Jump to content
MrsSurvival Discussion Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Darlene

Ephesians 4:29-31

Recommended Posts

Heavenly Father,

 

I don't know even where to start. 24 hours ago I was sitting here, feeling like I needed to do the next part of the Ephesians study and I just couldn't. I pushed and forced myself till I got about half way through it, but I couldn't finish it. There is something much bigger going on here in the spiritual realm, so I really couldn't do anything but push and press towards You as I was agonizing over my puppy being missing. I know it sounds crazy trying to describe what has been going on to others Father, but You know and I know where You've taken me.

 

So many times yesterday my heart would cry out to You, telling You I wanted my puppy back home, and for some indescribable reason, my heart would override that cry and I'd say "but I want You MORE, Lord..." My heart is breaking cause my puppy is missing, but I want You more. I wanted to cry and agonize and worry about where he is but You would zap me with Your peace. I have no answers but I do have Your peace.

 

What a tender and loving God, that You would give me Your peace. I don't have my puppy but I do have You. I know that Your heart is moved by mine because You love me.

 

And I love You.

 

 

29. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

 

Clarke comments, "Let no corrupt communication] pas logov saprov. Kypke observes that logov saprov signifies a useless, putrid, unsavoury, and obscene word or conversation. 1. Useless, particularly that which has been rendered so by old age and corruption. 2. Putrid, impure; so Aristophanes in Lysistrat., p. 859, calls a bad woman sapra: emoi su loutron, w sapra? Tune, Spurca! balneum mihi parabis? 3. Calumnious, or reproachful; whatever has a tendency to injure the name, fame, or interest of another. In short, it appears to mean any word or thing obscene, any thing that injures virtue, countenances vice, or scoffs at religion. In the parallel place, Col. iv. 6, the apostle exhorts that our speech may be seasoned with salt, to preserve it from putrefaction. See Kypke and Macknight.

 

But that which is good to the use of edifying] To be good for a thing is a Graecism, as well as an Anglicism, for, to be fit, proper, suitable, &c.; so Achilles Tatius, lib. iv. p. 2x21: a gaqon eiv filian oida se? I know thee to be good (formed) for friendship. And Appian, de Bell. Hisp., p. 439, terms both the Scipios, andrav ev panta agaqouv genomenouc, men who were good (suitable) for all things. And also Lucian, in Toxari, p. l3: ou monon ara toxeuein agaqoi hsan skuqai? The Scythians were not good (expert) in archery only. See Kypke, from whom I quote.

 

That it may minister grace] Æina dw carin. This may be understood thus: 1. Let your conversation be pure, wise, and holy, that it may he the means of conveying grace, or Divine influences, to them that hear. 2. Let it be such as to be grateful or acceptable to the hearers. This is the meaning of Æina dw carin in some of the most correct Greek writers. Never wound modesty, truth, or religion with your discourse; endeavour to edify those with whom you converse; and if possible, speak so as to please them."

 

Henry comments, " We are here warned against corrupt communication; and directed to that which is useful and edifying, v. 29. Filthy and unclean words and discourse are poisonous and infectious, as putrid rotten meat: they proceed from and prove a great deal of corruption in the heart of the speaker, and tend to corrupt the minds and manners of others who hear them; and therefore Christians should beware of all such discourse. It may be taken in general for all that which provokes the lusts and passions of others. We must not only put off corrupt communications, but put on that which is good to the use of edifying. The great use of speech is to edify those with whom we converse. Christians should endeavour to promote a useful conversation: that it may minister grace unto the hearers; that it may be good for, and acceptable to, the hearers, in the way of information, counsel, pertinent reproof, or the like. Observe, It is the great duty of Christians to take care that they offend not with their lips, and that they improve discourse and converse, as much as may be, for the good of others."

 

Calvin writes, "No filthy speech. He first forbids believers to use any filthy language, including under this name all those expressions which are wont to be employed for the purpose of inflaming lust. Not satisfied with the removal of the vice, he enjoins them to frame their discourse for edification. In another Epistle he says, “Let your speech be seasoned with salt.” (Colossians 4:6.) Here a different phrase is employed, if any (speech) be good to the use of edifying, which means simply, if it be useful. The genitive, of use, may no doubt be viewed, according to the Hebrew idiom, as put for an adjective, so that for the edification of use (πρὸς οἰκοδομὴν τὢς χρείας) may mean for useful edification; but when I consider how frequently, and in how extensive a meaning, the metaphor of edifying occurs in Paul’s writings, I prefer the former exposition. The edification of use will thus mean the progress of our edification, for to edify is to carry forward. To explain the manner in which this is done, he adds, that it may impart grace to the hearers, meaning by the word grace, comfort, advice, and everything that aids the salvation of the soul."

 

Oh Lord, the joy of the Lord truly is my strength because I'm sitting here reading this and my heart is filled with joy...Your joy. I read these commentaries and kind of laugh at myself cause I overunderstand what it's saying. You know how much I can run my mouth but my heart is full of joy because I found the key to being victorious over not doing this in unholy ways. The closer I press into You, the more I seek Your face, the more I lay down my life, the more You fill my heart. It is a natural by product, per se...it's just what happens...less of me, more of You, less of me and my big mouth that would make me feel guilty at times, more and more and more of You. It's such a freeing feeling to let go and trust You. It sure is skerry to do in the beginning...it's taken me years to get to this point but here I am at the very beginning I'm in absolute utter awe and wonder at You.

 

30. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

 

Clarke comments, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God] By giving way to any wrong temper, unholy word, or unrighteous action. Even those who have already a measure of the light and life of God, both of which are not only brought in by the Holy Spirit, but maintained by his constant indwelling, may give way to sin, and so grieve this Holy Spirit that it shall withdraw both its light and presence; and, in proportion as it withdraws, then hardness and darkness take place; and, what is still worse, a state of insensibility is the consequence; for the darkness prevents the fallen state from being seen, and the hardness prevents it from being felt.

 

Whereby ye are sealed] The Holy Spirit in the soul of a believer is God's seal, set on his heart to testify that he is God's property, and that he should be wholly employed in God's service. It is very likely that the apostle had in view the words of the prophet, Isaiah lxiii. 10: But they rebelled, and VEXED his HOLY SPIRIT; therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and fought against them. The psalmist refers to the same fact in nearly the same words, Psa. lxxviii. 40: How oft did they PROVOKE him in the wilderness, and GRIEVE him in the desert! Let every man, therefore, take heed that he grieve not the Spirit of God, lest God turn to be his enemy, and fight against him."

 

This so true Father, as I've lived it for so many years..."Even those who have already a measure of the light and life of God, both of which are not only brought in by the Holy Spirit, but maintained by his constant indwelling, may give way to sin, and so grieve this Holy Spirit that it shall withdraw both its light and presence; and, in proportion as it withdraws, then hardness and darkness take place; and, what is still worse, a state of insensibility is the consequence; for the darkness prevents the fallen state from being seen, and the hardness prevents it from being felt."

