I agree with you MC. Your conclusions would take a lot longer for me to get to but I have a similar perspective as you. I pretty much agree with everything you say. It helps to read what I know written out all nice and understandable.
sound a caution lest we drift back into 'textualism'.
Ron you are right in what you say. In my experience I have avoided textualism so far by denying self and beleiving by faith (Trust in, rely upon, cling too) the person of Jesus and His grace and mercy. Jesus both God and Man is powerful to change a life but doctrine and text is just men jangling their religous chains around for other people to hear.
| 2005/5/12 15:43||Profile|
Seattle, Washington, USA
| Re: The way to assurance|
I followed through this thread and really think this is a great issue to discuss. Praise the Lord for this discussion.
I really would like to add a hearty "amen" to what philologos just wrote. I think Tozer was right on:
"It assumes, for instance, that if we have the word for a thing we have the thing itself. If it is in the Bible, it is in us. If we have the doctrine, we have the experience. If something was true of Paul it is of necessity true of us because we accept Paul's epistles as divinely inspired.
"The Bible tells us how to be saved, but textualism goes on to make it tell us that we are saved, something which in the very nature of things it cannot do. Assurance of individual salvation is thus no more than a logical conclusion drawn from doctrinal premises, and the resultant experience wholly mental." (Man: The Dwelling Place of God, A. W. Tozer, page 18, copyright 1966 Christian Publications, Inc., Harrisburg, PA.)
We must not think that when our sins are forgiven that the balance is magically tipped back into our favor and we are pardoned based upon our mental assent and assurance. Freedom from sin is based upon presumption necessarily. But not unfounded presumption. It is an experiencial, testable assurance.
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" - 2 Corinthians 13:5
Notice that personal salvation is provable and able to be examined by the believer. Notice also that the proof is based upon whether the Spirit of Jesus Christ dwells in us. If any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.
So we see that true saving faith produces something real and tangible (in the broad sense of the word).
1) Sins are only forgiven those who are "in Christ" - dead to sin, alive to God
2) No one "in Christ" has sin imputed, nor can have sin imputed except they be cut off from Christ. (Since in Christ is no sin)
3) The sure and most reliable means to having assurance of forgiveness of sins is that the Spirit of Christ dwells in us.
"And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." - 1 John 3:24b
"Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit." - 1 John 4:13
According to the Scriptures above, we know that we are "in Christ" by the Spirit He has given to us. And we know that there is no condemnation for us who are "in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 8:1)
So the question is, how do you know that you have the Spirit in you? One of the best ways of knowing is our fellowship with Christ in the Spirit.
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." - 1 John 1:7
I believe that this "fellowship one with another" is between us and Christ through His Spirit. And we don't have to worry about knowing if the Spirit we have is of Christ when we realize that all fellowship with Him is in the light. If we are striving to keep our sins or transgressions in darkness, the Spirit of God will convict us with godly fear and demand that we expose them to the light of God and run to Christ for cleansing.
Well, praise the name of our sweet, precious Jesus for His unspeakable gift!
Bless you all,
| 2005/5/12 16:45||Profile|
Still growing and trying to see this issue met out in my mind so as to go in what really is the truth day to day. Yesterday I found myself in willful sin. All sin is willful so to even say willful is ridiculous to me but if I didn't I think some people would not understand.
Now I "1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins," right after but I still am discovering what it is when it says: "he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
The discovery is that He is the Jesus that by mercy of Him being Savior has forgiven our sins and by the grace of His Lordship has cleansed us from all unrighteousness. When we confess our sins we should be accepting of both of these promises not just one or the other. By accepting one and not the other we are unrepentant as well as believing in a Jesus that doesn't exist. We are also building from the flesh our own righteousnesses. Then we start stacking righteous acts upon righteous acts like we are building some man made tower to heaven. Then we see our folly and the Lord stomps our tower down to dust. I'm trying to settle this issue once and for all so that I'm no longer building anymore towers to heaven.
