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Thread: The means of eternal life

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    The means of eternal life

    It appears to me that the purpose of Jesus' coming to earth was to bring anew God's spirituality to men. In doing this, men were required to repent of their carnality, and to devote themselves exclusively to divine spirituality.

    The basis for their forgiveness was the fact Jesus was offering it to tainted men, by virtue of his coming to earth to be with men, and by virtue of his speaking words of command to men. In offering his word and presence he was also offering his spirituality.

    When men responded to Jesus' word, they received automatic forgiveness, by virtue of their accepting that word, recognizing carnality as a viable option no longer, seeing only in spirituality the way to live. Repentance leading to recognition of spirituality as now the only viable option became the basis for forgiveness, and the means to obtaining eternal life.

    The atonement itself was simply the process Jesus had to go through to deliver his spirituality to sinful men. To accept Jesus' atonement is to accept what he had to go through to bring his offer of spirituality to earth among sinful men. It is also to recognize that in bringing his spirituality to us, our carnality had to be viewed as utterly condemned, in the same way that Jesus' coming here meant that he had to die to bring us this message.

    When I use the term "spirituality" I'm referring to both the spirituality of God, as indicated under the Law, and the spirituality of Jesus, as demonstrated in his life.

    This is meant only to be a statement of fact, to help some understand why all of the paraphernalia and vocabulary associated with Christian redemption. I truly hope it helps! Sometimes complex things need to be simplified, if too much is not sacrificed.

    A further discussion would be necessary in order to establish how we practically live out this "spirituality." We would need to define both "spirituality" and "carnality." But I'm assuming that most here know what that is, though there may be some disagreement on certain aspects of what these terms mean.

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    Re: The means of eternal life

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    It appears to me that the purpose of Jesus' coming to earth was to bring anew God's spirituality to men. In doing this, men were required to repent of their carnality, and to devote themselves exclusively to divine spirituality.

    The basis for their forgiveness was the fact Jesus was offering it to tainted men, by virtue of his coming to earth to be with men, and by virtue of his speaking words of command to men. In offering his word and presence he was also offering his spirituality.

    When men responded to Jesus' word, they received automatic forgiveness, by virtue of their accepting that word, recognizing carnality as a viable option no longer, seeing only in spirituality the way to live. Repentance leading to recognition of spirituality as now the only viable option became the basis for forgiveness, and the means to obtaining eternal life.

    The atonement itself was simply the process Jesus had to go through to deliver his spirituality to sinful men. To accept Jesus' atonement is to accept what he had to go through to bring his offer of spirituality to earth among sinful men. It is also to recognize that in bringing his spirituality to us, our carnality had to be viewed as utterly condemned, in the same way that Jesus' coming here meant that he had to die to bring us this message.

    When I use the term "spirituality" I'm referring to both the spirituality of God, as indicated under the Law, and the spirituality of Jesus, as demonstrated in his life.

    This is meant only to be a statement of fact, to help some understand why all of the paraphernalia and vocabulary associated with Christian redemption. I truly hope it helps! Sometimes complex things need to be simplified, if too much is not sacrificed.

    A further discussion would be necessary in order to establish how we practically live out this "spirituality." We would need to define both "spirituality" and "carnality." But I'm assuming that most here know what that is, though there may be some disagreement on certain aspects of what these terms mean.
    Well have you alluded to not a single scripture. These are the thoughts of (carnal) man. Or can you yet bring a scripture that the thoughts of God may be discussed? "Redemption" is the process whereby something that was once your own, is lost, and then bought again at a price. Is there such a term as "Christian redemption"? Why would a Christian be in need of redemption? Is he that carries the title of "Christian" not already redeemed? And I do believe we are redeemed with the BLOOD of a Man - not a Spirit. 1st Peter 1:18-19 says;

    18 "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
    19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"


    But what say you of Israel's redemption? Isaiah 43:1, 44:22-23 and Luke 1:68 speak of their redemption, but certainly not by a Spirit.

    And then the Title ... "The means of Eternal Life". Here you gave not a single thought of God's. Are not great and deep truths contained in ...
    John 3:15; "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."
    John 6:54; "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
    John 6:68; "Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life."
    John 17:2; "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."

    ... Faith, eating and drinking, hearing words and "power over FLESH" - are these not the "means"?

    I'm sure many appreciate your interest and participation on this Forum, but your thoughts unattached to the Word of God is simply philosophy.

