Forsaking All

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rain
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Forsaking All

Postby rain » Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:02 am

This is a look at the concept of 'forsaking all' or 'renunciation' as some religious/spiritual movements call it. In theses following verses: Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:16-20, Luke 5:10-11,27-29, we see Jesus giving a call and people responding by forsaking jobs/possessions/family to follow him. That decision must have been a challenging one for them. How would their families and friends feel about them making that decision? Jesus did say ''If anyone does not love me more than father, mother, brother, sister, child, ye more than his own life, then he cannot be my disciple''. So, I guess it just came down to a choice.

Here in the following verses, Jesus gives further instruction about our riches, he says in Luke 12:33 to his disciples that they should sell what they own, and give alms, providing for themselves treasure in heaven which will not pass away. Again in Luke 14:33, Jesus is very blunt, saying that anyone who does not ''forsake all they own, cannot be his disciple''. That's a pretty challenging statement. Certainly that teaching would help to sift between the genuine followers, and those just hanging on for different motivations. Everyone's familiar with the story of the rich young ruler in Luke 18:22-30. We see here again, Jesus giving the same teaching that he gave in Luke 12 and Luke 14, namely that of ''sell all that you have, give it to the poor..''. The rich young man went away sad because he didn't want to let go of his possessions. Jesus responds saying, ''How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the Kingdom of God''. People usually consider rich people or greedy people to be people ''who have more than I do''. Truth is we're all rich. Today we are living at a standard that Kings and Queens who have desired in the past. What's interesting about this dialogue in Luke 18, which ties together the previous verses about the disciples forsaking all to follow Jesus, is Peter saying ''Lo we have left all and followed you'', and Jesus replies, ''Verily, I say unto you, There is no man that has left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the Kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting''.

There's another lovely example of this same application is found in Luke 19:8-10, where Jesus comes to Zacchaeus's house, a chief among the publicans. After spending time with Jesus in his house Zachcaeus says he will give half of his goods to the poor, and if he has cheated anyone he will repay they 4 x over. I'm assuming that will pretty much clear him out?

Of course, there are example of people coming into contact with Jesus, and whom he gives different instructions, however, even amongst those examples, it's unclear WHY the person has come to Jesus, is to actually follow him or is to be healed? Jesus' response to these people varies, and so one could argue that what was good for them is just as good for us. However, I feel it's safer spiritually, and more rational to look at the cohesive picture presented through his teachings and hid disciples response to those teachings, to see what we should be seeking to emulate if we too want to follow him.

Many say the teaching given to the rich young man was just for him, whereas we don't have to do that, but that's not what the context shows. Some argument against doing what Jesus told the rich guy to do, is that all we need to forsake our possessions in our heart. Terribly convenient, because guess what...we still get to keep our possessions! In the new age pseudo-spiritual world, people argue Jesus only told this to the rich guy because he was attached to his possession, and that this teaching is good IF one is attached, otherwise one doesn't have to take it literally. Sounds good doesn't it, but it doesn't take someone with much sincerity/honesty to see through the kind of deception that is happening in that argument.

I think that's why I like (aside from all the other verses) this verse from Matthew 28:20, in which Jesus clearly states that his disciples should teach all people to obey ALL THINGS that he commanded them. On top of this, we get a couple of fantastic examples from the book of Acts about how the early church operated, the verse are Acts 2:44-45 and Acts 4:34-37. Both show that people joining the early church sold what they had a laid it at the disciples fee to be distributed accordingly. Why would people do this, if it was not being taught?

And of course, we have a pretty strong message from God in Acts 5:1-11, about a couple of people who chose to try and get the benefits of being with the early church and working for God, at the same time as holding onto part of what they owned. They were placing all their faith in God, but continuing to serve two masters.

It would be good to hear people's thoughts on these verses, their relationship to one another, and Jesus' unction for us to leave everything in order to be his disciple. Some questions are; why if they did this, do we not? Why do churches not teach people this? What scriptural support is there to NOT obey Jesus in this way?

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RickD
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Re: Forsaking All

Postby RickD » Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:59 am

It's an error to interpret scripture out of context, to make it apply to people who were not the intended audience. In fact, it can lead to misleading, or dangerous doctrine.

We need to understand that while the bible is for us, much of it wasn't written to us.

