Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Do not be deceived?
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
The more I study God’s word the more I see how man has perverted His word and therefore painted & proclaimed a God that is not our true Creator. Although I think for the most part many have done this unintentionally. I have done this in the past and I am sure there are many things I believe now that is not true to who our Creator is.
How many times have you heard a teacher/pastor/preacher or a “loving” brother use Gal. 6:7 to try to scare a believer to repentance? If I really believed that I would reap corruption from everything I have done or will do that is bad, I would be scared to leave the house, because I make mistakes everyday, much less say and do things at times that I know are wrong.
Have any of us really reaped everything we deserve from everything we have sown or done?
I don’t think so; if we had we would be nothing but a smear on the floor if God gave us everything our sin and mistakes should have reaped.
But the passage is clearly saying that WHATEVER a man sows. This means everything we have sown, even mistakes that we make; we WILL reap because God is NOT mocked. I believe with all my heart that God is not nor will ever be mocked. I also believe that there are consequences for most sin that we commit, but that is not what this verse is saying. Consequences for most sin does not even come close to what this verse is saying. Lets say I get a speeding ticket and you get a warning and our friend doesn't even get stopped. Both of us getting stopped is a consequence of our speeding, but did we both reap what we sowed by speeding, did our friend reap what he sowed, not even close.
This verse can’t be talking about eternal punishment for sin because God clearly has laid on Christ the sin of us all. This verse can’t be talking to unbelievers because Paul is clearly talking to believers. If God is not mocked and we will reap what we sow then I conclude that the sowing and reaping here must be a specific act and does not pertain to every thing we sow whether intentionally or unintentionally.
Context, context, context lets look at the context and see if many people take this verse out of context to portray a God that is determined to give us what we deserve for every mistake, bad choices and intentional sowing of things we know we shouldn’t here on earth.
6The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. 7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
It is very clear from verse 6 what the sowing is in the context of this often misused verse 7. Paul is telling the Galatians and us that we are to share all good things with those who teach us God’s word. I posit this sharing is support, such as money, food, clothing, and encouragement to those who teach us.
I believe God is telling us if we spend our money on things that our flesh loves, the things of this world, while letting those who teach and preach the gospel of God struggle to make a living, then we will from the flesh reap corruption for everything or whatsoever we sow to the flesh that should have went to our pastors and anyone who teaches us that are depending on God’s people for support. Notice Paul said “from the flesh” we will reap corruption, he did not say from God we will reap corruption. However we should not deceive ourselves and think God will overlook this. This would be same as mocking God and I think God saying in this passage that He will not be mocked, especially when it comes to taking care of those who have given their lives up here on earth for the sake of Christ & the gospel.
So let us take this verse as a warning from God when it comes to taking care of His ministers and teachers that teach us and let us also take this verse as a promise that in due time we will reap eternal things from what we sow to the Spirit out of love in giving to those who teach us.
Let us not take this verse out of context and use it in attempting to motivate believers by fear to repentance and therefore portray our Creator has a God that is determined to make sure He gets even with us for everything we do. It is God’s kindness that leads us to true repentance.
I think it grieves the heart of God for us to listen to the enemy of our souls and believe that the same God, who loves us enough to humble Himself and come to earth and pay our sin debt while we were yet sinners, would be so set on making sure we reaped everything or whatsoever we sowed. I think it is the grace of God that keeps us from reaping everything we sow. I think it is the same grace that lets people take a verse like this out of context without letting them reap what they have sown.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Follow up to... Following Jesus?
Adams last response:
Making the message clear does not necessarily mean making it simple. I could say that Kris went to Starbucks and ordered a venti soy chai latte. This is a clear message. I could also say that Kris went. This is the same message, but simpler. Both express the exact same idea, that Kris went, however the first explains fully and with more clarity exactly what happened.
Perhaps the same is true with the gospel message. We could give the simple version: 'believe and receive'. And then we would have the countless walk the aisle and 'believe'.OR we could give the more clear message: 'believe in the LORD, the Savior of humanity, and He will give you eternal life and will come into your life and forever make you other.' This is the clearer message of what truly transpires.