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    Re: The means of eternal life

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Repentance leading to recognition of spirituality as now the only viable option became the basis for forgiveness, and the means to obtaining eternal life. The atonement itself was simply the process Jesus had to go through to deliver his spirituality to sinful men. To accept Jesus' atonement is to accept what he had to go through to bring his offer of spirituality to earth among sinful men. It is also to recognize that in bringing his spirituality to us, our carnality had to be viewed as utterly condemned,
    This is such weird phrasing, I'm not sure if it's even Biblical to be honest with you.

    1) The basis of forgiveness and obtaining eternal life is 100% based on who you believe Jesus is, and whether He truly died and rose again for your sins.

    If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9) Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. (Acts 16:31)

    Why is this the basis? Because:

    2) "Atonement" means that Jesus took the punishment we deserved, in place of us. Accepting Christ means believing that His sacrifice was sufficient to make us righteous before God. Jesus DID NOT come in order to bring "a message of spirituality," but He came because God was going to KILL us and He chose to KILL Christ instead.

    [Righteousness] will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Romans 4:23-24) He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 55:3) God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

    3) We do NOT "obtain salvation" through spiritual living. Our forgiveness and justification were accomplished by Christ on the cross while we were still sinners.

    When you were dead in your trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our trespasses, having canceled the debt ascribed to us in the decrees that stood against us. He took it away, nailing it to the cross! (Colossians 2:13) God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved! ... and this [salvation, forgiveness, grace, atonement] is not from yourselves; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2)

    Perhaps you agree with all of this and chose to word it differently. My fear is that someone reading the OP who is either weak in the faith or even a nonbeliever would walk away having no picture of the actual saving gospel or why it is such GOOD news. I mean there is nothing in there about His death and resurrection, and nothing that would challenge anyone of different faiths. It basically just comes across as you saying that Jesus was a wise teacher who tried to instruct us to be better people in order to get forgiveness/closer to God - and this is NOT the gospel.
    「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
    撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

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    Re: The means of eternal life

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    Well have you alluded to not a single scripture. These are the thoughts of (carnal) man. Or can you yet bring a scripture that the thoughts of God may be discussed? "Redemption" is the process whereby something that was once your own, is lost, and then bought again at a price. Is there such a term as "Christian redemption"? Why would a Christian be in need of redemption? Is he that carries the title of "Christian" not already redeemed? And I do believe we are redeemed with the BLOOD of a Man - not a Spirit. 1st Peter 1:18-19 says;

    18 "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
    19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"


    But what say you of Israel's redemption? Isaiah 43:1, 44:22-23 and Luke 1:68 speak of their redemption, but certainly not by a Spirit.

    And then the Title ... "The means of Eternal Life". Here you gave not a single thought of God's. Are not great and deep truths contained in ...
    John 3:15; "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."
    John 6:54; "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
    John 6:68; "Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life."
    John 17:2; "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."

    ... Faith, eating and drinking, hearing words and "power over FLESH" - are these not the "means"?

    I'm sure many appreciate your interest and participation on this Forum, but your thoughts unattached to the Word of God is simply philosophy.
    Well, you're trying to be nice, Walls. I hope you just don't understand. When I try to make things clear I often end up making things more obscure!

    "Christian Redemption" refers to buying something back that was lost. You're right about that. When I speak specifically of *Christian* redemption, I'm referring to the Christian *kind* of redemption, instead of simple marketplace redemption. In other words, I'm speaking of how Christ himself redeemed us, instead of some kind of monetary redemption.

    I don't use a lot of Scripture on purpose here because Christianese often loses a lot in the translation. The formulas gets used so often that the meaning gets lost. We end up passing on theological formulas rather than spiritual truths. Hence, I focus on *spirituality* as a key ingredient in Christian Salvation.

    John 3, 6, and 17 all refer to truths that are *spiritually* understood.

    John 6.63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.

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    Re: The means of eternal life

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    This is such weird phrasing, I'm not sure if it's even Biblical to be honest with you.

    1) The basis of forgiveness and obtaining eternal life is 100% based on who you believe Jesus is, and whether He truly died and rose again for your sins.

    If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9) Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. (Acts 16:31)
    Thanks for your honesty and comments, Aviyah. I don't like them, but I do often need the opportunity to clarify. And you sincerely require that.

