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imnowhere
Member



Joined: 2009/8/1
Posts: 69


 fair share

If my decision makes the difference.
If Christ's death accomplishes nothing without my vote.
If my obedience is neccessary to save myself.
If Christ died the same for many in hell.
If Christ hoped for all to be saved, but it's in our hands.
If the only difference between me and those in hell is what I did...

How is the credit for salvation realistically divided between us and God? How can I really say all the glory is God's like I hear people say? Is it all God's? How does one define being saved by grace? Does it matter to us? To God?

 2009/8/28 16:43Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2002
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: fair share

Maybe this will help.

Obviously I am not originally going to Hell simply because of the wrong that I personally have committed. I was going to Hell because I was born into sin because of Adam's original transgression. (Romans 5) I did not become a sinner because I sinned. I sinned because I was originally a sinner. I (meaning mankind) was absolutely incapable of saving myself. There is simply no hope outside of accepting what Christ did for me, submitting my life to Him, and being born again.

Jesus atoned for my sins and offered me right relationship with God through Him. He offers this salvation, this restoration of right relationship with God, as a free gift. I did not have to do anything to earn it. (Romans 5)

That is why I would give God all the glory and reserve none unto myself. Sure, I acknowledge that had I not decided to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and surrender myself to His Lordship, I would not be saved. It is like I was offered a priceless gift and then thought I could accept the glory and the credit simply because I received it.

I already alluded to it, but there is no other way to be saved except by grace. God offers me the gift of right relationship with Him through the sacrifice of His Son. I cannot earn it. The fact that I can have it at all is an act of His grace.

I do think it matters immensely to us. It is the difference between religiosity and true Christianity. If I am trusting in what I have done, thinking that because I have kept a certain set of rules or rites or sacraments or whatever it may be, that I am somehow now pleasing to God, I am still lost. Religion wraps itself in imagery and exercise and then says, "Is it enough now God. Have I earned anything from you yet?" It is bondage. If, however, I have given up on ever being able to earn it myself, and have thrown myself upon the work of Christ as my only hope, then I can be truly born again and God can begin to work His glory in me from the inside out.

It is heartbreaking that so many people have had the price paid for their salvation and yet have refused to receive it. God is totally just in allowing people to go to Hell as He gave them the gift of His grace and it was refused. I am not sure but I think this heartbreak over the lost will be some of the tears that He will wipe away from our eyes in the end.

Hope that helped. God bless you!


_________________
Travis

 2009/8/28 17:19Profile
imnowhere
Member



Joined: 2009/8/1
Posts: 69


 Re:

Thanks for the answer. You'll have to clarify though...

Quote:
Obviously I am not originally going to Hell simply because of the wrong that I personally have committed. I was going to Hell because I was born into sin because of Adam's original transgression. (Romans 5)




So mankind won't give account for their sins, but rather Adam's? (if we're guilty already because of Adam's transgression, then our own are redundant)

Quote:
Jesus atoned for my sins and offered me right relationship with God through Him. He offers this salvation, this restoration of right relationship with God, as a free gift. I did not have to do anything to earn it. (Romans 5)
That is why I would give God all the glory and reserve none unto myself. Sure, I acknowledge that had I not decided to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and surrender myself to His Lordship, I would not be saved.




If Jesus atoned for your sins, why wouldn't they be paid for whether you believed it or not? (If they're actually atoned for). If your buddy pays off your credit card debt, it's paid whether you believe it or not.

You said that you give God all the glory and reserve none to yourself, then you state that you made the difference and that your faith and receiving the gift is what actually saved you (because you believe Jesus died for the person in hell as well, hence His death didn't accomplish anything apart from what you add).

This is the hard part to understand. Is the glory all God's or half and half? If you say it's all God's, but then say that it's your decision that is the difference between heaven and hell, that's quite a major contribution, right? From your answer, it would seem that God would have at least somewhat of a 'thank you' for you in heaven.

Maybe you could explain...

 2009/8/28 19:25Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2002
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

From your further questions, it seems to me that I see a couple of key things that might help. First, is seems like you are focused on individual actions of sin as the thing that we need to be “saved from”, which leads to much confusion. Actually, it is probably one key thing, the second being a byproduct. Let me see if this helps.

