I'm new, but, I'd like to jump in here. I've recently been seeking the Father about this idea of "unconditional love" - primarily after studying John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." Jesus seems to be saying in some respect that the "Father" love of God is predicated upon our loving His Son and keeping His words. Is it possible that His love for me because I am part of His creation (John 3:16) is qualitatively different from His love for me since my adoption as His son by faith in Christ and the working of His Spirit? To my wife, I am her husband (one kind of love), her brother (another kind of love), and her pastor (still another kind of love) - viewing love not only as an emotion, but as an attitude, a position of goodwill taken toward its object. It does not seem unreasonable to me that, if God created us somewhat mulitdimensional in our ability to relate to one another, and we are created in His image, that God may be multidimensional in His relationships with us. Will Christ have the same love for His bride as for those who have rejected His affections? I don't have the definitive answer, obviously - but I am curious.
Hello and welcome dab.You have brought up a very good question. The confusion arises in the distinction between what "love" is and what a "relationship" is. These are like the x and y coordinates on a graph; they are independant of one another and yet each affects the position of the other, as related to the whole graph.Krispy has said it very well that God's love towards all men, all sinners, is unconditional. However, His relationship towards this world is conditional on our loving faith towards Him. The Father desires that no one should perish but that ALL have everlasting life through His Son, Jesus Christ.Just because the majority of people shall perish and never love God, does not mean that God loves them less. Rather it is indicative of a poor and broken relationship -- aka. sin. We must be certain that we are not judging the love of God according to the sins of lawless nations or even according to the righteousness of the saints. As God is not partial towards any man.Again, qualitatively we may come into a thriving and healthy relationship with God and His Christ through the Holy Spirit, yet this does not in any way change His love. Otherwise, we must say that God who is love must subjectively change Himself towards each individual.
Hello and welcome changing4Him. I realize I have written a little bit here. I was cautioned not to write so much (to be brief) as there was a concern that argumentative people are quicker to speak than to listen. I pray you are not such a person and the liberty I have taken to write is not in vain towards you.What you are saying is truth, yet I fear you are overlooking the flip side of the very same coin. Krispy asked whether you were promoting "hyper-Calvinism", but I think he meant to say hyper-Arminiasm. As Calvinism emphasizes God's sovereignty and, as you are doing changing4Him, Arminians emphasize man's responsibility.In regards to Alan Redpath, and even Amy Grant, (it is not my intention to defend either of these as pillars of the faith -- though what I have heard from Redpath has been profitable to me) you have misunderstood and taken both of their statements out of context.My point, I wonder why when you quoted Amy Grant's lyrics to the song, "I have decided," you did not say the following verse:
So forget the game of being good,And your self-righteous pain.'cause the only good inside your heartIs the good that Jesus brings.
[b]I have decided, [/b]((with your mind)) [b]Being good is just a fable,[/b]((RedPath: "No use going on trying")) [b]I just can't 'cause I'm not able.[/b]((RedPath: "INABILITY to live a holy life" perfect match of these two--"not able" and "inability"))[b]I'm gonna leave it to the Lord.[/b]((RedPath:"at Jesus feet"))
I'm thinking that REPENTENCE isn't "His feet", it's a DOING WORD, wouldn't you agree? The Bible is ALWAYS telling you to do stuff and don't do stuff ...it's NEW AND Old Testament...read it(a challenge). No where does my KJV bible tell me to put my sins at his feet, but it says to REPENT of my sins and BE RESPONSIBLE for them, otherwise eternity will bite me in the rear unexpectedly!
