Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Repentance and the Great Commission

Luke 24:46-49
46 Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high."

In Luke 24:47 we have Luke's rendition of the Great Commission. Here the Lord said "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." The Great Commission was not a commission to evangelize. This is taken for granted. In order to be an effective disciple of Christ, you must first be born again! The Great Commission was a commission to disciple those who believe. This ministry is to be done with reference to every nation.

Matt 28:18-20
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

In Matt 28:18-20 the Lord told the disciples to make disciples by baptizing them and teaching them to observe all that He had taught them. We don't conclude from this that baptism and discipleship instruction are conditions of eternal life, do we? In the same way, the Great Commission in Luke concerns discipleship. Repentance is indeed a condition of on going fellowship with God and of the forgiveness associated with that fellowship (e.g., Luke 5:32; 15:4-32). We know from 1 John 1:9 as well that all believers need ongoing fellowship/familial forgiveness from God. While we are completely forgiven at the moment of regeneration positionally (Acts 10:43), we need ongoing forgiveness in our experience.

Evangelism is only part of the picture, the starting point. In both these commissions this is taken for granted. We must make people disciples! We do so by first giving the message of eternal life, of course, but then by preaching repentance, forgiveness of sins, and teaching the new believers from the nations to observe all things that He has commanded.

The fact of the matter is that there is not ONE text in the New Testament that uses repentance or any of its cognates to denote a condition for the reception of eternal life and/or justification. Not one!

The verb used in Luke 24:47 and translated "preach" is the Greek verb kerusso, meaning "to proclaim aloud, announce, mention publicly, preach." Yet John certainly does not preach repentance (or any of its cognates) in his gospel, which was composed, by the way, for the express, written purpose of bringing people to faith in Christ and thus eternal life (John 20:30,31), the only explicitely evangelistic book in the canon. You don't preach a doctrine by being silent about it. Compare this to how explicit Peter is on the subject (Acts 2:38; 3:19).

John was there when Jesus spoke those words in Luke 24! In light of Christ's command to preach repentance, John did not do so! It isn't as if he doesn't know about repentance. He uses the word "repent" some 12 times in the book of Revelation. Besides Luke, John mentions repentance more than any other New Testament writer (even Paul!). It is significant that John was commanded to preach repentance but does not in his gospel, which was written for evangelistic purposes. John had plenty of opportunities to preach repentance as well, starting with his discourse on John the Baptist.

Along with this thought is the idea of "forgiveness of sins". Repent/repentance is found 0 times in the gospel of John, God's evangelistic love letter, but how many times is their mention of "forgiveness of sins"? Answer: virtually none. I say virtually none because there is one curious reference to it:

John 20:23
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

Whatever this verse is referencing, it is not talking about receiving forgiveness of sins by faith alone. For John, the matter is not forgiveness of sins, but the possesion or lack of possession of eternal life. For the one who has eternal life there is no judgment for eternal destiny; the one who has eternal life will be resurrected. John is not interested in forgiveness of sins in a salvific sense. For John, forgiveness of sins is a experiential, familial, and fellowship related doctrine. I do not deny that John understood the perfect forgiveness in Christ. Yet Paul is the one who deals with positional truth, and John's emphasis in his writings (the upper room discourse in his gospel and his 3 epistles) is experiential fellowship with God, and temporal forgiveness of committed sins is very important in that endeavor.

In Conclusion,

The Great Commission of Jesus Christ to His disciples communicated to them that they must be about the business of teaching the works and commandments that are required of born-again servants of the Lord, as well as doctrine vitally necessary to their growth.

The parallels of the Great Commision in Luke and in Matthew are striking and their message is complimentary.

So often in our readings of the Bible, we get caught up in lack of discernment. This happens to me frequently when I am not using the logical rules of hermeneutics.

One of the first rules of hermeneutics is the rule of affirmation. "Everything is identical with itself, or what it is, and we may affirm this of it."

Negatively stated, "It is erroneous to affirm the identity of two things unless Scripture does so". One must never say that two things are identical just because the reader finds them similar. In order for them to be identical, it must be affirmed that they are.

That is why one must distinguish between "like" or "similar" issues. For the understanding comes in the distinctions not in the similarities. This is "rightly dividing the word of truth".

So often, in my estimation, people use the words of Jesus or the writings of the New Testament authors in senses that are not warranted by the context. No greater danger in Bible exposition can occur than when this practice is used in soteriology. Jesus was definitely interested in getting people saved. Not doubt. But this was not his greatest emphasis. He desired that those who have received the free gift of eternal life would grow, mature, and be abundantly fruitful, to His and the Father's glory. The greatest emphasis in His teaching is discipleship/Christian life truth, not soteriological truth.

