The Weekend Word: Ephesians 4: 1-6

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74 Responses

  1. Em says:

    “To walk worthy of the calling is to walk in a way that reflects the character of God and the heart of God…and we do so in response to what He’s already done, not in hopes of what He may do in the future.”

    **respond** … am i walking in “response” to Him? hmmm… i will ponder on this one

  2. Paige says:

    Amen. Amen. This is the hope of the Gospel! Thank you!

  3. ? says:

    I was bullied here a few weeks ago trying to express the same thing.

  4. Em says:

    ? … sometimes it is frustrating here as one says one thing and the reader hears something else, takes the bit in his teeth and runs… an annoying English missionary who lived with us for a while when i was a teenager used chide me in a nasal English accent: “Patience is a virtue” …

  5. Michael says:

    The Christian life is not lived to get the favor of God but to live as one who has already received it.
    Positionally, we are in Christ and in the mind of God were are already glorified and seated in heavenly places.
    Practically, we are still working out our salvation… which is learning to live in what has already been accomplished.
    We call that sanctification.

    Everything we do is supposed to be a grateful response to what He has already done.

  6. Em says:

    Michael is a good teacher, listen to the man… with discernment and question, but listen, he’s leading in the right direction – that’s my not so humble opinion

  7. ? says:

    Michael

    You don’t have to explain sanctification to me. I never claimed we earn flavor with God. Over and over I tried to express exactly what you are saying here. Your attempt to correct me is demeaning. I am just staying that this is exactly what I turned to express as MLD chewed me out

    Em

    Patience works both ways. Are you saying I heard something else and ran away? Why is that necessary to say? I know what I heard and I know what I was accused of. Tgere I leniency on sin in the church. Grace takes away any responsibility we have to be changed and conformed I to the image of Christ. I sin every day but I don’t want to.i want God to have his way in my life and if I sit back and rest in my salvation without the desire to change I am not abiding in Christ. And for this position I was criticized. Now Michael has expressed what I was getting at.

    We respond to the call of holiness. be holy for I am holy…we do not arrive but we desire to be holy. It is a drive, a force for those wanting to obey.

  8. Paul A. Lytton says:

    Em said, **respond** … am i walking in “response” to Him? hmmm… i will ponder on this one

    Em, I may have totally misunderstood your post. I am well known for getting things wrong.

    By saying you will “ponder” if you are walking in **response**, you may have merely meant you are smart enough to keep yourself in check as we should all do, all of the time.

    If by saying you will “ponder” if you are walking in **response**, you may be saying you do not understand how the term **response** should be applied to your walk.

    I do not know you well enough to know your meaning that you will “ponder” if you walk in **response** to your calling or not.

    In my personal opinion to “walk worthy of the calling” is not a conscious choice made on how to walk and reflect God. It is the proof of being lead by the Holy Spirit. When one follows the Holy Spirit’s calling it is the Holy Spirit doing the walking and not the person. In other words it is a “response” of the Holy Spirit already dwelling in the person.

    In regards to the “calling”. If the person walks (reflecting God based on the persons hopes of future) it is not the Holy Spirit doing the calling, it is the person’s own calling.

    Again please forgive me if I am off base. Although I do not post often I have been lately thinking not to post anymore at all because of my reasoning not being used correct due to my brain injury. Both my reasoning of what the question is and the reasoning I use to make a statement.

    God bless you,
    Paul

  9. Michael says:

    Q,

    If I’m responding to you, I’ll call you by name.
    You took delight in playing a victim here…this is the second or third time you’ve claimed I was responding to you when I hadn’t even read your comment in the first place.
    As I recall, you left in a huff the last time.
    I don’t think this is a good or healthy outlet for you.

  10. Michael says:

    Em,

    Thank you for the kind words…

  11. Michael says:

    Q,

    “i want God to have his way in my life and if I sit back and rest in my salvation without the desire to change I am not abiding in Christ. And for this position I was criticized. Now Michael has expressed what I was getting at.”

    That is not even close to anything I’m saying.

    I say rest in your salvation, claim who you are in Christ and sanctification naturally follows.
    The desire to follow comes from The Holy Spirit, not me…I can’t help but abide in Christ because I’m in Christ…all the time and eternally.

