Consider the narrow way(eSword Luk 13:24) or sanctification of the
godly life, and repentance,
in concert with
Acts 5:32 "... and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him". [Jesus teachings by the Holy Spirit are distinguished by heptadic structure, discussed below.]
Rom 13:9-10 "... and whatever other (Law) command there may be, are summed up in this one command: 'Love your neighbour as yourself'. Love does no harm to a neighbour. Therefore - godly - love is the fulfillment of the law". The Golden Rule Matt 7:12 "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets"; though
righteousness or noble standards of behaviour expand on it, per the Apostles teaching.
Rom 9:30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; Rom 9:31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.
Rom 9:32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.
What does this mean ?
Wasn't it contrasting circumcision of the heart (heart felt convictions and reality check/s) with just going through the motions due to rote learned religiosity, symbolized by circumcision of the flesh ? Authentic faith includes
progressively learning the obedience of faith in God
more on progressively learning the obedience of faith in God
We're saved by authentic faith alone but we're saved to the fruits of a repentant way of life - that recognise noble/godly standards of behaviour. Written Law has no power to change our heart, but keeping God's way of life and commandments is empowered by the Holy Spirit, (when we appreciate God's noble and majestic beauty), as a progressively learnt labour of love. We also see this in the OT verse (Deu 5:29) "Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear(/trust/honour) Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!" cf entropy.
Have you considered 'Law, Grace, and Salvation' in
The Kingdom of The Cults Appendix B pp 610-627
), again, just as Jesus is also the manna from heaven (John 6:31-33), the alpha and omega. Christ is in the Old Testament concealed and in the New Testament revealed.
Referring to the moral law and 10 commandments, we need to heed Jesus warning Mat 5:17 "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. Mat 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle
will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Mat 5:19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. Some seem to grasp the importance of all the moral law and 10 commandments better than others, when balanced by Paul's statements.
The 10 Commandments Twice Removed
which holds to
the 10 (with Jesus & Apostles) commandments and the faith of Jesus
Rev 14:12 "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Acts 5:32 "... and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him".
We're reminded that Jesus claimed - Luk 6:5 "The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath." Luk 6:6 "Now it happened on another Sabbath, also, that He entered the synagogue and taught. And a man was there whose right hand was withered. Luk 6:7 So the scribes and Pharisees watched Him closely, whether He would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against Him. Luk 6:8 But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man who had the withered hand,
"Arise and stand here." And he arose and stood. Luk 6:9 Then Jesus said to them, "I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy ?"
Luk 6:10 And when He had looked around at them all, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he did so
Luk 13:10 "Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. Luk 13:11 And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. Luk 13:12 But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, "Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity." Luk 13:13 And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. Luk 13:14 But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, "There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day." Luk 13:15 The Lord then answered him and said, "Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the
Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it ?"
We oughtn't to assume from these treatise' that Jesus didn't care about the moral law and 10 commandments, which many Christians sincerely hold to; another view is detailed in The Kingdom of The Cults Appendix B
pp 610-627. If the Sabbath is taken to be on Saturday for Christians then that is harmless and probably even more correct. Also, we would agree that the commandments Exo 20:13 "You shall not murder. Exo 20:14 "You shall not commit adultery. Exo 20:15 "You shall not steal. Exo 20:16 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Exo 20:17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house" etc, are valid standards of behaviour now as they ever were. 2Co 3:3 "clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart"; as also are Jesus and the Apostles teachings on godly behaviour, which expand on all forms of 'law'lessness, and retrograde standards of behaviour. Again, Mat 5:17 "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." We need to include Romans 6:1-23 in our full consideration of the topic of Law and Grace, though Paul says he uses human terminology to explain his understanding Rom 6:19.
Written Law has no power to convert the soul, as sin and entropy are a self perpetuating slippery slope so that we don't find the strength in us to transform our lives, except by faith in and through Jesus. Practice & scholarly study makes perfect when the Holy Spirit is helping us to become more like Christ Jesus (as taught in the Bible).
We're reminded that the power to live a godly life grows out of an increasing godly love relationship with God/Jesus and our neighbour, as we proactively learn God's/Jesus ways through study and application, as a labour of love.
Rom 13:9-10 "... and whatever other (Law) command there may be, are summed up in this one command:
'Love your neighbour as yourself'. Love does no harm to a neighbour. Therefore - godly - love is the fulfillment of the law"; though righteousness or noble standards of behaviour expand on it, per the Apostles teaching. Exo 20:6 "but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments". Love and godly obedience are increasingly inextricably linked. Mat 22:36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law ?" Mat 22:37 "Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment. Mat 22:39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.'Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." We progressively learn noble standards of behaviour that learn to love our neighbour unselfishly as a starting point, then expand on it with a noble clean lifestyle that recognises God endowed purpose or function in our standards of behaviour, and in time loving God/Jesus.