When theologians are not careful to abide by the law of affirmation, they fall into grievious error. This can be illustrated by the "biblical and theological mixologist": He throws a variety of scriptures and texts into a blender (a little of this, a dash of that, a pinch of this) and hits puree; the cocktail that is produced is a synthesis of soteriological and sanctification truth which is fatal, for eternal life is free, but discipleship truth expounds the hard nature and works of the servant of Christ. This cocktail is fatal.

The Water of Life is a pure and absolutely free gift. To add any other element to its reception (which is by simple and uncomplicated faith alone in Christ alone)is to subtly add poision to it.

My prayer is that we all seek to "divide" the Word of Truth correctly in order that in "that day" we will be approved. The eternal destinies of the hearers of your "gospel message" are on the line, therefore, we must use the KISS method:

KEEP IT SIMPLE, SAINT!

(You thought I was going to say stupid, didn't you?)

Antonio da Rosa
Lakeside, Calfornia

43 Comments:

Blogger Rose~ said...

Aha! I got the first comment this time.

The eternal destinies of the hearers of your "gospel message" are on the line

This is important. That is why it is worth discussing.

To add any other element to its reception by simple and uncomplicated faith alone in Christ alone is to subtly add poision to it.

Beware the leaven of the Pharisees.

Get a better night of sleep tonight, Antonio. :~)

February 01, 2006 9:04 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Once again you've done a great job of addressing this issue. The blender analogy can probably be applied to every denominational issue. Thanks again for all your efforts.

February 02, 2006 2:30 AM  
Blogger ambiance-five said...

[quote]He desired that those who have received the free gift of eternal life would grow, mature, and be abundantly fruitful, to His and the Father's glory. [/quote]

So you believe we grow on our own instead of growing because of the gift?

I believe the gift gives growth. This is to the Fathers glory.


Love

February 02, 2006 3:27 AM  
Blogger nothingnothingnothing said...

Antonio -

I believe this question has been raised before, but I'll ask it again anyways.

Isn't the act of placing my faith in Christ an act of repentance?

If repentance is the idea of turning away from one thing and turning to another. Then if my faith is now in Christ, it would stand to reason that my faith is not in whatever it was before. So for example, if my faith had been in money to provide joy and peace, then it was not in Christ. So then, if my faith is now in Christ, it's no longer in money. Of course, maybe I haven't defined repentance correctly. Maybe you could give us a definition so we're all on the same page.

Thanks,
Ten Cent (your brother in Christ)

February 02, 2006 5:28 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

I appreciate your clarity on these all-important subjects!

February 02, 2006 5:55 AM  
Blogger ambiance-five said...

Antonio and all,
I am only here and still reading because of Antonio coming to my blog and asking why it was removed from my roll.

If I and my beliefs are making you all uncomfortable and you would like me to leave please let me know I will follow the lead.

Love

February 02, 2006 6:07 AM  
Blogger ambiance-five said...

And please make it straight forward...

February 02, 2006 6:09 AM  
Blogger ambiance-five said...

Antonio,
When you came to my site and asked if you had offended me I thought for a moment that here was one that maybe cared if he offended.

I can see from this response that I was wrong. I hope your intelligence and my saintly stupidity makes you seem more manly.

February 02, 2006 9:04 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Hi ambiance,
I think Antonio is probably at work. He didn't respond, right?

February 02, 2006 9:18 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Excellent post, Antonio.

You covered this subject with a simplicity that would have been quite missing if I had dealt with it.

Had I written this post, being very ecclesiologically orientated, I would have got tangled up dealing with the complexities of the Dispensational position of the Great Commission in relation to Israel.

I am not sure you would quite agree with my Dispensational take on the Great Commission, but I certainly agree with your views on its soteriological singnificance.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

February 02, 2006 12:19 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Ambiance, you are not making me uncomfortable at all.

God Bless

February 02, 2006 12:20 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Ambience,

I believe that it is a co-operation between the Christian and God. God provides the spirit and the regenerate seed, and man supplies the environment for that seed and gives the opportunity to the Spirit by yeilding to Him.

Antonio

February 02, 2006 1:22 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Ten-Cent,

Repentance is not merely a change of mind, but a turning away from sins unto righteous behavior and includes the behavior that attends it.

John the Baptist explained repentance with doing certain works that he commanded selfish people, tax-collectors, and soldiers.

