Is Forgiveness the same as atonement?

Discussions about the Bible, and any issues raised by Scripture.
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Re: Is Forgiveness the same as atonement?

#46

Post by catherine » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:47 am

B. W. wrote: It could be rendered age enduringness - enduring throught all ages never-ending in John 3:16

Same with Matt 25:46

http://biblelexicon.org/matthew/25-46.htm

And in Romans 16:26 when refering to God himself as eternal -age enduringness, never ending never ceasing God - Praise be to God that he, himself, does not endure for but a mere age -- Glory!

http://biblelexicon.org/romans/16-26.htm

Quotefrom above Link
αιωνιου adjective - genitive singular masculine
aionios ahee-o'-nee-os: perpetual (also used of past time, or past and future as well) -- eternal, for ever, everlasting, world (began).
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Just because 'aionios' is used of persons and things which are endless in their nature as in Rom. 16:26 which you mention, needn't mean that 'aionios' means 'eternal'. We seem to be assuming that since God is aionios, it must mean 'eternal', (because God is also immortal). I am studying claims that aionios means neither eternal nor temporary ie 'pertaining to the age/s'.

In relation to Rom 16:26, here is an interesting quote:

''In short, He is the aionios God. He is the God relating to the aions he has created, the Rock of Ages. This does not mean that he is only lasting for aions. When Christians sing the hymn "The Rock of Ages" do they mean to say that because he is "of the ages" that God is also ending with them? How absurd. That God is aionios simply means that He relates to the ages he has created. It is a logical blunder to insist that because God is relating to the ages, that this automatically limits Him to their passing nature. In fact, if God was not relating to the ages, there would be no Holy Spirit within us. God would be removed from us in the age of our lives, watching us from the outside, rather than living here within us now by His Spirit.''

http://www.mercifultruth.com/eternity-detailedstudy.htm

I'm gathering quite a lot of 'evidence' (from many different sources) regarding this word and it would be good to present it and maybe have a vote to see if the 'evidence' shows aionios to mean 'eternal' or 'pertaining to the age'. It may take me some time to gather the sources, check them and then maybe put together a list, but I'll do my best. I feel this is a vitally important task (for me anyway) , as it will test the validity of the claims of UR.

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Re: Is Forgiveness the same as atonement?

#47

Post by catherine » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:32 pm

Boy, this is going to be hard work. I'm printing off each 'source' for the word 'aionios'. I think it will help to have hard copies which I can refer to and 'see'.

I've just been re-watching these videos of the late Louis Abbott and it seems he's already travelled the long road of studying the word 'aionios'. He devoted years of study and he makes some interesting observations and references to Bible scholars, which I'll try to verify as I progress. For anyone who wants to check out a really interesting, thought provoking series of videos on 'aionios', here is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJoNxjUA ... PL&index=1

I'm up to video 4 which is about 'hell' and equally interesting.

The first one takes a good few minutes to get going so bear with it. :D

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Re: Is Forgiveness the same as atonement?

#48

Post by B. W. » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:42 pm

Hi Catherine

Again, UR — Universalism missies it regarding the usages of the Greek and Hebrews words used to denote eternal. Look at the following examples:

Please careful how a person traces the etymology of how words are formed and their roots. A lot of twisting word of meanings is done in this manner — cults are prone to do this. Simple contextual reading of the scriptures serve best to uncover how a word is used and by what meaning a word is conveying in the very passage it is used in.

Aeon is Greek from Aion and is used with a wide aray of meanings and not just one...see the following examples

That was aeons ago

That was during the aeons of the dinosaur

God lives for aeons.


Now add suffix endings to the word aeon which is used in the verses previously cited regarding everlasting life, recompense, and God. It could look like this: aeonedness or aeoningness. These points out perpetuity — aeons that never end but continue aeon enduring without cease. I am only using these spellings as an example only so you can easily come into a better understanding of how to better view these words in the actual context in which the were each used. Only examples...

God is aeoningness so it is illogical to state that God is eternal (aeoningness) but his gift of aeoningness life (zoe) and aeoningness of recompense (punishment) last only for some unspecified duration (Matt 25:46).

