SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : General Topics : Unassurance

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Next Page )
PosterThread
dann
Member



Joined: 2005/2/16
Posts: 239
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

 Re:

Quote:
It was certainly wrong and needed to be corrected but would that make it a 'sin'? Was it not a mistake or a misunderstanding? My rule of thumb understanding of 'sin' is that it is a clash of wills and hence a conscious thing



One 'rule of thumb' I use is that if we know to do good, and fail to do it - that makes whatever we do sin.

On the strength of that premise I presume that Peter was in the transgression. I am assuming of course that Peter was not confused or ignorant in his transgression.

Dan
/\/
\/\


_________________
Daniel van de Laar

 2005/5/11 12:05Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi guys,

My take on what Peter had done stems from what James called having "respect of persons." If we do so we commit sin and are convinced of the law as a transgressor. It seems that what Peter had done closely resembles the preference that one would be given if they had worn "a gold ring or goodly apparel"- in that they are 'Jews'. [i]There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.[/i] The way in which it ruffled Paul and how he responded suggests that Peter should have known better. It seems very close to a rebuke as I have read and pondered these passages.

Even more striking is that he did not say "stand thou there or sit here under my footstool"- but completely withdrew from the Gentiles. Others who would have stood their ground as to the truth of the Gospel were also carried off. Barnabus seemed to know it was wrong- but was carried off with the dissimulation. I see this as peer pressure induced prejudice. Paul stated before his feeling, [i]"whosoever they were it maketh no matter to me, God respecteth no mans person"[/i]. Peter saw the sheet and heard the voice. God Himself told Peter that the Gentiles were cleansed in Christ. What higher authority did he need?


Clearly what God had cleansed Peter was trying to call 'common' through his actions. God had repeatedly told him not to do that. Peter was not too quick to part with Judaism on this issue.

Another point is that he was compelling the Gentiles to live as do the Jews;

[i]But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, [u]why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?[/u][/i]


The second count of transgression would be in that he was in some way "building again the things that had been destroyed." Here Paul writes:

[i]For [u]if I build again the things which I destroyed[/u], I make myself a transgressor.[/i]

The third count is that as an Apostle his actions were such that it was 'compelling' the Gentiles to live as do the Jews when he himself did not live as the Jews. We also read:

[i]I [u]do not frustrate the grace of God[/u]: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. [/i]

Perhaps Peter did not think through the ramifications of what was happening, but the more Paul talks the worse it looks. He reaches the finality of his argument by showing that at the end of the day the message that was being sent was [i]... then Christ is dead in vain[/i].


Surely it was serious error. Would it be sin for me to act in an unloving way to a Jew? or to withdraw fellowship simply because they were Jews or slaves or white or black or any such thing. Was it sin for [i]him[/i]? If it was not it would only be because it was an act performed in ignorance. If it was done in full light it was sin whether he were an Apostle or not. It certainly was not love.

God Bless,

-Robert


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2005/5/11 12:47Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Peter saw the sheet and heard the voice. God Himself told Peter that the Gentiles were cleansed in Christ. What higher authority did he need?

You certainly make a good case. It just that I know how long it takes for a genuine paradigm shift to percolate through the whole of a person's thinking. My instinct, right or wrong, is always to see the struggles of the early saints in the best possible light.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/5/11 14:13Profile
AsliEren
Member



Joined: 2005/2/3
Posts: 56
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

I came to a conclusion today that this assurance issue is something people settle in their minds early on.

There are those who fail to meet the holy standard that is written in the bible and therefore allow for sin. Then there are those who give up allowing for sin and admit they can do nothing but sin and look to Jesus. Anyone have some good verses to make this point?

Zac explains what we should do well:

4. Holiness comes by looking unto Jesus

"Let us run the race....looking unto Jesus" (Heb.12:1,2).

The secret of godliness is found in the Person of Christ Who came in our flesh (as 1 Tim.3:16 makes very clear) - and not in the doctrine that Christ came in our flesh. It is through His Person and not through a doctrinal analysis of His flesh, that we become holy.

Any amount of self-effort will never make a sinful heart holy. God has to do a work within us, for that to happen.

Holiness (eternal life) is God's gift - and it can never be attained by works (Rom.6:23). The Bible states that God alone can sanctify us (make us holy) entirely (1 Thess.5:23 says that so plainly that no-one can mistake it). Yet multitudes of believers are struggling to deny themselves in order to be holy. They become Pharisees instead.

"The holiness which is no illusion" (Eph.4:24-Philips) is attained by faith in Jesus - in other words by "looking unto Jesus".

If we keep looking only at a doctrine we will become Pharisees. The purer our doctrine, the greater the Pharisees we will become.

The greatest Pharisees I have met on earth were among those who preached the highest standards of holiness through self-effort!! We have to be careful that we don't end up as one of them!

