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DavidC
Jul 14th 2017, 06:19 AM
"Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you fail the test."

Exactly how do we examine ourselves this way? Is this strictly an inner test? Or do we test our actions and speech to see what is true?

Thanks.

TheDivineWatermark
Jul 14th 2017, 06:52 AM
"Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you fail the test."

Exactly how do we examine ourselves this way? Is this strictly an inner test? Or do we test our actions and speech to see what is true?

Thanks.

I believe this passage is in the context of a wider passage (chpts 10-13) where Paul is vindicating his apostleship. [where they were wanting to pay heed to other, more grand-sounding persons]

So, they were "questioning" his apostleship... and he is responding by saying (basically), if you are saved, and I am the one who brought you the gospel message, then I am a true apostle. So "examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith" is a way of saying, "if so, and I delivered to you the message, then what does that say about my 'apostleship' you are questioning?"

I don't believe this is a passage to encourage people to "examine their actions" (to see if they "measure up"), but that this is something we (like they) should "KNOW" (how that "Jesus Christ is in you" because of/by means of "faith" in Him and His finished work ["THE faith" is "that body of truth" as found in the NT]).

Paul was endeavoring to elicit from their minds a response of, "of course!" [to both issues: their being in the faith (Jesus Christ is in you) ... same answer as him being a true apostle (who delivered to them the message of the gospel whereby they "believed" [1Cor15:1-4, among the others, per v.11])]

DavidC
Jul 14th 2017, 02:28 PM
Thanks TDW, not saying you are incorrect, it just seems that Paul is saying we should examine ourselves too just as he has examined himself.

In a later passage, in 9, Paul says he hopes they are restored, this must be because they didn't believe his apostleship?

Old man
Jul 14th 2017, 02:52 PM
"Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you fail the test."

Exactly how do we examine ourselves this way? Is this strictly an inner test? Or do we test our actions and speech to see what is true?

Thanks.

It is founded in truth. Jesus said those who worship the Father must do so in spirit and truth. Christians have a tendency to ignore truth or adjust it to their convenience.

For example prayer meetings can be great source of the latest gossip. And the gossip is justified because they are praying.

Christian also tend to be surfacy in confession of their sins. Asking blanket forgiveness for all theirs sins at once instead of dealing with specific sins. Doing the blanket repentance means you can ignore your actual sins.

Also we may only confess the surface sin such as gossip. We will confess the sin of gossip to the Lord but we will not go beyond they and confess "WHY" we gossip. Which usually has a self exaltation reason. But we don't want to see ourselves as trying to exalting ourselves in other people's eyes. We are God's humble servants.

TheDivineWatermark
Jul 14th 2017, 03:12 PM
Thanks TDW, not saying you are incorrect, it just seems that Paul is saying we should examine ourselves too just as he has examined himself.

It seems to me that in chpt 13 [pertaining to your specific question], he is saying "don't merely put ME on trial... apart from 'the evidence of my apostleship' [YOU! examine yourselves... (coz there's the proof)]"


In a later passage, in 9, Paul says he hopes they are restored, this must be because they didn't believe his apostleship?

By "in 9," do you mean chapter 9 or what?

Speaking of 9:2, it does say there, "for the seal/certification of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord"... which is the point I'm making.

In the later part of chpt 9, Paul does refer to his "limiting his rights for ministry"... and concludes with "but I keep under [discipline] my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway [disqualified]." (I believe this refers to being "disqualified" before men, that is, in the eyes of those to whom he ministers [per context]... as in, no one would be willing to listen to him.)

But what passage are you referring to (when saying "in 9")? Can you clarify? Thanks. :)

keck553
Jul 14th 2017, 03:21 PM
It is founded upon my personal relationship with God.

randyk
Jul 14th 2017, 03:32 PM
"Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you fail the test."

Exactly how do we examine ourselves this way? Is this strictly an inner test? Or do we test our actions and speech to see what is true?

Thanks.

Paul is saying, quite simply, that if we are genuine Christians Christ is inside of us. We should able to detect his character in our actions. We should recognize love that is not strictly ours, but originating from above. We cannot, as mere men, produce anything but a shadow of Christ's love. Only if Christ is in us can we have genuine, unconditional love for others.

Trivalee
Jul 14th 2017, 04:56 PM
"Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you fail the test."

Exactly how do we examine ourselves this way? Is this strictly an inner test? Or do we test our actions and speech to see what is true?

Thanks.

For me, 2 Cor 13:5 is as plain as day. God has given us a conscience that reproves us of wrongdoing according to Rom 2:15. Paul is telling every believer to from time to time, do a self-assessment of their standing before God using the Spirit of God in us (which cannot deceive us) as the guide.

John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

See what Jesus said above:

1. The Spirit of "truth" enables us to do a self-evaluation of our faith or standing before Jesus.
2. Conversely, the world [reprobates] does not have the indwelling Spirit and cannot *examine* themselves in righteousness.

Remember that this is not a self-examination of our standing and achievements in society, but rather, of our *faith* which equals living for Christ?

Personally, what I do is ask myself from to time that if death comes now, have I done enough to make heaven or will I end up being rejected by Christ? While the answer may not be 100% spot on, at least your conscience will tell you whether you are doing well (in Christ) or not. And that's what the self-examination is all about.

TheDivineWatermark
Jul 14th 2017, 05:10 PM
ask... that if death comes now, have I done enough to make heaven ...

"DOING" [or "have done enough"] is not how we "make heaven" [make it to heaven]... but what Christ HAS DONE. [1Cor15:1-4,11; Eph2:8-9]



Recall, the ones Jesus refers to in Matt7 who say "have *we* not done... many wonderful works?" [even, 'in Thy name' done them].

He will respond with "I NEVER knew you: depart from Me..."




I know that people often use 2Cor13:5 to mean "prove to yourselves and to others that you are a true Christian" [or 'have done enough to make heaven' and the like], but I am saying that 2Cor13:5 is part of [B]the wider context of chpts 9-13 [Paul vindicating his apostleship], and not grasping this context (and focusing only on a few verses in chpt 13) brings one to this false conclusion (as to what 13:5 means).

Faith, alone, in Christ and His finished work, alone, is how we "make heaven" (as you put it). Nothing else whatsoever.

Trivalee
Jul 14th 2017, 08:33 PM
"DOING" [or "have done enough"] is not how we "make heaven" [make it to heaven]... but what Christ HAS DONE. [1Cor15:1-4,11; Eph2:8-9]



Recall, the ones Jesus refers to in Matt7 who say "have *we* not done... many wonderful works?" [even, 'in Thy name' done them].

He will respond with "I NEVER knew you: depart from Me..."

I know that people often use 2Cor13:5 to mean "prove to yourselves and to others that you are a true Christian" [or 'have done enough to make heaven' and the like], but I am saying that 2Cor13:5 is part of [B]the wider context of chpts 9-13 [Paul vindicating his apostleship], and not grasping this context (and focusing only on a few verses in chpt 13) brings one to this false conclusion (as to what 13:5 means).

Faith, alone, in Christ and His finished work, alone, is how we "make heaven" (as you put it). Nothing else whatsoever.

Brother, I think you misunderstood me. Of course, I'm not saying we make heaven through "works"!!!! What am I saying is that the self-examination taught by Paul allows me to evaluate whether I have taken Christ' sacrifice for me in vain?