    My statements about Christ bringing spirituality to man is absolutely based upon our acceptance of that spirituality. That is the same as confessing who Christ is. He is the source of this divine spirituality. He is God. He is the spiritual source of our redemption. It is his spirituality that brings us righteousness and salvation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    Why is this the basis? Because:

    2) "Atonement" means that Jesus took the punishment we deserved, in place of us. Accepting Christ means believing that His sacrifice was sufficient to make us righteous before God. Jesus DID NOT come in order to bring "a message of spirituality," but He came because God was going to KILL us and He chose to KILL Christ instead.
    Killing Christ in our place does not preclude his bringing us his spirituality. He told us himself his mission was to bring us his divine life, aka eternal life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    [Righteousness] will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Romans 4:23-24) He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 55:3) God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
    As I just said, Christ's spirituality is, in effect, eternal life. Receiving his spirituality enables us to receive not just his righteousness, but his righteousness forever.

    Jesus' resurrection from the dead proved that his own spirituality cannot be defeated, nor disqualified, by death. As such, when he gives Man spirituality for a 2nd time (the 1st time was creation), we now are able to receive it together with atonement for our sins. And death can no more defeat us as mortals than it could defeat Jesus, who forgave us our sins. By giving us his spiritual life he showed us that our sins were already forgiven. By rising from the dead he showed us that the life he gave us was indestructible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    3) We do NOT "obtain salvation" through spiritual living. Our forgiveness and justification were accomplished by Christ on the cross while we were still sinners.
    Wrong, we also have to receive his life. He can't save us without our participation. We have to accept it. As you said earlier, we have to "confess it."

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    When you were dead in your trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our trespasses, having canceled the debt ascribed to us in the decrees that stood against us. He took it away, nailing it to the cross! (Colossians 2:13) God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved! ... and this [salvation, forgiveness, grace, atonement] is not from yourselves; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2)
    You are here talking about Christ's work of redemption, and not about how he delivers his salvation to us. He delivers his salvation to us by giving us his spirituality. His spirituality is otherwise known as "eternal life." It is a quality of life that comes from him, contains his work of atonement, and is indestructible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    Perhaps you agree with all of this and chose to word it differently. My fear is that someone reading the OP who is either weak in the faith or even a nonbeliever would walk away having no picture of the actual saving gospel or why it is such GOOD news. I mean there is nothing in there about His death and resurrection, and nothing that would challenge anyone of different faiths. It basically just comes across as you saying that Jesus was a wise teacher who tried to instruct us to be better people in order to get forgiveness/closer to God - and this is NOT the gospel.
    No sister, I grew up from day one in the faith, spouting confessions and creeds by heart. It's been tattooed on my brain for 65 years. Way back when I was still 16 I decided to stop my teen-aged back-sliding, and commit fully to a spirituality that was more than I was told as a Lutheran. I became part of the Jesus People movement of the 70s, and part of the Charismatic Movement of the same time. And I moved on to become a member of various Pentecostal denominations.

    In all of this I found religious language could become a formidable barrier. When we reduce Christianity to simply receiving a spiritual life, then Christianity becomes easy. Jesus reduced it to "eat my flesh," which in itself is somewhat confusing or oblique. Let me tell my version the way I want to, sister. But I will take your comments to heart.

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    Re: The means of eternal life

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    but He came because God was going to KILL us and He chose to KILL Christ instead.
    I agree with the majority of this post but God the Father did not kill his son. He allowed him to be killed as a sacrificial lamb for sin atonement but he did not kill Jesus. The Roman's killed Jesus because the Jews/Jewish leadership wanted Jesus dead.
    James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

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    Re: The means of eternal life

    Quote Originally Posted by ewq1938 View Post
    I agree with the majority of this post but God the Father did not kill his son. He allowed him to be killed as a sacrificial lamb for sin atonement but he did not kill Jesus. The Roman's killed Jesus because the Jews/Jewish leadership wanted Jesus dead.
    But the Romans did not kill Him "for our trespasses" or "iniquity." God is the one who ultimately punished Christ for the wages of sin.

    He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all ... delivered over to death for our trespasses. (Romans 8)
    [God] hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin... (2 Corinthians 5)
    Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin. (Isaiah 53)
    For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom [to who??] for many. (Mark 10:45)

    Quote Originally Posted by ewq1938 View Post
    I agree with the majority of this post but God the Father did not kill his son. He allowed him to be killed as a sacrificial lamb for sin atonement but he did not kill Jesus. The Roman's killed Jesus because the Jews/Jewish leadership wanted Jesus dead.
    But the Romans did not kill Him "for our trespasses" or "iniquity." God is the one who ultimately punished Christ for the wages of sin.

