| Grace & Truth|
Scripture says Grace and Truth came to Jesus. Recently we had an interview of Brother Yun who said that we need to preach the Grace as gospel to bring people to Christ. Once they are connected to Christ they will receive the truth from them. We should not turn those away by preaching the truth.
I am not an evangelist by calling, but I believe in Great Commission and everyone should be a witness for Christ in their community. Now when I share the Gospel with my friends and relatives, I have always started with truth and end with Grace. When I share God's word to Church, I always make sure they start with Truth and end with grace. I know this is the way the word of God should be shared to Church as I have assurance in this area from God. But regarding evangelism to unbelievers I do not know the right approach.
The problem I found in sharing the truth first to unbelievers is most of them do not agree that Bible and God's word is only truth. For example Hindus do not believe that idol worship is sin. If I start telling them the truth about God saying that Idol worship is an abomination to him. Then the argument starts, but somehow I end up telling them grace in Jesus and our forgiveness of sins, so that one day when eternity becomes reality to them they will remember my word. But overall the gospel sharing is fruitless.
Similarly there are friends of mine who are very good people by human standards so when I tell them that we have all fallen from God's glory they cannot agree with me. But whatever I have shared is truth.
Is it then wisdom to willfully start sharing the grace first? Is there a scriptural proof of this approach?
| 2014/1/10 0:43||Profile|
| Re: Grace & Truth|
Bumping the thread. Any wisdom on this subject?
| 2014/1/10 21:19||Profile|
| Re: |
Good question. My wife talks a lot with Hindus, and the last one I heard about yesterday was again one of these people that suddenly fell unconscious at home, after been in a church service that preached a strong message of repentance.
Turns out he has a serious problem in his life currently, and at the same time when opening his ear to the gospel, had also some magic from a Hindu "wise man" healer applied to his body. So basically there was a spiritual battle raging in him, that nocked him out.
My wife was telling me that this man was basically "stopped in his tracks" by explaining him the consequences of his actions which are quite serious, and he suddenly understood how fragile his position is and how short his life remaining, based on his current physical condition.
To offer someone grace without making him first realize his true condition is pointless. Everyone has to accept the truth of their condition in a reality check first and then take responsibility for their sins. Not blaming anyone else, but admit their guilt that led to their current state.
It's basically upholding God's standard and bringing them to the realisation of how they fall short of it. If you don't establish an absolute standard first (God is God, God has a will, He has a law, He sets the standard) then every possible understanding of all of that is subjective where anything goes and noboby has any need to receive grace and forgiveness. Forgiveness for what, they "don't have done anything wrong"? Grace for what purpose? How can you accept forgiveness if you're not able to recognize your sins?
| 2014/1/11 19:25||Profile|
| Re: |
I too, have been concerned about the message that has been presented concerning the order in evangelism presented as gospel. My first thought is who am I to question what is coming out of an area of great outreach like China. People being persecuted for believing in Christ who count not their lives more precious than His? I feel guilty for even questioning what was said but shall I lie to myself and say this is no concern when inside there registers something very uncomfortable with what was presented. Maybe I am misunderstanding what was being presented and if so, there may be no need to concern myself?
Maybe the Americanization of religion and thought has influenced me to where there has been a hardening of grace. So am I even fit to ask the question? I fear being dogmatic, knowing how God works, so I am not closed to correction or Spiritual enlightenment,
So where can I go to find the answer? Experience? OK! I know by my own born again experience that the last part of it was the Grace of our Lord and Savior. The first was my seeing God and the total exposure of who I was seen by the light of Him. The second was my judgement of myself caused by this exposure. The third was my repentance that came after my judgement and the fourth was Grace. The grace offered was so graceful that I kept saying No! No! This is the greatest injustice of all time that this pure and perfection of innocence who is the very Son and God would pay the price that should be mine to pay. So this was the order in my rebirth. That does not mean that all who are reborn follow these same events but I mention it because it does make me question the offering of grace first in presenting the gospel. Now in loving others I extend myself because Christ has done likewise to me, that would be graceful. However, what I am understanding is the truth of the spoken word in the gospel being presented and this is more a question of the order of its presentation in relaying the good news.
Two examples that come to mind. If I am in a burning theater, and it is engulfed by flames in the lobby and outside exits save one, and in runs the usher and proceeds to call my attention to the beautiful velvet curtains, comfortable chairs, the excellent sound system, the art work upon the walls and painted ceiling? ...............What of the fire? Should it be the last thing or first thing out of his mouth?
A doctor labors at length to tell me how incredibly my body is made and how healthy certain parts are, then after all that lowers the boom that I have cancer. I am not comforted by my own body regardless of how healthy it might be because it has allowed cancer in. I am desperate for something outside myself by this news.
These analogies may be full of holes and poor examples of the real circumstances that proffer grace but they do point to an order that seems reasonable. I don't discount that this is a supernatural message with a great miracle that accompanies its result but I would not be truthful if I did not admit the uneasiness felt by the modification of its order.
When in scripture we see example after example, too many to document for this discussion, but when do we see grace offered in scripture? This might be a good area for discussion and I am sure many examples will follow after we first meditate and pray that God leads us by the Spirit and not by the flesh. Ever since the posting of how the Chinese were presenting grace this has been on my mind. There are many reasons to question what we do and to true all things up to His Word. So we cannot not examine ourselves. Who is above such things. We have already seen the great damage of a cheap gospel that produces a license for grace without mandatory obedience. We have seen a cheap gospel where there is no rebirth and so many are left living by law and the hope that they are more good than bad which is a salvation by works when carefully examined. The last thing we need to do in a nation decimated by false gospel is to present that which could result in additional casualties. So I do understand the concern over this issue and I do hope that we as brothers and sisters in Christ can share in that which the Spirit leads us concerning it.
| 2014/1/12 11:26||Profile|
| Re: Grace & Truth|
My question is this:
Can Grace and Truth be separated ?...under the anointing?