 

Sin really does seperate me from You. I thank You that You are doing such a powerful work in my heart these days though Lord because the more work You do, the more I ask You to do, the less tolerant I am of harboring these things that are displeasing to You in my heart. It's as if my heart is raw and when sin touches it and I begin to feel that seperation from You, I become a desperate woman, sometimes feeling as if I'm crawling back to You, crying out to You, Abba Father, help me. And You do...over and over again, You will NOT despise a broken and contrite heart Lord. That is why I'm so desperate to become so empty so that I am so filled with You, because You are the only hope I have. I'm too intense of a person for half measures..it either hasta be all or none for me, and I want all.

 

Oh Lord, I just want to squeal with delight in Your presence because my heart is filled with joy because You truly are faithful, and I trust You to never let me go. I mean, come on now lol...if my heart genuinely comes before Your Holy Throne and cries out "MORE LORD", are You going to sit there and say "NO Darlene!"...lol

 

You are so precious Lord...so Holy and I'm falling in love with You more and more each day.

 

More, Lord.

 

Henry writes, "In the midst of these exhortations and cautions the apostle interposes that general one, And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, v. 30. By looking to what precedes, and to what follows, we may see what it is that grieves the Spirit of God. In the previous verses it is intimated that all lewdness and filthiness, lying, and corrupt communications that stir up filthy appetites and lusts, grieve the Spirit of God. In what follows it is intimated that those corrupt passions of bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, and malice, grieve this good Spirit. By this we are not to understand that this blessed Being could properly be grieved or vexed as we are; but the design of the exhortation is that we act not towards him in such a manner as is wont to be grievous and disquieting to our fellow-creatures: we must not do that which is contrary to his holy nature and his will; we must not refuse to hearken to his counsels, nor rebel against his government, which things would provoke him to act towards us as men are wont to do towards those with whom they are displeased and grieved, withdrawing themselves and their wonted kindness from such, and abandoning them to their enemies. O provoke not the blessed Spirit of God to withdraw his presence and his gracious influences from you! It is a good reason why we should not grieve him that by him we are sealed unto the day of redemption. There is to be a day of redemption; the body is to be redeemed from the power of the grave at the resurrection-day, and then God's people will be delivered from all the effects of sin, as well as from all sin and misery, which they are not till rescued out of the grave: and then their full and complete happiness commences. All true believers are sealed to that day. God has distinguished them from others, having set his mark upon them; and he gives them the earnest and assurance of a joyful and glorious resurrection; and the Spirit of God is the seal. Wherever that blessed Spirit is as a sanctifier, he is the earnest of all the joys and glories of the redemption-day; and we should be undone should God take away his Holy Spirit from us."

 

I really will be 'undone' should God take away His Holy Spirit from me. Burn the seal of Your Spirit Father upon my heart, let nothing snatch it away...not me, not powers and principalities outside the heavenly realms, not anything Lord. You are exceedingly able to keep me, and us, from falling. I trust You.

 

Calvin writes, "And grieve not. As the Holy Spirit dwells in us, to him every part of our soul and of our body ought to be devoted. But if we give ourselves up to aught that is impure, we may be said to drive him away from making his abode with us; and, to express this still more familiarly, human affections, such as joy and grief, are ascribed to the Holy Spirit. Endeavour that the Holy Spirit may dwell cheerfully with you, as in a pleasant and joyful dwelling, and give him no occasion for grief. Some take a different view of it, that we grieve the Holy Spirit in others, when we offend by filthy language, or, in any other way, godly brethren, who are led by the Spirit of God. (Romans 8:14.) Whatever is contrary to godliness is not only disrelished by godly ears, but is no sooner heard than it produces in them deep grief and pain. But that Paul’s meaning was different appears from what follows.

 

By whom ye are sealed. As God has sealed us by his Spirit, we grieve him when we do not follow his guidance, but pollute ourselves by wicked passions. No language can adequately express this solemn truth, that the Holy Spirit rejoices and is glad on our account, when we are obedient to him in all things, and neither think nor speak anything, but what is pure and holy; and, on the other hand, is grieved, when we admit anything into our minds that is unworthy of our calling. Now, let any man reflect what shocking wickedness there must be in grieving the Holy Spirit to such a degree as to compel him to withdraw from us. The same mode of speaking is used by the prophet Isaiah, but in a different sense; for he merely says, that they “vexed his Holy Spirit,” (Isaiah 63:10.) in the same sense in which we are accustomed to speak of vexing the mind of a man. By whom ye are sealed. The Spirit of God is the seal, by which we are distinguished from the wicked, and which is impressed on our hearts as a sure evidence of adoption.

 

Unto the day of redemption, — that is, till God conduct us into the possession of the promised inheritance. That day is usually called the day of redemption, because we shall then be at length delivered out of all our afflictions. It is unnecessary to make any observations on this phrase, in addition to what have already been made in expounding Romans 8:23, and 1 Corinthians 1:30. In this passage, the word sealed may have a different meaning from that which it usually bears, — that God has impressed his Spirit as his mark upon us, that he may recognize as his children those whom he perceives to bear that mark."

 

31. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.

 

Clarke writes, "Let all bitterness] pasa pikria. It is astonishing that any who profess the Christian name should indulge bitterness of spirit. Those who are censorious, who are unmerciful to the failings of others, who have fixed a certain standard by which they measure all persons in all circumstances, and unchristian every one that does not come up to this standard, these have the bitterness against which the apostle speaks. In the last century there was a compound medicine, made up from a variety of drastic acrid drugs and ardent spirits, which was called Hiera Picra, iera pikra, the holy bitter; this medicine was administered in a multitude of cases, where it did immense evil, and perhaps in scarcely any case did it do good. It has ever appeared to me to furnish a proper epithet for the disposition mentioned above, the holy bitter; for the religiously censorious act under the pretense of superior sanctity. I have known such persons do much evil in a Christian society, but never knew an instance of their doing any good.

 

And wrath] qumov is more properly anger, which may be considered the commencement of the passion.

 

Anger] orgn is more properly wrath - the passion carried to its highest pitch, accompanied with injurious words and outrageous acts, some of which are immediately specified.

 

And clamour] kraugh Loud and obstreperous speaking, brawling, railing, boisterous talk, often the offspring of wrath; all of which are highly unbecoming the meek, loving, quiet, sedate mind of Christ and his followers.

 

And evil speaking] blasfhmia? Blasphemy; that is, injurious speaking - words which tend to hurt those of whom or against whom they are spoken.

 

With all malice] kakia? All malignity; as anger produces wrath, and wrath clamour, so all together produce malice; that is, settled, sullen, fell wrath, which is always looking out for opportunities to revenge itself by the destruction of the object of its indignation. No state of society can be even tolerable where these prevail; and, if eternity were out of the question, it is of the utmost consequence to have these banished from time."

 

I have been the recipient and the producer of these types of things. It is beyond devestating and destructive when on the receiving end which has really helped me to understand when on the producing end. It is a most unholy position in the Lord and one that must be guarded against...the fruits of this are hopelessness and despair. We are called to love like Jesus loved which is impossible in and of ourselves, but when we press closer against Him, our hearts seeking His heart, He is an endless supply, over and over of Holy Love everlasting.