God keeps his word and promises (Isaiah 55:11-13, Isaiah 46:10-11). He gave life in the Garden of Eden to mankind — that continues on for humanity was originally fashioned in God's aeoningness image. Even though sin entered the world and mortal death came — ones will continue on for perpetuity because God keeps his word, honours his gifts and callings.

He Offer's eternal aeoningness Life restored back to himself and our original purposes thru Jesus Christ to avoid the aeoningness (eternal) wrath, recompense, which we term as punishment. For Him to destroy this life, either way, proves God unable to keep his word or honour his gifts and callings and thus not God all powerful at all and not really God.

Universalism in an insidious manner, without realizing it, argues that God must not keep his word, nor honour his gifts and callings (Romans 11:29). They twist the word aeoningness to a mere age time period and declare that eternal life is not eternal nor is eternal punishment eternal. Please do not fall for this.

The suffix added to Aeon could also be rendered agelessness — aeonlessness which denotes everlasting age upon age everlasting never ending or ceasing...

Also Eternal Punishment is not torture — it is recompense in a place assigned the devils and his minions. These will do plenty of torturing because of their hate toward humanity. Payback is eternal and that is the torment one experiences in hell. The word for punishment used in Matt 25:46 denotes recompense and this is keeping with what the bible says: Job 34:11, Isaiah 3:11, Ezekiel 11:21, and Galatians 6:7

Again I'll re-state this: Please be careful how a person traces the etymology of how words are formed and their roots. A lot of twisting word of meanings is done in this manner — cults are prone to do this. Simple contextual reading of the scriptures serve best to uncover how a word is used and by what meaning a word is conveying in the very passage it is used in.

Think of the word cut - how is it used? Does it always means to literally slice something open? Therefore to cut someone to the heart world mean that they killed that person by slicing them open in order to cut (slice) their heart! No — the word cut has many applications and is used in many ways. Likewise is aiōnios, aiōní­ou, aiōnion, aiōní­a, aiōnion, and aiōn used.
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Re: Is Forgiveness the same as atonement?

#49

Post by catherine » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:03 pm

B. W. wrote:Hi Catherine

Again, UR — Universalism missies it regarding the usages of the Greek and Hebrews words used to denote eternal. Look at the following examples:

Please careful how a person traces the etymology of how words are formed and their roots. A lot of twisting word of meanings is done in this manner — cults are prone to do this. Simple contextual reading of the scriptures serve best to uncover how a word is used and by what meaning a word is conveying in the very passage it is used in. -
I agree that 'simple contextual reading of the scriputres' will show us how a word is used. Here are just a few examples of how 'olam' (which we agreed earlier is the Hebrew counterpart to 'aionios') has been translated 'forever' and yet the context quite clearly shows it means the opposite of 'forever' ie a set period of time that had a beginning and will have an end:

Exod 21:6 (a slave only served as long as he lived, not forever).
1 Chron 15:2 (the Levitical priesthood has now ended).
Jonah 2:6 (he wasn't in the earth 'forever').
B. W. wrote: Aeon is Greek from Aion and is used with a wide aray of meanings and not just one...see the following examples

That was aeons ago

That was during the aeons of the dinosaur

God lives for aeons.
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I've printed off some definitions of 'aion': the Perseus site gives it the meanings of 'lifetime', 'life'. The NAS Exhaustive Concordance gives it the meanings of 'a space of time', 'an age'. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance gives us 'age', 'course', 'eternal', 'forever'. Here's some examples where 'aion' (and whatever grammatical ending it has) is being used to denote a period of time that had a beginning and end:

Col 1:26 (it wasn't hidden for ' past eternities' but rather 'past ages'. Eternity can't have a plural surely or be in the 'past'??
Eh 2:7 (there are 'ages' in the future).
Matt 24:3 (the end of the present 'age' - (or world, as some translations say). How can 'eternity' be inferred here? Eternity doesn't have an end?