  12. Em says:

    ? “Are you saying I heard something else and ran away? ” no, no, no

    what i am saying – or thot i am/was – is that around here, sooner or later things sort out… so we all need patience and a chance to defend what we meant to say – or what we think is true…. and there are a few eager beaver types around here that will test patience, no doubt about that

  13. Michael says:

    If you go back and read the first three chapters of this letter, Paul makes it clear that the active agent is always God… God initiating, God placing, and God completing.

    Salvation is of the Lord…

  14. Em says:

    Paul, i apologize for much of my commenting is “off the cuff” and not edited for clarity…

    what i ponder is not the veracity of what Michael taught up there… rather i must ponder my walk – my response to the riches we have in Christ

    to use the bride analogy: i ponder if i am i responding – and that entails caring for the house – that my groom has provided

  15. Michael says:

    Paul,

    If you are having some physical issues then we need to ask good questions and speak gracefully to you.

    You are doing fine…if we can help let us know.

  16. Michael says:

    Em,

    What I’m trying to show in these little teachings is what Christ has already done for us…what he did for us “while we were yet sinners”.

    If you know you’re loved, forgiven, gifted, and kept…really know it…then your response to that will be like what you’ve received.

    Too much teaching talks about what “we” should do and usually under a threat.

    That’s not grace and it’s not what Paul is teaching.

    Paul strains to tell us how loved we are…so we can love back.

    I want people to rejoice in Him…then obedience will follow the rejoicing.

  17. Em says:

    Paul, i should have added that i heartily amen your “personal opinion” – it is Christ that works in us both to will and to do….

  18. Em says:

    #16- “Too much teaching talks about what “we” should do” … yes and while that could be helpful, it almost always focuses on what we should do **for** the one who’s telling us what we should do – for their “kingdom” 🙄

    i am not trying to refocus the point that we cannot justify ourselves…

  19. Michael says:

    When I go off track it’s because I’ve lost sight of how much I’m loved and how much I’ve been forgiven…when I think lightly of the riches I’ve been given.

    Meditating on those things gets the train back on track…

  20. Paul A. Lytton says:

    Michael,

    Re; your #15. Thank you for the offer to help if you could. Due to my Traumatic Brain Injury I do have an issue with my Cognitive Thinking (which equals “reasoning”). God has blessed me way beyond what I deserve. Which He is a pro at. There is nothing anyone can do to “help” me. I just need to be aware that I get things wrong a lot and watch closely of where I am making a fool of myself among normal people.

  21. Richard says:

    ? has a chip.

    Also “flavor with God.” Teeheeheehee

  22. Linda Pappas says:

    It is true what ? and Q has expressed. Go back over what they had shared regarding this topic. As for leaving in a huff, I didn’t take it as being the case, rather as a case of being terribly demeaned by negating what was being shared then and now is being expressed by Michael.

    I left for the same reason—but am please to see Michael now restating what had already been shared by ?, others, and myself, but was convoluted, twisted, and distorted by one person in particular.

    In a huff—hardly, but rather saddened and grieved towards that which was being declared and now preserved by Michael via this thread.

    These comments shared by those who were bullied should not be construed as being antagonistic, but rather as people who have shared a message that needs to be weighed out and not so easily dismissed. Neither ought the person (s) who shared such be treated with such little regard. IMHO.

    It would seem that all are in agreement with the exception of MLD. It is by the Holy Spirit that we are enable and equipped to walk, pursuing a lifestyle of holiness, yet knowing that our righteousness is not of ourselves, but He that lives within us, to do that which brings honor to Him and blessings and truth to others, while growing in grace, in faith, and more like Him, until that Day we meet Him face to face.

    It is by a changed heart that bears evidence to the Holy Spirit that exists within us and enables us to put off that old man and to walk as a new creation in Christ Jesus, forsaking that which is not of Him, but rather that which manifest that which was done on the Cross by His blood, setting us free, to do that which now mirrors that of our Lord, God, Savior, King, Lord, Master, Friend, Husband, Redeemer, High Priest, and only begotten son of the Living God, the Father, thus revealing to the world and within ourselves the reality of being born again and now having the strength and wherewithal to do so—-not because we are compelled to do so, but rather because we have now become or have transitioned into that which have changed the heart, the mind, and the soul that is ever so sensitive to the conviction and guidance and enabling of the Holy Spirit.

