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VerticalReality
Jan 17th 2011, 08:34 PM
What does it mean to finish the course? Does it simply mean to make a profession of faith in Jesus, keep it and leave this life with it? Is that all there is to it?

For example, let's say a person becomes a Christian. Let's also say that they live a good life relatively speaking. They go to work everyday, and they come home to a family that they provide for well. They help out with their kid's basketball team. They may even volunteer to help at their kid's school or something. And obviously, they attend church on Sunday morning and even maybe Wednesday evening.

However, they do not spend a great deal of time sharing the gospel. They really aren't certain if what they are doing in life is God's will for them. In fact, they really are oblivious to whether or not God even has a specific will for them. Maybe He does, maybe He doesn't.

For those who are an acquaintance of this person, they may or may not even know for certain such a one is a Christian. It's not because this person does bad things. It's just that this person really hasn't made any mention of it, and the gospel really isn't at the forefront of their thought. Those who are really close to them know they go to church and so forth, but nothing is really known beyond their church attendance.

They eventually, at the age of 49, come down with a disease that medical science cannot assist. They pass from this life with their family surrounding them. Do you think the Apostle Paul would consider this example a completion of the course?

RollTide21
Jan 17th 2011, 08:40 PM
What does it mean to finish the course? Does it simply mean to make a profession of faith in Jesus, keep it and leave this life with it? Is that all there is to it?

For example, let's say a person becomes a Christian. Let's also say that they live a good life relatively speaking. They go to work everyday, and they come home to a family that they provide for well. They help out with their kid's basketball team. They may even volunteer to help at their kid's school or something. And obviously, they attend church on Sunday morning and even maybe Wednesday evening.

However, they do not spend a great deal of time sharing the gospel. They really aren't certain if what they are doing in life is God's will for them. In fact, they really are oblivious to whether or not God even has a specific will for them. Maybe He does, maybe He doesn't.

For those who are an acquaintance of this person, they may or may not even know for certain such a one is a Christian. It's not because this person does bad things. It's just that this person really hasn't made any mention of it, and the gospel really isn't at the forefront of their thought. Those who are really close to them know they go to church and so forth, but nothing is really known beyond their church attendance.

They eventually, at the age of 49, come down with a disease that medical science cannot assist. They pass from this life with their family surrounding them. Do you think the Apostle Paul would consider this example a completion of the course?I certainly know plenty of people who claim to be "Christians", but every aspect of their lives minus going to church on Sundays (even this is hit or miss) is just like the person who will abjectly reject that God even exists.

No, that person has not completed the course.

notuptome
Jan 17th 2011, 08:48 PM
Paul speaking to the young preacher Timothy said he had fought a good fight and had finished his course. Paul knew he was coming to the end of his life here on earth. 2 Tim 4:6-8

Every believer has a course to run. It is not our concern what the course may be for another but for ourselves. We all are to be witnesses in one sense or another. Some will minister as missionaries some will minister as church costodians or some may minister as greeters. There are an infinite number of courses before the Lords people. All we can do and should do is stop worrying what another may do or not do and pay attention to what we are to do. We give account before the Lord for what we have done not for what our brethren have done.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

VerticalReality
Jan 17th 2011, 09:00 PM
Paul speaking to the young preacher Timothy said he had fought a good fight and had finished his course. Paul knew he was coming to the end of his life here on earth. 2 Tim 4:6-8

Every believer has a course to run. It is not our concern what the course may be for another but for ourselves. We all are to be witnesses in one sense or another. Some will minister as missionaries some will minister as church costodians or some may minister as greeters. There are an infinite number of courses before the Lords people. All we can do and should do is stop worrying what another may do or not do and pay attention to what we are to do. We give account before the Lord for what we have done not for what our brethren have done.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

That's a very politically correct answer.

divaD
Jan 17th 2011, 10:19 PM
I certainly know plenty of people who claim to be "Christians", but every aspect of their lives minus going to church on Sundays (even this is hit or miss) is just like the person who will abjectly reject that God even exists.

No, that person has not completed the course.



But aren't you making a judgment call that only God could make? Try comparing VR's example with that of the thief on the cross. Apparently he didn't even run any course, yet on his death bed, he acknowledged Jesus, and Jesus promised him he would be in paradise with Him. So why would the thief be cut such slack, but not the one in VR's example? Personally I feel VR is making a good point if you look at it in isolation, but when compared to the thief on the cross, how should we understand it?

Firstfruits
Jan 17th 2011, 10:31 PM
What does it mean to finish the course? Does it simply mean to make a profession of faith in Jesus, keep it and leave this life with it? Is that all there is to it?

For example, let's say a person becomes a Christian. Let's also say that they live a good life relatively speaking. They go to work everyday, and they come home to a family that they provide for well. They help out with their kid's basketball team. They may even volunteer to help at their kid's school or something. And obviously, they attend church on Sunday morning and even maybe Wednesday evening.

However, they do not spend a great deal of time sharing the gospel. They really aren't certain if what they are doing in life is God's will for them. In fact, they really are oblivious to whether or not God even has a specific will for them. Maybe He does, maybe He doesn't.

For those who are an acquaintance of this person, they may or may not even know for certain such a one is a Christian. It's not because this person does bad things. It's just that this person really hasn't made any mention of it, and the gospel really isn't at the forefront of their thought. Those who are really close to them know they go to church and so forth, but nothing is really known beyond their church attendance.

They eventually, at the age of 49, come down with a disease that medical science cannot assist. They pass from this life with their family surrounding them. Do you think the Apostle Paul would consider this example a completion of the course?

I believe the parable of the sower applies here.

Firstfruits

RollTide21
Jan 17th 2011, 10:32 PM
But aren't you making a judgment call that only God could make? Try comparing VR's example with that of the thief on the cross. Apparently he didn't even run any course, yet on his death bed, he acknowledged Jesus, and Jesus promised him he would be in paradise with Him. So why would the thief be cut such slack, but not the one in VR's example? Personally I feel VR is making a good point if you look at it in isolation, but when compared to the thief on the cross, how should we understand it?Well, I was under the assumption that the discussion was centered around the person who professes to be a Christian. I'm not sure how the thief would compare, assuming the thief on the cross wasn't proclaiming to be a Believer prior to his encounter with Christ. Maybe I missed the point.