 

Henry writes, "Here is another caution against wrath and anger, with further advice to mutual love and kindly dispositions towards each other, v. 31, 32. By bitterness, wrath, and anger, are meant violent inward resentment and displeasure against others: and, by clamour, big words, loud threatenings, and other intemperate speeches, by which bitterness, wrath, and anger, vent themselves. Christians should not entertain these vile passions in their hearts not be clamorous with their tongues. Evil speaking signifies all railing, reviling, and reproachful speeches, against such as we are angry with. And by malice we are to understand that rooted anger which prompts men to design and to do mischief to others."

 

Calvin shares, "Let all bitterness. He again condemns anger; but, on the present occasion, views in connection with it those offenses by which it is usually accompanied, such as noisy disputes and reproaches. Between wrath and anger (Θυμὸν καὶ ὀργὴν) there is little difference, except that the former denotes the power, and the latter the act; but here, the only difference is, that anger is a more sudden attack. The correction of all the rest will be greatly aided by the removal of malice. By this term he expresses that depravity of mind which is opposed to humanity and justice, and which is usually called malignity."

 

Holy Father,

 

I really don't have much to say at the moment...I am just resting in Your peace, and what a glorious peace it is.

 

Thank You for Your peace Lord.

 

In Jesus Name,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Calvin: "And grieve not. As the Holy Spirit dwells in us, to him every part of our soul and of our body ought to be devoted. But if we give ourselves up to aught that is impure, we may be said to drive him away from making his abode with us;


Quote:
Henry: ......which things would provoke him to act towards us as men are wont to do towards those with whom they are displeased and grieved, withdrawing themselves and their wonted kindness from such, and abandoning them to their enemies. O provoke not the blessed Spirit of God to withdraw his presence and his gracious influences from you!



I'm finding this interpretation right here to be contrary to what I have been taught and believe...unless I am just not able to deciper their olde English to what they really mean. shrug

Quote:
Calvin: ...is grieved, when we admit anything into our minds that is unworthy of our calling.


This is certainly true but I cannot comprehend how anyone from the time of Jesus's death/resurrection onward (note: the O.T. times are different) can believe that the Holy Spirit, once lodged within us, will leave...... I'm so surprised to read this.

Quote:
Calivn: Now, let any man reflect what shocking wickedness there must be in grieving the Holy Spirit to such a degree as to compel him to withdraw from us.


This speaks of a degree of (shocking) wickedness..... Okaaaay.... But sin is sin is sin is sin. All fall short of the glory of God and anything less is SIN. How can we then talk of degrees of sin?

What I think I'm seeing here....maybe I'm wrong....is totally different from making your choice each day/each moment, to live under the authority of God and His Spirit. In that attitude, we are fully open to His leading. However, each day we have choices that are not under His authority...but He does not leave. Usually, we take note of His nudging and get back where we ought to be. Even if a person is in one of those awful seasons in which they plug the 'ears' of their soul and choose pretty much full-time sin...is the Spirit going to bail? When? After 7 minutes of this choosing? After 7 days - weeks - years? During moments of grieving the Holy Spirit (& we do certainly do that) we must harden ourselves against the conscience...the nudging of the Spirit. We cannot otherwise resist while we choose to take back control and go another direction. If we continue, we can so harden ourselves that shutting out the Spirit no longer takes effort - it is habitual. But I believe that once the Spirit of God indwells us, He's there to stay. Even when we are audacious brats.


Quote:
Calvin: The Spirit of God is the seal, by which we are distinguished from the wicked, and which is impressed on our hearts as a sure evidence of adoption.


Quote:
Calvin: ....the word sealed may have a different meaning from that which it usually bears, — that God has impressed his Spirit as his mark upon us, that he may recognize as his children those whom he perceives to bear that mark."



In this culture, there is a concept called DE-adoption. {shudder...I have seen this...} Adopting a child and then the adopting parents give up and removing that child from the family. Give 'em back. How could God ever give child of His back? It has always been my understanding that we each make the decision to be adopted by God...and it is a once-for-all-time decision. No matter the wickedness we might fall into later. Even if we're wallowing in it. Even if we have so plugged up our 'ears' that we cannot hear His Spirit any longer. Because it only takes one sincere moment of desire for Our Heavenly Father again....and in that desire, the ear plugs will pop out and ......well, then we'll have some 'business' to attend to with our Heavenly Parent...but He's already forgiven us. Of COURSE He never stopped loving us. I just can't see Him popping the Holy Spirit in and out according to our fallible behaviors. I can't see Him UNmarking us.


.......not too comfortable apparently disagreeing with such as Henry and Calvin but.... shrug they're human too.


MtRider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MR, In Louisiana, adopted children have more solid inheritance guaranteed than natural biological children. Biological children can be disinherited by a will. Adopted children cannot.

I think we need to understand God's 'claiming' us by His very Presence in us is His covenant 'claim'. He makes the covenant. We (as the subordinate party in the covenant) decided (by our will) how much we want to participate in His covenant. He longs to give us fully of Himself but sometimes we 'hold back' as if hiding certain parts of ourselves from Him. The more we do that, the less of His goodness we'll have. When we yield to Him, He does the rest including cleansing us from strongholds that have plagued us all our lives (maybe generations), shame etc and gives us awareness of every thought that 'we' hear going through our head that is not of Him. Basically, if it's not the true desire of our hearts, and it's not His voice, there's only one other place it can come from.

James talks very specifically about 'the tongue' and how destructive it can be. That includes tone of voice that can act just like a sword hurting people when untamed. Screening each and every thought for signs of accusation (which we sometimes agree with by 'judging' people), resentment (thoughts that 'intrude' into our minds whether we want them or not), 'evil thoughts', are all instruments of separation that the enemy uses all too well if we're not standing guard. It's the enemie's oldest scheme and we are far too foolish in allowing it. If we follow the directions in 2 Corinthians 10:5 about 'taking every thought captive in obedience to Jesus Christ' we're no longer a cesspool for the enemy to pee in and defile at his desire.

It's pride and arrogance that 'gives us permission' or 'gives us the right' to stand in critical positions or judge other people in our minds or in our hearts. If those aren't the desire of our hearts, it's in the mind and needs to be dealt with by refusing those thoughts. If it's in our hearts, it's sin (nothing less than that rooted in pride) and we need to renounce it and repent for that sin.

Not an easy message to tickle ears, but it is the truth. Holy Spirit only takes His hands off when we refuse to yield to Him in repentance and renouncing the hardness of our hearts. And even then it's to bring us to restoration and repentance which only strengthens His love in our hearts. It's His will, or His will. I sorta like the easy way for a change. That yoke's much easier.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did a quick search on what I think this is about; there's a lot of references in the Old Testament about the Lord's actively hardening the heart of remorseless, defiant offenders.

 

I know about us being under grace rather than under the law, but somehow I don't think that the nature of God has changed so far as heaping consequences for people who call themselves Christian, yet defiantly continue in this particular kind of sin, that is so harmful to others.

