Byron

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  1. I was reading the Bible again and came across this passage. And, as God's word has done to me many times in my life, it slapped me in the face. 18 do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. -Romans 11:18-22 I find myself ashamed before God, knowing I have reacted in anger to those who offended me. I have been arrogant in thinking my salvation is guaranteed. And I have fallen down. But the Good news is that I was again picked up. I know that it is God as Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit that disciplined me through my falling down. I know it was discipline and not condemnation because I was allowed to get back up. Looking back on my life I see a trail of broken things but the trail is less littered the further it progresses. This is God's doing and evidence that I am (slowly) learning. This is progress; no? :) This progress has manifested itself in me today through Romans 11:18-21. The passage I've shared with you is intended to remind us all that we all fall short of the Glory of God and that we should rejoice in Christ but also remain fearful of God. It is true I am not a member of The LDS but God had me come here for a reason. The spirit has not moved me to join the LDS. So, I thought, perhaps, I am here to be a witness and help correct fellow believers. Be that as it may, I recognize the arrogance now. And now I know, in part or entirety, that I am here for fellowship, sharing God's word in a kind and loving way. (This I know because the spirit told me so) God's blessings to you all!
  2. Evangelical: “Works are a product of salvation.” -This is more the accepted dogma of most Protestant churches. Do you believe the Lord pulls you out of the pit? Or do you believe you need to climb up the rope? -Neither, I believe that all credit belongs to God. Therefore even my ability to climb a a rope is God given. After all if not for God there would not be a rope, a pit or a person trying to get out. Do you believe salvation is gained through a one-time act of acceptance? Or do you believe it is a lifelong pursuit? -Both; Salvation is given but once, hence the warning to not blaspheme the holy spirit (the only unforgivable sin) The lifelong pursuit is our choice in accepting God and trusting him. Do you believe faith is simply a “you got it or you don’t”? Or do you believe that faith comes in levels or degrees? -The Bible tells us of a hierarchy in heaven when it tells of the amount of treasures we will reap in heaven. So yes, faith can be measured in degrees. PS. In contrast, sin is not measured in degrees as we are told "the wage of sin is death" meaning sin=0 and there are no variations of nothing. If works are a product of salvation, then belief (faith without works) is sufficient for Christ to lift us out of the pit. Once out of the pit, we can do good works. Am I understanding the statement correctly? -This is inaccurate; good works can be done by both believers and unbelievers. The difference is that good works by a believer are intended for use in an ambassadorial means. i.e.) Let them see your good works and when you credit them to God, they can be amazed. "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Matt 5:16 1. We are all born with a rudimentary sense of truth (the Light of Christ/Conscience). As we go through life, we choose to listen to that Light or deny it. So, starting from birth, our choices make us who we are. -Upon the death of Christ, he paid our debt to the old laws. He took on all man's sin. The law was thereafter, written on all men's hearts: 1Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some, letters of commendation to you or from you? 2You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.… 2Cor 3:1-3 One who knows very little of Jesus and then declares belief is fine. That is the initial seed of faith. But he still worships in ignorance. And we can’t be saved in ignorance. We have to know what he expects of us – little by little. - I also disagree with this because knowledge of God, like all things good, is measurable. Being ignorant of Christ is the same as not knowing Him. To declare your faith in Him is in fact knowing him. Does it mean we know everything about him? Not at all. But it does mean we know enough to declare our love for him. Now there are those among us that are false in their declaration but this is not what we are talking about and God will deal with them accordingly. - If we take the idea that a new believer is not yet saved, then we nullify much of what God taught us and indeed we put our own understanding before God's grace. How can we show faith if we’re not obedient? How can we be obedient if you don’t know His commandments? How can we know His commandments if we don’t learn? He has commanded us to do certain works such as baptism. If we have learned of his commandment to be baptized, why not obey it? If we don’t obey, how can we say we have faith? If we don't have faith, how can we be saved? -We cannot show faith while being disobedient, however being disobedient is not the same as not having faith. A loving father disciplines his children just as God does with his children: FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES. Hebrews 12:6 -What do we do that needs God's discipline? We disobey. Are we made unfaithful with our disobedience? Not at all. But we need to be corrected.