Isn't Grace the drawing force,that comes with the Word ,whether it is
spoken (under the anointing by someone) ,or just planted within our heart
by The Lord ?
Lk.4:18,(Jesus speaking) The Spirit of The Lord is upon me,because He hath anointed me ,to preach the gospel to the poor;He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted,to preach deliverance to the captives,and recovery of
sight to the blind,to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Verse22,And all bore him witness,and wondered at the 'gracious' words
which proceeded out of his mouth.
| 2014/1/12 14:27||Profile|
| Re: Grace and truth|
Grace is meaningless until the truth is revealed, and the need for grace is exposed. This has been noted well in the thread.
It also goes to the point that the way the gospel is presented in modern America and other parts of the world, grace is almost an afterthought. When the gospel is presented with all the truth, the Savior comes at the back end. First the holy law of God is presented, and the the sinner's desperate need is established. Only then is the saving grace of Jesus an effective spear to the heart and repentance produces the fruit of a regenerated life.
I have no idea how "Yeah, whatever," conversions fare at the gates of the Kingdom. But when there is no evidence of grace or truth...??
| 2014/1/12 15:43||Profile|
| Re: |
Elibeth and Sidewalk, I believe we are all on the same page and in agreement even though on the surface it might look like there is some disagreement on the subject. Of course, how can grace be offered apart from truth? How can we, having received grace in abundance, withold it from others? This is the very motiviation of those born in Christ. So grace and truth in the born again cannot be separated.
This has led me to ponder what was said of the Chinese evangelists. They are offering their testimonies vs. the theological doctrines and seminary schooled teachings that are so common in our religious culture. How revolutionary? If there is one thing I do know as a great problem today, it is that the testimony has been relegated to the back of the bus. It may very well not even be given a seat! Is there any wonder how the false gospel has spread in such a climate such as this? A true believer's testimony is drenched in grace and if this is what is being spoken of as grace first, then I can well understand that this is the grace in its initial offering that is being spoken of by our Chinese brethren. So maybe we are misunderstanding our brothers abroad when we are concerned with a grace first presentation of the gospel? If the testimony is the grace referred to as being offered first in evangelism then I would like remove my earlier question and thank God for the light that He has brought to these persecuted brothers.
| 2014/1/12 17:46||Profile|
| Re: |
I asked for more practical pointers from some active field workers, where Hindus come to Christ on a daily basis:
Quote: "Start by letting them talk about their life first. Find the reality of their current life and ask some questions like 'what do you think about God'. During that time pray in spirit and ask for discernment to understand the people you're talking with.
Your basic 'heart set' should be a heart cry, a sadness for people that are lost and held captive by human religions and philosophies.
Once you know the reality of their lifes, and understand their position you also know what they are most proud about. Use that.
If there is any long arguing during that phase, stop, and just offer them a choice.
If they don't quarrel with arguments, the cross of Chirst is coming in already into the situation. Then you can start discussing sin, by talking about Adam and Eve. Hindus are involved in ancestor worship. Who are our true ancestors, according to the Bible? God says Adam and Eve, a key statement. Then go to Romans 3 and how everyone has fallen on sin and so death came in.
What followed was: Nobody has a relationship with God at all. We all lost the glory of God, everyone is blind and is in sin. All main religions understand that sin exists, they all agree on these points: 1) sin exists 2) all believe in good works 3) Hell and Heaven exists 4) because God exists, there is a need for sacrifice.
All religions outside of Christianity try to find a solution for these things "from below to above". Like in meditation, ascetic exercises, spiritual mystic experiences etc. Only Christ came from heaven to earth to find humans. Here it's good to intoduce some scripture talking about that exact reality.
At this point the "clever ones" in Hinduism go into the direction to talk about reincarnation, in an attempt to avoid the direction the discussion is going. Well, ask their expectations of what they are sure of by going that way. Then compare that with scripture and tell them the sure guarantees of Jesus that makes their 'maybes' not sound as good anymore. Expand on that with scripture, and let the Spirit guide you in the process.
One thing is important to not loose focus on.There is this story about a preacher in India, couldn't catch his name, that was visiting the villages for 2 years preaching without anyone repented. He gave up and went up on a hill, started fasting and praying and asking Jesus' direction in all of this. Until he came down again and sat in a public market place in a village. A small child came up to him and said "but I believe you". He responded with something like "oh that's good to hear, visit me in my tent and bring your parents also". From that point onwards 7 churches were built over the next 2 years in that area and surrounding villages. Everything changed for this preacher at that point.
So it's good to remember the preacher also needs to learn who God is, he also is in need to find more of his grace".
| 2014/1/12 20:38||Profile|
| Re: Grace & Truth|
Since Grace especially is, 'The Devine influence upon the heart' ,......(what is influencing in the heart ? ) It is the seed,..the Spirit / Word,..(Truth),
put into the heart,...and the working / drawing of Grace,upon that Spirit / Word in / upon the heart,to the will of God.
* We cannot come to God,( Who is The Spirit / Word ) ,except He draw us,
(By His Spirit of Grace)
The working together.
| 2014/1/12 21:22||Profile|
| Re: |
There you go again Elizabeth, always presenting the truth by and through His Grace.
In Christ: Phillip
| 2014/1/12 23:23||Profile|