  23. Linda Pappas says:

    Clarification:

    “what was being shared then and now is being expressed by Michael. ”

    meaning Michael is saying precisely what was attempted to be shared by those mentioned on an earlier thread.

  24. Em says:

    hmmm… so many good words here again… so much love for our Savior

    NOT for argument or even rabbit trailing discussion, but just curious

    am i the only one who posts comments here who subscribes to the teaching that we are dead (body) and dying (soul) at birth (or conception) – and that the new birth is a spirit birth making us a 3 part being: body, soul and spirit?

  25. Linda,
    As long as you keep making these assertions I will continue to disagree.
    “It is by a changed heart that bears evidence to the Holy Spirit that exists within us and enables us to put off that old man and to walk as a new creation in Christ Jesus, forsaking that which is not of Him, but rather that which manifest that which was done on the Cross by His blood, setting us free, to do that which now mirrors that of our Lord…”

    And I will continue to ask the 2 questions I ask –
    1.) as a new creation, have you stopped sinning? If not, how are you different from the old creation? Where is that changed heart if you sinned this week?
    2.) if you are this new creation described above, why do you still sin? If being a new creation means what you have stated, and again I don’t think that’s what it means, couldn’t God make the new creation not sin? If not, where is that changed heart?

    As I said on the other thread today – many are working on going from vice to virtue – becoming first class pharisees and they are proud of it.
    But we actually are to go from virtue (the pharisee state) to grace, realizing that we are daily dependent on that grace – but as long as we point to our cleaned up act, we aren’t even moving in the right direction.

  26. Michael says:

    Em,

    I’m not sure if we are bi-partite or tri-partite beings…good arguments exist for both.
    The new birth is definitely of the Spirit.

  27. Michael says:

    Either I’m writing poorly or I’m being badly misunderstood.

    I am in agreement with MLD and do not agree with either Linda or ?.

    I never point to my good behavior in front of God lest I embarrass us both.

    What MLD and I believe is the theology of the Reformation.
    What ? and Linda believe is pietism that we reject.

  28. Em says:

    thank you, Michael…
    and i think i have it backwards – the soul is dead (to God) and the body is dying… how that affects the ultimate destination of the eternally lost i don’t know

    experientially, i know that once i was blind, but now i see (spiritual things) – if i had a soul before my spirit birth, it most definitely was blind 🙂

    God keep all close this night

  29. Em says:

    “I never point to my good behavior in front of God lest I embarrass us both.”

    i wish i’d kept a notebook of Michaelisms over the years

    now i’m gone

  30. Em says:

    well, not quite gone…
    if we confess our sins (frequently, maybe daily, maybe more – dunno), He is faithful (and ‘just’ there’s a ponder) to forgive us and to cleanse us of **all** unrighteousness

    keep short accounts with God … somebody else said that, i just try to remember it

  31. Captain Kevin says:

    Great teaching, Michael! All of God. All of grace. Amen!

  32. Captain Kevin says:

    Em, I enjoy your pondering! 🙂

  33. Michael says:

    Thanks, CK.

    Again, I’m teaching from the best of my understanding undergirded by the tradition I am a part of.
    That means that there can sometimes be sharp disagreement with other traditions.
    That doesn’t mean their has to be division in the Spirit or personal animosity.
    I chose Ephesians because it’s so rich and full of grace…and so many here need encouragement, not condemnation.

  34. SJ says:

    If Linda took it down to about an 8 instead of a 10 in that she believes we are to attempt/approach what she states above instead of are, is it still pietism and rejected by both of you?

  35. Michael says:

    SJ,

    Fair question.
    This is where MLD and I would differ.
    The Calvinistic side of the Reformation that I am a part of believes that we participate in sanctification, though it is still God working and willing in us.
    The Lutherans believe that it is simply part of justification.

    My issues with pietism are many.
    Linda has told us that there are days when she doesn’t sin due to the work of the Spirit in her.
    I don’t believe that…I believe that the more sanctified we become the more aware we become of the depths of our sin and that drives us to the cross in continual repentance.

    My other issue is that the motive for holy living is skewed.
    Any holiness I manifest is in response to the goodness and grace of God that has already been given…not as an attempt to win favor with God or prove my justification.

