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PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
Scripture is clear about what Jesus, Peter, Paul, Stephen and other biblical teachers preached ( they preached repentance and faith ). If you think we need a new way that is more effective ( which is what a lot of these discussions drill down to )then you're going down rabbit trails. I may be overreacting to this post, but I'm heartsick.


There is no question we must preach repentance and faith...the question is [i]how[/i] we preach it. We can recite word-for-word Peter's balcony message in Acts 2 and have no heart-prickings whatsoever. It's not a matter of repentance and faith preaching per se; it a matter of knowing the God Who puts authority and divine unction behind our repentance and faith preaching.

This is where many new believers and zealots go wrong. They think they can just up and emulate Whitefield and Charles Finney and preach repentance, like copying a receipe off the internet to bake a cake. All their words are correct, all the doctine is in place (all the ingredients are there), but the oven has not been pre-heated by God. I believe that unctionless repentance preaching does just as much damage as antinomian preaching in long run. A cold oven is a cold oven, period.


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Paul Frederick West

 2009/2/2 11:43Profile
RobertW
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
Scripture is clear about what Jesus, Peter, Paul, Stephen and other biblical teachers preached ( they preached repentance and faith ). If you think we need a new way that is more effective ( which is what a lot of these discussions drill down to )then you're going down rabbit trails. I may be overreacting to this post, but I'm heartsick.



Certainly I'm not looking for new methods. But the thing we must realize is that Jesus and Paul were truly led of the Spirit and [u]not[/u] in some superficial way. We are also trying to reckon with why many of us have preached our hearts out with repentance, faith, hell, etc. and have seen little [i]lasting[/i] results (I.e. genuine regeneration).

So what we are seeking to pin down is exactly [i]why[/i] it is that folk are not coming into genuine regeneration. I am not willing to assume it is merely hard heartedness on the part of the hearers. People have always been hard hearted.

I personally want to know that I am teachable enough to alter some idea I have or some approach I am taking that may be more of a hindrance than a help. I want to be used of God and not try to take the book and go it alone. So in short, we need to be sensitive to God and be ready for whatever scenerio presents itself.

I have lived long enough to know that simply thundering repentance is not the [i]only[/i] solution. Some people are demon possessed or in dire mental straits, etc. Jesus and the disciples ministry cannot be reduced to something as simple as John the Baptist's. Steven preached [u]full[/u] of the Holy Ghost with a disposition that is remarkable in the face of the experience. It is challenging to truly delve into the awesome depth of ministry that existed in the first century.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/2/2 12:19Profile
whyme
Member



Joined: 2007/4/3
Posts: 293


 Re:

Brother Paul,

The gospel is the power of God unto salvation when the word is preached and combined with the Holy Spirit's power. Unctionless preaching and hearing is the problem, not what to preach. Jonathan Edwards read his sermons two inches from his face with absolutely no emotion to speak of. People were weeping in the aisles. George Whitfield cried during his pleadings for repentance.
The point is not what the men did but what the Holy Spirit did in the hearts of the people hearing it. I don't say this in a deragotory way to anyone. The Holy Spirit is like the wind, you can't cry Him up. He goes where He desires, not necessarily where we desire. I know you know all this so I'm probably missing the point. I don't preach by the way so take what I say with a mound of salt, but the Scriptures seem to say ( much better ) what I'm trying to say. This is why it is so difficult not to discuss the doctrines of grace. I think evangelizing and witnessing is a much easier task when you know that God sovereingly moves in peoples hearts to make them willing to believe versus the opposite which leads people to try to figure out ways to present the gospel in a way that will be better received.

 2009/2/2 14:58Profile
live4jc
Member



Joined: 2008/10/2
Posts: 203


 Re:



Much truth to be gleaned from what's been written here. God bless you, brothers and sisters :-)

Someone shared earlier about their experiences sharing the gospel with people in the inner city,lamenting that many of these people claim to be Christians, despite not having evidence of a changed life to back up their claims. This experience is much like what I've encountered, during my visits to street missions.