What it means to look unto Jesus is very clearly explained in Hebrews 12:2. First of all we are to look at Him as One Who lived on earth "enduring His cross" daily - "tempted in all points as we are and yet without sin" (Heb.4:15). He is our Forerunner (Heb.6:20), in Whose footsteps we are to run. Secondly, we are to see Him as the One Who is now "at the right hand of the Father", interceding for us and ready to help us in every trial and temptation.

 2005/5/11 15:26Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
It just that I know how long it takes for a genuine paradigm shift to percolate through the whole of a person's thinking. My instinct, right or wrong, is always to see the struggles of the early saints in the best possible light.



I totally agree. I pray God have mercy on us all. Maybe I look at a guy like Peter and think- if God brought Him through with all his shortcomings He will bring me through also. I think the Apostles were men of like passions as we are. One thing that stands out to me about the OT Saints is that they did not live perfect lives. Yet there was something that kept them living by faith and in favor with God. They kept on pressing and sometimes they made serious mistakes [i]near the end[/i] of their lives. David was very much in love with God as a young man and yet he failed God as life went on. I think there is more to the soteriological equation than we think. I don't think I have placed enough emphasis on 'faith' and have bought too far in to the Finney doctrine. I think Abraham My Friend showed me that more than anything I ever read.

God BLess,

-Robert


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2005/5/11 15:39Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Hey everyone, I've really enjoyed the progress of this thread. There was a terrific attitude of sharing and listening that lead to a very edifying conclusion.

Thanks!

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2005/5/11 17:26Profile
AsliEren
Member



Joined: 2005/2/3
Posts: 56
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Hey MC,

I'm glad you approve of how it's going. I really enjoy your input so it's good to have some confirmation that the Spirit is right.

I had some more thoughts today about this unassurance idea. When we are in sin we are believing in subjective ideas and have subjective experiences. We create a delusion in our mind that is so far outside of Christ as to not be in Him at all. Our minds have no other choice but to believe in a false reality, therefore the reason why we are unassured. It follows a natural law. Sin is not holy like God is. Therefore when we perceive sin as an objective reality we will have a false subjective experience which will put our minds outside of Christ when in reality we are still in Him according to the objective facts about God in His word.

So true repentance must come to see and have faith in the objective realities of who all God is from His word. "Clean hands and a pure heart without which no man may see God." "Blessed are the pure and heart for they shall see God"



 2005/5/12 10:34Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re: Some thoughts on assurance

Quote:
I had some more thoughts today about this unassurance idea. When we are in sin we are believing in subjective ideas and have subjective experiences. We create a delusion in our mind that is so far outside of Christ as to not be in Him at all. Our minds have no other choice but to believe in a false reality, therefore the reason why we are unassured...So true repentance must come to see and have faith in the objective realities of who all God is from His word. "Clean hands and a pure heart without which no man may see God." "Blessed are the pure and heart for they shall see God"



I'd like to run a little with the direction you turned here. There are two ways I understand the word "assurrance." The first meaning is our confidence or belief while the second meaning is to refer to Christs' warranty or fidelity. So, in a way, assurance can refer to something both subjective and objective. The problem with sin is that it hinders and even prevents our ability to hold onto the objective facts in Christ, leaving us with our shifting subjective confidence.

This deluded unChristlike mind is the chief problem with sin. While sin destroys lives through it's harvested consequences, it's real danger to us is that it grieves God and hardens our heart against repentance that leads to the abiding fellowship with His Spirit. We cannot expect to see God with our eyes on the world. I think the inevitable result of this lack of "sight" is lack of assurance. I think your statement "We create a delusion (through sin) in our mind that is so far outside of Christ as to not be in Him at all" refers to this experience.

While we exhort people to repent, deep down I feel true repentance is a precious gift from God. It involves having our eyes opened to not only our miserable condition but the holiness of God. "I have heard of You with my ears; But now my eye sees You; I abhor myself, snd I repent in dust and ashes." It is the most awful mistake we can make to waste this gift. Still, can we agree that our stubborn delusions and blindness alter our subjective perception of reality, not the reality of Christ himself?

Our thirst for assurance can not be satisfied with a cocktail of fact and feeling. We need to drink from "Jacob's well", the promise given to Abraham. In light of God's promises I feel it is misguided to measure our factual assurance according to the state of our own conscience. Though we must strive through fire and water to keep a pure conscience, our purest conscience can't ever be the source of our assurance or warranty from Christ. (I am not saying that we should soothe a troubled conscience with cheap grace...a troubled conscience is precious grace for repentace!)

There are people who say that if you are truly saved then the Holy Spirit will tell you and prove it to you. I think this is equivocating on that which must be unequivocal. There are many realities of the gospel that are beyond "knowing" as such but they remain reality. For instance, what does it feel like to be seated with Christ in heavenly places? If we are wating on Christ to assure us that we are assured than we will have a hard time entering into His rest. Not because He will never save us, but because he already has and therefore our inability to rest is based on some other search for self-validation.