After Jesus talking to some Israelites about repentance, he gave this parable:

Luke 13:6-9

He also spoke this parable: "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, 'Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?' 8 But he answered and said to him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.'"
NKJV

Jesus commanded Israel nationally to repent. God waited on judging Israel, but after finding that they had not repented and bore the fruit of repentance, He judged Israel and in 70 AD Jerusalem was destroyed and 1 million Jews perished.

Repentance is not a mere change of mind, but a change of behavior.

Antonio

February 02, 2006 1:29 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Kristi,

I think that this is your first comment on my blog!

I appreciate your visit. Questions and comments are always welcomed (objections: less so, hehe).

I am glad that you were able to get something out of my writing.

Antonio

February 02, 2006 1:30 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Ambience,

I love you and your comments. You are welcomed here and I appreciate your visiting.

Did I offend you? Nothing in this post was directed at you. NOTHING. The hypothetical people in the Traditionalist religion were based upon people whom have been giving me a lot of trouble lately and calling into question my ability to teach.

Antonio

February 02, 2006 1:32 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

The tenebrous soteriological exegesis of certain theological pedagogues leaves one rather vacuous.

Ok, now for the English version. I plead with any rational reformer to efficiently and succinctly point out the fallible errors in this post.

This has helped me understand to a greater degree the immense need for discipleship. No wonder our babes in Christ are floundering on the rocks. They have been birthed and then left to fend for themselves. Those ones not fortunate enough to find milk are left to the wolves. They become prey for the various cults and fads of a sensually depraved society.

February 02, 2006 7:37 PM  
Blogger Bonnie Calhoun said...

Hey, Antonio...I haven't seen you around lately! My friend has started a new Bible study...come on over...I know you love to talk about the bible!

http://bibleseek.blogspot.com/

February 02, 2006 9:22 PM  
Blogger nothingnothingnothing said...

Antonio -

You said:
"Repentance is not merely a change of mind, but a turning away from sins unto righteous behavior and includes the behavior that attends it."

And I would whole heartedly agree. And would contend that repentence begins in the mind through faith. I still don't see how to seperate the two.

Look at:


Romans 8:1-9 (NAS)
1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

Here's what sticks out to me from that passage.

"For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. "

He's not talking about discipleship in this instance. It would appear to me that he's saying that if you have the Spirit, then you will set your mind on the things of the Spirit.

And at the end of the passage he says:


"But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him."

So it would appear to me that "having the Spirit" would me that I am a believer. And "not having the Spirit" would mean I'm an unbeliever. Is it fair to make that distinction? Wouldn't the idea of "belonging to Christ" necessitate that distinction?

So then I would say, if I am a believer, I belong to Christ and I will walk according to the Spirit. My mind will be set on the things of the Spirit. Paul's not saying that we will walk perfectly. He confronts that issue in chapter 7, right before he gets to all of this. But I believe that he is saying the mark of a believer is his or her behavior.

So you might say, "how does this relate to 'Repentance and the Great Commission?'" And I would say that at the root of your arguement even in this post is the same underlying thought as many of your other posts, faith is unattached to repentance. And I would maintain that if you have faith, you will have repentance.


In Christ,
Ten Cent

February 03, 2006 7:43 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Ten Cent, can I ask you:

Does a Christian ever need to repent of some sin?

If he does need to repent, has he lost his faith before he repents, or is he repenting while committing the sin that he needs to repent of?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

February 03, 2006 8:03 AM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

That is good insight that one must repent of pride and self-righteousness like that of the Pharisees. Evidently some here do believe in repentance whether they admit it or not.

also look at what Jesus said here.

Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees *and* that of Herod.
Mark 8:15

"When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to Him."

Herod was undecisive and unrepentant.

If one does not yeild to the Holy Spirit's conviction, he will not be forgiven. Mark 3:29

There is no other way outside of the Holy Spirit and His conviction of sin. Steven told the mob that stoned Him that they were stiffnecked and unyeilding toward the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings about repentance.

Only through the power of the Holy Spirit can one believe. He convicts the world of sin and points men to the Jesus. You cannot know God without Him. john 16:8-10

Read
Titus 1:15-16

also

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and wordly passions and to live self controlled, and godly lives in this present age...Titus 2:11-12

February 03, 2006 12:11 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Sorry about leaving out the referance to that Herod passage. it is found here Mark 6:20

February 03, 2006 12:14 PM  
Blogger nothingnothingnothing said...

Matthew -

You asked:
Does a Christian ever need to repent of some sin?

Yes. And not just some, all sin. And I'm not sure "need" is the right word. It's more that Christian's will want to repent of their sin.

You asked:
If he does need to repent, has he lost his faith before he repents, or is he repenting while committing the sin that he needs to repent of?

