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shnfx
Dec 3rd 2007, 08:27 PM
I know this message is long, but I think it is crucial. It is a very important message to evangelists and something that has gone away. The Law(10 commandments) must be used to bring a sinner to Christ. Without preaching the Law, the sinner has no knowledge of sin, therefore the Gospel message does not make sense to the sinner. If a sinner doesn't see that he is a sinner and has broken the Law of God, he won't want the Savior because he doesn't see that he needs one. The 10 commandments show him/her that a Savior is needed. The 10 Commandments are a schoolmaster that leads us to Christ. This is just a reminder to those who share the gospel and those who will share the gospel to use the law in evangelism. The below article is by the author Ray Comfort www.christiananswers.net/evangelism/methods/law.html


Evangelical success is at an all-time low. Modern evangelism, from large campaigns to small gospel meetings, boasts only a 20 percent holding rate.
How effective are our present-day evangelical methods when they create eighty backsliders for every one hundred "decisions for Jesus"? Some are even less effective than that - one recent campaign reported having a 92 percent backsliding rate!
The September 1977 issue of "Eternity Magazine" reported the results of an evangelistic crusade that involved 178 churches. Out of 4,106 decisions only 3 percent joined a local church. That series of meetings created 3,981 backsliders! (More up-to-date statistics are hard to come by. Understandably, they are not published with much enthusiasm.)
I did read that in 1987, however, a Luis Palau crusade reported 6,000 decisions. Yet, despite intense follow-up and counsel, within the first three months, 947 already had backslidden.
To those who have a burden for the lost, like Luis Palau, Billy Graham, and many gifted evangelists around the world, these statistics are not just bad news - they are heart rending! While evangelicals run around in ever-decreasing circles, 140,000 souls die every day.
Why No Brokenness?
As a young evangelist I would plead with sinners, begging them to accept Christ. When one would respond, I was overjoyed. But in the back of my mind I knew there was an 80 percent chance that he would backslide.
To test the sincerity of a potential convert who came to the altar, I began to approach each sinner in a gestapo-like manner. When I felt he was sincere, I would lead him in the most genuine prayer I could muster, "Dear God, I am a sinner. Cleanse me, wash me."
As we prayed, I would keep one eye open. Although obviously sincere, sinners repeated it flippantly. Then I would slow my voice and almost tearfully affirm, "I believe that Jesus died on the cross in my place." Still there was no sign of sorrow for sin, no contrition, and no brokenness!
What was the problem? The sinner was one hundred percent sincere - he sincerely wanted the love, joy, peace, happiness, and fulfillment that supposedly comes from being a Christian. His response was merely a test to see if the claims were true.
Sinners were not fleeing from the wrath to come. Why? Because I hadn't mentioned there was any wrath to come. Potential converts showed no genuine repentance because I hadn't given them a reason to repent.
The way we present the gospel determines the kind of response the sinner makes. Let me illustrate.
Two men are seated in a plane. A stewardess gives the first man a parachute and instructs him to put it on because it will "improve his flight."
Not understanding how a parachute could possibly improve his flight, the first passenger is a little skeptical. Finally he decides to see if the claim is true. After strapping on the parachute, he notices its burdensome weight, and he has difficulty sitting upright. Consoling himself with the promise of a better flight, our first passenger decides to give it a little time.
Because he's the only one wearing a parachute, some of the other passengers begin smirking at him, which only adds to his humiliation. Unable to stand it any longer, our friend slumps in his seat, unstraps the parachute, and throws it to the floor. Disillusionment and bitterness fill his heart because as far as he is concerned, he was told a lie.
Another stewardess gives the second man a parachute, but listen to her instructions. She tells him to put it on because at any moment he will be jumping out of the plane at 25,000 feet.
Our second passenger gratefully straps the parachute on. He doesn't notice its weight upon his shoulders nor that he can't sit up upright. His mind is consumed with the thought of what would happen to him if he jumped without it. When other passengers laugh at him, he thinks, "You won't be laughing when you're falling to the ground!"
Inoculated Backsliders
Let's now analyze the motive and the result of each passenger's experience.
The first man's motive for putting on the parachute was solely to improve his flight. As a result, he was humiliated by the passengers, disillusioned by an unkept promise, and embittered against the stewardess who gave it to him. As far as he is concerned, he will never put one of those things on his back again.
The second man put the parachute on to escape the danger of the coming jump. Because he knew what would happen to him without it, he had a deep-rooted joy and peace in his heart. Knowing he was saved from certain death gave him the ability to withstand the mockery of the other passengers. His attitude toward the stewardess who gave him the parachute was one of heartfelt gratitude.
Now listen to what the contemporary gospel says: "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ; He will give you love, joy, peace, and fulfillment." In other words, He will improve your flight. In an experimental fashion, the sinner puts the Savior to see if these claims are so.
What does he get? Temptation, tribulation, and persecution. The other passengers mock his decision. So what does he do? He takes off the Lord Jesus Christ; he is offended for the Word's sake; he is disillusioned and embittered, and quite rightly so.
He was promised peace, joy, fulfillment, and all he got were trials and humiliation. His bitterness is directed at those who gave him the "good news." His latter end is worse than the first - another inoculated, bitter backslider!
The apostle Peter acted in misguided zeal when he tried to dismember the Roman servant in the garden of Gethsemane. Many misguided Christians are also cutting off ears - the ears of potential hearers. Once sinners think they have given it a try, they no longer have an ear for the gospel.
Why are sinners turned off and tuned out? Because we no longer preach the full message of the gospel. We have omitted the key to genuine repentance - the Law of God. The apostle Paul said, "I would not have known sin except through the law" (Romans 7:7, italics added).
Listen to these words from Spurgeon:


Lower the Law, and you dim the light by which man perceives his guilt. This is a very serious loss to the sinner, rather than a gain; for it lessens the likelihood of his conviction and conversion ...I say you have deprived the gospel of its ablest auxiliary [most powerful weapon] when you have set aside the Law. You have taken away from it the schoolmaster that is to bring men to Christ...they will never accept grace till they tremble before a just and holy Law. Therefore the Law serves a most necessary and blessed purpose and it must not be removed from its place. When the sinner sees the awful consequences of breaking the Law of God - that he cannot escape the certainty of judgment - he will see his need to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. When we preach future punishment by the Law, the sinner comes to Christ solely to flee from "the wrath to come."
Instead of preaching that Jesus "improves the flight," we must warn men about the inevitable jump. Everyone must pass through the door of death.

It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment - Hebrews 9:27.But doesn't Christianity offer the abundant life? You bet it does! Peace and joy are legitimate fruits of the Spirit. But we do sinners an injustice by enticing them with only the benefits of salvation. Our misguided efforts only result in sinners coming to Christ with an impure motive void of repentance.
Remember why the second passenger had joy and peace? Because he knew what that parachute was going to save him from. In the same way, the true convert has joy and peace in believing because he knows that the righteousness of Christ will deliver him from the wrath that is to come. "The kingdom of God is ...righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17). Why is righteousness coupled with peace and joy? Because "Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death" (Proverbs 11:4).
Man-Centered Preaching
Now let's take a look at an unfortunate incident on board the plane. During some unexpected turbulence, the stewardess accidentally drops a cup of hot coffee onto the lap of our second passenger.
What is his reaction? Does he cry out in pain, then rip the parachute off his back in anger? No! He didn't strap it on for any other reason than the jump. In fact, he doesn't even relate the incident to his parachute. Instead, it only makes him cling more tightly to his hope of salvation and even look forward to the jump!
If we put on Christ to flee the wrath to come, when tribulation strikes we wont get angry at God. Why should we? We didn't come for a better lifestyle. Trials drive us closer to the Lord, and we cling more tightly to Him. Like the apostle Paul, we only stay around to encourage other passengers to put on the parachute. "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21).
Sadly, multitudes of professing Christians lose their joy when the flight gets bumpy. They are the product of "man-centered" preaching.
Because the Law is rarely used in modern-day evangelism, many pastors are frustrated and make the gospel "man-centered" in an effort to attract converts. They don't see men and women embracing the good news, so they turn to man-made methods.
Instead of driving the fish to the nets using the Law, they try to attract them by holding up only the benefits of salvation. Let me give an example of a typical altar call:


"Come to Jesus. Wont you give your heart to Him? He loves you and died on the cross for you. He wants to give you love, joy, and peace. He will make your life happy and give you what you've been looking for."Ministers gently woo sinners to the altar with the "every eye closed and every head bowed" approach. Then, as the music gently plays, the preacher asks, "Why not ask the person next to you to come with you so Jesus can make him happy?"
An Invitation or a Command?
Instead of desperate sinners knocking on the door of heaven, we incorrectly paint a picture of Jesus pleading at the heart of the sinner. This type of "invitation" gives the impression that the sinner will be doing God a favor if he responds. The gospel is not an invitation because invitations can be politely turned down without fear of reprisal. Scripture says that "God ...commands all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30, italics added).
We would never dare quote some of the following verses to encourage someone to come to Christ:


All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution - 2 Timothy 3:12 (http://www.christiananswers.net/bible/2tim3.html#12).
We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God - Acts 14:22 (http://www.christiananswers.net/bible/acts14.html#22).
Many are the afflictions of the righteous - Psalm 34:19 (http://www.christiananswers.net/bible/psa34.html#19).
In the world you will have tribulation - John 16:33 (http://www.christiananswers.net/bible/john16.html#33).Neither would we mention the sufferings of the apostle Paul - the stonings, perils, and shipwrecks he endured. Why, it's hard enough to get converts when we hold up the good things of the gospel!
We try, in our evangelical zeal, to argue sinners into the kingdom by appealing to their intellect. We attempt to scare them into heaven by "666 Campaigns." We try to seduce them into the kingdom by telling them that Jesus will make them happy. In fact, we use every method to bring people to Christ except the method God has ordained - the Law!
How to Fill a Church
Let's turn the spotlight inward for a moment. Do we preach a man-centered, "easy" gospel because we want to see more people saved or because we know the consequences? Are we like the mother who won't discipline a naughty child because she doesn't like the feeling she gets when she does it? She places her immediate concern over the long-term welfare of her child.
Better the sinner be offended in order to repent, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season and be cast into everlasting fire. Where does the heart of our concern lie-with the fate of the sinner or with our own comfort?
The sinner hides behind the bush of sin. But we beat around the bush rather than beat the bush for fear of disturbing him. Yet, the day will come when every sinner is flushed out.
Some Christians innocently ask, "Why not preach a 'man-centered' gospel if it gets people 'saved'?" We can preach a man-centered gospel and get results; we may even fill our churches. But adding a soul to a church does not necessarily mean that a soul has been added to the church. A decision for Christ doesn't necessarily mean a soul for Christ.
I attended one service where a challenge was made to accept Christ, but the Law of God was not mentioned. A young man stood up and briskly walked to the altar. He stepped to the platform, turned around, and smiled at the congregation. As I looked at him I didn't see any outward sign of brokenness, guilt, or contrition. He wasn't fleeing to Christ for mercy. A short time later, he backslid.
Unlike this young man, some don't slide back into the world. Instead, church becomes no different than a social club. These new converts make plenty of friends; there are regular activities and no fees. Unfortunately, they also have no burden for souls, no real hunger for the Word, no zeal for God, and no lasting fruit. A "man-centered" gospel can fill your church with this type of "conversion."
P. T. Forsyth has accurately observed:


Our churches are full of the nicest, kindest people who have never known the despair of guilt or the breathless wonder of forgiveness.I am not against altar calls. Nothing is wrong with response to an altar call, but what sinners are responding to determines its effectiveness.
Hot or Cold?
There are only two kinds of Christian - "cold" and refreshing or "hot" and stimulating. All the rest will be spewed out of the mouth of Christ on judgment day.
I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth - Revelation 3:15,16.
Soft-selling the gospel is the tragedy of modern evangelism. Its massive casualty rate leaves multitudes in the "lukewarm" bracket and sours the untaught to the truths of true commitment. How can we turn the tide and restore credibility to our conversion rates? Let's stop soft-selling the gospel and tell sinners like it is!

coldfire136
Dec 3rd 2007, 09:49 PM
Thanks for posting, however, there are a number of things you need to think about:

1. How do you define evangelical success?
2. How were the studies you cited at the beginning of your study conducted? Do you have a copy or a link to he copy of those results?
3. What does it mean to you in the first place to be a Christian? It means much more than understanding the law and asking Jesus to take away the law's requirements.

If you can answer these three, I have many more from your posts. Thanks.

HisBlood
Dec 3rd 2007, 10:14 PM
Kirk Cameron's The Way of the Master program does something similar to this. He suggests using the Ten Commandments and the Law to get at the person's heart and not their mind. By showing the person that they are a sinner, growth can be achieved.

Lyndie
Dec 4th 2007, 09:22 PM
Our churches are full of the nicest, kindest people who have never known the despair of guilt or the breathless wonder of forgiveness.

That is a broad statement. Not all churches are like this. I, myself, have known the guilt and despair, and the wonder of forgiveness.

I agree with some of what the aricle said, but not all of it. People are different, and how one comes to Chrsit may be far different than how another comes to Christ. I came because I knew I was an awful person, who had no hope for this life, but what brought me was someone telling me although I am a sinner, God loved me ebough to send Jesus to die for me. Balance is needed, you can't preach the Law without preaching grace, love and forgiveness.