    He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all ... delivered over to death for our trespasses. (Romans 8)
    [God] hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin... (2 Corinthians 5)
    Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin. (Isaiah 53)
    For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom [to who??] for many. (Mark 10:45)
    「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
    撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

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    Re: The means of eternal life

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    But the Romans did not kill Him "for our trespasses" or "iniquity." God is the one who ultimately punished Christ for the wages of sin.


    He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all ... delivered over to death for our trespasses. (Romans 8)
    [God] hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin... (2 Corinthians 5)
    Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin. (Isaiah 53)
    For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom [to who??] for many. (Mark 10:45)
    The Father still didn't kill Christ.

    Mat 20:18 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,
    Mat 20:19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

    The Father did want his son to be killed to be that sacrificial lamb but that's different than being the one to take his life.
    James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

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    Re: The means of eternal life

    Quote Originally Posted by ewq1938 View Post
    The Father still didn't kill Christ.

    Mat 20:18 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,
    Mat 20:19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

    The Father did want his son to be killed to be that sacrificial lamb but that's different than being the one to take his life.
    Brother, what think ye of Isaiah 53:4-5?

    4 "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
    5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."


    It is true that God might not have had a direct hand in the death of our Lord Jesus. Here are some things to consider.
    1. Who killed the animals that must clothe Adam and Eve?
    2. If the "wrath of God" is poured out on sinners, Whose wrath was poured out on Jesus as He "took our sins in His own body"?
    3. Who ordered the killing of the Lamb of Egypt?
    4. Who killed the Lamb of Israel?
    5. Who kills men in the Second Death which is for transgressions (See Matthew 10:28)
    6. Who killed the rebels of Israel? (See Deuteronomy 2:15)
    7. Who killed Ananias and Saphira?

    The reason for these questions is, if a man uses an axe to cleave the skull of another man, has the man killed or has the axe killed?

    With these questions hanging, the responsibility of the death of Jesus is EIGHT TIMES Israel - not the Romans (Acts 2:22-24, 36-37, 3:12-15, 4:8-10, 5:27-31, 10:39-40, 13:27-28; 1st Thess 2:14-15). Only in Acts 2:22-24 are the Romans mentioned in passing.

    22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know —
    23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken* by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;
    24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.


    Note the grammar of verse 23. The phrase "by lawless hand" is an insertion in the main thought. It could read, without losing its power,

    "Men of Israel ... Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, (you) have crucified, and (you) put to death"

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    Re: The means of eternal life

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Well, you're trying to be nice, Walls. I hope you just don't understand. When I try to make things clear I often end up making things more obscure!

    "Christian Redemption" refers to buying something back that was lost. You're right about that. When I speak specifically of *Christian* redemption, I'm referring to the Christian *kind* of redemption, instead of simple marketplace redemption. In other words, I'm speaking of how Christ himself redeemed us, instead of some kind of monetary redemption.

    I don't use a lot of Scripture on purpose here because Christianese often loses a lot in the translation. The formulas gets used so often that the meaning gets lost. We end up passing on theological formulas rather than spiritual truths. Hence, I focus on *spirituality* as a key ingredient in Christian Salvation.

    John 3, 6, and 17 all refer to truths that are *spiritually* understood.

    John 6.63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.
    You unwittingly set yourself in the judgment seat over Gods Word. The greatest, by far, mind of the universe, and the designer and maker of men, has given to all, the quick and the dull, His WORD. It is not for you to decide what will confuse the issue. These grand Words of God must be taken as they are. Almost all of them are not obscure at the first reading. And where they are obscure the rest of the WORDS explain them. Where is the obscurity in "Thou shalt not murder". Where is the obscurity in Matthew 4:4? "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Why, Moses, in the searing climate of Sinai, takes neither food nor WATER, for 40 days and nights. But he lives. What was he doing in these 40 days and nights? Why, working with the Words of God!

