TGIF

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165 Responses

  1. Alex says:

    Am I correct in stating that you truly believe “everyone’s sins are forgiven” and that everyone means every human being ever created/born?

  2. Michael says:

    No.
    I believe that those who are in Christ have been forgiven all their sins.

  3. I believe that “everyone’s sins are forgiven” and that everyone means every human being ever created/born?”

    That hell will be populated by forgiven unbelievers.

  4. Captain Kevin says:

    Priceless grace!!! Hallelujah!!! Thank You, Jesus!!!

  5. Babylon's Dread says:

    “In Christ” the great qualifier of all grace.

  6. Alex says:

    “No.
    I believe that those who are in Christ have been forgiven all their sins.”

    OK, then what do you have to do to be “in Christ” so your sins are forgiven?

  7. Captain Kevin says:

    “…they will sin like rabid badgers in heat.”

    Let ’em! Do we preach holiness? Absolutely! Do we preach this good news that is too good to be true? Yes, hopefully without watering it down but magnifying our gracious God! Leave the outcome up to the Holy Spirit!

    Perhaps we should be bold enough to offer them Three Free Sins!

  8. Michael says:

    “OK, then what do you have to do to be “in Christ” so your sins are forgiven?”

    It is by grace through faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ…just like the Scripture in the article says.

  9. Linda Pappas says:

    Although the blood of Christ was paid for the sins of the whole world, isn’t this contingent upon those who repents, believes, and abide in Him.

    Also, in keeping with:

    Romans 3:25

    Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

    Wouldn’t this indicate that although a person may be wash clean of those sins committed prior to coming the faith, then if we sin afterwards, what does, using the whole counsel of God —all the scriptures say about this.

    I have yet to find a verse that tells us that all sins, past, present, and future are automatically covered and that lines up with other scriptures that counters this.

  10. Alex says:

    “It is by grace through faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ…just like the Scripture in the article says.”

    How do I get faith? What do I have to have faith in about “Jesus Christ”? Which Jesus? There are a lot of differences and nuances depending on the “Jesus Christ” the Catholics or EO tell you is the official “Jesus Christ” vs. the Reformed “Jesus Christ” vs. the Lutheran “Jesus Christ” vs. the Mormon/LDS “Jesus Christ” vs. the Calvary Chapel “Jesus Christ” etc.

    What the CORE things you HAVE to believe about “Jesus Christ” to have “correct” Faith in so you earn/get the forgiveness?

  11. Alex says:

    For example, if I “ask” God to give me Faith…and I think he tells me to go to the Mormon/LDS church…are my sins forgiven or do I have the wrong Faith?

    What if I go there and have Faith and show “fruits of the Spirit” and stop living a sinful life, but instead start living and experiencing a “Spirit-filled life” marked by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control?

    Are those marks/evidences of the devil? Is it possible I have a correct Faith and my sins are forgiven?

  12. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I believe faith is a gift from God…He gives you what He requires.
    The orthodox teaching about Jesus is that he was God incarnate, the eternal son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity who became a man, became fully man and remained fully God and He came to die in the place of and take the punishment for sinners.
    He is the Creator of all things and all things are in Him and through Him.

    Your mileage may vary.
    I didn’t write this to open a debate on Christology, but to encourage my readers.

  13. Michael says:

    Mormon theology is grossly in error on both the Person and work of Jesus.
    They have created a false God and given him the name of the one true and living God.

  14. Alex says:

    “I didn’t write this to open a debate on Christology, but to encourage my readers.”

    You make general statements…but you don’t give specifics. You use language like “You have to have faith” but then you don’t define specifics.

    You make statements like “your sins are forgiven” but it comes with asteriks and nuance that you don’t nearly explain.

    You are selling something that when scrutinized, you run from.

  15. Michael says:

    Linda,

    If Christ did not forgive all sins on the cross then you must be able to atone for the ones you commit post salvation, or believe that one can keep the law perfectly.
    I’ll rest in Christ.

  16. Alex says:

    I am no Mormon, but what you have presented today (again) is a God of “correct Doctrine”…and probably not God the Spirit.

  17. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I’m not running from anything.
    I didn’t set out to write a book on soteriology, but a devotional.
    You are free to discount it or disagree with it.
    I’m not interested in debating it.

  18. mizmooz2 says:

    The orthodox teaching about Jesus is that he was God incarnate, the eternal son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity who became a man, became fully man and remained fully God and He came to die in the place of and take the punishment for sinners.<<<

    Not quite. the orthodox (and Orthodox) view is not that he took punishment for sinners. That is the penal substitution theory of the atonement which is not the ancient view of the Church.

    http://www.antiochian.org/node/25462

  19. Alex says:

    “I’m not interested in debating it.”

    You are not interested in explaining your position to someone who is sincerely curious and doesn’t have it all figured out like you seem to?

    Why do you have a blog then? For what purpose?

  20. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I stand corrected.

  21. Xenia says:

    mizmooz2 = Xenia

  22. Alex says:

    Michael, it is hardly a “devotional”…it is a Philosophical/Doctrinal Position.

    You are professing in one breath that “all your sins are forgiven by GRACE!” then you take it away by qualifying “in Christ” as a particular set of Doctrinal/Theological “Must haves!” that you if you don’t agree with…you are not officially “in Christ” and you aren’t forgiven.

    That’s the truth of the matter.

  23. Michael says:

    Alex,

    There are plenty of places online where you can engage in debates on these issues.
    I chose to write a devotional for my readers today and then I plan on going offline the rest of the day.

  24. Michael says:

    The Bible adds the qualifier, not me.
    The Scriptures primary narrative is about the person and work of Christ to save sinners…and that they are only saved through Him.
    That is my philosophical and doctrinal position which should be what one would expect on my blog.

  25. Alex says:

    Asking you to defend your assertions on a blog that argues every doctrinal nuance under the sun for many years now is off-limits?

    It must be a personal matter. You and your core have a problem with me personally b/c you argue everything ad nauseum yet when I ask you to clarify it’s “debating!” and “we don’t do that here!”

    Not true and not appreciated.

    I don’t know what the right answer is, I have more questions than answers and I don’t appreciate being Scape-goated for asking real questions and asking for real clarification.

  26. Alex says:

    Bob Caldwell didn’t bull (pucky) me. At least he was honest and doesn’t really know for sure.

    I appreciate that about some in Calvary Chapel.

  27. Jean says:

    Michael, thank you for the encouraging words. I need that grace, every day.

  28. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I do very little arguing or debating on here anymore.
    We have had these discussions before and they go around and around with your conclusion usually being that I am “intellectually dishonest” and basically an idiot.
    They take a lot of time…time that I don’t want to devote to the blog these days.
    I don’t espouse anything that hasn’t been believed by many at least since the time of the Reformation and has been explained in great detail by many gifted writers.
    Those works are as available to you as anyone else if you are truly seeking answers…and those works are far better than anything I can offer.
    Blogs are a horrible vehicle for this sort of discussion…

  29. JTK says:

    Alex,

    Michael violates scripture….
    By not rejecting a factious man after a first and second warning.

    Just take it as grace extended to you. And ask those questions about Jesus directly to Jesus. Don’t know if you’ll like how He answers or not though.

  30. Michael says:

    Jean,

    You’re most welcome…I need it myself and that’s why I shared it.

  31. Alex says:

    I’ve studied your Calvinist position…not as much as you have, but enough to get an intellectually honest grasp of the macro-position and the nuance.

    It is not that we disagree…it is about you being honest.

    Do you know for sure that your position is correct? Yes or no.

  32. JTK says:

    Thanks for your gracious words, Miguelio…
    TGIF

  33. Michael says:

    Alex,

    Which “Calvinist” position have you studied?
    It’s not a monolithic tradition with one set of beliefs.
    I believe that I’m right about some things , to the best of my limited ability…today.
    The historic creeds I believe are written in stone.
    The rest is open for debate and new understandings as I walk with God.
    There are very few hills that I’m willing to die on.

  34. Michael says:

    I knew I should have stuck with cat stories…. 🙂

  35. Alex says:

    JTK, that is classic Jesus Juke. I’m asking Micheal Newnham, the guy who writes the articles on the blog, questions about his article and why he presents that position above.

    Michael presents a “factious” position: “All sins are forgiven!*”

    *only if you are “in Christ” which is specifically defined as a particular set of Doctrinal beliefs like correct Soteriology, correct Christology, correct name-your-ology here.

    If that position is true, it is extremely “factious”

  36. Jean says:

    I didn’t know that Romans Chapter 3 was still up for debate. Last time I checked it was in the canon.

  37. Babylon's Dread says:

    “In Adam” we died… covenantal reality… what happens to the father happens to the son, in Adam the imago dei was also conferred… so we are blessed and cursed “in Adam”

    “In Christ” covenantal language… we are blessed because he was cursed. But if anyone is not “in Christ” they cannot partake the blessing.

