condemnation until they believe in Christ, as taught in John 5:24? The shallowness of your peculiar doctrine elevates anyone who queries it to a high level indeed.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Sunday, June 29, 2008 4:40:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose



    John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

    (Emphasis mine)



    Goodnight,

    When explaining John 5:24 to a child I simply tell them that John 5:24 speaks of the believers past, present and future.

    The moment one believes they pass from death to life, and they now have eternal life and in the future they will never come into a judgment that will determine whether they will go to heaven or hell.

    The flip side of that for the unbeliever would simply mean that anyone who has rejected Jesus free gift of eternal life will come into a judgment, but their condemnation is not because of their sin because that was all paid for on the cross.

    The reason for their condemnation is not even because of their works but because their name is not found written in the Book of Life.



    The height of deceit is when Theologian’s change a child like verse (John 3:16) so that a child could never understand it.

    By replacing the meaning of a word like (world) to fit their own theology they have reached the lowest levels.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, June 29, 2008 7:01:00 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Alvin:

    Alvin: You are making a bad job incredibly worse here. You write:

    The moment one believes they pass from death to life, and they now have eternal life and in the future they will never come into a judgment that will determine whether they will go to heaven or hell.

    The judgement that determines the sending of a man to hell has already been passed. John 3:18 declares that those who are hell bound are condemned already because they have not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God. Here we have the cause of their condemnation clearly stated i.e. their unbelief which is declared in John 16:8 to be a sin -obviously a sin that has not been taken away since it still appears here on the charges sheet.

    I think that you are confusing this child of whom you speak, rather than instructing it in Bible truth.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Monday, June 30, 2008 5:27:00 AM  

  • Alvin,
    Do you ever defend your views anywhere other than friendly like minded blogs?

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Monday, June 30, 2008 9:03:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Jazzycat, In the past before there were blogs I use to go on allot of different sites and debate with lots of people. It seems most everyone is set in his or her position so it ends up just being an argument.
    I now like staying where I believe the truth is being taught, and support my fellow believers. I believe Antonio has the gift of teaching and I am open to his instruction and correction if he convinces me from Scripture. And as long as they will have me I will be around.
    I notice that ones like Lou and Rachel and yourselves seem to try to pull people away to your own blogs. I went to your “True Free Grace” blog and don’t really care to spend my time there fighting with you all.

    Goodnight,
    you really should try looking at the Scripture without those rose colored Calvinist glasses. That’s why you have to change words like "world" from there true meaning to fit your theology.

    John 3:18 He who believes in Him is not condemned (Krino, to judge) but he who does not believe is condemned (Krino, to judge) already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    The condemnation on ALL the world is death (Gen 2:17b).
    Gen 2:17b “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die”

    And until they believe in Jesus they are dead in their trespasses and sins, and what they need is life!

    Death is man’s fundamental problem not sin because Jesus has paid for the sin of the world (John 1:29; 3:16; 5:24; 2 Cor 5:19; 1 Tim 2:4-6; 1 John 2:2). Jesus offers the free gift of life that is the answer to man’s fundamental problem. And the reason the Holy Spirit is convicting the world of sin is because they do not believe in Jesus (John 16:8,9).
    “of sin, because they do not believe in Me”

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, June 30, 2008 1:58:00 PM  

  • Alvin: Is the Holy Spirit then convicting the world of something which the Lord Jesus took away?

    IOW, according to you, the Lord Jesus took it away, but the Spirit of God is bringing it back, holding it up before the unbelieving world and convicting them of it.

    “Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Monday, June 30, 2008 2:22:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight,

    You asked:
    Alvin: Is the Holy Spirit then convicting the world of something which the Lord Jesus took away?

    You tell me, does the Holy Spirit convict you of sin? If so, why? hasn't He taken it away? As far as the east is from the west!

    Goodnight your reasoning makes no sense!

    Just because there is no judicial condemnation for sin does not mean that people are no longer born in sin and therefore are sinners.

    The good news is their sin has all been paid for thus Jesus can invite them to take of the living water freely without any reference to sin!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, June 30, 2008 2:41:00 PM  

  • You guys - I think it is so cute how you always say hi to me. You know - that rule about saying hi is sort of tongue in cheek and it is really for my personal blog - Rose's Reasonings. Of course, I don't mind it and am not about to stop you if you continue.

    Alvin,
    I have to tell you - the last comment in which you answered goodnight about his objections over people being convicted of sin if it has been removed was absolutely air tight.

    Goodnight,
    You must admit that Alvin blew your argument out of the water, no? ;~)

    :~) smiles all around!