changing4him, welcome.I see your point about music. I know it should never be our doctrine beromiter..I was telling a young bible school student to never get his doctrine from the christian music of today, because most of the singers dont have a great grasp on theology. yet kids today listen and listen and listen and that is where they get their doctrine.I own the album you are quoting, song written by Michael Card....Im quoting the Amy Grant album.. And you appear to be right, the way the words are worded it seems that you should never strive, like its some kind of game.Quote:so forget the game of being good and your self-righteous pain. cause the only good inside your heart Is the good that Jesus brings. When the world begins to see you change, Don't expect them to applaud. Just keep your eyes on Him and tell yourself I've become the work of God!end of quote:Lets critique this.forget the game of being good, and your self-righteous pain...???That statement is not biblical, and using a negative in the tense gives an air of I dont want to be like that, self righteous,, that would be a bad thing.... We should always grieve over our sin and failure to please God and his righteous requirements,,, True?Now the rest of the quote that says, cause the only good inside your heart is the good that jesus brings, and the rest of it would be absolutely correct.I think that people dont realise that it is a good heart towards God that grieves over sin, repents and asks God to put HIS good in us, and change us, sanctification doctrine..The problem with the song is this. Striving for being good, "holy" is a command and people do need to grieve over their failings and short commings and cry out to God to change them.Here is a sermon by Paul Washer, here on SI, I know you will enjoy.[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=12829]http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=12829[/url]this explains it quite well and you will truly enjoy it, I know I did.God bless, and keep striving to enter the kingdom.The gate IS narrow, yet I am not able to do it in my own strength, but in my weakness and grief over it I cry out to God who will deliver me up out of my wretched condition...
Everybody has said what I wanted to say. To add a story. We can think of Peter.Peter, really experienced his own sinfulness. He cried out, "leave me, I'm a sinful man" to Jesus. I know that many here have expereinced this true repentance, when seeing salvation (Jesus) right in front of you, you're sin, THE sin, in you is so great that you just cry out to him.. Jesus, I don't deserve to know you. I'm so dirty. It is at this time that Jesus tells us he loves us. If we have not expereinced ourselves as "the man of sin," then saying Jesus loves you, is only an affectionate word; it is not your life. Now many have expereinced this; many have expereinced repentance that leads to life, that is Jesus.But Peter still has his "trust in himself," trust in his own judgement in Him. He knows the spiritual life, he knows Jesus so that He confesses "you are the son of God.." But still trusts in himself.Because of this, when Jesus says that he will die and be risen again he says "never my Lord" and Jesus rebukes him.Because of this, Peter says "even though everybody might leave you, I will never leave you." Do you see how the emphasis here is not in Jesus but on the "I"? I! Peter! This Peter will never leave you. There is an air of self-trust. Of his own "something." The belief that he can still do something. And particularly in this discussion, that he can achieve holliness.But he denies jesus three times and weeps bitterly. What a knock down.. What despair. How his own self.. is so untrustable. How that which he thought was everything, was actually less than his own life. Great despair at his own self.And jesus is resurrected. More despair."guys.. we've been with Jesus 3 years. I loved Jesus. I followed him after his eyes, how we loved me and told me that I would become a fisher of men..But you all know how I denied him three times. Friends.. I'm going back to fishing. I am unworthy to be his disciple." so he goes on fishing and catches nothing.. Much like his empty heart.During the three years.. Jesus had done the most wonderful thing to Peter.. He now could not live FOR Him, but he also couldn't live without Him. Jesus became his all. He was unworthy to serve and love Him, but he couldn't live a normal life.. Catching fish.. no.. He coudln't..SO when Jesus calls to the discples. He loves him so much.. He is so much his everything that he jumps to get to Jesus.. his life.. as fast as possible.Simon, son of JOhn.. do you love me more than these?Yes Lord, YOU KNOW that I love you.Do you see how much Peter is changed?It is no longer "I will die for you" with the emphasis on "I" but now it is "YOU KNOW."No more trust in the self.. No more trust in anything but Jesus. Death to the self, and ressurection with Jesus!! Totall trust in Jesus.. A baby who has just fed on the mothers breast and is resting.. Loving her.. with everything..And then.. Feed my sheep.Is jesus your everything?Is there nothing in this world but Him?Do you love him like Peter did at the last moment?Then, he consdiers you worthy.. Feed his sheep.That is what he requires of you feed his sheep..
changing4Him wrote:As for Redpath..I mearly quoted him..
There will be people who will FIGHT to stay in their sin IN THE FACE OF THE SCRIPTURES (as I have originally posted.) You will stay the same. Mercy.
And my dear friend, the only thing which can turn the course of world history and shatter the colossus of communistic power and bring every false god upon its face
the only thing that can resist the tremendous powers of evil abroad in the world today is the Holy Spirit released through Spirit-filled men.A force of evil can only be overcome by a force of righteousness.The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.The church today is helpless without the Holy Spirit.