    I do not look at someones behavior as proof or lack thereof of justification…I may be looking at a bad moment.

    Linda is a good and kind person, but we come at this from very different perspectives.

  36. Michael says:

    One more issue…some pietists believe that only the sins committed prior to ones being born again were forgiven at the cross.
    Past that point, they must be confessed and repented off lest one be damned by them.

    This is grave error in my opinion.

    We sin by omission and commission and we have no idea have dark we really are…so in this scenario we would all be damned.

    Gods work on the cross was one time for all time…it is finished.

  37. Michael says:

    One last thing before I go to bed.
    We forget that the standard is perfection…and that perfection will not manifest until we receive resurrection bodies.
    No matter how good we think our behavior is, it will fall woefully short.
    My hope is in Christ alone and His behavior imputed to me.

  38. Nonnie says:

    Michael’s 35, 36, 37…..Amen!!!

    When I was a young Christian,I envisioned myself working my way through sanctification and just assumed that by the time I was a “senior citizen,” I would be so holy, calm, peaceful, and rarely, if ever, sinning.
    What a delusion that was!

    The reality is, the older I get the more I see of my sin…and it looks much worse than it did when I was in my 20’s…. yet I do not despair, because today I see depths of the grace and beauty of God that I never dreamed of as a young woman.
    The joy and peace of resting in the love and grace of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is now the source of my desire to live a life of “walking worthy” of my calling in Christ our Lord.
    I quit trying to climb that celestial ladder a long time ago.

  39. Linda Pappas says:

    “The joy and peace of resting in the love and grace of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is now the source of my desire to live a life of “walking worthy” of my calling in Christ our Lord.

    I quit trying to climb that celestial ladder a long time ago.”

    I know many who have tried to climb that celestial ladder in the process of realizing that one cannot earn their salvation. As for me, this never once been the case.

    Michael stated:

    My issues with pietism are many.

    Linda has told us that there are days when she doesn’t sin due to the work of the Spirit in her.

    I don’t believe that…I believe that the more sanctified we become the more aware we become of the depths of our sin and that drives us to the cross in continual repentance.

    My other issue is that the motive for holy living is skewed. Any holiness I manifest is in response to the goodness and grace of God that has already been given…not as an attempt to win favor with God or prove my justification.”

    1. yes, the more sanctified we become the more aware we become of the depths of our sin and that drive us not to a continual 24/7 hours of repentance, but rather to sin less being more and more molded in His image and less prone to sin, but even more willing to name the sin and turn away from it.

    2. this idea that one must be in continual repentance “because we are constantly in sin,” is basically negating the work that has been done in us, changing our hearts, and enabling us to walk in the spirit that lives within us. Are we then to say that scripture is in error when it tells us that we are no longer in bondage to the flesh, but are new creations perfectly capable of walking and growing strong in Him as we mature and put away those things we once did before being born again.

    3. Where in the Bible does it say that after being born again, one sins on a continual basis. Where in the Bible does it tell us that we cannot help but sin. Does scripture tell us instead to get rid of and to walk in the Spirit, not making excuses or to justify the sin that hinders us. Hebrews: laying aside every hindrance.

    4. Historically, the church system has made many things sins when it is not sin. The Bible, however, pretty much tells us what is and what is not sin. What may seem to be sin for one may not be for another, yet also may be sin for both. “Commission and Omission are Catholic terms to categorize types of sins—not even in scripture.

    5. What is sin? Why do you commit a sin and, if and when you do, why do you continue in it, instead of truly repenting and getting rid of it. Simple, Scripture tells us it is because a person loves it more than they love God. Not because it’s in our nature to sin, but because we do not love the Lord, as must as we claim to love him.

    6. As for me saying I do not sin every day—-sorry that those who do find it difficult to believe that not all people do. I think this has more to do with something else, other than ones theological and philosophical positioning, however.

    Michael for affirming my person and character. I love you as well, my friend.

  40. Linda Pappas says:

    type faster than I can think at times.

    Michael, meant to say: “Thank you for affirming my person and character . . .

  41. Linda Pappas says:

    Too many cites placed comment in moderation, so will post it differently, but without the benefit of being able to access the scriptures referenced.

