Author Topic: The Gospel and Salvation  (Read 39813 times)

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Allan F

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« Reply #40 on: July 22, 2002, 01:07:00 AM »
Hello,
Richard I have wondered what is included in the expressions 'imputed' and 'imparted' righteousness. For some time I was convinced that 'imputed righteousness' meant only the legal, outward part and had nothing to do with the inward renewing of the mind.
But when I read how Ellen G White uses these words, it may seem that more is involved in the imputed part.

Here are some quotations

6.BC 1098:
"By receiving His imputed righteousness, through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, we become like Him."

7.BC 929:
"His imputed grace and power He gives to all who receive Him by faith."

KH 302:
"Through faith in His name He imputes unto us His righteousness, and it becomes a living principle in our life."

Has anybody studied this subject, and can tell me if I am right/wrong when I suggest that the imputed righteousness is all what is happening in the courtyard of the sancuary: Forgiveness and the new birth. Looking forward to comments  :)

Allan


Allan F

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« Reply #41 on: July 22, 2002, 03:35:00 AM »
Some of you mentioned the different meanings of the word "save(d)" we find in the Bible.
As far as I have studied the Bible, the word is used for (at least) 3 different meanings:

1) In the Old and New Testament this word is often used for Gods protection/rescuing from enemies, illness, death etc. (eg. Psalm 106:10; Luk 18:42).

2) The word "save(d)" is also used for describing the unchangeable state of men at the second coming of Jesus, when we forever will be together with Him, and are forever saved from death and this sinful world (Matt 24:13).

3)The Bible also uses this word to describe the change from spiritual death to spiritual life. From a life in sin to a life in righteousness. Everybody who has experienced forgiveness and the cleansing of the heart (the experience in the court yard), is saved from their previous sinful condition.

Let me give 2 examples from the last category and compare them with the expression "not by works", we also find in both these texts, to see if there are some contradiction between this expression and the meaning of salvation (category nr. 3).

Please compare these two passages from Eph. and Tit. They are very similar in their message.

Eph. 2:1-5:
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.

But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions, it is by grace you have been saved." v.8: "For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith, and it is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works..."

I have heard so many quoting v.8 out of its context, saying that this verse tells us that salvation is something outside man, something which was done 2000 years ago.

For the first, this verse are not talking about the final salvation, it is describing the change from sprirtual death to christian living.
Secondly, we would do well to understand what is included/excluded from the expression "not by works" in v.8. Does it exclude from the salvation the change of our character, or does it only exclude the method in which the change cannot take place?

Let us look at Tit. 3:3-7. Here we can clearly see that the renewing of the heart is not excluded in salvation, by the expression "not by works".

"At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.

But when the kindness and love of God our saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done (= not by works), but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become hears having the hope of eternal life."

Here Paul tells us that He was not saved from His previous sinful condition by His own works, but by Gods works, through the work of the Holy Spirit. By the blood of Jesus and the work of His Spirit Paul became justified and become "heir having hope of eternal life."

To know what is included/excluded by "not by works" can be very helpful when one study other Bible passages, eg. Romans and Galatians. Many exclude from salvation (both category 2+3) everything that has to do with character and renewing of the mind, by using the expression "not by works" in a wrong manner.

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" (Gal 2,16).

"...if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law" (Gal 3,21).

Only Jesus can give us life. Let us beleive in him!

Allan F

[This message has been edited by Allan F (edited 07-22-2002).]


Randy S

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« Reply #42 on: July 22, 2002, 07:02:00 AM »
What a terrific pair of posts!  I used to be one who believe that salvation was only a legal adjustment.  And I struggled over EGW quotes like the following: "While good works will not save even one soul, yet it is impossible for even one soul to be saved without good works".  It seemed like an oxymoron to me.

But thinking about her statement led me to understand that Paul and James were talking about two completely different "works".  Paul condemns the beliefe that you can gain salvation by your own effort.  James states that if you don't do good works it shows that you have not allowed the power of God to transform your heart or character.  One is prior to conversion and the other is after conversion.  Paul is speaking of trying to make works the cause of salvation and James is speking of good works as the result of salvation.

In the same way Jesus talks about good trees yielding good fruit and bad trees yielding bad fruit, by their fruits ye shall know them, vines and branches, and so on.  Then all the texts which say that we will be judged or rewarded based on what we do made sense to me such as this one:

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  

So, while God looks at the heart to judge motive, We can also be judged by our works because as Jesus taught, what you do is determined by your heart.


