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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : "It is not your hold of Christ that saves you; it is His hold of you."

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forrests
Member



Joined: 2016/3/11
Posts: 301


 Re: why would God even tell us to do something that He doesn't truly expect us

Quote:
by tuc on 2016/10/12 2:48:31

Forrests - I think you should rethink your position.

Why did God give the law?
Did God really expect it to be kept?
If a person Truly kept the law would it save him?

Can the law cleanse the heart?

Can the law make anyone holy and righteous?
Can the law save anyone?

Please answer these questions.



You are truly setting up some straw man here...

In your subject line you seem to quote me: "why would God even tell us to do something that He doesn't truly expect us to do."

And then you ask a series of questions about "the law" in the body of your comment; the problem is that I was not talking about the law when I wrote what you quoted as your subject line. I was clearly referring to the New Covenant commands of God in the New Testament. Jesus and His apostles words to us.. Surely you aren't saying Jesus and Paul and Jame and Peter were teaching "the law"..?

Now as for the Isaiah 5 passage on the vineyard: God says clearly that He had done all that could be done to cultivate fruitfulness in the OT nation of God - Israel, "after the flesh." Those are His words, not mine.

Quote:

“And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,
Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard.
What more could have been done to My vineyard
That I have not done in it?



Now, was this "fruitfulness" the same type or measure that we in the New Covenant are capable of and called to? Perhaps (likely) not, but God clearly says He expected whatever it is He meant by "good grapes"...again, those are His words, not mine.

Quote:

"Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes,
Did it bring forth wild grapes?"



Now, for your questions and then some clarification of my, and I believe God's, position in this.

Q: Why did God give the law?

A: In short - 1. as a tutor, 2. to keep under guard until faith would come, and 3. that every mouth would be stopped and the world would "become guilty before God."

Q: Did God really expect it to be kept?

A: Absolutely. Through Him, and by faith - not my power or by might. It's all there in the prophets. We in the New Covenant actually "establish the law" by faith, not make it void.

Q: If a person Truly kept the law would it save him?

A: In theory, yes. If one was able to perfectly keep it (Lev. 18:5, Rom. 10:5).

But seeing that the issue was a lack of *life*, this law would have to administer life in order to provide righteousness...which is a circular situation. (Gal. 3:21)

Q: Can the law cleanse the heart?

A: Not as an end, in itself - but it is a means to that end. Life is needed, "the law" cannot supply life, so therefore it, in itself, is inadequate. But it is a means to that end - as a tutor to teach man Christ, himself, his lack, and in his desperation and crisis - point him to Christ.

So, no, the law itself cannot "cleanse the heart." But it is used of God to reveal Christ and what is expected so that the Spirit of God can produce it in the person (by faith).

Q: Can the law make anyone holy and righteous?

A: As stated before, no. Not in and of itself. But it is instrumental as a means to that End (even Christ Himself).

Q: Can the law save anyone?

A: I repeat: no. Not in itself. Though it is an essential part and did and does have a crucial ministry (or service) toward that end. [This is getting burdensome, answering essentially the same question so many times..]


Now, to a couple clarifying thoughts, as time permits:

I do not believe God is referring to sinless glorified perfection through the law in Isaiah 5, and neither am I, but instead those "good grapes" that could be expected in their situation; a couple mentioned are "Justice" and "righteousness". If these are the sort that require faith to produce, then surely God had provided what was needed for them to understand and turn to Him in faith for the life needed. He says as much. It is their failure to do so, if that is indeed what was required (and I tend to believe that it was), that was the cause of God's judgement on the nation as a whole and His taking the kingdom of God from them and giving it to a nation bearing the fruits of it.

Now, it seems that your position is this:

God tells man to do what he has no part in doing, even if it is just to realize and agree that in his own power there is nothing in and of himself that can supply his want and to fully lean on Christ in humble faith and yield to His Spirit working in him to will and to do the will of God for His good pleasure...

So when God, in His word to us, in the New Testament, instructs us to do just that - yield to Him and not the sin - He doesn't really expect us to do it...because we have no part in doing it anyhow? Why even waste all the ink and paper writing that and re-publishing it over the centuries if man is incapable of either permitting or hindering it and God doesn't actually expect man to obey it, in spite of the fact that He instructs him to in no uncertain terms...

Am I wrong about your position? If so, would you help me understand just what it is that you believe? Thank you.

One final reiteration/clarification:

The passage in Isaiah 5 about the vineyard shows, in my opinion, the will of God and the working of God toward the end that it would produce "good grapes" - and this will and working of God not being fruitful in those that He was willing and working toward fruitfulness in.

So, the lack of fruitfulness in the vineyard, was it God's will to be so? Or was His will that there would be "good grapes"?

