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Joined: 2008/10/9
Posts: 143
Ohio, USA

 The Naked Gospel by Andrew Farley

Has anyone ever read "The Naked Gospel" by Andrew Farley?

What do you think of it?

 2009/9/1 12:20Profile

Joined: 2009/1/11
Posts: 98

 Re: The Naked Gospel by Andrew Farley

I have not read it, but it sounds like an interesting read from what I've gathered. He seems to be coming from a total-liberty for the Christian in Christ. He doesn't seem to be pushing antinomianism but comes close pushing ideas like: Christians are completely free from all the law, have no need to ask for forgiveness from God, and suffer no conviction from the Holy Spirit as believers.

Excerpt from an interview with Farley:

"Why do you say that Christians should have no relationship with the Ten Commandments?

A: When Paul describes the law as a ministry of condemnation, he notes that the law was “in letters engraved on stones.” Clearly, he’s talking about the Ten Commandments. So, the Ten will only minister condemnation – to the saved and to the lost.

Of course, people will argue the importance of the Ten Commandments for Christian living today. But just ask them, “What did you do last Saturday?” If they did any work of any kind, then they disobeyed one of the Big Ten. They might say, “Well we’re free from the Sabbath now.” My reply, “So then, it’s the Nine Commandments that we’re still under?”

We Christians dice up God’s law to get it the way we like it. But the reality is that the law is an all-or-nothing proposition. James tells us that even if we keep the whole law and stumble in only one point, we are guilty of all of it. We don’t have the right to cherry pick, selecting the parts that are comfortable for us.

It’s 600+ Jewish commands and regulations, or it’s total freedom to serve in the newness of the Spirit. The choice is ours. But there’s no room for selecting from the law here and there and imposing a few on Christians. That makes no sense at all.

The Jewish Law, including the Ten Commandments, is perfect in every way. It’s so perfect that nobody can live up to it! It’s actually designed to allow sin to thrive in our lives, to convict us of that sin, and to point us to our need for Jesus Christ.

After we receive Jesus, all we need is Jesus. He produces the love, patience, and self-control we need for daily living. After the salvation experience, any return to the law or another rule-based system is essentially “cheating on Jesus.”

B: You note that the New Testament contains no instance of the Holy Spirit “convicting” Christians of their sin. How does behavior improve then for the Christian?

A: Yeah, it may be surprising to hear such a claim given all the rhetoric we toss around about the Holy Spirit convicting us Christians. But the reality is that the root “convict” only shows up about eight times in the whole Bible. And the term is never used to describe how the Holy Spirit interacts with Christians.

The word “convict” means ‘to find guilty.’ Convicts are people who have been found guilty and are living out their punishment in prison. Why would the Holy Spirit convict us, or find us guilty, when He has already said, “your sins and lawless acts I will remember no more”?

God has chosen to forget our sins. And our forgiveness is expressed in past tense – we “have been forgiven.” It’s a completed act. Therefore, for God to drum up our past is inconsistent with the core Gospel message itself.

Of course, the Holy Spirit is our Counselor, our Comforter, and our Guide into all truth. So how does our behavior improve? By these very means! How can we doubt whether personal counsel from the God of the Universe is sufficient for daily living?
On top of that, does dwelling on our past and having our sins tallied up in our minds really help us do any better? I think it has the opposite effect. If we dig up our past sins, we only continue to see ourselves as dirty, rotten sinners. Then, guess how we’ll live? Like dirty, rotten sinners!

The whole point of the gospel is that we’ve been cleansed and we now have a brand new identity as saints. So, what is the Holy Spirit doing? God’s Spirit is praying on our behalf and bearing witness with us about our new identity.

Who wants “conviction” when we’ve got total forgiveness combined with the best Life Coach anyone could ever ask for? The Naked Gospel talks about how all of this plays out.

B: You claim that it’s unbiblical and insulting to God if Christians ask for forgiveness when they sin. Isn’t forgiveness one of the essentials of Christian belief? Explain that one.

A: Yes, the phrases “ask forgiveness” and “ask for forgiveness” are entirely absent from all New Testament epistles. It has never been about making promises to God, trying harder, or listing every sin on a legal pad and waiting to be cleansed afterward.

Although it’s very religious to ask for forgiveness, it totally ignores the work of the cross. Jesus took away our sins and cleansed us “once for all.” To ask, plead, beg, and wait for a new portion of cleansing to come our way is to ignore what Jesus said from the cross: “It is finished.”

Yes, we should turn from every sin we commit. Yes, we should be honest and open about our struggles before God. But we should also be honest and straightforward about the blood of Jesus and what it accomplished – an unconditional, irrevocable, one-time cleansing from all our sins!

Requesting forgiveness is not the same as thanking God for the cleansing we already have. Now that forgiveness has been accomplished, our job is to relish the work of Jesus Christ and to deem it “enough.”

As we rest in the finished work of the Son, we please the Father."

 2009/9/3 19:34Profile

Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


[b]Jesus said:[/b]

Mt 5:17-20 [color=CC3300]“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. [b]I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven[/b], but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."[/color]

[b]He also said;[/b]

Mt 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: [color=CC3300]“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ [b]All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments[/b].”[/color]

We should pray for the Holy Spirit to enlighten us that we may understand and obey. Relying on a mere man to explain this to us is unnecessary and dangerous. Too many men seek to exercise the ministry of the Holy Spirit for a price. Don't we all have access to the Spirit of God?

Jn 14:26 [color=CC3300]"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."[/color]

 2009/9/3 20:25Profile

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