    It is not for another man to withhold God's direct Words on the basis that men cannot see their depth. That is the Roman Catholic position for holding back and forbidding the study of the Word by the laity for a thousand years. And why? So that the Words of God could not be matched against their evils. It is not you or I that gives light on God's Words. It is the Holy Spirit. What God wants is that the exact Words He gave to men be spoken and written EXACTLY as they are, AND THEN His Spirit gives light. John 14:26 promises; "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Man's only duty is to say or write these Words so that they can be "remembered". THAT IS WHAT IS MEANT BY "SPIRITUALLY UNDERSTOOD".
    1. The Words of God are given by the Holy SPIRIT. 2nd Timothy 3:16 says; "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness".
    2. The Words of God are Spirit in design and nature. John 6:63 says; "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."
    3. The Words of God are understood by the Spirit. In 1st Corinthians 2:12-16 we learn in verse 14, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." The natural man here is in opposition to to the man who has the Spirit of God in verse 12, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." And verse 16 informs us; "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."

    This brings us to you versus God's Words. Verse 13 says; "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." We don't need, and we don't want "man's wisdom". We want the pure Word - as it is. All we might want from you is to "divide it rightly" (2nd Tim.2:15). But we want God's Words!

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    Re: The means of eternal life

    Quote Originally Posted by ewq1938 View Post
    The Father still didn't kill Christ.

    Mat 20:18 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,
    Mat 20:19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

    The Father did want his son to be killed to be that sacrificial lamb but that's different than being the one to take his life.
    You and Aviyah have a simple semantics problem. You're saying the same thing differently.

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    Re: The means of eternal life

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    You unwittingly set yourself in the judgment seat over Gods Word. The greatest, by far, mind of the universe, and the designer and maker of men, has given to all, the quick and the dull, His WORD. It is not for you to decide what will confuse the issue. These grand Words of God must be taken as they are. Almost all of them are not obscure at the first reading. And where they are obscure the rest of the WORDS explain them. Where is the obscurity in "Thou shalt not murder". Where is the obscurity in Matthew 4:4? "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Why, Moses, in the searing climate of Sinai, takes neither food nor WATER, for 40 days and nights. But he lives. What was he doing in these 40 days and nights? Why, working with the Words of God!
    If you're becoming "judgmental," we have nothing to discuss. I'm speaking of realities I've personally experienced over 65 years. I grew up in Lutheran rituals, reciting the same creeds over and over again. Formula Christianity did not help me to understand the Gospel better. When I began to obey I began to experience. And describing this experience communicates better to others than simply reciting formulas. If you want to judge me as a "judge over God's word," then you yourself have become "judgmental." And I have no interest in that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls
    It is not for another man to withhold God's direct Words on the basis that men cannot see their depth. That is the Roman Catholic position for holding back and forbidding the study of the Word by the laity for a thousand years. And why? So that the Words of God could not be matched against their evils. It is not you or I that gives light on God's Words. It is the Holy Spirit. What God wants is that the exact Words He gave to men be spoken and written EXACTLY as they are, AND THEN His Spirit gives light. John 14:26 promises; "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Man's only duty is to say or write these Words so that they can be "remembered". THAT IS WHAT IS MEANT BY "SPIRITUALLY UNDERSTOOD".
    1. The Words of God are given by the Holy SPIRIT. 2nd Timothy 3:16 says; "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness".
    2. The Words of God are Spirit in design and nature. John 6:63 says; "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."
    3. The Words of God are understood by the Spirit. In 1st Corinthians 2:12-16 we learn in verse 14, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." The natural man here is in opposition to to the man who has the Spirit of God in verse 12, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." And verse 16 informs us; "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."

    This brings us to you versus God's Words. Verse 13 says; "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." We don't need, and we don't want "man's wisdom". We want the pure Word - as it is. All we might want from you is to "divide it rightly" (2nd Tim.2:15). But we want God's Words!
    Nothing I said rejected God's word. I fully explained how putting things in my own words corresponded directly to God's word. The "spirituality" I spoke of directly correlates to Jesus' use of "eternal life." Jesus said he was the "Life." I said Jesus had Divine Spirituality.

    Same thing, brother. "Life" and "spirituality" are synonymous, and are used synonymously in the Scriptures. You are dead wrong in your analysis, both in your judgment of my motives and in how I use the words in a Scriptural way. Really, unless you can prove otherwise, you should withdraw your judgmental comments.

  13. #13
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    Re: The means of eternal life

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Thanks for your honesty and comments, Aviyah. I don't like them, but I do often need the opportunity to clarify. And you sincerely require that.
    Hopefully communicated in a way that doesn't seem overly critical. I just see it as a situation like Priscilla and Aquila saw in Acts 18.

