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boG
Member



Joined: 2008/5/21
Posts: 349
Las Vegas, NV

 Re: A.W. Tozer on a well-balanced view of God

A.W. Tozer on a well-balanced view of God:

[url=https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=2310]The Faithfulness of God by A.W. Tozer[/url]


In this sermon A.W Tozer rebukes the magnification of one aspect of God to the diminishing of another. The following is an excerpt from the sermon:

1) "... if God is 'all Justice' then we have a God of Terror and we flee from Him in great fright. There was a time when the church swung over to 'hell and judgment and sin' and all that. And, we rather tremble when we think of how the church went through this period, when about all she talked about was the justice of God. And so God was looked upon as a tyrant and the universe was a kind of a totalitarian state, with God at the top ruling with a rod of iron. But if we think only of the justice of God, that's the concept we'll have.

2) "And, over on the other side is a reaction from that; came the time, when we only thought about God as being 'Love,' God is love is our main text now and so we have not God the Terror but we have a sentimental spineless God, the God of the Christian Scientists (Universalism). God is love and love is God and all is love and all is God and God is all and all is God. Pretty soon we haven't got a thing left but a lot of 'spun-candy' (cotton candy?) that you buy at the circuses. That's all we have is sweetness and nothing but sweetness because you've magnified the love of God without remembering that God is just.

3) "Or, if we make God 'All Good' then we have the weak sentimentalist [God] of the modernist and the liberal. The God of the liberalist and the modernist is not the God of the bible because in order to get the God they get they have to get rid of most everything that God did in the Old Testament. God couldn't make the sun stand still, He couldn't send fire on Sodom and Gomorrah; they say that was just 'nature.' And, God couldn't send a flood upon the ungodly; they say that's just an overflow -- we just had a little flood there, you know [...] So in order to make room for God that's nothing but 'good' -- just stands up there or sits up there in a great glob of goodness. They (the modernists and liberals) had to get rid of most everything that God ever did by way of justice.

4) "And then if we make Him all the 'God of grace and nothing else', and fundamentalism over the past 50 years has made God practically a God of 'grace and nothing else'. And, so we have a God who cannot see moral distinctions. And, because God cannot see moral distinctions, why, His church has been unable to see moral distinctions! And, instead of a separated holy church we have a church that's so geared into the world you can't tell one from the other! It's because grace has been so preached, that is was said of a certain great english preacher, that he preached grace in such a manner as to lower the moral standards of England. It's entirely possible to preach grace in the church until we become as arrogant and brazen as can be! Forgetting that grace is ONE of the attributes of God but not all.

5) "Forgetting that while God is a God of grace He is also a God of justice and a God of holiness and a God of truth! Well, God will always be true to His creatures because He's a faithful God. Faithlessness is one of the greatest sources of heartache and misery in all the world and God will never be faithless, He cannot be." (His faithfulness means He never changes but always remains perfectly the same.)


_________________
Jordan

 2008/11/13 19:57Profile
MJones
Member



Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Re:

I think this thread is closing in on agreeable middle ground. boG and MJones have considered the problem from two different angles. The problem is the lack of respect for a holy God and the holy living He desires we live.

Considering where boG lives, it makes sense that he would be a little more sensitive to the wrath that will be displayed against such blatant sin.

I on the other hand, considering where I live, am more sensitive to the fact that there are so many in church who live too much like the world.

I can speak more from my perspective as boG has spoken more from his. My perspective comes from 30 years of trying to please God, but I have to admit, no matter how hard I tried, I could not live perfect before Him.

One of the reactions to failure is more resolve not to fail. Part of that resolve, in addition to all the personal things you do to guard against future failures, is to be more vocal against the sin that distracted you. Somehow we feel it proves to God how serious we are. But in 30 years of effort, I say you cannot of your own will and determination, live holy before God.

A few years ago when I came to the end of myself, God stirred me to seek Him as I never had before. After a couple of years of this seeking, it pleased Him to hasten the seeking process by allowing a storm to blow through my life. It became a refining fire that at first burned away impurities. But for two years, this fire continues to burn. Where once it burned away sin, now it burns Him in.

At first I sought relief. But as time went on, He challenged me to trust that He would sustain. In this process of seeking and staying close to Him, I realized I had found Him as never before. The closer I got to Him, the more of Him I wanted. I began to notice as I was full of Him, the distractions of sin were no longer distractions. There was no capacity for sin.

It is in that light that I put so much emphasis on knowing Him. When you know Him personally to this extent, you become most aware of His love. It is the only thing in all my Christian walk that has empowered me against the stronghold of sin. Where the fear of wrath never could, His love did.