 

1 Corinthians 5 instructs us to remove evil persons from among our congregations...it even goes so far to say that we ARE to "judge" those inside the church who are remorseless offenders.

 

Where I'm going with this is this: maybe the Lord through His Holy Spirit is "removing" folks like this who grieve His Holy Spirit by hardening their hearts and thereby "removing" them from His holy presence?? Now if that person through his or her own free will OR by divine intervention has "the scales removed from their eyes" forgiveness and reconciliation are always available through the blood of Christ...

 

I don't know if that makes much sense, but it's my first reaction to this...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Father God,

 

I'm just not comfortable trying to write out a response, or my opinion on the commentaries or thoughts presented here.

 

I don't mind though, sharing the things You've laid on my heart though lately...

 

Lately I've been feeling like here in America that there are way too many of us that are walking around with 4' of callous over our entire bodies. We believe in our minds and our hearts that Jesus is Lord and that You are our Heavenly Father. But there's been something missing for me Father. It's as if we're all standing in Your church, each covered with that 4' of callous, bumping into each other, glancing shoulders with each other and we can't even feel it, we don't even realize it...we've just become so numb that we can't even feel it. Our sin, or our acceptance that we're destined to sin and walk away from You is an acceptable thing.

 

I've been writing a little bit about this desperation in my heart, this holy craving that You have placed there to press into Your presence, not wanting just the knowledge and the belief, but the incredible, intense intimacy that You desire with me. It's as if You've put this all into motion in my heart and I find myself pressing towards You, begging You, standing with a holy boldness, crying my heart out, telling You if You don't birth this living truth into my soul, I'll never make it. It's not just words Lord, it's not just knowledge or belief, it's something that is alive, something I sense, something I see in Your Word.

 

So I've been pressing Father. Paul prayed in Ephesians that the eyes of MY heart might be enlightened, so that I may know the hope to which You have called me...the riches of Your glorious inheritance to Your saints, and Your INCOMPARABLE GREAT POWER for us that believe.

 

What riches Father? What inheritance Lord? Where is Your power Father? I want Your holy riches, Your holy inheritance for me, I want to be so lost in You that there is nothing left of me and Your glorious power flows through me.

 

So I press and I press, not knowing a thing I am doing, just feeling the wooing and guidance of Your Spirit. I have things and circumstances cross my path that throw down obstacles in my way and my hearts cry has been, "I don't care about any of that, I want YOU more..."

 

The more I press into You (and not always gracefully either), my eyes start to get glimpses of You. Who You really are and what You are starting to mean to me.

 

You sent Your Son, out of love for me, and us, to die...to lay His life down. You are the King of Kings and He is Your Son whom You gave as the Groom to Your Bride. So, I start to think, with whatever limited understanding I have on an earthly level, what being a "Bride" really means. The pure, unadultrated essence of being a Holy, Glorious Bride. If I press towards You I start to see glimpses of what that really means. When I compare myself to the Holy One who You chose me to marry, I just can't, in my heart of hearts, bring filth to that marriage anymore. On top of that, not only can I not bear to bring filth into that marriage, I already know that I'll fail. So Father, whether this makes sense or not, I just, as a child, because You are my Heavenly Father, You are my Papa, I go running and tearing into Your presence, crying 'save me Lord'. And as soon as I enter into Your presence Your peace and Your love overflows into me, and I feel safe, I feel protected, I no longer run, because I hide myself in You because You are my Father and You love me...Jesus is my Bride Groom and He will protect me, and shelter me.

 

That desperation that causes me to run, tearing into Your presence is because You have stripped away those 4 foot callouses off my being and I can see and I can sense when Your Spirit pulls away and it utterly devestates me. It scares me so I fall on my knees and ask for forgiveness and You are faithful and fill me with Your peace.

 

I have died thousands upon thousands of spiritual deaths Lord. I have hardened my heart in my own selfish desires, seperated myself from You, grieved Your Spirit whose heart aches when I've done that, but I can't do that no more. I don't know how to explain all this Lord but You're just gonna hafta help me.

 

It's a lie that I hafta die and be raised again, over and over and over again spiritually. I've died so many times, I'm just tired of dying like that...it sucks the life outta me and i've just had enough, I don't know how to put this into words. I don't want to live this up and down up and down up and down no more and the only thing I know to do, is to press into You, denying all other, wanting You more than any temptation that is laid across my path, I'm just that desperate of a woman.

 

I can no longer stand or harden my heart against breaking Your heart with my sin. I can't stand for more than a brief moment feeling that seperation, that distancing from You...it scares me. And because of how I am, that fear keeps me pressing into You. This all sounds so simplistic, but I do know that I grieve You when I sin, and that because You ARE Holy, You do pull away, and it's NOT UNTIL THAT DISTANCE BETWEEN ME AND YOU GETS SO FAR THAT THE EMPTINESS JUST UTTERLY DEVESTATES ME THAT I CAN NO LONGER GO ON, that I once again go running with my broken heart to You. Because Your seal is upon me. This isn't about the Holy Spirit being ripped outta our lives because of Your Holy and righteous anger. This about us breaking Your heart because we are too selfish and too blind to know better. It is only when I press into Your presence that my mind and my heart is no longer filled with thoughts of me or mine, but it's filled with You, You, You. I can't, with everything I have, strive and press into Your presence, where all I feel is love and peace and safety and trust, and still hold back Father. I just can't do it. So to me, and my simple mind, it's just making sense. If I press into You, I can't do anything much else except to rest there.

 

It's Your battle, it's Your victory, it's Your sacrifice. I just want to lay my life down for You because I love You and I need You and I just can't live in the world anymore.

 

So Father, You're going to hafta take this mess of words and bless them.

 

I trust You.

 

In Jesus Name,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm, well I've been sick for the past 24 hrs so I hope I can even make sense... fever

 

 

SE, I agree with you. shrug

 

Abi, yes -the point I'm sticking on is: ... he "harden the heart of remorseless, defiant offenders" but how does that relate to one who genuinely has said yes to Christ at one point?

Quote:
Where I'm going with this is this: maybe the Lord through His Holy Spirit is "removing" folks like this who grieve His Holy Spirit by hardening their hearts and thereby "removing" them from His holy presence?? Now if that person through his or her own free will OR by divine intervention has "the scales removed from their eyes" forgiveness and reconciliation are always available through the blood of Christ...
Hmmm, yes. His holiness can't abide with sin...but then, how does He abide with our sinful selves at anytime? Even when we're giving over ourselves as best we can...it is with such a sinful makeup that we're still tainted. It's cuz of Christ standing between us and the Father.