Read Romans chapter 7. It shows that having the law of God and human willpower is insufficient in overcoming sin. "the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death" Romans 8:2. Someone in here posted something on this subject by Watchman Nee and I think it would be good to revisit it:You may not have sinned enough yet!This article is taken from the teaching of Watchman Nee.If you are born again and are defeated by sin almost daily then it possible that you have not sinned enough yet. One reason you are sinning is you still think that there is some good in you or if you just pray and resist harder you will overcome. God wants to use your sin to teach you once and for all that you are truly rotten to the core, He wants you to see that you totally incurable without any possibility of improvement.When a Christian sins he feels ashamed, embarrassed, guilty and condemned. He may experience joy when he finds the forgiveness of God but, this joy does not last long. Many believers find themselves stumbling over and over again in certain sins. Now their previous joy once more is gone. Then they find themselves committing the same sin they just committed before. Sin seems to have power over them and It seems so natural for them to keep sinning. It is as if a power from within has overpowered them in an instant; they are led uncontrollably to speak the wrong words and do the wrong things. Under such a condition, the believers invariably want to do better. They invariably make many vows and resolutions before the Lord. They set up for themselves many ordinances to bind themselves, in the hope that they will not commit the same error again. At the same time, they ask for the cleansing of the Lord's blood afresh and seek for another filling of the Holy Spirit by the Lord. After this, they seem satisfied and think that their last sin is behind them, that from now on they are on their way to holiness. However, the fact always turns out contrary to their wish. Soon, perhaps a few days later, they fail again! Once more they fall into deep remorse, bemoaning their own failure and feeling sorrowful at heart; their hopes for holiness have been dashed. All their resolutions and regulations cannot help them. Although they may receive the Lord's forgiveness after this, it becomes difficult for them to believe that they can keep themselves from sinning again. Although they still pray that the Lord would keep them, their heart is full of doubts. They begin to wonder if the Lord can really keep them from sin.All our failures are caused by the tenaciousness of the sinful nature; we sink to such a low condition because of it. Hence, whether or not we will overcome depends on whether or not we are able to deal with this sinful nature, which is the flesh. Thank God that though we are helpless, He has the way. He has prepared a way for us on the cross. When the Lord Jesus was crucified on the cross, not only did He die for us, but He crucified our flesh with Him on the cross. Hence, all those who belong to Christ Jesus and are regenerated have their flesh crucified. When He died on the cross, our flesh was crucified there as well. Both the substitutional death and the identifying death have been accomplished by the Lord Jesus. Both are fully accomplished. Formerly, we believed in His substitutional death and were regenerated. Now, in the same way, we believe that our flesh is crucified with Him, and we are brought into the experience of the death of the flesh.Many Christians try to overcome sin. Some think that if they try hard enough to renounce sin, they will eventually be free from sin. As a result, they try their best to reject the temptations of sin. Some realize that sin should be overcome, and they continually wrestle with sin in the hope of overcoming it. Others think that sin has made them a captive and that they must strive hard to free themselves from its bondage. However, all these are man's thoughts; they are not God's word or teaching. None of these methods lead to victory. God's Word does not tell us to struggle with sin by our own efforts. It says that we should be delivered from sin, that is, be released or freed from sin. Sin is a power which enslaves man. The way to deal with this power is not by destroying it ourselves but by allowing the Lord to free us from it. We have sin, and there is no way to separate ourselves from it. The Lord's way is not to vanquish sin. He is saving us from sin's power by moving us away from it. New believers should know from the start the right way to be delivered from sin. There is no need to travel a long and tortuous path to find deliverance from sin. We can take the way of freedom as soon as we believe.New believers should accept what the Word of God says. If you have to wait to find out for yourself, you may have to commit many sins. Even after sinning repeatedly, your eyes still may not be opened. You will have to come to the point where you see that all your battles are futile. Paul said in Romans 7 that it is useless to battle, for who can overcome a law? Thus, at the start of Romans 8 he says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death" (vv. l-2). You have seen that sin is a law. You have also seen that it is not possible for man's will to overcome that law. Where, then, is the way of victory, the way of deliverance?The way of victory is here: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus." The word "condemnation" in the original Greek has two different usages, one legal and the other civil. If the word is used legally, it means "condemnation" as found in the English translation. But in its civil usage, the word means "disabling" or "handicap." According to the context of this passage of Scripture, probably the civil