Frances
Dec 5th 2007, 07:42 PM
I believe one of the biggest problems with modern evangelism is forgetting the Old Testament - by which I mean folk only get half of the message. . .they are told God loves them and Jesus came to Save them, but because the Garden of Eden is left out they don't have a full understanding of what Jesus has Saved them from. Until I realised the majority of folk I meet have no Christian background, therefore no understanding of the seriousness of Sin, I didn't realise it must be spelled out if they are to be truly Saved. (and they are almost bound to fall away if they are not).

mccain22
Dec 5th 2007, 11:38 PM
too many people just focus on the love of God and not on his justice. cause it makes people uncomfortable, but its the only way for them to come to true repentance.

Jesusinmyheart
Dec 6th 2007, 05:26 PM
I believe one of the biggest problems with modern evangelism is forgetting the Old Testament - by which I mean folk only get half of the message. . .they are told God loves them and Jesus came to Save them, but because the Garden of Eden is left out they don't have a full understanding of what Jesus has Saved them from.Agreed!!!

Something else to consider, once you tell them about the Law, and they turn to Christ, are they then suddenly to forget about it, as many teach the Law was nailed to the cross, and i disagree with that.

Just because the Law is a schoolmaster, doesn't mean it's later dropped as irrevelant.
This IMO is why we have suc corruptness in the church these days, people can't take God serious when they say the Law is abolished, when Yeshua Himself said he didn't come to abolish it, and fulfillment doesn't mean abolishment either.
No wonder as frances said:
(and they are almost bound to fall away if they are not(taught about the law)).



Shalom,
Tanja

shnfx
Dec 8th 2007, 04:05 PM
Not all churches are like this.
I agree that not all churches are like this as well, modern day evangelism is so much about focusing on God's love and leave out such an important part and that is the knowledge of sin. Are people seeking Christ for the wrong reasons? Are they seeking Christ for happiness in this life and what they can get out of it in this world? In this world today, I would say more ridicule & persecution comes from being a follower of Jesus. Happiness is found in Christ, but it shouldn't be what can we get out of it in this world. It does not necessarily bring joy in this world in the sense of things and give the Christian an easy life. It can very well make ones life more difficult.
It is a joy within the heart knowing that we are free in Christ and a joy of knowing and understanding why Christ died for us and the amazing grace of God through Christ on the cross. I think so many people go to Jesus for the wrong reasons and those are the folks who end up backsliding because they don't know the real nature of sin, therefore they have no reason or understanding of why they should trust in Jesus and surrender to Jesus. I know this because I was this until I finally understood the serious nature of my sin.


you can't preach the Law without preaching grace, love and forgiveness.
100% agreed. Without the knowledge of sin, there is no understanding for the need for Jesus in ones life and there is no need or understanding for the need to repent.
Without preaching the grace, love, and forgiveness, the law would not benefit.

We wouldn't give a someone the cure for a disease they didn't know they had. No, we must first help them understand they have the disease and the seriousness of the disease before giving them the cure.

shnfx
Dec 8th 2007, 05:33 PM
1. How do you define evangelical success?
Good question. I don't think it is something that we should define, but leave that to God. Rejoice in heaven is done when a sinner repents not when a decision is made for Christ in hopes that it makes the sinners life better and easier or that someone's church will get bigger.
It is our job to help a sinner understand the serious nature of sin and share the good news of the gospel like Jesus did. We should seek to lead someone to repentence instead of a decision for Christ. Without the knowledge of sin, there is no understanding for the need of repentence and no understanding of why Jesus died for us. If we preach just joy, happiness, etc. the need for Jesus may only be temporary and could lead to backliding.
Romans 7:7 "I would not have known what sin was except through the law". That is why it is so importance to preach law and grace both. I mentioned this above as well, but don't you agree that we shouldn't give a someone the cure for a disease they didn't know they had. This would be foolish to the person we are giving the cure to. We must first help them understand they have the disease and the seriousness of the disease before giving them the cure.


2. How were the studies you cited at the beginning of your study conducted? Do you have a copy or a link to he copy of those results?
This was an article and I didn't conduct any studies myself, but I think it's fair to say that the message today seeks to tell people what they want to hear to seek a decision rather than repentance.
I am an example myself and want to help others from my experience. I prayed to God and new Jesus died for our sins for years, but never really understood or knew why. I knew God loved me a ton, but I wasn't truly saved and that led to me backsliding. It wasn't until I understood the nature of sin and when I learned that I wanted to know what needed to be done to make me clean, therefore I pointed to the Savior and repentance and finally understood why Jesus died for me. Thanks to God that I had the message shared to me. For the first time I saw my true self in the mirror of the Ten Commandments and finally understood the message of the gospel. A truly saved person doesn't truly backslide or fall away permanently. Although a saved person does fall away at times, We always are guided back to the Savior becuase of our understanding and need for righteousness through the blood shed for us through Jesus Christ.

3. What does it mean to you in the first place to be a Christian?
It means much more than understanding the law and asking Jesus to take away the law's requirements.
To answer your question. You are correct Yes, being a Christian means more than understanding the law and asking Jesus to take away the Laws requirements. Understanding the importance of the Law and the need for Jesus to make us clean is only the first step. Being a Chrisian means to live as God asks us to live. We are to live to please God and that is by following the commands of Jesus. We are to be a witness for God and a light to others so God may touch their lives through us. It is our job to share the good news of the gospel as well as the serious nature of sin in order for the good news to make sense to a sinner. We are to walk with Jesus in every aspect of life and follow his path with the help of the holy spirit. A Christian is someone who humbles him/herself and opens his/her heart to the Lord and allows the Lord to use him/her for God's glory.
A Christian willfully allows God to work through their life to help others see God's glory and bring others to Christ. Also, it is a Christians duty to help others understand the nature of sin and need for the Savior. Let's not forget also to express God's love for mankind.
Thanks for your post and allowing me to explain my views. God Bless

pastor_chris
Dec 10th 2007, 12:12 PM
As a script, I think the Law/Gospel approach is one useful script.

What bothers me is when one argues that it is the ONLY valid form of evangelism presentation.

By that reckoning, my own conversion 20 years ago misfired because I didn't respond to the right presentation of the gospel. I believed first, then I understood.

If the problem is people not connecting to a church after an evangelistic message, it doesn't mean the message is wrong -- there could be lots of other possibilities

evangelism done without partnership in the local church
no plan for any kind of followup
sloppy followupJust to name a few.

I think there are lots of useful gospel scripts (http://www.evangelismcoach.org/2007/10/gospel-and-evangelism), including the WOTM materials. But to say theirs is the only valid script I think is incorrect.

I don't see a single presentation of the Law and Gospel in any of the narrative passages of the gospels or Acts.

Another consequence I see of WOTM is that the evangelist is put in the place of judging another person's conversion experience -- trying to diagnose a person's spiritual state. For example, are they a false convert, are they a true convert? Did they get the right gospel message? Did they get it wrong and thus are still hell bound?

I see my job as helping people find faith in Christ. There are variety of means that are unique to each story that God is writing in a person's life.

Just my .02

Chris

shnfx
Dec 10th 2007, 07:20 PM
As a script, I think the Law/Gospel approach is one useful script. What bothers me is when one argues that it is the ONLY valid form of evangelism presentation.

I agree with your statement. There are many great ways to share the message and I am by no means saying that using the law is the ony way to bring someone to Christ. I just think using the Law is an important aspect though and too many evangelist forget about it all together. So many people preach love & forgiveness only without understanding of why they need forgiveness. I said this above, but it would not make sense to give a person the cure for the disease if they did not know they had a disease. We would notify them of their disease first before giving them the cure.
It depends on who we are sharing the message with. A lot of the Jews in the new testament knew the law so there was no need to preach the law. Grace was needed for those individuals because they knew they fell short of God's requirements. There were also righteous individuals who needed the law preached to them to stop them from boasting so Grace could be preached.
If we preach Grace to someone who doesn't know the nature of his/her sin, how will that help him/her? If we preach the Law to someone without understanding that they need Jesus to save them, what good will that do?
It think we have to take a time sensitive approach when sharing our faith. If we only focus on one area or aspect of evangelism (ex. Grace only without the law), it may be too late. Although it may lead them to understanding in the future, no one is guaranteed another day on this earth. That is why I feel it is very important that people understand the serious nature of sin and how they can be wiped clean through Jesus.


I don't see a single presentation of the Law and Gospel in any of the narrative passages of the gospels or Acts.

Jesus used the law in evangelism often. One example is in Mark 10:12-17, The rich young ruler.
Instead of Christ getting him to make a decision, the rich young ruler actually was was chased off. Jesus would have failed personal evangelism class in most Bible colleges and seminaries.
Jesus used the law, repentence, & told the ruler to follow Him. Jesus used the Law to help the young man clearly see his own sinfulness.

Normal Evangelical practice is to run straight to the cross of Christ. But the cross is meaningless apart from the law. On the cross Jesus was satisfying the just demands of God's holy law against sinners. If there is no personal consciousness of sin, then the sinner will not see the significance of Christ's sacrifice on his behalf. Or worse, he will pervert it by inventing some other idea such as Jesus died merely as a demonstration of how much He loved us. On the cross, Christ was set forth to be the propitiation for our sins (Rom 3:25), i.e. the substitutionary object of God's wrath poured out against a violated law.


I see my job as helping people find faith in Christ. There are variety of means that are unique to each story that God is writing in a person's life.
That is awesome man! I do agree there are many ways as well to bring someone to Christ.
Using the Law to see my sin was the only way that had any affect on me to immediately help me understand. My heart was immediately changed. Since the what transformed me, I have a desire to use the same approach when sharing my faith with others.


My suggestion would be to consider how God has wired you and find an evangelism "style" that fits you.
I got this statement from you from a different thread, but using the Law in Evangelism along with the gospel is how God has wired me, which is why that is my focus in evangelism

pastor_chris
Dec 11th 2007, 12:48 PM
Jesus used the law in evangelism often. One example is in Mark 10:12-17, The rich young ruler.


I wasn't very clear in expressing what I was thinking. The Script of WOTM as I see it and hear it used is what I meant. Oops. But at the same time, this is only one story out of many conversion stories in the NT.

Thanks for the reminder of this illustration. But it is one of many stories in the gospels and acts about coming to faith.

Some believed because they were healed.
Some believed because they were seeking truth.
Some believed because Jesus called them to follow him.

Jesus didn't give the disciples the law when he called them to follow him.

In Acts, some believed because they saw the miracle of Pentecost and Peter mentioned how that was connected to the promise in Joel.

As I look at conversion stories in Acts, I see the gospel contextualized.

When Paul preached at Athens, he didn't use the Law directly since his audience didn't even have a worldview that included it. Rather, he used their current culture to connect to biblical truth. Some believed, some ridiculed, some wanted to hear more.

As long as we don't get into saying this is the only valid form of a gospel presentation, or that people are not included in the kingdom because the message they responded to was incomplete or wrong. {i'm not universalist, so don't misread my statement}.

That puts an unhealthy burden on the evangelist (what if I say the message wrong or mess up), reduces the gospel to a ritualistic forumla (follow these steps clearly), and if the forumula is done wrong, their conversion has misfired.

This strips the gospel of its richness, and its power, making the presentation totally man centered in "wise and persuavive words" or "wise arguments."

Remember, I'm not reacting to the theology of the Law and Gospel as a script. I'm reacting to some practicioners who make it the only valid form of gospel presentation.

Chris

shnfx
Dec 11th 2007, 02:52 PM
Chris,

Thanks for making some very good points.
I feel God has tuged on my heart and has given me a zeal for evangelism using the Law, at least at this point in my walk with Christ. I was so much transformed by the law myself, which is why I have a desire to use the law when I talk to people about why we should come to Jesus. I did not know how sinful and evil I was until I was confronted by God's Law. Then I knew how much I wanted and needed Jesus. I am just concerned for people who go to Christ for the wrong reasons, but don't really understand fully why they need Christ.

I just hope the same transfromation will happen to others when I share the same message that immediately brought me to Jesus. The change was so immediate and forced me to surrender at once to Jesus knowing I was doomed without Him because I finally understood. There are many messages and different ways to evangelism, but my heart right now is using the Law along with God's Grace because of the effect it has had on me.

You might notice that in a lot of my posts I use the Law and then grace. I feel there may be another person out there who ws like me and doesn't fully understand why Jesus died for us. I am hoping to give understanding to that person (like me) because it only takes one person who doesn't understand to look on this website and that message could be the message to help and save them.

I have learned so many things so far as a new christian and continue to learn more everyday. That is what I love this so much about this website. It is an opportunity for me to try to help others, but at the same time, I am learning and getting help from others also.

Shane

coldfire136
Dec 12th 2007, 12:05 AM
Rejoice[sic] in heaven is done when a sinner repents[sic] not when a decision is made for Christ in hopes that it makes the sinners life better and easier or that someone's church will get bigger.


It is our job to help a sinner understand the serious nature of sin and share the good news of the gospel like Jesus did.

Where does Jesus talk about the serious nature of sin?


This was an article and I didn't conduct any studies myself, but I think it's fair to say that the message today seeks to tell people what they want to hear to seek a decision rather than repentance.

So the article you read didn't cite the study it referred to? This is a blantant misuse of statistics. Studies must always be cited so that the reader can go back to the original data without much trouble.


To answer your question. You are correct Yes, being a Christian means more than understanding the law and asking Jesus to take away the Laws requirements. Understanding the importance of the Law and the need for Jesus to make us clean is only the first step.

This is where you and I disagree. I would start in the garden where things were good, and explain how God originally created us good.

pastor_chris
Dec 12th 2007, 12:13 PM
Keep up your passion. Keep sharing away. It's good to have a concern for those who are not yet Christians.