 

The actual question is: IS there a degree of sin (or attitude) that becomes so unacceptable that the Holy Spirit actual leaves? Not just draws back. Not just is ignored by us in our willfulness. ****I hadn't realized it when I originally posted but it's the doctrinal question of 'eternal security'...once saved, always saved. Sorry, didn't actually mean to get into a doctrinal difference...sometimes there are no answers there this side of Heaven's gate. Cuz there are always very respected, learned, wise folks who can show scripture backing either side. And I'm NOT sure exactly what Henry/Calvin are saying here. I have an extremely difficult time understanding the olde English grammer structure. [MS damage] They may just be referring to the H.S. drawing back from willful sin...not a total withdrawl??? On this doctrine, I very strongly believe that once we accept Holy God as our Father...it's forever and the H.S. being the seal of this. But this is just what I've learned/studied from some of the respected, learned, wise folks that came before me. shrug

 

*****I also believe that it is so important not to focus on differences...tho we might discuss a bit from time to time. But it must not divide the body of Christ because that only scores points for the enemy. "That one" is getting enough cheap shots in these days anyway. The Bible study I lead right now is in the last chapters of Daniel...prophesy/end times. Oye! We are studying it. God put it there to be read/studied by us. But He surely did not put enough information in there and other places to 'know it all'. We must stay united in what we are meant know clearly. But just ponder/pray about the rest.

 

Obviously there are times when God is SO pleased with us, His children. And times when He's not. Times when He will lay His Holy Hand upon us in a way we are NOT gonna like cuz we're misbehaving and He can't stand by for that. He's either going to let the consequences fall upon us (even *that* is filtered through His wisdom/love) or He's going to act in some way. Other times, when we're tuned in correctly, He's just going to be so comforting and near and vital to us. Hopefully, as Darlene is describing, this closeness is increasing as we get better and better at giving over ourselves and giving over our wanting of ourselves. As we SEE what He is and want more and more of His Way and His Being.

 

If we do believe that God will never withdraw His Spirit from us totally....it's still hardly an excuse to run our behavior right up to the edge of His patience/love. What a waste that would be. To miss the closeness and the power and the **relationship** available by trying to hold back parts of us for our own wills. We're doing it enough unconsciously. We can be a bit inept. To do it on purpose (I admit to having done this in the past but am in a place now that I can't imagine doing that again... praying ...for any more than it takes to realize how stupid I'm being and zip right back.) shows a definite lack of experience/comprehension of what it's all about and what magnitude of ....wonderful can be had. [ok, time to shut up cuz I'm running outta words to describe what I'm trying to say....]

 

 

Darlene, it's exciting to read of your journey and progress and struggle and insight. I like your analogy of 4' of callous. I think I'm hearing you say some of what I was trying to put into words in that last paragraph too. Aaaugh! Talking of these things together in person is difficult enough. Putting it down typed and time-lagged is much more difficult.

 

 

BLECH...time to return to bed. Egg-drop soup and 7-up consumed....more sleep required.....

 

 

bighug

 

MtRider

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welp, I'm not going to wade too far into the 'once saved, always saved' thing. But what I will say is that the Bible tells us clearly that Israel was given to us as an example. God delivered her through great miracles when they had no inkling of what freedom was about. Lazarus was completely dead for days. He could not have called out even if he'd wanted to. And Jesus raised him from the dead because He saw what the Father was doing. Simply because He saw what Daddy was doing.

 

God fought for Israel any number of ways, poured out mercy on them, gave them great grace, repeatedly forgave them for their sins of idolatry etc. And yet, stubbornness remained the main characteristic that they displayed. Stubbornness toward God and stubbornness toward each other. And He eventually scattered them (the apple of His eye) because of it. Hasn't and did not let them go completely, but He did scatter them and still waits for them to get over their stubbornness and return to Him as He is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mt_Rider, hope you're feeling better. I don't know how you wrote all you did while not feeling up to par.

 

I have problems with the "Olde English" too and I don't have MS!!

 

I didn't mean to start a "once saved always saved" discussion by my post. I really stand kind of in the middle there...between the justice of God and the mercy of God, because I do believe He is both just and merciful.

 

With my limited human understanding, I just don't get it...

 

Quote:
The actual question is: IS there a degree of sin (or attitude) that becomes so unacceptable that the Holy Spirit actual leaves? Not just draws back. Not just is ignored by us in our willfulness.

 

This is the thing that I'm struggling with as well. I suppose I'm questioning this because we've been considering the concept of "grace abuse" in the book we've been discussing in my bible study group.

 

In a nutshell, the idea is this: there are people out there who claim to be Christians, yet continue on in sin, secure in the knowledge that forgiveness is always an option. Sin now, repent later is their mantra. Even if they are hurting others in the meantime. The label "grace abuse" sums it up quite nicely, I think.

 

You've noticed the same thing...

 

Quote:
If we do believe that God will never withdraw His Spirit from us totally....it's still hardly an excuse to run our behavior right up to the edge of His patience/love.

 

Yet...people do just that all the time. So your original question remains:

 

Quote:
IS there a degree of sin (or attitude) that becomes so unacceptable that the Holy Spirit actual leaves? Not just draws back. Not just is ignored by us in our willfulness.

 

This has been bothering me so much that I've tried to look to scripture for some light on the dilemma. Bear with me here; although I've been studying the word for the last maybe seven or so years, I had a RC upbringing and therefore wasn't brought up reading the bible for myself.

 

With that said, I think I'm sensing where my own confusion over this question is arising. It's the difference between the old and new testaments.

 

I understand and accept that the blood of Christ covers our sins if we believe and accept the free gift that we've been offered.

 

However, I don't think that the nature of God has changed since Old Testament times. He is unchanging, right?

 

So I've tried to look in the New Testament for enlightenment as to how He views the unremorseful, unrepentant sinner on this side of the Cross...

 

What do you all think of these scriptures in light of the question we are trying to resolve?:

 

19My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

James 5:19-20

 

9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

 

12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."

1 Cor 5:9-13

 

Sin, Faith, Duty

1Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. 2It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. 3So watch yourselves.

"If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him."

 

Luke 17:1-4

 

The Jews Continue in Their Unbelief

37Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:

"Lord, who has believed our message

and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"

 

[a] 39For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:

 

40"He has blinded their eyes

and deadened their hearts,

so they can neither see with their eyes,

nor understand with their hearts,

nor turn—and I would heal them."

 

41Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him.

 

42Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

 

44Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. 46I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

 

47"As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. 48There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. 49For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say."

 

John 12:37-50

 

The commentary that I found through Bible Gateway gave a very interesting view, especially given Darlene's description of layers of callouses being removed. It's long, but here it is in its entirety; notice the reference to calouses...

 

John Reflects on the Tragedy of Unbelief

John summarizes the unbelief of Jesus' fellow Jews in words that express how tragic and inexcusable is this rejection by "his own" (1:11): Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him (v. 37). While this rejection was tragic and inexcusable, it was not completely surprising to those who understood the Scriptures. These opponents, who have taken such pride in Moses, have in fact repeated the pattern of those Israelites Moses condemned. "With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those miraculous signs and great wonders. But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear" (Deut 29:3-4; cf. Brown 1966:485).