    We are born into Adam we are reborn into Christ…
    The faith … simply comes by hearing…
    Blessed are the feet of those who carry good news…

    and Michael… thank you for causing us to WONDER at such a level that it offends the mind and challenges the heart. The blessed offense of the Gospel … too good to be true… but true. By ONE sacrifice he put away sins forever…

    Hebrews 9:25–28 (ESV)
    25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

  38. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I simply presented what the Scriptures said.

    “It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”
    (Romans 4:24–25 ESV)

    “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
    (Romans 5:1–2 ESV)

    We are justified through faith in Him.
    It is “through” faith in Christ.

    Romans 4-5 is really clear on this…as are the Gospels and the rest of the NT.

  39. Babylon's Dread says:

    Michael,

    I love the non cat story … just leave the room and let the kids play

  40. Michael says:

    BD,

    These passages should make all who have faith in Christ jump and sing, and shout when they read them.
    Not that you would have a problem with that… 🙂

  41. Michael says:

    Linda,

    No one is discounting the importance of repentance to the faith.
    The reality is that we live in a constant cycle of confession, repentance, and forgiveness.
    Our justification was completed however, when we believed in Him.

    “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. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”
    (Colossians 2:13–15 ESV)

    As my Arminian friends like to say…all means all.

  42. Neo says:

    I’m joyfully blessed and intrigued by the following truth concerning Justification: My sins are not counted against me and yet my glorified, complete self is counted to me on credit. So it’s not simply that I’m a charity case alone, but also God sees what I will be and calls those things that are not as though they were. Wow!

  43. Caryn LeMur says:

    The Book of Romans is such a joy to my gay, remarried, and homeless friends. I assure them over and over that we are not discussing their salvation, for that is a ‘sealed deal’.

    We may end up discussing that salvation is by faith, and furthermore, that the ‘love is the fulfillment of the law’. However, I most often just listen to their stories, their dreams and goals… they are such a delight to be with.

    I have great faith that the Spirit will guide them into whatever truths they can bear now.

    To be sure, when I was involved in prison ministry, I met brothers in Christ that still needed the Law. Without the mentor of the Law, they seemed to go back towards murder, rape, fighting, rages… While I never called them ‘badgers in heat’ … lol…. I understand the sentiment.

  44. Michael says:

    Neo,

    Even more staggering is that it is the righteousness of Christ Himself that is imputed to us…it is indeed, a wow!

  45. Michael says:

    Lets stick to the subject at hand and leave personalities out of the discussion.

  46. Linda Pappas says:

    Michael,

    Scripture does not state that all our sins are forgiven after we have come to the faith. But it does tells us that if we do sin then, if we confess and repent, then they will be forgiven. What more, it tells us that:

    1 John Chapter 2

    1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

    2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

    3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

    5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

    6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

    Paul tells us in Romans 6

    1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    Then in Romans, Chapter 1, Paul tells us.

    1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

    3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

    4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

    6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

    7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

    Then moving on to First Corinthians, we are sternly warned by Paul in chapter 6, when he clearly tells us not to be deceived for those who practice adultery and other things will spend eternity in hell.

    However for those who do sin, we know that if we confess our sins and turn away from them, He is faithful and just to forgive them. But if we make a lifestyle out them, we are not a Child of God, but rather a Child of the devil.

    Faith without works is dead, for even the demons believed.

    Thanks Michael for permitting me to post even if we disagree.

  47. Xenia says:

    Even more staggering is that it is the righteousness of Christ Himself that is imputed to us…it is indeed, a wow!<<<

    I do not believe in the doctrine of imputed righteousness. I believe that if we follow Christ He can make us truly righteous people, righteous in fact, not just in position, which I think is a bigger Wow.

  48. Michael says:

    Linda,

    The scripture I posted clearly says that all sin was taken care of on the cross.
    It’s such a radical teaching that Paul has to remind his readers that this isn’t a license to sin, but a work that should keep us from sin.
    If you’re correct, them salvation is based on works and on the individuals ability to know and repent of every sin that they commit.
    That would leave us all in hell…we simply don’t know or recognize the depths of our own depravity.

  49. Babylon's Dread says:

    The beauty of having the scriptures and having a church that cannot use the arm of the state to punish us for dissent is that anyone can read these texts and draw conclusions and live as they please…

    Which is what they are going to do!

    The beauty of discourse is that debate freely and live freely. The risk is that people will simply use human reason to justify whatever they please.

    Which is indeed what they are going to do!

    The beauty of it all is that sorting it out is above our pay grade and there is one with whom we must be confronted. One to whom we give account. Those of us with influence simply have to attempt to tell the truth.

    Which is what we are going to do!

    Be powerful and free people. CHOOSE!

  50. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    For clarity sake I should affirm that I write from a Protestant perspective.

  51. Michael says:

    BD,

    That was very well said…

  52. Xenia says:

    Michael, I know that. You are always very gracious to allow me to present an alternative view of these things.

  53. Neo says:

    I agree with Michael and Xenia. 🙂

  54. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    There are some who would revoke my Protestant papers because I affirm you as my sister in Christ.
    You and I differ (graciously) on almost everything except the Person and work of Christ.
    As BD said…these matters are above our pay grade to understand.
    I just enjoy the fellowship of the whole family of God…all those who in in Christ.

  55. Neo says:

    Signed, Neo Orthodox

  56. Sin is a lack of clarity and gratitude

  57. Michael says:

    There are places where Calvin’s doctrine of union with Christ sounds a lot like the Orthodox doctrine of theosis…

  58. Babylon's Dread says:

    “sin is the lack of clarity and gratitude”

    Yes those things miss the mark…

  59. Linda Pappas says:

    Michael,

    “If Christ did not forgive all sins on the cross then you must be able to atone for the ones you commit post salvation, or believe that one can keep the law perfectly.
    I’ll rest in Christ.”

    Because of what Jesus did on the cross, when we confess and repent from our sins, we can receive that forgiveness. Otherwise Jesus would need to be continually crucified. With the Holy Spirit, Paul tells us in Romans, chapter 8 that we do have a choice of sowing to the flesh or the spirit.

    When coming to the Cross, we confess we are sinners, we turn away from those sins (repent) and we walk in obedience to Him. The Holy Spirit enables us to do this. When we slip or fall, we then have Him, as we are in Him to be our Mediator and our Advocate before the Father, if we confess and repent. Without repentance, there is no forgiveness.

    For those sins we commit as being a child of God, we still need to confess and repent. It is only because of what Jesus did long before we committed this or that sin that we do have access to the Father so that we can be forgiven.

    If not so, then why are we told constantly in scriptures to confess and to repent, even after post salvation. If not to restore our fellowship with Him, and others, I might add.

  60. Neo says:

    Linda, when are we “constantly” told in Scripture to confess and repent. There are but a few side references to this aside from conversion. Yes, it is spoken of in the New Testament, but in a very small proportion comparatively to other indicatives. To say Scripture tells me to “constantly” confess and/or repent is not true.

  61. Neo says:

    For all I know, anyone of us could be “sinning” just by posting or our attitude while posting or by not posting at all… who knows?!

  62. Caryn LeMur says:

    Linda @47 talked about lifestyle.

    I recall the scripture ‘unto him that is given much, much is required; to him that is given little, little is required’.

    R. was in prison. He was a young out of control sociopath, breaking legs, beating people, and then he came to Christ. As Christ worked on his heart, he joined organized crime. He fell into prison due to beating someone.

    I pointed out to him how much God was helping him grow spiritually. What a fantastic leap to go from lone-wolf sociopath to joining a group with limits and rules.

    Later, after prison, he wandered about, eventually living in my basement with vodka. He found some dirty socks, and went into a rage, demanding I tell the other house guests to straighten up. But… R did not beat anyone, and he did not rejoin the organized criminals.

    R went on his way in due time… working little small jobs… and finally, working with pets at a pet store. He had, loved, and lost many girlfriends… and is single now. He stays out of legal trouble, and somewhat pays taxes. He buys his own food. He rents a home.

    Look how far he has come. From sociopath, to organized crime, to angry drunk, to normal young citizen. He will be 40 years old before too long.

    I am fully persuaded that R knew Jesus, and Jesus had brought R further in this life than I shall ever be brought. If R died as sociopath, criminal, prisoner, drunkard, or fornicator… I think God would have welcomed R home with greater accolades than me.

    After all, I was a normal citizen by age 16, a believer that attended church, then (much later) someone that decided to let Jesus guide my many friendships, especially to the margins.

    R has advanced four levels; and I have advanced only two.

  63. filbertz says:

    a pair of three-letter words consistently, unnecessarily complicate the gospel.
    The gospel and…
    The gospel, but…

  64. Jim says:

    Awesome TGIF, Michael!