How can a word mean a limited time and eternity? This would be like us having a word that could mean 'short' or 'long'. If we take an example of where the translators decided to choose 'forever' instead of 'age' or 'life time': Matt 21:19- now is the fig tree literally not going to bear fruit 'forever' or for it's life time, which is an age? If you check all the occurrences of 'aion' (I'm trying to find out how I can check all the verses that contain this word), I bet you the verses where translators have used 'forever' or 'eternal' would make sense (probably more sense) if you use 'age' or 'period of time'.
B. W. wrote: God is aeoningness so it is illogical to state that God is eternal (aeoningness) but his gift of aeoningness life (zoe) and aeoningness of recompense (punishment) last only for some unspecified duration (Matt 25:46). -


Does it follow that if we say 'God is mighty and loving' that these two words mean the same? God is many things. God is 'aeionion' because He made the eons and deals in eons, but this in no way limits Him. He is outside of time and yet works in time. He is the Rock of Ages. He created the ages. Just because something He creates comes to an end, doesn't mean He is not eternal. Here's a good verse that shows how God is many things, each thing being different:
1 Tim 1:17 'Now unto the King eternal (aion), immortal (aphthartos), invisible (aoratos), the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever(aion eis aion). Amen.' Or as Young's would put it: 'and to the King of the ages, the incorruptible, invisible, only wise God, [is] honour and glory -- to the ages of the ages! Amen.'
B. W. wrote: God keeps his word and promises (Isaiah 55:11-13, Isaiah 46:10-11). He gave life in the Garden of Eden to mankind — that continues on for humanity was originally fashioned in God's aeoningness image. Even though sin entered the world and mortal death came — ones will continue on for perpetuity because God keeps his word, honours his gifts and callings.

He Offer's eternal aeoningness Life restored back to himself and our original purposes thru Jesus Christ to avoid the aeoningness (eternal) wrath, recompense, which we term as punishment. For Him to destroy this life, either way, proves God unable to keep his word or honour his gifts and callings and thus not God all powerful at all and not really God. -
aeoningness wrath as you put it, was not part of God's original purpose although I'm sure He knew it would be part of the great scheme of things. His word that went forth from His mouth will surely not return to Him void ie Human beings living for eternity in peace and love etc is surely His purpose. Most of His creation kept in eternal conscious suffering was not part of His purupose and never will be. I'm trying to say His original purpose was not 'Some humans living forever in love and happiness and most other humans living forever in pain and suffering. No where does God warn humans that the wages of unrepentant sin is 'hell' or 'eternal conscious torment'. He clearly says the wages of sin is 'death' not eternal conscious suffering. If we believe that the second death is 'forever', then those ones emptied from the graves (hell) are thrown into the Lake of Fire which is the second death. Either they will stay dead, (not being conscious of anything, or they will be reconciled at a later time). You see the punishment can be eternal e.g you suffer the second death and you remain dead 'forever'. It's the 'punishing' - an active process of inflicting pain, that isn't 'eternal'. I hope you can see the very important distinction here: 'punishment' versus 'punishing'.
B. W. wrote: Universalism in an insidious manner, without realizing it, argues that God must not keep his word, nor honour his gifts and callings (Romans 11:29). -
I am not convinced of UR but I know that they certainly do not argue that God must not keep his word etc. It argues the opposite. If God wills that all men be saved then He will ensure that all men are saved. Nothing can thwart God's plans.
B. W. wrote: They twist the word aeoningness to a mere age time period and declare that eternal life is not eternal nor is eternal punishment eternal. Please do not fall for this. -
Some may be 'guilty' of believing that 'aionios' is purely a 'time' word denoting an unknown but usually limited amount of time, but the meaning: 'pertaining to the age' surely does justice to the fact that 'aionios' is a 'time word' (as it's derived from it's root 'aion') but it's the 'qualities' that belong to the time, that it's trying to convey, not just a length of time, however long it may prove to be.
B. W. wrote: The suffix added to Aeon could also be rendered agelessness — aeonlessness which denotes everlasting age upon age everlasting never ending or ceasing...-
I would have thought it denoted a 'belonging' to the aeon. If we take 'Christ' and 'ian', then we get a person who pertains or belongs to Christ. I may be misunderstanding you here though!
B. W. wrote: Also Eternal Punishment is not torture — it is recompense in a place assigned the devils and his minions. These will do plenty of torturing because of their hate toward humanity. Payback is eternal and that is the torment one experiences in hell. The word for punishment used in Matt 25:46 denotes recompense and this is keeping with what the bible says: Job 34:11, Isaiah 3:11, Ezekiel 11:21, and Galatians 6:7 ...-
So you're saying that God is going to allow the devil and his demons to torture people forever? So 'hate' and 'pain' will continue forever? This is the most mind boggling idea I can imagine. No! God is going to restore His creation to what He intended it to be: perfect. Everything will be reconciled and there will be no sin or consequences of sin left in all of creation. If God doesn't save ALL, then the unsaved ones will be destroyed out of existence. They 'perish'. They are punished with an eternal punishment (the second death), not with an eternal punishing. BIG DIFFERENCE.
B. W. wrote: Again I'll re-state this: Please be careful how a person traces the etymology of how words are formed and their roots. A lot of twisting word of meanings is done in this manner — cults are prone to do this. Simple contextual reading of the scriptures serve best to uncover how a word is used and by what meaning a word is conveying in the very passage it is used in.

