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 THE HERESY OF CHEAP GRACE -oniel


[b]THE HERESY OF CHEAP GRACE[/b]
[i]by Ernest O'Neill[/i]

Do you know how, Romans and the Greek-speaking people of the first century were able to pick out the Christians, so easily in their society. It was because of the Christians’ behavior. That’s how -- the Christians behaved differently to everybody else. Friends, as I don’t if you realize it, but one of the great banes of life in the first century, was the Plague. Plagues and epidemics of all kinds ravage the major cities of the ancient world. And when the citizens of Rome or Corinth or Philippi, realized that the disease had got out of hand, they all acted the same way. They grabbed all the belongings they could and they fled the city as fast as possible, ‘less they catch the Plague. They left homes behind, they left belongings, livestock, they left their own relatives behind. They were so afraid of these epidemics and Plagues that got completely out of hand in those days.

But the contemporary historians, all testified to the one fact, everybody fled except the people called Christian. And even, if they had escaped the city already, if they knew there were victims back there in the city, their own relatives or others’ friends, they went back despite the threat to their own lives, and they rescued those people. And so they were most noticeable in the society of the first century, by the fact that they did not seem to fear death. And that they would do whatever was needed, to express the love and the kindness of their God to others.

The Christian faith changed the way they behaved. And it was the same in the 18th century in England. In the 18th century in England, all the vices and the inequities, that were plaguing French society were present in English society. There was an upper class that was indifferent to the needs of anybody else, but itself. There was a middle class that wanted power and the ability to rule. There was a working class that saw no reason for living at all that was so poor.

And yet the evangelical revival of Christian faith under Wesley, so changed people’s attitudes to one another, that all historians say the same as Lackey. "The evangelical revival of Christian faith saved England from a French Revolution." And that’s true loved ones, again the Christian faith changed the behavior of the society, so that the classes began to show real humanity and concern and care for one another. And so, they avoided the catastrophic revolution that almost destroyed French Society.

Again, the Christian faith changed the way people behaved. All just -- I think it was thirty years ago, just a little over thirty years ago. The same authentic kind of revival of Christian faith changed life in an area that I think most of you know about, but few of us have ever been to the Northern Hebridean Islands of Scotland. I don’t know, if you know Scottish people but I suppose, I’d be Scotts-Irish and apart from the Irish side, we are a door locked, we really are. And loved ones in the Hebridean Islands of Scotland, are our door silent locked. They can endure and bear a lot but they don’t show much excitement or much interest in anything. And The Hebridean Islands of Scotland were like that, until about 30 or 35 years ago, they experienced a Christian revival of religion.

Really a dramatic movement of God’s spirit in the society, that meant that many came to know God because of their attitude to Jesus. And I think I have shared with you before. It so affected the lives of the community, with people giving back things that they have stolen, apologizing to others for things that they have done. It so affected the lives of the people in community that, the judges and the magistrates wore white gloves in the courtrooms for the first time in living memory, because they had no criminal cases to try. So, again the Christian faith changed the way people behaved.

So, today in America, everybody knows the phrase ‘Born again’. Evangelical Christian faith is more popular in America today, than almost at any other time in our history. Our president is born again, members of the opposite party, that are ousted have been born again, since the tragedy of Watergate. There are TV stars who have been born again, there are singers who have been born again, there are football players who have been born again. There is more money spent on Christian Television and Christian book publishing, than at any other time in our history. There are more people attending church today, than virtually at any other time in our history. And yet, crime on the streets of our cities has increased steadily and relentlessly. That’s true.

We have an anomaly in America at this present time, we have something that calls itself the Christian faith, but does not seem to radically affect the behavior of our society. Here, we have a break from the authentic classic Christianity that has been expressed through out the world, down through the centuries. Here, we have a Christian faith that does not seem to change the way people behave. It has not at all affected the incredible increase and crying that goes on from year to year in our society, both petty and violent crime. This is a kind of Christian faith that seems to be different from the way God’s Spirit has ever operated in the past. It is not producing a change in people’s behavior.