  65. Michael says:

    Linda,

    Again, your system of salvation is utterly dependent on your ability to recognize every sin you commit and repent of it.
    If that’s true I’m going to split hell wide open.
    These passages in Romans 4-5 and elsewhere tell us that a great exchange is made positionally upon faith in Christ.
    He takes our sin and gives us His righteousness.
    We are ‘in Him”…and in Him are all the benefits of being a child of God.
    We do continue to confess and repent…it’s part of being in relationship.
    We don’t do it perfectly or completely, but it’s covered…there is now no condemnation for those who are ‘in Christ Jesus”.
    None of my hope is in me or in my ability to do right and righteously…it’s all in Him and His work on the cross.

  66. Michael says:

    Thank you, Jim.
    It’s good news, no matter how we parse it.

  67. Jean says:

    The gospel is clear that Jesus died for the sins of the world. For Gentiles, repentance in the NT is implicit, never explicit for adoption into the people of God. Repentance is only explicitly required of Jews. My understanding that this is because the Jews were under the law of Moses.

  68. Jim says:

    You parsed it just fine.

  69. Linda Pappas says:

    Michael,

    I really do get what you are saying and I appreciate you being patient with me.

    At the same time when you or anyone else states that:

    “Our justification was completed however, when we believed in Him.”

    But lives in sin, then the brakes come on and scriptures tell me otherwise. I get really concerned towards those who are then thinking that it doesn’t matter what sins they commit, as long as they have belief that Jesus died for their sins, it’s all good and they are free to do whatever, while also thinking they are helpless, because they are “just humans’ and have no other choice but to sin. In this, it raises a huge question on whether, they are really born again. For one that does have the Holy Spirit sins, less and less as they mature in Christ and don’t seek to find an excuse to do otherwise.

    I like your cat stories as well.

    I think Alex’s questions are legitimate. And I wish you had the patience to endure with him. For I know these questions are ever so typical for those who really want to know.

    For instance, God counted Abraham as being righteous because of his faith. Rahab, as well. But where did that faith come from and how was it manifested. Would God give credit to Abraham for something that did not come from His own belief that led him to His obedience in doing what God told him to do. What about Rahab, where did her faith come from in hiding the spies. Each of them chose something—-what was that? So too, does scripture tells us that God gives us each a measure of faith according to our needs. But are the two the same—–that is, Abraham/Rahab having faith and proceeding accordingly vs. faith when we need it as it is needed.

    How can we be given credit for something if it did not rise up from within us. Or is the righteousness being accredited to them have to do more with waking in obedience to the faith given to this. If this is the case, then post salvation, are we not to do the same. For, if we sin then we are in disobedience and our faith is dead. We can do this and do this due to the Holy Spirit being within us. It would then be counted as doing a work unto the Holy Spirit and not unto the flesh, in my opinion. Either way, it is still a choice.

    But to say anyone who claims to believes but continues to sin as if they were still a heathen is truly born again, I think is in great error and risk of eternal damnation. If not, then why bother to repent at all.

  70. Linda Pappas says:

    Michael,

    I hate be a pain in the badoogle.

    ““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. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”
    (Colossians 2:13–15 ESV)”

    This scripture is not saying we are forgiven of present and future sins. It is telling that for all who have come to the Cross of Redemption, through the shed blood of Christ, Jesus that all those sins committed before that time that the debt (the cost) was cancelled. Which in turn would go along with the scripture I’ve already cited regarding “sins past.”

    Past means before coming to the cross Present means sins being committed or have been committed since post salvation and future are sins yet to be committed.

    I get real concerned when Paul and others tells us not to be deceived if we think we can continue in doing certain things and expect to spend eternity with God.

  71. Michael says:

    Linda,

    I’ll take these one at a time.
    The fact that people abuse biblical truth does not negate the fact that the doctrine is true.
    When someone walks in unrepentant sin for a long season it is entirely proper to inquire of them if they have been truly born again.
    Because we don’t practice discipline or preach on holiness often may give some the impression that neither is important…and that could not be farther from the truth.

    As to answering Alex’s (or anybody else) questions…as I said, there are innumerable references and resources out there for people that are far better than anything I can do on the blog.
    I had no intention of being online at all today…I was scheduled to teach a class on beginning computer skills for some seniors when it was cancelled at the last minute.
    At this time in my life I don’t have the time or desire to spend that kind of time here, but I would be happy to direct or even provide resources to inquirers.

    Faith is a gift from God…thats where it comes from.
    It is stirred through the preaching of the Gospel.

    The Scriptures I have already cited state that Abraham, Rahab, you, me … all who are in Christ got there through believing in God as He has revealed Himself to them and in the Scriptures.
    It also clearly states that it is not through works, but through faith.
    That is repeated over and over again.
    Now, true faith will produce works, but the works themselves do not save.

    We are not credited (salvifically) for what rose up within us, but we are credited with what He did for us.

    Those who make a “profession of faith” but live as heathens need to be very nervous if there is no conviction of the Spirit in their lives.

    I think that’s it… 🙂

  72. Jean says:

    Linda,
    Jesus only died once. At that time, He atoned for every sin ever committed, past, present and future, by every human being ever born, past, present and future.

    What you are asking about relates to sins committed by people who have been received into the body of Christ by faith. Aside from potential apostasy, which is another topic altogether, the sins Christians commit will be addressed on the day of judgment. That is why even the Christian confesses sins and seeks forgiveness.

    “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

  73. Michael says:

    Linda,

    The scripture most certainly says that all sins were forgiven at the cross …and it’s not the only one that does so.
    No one is stating that unrepentant sinners get a pass…you’re mixing apples and oranges.

  74. Linda Pappas says:

    Michael,

    “None of my hope is in me or in my ability to do right and righteously…it’s all in Him and His work on the cross.”

    It is in the sacrifice of what He did on the cross that paid the penalty for my sins and He who now lives within me to enable me to do all things in Christ who teaches, convicts, leads, and enables me to do and to walk in Him, including repenting from that which is not of Him. Without this, there is no hope for me, in and of myself,as this would be impossible and to attempt to do this otherwisel would be counted as wood, hay, and stubble.

    Galatians, Chapter 6

    “7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

    8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

  75. Michael says:

    Linda,

    You are right to a point.
    The Holy Spirit enable us to live in holiness…but not perfectly.
    The standard, as you know, is perfection.
    Without the imputed righteousness of Christ we are lost…for if you break one part of the Law you break it all.
    On my best day, I’m still bound for hell…I neither know nor recant everything sinful in the eyes of God.

  76. Steve Wright says:

    At this point it seems necessary to point out that repent means a change of mind. Literally that is the Greek word.

    Specifically concerning salvation, a change of mind about Jesus and about ourselves as sinners. When Peter told the Jerusalem crowd in the very first sermon to repent, the only sin he said they were guilty of was killing Jesus. We err if we look at repentance only in actual actions – for there would be nothing for those Jews to repent of since Jesus had already risen and ascended. Peter told them the truth about Jesus, the truth about themselves, and when they asked “What do we need to do” he said, repent….Change of mind. That change of mind would then be signified outwardly through the identification in the waters of baptism.

    Before Christ, I sought sin eagerly – no conviction, living for self. A Christian may (and does) commit a sin after conversion, but the mindset is totally different.

    First John says if we confess our sins..as part of restoring the fellowship (not the relationship) which we have as we walk in the light with the Lord. John does not say to confess AND repent of our sins, because that repentance already has happened if we are in Christ. However, we need to confess them, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us (present active indicative…i.e 24/7) from ALL sin.

  77. Linda Pappas says:

    Forgiveness is available to those sins committed up to the Cross. That is what the scripture states. Forgiveness after this is still available—but only if a person confesses and repent.

    At least, this is what scripture states. Which for me is the final authority.

    With all due respect, Michael.

    Could it be that Alex be correct that other sources are being referenced when giving an explanation to what we are discussing here.

    The only thing that separates us from Christ is unbelief and sin.

  78. Michael says:

    The Greek term for “all” used in that passage is ‘pas”…which means “all”.

  79. Linda Pappas says:

    Besides, this Romans, chapter 4 is only the beginning, a part of the whole of what Paul has yet to share on this. He takes the reader from God revealing himself and the rebellion of human kind all the way to living a life in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. So, keep on reading—Paul has just begun to get started. 🙂

  80. Michael says:

    “Forgiveness is available to those sins committed up to the Cross. That is what the scripture states.”

    It doesn’t say that.
    It says all were forgiven.
    Do you repent of every sin ?
    You would be the first…

  81. Linda Pappas says:

    Michael,

    Agee with you @ 74. Again, thanks for going the extra mile on this.

