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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : When Jesus Turns over the Tables

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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3777

 Re: finetuning our thinking

So I challenge you to move of a life of 'avoiding sin' to a life of 'seeking blessings

I don't think that my article quite intended to produce this end product - in fact, just the opposite. There are countless scriptures that speak of our need to avoid sin - deliberately, because there is a consequence - for all sin - saved or not.

Yet, I realize that an obsession to avoid sin can also be a bondage - a thin veneer for the same problem - trusting in self for our justification. The Pharisees were always doing that (cleaning the outer cup) but they were not admitting the core sin of their heart, a resistance to the first commandment.

I've heard this phrase (above) used in the past many times by those who said they weren't going to concern themselves any more about sin. They didn't care about how their faults, sloppy habits, etc, may have affected others. Really they were justifying themselves, thinking, "I'm saved by grace, halleluiah!, and you better accept me as I am." Pride, self-will, and other sins still ruled - but they were blind to it.

The purpose of my article was to expose our tendency to justify ourselves, all the while denying hidden sin. I also hoped to illustrate the importance of touching the conscience before any change could happen.

The test for the expert of the law was revealed in the way he refused to show mercy to the sinner. We can't imply that he never showed love to people - just not certain people.

Perhaps our attitudes towards the homosexuals would be our modern-day test of obedience to the Law.


 2005/6/25 8:55Profile

 Re: Hi Roady,

Beloved, if we are busy doing right, following the leading of the Holy Spirit, it seriously reduces the opportunity to do wrong. It's the focus, what are you looking for in your life? Comfort, pleasure, lust? Or is it the lowly and downtrodden?
Many who attemp wrong doing are only concerned with attempting to do as much as is absolutele leagally functional to appease the flesh. See, it's kind of like attempting to drive the speed limit. It is next to impossible to do that without going a bit too fast, breaking the limit and the law. Maybe we just disregard the law and set our own limit, you know that 4 or 5 mph over the limit, what we think the police will tolerate.
This kind of chirstian has no heart for obedience. They are religious through and through. They want an arm and a leg on the cross and the other two in the street. You and I amd most of our readers know that just won't work. You can't be just a bit crucified no more than you can be a bit pregnant.
Christianity is motivated by the heart, where God places in us both the will and the desire to do His good pleasure. His good pleasure extends way beyond the walls of a building that we have come to know and love as church.

In His blessing,


 2005/6/25 20:27


The lawyer must have been shocked to learn that in order to love God with all his heart, all his soul and his entire mind, and love his neighbor as himself, he would need to give up everything that was more precious to him than God.

Eventually the very beliefs and practices that we use to justify ourselves may very well convict us – just as they convicted the lawyer.


Reading your article was like doing a practice round with Cassius Clay... ouch! Ouch! OUCH!

Perhaps it is more than a touch of religious hypocrisy that means I have never heard the lawyer's heart expounded so efficiently. Your evocation of his response, was worthy of a second and third reading. The thing that strikes me most about it though, is that back then, there was a genuine concern for truth and honesty, which forced him to be honest even in the face of his illustrious colleagues. Or, perhaps it was the presence of Jesus which made the difference?

Jesus’ one-minute parable was a [b]deathblow[/b] to the lawyer’s [b]entire value system[/b] – his status, his position in society, his Jewish lineage, [b]and his education[/b].

I just have to say another [b][size=medium]OUCH![/size][/b] at 'his education'.

Intellectual respectability is always threatening to revert to expositions of sophistry. Definitions of integrity suffer under such burdens. It is as great a challenge to the Church as ever, to turn the world to consider arguments pertaining to eternal life and the One non-theoretical Truth by Whom it draws temporary breath.

But God’s Spirit, nevertheless, works within us to [b]help us see the truth about ourselves[/b]. And then we can either humbly choose his mercy, or we can maintain our pride and resist his [b]generous offer of a better way[/b].

[i][b][size=small][color=CCCC00]don't delay! [/color][/size] [size=medium][color=FF6633]- BELIEVE Today! -[/color][/size][/b][/i]

John 6
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

 2005/6/26 12:08

Joined: 2005/6/23
Posts: 13

 Sorry for any confusion...