  3. I do not have such a drastic disagreement here. In fact I pretty much endorse this. I believe that our works will result in the treasures in heaven we have access to. The ratio will be governed by God's judgment.
  4. Though I appreciate your concerns, I think it important to look to scripture when we have worries. Jesus tells us 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Now it can be said that this means 'do not worry about worldly things' But I believe it to mean do not worry about anything. That trusting God means that we leave all our concerns with Him. That when challenged by the adversary and those that would do his work, we are to be prepared through resting in the Word of God (read the Bible) That we be fortified through prayer, that we are supported through fellowship and that we are ultimately saved by God. If we are mindful of these and reminded by our brothers and sisters, then we should set aside our worries and live our lives as believers in Christ Jesus. If I may offer something that helps me on my walk with Jesus.: When ever I feel the pains of worry or doubt I pray to God. In my prayer I always do so in Jesus' name and then thank God for granting my prayer. This to fortify my trust in Him. I will show an example of what I mean in the Lord's Prayer: Our Father, who art it Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, On earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses; as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever ... Amen Lord I ask all this in Jesus name and I thank you for granting me this ... Amen. Now I know the last part of the lord's prayer was added via the Anglican Church and the last sentence is mine. But I will tell you this. I am terrified of flying. but when I say this prayer prior to flying I know God will deliver me safely to my destination, no matter if that destination is the one I paid for or the one Jesus paid for.
  5. Here's another for you: "And God Created the heavens and the earth" The angels then looked upon what God created and saw this wonderful nation called Canada. It had an abundance of fresh water, vast farm lands, rich minerals, majestic mountains and few people to share such riches. Because of this they questioned God, "Why give so much to so few? Is this not unfair to the rest of the world?" To this God replied, "Just wait till you see the neighbors I give them."
  6. Missouri Synod is the Church I was indoctrinated in. The Lutherans have a creed that is read at nearly every service I have attended. It is a nice prayer based on scripture but it is an addition that does not exist in scripture. Fellow Lutherans have challenged me on this saying that to omit this is akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater, however I prefer to be schooled by scripture and not through someone else's verse about scripture.
  7. Question: Where or what tribe do the Muslims come from? I know that Muslims trace their lineage to Ishmael. I have often wondered, are they the descendants of the people God ordered the Israelites to wipe out? We know that the Israelites did not obey God on this and this angered God. Does anyone know scripture that may support this theory? I may be trying to fit the issue into a box that would later justify waging war on Islam but it would be so much easier to deal with this issue knowing we are fulfilling a mandate from God rather than responding with hatred and vengeance. And yes, it is very difficult for me to not feel hatred towards Islam.
  8. The above does not make us God's children, we are made God's children through faith in Him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God ...John 1:12 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God ...Roman's 8:16 26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ .Galatians 3:26-27 See ywhat kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called zchildren of God; and so we are. The reason why athe world does not know us is that bit did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are zGod’s children cnow, and what we will be dhas not yet appeared; but we know that ewhen he appears1 fwe shall be like him, because gwe shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who hthus hopes in him ipurifies himself as he is pure. 4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; jsin is lawlessness. 5 You know that khe appeared in order to ltake away sins, and min him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; nno one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, olet no one deceive you. pWhoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 qWhoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was rto destroy the works of the devil. 9 sNo one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s2 seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, tnor is the one who udoes not love his brother. 1John3: 1-10 As for never being more than a toy, we will ascend to be 'as angels': 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven ... Mathew 22:30