Allan F

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« Reply #43 on: July 22, 2002, 10:49:00 AM »
Hello Randy  :)
Nice to see you on the forum. I hope the presentation was understandable. English is not my native language, so I often feel it is difficult to express myself properly in english.

What you said about "saved by faith" and "judged by works" seems to be a great contradiction to many adventists.

Why this is "heresy" among us today I beleive is because people have lost faith in Jesus and His messages through the spirit of prophecy and also become influenced to think as other christian denominations do that the requirements for entering into heaven are the same as the requirements for coming to Jesus. We can, and must always come to Jesus just as we are, but we can not necessarily enter heaven as we are. The latter is the reason why we need to first come to Jesus. Do you see my point?

Allan F


M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2002, 12:15:00 PM »
"I used to be one who believe that salvation was only a legal adjustment. And I struggled over EGW quotes like the following: 'While good works will not save even one soul, yet it is impossible for even one soul to be saved without good works.'"

The words of Mrs. White which surround that quote are presented below:

"PORTION OF A LETTER TO A. T. JONES, APRIL 9, 1893, LETTER 44, 1893. PUBLISHED IN SELECTED MESSAGES, BOOK ONE, PP. 377-379.

"I was attending a meeting, a large congregation were present. In my dream you were presenting the subject of faith and the imparted righteousness of Christ by faith. You repeated several times that works amounted to nothing, that there were conditions. The matter was presented in that light that I knew minds would be confused and would not receive the correct impression in reference to faith and works, and I decided to write to you. You state this matter too strongly. There are conditions to our receiving justification and sanctification, and the righteousness of Christ. I know your meaning, but you leave a wrong impression upon many minds. While good works will not save even one soul, yet it is impossible for even one soul to be saved without good works....

"Then when you say there are no conditions, and some expressions are made quite broad, you burden the minds, and some cannot see consistency in your expressions. They cannot see how they can harmonize these expressions WITH THE PLAIN STATEMENTS OF THE WORD OF GOD (Emphasis mine throughout). Please guard these points. These strong assertions in regard to works never make our position any stronger. The expressions weaken our position, for there are many who will consider you an extremist and will lose the rich lessons you have for them upon the very subjects they need to know....My brother, it is hard for the mind to comprehend this point, and do not confuse any mind WITH IDEAS THAT WILL NOT HARMONIZE WITH THE WORD...." (Faith and Works, Chapter 17, pp. 111, 112).

Mrs. White is herein again exalting the preeminence of the Word of God. She quite simply tells the minister and us that what we teach and believe unto salvation MUST BE BASED UPON GOD'S WORD.

The relationship of faith and works is found in James 2:14-26. In these verses of Scripture we find that faith does not do away with works, instead, FAITH PROVES ITSELF BY WORKS!

M.A.

M.A.

Allan F

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« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2002, 01:35:00 PM »
Thank you Crawford for this quote from EGW. I also very much appreciated your last statement.

Allan F


Richard Myers

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« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2002, 08:00:00 PM »
Good to see you with us again, Brother Allan!!   :) And,  such a blessing to be in harmony on the foundation of our faith.

Brother Allan, I am open to learning about the differences between "imputed" and "imparted" in the context of our discussion. Your quotes are interesting. Do you find any ojections to my use of the two terms?

I have been meditating on the statements and I don't necessarily find them opposed to what  I believe. My understanding is that there is indeed power in the "imputed" righteousness of Christ. But, does this change the righteousness from "imputed" to "imparted"? I don't think so, but I am anxious to hear more.   :)

In His love and grace,

Richard

[This message has been edited by Richard Myers (edited 08-01-2002).]

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Randy S

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« Reply #47 on: July 22, 2002, 09:23:00 PM »
I would also like to hear people's thoughts on "imputed" and "imparted".  My understanding is that when a person is drawn to God and makes a decision that they don't want to rebel against Him any longer, that God considers that person as righteous.  That is the "imputed" part.  And then God makes available to that person His power to transform the heart and mind so that the desire to be right with God is gradually translated into practical and effective Christ-like living.  That is the "imparted" part.  This also equates to justification and sanctification.  Is that correct?