    Christ's spirituality is, in effect, eternal life. Receiving his spirituality enables us to receive not just his righteousness, but his righteousness forever.
    All true, but I think what I'm itching to hear is why His "spirituality" applies to us. We do not gain Christ's "spirituality" by trying to be as "spiritual" as Him. If that's not what you're saying, it's hard for me to tell. I suppose you're trying to simplify what the Bible teaches, in terms of vocabulary, but I think you run the risk of actually concealing or changing the gospel by trying to make it less of "a stumbling block" to Jews or less "foolish" to Gentiles - even if that isn't your intention.

    - Jesus came to be killed in place of sinners who deserved it.
    - Because He lived perfectly, His sinless life was credited to us and our sinful life was credited to Him.
    - So, we are righteous ("spiritual") because He is righteous - not us.
    - Whether this salvation applies to you depends on whether you believe who He was, that His death was sufficient for your sin, and that He rose again.

    When we hear and believe what He has done for us, our lifestyle begins to reflect Him. But the righteous lifestyle is the fruit, not the means of forgiveness.

    Wrong, we also have to receive his life. He can't save us without our participation.
    I do not consider believing something to mean participating in it. You could say we "participated" in nailing Him to the cross since our sin put Him there. But as for the mercy/forgiveness, no, according to for example:

    It depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy ... Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it. (Romans 9)

    You are here talking about Christ's work of redemption, and not about how he delivers his salvation to us. He delivers his salvation to us by giving us his spirituality.
    I don't understand how someone could teach on salvation and NOT talk about redemption. I mean, what is God being "gracious" about? What are we being saved FROM?

    In all of this I found religious language could become a formidable barrier. When we reduce Christianity to simply receiving a spiritual life, then Christianity becomes easy.
    But you also take away all of it's power. Consider why I as a Buddhist or Muslim or Hindu or Atheist would take any issue with "living a spiritual life." The power of the gospel is rooted in the cross/redemption/atonement NOT "spirituality."

    "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." (Romans 9)
    We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. (1 Corinthians 1:23)
    The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

    It's not the idea of moral living that the Jews and Gentiles take issue with, but everything involved with the death/resurrection of Jesus. So in your effort to simplify Scripture, if you somehow manage to obscure or even not mention the cross in salvation, then it is not a simplification but a different religion altogether.
    「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
    撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

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    Re: The means of eternal life

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    Hopefully communicated in a way that doesn't seem overly critical. I just see it as a situation like Priscilla and Aquila saw in Acts 18.
    Not a problem. You normally have a good spirit, disagreeing or not. I have zero problems with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    All true, but I think what I'm itching to hear is why His "spirituality" applies to us. We do not gain Christ's "spirituality" by trying to be as "spiritual" as Him. If that's not what you're saying, it's hard for me to tell. I suppose you're trying to simplify what the Bible teaches, in terms of vocabulary, but I think you run the risk of actually concealing or changing the gospel by trying to make it less of "a stumbling block" to Jews or less "foolish" to Gentiles - even if that isn't your intention.
    Yes, that's pretty well said, and how I worry about it too. I am indeed trying to simplify it, in a way in which I personally was reached. I was raised up in a nearly-dead Christian religion. And it wasn't until God and Christians began to communicate to me in terms of "spirituality," and "abundant life," that my ears perked up.

    It was more of an "experiential" Christianity that prompted me to respond, in kind, to God. That is, as I recognized God was actually reaching out to me spiritually I realized I should respond to that spiritual input by receiving it. And I recognized I needed to put that spirituality to work.

    I didn't imagine after 16 plus years of praying every day to God that God could respond back in a spiritual, almost-tangible way. "Spirituality" became for me the secret code word for opening up the whole realm of dead religion to the world. And I've wanted to communicate that, evangelically, in my own way.

    I do understand that there is the counterfeit spirituality. Satan is always trying to steal our words away--words like "gay." I don't think I can sing certain songs again!

    But I refuse to concede "spirituality" to Satan. I'm not going to give up that word.

    This was God's way of bringing me back into the fold. Living in a dead, dry religious experience only caused me to wander, in search of something more fulfilling and more meaningful. I never strayed, intellectually, nor did I fully stray in my heart from the Gospel. I just compromised what I knew in order to find something more "alive," and more contemporary. This was in an era when God was considered "dead" by the nonChristian world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    - Jesus came to be killed in place of sinners who deserved it.
    Perhaps I should try to respond to some of this points? The Christian Formula does indeed say this, and it's true. But let's look at it as I saw it as a more or less "dead" Christian for 16 years.