We LORDship are asking for a clearer message. We understand that we can abbreviate the message and make is simple. 'Turn or burn'. But with such confusion that is associated with the abbreviated and simple version, we would opt for the more clearer message so that we can assure that people are not 'believing' and yet having no clue as to what this belief entails.Does that make sense?I think I have an entry idea. Keep up the good work. So far you have given me two ideas. :)
Adam, I can understand YOU asking for a clearer message and I agree that making it clearer does not necessarily make it simple, BUT the clear message is simple, the clear message is so simple that Jesus said unless we become like children we won't see how simple it is.
What I am talking about are those who ADD to the clear message qualifiers such as "follow Jesus", "if He is not Lord of all then He is not Lord at all", "be willing to give up all", and etc in order to be saved. My whole point in the clear message of believing in the Christ alone is for the person hearing it along with Holy Spirit convicting them of the fact that ours/their God/Creator is the one offering it to them without any conditions whatsoever other than coming to Him as a sinner. That is what changed yours and my heart and will change whosoever hears who also has ears to hear it.
In fact alot of preachers seem bent on adding qualifiers to those after having believed to confuse and make them stumble over the assurance that God so clearly gives us.
I love John Piper, but I have to disagree with some of the things he has been preaching along these lines for last few years. We should very much preach fear of the Lords discipline to believers but not fear being cast into hell, that would be calling what God said in John 3:16 a lie. Why? Because if we believe in the Son for everlasting life and then perish, then God was not telling us the truth.
I am in no way advocating making a believer comfortable in their sin, but we should not make them uncomfortable about their assurance of everlasting life after having believed God for it. If we do this then we are suggesting that their eternal life depends on faith plus works and not the free gift of God.
And if those who are comfortable depending on their works for assurance, then maybe they have missed the Good News all together. If I depend on looking at my works and my heart then I am most miserable in my assurance, if I look to my Lord Jesus alone for everlasting life then I am free from doubt and am free to produce good works for Him (John 15:4)Does that make sense?
I would much rather discuss issues like this in your forum at http://protestantpub.com/forum/ it is much easier a format especially if we can have some one on one like you suggested.
besides I can make fun of your hair there. LOLOLOL
Monday, April 10, 2006
Does Jesus call people to follow Him as a condition to have eternal life or is the call to follow Him made after a person is converted? I think a close look at what happened to Peter will make this clear to everyone who has an open mind to biblical truth.
First, the account of Jesus telling Peter to “follow Him” must include all the statements made to this fact by Luke and Mark and Matthew and John. If we only read Matthew and Mark then it seems that Jesus clearly said to follow Him when He first met Peter, but that is not what happened, even though many evangelistic calls to have eternal life give this message. Let’s look at what Luke has to say and then Matthew’s and Mark’s account is made clearer.
After Peter had learned of Jesus from his brother Andrew, Andrew brought Peter to Jesus and Jesus told Peter that he would be called Peter instead of Simon (John 1:40-42). Then after a few days with Jesus, Peter had seen the Lord heal his mother-in-law (Luke 4:38,39).
Then they apparently left Jesus and went back to work and Jesus came to where they were coming in from fishing one morning (they had caught nothing) and asked them to put one of the boats out in the water to give Him room to give a speech to those who were crowding around Him. (Luke 5:1-11)
After He finished teaching He said to Peter, put out your nets again for a catch. After Peter saw the nets breaking because of all the fish, he, Peter saw Jesus for the first time as God and was converted. It was after this revelation and their conversion that Jesus then said I will make you fishers of men or follow Me and they, Peter, James, and John and probably Andrew & Philip followed Him.
The lordship group should look at this aspect of the actual account of the first disciples calling instead of saying that Jesus said to follow Him as a condition to have eternal life before a person sees who He is and is converted by convicting faith... which I think is proof that Jesus never asked anyone to follow Him without them first being converted or born again to everlasting life.
The bottom line is that simply telling someone to follow Jesus does not save them, also telling them they must follow Him as a condition to be saved is not biblical either and is a false gospel. Many so-called Christian religions preach and teach this or some other works implied gospel, but heresy abounds in such organizations. John 3:16, John 5:24, John 6:27-29, John 6:47, John 11:25,26 are clear truths to what God has said in His word is required for everlasting life.
So if this is clear biblical truth doesn’t this relieve the tension between the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke against John’s account of a person simply believing in Jesus to have everlasting life apart from discipleship calling? I think it does.
Monday, April 03, 2006