And doesn't God Himself challenge us to find some lack in what He had provided as the culprit of their unfruitfulness? Isn't it clear that the LORD God is in fact saying quite clearly and emphatically that there was nothing He didn't provide that was to blame for their unfruitfulness?

Quote:
What more could have been done to My vineyard
That I have not done in it?
Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes,
Did it bring forth wild grapes?



Please address this apparent contradiction between the clear word of God and (what I perceive as) your position. Thanks.


_________________
~ Forrest

 2016/10/12 12:44Profile
yuehan
Member



Joined: 2011/6/15
Posts: 510


 Re:

Forrests - you missed out the last sentence in Galatians 3:23-25:

"But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

The relationship between faith and law is indeed an important topic. Perhaps you could start another thread for this discussion.


 2016/10/12 12:52Profile
yuehan
Member



Joined: 2011/6/15
Posts: 510


 Re:

Quote:
Spurgeon's understanding seemed to be this : To have true peace and comfort we do not rest on our will power, decision and personal strength to be kept.

Peter did just that :
He speculated about how the future was going to play out :
He made a decision that he would not deny the Lord no matter what.
He made up his mind that He would go to prison and die before he would deny the Lord.
He was confident in his own strength to keep the course.

ADD : and he concluded that others may not have the same level of will power and strength to keep the course that he felt that he had

And he failed and If our mindset it the same as Peters was how do we suppose that our outcome will be any different than his was ?

Spurgeon's understanding was that we are to trust on the Lord's Strength to Keep us, We are to trust and rest : On
The Lords Keeping promises and strength to preserve us till the end.
The Lord is whom we are to trust and not ourselves.

In the end the reason that Peter faith did not completley Fail was because of Christ hold on him. Luke 22:32
But he learned a valuable lesson on trusting in himself.


Proudpapa - I think you encapsulated Spurgeon's quote very well.

Thanks too to everyone who had chipped in with Bible verses of God's keeping.

"If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself." (2 Tim 2:13)

 2016/10/12 12:59Profile
forrests
Member



Joined: 2016/3/11
Posts: 301


 Re: "Christinyou"

Quote:
by Christinyou on 2016/10/12 1:41:48

Gods intention was in His blessings they would be fruitful, but they could not. That is why God: 1 Corinthians 1:29-31 That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.



I am not exactly sure what you are saying, but you seem to be implying that me saying that man must humble himself in the sight of the LORD (as James, Jesus and many others in the bible instruct and do) is tantamount to "earning salvation" or achieving justification and life and righteousness by his own power and that this gives him something of himself to boast in... This is a ridiculous argument, if you ask me.

Quote:

"Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
- Mat 18:4 NKJV

"And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
- Mat 23:12 NKJV

"For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
- Luk 14:11 NKJV

"I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
- Luk 18:14 NKJV



The LORD God doesn't say in the passage in question that what He supplied to the vineyard was "blessings" per se - nor does He say it was "the law" either.

God says quite clearly in the passage in Isaiah 5 that He had supplied all that was needed for what He was looking for, and this is why He is angry and will judge them - because it is their fault and not His that they are unfruitful. That is unarguable if you ask me. It is in the plain reading of it.

Had He supplied only things that were wholly inadequate and not conducive of true fruitfulness at all - then He is employing deceit and doublespeak in the passage at hand, no?

Quote:

“And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,
Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard.

What more could have been done to My vineyard
That I have not done in it?
Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes,
Did it bring forth wild grapes?

And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard:
I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned;
And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.

I will lay it waste;
It shall not be pruned or dug,
But there shall come up briers and thorns.
I will also command the clouds
That they rain no rain on it.”



And may I add that the imagery that God uses is that of life and conditions conducive to it:

Quote:

My Well-beloved has a vineyard
On a very fruitful hill.

He dug it up and cleared out its stones,
And planted it with the choicest vine.



This is not imagery that calls to mind the law as applied to the human heart - that is lifeless and death and cursing (thorns and briers). This is imagery of life. Perhaps not fully and universally administered and obviously not so received - but provided in some way and measure - the vine was planted. (Think: John 15:1-8)

But first, the conditions were made favorable for it's nourishment and growth (which is possibly a reference to the law - the "removing of the stones", etc. Clearing the way; removing pride and hardness by teaching the heart of man about it's own unfruitful condition in and of itself).

This is clearly not merely the law being described in the "vineyard passage" in Isaiah 5 - and it seems more clear that it is not mere temporal blessing.


_________________
~ Forrest

 2016/10/12 13:19Profile
forrests
Member



Joined: 2016/3/11
Posts: 301


 Re: yuehan - "If we are faithless, He remains faithful..."

Quote:
by yuehan on 2016/10/12 9:59:00

Thanks too to everyone who had chipped in with Bible verses of God's keeping.