Now why? Why do we face this anomaly? Why are we facing a great rise in Christian activity and you must admit, it’s everywhere, it’s almost sickening at so everywhere -- but why are we rise -- experiencing this tremendous increase in evangelical Christianity, and yet no real change in the morals of our society. We have a society here, that professes Christianity loudly, individuals that profess it loudly, and yet in individual and in social life, the evidence all the moral and the psychological and the social break dance of the Pagan World, and they do you must admit, they do.

Many of us here, no loved ones have had all kinds of moral, social, psychological break dance, and yet they say, yes but we are Christian. Now why loved ones, do we face this? What is wrong with the Gospel that we are preaching in these days; that is preached on radio, on television, that is shared by us in our books and with each other? What is wrong with this Gospel? Because, it isn’t producing the same results as it has produced in the past, in other societies. Two words describe it; two words express the problem with our present Gospel, ‘cheap grace’. That’s it, loved ones, honestly, cheap grace. We are preaching and living a Gospel of cheap grace, not costly grace, but cheap grace and the verse that we’d like to look at it, that we’re studying today, is one of the verses that is used repeatedly to reinforce this idea of cheap grace, and it’s Romans’ 11:6.

But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace and that’s a great and a true statement but we misuse it and we misinterpret it. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. Now, we are not the first loved ones, to follow this heresy of cheap grace. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that German Theologian, who you remember was executed in connection with the plan to assassinate Hitler; wrote in his books repeatedly of the resurgence of cheap grace in our generation. George McDonald, the old Scottish preacher, whose writings lead C.S Lewis into real Christian faith; pointed out that, cheap grace is the idea that Jesus’ death covers our sins, so that God can’t see them even though they are there.

Instead of the true grace, that believes that Jesus’ death is there to destroy sin in us. And that’s what drew C.S Lewis to the Gospel. When he saw that Jesus’ death is not there to cover up our sins, so that God can’t see them, but Jesus’ death is there to destroy sin in us, so that we can be like God. And old Paul you remember, was so stratified in that letter that we read, the part of the letter to the Romans; said what shall we say then, are we to continue and sin that grace may have abound, by no means. How can we all die to sins, to live in it? Don’t you know, that those that were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into his death. We were buried therefore with him, by baptism and the death, so then as Christ was raised from the death by the glory of a father, we too might walk in newness of life. We know our own self was crucified with Christ, so that the sinful body might be destroyed and we might no longer be enslaved to sin, for he who has died is freed from sin.

But, that isn’t the Gospel that is preached loved ones on the whole among us, it isn’t and if you would forgive me just saying, to those loved ones that, my colleagues, who are pastors on television and they are watching, we may think, we preached that but that isn’t what the majority of us are getting. It isn’t that Gospel. Loved ones, I really know this, because I’ve to taught to so many of you and I’ve listen to you and the majority of this, the majority of us get this Gospel. God once decided that only those, who obeyed the Ten Commandments, would get into heaven. But he saw, that we couldn’t obey them, because we all acted everyday an act. We all sinned everyday an act, thought and word. So, he changed the condition, he punished his own son instead of us, for our sins.

So, that any of us, who believe that he did that would get into heaven, whether we obeyed or not. Now, loved ones, you may sit there and say, no that’s not what I’ve got but that’s what the majority of our society belief. They believe that the Gospel is this that God once required obedience to the Ten Commandments from us, but he saw that we can’t obey, because we sin and act thought and word everyday. So, he changed the condition and he punished his own son instead of us and then he said, any of you would give mental assent to this idea, that I have done this, will get into heaven.

So, the majority of people, who are here the Gospel’s day, have the idea that they are now at last relived from the fear of future retribution of any kind for their sins and so, they don’t even have fear, which the normal agnostic has to keep him from sinning or to kind of limit his selfishness. They have the idea, well, it doesn’t matter what I do, it doesn’t matter about sin or obedience or anything now. Obviously, God isn’t concerned about those things. All he wants me to do is to believe, that his son has died for me and he'll let me into heaven, whatever I do and so, what relieved from the normal constraint that even an easiest task to avoid selfishness, Christians tend to feel, well lets face them getting into heaven anyway, because I believed Jesus died for me. I’ve to do my best, I certainly have.