Now, unless you're one of those who believes that once you've given your life to Christ, heaven is guaranteed irrespective of what you do or, how you live your life from coming to faith to death. I don't believe such assurance exists. I certainly believe that salvation can be lost if I choose to go back and wallow in the unrighteous things I gave up when I didn't know Christ. See Heb 6:5-6 and 10:26; Ezek 18:24.

Paul, despite his earnest work in God's vineyard, was nonetheless concerned about losing his salvation when he made the following statement:

1 Cor 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

TheDivineWatermark
Jul 14th 2017, 09:37 PM
Paul, despite his earnest work in God's vineyard, was nonetheless concerned about losing his salvation when he made the following statement:

1 Cor 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

People tend to use a number of Paul's words (found in several different passages) to [incorrectly] be conveying such a thought.

Philippians 3:8-15 is another such passage that is often misinterpreted to mean this.

However, it doesn't mean that. Here is a brief appendix from a book (on Phil3:8-15... somewhat related to this same topic, as another one of the passages ppl use to say Paul meant that [though he didn't mean that]):

http://articles.ochristian.com/article12455.shtml

[quoting excerpt from link]

"IF the commonly received exegesis of Philippians 3:8-14 be correct, we are faced by the astounding fact that the author of the Epistle to the Romans and of the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians -- the Apostle who was in a peculiar sense entrusted with the supreme revelation of grace -- announced when nearing the close of his ministry that the resurrection was not, as he had been used to teach, a blessing which Divine grace assured to all believers in Christ, but a prize to be won by the sustained efforts of a life of wholly exceptional saintship.

"Nor is this all. In the same Epistle he has already said, "To me to live is Christ, and to have died is gain"; whereas, ex hypothesi, it now appears that his chief aim in life was to earn a right to the resurrection; and that death, instead of bringing gain, would have cut him off before he had reached the standard of saintship needed to secure that prize! For his words are explicit, "not as though I had already attained."

[...]

"If this passage refers to the literal resurrection, then the words "not as though I had already attained must mean that, while here on earth, and before the Lord's Coming, the Apostle hoped either to undergo the change of ver. 21, or else to win some sort of saintship diploma, or certificate, to ensure his being raised at the Coming. These alternatives are inexorable; and they only need to be stated to ensure their rejection.

"One word more. If the Apostle Paul, after such a life of saintship and service, was in doubt as to his part in the resurrection, no one of us, unless he be the proudest of Pharisees or the blindest of fools, will dream of attaining it. In fact we shall dismiss the subject from our minds."

--Forgotten Truths, Appendix 4: Philippians 3:8-14, Sir Robert Anderson

[bold, underline mine]

DavidC
Jul 14th 2017, 09:39 PM
"DOING" [or "have done enough"] is not how we "make heaven" [make it to heaven]... but what Christ HAS DONE. [1Cor15:1-4,11; Eph2:8-9]



Recall, the ones Jesus refers to in Matt7 who say "have *we* not done... many wonderful works?" [even, 'in Thy name' done them].

He will respond with "I NEVER knew you: depart from Me..."




I know that people often use 2Cor13:5 to mean "prove to yourselves and to others that you are a true Christian" [or 'have done enough to make heaven' and the like], but I am saying that 2Cor13:5 is part of [B]the wider context of chpts 9-13 [Paul vindicating his apostleship], and not grasping this context (and focusing only on a few verses in chpt 13) brings one to this false conclusion (as to what 13:5 means).

Faith, alone, in Christ and His finished work, alone, is how we "make heaven" (as you put it). Nothing else whatsoever.

I don't get from that verse we are supposed to prove to others of our salvation, either. I think we are supposed to do something though, examine ourselves.

DavidC
Jul 14th 2017, 09:41 PM
It seems to me that in chpt 13 [pertaining to your specific question], he is saying "don't merely put ME on trial... apart from 'the evidence of my apostleship' [YOU! examine yourselves... (coz there's the proof)]"



By "in 9," do you mean chapter 9 or what?

Speaking of 9:2, it does say there, "for the seal/certification of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord"... which is the point I'm making.

In the later part of chpt 9, Paul does refer to his "limiting his rights for ministry"... and concludes with "but I keep under [discipline] my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway [disqualified]." (I believe this refers to being "disqualified" before men, that is, in the eyes of those to whom he ministers [per context]... as in, no one would be willing to listen to him.)

But what passage are you referring to (when saying "in 9")? Can you clarify? Thanks. :)

Sorry, I meant the same chapter, 13, verse 9. I agree, Paul is telling us to do the same. I was just curious to know what others think about the how to examine ourselves.

DavidC
Jul 14th 2017, 09:45 PM
For me, 2 Cor 13:5 is as plain as day. God has given us a conscience that reproves us of wrongdoing according to Rom 2:15. Paul is telling every believer to from time to time, do a self-assessment of their standing before God using the Spirit of God in us (which cannot deceive us) as the guide.

John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

See what Jesus said above:

1. The Spirit of "truth" enables us to do a self-evaluation of our faith or standing before Jesus.
2. Conversely, the world [reprobates] does not have the indwelling Spirit and cannot *examine* themselves in righteousness.

Remember that this is not a self-examination of our standing and achievements in society, but rather, of our *faith* which equals living for Christ?

Personally, what I do is ask myself from to time that if death comes now, have I done enough to make heaven or will I end up being rejected by Christ? While the answer may not be 100% spot on, at least your conscience will tell you whether you are doing well (in Christ) or not. And that's what the self-examination is all about.

Thank you, that does help. I have asked myself the question, am I really saved? Most of the time I am certain, but sometimes I wonder, those are the times when it seems God is far off. So wasn't sure if that is what it meant or not.

Daniel567
Jul 15th 2017, 03:32 AM
I don't believe this is a passage to encourage people to "examine their actions" (to see if they "measure up")
Why would you arrive at this conclusion, when this is not the first time that Paul tells Christians to examine themselves? See 1 Cor 11:28, and see why it is critical to examine oneself. Indeed, the whole tenor of Scripture indicates that Christians should examine themselves constantly and daily.

CadyandZoe
Jul 15th 2017, 12:09 PM
Why would you arrive at this conclusion, when this is not the first time that Paul tells Christians to examine themselves?Divinewatermark has set out to answer the OP, which is specifically centered on 2Corinthians 13:5. It's not a question of whether or not a believer should examine himself or herself; to answer that question we could find other passages of scripture. It's a question of what Paul means to say in that particular passage. In this context, Paul's point depends on the reason why he is asking the Corinthians to examine themselves.

The supposition behind the OP understands Paul's exhortation as the process of testing for genuineness or authenticity of faith, which remains in question until examined. Whereas, according to the insight of Divinewatermark, Paul's argument takes into account the known and established fact that indeed the Corinthians were authentic, genuine believers. He asks them to examine themselves, not because he doubted their faith; but he was counting on their being genuine in order to prove that he was a genuine apostle. Bottom line, the fact that the Corinthians were believers is evidence in favor of Paul's claim to be an apostle.

Trivalee
Jul 15th 2017, 02:56 PM
People tend to use a number of Paul's words (found in several different passages) to [incorrectly] be conveying such a thought.

Philippians 3:8-15 is another such passage that is often misinterpreted to mean this.