I am just concerned for people who go to Christ for the wrong reasons, but don't really understand fully why they need Christ.


What I read here is a concern for people who come to Christ for the wrong reasons.

This sets up a set of questions to explore with you

Is the reason for coming to Christ more important than the destination of following Christ?
Do people have to understand fully before their conversion is "complete" or "true" or "insert some adjective here"?
What then do people have to understand first?
If a piece is missing, does their conversion misfire?
Does this reduce the gospel to a set of logical propositions and mental agreement to it as a litmus test?
Can people believe first and then understand later?If proper belief to a set of principles is The requirement to believe correctly or repent correctly, then I think that we have created a man-made barrier.

I think people can believe first, and then come into an understanding of the fullness of their conversion. I'm not sure the conversion experience can be reduced to a formula that has to be followed like a recipie.

I did not grow up with a Christian world view, I didn't even own a Bible until after I became a Christian. I decided to follow Jesus one day because I saw that I needed a direction in life.

My conversion moment was not because of my sin -- but because of a different need. When I began to read the Bible, my worldview was being rebuilt. I came to understand that I was a sinner about 6 months after I started following Jesus. The Bible educated me as it rebuilt my worldview.

I'm going on mission work for 10 days and will be out of touch.

Chris

shnfx
Dec 12th 2007, 07:46 PM
Where does Jesus talk about the serious nature of sin?
Matthew 5:29-30 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. Hell is a result of sin and Jesus mentioned Hell numerous times. The result of sin is death.

Jesus uses the Law many many times to show a person the nature of his/her sin. Jesus doesn't only preach happiness, joy, etc that is found with him, but he first wants to get to the root of sinners to convict them and bring them to true repentence and trust in Him knowing that He is the only way to be saved. Jesus brings out the nature of sin so a sinner sees the need for a redeemer to take away the sin.

Below are a few examples of Jesus using the law to show that we are all sinners
Matt 5 The sermon on the mount is the greatest example of his use of the law and the seriousness of sin.

Matt 15:3-9 Jesus and Stephen the martyr rebuked the Jewish religious rulers for breaking the moral law.

Mark 12:28-34 Jesus and a scribe

Luke 10:25-29 Jesus and the proud Lawyer

Matt 23:23-28 Jesus vs the Pharisees

Luke 16:14-18 Jesus and the Pharisees

John chapter 8 the Adultress Woman

If someone knows they have sinned against God by the Law, then there is no need to preach the Law because grace should be taught. If someone does not know the true nature of sin, the Law is absolutely necessary to convict the sinner.




This is where you and I disagree. I would start in the garden where things were good, and explain how God originally created us good.
Would you ever get to the point to show someone that we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God? If so, how would you do so without using the Law to show the sinner his sin? What would lead the sinner to true repentance and trust in Jesus?
How do you show nonbelievers that they are a sinner in need of God¦s gift of eternal life? This is where the law comes in.The purpose of the Law serves to point towards Christ as Galatians 3:24 testify,So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ[a] that we might be justified by faith.How does the Law do this?It shows the impossibility of self-righteousness:
Christ fulfills the law(Matt 5:17), so we need to understand the Law, in order to know “who Christ is, and what he is doing (/has done/will do)”. If you do not know what someone is saving you from, you can neither appreciate nor cooperate with His saving work in your life.
There are so many people in this world who are already wealthy, happy, have love in their life, etc. What would they need Jesus for? How can you bring them to repentance and trust in Christ? The only way to do this is by showing them thier sin and explain the result of sin. We can do this by showing the the Law. Then grace can be preached.

Quote from Martin Luther :
It is no small matter then to understand rightly what the law is, and what is the true use and office thereof... we reject not the law and works, as our adversaries do falsely accuse us... we say that the law is good and profitable, but in his own proper use: which is first to bridle civil transgressions, and then to reveal and to increase spiritual transgressions. Wherefore the law is also a light, which sheweth and revealeth, not the grace of God, not righteousness and life; but sin,death, the wrath and judgement of God... the law, when it is in his true sense, doth nothing else but reveal sin, engender wrath, accuse and terrify men, so that it bringeth them to the very brink of desperation. This is the proper use of the law, and here it hath an end, and it ought to go no further - Martin Luther

shnfx
Dec 12th 2007, 08:13 PM
Keep up your passion. Keep sharing away. It's good to have a concern for those who are not yet Christians.
Thanks Chris. Although it can be intimidating and I go through dry spells, it is the most satisfying thing to walk away from a conversation with a non believer in an attempt to help them get to know Christ.


Is the reason for coming to Christ more important than the destination of following Christ?
I think in order to get to the proper destination of following Christ you have to know why you are going there?


Do people have to understand fully before their conversion is "complete" or "true" or "insert some adjective here"?
No, we will be learning until the day we die. Using the Law only speeds up the understanding of the need to repent and trust in Jesus. Time is ticking for all of us.


Can people believe first and then understand later?
Yes.


If proper belief to a set of principles is The requirement to believe correctly or repent correctly, then I think that we have created a man-made barrier.
Can someone truly repent if they do not know what it is they are repenting of?


I did not grow up with a Christian world view, I didn't even own a Bible until after I became a Christian. I decided to follow Jesus one day because I saw that I needed a direction in life.
I am glad you found Christ Chris. Some don't ever find the time to find Christ like you did. They need the mirror of the law to show them the need for repentence now.
I grew up as a christian for 26 years and loved Jesus and knew he died for my sins, but never knew why because I never saw my sin as sin. I prayed to God, but I was never saved because I did not know why I had to repent and trust in Jesus. I believed in Jesus, therefore I thought I would see him in heaven when I died. Little did I know that believing in Jesus alone doesn't get me to heaven. I needed to repent and trust in Jesus like you would trust a parachute. Someone doesn't believe in the parachute, you put it on to save you from the fall to come. The very first moment I looked in the mirror of the Ten Commandments, I knew the true reason I needed Jesus in my life. I repented immediately, trusted in Jesus and put the Lord Jesus on.
"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul..." (Psalm 19:7)



I'm going on mission work for 10 days and will be out of touch.
Awesome! I will talk to you when you get back.

pc_benz
Dec 12th 2007, 09:38 PM
This thread is from another forum were someone was questioning the Law.


Quote:
If god loved you why would he give you 10 things not to do???



To me it seems to be the other way around. If God did not love us, He would have not given us the law (commandments). Without the law how could we know that it is wrong to steal, lie, murder, etc...

Romans 3:20-23

20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. 21But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Quote:if you do them you get sent to hell
yup that is love

It's not a question if we do them

James 2:10

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

Quote:but whats the point of them??????????

Psalm 19:7

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple..


You have some great questions. I would encourage you to read the book of John (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%201;&version=31;)


pastor_chris


My conversion moment was not because of my sin -- but because of a different need. When I began to read the Bible, my worldview was being rebuilt. I came to understand that I was a sinner about 6 months after I started following Jesus. The Bible educated me as it rebuilt my worldview.


This is most likely a fine point but does it not take the knowledge of sin to become converted? Can you truly be converted and think it's ok to live in sin? I think we can believe in who Jesus is but without honest sorrow and repentence I don't see how there can be salvation. I have to admit I might be way off base here and the main thing is you came to understand your sin.

Someone set me straight as I'm still learning.

pc_benz
Dec 12th 2007, 09:53 PM
Oh shnfx I completely agree about the law and have came to the conclusion that most people in the every day world that say they are Christians cannot tell you why. They have no idea about sin.

Sin is like the speed limit. If you are on the interstate and speed limit is 55 and everyone is going 65, well you have to just keep up with traffic. It's still breaking the law but they think it's ok.

There has to be a good reason Jesus said the road to heaven is narrow and the road to Hell is wide.

We need to start preaching the whole bible. Bring them to an understanding of how they break the Law, how God is the Perfect Holy Judge and let their conscience do the rest. If we see concern in their eyes then the heart is prepared for the Wonderful news of what God did for us!

shnfx
Dec 13th 2007, 02:49 PM
This is most likely a fine point but does it not take the knowledge of sin to become converted? Can you truly be converted and think it's ok to live in sin? I think we can believe in who Jesus is but without honest sorrow and repentence I don't see how there can be salvation. I have to admit I might be way off base here and the main thing is you came to understand your sin.

I think you hit it right on. It does take the knowledge of sin to become truly converted because you know why you need a Savior and you point to the savior to save you from your sin and not to give you happiness, joy, etc.
Although Jesus can definitely bring someone happiness, joy, wealth, etc. that should not be the sole reason to go to Christ. Christ brings
a different kind of happiness to a believer. The happiness is in that we as Christians can now be at peace with God through Jesus knowing that Jesus satisfied the Law for us and paid our penalty in full to save us from death and hell. That is the happiness and joy that should be found in Jesus. It just goes to show us all how much God loves us. That is love that we just cannot fathom.
I think it is important to get to the root of the problem and the problem is sin. We just need to make people conscience of sin instead of hoping that they will find it on their own. Why wait to let them find it on their own? Some people may believe in Jesus, but never become truly converted because their lack of knowledge of sin, therefore no understanding of what Jesus did to save us from sin or why he did it.


Someone set me straight as I'm still learning.
We will all be learning until the day we die.

Here is something to think about.
If a child is walking toward the edge of a waterfall, would you warn the child of his/her fall to come or would you tell him/her how beautiful the waterall is? Would you hope they will come to the conclusion on their own that it is dangerous to walk the line they are walking or would you do everything you could to help them understand the danger to come if they continue on their path?

pc_benz
Dec 18th 2007, 01:11 PM
I think you hit it right on. It does take the knowledge of sin to become truly converted because you know why you need a Savior and you point to the savior to save you from your sin and not to give you happiness, joy, etc.

Although Jesus can definitely bring someone happiness, joy, wealth, etc. that should not be the sole reason to go to Christ. Christ brings
a different kind of happiness to a believer. The happiness is in that we as Christians can now be at peace with God through Jesus knowing that Jesus satisfied the Law for us and paid our penalty in full to save us from death and hell. That is the happiness and joy that should be found in Jesus. It just goes to show us all how much God loves us. That is love that we just cannot fathom.
I think it is important to get to the root of the problem and the problem is sin. We just need to make people conscience of sin instead of hoping that they will find it on their own. Why wait to let them find it on their own? Some people may believe in Jesus, but never become truly converted because their lack of knowledge of sin, therefore no understanding of what Jesus did to save us from sin or why he did it.


We will all be learning until the day we die.

Here is something to think about.
If a child is walking toward the edge of a waterfall, would you warn the child of his/her fall to come or would you tell him/her how beautiful the waterall is? Would you hope they will come to the conclusion on their own that it is dangerous to walk the line they are walking or would you do everything you could to help them understand the danger to come if they continue on their path?

When I look around at all the people in my life, people I know and people I do not know, I cannot help but think who might be spending eternity in Hell. It concerns me greatly and grieves my heart. I'm also afraid that many confessing Christians are comparing their lives to how the world is or other Christians are concerning sin. I truly believe without understanding how Holy God is we cannot have complete understanding for what Jesus did for us. I pray that all come to this understanding.

I talked to a stranger the other day that said they were a Catholic and attended Mass every week. I asked them a simple question. What happens when someone dies? They gave me this explanation, "I think we are all energy and our energy goes back out into the universe."

Lord please help us understand that people every day are walking over the cliff into eternity.

Without the Law the Gospel makes no sense to the unsaved!

shnfx
Dec 18th 2007, 09:01 PM
When I look around at all the people in my life, people I know and people I do not know, I cannot help but think who might be spending eternity in Hell. It concerns me greatly and grieves my heart. I'm also afraid that many confessing Christians are comparing their lives to how the world is or other Christians are concerning sin. I truly believe without understanding how Holy God is we cannot have complete understanding for what Jesus did for us. I pray that all come to this understanding.

I talked to a stranger the other day that said they were a Catholic and attended Mass every week. I asked them a simple question. What happens when someone dies? They gave me this explanation, "I think we are all energy and our energy goes back out into the universe."

Lord please help us understand that people every day are walking over the cliff into eternity.

Without the Law the Gospel makes no sense to the unsaved!

That is exactly the way I think and feel as well.
Continue to witness to help others get to know Christ. I will pray for you. Please pray for me as well as I sometimes go through stages of fear and it prevents me from witnessing. It's actually kind of weird. I am gung ho some days with not much fear and then the next day I will be so fearful and it gets the best of me.

Shane

Athanasius
Dec 19th 2007, 12:37 AM
This is most likely a fine point but does it not take the knowledge of sin to become converted? Can you truly be converted and think it's ok to live in sin? I think we can believe in who Jesus is but without honest sorrow and repentence I don't see how there can be salvation. I have to admit I might be way off base here and the main thing is you came to understand your sin.

Someone set me straight as I'm still learning.

While I believe that you can come to Christ not primarily because of sin, I think doing so results in a slew of issues otherwise avoided. Why are so many 'Christians' comparable in action to their 'unsaved' counterparts? Why are churches splitting over homosexuals (I don't mean this in a negative connotation) in leadership? How come Bible college students are sleeping with each other? Swearing? Acting otherwise deplorably?

I think Christianity in general is presenting a very watered down, "Jesus only wants to be your friend" version of the [social] Gospel, and I think it's creating a generation of skin deep, 'feel good' Christians with little to no knowledge of Christian belief, Jesus, sin, God's Grace etc.

Christians, I believe, are the biggest reason evangelism isn't working.

pastor_chris
Dec 29th 2007, 08:44 PM
I'm back.

I think that it might be near impossible to discern the moment when the Holy Spirit "quickened" my spirit (to use an old term).