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, June 30, 2008 3:08:00 PM  

  • I agree with agreeing with Alvin, Rose. Hi. LOL

    That is a great passage Alvin.

    John 16:8-9

    8"And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;
    9concerning sin,because they do not believe in Me;

    According to John's Gospel account of Jesus words about the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit convicts the world of the sin of unbelief that Jesus is the Christ.

    I have seen commentators, especially those wearing the glasses that Alvin talks about consistently ADD to these words other types of sin.

    The Law itself convicts us of breaking it, the Law is the ministry of death & condemnation, the Spirit is the ministry of righteousness & life.
    2 Corintians Chapter 3.




    You are right on Alvin.

    By Blogger Kris, at Monday, June 30, 2008 4:21:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose (Seeing it is your post) and Alvin (and Kris too for good measure)

    I think that you all are missing my point here with the matter of sin being taken away. Which is why, far from being watertight, Alvin’s position (and yours) is full of holes.

    The “no more judicial condemnation for sin” relates to those who are justified by faith. This is the Evangelical position which limits the benefits of salvation to those who are (…um…) saved. Your distinctly non Evangelical position is that all men, no matter where they stand with God, have this benefit of salvation. They may be born in sin etc., but if they no longer face judicial condemnation for their sin, (as you are teaching here) then they will not hear the Judge say in that great Day: “Depart from me ye cursed” because such is a judicial sentence of condemnation.

    Yes, the Lord took away my sins on Calvary and Yes, I was still convicted by the Spirit of God because I was still to be brought into the realisation of my need of Christ and into a state of justification before God. This is “Redemption Accomplished and Applied.”

    Alvin writes: The good news is their sin has all been paid for thus Jesus can invite them to take of the living water freely without any reference to sin! I can only say that if someone had told the Apostles that then it would have saved them a lot of trouble, especially Stephen when he indicted his listeners as being stiff necked etc.,” (Acts 7:51)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Tuesday, July 01, 2008 7:31:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose, thanks for calling me "cute"

    Goodnight,
    Death is the curse, which is only removed in Christ, and Jesus said they would not come to Him that they might have life. Hell is the final destination for the dead and was created for Satan and his angels not for human beings. Why? Because Jesus said He came to seek and to save not to destroy men’s lives. As Jesus said "you do not know what spirit your of"
    Luke 9:54,56; John 3;17; 12:47

    Goodnight you contrast Evangelical position to non-Evangelical position. And by doing so you imply that you are on the right side of that divide but in reality your position is non-Evangelical. You change the meaning of verses like John 3:16 to mean something completely different then most of us as children grew up hearing. When children hear that verse they understand it as Jesus loves the whole world so that includes them and He proved it by dying on a cross for the sins of the world which includes their sin.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Tuesday, July 01, 2008 10:49:00 AM  

  • Alvin:

    The Evangelcial position is wider than, and so embraces, both the Calvinist and Non Calvinist doctrine of salvation. Within these parameters, Evangelicals of both persuasions hold that men are condemned to hell because of their sins. I could supply quotes from Evangelical Calvinists and Evangelical Non Calvinists alike to prove my point. [I am less than an hour from our church prayer meeting, so time is not on my side here.]

    OTOH, apart from a very tiny group of Johnny-Come-Lately folk with novel opinions, who can you bring to bear upon the subject, so that you can rightly claim the title of Evangelical?

    Remember, "Made in the 1980's" is not the faith once delivered unto the saints. ;o)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Tuesday, July 01, 2008 11:09:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight,

    This sounds awful reminiscent to the past when a pastor got up and said “It’s not Scriptural to tell people God loves them for in fact His plan for them might be the eternal lake of fire” then my elders told me “but Calvinism is Orthodox” just as then “ I don’t buy it.” I know now that Calvinism came out of Catholicism along with Protestantism so tradition holds no weight.

    I will stand on these clear childlike Scriptures and take them for what they say like a Berean.

    John 1:29
    Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

    A child would take that verse for simply what it says.


    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

    A child would understand “world” to mean everyone, which would mean Jesus loves them!

    You would probably say we all misunderstood those verses when we were children because we didn’t have a concordance.
    With your form of Calvinism it doesn’t really matter if it’s childlike because a child is dead and needs to be regenerated before they can believe, then they KNOW to use a concordance so they can understand what the verses REALLY mean

    (note:Calvinism world means just the elect, and God has “a love" for the world.”

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, July 02, 2008 4:14:00 AM  

  • Hi Alvin :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, July 02, 2008 4:18:00 AM  

  • Alvin:

    This is starting to get a bit wearisome to me, so I'll conclude this part of the debate with a challenge. (It may be that you can take it on and actually produce something, in which case I'll give you a revised answer based on the evidence that you produce.)