Though there is the need of being aware of both the wrath and the love of God, from a personal point of view, in the midst of a fire that continues to refine, I am overwhelmed by a sense of His love more so than His wrath. Personally, because of this experience, I lean more toward the love of God as the most compelling reason to give our lives to Him, while at the same time, at least aware of the wrath that awaits those who do not.


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Mike Jones

 2008/11/14 0:06Profile
boG
Member



Joined: 2008/5/21
Posts: 349
Las Vegas, NV

 Re:

Thank you for your responses MJones, I honestly enjoy them and I find a kindred beauty in all of your words that I share in my own heart.


Quote:
Where once it burned away sin, now it burns Him in. [...] The closer I got to Him, the more of Him I wanted. I began to notice as I was full of Him, the distractions of sin were no longer distractions. There was no capacity for sin.



I understand this sentiment, I truly do. But we must never relent in our admonitions to remember, "I am crucified with Christ, [b]yet I live[/b]." That is why we are commended to "reckon ourselves dead to sin" (as opposed to actually being dead to sin) and thereby to stand on the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, not loving our lives even when faced with death, because we are yet standing upon the hope of our salvation that is to come.

"Where once it burned away sin, now it burns Him in."

The ministry of the Holy Spirit, so long as we live in the world, shall continually convict us of sin and righteousness and judgment. This is not a progession: first you begin by getting sin out of your life and then you move on to the next thing. If we look again at this ministry of the Holy Spirit we see that "conviction of sin" is who we are, "conviction of righteousness" is who He is, and "conviction of judgment" puts the two together and this is to be the standard of measure by which we judge all things.

And again, one of the greatest delusions by which we may be uprooted in our faith is the thinking that because we are seeking eternal life in the Face of Christ that we have "no capacity for sin". Over and over we read in the account of our forerunners, Israel, that they forgot the Lord their God -- that is, they forgot that He delivered them from their captivity -- and therefore sinned greatly in His sight by returning to their idolatry, etc. [b]2 Peter 1:9[/b] says, "For he who lacks these qualities (conforming to the image of Christ) is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins." That is to say, if we do not recognize that the closer we draw to God the greater the potential to sin against Him becomes. These are standing against 1) the devil: he shall be threatened and make a point to focus on these 2) the world: they shall be offended by us because we do not join them in their folly and therefore they shall seek to shame us 3) our flesh: "he who suffers in the flesh has ceased from sin," so these shall learn the wickedness of their very hearts who put to death the lusts of their flesh by faith in Him, unlike those who have never withstood temptation for more than a minute or two. And all of this in the light of His precious promises and His loving kindness and His tender mercies, truly our Lord is wounded in the house of His friends. My point, if we "say we have no sin" or imply "that we can no longer sin" (before the soon coming Day) then we deny the commands to be on guard against sin and remain vigilant.


Quote:
It is the only thing in all my Christian walk that has empowered me against the stronghold of sin. Where the fear of wrath never could, His love did.



The fear of a Father's chastisement is one, but is not the grieving of a Father's love just as shaming to a son and daughter?


Quote:
Though there is the need of being aware of both the wrath and the love of God, from a personal point of view, in the midst of a fire that continues to refine, I am overwhelmed by a sense of His love more so than His wrath. Personally, because of this experience, I lean more toward the love of God as the most compelling reason to give our lives to Him, while at the same time, at least aware of the wrath that awaits those who do not.



I will allow my brother to answer with his response, as taken from elsewhere,

Quote:
"the OVERWHELMING message both of the Bible and of Christians at all times has been the LOVE of God."



"I agree that it is the love of God, in the face of Christ Jesus, that is the pinnacle, overwhelming message of Christianity that no other religion even comes close to. But, if you read the bible in chunks, I wouldn't necessarily say that the 'overwhelming' message would be the love of God (as in quantity). As far as quantity goes, I feel more of a healthy balance of both the justice of God, and His displeasure with sin & sinners, with on the other hand His love, and Him being slow to anger, merciful on their transgessions and compassionate, throughout the bible. It seems to be only in the light of the fear of God, that the love of God is at all overwhelming. Reiterated in a paraphrased verse, (Pro. 9:10) the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and on that does further knowledge of the Holy One become overwhelming understanding (ie. grace)."


_________________
Jordan

 2008/11/14 16:34Profile
MJones
Member



Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Re:

I have to say that at first I chose not to reply to this thread for several reasons. It seemed a little radical, I had never zeroed in on that subject and it was far from what I was curently experiencing.