However, it doesn't mean that. Here is a brief appendix from a book (on Phil3:8-15... somewhat related to this same topic, as another one of the passages ppl use to say Paul meant that [though he didn't mean that]):

http://articles.ochristian.com/article12455.shtml

[quoting excerpt from link]

"IF the commonly received exegesis of Philippians 3:8-14 be correct, we are faced by the astounding fact that the author of the Epistle to the Romans and of the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians -- the Apostle who was in a peculiar sense entrusted with the supreme revelation of grace -- announced when nearing the close of his ministry that the resurrection was not, as he had been used to teach, a blessing which Divine grace assured to all believers in Christ, but a prize to be won by the sustained efforts of a life of wholly exceptional saintship.

"Nor is this all. In the same Epistle he has already said, "To me to live is Christ, and to have died is gain"; whereas, ex hypothesi, it now appears that his chief aim in life was to earn a right to the resurrection; and that death, instead of bringing gain, would have cut him off before he had reached the standard of saintship needed to secure that prize! For his words are explicit, "not as though I had already attained."

[...]

"If this passage refers to the literal resurrection, then the words "not as though I had already attained must mean that, while here on earth, and before the Lord's Coming, the Apostle hoped either to undergo the change of ver. 21, or else to win some sort of saintship diploma, or certificate, to ensure his being raised at the Coming. These alternatives are inexorable; and they only need to be stated to ensure their rejection.

"One word more. If the Apostle Paul, after such a life of saintship and service, was in doubt as to his part in the resurrection, no one of us, unless he be the proudest of Pharisees or the blindest of fools, will dream of attaining it. In fact we shall dismiss the subject from our minds."

--Forgotten Truths, Appendix 4: Philippians 3:8-14, Sir Robert Anderson

[bold, underline mine]

Since I didn't use Phil 3:8-15 I don't think the views you expressed here are relevant to my position.

Trivalee
Jul 15th 2017, 03:03 PM
Thank you, that does help. I have asked myself the question, am I really saved? Most of the time I am certain, but sometimes I wonder, those are the times when it seems God is far off. So wasn't sure if that is what it meant or not.

There are some people who even after they are forgiven, are unable to believe and forgive themselves. Jesus is not a liar, if you confess from the heart you must also believe that you are forgiven. Faith is about believing in God - he said you're forgiven, if you still don't believe that, then your faith is in vain.

randyk
Jul 15th 2017, 03:04 PM
"DOING" [or "have done enough"] is not how we "make heaven" [make it to heaven]... but what Christ HAS DONE. [1Cor15:1-4,11; Eph2:8-9]



Recall, the ones Jesus refers to in Matt7 who say "have *we* not done... many wonderful works?" [even, 'in Thy name' done them].

He will respond with "I NEVER knew you: depart from Me..."




I know that people often use 2Cor13:5 to mean "prove to yourselves and to others that you are a true Christian" [or 'have done enough to make heaven' and the like], but I am saying that 2Cor13:5 is part of [B]the wider context of chpts 9-13 [Paul vindicating his apostleship], and not grasping this context (and focusing only on a few verses in chpt 13) brings one to this false conclusion (as to what 13:5 means).

Faith, alone, in Christ and His finished work, alone, is how we "make heaven" (as you put it). Nothing else whatsoever.

Good theology, in my opinion! I wholeheartedly concur.

Trivalee
Jul 15th 2017, 03:27 PM
Why would you arrive at this conclusion, when this is not the first time that Paul tells Christians to examine themselves? See 1 Cor 11:28, and see why it is critical to examine oneself. Indeed, the whole tenor of Scripture indicates that Christians should examine themselves constantly and daily.

I am glad you provided 1 Cor 11:28 as corroboration of the same instruction given to Christians in 2 Cor 13:5 to examine themselves from time to time. The passages are plain and unambiguous, but that still doesn't stop some people turning it into what it is not. For the purpose of clarity, I must emphasize (as I've already been quoted out of context) that the self-examination is not about our efforts or "works", but rather, whether we are living in accordance with the precepts of Christ.

This self-examination can be compared to a man who attended a job interview. While waiting to hear whether he is successful, he can do an honest self-assessment of his performance to figure out if he has a chance. Even unbelievers who don't have the indwelling Holy Spirit can equally use their conscience for this purpose according to Rom 2:15. But for us, believers, the Spirit of God in us makes such evaluation even better and accurate, unless of course, the individual is in denial of the result.

As Christians, we are also challenged now and again to do the same - assess our Christian life, using all the moral injunctions in the Bible as criteria. And our conscience will convict us of our failings and this, in turn, leads us to make the necessary changes to be in line with Christ.

If this not what Paul meant in 2 Cor 13:5 then, I don't know what it is.....

Trivalee
Jul 15th 2017, 03:41 PM
Divinewatermark has set out to answer the OP, which is specifically centered on 2Corinthians 13:5. It's not a question of whether or not a believer should examine himself or herself; to answer that question we could find other passages of scripture. It's a question of what Paul means to say in that particular passage. In this context, Paul's point depends on the reason why he is asking the Corinthians to examine themselves.

The supposition behind the OP understands Paul's exhortation as the process of testing for genuineness or authenticity of faith, which remains in question until examined. Whereas, according to the insight of Divinewatermark, Paul's argument takes into account the known and established fact that indeed the Corinthians were authentic, genuine believers. He asks them to examine themselves, not because he doubted their faith; but he was counting on their being genuine in order to prove that he was a genuine apostle. Bottom line, the fact that the Corinthians were believers is evidence in favor of Paul's claim to be an apostle.

This is one way of looking at it and I'm not disagreeing with you.

But given that the every scripture is enduring, we cannot, therefore, limit the passage to the extinct Corinthian church. So, how does the passage relate to you and I and the rest of Christendom today? On a broader examination, (forget about someone else's interpretation) how do you understand it with particular emphasis on you as a Christian?

TheDivineWatermark
Jul 15th 2017, 03:48 PM
Originally Posted by Daniel567 http://bibleforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=3397335#post3397335)
Why would you arrive at this conclusion, when this is not the first time that Paul tells Christians to examine themselves?


Divinewatermark has set out to answer the OP, which is specifically centered on 2Corinthians 13:5. It's not a question of whether or not a believer should examine himself or herself; to answer that question we could find other passages of scripture. It's a question of what Paul means to say in that particular passage. In this context, Paul's point depends on the reason why he is asking the Corinthians to examine themselves.

The supposition behind the OP understands Paul's exhortation as the process of testing for genuineness or authenticity of faith, which remains in question until examined. Whereas, according to the insight of Divinewatermark, Paul's argument takes into account the known and established fact that indeed the Corinthians were authentic, genuine believers. He asks them to examine themselves, not because he doubted their faith; but he was counting on their being genuine in order to prove that he was a genuine apostle. Bottom line, the fact that the Corinthians were believers is evidence in favor of Paul's claim to be an apostle.

Yes, very well said. Thank you. :) This answer is succinct and precise, and one would do well to read it carefully and take it into consideration when reading chapters 9-13, for context (and even 1Cor2:1-5 [esp v.4] with chpt 1 as its backdrop as well).

[the question pertained to 2Cor13:5 :thumbsup: ]

randyk
Jul 15th 2017, 03:51 PM
I am glad you provided 1 Cor 11:28 as corroboration of the same instruction given to Christians in 2 Cor 13:5 to examine themselves from time to time. The passages are plain and unambiguous, but that still doesn't stop some people turning it into what it is not. For the purpose of clarity, I must emphasize (as I've already been quoted out of context) that the self-examination is not about our efforts or "works", but rather, whether we are living in accordance with the precepts of Christ.