    Jesus died for me. So what? So glad he did. So glad he forgave me. I'll try to live out the 10 Commandments, and be loving like him. Thank you Jesus for dying for me. I don't really understand the legalities of all that, but apparently it was necessary?

    But after being revitalized as a Spiritual Christian I saw Christ's death for me differently. I now see Jesus as coming to earth in the midst of a sinful world just to bring his vitality and life to me in the form of a new spirituality. This new spirituality consisted of his life, his righteousness, his love, and his guarantee of victory over death. In order to bring this gift to me he had to endure the backlash of carnal mankind, who had rejected the spirituality of God. That was the price of bringing this gift to me--his death.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    - Because He lived perfectly, His sinless life was credited to us and our sinful life was credited to Him.
    Formula Christianity informed me that Jesus considered his own sinless record as a legal means of ignoring my sinful record. Again, I'm glad he did that, but I did not fully understand the basis of that. Why, for example, did his suffering my punishment actually work as a means of letting me off the hook?

    Spiritual Christianity informed me that in taking upon himself the abuses of carnal mankind he was able to come to me to bring me a spirituality that justified his act of selflessness. In bringing me his flawless spirituality I also am made spiritual with the same character as that contained in his own flawless righteousness. Though I am not myself sinless when I display this spirituality, it does have his character expressed in it, adding a certain cathartic identification with him. It gives me a sense of relief.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    - So, we are righteous ("spiritual") because He is righteous - not us.
    This is not satisfying according to Formula Christianity, because the fact he is righteous does not satisfy me, who wallows in my own unrighteousness. But Spiritual Christianity feels better because in receiving his spirituality we also receive his righteousness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    - Whether this salvation applies to you depends on whether you believe who He was, that His death was sufficient for your sin, and that He rose again.
    This problably bothered me more as a Formula Christian than anything else. As a Lutheran I was told, "All you have to do is believe in him." That never seemed sufficient to justify me. To just believe in something is an intellectual exercise, and it does not indicate true repentance.

    In theory I could sin a thousand times, and exercise belief a thousand times, and still be justified. I suppose that even sounds very much like the 70 x 7 example Jesus used? But it could never satisfy my need to express genuine repentance. Intellectual belief does not equal repentance.

    However, the Spiritual Christian in me found greater satisfaction in defining true faith as a means of appropriating what that faith demanded. In other words, true belief is predicated upon accepting certain underlying assumptions, such as our need to take Jesus' spirituality and run with it. True belief understands that Jesus came to give us something from himself so that we may live as he did. It is *not* just intellectual faith! It is recognition of our need for a Savior, who saves us via the transfer of his spirituality to us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    When we hear and believe what He has done for us, our lifestyle begins to reflect Him. But the righteous lifestyle is the fruit, not the means of forgiveness.
    That is perhaps where we differ, and there is an historical argument over this theologically. My brother and I have addressed this a bit--he leans more towards your position. I believe that faith is not just the acknowledgment of Christ's atonement for us, but more, the receiving of the spiritual value of that atonement for us. Just intellectual acknowledgment is not enough for me, and never was. We need to receive his *life*--that is, "eternal life." That *life* is what truly justifies us, and makes his atonement actually apply to us. He reached out before we were worthy, but we had to accept it. I believe that acceptance of what he did for us and our expressed willingness to receive the benefit of that is simultaneous. That's what proves our justification. That is the basis of our salvation, ie repentance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    I do not consider believing something to mean participating in it. You could say we "participated" in nailing Him to the cross since our sin put Him there. But as for the mercy/forgiveness, no, according to for example:

    It depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy ... Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it. (Romans 9)
    That is predestination, and is a quite different subject. It is not justification.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    I don't understand how someone could teach on salvation and NOT talk about redemption. I mean, what is God being "gracious" about? What are we being saved FROM?
    I wasn't saying that Salvation does not involve "Redemption!" I'm saying you're referring to a different aspect of salvation other than the part I'm talking about, which is justification. When I reduce the legal aspects of our salvation down to our justification part, it becomes more palatable to some of us, who may be less legal minded, or less cognizant of the cultural terms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    But you also take away all of it's power. Consider why I as a Buddhist or Muslim or Hindu or Atheist would take any issue with "living a spiritual life." The power of the gospel is rooted in the cross/redemption/atonement NOT "spirituality."
    This is where I think you're terribly wrong! The power of the Gospel is all about "spirituality." Without it we do not participate in Christ at all. Intellectual belief is *not* participation in Christ! Reduction to "spirituality" is not exclusion, but rather, simplification. For example, if I talk about the Salvation of National Israel I'm not excluding Salvation for the rest of the nations of the world! I'm just reducing the conversation down to a narrower subject, perhaps to confine myself within the time limitations. In this case, there are vocabulary and cultural limitations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." (Romans 9)
    We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. (1 Corinthians 1:23)
    The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