As for the judgement call, sure, God is the judge, not me. I'll just say that, based on talking with some people who are "churchgoers", they have missed the mark when it comes to salvation.

VerticalReality
Jan 17th 2011, 10:47 PM
But aren't you making a judgment call that only God could make? Try comparing VR's example with that of the thief on the cross. Apparently he didn't even run any course, yet on his death bed, he acknowledged Jesus, and Jesus promised him he would be in paradise with Him. So why would the thief be cut such slack, but not the one in VR's example? Personally I feel VR is making a good point if you look at it in isolation, but when compared to the thief on the cross, how should we understand it?

Does "finishing the course" equal salvation?

Slug1
Jan 17th 2011, 11:49 PM
I certainly know plenty of people who claim to be "Christians", but every aspect of their lives minus going to church on Sundays (even this is hit or miss) is just like the person who will abjectly reject that God even exists.

No, that person has not completed the course.To address the OP we have to focus on what the OP is talking about. Are we talking about about those "claiming" faith in Christ, or on Christians who are actually saved? For one who "claims" Christianity, I don't think the issue is staying the course because they arent' even on the course. Now, for one who is... we can always look at the parable of the barren fig tree. Let's post the scripture first:

Luke 13:6 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that[a] you can cut it down.’”

In this parable, we have to breakdown the players, so... the "man" is God, the keeper is Jesus, and the tree is you, me, any person (Christian) in the vineyard (Body of Christ). The key to always keep in mind is that the tree is not only planted (Born again) in the vineyard but is also expected to be productive (bear fruit so faith is not dead). So God walks up to this Christian and finds that they are NOT producing anything. This Christian has accepted Christ 3 years ago and still, is not producing anything. God orders that they be cut down. Yet, Jesus requests (Intercedes) for more time so He can cultivate the Christian over the next year. He tells God that IF fruit begins to be produce, good... but if not? God can remove the Christian.

In the parable, we understand this is about those saved, one's in the vineyard or on the branch, whatever you want to call it based on scripture(s). We also understand that if the person doesn't do what God expects, they're gonna get removed from the vineyard... cut down or cut off, again... whatever you want to call it based on scripture(s).

So, once saved... "we" have to run the course or race, we have to endure and overcome (reach the finish line). Those participating in church but are not actually born again... they're running their own race, not the one God would want them to run. Or in the case of the born again Christian... running the course "their" way and not God's way and we see what the end result of that is.

So... run the course!! Those who are saved but for whatever the reason (probably putting more hope/faith in a doctrine instead of in God, for an example) sit down on the starting line that was put under them the moment they were saved... those sitting still and not running the course are those it seems the parable of the barren fig tree is all about. Once Jesus puts that focus on them we see this is not limitless but for only a period of time and IF there is still no more production, God is going to cut that person off.

divaD
Jan 18th 2011, 02:38 PM
Well, I was under the assumption that the discussion was centered around the person who professes to be a Christian. I'm not sure how the thief would compare, assuming the thief on the cross wasn't proclaiming to be a Believer prior to his encounter with Christ. Maybe I missed the point.

As for the judgement call, sure, God is the judge, not me. I'll just say that, based on talking with some people who are "churchgoers", they have missed the mark when it comes to salvation.



I wouldn't say you missed any points. It was me who added the thief into the mix. For some reason it came to mind. But like I said, VR is making a good point. Not sure what even made me think of the thief.

notuptome
Jan 18th 2011, 02:44 PM
Does "finishing the course" equal salvation?
No! It speaks solely of service to the Lord.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

divaD
Jan 18th 2011, 02:45 PM
Does "finishing the course" equal salvation?


My guess would be yes. I don't know how anyone could technically be saved before they finished the course. But there's other factors to consider, such as their life being cut short while running the course. How would that factor in?

Slug1
Jan 18th 2011, 02:46 PM
No! It speaks solely of service to the Lord.

For the cause of Christ
RogerCan you explain this then so your comment is understandable? Scriptural supported?

notuptome
Jan 18th 2011, 02:48 PM
To address the OP we have to focus on what the OP is talking about. Are we talking about about those "claiming" faith in Christ, or on Christians who are actually saved? For one who "claims" Christianity, I don't think the issue is staying the course because they arent' even on the course. Now, for one who is... we can always look at the parable of the barren fig tree. Let's post the scripture first:

Luke 13:6 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that[a] you can cut it down.’”

In this parable, we have to breakdown the players, so... the "man" is God, the keeper is Jesus, and the tree is you, me, any person (Christian) in the vineyard (Body of Christ). The key to always keep in mind is that the tree is not only planted (Born again) in the vineyard but is also expected to be productive (bear fruit so faith is not dead). So God walks up to this Christian and finds that they are NOT producing anything. This Christian has accepted Christ 3 years ago and still, is not producing anything. God orders that they be cut down. Yet, Jesus requests (Intercedes) for more time so He can cultivate the Christian over the next year. He tells God that IF fruit begins to be produce, good... but if not? God can remove the Christian.

In the parable, we understand this is about those saved, one's in the vineyard or on the branch, whatever you want to call it based on scripture(s). We also understand that if the person doesn't do what God expects, they're gonna get removed from the vineyard... cut down or cut off, again... whatever you want to call it based on scripture(s).

So, once saved... "we" have to run the course or race, we have to endure and overcome (reach the finish line). Those participating in church but are not actually born again... they're running their own race, not the one God would want them to run. Or in the case of the born again Christian... running the course "their" way and not God's way and we see what the end result of that is.

So... run the course!! Those who are saved but for whatever the reason (probably putting more hope/faith in a doctrine instead of in God, for an example) sit down on the starting line that was put under them the moment they were saved... those sitting still and not running the course are those it seems the parable of the barren fig tree is all about. Once Jesus puts that focus on them we see this is not limitless but for only a period of time and IF there is still no more production, God is going to cut that person off.
Salvation has no basis in works. Salvation is solely by the grace of God. Eph 2:8-9 If you or anyone depends on works to remain saved they are in error. Gal 3: 1-5

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Slug1
Jan 18th 2011, 02:59 PM
Salvation has no basis in works. Salvation is solely by the grace of God. Eph 2:8-9 If you or anyone depends on works to remain saved they are in error. Gal 3: 1-5

For the cause of Christ
RogerIt's not about works to be saved... it's about running the course which is all about SERVICE to the Lord. You said it yourself Roger. Service... which is God being able to find fruit production by you due to your faith not being dead. If there is no fruit, you are not of any use serving... He cuts you off.