You seem to be reading into the text, to support your renunciation beliefs.

Let's just take what you said, and let me show how you changed what the text actually says, to make it sound like it validates your beliefs. You said:
Here in the following verses, Jesus gives further instruction about our riches, he says in Luke 12:33 to his disciples that they should sell what they own, and give alms, providing for themselves treasure in heaven which will not pass away. Again in Luke 14:33, Jesus is very blunt, saying that anyone who does not ''forsake all they own, cannot be his disciple''.


Notice the subtle addition with the words I underlined.
First, the text isn't talking about "our" riches. Jesus was speaking to a specific audience. In Luke 12:33, Jesus is speaking to his disciples. There's no warrant for you to add all Christians of all future times, to the text.

Second, in Luke 14:33, Jesus does not say that "anyone", meaning us, as you claim, who does not "forsake all they own..."
Jesus says in Luke 14:33:
So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.


He says, "None of YOU..."

There is no basis to assume "you" means all Christians of all times, including us.

I hope you can see how dangerous it is to add words to what Jesus actually said, to make scripture fit into an unbiblical theology.
1 Corinthians 1:9
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abelcainsbrother
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Re: Forsaking All

Postby abelcainsbrother » Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:23 pm

Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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abelcainsbrother
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Re: Forsaking All

Postby abelcainsbrother » Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:14 pm

rain wrote:This is a look at the concept of 'forsaking all' or 'renunciation' as some religious/spiritual movements call it. In theses following verses: Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:16-20, Luke 5:10-11,27-29, we see Jesus giving a call and people responding by forsaking jobs/possessions/family to follow him. That decision must have been a challenging one for them. How would their families and friends feel about them making that decision? Jesus did say ''If anyone does not love me more than father, mother, brother, sister, child, ye more than his own life, then he cannot be my disciple''. So, I guess it just came down to a choice.

Here in the following verses, Jesus gives further instruction about our riches, he says in Luke 12:33 to his disciples that they should sell what they own, and give alms, providing for themselves treasure in heaven which will not pass away. Again in Luke 14:33, Jesus is very blunt, saying that anyone who does not ''forsake all they own, cannot be his disciple''. That's a pretty challenging statement. Certainly that teaching would help to sift between the genuine followers, and those just hanging on for different motivations. Everyone's familiar with the story of the rich young ruler in Luke 18:22-30. We see here again, Jesus giving the same teaching that he gave in Luke 12 and Luke 14, namely that of ''sell all that you have, give it to the poor..''. The rich young man went away sad because he didn't want to let go of his possessions. Jesus responds saying, ''How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the Kingdom of God''. People usually consider rich people or greedy people to be people ''who have more than I do''. Truth is we're all rich. Today we are living at a standard that Kings and Queens who have desired in the past. What's interesting about this dialogue in Luke 18, which ties together the previous verses about the disciples forsaking all to follow Jesus, is Peter saying ''Lo we have left all and followed you'', and Jesus replies, ''Verily, I say unto you, There is no man that has left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the Kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting''.

There's another lovely example of this same application is found in Luke 19:8-10, where Jesus comes to Zacchaeus's house, a chief among the publicans. After spending time with Jesus in his house Zachcaeus says he will give half of his goods to the poor, and if he has cheated anyone he will repay they 4 x over. I'm assuming that will pretty much clear him out?

Of course, there are example of people coming into contact with Jesus, and whom he gives different instructions, however, even amongst those examples, it's unclear WHY the person has come to Jesus, is to actually follow him or is to be healed? Jesus' response to these people varies, and so one could argue that what was good for them is just as good for us. However, I feel it's safer spiritually, and more rational to look at the cohesive picture presented through his teachings and hid disciples response to those teachings, to see what we should be seeking to emulate if we too want to follow him.

Many say the teaching given to the rich young man was just for him, whereas we don't have to do that, but that's not what the context shows. Some argument against doing what Jesus told the rich guy to do, is that all we need to forsake our possessions in our heart. Terribly convenient, because guess what...we still get to keep our possessions! In the new age pseudo-spiritual world, people argue Jesus only told this to the rich guy because he was attached to his possession, and that this teaching is good IF one is attached, otherwise one doesn't have to take it literally. Sounds good doesn't it, but it doesn't take someone with much sincerity/honesty to see through the kind of deception that is happening in that argument.