This self-examination can be compared to a man who attended a job interview. While waiting to hear whether he is successful, he can do an honest self-assessment of his performance to figure out if he has a chance. Even unbelievers who don't have the indwelling Holy Spirit can equally use their conscience for this purpose according to Rom 2:15. But for us, believers, the Spirit of God in us makes such evaluation even better and accurate, unless of course, the individual is in denial of the result.

As Christians, we are also challenged now and again to do the same - assess our Christian life, using all the moral injunctions in the Bible as criteria. And our conscience will convict us of our failings and this, in turn, leads us to make the necessary changes to be in line with Christ.

If this not what Paul meant in 2 Cor 13:5 then, I don't know what it is.....

I agree. We must make evaluations, because there are those among us who are living on strictly the knowledge of God's ways without actually *knowing God.* As such, they are enjoying fellowship with us without promoting the real basis of our salvation, which is *knowing God,* and allowing Him to be the source of our righteousness. We don't need a lot of liberals moralizing to us about doing good deeds of charity, as much as we need to know true good comes from the Lord's own Spirit. We must be joined to Him as a branch to a vine in order to bear His fruit!

So yes, we must examine ourselves, because if we truly know Christ we will be assured in our faith that he is the source of our love, and that love is really in us. Those who do not have that love will of course justify themselves by their good works.

Paul's interest seems to be to separate out those who are truly in the faith from those who are not, because those who are not promote a hollow religiosity and ultimately error. This is to encourage believers who really know God, since those who do not know God in reality will not benefit from his counsel. Those who truly know God will then recognize those who do not know God in reality. They will then be able to recognize error in the church before it becomes rooted. In fact one of the great errors in the church historically is Christian nominalism, the willingness to establish Christian morality without the necessity of the supernatural.

CadyandZoe
Jul 15th 2017, 07:00 PM
This is one way of looking at it and I'm not disagreeing with you.

But given that the every scripture is enduring, we cannot, therefore, limit the passage to the extinct Corinthian church. So, how does the passage relate to you and I and the rest of Christendom today? On a broader examination, (forget about someone else's interpretation) how do you understand it with particular emphasis on you as a Christian?

If I am right, the conclusion we draw from what Paul said is that he is, indeed an apostle. If his argument is convincing, and I think it is, I am free to believe that Paul is a genuine apostle. Now, based on that information I am ready to learn more from him. And to answer your question, then, I draw two significant conclusions from what Paul wrote: 1) Paul never gave up preaching the gospel, starting churches, writing letters, even in the face of stiff opposition on the one hand and extreme apathy on the other hand. 2) Whatever Paul wrote can be trusted as if Jesus wrote it himself.

Now, if I were to offer a scripture where an apostle exhorts a believer to examine himself or herself, I would cite and review 2Peter 1:1-11.

In that context Peter addresses his letter to "those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours . . .", which begs the question, "Am I one of those who shares the same faith as Peter?" And so Peter sets out to answer the question in the verses that follow.

Trivalee
Jul 17th 2017, 01:45 PM
Paul's interest seems to be to separate out those who are truly in the faith from those who are not, because those who are not promote a hollow religiosity and ultimately error. This is to encourage believers who really know God, since those who do not know God in reality will not benefit from his counsel. Those who truly know God will then recognize those who do not know God in reality. They will then be able to recognize error in the church before it becomes rooted. In fact one of the great errors in the church historically is Christian nominalism, the willingness to establish Christian morality without the necessity of the supernatural.

It is so easy to drift away from God without knowing it. As you pointed out, playing "religion" is all too common today than actually serving God. Many don't realize that we shall be judged as per our relationship with Jesus rather than the church we attended.

There is so much schism in Christendom now than before; the Methodist, the Presbyterian, Catholic, and Evangelical all feel some degree of superiority over the other. This, in turn, influences some of their congregation who are not yet grounded in the word of God to believe their church's doctrine is superior to the word of God.

A common example is the Jehovah's Witness. They have a lot of kind hearted believers who just want to serve God, but have been indoctrinated so much into the church's doctrines that even though they have bibles, one wonders whether they actually read them? They believe more in the church's official publication (WatchTower, etc) than the Bible.

Self-examination, allows the individual to look inwards and ask himself the all important question, do I really have faith in God? Do I trust him implicitly? I'm I really living to please Him, etc.? Ultimately, self-examination enables the vessel of dishonour to purge himself to become a vessel of honour, sanctified and meet for the Master's use....

Trivalee
Jul 17th 2017, 02:27 PM
If I am right, the conclusion we draw from what Paul said is that he is, indeed an apostle. If his argument is convincing, and I think it is, I am free to believe that Paul is a genuine apostle. Now, based on that information I am ready to learn more from him. And to answer your question, then, I draw two significant conclusions from what Paul wrote: 1) Paul never gave up preaching the gospel, starting churches, writing letters, even in the face of stiff opposition on the one hand and extreme apathy on the other hand. 2) Whatever Paul wrote can be trusted as if Jesus wrote it himself.

Now, if I were to offer a scripture where an Apostle exhorts a believer to examine himself or herself, I would cite and review 2Peter 1:1-11.

In that context Peter addresses his letter to "those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours . . .", which begs the question, "Am I one of those who shares the same faith as Peter?" And so Peter sets out to answer the question in the verses that follow.

2 Cor 13:2 I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare:

3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.

4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.

5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye, not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Paul only made the reference to his Apostleship to challenge those who misinterpreted his humility in Christ for weakness despite the fact that the fruits (the word of God he imparts) strengthen them. The self-examination he exhorts them is not so much as confirmation of his Apostleship of Christ, but for them to ascertain whether they are indeed receiving the fruits - which only those in "faith" [as in those really in Christ] can receive. But the reprobates [those going through the charade of being Christians] cannot receive.

My point is that Paul did not set out to make the passage all about proving his apostleship. That's only in part, the full essence of the text is for the believer to question himself whether he is indeed a true Christian. The fact that Paul used two extreme contrasts *faith* and *reprobate* should leave the discerning reader in no doubt that the focus is on the 'believer' to assess their standing with God rather than Paul's apostleship.

randyk
Jul 17th 2017, 03:15 PM
It is so easy to drift away from God without knowing it. As you pointed out, playing "religion" is all too common today than actually serving God. Many don't realize that we shall be judged as per our relationship with Jesus rather than the church we attended.

There is so much schism in Christendom now than before; the Methodist, the Presbyterian, Catholic, and Evangelical all feel some degree of superiority over the other. This, in turn, influences some of their congregation who are not yet grounded in the word of God to believe their church's doctrine is superior to the word of God.

A common example is the Jehovah's Witness. They have a lot of kind hearted believers who just want to serve God, but have been indoctrinated so much into the church's doctrines that even though they have bibles, one wonders whether they actually read them? They believe more in the church's official publication (WatchTower, etc) than the Bible.

Self-examination, allows the individual to look inwards and ask himself the all important question, do I really have faith in God? Do I trust him implicitly? I'm I really living to please Him, etc.? Ultimately, self-examination enables the vessel of dishonour to purge himself to become a vessel of honour, sanctified and meet for the Master's use....