During my journey to faith -- when was I saved/born again?

Was it the moment I decided to follow Jesus (before I understood I was a sinner)?

Was it months later when I had a new worldview and understood that I was a sinner?

Was it somewhere in between?

Does repentance mean only turning away from sin, or is it broad enough to include turning to a new direction in life?

Is my repentence complete because I understand?

Was my repentence lacking becuase I didn't understand correctly?

I don't think anyone can split hairs over the moment of conversion. I quit worrying about that sometime ago. The fact is, I know and love Jesus and have dedicated my life to following Him and serving him.

Remember, I'm not disagreeing with use of the Law as precursor to sharing the gospel. I'm a firm believer in the theolgy. But I don't think evangelism is so cut and dry that one has to get the right steps in the right order.

With the unchurched I deal with on a regular basis, there is not even a biblical frame of reference, or even a biblical worldview.

Chris.

Mark F
Dec 30th 2007, 04:11 AM
Pastor Chris, you wrote:


With the unchurched I deal with on a regular basis, there is not even a biblical frame of reference, or even a biblical worldview.

"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

“ How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."


As you said yourself, you started out wrong, but obedience is evidence of salvation, not us saying "I'm saved".

April76
Dec 30th 2007, 06:06 PM
Re, evangelizing:

I believe it's an over-flow that will naturally be born out of our relationship with Jesus. He will bring the appointments into our life as we obey and walk with Him.
Through those 'God' established relationships will come the making of disciples.

It should be a natural part of our relationship with God, not something programmed or man orchestrated.

Mograce2U
Dec 30th 2007, 06:43 PM
Kirk Cameron's The Way of the Master program does something similar to this. He suggests using the Ten Commandments and the Law to get at the person's heart and not their mind. By showing the person that they are a sinner, growth can be achieved.I ran across this article which did not agree with the WOTM approach and he makes some good points as to why not.

http://www.searchingtogether.org/secret.htm

pastor_chris
Dec 30th 2007, 10:20 PM
Pastor Chris, you wrote:

As you said yourself, you started out wrong, but obedience is evidence of salvation, not us saying "I'm saved".


I never said I started out wrong.

I decided to follow Jesus and later understood more of what that meant.

brakelite
Jan 2nd 2008, 03:38 PM
Hi there
Thought I'd pop in with a few thoughts. When I first came to Jesus it was in response to the question, "do you think your life meets with God's approval?". A paraphrase would be like this--is what you are doing lawful? To this day I thank God for a. that question, and b. the courage to answer it truthfully by saying 'no'. I admitted to being a sinner when confronted by the holiness of God, His law, and His requirements. All this by the inner conviction of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that the work of the Spirit is to convict the world of righteousness, judgement and sin. (Jn 16:8) We are to cooperate in this by preaching the gospel.
The Lord commands all to repent. Repent from what? Sin. What is sin? It is transgression against the law.(1 Jn 3:4) What law? The ten commandments. (Rom 7:7) Why? Because if we dont we shall be judged. And not only shall we be judged except we repent, we shall also be judged if we dont warn others to do the same.
So we turn away from sin, but what to? To the cross. To trusting in His vacarious death. By believing in His resurrection and recieving His power to live a life in accordance with the law. This takes the death of the old man. Daily. We must become new creatures in Christ. And through His divine grace and power by the indwelling Spirit of God we reflect the righteousness of God. This comes by a relationship with God through Jesus who now stands before the throne of grace ever intercessing for us. That is the full gospel. And the evidence that the person has indeed responded and is growing in the Lord is the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit in the life. Particularly love.

The Ten Commandment law was not what Paul was referring to as the schoolmaster. The schoolmaster was the mosaic law of temple ordinances and the sacrificial services and celebratory annual sabbaths. These were Israel's lesson book pointing them to Christ. The 'shadows' of what was to come. "The Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world".

The Ten commandment law was not what was nailed to the cross. This misunderstanding is a massive fault in the modern delivery of the gospel. It gives the message that excuses future sin seeing there is no law to condemn it. Quite false.

My denomination preaches the above full gospel. It is increasing annually worldwide by over 1,000,000 a year, this being the case for the last 3 years. Not so much in the west, but most growth is in the east(Russia,& India particularly) and in central and south America. The great problem we are having is building enough churches to house the new members. But preaching the law, and grace, works.
Regards
Brakelite

shnfx
Jan 2nd 2008, 07:15 PM
I ran across this article which did not agree with the WOTM approach and he makes some good points as to why not.

http://www.searchingtogether.org/secret.htm

A quote from the above article.
"We do not, according to John 16:8-11, come to the Christ through law-preaching, as Comfort teaches, but through gospel proclamation."

I couldn't disagree more with the article comment. We are to be convicted of sin before the gospel and God's grace can truly make sense. Althought the Gospel is necessary(of course), but without the knowledge of sin, how can the gosple make sense?
To me, the article doesn't hold much ground. It seems to say we need to share the gospel only and then goes on to say that we need to convict the sinner, but not by using the Ten Commandments. Isn't the idea to convict the sinner the most important regardless of how they get convicted? Use of the Ten Commandments can and has convicted sinners.
Everyone will have their own views, but without a doubt I know that to truly convict one of sin, we have to become conscience of sin. I am a living testimony to this. For 20+ years I thought i was a christian. I heard the gospel (Jesus died to take away the sins of the world), but never understood it b/c I was never faced with the law, whether it be the whole law or just the 10 Commandments(it doesn't matter). It was always a sugar coated message explaining God's love. Yes, God's love is amazing and unfathomable, but the gospel will make no sense to those who do not understand their sinful nature. How do we make people understand humans sinful nature? The Law.
The Ten commandments can be used for this b/c it is the most widely known of all the old testament commands. It is what most people are familiar with, not the other old testament laws. That is why it can be and should be used.

Jews and Gentiles are all under sin if they are not in Christ. Again, how we show them sin is by the Law. Then the Gospel can be clearly understood to the sinner.

Romans 3:9
9What shall we conclude then? Are we any better[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=3&verse=8&end_verse=10&version=31&context=context#fen-NIV-27986a)]? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10As it is written:
"There is no one righteous, not even one;

We need the Law and Grace both. Not just Law, not just grace.

VerticalReality
Jan 2nd 2008, 07:24 PM
I personally do not believe there is a prescribed way to preach the good news to someone. When I read Scripture I do not see Jesus or the disciples going down a checklist as they preach to the unbeliever. What I see is that they are led by the Spirit of God and empowered with supernatural impartation to do His will. This sometimes involved showing someone their sin. Sometimes it involved revealing truth in other ways. My personal belief is that we also are to be led by the Spirit of God in all we do. We don't necessarily always have to go down the list of the ten commandments in order to bring someone to salvation. In fact, in my experience with preaching to unbelievers most already know they are sinners and they really don't need me beating that fact into their heads over and over again. What they need to know is the truth that will set them free from the situation they are in. Many are dealing with physical and emotional issues that hinder them. They need to know why they are in their situation and what will deliver them from it. What most seem to have experienced from the church is nothing but a judgmental sort of "I'm better than you because I'm spiritual" attitude.

Actually, to be perfectly honest, in my experience the main thing I end up doing in this country when I preach to unbelievers is uncovering all the man-made religious nonsense that has given many folks a bad taste for "religion" and giving them the truth of what this thing is all about. For example, I had one fellow the other day that actually asked me if it was okay for him to have sexual feelings for his wife. For some reason the religious ignorance of some folks trying to be holier than thou had taught this guy that it was wrong for him to have physical feelings towards his wife. He had been told that it was lust and he shouldn't be feeling those things. It's these sort of outright ridiculous mindsets that I end up exposing with the truth.

But enough of my rambling. I just believe we just need to be led by the Spirit of God. In that we can do no wrong.

shnfx
Jan 2nd 2008, 07:50 PM
In fact, in my experience with preaching to unbelievers most already know they are sinners and they really don't need me beating that fact into their heads over and over again.
Agreed. If someone understands what sin is and knows they are a sinner, they then need to know what can save them. The gospel would then be necessary. The important thing is to convince them of their sin and how it offends God.

shnfx
Jan 2nd 2008, 08:47 PM
I'm going on mission work for 10 days and will be out of touch.

Chris

Chris, how was your mission trip?

shnfx
Jan 4th 2008, 02:14 PM
I personally do not believe there is a prescribed way to preach the good news to someone. When I read Scripture I do not see Jesus or the disciples going down a checklist as they preach to the unbeliever.

I was thinking something and wanted to post regarding your comments. I agree that we should be led by the Spirit when witnessing.
I don't think there has to be a prescribed specific way to preach to someone, but I do think it is important to find conviction of sin. To find conviction, we need to explain what sin is to show someone their sin.


In fact, in my experience with preaching to unbelievers most already know they are sinners and they really don't need me beating that fact into their heads over and over again.

I would agree that most people know they are sinners, but I don't think most of them know the consequence of sin and what God's word says will happen to sinners. I think it is important to address this as well so they can understand what their fate will be if they continue to live the life they are living in sin. Once they know this, they will rejoice in the gospel.

VerticalReality
Jan 4th 2008, 03:18 PM
I would agree that most people know they are sinners, but I don't think most of them know the consequence of sin and what God's word says will happen to sinners. I think it is important to address this as well so they can understand what their fate will be if they continue to live the life they are living in sin. Once they know this, they will rejoice in the gospel.

Actually, and again this is just from my experience preaching the gospel to folks on the streets and so forth, but I think overall a very large majority of the folks I've spoken with and shared the gospel with already know the basics of what the bible teaches on the matter of judgment and so forth. The problem with taking the judgment angle, IMO, is that it's difficult for many unbelievers to focus on anything but what's relevant to them now, much less what will happen after they die. Most unbelievers are so focused on the here and now that they really don't see what happens at death to be too relevant. In addition, most folks are convinced that death is a long ways off and they have time to worry about that much later. Even older folks seem to feel this way. I'm not saying that this will never work. I'm simply saying that a good portion I've spoken with already know about this issue. However, the Holy Spirit can definitely show us what is the best route to take with any given person.

What I've actually found to be most effective in my experiences is telling people the complete truth about salvation. Most people are under the impression that the only thing Jesus Christ came to do was die on a cross for mankind so that they could be forgiven of their sins and someday make it to heaven. That is there idea of what salvation is. However, the Word of God teaches that there is much more to salvation than just that. Jesus Christ has provided deliverance and salvation while we're in this life as well. There's a freedom in Christ from the grips of the world and the flesh that most unbelievers do not understand. What unbelievers today do not see is the power that the early church walked with. When the apostles preached and witnessed to folks, they were effective because they were not doing it by their own power. They had the power of God that was evident in their walk and in their ministry. It should be the same with us. Jesus told Philip in John 14 that if Philip had seen Him that he had seen the Father. He told Philip that he could see this by the works that Jesus did. He also told them that the same works that Jesus did those who believe in Him would do also. Therefore, if folks could see the Father by the works Jesus did, people today should be able to see Jesus by the works we do also. After all, Jesus said that He is in us . . .



John 14:19-23
“A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.


So, the most effective witness is to walk as Jesus walked and do the works that Jesus did. We are to walk in the same manner as He, and we are to operate in the power of God as well. If we have the power of God operating in our life and walk, people will be convinced that they will answer to a higher power than that of man. As we can see when Peter healed the man at the gate called Beautiful, those in the temple were able to witness that there was a power present that was not of man. This man's healing had to be from God, and therefore the message Peter preached had to be from God also. What followed is a lot of folks coming to the Lord. If people are going to believe what we preach, they are going to have to see that what we are preaching is not from man but from something more powerful and supernatural than man. That power is still available. Only a good portion of the church today isn't walking in it.

shnfx
Jan 4th 2008, 06:02 PM
The problem with taking the judgment angle, IMO, is that it's difficult for many unbelievers to focus on anything but what's relevant to them now, much less what will happen after they die. Most unbelievers are so focused on the here and now that they really don't see what happens at death to be too relevant.

Most people don't think about what will happen after they die and I never did either actaully until about 2 years ago. Isn't it interesting that most people don't think about death considering 10 out of 10 people die?


So, the most effective witness is to walk as Jesus walked and do the works that Jesus did. We are to walk in the same manner as He, and we are to operate in the power of God as well. If we have the power of God operating in our life and walk, people will be convinced that they will answer to a higher power than that of man.

I agree that we are to do all things as Jesus did and that includes being and example out of our lifestyle.

Many people only witness outwardly by the way they live their lives. That is good, but there is more to it to bring someone to Christ. (I am not saying you take this approach, but many people do partly because it is easier)The problem I have with the witnessing just on 'Doing good & kind things for people' and also 'the way I live my life outwardly' approach is that anyone can do that, whether they are a Christian or not. How does that necessarily bring people to repentance and trust in Jesus? Many non christians live respectful lives in others eyes so I don't think that is the key way to bring people to get to know Christ. I think we have to get to the root of sinners as fast quickly because tomorrow might be to late.

Using the Law to show sin, the consequence of sin, and the gospel was the key to bringing me to Christ so now I have a desire to use that approach.

Nice talking with you
Shane

VerticalReality
Jan 4th 2008, 07:17 PM
Many people only witness outwardly by the way they live their lives. That is good, but there is more to it to bring someone to Christ. (I am not saying you take this approach, but many people do partly because it is easier)The problem I have with the witnessing just on 'Doing good & kind things for people' and also 'the way I live my life outwardly' approach is that anyone can do that, whether they are a Christian or not. How does that necessarily bring people to repentance and trust in Jesus? Many non christians live respectful lives in others eyes so I don't think that is the key way to bring people to get to know Christ.