 

Furthermore, their rejection was actually a fulfillment of Isaiah: This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: "Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" (v. 38). The text comes from the fourth of the Servant Songs of Isaiah, already alluded to in verse 32. The Servant Song begins by saying that the Servant will be lifted up and exalted but that many will be appalled at him because he is disfigured (Is 52:13-14). It is said "many nations and kings will shut their mouths because of him" because they were not prepared for what they saw (Is 52:15). It is at this point that Isaiah says, "Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?" (53:1). In other words, the prophet is saying the message he has been given is very difficult to believe. For "the arm of the Lord" is a metonymy for the strength of God, seen especially in great acts of deliverance such as the exodus (for example, Ex 6:6; 15:16; Deut 4:34; 5:15; cf. Schlier 1964). But now this strength has been revealed in one who is despised, stricken and crushed (Is 53:2-12). Finding God's strength in one who is crushed is such a reversal of normal thinking that those who hear it can only stand mute in disbelief. Thus, the same pattern is repeated in the ministry of Jesus. God's strength, his "arm," has been revealed in ways that defy normal religious sensibilities and has been met with shocked disbelief. The reference to the Servant Song prepares us for the intensification of this shock, which is to come as Jesus repeats the pattern of Isaiah 52:13--53:12 in detail in his Passion.

 

But for now, John's emphasis is on the unbelief of those who have witnessed the Lord's Servant. John further develops this explanation of unbelief by appealing to another passage in Isaiah: For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn--and I would heal them" (Jn 12:39-40, quoting Is 6:10). John's quote does not follow exactly either the Hebrew or the Greek forms of this passage, and his changes help highlight the significance he sees in this text. First, in both the Hebrew and the Greek of Isaiah, people are affected in their hearts, ears and eyes, in that order. Thus, John leaves out the ears and reverses the order so the eyes are first. In this way he focuses on the signs of Jesus (cf. v. 37) and moves from the outer to the inner, as he has done before (see comment on 8:44). The interior disposition plays a major role, as verse 43 will emphasize. Second, along with this clarification on the human side he also clarifies the divine side. In the Hebrew, Isaiah is commanded to "make the heart of this people fat," and in the Greek it is put in the passive, "the heart of this people has been made thick" (epachynthe). While the Isaiah passage refers to God's action, this passage in John shows more clearly God as the agent of the blinding and "hardening" (eporosen; cf. poros, "stone" or "callus"). Similarly, at the end of the verse the Hebrew has a passive ("and be healed") whereas in John and the Septuagint a future active verb is used for God's action ("I would heal them"). Thus, God's activity is spoken of more directly in John's version of the text.

 

John says people were not able to believe because God had blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, as revealed by Isaiah. How does God go about blinding and hardening? The clue is in the next verse: Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him (v. 41). More literally, Isaiah said "these things," that is, both quotes from Isaiah are in view. "Isaiah could report on Christ's saying concerning the predestined unbelief of the Jews because he had in his vision [in Isaiah 6] seen the glory of the crucified Son of God" (Dahl 1976:108). Isaiah spoke about him, and thus the verbs that have God as their subject in Isaiah are taken here as referring to Jesus (cf. Carson 1991:450). This would be in keeping with John's earlier statement that no one has ever seen God (1:18), but we have beheld the glory of the only Son (1:14) so that those who have seen the Son have seen the Father (14:9). For the glory of God revealed in Jesus is the self-sacrificing love evident in the Suffering Servant. The scandal of the arm of the Lord revealed in the Suffering Servant corresponds to the scandal of the love of God revealed in Jesus. And as the revelation of the arm of the Lord produced mute disbelief in Isaiah 52:12--53:1, so the glory of the Lord revealed in Jesus has produced disbelief. God's revelation of his glory has caused the blindness and the hardness (cf. Jn 9:39-41). The same sun that melts wax, hardens clay (Origen On First Principles 3.1.11). The hardness of heart found in these opponents is that which rejects God's offer of mercy. Specifically, it is his offer of healing that they reject. This offer of healing, which has blinded and hardened, has come from God through Christ.

 

After making this blanket statement about unbelief John adds that yet at the same time [homos mentoi, "yet nevertheless," a strong adversative] many even among the leaders believed in him (v. 42). Even among those least likely to be open to the revelation of this strange and disturbing grace of God, some did in fact believe (cf. 1:11-12). But they feared expulsion from the synagogue by the Pharisees and therefore would not confess their faith (v. 42). Consequently, they provide yet another example of false profession of faith that has been described from the outset (2:23-25). As Chrysostom remarks, such fear means that "they were not rulers, but slaves in the utmost slavery" (In John 69.1). "Such ineffective intellectual faith (so to speak) is really the climax of unbelief" (Westcott 1908:2:136).

 

As with other forms of false faith (cf. 2:25), the problem goes back to the condition of their hearts, for they loved praise from men more than praise from God (v. 43). The word translated praise is the same word translated glory in verse 41. Isaiah saw God's glory and proclaimed it despite its scandalous nature, but these would-be believers prefer human glory for God's glory. The issue is a matter of the heart, for the problem is in their love. They have received the revelation of the Son but are not willing to live in the light of the truth they have seen (cf. 12:47).

 

Thus, once again both the divine and the human sides of the drama of salvation are addressed (cf. Westcott 1908:2:134-38; Carson 1981; 1991:448-50; Talbert 1992:181). From the outset of the Gospel, John has spoken clearly of both divine sovereignty and human responsibility (1:12-13) without trying to explain rationally how both are true. It is one of the antinomies of this Gospel, which are inevitable in dealing with a revelation of reality that goes beyond our common, limited, four-dimensional perceptions. But these two aspects of reality are not opposed to one another; God's sovereign action is never a violation of our moral responsibility, for such determinism would turn us into robots and preclude love and relationship. "The divine predestination works through human moral choices, for which men are morally responsible" (Barrett 1978:431), as is made clear in the next section (12:47-48). But the human responsibility never violates the necessity of divine grace. "Let no one dare to defend the freedom of the will in any such way as to attempt depriving us of the prayer that says, `Lead us not into temptation'; and, on the other hand, let no one deny the freedom of the will, and so venture to find an excuse for sin. But let us give heed to the Lord, both in commanding and in offering His aid; in both telling us our duty, and assisting us to discharge it" (Augustine In John 53.8).

 

Salvation is by grace from first to last. To use Pauline terms, we are saved by grace and not works. But we are not saved without works because salvation is a matter of life and relationship, which means it is more than an intellectual assent or an emotional experience. These would-be believers are a prime example of the fact that faith without works is dead, for such faith is only a thought or an emotion and not a relationship of love in a true sense on the level of the heart. At the end of the day what matters is where our love is placed, for where our treasure is, there will our heart be also. And the love of our heart is evident not just from our thoughts and emotions, though these are involved, but from the commitments of our lives.

 

John's reflection at the end of the first half of his Gospel presents Isaiah's seeing the glory of the rejected graciousness of God offered to Israel by the Son of God. Understood in this way, it is clear how this vision of Isaiah draws together some of the major themes in the first twelve chapters of this Gospel. By focusing on the tragedy of the would-be disciples John also offers a challenge to all who claim to be disciples of Jesus.

 

 

Previous commentary:

John Concludes the Revelation of Jesus' Ministry

 

 

Next commentary:

Jesus Gives a Final Summarizing Pronouncement

 

About this commentary:

IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Now that I've probably thoroughly muddied the question, I just wanted to briefly mention what I'm trying to say with quoting these scripture references:

 

I see in these instruction for us to be proactive in confronting sin, particularly willful sin, in others. There is a reason for this; to save them from the consequences of sin...death.