Allan F

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« Reply #48 on: July 24, 2002, 08:19:00 AM »
Thank you for the response. Concerning "imparted" and imputed" righteousness, I beleive that I don't know more than you do. I only came across these quotations from EGW recently. These expressions are not commonly used in the Bible, so it seems to be mainly a study in the writings of Ellen White.

Richard, I still agree with your explanation that: "Jesus "imputes" His righteousness to the repentant sinner and "imparts" His righteousness to those who have died to self"

Allan F


M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2002, 10:04:00 AM »
"And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." James 2:23.

"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." Romans 4:3.

In commenting on James 2:23, the SDA Bible Commentary says:

"Imputed. Gr. logizomai, 'to reckon,' 'to count' (see on Rom. 4:3). Abraham was declared righteous because he trusted God's word and joyfully accepted the promise of a Redeemer (see on Gal. 3:6). The crowning evidence that he trusted God was revealed in his willingness to slay Isaac at God's command--an act that apparently would have nullified God's own promises. This supreme ordeal vindicated God's declaration of the patriarch's worthiness." (7BC 523).

There is no verse of Scripture in the Bible which uses the words "imparted righteousness." However, there is a text which might shed some light on the word "imparted" as it relates to righteousness:

"And he answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none..." Luke 3:11.

In this verse, the Commentary says that the word "impart" means literally to "share." (5BC 718).

M.A.

M.A.

Richard Myers

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« Reply #50 on: July 24, 2002, 11:53:00 AM »
It is good to recognize we are dealing with a word "impart" in a way that we do not see in the Bible, but we do see in the Spirit of Prophecy. It is like the word "character".

I like the way the Bible does use the word in another context (see Brother Crawford's post) and believe this is an appropriate use in reference to the "righteousness of Christ", as did Ellen White.  We of course want Bible support for this meaning and that is provided throughout this topic as well as others dealing with the foundation of our faith.

Again, the "righteousness of Christ" His goodness, His character, His holiness, is "imparted" to the Christian who abides in Him. "It is Christ, not I". This is not an imputation we are discussing, but an "impartation" or "litteral" as the Bible uses the word "impart".  Can we see this again from the Bible? Of course, it is throughout the Bible, but I especially like 1 John 1 verses 7 and 9. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

This is not "imputed".  Jesus' perfect life can be "imputed" to the sinner and thus past sins can be forgiven, but this does not change the character or actions of the Christian. The repentant believer receives real power to obey the law of God. This power to obey is literal or "imparted". Doing good is called "righteousness". Therefore we have the term "imparted righteousness". This righteousness has to do with the motives of the heart. They are good. It is this "moral" character that is imparted at the moment the Christian dies to self. With this new heart comes all of the fruits of the Spirit. They are "imparted".

Let me address the statements that Brother Allen brought up. I am not sure exactly what they mean, but can we say this: Salvation comes by grace. Yes, it requires faith in God, but it is God's grace that transforms the life, changes the heart. Can we then say that the revelation of that grace is all important. Without the understanding of God's grace, how could we assimilate it?  By beholding this grace, we become changed.  :)

OK...so what is this "imputed righteousness" that gives power to the sinner? Is not "imputed righteousness" another phrase for "grace"?  Christ's righteousness and His suffering and death stand in place of my sins. Is this not grace? And, if this is grace, then is it not the power that transforms the life? When we behold the "imputed" righteousness of Christ and the cost, we will receive power to obey all of God's commands.  :)

In His love and grace,             Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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« Reply #51 on: December 21, 2002, 05:36:00 AM »
The gospel brings power into the life. Christ only is the way, the truth, the life; and man can be justified alone through the imputation of Christ's righteousness. Man is justified freely by God's grace through faith, and not by works, lest any man should boast. Salvation is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  

To all who receive Jesus as a personal Saviour He gives power to become the sons of God. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, . . . full of grace and truth. . . . And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." All who become the sons of God are possessed of his nature. They dwell in Christ as Christ dwells in God. Converted to the truth, imbued with the Holy Spirit, they are under the transforming influence of divine grace. The life of self-indulgence they once lived is changed to a life of service. Knowing the power of his grace, they are commissioned and qualified to bear the message of salvation to a sinful world, and to make known his grace and truth. As they consecrate themselves wholly to God, the grace they impart will be continually renewed in increased measure.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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« Reply #52 on: March 29, 2007, 09:29:00 PM »
In the interview with Nicodemus, Jesus unfolded the plan of salvation, and His mission to the world. In none of His subsequent discourses did He explain so fully, step by step, the work necessary to be done in the hearts of all who would inherit the kingdom of heaven. At the very beginning of His ministry Jesus opened the truth to a member of the Sanhedrin, to the mind that was most receptive, and to an appointed teacher of the people. But the leaders of Israel did not welcome the light. Nicodemus hid the truth in his heart, and for three years there was little apparent fruit.  