  82. Michael says:

    WHAT IS THE GOSPEL MESSAGE?
    J. I. Packer
    IN a word, the evangelistic message is the Gospel of Christ and Him crucified, the message of man’s sin and God’s grace, of human guilt and divine forgiveness, of new birth and new life through the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is a message made up of four essential ingredients.
    The Gospel is a message about God. It tells us who He is, what His character is, what His standards are, and what He requires of us, His creatures. It tells us that we owe our very existence to Him; that for good or ill, we are always in His hands and under His eye; and that He made us to worship and serve Him, to show forth His praise and to live for His glory. These truths are the foundation of theistic6 religion; and until they are grasped, the rest of the Gospel message will seem neither cogent nor relevant. It is here with the assertion of man’s complete and constant dependence on his Creator that the Christian story starts.

    We can learn again from Paul at this point. When preaching to Jews, as at Pisidian Antioch, he did not need to mention the fact that men were God’s creatures. He could take this knowledge for granted, for his hearers had the Old Testament faith behind them. He could begin at once to declare Christ to them as the fulfillment of Old Testament hopes. But when preaching to Gentiles, who knew nothing of the Old Testament, Paul had to go further back and start from the beginning. And the beginning from which Paul started in such cases was the doctrine of God’s Creatorship and man’s creaturehood. So, when the Athenians asked him to explain what his talk of Jesus and the resurrection was all about, he spoke to them first of God the Creator and what He made man for. “God . . .made the world . . . seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made . . . all nations . . . that they should seek the Lord” (Act 17:24-27). This was not, as some have supposed, a piece of philosophical apologetic of a kind that Paul afterwards renounced, but the first and basic lesson in theistic faith. The Gospel starts by teaching us that we, as creatures, are absolutely dependent on God, and that He, as Creator, has an absolute claim on us. Only when we have learned this can we see what sin is, and only when we see what sin is can we understand the good news of salvation from sin. We must know what it means to call God Creator before we can grasp what it means to speak of Him as Redeemer. Nothing can be achieved by talking about sin and salvation where this preliminary lesson has not in some measure been learned.

    2. The Gospel is a message about sin. It tells us how we have fallen short of God’s standard, how we have become guilty, filthy, and helpless in sin, and now stand under the wrath of God. It tells us that the reason why we sin continually is that we are sinners by nature, and that nothing we do or try to do for ourselves can put us right or bring us back into God’s favor. It shows us ourselves as God sees us and teaches us to think of ourselves as God thinks of us. Thus, it leads us to self-despair. And this also is a necessary step. Not until we have learned our need to get right with God and our inability to do so by any effort of our own can we come to know the Christ Who saves from sin.

    There is a pitfall here. Everybody’s life includes things that cause dissatisfaction and shame. Everyone has a bad conscience about some things in his past, matters in which he has fallen short of the standard that he set for himself or that was expected of him by others. The danger is that in our evangelism we should content ourselves with evoking thoughts of these things and making
    people feel uncomfortable about them, and then depicting Christ as the One who saves us from these elements of ourselves, without even raising the question of our relationship with God. But this is just the question that has to be raised when we speak about sin. For the very idea of sin in the Bible is of an offence against God that disrupts a man’s relationship with God. Unless we see our shortcomings in the light of the Law and holiness of God, we do not see them as sin at all. For sin is not a social concept; it is a theological concept. Though sin is committed by man, and many sins are against society, sin cannot be defined in terms of either man or society. We never know what sin really is until we have learned to think of it in terms of God and to measure it, not by human standards, but by the yardstick of His total demand on our lives.

    What we have to grasp, then, is that the bad conscience of the natural man is not at all the same thing as conviction of sin. It does not, therefore, follow that a man is convicted of sin when he is distressed about his weaknesses and the wrong things he has done. It is not conviction of sin just to feel miserable about yourself, your failures, and your inadequacy to meet life’s demands. Nor would it be saving faith if a man in that condition called on the Lord Jesus Christ just to soothe him, and cheer him up, and make him feel confident again. Nor should we be preaching the Gospel (though we might imagine we were) if all that we did was to present Christ in terms of a man’s felt wants: “Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Do you want peace of mind? Do you feel that you have failed? Are you fed up with yourself? Do you want a friend? Then come to Christ; He will meet your every need”—as if the Lord Jesus Christ were to be thought of as a fairy godmother or a super-psychiatrist . . . To be convicted of sin means, not just to feel that one is an all-round flop, but to realize that one has offended God, and flouted His authority, and defied Him, and gone against Him, and put oneself in the wrong with Him. To preach Christ means
    to set Him forth as the One Who through His cross sets men right with God again . . .
    It is indeed true that the real Christ, the Christ of the Bible, Who [reveals] Himself to us as a Savior from sin and an Advocate with God, does in fact give peace, and joy, and moral strength, and the privilege of His own friendship to those who trust Him. But the Christ who is depicted and desired merely to make the lot of life’s casualties easier by supplying them with aids and comforts is not the real Christ, but a misrepresented and misconceived Christ—in effect, an imaginary Christ. And if we taught people to look to an imaginary Christ, we should have no grounds for expecting that they would find a real salvation. We must be on our guard, therefore, against equating a natural bad conscience and sense of wretchedness with spiritual conviction of sin and so omitting in our evangelism to impress upon sinners the basic truth about their condition—namely, that their sin has alienated them from God and exposed them to His condemnation, and hostility, and wrath, so that their first need is for a restored relationship with Him . . .

  83. Michael says:

    2. The Gospel is a message about sin. It tells us how we have fallen short of God’s standard, how we have become guilty, filthy, and helpless in sin, and now stand under the wrath of God. It tells us that the reason why we sin continually is that we are sinners by nature, and that nothing we do or try to do for ourselves can put us right or bring us back into God’s favor. It shows us ourselves as God sees us and teaches us to think of ourselves as God thinks of us. Thus, it leads us to self-despair. And this also is a necessary step. Not until we have learned our need to get right with God and our inability to do so by any effort of our own can we come to know the Christ Who saves from sin.

    There is a pitfall here. Everybody’s life includes things that cause dissatisfaction and shame. Everyone has a bad conscience about some things in his past, matters in which he has fallen short of the standard that he set for himself or that was expected of him by others. The danger is that in our evangelism we should content ourselves with evoking thoughts of these things and making
    people feel uncomfortable about them, and then depicting Christ as the One who saves us from these elements of ourselves, without even raising the question of our relationship with God. But this is just the question that has to be raised when we speak about sin. For the very idea of sin in the Bible is of an offence against God that disrupts a man’s relationship with God. Unless we see our shortcomings in the light of the Law and holiness of God, we do not see them as sin at all. For sin is not a social concept; it is a theological concept. Though sin is committed by man, and many sins are against society, sin cannot be defined in terms of either man or society. We never know what sin really is until we have learned to think of it in terms of God and to measure it, not by human standards, but by the yardstick of His total demand on our lives.

    What we have to grasp, then, is that the bad conscience of the natural man is not at all the same thing as conviction of sin. It does not, therefore, follow that a man is convicted of sin when he is distressed about his weaknesses and the wrong things he has done. It is not conviction of sin just to feel miserable about yourself, your failures, and your inadequacy to meet life’s demands. Nor would it be saving faith if a man in that condition called on the Lord Jesus Christ just to soothe him, and cheer him up, and make him feel confident again. Nor should we be preaching the Gospel (though we might imagine we were) if all that we did was to present Christ in terms of a man’s felt wants: “Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Do you want peace of mind? Do you feel that you have failed? Are you fed up with yourself? Do you want a friend? Then come to Christ; He will meet your every need”—as if the Lord Jesus Christ were to be thought of as a fairy godmother or a super-psychiatrist . . . To be convicted of sin means, not just to feel that one is an all-round flop, but to realize that one has offended God, and flouted His authority, and defied Him, and gone against Him, and put oneself in the wrong with Him. To preach Christ means
    to set Him forth as the One Who through His cross sets men right with God again . . .
    It is indeed true that the real Christ, the Christ of the Bible, Who [reveals] Himself to us as a Savior from sin and an Advocate with God, does in fact give peace, and joy, and moral strength, and the privilege of His own friendship to those who trust Him. But the Christ who is depicted and desired merely to make the lot of life’s casualties easier by supplying them with aids and comforts is not the real Christ, but a misrepresented and misconceived Christ—in effect, an imaginary Christ. And if we taught people to look to an imaginary Christ, we should have no grounds for expecting that they would find a real salvation. We must be on our guard, therefore, against equating a natural bad conscience and sense of wretchedness with spiritual conviction of sin and so omitting in our evangelism to impress upon sinners the basic truth about their condition—namely, that their sin has alienated them from God and exposed them to His condemnation, and hostility, and wrath, so that their first need is for a restored relationship with Him . . .
    3. The Gospel is a message about Christ—Christ, the Son of God incarnate; Christ, the Lamb of God, dying for sin; Christ, the risen Lord; Christ, the perfect Savior.
    Two points need to be made about the declaring of this part of the message: (i) We must not present the Person of Christ apart from His saving work. It is sometimes said that it is the presentation of Christ’s Person, rather than of doctrines about Him, that draws sinners to His feet. It is true that it is the living Christ Who saves and that a theory of the atonement, however orthodox, is no substitute. When this remark is made, however, what is usually being suggested is that doctrinal instruction is dispensable in evangelistic preaching, and that all the evangelist need do is paint a vivid word-picture of the man of Galilee who went about doing good, and then assure his hearers that this Jesus is still alive to help them in their troubles. But such a message could hardly be called the Gospel. It would, in reality, be a mere conundrum, serving only to mystify . . . the truth is that you cannot make sense of the historic figure of Jesus until you know about the Incarnation—that this Jesus was in fact God the Son, made man to save sinners according to His Father’s eternal purpose. Nor can you make sense of His life until you know about the atonement—that He lived as man so that He might die as man for men, and that His passion, His judicial murder was really His saving action of bearing away the world’s sins. Nor can you tell on what terms to approach Him now until you know about the resurrection, ascension, and heavenly session—that Jesus has been raised, and enthroned, and made King, and lives to save to the uttermost all who acknowledge His Lordship. These doctrines, to mention no others, are essential to the Gospel . . . In fact, without these doctrines you would have no Gospel to preach at all.