IMO, I don't believe the "works" of Jesus that I'm speaking of in my previous post is really talking about just "living a good life". The works of Jesus were preaching the kingdom of God, ministering to the weak and poor in spirit, setting the captive free and healing those oppressed by the devil. His ministry encompassed all these things, and there is none more effective than Him. If we want to be effective as well, we must also try to encompass all the same aspects into our ministry as well. We are ministers of reconcilialation. We are called to set the captive free and be a light unto the world that will expose the darkness. In my experience God has absolutely no problem confirming His gospel with the same power as He did for His Son, the apostles, and the early church as a whole. Just to give you a for instance, a few weeks ago we were visiting an elderly couple in their home. The lady loved the Lord, but she was struggling with some health issues. The gentlemen was unsaved and living in rebellion against God, but he was open to discuss the Lord with us. We preached the gospel and the love of Jesus to them for a couple of hours, and later had prayer for the lady. The Lord revealed that the lady had been experiencing pain in her right shoulder and she was asked about this. She indeed verified that this was true. We prayed that in the name of Jesus her shoulder would be healed. Immediately the pain left her and she was healed. The entire time the other gentlemen had been sitting back and observing everything going on. After he witnessed her healing his entire outlook changed and he asked us to pray with him as well. He had already been given the Word, but he was still unsure. I believe it was witnessing the power of God that brought him to a point of submission. At that point I believe he was convinced that what we were preaching to him was the truth. Those are the sort of "works" I'm talking about.

I'm not trying to say that the Law isn't effective. I'm saying that there is a multitude of ways to reach another person, and the Holy Spirit, in His omniscience, can inform us of exactly which way we should use and how we should use it.

It was nice talking with as well, Shane. God bless!

Identity
Jan 5th 2008, 01:28 AM
I hate to say this, but the original post that the remainder of this thread stems from is taken entirely out of context. I have read a few other replies here and there and what I see most is the use of the word Law in terms of winning others to Christ, but also in any other area of Christian spirituality.

The quote that the law is our schoolmaster that leads us to Christ is from Galatians 3:24 which is right in the middle of a book where the apostle Paul is doing everything but encouraging the use of the Law. He is combating Law all together and even calls the Galatians foolish at one point for remaining under Law.

The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. He completed it's work! Hence, we are no longer children of wrath, but heirs according to the promise! That is why there is an OLD Testament and a NEW Testament. I would encourage everyone in this forum to read through the entire New Testament and consider it in contrast with the Old Testament. One great book that summarizes, if you like Cliff's notes, is Hebrews. Although the apostle Paul is very redundant throughout his letters in the New Testament concerning grace and law.

Using scare tactics to win people to Christ is the primary reason that these newfound believers seemingly "fall away" after they have made their profession. We don't need to tell people about God's wrath anymore, Romans 5 says that His wrath has been satisfied. What draws people to Christ is not Law, it is Love. I know this will probably step on some toes, but come on, let's think about this for a second, at least beyond the blinders of our religious tradition...

threebigrocks
Jan 5th 2008, 02:36 AM
Hum, I don't think I'd consider Paul redundant in his letters concerning law and grace. In fact, he covered it all. Hebrews has some serious meat in it, and ought to be digested. After all, Paul was wise beyond his years in knowledge of the Jewish faith, he knew it inside and out; what better man to tie the Old in with the New!

We must simply include the whole of scripture, every aspect. God is love, mercy and grace. God is also wrath and judgement. He is all of those and all the inbetween places too. And, He is not yet done reconsiling His creation to Himself. That is yet to come as reality.

Unless you come across the occational out of the blue questions from someone, the best way to witness is to know something about the person. Doesn't need to be blood type, genetic makeup and mother's maiden name, but enough to know a handful of things about them. Then you have something to make it personal, make the Truth relateable, and enough to know when they are receptive and when they are not.

We just need to be prepaired to tell the Truth, the whole of the Truth. We don't need to be a 40 year Christian, but we need to be able to grasp the basics and relay it to another person in some form.

Identity
Jan 5th 2008, 03:52 AM
He is absolutely redundant, not in a boring way, but in a very direct and intentional way. Romans is full of the contrasts between law and grace all the way to chapter 11:6 where he says that it has to be one way or the other, it can't be both. In his letter to the Corinthians, specifically his second letter, chapter 3 and verse 7 he describes the Law as the ministry of death. Galatians is nothing other than contrasts between the two, etc.

I agree with your point that Paul was the right man for the job, otherwise I don't think God would have let him write half of the New Testament. I don't agree with making truth relative to someone. I can make anything true if that were the case...

threebigrocks
Jan 5th 2008, 04:05 AM
Well, I guess we were applying the word redundant differently. :) I see where you were coming from now.

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 5th 2008, 05:50 PM
He is absolutely redundant, not in a boring way, but in a very direct and intentional way. Romans is full of the contrasts between law and grace all the way to chapter 11:6 where he says that it has to be one way or the other, it can't be both. In his letter to the Corinthians, specifically his second letter, chapter 3 and verse 7 he describes the Law as the ministry of death. Galatians is nothing other than contrasts between the two, etc.


Identity,

Hi there. I'm very new here myself. Welcome.

It's always a heart issue, when it comes to how God speaks in His Word through Paul and the others.

Identity
Jan 5th 2008, 06:09 PM
I agree. I'm not sure where you are going with that...

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 5th 2008, 06:25 PM
We must simply include the whole of scripture, every aspect. God is love, mercy and grace. God is also wrath and judgement. He is all of those and all the inbetween places too. And, He is not yet done reconsiling His creation to Himself. That is yet to come as reality.

threebigrocks,

What you just said is very balanced. Because, imho, it helps to keep Christian's lives straight each time God's Holy Spirit speaks to us with His leadings, since His target is always the heart; the inner man. If things aren't that balanced in our lives (and God still shows me where I'm still on sinking sand), we'll be bound to think that God's Spirit isn't 'of God' but of the enemy, when He comes to lead us to put some things to death in us. Again, it goes back to the heart, and Who Do I Love - the coming of God's Spirit, or my own flesh.



I agree. I'm not sure where you are going with that...

Identity, it's always a heart (inner man) issue. Each time we read the Bible (The Word) we make a choice. Either we will let it conforms us to the image of Christ or we will shrink back and continue to walk in rebellion. And I'm still undone myself when it comes to rebellion toward God. Salvation is truly a walk (like threebigrocks said, God is not done with us yet). But it sure isn't like it was - Praise God! And I'm still not satisfied where I am today - I"m still hungry for more of His Righteousness to be conformed in me.

Identity
Jan 5th 2008, 07:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by threebigrocks http://bibleforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1490314#post1490314)
We must simply include the whole of scripture, every aspect. God is love, mercy and grace. God is also wrath and judgement. He is all of those and all the inbetween places too. And, He is not yet done reconsiling His creation to Himself. That is yet to come as reality.

I would have to disagree again. Here are some verses to consider just so you don't think this is my opinion:

Colossians 1:19-20 says "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, by making peace through His blood (Jesus'), shed on the cross."

Romans 5:9 says "Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through Him!"

Let me include this thought so that we are not misunderstanding one another. If we are talking about believers, then I would disagree with the previous comments quoted. If we are talking about non-believers, then I do believe there will be judgment for them not professing faith in Christ.

What I was implying in my first reply is that scare tactics don't work. If what you say is true, and I think it is, that God is only concerned with the condition of our heart, then I emphasize further the ineffectiveness of scare tactics to convert people to Christ. Your heart can't love a tyrant! I am simply afraid that our approach has become misguided if all we are focused on is sin and telling people they are damned to hell because of it. Especially in the generation being raised to day. Apathy is a huge problem, and a dose of condemnation and fear is just driving them further into their apathetic world view.

Furthermore, we have been given a great commission. We have been sent out to tell people the "good news." Telling them they are damned to hell is the "bad news" and it would be the equivalent of describing the water around a person that is drowning. We are far too sin focused, behavior focused. The truth is, based on the scriptures above, along with too many more to put in this reply, God isn't mad at us anymore, if we are believers! That is what we need to tell unbelievers. While he isn't a tame God, His grace is supremely sufficient and I couldn't be more reconciled to Him than I am now. We would need Jesus to die over and over again if the first time wasn't enough. Please forgive me if I am missing your point. So far as I see, this response is appropriate...

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 5th 2008, 07:51 PM
Identity,

The whole matter of 'law and grace' has craftily been smoked over in creating a war by the enemy. And he's done a grand job. He wants us to choose sides in that smoked room. And most of us, at one point or the other, fell for it hock line and sinker. Me included. And to be honest with you, it takes God's Power to draw us out of this conflict. I use to be in it as well, in not understanding what God's Word was saying when it addressed His Law, because I choose with the arguement of 'grace' of course, because I could see God's Grace on me in having saved me. So to me, the choice was clear - I CHOOSE THE GRACE OF GOD.

But when I made my choices outside of God's Word and Spirit, and rather making choising in a battle field smoked room that the enemy had designed, I was outside of God's Will.

That was the enemies whole point and scheme.

So your right, it was never about measuing up to God because we couldn't, we were fallen. Doctrines do not teach people to fulfill the law, nor do they conform them to godliness so they can walk in the love that God requires. True disciples receive discipline in order to walk in this love. This is the God-kind of love that Jesus perfects in the body of Christ to fulfill the law. And now through Christ we do fulfill the Law's requirements and we establish it as well.

But if we kept the choices of the enemies smoked room, we will still be outside of God's Will for our lives.

See if you can hear this.


My pastor (God rest his soul) wrote this back in the 80's in a book:

"Since Jesus came to fulfill the law, we need to know first what the law is really saying. Jesus answered this in Matthew 22, verses 37-40: “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” What the law is really saying is that if you do these two things, love God supremely and love your neighbor as yourself, you have fulfilled the law and are no longer a law breaker. (Not, that you got your Salvation through the law. Please don’t read into any other then what is written. (mine-connie)) But this is impossible, keeping the law, without Jesus Christ because of our bondage to our selfish, self-centered flesh nature.

Since Jesus did not abolish the law, then what does the law do today? The law stands today to bring judgment upon all sin. The law, when it sees sin—if you will, brings the wrath of God (Romans 4:15). The law brings a curse (Gal. 3:13). The law is a ministry of death (2 Cor. 3:7), and the law is a ministry of condemnation (2 Cor. 3:9). All of these things come upon law breakers. Who are the law breakers? They are those who do not walk in love and cannot walk in love. Their minds are set upon the things their hearts love. “Because the carnal (fleshly) mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God (which commands us to walk in love), neither indeed can be. So then they that are IN THE FLESH cannot please God (Rom 8:7-8)."

The Love of God in us Fulfills the Law. Just do a word study in the NT where "the law" is mentioned and you'll see that it's not still serves a great purpose in our lives. Even Paul said the law is Spiritual, but there's something that we must deal with in our lives because it still will condemn, what's not right, in our lives toward God. So it serves a great and Godly purpose in our lives as Christian's when we read God's Word outside of the enemies smoke war zone.

Please consider praying about that.
And consider taking note of my last sentence in my signature; just take it to prayer to God.

God bless you richly, beloved!

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 5th 2008, 09:16 PM
VerticalReality,

I do like watching "Way of The Master" on iLife TV. Ray Comfort, when he's speaking with folks, is wise by the Spirit of God's understanding and very compassionate. He reminds me of the teaching candles of the Menorah, which sums up in Jesus Christ (and us in Him) as the Holy Spirit of God represets the Center piece Candle:

To have *The Might of the Lord lighting our way, we need *The Counsel of The Lord.
To have *The Knowledge of the Lord lighting our way, we need *The Understanding of the Lord.
To have *The Fear of The Lord (Humility), we need *The Wisdom of the Lord.

Menorah picture:
http://home1.gte.net/web23vhn/Menorah-Teaching-Candles--small.jpg

Peace,
Connie

Identity
Jan 5th 2008, 11:41 PM
Jesus_Is_Real,

Under the Old Covenant, I agree with you and your former pastor. I think the argument is extremely valid under that covenant. Mind you, while Jesus was alive we are still under that Old Covenant that God made with His people. Scripture is clear that we are under a New Covenant, I don't believe that to be doctrine, I believe it to be Truth. Romans 8:1 is clear that there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ. Is the Law then greater than Christ? The Pharisees thought so. Galatians 2:20 is quoted all the time, but 2:21 is seldom quoted. It reads, and Paul is speaking, "I do not nullify grace, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly." When Christ died for me, I became righteous, because of Him, not me.

II Cor. 5:21 "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

That part is more irrelevant to the matter, but it does make you think. Do you think that you are righteous? Most of the time we don't because we are such performance based creatures. We look at what we do and let that define us rather than letting God give us our value and worth. It is from that mindset that condemnation and judgment come. Therefore, you cannot say that you are grace based and believe in any form of condemnation. You are Law based and you are still under the Old Covenant. You are operating out of a faulty system. Even more so, just so I don't appear to just be making this stuff up, here is more evidence in Scripture...

Hebrews 9:13-16

v.13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh,
v.14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
v.15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
v.16 For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it.

That is, in order for a new covenant to be in place. Again, you are correct under the old covenant, except it takes much more than loving your neighbor to fulfill the law. Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-28, "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Jesus raised the standard even more than what the Law had stated it to be. He made holiness harder. So long as we continue teaching others around us that there are Laws to be observed, we are placing each other under a curse that Jesus gave His life to remove. He made this thing called the Christian life impossible for us to live so that we would be channeled to Him. Galatians 3:24 says that the law is our schoolmaster that leads us to Christ. Once we get Him, we no longer have use for the Law, in any shape or form! No matter how you slice it, dice it, or cook it, it is still useless in the Christian life because it only brings about condemnation to a liberated soul. However, if you choose to include any element of the law, James does give a clear warning in chapter 2 and verse 10, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all."

