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Switch to Forum Live View Concerning salvation, works and prayers.
2 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2013 - 1:43PM #1
Keyfer
Posts: 2,921

A general overview can be helpful in understanding how things are connected and affect each other. If I think of our relationship with God and each other in terms of us being the “body of Christ” referred to by Paul (I Cor. 12:27), I can see how a body absorbs useful substances from its intake and discards useless or harmful substances and how each part serves the whole. It seems rational to me that the Lord accepts those who have a loving, just, unselfish nature (like Himself) but for their sake must reject those whose nature would be disruptive and/or destructive, iow, would not serve the body as a whole. 



[If those who are rejected are beyond reformation, I suspect that they are never accepted. However, if they can be reformed, I believe that in time, after being reformed, they are accepted. God works, with our cooperation, to form each of us into the best possible person, imo.]



By choosing a loving, just, unselfish lifestyle (in compliance with the golden rule), I am choosing a nature that will be accepted and useful to the body of Christ, iow, I am choosing heaven.


 


God’s will contains infinite LOVE and His mind, infinite WISDOM. Since we are created by God in His image and likeness, we also have wills and minds but ours are corrupted. Our “fall” was a separation from God due to our forsaking the ways of LOVE and WISDOM, thereby adulterating our wills and minds with evil and falsity. Prior to this, we lived in harmony with God’s ways and with each other because we each wanted what was best for all collectively. As we declined spiritually, we began selfishly wanting everything for ourselves individually. IOW, we started loving ourselves more than others. The only remedy is to force ourselves to treat others as we want to be treated (golden rule) so that God can create a new, pure, clean heart (will), thereby creating a right spirit within us (Psalm 51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me). With a clean heart and right spirit, we are able to actually love others as much or more than we love ourselves because we will love what is best for all more than we love ourselves. 



To me, the above overview makes clear that people, works and prayers that have the good of all as their goal are acceptable, conversely, those which do not are not acceptable. 



What do you think?

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2013 - 11:59PM #2
birwin4
Posts: 581

Maybe you mentioned it and I missed it, but it would seem to me nothing is accomplished until God works within a person to forgive and save them because of what Christ has done for them and only then do we begin to follow the golden rule.

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 12, 2013 - 4:27AM #3
Keyfer
Posts: 2,921

Feb 11, 2013 -- 11:59PM, birwin4 wrote:


Maybe you mentioned it and I missed it, but it would seem to me nothing is accomplished until God works within a person to forgive and save them because of what Christ has done for them and only then do we begin to follow the golden rule.





What I am suggesting is quite unorthodox. In general, I have always been taught that God is angry and wants revenge on all of us because we have broken His commandments and are vile in His sight. Since no one is acceptable, He sent His Son to be a blood sacrifice, i.e., someone to pour out His wrath on in our stead. To believers, He bestows the righteousness of Christ and a new nature which then allows the believer to repent and live a good life . For a while, all this made sense to me but now I question it. 



At present, I doubt that God is even capable of anger and revenge (see the “Is God Angry” thread, if you wish). I agree that everyone old enough to be morally responsible has broken His commandments because we have a sinful nature and this nature must be dealt with, however, I now believe that God’s attitude toward humankind is one of love and pity, not anger and that He freely forgives everyone and only insists that we repent of evil behavior. I do not believe that God requires perfection of anyone, only that we love each other, receive His mercy and give and receive mercy between ourselves.  



I believe that God provides the desire and ability to repent to every person without exception. I suspect that prior to Christ’s crucifixion, there were some who were already acceptable to God, i.e., already had a heavenly nature.


 


Matthew 9:12-13


12  But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.


13  But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.


Also see Mark 2:17 and Luke 5:32. The way I read the above passage, Jesus is saying that some were already “righteous”. If so, I question the validity of the doctrine of substitutionary atonement and the total depravity of man. The gist of the OP is that all who are striving to keep the golden rule are acceptable to God and that all are capable of doing so. 


Matthew 7:12


12  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.



I respect everyone’s right to choose what to believe and how to live, this includes the right to respectfully question doctrine that has been handed down.

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 13, 2013 - 4:52PM #4
Rgurley4
Posts: 8,819


Q1. At present, I doubt that God is even capable of anger and revenge.


A1.God is perfectly JUST...PURE...RIGHTEOUS....AND....LOVING / MERCIFUL...AND...a whole lot more.