    (ii) But there is a second and complementary point: we must not present the saving work of Christ apart from His Person. Evangelistic preachers and personal workers have sometimes been known to make this mistake. In their concern to focus attention on the atoning death of Christ, as the sole sufficient ground on which sinners may be accepted with God, they have expounded the summons to saving faith in these terms: “Believe that Christ died for your sins.” The effect of this exposition is to represent the saving work of Christ in the past, dissociated from His Person in the present, as the whole object of our trust. But it is not biblical thus to isolate the work from the Worker. Nowhere in the New Testament is the call to believe expressed in such terms. What the New Testament calls for is faith in (en) or into (eis) or upon (epi) Christ Himself—the placing of our trust in the living Savior, Who died for sins. The object of saving faith is thus not, strictly speaking, the atonement, but the Lord Jesus Christ, Who made atonement. We must not, in presenting the Gospel, isolate the cross and its benefits from the Christ Whose cross it was. For the persons to whom the benefits of Christ’s death belong are just those who trust His Person and believe, not upon His saving death simply, but upon Him, the living Savior. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” said Paul (Act 16:31). “Come unto me . . . and I will give you rest,” said our Lord (Mat 11:28).
    This being so, one thing becomes clear straight away: namely, that the question about the extent of the atonement, which is being much agitated in some quarters, has no bearing on the content of the evangelistic message at this particular point. I do not propose to discuss this question now; I have done that elsewhere. I am not at present asking you whether you think it is true to say that Christ died in order to save every single human being, past, present, and future, or not. Nor am I at present inviting you to make up your mind on this question, if you have not done so already. All I want to say here is that even if you think the above assertion is true, your presentation of Christ in evangelism ought not to differ from that of the man who thinks it false.

    What I mean is this: it is obvious that if a preacher thought that the statement, “Christ died for every one of you,” made to any congregation, would be unverifiable and probably not true, he would take care not to make it in his Gospel preaching. You do not find such statements in the sermons of, for instance, George Whitefield or Charles Spurgeon. But now, my point is that, even if a man thinks that this statement would be true if he made it, it is not a thing that he ever needs to say or ever has reason to say, when preaching the Gospel. For preaching the Gospel, as we have just seen, means [calling] sinners to come to Jesus Christ, the living Savior, Who, by virtue of His atoning death, is able to forgive and save all those who put their trust in Him. What has to be said about the cross when preaching the Gospel is simply that Christ’s death is the
    ground on which Christ’s forgiveness is given. And this is all that has to be said. The question of the designed extent of the atonement does not come into the story at all . . . The fact is that the New Testament never calls on any man to repent on the ground that Christ died specifically and particularly for him.
    The Gospel is not, “Believe that Christ died for everybody’s sins, and therefore for yours,” any more than it is, “Believe that Christ died only for certain people’s sins, and so perhaps not for yours” . . . We have no business to ask them to put faith in any view of the extent of the atonement. Our job is to point them to the living Christ, and summon them to trust in Him . . . This brings us to the final ingredient in the Gospel message.

  84. Michael says:

    4. The Gospel is a summons to faith and repentance. All who hear the Gospel are summoned by God to repent and believe. “God . . . commandeth all men every where to repent,” Paul told the Athenians (Act 17:30). When asked by His hearers what they should do in order to “work the works of God,” our Lord replied, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (Joh 6:29). And in 1 John 3:23 we read: “This is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ . . . ”Repentance and faith are rendered matters of duty by God’s direct command, and hence impenitence and unbelief are singled out in the New Testament as most grievous sins. With these universal commands, as we indicated above, go universal promises of salvation to all who obey them. “Through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Act 10:43). “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev 22:17). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Joh 3:16). These words are promises to which God will stand as long as time shall last. It needs to be said that faith is not a mere optimistic feeling, any more than repentance is a mere regretful or remorseful feeling. Faith and repentance are both acts, and acts of the whole man . . . faith is essentially the casting and resting of oneself and one’s confidence on the promises of mercy which Christ has given to sinners, and on the Christ Who gave those promises. Equally, repentance is more than just sorrow for the past; repentance is a change of mind and heart, a new life of denying self and serving the Savior as King in self’s place …

    Two further points need to be made also:
    (i) The demand is for faith as well as repentance. It is not enough to resolve to turn from sin, give up evil habits, and try to put Christ’s teaching into practice by being religious and doing all possible good to others. Aspiration,14 and resolution, and morality, and religiosity,15 are no substitutes for faith . . . If there is to be faith, however, there must be a foundation of knowledge: a man must know of Christ, and of His cross, and of His promises before saving faith becomes a possibility for him. In our presentation of the Gospel, therefore, we need to stress these things, in order to lead sinners to abandon all confidence in themselves and to trust wholly in Christ and the power of His redeeming blood to give them acceptance with God. For nothing less than this is faith.

    (ii) The demand is for repentance as well as faith . . . If there is to be repentance, however, there must, again, be a foundation of knowledge . . . More than once, Christ deliberately called attention to the radical break with the past that repentance involves. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me … whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Mat 16:24, 25). “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also (i.e., put them all decisively second in his esteem), he cannot be my disciple . . . whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luk 14:26, 33).

    The repentance that Christ requires of His people consists in a settled refusal to set any limit to the claims that He may make on their lives . . . He had no interest in gathering vast crowds of professed adherents who would melt away as soon as they found out what following Him actually demanded of them. In our own presentation of Christ’s Gospel, therefore, we need to lay a similar stress on the cost of following Christ, and make sinners face it soberly before we urge them to respond to the message of free forgiveness. In common honesty, we must not conceal the fact that free forgiveness in one sense will cost everything; or else our evangelizing becomes a sort of confidence trick. And where there is no clear knowledge, and hence no realistic recognition of the real claims that Christ makes, there can be no repentance, and therefore no salvation. Such is the evangelistic message that we are sent to make known.

    From Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God by J. I. Packer. Copyright (c) 1961 Inter-Varsity Fellowship, England. Used with permission of InterVarsity Press, PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515. http://www.ivpress.com
    _______________________

  85. Michael says:

    That’s it…the balance between complete forgiveness and holy living.

    That’s all I’ve got…I’m out.

  86. Linda Pappas says:

    All sins committed up to the point of the cross. Not all sin that will ever be committed. Those after the cross still needs to be put away by having a change of heart and then not practicing such things that offends our Savior, Lord, and God.

    Forgiveness is available, but unless one repents, they cannot receive that forgiveness.

    Someone also mentioned that sins after the Cross will be judge when He returns. True, but for those that repent from those sins committed, they will not be judged. What more, we who are in Christ are supposed to judge these who are in the church for a variety of reasons and if they repent we are to restore and be reconciled with them. So too, if we repent, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin (s). “IS” is a present tense. Not something in the past, nor something in the future.

    The term “sinless perfection” is only a cop-out to enable someone to think, “well, since we are never going to be perfect, I can go along with ridding myself of those things that won’t cause me too much inconvenience, but for the tougher stuff, I will fall back upon the blood of Jesus to get me through this.” Truth: we love the sin, more than we love Jesus and we permit ourselves to be deceived.

  87. Linda Pappas says:

    Have to move on, Michael—again, thanks for bearing with me.

    Have a blessed day, my friend.

  88. Linda Pappas says:

    Michael @ 87 and 88.

    Yes, this is precisely what I am saying——–although, far less eloquently.

  89. Caryn LeMur says:

    Linda @ 89: I sin against my doctor’s orders every day. I still eat chocolate, drink lemonade, and have tomato juice. Even though the Bible says to be subject to every authority of man.

    I am not obese, by any means. But those items ‘will’ destroy my body due to my new urological reaction to them.

    I also speed down the road. Again, I sin against the governmental authorities. And, I won’t repent of that. I am cool with breaking that law repeatedly.