Absolutely. I agree that Christian salvation is *individual.* I have no problem with denominations, as such, because they are purely a vehicle. But inasmuch as they naturally produce "group think" they hold the danger of communicating to all their congregations errors as well as truth. So we must be self-critical, and recognize we can't blame others for our mistakes at the judgment.

JWs are another kettle of fish! The American cults have produced pseudo-Christian groups such as the Jews, the Mormons, and the Christian Scientists, who are not doctrinally orthodox Christians. By "orthodox Christians" I'm not speaking of the Orthodox Church, nor am I referring to a sin-free, doctrinally perfect church.

Rather, a doctrinally orthodox church for me means a church that 1) holds to the cardinal truths contained in the creeds, and 2) practices supernatural regeneration and belief in a divine Christ. We will always have slight differences in interpretation, but the cardinal doctrines are what hold Christians together in terms of a common experience and belief system.

JWs, Mormons, and other cultic groups like them hold to a facade of Christian belief, but at the heart of their beliefs is a different god. Islam is no different. They claim to hold to the God of Abraham, but at the heart of it they have a different god. They certainly claim to have the same God, but in practice and in belief their god is different.

How can we tell when a pseudo Christian group is so deviant that it has another god? Again, it is a matter of departure from the cardinal values contained in the creeds. Sometimes it is very difficult to tell the difference when the Scriptures are the same as Christians. It is similar to how the Jews in Jesus' day held to their own Scriptures and yet denied Jesus as their Messiah.

Normally these cultic groups have a 2nd set of "scriptures" to interpret the true Scriptures differently, in an heretical fashion. That is something to watch out for. Also, they will be utterly unable to produce anything more than a *copy* of Christian virtue. They may do works that appear to be Christ's love. But the moment that "love" is tested, it falls flat.

To me the greatest danger in the Christian West is the infiltration of nominal Christianity into genuine Christian churches. Those who lack true spiritual experience--those who are not truly regenerate--have entered the churches or have grown up in the churches, and now present to young Christians the temptation to capitulate to the "crowd." The Christian experience becomes so mixed that there is pressure to accept deviant lifestyles and deviant practices, slowly allowing the frog to become boiled in water. The gradual heating of the water gets unnoticed by the frog until it is too late!

That was my experience in my teens. I cannot blame others entirely, but it is a problem to look out for. There is tremendous pressure against applying true discipline in the churches anymore. It is thought that Christians should love their enemies, and invite the sinner in to get saved. There is little thought as to the danger the presence of unrepentant "Christians" may do in a church! And yet, what Jesus said is true: leaven leavens the whole lump. Unless we remove the "wicked one from our midst" we will be slowly turned, become spiritually stifled, and eventually lose our lamp stand.

DavidC
Jul 17th 2017, 07:08 PM
Absolutely. I agree that Christian salvation is *individual.* I have no problem with denominations, as such, because they are purely a vehicle. But inasmuch as they naturally produce "group think" they hold the danger of communicating to all their congregations errors as well as truth. So we must be self-critical, and recognize we can't blame others for our mistakes at the judgment.

JWs are another kettle of fish! The American cults have produced pseudo-Christian groups such as the Jews, the Mormons, and the Christian Scientists, who are not doctrinally orthodox Christians. By "orthodox Christians" I'm not speaking of the Orthodox Church, nor am I referring to a sin-free, doctrinally perfect church.

Rather, a doctrinally orthodox church for me means a church that 1) holds to the cardinal truths contained in the creeds, and 2) practices supernatural regeneration and belief in a divine Christ. We will always have slight differences in interpretation, but the cardinal doctrines are what hold Christians together in terms of a common experience and belief system.

JWs, Mormons, and other cultic groups like them hold to a facade of Christian belief, but at the heart of their beliefs is a different god. Islam is no different. They claim to hold to the God of Abraham, but at the heart of it they have a different god. They certainly claim to have the same God, but in practice and in belief their god is different.

How can we tell when a pseudo Christian group is so deviant that it has another god? Again, it is a matter of departure from the cardinal values contained in the creeds. Sometimes it is very difficult to tell the difference when the Scriptures are the same as Christians. It is similar to how the Jews in Jesus' day held to their own Scriptures and yet denied Jesus as their Messiah.

Normally these cultic groups have a 2nd set of "scriptures" to interpret the true Scriptures differently, in an heretical fashion. That is something to watch out for. Also, they will be utterly unable to produce anything more than a *copy* of Christian virtue. They may do works that appear to be Christ's love. But the moment that "love" is tested, it falls flat.

To me the greatest danger in the Christian West is the infiltration of nominal Christianity into genuine Christian churches. Those who lack true spiritual experience--those who are not truly regenerate--have entered the churches or have grown up in the churches, and now present to young Christians the temptation to capitulate to the "crowd." The Christian experience becomes so mixed that there is pressure to accept deviant lifestyles and deviant practices, slowly allowing the frog to become boiled in water. The gradual heating of the water gets unnoticed by the frog until it is too late!

That was my experience in my teens. I cannot blame others entirely, but it is a problem to look out for. There is tremendous pressure against applying true discipline in the churches anymore. It is thought that Christians should love their enemies, and invite the sinner in to get saved. There is little thought as to the danger the presence of unrepentant "Christians" may do in a church! And yet, what Jesus said is true: leaven leavens the whole lump. Unless we remove the "wicked one from our midst" we will be slowly turned, become spiritually stifled, and eventually lose our lamp stand.

This is really good and I agree! I am a teen and it's really not good what is happening with youth rallies in my area at least, I do live in a highly liberal place, so during youth rallies it's not even about God, it's about bringing teens together to goof off really, no relevant messages, if there is a message at all it's about serving. They do not encourage Bible reading, just having fun. My dad made me read the Bible, studied with me, still does and wants me to be able to defend the faith and handle apologetics.

I do wonder if local churches are relevant today?

randyk
Jul 18th 2017, 07:15 PM
This is really good and I agree! I am a teen and it's really not good what is happening with youth rallies in my area at least, I do live in a highly liberal place, so during youth rallies it's not even about God, it's about bringing teens together to goof off really, no relevant messages, if there is a message at all it's about serving. They do not encourage Bible reading, just having fun. My dad made me read the Bible, studied with me, still does and wants me to be able to defend the faith and handle apologetics.

I do wonder if local churches are relevant today?

Some are not relevant. Some are. I can really relate to your experience, although I'm much older than you. In my early teens I came into a conflict between my church training and my experience both in the church and in the world. I capitulated to the world, because I saw God's love as better expressed among the lost and needy. I was becoming *a liberal!* Arghhh!

But after finding out that taking up with the world only led me to participate in their sins, and after finding out the trouble this brings, I went back to the church and to holy living. I did not find help to make this decision within my old church, which had become liberal. I had to go to other churches.

To write off all churches as "irrelevant," however, would be a big mistake. If you find that you can talk to and work with the Christians in the church in a significant way, it's well worth the effort to apply your own gifts there to make things better. We all need improvement.

DavidC
Jul 19th 2017, 02:36 AM
Some are not relevant. Some are. I can really relate to your experience, although I'm much older than you. In my early teens I came into a conflict between my church training and my experience both in the church and in the world. I capitulated to the world, because I saw God's love as better expressed among the lost and needy. I was becoming *a liberal!* Arghhh!

