February 11, 2017
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October 23, 2013
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May 18, 2013
The complaining conscience
“Believers find in their own experience how gladly they would hold and embrace the Word when they hear it and thus abandon this idea of the law and their own righteousness; but they feel in their bodies a great resistance against the Spirit. Reason and the flesh must work together. We cannot root out of our minds the idea that we must keep the law. There is continual conflict in believers between believing what they have heard and observing the law. The conscience is always complaining that this is too easy a way. But once you have tried it properly, tell me how easy it is to believe what you have heard. He who gives is indeed great; moreover, he gives great things willingly and freely and does not upbraid people with them. But your capacity is limited, and your faith is weak, so that you are often unable to receive this gift.
However much your conscience accuses you, and however often this “must” comes into your mind, stand fast and hold out until you overcome it. As faith increases little by little, that idea of the righteousness of the law will diminish. But this cannot happen without great conflict.”
-Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians, 3:2.
Faith comes by hearing, so hear this: “Jesus died for you and was raised for you. Your sins are forgiven.” That’s it. There’s nothing for you to do or say. Just listen and hear. Amen.
Amen Jean. It takes a lifetime to learn trust this. We must hear the Gospel every day.
Well isn’t “obey my commandments” gospel? 😉
John Piper has too much time on his hands…
Michael– this missive may be to assuage his guilt for spending so much on a designer dog 🙂
Your post caught me smack in the middle of this very struggle (funny how God works sometimes). My conscience does not like letting me off the hook so easily – no, there must be something else I must/can/should do to show Him just how repentant I really am.
His grace often feels like foolishness, in our human economy. To be counted as righteous so “easily”.
it IS easy to believe, to say amen and chose God’s gift… just an ‘aha moment’ that you chose to commit your life to…
but that said, it isn’t just a passing moment in your life to be filed away and pulled out at judgement, it isn’t a gift to be taken lightly considering it’s price and its payoff
but we all know that, eh? 🙂
just read that Tom Brady is under fire for posting the following poem… seems that it has been discovered that the author (Kipling) was a white supremacist… what does that have to do with this challenge to live honorably? the challenge is not dependent on race is it?
“If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream – and not make dreams your master; If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools: If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, ‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch, if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”
i’m really thinking that the world has gone stark raving mad… calling good, evil and evil, good
Turned My TV off this week.Read my second winter book selection and listen to some jazz and classical music. All the rage and bitterness just became to much….
i’ve always thought the animals can teach us so much… and the Miss Kitty posts here affirm that as fact… but i think the question being answered in the link @4 is a valid one, nevertheless…
how much of our resources do we give to an animal? how much is due them once we take them into our lives by whatever circumstances they come? i suspect that there is no pat answer to that…
i don’t like cats in the house, my daughter has two and i adjust – kinda…
i like dogs once they understand that i will kill them, if they don’t behave 🙂
birds are nice, fascinating to watch in the wild
i was timid around horses and i’ve learned late in life that they are wonderful, sensitive and cooperative – or can be… taking them their feed, climbing an icy hill and wading thru snow or mud to get it to them is a privilege – ever had a horse come up to you, gently put its nose against your cheek and just stand there, processing what horse thoughts, i don’t know? the cost of that feed is a burden now (thanks to the huge demand for U.S. hay overseas), do we ship the old ponies off for dog food? should we be practical and send the funds to the missionaries? God be patient with us, the answer is a loud ‘NO!’ … those huge critters feed my soul like my daughter’s and Michael’s cats feed theirs…
God must have planned this when He created animals and brought them to Adam to assess and name… are they our responsibility, like we are God’s responsibility?
That is eloquent, a good reminder. But I hesitate to poo poo the law and prophets. “Keep” the faith, for example. love God, love others, on these *hang*all the law and prophets.
Rewards at the bema seat, so forth. I think we are expected to be faithful to the gift of faith. What is the Great Falling Away if not having a height from which to fall from?
“Con-science” is prerequisite of reason, “with knowledge”.Reason is what makes us human, the basis of fearing him, being commanded to reason with him. What we are ignoring isn’t conscience, but self sufficiency.
I may be being redundant. God bless
Re the animal thing…didn’t read article yet, but I know that in the Bible there is a verse that states something like “blessed is he who cares for the needs of his animal”!
I think it’s in Proverbs. Will check later and also read article later while I am not busy here at work.
Dan from Georgia
A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel. Proverbs 12:10 NASB
Bang! There you go! Thanks Siggy!
Jean I just realized I am arguing with Martin Luther.
So be it 🙂
John 20:29 (#9)…and let’s not forget that there are many people out there to whom a kind and gentle animal is a healing balm to them. Call them companion pets, service pets, whatever. I know of more than one person that own a dog as more than a pet, but also as a form of comfort and healing to that person.
You are offered two roads to heaven: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
They don’t mix. It’s all one or the other.