But, something drew me to it. Though I don't intend to launch a study into the subject, I will at least now have the subject in mind as I read. I do not regret at all the participation in the discussion. At first I wondered if it was not the 'useless arguments' that we are warned to avoid, but good has come out of it. I am glad, if for no other reason, to see that there is a kindred spirit as you pointed out. We have approached the same burden from different ends.

It is rare to find people who have an appreciaton for the deaper things of God and the capacity to discuss them. That is the one thing I have enjoyed about this forum. Though I do not know anyone personally, I have been able to communicate with those, like yourself, who are like minded.

I am ready to let the topic rest, but look forward to conversing about other topics. I started a thread the other day, 'your ministry', in an attempt to get some of us who obviously know and walk with God, to tell of how He has used the different gifts He has given us to build His church. I have come to enjoy and have had many opportunity's given to talk with people one on one. It is almost as if I am so full of Him, that He simply comes out in conversations that I have. I have developed a passion for writing. Again, even in that I find one on one oportunities as I enjoy writing letters and emails. It is low key, but He is using it. It is cool.

So far, I don't think anyone has picked up on what I was after. I thought it would be good for many to see the different ways God is using those who walk with Him. If you feel so led, I would feel honored if you would be the first to give a brief discription of 'your ministry'. It is in General Topics in case it interests you. Don't worry if it does not.

One final point of clarification on the original purpose of this thread.

Quote:

boG wrote:

My point, if we "say we have no sin" or imply "that we can no longer sin" (before the soon coming Day) then we deny the commands to be on guard against sin and remain vigilant.








I try to choose my words carefully, but to claim I have 'no capcity to sin', was a poor choice of words. Maybe in comparison to the struggle that was present at times before, it could be viewed as not having a capacity. But it would be more correct to say that the capacity for sin, or maybe even more acurate to say the lure of sin, has been greatly diminished. Without a doubt, sin has lost its pull. I think you quoted part of the verse that states, he who sufferred in the flesh is done with sin. (I am going from memory, I hope it is close) I have suffered a fiery trial. It has burned away sin and continues to burn Him in.

My struggle is not with the pleasures of sin, it is more to maintain my focus on God and the truths He has given me to believe, as satan does his best to distract, disceive and discourage. Without a doubt, I have been challenged to trust. It requires an ever so close walk with God.





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Mike Jones

 2008/11/14 19:35Profile
boG
Member



Joined: 2008/5/21
Posts: 349
Las Vegas, NV

 Re:

Quote:
It seemed a little radical



:-P I must admit that was somewhat the point!
It is encouraging to hear that you have been benefitted by this discussion, God bless brother.


Someone sent me this quote in a message,
Quote:
Spurgeon said this, "The love of God therefore existed before there was any good thing in man, and if you tell me that God loved men because of the foresight of some good thing in them, I again reply to that, that the same thing cannot be both cause and effect. Now it is
quite certain that any virtue which there may be in any man is the result of God’s grace. Now if it be the result of grace it cannot be the cause of grace. It is utterly impossible that an effect should have existed before a cause; but God’s love existed before man’s goodness, therefore that goodness cannot be a cause."



This is a question of "virtue" is it not? I ask, is man being created in the image and likeness of God considered a moral quality?


_________________
Jordan

 2008/11/15 0:25Profile
Abe_Juliot
Member



Joined: 2008/5/11
Posts: 129
Southern California

 Re:

Quote:
This is a question of "virtue" is it not? I ask, is man being created in the image and likeness of God considered a moral quality?



It's not a moral quality to be born a transgressor from the womb and enslaved to sin. There are no moral qualities (from a pure heart) in unregenerate man.

The Goodness That Modern Preachers Speak of in The Unregenerate is filthy in the sight of God.

UTTERLY SINFUL - The unregenerate only do evil and only do sin with their heart
Rom 3:10-18
Heb 11:6
Rom 14:23
OUTWARD GOODNESS - The natural man may show outward acts of goodness. However, these are not acts of love towards God. Therefore these acts are sinful because of the intentions of the heart.
ATTENDING TO THE WORD OF GOD
Act 17:18-21
HOSPITALITY
Act 28:2
Act 28:7
Act 28:10
FOLLOWING AFTER THEIR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS
Mt 23:27-28
Lk 11:39-44
Lk 16:15
Lk 18:9-12
Rom 9:31
Rom 10:2-3