Heart felt convictions about God's Biblical truths build from our growing appreciation for God's majesty (even if we're only beyond reasonable doubt), as the one who created the galaxies and 'all' beauty in the Earth; also expounded by the sciences and arts. Again,
2Pet 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
2Pet 1:6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;
2Pet 1:7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
2Pet 1:8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rom 1:5 "Through him and for his name's sake we received grace and
apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith." Mat 28:20 "teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you", and the teaching of the Apostles too, rather than pursuing lawlessness.
Repentance requires growing obedience (in measure with the significance of offenses, and borne out of a heart felt love relationship - Rom 13:9-10) as disciples learn the ways of the master. Eph 2:8 "For by grace you have been saved through faith", with repentance rather than license, lawlessness, or 'easy believism', learning and conforming to the biblically revealed nature or character of Christ through the empowering Holy Spirit - Rom 8:14. We're to bear fruit in keeping with authentic faith Luk 8:15 . Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven." Even the demons believe. Authentic faith is more godly than easy believism/also known as cheap grace. Practice makes perfect when God is helping us to learn noble standards, as a labour of increasingly heart felt convictions and love (Hebrews 6:10). First we make our habits then our habits make us. To whom much is given much will be expected, each case on it's merits, even when our steps are faultering. God's mercy says to the repentant that 'though your sins are as scarlet they shall be as white as snow' Isa 1:18 . How many times will God forgive us - Jesus said 70 times 7 Mat 18:22 (for us and therefore for God too) - taken to mean a fresh start whenever we sincerely repent and make a go of things - while treating our fellows similarly. It's true that laws can't change people's heart, only Jesus and God can. But we're also to progressively learn to fear God, honouring Him in all our ways, as being worthy of honour and in time even agape love. We progressively
distance ourselves from those things that make us stumble.
If anyone says they allegedly speak or have spoken as for God/gods or Jesus (anti/pseudo-Christs) one might ask if this speech is supernaturally inspired and conforms to the Bible, as testified to by the modern day equivalent of Bible heptadic structure and possibly? equidistant letter sequences (ELS - wikipedia) ? For more on numerics & ELS, have you considered
The Seal of God
Cosmic Codes ?
If there were gods then they would need to be infinite in order to be able to resolve entropy throughout our Cosmos. If they can't repeatedly raise the dead on demand then they're not gods, just creatures like the rest of humanity, with no possibility of giving us an afterlife. Claims like that are so called spiritual texts that don't have heptadic structure, eg the mormon and other human texts, and beings that don't have any evidence of divinity, namely heptadic's and repeatedly raising the dead, or other proofs of being infinite, not finite.
Have you considered that numerics is part of the story as we're not only concerned with numerical values of letters and words, but with counting letters, words, vocabulary, vowels, consonants, nouns, etc. This second aspect of heptadic structure needs to be in many cases independent of the language in which it is written, and if a Text or statement is said to be spiritual and authoritative (inspired from God / gods or Jesus) in it's original language or inspired translation then it should have this secondary aspect of unique heptadic structure irrespective of the original language. Counting letters, words,
vocabulary, vowels, consonants, nouns, etc can equally be applied to any language, including english, latin, arabic, etc. Therefore, testing for this secondary aspect of heptadic structure can be applied to any Text or communique claimed to be of 'spiritual' authority, ie speaking for God / gods or Jesus.
Consider (eSword Titus 2:11-14) "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. Tit 2:12 It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, Tit 2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope -- the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, Tit 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." Heb 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Rom 1:17 "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.'"
(see Hab 2:4)
(eSword James 1-2:26) [The following is quoted with permission from Kris Baines.] The words echo the popular saying 'trials are opportunities for spiritual growth.' Faith without deeds is dead. Faith is so much more than belief. Let's be doers of the word - James 1:22
Thoughts and reflection on our reading :
It's easy for a person to say that he is Christian, or a follower of Jesus, but it's another thing altogether to show that they are.
On the other hand, it's easy for a person to make others think they are a Christian because of what they do externally, but that doesn't necessarily mean that a change has taken place in the heart.
So how do we make sense of all of this ?
Well really the focus that I should have is on my own faith, ensuring that I am walking right with God, and truly in a relationship with Him, and the way I know that is whether that faith that I have, or say that I have, is authentic - because of the works that I do. But the works must become because of my faith not as a way to get or grow my faith.
I know how easy it is to preach and teach about the things we should be doing as believers, and the ways in which we should be living, but having the faith to speak about them doesn't amount to having the faith to actually demonstrate and live them out in my life. Having said that, the temptation is always there to superficially show works of faith in an effort to make people think we're more spiritual than we really are. And, if we're honest, we don't always correct people who think we're more spiritual than we really are.