You are the one who said running the course of about service :P

Scripture is clear about what happens to those who aren't serving once they accept Christ and are unfruitful.

You may not like it and you may not agree because of your doctrine but scripture is VERY clear what happens.

Salvation is AFTER the course is run... we have to work out our salvation and this is done by running, enduring, and overcoming. If it was secure... we'd never be told to work it out. We can all just sit down on that starting line, do nothing and just WAIT.

notuptome
Jan 18th 2011, 03:02 PM
Can you explain this then so your comment is understandable? Scriptural supported?
Read the passage in context. 2 Tim 4:5-8 Paul is teaching Timothy what will be expected of him in the minisrty. The epistles to Timothy are pastoral in their nature. Paul exhorts Timothy in 1 Tim 5:17 that Elders are worthy of double honor if they labor in the word and in doctrine. There is nothing to do with salvation in this passage. Paul knew that Timothy was a Christian and was called to be a preacher of Gods word. Paul notes Timothy's gift in 2 Tim 1:6.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

notuptome
Jan 18th 2011, 03:10 PM
It's not about works to be saved... it's about running the course which is all about SERVICE to the Lord. You said it yourself Roger. Service... which is God being able to find fruit production by you due to your faith not being dead. If there is no fruit, you are not of any use serving... He cuts you off.

You are the one who said running the course of about service :P

Scripture is clear about what happens to those who aren't serving once they accept Christ and are unfruitful.

You may not like it and you may not agree because of your doctrine but scripture is VERY clear what happens.

Salvation is AFTER the course is run... we have to work out our salvation. If it was secure... we'd never be told to work it out.
Salvation is a gift not a reward. Service yields reward. Grace is a gift and yields eternal life. You can do nothing to merit eternal life and you cannot by works add to the gift God has already given you. You labor in vain if you labor to earn the gift God has given you. Eph 2:8-9

2 Pet 1:10 Peter tells us to make our calling and election sure for in doing so we will never fall. Go back and test your salvation experience if it lines up with scripture and the Holy Spirit attests to it then you are saved and will never fall. Phil 2:12 is much the same thing. Test what you believe about your conversion with the scriptures and the Holy Spirit will affirm that you are saved.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

RollTide21
Jan 18th 2011, 03:13 PM
To address the OP we have to focus on what the OP is talking about. Are we talking about about those "claiming" faith in Christ, or on Christians who are actually saved? For one who "claims" Christianity, I don't think the issue is staying the course because they arent' even on the course. Now, for one who is... we can always look at the parable of the barren fig tree. Let's post the scripture first:

Luke 13:6 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that[a] you can cut it down.’”

In this parable, we have to breakdown the players, so... the "man" is God, the keeper is Jesus, and the tree is you, me, any person (Christian) in the vineyard (Body of Christ). The key to always keep in mind is that the tree is not only planted (Born again) in the vineyard but is also expected to be productive (bear fruit so faith is not dead). So God walks up to this Christian and finds that they are NOT producing anything. This Christian has accepted Christ 3 years ago and still, is not producing anything. God orders that they be cut down. Yet, Jesus requests (Intercedes) for more time so He can cultivate the Christian over the next year. He tells God that IF fruit begins to be produce, good... but if not? God can remove the Christian.

In the parable, we understand this is about those saved, one's in the vineyard or on the branch, whatever you want to call it based on scripture(s). We also understand that if the person doesn't do what God expects, they're gonna get removed from the vineyard... cut down or cut off, again... whatever you want to call it based on scripture(s).

So, once saved... "we" have to run the course or race, we have to endure and overcome (reach the finish line). Those participating in church but are not actually born again... they're running their own race, not the one God would want them to run. Or in the case of the born again Christian... running the course "their" way and not God's way and we see what the end result of that is.

So... run the course!! Those who are saved but for whatever the reason (probably putting more hope/faith in a doctrine instead of in God, for an example) sit down on the starting line that was put under them the moment they were saved... those sitting still and not running the course are those it seems the parable of the barren fig tree is all about. Once Jesus puts that focus on them we see this is not limitless but for only a period of time and IF there is still no more production, God is going to cut that person off.The question is...what is a "Christian"? There are plenty who claim to be Christians, have convinced themselves that they are Christians, but, have not professed what I would call Salvific faith. Plenty have heard the Word, understood the Truth, but rejected the surrender. One cannot expect to be considered a Child of God just because they had a moment in church where they felt the tug of the Holy Spirit, worshipped God in that moment, requested salvation...YET did not surrender themselves. In other words, Salvation isn't granted with the stipulation that a person gets to keep his life as his own. I believe that there are millions of "Christians" who believe just that. They feel like they understand the Truth and they know the Holy Spirit, so they are saved. They are unwilling to surrender themselves, however.

This is the only way that I can make sense of the idea of "apostasy". I would contend that the person who has fully surrendered and has humbled themselves completely before God in acceptance of the TOTALITY of Christ cannot...WILL not apostate themselves. God's Grace is sufficient for those to ensure that they will "complete the course". I believe that I can apply 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 to this:

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

What is "weakness"? Obviously it is something different from insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties because, in verse 10, it is categorized differently. It is a thorn in his "flesh", indicating a weakness of the flesh. Paul delights in weakness, not because he gets to be absolved of the ramifications of weakness (He obviously prayed desperately for the "thorn" to be removed), but because it is in these times of weakness, that God's strength is revealed. It is a wonderful picture of how the Grace of God can overcome the weaknesses of the flesh.