But after finding out that taking up with the world only led me to participate in their sins, and after finding out the trouble this brings, I went back to the church and to holy living. I did not find help to make this decision within my old church, which had become liberal. I had to go to other churches.

To write off all churches as "irrelevant," however, would be a big mistake. If you find that you can talk to and work with the Christians in the church in a significant way, it's well worth the effort to apply your own gifts there to make things better. We all need improvement.

I grew up in a conservative church but want to attend a more lively church, but the problem is these types of churches are liberal, so going is like joining a political party. lol

randyk
Jul 19th 2017, 04:49 AM
I grew up in a conservative church but want to attend a more lively church, but the problem is these types of churches are liberal, so going is like joining a political party. lol

My experience is very different from this! The liberal churches, where I hung out looking for girls as a youth, had zero spirituality, and zero life. Having music and dance lights didn't make youth night come alive to me!

Where I live the livelier churches might be the Baptist, the holiness, and the pentecostal churches. That's why I joined them. Unfortunately there is a down side to this. The tradition is not rich, and lacks scholastic merit. The people copy each other unthinkingly. Lots of minor errors. And in the end, there is the same tendency to get weak and liberalize!

Obviously I preferred the more lively, spiritual churches. It grieves me that I came out of a dead church that actually had some good theology and some great tradition. But life trumps death! ;)

DavidC
Jul 19th 2017, 08:08 PM
My experience is very different from this! The liberal churches, where I hung out looking for girls as a youth, had zero spirituality, and zero life. Having music and dance lights didn't make youth night come alive to me!

Where I live the livelier churches might be the Baptist, the holiness, and the pentecostal churches. That's why I joined them. Unfortunately there is a down side to this. The tradition is not rich, and lacks scholastic merit. The people copy each other unthinkingly. Lots of minor errors. And in the end, there is the same tendency to get weak and liberalize!

Obviously I preferred the more lively, spiritual churches. It grieves me that I came out of a dead church that actually had some good theology and some great tradition. But life trumps death! ;)

Yep, those liberal churches do have zero spiritually, there is just more to do, people are more energetic, but not more spiritual. They would be the ones to not take God at His word.

My church is fundamental, but a tad boring. I habpve been going to a friend's church, but I have noticed it is liberal.

randyk
Jul 20th 2017, 05:10 PM
Yep, those liberal churches do have zero spiritually, there is just more to do, people are more energetic, but not more spiritual. They would be the ones to not take God at His word.

My church is fundamental, but a tad boring. I habpve been going to a friend's church, but I have noticed it is liberal.

Both are dangerous--a liberal-dominated church and a fundamentalist church that is more angry than happy. May the Lord lead you! :)

DavidC
Jul 20th 2017, 05:24 PM
Both are dangerous--a liberal-dominated church and a fundamentalist church that is more angry than happy. May the Lord lead you! :)

Do you think one exists that is not either one? I went to a couple of others and did not care for them,

Do you think the verse "come out of her my people", means to come out of the local churches that are around today?

I was talking to someone who told me the churches today are full of error and God warns us with that verse and other passages about false teachers.

Also, I have talked to other people who have said they formed fellowships in their homes because if this.

What do you have to say?

I have looked for some but my parents are not liking the idea of me going to these.

randyk
Jul 20th 2017, 05:31 PM
Do you think one exists that is not either one? I went to a couple of others and did not care for them,

Do you think the verse "come out of her my people", means to come out of the local churches that are around today?

I was talking to someone who told me the churches today are full of error and God warns us with that verse and other passages about false teachers.

Also, I have talked to other people who have said they formed fellowships in their homes because if this.

What do you have to say?

I have looked for some but my parents are not liking the idea of me going to these.

I think home churches can be good. I hate to promote anti-family sentiment, but I went through this myself. Breaking from my Lutheran upbringing was difficult and disheartening. I upset my parents, my church, and anybody associated. But I had to make adult decisions at the tender age of 17.

This is where you're at, where you have to make adult decisions. You try to be respectful, but that doesn't ensure understanding. Put God first! There are good churches out there, whether home churches or more traditional churches. Don't expect perfection. You're there to help perfect it! And they're there to help perfect you!

Christianity is in decline in the West. Expect churches to be somewhere between revivalistic and dead or struggling. God will raise up deliverers. Pray and don't let there be any end to your patience. One day you'll look back and say, "How did that happen?" I've found that God often answers prayers in stealth. It might be weeks or years later that you realize God answered your prayers in the most striking way!

However, I would be remiss if I didn't give you the benefit of my years of experience. Christian experience is full of pain and suffering as well. You don't always get what you want, no matter what the Faith Teachers tell you. Just follow God and His holiness. God will show you what to do over the long run. In the meantime be responsible and use your brain! :)

DavidC
Jul 20th 2017, 06:06 PM
I think home churches can be good. I hate to promote anti-family sentiment, but I went through this myself. Breaking from my Lutheran upbringing was difficult and disheartening. I upset my parents, my church, and anybody associated. But I had to make adult decisions at the tender age of 17.

This is where you're at, where you have to make adult decisions. You try to be respectful, but that doesn't ensure understanding. Put God first! There are good churches out there, whether home churches or more traditional churches. Don't expect perfection. You're there to help perfect it! And they're there to help perfect you!

Christianity is in decline in the West. Expect churches to be somewhere between revivalistic and dead or struggling. God will raise up deliverers. Pray and don't let there be any end to your patience. One day you'll look back and say, "How did that happen?" I've found that God often answers prayers in stealth. It might be weeks or years later that you realize God answered your prayers in the most striking way!

However, I would be remiss if I didn't give you the benefit of my years of experience. Christian experience is full of pain and suffering as well. You don't always get what you want, no matter what the Faith Teachers tell you. Just follow God and His holiness. God will show you what to do over the long run. In the meantime be responsible and use your brain! :)

Many of my peers that I associate with through the church I grew up in are there because they are following their parent's faith. This is judgemental on my part, I realize that but they are ones I would not follow. My parents let me sink or swim so many times, it truly taught me I could not borrow their faith, I had to somehow take ownership.

They are ok with me venturing out because they know I am not happy with the church we attend, and my dad thinks God is calling me out to explore other options, a learning experience. But I do wonder sometimes if it is at all possible God is calling me out of organized religion all together.

It's good to know others have done this before, I can oearn from them!

Use my brain....that is some solid advise. ☺

ChangedByHim
Jul 20th 2017, 06:34 PM
Personally, what I do is ask myself from to time that if death comes now, have I done enough to make heaven or will I end up being rejected by Christ?

"Done enough to make heaven?" If that is the question then you, and all of us have failed. It is not 75% the grace of God and 25% what we do. It is not 99/1. It is 100% the grace of God that we are saved. Anything more is a gospel of works.

randyk
Jul 20th 2017, 07:15 PM
Many of my peers that I associate with through the church I grew up in are there because they are following their parent's faith. This is judgemental on my part, I realize that but they are ones I would not follow. My parents let me sink or swim so many times, it truly taught me I could not borrow their faith, I had to somehow take ownership.

They are ok with me venturing out because they know I am not happy with the church we attend, and my dad thinks God is calling me out to explore other options, a learning experience. But I do wonder sometimes if it is at all possible God is calling me out of organized religion all together.

It's good to know others have done this before, I can oearn from them!