Think of the word cut - how is it used? Does it always means to literally slice something open? Therefore to cut someone to the heart world mean that they killed that person by slicing them open in order to cut (slice) their heart! No — the word cut has many applications and is used in many ways. Likewise is aiōnios, aiōní­ou, aiōnion, aiōní­a, aiōnion, and aiōn used.
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I am being very careful in determining the meaning of the word 'aionios' and indeed 'olam' and 'aion'. I think I've shown how there is more to this than meets the eye. I'm going to try and contact 'top' language experts in OT Greek and Etymology to see what they make of this. :wave:

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Re: Is Forgiveness the same as atonement?

#50

Post by catherine » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:20 pm

Here is an excerpt from a fax I'll be sending tomorrow. It's to the author and lecturer Kenneth E. Bailey. I believe his imput will be most valuable. I will just say, his book I'm reading at present is 'orthodox' in it's content. It doesn't teach UR:

Dear Rev. Bailey,

(Apologies if that is not your correct title). I'm faxing you with a couple of enquiries I have. I'm currently reading your book 'Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes' and it is an amazing book. It is bringing alive the gospel accounts. It is your undoubted experience and knowledge in the historical and cultural aspects of Jesus' time, as well as your knowledge of NT Greek that I call upon, if I may, to help me with something I am studying at the moment:

I am trying to determine if the Greek word 'aionios' has been 'mistranslated' throughout the centuries to mean 'eternal', when in actual fact it means 'pertaining to the age' or 'age enduring'? If we take it's Hebrew counterpart 'olam', I have read many articles that state the ancient Hebrews didn't have a concept of 'eternity'- rather 'olam' was 'mystery time', but not necessarily 'everlasting'. Also if we take some verses where it is used, we can see by the context, that it doesn't mean 'everlasting' e.g Exod 21:6 (a slave only served as long as he lived, not forever), 1 Chron 15:2 (the Levitical priesthood has now ended?), Jonah 2:6 (he wasn't in the earth 'forever'.

It is of the utmost importance to me, to know the truth about these words, as some 'orthodox' beliefs hinge upon the real meaning of 'aionios' e.g 'eternal punishment'. If it was indeed possible that 'aionios' didn't mean 'eternal' or 'everlasting', then there might be hope that the 'unsaved' (Matt 25:46) may receive a punishment that is appropriate and lasts for as long as necessary. If 'kolasis' in this verse in Matthew has the idea of 'corrective' punishment then it could suggest that the aionian punishment is remedial in nature and lasts for as long as necessary?

I may be well off the mark here and hence why I am requesting your help if you can spare the time from I'm sure a very busy schedule.

Here are some of the 'Bible Scholars' who I believe have given 'aionios' a different meaning to the usual 'everlasting' or 'eternal' meaning:

Robert Young

Richard Weymouth

Dr Nigel Turner

and possibly William Barclay ( who also understood kolasis to mean a remedial punishment)

The motivation behind my quest to get to the bottom of this word 'aionios', is that I am drawn to the idea of Universal Reconciliation. Its arguments seem very persuasive and backed by scriptures. As appealing as UR is, I want to be sure of the truth. I hope you can help me in my studies.



I'll let you know if I get a reply.

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Re: Is Forgiveness the same as atonement?