usage is clearer.We are no longer disabled. Why? Because the Lord Jesus Christ has given us deliverance. It is something the Lord has done. But how does He do it? It is very simple, for it is explained by the second verse: "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death." This is the way of victory. Can you alter Romans 8:2 and read it this way: "The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from sin and death"? I suppose ten Christians out of ten would read the verse this way. But what does it say? It says that "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death." Many have seen only the Spirit of life setting them free from sin and death, but have failed to see that it is the law of the Spirit of life which sets them free from the law of sin and of death.To learn the lesson that sin and death is a law may take years. But even as it may take a great deal of time and resolution and failure to realize that sin is a law, so it may take years for many believers to discover that the Spirit of life is also a law. Sin has followed us for years and we have had a close association with it; yet we still do not know that it is a law. Likewise, we may have believed in the Lord for many, many years and have known the Holy Spirit in our lives, yet not known Him as a law.It is a day of great discovery when our eyes are opened by the Lord to see that sin is a law. It is a day of even greater discovery when we are given the revelation that the Holy Spirit is also a law. Only a law can overcome another law. The will cannot overcome the law, but a higher law can overcome a lower law. We can never overcome the law of sin by our human will, but the law of the Spirit of life can set us free from the law of sin and of death.We know that earth's gravity is a law which holds us. We know too that there is a thing called density. If the density of a thing is exceedingly low, such as in the case of hydrogen, then earth's gravitational force cannot hold it down. By pumping hydrogen into a balloon, we can make the balloon rise. The law of earth's gravitational force is a fixed law, but it only operates within a certain range or degree of density. If the density is too low, the law of gravity does not apply. Then another law takes over, even the law of buoyancy, which sends things upward. This upward surge needs no hand to push, no fan to stir. You just let go, and up it ascends. This law overcomes the other law. It is equally effortless. In a similar manner, the law of the Holy Spirit overcomes the law of sin.Let us say it another way. To see sin as a law is a big thing, for it makes you decide against battling sin with your willpower. Likewise, seeing the law of the Holy Spirit in your life is another big crisis. Many seem to understand how the Spirit of life gives them life, but have yet to learn that the Holy Spirit in them, that is, the life which God has given them through Jesus Christ, is also a law. If you let this law operate, it will naturally deliver you from the law of sin and of death. When this law delivers you from the other law, it does not require an ounce of your strength. You need not make one resolution, spend any time, nor even lay hold of the Holy Spirit.May I ask, does anybody need to hold onto the earth's gravitational force? Does someone need to pray that this force will quickly pull things down? No, there is no need to pray, for the earth most spontaneously attracts things downward. It is a law. All one needs to do is to remove his hand, to not purposely hold onto things. When the will is not working, then the law is manifested. When the will is not interfering, the law operates. In a similar way, the Spirit of the Lord in us does not need our help. If you are afraid that the Spirit of the Lord in you may not be responsible and so you rush to help when temptation comes, it shows that you have not seen that the Spirit of the Lord in you is a law.May new believers see that the Holy Spirit in them is a spontaneous law. If anyone is to be delivered from sin, he has to come to that deliverance naturally. Should he try to get deliverance by exercising his willpower, he will again be defeated. But now those who are in Christ Jesus are no longer handicapped, for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made them free from the law of sin and of death. It is all so simple and so natural. We have been given another law which naturally delivers us from the law of sin and of death.Someone may ask how this comes about. I do not know, but have you not had some such experience? For example: someone comes to you; he scolds you, quarrels with you, and even beats you. He is utterly unreasonable in all that he does. You should be very angry with him, but somehow you let everything go without knowing why. Afterward you begin to wonder why it was that when you were scolded you forgot to get angry. After that person did so much, you ought to have lost your temper. If you keep on remembering all that he did to you, you will no doubt be very angry. Yet, to your own amazement, you just unconsciously let everything pass. Let me tell you, victories are all won unawares.Why is it that you overcome without being conscious of it? It is because a law is working. If it were a matter of your will, you would have to think and hold on. But what the Lord does is to give the victory without your awareness. Such victories are real victories. If you have experienced this even once, then you will understand the revelation that the indwelling Holy Spirit is able to keep you from sin. He is able to make you victorious without the help of your resolves. You do not need to make resolutions, for the law in you will deliver you from sin. If you really see before God that since you are in Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life is also in you, then you will find that the Lord puts His Spirit in you in order to carry you through to victory quite naturally. You do not need to will or to grasp; you will just surprisingly be brought into victory.To overcome sin does not require an ounce of strength, for it is the work of the law. There is one law which makes me sin without my effort, and there is another law which sets me free from sin - also without my labor. Only that which requires no exertion is true victory. I have nothing to do. Let me tell you, we now have nothing to do but to raise our heads and tell the Lord, "Nothing of me." What happened before was due to law; what is now happening is also due to law. The former law did a thorough work, for it made me sin continuously; this new law does an even better work because I am no longer handicapped by sin. The law of the Spirit of life has manifested itself; it is far superior to the law of sin and death.If new believers can be brought to see this from the first day of their Christian life, they will then walk the road of deliverance. The Bible never uses the term "overcome sin"; it only uses the phrase "made free" or "delivered from sin." It is said here in Romans, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death." The law of the Spirit of life has pulled me out of the realm of the law of sin and death. The law of sin and death is still present, but I am no longer there for it to work upon. The earth's gravitational force is present, but if things have been removed to heaven, there is no object for it to act upon.The law of the Spirit of life is in Christ Jesus and I am also now in Christ Jesus; therefore by this law I am made free from the law of sin and of death. "There is therefore now no disabling to them that are in Christ Jesus." The man in Romans 7 is labeled, "disabled." But this disabled person who is so weak and always sins is now, Paul says, no more disabled in Christ Jesus. How? By the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus which has set him free from the law of sin and of death. Therefore, there is no more disabling. Do you see now how this problem of deliverance is completely solved?The Way of Deliverance and FreedomThe earlier a new believer knows the way of deliverance, the better it is for him. There is no need for a delay of several years before he can know deliverance and freedom. Within a few months he can have many experiences of learning. It is not necessary for him to suffer many wounds before learning. It is possible for a Christian not to be defeated. So, when you are faced with a difficulty, do not strive, using your willpower. If you are defeated, do not turn back. Learn the way of deliverance step by step. The first step is to see that sin is a law to you; the second, to see that the will cannot overcome the law; and the third, to see that there is another law which does overcome the law of sin. Upon experiencing these three steps, the problem is wholly solved.May all Christians be able to sing the victory song of praise. How many miles are walked unnecessarily; how many tears are shed because of defeat. If believers see this way of deliverance and freedom from the beginning of their Christian lives, they will be saved many sorrows and tears. What is the way of deliverance? It is that the law of the Spirit of life has set me free. It is a law, perfect and powerful. That law is able to deliver me to the end. It does not require my help. As the law of sin in the world causes everybody to sin, so now the law of the Spirit of life in us naturally leads us into complete victory over sin. It naturally makes us holy, full of life, and full of its power.You have already received life. Never think that the Holy Spirit sometimes manifests life and sometimes not. If this is your case, you do not know the Holy Spirit as a law. Since He is a law, He is always the same. He is the same wherever, whatever, and whenever it may be. He is the same, not because you make Him so, but because He is so. Do you believe He is a law? I have no way to persuade you to believe. If you have not seen this, you will not believe what we have said. May God open your eyes that you may see this. We have in us not only the Holy Spirit, not only life, but also a law. Thus we shall be delivered.Having seen this law, our problem is resolved. It is not enough to see the indwelling Holy Spirit; we must see Him as a law in us. Then we shall begin to praise. Hereafter, we shall live a transcendent life. How wonderful it is.
I remember once going to hear a speaker who claimed to work in the prophetic.I went up for prayer and he got to me and said that I need to relax. then proceded to push me down.I at the time was agonizing over some things in my life that the HOLY SPIRIT was convicting me over....HMMMM the source of His words comes into question.Well anyway as time and years go by I am convinced that we never attain to sinnless perfection, only Jesus is perfect but the only example that we adhere to..As we grow in the lord, we strive towards that goal, If we no longer strive for perfection to be pleasing to God, then we stop growing.IN our own strength we cannot obtain this perfection, yet I believe if we greive over our inperfections to God, and lament over them, then he empowers us to get through each and every one as the Holy Spirit reveals them to us.If the Holy Spirit IS convicting us over some issue, obviously he is willing and able to give us strength to overcome it, by what?our confession, then repentance, and perseverance until he gives us the victory.Praise God for his empowering Grace. Grace to see our flaws and grace to overcome our flaws as he reveals them, as he wills.