Saturday, September 08, 2007

Quote of the Week

Grace means that God does something for me; law means that I do something for God. God has certain holy and righteous demands which He places upon me: that is law. Now if law means that God requires something of me for their fulfillment, then deliverance from law means that he no longer requires that from me, but Himself provides it. Law implies that God requires me to do something for Him; deliverance from law implies that He exempts me from doing it, and that in grace He does it Himself. I need do nothing for God: that is deliverance from law.

Watchman Nee

7 comments:

Judah Himango said...

We keep God's commandments out of a love motive to please God by refraining from sin. For we know we love him if we keep his commandments.

As followers of Messiah, if anything separates us from the world, it is in our intentions to rebuke sin, to turn our backs on it at every opportunity, to (in Hebrew) t'shuva -- repent when we sin. Repent doesn't mean "I'm sorry", no, it means "turn completely the other way". We turn from sin, that is what Messiah asks, that is what God requires of a holy people.

This should be a basic, elementary tenet of the faith for any follower of Messiah: for repentance was the key message of both Messiah and John the Baptist.

Instead we modernly have a false doctrine that we can do anything, even sin -- free in Jesus! -- and God won't care, for He "doesn't keep score".

No wonder Messiah foretold that some will say, "Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name? And cast out demons in your name? And I will say, 'Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness, I never knew you.'"

Gary Kirkham said...

Judah,

I can't help but assume that you mean to imply, by quoting Matthew 7:22-23, that Jesus will say that He never knew me. This isn't the first time that you said something similar to this to myself and others. Is this what you are intending to say?

I think that I need to go and take a writing class. Either I have problems communicating or... what? I still haven't figured out why you continually misrepresent what I write. When have I ever said that it is OK to sin? And before you go there:

Not being under the Law is not the same as OK to sin.

Finally, if you believe that God still counts a Christian's sins against him, then you don't understand salvation.

In Christ,
Gary

Daelon said...

This is one of my favorite quotes. I read it first in Grace Walk. It's awesome to be reminded of this.

I think it's kind of odd that a lot of people use Matthew chapter 7 as proof that disobedient Christians go to hell or something. But I'm positive the Lord is saying exactly the opposite. "Have we not done many mighty works in Your name?"

"Far be it from me to boast in anything but the cross of Christ Jesus".

Gary Kirkham said...

Hi Daelon,

Thanks for dropping by. Excellent point! Like Paul, I rejoice in my weakness and my need for Christ's power working in my life making me able to live the life He has called me to live. There is no good that lives in my flesh and I pray the Lord would deliver me from ever thinking that there is.

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

Judah Himango said...

Gary,

I don't mean to imply. I mean to say this: those that rebuke God's commandments don't really know Messiah. I only parrot 1 John.

Most likely, underneath your theology, Gary, you ultimately walk in the Torah yourself. I say this based on what I read and the love you show to people.

This makes sense to me, as God has written his law on our hearts, just as Jeremiah said would happen in this new covenant God would make with us.

Gary, I believe you know Messiah. I apologize for not making that clearer before, please forgive me for putting a stumbling block there.

My understanding is, those who rebel against God's commandments are those who do not know Him. (Again, 1 John)

Fortunately for yourself, having God's law written on your heart, you instinctively do much of the Law.

You're not rebelling, but you are denigrating and belittling His commandments. If you're not intentionally doing this, please understand this is how it appears as you post these "Law vs. Grace" posts that put the two at odds.

I won't beat around the bush or be PC in order to please men: Gary, you are borderline teaching others to break God's commandments. Or at least, you play down the Torah's importance, so as to render it almost meaningless to Christians. Again, if this is not your intent, please understand this is how it is coming across.

If you do teach others to break God's commandments, then you will be least in God's kingdom.

Gary, are you teaching others to break God's commandments? If not, please explain to me why you keep telling me, "Under the Law!", as if it's an unthinkable thing to obey God's commandments. (And before you reply with Pauline quip, please understand he was rebuking those who believed you had to keep the Law to be saved, which we agree is false doctrine.)

Gary Kirkham said...

Judah,

It doesn't matter how many times you say otherwise, Galatians was written to believers. It makes it very clear in chapter 3, verses 2-3

This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

He is asking them why, if they were saved by faith and not by works, are they now trying to be made perfect by works.

Again in verse 5, he asks does God, who has given them His Spirit and does His miraculous work, do it by the works of the Law or by hearing with faith? The obvious answer is faith.

By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 1 John 4:13

You keep quoting 1 John 5:3, but have you ever considered which commandments he is talking about?

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. 1 John 3:21-24

Judah Himango said...

Gary, you said,

He is asking them why, if they were saved by faith and not by works, are they now trying to be made perfect by works.

That's just it - I'm not saying we're saved by works or by the Torah. I agree with Galatians wholeheartedly. Can I be any clearer?

You seem to think Messiah created some new commandments, yet John is paraphrasing Yeshua's answer to the Pharisees when he said the greatest commandments upon which all the other commandments in Torah -- all 613! -- hinge on are to 1. love God and 2. love others.

Gary, both of those commandments -- to love God and love others -- are straight from Torah (Deuteronomy, to be exact); they are not some foreign commandments created for the foundation of a new religion.

Jesus said those 2 commandments, which John paraphrases, are hinges that hold up all the other commandments.

Think of it like door hinges: those 2 are the hinges, all the other commandments are the door itself.

Yeshua didn't say those are the only 2 that matter any more. He said those are the most important commands in Torah.

If Messiah had said those 2 are the *only* commandments, then we're left with door hinges, but no door. What use are door hinges without a door?

Your interpretation of John leaves us with no door; there are only 2 commandments now, the commandments of Jesus.

This is contrary to Scripture, where Messiah stated clearly that not even the least commandment in Torah will be abolished until heaven and earth pass away.

That is where I stand, Gary. I accept the whole Scripture, even the difficult parts, whereas much of modern Christianity only intakes the parts about nice, friendly parts about grace, rejecting in ignorance God's commandments, His judgments, His ways that are different from the world.