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yuehan
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Joined: 2011/6/15
Posts: 510


 Cling to Jesus (by Dustin Horstmann)

(devotional from Dustin Horstmann)

I want to say something like Charles Spurgeon would tonight:

Don't cling to your faith or repentance. Cling to Jesus.

Don't clothe yourself in your faith or repentance. Clothe yourself with Jesus.

Don't stand on your faith or repentance. Stand on Jesus (who alone is a Rock).

Don't lift up your faith or repentance. Lift up Jesus.

Faith and repentance aren't saviors. You can't lean on them.

Only Jesus is worthy of our trust and hope.

Isn't it amazing that we can lean on Him? Let's clear away everything keeping us from coming to Him as a child.


 2017/10/1 7:51Profile
JFW
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1390
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: Cling to Jesus (by Dustin Horstmann)

Brother Yuehan,

I have a couple of questions for you regarding your post-

I know it sounds good but is it...?

How can one know that the “Jesus” to which one clings is in fact the Jesus of the Bible without including the very things that Dustin suggests we not also cling to, as they are biblically inseparable?

How do we know that “our Jesus” isn’t “another Jesus” of our own making and in fact not the one revealed in scripture ?



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Fletcher

 2017/10/1 8:24Profile
yuehan
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Joined: 2011/6/15
Posts: 510


 Re:

I believe the essence of what Dustin wanted to convey was that - we should not be focusing on the degree of our faith or our repentance. Rather we should be focusing on the Lord Jesus Christ.

There are times in Scripture where Jesus commends someone for their great faith in Him (Matt 8, Matt 15). Notice that what these people did were simply to focus on Jesus and trusting Him - rather than focusing on themselves, trying to work up faith or struggling to believe.

So what we need to do, to emulate these examples given to us in Scripture, is to look to Christ. This act of gazing at Him *is* faith - it is repentance, and it is the "work" that God wants us to do (John 6:29).


 2017/10/1 9:39Profile
yuehan
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Joined: 2011/6/15
Posts: 510


 Re:

"Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 18:2-4)


 2017/10/1 10:29Profile
yuehan
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Joined: 2011/6/15
Posts: 510


 Re:

This must have been the original Spurgeon quote that Dustin had in mind when he penned that devotional:

It is ever the Holy Spirit's work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan's work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, "Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of his children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus." All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: he tells us that we are nothing, but that "Christ is all in all." Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee-it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee-it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument-it is Christ's blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by "looking unto Jesus." Keep thine eye simply on him; let his death, his sufferings, his merits, his glories, his intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to him; when thou liest down at night look to him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after him, and he will never fail thee.

"My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness:
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name."


 2017/10/1 10:53Profile
JFW
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1390
Dothan, Alabama

 Re:

Thanks for responding brother,

It’s interesting you cited this passage of scripture... “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Something I’ve noticed over and over in scripture are these “therefore’s”.... these are mostly calls to action, wether spiritually or physically. Now just to be clear, I’m not advocating trusting in our “works”, tho I am hoping to challenge the doctrines that diminish our participation, to the point of lil to no consequence by overemphasizing one truth at the expense of another. Often when we do this we will encapsulate an idea with a short tag line that is easily remembered and or repeated. Sometimes that tendency actually results in our misdefining of a term, taking a more secular definition over the biblical one.
Grace is an easy one to illustrate this,...
in the secular world, grace is unmerited favor-
In the Bible it’s, Gods divine influence upon the heart and its affects being observed-

Note that just with the term grace, that there are at least 3 scriptures that clearly say that “God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble”... at least two of these passages are immediately followed by exhortations to “humble ourselves”... now in light of this is it actually true that grace is entirely unmerited? How could one say such when the scriptures clearly exhort us to position ourselves to receive the grace of God?

But if grace is always unmerited then why are we exhorted to act in order to receive it?