I think that's why I like (aside from all the other verses) this verse from Matthew 28:20, in which Jesus clearly states that his disciples should teach all people to obey ALL THINGS that he commanded them. On top of this, we get a couple of fantastic examples from the book of Acts about how the early church operated, the verse are Acts 2:44-45 and Acts 4:34-37. Both show that people joining the early church sold what they had a laid it at the disciples fee to be distributed accordingly. Why would people do this, if it was not being taught?

And of course, we have a pretty strong message from God in Acts 5:1-11, about a couple of people who chose to try and get the benefits of being with the early church and working for God, at the same time as holding onto part of what they owned. They were placing all their faith in God, but continuing to serve two masters.

It would be good to hear people's thoughts on these verses, their relationship to one another, and Jesus' unction for us to leave everything in order to be his disciple. Some questions are; why if they did this, do we not? Why do churches not teach people this? What scriptural support is there to NOT obey Jesus in this way?



First off,I think you need to realize that Jesus spoke to people according their own weakness.You know we all have our weaknesses,so try to think in these terms when you see Jesus addressing things to certian people.you also need to know that Jesus had not yet fulfilled all of his mission yet and so it was by works until Jesus filfilled the law for us,died and rose again fulfilling his mission.Now that Jesus has fulfilled his mission we are no longer justified by the works of the law because Jesus fulfilled them for us.

We could not do it,no man could or did before Jesus.Now we are justified through faith in Jesus and what he did for us.We enter into this the moment we are saved/born again and are fully justified by Jesus,he gets all of the Glory not man.Even our faith in him comes from God.Man cannot add to what Jesus did no matter what they do.Now the Holy Spirit leads us and guides us to do the things we should do as Christians if we are saved.To believe works justifies us is to make a mockery out of what Jesus did for us.this is also what differentiates Christianity from all other false religions that teach works for salvation.

Alot of people assume that relying on what Jesus did and God's grace is lazy Christianity but it really is'nt the book of Romans tells us that you actually sin more and are condemned by the law than living by grace but we have it backwards and religion is why.Religion enters the picture trying to get us to earn our salvation based on what we do but we will already be doing what God wants us to do being led by the Spirit of God and not for salvation or justification,but grace and faith in Jesus and what he did.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby windywherever » Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:51 am

abelcainsbrother wrote:You know we all have our weaknesses,so try to think in these terms when you see Jesus addressing things to certian people.


Hi there. I'm not so sure about this, "Jesus was only talking to specific people" theory. From what I understand the "gospel" is another way of saying, "good news" and that the gospel is for all people. When Jesus said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" I don't think he meant that only certain people of his day should repent, while Christians of today are free not to repent. The teaching is relevant today because it has meaning and purpose. It's part of the values of Heaven. People should turn from their worldly, sinful ways.

I think the same is true for other teachings of Jesus, like his teachings on materialism. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus tells his followers to go into all the world teaching others to do what they themselves were taught to do. Jesus teachings aren't just a list of rules. They are the values of Heaven. We practice citizenship in the kingdom of Heaven when we apply the values of Heaven; this is the purpose of Jesus' teachings.

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby RickD » Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:19 pm

windywherever wrote:
abelcainsbrother wrote:You know we all have our weaknesses,so try to think in these terms when you see Jesus addressing things to certian people.


Hi there. I'm not so sure about this, "Jesus was only talking to specific people" theory. From what I understand the "gospel" is another way of saying, "good news" and that the gospel is for all people. When Jesus said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" I don't think he meant that only certain people of his day should repent, while Christians of today are free not to repent. The teaching is relevant today because it has meaning and purpose. It's part of the values of Heaven. People should turn from their worldly, sinful ways.

I think the same is true for other teachings of Jesus, like his teachings on materialism. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus tells his followers to go into all the world teaching others to do what they themselves were taught to do. Jesus teachings aren't just a list of rules. They are the values of Heaven. We practice citizenship in the kingdom of Heaven when we apply the values of Heaven; this is the purpose of Jesus' teachings.

Sure John,

But it depends on the context. We can't just read everything in the bible, and think it should be universally applied to all believers.