Q2...morally responsible haave broken His commandments
       because we have a sinful nature and this nature must be dealt with


A2. All spiritually fall short of God's perfection; Man's innate spiritual tendancy is to turn from God.."sin nature"


Q3. God’s attitude toward humankind is one of love and pity, not anger


A3. See A1 above.


Q4.and that He freely forgives everyone


A4. God wants all to be saved through His provisions of Grace through Faith. Forgiveness of sins is one benefit of salavtion.


Q5. only insists that we repent of evil behavior.


A5. RE-PENT = again think = turn to God = turn away from sin nature.
This is process is not a pre-condition for salvation, because without spiritual change from above, man is incapable.
...God the Holy Spirit provides the spirit-led desire and ability to accept salvation to every person....A4


Q6. I do not believe that God requires perfection of anyone, (before salvation?)


A6. After salvation, God wants you to "walk in the Spirit" , grow, mature, be fruitful, follow, trust, obey, good works, etc


Q7: only that we love each other, receive His mercy and give and receive mercy between ourselves. 


A7. there are many "love" commands / precepts to follow after salvation...Man to God....Man to Man.


Q8. prior to Christ’s crucifixion, there were some who were already acceptable to God


A8. Yep! Moses and Elijah had a spiritual Meeting with Jesus the God-Man....And he came from the long line of his Chosen people.


Galatians 3:6
Even so Abraham BELIEVED God,
and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.(Imputed salvation through FAITH)


James 2:23
and the Scripture was fulfilled which says,
“And Abraham believed God,
and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,”
and he was called the friend of God.



 

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 13, 2013 - 10:20PM #5
hamerhas
Posts: 1,084

Feb 11, 2013 -- 1:43PM, Keyfer wrote:


A general overview can be helpful in understanding how things are connected and affect each other. If I think of our relationship with God and each other in terms of us being the “body of Christ” referred to by Paul (I Cor. 12:27), I can see how a body absorbs useful substances from its intake and discards useless or harmful substances and how each part serves the whole. It seems rational to me that the Lord accepts those who have a loving, just, unselfish nature (like Himself) but for their sake must reject those whose nature would be disruptive and/or destructive, iow, would not serve the body as a whole. 



[If those who are rejected are beyond reformation, I suspect that they are never accepted. However, if they can be reformed, I believe that in time, after being reformed, they are accepted. God works, with our cooperation, to form each of us into the best possible person, imo.]



By choosing a loving, just, unselfish lifestyle (in compliance with the golden rule), I am choosing a nature that will be accepted and useful to the body of Christ, iow, I am choosing heaven.


 


God’s will contains infinite LOVE and His mind, infinite WISDOM. Since we are created by God in His image and likeness, we also have wills and minds but ours are corrupted. Our “fall” was a separation from God due to our forsaking the ways of LOVE and WISDOM, thereby adulterating our wills and minds with evil and falsity. Prior to this, we lived in harmony with God’s ways and with each other because we each wanted what was best for all collectively. As we declined spiritually, we began selfishly wanting everything for ourselves individually. IOW, we started loving ourselves more than others. The only remedy is to force ourselves to treat others as we want to be treated (golden rule) so that God can create a new, pure, clean heart (will), thereby creating a right spirit within us (Psalm 51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me). With a clean heart and right spirit, we are able to actually love others as much or more than we love ourselves because we will love what is best for all more than we love ourselves. 



To me, the above overview makes clear that people, works and prayers that have the good of all as their goal are acceptable, conversely, those which do not are not acceptable. 



What do you think?




 Before God can use us & create something new , the sin issue must be dealt with .


everything else is academic until the sin issue is resolved .


Jesus stated that even evil people know how to do  " good " things , but their sin remains .

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 13, 2013 - 10:23PM #6
birwin4
Posts: 581

Keyfer


I, too, find the idea of a vengeful God demanding that Christ pacify Him. repugnant.


I think it best to consider what Martin Luther called Christos Victor. This is the view of the atonement which sees God taking the prerogative and becoming a human being to save human beings alienated from Him by their sin. A bit like you or I becoming a cockroach to save the cockroaches. Paul put it this way:'God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.'


God did not stand off in anger but took the iniative and came down Himself to save us.