I like how Watchman Nee discusses assurance so brilliantly in Normal Christian Life...the chapter titled "Reckoning." I can not think of a more sound book to suggest on this subject.

"Let us remember again that we are dealing here not with promises but with facts. The promises of God are revealed to us by His Spirit that we may lay hold of then; but facts are facts and they remain facts whether we believe them or not. If we do not believe the facts of the Cross they still remain as real as ever, but they are valueless to us.

"We walk by faith, not be appearance" (2 Cor. 5:7), mg). You probably know the illustration of Fact, Faith and Experience walking along the top of a wall. Fact walked steadily on, turning neither to right nor left and never looking behind. Faith followed and all went well so long as he kept his eyes focused upon Fact; but as soon as he became concerned about Experience and turned to see how he was getting on, he lost his balance and tumbled off the wall, and poor old Experience fell down after him.

All temptation is primarily to look within; to take our eyes off the Lord and to take account of appearances.

So in our walk with the Lord our attention must be fixed on Christ. "Abide in me, and I in you" is the Divine order. Faith in the objective facts make those facts true subjectively. As the apostle Paul puts it, "We all ... beholding ... the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image" (2 Cor. 3:18 mg.). The same principle holds good in the matter of fruitfulness of life: "He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit" (John 15:5). We do not try to produce fruit or concentrate upon the fruit produced. Our business is to look away to Him. As we do so He undertakes to fulfill His Word in us.

How do we abide? `Of God are ye in Christ Jesus.' It was the work of God to put you there and He has done it. Now stay there! Do not be moved back onto your own ground. Never look at yourself as though you were not in Christ. Look at Christ and see yourself in Him. Abide in Him. Rest in the fact that God has put you in His Son, and live in the expectation that He will complete His work in you. It is for Him to make good the glorious promise that "sin shall not have dominion over you" (Rom. 6:14)."

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2005/5/12 13:05Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

I'm sorry to be the one to drop the pebble into this little pool of sweet accord...

I have been much blessed my Watchman Nee over many years but I have some questions about this part of his teaching. Here is a quotation from Tozer In the late 1950s, A. W. Tozer wrote about what he called "the error of textualism," which has its counter-part in today's "wordism." This is what he said:

"The error of textualism is not doctrinal. It is far more subtle than that and much more difficult to discover, but its effects are just as deadly. Not its theological beliefs are at fault, but its assumptions.

"It assumes, for instance, that if we have the word for a thing we have the thing itself. If it is in the Bible, it is in us. If we have the doctrine, we have the experience. If something was true of Paul it is of necessity true of us because we accept Paul's epistles as divinely inspired.

"The Bible tells us how to be saved, but textualism goes on to make it tell us that we are saved, something which in the very nature of things it cannot do. Assurance of individual salvation is thus no more than a logical conclusion drawn from doctrinal premises, and the resultant experience wholly mental." (Man: The Dwelling Place of God, A. W. Tozer, page 18, copyright 1966 Christian Publications, Inc., Harrisburg, PA.)Tozer objected to the way that in place of 'the witness of the Spirit' modern evangelicals (I mean 50 years ago!!) were substituting 'logical deductions drawn from proof texts'.

I think this problem is latent in Watchman Nee's teaching on 'reckoning'. It is too easy for someone to be 'reckoning' on something that they don't have in the bank. If it's not there reckoning it is will get be into all kinds of financial trouble. If it is there, then 'reckoning' is a good policy.

The people who are being encouraged to 'reckon' in Romans 6:11 are the people who in the earlier verses actually 'know' something. They have not been persuaded by someone counselling them for 'lack of assurance' but they 'know'. This knowing puts us back into the centre of 1 John where knowing is so crucial. I note the point at which John says 'we know that we know'.

This is not to rubbish Watchmen Nee but just to sound a caution lest we drift back into 'textualism'.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/5/12 14:27Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re: Plop!

Quote:
I'm sorry to be the one to drop the pebble into this little pool of sweet accord...


LOL. Your ripples are welcome!

Quote:
This is not to rubbish Watchmen Nee but just to sound a caution lest we drift back into 'textualism'.



Your caution is welcome. The assurances of scripture may be like the mortar that holds my bricks in place. If I have no building blocks of experience then I can't build my house with just the mortar. (or insert a better analogy here at your pleasure!)

I guess assurance is a bird that needs two wings to fly. I suppose I will always hold scriptural revelation and spiritual experience in tension with one another...never dismissing either. I haven't figured how to lean wholey on one while disregarding the other. (Remember our earliest conversations where I asserted that "we've become too didactic"? Look at me now!)

Come to think of it, resolving this tension has been one of my little ongoing preoccupations ever since I have been a Christian. Looking back I see it as a fine line that I've only managed to walk by zig zagging back and forth across it.

In stressing my point I think I zagged abit and I thank you for your zig!

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2005/5/12 14:57Profile





©2002-2019 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Privacy Policy