#51

Post by B. W. » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:15 am

Hi Catherine,

I'll respond a bit later andhave not forgotten! I am hoping others would add a few things in hear as well....

:wave:
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Re: Is Forgiveness the same as atonement?

#52

Post by B. W. » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:02 am

Hi catherine,

Here is a list of all scriptures in the New Testament that use the Greek word -- αιωνιον ---

Please note that all references pertain to the definition of eternal, everlasting, never ending with no exceptions. This is how context refines the meaning of a root word like -- aiōn -- and shifts it root meaning from indefinite stated time periods into more endless time periods that are without end - eternal.

Matthew 19:29
Matthew 25:41
Matthew 25:46

Mark 10:17
Luke 10:25
Luke 18:18

John 3:36
John 4:36
John 5:24
John 6:27
John 6:40
John 6:54
John 12:25

Romans 5:21

2 Co 4:17
2 Co 5:1

2Th 1:9

1Timothy 6:16

Phm 1:15

1 Peter 5:10

2 Peter 1:11

1 John 1:2
1 John 3:15
1 John 5:11
1 John 5:13

Revelation 14:6
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Re: Is Forgiveness the same as atonement?

#53

Post by catherine » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:38 am

Hi B.W, thank you for those verses. I've just been checking them. I'm beginning to wonder if it's actually a 'red herring' all this 'eternal' or 'pertaining to the age' stuff. Maybe it doesn't matter if 'aionios' does have more the meaning of 'pertaining to', because we know the 'life' is eternal too. Maybe in the past the 'ages' were finite, but because the Kingdom Age will be without out, 'aionios' is translated 'everlasting'. I would just say I still believe that even if 'aionios' means 'everlasting' this still allows for the punishment to be everlasting ie everlasting death, not everlasting suffering. I've recently read a few articles by Christians who do not support UR, and yet see that there is more to 'aionios' than meets the eye:

http://thefaithofjesus.blogspot.com/200 ... uture.html

http://www.zianet.com/maxey/reflx74.htm

Two passages I've just read seem to strike a major blow for UR:

one of the verses you've quoted: John 3:36 '..he will NOT SEE LIFEbut the wrath of God REMAINS on him'

and this parable really shuck me to the core: the Parable of the 'Great Banquet' Luke 14:15-24. What struck me is that our actions or choices can mean we won't gain admittance to this banquet. No where does Jesus give the impression that the ones who 'refused' to go are given another chance later. Surely if UR was the pivotal meaning behind the gospel, it would have been shown clearly in Jesus' many parables and teachings?

I must admit, I felt rather scared when I realised this, and thought. Gee, I'm not off the hook yet then. y:O2

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Re: Is Forgiveness the same as atonement?

#54

Post by B. W. » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:23 pm

catherine wrote:Hi B.W, thank you for those verses. I've just been checking them. I'm beginning to wonder if it's actually a 'red herring' all this 'eternal' or 'pertaining to the age' stuff. Maybe it doesn't matter if 'aionios' does have more the meaning of 'pertaining to', because we know the 'life' is eternal too. Maybe in the past the 'ages' were finite, but because the Kingdom Age will be without out, 'aionios' is translated 'everlasting'. I would just say I still believe that even if 'aionios' means 'everlasting' this still allows for the punishment to be everlasting ie everlasting death, not everlasting suffering. I've recently read a few articles by Christians who do not support UR, and yet see that there is more to 'aionios' than meets the eye:

http://thefaithofjesus.blogspot.com/200 ... uture.html

http://www.zianet.com/maxey/reflx74.htm

Two passages I've just read seem to strike a major blow for UR:

one of the verses you've quoted: John 3:36 '..he will NOT SEE LIFEbut the wrath of God REMAINS on him'

and this parable really shuck me to the core: the Parable of the 'Great Banquet' Luke 14:15-24. What struck me is that our actions or choices can mean we won't gain admittance to this banquet. No where does Jesus give the impression that the ones who 'refused' to go are given another chance later. Surely if UR was the pivotal meaning behind the gospel, it would have been shown clearly in Jesus' many parables and teachings?

I must admit, I felt rather scared when I realised this, and thought. Gee, I'm not off the hook yet then. y:O2
Praise the Lord that you caught the truth behind the 'Great Banquet' in Luke 14:15-24 - the Lord has revealed this too you personally and granted you insight to awaken you. Now how soon will you take the next step and become born again as Christ taught we must do?