Taking scripture out of context, to make it sound like Jesus was telling all believers to sell their possessions, is just bad exegesis.
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


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Re: Forsaking All

Postby abelcainsbrother » Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:20 pm

windywherever wrote:
abelcainsbrother wrote:You know we all have our weaknesses,so try to think in these terms when you see Jesus addressing things to certian people.


Hi there. I'm not so sure about this, "Jesus was only talking to specific people" theory. From what I understand the "gospel" is another way of saying, "good news" and that the gospel is for all people. When Jesus said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" I don't think he meant that only certain people of his day should repent, while Christians of today are free not to repent. The teaching is relevant today because it has meaning and purpose. It's part of the values of Heaven. People should turn from their worldly, sinful ways.

I think the same is true for other teachings of Jesus, like his teachings on materialism. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus tells his followers to go into all the world teaching others to do what they themselves were taught to do. Jesus teachings aren't just a list of rules. They are the values of Heaven. We practice citizenship in the kingdom of Heaven when we apply the values of Heaven; this is the purpose of Jesus' teachings.


No offense but your looking at it out of context.I was addressing the points made concerning what Jesus told certian people and yes he was speaking directly to that person and their weakness.Like the woman at the well the gentile woman,he knew things about her and spoke to her directly right where she was and the same thing applies to the others.I don't believe a saved born again Christian will not do the things you bring up concerning going in to all the world and preaching the gospel,however there is a difference in doing it for thinking you are being saved,made righteous,justified,etc for doing it than doing because you're saved and being led by the Spirit of God to do it.This is the difference.Nobody is saying get saved and be lazy just that nothing man can do justifies him,only through Jesus and what he did are we justified.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby windywherever » Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:19 am

Rick wrote:But it depends on the context.


Agreed. Context is important. In an earlier post you gave this explanation for context;

"First, the text isn't talking about "our" riches. Jesus was speaking to a specific audience. In Luke 12:33, Jesus is speaking to his disciples. There's no warrant for you to add all Christians of all future times, to the text".

You suggest that the text isn't talking about all Christians, but that Jesus was only speaking to his disciples. But are Christians and disciples different? The word "disciple" literally means "one who is disciplined". I doubt Jesus wants some of his followers to be disciplined while others are not. Also, Acts 11:26 gives evidence that Christians and disciples are the same. In the context, there is no reason to suggest that Jesus taught a difference of standards for his followers. This is especially true considering he taught his disciples to also teach others to do the same as they were commanded to do (Matthew 28:19-20). If you have an explanation for why the values of heaven are meant to be different for us than what they were for Jesus and his followers, then I'm very open to considering that explanation.

Rick wrote:Second, in Luke 14:33, Jesus does not say that "anyone", meaning us, as you claim, who does not "forsake all they own..."
Jesus says in Luke 14:33:
So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.


He says, "None of YOU..."

There is no basis to assume "you" means all Christians of all times, including us.


This is your second explanation about the context of Luke 14:33. In the KJV the word used is, "whosoever" meaning "anyone". It's the same "whosoever" which is used in John 3:16, "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". According to the context you're using, everlasting life should only be for the disciples of Jesus' time. Otherwise I think you will need to show some compelling evidence for the the two "whosoevers" are different.

When it comes to context the standard needs to be consistent. For example, you make a point that Jesus says, "none of YOU can be my disciple unless he forsakes all he has", suggesting that the "you" here only refers to the people who were actually, literally present at the exact moment Jesus said those words.

However, I've just had a look at the "discussion guidelines" and noticed this instruction under the "mannerism" section; "Write in a manner that you would want others to write to you - 'in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you' (Matthew 7:12)".

Here, the admins have used a quote from Jesus where he's clearly saying, "you" but they've used it in a way which suggests that it should apply to Christians for today. Do you also think this teaching should apply to Christians today? If so how do you reconcile the two? The context you used for Luke 14:33 is that the teaching doesn't apply to us because he said, "you", but the golden rule teaching quoted here also uses the same context; he's addressing it to "you".

I look forward to your response.

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby windywherever » Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:42 am

abelcainsbrother wrote:Nobody is saying get saved and be lazy just that nothing man can do justifies him,only through Jesus and what he did are we justified.