Slug1
Jan 18th 2011, 04:26 PM
The question is...what is a "Christian"? There are plenty who claim to be Christians, have convinced themselves that they are Christians, but, have not professed what I would call Salvific faith. Plenty have heard the Word, understood the Truth, but rejected the surrender. One cannot expect to be considered a Child of God just because they had a moment in church where they felt the tug of the Holy Spirit, worshipped God in that moment, requested salvation...YET did not surrender themselves. In other words, Salvation isn't granted with the stipulation that a person gets to keep his life as his own. I believe that there are millions of "Christians" who believe just that. They feel like they understand the Truth and they know the Holy Spirit, so they are saved. They are unwilling to surrender themselves, however.

This is the only way that I can make sense of the idea of "apostasy". I would contend that the person who has fully surrendered and has humbled themselves completely before God in acceptance of the TOTALITY of Christ cannot...WILL not apostate themselves. God's Grace is sufficient for those to ensure that they will "complete the course". I believe that I can apply 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 to this:

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

What is "weakness"? Obviously it is something different from insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties because, in verse 10, it is categorized differently. It is a thorn in his "flesh", indicating a weakness of the flesh. Paul delights in weakness, not because he gets to be absolved of the ramifications of weakness (He obviously prayed desperately for the "thorn" to be removed), but because it is in these times of weakness, that God's strength is revealed. It is a wonderful picture of how the Grace of God can overcome the weaknesses of the flesh.I get what you're saying. Does ever person who hears the Gospel and accepts Christ, then give up their life completely?? I know I sure didn't and to this very moment as i write, I still have a thorn that God still glorifies Himself despite my weakness.

Anyway... I've always wondered about "apostasy"? Do we remain in apostasy if we don't do anything as a Christian or do we first have to achieve a level of righteousness and then fall away to achieve apostasy?

I had no idea how to be a "Christian"? I read the Bible because it was the right thing to do and my objective was to finish it. I didn't know "it's" obejective was to be a source for God to speak to me and for me to know that reading the Bible was for me to "change", not to get it read and be done with it. I went to church because quite frankly, I was dragged to church. As I got older, because I wanted to be with my then girlfriend and present wife. Not because the church was a place to fellowship and be fed the Word of God. A place for DISCIPLESHIP to be learned and actually DONE. To me, it was a place where only limited scriptures "FROM" the Bible was used to support the doctrine of the church and they only taught and only allowed what the doctrine said... not what the Bible said when in full context of God's meaning.

You want to know something else, since I am running this course, I am still enduring, I am still overcom"ing"... the Bible is STILL a source that is bringing about CHANGE in my life. Am I a Christian? What is a Christian?

I know a Christian is one who is running. One who did not sit down at the starting line but as I actually say this... HOW LONG DID I SIT DOWN AT THAT STARTING LINE? Truth be told... for YEARS!

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

He began the work, but WE have to do what is needed as well and that is to keep running, keep enduring, and overcome... UNTIL the day of Jesus Christ and we receive our salvation. There are so many scriptures that tell us and warn us about this fact of enduring.

v9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment...

I am told this in scripture also:

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

So yeah... as you write about concerning people who wear the Christian label but sure seem far from being a Christian... 10 years ago, you'd be pointing your finger at me. Maybe even 5 years ago when I came onto this board full of vinegar and spitting it on everyone I could who didn't follow the doctrines I was held by. I had no knowledge except that of church doctrine and ABSOLUTELY no discernment because I was led by doctrines and limited scriptures in those doctrines and not led by God's Word and by the Holy Spirit.


Anyway... will a surrendered Christian apostate? Stop running, fail to endure? If the Bible wasn't full of warnings... I'd have to say NO. Yet the Bible is full of warnings about enduring, and about running, and about overcoming so I can't say NO... so YES, surrendered Christians can apostate. The parable of the Sower is all about this fact as well. Four examples of people hearing the Word and of those 4 examples, 3 accept the Word but only 1 endures. That means that 2 of those people who accepted the Word, then apostate. Whether they reached any level of righteousness or never worked out their salvation isn't the question. I mean, look at Mark 4:17 and ask yourself how long did this person serve God before the tribulation or persecution came and they stumbled and never recovered? Two minutes after accepting Christ? Two years? How about twenty years? We don't know, do we? I can't imagine all the assumptions actually. So can a surrendered Christian apostate which you don't believe can happen... then why even did Jesus speak Mark 4:17? Why scripture about a need to work out salvation? Why endure? Why run? Why any need to even over come?

Why do I even bring up the parable of the barren fruit tree? Well, read another of the scriptures from the parable of the sower, cept this time it's about what you seem to be talking about and how a Christian can be more in the world. Read Matthew 13:12 and it ends with the fact the person has become "unfruitful". Well, in the one parable is seems for three years their was never any fruit... but what about the person in the parable of the sower who BECOMES unfruitful? Is this enduring? Is this concidered still running? Will they overcome? Were they also labeled a Christian for only two minutes, two years, thirty whole years when the world became more important and the Word was CHOKED out of them???

The Word (Jesus) can't be choked OUT of them if the Word (Jesus) was never IN them!!

Seems it would be nice if all we had to do is accept Christ, sit down, do nothing and wait until the day of Jesus Christ as if there isn't really a course to BE run.

divaD
Jan 18th 2011, 05:37 PM
I get what you're saying. Does ever person who hears the Gospel and accepts Christ, then give up their life completely?? I know I sure didn't and to this very moment as i write, I still have a thorn that God still glorifies Himself despite my weakness.

Anyway... I've always wondered about "apostasy"? Do we remain in apostasy if we don't do anything as a Christian or do we first have to achieve a level of righteousness and then fall away to achieve apostasy?

I had no idea how to be a "Christian"? I read the Bible because it was the right thing to do and my objective was to finish it. I didn't know "it's" obejective was to be a source for God to speak to me and for me to know that reading the Bible was for me to "change", not to get it read and be done with it. I went to church because quite frankly, I was dragged to church. As I got older, because I wanted to be with my then girlfriend and present wife. Not because the church was a place to fellowship and be fed the Word of God. A place for DISCIPLESHIP to be learned and actually DONE. To me, it was a place where only limited scriptures "FROM" the Bible was used to support the doctrine of the church and they only taught and only allowed what the doctrine said... not what the Bible said when in full context of God's meaning.