    Ephesians Ch.5:1-21
    Romans 6
    Romans Ch 8
    1 Cor. Ch. 5-6

    Hebrews chapter 12

    1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

    2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    James chapter 1:

    21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

    22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

    23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

    24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

    25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

    26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

    27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

    We are to be intentional in dealing with our sin and to grow in Him

    Philippians Chapter 3

    12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

    13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

    14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

    15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

    And when God does reveal this, we then have a choice on how we will or will not respond to Him.

    We can either believe what scripture tells us or we can decide to rely upon others who have a proven record of being quite murderous and sadistic in their hearts towards those who would not bow down to that which was not scriptural nor even founded upon that which was holy and righteous in His sight. As for me and my household, I choose the first, particularly when I don’t believe that either MLK or JC possessed the Holy Spirit or were following the Holy Spirit when deciding to do away with those who did not follow after them. Scripture never approved this, but in their zealot and self seeking desire to rid the “church” of what they determined to be needful to “cleanse” the “church,” they simply followed the example of the RCC and Greek/Roman legacy in accomplishing this. The very thing they despised in the RCC is precisely what they replicated but then called it by another name, which in effect, put more focus upon them, being “learned and educated men, but in reality learned in the age old principles, tenants, axioms, and paradigms of Greek Philosophy and Hellenism. Just as Judaism went awry in this way, so did those who laid the foundation of the Catholic church.

    In this, and as Paul did, I count it all lost of what I used to excel and now press forward with my mind stayed upon Christ Jesus, who I do boast in know and following. But it is not I that boast, but He who lives in me, that I boast.

    I know what I have shared may offend I wish it would not be so. For that is not my heart to do so—only to speak what I know as a born again Christian who has steadfastly clung to Him and studied diligently now for over 35 years and being put to the test while being greatly persecuted and left for dead on many occasions. Yet, for His purpose, and unbeknown to me, He in His providence has kept me whereas, no other who claims to be in Him, having the Holy Spirit has yet done anything in the way of that He has done within me that even could touch the hem of His blood soak and tattered robe. In this and this, alone I remain humble and do not apologize to anyone for having brought an offense to them for speaking what I know with all my heart to be the truth of His Word.

    Some would say that I am legalistic and depend upon the works that I do to rescue me from myself and the world about me—nothing could be farther from the truth. It is who I am in Him, now that I am born again and filled mightily with the Holy Spirit that I am sustained and able to stand in the gap for others while also being in need of His mercy, love, grace, and yes, even discipline, in the process of becoming and having become that which He has and plans to accomplish in me and through me. In this, there is no shame, but only gratitude that feels my heart and causes me to desire Him even more as my days grow shorter and ever so closer to seeing Him face to face.

  42. Linda Pappas says:

    Correction: last sentence in last paragraph.

    “fills (not feels) my heart and causes me to . . . “

  43. Michael says:

    My time is short so I must be brief.

    Commission and omission are not “Catholic” terms…that made me laugh.

    Sin is anything we do or leave undone in thought, word, or deed that falls short of the perfection of God.
    Think about that for a moment.
    The Scriptures clearly say that if one violates one part of the law in any way, shape, or form, we are guilty of the entire law.
    Each commandment has a positive and negative application…and both must be satisfied in order to have fully kept it.
    Thus, we say that we are continually sinning and seek to live in continual repentance.
    To posit that for a day that one has not sinned is to say that for a day one achieved the complete holiness and perfection of God.

    The Christian has been set free from the bondage of sin…meaning that we have been freed to call sin what it is and repent when brought to our consciousness while the unregenerate is unable to do anything to free themselves.

    Your estimation of Luther and Calvin betrays a lack of understanding of both culture and history and is at odds with millions of those who have had the same Holy Spirit for the last 500 years.

  44. Em says:

    after a quick read here this morning i wonder if Linda may be relying on confessions more than she knows… does she thank God for her absolution; for the finished work of Christ on the cross giving her right to come into His Throne Room with her petitions? surely she doesn’t see her corporeal life as a sinless one for if she did, she shouldn’t be here on planet earth in time anymore…

    just pondering … again

  45. Papias says:

    “You will never glory in God till first of all God has killed your glorying in yourself.”
    ― Charles H. Spurgeon

  46. Xenia says:

    Linda’s post 39 part 4a: ” Historically, the church system has made many things sins when it is not sin.”