I do think that God’s mercy is great enough to save even the committed Christians. Look what Jesus did for Peter. My prayer is that in the final hour, the committed and righteous would lower their eyes and beat their breasts and throw themselves on the mercy of the One who has a banquet set for them who would receive His wedding garment.
That doesnt mean they are separate. Grace and truth was not God’s plan B. It was present before the law. The law points to or failure, but moreover to Christ’s victory!
“For we know the law is good if one uses it lawfully”
1 Timothy 1:8-10
I just hope to hear, “well done, faithful servant”
your welcome 🙂
Dan @16, yes, an interesting symbiosis… my daughter truly needs a cat in her life and in her lap and all her cats have adopted her… literally retrieved from gutters, car engine compartments, resturaunt parking lots (she opened her car door and out of nowhere a half grown cat jumped in and curled up on the passenger seat) and other strange locations
we had a german shepherd when my daughter was little that guarded her like she was the most precious possession in the family… but she likes cats … sigh …
Jean, reading the thread and seeing the topic of works show up again makes me wonder…
just how many people really do think that God is keeping score on their keeping of the law? how many really don’t think the cross was the only possible propitiation? how many think that they have to prove themselves worthy of redeeming? really is this an epidemic? we don’t see many successes in that realm…
and then, i wonder, how often we may wrongly judge one of these “committed” people as “holier than thou” sorts when in truth all they are doing is responding to the gift? treasuring it and trying to live by God’s standards out of love for Him?
i made my wedding dress out of an ivory silk faille and it turned out pretty nice, but it was just a costume, really – the garment we’ll wear to the wedding in eternity is out of fabric we can’t buy and a design we can’t construct… come to think of it we can’t even put in on by ourselves, eh? 🙂
i’m here at the computer, reading everyone’s thoughts and hiding from Axle and Stickie, the cats who own this house
It’s a process, for sure. I can’t tell you how much my Armenian upbringing screwed with my head. And I can’t tell you how much Calvinism did likewise.
Then I read Ecclesiastes, and in the midst of my addiction, when everything crashed down he told me
YOU CAN’T DO IT. LET ME. Now, for the most part, I let him. Addiction gone.
Ecc. 7:13Consider the work of God,
For who is able to straighten what He has bent?
[I consider this the work of the Law]
14In the day of prosperity be happy,
But in the day of adversity consider—
God has made the one as well as the other
So that man will not discover anything that will be after him.
15I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness. 16Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? 17Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time? 18It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them
[I consider this the victory in Christ].
“just how many people really do think that God is keeping score on their keeping of the law? ”
It is quite prevalent – from everyone who says “well of course Jesus did all of the work for our salvation and of course we cannot do anything to contribute to our own redemption – but…”
Everyone who says ‘but’ is the one who thinks God is keeping score.
John 20:29 (#20)…my wife NEEDS to have a dog. I love dogs, and my wife loves dogs. But, to her it’s more than a pet. Our dogs are a form of therapy for her.
MLD, Michael, Jean,
Reading the rest of first Timothy today.
1 Timothy 6
Why did Paul tell Timothy to pursue righteousness, godliness, and the rest? I’m sure Paul was aware God isn’t keeping score…? Is being faithful to the commandment trusting in our works or fruit?
The frustrating thing about scattering God’s seed, is that we’re just a mouth. We have seed, but no control over the soil. We can’t add top soil. We can’t apply herbicide. He won’t let us plow the path that has been trampled under foot. We can’t put up a scarecrow to keep the birds away. All he gives us and allows us to do is scatter seed.
He doesn’t let us genetically modify His seed. We can’t splice in what we would like in order to make the seed stronger, such as commitment, free will, choice, heartfelt repentance, or anything else we might conjure up to improve God’s seed or the growing.
It’s a small seed. It comes as a whisper. It doesn’t blow out the flickering ember or bruise the reed. It’s utter foolishness. No one would make this up, because what kind of a God would save through a word?
But it saved Naaman, Nineveh, the folks at Pentecost, Cornelius and his household, the Ethiopian eunuch, Saul of Tarsus, The Samaritan women, countless others, and me.
If I thought the Gospel had strings, I would become a Roman Catholic, because Pope Francis seems like a pretty cool dude. But a Gospel with strings leads to hypocrisy or despair. When if Jesus meant it when he said “It is finished.” Believe Him. It’s true.
Jesus is the One of whom the Father said: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” If God has applied his name to you in the waters of baptism, then in His eyes, He is well pleased with you. Amen.
Siggy – “Is being faithful to the commandment trusting in our works or fruit?”
I don’t think we ever trust in our works or even our fruit – we trust in Jesus’s work and we are his fruit.
Of course, I wasn’t saying we trust in the fruit if you read it again.
MLD, i like how you phrased that….we are the fruit.
It always seems to feel off to me when people talk about the fruit of the fallen pastor. ….