You want to know something else, since I am running this course, I am still enduring, I am still overcom"ing"... the Bible is STILL a source that is bringing about CHANGE in my life. Am I a Christian? What is a Christian?

I know a Christian is one who is running. One who did not sit down at the starting line but as I actually say this... HOW LONG DID I SIT DOWN AT THAT STARTING LINE? Truth be told... for YEARS!

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

He began the work, but WE have to do what is needed as well and that is to keep running, keep enduring, and overcome... UNTIL the day of Jesus Christ and we receive our salvation. There are so many scriptures that tell us and warn us about this fact of enduring.

v9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment...

I am told this in scripture also:

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

So yeah... as you write about concerning people who wear the Christian label but sure seem far from being a Christian... 10 years ago, you'd be pointing your finger at me. Maybe even 5 years ago when I came onto this board full of vinegar and spitting it on everyone I could who didn't follow the doctrines I was held by. I had no knowledge except that of church doctrine and ABSOLUTELY no discernment because I was led by doctrines and limited scriptures in those doctrines and not led by God's Word and by the Holy Spirit.


Anyway... will a surrendered Christian apostate? Stop running, fail to endure? If the Bible wasn't full of warnings... I'd have to say NO. Yet the Bible is full of warnings about enduring, and about running, and about overcoming so I can't say NO... so YES, surrendered Christians can apostate. The parable of the Sower is all about this fact as well. Four examples of people hearing the Word and of those 4 examples, 3 accept the Word but only 1 endures. That means that 2 of those people who accepted the Word, then apostate. Whether they reached any level of righteousness or never worked out their salvation isn't the question. I mean, look at Mark 4:17 and ask yourself how long did this person serve God before the tribulation or persecution came and they stumbled and never recovered? Two minutes after accepting Christ? Two years? How about twenty years? We don't know, do we? I can't imagine all the assumptions actually. So can a surrendered Christian apostate which you don't believe can happen... then why even did Jesus speak Mark 4:17? Why scripture about a need to work out salvation? Why endure? Why run? Why any need to even over come?

Why do I even bring up the parable of the barren fruit tree? Well, read another of the scriptures from the parable of the sower, cept this time it's about what you seem to be talking about and how a Christian can be more in the world. Read Matthew 13:12 and it ends with the fact the person has become "unfruitful". Well, in the one parable is seems for three years their was never any fruit... but what about the person in the parable of the sower who BECOMES unfruitful? Is this enduring? Is this concidered still running? Will they overcome? Were they also labeled a Christian for only two minutes, two years, thirty whole years when the world became more important and the Word was CHOKED out of them???

The Word (Jesus) can't be choked OUT of them if the Word (Jesus) was never IN them!!

Seems it would be nice if all we had to do is accept Christ, sit down, do nothing and wait until the day of Jesus Christ as if there isn't really a course to BE run.



Reading thru this, it seems you are kind of making my point for me, that I made a post or two back. What would have happened if your life had been cut short, say 10 years ago? How would you have been able to finish the course, or to even run it any further, had your life tragically ended during the time? Another thing to ponder, which is why I probably brought up the thief. Is everyone even given the same opportunities and requirements? Why should one person be required to finsh the course that is 50 yrs in length, another which is 20 years in length, so on and so on, and the thief never having to run any course at all?

VerticalReality
Jan 18th 2011, 05:42 PM
Reading thru this, it seems you are kind of making my point for me, that I made a post or two back. What would have happened if your life had been cut short, say 10 years ago? How would you have been able to finish the course, or to even run it any further, had your life tragically ended during the time? Another thing to ponder, which is why I probably brought up the thief. Is everyone even given the same opportunities and requirements? Why should one person be required to finsh the course that is 50 yrs in length, another which is 20 years in length, so on and so on, and the thief never having to run any course at all?

You could argue that Paul's life, along with the majority of the other apostles, was cut short. However, Paul states that he has completed his course. He ran the race and finished it. Therefore, I don't think a person being martyred or something is indication that they haven't finished the course.

Slug1
Jan 18th 2011, 06:01 PM
Reading thru this, it seems you are kind of making my point for me, that I made a post or two back. What would have happened if your life had been cut short, say 10 years ago? How would you have been able to finish the course, or to even run it any further, had your life tragically ended during the time? Another thing to ponder, which is why I probably brought up the thief. Is everyone even given the same opportunities and requirements? Why should one person be required to finsh the course that is 50 yrs in length, another which is 20 years in length, so on and so on, and the thief never having to run any course at all?

The point is all about running the course. As long as we are running it, then it don't matter if we run it for an extremely short period of time like the thief or for the next 60 years. If I was running the course from the get go and I did catch a 7.62mm bullet in the head in any of the few combat zones i was in, or got run over by bus 10 years ago... I was running, I was enduring, i was over coming... so the WHEN isn't important. We can't look at it from the perspective of "what would have happened". The perspective always needs to be... ARE you, not WILL you or WERE you!!

The important thing is doing the run which happens in my opinion if discipleship is involved in our life after we accept Christ. I didn't have that as a child... only doctrine and lessons all about that doctrine... no discipleship. Later in life when I rededicated (as the term goes) myself to Christ, it was a good number of years before I began to be disciple because God is faithful to His Word and I began to be obedient to the work He began in me. I stopped avoiding Him while I enjoyed my "life" in the world.

Today... still being descipled because the course isn't done and I don't care when it will be done and have no fear when it will be done, either.

None of us know's the length of the course... if we did, we'd all be thieves and at the moment before the finish line... tap in.

divaD
Jan 18th 2011, 07:08 PM
You could argue that Paul's life, along with the majority of the other apostles, was cut short. However, Paul states that he has completed his course. He ran the race and finished it. Therefore, I don't think a person being martyred or something is indication that they haven't finished the course.



What this gets me to thinking is, perhaps everyone's course is not the same. As per your OP, it could be argued whether they were even on the course or not. Nonetheless, even tho I'm probably not quite on the same page with you yet, the OP is very interesting. Gets me thinking all kinds of things.