    This is what one must do when one believes that they are approaching sinlessness: They have to relabel their sins as “not really sins at all.”

  47. Linda Pappas says:

    ” does she thank God for her absolution; for the finished work of Christ on the cross giving her right to come into His Throne Room with her petitions? surely she doesn’t see her corporeal life as a sinless one for if she did, she shouldn’t be here on planet earth in time anymore…”

    Yes, I do thank Him, knowing there is nothing within me that deserves this, but in Him, I am what He has made me and is still in the process of doing so.

    I never said that I was sinless, just that I do not send 24/7. God has changed me and in this I walk with Him each day by the power of the Holy Spirit. When God is ready to call me home—it will be when He decides to do so and it won’t be based upon me being sinless or sinful. It will be based upon His will and His good pleasure only.

  48. Linda Pappas says:

    “Your estimation of Luther and Calvin betrays a lack of understanding of both culture and history and is at odds with millions of those who have had the same Holy Spirit for the last 500 years.”

    Poor argument.

    A majority does not constitute truth, nor does longevity.

    It was the majority that declared Jesus guilty of blaspheme and it was the majority that said, “Crucify Him.” It was a minority that declared their belief in Him and followed after Him.

  49. Michael says:

    Linda,

    My opinion of Calvin is based on how they exegeted Scripture and the change they brought to the church.

  50. Xenia says:

    I belong to a Church that does believe that a very few people can reach a state of near sinlessness. However, these are the last people who would ever tell you they “go days” without sinning. They believe they are the chief of sinners; it’s others who notice their sanctity, not they themselves.

    The moment a person makes a statement like “I go days without sinning” they have immediately committed two sins:

    1. They have lied (if only to themselves)
    2. They have pride.

  51. Michael says:

    I want to get back to the definition of sin again.

    To be without sin for even a minute is to claim that you have completely fulfilled the law of God in all it’s precepts and have reached a place of equality with the holiness of Christ.
    I simply do not believe that is possible.

    The only way someone can claim sinlessness for any period of time is to redefine sin entirely.

  52. Em says:

    Linda, that is a good word… “I do not send [sin] 24/7.” a good point, IMV, because if we are attempting to confess each sin believing we sin 24/7, we’re in quite a quandary…

    i grew up in the home of a man who was totally devoted to God and the Holiness Movement – a good man and honored by God as i look back over his life… so i know a little bit of what it costs to devote oneself to honoring God, heart, mind and body, to not sinning… and yet, Grandpa would have said, and did, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe…”
    that brings back a memory just now… he whistled hymns constantly as he worked

  53. Em says:

    i’ve already sinned today – my daughter leaves the twine from the hay bales scattered around the floor (and the garden hoses all over the place, too)
    i can’t stand the mess and i was out there this morning, gathering strips of bailing twine up, ham-handedly tying them in bundles, with two horses pawing and snorting impatiently, and my thoughts toward my dear daughter were not … motherly

    i did ask God to reform **her** tho – does that count?

  54. Em says:

    defining the word “sin” makes sense to me – we live in a mortal body that will die because of corruption, permeated with sin… so the question is then what did Jesus – Immanuel – accomplish by submitting to crucifixion on our behalf? i know there is a simple answer, but it seems when we try to elaborate on it, we head off in all sorts of directions

  55. Michael says:

    This is how you confess…

    “I poor sinner confess to thee, O Almighty, eternal, merciful God and Father, that I have sinned in manifold ways against thee and thy commandments.

    I confess that I have not believed in thee, my one God and Father, but have put my faith and trust more in creatures than in thee, my God and Creator, because I have feared them more than thee. And for their benefit and pleasure, I have done and left undone many things in disobedience to thee and thy commandments.

    I confess that I have taken thy holy Name in vain, that I have often sworn falsely and lightly by the same, that I have not always professed it nor kept it holy as I ought; but even more, I have slandered it often and grossly with all my life, words and deeds.

    I confess that I have not kept thy Sabbath holy, that I have not heard thy holy Word with earnestness nor lived according to the same; moreover that I have not yielded myself fully to thy divine hand, nor rejoiced in thy work done in me and in others, but have often grumbled against it stoutly and have been impatient.