I beg of you as a brother who has been in your shoes and in so many of those posting in these threads to consider the beauty of Grace! Understand that you cannot have it both ways, law and grace can't co-exist! Furthermore, I have prayed about this more than you know because there came a time in my life about three years ago where I was so burnt out that it wasn't funny. I wanted to please God with all that I had and I did everything I could imagine to do it. I was a slave to the law and I had no clue about grace. And the saddest thing is that I forced that same standard on others that I had forced upon myself. I was the stumbling block that Jesus warns us about. I was a Pharisee, and I had no idea that Jesus was telling me the whole time that I didn't have to be that. My concept of Him was so poor and confused that I had become the one thing that He opposed most in His ministry and that was a religious fanatic! I had my hand in sending Him to the Cross.

Thank you for the conversation. I see your passion and I pray that it grows stronger for Him. I will take heed your words. Thanks for your honesty. Please forgive me for the length of this post...

brakelite
Jan 6th 2008, 04:20 AM
Hi Chris.
You are right that some believed after being healed and some for other reasons. But the bottom line is that they were only saved because of the cross. Without the cross the gospel is meaningless. You by-pass, exclude or side-step the cross and you have a false gospel.
With the cross comes the necessity of understanding the nature and malignancy of sin, what sin is (transgression against the law), and how Jesus' death saves us from it.
That is the gospel.
Regards
Brakelite

brakelite
Jan 6th 2008, 04:40 AM
Your view is a popular one in todays churches, and I believe it actually is a major contributing factor to the many problems facing Christianity today.
The liberalism, the casual attitude to righteousness, and the lack of deep hunger and thirst for the holiness of God results in a church that is so close in character and nature to the world that it is very difficult to tell the difference.
There sre several areas in your post which I believe are flawed. This link to a previous post of mine covers most of those areas. It is a bit of a read, but I pray you do so, and would welcome comment later.http://bibleforums.org/forumshowthread.php?t=101336
Regards
Brakelite

threebigrocks
Jan 6th 2008, 03:31 PM
Identity, let me ask you this. Where does the value of grace come from?

Identity
Jan 6th 2008, 05:01 PM
threebigrocks,

Only God can give anything value, which further proves my point with the beauty of God establishing a new covenant between us and Him. I'm not sure why you ask...


brakelite,

you said, "With the cross comes the necessity of understanding the nature and malignancy of sin, what sin is (transgression against the law), and how Jesus' death saves us from it.
That is the gospel."

I submit that that is only half of the gospel! That can be by no means the entirety of the gospel. It is unfortunately the major focus of most churches today, and apparently most people in this forum. What about the rest of the gospel?

threebigrocks
Jan 6th 2008, 06:59 PM
threebigrocks,

Only God can give anything value, which further proves my point with the beauty of God establishing a new covenant between us and Him. I'm not sure why you ask...


This is why i ask:

Romans 3


19Now we know that whatever the (Y (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=3&version=49#cen-NASB-28011Y))Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

And continuing on:



28For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one. 31Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.


Our very faith, our belief in Christ, places value on the Law because the Law exposes why we are seperated from God and why grace is needed. If we do not know our sin, what good is grace?

And Romans 5:


28For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one. 31Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.


And continuing:


20The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
21so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


If the Law doesn't do it's work, then how can we see grace as redeeming and from God from whom we are seperated? It's God who gives grace through Christ Jesus, but we do not understand why grace is important, dare I say even necessary, without the law.

We cannot seperate the two. They work in direct opposition to each other, yet give value to our sin as sepertion from God and at the same time show us how even moreso grace, through faith, will give us justification through Christ for the hope of our salvation.

Grace has more value when we understand that we are seperated from God because of sin. How much greater then is grace!

Identity
Jan 6th 2008, 07:40 PM
Great thoughts, I agree completely. I will say this, I agree in that the Law does lead us to Christ and that it brings about a knowledge of our separation from God through sin which does make grace all the more wonderful. Where I am not sure we agree is in whether or not we are still under the Law after we have received grace. I would argue that we are no longer bound by Law simply because Christ paid our ransom in full, thereby fulfilling the standard of perfection the Law created. To place ourselves back under the Law would be undoing what He has done. Would you agree?

Mograce2U
Jan 6th 2008, 07:51 PM
Great thoughts, I agree completely. I will say this, I agree in that the Law does lead us to Christ and that it brings about a knowledge of our separation from God through sin which does make grace all the more wonderful. Where I am not sure we agree is in whether or not we are still under the Law after we have received grace. I would argue that we are no longer bound by Law simply because Christ paid our ransom in full, thereby fulfilling the standard of perfection the Law created. To place ourselves back under the Law would be undoing what He has done. Would you agree?I would agree since the thief who has mended his ways does not still have to be told not to steal! And he knows the penalty and has discovered how to avoid it. Which is not by not getting caught (like he thought before), but by ceasing from it altogether. A man who no longer desires to steal does not need to be told not to do it. Law is for the one who thinks he can escape in some other way.

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 7th 2008, 02:18 AM
Thank you for the conversation. I see your passion and I pray that it grows stronger for Him. I will take heed your words. Thanks for your honesty. Please forgive me for the length of this post...

Thank you for your prayer for me. And your welcome. I don't mind lengthy posts, I do the same at times myself. :hug:
I can see that your very much loved here by many and in good company with those who hold your value high; I consider myself one of them.

God Bless you richly, beloved - you child of The King! :pray:
Peace,
Connie

threebigrocks
Jan 7th 2008, 03:16 AM
Great thoughts, I agree completely. I will say this, I agree in that the Law does lead us to Christ and that it brings about a knowledge of our separation from God through sin which does make grace all the more wonderful. Where I am not sure we agree is in whether or not we are still under the Law after we have received grace. I would argue that we are no longer bound by Law simply because Christ paid our ransom in full, thereby fulfilling the standard of perfection the Law created. To place ourselves back under the Law would be undoing what He has done. Would you agree?

No, we are not under law after we receive grace, far from it. ;) The law condems, and brings death. Grace brings the hope of life through faith in Christ Jesus. So, we are under death or under the hope of eternal life.

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 7th 2008, 03:59 AM
No, we are not under law after we receive grace, far from it.

That's right, we no longer have to sacrifice bulls and goats to be right with God. But the opposite has been understood in many forums that some believe we are relating to, when we speak about The Law being Established in our minds and hearts, which is far from the truth. And that's that snake in the grass who trys to pull others into it's war zone.

I don't even own any cattle or goats. We Have Jesus Christ!! And most importantly, in balance and context, what this Scripture (in Galatians) is speaking about is that we are no longer under the judgment of the law when we are walking in the Spirit and not carrying out the lusts of the flesh.



;) The law condems, and brings death.

When we walk after the flesh (slander, fault finding, pride (always right, controlling), self centeredness, murmuring and complaining, etc.)



Grace has more value when we understand that we are seperated from God because of sin.

Talking about sin and by the way great point; the flesh nature constantly looks for rules it can fulfill without having to take up the cross and deal with the heart. Much of the church or many group settings, are caught in the same trap today. The rules of these structures, like the rules of the Pharisees, are of no value against the rebellious nature of the flesh. OBEDIENCE TO THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD IS NOT LEGALISM. LEGALISM IS OBEDIENCE TO THE COMMANDMENT OF MEN.


God bless you all.

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 7th 2008, 04:12 AM
However, if you choose to include any element of the law, James does give a clear warning in chapter 2 and verse 10, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all."

Identity,

Can you continue that throught in James in quoting here James 2:11-12 please? Then can you tell us what does, especially verses 12 say? And then can you quote James 2:8 here as well and then say what it says. I'm asking you to quote and 'to say' what it says because I trust you'll begin to see more (as you already do with God, being His Child - of course) through God's eyes.

pastor_chris
Jan 7th 2008, 01:11 PM
Chris, how was your mission trip?

I wrote about it as part of the "reflections on 2007 (http://www.evangelismcoach.org/2007/12/reflections-on-ministry)" entry at EvangelismCoach.org.

Thanks for asking.

I just got back from another on in the rural mountains of Panama for a national conference of Children's workers. We did workshops on leadership and sunday school crafts.

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 7th 2008, 04:53 PM
pastor_chris, glad you made it back safe. I'm new here. God bless and nice to meet you.

Hey there Liberty,

I don't get online much, but I will try to reply to your post a little at a time ~if you please. But if you start understanding what's being said to you, by not only me, then spare me for mercies sake ~just let me know. I'm not too convinced that forums do any real good.

Identity,

I want you to know that when The Law is addressed, to say and do, it's talking about The Royal Law of Christ. That's what most of us are saying - and not about sacrificing bulls and goats. If you can hear this then us continuing in The Law is us speaking about 'The Royal Law of Christ'. And when Paul addresses, the law (Gal. 2:16 for one), he's speaking about Circumcision in this verse and others. It really does take the Grace of God to teach us the difference and then to understand the progression of Galatians. Since we both have 'The Grace of God' in time we all can see what's being said at which point. Because until then, we are speaking apples and cars. We have to first get on the 'same page' before we can have one soul and one mind here together.


Jesus_Is_Real,

Under the Old Covenant, I agree with you and your former pastor. I think the argument is extremely valid under that covenant. Mind you, while Jesus was alive we are still under that Old Covenant that God made with His people. Scripture is clear that we are under a New Covenant, I don't believe that to be doctrine, I believe it to be Truth.

So I'm sorry that smoked room of Satan has blown, at one time in all of our faces :o and is hindering you (as it did me, I must be honest with you) from understanding what some of us are saying. But maybe God's Eternal Word spoken in James can help. I know it helped me but God's Grace had to empower me to see through God's eyes and to get out of Satan's cloudy war zone room.

I am so glad you are a brother in Christ. :kiss:

Can you quote James 2:8 here in your post? <-----Is this New Testament?
Can you quote James 2:12 here in your post? <-----Is this New Testament?
Can you quote Matt. 22:40 here in your post? <-----Is this New Testament?
Where is the Law (James 2:8, 12, Matt. 22:40) now written, according to God's Word in Jermiah 31:31? Quote it, it will help blow some of that smoke away. But it is little by little, as God's Word points out.

Check this out:
Can you see how Satan draws men, by their lust of the flesh, to get others into his own war zone of 'Faith or Grace of God' verses "Works or The Law of God" in the beginning of James 2:12? But then God's Wisdom (James 1:5) speaks at the end of James 2:12. Can you see it now, Identity? Read it again if you have too, it's all layed there "Grace" verses "The Royal Law of God" in black and white. So this war zone, blown in by Satan, was even in James' day. But, as you know, it started in the Garden; God "spoke His Word" and the serpent began to blow his smoke in Eve's :o face. Same story, different time.



Romans 8:1 is clear that there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ.

Yes and who walk not after (the lusts of) the flesh but after the Spirit; keep reading beyond Romans 8:1, like at least to verse 8.

It all comes back to our heart and how we are living our lives; in the lust of the flesh or in the Spirit of God. Are we free Citizens to The Law (James 2:12c) to walk in the Love of God it points to, or are we prisoners in it's jail cell because we are not fulfilling it? In other words, on the dark side, are we fufilling the law of sin and death (walking in the lust of the flesh) in our lives? It goes back to the heart/our lives.

And if we are a free Citizen (Greek: 1657, 1658) of the Royal (James 2:8) Law looking unto it and continuing in it, according to James 1:25, are we cursed or blessed in our deeds by being a doer of the work? (And James, I and others here are not speaking about Sacrificing bulls and goats - but we're looking unto only what Jesus said in Matt. 22:40 - which is New Testament). In other words, Jeremiah 31:31 made it in THE NEW TESTAMENT. Jeremiah is still "The Holy Scriptures" (2 Tim 3:15), right? Just think about it, you don't have to answer. I don't have to really see that your 'getting it' but it's about your heart with God and really not with any of us here.



Is the Law then greater than Christ? The Pharisees thought so. Galatians 2:20 is quoted all the time, but 2:21 is seldom quoted. It reads, and Paul is speaking, "I do not nullify grace, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly." When Christ died for me, I became righteous, because of Him, not me.

Of course, you don't need to circumcise yourself to be righteous. Nor do I. Circumsicion is what Paul in Gal. 2:21 is speaking about, didn't you know that?
If you come to know this, then we all are in agreement in Galatians 2:20 and in verse 21.

It's our Faith in Christ, where we find hope to be Holy and Right with God (outside of Circumcision), as threebigrocks points out.
But how is our faith in Christ then shown to the world and our own brothers in Christ? It's shown through the works done with The Heart/our lives where The Law (which sums up to say: Love God supremely and others as myself) is sown, right, according to James 2:1-18?

So what I and my former Pastor is saying is New Testament - it's there, right? :) God's Word, when it comes to walking in The Spirit is One Word, One Manner, One Royal Law.

{{{See, Identity, the war zone of "Grace verses The Law" is not even addressing Scripture. Satan's war zone is twisting and clouding over what The Holy Scriptures is saying. Just like Satan did with Jesus when He was being tempted by him. If you don't get anything else, at least press into this.}}}

So, we can't seperate The Royal Law written on our hearts (Jerm. 31:31, Matt. 22:40) from our heart and lives can we?
Answer here how James, Jeremiah 31:31 and Matt 22:40 puts it, please.

