SocietyVs Proverb

“while one may start at faith, this is not the end of it, works is not some partial piece of the faith equation, it is the faith equation

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13 thoughts on “SocietyVs Proverb

  1. theoldadam,
    I think this proverb does line up with Christianity.

    Eph 2:8 “It is by grace we are saved, through faith,And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
    is equal to SocietyVS first part of his proverb “while one may start at faith, this is not the end of it”

    As for the works part of this proverb this is a little trickier. A basis tenant of Christianity is that because of this grace Christians are led and want to good works. This gives God the credit for the good works we do, so that He is glorified, which is ultimately the goal of a Christian.

    Philippians 2:12,13 – “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” The term “work out” here means “carry on to completion”. Again we want to carry out our salvation to completion and we rely on the Holy Spirit for this. But this requires us to continually strive for relying on the Holy Spirit by constantly dying to our wants and desires (our flesh).

    This is very much the reason that Jesus was put on a cross to die. And he expects the same for us: Luke 9:23 “And he said to all, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

    This takes work just to give up and rely on the Holy Spirit. I say this takes work to rely on the Holy Spirit but trust me when I say that it is much easier to rely on God in life than going through life without relying on God. But it’s still work. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

    A yoke is a wooden beam which is used between a pair of oxen to allow them to pull a load. We can either choose Jesus’ yoke or the world’s yoke and I know from experience coming to Christ late in life that the world’s “yoke” is very heavy.

    But either way we have a yoke and we are pulling a load and it is work.

    I think this is where many Christian’s are in the wrong. They get “saved” by grace, through faith, then say “See ya! thank you very much for the grace and the ‘ticket’ to heaven!” and then they don’t pick up the cross and do the work needed to die to self.

    This is why society doesn’t see fruit in most Christians. Most Christians aren’t reading their bibles, gain knowledge of God and working out their salvation to completion.

  2. “But there are no “Christian works”.” (Steve)

    There has to be, since Christ did a work that MBP beautifully explains he wants us to ‘mimic’ – “And he said to all, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23)

    But this is where I explain why the works aspect is obviously part of the faith – if it isn’t – I would say there is no faith to speak of.

    One must remember when the biblical writers used terms like ‘faith’ – they were pretty loaded terms (or even ‘belief’). We must also remember the writers come from a scriptured culture – which had the Torah to live by – so they had ‘words of God’ which were authoritative for direction and guidance in living.

    For that community faith would of obviously meant a ‘faith’ in God but also a ‘faith’ of God. Faith in God means a belief and trust in this God. But a Faith of God means a whole practice attached to that idea that completes the whole faith journey (ie: prayer, study, living according to the teachings, etc). You see the key thing is Moses was passed down the Torah from ‘God’s own fingertips’ (according to the story in Exodus). Those teachings also reflect God.

    So what I am saying, as Christians, we have the teachings of Jesus – which function close to the same as the Torah for Judaism. These teachings clearly reflect the heart and thoughts of God and are inspiration for us to build a life upon. This is a Christian ‘work’ that needs to occur – if it does not – then any faith this person has is ‘non-existent’ since they take one step (to believe in God) but will not extend further (to believe God) which requires us to live accordingly to the teachings from God (which were given by Jesus for us to follow).

    I believe Luther is wrong about his ‘faith alone’ concept because it doesn’t work (literally). How far should God’s grace stretch for a human that has been given all the direction/guidance in the world (ie: the scriptures) but yet refuses to accept or follow them and relies on what I call ‘cheap grace’? How merciful is God when we are intentionally being deaf?

  3. No…there really aren’t any “Christian good works”, there are just good works. We are thankful for whomever does them, Christian or not.

    Christ came to free us from ‘having to DO’ to be justified with God.

    So, now that we are free from having to DO…what will we do?

    We are to play that out in our own way.

  4. There are two main stages in the life of a Christian that I think get blurred.
    1)There is a point in our life where we make a decision to be with God forever, in heaven. No works needed her.
    2) Then after that decision we then start living the “Christian life”. Work required through the Holy Spirit.

    No works are needed to go to heaven. We are at a single point in time adopted into His family through grace, by faith, without works. I say all the time that Christianity is the only religion where you can do whatever you want and still go to “heaven”. This is hard for most Christians to accept but it’s true and amazing. Hitler himself could have repented on his deathbed and asked for forgiveness and, I believe based on scriptures, that he would have gone to heaven. I’m not saying he did but if he did, we may be surprised to see him in heaven.

    “I believe Luther is wrong about his ‘faith alone’ concept because it doesn’t work (literally).” SocietyVS
    This depends on if you are talking about 1 or 2 above?

    “How far should God’s grace stretch for a human that has been given all the direction/guidance in the world (ie: the scriptures) but yet refuses to accept or follow them and relies on what I call ‘cheap grace’? How merciful is God when we are intentionally being deaf?” SocietyVS

    The grace goes far according to #1 above (getting into heaven). We do get alot of grace after we make “the decision” (#2). But as His child He will discipline us to get us to obey/repent. Hebrews 15:6 “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

    Why do we discipline our children? The main point of disciplining is so that they will learn, grow, mature and have discipline. Then after we have trained them and they leave the home, they can live a disciplined life with joy and self confidence. Disciplining is love. I don’t want to take things away from my 3 year old. I don’t want to put her into timeout. I want her to be happy and give her everything she wants. But I know this isn’t best for her. If it were up to her she would eat ice cream and crackers for every meal and watch TV all day. So because I love her I don’t allow her to do everything she wants because I know what’s best for her.