    Furthermore, I consistently have refused to obey “have nothing to do with the ungodly” given that is a sin for the immature, but not a sin for the mature in Christ.

    I also eat meat (which is a sin to my 7th day friends), and seldom worship on the Sabbath (Saturday is a fun day for me).

    Sooo, which list of sins is not in need of repentance? Which list is the ones I should repent of? How often should I repent?

    Your theory is good, but the practical application of it escapes me.

    Please give us your list of sins that require repentance, the time constraints, how often we should repent, and so forth.

  90. Michael says:

    Blessings on you as well, my friend.
    Time for me to pick up the boy.

  91. Linda Pappas says:

    Caryn,

    I truly appreciate your candor.

    I don’t need to tell you what the consequences of not following your doctor’s advice, or speeding down the highway or even hanging out those who are practicing sin or are outside of the will of God. But I can say this. if you don’t, the consequences will become self evident.

    I guess when you hit a wall or worse, it will give you more time to think about how you may viewing some things from God’s perspective and not your own.

    To do that which you know to be sin is just plain rebellion I think you have answered your own question and have come up with a pretty good list to get started on. There’s no time, like today in asking God to help you to put away the sarcasm and to desire His will and His way instead of your own.

    In the Bible, there is no admonition against eating red meat. As for the Sabbath being on Saturday, for some it is sin, then it is sin, but if you have no conviction on this, I wouldn’t be concerned, as everyday belongs to the Lord. Right.

    Personally, I hope you decide to slow down—not so much because it is against the law, but more so for the safety of others, as well as your own. 🙂

  92. Caryn LeMur says:

    Linda @94: no real sarcasm here.

    If this idea of yours – repentance and confession of sins is required for eternal life – then, we should begin with the definition of ‘what is sin’.

    I see that you have answered the question: whatever a person believes is sin, to them it is sin. I am surprised that you believe in the relativity of sin.

    And that is it? Is there more to your definition of ‘what sins need to be confessed’?

    Your religion is interesting. Please list the sins that are major, minor, cardinal, venial, unforgiveable, etc, within your religious world view.

    You have me quite curious about you and your religion.

  93. caryn_lemur@yahoo.com says:

    On another point, a friend of mine has a family that believes last rites are essential to salvation.

    It is a very deep belief among their family members.

    The father passed away due to cancer. Near his bed, he put a sign “Jesus, I look forward to seeing you.”

    The family was appalled. They believe he is in hell today, due to his final sin of refusing the sacraments of their ‘last rites’. They don’t know what to make of the weird sign.

    My friend had abandoned that belief system in 1998. So, he is not upset. Needless to say, my friend is hated by his own family for the time being.

    It is sad, in my opinion, that his eternal life was lost due to one final sin.

  94. Babylon's Dread says:

    Caryn…

    NO… the man dies with the confession of his faith written beside him… and people suggest that an unconfessed sin kept him in darkness?

    There is plenty of literature out there explaining why this kind of theological claim is nonsense. No one is lost predicated upon a single unconfessed sin. Not ONE.

  95. Linda Pappas says:

    Caryn

    Read what Michael posted @ 85-87.

    As for what I stated regarding keeping the Sabbath on Saturday, I apologize as I should have reference scripture:

    Read Romans 14:5:

    “One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind.”

    Galatians ch 4:9-11 “But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.”

    Colossians ch 2:16-17 “Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day–things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.”

    . Caryn, my relationship with and in Christ Jesus is not a religion.

    What is your definition of sin.
    What must you do to be saved, besides say, “I believe.”

  96. Linda Pappas says:

    “Repentance is not works. Repentance is a heart attitude that is brought about by godly sorrow over our sin. 2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” Repentance is the desire to turn from our vile sin, and to be cleansed by the pure, precious blood of Jesus Christ. A gospel message that does not include repentance (turning from sin) is not a true gospel message. There are many false gospel messages going forth today by churches that tell the lost that they do not have to turn from their sin to be saved. They tell people, “God will accept you just the way that you are.” That is a statement like Satan made in the Garden of Eden to Eve, that has some truth in it, and some lies in it — thus making it all a lie. ”

    http://www.libertygospeltracts.com/question/prequest/repentance.htm

  97. ( |o )====::: says:

    Hello Michael!

    All the best to you & Trey!

  98. Caryn LeMur says:

    Linda @98 & 99:

    I guess we are then in agreement.

    Summing up what you have stated:

    – Sin is relative to the person’s conscience (hence the Sabbath and meat).

    – Repentance is an attitude (‘desire to turn’) and not necessarily an action.

    – Relationship is by calling on the name of the Lord, and is salvation eternal. One can still move towards being more like Jesus, like the Bible’s prescriptions, and/or like a admirable spiritual leader.

    As to my religion, for 25 years I was an ordinary Christian: deacon, elder, pastor, professor of business at a small bible college. Nothing much there, really.

    Then, I realized that I had no reward in heaven for my doctrine and actions, given I had only loved those that were like me. I then began to notice the wild boys smoking behind the church we attended, huddled near the trash cans. I became their friend. One died. The church made it difficult for me to stay there (they focused on the offense, but kept praying for revival… sad and humorous that God had answered their prayers, but they rejected the answer…).

    In time, I learned to love those that were not like me, so that I had a reward in heaven: the believer in prison, the runaways and others that we took into our home, the mob of Latinos on the corner, and then the homeless in the tents in the woods. I have little fear, but learned to take a body-guard until the men ‘adopted’ me into their in-group (then, I had hordes of body-guards… lol.)

    Doctrine means so little to me now. The Parable of the Good Samaritan shows me that action towards the wounded that ‘are on the other side of the tracks’ is far more important than any correct doctrine. After all, the hero exalted by Jesus is a Samaritan… that is like saying a Gay man married to his partner that is Buddhist… wrong lifestyle, wrong doctrine, wrong everything… but impressing the heart of God.

    Thus, although I am older now, I still keep much friendship with the underground club people, alternative society people, those that co-habit (rather than marry), LGBT friends, and so forth. I have learned that listening is the most powerful expression of love.

    Most of the time now, I encourage an online community of former believers that have left the faith. I have found a Jesus of gentle healing action, rather than a Jesus of doctrinal teaching.

    Thank you for sharing about your doctrine, Linda.

    – to be continued –

  99. Caryn LeMur says:

    Linda, continuing on:

    I am very curious about religions, as you can tell. If doctrine allows a person to escape the gravity-pull of their church organization and develop/encourage an ability to impact ‘orphans, widows, wounded left half-dead, the hungry, thirsty, unclothed, homeless, those sick or in prison’ – then their doctrine is excellent. It does not matter what their doctrine is or was… it worked for them. It launched them into loving as Christ loved.

    Your posts are unique here, in terms of doctrine. The other posts appear to be doctrine, with hardly a mention of impact into the community with their own two hands. Thus, I thought you would enjoy sharing about your impact.

    May I ask about your religion? Are you a mystic, having little contact except with the relationship of Jesus? Are you in a cloister? Are you in an extended cloister (like my first 25 years on the Protestant side of things), wherein your life is surrounded by believers of the same mind and/or training? Are you impacting the ‘orphans and widows’ or the ‘wounded on the road, half-dead’?

    There is no attack here, nor condemnation by me. After all, I spent 25 years in Alliance, Calvary, Vineyard, non-denom Protestant… a dozen doctrinal stances, to be sure. I have watched and read many doctrinal statements in this blog and a dozen others… I see the same dances that I did. I see their doctrines being discussed, I observe the gravity-pull of church involvement (often to the level of an inescapable black hole)… yet, I see none talking about their launch into the real world to impact those on the margins.

    But I thought, with your strong defense of your doctrine, perhaps you would be willing to show me what effect it has had on your impact on the community of orphans, widows, wounded half-dead, etc. If no impact, then it is ok to say so.

    BTW, almost every pastor I have met, is teaching and adding to the gravity-pull of their church doctrine – very few pastors even teach in the local jail, visit the sick that are outside their own congregation, and take food to the homeless.

    I want to know what doctrines really work to launch people into being like Jesus, rather than being consumed by church attendance.

    Let me know your thoughts. Cheers! Caryn

  100. Michael says:

    “very few pastors even teach in the local jail, visit the sick that are outside their own congregation, and take food to the homeless.”

    Bull spit.

    What a loving broad brush that is.

    I know a lot of pastors who do the work of a shepherd…they don’t get any press, but they are the true backbone of the church.
    Exactly how the hell are they supposed to know someone outside their congregation is sick?
    Is that published somewhere?
    Most of the guys I know work hard at being pastors…then they get to read stuff like this.
    The local jail here has a backlog of people willing to serve, as does the mission.

  101. Jean says:

    Caryn, thank you for sharing. I appreciate your perspectives.