If we desire to understand the gospel and salvation, let us study the message that Jesus gave to Nicodemus that night in the garden almost 2,000 years ago. It has not lost its importance.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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« Reply #53 on: April 01, 2007, 01:30:00 PM »
May we back up a moment and discuss Nicodemus' apprehension of even acknowledging Jesus in the daylight? He had one foot in the corner of the Sanhedrin with another one on the fence, trying to understand this man, Jesus, who claimed to be the Messiah.

Sorry, I needed to catch up and refresh my mind with the absolute details of the story:

"He said to Nicodemus, It is not theoretical knowledge you need so much as spiritual regeneration. You need not to have your curiosity satisfied, but to have a new heart. You must receive a new life from above before you can appreciate heavenly things. Until this change takes place, making all things new, it will result in no saving good for you to discuss with Me My authority or My mission."  {DA 171.1}

[This message has been edited by Sybil (edited 04-01-2007).]

  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2007, 02:02:00 PM »
Nicodemus the Cautious – this helps to explain dear Nicodemus and his conversation with Jesus.

Nicodemus was dramatically affected by the events at the cross. We always associate Nicodemus with Christ’s teaching regarding the new birth. The narrative of Nicodemus’ experience with Jesus is found in John 3. There are words in this story that are of the greatest significance.

Nicodemus was a Pharisee. They were very particular persons, and had the highest standards of conduct of any group in Israel. They carefully studied the minutiae of the law, and observed those details with constant care. They were separatists, having nothing to do with sin and its defilement, as they conceived them. Many did not live up to all these principles, but most of them, according to the judgment of our Lord, were hypocrites. But I don’t think we should apply this term to Nicodemus. He was no hypocrite. He did his best to live according to all the standards he considered right. He cannot be accused of insincerity. Not all the Pharisees were as bad as one might be led to believe from the connotation of the term today.

He was a man of the highest ideals, the loftiest standards and the strongest discipline. We might also call him meticulous in his adherence to his code of conduct. He was also a “ruler of the Jews” – a member of the Hebrew senate, the Sanhedrin. This body was made up of persons of experience. They were required to be fathers of families. And it was hoped that they had developed understanding of the viewpoints of their rebellious or wayward sons. They possessed a certain measure of maturity from having lived long enough and having met often enough the vicissitudes of life. Among this group were men of ripe wisdom and rich experience. Nicodemus was worthy of this high honor.

In his conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus called attention to an important point concerning Nicodemus. He asked, “Art thou a master in Israel?” The force of the Greek in this passage is, “Are you that famous teacher in Israel?” He had devoted himself to scriptural studies and had worked on methods of clarifying his expositions. He had attained a position as the revered and beloved teacher of God’s chosen people.

“The same came to Jesus by night.” John 3:2. This piece of information opens a window into the disposition of Nicodemus. He was cautious. He moved slowly and with care. He was not yet ready to give himself fully to the cause of Christ. There are those who refuse to commit themselves immediate to some point. The diffident ones may be far wiser in their attitude than those who rush ahead. Even Gamaliel said, in effect – “Truth is its own vindicator. Leave these men alone. If it is God who is backing the Christianity they are propagating, we fight the impossible. If it is the devil, it contains the seeds of its own destruction.” See Acts 5:34-39.

Nicodemus sought Jesus out. He found by inquiry where He would likely be. And with pounding heart and strange feelings of timidity, Nicodemus discussed the problem that was troubling him. See DA 168.

He came to Christ with compliments. Jesus listened to him politely. Then He made a startling declaration – “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus met this with what he must have regarded as irrefutable logic. This “birth” was obviously physically absurd. How can a grown person be born again? A man is the product of all the experiences he has had from his infancy. It is surely just as impossible to begin again intellectually and spiritually as it is to revert into an embryo physically, his answer suggested. But Jesus never sought to refute logic with logic. The Saviour persuaded by declaration and illustration.