Use my brain....that is some solid advise. ☺

Yes, I have a very good reason for that advice. I didn't use it when I should've. I kind of steered my path emotionally, rather than by thinking clearly. I steered my life through fear of what others thought, out of guilt, etc. Use your brain is very good advice.

In fact I got into a Christian cult, without knowing it of course, in which we were encouraged to unhinge our brain, let go of reason, and just "pray read" the Scriptures. This is no way to use your brain! It was thought that spirituality was more or less like "automatic reading," like a ouija board.

But God meant us to think first, and then let God spiritually guide our decision-making. We think, out of response to whatever knowledge we have of God's word. So we need to fill up on our knowledge of Scriptures, and visit with solid Christian acquaintances. This will keep out the demonic voices that thrive on emotionalism and fear.

So strike out on your own. I just wouldn't do it in any rebellious sense whatsoever--not as an attack on organized religion, nor as an attack on any dead or weak church. The best thing to do is "light a candle" and not "shout at the darkness."

The key to it all is your relationship with God and your relationship with good Christians. That is central. Whatever keeps that going is good. Whatever gets in the way of that is bad.

But you know all this. And you're a smart guy, and apparently a wise guy at your age! Stay humble and be patient. Sometimes you'll be buried in the valley, thinking God is dead and gone. But He is a God who tests. And I have confidence that you'll succeed in whatever you set your mind to do, primarily because you've put your faith in Him. :)

randyk
Jul 20th 2017, 07:18 PM
"Done enough to make heaven?" If that is the question then you, and all of us have failed. It is not 75% the grace of God and 25% what we do. It is not 99/1. It is 100% the grace of God that we are saved. Anything more is a gospel of works.

Right on, my respected brother! :)

Trivalee
Jul 20th 2017, 07:34 PM
My experience is very different from this! The liberal churches, where I hung out looking for girls as a youth, had zero spirituality, and zero life. Having music and dance lights didn't make youth night come alive to me!

Where I live the livelier churches might be the Baptist, the holiness, and the pentecostal churches. That's why I joined them. Unfortunately there is a down side to this. The tradition is not rich, and lacks scholastic merit. The people copy each other unthinkingly. Lots of minor errors. And in the end, there is the same tendency to get weak and liberalize!

Obviously I preferred the more lively, spiritual churches. It grieves me that I came out of a dead church that actually had some good theology and some great tradition. But life trumps death! ;)

Finding the right church [with sound doctrine] to me is like a teenager wading through life. Along the way, he will make a lot of mistakes but those mistakes will ultimately make him a better adult. It is the same with going to church. When you are still immature and not ready, you may be in a good church and not realize it. How often have we seen some young people who their parents made come to church but instead of engaging and flowing with the service, they are easily distracted and bored stiff?

Often finding and recognizing a church goes hand in hand with our level of spiritual maturity. My point is, if we are not spiritually ready, even the best church can't hold our interest for long.

Trivalee
Jul 20th 2017, 08:33 PM
"Done enough to make heaven?" If that is the question then you, and all of us have failed. It is not 75% the grace of God and 25% what we do. It is not 99/1. It is 100% the grace of God that we are saved. Anything more is a gospel of works.

Your understanding of grace might be different from mine.

I see a lot of Christians in one transgression or another, and yet all are saved by grace, right? Some ministers have turned the church into a money-making venture instead of winning souls. Some members of the congregation (both married and single) are sleeping with one another behind their spouse's/partner's back. Some Pastors are sleeping with church members. Malice, envy, jealousy, etc. are rife in the body of Christ.

Some Christians have two faces - they wear one in church and the other, in their private lives. Domestic abuse is common among some Christians, I could go on but this should suffice. And don't tell these Christians are not really born again or that they never believed?

Interestingly, most of them share your view; the belief that they are under grace! And that their sins are nailed to the cross. Never mind what the Bible says (Rom 6:15-16).

When I query myself whether I have done enough to merit "well done, thou good and faithful servant....enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" (Matt 25:21), I am not referring to works since that can't save according to (Gal 2:16, Eph 2:8-9). Rather, I search my heart and my conscience whether I have lived a life worthy of Christ? Does my life reflect the virtues in Phil 4:8?

This is not a contest. Every believer is free to believe what makes them happy. I am indeed saved by grace, nevertheless, I remind myself I must live a life worthy of that grace. This is what I mean whether I have done enough......

DavidC
Jul 20th 2017, 09:34 PM
Finding the right church [with sound doctrine] to me is like a teenager wading through life. Along the way, he will make a lot of mistakes but those mistakes will ultimately make him a better adult. It is the same with going to church. When you are still immature and not ready, you may be in a good church and not realize it. How often have we seen some young people who their parents made come to church but instead of engaging and flowing with the service, they are easily distracted and bored stiff?

Often finding and recognizing a church goes hand in hand with our level of spiritual maturity. My point is, if we are not spiritually ready, even the best church can't hold our interest for long.

Hey!! We aren't that bad are we? lol ☺

Or the church is just plain bad.

I grew up in a great church, but they are also a little legalistic, and refuse to believe any gifts are for today, so the word I would use is stifling. I have engaged in everything, including all the entertainment. There is no real Bible study, the pastor himself will tell you he makes sure his sermons are at a 6th grade level so everyone understands. No depth.

Just because a young person is invovled doesn't mean God isn't speaking to him. What is wrong with exploring other options?

DavidC
Jul 20th 2017, 09:42 PM
Your understanding of grace might be different from mine.

I see a lot of Christians in one transgression or another, and yet all are saved by grace, right? Some ministers have turned the church into a money-making venture instead of winning souls. Some members of the congregation (both married and single) are sleeping with one another behind their spouse's/partner's back. Some Pastors are sleeping with church members. Malice, envy, jealousy, etc. are rife in the body of Christ.

Some Christians have two faces - they wear one in church and the other, in their private lives. Domestic abuse is common among some Christians, I could go on but this should suffice. And don't tell these Christians are not really born again or that they never believed?

Interestingly, most of them share your view; the belief that they are under grace! And that their sins are nailed to the cross. Never mind what the Bible says (Rom 6:15-16).

When I query myself whether I have done enough to merit "well done, thou good and faithful servant....enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" (Matt 25:21), I am not referring to works since that can't save according to (Gal 2:16, Eph 2:8-9). Rather, I search my heart and my conscience whether I have lived a life worthy of Christ? Does my life reflect the virtues in Phil 4:8?

This is not a contest. Every believer is free to believe what makes them happy. I am indeed saved by grace, nevertheless, I remind myself I must live a life worthy of that grace. This is what I mean whether I have done enough......

So how mature do you think those people are that are doing all the sinning you've mentioned?

Pretty immature I would say, which goes to show when it comes to spiritual maturity, age doesn't matter.

ChangedByHim
Jul 20th 2017, 10:41 PM
Your understanding of grace might be different from mine.

I see a lot of Christians in one transgression or another, and yet all are saved by grace, right? Some ministers have turned the church into a money-making venture instead of winning souls. Some members of the congregation (both married and single) are sleeping with one another behind their spouse's/partner's back. Some Pastors are sleeping with church members. Malice, envy, jealousy, etc. are rife in the body of Christ.

Some Christians have two faces - they wear one in church and the other, in their private lives. Domestic abuse is common among some Christians, I could go on but this should suffice. And don't tell these Christians are not really born again or that they never believed?