 

There is a differentiation between being judgmental and confronting obvious sin and evil. There is a danger in being too accepting and tolerant. In doing so, we miss the opportunity of being a light of truth to someone who is perishing in their sins.

 

If we fear confronting sin, we risk being a party to the abuse of the grace that the Lord extends to all...

 

Where I'm stuck is this: I don't think we'd have been given instruction to both rebuke sinners but yet to take steps to avoid being caught up in their sin, if there wasn't a danger that the Lord wanted to protect us from...like having our hearts permanently hardened, so that we could not see or hear the truth that would set us free (in Christ)...

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well first of all, let me appologize for something here. I can plead fever (& I'm still not feeling well) but, in all honesty, have to admit arrogance too. blush God's dealing with me on this aspect but I still tend to see things at times from only my own perspective and the other side of the thing simply didn't occur to me. Sorry about the manner of my original post in this. I HONESTLY did not realize initially that I was stepping into one of those 'negotiable' doctrine areas that have knowlegeable and respected scholars on BOTH SIDES of the issue.

 

Obviously rollingeyes I'm far to one side of this...tho I do 'get it' that God has a justice side to Him too. Since this IS one of the negotiable issues, it's perfectly fine to agree to disagree....and I did not allow for that in the manner I posted. I was so startled to find this in both interpretations of Henry and Calvin that I... [yeah, this is the arrogance part.. sorry] ...I assumed I was reading them wrong. And got my fingers on the keyboard before stopping to think or pray about what I was posting... *sigh* .... Work-In-Progress, aren't we? rollingeyes

 

ANYway, I did not and do NOT mean any disrespect to the scholars that Darlene uses in this great study of Ephesians. I've been enjoying it and can't believe the time she's putting in to offer it. When very dedicated scholars sometimes decide on two (or more ) different interpretations of what God means in His Word, we don't have to worry or get all anxious about who's right....well, on a few issues we DO need to be solid in doctrine or we are not able to call ourselves Christian. But there is a LOT that will be revealed to us at the END of things. I think we can discuss politely and ponder it and pray, certainly. It's neat to do so as long as no one gets upset, hurt, distressed, or unduly confused. I hope I didn't cause anyone THAT and REALLLLY appologize if I did. Honestly, if I'd have seen the (Eternal Security) issue, I would not have chosen to bring it to discussion here....where the communication can quickly become awkward and confusing. I'm not sure it's wise unless we can all be on our very best behavior in the discussion... { wink ...but I could be wrong in that too...lol}

 

 

 

BUT since Abi is being so gentle and polite on this topic....I wanna go to another post and ponder a bit with her on this....

 

 

MtRider [trying to get my muddy foot outta my mouth....]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(((Abi))) Welllllll..I don't think you started the 'once saved always saved' thing...I think that was me....so...[see above post] I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one who has to struggle to read the Olde English. There is so much wisdom and gems in the old writers and yet, it's very nearly closed to me. But then, it's not just the olde English...I'm having severe difficulties using dictionaries and phone books. No joke. It is the MS but fortunately affects only textbook-type stuff. USUALLY, it doesn't bother me in reading fiction or conversational format like here. But it's *frustrating*!!!!!!! frown

 

Whoa...you did a lot of work looking this up. 'Grace Abuse'...hadn't heard of the term but recognize the application. We all fall into it at least a bit from time to time. But some do seem to make it their general M.O. As I mentioned above, what waste that is. Cuz we're missing out on the relationship with God that we need, crave, and can so enjoy. No child can enjoy relationship with a parent if they are constantly trying to circumnavigate the parameters of that good parent. Becomes a game which neither can really afford to let happen...erodes relationship.

 

Justice/Mercy ....yep, God is both in a balanced package I suspect we not only cannot duplicate, but we cannot even comprehend.

 

 

 

 

lol...but you are the one bringing up the "Divine Predestination" issue with the commentary quote..... wink I didn't do that one. darlene2 It is another issue that I can agree wholeheartedly with the author of that commentary [in bold by me]:

Quote:
From the outset of the Gospel, John has spoken clearly of both divine sovereignty and human responsibility (1:12-13) without trying to explain rationally how both are true. It is one of the antinomies of this Gospel, which are inevitable in dealing with a revelation of reality that goes beyond our common, limited, four-dimensional perceptions. But these two aspects of reality are not opposed to one another; God's sovereign action is never a violation of our moral responsibility, for such determinism would turn us into robots and preclude love and relationship.
It's definitely another of those pondering/praying things that we likely will never fully understand this side of Heaven. In these types of issues...beyond the comprehension, we must use faith that Our Father is going to be just and merciful and He DOES have it worked out. I'm of such an intellect-type orientation that I can forget that Faith and Love are more important that intellectual comprehension.

 

 

Well, dang. My brain is pooing out. Might come back to this later. I see some of those verses pointing to a line that should not be crossed...even as a post N.T. Christian. shrug There is a difference between the question of the line drawn for a sinning church member who might be asked to relinquish membership (or certainly church official duties) due to blatant, unrepentant sin/attitude -- as opposed to whether or not God completely withdraws His Seal (the Holy Spirit) from that sinning child of His.

 

 

Going to set this aside for now.

 

MtRider

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Y'all are doing better than me with all these types things...

 

I just need things simple for me these days. I can't handle alot of complicated thoughts lolol, it makes my head spin.

 

For me, I don't know if I'm at a point where I have time to worry about some of these things. As long as I press into Him, then I don't have any questions of where I stand with Him. Looking back, when I wasn't willing to lay down my life and offer it to Him to do as He chose, I probably would have been a little more concerned. Now, I am NOT intimating anything about y'all and your questions, I'm just sharing how my brain thinks. I'm sure there are genuine and legitimate cause for many of these questions to be answered. I'm just at a point in my life where I'm shaving off the extraneous things and am desperate to keep a simple, single minded focus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never understood the popular modern concept of 'once saved, always saved'.

 

It is only natural to expect that if we don't follow God, He will not continue with us. More than a few Scriptures support this. Numbers 14:43 is one. "...because you have turned away from the LORD, the LORD will not be with you."

 

There are many other Scriptures that express this truth: "He that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved." (Matthew 24:13).

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is turning out to be a very interesting discussion; maybe I'm just not getting it, but I like the way everyone is presenting how the original study Darlene posted has spoken to them.

 

Please, Mt_Rider, don't apologize!! I found your questions to be very thought-provoking and insightful. The questions you raised are things that I haven't been able to reconcile in my own heart; I welcome the chance to discuss this with everyone.

 

Sometimes I feel as dumb as a box of rocks when I try to study scripture...I just hope that the Lord will bless the effort and overlook the mistakes I'm making, LOL!!

 

About OSAS...I confess that this doctrine has me stumped. I feel like I'm sitting right in the middle of the issue; I can honestly see both sides and don't know what to think!! Same with the Bible's condemnation of judgmentalism and legalism, while as the same time scripture tells us to confront sin and evil, which would require us to judge.