What God wants to do for all of us is a faith in us that works from the inside out. Being backed up by works of faith that show we're sincere and genuine in our relationship with God.
And as the examples of Abraham and Rahab in this passage demonstrate
to us, it was the acting upon the Word of God that proved their faith in the God of the Word.
And that is what makes the difference between being a doer or a hearer only. [end of quote] Soul-Mate
(eSword Php 4:8) Finally, brethren,
whatever things are true,
whatever things are noble,
whatever things are just,
whatever things are pure,
whatever things are lovely,
whatever things are of good report,
if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy
- meditate on these things.
Our part is well expressed in the following verses and saying --
2Co 10:5 ... we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ
Gal 6:7 "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Gal 6:8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the
Spirit will reap eternal life. Gal 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
We are to put off the old man and put on the new (Eph. 4:22-24).
1Jn 2:3-4 "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His
Rev 14:12 "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."
What About Legalism vs Antinomianism ?
Have you considered the controversial case against antinomianism with the case for Christ's Truth in this book -
Grace Not Law!: The Answer To Antinomianism
Which Law Do Christians Obey
Justification is by faith but saving faith is evidenced by obedience -- by walking in the light. Justification and salvation are not through obedience,
but through faith which is made evident by obedience to the teachings and commands of Jesus. Actions speak louder than words. Righteous faith is more than intellectual assent or lip service.
If we aspire to a righteous or godly life, we will realise that we don't just tumble into it. We work at it over time, including prayer for breakthroughs. It seldom "just happens".
"Sow a thought and we reap an act, sow an act and we reap a habit, sow a habit and we reap a character, sow a character and we reap a lifestyle, sow a lifestyle and we reap a destiny". Practising a healthy lifestyle is very important, as we are body, soul, and spirit; and stewards of all that God puts in our care. 1 Corinthians 4:1 "Let a man so account of us, ... and stewards of the mysteries of God." If our emotions aren't stable, through our healthy lifestyle and relationships, then frequently our spiritual life suffers too.
Improving Emotional Intelligence
We eventually reap what we sow, ideally all good, and with God's encouraging Holy Spirit prompting us to walk like Jesus Christ, we can overcome everything which hinders and blinds us to the right ways of Jesus -- if we keep our emotional and physical life healthy, for the sake of our spiritual life. We need to be
level-headed, with increasingly good self control (e-Sword Galatians 5:18-23), praying for God and Jesus to increasingly help us in each area of our life as our conscience becomes sensitive to those things God's word reveals to us.
"First we make our habits, then our habits make us." Charles C. Noble
Luk 8:5 "A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it.
Luk 8:6 Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture.
Luk 8:7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it.
Luk 8:8 But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold." When He had said these things He cried, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Luk 8:11 "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
Luk 8:12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
Luk 8:13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
Luk 8:14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.
Luk 8:15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
It has been said, "Show us your friends and we will show you your destiny". (Have you considered 1Co 15:33). Healthy relationships are with people that aren't crass, headstrong or maybe arrogant (2Ti 3:4), selfish or self centered, careless, materialistic, manipulative or domineering, with toxic personality excesses and deficits, given to false spirituality that exalts finite humans or angels/spirits, or anything contrary to the word of God (e-Sword), and generally ungodly. We're to be patient with, forgiving of, and pray for such people that they too may be transformed by God's grace into temperate God-honouring/fearing
persons (Gal 5:22,Mat 6:14). 1Co 9:25 "And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things." In our common humanity, there but for the grace of God go any of us, we all stumble in these things but get back up and go on, in the God of the Bible - Eph 2:8 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Eph 2:9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Our thought life is transformed by agreeing with God's word (e-Sword)
and incrementally adjusting our way of life so that our thoughts, acts, habits, resulting character, and eventual destiny become more like Christ each day, week, month, and year. Whatever we feed will grow. If we feed our old sin nature, eventually God's Holy Spirit will reluctantly let us go our own way, and that is the destiny we will reap -- though we can start afresh each new day trying to gain the victory physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As we're encouraged on, to grow more like Christ Jesus, and as we feed the new nature that God prompts us onwards to, so we eventually gain victory in our walk with
God. It helps tremendously if we have a healthy lifestyle, (as stewards of all that God puts in our care for His honour - holding those things lightly until the Lord requires them of us. Mat 25:15-23). There's nothing like burning off excess energy each day, sleeping well, and filling in our time with acceptable productive pursuits that don't exclude God's preeminence in our lives. A good night's sleep is typically the result and is very helpful emotionally and consequently spiritually.
Have you considered Bearing one's cross, following in the steps of Jesus
- "For most, however, bearing the cross
means dying to self and one's personal desires in order to live unreservedly for the Lord and His mission."