I think I’m missing it where scripture says we are his fruit
Sincerely, not leading. Ive always had the impression we are c the branches, He is the vine, and by his life in us we bear fruit…?
Sacramental baptism or Holy Spirit baptism?
So is being faithful to his imparted gift of faith trusting in works? Yes? No? 1 Timothy 6 apply here?
In answer to your #29, Christians are the fruit of the Gospel. I will try to trick the moderation software to give you the relevant citations: Rom I : XIII; Col I : VI.
As Ephesians teaches, there is only one baptism. It is spoken of all over the NT as bestowing salvation.
Siggy # 31,
“So is being faithful to his imparted gift of faith trusting in works? Yes? No? 1 Timothy 6 apply here?”
Yes, because you’re not faithful. No one is faithful. Christ alone is faithful. The only faithfulness we have is imputed to us. If you want to be useful to Christ, you must die to self. “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I don’t know you, and I am not mad or mocking or angry at you. I think you are in the same place as many American Christians. I want you to have peace with God, a clear conscience, freedom in Christ, and certainty that God loves you and saves you.
If it appears that I am being harsh, it is only because I am trying to break through the lies that you have been taught, so you can enter into Christ’s rest. If he says “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”, are you willing to accept that?
Siggy, i trust what MLD says he is a lot smarter than i am . I just happened to really be moved by his comment. It made sense to me.
Jean is a lot smarter than me as well.
I dont do theology i do prayer lol.
perhaps we are too narrow in our view of fruit?
are we not the branches that bear fruit – ingrafted branches drawing our live from the Vine?
but there are works of the flesh, corruptible and corrupted fruits…
and then again we, ourselves ARE fruit – the product of the work of God’s infused eternal life dwelling in us…
fruit is a product – that’s all – hmmm… a product? is that why some cars are called lemons?
Thank you for your kind words. As I’ve trusted Him to bear fruit in and through me I find peace in him by pursuing his righteousness – I Timothy VI
I and my family just got the left foot of fellowship from a Calvary Chapel and we’ve never been more at rest. It’s strange. Yet it’s right. I think John 20:29 is right, and I think you are right. it’s all his doing, yet we are commanded to bear fruit, warned that fruitless trees have the axe laid to the root. If we truly rest in him, there is nothing to fear, and everything to gain.
Some fruit may even taste like vegetables.
I think I like MLD. He certainly is smarter than many.
Indeed, Christians are the fruit of the Gospel being preached by others, and the Gospel is bearing fruit in us, just as it has in us since the day we heard it. I think we are saying the same thing. The only way to bear fruit is to rest in Him.
Ok, I know I’m late to this but:
So…KWVE announces on this FB page that they
L be carrying Rick Warrens radio program, so I felt compelled to comment.
.all I said on that post was “I’m having mixed feelings about this,” and now I’ve been blocked from liking or interracting with anything on the entire page! What in the world??
Not only that, all even remotely questioning posts have been removed and many people have been blocked!
What, we can’t even voice concerns now on penalty of blockage and deletion?!?
It’s their page…and I’m sure that announcement brought hundreds of angry comments…
I am, of course, in agreeable with you and have that same understanding.
As usual, in my haste to not type too much (due to life/time constraints) I did don’t make my point clearly.
I’m not personally “offended” by the event but am wondering about what the actual event shows:. Hiding dissent (even those that didn’t outright challenge) in order to present a primarily unified front (cheering, welcomes, etc) despite (some would argue) legitimate concerns.
In the digital age where websites and social media pages are effectually the foyer of an organization, I suggest that the event demonstrates a type of authority abuse (“don’t question us, knave”) and perhaps even deception (“we all pretty much in agreement”).
There is this idea out there that every blog, Facebook wall, and social media comment section is a public trust.
I allow a lot of dissenting opinion here, but I have my limits.
I’m entitled to that, it’s my blog.
KWVE is a business…and as such is using Facebook to promote the business,not take a poll on how they should run their business.
They aren’t going to pay someone to sit on Facebook and defend their business decision.
Isn’t it kind of the same practice as CCA hiding dissent on their website announcements, a la Guzik of late?
The CCA isn’t a business…it’s there to allegedly inform it’s affiliates.
KWVE is an extension of ministry as well as a business. It has millions of affiliates who support with donations and listenership. IMO, it’s the same thing. But my O is kinda subscript
I’m going to have to agree to disagree with you on this one, if you agree to it as well.
I’m seeing things more like Siggy is. KwVE IS a ministry/outreach/expension-of-a-ministry, by my estimations.
KWVE is a cash cow.
This is all about ratings and ad dollars…if Warren doesn’t pull numbers he’ll be gone too.
Not from what I’ve been told by someone who has a program on the air:. If they pay the airtime fee, they can stay on the air unless they’re jerks like John Randall.
Several ministries have to raise funds through supplemental means such as 2nd hand stores, etc to keep their programs on the air.
But, granted, maybe I don’t know the full picture.
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