Just remember, Identity, James was quoting Lev. 19:18 written in the New Testament, in James 2:8. God's Royal Law still applies and has great purpose, because it's now written on our hearts. Was James then shown to be (as you understand it) ~under the law and under condemnation~ because he's honoring and wanting others 'to say and do' The Royal Law unto others? Ask God. And once you understand these points, through God's Grace, you will see the snake :o in the grass and his smoked room war zone that you have been attending. Hey, I was there myself at one time. But,...God's Grace saw me through because He caused me to have Faith to 'do His Commandments' to see that what Jesus was speaking about was from Above and not of the serpent. And it does bring blessings in our lives and not curses (see James 1:23-25).

In short, it's the lust of our flesh that entices us to Satan's cloudy and smoked war zones, so that brethren might bite and devour each other that we might consume one another. Take heed to not fall for it, no matter how this lust is dressed up it still brings divisions in the Body of Christ.

See I can write long posts too. :)
Peace, Connie

Identity
Jan 8th 2008, 12:26 AM
Wow, I'm not sure if I can respond to all of that. There was a lot of content in there to address. I understand your point of reference, I've been there. I'll do my best to include as much as I can without writing a book, but I may miss some of your questions.

I feel like I have made you mad. At least the last post seemed that way, but I may be reading into it a bit much. First, let's consider the book of James. There are a lot of variables to consider in reading something in context. Knowing who the author is and knowing who he is addressing helps a lot. The author of James is believed to be the half-brother of Jesus. He is the James that Jesus visited after the grave. He eventually became a great leader in a Jewish church. This letter, was written largely in part, to Jews. I'm not a Jew, nor do I uphold their Jewish traditions. As far as quoting verses in James, it might be better to quote the entire chapter, but for the sake of space and time, I'll leave that to whoever wishes to read it. James is addressing Jewish leaders in the church who place appearance, prestige, wealth, etc. above those who seem poor. In other words, they are exalting theirselves using the Law, all the while condemning their fellow brothers. James is warning them to be careful, because the same Law they are using to show favor to themselves and to condemn others, is staring them back in the face if they even step out of line an inkling. It only takes once. James is trying to reach his Jewish brothers for Christ. Unless you are upholding the Law in this manner, this does not apply to you! I can assure you that I want nothing of this Law because I know that I couldn't make it to the end of this post before I sinned. Therefore, I see this as irrelevant and even indicative of the point I am trying to make.

Romans 4:13-16

"For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation. For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (as it is written, "A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU") in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist."


Let me just close this out with this. The reason we still like Law is because it gives us a sense of control. That is why my post made you upset. We don't like to lose control, or even the thought of it. Even moreso, we don't want the freedom to allow others to be themselves. If we can be in control ourselves, then we can take that same control or that same standard we have upon ourselves, and put it on others. That is why it is popular. Faith causes us to lose control. It doesn't point to a road that says if you do this, then I'll do that. You can't control your destiny with faith, that is why God sent Jesus. So that the focus would no longer be on us. So long as our point of reference is ourself, we will always try to accomplish what only Jesus could. We will always try to do it out of our strength, and the Law is a great framework to perform that routine in. Letting go of the Law means trusting in God. It means being willing to lose control and not know the next turn. It also frees you to love others around you as the "royal law of Christ" calls us to. However, it isn't me loving them, it is Christ, who is the only person capable of doing that!! He is the only person capable of fulfilling that Law in us. So I simply say this, the only smoked room I have ever been in is the one where I am in control, and I think that I am not. I would use things like reading my Bible to, going to church, praying, or whatever else religious I could think of to make myself feel better. Like I was getting somewhere with God, all the while, I couldn't see that I was consumed with Laws and standards that blinded me from seeing the truth. I realized that I wasn't doing anything out of my "want to" which you would call my heart, I always did everything out of obligation, and I was like a whitewashed tomb on the outside with rotting flesh on the inside. We have to face that part of us someday!

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 8th 2008, 06:31 PM
Hey there Identity,

Your right, your reading into it but no worries - that's that smoky cloud that Satan blows in our faces when we remain in his war zones. He's always the instigator of accusing the brethren. He has no heart for God's Royal Law of Christ. Just walk away from his smoky cloud and you'll more clearly see your brothers and sisters who love you and who care for you. :pp

Your our brother in Christ. :kiss: <----(Please read that as if I'm meaning what I'm saying and not otherwise. Sarcasm is of pride which is of the Devil. But I choose to Follow Christ' examples. :) )

I do admit, as you had as well, that my post was lengthy/long. But I managed, by the Grace of God, to reply to some of what you wrote, I was expecting nothing more from you.


Let me just close this out with this. The reason we still like Law is because it gives us a sense of control.
Is that what your x-group did? Do you see anyone circumcising men in the Church to control? This is not what is meant when others like Law as you put it. So, Romans 4:13-16, is (again) speaking about men who thought only the circumcised could be a son of Abraham. Again, Romans 4:13-16 is a topic on circumcision and uncircumcision. But some were in err and so God used Paul to clear up the matter. I don't see churches nor this forum doing that, (wanting to Circumcise men here or wanting to exclude others if they are not), when they speak about liking Law.

Maybe we could start from stratch;
If you can bear with me some, for the Love of God's sake; from my last post to you (Post #61), how would you describe my understanding about when I'm speaking about 'the law'? Please, quote me in a few places of my last post to you Identity.

Post these quotes in balance and in context of what was said. Then, in your own words tell me what you think I was saying in those quotes you quoted.

*
For instance, I did a word search in this page to find the first time I mention the word "law", and it first found this quote:

I want you to know that when The Law is addressed, to say and do, it's talking about The Royal Law of Christ.
Now this is what I was saying: I'm not looking nor speaking about the letter of the law (circumcision, animal sacrifice, tithing because it's the letter of the law, etc). When I am addressing 'the law' (unless I say so) I'm meaning the James 2:8--Royal Law of Christ and the Matt. 22:37-40. Which speaks on Loving God supremely and your neighbor as yourself. This Word of God (given by Christ Himself) doesn't change just because Jesus died. But because He did it proves The Authority of His Word. Ever Word He spoke came by way of Grace and Truth, not to institute His followers to circumcision but to Love God above all and love your neighbor as yourself; which is His Royal Law to us now and it's all over the New Testament as Truth.


Matt 24:35
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.


If you please, just use a few more quotes of mine and tell me what you hear me saying, that way I can understand what you are hearing me say. Then, by the Grace of God, we can, together, try to remove the snake in the grass which tries to blow so much smoke in our faces :o while trying to divide brethren against brethren.

By the way, I only mentioned the book of James because you had first. I'ld thought you could look more into it since you first mentioned it with me here: :)

However, if you choose to include any element of the law, James does give a clear warning in chapter 2 and verse 10, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all."

I would encourage you to read the Book of James as if it is The Word of God to the hearts and souls of men. Again, you've included yourself in another smoky cloud of Satan when it comes to the book of James. It's the pride in our own heart (lust) that gets us there. So, when a chapter or whole Epistle theme is Marked by exclusion (talk about a rule without Godly merit) like Satan does, then I'm sure we are ~free~ to pick and choose from God's Word. But this is how doctrines of men begin - they view Scripture with tunnel vision. And when that happens there's definately a snake (Satan) in the grass trying to cloud :o everything if he can, in God's Word. This is a another very dangerous war zone to be abiding in, as the other one is as well.

I'll ask you to quote what I have said about 'the heart' some other time.

Peace.

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 8th 2008, 11:17 PM
I agree that not all churches are like this as well, modern day evangelism is so much about focusing on God's love and leave out such an important part and that is the knowledge of sin. Are people seeking Christ for the wrong reasons? Are they seeking Christ for happiness in this life and what they can get out of it in this world? In this world today, I would say more ridicule & persecution comes from being a follower of Jesus. Happiness is found in Christ, but it shouldn't be what can we get out of it in this world. It does not necessarily bring joy in this world in the sense of things and give the Christian an easy life. It can very well make ones life more difficult.
It is a joy within the heart knowing that we are free in Christ and a joy of knowing and understanding why Christ died for us and the amazing grace of God through Christ on the cross. I think so many people go to Jesus for the wrong reasons and those are the folks who end up backsliding because they don't know the real nature of sin, therefore they have no reason or understanding of why they should trust in Jesus and surrender to Jesus. I know this because I was this until I finally understood the serious nature of my sin.


100% agreed. Without the knowledge of sin, there is no understanding for the need for Jesus in ones life and there is no need or understanding for the need to repent.
Without preaching the grace, love, and forgiveness, the law would not benefit.

We wouldn't give a someone the cure for a disease they didn't know they had. No, we must first help them understand they have the disease and the seriousness of the disease before giving them the cure.

shnfx,

I record all of the Way of The Master when it comes on ILife TV. You sound a whole lot like Ray Comfort. That's not a bad thing either. ;) His heart is really in the right place; after God's Heart.

God bless you richly shnfx and all.

Peace,
Connie

Identity
Jan 8th 2008, 11:21 PM
Now this is what I was saying: I'm not looking nor speaking about the letter of the law (circumcision, animal sacrifice, tithing because it's the letter of the law, etc). When I am addressing 'the law' (unless I say so) I'm meaning the James 2:8--Royal Law of Christ and the Matt. 22:37-40. Which speaks on Loving God supremely and your neighbor as yourself.

I don't think we are gaining much ground here. I can't connect the dots that you are trying to connect. There is only one Greek word for the Law and it is nomos. It is the same nomos in every book you referenced above, even the royal nomos of Christ. Therefore, the distinction you are making is entirely irrelevant, and that is the snake. I can't put it more simply than that. Jesus didn't fulfill just part of the nomos, he fulfilled all of it. He completed it's work, and satisfied it's demands. I don't know how else to interpret that than that he even satisfied its demand to love my neighbor as myself. He also satisfied its demand to circumcise, to sacrifice bulls, and so on. It is the same nomos! If we can't agree on that, then we probably won't agree with much. It is either that way or it isn't. The Bible is either all true, or not true at all. Jesus died to fulfill the whole law, or no law at all. It is that simple. The reason that I mentioned James to begin with is because I felt that it applied to the point you were making and I thought it might help.

I think where grace is misunderstood and combatted most is at the point where people believe that if it is taught, everyone will just go do what they want to do. Like a big sin orgy or something. (like it isn't that way already) What isn't considered is what it takes to receive grace. Grace is a free gift, but a gift is not a gift until it is opened. In order to open the gift of grace, we are called to surrender all of our rights to ourselves. However, most of us are too proud to receive grace. It means the opposite of self-sufficiency, which is the very fuel for the Law (nomos, and yes even the royal nomos). Grace calls us to lay down our own sufficiency and allow a redeeming Savior to live his life through us. Law calls us to look within ourselves, live the Christian life, and let God help along the way. It was never going to work that way, and that is why God went to plan B. He knew that when He established it. That is why Paul says in Romans 5 that the Law was added that the transgression might increase. God knew that the Law would produce more sin. Imagine that.

What I am hearing you say is that we need the Law. That it is still a part of the Christian life. That's all that really matters in quoting you. You believe that we need the Law, and you believe that we need to use it to be better Christians. What I am saying is that we don't need the Law because if we do, then Christ died needlessly (Gal. 2:21). Once again, the law quoted in that verses is translated nomos. So in my opinion, I am not trying to accuse the brethren, I feel that I am preaching the good news of the gospel. I believe that you need to see Jesus in that light. You need to know that it was for freedom's sake that He set you free (Gal. 5:1)! Free from what? Free from trying to live the Christian life out of your own resources through the Law, and free to REST in Christ's ability to do that through you!

So grace isn't easy. It is actually hard. Surrendering our rights to ourself isn't easy, but it is the only way that He can live through us. I wonder if you know who you are in Christ? Hebrews 10:14 says that you are perfect. That is pretty amazing! Why do you think it says that?

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 8th 2008, 11:41 PM
Identity,

:) Ok if you want, forget about most of my past posts to you, it doesn't matter. Grace to you and all. (Gal. 6:18)

Let's see if we can find ground here then:
What is the Royal Law according to James 2? Can you quote here, please?
And the Law of Christ according to Galatians 6? Can you quote here, please?

And then, how do you read those verses, just so we learn about you? And do Christian's just affirm that these verses serve no purpose any longer in a Christian's life, when it comes to The Royal Law/The Law of Christ?


I think where grace is misunderstood and combatted most is at the point where people believe that if it is taught, everyone will just go do what they want to do. Like a big sin orgy or something.

No one's implying this here. As a matter of fact, shnfx never had either by opening this thread. Nor not even one person's post here. The war zone never appeared with shnfx.

Remember, the war zone is Satan's devices. It's his smoky cloudy :o room that smokes over Holy Scripture to appear as he wants it to appear - our wrestle is never against people. It's all of the flesh nature and not of The Spirit of God. So, please, for Love's Sake, take your eyes off of men and see :o the snake in grass - in other words - if you are in the combat of "Grace vs Law" it's the walking after the lust of the flesh in our hearts that draw us into Satan's war zones. And if he can use others to take his battle to places then he will. Please, don't ever forget that, my friend. But you could ask what we are meaning when we speak about the Royal Law of Christ (some might call it 'the law), rather than assuming upon us if you had in your life.

Did you, at least, ever read in Romans 8:1 through to verse 8? If so, how is The Law Fulfilled in us, quote it? Hint: There's two factors that hidge on this fulfillment, see verses 3 and 4 in Romans chapter 8. Just quote it here and some of the smoke will clear. Romans 8:3-4, it's that simple, just quote it here.

Anyway.