    Can you show me anyone from within the pretty wide Evangelical community before (say) 1980 who believed your notion that wicked are no longer judicially condemned for their sins?

    It is not "traditionalism" to enquire about the origins or history of some new doctrine. I don’t think that you can meet this challenge, but I give you the option of doing so. If you fail to do so – you can always ask around your own circle – then the incongruity of the situation will not be lost on those of us who either oppose your novel idea outright or who may be neutral on the matter.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, July 02, 2008 11:54:00 AM  

  • Good morning Rose

    Anyone following this discussion that is not wearing those rose colored Calvinist glasses KNOWS the "a love" that Goodnight is proclaiming is not the "Old, Old, story of Jesus and His love" but an inferior love which isn't a love at all. Jesus love is so important to our discussion because the person will always wonder "does Jesus really love me, and did He really pay for MY sin." I challange everyone to be as a Bearean and search the Scriptures to see whether these things are true. I will give my final arguement for the fact that "Jesus DID pay for ALL the sin of the world, thus that Old Old story and song is true Jesus paid it ALL and He does REALLY love everyone with an unconditional love."

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, July 03, 2008 4:32:00 AM  

  • Good morning Rose/Alvin,

    Just for the record, Alvin, are you taking up my challenge or not? Again, a simple "yes" or "No" answer will suffice.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Thursday, July 03, 2008 5:43:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Hi Goodnight, sorry for the slow reply but man does not live by blogging alone but must work.

    Goodnight, your logic is if I can’t come up with one name then you must be right.



    But your logic is flawed in two different ways.



    First and foremost obvious is your “a love” is inferior to Jesus sacrificial love by being the Savior of the WHOLE world.



    Luke 2:10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings (good news, gospel) of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.



    John 4:42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”



    1 Timothy 4:10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.



    1 Timothy 2: 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,



    These verses are crystal clear. For the person out there that thinks they are just unlovable and that Jesus would never die for them. These Scriptures speak volumes to them, that they were not left out. There is no guessing “am I or am I not one of the elect?” They know Jesus loves everyone the same way and proved it by His sacrificial love for the WHOLE world on the cross! No one is left out!!! And the one who believes will never perish but has everlasting life!



    John 3:16 16 For God so loved the world “that” (in this way) He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.



    Yes! That Old, old story of Jesus and His love is true, for Jesus proved it on the cross “Jesus Paid It All” for everyone! That’s why He can invite everyone to take of the water freely!!! So if you’ve been beat down and abused by this world, there is hope! Jesus paid it all for YOU!!! Because Jesus can’t lie! He loves YOU!!!

    (emphasis are mine)



    The second way I will show tomorrow.



    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, July 03, 2008 7:33:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight, I don’t even have to name ONE name to make my point.

    All I really need to show is in the past where a wide range of Evangelicals held (concurred) to false teaching.

    It has been widely held in the Evangelical world to be saved you must pray a prayer “inviting Jesus into your heart.”

    This theory was based mostly on John 1:12 and Revelation 3:20 both taken out of context.

    John 1:12 defines receiving Him as believing in His name.

    John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name

    Also coming and drinking are synonyms for believing.
    John 4:13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

    John 6: 35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

    And of course we know that Revelation 3:20 is written to a Church, and dining has to do with fellowship.
    Revelation 3: 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
    22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”

    So what does all this prove?

    It proves that a majority of the Evangelical world in the past was wrong about a major doctrine “how one receives Christ.”
    So just because no one supposable taught in the past that a person is cast into hell NOT because of their sin but because they do not have life, as Rev 20:15 clearly states does not make that teaching automaticly wrong.

    So what do we need to do?

    We need to be like “Bereans” and search the Scriptures for ourselves to make sure of what we are being taught is true and not just according to past Evangelical thinking which also concurred to Calvinism.

    What saith the Scriptures:
    And He Himself IS the propitiation for OUR sins, and NOT FOR OURS ONLY but ALSO FOR THE WHOLE WORLD. 1 John 2:2

    That’s pretty clear in the same way Jesus IS the propitiation for believers He IS the propitiation for the WHOLE world!
    Behold the Lamb of God that TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD. John 1:29
    You might have been told by elders like I was “but it’s orthodox” and if you swallow that you might end up believing statements like this:
    “It’s not biblical to tell people that God loves them, because in fact his plan for them might be the eternal lake of fire and you would be lying to them.”

    Goodnight, the only way you could tell people that God loves them is if you knew they were elect.