I’ve to do the best I can, to obey what is convenient for me to obey, but any falling short in my part, will be covered by Jesus death anyway. So, really it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, whether I obey that much or that much as long as, I make good shot at it, I am going to get into heaven anyway. And loved ones, the majority of Christians feel, that God has changed his mind, that he once required obedience to his laws, but now he simply requires mental assent to the idea that Jesus death will get them into heaven and so, they have adopted that. And they have adopted that mental assent attitude and they’ve believed that’s all that’s required and so, of course we have a monstrosity now in our society, called ‘the "Sinning Christian".

The Christian, feels that, you have to avoid sin if you can, but if you can’t, it won’t hurt him and God will forgive him and that’s all that’s needed. And so, he does his best but he has the feeling all the time, that it doesn’t matter even, if he does as well as a non Christian and that’s the incredible thing. Have you ever thought that? Sometimes, I’ve looked at loved ones, who are not Christians at all and have you not felt at times, that they all seem to have a greater sense of responsibility they love other people and be kind to other people and to be honest and aboveboard in their business, than many Christians do. Because sometimes the Christians feel, we have a free ticket into heaven anyway, so there is no great constraint to particularly avoid immorality or be moral. Whereas the poor old nonchristian, who hasn’t that kind of cushion, he feels, well I better be as good as I can, in case there is a man up there and he is going to meet me at the end.

But loved ones, is it not true that the majority of us feel that, that’s the Gospel. That God once required us to obey his commandments, but he saw we can’t possibly do it so, he invented this new idea of punishing Jesus instead of us, so that, if we give mental assent to that we’d get into heaven. Of course, it’s meaningless to the intelligent agnostic. Do you know that? It is meaningless. The ordinary intelligent agnostic can see nothing but injustice in a God beating up their own guy, for somebody else’s sin.

The ordinary agnostic thinks its madness. How can you claim that a God is just, if he kills the wrong person, for somebody else’s sin and of course the ordinary agnostic doesn’t want to be in heaven, because he thinks, if its going to filled with all these weak willed ideologists, who aren’t at all like Jesus, I don’t want to be there. So, the normal agnostic thinks, this is foolishness but what many Christians do is, they so lovely say, Oh! Brother but that’s the foolishness of the Gospel. Well loved ones, it’s not the Gospel at all, it isn’t.

What is the true Gospel? The true Gospel is pointed out clearly in that verse that we have often quoted in Matthew, where you remember the Angel said to Joseph and Mary, "You shall call His name Jesus for He will save his people from their sins", not in their sins but from their sins.

God does not change; He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He has always wanted us to be like Him, He has always wanted us to live in accordance with His will. He did not create an Old Testament of law and obedience, and then replace it with a New Testament of indulging disobedience. God has always wanted us to be like Him, but He looked down and saw that we had used our free wills to get from the world the love that He wanted us to get from Him. Moreover He saw that by that activity over a centuries, we had perverted our own personalities, so that they were so utterly dependent and addicted to things and people for love that we could no longer obey His will for us.

So, He saw that, but loved once He did not then back off and say, "All right, I am contempt to have a group of satanic demons with me forever, who are not like me." He did not say that. Immediately he made a plan to bring us into a state where we would be able to obey as well, and so, He took our perverted little personalities that cannot too good, you are right. "The good that we would we cannot do, the evil we hate is the very thing we do." He took those perverted little personalities, and He destroyed and remade them in the cosmic depth in His Son Jesus, in this super special world of eternity. Heart of which cosmic death, He expressed through Jesus in 29 AD on Calvary.