It is not your individual acts of sin that are the problem. They are only the symptom of the problem. The problem is that we were born into sin. When Adam sinned, he not only experienced death physically, but his spirit, which was once alive to God, became dead toward God. In John 4:20-24 the woman asks Jesus what the correct physical location was to worship. She thought that to please God she had to be in the right geographical location. Jesus said that true worshipers worship in spirit and truth. It is only a spirit that is alive unto God, born again, that can truly worship God. In John 3, Nicodemus had the same problem. Jesus told him that it was his SPIRIT that had to be born again, not his physical being. That is what I meant when I said that we did not become sinners because we sinned, we sinned because we were sinners from birth.

Too often churches teach that we need to be forgiven of our sins, and that if we will just come to Jesus and get our sins forgiven we will be saved. This is a very incomplete idea of salvation. I think the reason you are having the confusion might be because you see your sin as a collection of wrong deeds you’re you did that were paid for. If that were the case, then I can see how you would wonder why anything is required of you, since paid for means just that. This is not a complete picture of what salvation consists of. Salvation is the regeneration or rebirth of the spirit. We become aware, not that we committed some sins (that was no news to us), but that we are sinners by our very nature and separated from relationship with God because of it. To be in right relationship, our spirits must be born again. This rebirth is only possible because of the price paid by Jesus Christ, but is not automatic. We must believe on what Christ did and make Jesus the Lord of our lives. This means putting Him in the driver’s seat. He paid the price for sin. He became sin for us so that we might be righteous. He did not become individual actions of sin. He became sin. It is sin (the original condition of the spirit) that separates us from God, not sins (the recent actions that were just symptoms of what was really on the inside).

I know that without this way to right relationship being opened up for me, I would have no hope. So, although I did ultimately decide to make Jesus my Lord, to surrender my whole life to Him, and accept the gift offered to me, I cannot take credit for the work that was done in me.

Does that help clarify or does it introduce new questions?


_________________
Travis

 2009/8/28 22:40Profile
Miccah
Member



Joined: 2007/9/13
Posts: 1752
Wisconsin

 Re:


twayneb wrote:

Quote:


From your further questions, it seems to me that I see a couple of key things that might help. First, is seems like you are focused on individual actions of sin as the thing that we need to be “saved from”, which leads to much confusion. Actually, it is probably one key thing, the second being a byproduct. Let me see if this helps.

It is not your individual acts of sin that are the problem. They are only the symptom of the problem. The problem is that we were born into sin. When Adam sinned, he not only experienced death physically, but his spirit, which was once alive to God, became dead toward God. In John 4:20-24 the woman asks Jesus what the correct physical location was to worship. She thought that to please God she had to be in the right geographical location. Jesus said that true worshipers worship in spirit and truth. It is only a spirit that is alive unto God, born again, that can truly worship God. In John 3, Nicodemus had the same problem. Jesus told him that it was his SPIRIT that had to be born again, not his physical being. That is what I meant when I said that we did not become sinners because we sinned, we sinned because we were sinners from birth.

Too often churches teach that we need to be forgiven of our sins, and that if we will just come to Jesus and get our sins forgiven we will be saved. This is a very incomplete idea of salvation. I think the reason you are having the confusion might be because you see your sin as a collection of wrong deeds you’re you did that were paid for. If that were the case, then I can see how you would wonder why anything is required of you, since paid for means just that. This is not a complete picture of what salvation consists of. Salvation is the regeneration or rebirth of the spirit. We become aware, not that we committed some sins (that was no news to us), but that we are sinners by our very nature and separated from relationship with God because of it. To be in right relationship, our spirits must be born again. This rebirth is only possible because of the price paid by Jesus Christ, but is not automatic. We must believe on what Christ did and make Jesus the Lord of our lives. This means putting Him in the driver’s seat. He paid the price for sin. He became sin for us so that we might be righteous. He did not become individual actions of sin. He became sin. It is sin (the original condition of the spirit) that separates us from God, not sins (the recent actions that were just symptoms of what was really on the inside).

I know that without this way to right relationship being opened up for me, I would have no hope. So, although I did ultimately decide to make Jesus my Lord, to surrender my whole life to Him, and accept the gift offered to me, I cannot take credit for the work that was done in me.

Does that help clarify or does it introduce new questions?





Very well written.