In effect, Jesus whispered – “Listen, Nicodemus – hear the wind! It comes and it goes! We know it only by its murmuring movements. It is so with the workings of the Spirit.” And then the Lord turned the Biblical scholar to a Biblical illustration. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” John 3:14. Have you ever wondered how merely looking at a bronze snake could heal a man dying of snake bite? Faith is the answer. Faith in God’s plan.

Passages from the inspired page, which he knew so well, were joined to other passages. The mosaic of truth formed a path to its goal in added and clearer perceptions of truth. Predictions in the Old Testament pointed to their consummation in the death of the Messiah for the sins of mankind. Nicodemus knew he had been impelled by the Spirit. He had felt a mysterious force drawing him as he had gone out to meet Jesus. The pattern of Nicodemus’ life was beginning to shape up. The teacher of Israel left to ponder deeply.

He now rapidly came to know for a fact that the Teacher sent from God was the Messiah. He came to accept Christ’s claim that He was the fulfillment of the antitype that man centuries before had been lifted up in the wilderness that the dying might look and live. Faith in the uplifted serpent of bronze was the antidote of the venom of the serpent of death. God was among men and yet unrecognized by men. Nicodemus had not recognized Him before, but ultimately came to believe fully. Months passed and Nicodemus did not publicly take his stand for Him whom he knew to be the Messiah of the new kingdom.

Then one day, Jesus was nailed to the cross and before he fully realized what was happening, Jesus was dead on the cross. Then he knew that the prophecies had been carried out to the letter. He had died on the cross and He was drawing men to Himself, just as He had said. He and his friend Joseph of Arimethea sensed this to be a fact. Joseph had a brand-new and empty tomb for Jesus’ body and Nicodemus had 100 pounds of precious spikenard for the burying. They wrapped Him in the finest linen and lovingly laid Him to rest.

As we think of Nicodemus’ response to truth and revelation, let us look behind this story to Christ’s providential dealings with him. We have said all sorts of things about Nicodemus. He was too cautions, he was afraid to be counted. But we might say many more things that had we been there, we might well have done as he did.

We watch His patience, His complete and practical understanding of the mind of the Hebrew rabbi. Jesus spoke few words of rebuke to this Pharisee because of his failure to grasp the symbolism of the Scriptures he professed to teach. He did not rail against him for not comprehending the vital doctrine of the new birth, but met him where he was. Christ saw, with His divine insight, the precise nature of this ruler’s problem, and pointed to the very remedy needed. Then he allowed time for the Spirit to bring about the necessary changes in the attitude of Nicodemus. Jesus did not dog his heels or continue to knock at his door. He told him the truth, and then He prayed that the truth might bring about results of a transformed life.

The encounter with Nicodemus early in Christ’s ministry brought forth results at its end. The deciding factor in the ruler’s life was the cross. Through the cross light finally dawned in all its clarity. It is always this way in sincere hearts. Among the faceless ones about Golgotha are the overly cautious.

Excerpts from “These Watched Him Die” – Leslie Hardinge    

------------------
Sybil
"In times like these, we have a Savior!"

  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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« Reply #55 on: April 10, 2007, 10:44:00 PM »
While our brother has an interesting perspective and it contains truth, it misses the mark. The Words of Jesus are much more pointed and express truth in a very specific manner. Nicodemus, while a "good" man, was not good enough. He was selfish and knew it not. This lesson was very important to Nicodemus, but we miss the lesson if we don't see its application in our own experience and the lies that have been foisted upon the Christian Church. We must listen to Jesus and draw the correct lesson from His Words to Nicodemus that night almost two thousand years ago.

Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, not because he was cautious, but because he was fearful. He did not want to be seen going to Jesus because Jesus was not accepted by the important leaders of Israel. Is it not the same today? Are we willing to expose ourselves to those with whom we disagree when it will bring discord? Maybe with a friend, or a spouse, or a church member, but how about the president of the conference, or the union? Do we want to offend those in high places? Nicodemus did not wish to separate himself from those in power, so he went by night. He did not want to suffer reproach for going to Jesus. How many today feel the same way?