What I am hearing you say is that we need the Law. That it is still a part of the Christian life.
Can you quote me, please? Can you quote what I'm calling (in your words)---> 'the Law,' please Identity?
Then answer, for everyone here, why I would be saying that 'the Law' <--(in your words) should be a part of a Christian's life.


I think where grace is misunderstood and combatted most is at the point where people believe that if it is taught, everyone will just go do what they want to do. Like a big sin orgy or something.
But, what are you believing when others teach about The Royal Law of Christ, just so we are hearing what your saying? It seems to be important to you, so it shall be with me. :kiss:

Peace,
Connie
Rom 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Philip dT
Jan 9th 2008, 03:24 PM
Regarding the OP.

In terms of evangelization, I would agree with the principle that conviction of sin is central to repentence. However it is not the law as such that convicts of sin, it is the Spirit (Joh 16:8).

Furthermore, the term "law" in the New Testament mostly refers to the whole OT law, not to the 10 commandments as such. Would it be apt to also read some other OT laws to people in evangelization except the 10 commandments?

threebigrocks
Jan 9th 2008, 07:59 PM
Hummmm....;) so, what constitutes God's law? (That was simply for provoking thought - best suited for contro...)

The WOTM uses the Law - the 10 Commandments. If we fail God's commands, we fall short and are damned. If we are damned, and realize we are, then it sends us seeking for a Savior. Law points us to Christ in that manner.

If it meant the entire Levitical law, many people would die of old age before a person was done with their presentation of all 613 of them. :rolleyes:

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 9th 2008, 09:31 PM
Hummmm....;) so, what constitutes God's law? (That was simply for provoking thought - best suited for contro...)

The WOTM uses the Law - the 10 Commandments. If we fail God's commands, we fall short and are damned. If we are damned, and realize we are, then it sends us seeking for a Savior. Law points us to Christ in that manner.

If it meant the entire Levitical law, many people would die of old age before a person was done with their presentation of all 613 of them. :rolleyes:

Identity,

What are you hearing threebigrocks say, your thoughts matter?

Peace.
__________________
http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/innerscoop/lectios/losttop.jpg

Matt 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

Identity
Jan 10th 2008, 03:31 AM
The Love of God in us Fulfills the Law. Just do a word study in the NT where "the law" is mentioned and you'll see that it's not still serves a great purpose in our lives. Even Paul said the law is Spiritual, but there's something that we must deal with in our lives because it still will condemn, what's not right, in our lives toward God. So it serves a great and Godly purpose in our lives as Christian's when we read God's Word outside of the enemies smoke war zone.

Please consider praying about that.
And consider taking note of my last sentence in my signature; just take it to prayer to God.

God bless you richly, beloved!

This is where I am taking my stance and approach. However, there are more comments in other posts that seem to imply, and I may be misinterpreting, that you feel there is a dependency upon us to finish this work. I believe that the law was fulfilled through Christ, all law. I believe that is scriptural, I don't believe that Jesus did a partial job, nor do I think you believe that. Therefore, I truly believe that the law serves no purpose in my life any longer. It once served as a mediator between me and God, but then Jesus came a long. If we look at it from an eternal perspective, which is where I think we may be miscommunicating, then when God sees me, He sees me through a Jesus filter so to speak, rather than through a law filter. He sees all the work accomplished through Him. What more can there be to do? Eternally speaking, God is done with us. He finished it all at the cross, and that is why verses like Hebrews 10:14 make sense. That is the only way that I can be made perfect. Therefore, I draw my life from that. I look to Jesus, thankful for the price he paid, to remove me from the standard of the law that did condemn me. My faith is imperative here. I can choose to believe this or not. The reason that we are not connecting is because I believe you are looking at this from a temporal perspective. I say this because you agreed with ThreeBigRocks when he claimed that God was not finished with us. In the temporal realm, I believe that is true, I believe there is a process of sanctification. I believe that sanctification is the process of us coming to the place where we agree with what God says about us because of Jesus, namely verses like Hebrews 10:14. Lastly, since you said the law still serves a great purpose in our lives, I believe that scripturally you might as well say that we didn't need Jesus. Law makes it about us getting right with God. Grace makes it about God making us right with Him, for us, through Christ. Well, I've already said this, but I would like to know if you feel like you are good at keeping the law, namely, the royal law of Christ? If so, what is your secret?

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 10th 2008, 11:27 PM
I believe that sanctification is the process of us coming to the place where we agree with what God says about us because of Jesus, namely verses like Hebrews 10:14. Lastly, since you said the law still serves a great purpose in our lives, I believe that scripturally you might as well say that we didn't need Jesus. Law makes it about us getting right with God. Grace makes it about God making us right with Him, for us, through Christ. Well, I've already said this, but I would like to know if you feel like you are good at keeping the law, namely, the royal law of Christ? If so, what is your secret?

Good to hear from you again Identity, God bless you.

You mentioned Heb. 10:14. Let's see if we can look more into Scripture to have it in context and in balance:

Rom 15:16
16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

Heb 10:14-17

14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,

16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Note that: "being sanctified" show a process as you said: - to make holy, been chastened, Perfect, blameless (where Christ has nothing against us), to warm - brood over and foster.

See Identity, if you will read more verses of Scripture you can see the whole intent of God's Word - letting God's Word interpret itself - without any of our (all of us here) private interpretations on it.

I was wondering when someone was going to mention, Sanctification. You know it well, as most of us here by The Grace of God given us. It's by walking after the law of the Spirit of life, not the letter written and engraved in stone which kills, that we are being Sanctified. That answered your secret question. And no, I don't always walk perfectly in God's sight when I get caught up in the flesh. And it happens more times than I can count - but The Holy Spirit brings conviction as I can hear it little by little. But when my faith gets back on Christ and what He paid for me and I walk after the Spirit, yes the Righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in me - Jesus is perceived in me perfectly even by (the eyes ~ if you will) The Royal Law of Christ/God's Law. And with that, the demons can't bring their torment, because I stand chaste unto The Lord because of His Grace which empowers me through His Holy Spirit. And who can then accuse or condemn me to The Father? No one, but Christ who also makes intercession for me - because I am still weak in this body. And yet still, it is God who Justifies.

If I might bless your journey here; just because shnfx mentions The Way of The Master, showing non-believers what sin is through the 10 Commandments, he's/she's(?) using The Law lawfully, as a schoolmaster to then lead them to Christ Jesus. The law points it's Perfection to Jesus Christ, as you know, because He's the only one it was speaking of. God Blessed forever!

Read, Rom 7:12-13
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

So, for instance, the law is taught and told to sinners, (who love their ungodly ways of the lustful flesh nature - anything contrary to the sound teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, which includes sarcasm, headiness, always right in their own eyes and holding others in contempt etc.), and they might ask, "Who is that good, I don't find anyone like that, so why should I want to continue in that law of Christ?" Now mind you, it's not the law of animal sacrifice etc, but the law of Christ which gets to the heart of the matter. But if they say I do these things, but they don't and their trying to justify themselves in pride, without exchanging their life for Christ' life and putting to death the deeds of their body (the flesh nature), then the law still condemns them as needing The Savior Jesus Christ. So the man comes to see his filthiness and need for Righteousness which is in Christ Jesus. Therefore the law was seen as good to this man, when used Lawfully, because it gave him understanding to his wretched self. Where he can then say as Paul proclaimed in Romans 7. Because the man finally sees himself as 'lawless' and 'disobedient' (1 Tim. 1). But because of God's Promises and His Grace, faithfulness and Love we can show them Hope in God, having sent His Only Begotten Son in the flesh, to condemn "sin", (Jesus didn't condemn the Law - the Law is Holy, just and Good), in his own flesh, to save us when we were lawbreakers (because of the weakness of our flesh). But the Christian is not without being under the law to Christ (can simply take a look at 1 Cor. 9:21), that we might save some who are without law, or in other words who are lawless/lawbreakers/transgressor/wicked. This is why I asked you to keep reading on beyond Romans 8:1, to at least on to verse 8.

Let's look into God's Word and find the answers which, by Faith, will show us all that there is no division in The Body when we look to God's Word for understanding:

Rom 8:2-4
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending (1) his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, (2) who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

So if anyone loves their flesh nature, they refuse to love God with all their heart and love others as themselves. They choose to walk in the image of Satan (pride, selfishness, wrath, anger etc.) Jesus was asked, “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself (Matt 19:16-19). <------That's The Gospel of Jesus Christ (not fully though), being spoken by Jesus Himself, in your hearing and in mine.

Obviously if someone loves his neighbor as himself, he will not kill his neighbor; he will not commit adultery with his neighbor’s wife; he will not steal; he will not bear false witness against his neighbor. Those who still love the flesh nature (which is the nature of Satan) refuse to obey God’s law. The law stands in judgment today against all rebellion. Paul said, “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified (Rom 2:13).

Identity, when we understand that God is commanding us to walk in love or be destroyed, then we can see Paul’s dilemma in Romans 7. We find ourselves in exactly the same place as Paul. Like Paul, we know that through our efforts alone, it is impossible to keep the law. We cannot walk in this kind of love when we are in bondage to the selfish flesh nature. Paul said, “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (of the flesh), sold under sin…for what I would, that I do not; but what I hate, that I do…For I know that in me (that is, my flesh), dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me…For I delight in the law after the inward man: But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members (of the fleshly body)…So then with the mind I serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin (Romans 7:14, 15, 18, 22-23, 25).

While a backslidden church, Identity, today uses this passage to justify their sins, Paul clearly saw that he was under the judgment, curse, wrath, and death that comes from breaking God’s laws. He saw, that he was in this dilemma because it was not possible for him to walk in the kind of love that the law required. Paul said, “…for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law (Gal 3:21). In other words, if we could have attained righteousness by our efforts alone, then Jesus would never have needed to go to the cross - we're in agreement Identity If we could overcome the flesh through our own efforts, Jesus died needlessly. That is what Paul is saying in Galatians 2:21: “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” However, this does not release us from the law that tells us that we must love others as ourselves. Jesus came to fulfill this law by perfecting the God-kind of love in us. This is how we are reconciled back to God. Forms of godliness have explained this love away by saying it is impossible to walk in the kind of love that the law requires. This is true if you are being led by a doctrine that does not conform you to godliness, and does not even give you the hope that you can be holy. But if you are led by the Holy Spirit, He will make you holy, just as He is holy. When we are led by the Holy Spirit of God we are not under the judgment of the law, because we are fulfilling the requirements of the law by walking in love. When we walk after the flesh, we defraud and take advantage of others. This is sin and breaks God’s law. Those who sin by walking after the flesh do not have a hedge of protection against the powers of darkness. Therefore, the powers of darkness bring the judgment, wrath, and curse of the law upon all those who walk after the works of the flesh.

One could mark, TWOTM, with Romans 7:13. Identity, our (pet) held-Doctrines of men, who pick and choose from The Holy Scriptures to make ~their point~, blinds us from the Whole Gospel of Christ. That's why Satan can blind many to the Gospel, which God allows. Because we don't love The Gospel of Christ - all of it. But rather we love what fits in our structured-doctrine, like "The Doctrine of Grace verses The Law".

Identity
Jan 11th 2008, 07:52 PM
Hey Jesus Is Real, sorry for the delay in posting a response. I've been extremely busy. Still am, so I can't put all of it down now, but I do have some questions to ask you as I see we are making some headway here. Hopefully my questions might help me understand where you are coming from. Then, we'll go from there. For now, I am going on a retreat with my college group this weekend. You can look for a repsonse by Monday! Thanks for your patience!

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 12th 2008, 01:00 AM
Hey Jesus Is Real, sorry for the delay in posting a response. I've been extremely busy. Still am, so I can't put all of it down now, but I do have some questions to ask you as I see we are making some headway here. Hopefully my questions might help me understand where you are coming from. Then, we'll go from there. For now, I am going on a retreat with my college group this weekend. You can look for a repsonse by Monday! Thanks for your patience!

Ok. Have a good time with your college group. Are you a College student or a teacher? Is it a Christian College?
God bless. I'll pick back up with you when you get back. Love is Patient. Please, feel free to call me Connie.

In His Love,
Connie

Jesus-Is-Real
Jan 13th 2008, 05:36 AM
Today's a new day and since we can't edit our posts, I'll add a new post,....


What more can there be to do?

Repent and Believe the Gospel in being different from the world, (to fulfill a command for a particular purpose -GK: 2892 ), in regards to what Christ Jesus has said to do. And by The Grace of God, you can do all things through Christ (His Anointing) which strengthens you. :kiss: Same goes for me and since you already know the secret which is a Christ filled life, nevertheless we live making a difference, being led by The Holy Spirit of God.

Obedience is the only way we can walk in the love that God requires in His law. Not the letter of the law which kills (Sabbath keeping, animal sacrifice etc), but the Spirit of the Law of Life. By this obedience to His Spirit, we become "conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom. 8:29). Jesus invites us to come to Him with all our heart so He can lead us to be perfected in His covenant of love. Totally through His grace, He makes us strong enough to become doers of the law. "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6). However, if you are not ready to give up everything in the world and everything of the flesh, you are not ready to make Jesus Christ Lord of your life. Jesus cannot perfect a good work in you if you walk in disobedience. If you or me love sin more than we love Jesus, we have a hardened heart. We will not submit to the obedience of the Spirit to be perfected in love. The reason I do like WOTM is that they address the 'love issues of the heart of God's Spirit' and not the letter such as Sabbath keeping. When we are buried with Christ in Baptism, because now we are walking not after the flesh but after the Spirit of God which is life (God is pleased) and peace.