 

So far as the predestination DarleneSwoon I missed that completely in the commentary!! eek That's another thing that I've not even started to come to terms with.

 

I think Darlene has a good point...to simply be at peace and to rest in the Lord...he'll handle the details. Honestly, I don't know why I worry about such things...just wanting to do as the Lord would wish, I guess. Personally, I'm still playing a LOT of catch-up with the study of scripture. I still don't feel at peace with knowing what the Lord expects of me...how He wants me to relate to others and all that.

 

That's why I like to discuss this with everyone; it gets me a little bit further along with untangling the confusion in my head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Abi,

I think it's more about knowing Him rather than doctrine. Truth is a person, not a set of ideals or doctrines or beliefs. Once we know His heart (and His Holiness) everything else starts falling in place automatically. On the one hand, He's a faithful covenant keeping God who will do whatever it takes to defend us when we're right. On the other hand, His Holiness decries sin and defilement and deceit at every turn.

In Isaiah 30:15 He says (talking to Israel and us) 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength'. Sadly, the very next verse says 'but you were not willing'. Almost breaks my heart hearing His sadness at that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, doctrine is very important. Some of our doctrinal beliefs as Christians include the fact that the Bible is the inspired Word of God; God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent; God is holy and righteous; God is three in one - Father, Son and Holy Spirit; God is the Creator; God created man in His own image, etc. etc.

 

More formal titles to these beliefs would be Doctrine of Justification, Doctrine of Faith, Doctrine of Sin, Doctrine of Regeneration, etc. If you did not believe in the Doctrine of Regeneration then you would not believe that Regeneration is the work of God’s Holy Spirit in the soul of humans, enabling us to see our sinfulness and peril, and to behold the beauty of the Savior so that we can truly praise and worship Him again as before man's downfall.

 

In the New Testament, it is represented as becoming a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), being brought from death to life (Rom. 6:13), being called out of darkness into God’s wonderful light (1 Pet. 2:9), or being born again (John 3:3).

 

So yes, doctrine is important in our lives. But, it doesn’t have to destroy the body of Christ. In some instances we will have to agree to disagree on interpretation as we spend time in prayer and scripture study, but the basic doctrines of Christianity must remain as God intended them in His Word. If we review the verses that Darlene has been using in this study, we will find doctrine written all over the pages of Ephesians.

 

Keep up the good work, Dar. darlenedance

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pogo, I couldn't get the link to open up...I don't know if it's my computer or not, but I'm glad you shared the link.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Darlene, here it is; I copy/pasted it for you.

 

 

 

Degrees of Sin

 

Why is it assumed by some that there are NOT degrees of sin, when both the Bible and logic assure us otherwise?

 

 

Let us examine some of the teachings of the Bible about the degrees of sin, starting in the beginning of the Old Testament and working into the New, but not attempting to exhaust the subject at any point.

 

 

As we examine the records in Exodus and Deuteronomy of the various kinds of sins and the punishment for them, we cannot but be impressed with the fact that some of the sins had more severe punishment than others, and were looked upon as greater sins in some respects. In Exodus 22:15, we find, "He that smiteth his father or his mother shall surely be put to death," but "If a man steal an ox or a sheep and kill it or sell it, he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep" (Exodus 23:1). Surely no one who would read that thoughtfully could assume that it is as bad for a man to kill or steal a sheep as it is to commit adultery or murder. If so, why did not the language and the punishment indicate that it was? What, in that case, is the meaning of such expressions as "a great sin" (Exodus 32:21,30,31) and "a very great sin" (1 Samuel 2:17)? What is the meaning of Isaiah 8:6 where "great abominations" are compared with "greater abominations"? If one is greater, how could that be any thing but a different "degree" of sin?

 

 

Turning to the New Testament, notice Matthew 23:15, where Jesus says, "Ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more a child of hell than yourselves." If being twofold does not indicate a degree, what does? When in verse 23 Jesus says, "Ye have omitted the weightier matters of the law," what does that mean if some matters are not weightier? If so, what is that but a different degree of weight?

 

 

Very closely connected, but relating to a different subject are those who will receive "greater condemnation" (Cf. Mt. 23:14; Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47; James 3:1).

 

 

If there remains the slightest question about the fact that some sins are greater than others, Jesus' statement in John 19:11 should forever remove it. "He that delivered me unto thee hath the GREATER SIN." If one sin is greater than another, then there are degrees of sin. This is not merely an implication, assumption, interpretation, supposition, opinion or theory, but a statement from the lips of Jesus. (At this point, I wonder why I started the article in the first place, for I would think that surely none of my readers would attempt to deny it. Yet I had four elders who argued with me for two hours that there were no degrees of sin!)

 

 

This has nothing to do with the false Roman Catholic doctrine relating to "mortal" or "venial" sins, nor does it indicate that men have the right to classify sins as "big" or "little" and assume that the little ones are insignificant. The problem with that doctrine is twofold. First, there are no insignificant sins. Second, people's assumption regarding which ones are bigger or smaller are usually wrong, and even if their assumptions were right they have nothing to do with God's judgment.

 

 

From a purely logical standpoint, if a person admits that one person can be better or worse than another, or that a person is better or worse at some period in his life than at another, he must admit than one is more sinful than another. What makes a man better or worse?

 

 

Again, if no sin is worse than another, you should be as glad to associate with a drunken, adulterous, lying, murdering thief as you would be with one who failed to give as he had been prospered, or pray as he should. If not, why not? I believe one of the elders with whom I had the long discussion said, "Yes, in man's sight those are worse, but in the sight of God, perhaps pride, arrogance, or indifference are worse." I admit that, but the statement itself was an admission that in God's sight, there might be degrees of sin. Some could not be worse than others without there being degrees.

 

 

Even sins that are called by the same name have different degrees. Even if we could say "Pride is worse than lying," we should not, for there are degrees of pride. Even killing in one situation is worse than another. The fact that the laws of our land have perverted the truth about it, and many news commentators and others pretend that to put a murderer to death is just as bad as the crime he committed when he murdered, does not change the Bible truth.

 

 

Also, remember that this has nothing to do with the fact that all sinners are lost if they do not repent.

 

 

Finally, the very fact Jesus talks of an "unpardonable sin" and "there is a sin unto death" shows that some sins are worse than others. The supposed Aristotelian logic of the statement that "Sin is sin" showing that one sin is equal to another is invalid. The truth is that sin1 is not sin2, either in kind or degree.

 

T. Pierce Brown

 

 

Published in The Old Paths Archive

(http://www.oldpaths.com)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL No problem; good article, BTW; it makes a lot of sense to me.

 

Coming from a RC background, the degree of sin idea isn't foreign to me. I'm no longer a member of the RCC, for a lot of reasons; errors in doctrine being one of them. However, I've had trouble coming to terms with the Protestant idea that all sin is equally offensive to God. I do believe that there are degrees of sin; it was very helpful to see that there are indeed references in scripture to support that point.

 

Thanks for posting; I've been reading a few more of this man's articles; there's lots more on his site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.