    I confess that I have not honored my father and mother, that I have been disobedient to all whom I justly own obedience, such as father and mother, my superiors, and all who have tried to guide and teach me faithfully.

    I confess that I have taken life: that I have offended my neighbor often and grossly by word and deed, caused him harm, grown angry over him, borne envy and hatred toward him, deprived him of his honor and the like.

    I confess that I have been unchaste. I acknowledge all my sins of the flesh and all the excess and extravagance of my whole life in eating, drinking, clothing and other things; my intemperance in seeing, hearing, speaking, etc., and in all my life; yea, even fornication, adultery and such.

    I confess that I have stolen. I acknowledge my greed. I admit that in the use of my worldly goods I have set myself against thee and thy holy laws. Greedily and against charity have I grasped them. And scarcely, if at all, have I given of them when the need of my neighbor required it.

    I confess that I have born false witness, that I have been untrue and unfaithful toward my neighbor. I have lied to him, I have told lies about him, and I have failed to defend his honor and reputation as my own.

    And finally I confess that I have coveted the possessions and spouses of others. I acknowledge in summary that my whole life is nothing else than sin and transgression of thy holy commandments and an inclination toward all evil.

    Wherefore I beseech thee, O heavenly Father, that, thou wouldst graciously forgive me these and all my sins. Keep and preserve me henceforth that I may walk only in thy way and live according to thy will; and all of this through Jesus Christ, thy dear Son, our Saviour. Amen.”

  56. Michael says:

    Christ’s work on our behalf consisted of complete passive and active obedience to the law of God which is imputed to us by faith.

    On the cross he offered propitiation for the wrath of God that those who trust in Him will thus never have to face it.

    His blood provided expiation of our sins, “atonement” for all of our sins, past, present, and future.

    He triumphed over the powers of principalities of darkness.

    His work was perfect and complete and we rest in that perfect work that has now been imputed to us by faith.

  57. ? says:

    Linda

    You get it. Thanks so much for your support.

    Michael

    To say this is not the best outlet or me because you disagree with me is also demeaning.
    I guess you have no desire or will to stop sinning unless God tugs on your heart to do so?
    he has to do it in you before you are convicted?

  58. ? says:

    Linda @47

    The argument against our position is that we claim we are sinless.
    No, we are convicted of our sin and ask the Holy Spirit to change us.
    They believe the work was already done and we are passive in our sanctification.
    Just like I assume passive in our salvation. No choice on our part.
    He does it all and we are a bystander of sorts.

  59. Michael says:

    ?

    Many people disagree with me.
    Very few constantly feel demeaned, bullied , etc.
    I’m all for theological debate, but I’m not putting up with faux victims.

    It is the Holy Spirit that convicts us of sin and leads us to repentance.

  60. ? says:

    Linda

    I studied James last night without seeing your references.
    All the “I”‘s surely point to action on our part wouldn’t you say?

  61. Michael says:

    “He does it all and we are a bystander of sorts.”

    Justification is a one time monergistic act of God.
    Sanctification is synergystic.

    I believe we actively participate in sanctification.
    I’ve said that numerous times.

  62. ? says:

    No one is arguing against the work of the Holy Spirit.
    But you didn’t answer.
    Are you just a bystander?

    And yes there was bullying. At least Linda acknowledged it.

  63. ? says:

    Ok maybe you can describe how you participate.
    Maybe there has been a misunderstanding

  64. Michael says:

    ?,

    I don’t believe there was or is bullying, but there is strong disagreement.
    If that bothers you, don’t comment.

  65. ? says:

    I have to get back to work…

  66. Xenia says:

    I don’t agree entirely with anyone who has posted.

    I don’t believe in that cornerstone of Reformation theology, the imputation of righteousness. I believe God gives us the ability to actually become righteous as far as humanly possible with our own personal limitations. We don’t use the word “positionally” in Orthodoxy. When we say a person is righteous, it’s because they are righteous. This can only be achieved by cooperation with God and cannot be accomplished without Him. And if someones says “I am righteous,” they still have a long way to go.

    I believe righteousness is a righteous goal.

  67. Xenia says:

    In fact, I find the idea of the imputation of righteousness to be a hold over from Roman Catholicism, where there is the vocabulary of merits, credits, accounts and so forth.