VerticalReality
Jan 18th 2011, 07:11 PM
What this gets me to thinking is, perhaps everyone's course is not the same. As per your OP, it could be argued whether they were even on the course or not. Nonetheless, even tho I'm probably not quite on the same page with you yet, the OP is very interesting. Gets me thinking all kinds of things.

I would definitely say that everyone's course is different. Of course, I'm also one of those who believes God has a specific calling for people, and He will actively lead and guide us through life if we forsake all and follow Him. Some people believe that nothing happens outside of God's will. I'm not one of those people. I believe we can alter our path in life, and if we do not abide in Him we run the risk of not finishing the course.

ProDeo
Jan 18th 2011, 08:08 PM
They eventually, at the age of 49, come down with a disease that medical science cannot assist. They pass from this life with their family surrounding them. Do you think the Apostle Paul would consider this example a completion of the course?

Typical sheep course.

Not all can be leaders.

VerticalReality
Jan 18th 2011, 08:13 PM
Typical sheep course.

Not all can be leaders.

I think this is a view of 2011 Christianity. There's some sort of dividing line between average Christians and your awesome, extra special, preaching and teaching, super saints in leadership.

I don't think this is the biblical model of Christianity, however.

Slug1
Jan 18th 2011, 08:25 PM
I think this is a view of 2011 Christianity. There's some sort of dividing line between average Christians and your awesome, extra special, preaching and teaching, super saints in leadership.

I don't think this is the biblical model of Christianity, however.I agree. The Christian that God chose to be the door greeter at a church all their life is just as mighty as the preacher who not only led a total of 10K to Christ but also discipled them all in that same church all his life.

The greeter had to let them in door first :P :lol:

Anyway... both are in obedience to God's will for them and both are equal Christians.

Man puts value to the task God has given us.

ProDeo
Jan 18th 2011, 09:02 PM
I think this is a view of 2011 Christianity. There's some sort of dividing line between average Christians and your awesome, extra special, preaching and teaching, super saints in leadership.

Did not imply such a thing. :lol:


I don't think this is the biblical model of Christianity, however.

Why can't sheep be born again Christians? I know a lot of them.

RollTide21
Jan 18th 2011, 09:06 PM
I get what you're saying. Does ever person who hears the Gospel and accepts Christ, then give up their life completely?? I know I sure didn't and to this very moment as i write, I still have a thorn that God still glorifies Himself despite my weakness.I think security in Christ requires complete humility and surrender.

It's one thing to have a thorn in your flesh. We all have weaknesses that are attacked by the Enemy. If we didn't, then all we would have to do is focus on the Spirit and we would never sin. God doesn't remove the Enemy from our lives. He just removes the ultimate penalty for our inherent weaknesses that are exploited by the enemy. It is Satan's mission to thwart us at every turn. That's what he does. We battle him with the Armor Of God. God uses failure and victories as He molds us.

The above doesn't mean, however, that you haven't surrendered your entire self to Him. If you had a weakness of lust which led to fornication and, upon receiving God's Gift of Salvation said: "Lord, I want to be saved, but just let me hang on to my sex life", is that person truly saved? Can one be saved without true repentance?


Anyway... I've always wondered about "apostasy"? Do we remain in apostasy if we don't do anything as a Christian or do we first have to achieve a level of righteousness and then fall away to achieve apostasy?I had never heard of "apostasy" until I got on this board. The results of growing up as a lukewarm Baptist, I guess (to my parents' neverending frustration, I might add). As to what it supposedly means, the only way that I could imagine it would be possible for the True Believer is to reject the Spirit. To tell God "Go away from me and don't come back." I don't know how one could come to that point, but there is way too much evidence Scripturally and in real life that God just abandons His Children because of weakness.


I had no idea how to be a "Christian"? I read the Bible because it was the right thing to do and my objective was to finish it. I didn't know "it's" obejective was to be a source for God to speak to me and for me to know that reading the Bible was for me to "change", not to get it read and be done with it. I went to church because quite frankly, I was dragged to church. As I got older, because I wanted to be with my then girlfriend and present wife. Not because the church was a place to fellowship and be fed the Word of God. A place for DISCIPLESHIP to be learned and actually DONE. To me, it was a place where only limited scriptures "FROM" the Bible was used to support the doctrine of the church and they only taught and only allowed what the doctrine said... not what the Bible said when in full context of God's meaning.It's funny. I was raised by two of the finest Christians I have ever known in my parents, yet I have only recently "gotten it" as to what it means to serve God and abide in Christ. It's weird how reluctant our sinful nature is to let go.


You want to know something else, since I am running this course, I am still enduring, I am still overcom"ing"... the Bible is STILL a source that is bringing about CHANGE in my life. Am I a Christian? What is a Christian?I think you are a "Christian". You know and follow the Spirit. We had this discussion in the other thread. What does the Spirit tell you? Do you get the sense that there is anything that could separate you from the Love of the Father? Hardship? Nah...that will just draw you to Him even MORE. Temptation? What could you possibly do to satisfy the conviction you would receive aside from just giving up and falling back on your face at His feet? I say you are in His Hands and He will guide you ALL THE WAY TO THE END. That is my whole issue with apostasy. I KNOW God. He has been with me through failure, weakness, rebellion just as He was with me through Spiritual Highs and triumphs. He loves me because I made a decision from the heart that I wanted Him to take over my life. No, I didn't do a 180 and never fall again. But...the lessons that I learned made me into what I am today.


I know a Christian is one who is running. One who did not sit down at the starting line but as I actually say this... HOW LONG DID I SIT DOWN AT THAT STARTING LINE? Truth be told... for YEARS!Do you believe you had fully accepted Christ when you were "sitting" at the starting line?


Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

He began the work, but WE have to do what is needed as well and that is to keep running, keep enduring, and overcome... UNTIL the day of Jesus Christ and we receive our salvation. There are so many scriptures that tell us and warn us about this fact of enduring.Gotta disagree on this interpretation, Slug. If "He" is God, then "He who began a good work in you will complete it.


v9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment...

I am told this in scripture also:

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Absolutely.