No, he hasn't lost his faith. In fact, his faith in Christ is the umbrella under which he has the desire to repent.

And I'm not sure I understand the second part of your question. You may need to clarify it for me.

And let me clarify something too. When I say the two cannot be separated, faith and repentance, I mean that when someone has faith in Christ, repentance is the necessary outflow of that faith. I'm not saying that you must repent to be able to believe...to be able to have faith in Christ. As if you have to clean yourself up before Christ can wash away your sins.


In Christ,
Ten Cent

February 03, 2006 12:38 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Ten Cent, so suppose I as a believer am committing some sin, do I want to repent of it while I am committing it?

Am I in a repentant state while sinning?

If faith and repentance are inseparable, surely then either one is not in a state of faith while committing sin or else one is in a state of repentance while sinning. Does this not follow?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

February 03, 2006 12:55 PM  
Blogger nothingnothingnothing said...

Matthew -

You said:
If faith and repentance are inseparable, surely then either one is not in a state of faith while committing sin or else one is in a state of repentance while sinning. Does this not follow?

You got me. Not sure exactly how to answer. But I'm working on it. We're obviously not thinking about things in the same way. And I need to figure out where the disconnect is.

In Christ,
Ten Cent

February 03, 2006 1:24 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Is pride and self-righteosness sin?

Can one believe in the free gift of God without turning from it?

February 03, 2006 2:14 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Brian, probably you could. We are saved through believing that we receive eteranl life through Christ's saving work, not by rejecting our pride.

Of course pride could lead one to follow a gospel of works righteousness that had no power to save.

However, there is nothing in saving faith that we exclude one who was proud and arrogant. Nowhere is humility presented as a condition of receiving eternal life.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

February 03, 2006 3:19 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

[Is pride and self-righteosness sin?

Can one believe in the free gift of God without turning from it?]


Brian,

You have got to be kidding, some of the most proud men I have seen are pastors and christian leaders.

Salvation does not change our sin nature, rather it gives us the ability to walk by the Spirit. Prior to regeneration we are slaves of sin, but when the Spirit enters our spirit, we are born again. We are thus responsible to put to death the practices of the body by putting on the Lord Jesus Christ daily and making no provision for the flesh to fulfill it's lusts.

The battle with sin, in all its variant forms exists as long as the flesh exists.

February 03, 2006 5:47 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

"Truly I say to you, unless you *turn* and become as little children, you will never *enter* the Kingdom of Heaven." Matthew 18:3

Yea hath God said?

The Pharisee and Publican example given by Jesus is now rendered obsolete.

Can a man understand Grace if he does not understand mercy?

Dear friend do other men serve as your example for believing the truth of God? That is Popery.

Do not let other men teach,they are not the Holy Spirit. When you measure what other men say by what the word of God says, you look to Popery. Consider this please.

Let the Holy Spirit speak to you regarding the Word. Call upon Him instead of friends in the blogishere to teach you.

But then again perhaps we no longer need the Holy Spirit as we now have the blogs to teach us.

February 03, 2006 6:00 PM  
Anonymous bobby grow said...

But, it seems Bhedr, is on to something--he's getting at defining terms, which is all important in this discussion. If Brian is implying that pride is annihilated after one is saved, then I would disagree, along with Matthew; if he is getting to the motivational why question then I think we should go with that aways. In other words why would a person want to choose to believe or trust Christ in the first place?

I think, like good old Augustine, concupisence (self love) is the most adequate definition of sin--this even gets under pride and arrogance (i.e. expressions of self-love); serving as the motivational center for why we do what we do in the first place (Jer 17:9), i.e. choose self over God. After all this is what God looks at, isn't it (I Sam 16:7)?

P.S. Jim, I will be starting a new bi-monthly blog.

February 03, 2006 6:06 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

BTW,

Repentance is indeed twofold, but Jesus does say there is indeed a turn intitialy and an humbling at the start.

We are never made perfect, but I call upon you not to lie against the word of God and try to dissect it according to your human reasoning.

Why is this important? There is indeed a false faith. John 2:23-25.

Peter detected this when Simon the Magician attempted to pay for the gift of the Holy Spirit. He told him that He needed to repent of the bitterness in his heart.

Hmmm

I thought the problem was money, but evidently Peter being led by the Spirit knew the deceit that even Simon was unaware of.

I think it dangerous to defend the faith of demons. Theirs is an unrepentant faith.

I beg you to consider this.

February 03, 2006 6:09 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Brian,

Sorry man, I just don't follow you?

Could you please tell how long ago you trusted Christ as your savior?

blessings,

Jim

February 03, 2006 6:37 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Bobby,

Aha! You couldn't resist, maybe you can dictate and someone else type for you, your wife maybe?