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 13, 2013 - 11:27PM #7
Keyfer
Posts: 2,921

Feb 13, 2013 -- 10:20PM, hamerhas wrote:


Feb 11, 2013 -- 1:43PM, Keyfer wrote:


A general overview can be helpful in understanding how things are connected and affect each other. If I think of our relationship with God and each other in terms of us being the “body of Christ” referred to by Paul (I Cor. 12:27), I can see how a body absorbs useful substances from its intake and discards useless or harmful substances and how each part serves the whole. It seems rational to me that the Lord accepts those who have a loving, just, unselfish nature (like Himself) but for their sake must reject those whose nature would be disruptive and/or destructive, iow, would not serve the body as a whole. 



[If those who are rejected are beyond reformation, I suspect that they are never accepted. However, if they can be reformed, I believe that in time, after being reformed, they are accepted. God works, with our cooperation, to form each of us into the best possible person, imo.]



By choosing a loving, just, unselfish lifestyle (in compliance with the golden rule), I am choosing a nature that will be accepted and useful to the body of Christ, iow, I am choosing heaven.


 


God’s will contains infinite LOVE and His mind, infinite WISDOM. Since we are created by God in His image and likeness, we also have wills and minds but ours are corrupted. Our “fall” was a separation from God due to our forsaking the ways of LOVE and WISDOM, thereby adulterating our wills and minds with evil and falsity. Prior to this, we lived in harmony with God’s ways and with each other because we each wanted what was best for all collectively. As we declined spiritually, we began selfishly wanting everything for ourselves individually. IOW, we started loving ourselves more than others. The only remedy is to force ourselves to treat others as we want to be treated (golden rule) so that God can create a new, pure, clean heart (will), thereby creating a right spirit within us (Psalm 51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me). With a clean heart and right spirit, we are able to actually love others as much or more than we love ourselves because we will love what is best for all more than we love ourselves. 



To me, the above overview makes clear that people, works and prayers that have the good of all as their goal are acceptable, conversely, those which do not are not acceptable. 



What do you think?




 Before God can use us & create something new , the sin issue must be dealt with .


everything else is academic until the sin issue is resolved .


Jesus stated that even evil people know how to do  " good " things , but their sin remains .




The following passages tell me that the sin issue has been dealt with:


John 1:29


The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.


“The sin of the world”  I think that the above verse is telling us that all are forgiven. IMO, the following supports this:


Luke 2:14


14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


“good will toward men” sounds all inclusive to me.


2 Corinthians 5:19


To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.



If God took away the sin of the world, reconciled the world unto Himself and extends His good will to all men, I do not think it unreasonable to conclude that He offers His forgiveness to all humankind, do you?

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 13, 2013 - 11:30PM #8
Keyfer
Posts: 2,921

Feb 13, 2013 -- 10:23PM, birwin4 wrote:


Keyfer


I, too, find the idea of a vengeful God demanding that Christ pacify Him. repugnant.


I think it best to consider what Martin Luther called Christos Victor. This is the view of the atonement which sees God taking the prerogative and becoming a human being to save human beings alienated from Him by their sin. A bit like you or I becoming a cockroach to save the cockroaches. Paul put it this way:'God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.'


God did not stand off in anger but took the iniative and came down Himself to save us.




Yes, what God did to deal with the sin issue (please see my response to hamerhas) is love in action, not anger, imo.

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2013 - 12:50AM #9
Rgurley4
Posts: 8,819

PROPITIATION:
...propitiation carries the basic idea of appeasement, or satisfaction, specifically towards God.
Propitiation is a two-part act:
1.appeasing the wrath of an offended person and
2. being reconciled to them.
Propitiation: that by which Man becomes spiritually consistent with God's just character to pardon the guilty.
The propitiation does not procure God's  love or make him loving;
The propitiation only spiritually renders Man consistent for God to exercise his love towards Man.
The Greek word "hilasterion" (KJV, "mercy-seat") is used.
Jewish law:  On the great day of atonement, the high priest carried the blood of the sacrifice which he offered for all the people
within the veil and sprinkled with it the "mercy-seat," and so made "propitiation" / satisfaction.


Romans 3: 21-26 (NASB)...imputed Righteousness, Redemption, Justification, PROPITIATION...by Faith
But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe;
for there is no distinction;
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
being justified as a GIFT by His GRACE through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
whom God displayed publicly as a PROPITIATION in His blood through faith.
(ALL) This was to demonstrate His righteousness,
because in the forbearance of God He PASSED OVER the sins previously committed;
for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time,
so that He would be JUST and the JUSTIFIER of the one who has faith in Jesus.


Hebrews 2:17 (NASB)...Jesus is our High Priest and sacrifice
Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, (True Man)
so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, (True God)
to make propitiation for the sins of the people.