Recently, I was talking to a man I've talked to a few times before at a mission, and he claimed to know Christ. He talked about marijuana being "nature's aspirin"- that sort of stuff. It seemed like nothing I said penetrated his heart much. When I brought up God's moral perfection compared to our utter sinfulness, it seemed to make a dent in his armour but still nothing that lodged an arrow in him. Truly, the Spirit is needed to open up a man's heart to the truth of his lost condition.


Here's a question. The apostle Paul said this, as recorded in Philippians 1:15-18 :


"15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: 17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. 18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice"

If I am honest, when I read this passage I'm puzzled that Paul says that he rejoices when people preach Christ out of envy and strife (because Christ is still being preached). Anyone else have any insights into what he had in mind that could help to clarify what Paul was and wasn't saying here ?

In Jesus,
John

 2009/2/2 18:09Profile
MJones
Member



Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Re:

Quote:

whyme wrote:
I think evangelizing and witnessing is a much easier task when you know that God sovereingly moves in peoples hearts to make them willing to believe versus the opposite which leads people to try to figure out ways to present the gospel in a way that will be better received.




Consider the middle of that road. Paul said something to the effect that I become all things to all men that I might win some.


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Mike Jones

 2009/2/2 18:13Profile
tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re:

Just adding to thread

This 3 minute audio clip of J.C. Ryle is worth listening to.

[url=http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1100994251]The workings of grace in the heart[/url]


_________________
TJ

 2009/2/2 19:01Profile









 Re:

Quote:
There is no question we must preach repentance and faith...the question is how we preach it. We can recite word-for-word Peter's balcony message in Acts 2 and have no heart-prickings whatsoever. It's not a matter of repentance and faith preaching per se; it a matter of knowing the God Who puts authority and divine unction behind our repentance and faith preaching.

This is where many new believers and zealots go wrong. They think they can just up and emulate Whitefield and Charles Finney and preach repentance, like copying a receipe off the internet to bake a cake. All their words are correct, all the doctine is in place (all the ingredients are there), but the oven has not been pre-heated by God. I believe that unctionless repentance preaching does just as much damage as antinomian preaching in long run. A cold oven is a cold oven, period.








I read this some time ago. I was wondering what your thoughts are on this:

Authority and Submission ~ Watchman Nee

"....SATAN’S BEGINNING
Satan became Satan because he overstepped God’s authority. He wanted to compete with God and to stand in opposition to God. Rebellion is the cause of the fall of Satan.

Both Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:13-17 speak of the transgression and the fall of Satan. Isaiah 14 tells us that Satan violated God’s authority, while Ezekiel 28 tells us that he violated God’s holiness. Violating God’s authority is a matter of rebellion; it is more serious than violating God’s holiness. Sin is a matter of conduct; it is easy to be forgiven of sin. But rebellion is a matter of principle; it is not easy to be forgiven of rebellion. Satan, in trying to set up his throne above that of God’s, violated God’s authority. The principle of Satan is the principle of self-exaltation. Sin’s coming into being was not the cause of Satan’s fall. Rather, Satan’s rebellion against God’s authority, for which he was condemned by God, subsequently gave rise to sin.

[b]Hence, if we want to serve God, we can never violate the matter of authority. To do so is to follow the principle of Satan. We can never preach the word of Christ under the principle of Satan. There is a possibility in God’s work that we can stand in principle on Satan’s side, while we stand in doctrine on Christ’s side. All the while, we may think that we are still doing the Lord’s work. This is a very evil thing. Satan is not afraid of us preaching the words of Christ. He is only afraid of us submitting to the authority of Christ. Our service to God can never be according to the principle of Satan. Once the principle of Christ comes, the principle of Satan has to go. Even now Satan is still a usurper in the air; he will not be cast out until the end of Revelation. Only when we wash ourselves spotlessly clean from the principle of Satan can we hope to serve God.[/b]

In the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 there is the phrase, “And do not bring us into temptation.” Temptation speaks of Satan’s work. There is also the phrase, “But deliver us from the evil one.” This refers to Satan himself. Following this, the Lord said, “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” This is the most important declaration. The kingdom is God’s and so is the authority and the glory. Everything is God’s. What sets us completely free from Satan is seeing this most precious thing—the kingdom is God’s. The administration of the whole universe is under God. For this reason we have to learn to submit to God’s authority. No one can steal God’s glory.