    Sorry that was sort of a ramble but to answer your question: God has endless grace as far as letting us into heaven. After we become adopted into His family He still has endless grace as far as never kicking us out of His family but He will do what He has to to get us to be disciplined for our own good.

    The relationship between God and the Israelites is a perfect example of this. God has never disowned the Israelites. If they started worshiping other God, He would discipline them. When they repented, He would “save” them from their bondage. Over and over this happened in the Old Testament and this is a perfect example of how merciful He is.

  5. “Christ came to free us from ‘having to DO’ to be justified with God. So, now that we are free from having to DO…what will we do? We are to play that out in our own way.” (Steve)

    I will call this theology ‘Christian anarchy’ because ‘we are playing something out in our own way’. Some can love and care for dogs, one may blow up an abortion clinic, another may plant beautiful flowers by the roadside, while another starts a local KKK chapter in his small hometown. Thank God for grace?

    May I ask Steve, do you read Jesus’ teachings and if you do, why? Apparently you don’t need them.

  6. Someone that Christ has gotten a hold of will NOT WANT to start a KKK chapter.

    But someone who has become self-righteous because they actually believe they are living up to Christ’s teachings just might do something stupid like that.

    Christ’s teachings (The Sermon on the Mount, for instance) are pure law…designed to bring one to despair of their ability to keep the law for righteousness sake.

    We have been over this many times before (ad nauseum).

    I don’t think you’ll ever understand it.

    That’s ok. Not many do.

  7. “1)There is a point in our life where we make a decision to be with God forever, in heaven. No works needed her.
    2) Then after that decision we then start living the “Christian life”. Work required through the Holy Spirit.” (MBP)

    I make this split as well. I think there is a point where we ‘believe in God’ and thus starts our faith journey. I would say everyone and all have this grace available to them from God and there is nothing we do to earn that, God has decided to be generous.

    But once we decide we are going to ‘have faith in God’ we then need to make that ‘faith whole’ (build onto it something of meaning). I think this is where following the teachings comes in and a committment level is required. No one has paid for this aspect of faith – you are 100% responsible for every single action you do that hurts another person (not Jesus and not God).

    Thus we get into repentance and all the other aspects of the Christian faith which call us to real accountability for our actions and although God is gracious, we are not to rely on that when we know better not to do things to people (ie: things that hurt someone). But I believe God can forgive us, as long as we are willing to make the situation right that we made wrong in the first place.

    Thus this scripture:

    “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering” (Matt 5:23 – 24)

    One cannot present anything before God (whom they have not wronged) while they still have people out there they have hurt (someone they actually did wrong to). Leave the offering and go make things right. I think this is based on a high holy day in Judaism (Day of Atonement).

    “After we become adopted into His family He still has endless grace as far as never kicking us out of His family…” (MBP)

    Really. Is there endless grace in any relationship you have? With your wife? With your children? I guess it is possible, but a tough call. Let’s look at a few examples and let me know how big you think God’s grace is:

    L Ron Hubbard?
    David Koresh?
    Jim Jones?
    Jeffrey Dahmer?

    At what point is someone ‘cut off’ from grace for their actions which are abominable before God – whether that be theft, lying, sexual immorality, murder (multiple murders), idolatry, etc. The list with these 4 could go on and on but you get the picture.

    Now let’s remember in 3 of these 4 cases, they were already heavily indoctrinated in the church’s theology and practices before going awry. Dahmer was the only one that became a Christian ‘after’ his crimes.

    Now we are humans, we are not God. Do you think God saw all the suffering those people these people hurt went through? What about their families and children? What about the cruelty some of their victims faced? Is God just is the real question I am asking?

    Sure God can forgive and have grace for endless miles, but at some point the victim and the victimizer meet in the mind of the rational person weighing the case. The same must be said for an all knowing God (who see’s even more). Does God just forgive even when the victims voices were silenced altogther (ie: murdered) or their families have not seen any recourse for the offender’s actions?

    I think you guys think God’s grace is endless and boundless when this is clearly not the case according to the Law (which can give us a gauge of God’s limits). I think God is loving, but I also a God that has limits in the Law. Someone that committed adultery was stoned to death for example. Adultery! Not murder, beastiality, rape, or torture…the tipping point on relationships started at ‘adultery’.

    I see a God that see’s some of the problems and justice involved in such offences. Sure I wouldn’t kill someone for adultery, but the law was pretty clear this could be a handed out as a judgement (we don’t know if it ever was mind you). But it reveals something about the God we serve. God is about justice, sure there is grace, but even grace can be worn out.

  8. “I don’t think you’ll ever understand it. That’s ok. Not many do.” (Steve)

    Problem is Steve I understand what you are saying explicitly and completely. Difference is I don’t agree with it and I think the theology is supremely flawed and not one I can adhere to as someone that wants to follow the teachings of Jesus.

    And I’ll even let you know why I cannot.

    “Christ’s teachings (The Sermon on the Mount, for instance) are pure law…designed to bring one to despair of their ability to keep the law for righteousness sake” (Steve)

    That quote right there is why i cannot follow what you are saying. They make light of what Jesus taught and also basically push the teacher’s enlightenment aside for some denominational theology’s opinion (ie: Lutheranism).

    The fact you think Jesus taught about the law so we could arrive at despair begs me to ask the question – which Jesus are you reading? Or is it Paul that is the messiah?

    Cause I really don’t see much problem with what Jesus taught in the Beatitudes, the sermon on the mount, his parables, etc. I think they are all doable and if not, inspirtaional enough for us to develop a paradigm based on the master’s teachings.

    I just cannot believe there is a theology that teaches we don’t need to follow the teachings of Jesus, why even be a Christian if this is the case?

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