Interestingly, most of them share your view; the belief that they are under grace! And that their sins are nailed to the cross. Never mind what the Bible says (Rom 6:15-16).

When I query myself whether I have done enough to merit "well done, thou good and faithful servant....enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" (Matt 25:21), I am not referring to works since that can't save according to (Gal 2:16, Eph 2:8-9). Rather, I search my heart and my conscience whether I have lived a life worthy of Christ? Does my life reflect the virtues in Phil 4:8?

This is not a contest. Every believer is free to believe what makes them happy. I am indeed saved by grace, nevertheless, I remind myself I must live a life worthy of that grace. This is what I mean whether I have done enough......
You're all over the place with is post. They're saved...they're not saved...

There has always been pretenders. That has nothing to do with asking yourself if you have done enough to get into heaven. Perhaps you just used poor wording. If that's the case, alright.

randyk
Jul 21st 2017, 12:28 AM
Finding the right church [with sound doctrine] to me is like a teenager wading through life. Along the way, he will make a lot of mistakes but those mistakes will ultimately make him a better adult. It is the same with going to church. When you are still immature and not ready, you may be in a good church and not realize it. How often have we seen some young people who their parents made come to church but instead of engaging and flowing with the service, they are easily distracted and bored stiff?

Often finding and recognizing a church goes hand in hand with our level of spiritual maturity. My point is, if we are not spiritually ready, even the best church can't hold our interest for long.

When you're young the best thing you can do is get in among friends and folks who know the Lord and have a measure of wisdom. This is for self-preservation. I know. I kind of went it alone for some years, lacking counsel and guidance, and having to rely on books and immature advisers.

Once there is some stability, one can move on to find an "imperfect church" that needs help. Clue: they *all* need help--even those who pretend they don't! Only after one is established, and able to stand strong can one begin to hone the skills necessary to help other Christians. But I hear what you're saying...

Trivalee
Jul 21st 2017, 08:30 PM
So how mature do you think those people are that are doing all the sinning you've mentioned?

Pretty immature I would say, which goes to show when it comes to spiritual maturity, age doesn't matter.


Your understanding of grace might be different from mine.

I see a lot of Christians in one transgression or another, and yet all are saved by grace, right? Some ministers have turned the church into a money-making venture instead of winning souls. Some members of the congregation (both married and single) are sleeping with one another behind their spouse's/partner's back. Some Pastors are sleeping with church members. Malice, envy, jealousy, etc. are rife in the body of Christ.

Some Christians have two faces - they wear one in church and the other, in their private lives. Domestic abuse is common among some Christians, I could go on but this should suffice. And don't tell these Christians are not really born again or that they never believed?

Interestingly, most of them share your view; the belief that they are under grace! And that their sins are nailed to the cross. Never mind what the Bible says (Rom 6:15-16).

When I query myself whether I have done enough to merit "well done, thou good and faithful servant....enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" (Matt 25:21), I am not referring to works since that can't save according to (Gal 2:16, Eph 2:8-9). Rather, I search my heart and my conscience whether I have lived a life worthy of Christ? Does my life reflect the virtues in Phil 4:8?

This is not a contest. Every believer is free to believe what makes them happy. I am indeed saved by grace, nevertheless, I remind myself I must live a life worthy of that grace. This is what I mean whether I have done enough......

Looks like you are referring to another post because there's nothing about maturity or otherwise in my comments above?

Trivalee
Jul 21st 2017, 08:33 PM
Hey!! We aren't that bad are we? lol ☺

Or the church is just plain bad.

I grew up in a great church, but they are also a little legalistic, and refuse to believe any gifts are for today, so the word I would use is stifling. I have engaged in everything, including all the entertainment. There is no real Bible study, the pastor himself will tell you he makes sure his sermons are at a 6th grade level so everyone understands. No depth.

Just because a young person is invovled doesn't mean God isn't speaking to him. What is wrong with exploring other options?

May be I should have clarified, I didn't mean to tar all young people with the same brush. My apologies :wave:

ChangedByHim
Jul 21st 2017, 08:42 PM
There is no real Bible study, the pastor himself will tell you he makes sure his sermons are at a 6th grade level so everyone understands. No depth.


Be careful with that assumption. The idea that spiritual truth resides in higher academia is opposite to what the Bible teaches. If your pastor is not feeding the people with a rich Word from God, it has nothing to do with it being 6th grade level. I once took the sermon on the mount (NKJV) through a reading level test and it came back 6.5. The simplicity of the Gospel always has depth.

Trivalee
Jul 21st 2017, 08:47 PM
You're all over the place with is post. They're saved...they're not saved...

There has always been pretenders. That has nothing to do with asking yourself if you have done enough to get into heaven. Perhaps you just used poor wording. If that's the case, alright.

I just painted a vivid picture of Christendom today and I don't see any ambiguity in the expressed views.

ChangedByHim
Jul 21st 2017, 09:19 PM
I just painted a vivid picture of Christendom today and I don't see any ambiguity in the expressed views.

Doesn't change the point that your comment on "doing enough to get into heaven" is erroneous. I gave you the opportunity to say it was poor wording. But if that's your position I'm going to call it out as wrong.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Trivalee
Jul 21st 2017, 09:43 PM
Doesn't change the point that your comment on "doing enough to get into heaven" is erroneous. I gave you the opportunity to say it was poor wording. But if that's your position I'm going to call it out as wrong.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

It's regrettable that you pick and choose which statements to respond to. I obviously cited the same Eph 2:8 and Gal 2:16 you have emboldened to emphasize that I wasn't referring to works of the flesh. If you won't address my post in its full context in preference to grabbing a statement out of context to play to the gallery, I won't stop you. I'm not here to score brownie points.

ChangedByHim
Jul 21st 2017, 10:15 PM
It's regrettable that you pick and choose which statements to respond to. I obviously cited the same Eph 2:8 and Gal 2:16 you have emboldened to emphasize that I wasn't referring to works of the flesh. If you won't address my post in its full context in preference to grabbing a statement out of context to play to the gallery, I won't stop you. I'm not here to score brownie points.

That's the statement that I had a problem with.

Of course there are pretenders and hypocrites. That is a different subject.

DavidC
Jul 22nd 2017, 10:20 PM
Be careful with that assumption. The idea that spiritual truth resides in higher academia is opposite to what the Bible teaches. If your pastor is not feeding the people with a rich Word from God, it has nothing to do with it being 6th grade level. I once took the sermon on the mount (NKJV) through a reading level test and it came back 6.5. The simplicity of the Gospel always has depth.
Maybe I should have stated it in a different way, the sermons always are about the salvation message, yes simple, and he does it because someone new might show up, and he does so at a simple level which is fine. However, there are many relevant topics for his congregation that he could chose to speak on, but it's always the same message , just stated differently.

ChangedByHim
Jul 22nd 2017, 11:31 PM
Maybe I should have stated it in a different way, the sermons always are about the salvation message, yes simple, and he does it because someone new might show up, and he does so at a simple level which is fine. However, there are many relevant topics for his congregation that he could chose to speak on, but it's always the same message , just stated differently.

So the issue is the repeated topic not the simplicity. Gotcha.

DavidC
Jul 23rd 2017, 12:42 AM
So the issue is the repeated topic not the simplicity. Gotcha.

Yes, and I think it would be cool if it were more like a bible study. lol Maybe one day God will call me to start a church!