_________________
Christiaan

 2009/8/29 0:07Profile
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re: fair share

Quote:
by imnowhere on 2009/8/28 13:43:08 If my decision makes the difference. If Christ's death accomplishes nothing without my vote. If my obedience is neccessary to save myself. If Christ died the same for many in hell. If Christ hoped for all to be saved, but it's in our hands. If the only difference between me and those in hell is what I did... How is the credit for salvation realistically divided between us and God? How can I really say all the glory is God's like I hear people say? Is it all God's? How does one define being saved by grace? Does it matter to us? To God?



Understanding the grace of God must start with the fact that all men are sinners and all are deserving of the eternal fires of hell. Without God's intervention, no amount of repentance, penance, obedience, decisions for God, sacrifice, pleadings, absolutions --- nothing you can do can save you from your just reward: an eternity in hell.

God is (most of all) loving, holy and just. His holiness requires that only those who are spotless or blameless may be near him. His justice demands that all sins must be paid for. God's grace came to us because of his love --- he sent his only son to die as the atoning sacrifice for all our sins (justice), and to present us as spotless before the Father (holiness) through his Lordship over our lives, which we must choose to accept.

So you can see here, the glory is ALL God's. The gift of eternal life was purchased for us at a very steep price --- the life of God's only son. And out of his love, God offers that gift to all of us. But it only becomes ours if we in turn accept that gift (through faith that is validated by repentance, obedience, and love). Who then deserves to be praised and glorified for that great gift? Should it be the generous and loving giver or the undeserving recipient? Should man puff himself up and claim personal honor and glory for accepting a gift he did not deserve? Should he not rather recognize the greatness of God's grace and love, and give God the glory? Should he not humble himself even more, and repent even more of his sins, and strive to the best of his ability to never ever again grieve God who loves him so?

If a rich man gave a $100 bill to a beggar out of a sense of charity, should the beggar say "Thank you"? Or should he say "Thank me"? Or "Thanks to both of us, otherwise this deal would not have pushed through"?

 2009/8/29 13:05Profile
imnowhere
Member



Joined: 2009/8/1
Posts: 69


 Re:

So you're saying it's all of grace except the obeying and believing part, which in fact makes our salvation effectual, and without it God is unable to save us? Or is our believing and obeying grace as well? Or is our believing and obeying part of the good works ordained from the beginning for us that only come after we are saved? The natural man can't please God, so I'm wondering how he can excercise saving faith and repentance in the natural state, for surely those things are pleasing to God?

 2009/8/30 0:30Profile
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

You are right in saying that without the believing part (faith), God is unable to save us.

Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Faith in God is the starting point of our redemption and salvation.

Jn 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son."

Only through our faith in God can the Holy Spirit come and lead us further into salvation and rebirth.

Jn 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
Jn 3:6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

 2009/8/30 1:19Profile









 Re: fair share

Thats a very interesting post, and poem, and questions that you pose. I mean that.

Do you know what really grieves me about the witness of the "evangelical church"? (and to preface, I mean no insult towards anyone, or any grouping of God honoring folk) here's what grieves me: there is this great emphasis on, "accept Christ so you don't go to hell"...there is such a great emphasis on hell, who is going there, who is not, what must be done, so one doesnt go to hell, the things or sins that one can committ to wind up in hell, the list is endless, the dialogue unremitting, and I believe that this fixation, on hell bound or not is just missing the mark.

Wasn't It Jesus Messiah Himself, who kept referencing during the Gospel accounts, "The Kingdom of Heaven is near you"....or the Kingdom of God is near you"....and every place He said that, it was in reference to serving God. (at this point a lot of posters would be putting up Scriptural references to buttress the point they just made, thats not this poster, for I would be robbing you of your joy, and your fun, and I would never do that, because searching the Word of God is joy, look up what I speak of and see if I'm right)

Co-laborer's. Thats what God desires. Not fearful wimps who do religious STUFF or "amen" at all the right places just to juice themselves out of hell. That is so weak-kneed and selfish it makes me sick, its just "religion", and religion kills, Jesus saves. But "saves" for what?

To Co-labor with Him, and if folks believe that the meaning of "colaboring" is to try and "talk" someone into "making a decision" to confess Jesus as Messiah, its my conviction, that they are off the mark.

a question, would people serve God just for the joy and love OF serving God, or do they serve God for an "incentive", said "incentive" being, "whew, I'm not going to hell when I die".