  9. God loves me. I trust Him. So I pray because God tells me to.
  10. The bible tells us that we are saved by faith through the grace of God. …7so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:7-9 Now there are passages such as that in James that tells how man is justified by works and not faith alone, but what does this really mean? Perhaps it is important to differentiate between "saved" and "justified". Moreover I believe works are a byproduct of being saved. I.e.) The fig tree that bore no fruit, Jesus saw this and cursed the tree. 18Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry. 19Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, "No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you." And at once the fig tree withered. 20Seeing this, the disciples were amazed and asked, "How did the fig tree wither all at once?" Mathew 21:18-20 There is a twofold effect here, 1) Jesus did this because he was a fulfillment of the old testament "'I will take away their harvest, declares the LORD. There will be no grapes on the vine. There will be no figs on the tree, and their leaves will wither. What I have given them will be taken from them.' Jeremiah 8:13 2) Jesus did this so his disciples would see it and witness not only the Glory of God but to know that the tree was a metaphor for believers, that we need to fulfill our purpose in Christ Jesus or like the tree we may wither and die. I believe the fruit would have 'justified' the fig tree in that bearing fruit would have fulfilled the tree's purpose. A Christian who bears fruit will likewise be justified by fulfilling his/her purpose in Christ. This is done through works. So from this my beliefs are as follows: -God gives those of faith his undeserved favor of salvation (saved by faith through grace) -As the faithful, saved by faith through grace, we must nurture that faith through works. Some have argued that without works our faith is dead (James 2:24) but I see this as a reminder, not a warning. The reminder that our hearts are convicted by the holy spirit and just as 1+1 = 2 so does faith result in good works. Does this mean we can be saved and do nothing? Absolutely not, Jesus tells us that those that do not live up to their purpose in him will die. Just as a plant that is not watered will die so too will our faith should we not allow the spirit to move us to do good works. Now this I believe is key, "The spirit moves us to do good works" Jesus does not want us to boast of our deeds. Remember how pissed off God got at Job after Job questioned Him? God challenged Job to save himself with his own hand. “Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? 9 Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his? 10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. 11 Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at all who are proud and bring them low, 12 look at all who are proud and humble them, crush the wicked where they stand. 13 Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave. 14 Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you. Job 40:8-14 So remembering this I think it important to listen to the Holy Spirit, pray always (as Paul encourages us), rest in God's word (read the Bible) and allow the word of God to flow through us in the form of Good works. This to guard ourselves from taking credit for the good God would have us do. (Or moreover, the good God would work through us) What do you all think?
  11. This is false, just plain false. Leah, I have not seen you speak up in any of my posts yet so I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you think I am just here to cause problems. Please read some of my other posts as I hope you will see the spirit in which I have been writing. I have been trying to serve you all in that I am trying to be very careful in the way I talk about our differences. I have switched up my approach a number of times in service to you all. And it seems no matter what I do I am damned if I do and damned if I don't. I would be lying if I said this is not frustrating. Still I serve God first and I will seek his guidance as I continue to try and understand.
  12. The truth is, I am as guilty as the next guy of judging in a condemning way. When Christ died the law was written on our hearts thus we are condemned by our own hearts when we sin. When I condemn my fellow man (or commit any sin), I know I have done it. I then have a need to repent. If I ignore this need I can feel myself sliding down that slippery slope. I looked back on my past posts and see how it can be assumed I may be guilty of what you say here. But this is the reason for my post on this thread. I want to be of service when I warn that the errors of perception can lead to false judgment. Trust me when I say, it is not easy to keep from lashing back at those who have wrongly assumed my guilt. But after resting in God and searching my own heart I find myself grateful for this experience.
  13. I believe that Gospel means "the good news" of Jesus' sacrifice for the salvation of man. I also believe that the Bible is the complete Word of God and encompasses my understanding of "Gospel". So, yes though I believe the BOM to be another Gospel, I have also said my understanding is that of a man and that I may be wrong. Perhaps our differences go deeper still because I do not take ownership of the Word of God. Thus I am less prone to take offense at someone else's understanding of His word. Not to say that you take ownership of the Word of God, but it does seem that you do take personal offense to my questions and understanding. In this case I hope you can forgive the perceived slight. In the future I will strive to be more careful in how I ask my questions and assert my beliefs here.
  14. Eowyn please show me where it is you think I am saying this? Not as a challenge but so that I can be more careful with how I talk to you. :)
  15. Correct me if I am wrong but are you equating self examination and correction with judging your fellow man?