There was a reason why Nicodemus felt and acted the way he did. If we would do the same then the same reason would apply to us also. Why did Nicodemus not want to suffer reproach for going to Jesus?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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« Reply #56 on: April 11, 2007, 08:23:00 AM »
Two things come to mind: pride and loss of position.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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« Reply #57 on: April 11, 2007, 01:44:00 PM »
Yes, and the reason why this was the case was clearly spoken by our Lord to Nicodemus that he would know his condition. Nicodemus was in a lost condition and needed to be born again. Jesus did not allow him to remain deceived. We must study this conversation that we would understand the plan of salvation and what it is that we must do to be saved. This is crucial to a people who are told they are in a Laodicean condition, a people who believe they are rich and increased with goods, but do not know they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. Such a state of deception is almost fatal. In this conversation with Nicodemus we find help.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

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« Reply #58 on: May 17, 2010, 01:16:16 PM »
Hi all,

As I read this thread and thought about the responses and the original post I see something that shows how many different ways God uses to reach us. All of us will see things in a slightly different light but yet it is all a part of the same whole. What do I see? I see in the Gospel the healing that God so longs to give each of us from the scars of sin. The healing that allows us to reflect the love of God, that makes His character our character.

This morning in my studies I was impressed very strongly with the attitude that some have regarding what it is that God does in us. In reading this post from ten years ago, I see that Brother Gary has it right. He says "The healing that allows us to reflect the love of God, that makes His character our character."

There is a battle in the Christian churches. Some argue that we have to obey the law of God to receive eternal life. They say that Christ came in our fallen nature and set an example of obedience in fallen flesh that proves man can keep the law of God. Others say Christ came in the nature of Adam before the fall and it is impossible for man to keep the law of God. Therefore, we may have eternal life while sinning. We have all heard the arguments on both sides.

There are many very subtle lies involved in these arguments on both sides. The gospel is our great hope of escaping the corruption that is in this world. We want to know what it is and what it does. All else centers around a correct understanding of the gospel.

The issue that came to mind very clearly this morning is that Jesus gives us power to obey. As Brother Gary said, He gives us His character. The subtle lie is that we are still great sinners and we need to focus on that. Well, we will always be great sinners even when not sinning. It is our nature. But, what is important is to realize that we are to become partakers of a new nature. Yes, we still live in our vile bodies, but so what!! When Christ is allowed to come and dwell within, there is a dramatic change in both character and nature. We then share His divine nature. We have imparted to us His character. It is Christ, not I. This is where we ought to focus. Why? Because until we see that outside of Christ we are doomed, until we understand that we can know who we are following by the fruits in our lives, we will continue in a deception believing we are ok when we are not.

When Christ in on the throne of the heart, there is a marked contrast in the life. Some do not want to talk about the fruits of His Spirit that are to be seen in the life. Why not? Because many want to retain in their minds some excuse for sin when there is none.

When I see the third angels message to, Fear God and give glory to Him who made heaven and earth, I see a call to allow our God to come in and heal every part of us. To heal all the things that make us not reflect Him in thought and deed, to recreate us in His image. Jesus said, ask that your joy may be full. If we do not ask for and allow His healing we cannot have His full joy. We miss out on heaven on earth.

Amen, Brother Gary!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

tc

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Re: The Gospel and Salvation
« Reply #59 on: March 26, 2018, 08:50:40 AM »
DEFINING GRACE

A student was late for a term paper & asked the teacher for an extension of time to complete it. The teacher granted the extension under the terms of grace -- popularly defined as unmerited or undeserved favor! It wasn't until years later, when the student looked up the definition of grace in Strong's concordance that he realized that grace includes a deeper meaning than that.
 
Here is Strong's meaning of  the Greek word charis, translated in the KJV 156 times as grace:

G5485  χάρι; charis;  khar'-ece
From G5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): - acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy). (emphasis supplied)


To refer to grace only as unmerited favor & to leave out "the divine influence on the heart," is to neglect a truth essential to spiritual growth! When we battle with the earthly nature, or at times we don't feel spiritual, we can asked for the Holy Spirit's influence on the heart & claim the promise of Jesus in Rev. 3:20 to abide with us. Obedience to God's Word, also brings the promise of the Father's presence!  Jesus said,"... If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (John 14:23)  When we ask, God will give us a new heart & put a right spirit within us!  (Eze._36:26) God remembers we are dust & He promises us His presence & power to overcome sin! When we live in His presence He covers us with Christ's righteousness!  The apostle John tells us that if we abide in Christ, we won't continue in sin! 1 John 3:6) Our willingness to ask for & receive God's grace, His "divine influence on the heart" is the pathway to restoration to His image, the image in which Adam & Eve were created! Praise God for His grace!
tc

 "Buy the truth, and sell it not...." Pro 23:23