Hi ABCB. Thanks for sharing those thoughts. I don't think rain was suggesting that people should try to earn their salvation through their works. Maybe you are seeing something I've not seen. If so, would you mind quoting the part where he says that we should earn salvation through works?

From what I can see, he's talking about obedience to Jesus' teachings, which Jesus himself harped on a fair bit. He was quite insistent that his followers should obey his teachings. Obviously, if a person is attempting to obey God only so that he can boast about how good he is, then such behavior should be rebuked, but surely a simple suggestion that there are teachings which Jesus wants us to obey should not be rebuked.

abelcainsbrother wrote:I was addressing the points made concerning what Jesus told certian people and yes he was speaking directly to that person and their weakness


I did read your response quite carefully, but I didn't see any comments from you specifically addressing the teachings rain listed about forsaking materialism. I saw that you gave a rather nice explanation about how we should not think our good works can earn salvation. But, that's not the argument rain was making.

Do you have any comments on the contexts of the specific teachings rain listed? For example, Luke 14:33. It's not an isolated teaching. It's part of a large chunk of teaching all dealing with what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The first half of luke 14 deals with Jesus eating at a pharisees house. Then, in verse 25 there is a clear shift. He's suddenly outside where "great multitudes" were with him. We don't know who these multitudes are. Some of them are probably his disciples while, almost certainly, the majority were people who were not committed to following him but rather were gathering to hear what he had to say.

In verse 26 starts his sermon to this "great multitude" by saying, "if any man come to me..." and then proceeds to give teaching on what it means to be his follower. In verse 27 he uses that word, "whosoever", saying that anyone who does not take up his cross and "come after me" cannot be his disciple. According to the reasoning you've used this "taking up one's cross" was only meant for the followers of Jesus' day. Is that really what you believe?

Verses 28-33 comprise a parable about people who start a task but do not have what it takes to finish the job. The lesson is about "counting the cost"; being sure you know what you're getting into before you commit. And then, of course, in verse 33 he says, "so likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, cannot be my disciple". The, "so likewise" is a phrase indicating that the lesson from the previous parable, (about counting the cost) should be applied to what he is about to say. In other words, the cost of following Jesus is to forsake all material attachments. If a person is unwilling to do that then they should not even bother to start.

Next, Jesus concludes this sermon by talking about salt which loses it's taste; he says it won't be good for anything. It's like that with some of the salty teachings of Jesus; they may sting a bit when we consider how all encompassing and life changing they really are, but if we water them down they lose their power.

Confrontation of our dependence on materialism is a core teaching throughout the entire NT. Jesus gave a warning saying, "Beware of covetousness, for a person's life does not consist of the abundance of the things he can own" (Luke 12:15).

This is the context I see. I look forward to your response.

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby rain » Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:58 am

Thanks, windywherever, for your comments.

As the Quakers would say, ''You have spoken my mind''.

However, in further response to RickD, the reason I used the word 'our' is because I see that the teachings Jesus gave to his disciples are meant for us too. With regards to the 'none of you/anyone' comment, I think it's clear from what I am saying that I believe Jesus clearly meant for his teachings to applicable to ANYONE that wants to be his disciple. Hence the verse from Matthew 28:20, in which Jesus commands his disciples to teach people to obey all things that he commanded them. It doesn't take much discernment to realize what commands he expected his disciples to pass on, and which ones he didn't. For example, can you imagine the disciples going into all the world preaching that people should 'give me to drink'' (in reference to the woman by the well), or ''enter a town, and find a colt tied on which never a man sat, and bring him to me''? Surely not. Yet we DO see his disciples teaching about the other things that Jesus taught/commanded. Read the book of James for an example. It's literally cramp packed with teachings that Jesus gave in the gospels. I know my original post was long, and so you may have overlooked it, but in the book of Acts 2, and 4, we see people joining the early church and a part of their joining of it was the selling of their possessions. So, why did they do that, unless it was being taught? And that would make perfect sense, seeing as Jesus DID teach his disciples to do that (which I think we at least can all agree on), and that he taught them to teach others to obey all things he commanded them.

I think the questions windywherever posed are good ones for people to consider. The whole sermon on the mount was spoken to his disciples. Do you reject all of that, or are there parts you accept? How do you decide which you'll follow?

Oh, I in particularly liked the comparison is Luke 14:33 with John 6:16, i.e. the link of the word 'whosover'.