I look forward to reading your posts.

God bless,
Jim

February 03, 2006 6:40 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Jim,

There is a discussion at the JMOOR and it is there I gave a testimony of how I came to Know the Risen Savior and repented of my treachery.

When you come into contact with a Holy God, you will tremble as Isaiah did saying woe is me and then he gives His peace and sweet assurance.

We have offended a Holy God and he wants us to come to terms with the sin that nailed Him to the cross. He does this through the Holy Spirit who points us to God the son as the answer.

Wow,
Truly the blogishere is awash with all opinions except that of Scripture.

February 03, 2006 7:27 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

BTW,

You said>Brian, probably you could. We are saved through believing that we receive eteranl life through Christ's saving work, not by rejecting our pride.<

So then we don't need to reach the point of being a beggar recieving bread in humility and contrition as Antonio suggests?

Am I missing something here?

February 04, 2006 7:50 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Pride could certainly keep one from believing on the Lord Jesus Christ.

I would not deny that there is a certain humbling of oneself in believing that salvation is through Christ. However, one could still have an exagerrated view of one's self-worth while believing in Jesus Christ for salvation.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

February 04, 2006 9:32 AM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Finaly got an admission to at least some form of repentance in faith.

At least you are now attempting to be honest.

Romans 3:19

1 Corinthians 1:19

February 04, 2006 11:23 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Brian, if you think that amounts in any way to repentance, I would say your view of repentance is seriously deficent.

God Bless

Matthew

February 04, 2006 1:36 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

I am just trying to sugest that there is a starting point and I think you half-heartedly agree.

In reality our repentance and faith will never be perfect until we see Him face to face.

The Kings heart is in the hand of God and like the rivers of water, He turns its direction.

We do have a starting point and though our waters rage against Him, in his chastisement He directs us futher unto repentance.

BTW,

You never answered my question over on your site. Why do you like Jack Chick publications as he teaches repentance very forwardly.

Is He Roman?

Is he that which he hates?

February 04, 2006 2:05 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Brian, with regards to your BTW, I answered your question on my blog. Is there a problem with your computer?

So, repentacne is not actually necessary for salvation, then? Did Jesus say 'If you do not start repenting you will perish'?

God Bless

Matthew

February 05, 2006 8:57 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Brian, you have my apologies.

THe comment disappeared for some reason.

I think blogger was malfuntioning yesterday. I actually received notification of your comment four times and for some reason my comment was deleted.

I have posted my response a second time.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

February 05, 2006 9:05 AM  
Blogger nothingnothingnothing said...

Matthew -

You said:
If faith and repentance are inseparable, surely then either one is not in a state of faith while committing sin or else one is in a state of repentance while sinning. Does this not follow?

I think I've figured out the disconnect. And I explained what I meant by "inseparable" in my last post...actually two posts ago. But maybe I'm using the wrong terminology. I should say that sanctification flows from salvation. And I would assert that repentance would be part of that process. Because the argument is not about when it happens, faith and repentance. The argument is that if there's faith, there will be repentance. I would even go as far to say that faith is an act of repentance, because if you are turning to God in faith for the salvation of your soul, then you are turning from whatever else you had been trusting in for that salvation.

Consider these two passages:


2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Ephesians 2: 4 - 10
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Ephesians 2: 4 - 10
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

So let's say a person has faith in God. He believes.

1. Is a Christian the same as he always was, or is he a new creature?
2. Does he have the Spirit?
3. Is he Christ's workmanship, created for good works? Or is he left on his own to try to grow in Christ if he wants to?
4. Are we being transformed into His image? What does His image look like?
5. Can a person who truely believes go through their entire life and not have evidence of the image of Christ?


Does the arguement make any sense? Or am I just talking myself into a hole? Is there not conflict in the soul of a Christian who is living in sin?

In Christ,
Ten Cent

February 06, 2006 10:31 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Ten Cent, I agree with most of what you said.

We are indwellt with the Holy Spirit who enables us to be conformed to Christ.

However, if we walk in the flesh, not the Spirit then we will not be conformed to Christ. We need to die to ourselves and to die to the flesh for the fruits of sanctification to be realised in us.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

February 06, 2006 11:12 AM  
Blogger nothingnothingnothing said...

Matthew -

You said: "We need to die to ourselves and to die to the flesh for the fruits of sanctification to be realised in us."

How is this accomplished?

And is there a difference between dieing to ourselves and dieing to the flesh?


In Christ,
Ten Cent

February 13, 2006 11:43 AM  

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