  102. Alex says:

    It seems there are largely two camps: Universalists and Calvinists and who seem to assert that you can’t and don’t “earn” salvation and non-hell…it is truly a Gift and truly Grace from a benevolent God who unilaterally gifts the salvation and non-hell…Universalists believe it is for truly “all”…while Calvinists have a rather bizarre and non-specific “salvation by correct doctrine” that if you believe and profess all the right things about Jesus…you get that Unilateral Gift super-imposed onto you without you willing it…basically you’re one of the lucky few.

    Pretty much everyone else including Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals etc. have some sort of “works righteousness” construct where you are a “true believer” if you do good things, are holy in general, repent often and live a good and moral life…thereby earning and proving you are really saved.

  103. Alex says:

    Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved–The Bible

    “Mormons don’t believe in the REAL Jesus”

    “Catholics don’t believe in the REAL Jesus”

    “Lutherans don’t believe in the REAL Jesus”

    “Charismatics don’t believe in the REAL Jesus”

    “Calvinist don’t believe in the REAL Jesus”

    My question is this to each of you: Do you believe in the correct Abraham Lincoln? What about your belief in Abraham Lincoln makes your belief the “correct Lincoln” and not some false Lincoln and thereby negating your “belief”?

  104. Alex says:

    Do you have to have a particular set of beliefs about who Abraham Lincoln truly was and profess a correct understanding of Abraham Lincoln’s philosophy and practice to have a “belief” in Abraham Lincoln?

    Who dictates what Lincoln’s “correct history and correct attributes and correct interpretation of his philosophy” really is?

    Is it Consensus of historians? Is it Consensus of Scholars? Is it purely up to your individual opinion based on whatever version of history you are reading and your interpretation of his speeches and written works?

  105. Michael says:

    I only have a minute here…
    Calvinists. Lutherans, Catholics, and Charismaticsa all agree on the person and work of Christ.
    They differ on the “mechanics” of salvation.
    The Christian faith has always accepted Christ as He has revealed Himself in Scripture.
    Mormons do not.
    Christianity believes that Christ is the Creator God, the second person of the Trinity.
    Mormonism believes that Christ was a created being who achieved godhood.
    Huge difference.

  106. Alex says:

    No, that is not an accurate representation of Mormon beliefs. I have studied and continue to study the Mormon beliefs regarding Jesus and they are sometimes more literal to the text than yours and mine. There is a bit of nuance and it is not as black and white as you stated.

  107. Alex, if you believe that version of Mormonism it was probably presented to you by someone who is stealing from the Christian faith.

    Mormon theology is clear as to the origins of Jesus Christ.

  108. Alex says:

    Michael, that take is about like Bryson’s characterization of your Calvinism. It is not really the Mormon position and there is much nuance that the “comparison” by anti-mormons doesn’t nearly present in an intellectually honest manner…just like you claim when many present your Calvinism in a manner you state is not what you really believe.

  109. Alex says:

    For instance, a few questions for you personally:

    Do you really truly believe that Jesus is the “only BEGOTTEN son of God”?

  110. Alex says:

    Greek for “Begotten” in the KJV is “Monogene”

    only begotten, child.
    From monos and ginomai; only-born, i.e. Sole — only (begotten, child).

    A very literal interpretation is as the greek states.

    Mormons profess and believe that Jesus is part of the “Godhead” which is entirely biblical…the bible references the “Godhead” but never mentions “trinity” which is an extra-biblical term and concept post-bible.

  111. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I have no interest in debating Mormon theology.
    Their own works declare that Jesus was the offspring of his father and a mother and progressed to godhood.
    He was incarnated by an actual sexual act between the father and Mary.
    They are polytheists and are not Christians.
    There are tons of documents and source material to support that if anyone is interested.

    If you find their doctrine compelling that is sad, but it’s not an argument I’m going to engage.

  112. Alex says:

    I’m not debating Mormon Theology, I am not a Mormon, I am answering your previous questions and asking questions of my own related to your previous statements and your professed belief that the bible contains all the answers.

  113. Alex says:

    What do I have to believe “correctly” about Jesus to earn the get-out-of-hell free card and do I have to live a certain way to validate the card?

  114. Xenia says:

    Do you really truly believe that Jesus is the “only BEGOTTEN son of God”?<<<

    Yes, He is begotten, not made, as it says in the Creed.

    The reason that exact phrase was put in the Nicene Creed was to counter the heretic Arius who said "begotten" and "made" were synonymous. They are not.

  115. Alex says:

    Michael, you state from Calvinism that God monergistically selects you and basically forces regeneration on you…you don’t have any choice, it just happens, free gift, monergistic, unilateral.

    If God does this…and you truly believe that Non-Calvinists are saved as well…why doesn’t God impart the “correct doctrine” to all the others like you also profess is necessary to be “truly saved”?

    Who has enough “correct doctrinal belief” to be truly saved in your opinion…and who doesn’t? Why do so many who don’t profess and belief your “correct doctrine” seem to live lives much more marked by the “fruit of the Spirit” than you and many other Calvinists?

  116. Alex says:

    X said, “”begotten” and “made” were synonymous. They are not.”

    Then you deny Jesus’s physical birth as 100% human? His DNA, his cells, his literal physical body wasn’t “made” or created?

  117. Michael says:

    The early creeds and councils affirmed the biblical testimony about Jesus and I affirm them.
    The life of a believer is one of of sinning and repentance from sin, the ideals are presented in the pages of Scriptures.
    Sanctification is a process…an individual process superintended by the Holy Spirit.
    there is a set of orthodox doctrines that all Christians everywhere agree on and those truths are in those early documents.

  118. Alex says:

    “there is a set of orthodox doctrines that all Christians everywhere agree on and those truths are in those early documents.”

    Which set? Nicene Creeds?

  119. Alex says:

    “We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.”–Nicene Creed

    Why are you not all Roman Catholic then if you profess the Nicene Creed?

  120. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I believe that God has saved people in every orthodox Christian sect.
    I have no idea why God has allowed so much division…I only assume that it will somehow make sense when I get home.
    We don’t exhibit the fruit of the Spirit as we should because we are both saved and sinners at the same time.

    The basic Gospel to me is simply believing that that God was incarnated as man and came to save sinners, was crucified and rose again and will come again to judge the quick and the dead.

    That has some more content, but those are the basics.

  121. Alex says:

    The current Creed of the Roman Catholics reads:

    “I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.”

    This is essentially what Mormons believe and profess.

  122. Michael says:

    Catholic means universal, not Roman.

  123. Alex says:

    “I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.”

    Yes, small c, however, in 325 when the Council was held…there was only the Roman Catholic Church, correct?

  124. Michael says:

    Wrong,

    There was one church, as yet unspilt.
    The pre-eminence of Rome had not fully taken hold.

  125. Michael says:

    Mormons use similar verbiage in an attempt to obfuscate their heresies, but the content of their words is radically different from orthodoxy.
    What they believe about the nature and origin of Christ is radically different from orthodoxy.

  126. Alex says:

    Who was the first catholic church universal with the first claims of authority?

    When the bible speaks of obeying the authority God puts in place…who was the first “Church” in that regard?

    I am under the overwhelming impression that is the Roman Catholic Church from which all other official churches rebelled against…am I wrong?

  127. Alex says:

    Here is the point as I’m sure you might not be connecting the dots:

    If salvation is truly by “correct doctrine” by what authority do you make your doctrinal claims?

    If salvation is truly by Spirit and fruits of the Spirit…then the door is wide open, IMO.

  128. Michael says:

    The early church was ruled by councils comprised of bishops from different locations.
    The Bishop of Rome eventually won pre-eminence over the Western church…the Eastern church did not accede to his rule.

  129. Alex says:

    When you claim “Well the AUTHORITY of scripture!”

    …what you are really claiming is a 1500’s european western interpretation of what the largely Jewish and previously Roman Catholic bible states…and those re-interpretations occurred more as a result of the Philosophical thought of that era and not the historical Jewish or Roman Catholic interpretations that precede the Reformed interpretations.

  130. Xenia says:

    Alex, that’s not the Nicene Creed you are quoting, that’s the Nicene-Constantinoplitan Creed. There are no Nicene Creeds, either, but maybe that was a typo on your part.

    The “begotten not made” is not a reference to His Incarnation. That was not the issue that led to the convening of the Council of Nicea. The question at hand was this: Was there ever a time when the Son was not? Did the Logos always exist? Was He co-eternal with the Father? In other words, Arius believed “begotten” meant that at some time in eternity past* the Father created the Son. Arius believed the Son was a created being. This teaching was declared anathema at Nicea and the Creed was written as a summary of the Councils deliberations.

    As Michael said, “catholic” does not mean “Roman Catholic,” which would have been an anachronism. It means “universal.” The Roman Catholic Church did not exist in the 4th century, there was only one undivided Church.

    I think for many types of Protestants some of the words/ phrases of the Creed would have to be redefined, that is, meant to say something other than what the fathers at Nicaea intended,

  131. Xenia says:

    Yes, small c, however, in 325 when the Council was held…there was only the Roman Catholic Church, correct?<<<

    Absolutely not.