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Re: Is Forgiveness the same as atonement?

#55

Post by catherine » Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:05 pm

B.W, I think I might be one of the ones who are called but not chosen Matt 22:14. I pray to Jesus and ask Him if He is real and to let me know He is real and He has forgiven me etc, but I never feel any different or 'understand' that I am forgiven. (I tell him I've got a hard heart that needs to be replaced). I usually get fed up of not feeling forgiven and then I 'give up' on Him - for a while, until I'm drawn back to Him. It's a vicious circle. I then think, maybe it's all a load of baloney or maybe I'm not forgiven. I've been like this for the last twenty four or so years. I can't be born again if I don't even know I'm redeemed. :(

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Re: Is Forgiveness the same as atonement?

#56

Post by B. W. » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:10 am

catherine wrote:B.W, I think I might be one of the ones who are called but not chosen Matt 22:14. I pray to Jesus and ask Him if He is real and to let me know He is real and He has forgiven me etc, but I never feel any different or 'understand' that I am forgiven. (I tell him I've got a hard heart that needs to be replaced). I usually get fed up of not feeling forgiven and then I 'give up' on Him - for a while, until I'm drawn back to Him. It's a vicious circle. I then think, maybe it's all a load of baloney or maybe I'm not forgiven. I've been like this for the last twenty four or so years. I can't be born again if I don't even know I'm redeemed. :(
Hi Catharine,

You said you prayed and asked if Jesus was real — well - the answer to your prayers is before your very eyes. You were drawn here to this forum in answer to your prayer for a reason. You can be assured that you can be one of the chosen, as you put it, and forgiven. He led you here and cannot you see how he's been gently chipping away at your own hard heart that you yourself admit to having through our words written on this forum too you? He trying to tell you, “yes child, come home, you are accepted in the beloved"”

With evidence like this, why delay any longer! He is in the business of replacing hearts and this replacement takes time and much grace to accomplish. That is part of the Christian experience and journey that assures us of our salvation — he will not let us go. We may at times feel forsaken but he will never forsake us. Therefore, Let me simplify what faith means so you can better grasps what it means to place your faith in Christ as you seem not to be sure about what faith is.

Faith is how we become fully, completely, convinced, assured, persuaded to unite ourselves with something or someone so much so that you devote yourself to what you place such faith in. Faith is not the same thing as believing in Santa Clause because faith attaches oneself — commits to become united too something or someone that removes doubt and fears producing loyalty, fidelity, united into what you place faith in.

Christian Faith in Christ is our uniting ourselves to the risen Christ because we have become fully completely, convinced, assured, persuaded to unite ourselves with His Love and grace. That if we confess our sins, he will change our very lives inwardly so much so that outwardly it shows. People have the wrong idea of God's Love (Agape in Greek). God's Agape Love cherishes, nurtures, fosters in order to unite and bond together in unity of mind, will, and purpose.

His Love is not unbiased, nor is it unconditionally tolerant. God's love - cherishes, nurtures, fosters in order to unite and bond together in unity of mind, will, and purpose. That is why Jesus came to unite us back to God and become transformed in the renewing of heart and mind. Through Christ work on the cross he exposed sin and its power that separates us from God.

When God speaks to us, he reveals and exposes what sin is doing and its power in our lives so much so that His Love leaves to us a choice. Who do you love more? Self, Sin. Or the Lord who pleads, not forces, for you to become reunited with him? Without that choice, without respecting a person's decision, love could not be love.

That is the idea behind cherishing, nurturing, fostering — which defines Agape Love which respects and honors a person's decision — even the wrong ones. That kind of Justice from such Love as this is supreme. Sin will not go unpunished as it takes advantage of God's cherishing, nurturing, fostering — misusing his grace as the means to game God to act contrary to himself. A person rejecting such love - love must reject or it is not love because if not, love would cease being love as it lacks fortitude of justice required for love to be love.