Not believing in the power of His grace all these years has caused me to have an extreme waivering in my confidence in Him. I will battle doubt as my flesh tries to get me to not rely upon Him as Lord and so I will want to complete in the flesh what God began in the Spirit. Although a battle will be waged the Lord will win because I have denied myself today and will by faith believe He is both Savior and Lord. No longer believing a lie I believe the truth.
| 2005/5/13 9:24||Profile|
Everytime I have heard someone speak of "willful sin" it has always been in the context of continually choosing to commit a particular sin. For example: A porn addict, male or female, comes to Christ and begins to learn and grow in their understanding of the Word and of what sin is and they realize at some point that looking at pornography is sin, yet they continue daily to choose to visit porographic websites even knowing that it is an abomination to God. This continual choice for sin is what I have heard referred to as "willful sin".
| 2005/5/13 10:06||Profile|
Anything done against your conscience (with knowledge) is sin or some would call it "willful sin". I don't know of any other sin but this type of sin. Everything else I consider to not be sin.
| 2005/5/13 11:11||Profile|
I was going through a hard time tonight with this unassurance issue. It mainly dealt with lack of an emotional experience during the day. I read some scripture tonight and got away silently to pray and contemplate these things.
I was led back to the fact that Jesus is my advocate with the Father and the harder I try to hang on to Him the farther away I feel from Him. He was telling me why are you trying to hold on I have you already. My confidence wains because I am earning my salvation at this point by trying to hang on to what is freely given. I'm trying to hang on to His Lordship. If He is not Lord I ask then how can He be my Savior? The answer is if He is your Savior He has to be your Lord. To have forsaken my sins and trusted He becomes my Savior and that trust in Him being Savior is why He is Lord. All the fruits of the Spirit come from the confidence that He is my Savior. These fruits are evidence of His Lordship. Knowing they spring from the confident trust in His perfect sacrifice for my sin and that I have forsaken all for Him and what He did He must be Lord. It happens by default. It can't be any other way. Any other way is dead religion. It's a form of godliness with no power.
| 2005/5/15 1:43||Profile|
| Re: The Blood, the Cross and the Name of the Lord Jesus|
Hi AsliEren and others,
Perhaps youre using the wrong weapons in the battle.
Dont let anything stop you from doing yourself a BIG favor.
Check out The Blood, the Cross and the Name of the Lord Jesus at Austin-Sparks.net
He begins in the following way:
I have it on my heart to spend just a little time in considering these three matters; namely, the Blood, the Cross, and the Name of the Lord Jesus.
There is something related to each of them which is very important, especially for the Lord's people, and that is, to discriminate between them, for there is a good deal of indiscriminate use of these words and terms, and I think that confusion or misuse very often means weakness and failure in getting through to the desired end. It is important when we go into war to know what weapons we need, and to be able to choose and intelligently use those weapons; for to be in a warfare using a certain kind of weapon which we discover is not the one that effects the end is a very embarrassing situation. And so it is important for the Lord's people to be able to understand the peculiar value and meaning of these different things which have so close a relationship to their spiritual victory. It is also very important for unsaved men and women to know the meaning of these terms, these words which are so frequently upon Christian lips: "the Blood of Jesus Christ", "the Cross of the Lord Jesus", "the Name of Jesus". We have no thought of covering the whole of that ground in this short space, we can merely introduce it and touch upon it as the Lord leads.
| 2005/5/15 22:19||Profile|
| Re: Aslieren|
Rest beloved. Your theology is right on. Rest in Him. Let God be all He can be in you. Rest in Him. It's forgiven, forgotten, and covered in red.
| 2005/5/16 7:33|
Hey Lahry and Roger,
I'm doing better with this assurance issue. I come to the accuser which I believe to be me with the Blood. The fact that I have denied myself by coming to my own lies with the Blood means I have come with my cross also. He says "Deny yourself take up "your" cross and follow me daily." In other terms I come with the knowledge that I have been buried with Christ and I am alive in Him. My life of faith utilizes the name and person of Jesus but only after I have made use of the cross and the blood. I would agree with Sparks. He is right on. His overemphasis on the authority satan has is the only thing I don't agree with. Satan can't be omnipresent.
Thanks for the encouragement Lahry. Hebrews 10 has helped me see that this issue I'm facing is a confidence issue not a salvation issue. At the same time it has let me see that a confidence issue in the mind will be seen as a salvation issue until it is dealt with.
| 2005/5/16 8:08||Profile|
Please read Romans 5,6,7&8 prayerfully until God floods your soul with the light of it. It's finished beloved. If it is not finished, then there is no rest in Christ Jesus. It is complete and it is yours by faith. Flesh will argue. Flesh is dead. Satan will argue. Satan is condemned. Believe God. Have fait hin God. And rest on His sure promise. They will not be disappointed who's faith is solely on the finished work of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Alleluia.
| 2005/5/16 8:21|