What if you knew that even though, you serve God, love Jesus, co-labor with God, and at the end of your life, you're cast into hell?

you'd say (not YOU, this is an example) you'd say, "what a minute, that's absurd, me and God had a "deal", I made a decision that I'm going to accept Jesus as my personal Messiah, my Saviour, and when I die, I'm going to Heaven!"

[b]a deal's a deal...right?[/b]

wrong, one doesnt make "deals" with God. You either love God, or you don't, you either fear God or you don't, you either believe God or you don't. Its "either.... or". Either you are a son of the Light, or son of the darkness, and once you in the depths of your heart and soul, believe love fear God, then the Knowledge that Jesus is Messiah doesnt even require a decision or that damnable "sinner's prayer"...you just know the Truth that Jesus is the Son of God, crucified on the tree, as the last Pascal Lamb, the last atoning sacrifice for the sins of humankind and was resurrected on the third day, and as I type this Jesus has the most wonderful intercessory prayer ministry going on right this second, and God has sent His Comforter, God the Holy Ghost, to bring us into all Truth and Love, which is sanctifying all those who are sons and daighters of the Light, and that Light is Jesus Christ.

Its supernatural, its imparted, its imputed, and once we start to sup off this reality, we grow in this Knowledge, and once we grow, we WANT to feast on His Word, we WANT to live holy, we want to love others as ourselves, our lives become a perpetual dialogue, a perpetual prayer up to God, our lives become the witness of the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Oh yes, we can testify to others what God did in our lives, but our very lives become an example to others who do not know love fear believe God, and then we let God the Holy Ghost deal with them.

God forbid we dont muck it by trying to manipulate others with our fleshly , albeit well intentioned fear based "you're going to hell" palaber that calls itself "witnessing". God have mercy on some of these "open air preachers", who have stumbled many and shut the door of the Kingdom of God in many people's faces. (I'm not speaking of ALL open air preachers, just the ones who are doing harm to the ministry of reconciliation, who are they? God knows) Would to God, He make their tongues cleve solidly to the roofs of their mouths, amen.

Now, how do I "know" all this? Only by what happpened to me, and I tell you this; no human man preached one word to me, to bring me to the Confession of Messiah. Briefly told, I was in a bad place, and a person dear to me told me this, "neil, when you get scared, just ask God this, "God please be with me"....and brother, or sister, I leaned on that prayer like you wouldnt believe, like a drowning man clings to a rope, and if you remember correctedly, the Hebrew Name "Immanuel" means "God is with us", and that precious bit of Scripture in Isaiah 7:14 prophesies the coming of Messiah, and I tell you Messiah came into my life, Praise the Mercy of a loving God! Within two weeks, I found myself in a New Testament Church confessing that Jesus is Lord.....because I had to, I couldnt do anything else, my hand wasnt on the rudder of my life anymore, [b]thank God[/b]

Now, does that mean everything is perfect in my life?,.....no. Does that mean I dont sometimes stumble fall and fail God? Oh yes I do. But what that does all mean, is that I lean on Him, I lean on His faith, and not on my fear, and I endeavour to co-labor with Him, Jesus the One I love.

Grace Peace Courage and Strenghth in Jesus Christ be with you, neil

 2009/8/30 7:09
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2002
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
So you're saying it's all of grace except the obeying and believing part, which in fact makes our salvation effectual, and without it God is unable to save us? Or is our believing and obeying grace as well? Or is our believing and obeying part of the good works ordained from the beginning for us that only come after we are saved? The natural man can't please God, so I'm wondering how he can excercise saving faith and repentance in the natural state, for surely those things are pleasing to God?



Not going to be totally dogmatic, but look at this scripture closely. Ephesians 2:8. The interlinear Bible says it this way, For by grace ye are save through faith; and this not of yourselves... I believe the "this" talked about is the faith necessary to believe for salvation. I would back this up by using Romans 3:22 which says that our righteousness is by the faith of Jesus Christ and by Gal. 2:16 which says it as well. What is implied, I think, is that I did not have within my own self even the faith necessary to be born again, but that I needed an impartation of faith from God to believe.


_________________
Travis

 2009/8/30 10:16Profile





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