Also, I am reminded of Jesus' teaching in John 14:26 where Jesus says that he will send the Holy Spirit to his disciples, and the job of the Holy Spirit is to ''teach us all things, and to bring to remembrance everything I have said to you''. Why should the Holy Spirit remind us of what Jesus taught, if we aren't to practice those teachings or teach others to do the same?

I look forward to your thoughts.

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby rain » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:18 am

abelcainsbrother wrote:
First off,I think you need to realize that Jesus spoke to people according their own weakness.You know we all have our weaknesses,so try to think in these terms when you see Jesus addressing things to certian people.you also need to know that Jesus had not yet fulfilled all of his mission yet and so it was by works until Jesus filfilled the law for us,died and rose again fulfilling his mission.Now that Jesus has fulfilled his mission we are no longer justified by the works of the law because Jesus fulfilled them for us.

We could not do it,no man could or did before Jesus.Now we are justified through faith in Jesus and what he did for us.We enter into this the moment we are saved/born again and are fully justified by Jesus,he gets all of the Glory not man.Even our faith in him comes from God.Man cannot add to what Jesus did no matter what they do.Now the Holy Spirit leads us and guides us to do the things we should do as Christians if we are saved.To believe works justifies us is to make a mockery out of what Jesus did for us.this is also what differentiates Christianity from all other false religions that teach works for salvation.

Alot of people assume that relying on what Jesus did and God's grace is lazy Christianity but it really is'nt the book of Romans tells us that you actually sin more and are condemned by the law than living by grace but we have it backwards and religion is why.Religion enters the picture trying to get us to earn our salvation based on what we do but we will already be doing what God wants us to do being led by the Spirit of God and not for salvation or justification,but grace and faith in Jesus and what he did.


Check out what James says James 2:14-26, for a good description of the kind of faith God is looking for.

I totally agree that we can't earn our salvation. No one is arguing that point. But why does teaching obedience to Jesus mean we're teaching 'working our way to heaven'? Jesus clearly says, in John 14:15 that if we love Him, we will keep his commandments. We don't keep them as a desperate attempt to prove our righteousness or to 'work our way to heaven', but because we love Him, and are responding in faith and obedience to the free gift of Grace, Forgiveness and Salvation that he has offered us.

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby B. W. » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:11 am

rain wrote:...Check out what James says James 2:14-26, for a good description of the kind of faith God is looking for.

I totally agree that we can't earn our salvation. No one is arguing that point. But why does teaching obedience to Jesus mean we're teaching 'working our way to heaven'? Jesus clearly says, in John 14:15 that if we love Him, we will keep his commandments. We don't keep them as a desperate attempt to prove our righteousness or to 'work our way to heaven', but because we love Him, and are responding in faith and obedience to the free gift of Grace, Forgiveness and Salvation that he has offered us.


Why...

Due to reactionary antinomainsm. Throughout church history there has been abuse of works justified by fear of losing one's salvation to keep or stayed saved. Check out the old line Holiness Pentecostal movement as well as others that stress if one sins but once, they lose salvation and therefore need to get re-saved. Such groups can become abusive with child rearing and are totally legalistic. There are the more subtle forms of legalism that some stray into as well in the modern church. Its fruit is damaging and stain the church as it give ammunition fuel to anti christian rhetoric and media portrayals of Christians.

So, when one mentions works, it is meet with reactionary antinomainsm to sort out where one is coming from. No Christian I know of will deny the natural change in a christian to do good, repent when wrong, etc and etc. When one has a change in mind and thought, their actions will follow along with the change of heart.

One other aspect of reactionary responses is due to how one interprets the words Command and Commandments. Is it You must or else as some teach or rather as the ancient Hebrew for these words meant as Responsibilities, living responsible unto God. The Ten Commandments are in actuality the Ten Responsibilities we have to God and others.

We stumble a lot and fall short of these in life but through what Jesus accomplished we learn responsibility through our failings and God's Grace teaches us to fall less short each passing day till we pass away or Jesus returns. It is natural and easy and no burden at all. It involves the Lord chastening us and by this, we learn how much he loves us. His loving discipline teaches us to be responsible. That is one way we keep his word revealed to us.