    But since you don’t know you must tell them God has “a love” for them or you would be lying too.
    Be a Berean and test the Scriptures to see if these things are true.
    www.faithalone.org/news/y2006/hodges1.htm
    www.faithalone.org/journal/2006i/4_hodges.pdf

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, July 03, 2008 8:32:00 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Alvin:

    Alvin: The issue here is not between Evangelicals over Calvinism and Non Calvinism (where these battles have been fought for centuries) but over your new, novel, 1980's dilution of Evangelicalism that loudly denies that men are in hell as judicial punishment for their sins.

    Personally, I am viewing your constant references on this post to John 3:16 as a mere sideshow. I have taken up the matter elsewhere with you to explain that I believe in the universal love of God in John 3:16 for all men, elect or otherwise. I do not see the need to repeat them here.

    It seems from your comments in your latest posting that you yourself are now putting distance between yourself and the salvation doctrine of Evangelicals in the past. Overall, I find this very worrying. While, I think it is inevitable on one hand and I am relieved that there should be fewer getting confused between the two pole positions (Evangelicalism and yours) yet it is sad to observe someone having embraced a wrong teaching to take it further.

    I suppose the inevitable question to ask, following your somewhat alarming statement i.e. "It proves that a majority of the Evangelical world in the past was wrong about a major doctrine “how one receives Christ.” is this:

    Do you believe that "a majority of the Evangelical world in the past" are lost in hell because they were wrong about a major doctrine on “how one receives Christ"?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, July 04, 2008 1:09:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight, no one was ever born again by inviting Jesus into their heart or by praying a prayer. They were saved when they believed Jesus for His promise of eternal life and ONLY then.
    Goodnight we can see through your so called love....."a love"
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Friday, July 04, 2008 12:19:00 PM  

  • Alvin: I agree with you that no one is born again through asking Jesus into their heart etc. I don't think that we are in agreement as to "why" we agree...if you know what I mean, but technically speaking, we are both ticking the same box on this one.

    Let me ask you again,

    Do you believe that "a majority of the Evangelical world in the past" are lost in hell because they were wrong about a major doctrine on “how one receives Christ"?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, July 04, 2008 1:07:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight, that's like asking me if your born again. What you teach cannot save anyone because you have to persevere unto the end if you are REALLY one of the elect. And you have no way of knowing until you get to the end if you are. You could have what is called a spurious faith that accoding to Calvinism God gives to them "just to fool."
    The person who believes Jesus promise of eternal life knows they are born again BECAUSE WORKS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH IT EITHER IN THE BEGINNING OR THE END. It's simply the giving and receiving of a free gift.

    Evidence below:

    Charles Hodge declares,
    "The only evidence of our election...[and] persevereance, is patient continuance in well-doing."
    (Charles Hodge,A Commentary on Romans (The Banner of Truth Trust, 1972),292.)

    Calvin said:
    ...experince shows that the reprobate are sometimes affected in a way similar to the elect, that even in their own judgment there is no difference between them...Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord the better to convict them, and leave them without excuse, instills into their minds such a sense of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption.
    Still it is correctly said, that the reprobate believe God to be propitious to them, inasmuch as they accept the gift of reconciliation, through confusedly and without due discernment...Nor do I even deny that God illumines their minds to the extent, that they recongnize his grace; but that conviction he distinguishes from the peculiar testimony which he gives to his elect in this respect, that the reprobate never obtain to the full result or to fruition. When he shows himself propitious to them, it is not as if he had truly rescued them from death, and taken them under his protection. He only gives them a manifestation of his present mercy. In the elect alone he implants the living root of faith, so that they persevere even to the end.
    There is nothing to prevent His giving some a slight knowledge of his Gospel, and imbuimg others thoroughly. (Calvin,op.cit.,111:ii,11-12.)

    Note: For Calvin to come up with that he really had to have had a sick mind.

    Goodnight my hope is that at one time you believed the truth so in spite of what you now believe. Same with all those who were inviting Jesus into their heart to be saved.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Friday, July 04, 2008 4:21:00 PM  

  • Are you two still at it?

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Saturday, July 05, 2008 1:31:00 AM  

  • Hi all:

    Are you two still at it?

    Not any more. The wheel is still turning, but the hamster's dead.

    Enjoying the less verbose and relevant replies from you and Rose on the other posting.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Saturday, July 05, 2008 3:22:00 AM  

  • Good morning Rose

    Goodnight/Matthew

    That did it, I'm taking my dead hampster and leaving!

    Note: that was ONLY ten words!

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, July 05, 2008 8:05:00 AM  

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