UNIVERSAL CONDEMNATION - by the offense of Adam judgment came upon all men to condemnation
Rom 5:12
Rom 5:14
EVIL NATURE - The unregenerate have an evil nature and they have need of a new nature
Jn 3:3
Jn 3:6-7
Jn 5:37-38
Rom 7:5
EVIL NATURE FROM THE WOMB
Rom 3:9
Rom 8:5
Rom 8:9
Rom 9:8
CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL
Jn 8:44
Act 13:10
EVIL HEART - The unregenerate have an evil heart and they have need of a new heart
Mt 12:34-35
Mt 13:13-15
Mk 7:21-23
Jn 2:25
Act 28:26-27
SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS
Jn 1:5
Jn 1:10
EXAMPLES OF AN EVIL HEART
UNWILLING TO COME TO CHRIST
Mt 22:3
SELF JUSTIFICATION AGAINST CHRIST
Lk 10:29
UNWILLING TO BRING OTHERS TO CHRIST
Lk 13:34
HATRED TOWARDS THE REIGN OF CHRIST
Lk 19:14
Lk 19:27
UNWILLING TO BELIEVE ON CHRIST
Lk 22:67-68
DESIRING TO MURDER CHRIST
Lk 23:25
UNWILLING TO RECEIVE CHRIST
Jn 1:11
Jn 3:11
MORE EXAMPLES
Jn 3:19-20
Jn 5:40-44
Jn 12:43
Jn 15:24
Jn 18:39-40
Act 7:39
Act 7:51
Act 22:18
BONDAGE
Jn 3:32
Jn 8:34
Act 8:23
FREE FROM RIGHTEOUSNESS
Rom 6:20
INABILITY - The unregenerate have an inability to do anything good with their nature and heart (Notice the words "able, can, cannot, could not")
Lk 13:24
Jn 6:44
Jn 6:65
Jn 8:14-15
Jn 8:21-23
Jn 8:43-47
Jn 12:38-40
Jn 14:17
Jn 15:5
Rom 8:7-8

HOPELESSNESS IN MAN AND HOPEFULNESS IN GOD - Scriptures that box sinners up to the mercy of God and thus leaving them no hope or confidence in their evil heart. Scriptures that lead sinners to a healthy dispair, so that they might set their hope in God and not in themselves
Mt 23:31-33
Jn 1:12-13
Jn 6:63
Jn 8:36
Jn 10:26-27


_________________
Abraham Juliot

 2008/11/15 14:50Profile
Abe_Juliot
Member



Joined: 2008/5/11
Posts: 129
Southern California

 Re:

Quote:
I posted a question to your quote of Spurgeon on the thread, I ask if you would please respond and make your concerns known so that if there is any danger I have not been careful to observe that you might urge caution to others to protect us all from foul doctrines. Thanks for the caution.



There is a danger that i would like to bring up and address in this thread. It is the danger of leaving souls with the impression that God's love toward us is primarily conditioned on our love or Faith towards Him.

The primary condition of God's Eternal love towards His Elect is His finished work at the cross.

God does not love you because any special or admirable thing in you. God loves you for His own name sake.

It is true that God does love the graces in His bride. He loves her new heart, her faith in Him, Her love for Him, her comeliness, and purity of heart. However, It was the love of God that wrought these graces in her through His finished work at the cross. Therefore, we must not conclude that God eternally loves us, primarily because of anything we did or will ever do.

The reason why I place the word "eternal" next to God's love... is because that is the kind of love that He has towards His elect. It is false to say that God loves everyone universally with an eternal love. Furthermore, the scriptures do not teach that God's love for His bride is conditioned upon her works, will, or running.

The only condition is the Victorious work of Writing our names in Heaven (Sovereign Election) that the Father has finished for Her, the work of eternal blood redemption(Justification) that the Son has accomplished for Her, and the work of Regeneration(Sanctification) that the Spirit has accomplished for Her.

I would caution anyone who says that, "God's love is conditional"... to be specific on what that condition is. (lest anyone think that it was there own goodness or merit that caused God to love them eternally)


Blessings to the glory of God! -Abraham

Edit: Sentance structure and grammar correction


_________________
Abraham Juliot

 2008/11/15 16:07Profile
MJones
Member



Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Re:

As usual, when things like this come up, we who have the status of 'not too shy to talk' and above enjoy weighing in. I think God may even enjoy what His kids have to say.

But again, as usual, once the dust settles and all are quiet, God enjoys speaking. This thought came to me this morning while I was getting ready for the day.

'While we were yet sinners, He died for us.' It seemed His 2 cents toward the issue.

Abe_Juliot, I didn't so much think of this as addressing your point, but I do think it somewhat relates. I'll include the entire verse.

Romans 5:6-8
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man, some might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet still sinners, Christ died for us.


_________________
Mike Jones

 2008/11/16 11:41Profile





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