Those that choose sin and self over his call of grace will be held to account for slighting God's Love. What is Love to do except act justly with perfect justice giving them separation from God's own love (meaning His cherishing, nurturing, fostering nature) as that is what they desire more than being united back to God and transformed into a new creation in Christ. They want not his cherishing, nurturing, or fostering in this mortal life, why would they want it in the hereafter as they only would exploit it as they did so on earth?

What you describe as a vicious circle of not knowing for sure is based on feelings and not on the kind of faith that that is fully persuaded, convinced to become united to Christ so much so that you devote yourself to what you place such faith in — Christ - To become transformed into his new creation despite pains and doubts caused by having your heart cleansed and sins exposed.

Do you want Christ to change you — to fully and completely foster, nurture, cherish you that you rediscover your purpose for life becoming progressively untied to his will, purpose, and mind?

He has drawn you here because you prayed. He has begun to chip away at your own hard heart. Make that commitment - faith — in him. Don't try to feel saved — be saved! Trust in Christ's finished work on the cross that forgives those that place their faith in him to be forgiven and transformed into a new person.

I pull no punches, I speak from my own experience; such transformation can be painful but let me assure you it is like having a festering splinter removed from your heart. Once it is gone — it is gone. From such lessons is how we Christians know for a fact, certaincy, that God is real as he does the change within us and that work is not of our own doing, it's his called grace.

Such work takes time with much fostering, nurture, from God to mold us to become united to him in mind, will, and purpose. People mock Christians during their times of transformations out of darkness into his marvelous light because they only see sin, they themselves have, and not the end intended by God that He has for the repentant.

Such change is necessary for us to know God and be restored from the condition which lost this. It begins by saying — I will place my faith in his work and devote myself to him no matter the cost. In this you'll discover and begin to walk into the meaning and purpose of life the Lord intended.

I will begin a short prayer for you but you must fill in the rest from your own heart alone before God. You may have feelings, emotions, or none of these. What you will have is a fixed mind on Christ, a determination (faith) to become united to him in will, purpose, and mind no matter the cost, no matter the feelings, no matter what that cries out to the Lord as he passes by - I am touching the hem of his garment and I will not let go!

So pray:

Father, I prayed before to know you and be forgiven but I don't feel a thing and thought you abandoned me. You led me here to this crazy forum where I met some rather odd and interesting persons who took the time to tell me a bit more about you. So I am placing my faith and my life into your hands — forgive me of all my sins that robbed from me so much...

(Now speak from your own heart on your own for however long - before continuing)

I want to return to you and become born again. I do not understand everything — but fill me with your Spirit and make be born again as I have become fully convince that only your work on the cross can save me from myself — I devote myself to you despite what I feel or how I feel. Lead me to a solid Church and not to flakes so I can learn more of you and become transformed...

(Now speak from your own heart on your own for however long - before continuing)

Keep the evil one off my back and protect me. Change my heart to become as yours — cherishing, nurturing, fostering and never let me go! Let me experience thy great love! and please let me know I am redeemed!...

(Now speak from your own heart on your own for however long - before continuing)

Seal me with thy Spirit forever!

Amen

y@};-
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Science is man's invention - creation is God's
(by B. W. Melvin)

Old Polish Proverb:
Not my Circus....not my monkeys

catherine
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Re: Is Forgiveness the same as atonement?

#57

Post by catherine » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:40 pm

B.W, I've been reading your post and praying the prayers. I'm going to go to bed now and continue to pray about all this. Thank you for the time you spend in helping me. y@};-

I'll probably not get back on here til Sunday night as I've got my grandson tomorrow til Sunday. God Bless.

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Re: Is Forgiveness the same as atonement?

#58

Post by catherine » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:06 am

Hi B.W, I'm going to continue this discussion on the new thread that Kurieuo has started:

http://discussions.godandscience.org/vi ... =3&t=34255

See you there...... :wave:

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Re: Is Forgiveness the same as atonement?