"If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself." (2 Tim 2:13)



I'm sorry, but I must submit to you that the verse you seem to use to speak of God's faithfulness to man in light of and in spite of his faithlessness - is used woefully out of context and actually says just the opposite.

Here is the whole "saying":


Quote:

This is a faithful saying:

For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.



Notice:
"If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;"

When you read it in it's context it becomes very clear, no?

I believe the "He remains faithful, He cannot deny Himself" is likely a reference to the fact that God kept His word to Abraham and the covenant that He swore by Himself to bless him - but He did it with a different vessel, because the first was faithless and denied Him.

Quote:

For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.”
~ Hebrews 6:13-14



Paul discusses this in Romans 3...and 9 and 10 as well.

Quote:
But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called”...
~ Romans 9:6-7



It seems that the Jews would argue that if Paul was right, then God didn't keep His promise to bless Abraham and His seed...and He failed and His word had "no effect"...

Paul shows them that God will be true, let every man be a liar.

Quote:

For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar.
~ Romans 3:3-4



I do not doubt that this is seen other places in scripture as well.

My point is that God will keep His promise and covenant and reach His end; it's just a matter of who will be a part of it and who wont. He will use the church and not turn away from them, as a whole, but many of the verses used to make the case that a man can never disqualify himself from being a part of God's program are not written about individuals at all - but nations and groups.

God promised Abraham a vast family, and that they would both be blessed of Him in the end and would bless the whole world. "Israel after the flesh" was certain that this was them and they were irrevocably a part of the program - for God has promised and they were His means. But He ended up setting them aside due to faithlessness and unfruitfulness in order to keep His word of promise to Abraham using a different means - the church.

But let us not be haughty, but fear:
Quote:
"For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either."
~ Romans 11:21


_________________
~ Forrest

 2016/10/12 13:46Profile
yuehan
Member



Joined: 2011/6/15
Posts: 510


 Re:

I like Hudson Taylor's take on 2 Tim 2:13 in his famous "exchanged life" letter:

"As I read I saw it all! "If we believe not, He abideth faithful." I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how joy flowed!) that He had said, "I will never leave you." "Ah, there is rest!" I thought. "I have striven in vain to rest in Him. I'll strive no more. For has He not promised to abide with me—never to leave me, never to fail me?" And, dearie, He never will!"

http://www.wholesomewords.org/missions/biotaylor11.html

 2016/10/12 14:26Profile
forrests
Member



Joined: 2016/3/11
Posts: 301


 Re: yuehan - I like Hudson Taylor's take on 2 Tim 2:13...

Quote:
by yuehan on 2016/10/12 11:26:09

I like Hudson Taylor's take on 2 Tim 2:13 in his famous "exchanged life" letter...



This is the problem...it's not a matter of which we like, but which is true. I would be inclined to "like" that interpretation more myself - but I, by the grace of God, desire to walk in truth...and I don't find the word of God to support such an interpretation.


_________________
~ Forrest

 2016/10/12 15:02Profile
forrests
Member



Joined: 2016/3/11
Posts: 301


 Re: yuehan - the last sentence in Galatians 3:23-25

Quote:
by yuehan on 2016/10/12 9:52:21
Forrests - you missed out the last sentence in Galatians 3:23-25:

"But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."



I guess I don't understand your point. I didn't miss it. I don't see the contradiction. Perhaps you can point it out to me...?

Let me reiterate: I never said the law saves and gives life and righteousness. I never said that. I just want to be clear.


_________________
~ Forrest

 2016/10/12 15:05Profile
savannah
Member



Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1991


 Re: Grace humbles





2 Chronicles 30:6-12

So the couriers went with the letters from the king and his officers throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, "children of Israel, turn again to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may return to the remnant of you who have escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. Do not be like your fathers, and like your brothers, who trespassed against the LORD, the God of their fathers, so that he gave them up to desolation, as you see. Now do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; but yield yourselves to the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he has sanctified forever, and serve the LORD your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you. For if you turn again to the LORD, your brothers and your children shall find compassion before those who led them captive, and shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him."

So the couriers passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, even to Zebulun: but they ridiculed them, and mocked them. Nevertheless some from Asher and from Manasseh and from Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem. Also in Judah came the hand of God to give them one heart, to do the commandment of the king and of the leaders by the word of the LORD.

* Note verse 12 *

 2016/10/13 11:05Profile
StirItUp
Member



Joined: 2016/6/4
Posts: 941
Johannesburg, South Africa

 Re:

I also see it the other way, Savannah.

When the people obeyed and humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem, God responded by giving them one heart...

So humility also attracts grace.

He gives grace to the humble but resists the proud.

He crowns the humble with salvation!


_________________
William

 2016/10/13 11:16Profile





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