Now that general death and resurrection that destroys the urgings to anger and then the unjealousy in each one of us, that general death and resurrection can be experienced by you and me day by day. As we submit to the working of the Holy Spirit, who realizes that death and that realization in us as we live each day, and that’s we submit to God’s will with Jesus whatever the cost or the inconvenience, and by that means do you see that miraculous destruction of sin in each one of us, that took place in Jesus eternal death can be made real enough day by day. So, that we move from glory to glory, so that instead of Jesus death being a historical static event, which we give mental assent to, as a reason for our free ticket into heaven, Jesus death becomes a dynamic present operating principle within us, and the power that begins to deliver us from self, and from self-centeredness, and from sin. But loved ones, it is costly, it is costly grace.

Grace means two things, first of all unmerited and undeserved favor, and that was costly to God, God showed unmerited and undeserved favor towards all of us in this room, because even though He could have left us in our perverted tangle personalities, He generously of His own free grace took us and put us in Jesus, and allowed His Son to bear the unbearable agony of having our all contorted personalities with their addiction to people’s opinion onto selfishness, onto pleasure, destroyed in Jesus. Out of His own unmerited and undeserved grace and favory did that. That’s one meaning of grace and it cost, cost to the very point where Jesus felt, He was loosing touch with even His father and cried, "My God, my God why has thou forsaken Me?" that’s one meaning of grace and it was infinitely costly to Jesus.

The other meaning of grace is that as we submit ourselves to this death to ourselves with Jesus day by day, His death and resurrection is actualized in us, but only through our paying the price and it is a price loved ones, it is a costly price. The Holy Spirit will come to you when you’re demanding satisfaction from your loved one, or when you’re demanding respect and acknowledgement from a colleague at work, or when your anger is rising as somebody doesn’t give you what you feel you ought to have, the Holy Spirit will come and will say to you, "You were crucified with Jesus." As he died to the unjustified treatment, the Roman soldiers were meeting out to him, so you died with Him. Now do you want to stay with Him or do you want to get off this Cross, and at that point you’ll have price to pay.

You’ll have to say if you want to continue to experience the power of Jesus life in you, you’ll have to say, "Lord I will", I’ll die to what they think of me, I’ll die to my right to reply an anger here, I’ll die to my right to get what I want, Lord Jesus I’d rather be with you with nothing, then on my own with everything." And at that point the grace is costly loved ones. That’s why all Thomason Ecampus (ph) talks about The Royal Lord of the Holy Cross, because it is a daily experience of self denial, and of dying to what the Holy Spirit is exposing to us of our all self, that was crucified with Christ, but that we aren’t yet willing to let go. That’s what real grace is, and that’s what the real Gospel is. And of course you can see its exiting in one sense, and yet it’s hard and painful and another, and yet loved ones as you begin to go through scripture, you begin to see that, that Gospel makes sense of all the verses of scripture, it just. Just think -- and of that verse in II Corinthians 4. He made him to be sin who knew no sin.

That we might become the righteousness of God in Him, or think of that one in Roman 6, we knew that our old self was crucified with Him, so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be in slave to sin, for he was died he is freed from sin, or think of that one in Roman 8, God did what the law could not do. Sending His own Son in the lightness of sinful flesh and forcing, He condemns in the flesh, that the law might be fulfilled in us. A new sense that Jesus died instead of us in every sins that we died with Jesus, and above all else what is this Gospel do, or what changes us from saints into sinners. It changes us from children of darkness and the children of light, it changes our lives. So, that the world stops and stares, and begins to wonder by what power have you done this.

There’s a contagious disease in the world, and our dear maker is saying, "I have an antidote for it." Submit yourself to these series of injections that I want to give you as you live your life day by day, and I will forgive, and it means partly I will give before you ought to receive it, I will give before, I will forgive you the life that you would have, if you’d never had this disease, but you must submit to this series of injections of my Son’s life, that will involve the taking away of some of your own life that you treasure, and that’s the moment the evangelical world is standing back and saying, "We believe that, that is true, so we’re free from the disease." And you see, you cannot be free from the disease unless you submit yourself to the treatment, but the evangelical world stands back and says, "We believe that, we believe that if we submitted ourselves to the treatment, we would be healed and we would be clenched. Therefore we are healed and clenched. And that’s why loved ones the spirit speaks to one of the seven churches in the last days and says, "You think you are rich and whole and healthy, but you’re poor, blind and deceased." And I think that, that’s the state of much of our evangelicalism, because we’re believing a truncated Gospel that is no Gospel, because it is simply a mental assent. It is mind game, it is not a submission of the will to our dear savior’s experience for us on Calvary.