#59

Post by B. W. » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:23 pm

+++
I am posting this from other thread for any reader who is reading this who has'n't gone to the other thread yet or not aware of it yet...
catherine wrote:Hi guys,

I had a time of prayer Friday night, and B.W gave me a great prayer to start me off. I prayed that God would save me (and my family) and forgive me for every single sin I've ever committed and would give me a new heart and mind. I prayed earnestly for His Holy Spirit to baptize me and thus bring alive that tiniest of mustard grain of faith I have and make my faith alive and on fire so that I would Know He is real, just as I know my family are real. I kept (keep) asking if He (Jesus) is real and to forgive my doubts. I asked that I would find truth so that I don't keep sailing from one wave of confusion to another, with this doctrine and that doctrine but to know Him. I went to bed and continued to pray but to my shame I fell asleep at some point. I had cried a lot the night before and I hoped a miracle would happen and I'd wake up 'different' but I'm just the same. My doubts are still the same, my fears and confusions. Maybe I'm expecting something that isn't going to happen the way I imagine it. IT's just that when I read the accounts in the NT, I get the impression that the Holy Spirit's baptism is a dynamic, powerful 'experience'. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirits, He is the Comforter. He can bring peace that is beyond all understanding. I have had a 'spiritual experience' as described in another post on this site, but a 'power' experience, is not the same as a 'person' experience surely? I've felt a tremendous power outside of me and then in me, but I don't know for sure what or where that power came from. If I'd felt the 'peace that goes beyond all understanding, coupled with an assurance that Jesus is real and has forgiven me, then that would be amazing and I'd say , yes, that's the Holy Spirit doing His work. I believe 'feelings' are an essential part of human experience and although I'd agree they are not the foundation of our faith, or the most important aspect of faith, but I think it would be impossible to not include 'feelings' here, because even some of the fruits of the spirit are 'feelings' to some extent e.g 'joy', 'peace'. I'm not trying to compare 'joy' of the Spirit, with 'happiness' which is a more carnal reaction. I can 'feel' happy because I'm about to have my favourite dinner, but the 'joy' I feel when I hold my grandson is a different thing all together. I hope you can see where I'm coming from here. If I were to 'know' that I am saved and that Jesus really is real, then that knowledge would cause 'joy', 'gratitude', 'love', 'relief' etc. to be born in my spirit.
Hi Catherine,

Don't so much look for feeling as a sign but rather towards God's Nurturing and Fostering to begin now. You made your first step as a new born in Christ, now comes the nurture as like how you feel when holding your grandson is how the Lord feels holding you. It takes time to learn and grow into recognizing the nurturing begun.

When I first prayed my heart out to be saved - I felt numb and it wasn't till a few days later that I began to sense something new, that this newness was a sense of cleanness. It took me a few days to realize to make sense of what I was sensing - cleanness. It wasn't until I became baptized that any full feelings came but I had to grow a bit — gain some strength and nourishment from the Lord.

Everyone is different. So don't look so much for signs but rather toward the Lord beginning to Nurture you into the Kingdom. It takes time; Feeling will in all likelihood come later but now rest. You placed your faith in the Lord and He does have you now and he will not let you go.

You may feel like you have let go — but he will not. You may soon discover that your mind will drift toward the Lord and wanting to know him better or you may begin reading the bible and new insight is granted you have never seen before. Many things may happen so become aware you the newness of life you will grow into.

When you hold your grandson think how the Lord holds you. If your grandson is anything like my 15 month old grandniece, notice how they squirm and can't settle in. There is always something in the room that distracts, another lap beckons, another toy, another book, and they slide out of your lap and off they go exploring the room. Are they alone? They may think so because they only can see what is in front of them and haven't come into awareness that we see them scampering about keeping a watchful / helpful eye on them!

You're like that little 15 month old child who can't sit still for a moment, slides off Papa's lap and runs into the room. What, where's papa — I can't see him? Then turning around — ah there's papa! There's grandma! Slowly you learn: They don't disappear when you can't see them - they are behind me, in the same room, when I cry — there they are! Next time you hold your grandson — remember this.

You have become born again — I think when we all became born again we are like little 15 and 16 month old children who just can't sit in Papa's lap for very long. So we slide off and pick up the book babbling then, jump right back into the arms of our heavenly Father, and as soon as He begins to read a few verses, we see something else and slide back out of his lap. He watches our frolicking about. You are in the same room. He see's — that how nurturing begins…

God bless and welcome into the Kingdom of God!

y@};-
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-
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Science is man's invention - creation is God's
(by B. W. Melvin)

Old Polish Proverb:
Not my Circus....not my monkeys

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