  68. Em says:

    the book of Romans, so exact, and interpreted so cunningly

  69. Linda Pappas says:

    @ 55

    Sorry, if I would confess the list given, it would be a lie.

    #60 Precisely.

    Michael and I disagree in terms of what sins we are forgiven at the point of being saved. Other than this, I agree with most of what he shared with the understanding that we do have a choice to sin or not to sin. What more, it is by the Holy Spirit we are convict and then enabled to overcome it, so that we are no longer tempted nor do we sow it in our heart or in our mind.

    The more I walk in obedience, the more I am obedient.
    The less that I sow sin, the less I will reap sin.
    My character is changed and faith becomes stronger.
    The more I am like Christ, the less I am of the world.
    It is a process of sanctification, depending upon that which I submit will determine what growth and maturation takes place and in what frame of time this take seed.

    It’s not a free ride—we are required to walk in Him, as He is in us. To say otherwise is making a mockery of God’s mercy and grace and trampling the precious blood of Jesus.
    But “if” we do sin, we can with a sincere heart confess our sin and do that by He who enables us to repent (turn away, get rid, put to death) rom that sin that hinders us and hurts, offends, or robs another (whether they, being hurt knows this or not). The point is, repentance should bring about a change in thought and in this the fruit of such is no longer being manifested (secretly or visibly).

    Instead of seeing sin as something that is part and parcel of being a Christian, therefore, holding a view that it is hopeless and impossible to overcome, thus having to find other “ways” than to confess, repent, and to be reconciled, wouldn’t it be far better to come to grips with whatever sin that may be hindering an individual and not have to stay in bondage to it, thus repeating it over, and over, and over, and over again. God has provided the way, and it is by the Holy Spirit that we can do this, as He reveals to us and we take steps to examine ourselves to peel back the onion, so to speak, to uncover that which led us to the place that sin has brought us and that we hold so desperately and defensively while crying out, “Forgive me, Father for I have sin.” Yet, Jesus has also told us, when we came unto Him, asking to be saved, “Pick up your mat—and walk.” You are a new creation and in this do not return back to Egypt where you were a slave and in bondage at one time. So it is by the way of the cross, we grow from babes into mature Christians, knowing it was not and will not be easy, but as we submit and take responsibility for that which we will be held account, the way of the cross becomes something even more precious to hold and to cling, to defend and to die for each and every day rejoicing and glorying in Him as we do His Will and Walk accordingly.

  70. Michael says:

    That list is a confession that allows you to repent of breaking both the positive and negative aspects of God’s perfect law, whether you broke them by omission or commission.

    As the Scripture says, if you’ve broken one precept, you are guilty of breaking the whole.

    “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.”
    (James 2:9–10 ESV)

    The idea that Christ did not die for all sins of a believer for all time is serious error.

    “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”
    (Colossians 2:13–14 ESV)

    “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
    (Hebrews 10:11–14 ESV)

    It is a “free ride”…because the fare was beyond your ability to pay and on the cross it was paid in full.

  71. Xenia says:

    I have noticed that people who believe they can achieve some sort of holiness often fall into one of two traps:

    1. They are too hard on themselves. They view God as Someone Who is standing over them 24/7 with a notebook keeping track of sins and whacking them if they fall short. These are people we call legalists and they can be pretty miserable people and are often hard on the people in their lives.

    2. They are too easy on themselves. They redefine and recategorize sins so they aren’t guilty of hardly any of them and if they do actually commit a sin they make excuses. It’s hard to get a genuine apology out of such a person because they never do anything wrong, in their estimation of themselves.

    I actually prefer people in category 1.

    The fact of the matter is, the more obedient you are the more sinful you realize you are because the more you participate in the life of God, the greater the awareness of how far you fall short. If a person fancies that they are quite without sin they are deluded by some vain doctrine of man.

    I would not want to be a soul approaching the pearly gates and trying to explain that I am, after all, a pretty good person who hasn’t sinned in the previous week before my death.

    Better to cry out, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”

  72. Xenia says:

    And I am one who does believe that some few rare people can achieve holiness.

  73. Xenia says:

    They are the ones who cry the loudest “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.”

  74. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    How odd that I as a Reformed Protestant find so much to agree with in my Eastern Orthodox sister.
    Good stuff…

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