Now I would pray that you would not listen to this and go back to a pure mental assent, to an idea. I would pray that we might be among those who would begin to be changed, and to express scriptural holiness throughout the length and breadth of this land, because that’s what it needs more than anything else. A lot less of the talk, a lot less of even the TV shows, and a lot more Christ like men and women who are honest and kind and don’t lose their temper and make the same impression on this world as our forefathers made…


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2008/1/31 16:12Profile
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 Re: THE HERESY OF CHEAP GRACE -oniel

Quote:
What is the true Gospel? The true Gospel is pointed out clearly in that verse that we have often quoted in Matthew, where you remember the Angel said to Joseph and Mary, "You shall call His name Jesus for He will save his people from their sins", not in their sins but from their sins.



To quote this verse. and then go on to throw a person back upon them self, and have succeeding only IF they do something seems rather confusing to me.

It says that Jesus WILL save His people from their sins, all of them. It says nothing about what His people do or do not do.

Again the failure to differentiate between justification and sanctification wreaks havoc on the consciences of true believers.

Quote:
You’ll have to say if you want to continue to experience the power of Jesus life in you, you’ll have to



This isn't the Gospel at all. Gospel means Good news. The good news is that He that knew no sin was made to be sin for us, so that we would be made the righteousness of God in Him.

The Gospel is what Christ did, not what I am doing, or even what Christ is doing in me.

Let me ask those who believe that salvation requires our complete obedience after regeneration, does Christ alone save, or does He not?

If you answer, "no" than Christ has died in vain and is no Savior at all. Actually, He would be more of a fool to die for no purpose.

The Scripture declares that He saves completely, apart from any merit, or works we do.

True Christianity is not moving from vice to virtue, but rather from virtue to grace.

Again brethren if we are only accepted because of our works, or our prayer time, or our zeal, or anything else, then Christ died in vain, and you have fallen from grace because you will never perfectly obey every part of the Bible every moment of every day. Do not look within to see if you are saved, look to Him who died to save sinners, if you are a sinner, and believe that Christ has died for you, you are a Christian, and the [b]Holy Spirit[/b] will work in you on His time table and in His way to mold you into the image of Christ.

EDIT: I would like to have some listen to these, and think it over-
[url=http://www.kfuoam.org/Issues_ETC/ie_01_23_05.htm]Pietism[/url]


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patrick heaviside

 2008/1/31 16:36Profile
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 Re:

Roaringlamb, well said! Excellent!



David

 2008/1/31 17:34Profile
roaringlamb
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
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 Re:

Just for an illustration, consider this. Tomorrow morning, you wake up and the headline of your local paper says, "Local leaders to give $1 million to first 2000 people to City Hall!"

This is news, it is objective(true whether I feel it to be true, or believe it). However there will be multiple reactions to this news.

Some will say, "sounds too good to be true, they must want something from me..." and they do not respond to the news. Others who already have millions and millions of dollars may say, "why do I need any more, that is for the poor people!", or they may say, "maybe I could use a little more money.."

There will be those who are completely destitute, and in need of money, who will read this, and respond with great joy, and will celebrate the good news and go to receive the million dollars.

Please note, let's not turn this into a Calvinism/Arminianism debate, and please let's avoid the "according to your theology..." comments. Let's stick to the key issue here, does Jesus Christ alone save, or must we add our own works?

What is being presented in this article is nothing more than Roman Catholic doctrine disguised as Christian. For the RCC believes that God gives an initial "spark" of grace, but ultimately man must use this grace to grow in sanctification. But if they are not sanctified, then they are not justified.

Of course no one can truly be fully sanctified, so they invented purgatory, and also the merits of saints and other add ons to help save people.


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patrick heaviside

 2008/1/31 17:37Profile
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 Re:

we have to do something

Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Rev 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.


he that overcomes will inherit the kingdom of God, those that dont overcome will not. Or so it seems to me.

also

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

seems as if you dont do this, you will not be a child of God...