Lord Of All or Not Lord At All by SDA Chris Buttery
Because finite humans can't fully comprehend all aspects of an infinite God/Jesus, based in eternity, we strive for the blessed hope, and obedience to the faith is required, ie faith and incremental fruit. We grow from milk to meat, of God's Word the Bible. Like babes mature into adults.
Seeking the life/Afterlife of God increasingly results in us finding
opportunities to make a difference that advances His Truth in our sphere of influence, where He has planted or will plant us. As our abilities and aptitudes become increasingly clearer over time, as we grow in God, so our opportunities unfold, and we each develop what is occasionally termed a calling or maybe anointed means of making a difference that advances His
Truth, fulfilling Mat 25:15-23; as may ideally be affirmed by God's people and their ongoing peer review & mentorship. James 2:18 "But someone
will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without
your works, and I will show you my faith from my works." We must be proactive, encouraged to not be spectator Christians in a consumer society of
We're just students in the body of Christ, and propose ideas in 'discussion documents' for wider analysis. There will be a little overlap between what the body of Christ step out in faith to attempt, but that only partially resembles Bible characters due to a related worldview. We don't claim that God told us something, but God may partially bless attempted steps of faith when they're in accord with His biblically expressed Word/will.
To stay in tune with Holy Spirit leading we have to tune up or optimise our walk, based on sound scholarly doctrine, and put in to extinction anything that hinders a right spirit or mood if you like. Prayers may be God's way of enlisting us in what He is doing or wants to do, when our lives meet His criteria for answering our heart cry for breakthrough/s or a little progress. Being body, soul, and spirit we don't check our brains at the door of faith but strive with heart and soul for godly pursuit of optimal scholarship, like engineers and scientists are also trained in. Faith in action doesn't mean we can indulge in building using shoddy workmanship or scholarship. 'Our utmost for His highest', even if it's just a few loaves and fishes.
Further clarification of the faith and works vs religiosity debate can be found here : by SDA Pastors
Will The Real Gospel Please Standup ?
What Is Sin ?
This discussion needs to address the paradox of freewill/choice and predeterministic outcomes. Outside the time domain and in eternity both are correct. We humans can't know about predeterministic and freewill outcomes because they're based in eternity, so we defer to God/Jesus as the intercessor for human struggles. Whomsoever will may come.
How Did Christ Live ?
What Is Possible For Us ?
Lord Of All or Not Lord At All by SDA Chris Buttery
The Whole Truth: Faith Or Works? Part 1
The Whole Truth: Faith Or Works? Part 2
The Whole Truth: Law or Grace? Part 1
The Whole Truth: Law or Grace? Part 2
Obedience To The Faith details pt 1
Obedience To The Faith details pt 2
Law of 10 Commandments etc
Servile or Son's Heart - Slave or Mature Son ?
Pray For Insight or A Breakthrough. Whomsoever will may come.
The Two Covenants
Experiencing The New Covenant ie Religious Reality Check
Bearing The Cross, Wearing The Crown
Bearing The Cross, Wearing The Crown pt 2
The Kingdom of The Cults pg 610 defines legalism as "the doctrine that keeping the law merits salvation", which is contrary to scripturally taught obedience (the fruit) (eg Acts 5:32) - being the evidence of authentic saving faith (the root). Many Christians profess the moral law and 10 commandments to be relevant as evidence that we're obeying the law of love, ie obedience to the faith, for God and our neighbour/s, followed by the Apostles teachings on noble clean standards of behaviour; that recognise God endowed purpose or function. We believe the prevailing consensus that we can never do enough to earn our salvation through works. We don't err in that view, towards 'some' SDA law keeping advocacy, 'some' seem to require to merit salvation. Though some - possibly most or all - SDA's doubtless are saved too, and have positive teaching contributions which many Christians accept. Acts 5:32 "and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him". That obedience will be as taught by conservative orthodoxy, confirmed like the noble Bereans who searched the scriptures to see if teaching was correct Acts 17:11, rather than some self proclaimed adhoc 'spiritual' guidance common today. Not legalism though, but
scripturally progressively learnt obedience (the fruit) as evidence of authentic faith (the root). As 'a labour of love' (Hebrews 6:10) believers cooperate with Holy Spirit led and motivated teaching that helps us to incrementally conform to the nature of Jesus Christ. We don't embrace 'lawlessness', and therefore
obedience of authentic saving faith go hand in hand. To whom much is given much will be expected. Each case on it's merits, also depending on the significance of lawless acts. We're reminded that God has given humanity a measure of freewill and only stands at the door of our hearts knocking to let Him in.
We don't hold the Preterist interpretation of prophecy that some profess. The seventieth week of Daniel is yet to be fulfilled.