  132. Alex says:

    My personal opinion is that God is Spirit and not doctrine and that explains the many variations and differences in interpretation of the same and similar texts depending on the canon you read from and the particular bible version you read from.

    As such, it is more likely that we don’t really know what is “correct doctrine” and what is required for salvation, it is more spiritual and less quantitative other than “fruits of the spirit”

  133. Michael says:

    Alex,

    That’s your opinion and you’re welcome to it.
    My basic doctrinal beliefs are common to all of orthodox Christianity.
    We differ on some major issues, but not on fundamental issues such as the Incarnation, the deity and nature of Christ, the Trinity and others.

  134. Michael says:

    I’m out…way behind today already.

  135. Xenia says:

    I put an asterisk by “eternity past” because it’s not the best phrase to use but everybody knows what it means, I think.

  136. Alex says:

    X, again, your feedback demonstrates the vast differences in interpreting words and forming a salvation based on semantics and definitions of words and implied intent etc. Too sketchy…proven out by the vast differences in opinions which are self-evident.

  137. Alex says:

    Michael, you do assent to the fact that the Trinity is not a biblical term and is an extra-biblical concept that was developed invoking philosophers like Aristotle and Plato and Neo-platonists like Plonitus, correct? You do assent to the fact that there are early church fathers who did not present a “Trinity” concept in the manner in which you accept today…that is fact as well.

  138. Alex says:

    I’ve gotta run as well, much work in the real world to do. Gotta continue to be a good dad and good provider and get my stuff done, though I really appreciate the discussion.

  139. Xenia says:

    This is what we’ve come to expect from you Alex. You make some statements, you are corrected, and instead of acknowledging that you got something wrong, you change the subject.

  140. Michael says:

    No, I do not assent to that.
    I believe the Trinity is a doctrine , though not named in Scripture,that is from Scripture.

    My last word is that there are big differences within orthodox Christianity.
    That is obvious.
    My Calvinism is based on my fallible understanding of Scriptures…and because it is fallible I enjoy the company of all the brethren within orthodoxy despite our differences.

    I learn from all the brethren.

    God will sort out the differences when He comes back.

  141. Alex says:

    X, that is incorrect. I disagree. I am under the impression the continued discussion is unwanted or I would specifically address your claims and point out the specific disagreement and back it up with facts and data to which you would probably disagree.

  142. Xenia says:

    Actually, the early fathers did speak of a triune God. Tertullian came up with the word trinity, that’s all.

  143. Alex says:

    X, I would be happy to unpack that and engage in a detailed reply to your claims which are only partially accurate and I would then focus more on the substance of the comment than a historical minutia of the title of the council…but it is:

    1. Difficult to have the discussion with two folks at once (MIke and you)

    2. Then I’m engaged in responding to two voices on here, then I get accused of “dominating a thread”

    3. I’m Scape-goated and blamed for ruining a blog that discusses doctrinal differences ad nauseum but when I engage it is “ruining the blog!” etc.

  144. Alex says:

    That’s it for me today, I do have real world work to do and if Michael lets all my comments post, it is appreciated so folks can have the full context of the discussion.

  145. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I did let all the comments post, but I do have to leave and won’t be back until Monday.

  146. Xenia says:

    I brought out the minutia of the title because it seems to demonstrate your unfamiliarity with the subject matter.

    And with that parting insult, 🙂

    I am off to do some other stuff.

  147. Xenia says:

    You do assent to the fact that there are early church fathers who did not present a “Trinity” concept in the manner in which you accept today…that is fact as well.<<<

    Clement of Rome, in his Epistle to the Corinthians, written before the year 100, used a trinitarian forumula:

    In Chapter 46 he writes: "Have we not all the same God? and the Same Christ? Is not the same Spirit of Grace shed upon us all?

    And in Chapter 58 he writes: "As surely as God lives, as Jesus Christ lives, and the Holy Ghost…."

    After Clement, other early fathers talk about the Trinity w/o using the word "Trinity." Sts. Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp, Justin and also the Didache makes speaks of a triune God.

    These are the earliest Christian writers, the Apostolic fathers. Who did you have in mind?

  148. Jean says:

    Xenia,
    Pray that I never second guess you re: the Patristic era. 🙂

  149. Bob says:

    Alex:

    “My personal opinion is that God is Spirit and not doctrine”

    I think that’s a “duh” statement.

    Doctrine is man’s way of trying to define things and build “stairways to heaven.”

    What I believe is the scriptures help us to know God, His dealings with His creation and how that creation can live in peace with Him. Yep MLD has this mostly right. 😉

    Now the word spirit, in a visual imagery sense, is wind, breath, etc. Since we know in a modern world that both breath and wind are really created things, they in themselves can’t be God, but rather are words and images used to describe the describable.

    It might also be noted the God of scriptures doesn’t have a name, just attributes, like “name above all names” and “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” nor is there an image (and He commands to not make a graven image) yet the scriptures are full of imagery defining God.

    Of course we Christians have an image of God in Jesus, the Messiah (Christ for the Greek in us). A real man whose only image we have is a Western Jesus and not a Palestinian one.

    Yep it’s a strange belief system which causes many to stumble, including the elect.

    Just rambling some thoughts.

  150. Xenia says:

    You know that big 38- volume set of the Early Church Fathers that costs $250?

    Well, you can get them all for $2.99 for your Kindle. It even has a clickable table of contents.

    http://goo.gl/37QuHv

  151. Bob says:

    used to describe the describable.

    used to describe the indescribable.

  152. Jean says:

    Xenia,
    Done! That was the easiest purchase ever. Look out; I’ll be ready next time 🙂

  153. Bob says:

    Xenia:

    You do know that the nature of Jesus was the single defining doctrine of the fourth century?

    And it didn’t end even then. Well after the 1st Council of Nicaea the debate over Arius views continued until about the end of the 4th century and it took a decree from the Emperor to do it.

    Just saying it wasn’t written in stone or in the scriptural text, as many point out.

  154. jean says:

    Bob and Xenia,
    I sometimes ask myself, if God was interested in the precision of our doctrine, why didn’t he inspire a more precise Scripture? I then ask myself, when if we rested in the narratives of the Scriptures we have? It’s hard to imagine God would take offense.

    I sometimes wonder if God was distinguishing His people from the philosophies of the time. Perhaps He was looking for doers of this will, as opposed to thinkers of his will.

    Just some random thoughts.

  155. Xenia says:

    Jean, I about died from joy when I found that kindle edition.

    Years ago, I was asked to put together a library for the CC high school where I worked and I was able to get this set on sale, which, of course, nobody read. Long after I left, they were doing some reorganizing and told me if I want these books, come on down and get them. So I did. I was like a little kid at Christmas and I starting reading.

    At that time, we had a priest who lived in a log cabin in the Santa Cruz Mountains. His cabin burned to the ground one night. The next day, a few parishioners helped him sift through the ashes to see if anything could be salvaged. As I was poking around I came upon a small scrap of paper that I instantly recognized and I realized that Fr. Silouan’s set of the ECF had burned to ashes. At that moment I was filled with that awful feeling you get when you know you are about to do something wonderful but you don’t want to do it at all. I knew I should give Fr. Silouan my set. So I did, but I felt like a little kid whose new tricycle was taken away on Christmas afternoon.

    And then I found the Kindle version for $2.99. 🙂

  156. I wish I was rich and could afford a Kindle.

    Jean, I have always held that it’s not what you believe that is important – because we can all get it screwed up. What is important, and what will get you in trouble is what you deny by choosing what you believe.

  157. Jean says:

    MLD,
    HA! I know enough about the OC (from prime time TV of course) to know you’re pulling our leg. Ouch! What’s the commission now-a-days on a $2 mil mortgage loan? 🙂

  158. Jean, did I ever tell the story about a trip my son and I took to Boston to watch the Yankees and Red Sox the last weekend of the season (about 10 yrs ago) – $375 a ticket … so you can see why I can’t afford a Kindle. 😉

    We were talking to all the people around us who also had flown in from all over the country – except these 2 young girls right behind us – they were locals. When they found out that my son & I were from the OC they started calling all their friends and screaming like teenagers – “we are sitting behind 2 guys from the OC.” This was when the show was on TV.

    I was 55 at the time – it was an ego booster.

  159. Jean says:

    MLD,
    Of course that was only fiction, right? Tell us about the reality show, Laguna Beach! That’s the real deal, right?

    I gota feelin (a feelin deep inside, oh yeah) that your ego does just fine on its own 🙂

  160. I don’t know the Laguna Beach show, and I never watched the OC show.

    Now, The Real Wives of Orange County I was quite familiar with as I had 2 close friends that were on it the first few years.

  161. Jean says:

    Wow, that would make you “real” once removed. Know any good plastic surgeons in case I need a lift?