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CHRISTIAN

 2008/1/31 18:06Profile
roaringlamb
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 Re:

Quote:
we have to do something



So are you saying that Christ alone is sufficient, and that His death is not enough to save a person?

About the overcoming, look at what John says here-
1 John 5:4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.
1 John 5:5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

So if a person believes, then they have overcome the world, because that person is a new creature. Utterly and completely new, while the old Adam clings on and fights against the new.

But the new creation is no longer under law, but grace. Of course a common misunderstanding is that if a person is saved by grace alone, then they will sin all they want to. But to think this way brother is to take the place and work of the Holy Spirit and make it into nothing.

The ones who are legitimately born of God will overcome, and not because of anything they did or did not do, but because of what Christ has done for them 2000 years ago. He was delivered for our offenses, and raised for our justification(or declaration of righteousness).

That's the good news, and it is the power of God unto salvation.


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patrick heaviside

 2008/1/31 18:35Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
But the new creation is no longer under law, but grace. Of course a common misunderstanding is that if a person is saved by grace alone, then they will sin all they want to. But to think this way brother is to take the place and work of the Holy Spirit and make it into nothing.


Brother,

By saying this you are already out of the new testament spirit. The Holy Scriptures clearly show we are "saved" by Christ alone. But it does clearly show that God renews our inner man to be conformed to Christ and walk Holy. This is of utmost importance for Christians who have received the work of grace in their souls.

Personally if a person is pleading for unholiness then I wonder if he is not a Christian. Here are 4 articles I wrote on this subject:

[b]Preaching A Superficial Gospel[/b]
http://www.sermonindex.net/images/superficial.pdf

[b]A Salvation That Does Not Save[/b]
http://www.sermonindex.net/images/asalvationthatdoesnotsave.pdf

[b]Today's Synthetic Gospel[/b]
http://www.sermonindex.net/images/todayssyntheticgospel.pdf

[b]Worldly Saints[/b]
http://www.sermonindex.net/worldlysaints.pdf


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2008/1/31 18:39Profile
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 Re:

This is a good resource and reference too:

[b]Cheap Grace[/b]
http://www.shepherdserve.org/false_grace_gospel.htm


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2008/1/31 18:44Profile
roaringlamb
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 Re:

Quote:
Personally if a person is pleading for unholiness then I wonder if he is not a Christian



Never said that, but to confuse justification and sanctification is a horrible crime that sadly has become common place.

A person who is truly regenerate will bring forth fruit, but it is not that fruit that saves them, but rather a by product of them being saved, and being a new creature. The new and the old war within , but as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:30-
"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:"

Notice as well that Paul says in Ephesians that we are presently seated in heavenly places in Christ. Also how Paul says in Romans 8 that those who are justified are also glorified.

Brother we cannot make Christianity into mere morality such touch not, taste not.

Nor can we say, "this do and you shall live!"

Christ is not another Moses who only gives moral lessons, but rather He really and truly saves sinners who are Christians.

If we go by morality, and law abiding, then there a million different groups who are better at it than we are. True Christianity is about an a righteousness that we can never achieve being imputed to us, on behalf of the Righteous One. That is why the message of the cross offends people, because it tells them, "you cannot save yourself, and all your works to save yourself only serve to condemn you more if done without Christ."

Again, the Holy Spirit will produce fruit in His people, and those people are sanctified once for all(Heb 10:10) by the one sacrifice of Christ(Heb 10:12), and by this offering, He has perfected for ever those who are sanctified(Heb 10:14) which are those who believe in Christ.

Holiness will not get a man into Heaven if he is using it instead of Christ. But there is no one who has faith in Christ that is not holy, even if there is sin in their life at the present moment(which would include everyone of us).


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patrick heaviside

 2008/1/31 18:59Profile
roaringlamb
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 Re:

Still though, no one has answered the question-

Does Jesus Christ alone save a man?


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patrick heaviside

 2008/1/31 19:00Profile





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