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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : The root cause of all your sinning is your own unbelief.

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roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Quote:
RoadSign,

Please help me understand what you are attempting to say here about Romans 5.

What God has already done in Christ is a Living reality.

Now is it not unbelief that will keep any person from actually walking in and participating in the Life of Christ?



Thank you, tuc, for these words. They need to be said! Indisputably unbelief prevents one from truly accepting Christ’s forgiveness and his new life. Even for us who are believers, we have no idea how deep unbelief (ie, distrust) may be hindering what God would like to do through us.

About the idea of “belief/unbelief” - I understand it to be an issue of trust. That takes us back to the Garden. The Pair were alienated from God – and ever since all have come into this world alienated from God. Nobody is born in the Garden of Eden with intimate fellowship with God. Nobody is born with the natural ability to trust God - because trust involves relationship: knowing and grasping God’s love (Eph). I think we have lost our appreciation of this spiritual quality because the word “believe” has become so closely associated with ascent of propositional data - that is: I agree that it’s true. But that’s not necessarily belief - as in trusting faith.

We seem to get terribly stuck on this issue of “blame”. Whose fault is it? That’s our way of thinking. Our minds are programmed that way. It’s the way our society operates. But it gets us into trouble when it comes to spiritual truths about God.


Being a sinner is not a matter of whose fault is it. Frankly, it is not my FAULT that I came into the world with Adam’s disposition. And if I am alienated from God and do not know him as he is, how CAN I believe? If we can move past the blame game, I think we can become more focused on God’s solution for sin. It is, as we know, a marvelous act of mercy and forgiveness!


The other problem with the blame game is that we disregard societal forces at work. Unbelief is not just a personal issue – but also a cultural phenomenon. One raised in a secular environment who knows only a distorted version of ‘God’ – should not be expected to belief THAT God. That, is presumption – not trusting faith.

So, you see …. simple assertions like the one you made are not incorrect in themselves. It’s just that they fail to embrace a far bigger picture. And they can be used to judge a person harshly, unmercifully, and impatiently.

Diane


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Diane

 2012/6/28 18:12Profile
roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

I got thinking: This theme of unbelief is worth exploring more. It's a big one!

Questions in my mind:

Would it not be correct to refer to unbelief itself as sin?

How does unbelief set in to the human makeup?

Why is unbelief so easily overlooked in the battle against our sinful ways of thinking and doing - either personally or societally?


Diane


_________________
Diane

 2012/6/29 9:19Profile









 Re: The Elder Son refused to enter the party

Luk 15:25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
Luk 15:26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
Luk 15:27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
Luk 15:28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
Luk 15:29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
Luk 15:30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
Luk 15:31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
Luk 15:32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

The father had already done EVERYTHING possible that he could for this oldest son but the son was so angry he refused to enter into the celebration.

The father kept loving him and kept intreating, wooing him and asking him to join in but he would not.

There was nothing more the father could do. His own son's refusal prevented him from truly enjoying what his father had already prepared.

Now if anyone refuses to enter into what God has already prepared for them, then no amount of forgiveness would help or somehow cause them to enter.

This refusal kept this elder son outside of the celebration and party that the father had planned and was a reality at the time of the refusal.




 2012/6/29 10:23
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Quote:
There was nothing more the father could do. His own son's refusal prevented him from truly enjoying what his father had already prepared.


The elder son, of course, represents Israel – those who had tasted the heavenly gift... those who had refused to enter God's rest because of unbelief ” see Hebrews.

Quote:
The father had already done EVERYTHING possible that he could for this oldest son but the son was so angry he refused to enter into the celebration.


I do not believe so!!!! There was one hope yet for the people of Israel – their only hope. You know what it was, right!


Diane




_________________
Diane

 2012/6/30 6:54Profile









 Re: Diane

I find this very interesting and strange. I have never heard any teaching that the elder son represents Israel.

In this teaching who did the younger son represent?

Where can I read or hear about more about this?

How do you know for certain that this teaching is the correct view of this parable?

 2012/6/30 14:12
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Well Tuc,

You got me thinking: Where DID I get this idea that the older brother was Israel (and by implication the younger brother were the Gentiles). I guess I've never considered it otherwise. The two brothers represent the two main categories in Jesus day - the same two which would be addressed further by Paul (ex Romans and Ephesians). The older brother's reaction is like the Pharisees' to whom Jesus was talking - and really, that is who I had in mind when I said, "Israel".



Tuc, there is something else I'd like to raise regarding the problem of unbelief. I've been wrestling with the theme of God's judgment as depicted in verses such as this:

“They do not know nor understand; For HE HAS SHUT THEIR EYES, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. .” Isa 44:18 (NKJV)


How can anyone believe when they are blind - that is, do not have the capacity for spiritual truth? Scripture (throughout) notes that God himself has caused this to come about - as a form of divine judgment.

What do you think?

Diane



_________________
Diane

 2012/6/30 22:07Profile









 Re: Diane

Firstly - I just do not see that this parable represents what you are saying.

It just does not fit that the younger brother somehow represents the Gentiles.

Nor does it fit that the older brother represents Israel.

I have looked at this story many times but I just do not see how it could be viewed this way.

I am open so please give me any insight that would help me with this view.

As for what you wrote about blindness I will have to get back to you on that latter. I do plan to respond to that what want to take time for thoughtful prayer on this important subject.


 2012/7/1 9:44
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Quote:
It just does not fit that the younger brother somehow represents the Gentiles.

Nor does it fit that the older brother represents Israel.



The Israel/Gentile symbolism, I think, is generally held. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t ever be put to the test - in case it has become a mere assumption.

Still - context is vital in biblical interpretation. That includes both the immediate context and the wider context. Both readily lend credence to the Israel/Gentile symbolism. The brothers represent two great streams of people in the Covenant promise: those “who were near” and those “who were far” (see Eph. 2:17, Is. 57:19) The great mystery of the promise, mentioned in Ephesians involves just these two groups – the ones who were at odds with each other – hopelessly divided by an insurmountable barrier of hostility. Christ would bring those very two streams together into one! In Jesus day the Jews could not imagine any Gentile being brought into the kingdom. That was a big barrier on their part – as depicted in the older brother’s behavior. Jesus’ parable must have felt shocking and even heretical to the Pharisees’ ears that day.

The Israel/Gentile imagery respects the overall biblical context – cover to cover. It fits the Law, prophets, Gospels, and epistles. And it fits history: the Gentiles did end up coming in – when Jews did not (see Rom. 10.)

The question for you then, TUC is: Why might Jesus not have had these two groups in mind?

Would an Israel/Gentile interpretation necessarily prohibit contemporary applications such as today’s churched vs unchurched folk, or the law-abiders vs the “worldly”?

Diane






_________________
Diane

 2012/7/1 17:36Profile









 Thanks Diane

Thanks so much for sharing this.

I was very surprised to hear this view because I had never heard of it before.

I do understand how shocked and even mad some of the Jews were when God embraced the Gentiles when He included them in His Covenant.

If you know of any sermon that would explain this view in more detail please let me know.

I still plan to respond to the blindness issue you brought up but want to take my time.

 2012/7/2 8:17
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re: Thanks Diane

Quote:
I still plan to respond to the blindness issue you brought up but want to take my time.



Thanks, TUC. Take your time. You could also consider parallel references: dulling of the mind, ears getting stopped, Jesus' parables and teachings centered around blindness..., the veil, etc.

Diane


_________________
Diane

 2012/7/2 9:04Profile





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