    It's not the idea of moral living that the Jews and Gentiles take issue with, but everything involved with the death/resurrection of Jesus. So in your effort to simplify Scripture, if you somehow manage to obscure or even not mention the cross in salvation, then it is not a simplification but a different religion altogether.
    Not! In reducing Salvation to something more understandable is not to eliminate all elements involved. The young Christian or New Convert often doesn't have a clue what all of the terms means. The culture and the legal elements are virtually foreign!

    The main thing is receiving Christ, which involves a spiritual transfer from God to you, period. Later, it dawns on us that in order for this to happen God required of Himself that He send His Son down to us, in the form of a Man, and suffer sinful Humanity, in order to transfer to some His spirituality, resulting in our righteousness and eternal life.

    Once we get the initial spiritual input, the rest will follow, if we are disciplined, industrious, and virtuous. But we must begin somewhere. And I think "spirituality" is an important place to begin. It was for me.

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    Re: The means of eternal life

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Yes, that's pretty well said, and how I worry about it too. I am indeed trying to simplify it, in a way in which I personally was reached. I was raised up in a nearly-dead Christian religion. And it wasn't until God and Christians began to communicate to me in terms of "spirituality," and "abundant life," that my ears perked up [....] This was God's way of bringing me back into the fold. Living in a dead, dry religious experience only caused me to wander, in search of something more fulfilling and more meaningful.
    I can relate to that experience in some ways also; so along the lines of:

    God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)

    I think that's fair. I grew up experiencing several different denominations, but most was spent with a Reformed church (which was close to Lutheran). On that end of the spectrum, there is a lot of "truth" preached, but not much Spirit - and on the other end with Pentecostals and Non-Denoms, a lot of "spirit" preached but not much Truth.

    So some Christians neglect things like prayer and fasting and worship, which results in the state like you describe of staleness or lukewarmness. I definitely agree with your sentiment of "revitalizing" this by pointing to what eternal life involves. However, there are other Christians who neglect teaching and doctrine, leading to confusion and instability. These are the ones who would be especially vulnerable to a well-meaning "simplification" of the gospel that ends up hiding their primary source of joy.

    In other words, spiritual deadness is a result of not looking to Christ and/or not believing or fully understanding the gospel. This is why the writer of Hebrews, speaking to a group which was considering a return to Judaism, rather than simplifying Christ actually went deeper into everything that the cross entailed. Why He had to die, what that means for us, why we have confidence, etc. From personal experience this also has a greater impact on my life as I mature in the faith. A greater understanding of what God has done for me leads me into greater faith and greater joy. "We love because He first loved us," how can we lead people to love then if we don't teach them about how He loves us?

    But let's look at it as I saw it as a more or less "dead" Christian for 16 years. Jesus died for me. So what? ... I don't really understand the legalities of all that, but apparently it was necessary? ... I now see Jesus as coming to earth in the midst of a sinful world just to bring his vitality and life to me in the form of a new spirituality.
    Someone who thinks this then should be preached why Jesus had to die - he/she specifically is a sinner about to face the wrath of God. That is something everyone can understand. Whether they actually believe it is out of our control.

    In order to bring this gift to me he had to endure the backlash of carnal mankind, who had rejected the spirituality of God. That was the price of bringing this gift to me--his death.
    Important question for you, then:

    Could Jesus have brought the gift of eternal life to us without dying on the cross?

    This is not satisfying according to Formula Christianity, because the fact he is righteous does not satisfy me
    Then could it be that you need to delve deeper into SCRIPTURE about the cross!

    Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven ... He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance ... For Christ has entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. (Hebrews 8 & 9)

    My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate before the Father - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He Himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins! (1 John 2)

    I mean how could you read this and not have your heart leap? We are free from sin and the law of condemnation because He lived righteously!

    Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered ... (Revelation 5)

    The young Christian or New Convert often doesn't have a clue what all of the terms means.
    But rather than giving simplified terms you've simplified the idea, leaving out the most important part of it, the part which actually saves.

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