I would have never learned how much God loved me unless he took me to the woodshed for a good spiritual spanking and let me experience the consequences of irresponsible stupidity. i learn to turn away from such and discovered that He truly does not let us go as he so stated in John 10.

We are called his adopted children for a reason and rearing our own little ones ourselves teaches us that we too desire our stubborn little ones to become responsible and we teach them using forms of loving discipline balanced with appropriate accolades. However, this often is not the case with human beings as parents can be out of balanced toward their children in some form. This places wounds in the heart as well as resistance that only Jesus can cure.

When this out of balance occurs folks slide into legalism easily and become abusive and know it all alls. Or they can grow up in such homes and refuse the offer of salvation Jesus brings during their life until they come to his or her senses later on...

So do not be surprised by reactionary antinomainsm when one speaks of Learning Responsibility...
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Re: Forsaking All

Postby PaulSacramento » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:58 am

The gospel (good news) is not about foresaking anything ( other than sin of course).
It is about the kingdom of God being here, and God working in Us in His Kingdom.
It is about what Christ did for us, not what we do.
We are to do what God asks us to do and that is to believ ein the one He sent, His son, Jesus Christ.
As Jesus said, "it is by this that all will know you to be my followers" (Paraphrasing) and what was this "this" ?
Here:
John 13:

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

And in Matthew He tells us how those that will be judged, will be judged:
Matthew 25:


The Judgment
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [e]take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”


Note what IS mentioned.

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby windywherever » Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:11 am

BW wrote:I would have never learned how much God loved me unless he took me to the woodshed for a good spiritual spanking and let me experience the consequences of irresponsible stupidity


Hi BW! Thanks for sharing this. I like that you mention consequences, because I think that is a very real part of learning. In another part of your post you say;

One other aspect of reactionary responses is due to how one interprets the words Command and Commandments. Is it You must or else as some teach or rather as the ancient Hebrew for these words meant as Responsibilities, living responsible unto God. The Ten Commandments are in actuality the Ten Responsibilities we have to God and others.


I think it's reasonable to view Jesus' commands as responsibilities, especially if we claim to be his followers. However, I think we also need to keep a healthy respect for the concept of "command" in the teachings. God is a loving God, but he's still the boss. God wants us to obey him. It's a responsibility, true, but it's also an expectation. There will be consequences for people who choose not to obey their creator. in that sense, it is a "you must or else" situation. I don't think it's unloving for God to give ultimatums like that. I think it's quite the opposite.

God knows how stubborn we can be. Often we will not act on a spiritual concept just because we understand the reasons behind the concept, especially when the spiritual concept challenges us or works against our fears. Sometimes we need a command to get us over our various fears/stubbornness along the lines of, "well, I don't understand why he's telling me to do it but I'll do it anyway just because he said to do it". After some time of experimenting hopefully we will come to see the reasons behind the spiritual teaching and no longer need the command to make us act; we'll do it because we've overcome our fears and see the benefit behind the teaching.

It's like this with our attachments to materialism. God knows how hard it is for us to trust his spiritual power/wisdom in a physical, carnal world but he still expects us to do it. He wants us to understand his reasons, but we won't be able to until we experience the teaching in action. This is why he told Nicodemus, "you can't even see my kingdom until you are born again" (John 3:3) and why he said in another place, "if any person will do what I'm saying, he will see that my teachings really are from God" (John 7:17).

Jesus' teachings are God's expectations for how we should behave in his Kingdom. Anyway, I realize you were supporting this concept, for which I am very thankful. There's so few people out there who can hear the words "obey" without reacting. Please keep the positive posts coming, friend. :)

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby windywherever » Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:16 am

Paul wrote:The gospel (good news) is not about foresaking anything ( other than sin of course).


Hi Paul. Thanks for sharing. Would you be willing to say that forsaking our dependence on materialism is at least part of the gospel? Did you see the verses rain posted on the topic of forsaking materialism? What do you think about those verses?

I really liked your lesson about how people will know we're Jesus' followers by our love for one another and then how you related that to the parable of the sheep and goats. I'd like to add that these teachings about forsaking materialism are about loving one another. They teach us how to love.

For example, if we're no longer working for mammon (money and the things money can buy) then we're free to start working for love (as Jesus commanded (Matthew 6:24-34)). Any thoughts on that?


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