So yeah... as you write about concerning people who wear the Christian label but sure seem far from being a Christian... 10 years ago, you'd be pointing your finger at me. Maybe even 5 years ago when I came onto this board full of vinegar and spitting it on everyone I could who didn't follow the doctrines I was held by. I had no knowledge except that of church doctrine and ABSOLUTELY no discernment because I was led by doctrines and limited scriptures in those doctrines and not led by God's Word and by the Holy Spirit.The people who wear the Christian label that I was referring to are not people who would EVER be on a Christian message board. In fact, they pretty much steer clear of matters of Faith unless they are in church.



Anyway... will a surrendered Christian apostate? Stop running, fail to endure? If the Bible wasn't full of warnings... I'd have to say NO. Yet the Bible is full of warnings about enduring, and about running, and about overcoming so I can't say NO... so YES, surrendered Christians can apostate. The parable of the Sower is all about this fact as well. Four examples of people hearing the Word and of those 4 examples, 3 accept the Word but only 1 endures. That means that 2 of those people who accepted the Word, then apostate. Whether they reached any level of righteousness or never worked out their salvation isn't the question. I mean, look at Mark 4:17 and ask yourself how long did this person serve God before the tribulation or persecution came and they stumbled and never recovered? Two minutes after accepting Christ? Two years? How about twenty years? We don't know, do we? I can't imagine all the assumptions actually. So can a surrendered Christian apostate which you don't believe can happen... then why even did Jesus speak Mark 4:17? Why scripture about a need to work out salvation? Why endure? Why run? Why any need to even over come?Here is the NIV translation of Jesus's deciphering of the parable:

13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?
14 The farmer sows the word.
15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.
16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.
17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;
19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

Based on what you know of the Holy Spirit and the Grace that only a sinner restored can understand, does this passage really say that a surrendered Believer can apostate themselves? Does it line up? Whenever it was that you said "Lord, I give my all to you. Everything I am, I give to you", could you have been ANY of the three other than the 1 who sows on fruitful soil? You have the fertile soil of a repentant, broken heart and the root of the Spirit. Can your soil TURN rocky or thorny? The parable doesn't indicate that. It says that the fertile soil is the one who bears the fruit.

Overcoming, enduring, etc. The life of a Follower of Christ is difficult. There is persecution in this world, especially in other countries. We are encouraged to be patient and endure because we have the guaranteed Hope of Eternal Life. I don't see it as a warning, but as an encouragement not to despair.


Why do I even bring up the parable of the barren fruit tree? Well, read another of the scriptures from the parable of the sower, cept this time it's about what you seem to be talking about and how a Christian can be more in the world. Read Matthew 13:12 and it ends with the fact the person has become "unfruitful". Well, in the one parable is seems for three years their was never any fruit... but what about the person in the parable of the sower who BECOMES unfruitful? Is this enduring? Is this concidered still running? Will they overcome? Were they also labeled a Christian for only two minutes, two years, thirty whole years when the world became more important and the Word was CHOKED out of them???

The Word (Jesus) can't be choked OUT of them if the Word (Jesus) was never IN them!!
Seems it would be nice if all we had to do is accept Christ, sit down, do nothing and wait until the day of Jesus Christ as if there isn't really a course to BE run.Clarify what you mean about Matt 13:12:

12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.

Is that the right verse?

As for the last statement, what about the Spirit would lead you to believe that there is no glory in the race? I am the most Spiritually content that I have ever been in my life. I am excited to know that I am living my life in the Spirit. I am pumped to think of what great things God has in store for me in this life. I feel tremendous strength and courage to face the trials of life, not a sense of trudging through this sinful world just trying to hang on until God can finally come and give me my reward.

Slug1
Jan 19th 2011, 03:45 AM
Clarify what you mean about Matt 13:12:

12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.

Is that the right verse?

As for the last statement, what about the Spirit would lead you to believe that there is no glory in the race? I am the most Spiritually content that I have ever been in my life. I am excited to know that I am living my life in the Spirit. I am pumped to think of what great things God has in store for me in this life. I feel tremendous strength and courage to face the trials of life, not a sense of trudging through this sinful world just trying to hang on until God can finally come and give me my reward.Whoa... see what I get for not posting the actual scripture which my usual SOP!! Matthew 13:22... not 12, sorry.

Matthew 13: 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

OK... so with the proper scripture posted, this is why I said all this:

>>> Why do I even bring up the parable of the barren fruit tree? Well, read another of the scriptures from the parable of the sower, cept this time it's about what you seem to be talking about and how a Christian can be more in the world. Read Matthew 13:22 and it ends with the fact the person has become "unfruitful". Well, in the one parable is seems for three years their was never any fruit... but what about the person in the parable of the sower who BECOMES unfruitful? Is this enduring? Is this considered still running? Will they overcome? Were they also labeled a Christian for only two minutes, two years, thirty whole years when the world became more important and the Word was CHOKED out of them???

The Word (Jesus) can't be choked OUT of them if the Word (Jesus) was never IN them!! <<<

I guess that I can add this comment as well... They can't be "unfruitful" if they were never "fruitful" at one time either. So to have the Word choked out and to once be considered fruitful, and now considered unfruitful... this can't be said about anyone who was never in Christ. They HAD to be in Christ, but they are NOW described as having the Word choked out of them and became unfruitful... surly not running nor enduring any longer.

Brother Mark
Jan 19th 2011, 06:03 AM
What does it mean to finish the course? Does it simply mean to make a profession of faith in Jesus, keep it and leave this life with it? Is that all there is to it?

For example, let's say a person becomes a Christian. Let's also say that they live a good life relatively speaking. They go to work everyday, and they come home to a family that they provide for well. They help out with their kid's basketball team. They may even volunteer to help at their kid's school or something. And obviously, they attend church on Sunday morning and even maybe Wednesday evening.

However, they do not spend a great deal of time sharing the gospel. They really aren't certain if what they are doing in life is God's will for them. In fact, they really are oblivious to whether or not God even has a specific will for them. Maybe He does, maybe He doesn't.

For those who are an acquaintance of this person, they may or may not even know for certain such a one is a Christian. It's not because this person does bad things. It's just that this person really hasn't made any mention of it, and the gospel really isn't at the forefront of their thought. Those who are really close to them know they go to church and so forth, but nothing is really known beyond their church attendance.