Perhaps I was to broad in my statement of Seeking Blessings rather than avoiding sin. Let me elaborate. We know that God is ready to bless us, and that He dislikes punishing us but by His grace and faithfulness to do so, we should rejoice that he discipline's us. When do we live like that though? I'm a Baptist and I consider the Church I go to to be the quite opposite of most Southern Baptist churchs today. Not based on pride in the religion, not legalistic, unwelcome, and sometimes very wordly. Even so, we sometimes fail to live the life I'm reffering to. God has promised abundant life NOW and forever. We say that God is not eager to punish us but how often do we live that way? For an example, every time something remotley annoying comes through our lives we are goin through a 'storm'. Sometimes in our repentance of Sin we feel already defeated and are looking for the punishment and become the modern day equivalent of the rent garment, fasting pharisee. What I'm trying to say is that living a life that is equal to the Grace that God has shown us leaves no room for a defeated attittude. When we sin we say, "man, that stinks!" (because we of course hate sin) and after we have our time of repentance (which again, I stress, I' not implying should be less sincere) are right back on our feet and thankful to our Father who has Grace and Mercy overflowing for us. Instead of repenting and thinking God is going to get me this time, I'm really in trouble. Even though we don't exactley always think this exact thought that's the kind of ideals that is portrayed as we live that life. God dosen't want us running from sin to sin trying our best to beat them but from Blessing to Blessing and in the process sin will be a defeated curse! For instance, we are so quick to tell the Jew sitting on the ground after the thieves have nearly killed him, "Brother, you are going through a hard time right now, can I just pray with you?" Again, this is not always wrong but why do that when yuo can pay hi bills clean his wounds and treat him as family? My wife and i have a friend that is going through a time right now trying to find a place to stay, and it's mostly because a fellow 'christian' room mate of her's is having a relationship outside the rights of marrige and our buying a house leaving our friend nothing but a swift kick to the rear. She was down and I told her, "look, you have our place and you're more than welcome for dinner a warm bed and whatever you need for however long! You have an amazing church whcih you can rely onm and you have an opprotunity to get out of a situation that was getting the better of you! Say, I think you pretty blessed!" Frankly I'd much rather hear thatr than how I'm just going through a rough time right now and need to let the water still. Again, yes sometimes that type of advice is needed but I think we are to blessed to let that be the majority of our way of dealing with things. God dosen't want us having a defeated life, we should face sin with the idea of when we pass the test God will be pleased with us versus the mindset of what will happen if I fail? This is such a hard one. If we are busy in God's work and are bveing blessed by His hand, sin will not be something that we have to spend such much time on trying to defeate because by His grace we will be living a life that defeates sin before we even encounter the temptation. Again, Diane my post was really just a personal note to a very touching and correct passage. Call it a small spin-off a wild rabbit that I thought may help in one small way or another.

Lahry, thank you my brother for your warm welcome, I'm so happy to be here. Isn't it amazing that even though the world say's it's so great and so advanced that they don't need things like a god or faith, but yet His love still shines bright to everyone that will except it! I will remind you of the scripture John 12:32 If there is a stirring of Christ he will bring people to Him. There are some people who are just not called to be 'missionaries' in the sense that they go street preaching or on mission trip, of course we know that all Chritians are to share the Gospel of Jesus, but certian people (i.e. pastors) are to grow their flock. Now addressing your point, a cop out is for us to bring people to Church and let them be shared with there... again, a Pastor with a Evangelical message is more often than not the tool in this situation. I'm not trying to fine-pick you post which is exactley what I'm doing Lahry, and I apologize :{ So I'll say that after we've been fed by our own studies and a the support of a Godly Church, there is not a crowd that Jesus appeals to better than the one Lahry has told us. Witnessing is not comlpeted when we just do it to the one's we're comforatable speaking with. Jesus accepts all sinners and praise Him for it forever and ever, but it cannot be denied whom Christ spent His time with, and it was not the popular or wealthy but the ones who where willing to realize that Jesus was the one true way. Thank you Lahry for this 'wake-up call' about the comforts of modern day witnessing. It's a blessing to me to hear an evangelical desire for "...all to be saved..." Thanks my brother. I love you all.

 2005/6/27 10:42Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3777

 The presence of Jesus

...which forced him to be honest even in the face of his illustrious colleagues. Or, perhaps it was the presence of Jesus which made the difference?

Dorcus, I'd say, the latter!! We know when we have encountered Jesus, because we have become more aware of ourselves. Jesus is like a mirror.

When Peter said, "Depart from me for I am a sinner." Lk. 5:8 wasn't he really saying, "Go, away, Jesus, I can't stand looking at myself"?


 2005/7/24 18:11Profile

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