Thanks again for your patience with me:)


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Fletcher

 2017/10/1 11:02Profile
JFW
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1390
Dothan, Alabama

 Re:

Yes I agree that the passage from Spurgeon you provided is most likely the source of Dustin’s thoughts... and that is precisely the point-

I love Spurgeon and am a student of his as I am of Finney and Wesley, etc...
However when the man I admire is in conflict with scripture then I hope to always defer to scriptural authority over mans, no matter how eloquent their speech. As it’s often thru the subtly of words we are deceived and thereby led astray.

Point in case; In the above passage Spurgeon exhorts the reader to not grasp, or cling to ones hope tho this, I submit, is in direct conflict with the scriptures... Hebrews 10:23 comes to mind- which says to in fact do just that thing... “hold fast to OUR HOPE” then explaining why states that Jesus Himself is faithful to fulfill His promises to us.

I understand that this may be a small thing for you tho I sincerely encourage you to consider this matter and prayerfully take to before the Lord.
Sometimes men, well meaning and godly men, get it wrong and that’s why Jesus made a point that few should be teachers as the judgement will be stricter on these due to the influence they wield and the devastating effects their errors have on those whom they teach...

Dear brother I do hope you know my heart is not to contend “with you” rather “for the faith” :)
,


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Fletcher

 2017/10/1 11:29Profile
yuehan
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Joined: 2011/6/15
Posts: 510


 Re:

Hi Fletcher,


1. But what is humility? Isn't humility acknowledging that we cannot save ourselves, and thus we turn to Jesus in faith to save us?

So the act of turning to Jesus in faith (i.e. repentance), acknowledging our dependence on Him - that's what I believe biblical humility is about.


2. That "grace" is the "unmerited, undeserving favour of God" can be seen in the following verses:

- Ephesians 2:8-9: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast."

- Romans 11:6: "And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work."

We see a tight contrast here - Paul says that we effectively have only two options: we can either choose "works" or "faith" / "grace". You can't choose both! And there is no third option either. Why?

It's because we are either trusting in our own works, or we are trusting in Jesus' finished work on the cross. So whose work are we trusting? Where is our trust?


 2017/10/1 13:46Profile
JFW
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1390
Dothan, Alabama

 Re:

Brother Yeuhan,

Thank you again for your patience:)

As we all know, our “trust” is in Jesus alone.
And I don’t mean to suggest otherwise, having said that we do have a role and if we truly trust in Jesus we will participate. By participate, I mean we obey His word not the words of man, no matter how well intentioned, when they are in conflict with the word of God as recorded in scripture and scripture clearly and repeatedly states God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble, if grace were truly unmerited then those passages would be a misrepresentation of the truth... While we cannot earn grace, and so in that since it is unmerited, we can however and are exhorted to position ourselves to receive the grace, the divine influences of God upon our hearts so that we can be saved. That “positioning” is humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God.
Repentance is simply turning from serving self to serving God, tho even after we repent and desire to obey the clear commands we find (Romans 7) we cannot, as we lack the power to both act in accordance with His word as well as resist sin consistently. This is precisely where the grace of God that brings salvation, the same grace we are exhorted to “grow in” comes in to enable us to obey and thereby be saved (Hebrews 5:9). We become partakers of said grace by faith because sometimes we can’t see far off and are overwhelmed by our circumstances, we see dimly as it were, which is why faith is defined biblically as “the substance of that which is not seen”.

So perhaps I’m misunderstanding Dustin and by extension Spurgeon, however it seems to me there is a position which places faith in grace, rather than the God who gives it,... and if that be the case dear brother as it is often with the “grace message” then it is a subtle, tho nonetheless grave error which often leads one to wrongfully assume that justification equals salvation. In doing so those whom succumb to such doctrine tend to codify repentance and by extension turn the grace of God unto a license of licentiousness among several other misguided renderings.

I hope this serves to clarify my concerns with the writing you posted and again the issue I take is not with you or any man, rather with what I perceive to be an error.

Blessings to you brother Yeuhan:)


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Fletcher

 2017/10/1 19:01Profile





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