They eventually, at the age of 49, come down with a disease that medical science cannot assist. They pass from this life with their family surrounding them. Do you think the Apostle Paul would consider this example a completion of the course?

I would like to offer a few examples.

Abraham was praised by God in Hebrews 11. Scripture says that after Abraham had been blessed by God in every way (that's an amazing statement), he died. Lot, on the other hand, was saved, but never praised by God. Which finished the course set before him?

Noah preached 120 years and saw 8 souls saved. He was praised by God in Hebrews 11. Jonah preached a few days and saw an entire city get saved. It was the largest revival in the OT and perhaps all of scripture. But he wasn't praised by God. Which of these two men ran the course set before them?

ProDeo
Jan 19th 2011, 11:51 AM
It's not about works to be saved... it's about running the course which is all about SERVICE to the Lord. You said it yourself Roger. Service... which is God being able to find fruit production by you due to your faith not being dead. If there is no fruit, you are not of any use serving... He cuts you off.
You are the one who said running the course of about service :P

Scripture is clear about what happens to those who aren't serving once they accept Christ and are unfruitful.

Service is a bit ambiguous here. I see 2 kinds, (1) the normal daily surrender to God as a basic attitude of every Christian and (2) being an active Christian in the sense of being a witness and/or doing all kind of church activities. I believe (2) is what the OP is about. That 1 & 2 must go hand in hand. VR may correct me if I misunderstood.

The normal daily surrender to God (1) will bear its fruit, the fruit of the Sprit. It will change a Christian:

FROM: Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things.

TO: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

In context: Gal 5:16-25

For many this is their only course, to change from a selfish and fleshy person into someone more Christ alike, the fruit of the Spirit. This is much more hard than (2), active serving. (1) is obliged (2) isn't. I call (1) the "sheep" position. Those people occasionally share and testify when the situation requires it but they have no inner driving force to share on every moment, convenient or inconvenient. They go to church, praise the Lord, hear the Word and that's enough for them.

(2) comes from a passion to share, know more and more, serve the Lord on a 24/7 base, like the Leviticus Priests in the OT, like Peter, Paul, John etc. in the NT. Like many (if not most) frequent members of this board. The body of Christ needs them to guide the sheep, add new sheep. I think the below Scripture applies to them.

1 Cor 12:27 Now you are Christ’s body, and each of you is a member of it. And God has placed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, gifts of healing, helps, gifts of leadership, different kinds of tongues. Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all perform miracles, do they? Not all have gifts of healing, do they? Not all speak in tongues, do they? Not all interpret, do they?

Mark F
Jan 19th 2011, 12:27 PM
This subject never concerned me for years, as I was an uncoverted church-goer for a couple decades. The Bible is replete with admonitions to bear fruit. The opportunities to bear fruit are abundantly available to each of us, and there are many flavors and varieties of fruit.


Matthew 7:15-19
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Yes I know this Scripture primarily shows us how to recognize false prophets, but it does clearly point out that all trees bear fruit, and we can decide one's true identity by their fruit.

We all have opportunity to bear good fruit, example


Ephesians 5:25
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

Slug1
Jan 19th 2011, 02:26 PM
FROM: Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things.

TO: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.To explain the bearing of fruit can be ambiguous at times. You list the fruits of the Spirit but we also read in scripture that production of fruit is also to be multiplied. So what does this mean when it comes to the list of the fruit of the Spirit? I don't know... do you? can we figure it out?

How is joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control... multiplied? If multiplied, for what? I'm 10x joyful, at peace, so very patient, VERY kind, etc?? What does that do for God and the Kingdom of God?

The fruit dealing with production as Christ "WORKS" through a person is different than the fruit's of the Spirit as Christ works "IN" a person and changes them!!!

The production fruit is for God to do MIGHTY work THROUGH you so that OTHERS can be changed, so that the world around you can be CHANGED by God as He does the work through you. This is the fruit that PRODUCES and is what I'm talking about.

You mention "sheep", those who sit and absorb church. I don't see a problem with this because we all have to do this as God FIRST works in us and brings about CHANGE in us so that the fruit of the Spirit can be expressed. Once we are changed internally, God has now set us up to WORK... so He can work EXTERNALLY through us.

Even between ministry seasons, leaders can be put back in the pew to sit and be still so they can be in a season of learning which can be a period of pruning, I'll get into that later in this post.

So what happens when a Christian refuses to do this work as God is prompting them to ministry, outreach, whatever!!?? I mean, every ministry has a season to begin and end, this includes that Pew Warming ministry ;) It's gotta end sometime once Christ has made enough change IN a person and they express the fruits of the Holy Spirit... time to get out of that pew and do WORK in the Kingdom and be FRUITFUL, as in the PRODUCTION types of fruit.

James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[d] works, and I will show you my faith by my[e] works.

We KNOW that works do NOT save a person... but a saved person DOES produce works as God works through them. This is very important to understand. So many focus on "YOU ARE NOT SAVED BY WORKS" the moment "works" is even breathed in any conversation it seems. Yet, scripturally anyone who doesn't produce works, not much good is said about such people in the Bible. That parable about the barren fig tree states they get cut down. The parable of the sower, one group allows the world to choke them off from Christ and they are unfruitful. Seems that if producing fruit isn't important, than we'd have no need for such warnings in the Bible.

Here in John, they get cut off the branch: John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;[a] and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Seems just like in that parable about the fig tree, we now have Jesus not giving us a story but instead, facts about what God the Father will do to those on the vine, yet are unfruitful. God the Father takes them away, cuts them off while pruning is going on for those who are producing fruit but now God will enable them to MULTIPLY that fruit, through the pruning process (always a trial time it seems). So, some are taken away and some are pruned. Again, if fruit production wasn't important... why the warning that those who are unfruitful, will be taken away???? Sure helps us understand that parable of the barren fig tree much better... doesn't it?

So... fruit by definition can be varying types it seems. Fruit of the Spirit are of change in us. Once this is done and God can use us effectively in the Kingdom of God so He can do MORE work through us... we go out and do His work and change in others and in the world around us IS PRODUCED and this is for the GLORY of God.

fees
Jan 19th 2011, 07:38 PM
Eph. 2:10 We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Sounds like God prepared a way for each of us?