1 John 2: 1-2  (NASB)...Christ Is Our Advocate
My little children, (believers)
I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.
And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; (takes away our guilt)
and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.


1 John 4: 7-13 (NASB)...God Is Love
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God;
and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
By this the love of God was manifested in us,
that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.(takes away our guilt)
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
No one has seen God at any time;
if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected (made mature) in us.
By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us,
because He has given us of His Spirit.
We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2013 - 1:30AM #10
Jenandew7
Posts: 13,302

Feb 11, 2013 -- 1:43PM, Keyfer wrote:


A general overview can be helpful in understanding how things are connected and affect each other. If I think of our relationship with God and each other in terms of us being the “body of Christ” referred to by Paul (I Cor. 12:27), I can see how a body absorbs useful substances from its intake and discards useless or harmful substances and how each part serves the whole. It seems rational to me that the Lord accepts those who have a loving, just, unselfish nature (like Himself) but for their sake must reject those whose nature would be disruptive and/or destructive, iow, would not serve the body as a whole. 



[If those who are rejected are beyond reformation, I suspect that they are never accepted. However, if they can be reformed, I believe that in time, after being reformed, they are accepted. God works, with our cooperation, to form each of us into the best possible person, imo.]



By choosing a loving, just, unselfish lifestyle (in compliance with the golden rule), I am choosing a nature that will be accepted and useful to the body of Christ, iow, I am choosing heaven.


 


God’s will contains infinite LOVE and His mind, infinite WISDOM. Since we are created by God in His image and likeness, we also have wills and minds but ours are corrupted. Our “fall” was a separation from God due to our forsaking the ways of LOVE and WISDOM, thereby adulterating our wills and minds with evil and falsity. Prior to this, we lived in harmony with God’s ways and with each other because we each wanted what was best for all collectively. As we declined spiritually, we began selfishly wanting everything for ourselves individually. IOW, we started loving ourselves more than others. The only remedy is to force ourselves to treat others as we want to be treated (golden rule) so that God can create a new, pure, clean heart (will), thereby creating a right spirit within us (Psalm 51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me). With a clean heart and right spirit, we are able to actually love others as much or more than we love ourselves because we will love what is best for all more than we love ourselves. 



To me, the above overview makes clear that people, works and prayers that have the good of all as their goal are acceptable, conversely, those which do not are not acceptable. 



What do you think?




I think the Gospels point to a very different scenario.  Jesus says the righteous don't need him, but I think what he is really saying is that the righteous will think too highly of themselves.  As we do know that we are all sinners and there is no such thing as a person who makes themselves righteous.  No, it wasn't the "good", the acceptable, the ones who made a show of their righteousness, but the prostitutes, the tax gatherers, the sinners, the poor, the marginalized, the uneducated--they were the ones that Jesus chose to associate with.  And we know from his interaction with the prostitute that he said her sins were forgiven, and that where much has been forgiven, much love is shown.  In other words, her gratitude is great.  I see an inverse relationship between those who are in the most need becoming the greatest followers, the most eager to live into faith.  He also pointed out that tax gatherers and prostitutes were inheriting the kingdom of God ahead of the Pharisees.  And, we can go on, that it was not those who had been invited who came to the wedding feast, but the people on the street, the common-people, the hard working, the poor, the lame, the sick.  He spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well and we can know that she was not a "good" woman or she would not have been alone at the well at that time of the day.  But he sent her into the town with the good news that he was there and he converted the whole town on her report which was, no doubt, enthusiastic. 


I don't believe God rejects anyone.  I think we are all sort of like holograms of Adam that have shattered into billions of little pieces and we are all, in reality, just as good, just as perfect as the first man God ever made in his own image and likeness.  Someday, we will see God in others . . . and we will love them and care for them and this we do because we love God.  What we do for each other, we do for God and it is the only thing we can do for God.  I think God only sees the perfect creature he made. 


Once I had a vision of a pit.  And several demons were begging me to pull them out.  This, I was hesitant to do, but when I did I pulled off their masks and beneath them were beautiful perfect people overjoyed to be freed from the pit.  First an elderly woman and then a small boy . . .  This makes more sense to me as time goes by.  I didn't understand it at first.  It has taken me nearly ten years to understand.  This is what we are, perfect spiritual creatures wearing a mask of our own making that hides us from the light of God. This is the Simon that became Peter . . .


A.

If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. --Isaiah 58:10
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