Satan showed the Lord all the kingdoms of the earth, but the Lord said that all the kingdom of the heavens is God’s. We need to see to whom authority ultimately belongs. When we preach the gospel we are bringing people under the authority of God. If we are to establish God’s authority on earth, is it then possible for us not to meet authority ourselves? If we do not, how can we deal with Satan?.."

http://www.peacemakers.net/unity/wnauthority&submission.htm




 2009/2/2 19:09
MJones
Member



Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Re:

RebeccaF,

I wasn't sure I was going to like your point when I first started reading it. But I read it twice and think I like it very much. I especially like and agree with the highlighted text, which is I guess why you highlighted it.

If you think about it, your point allows for both types of preaching that has been talked about in this thread - the preaching that emphasizes our need of repentance and the preaching that calls us to a relationship with a God that loves us (so that it is not misunderstood, when I say this, I don't mean that we emphasize the love of God and do not require repentence, I mean that the effect of the love of God in our lives will in itself cause repentance)

The key is proclaiming publicly what we hear in secret - there is a verse to that effect. And the key there is that we first hear.

Edwards message, who is known for one end of the spectrum, was effective because he heard it in secret. I think I remember hearing Edwards wife though, commenting on how she liked the gracious style of Whitefields messages.

There is room for both and God in His wisdom and sovereignty is able to lead those who are sensitive enough to hear the living word of God, and not just the written one (meaning there is the aspect of God making His written word come to life when He speaks it to us). When we proclaim this living word, whether it hammers the need to repent or tenderly speaks of God's love and grace, it has the end effect of drawing those who hear it to God.


_________________
Mike Jones

 2009/2/3 5:41Profile
live4jc
Member



Joined: 2008/10/2
Posts: 203


 Re:



Robert W wrote :
"Certainly I'm not looking for new methods. But the thing we must realize is that Jesus and Paul were truly led of the Spirit and not in some superficial way. We are also trying to reckon with why many of us have preached our hearts out with repentance, faith, hell, etc. and have seen little lasting results (I.e. genuine regeneration). "

Robert, I wonder how many others feel this way as well. I do. We believe that we have shared a salvation message and have prayed much and sought for the unction of the Spirit, but have not witnessed the move of God we were hoping for. Was it because of sin in our lives ? Quite likely this has been part of the explanation.

I believe that when the Spirit is outpoured, as on the Day of pentecost and as he has been repeatedly throughout history, we see him accomplish in a small time, what has never been accomplished over a longer time through all our best efforts through organization and methods of one sort or another. This is the 'unction' we are looking for, the Spirit Himself.

I am interested to hear about the experiences of those who have witnessed God move in some powerful ways. In the past year, I have seen some signs of God doing a work of breaking up fallow ground and some other things which have been encouraging to see, but still I think of that song that says, "Mercy drops round us are falling, but for the showers we plead."

In Jesus,
John

 2009/2/3 7:45Profile
whyme
Member



Joined: 2007/4/3
Posts: 293


 Re:

I would profer 1Cor1:17 through 2:10 for the definitive answer to the question of what should be preached to effect salvation. The verses also give a very sound explanation as to when and to whom you should expect the preaching to be effective. As to whether love or repentance should be preached, my humble opinion is that proclaiming Christ on the cross demonstrates His hatred of sin, His love of justice and His law, His judgement against those who reject the cross ("unless you repent you shall likewise perish"), His price for redemption earned and His love for His people. So it is not repentence or, it is both. The truth is spoken in love, the truth is not just love.

The gospel message is the "word of the cross" ( 1Cor1:17,18 ), the power is the Holy Spirit proclaiming that message through the speaker and the message into a heart that has been prepared by God. Take a look at the parable of the sower in Luke. The sower is a constant, the message is a constant (ie., the Word ). It is the heart that is the difference maker. As Christ says in the explanation of the parable, only a pure heart receives the Word to root and bear fruit. We always reverse it. We say a heart becomes pure after it is saved. The parable of the Sower says otherwise. God opens the heart and prepares it for the reception (effective )of the Word unto salvation. If anyone suggests that it is the preacher or the hearer that makes the heart pure then I respectfully disagree.

 2009/2/3 8:49Profile





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