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True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Bible Chat  > Sola Fide or Christian Double-Talk?

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  #1  
Old 04-14-2009, 01:19 PM
antonio
 
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Default Sola Fide or Christian Double-Talk?

Do those who claim salvation is by faith but then, out the other side of their mouth say,one must do what no human, not even Paul could do, avoid sin. Has any human ever "died to the flesh?"
The late Paul Tillich, one of America’s leading theologians several decades ago, wrote, "Protestantism was born out of struggle for the doctrine of justification by faith." If Protestantism was born out of this struggle, then it stands that the greatness of evangelical Protestant religion will only be recovered when struggle for the truth of justification by faith alone is recovered. The problem we currently face should be obvious—evangelicals are moving increasingly toward Roman Catholic teaching and away from the doctrine of their spiritual forefathers. This is never more apparent than when we consider the present confusion regarding the doctrine of justification by faith alone.
Based on the Pope's words and comments in the RC Bible, the Catholic Church may be moving towards sola fides while protestants move away, and back to "the Law."

Last edited by antonio : 04-14-2009 at 01:39 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-14-2009, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Sola Fide or Christian Double-Talk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by antonio View Post
Do those who claim salvation is by faith but then, out the other side of their mouth say,one must do what no human, not even Paul could do, avoid sin. Has any human ever "died to the flesh?"
The late Paul Tillich, one of America’s leading theologians several decades ago, wrote, "Protestantism was born out of struggle for the doctrine of justification by faith." If Protestantism was born out of this struggle, then it stands that the greatness of evangelical Protestant religion will only be recovered when struggle for the truth of justification by faith alone is recovered. The problem we currently face should be obvious—evangelicals are moving increasingly toward Roman Catholic teaching and away from the doctrine of their spiritual forefathers. This is never more apparent than when we consider the present confusion regarding the doctrine of justification by faith alone.
Based on the Pope's words and comments in the RC Bible, the Catholic Church may be moving towards sola fides while protestants move away, and back to "the Law."
Don't make the mistake of lumping people together Antonio! When you speak of Catholics and/or protestants, you are speaking of groups. We are individuals with varied and different individual purposes in some measure, and will be until and if we are made a definite and irrevocable part of the Body of Christ.

Has anyone completely overcome sin? Yes, Jesus did with no more from God than what He has given to those that have believed in and on Him. [Yes, I am saying that He has given us the power to overcome as He overcame.] Therefore, has anyone else completely overcome sin as Jesus did? Because I cannot name a particular name of a person that did does not mean that none have. The reason you won't hear someone say "I am already an overcomer" and be able to believe it, is because as soon as a person says that, the question that immediately is likely to come to mind is 'why did he say that'? In most cases the reason would be because of a type of pride in the accomplishment which would make his statement a lie. Jesus said it [John 16:33] not out of pride, but to confirm to us that it is possible.

Actually, I have known a person or two that in my mind may have done it, but God has not told me so I do not and cannot really know. God said we can, so we can. If we deny that we can, then we have faith in our inability, so for sure we cannot.
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:49 PM
BruceG
 
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Default Re: Sola Fide or Christian Double-Talk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by antonio View Post
Do those who claim salvation is by faith but then, out the other side of their mouth say,one must do what no human, not even Paul could do, avoid sin. Has any human ever "died to the flesh?"
The late Paul Tillich, one of America’s leading theologians several decades ago, wrote, "Protestantism was born out of struggle for the doctrine of justification by faith." If Protestantism was born out of this struggle, then it stands that the greatness of evangelical Protestant religion will only be recovered when struggle for the truth of justification by faith alone is recovered. The problem we currently face should be obvious—evangelicals are moving increasingly toward Roman Catholic teaching and away from the doctrine of their spiritual forefathers. This is never more apparent than when we consider the present confusion regarding the doctrine of justification by faith alone.
Based on the Pope's words and comments in the RC Bible, the Catholic Church may be moving towards sola fides while protestants move away, and back to "the Law."
Antonio, I am confused. It seems to me if someone was believing that salvation is by faith alone, it would not be in conflict to say one can die to sin. It would be a conflict not to. Why would someone "be speaking out of both sides of his mouth"? The next question is why you think Paul was not able to escape the clutches of sin. Are you referring to Romans 7? Thanks.
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:20 PM
antonio
 
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Default Re: Sola Fide or Christian Double-Talk?

Dear AMA-D, I of course was excluding Jesus. But I know of no one else, excluding the son of God and the mother of God. I know of no one else who has rejoiced and let the rest of us poor slobs know that he/she had "died to the flesh." If there is anyone, they should, not from pride, but in the interest of our hope, let us know. However, If there were such a person, it would contradict what Paul has said repeatedly and I can't imagine any greater struggle with sin , than Paul's.

So, isn't it double-talk to so solemnly preach that we confess and repent, be saved and pronounce death on our fleshly nature and then, within one or two breaths footnote, that each of us then must by our effort comply with "law?" I can just imagine those happy faces after hearing about being saved by God's grace, then seeing those same faces frozen in rigor at hearing it was just the same old BS. I don't think that's the message Paul set the Mediterranean on fire with
Where is the "good news." Where is the easy yoke and the light burden? And most importantly, what was the point of Jesus' sacrifice, we were better off under the Torah. And if not Jews, God's word being written in our hearts, we were better off as heathens,who knew of no law, had no concept of sin, living on our south sea island, warm, lazy, satiated, and happy-that's where I'd want my parents to drop me off. If I were a heathen, boy would I be ticked off if someone came around to my island paradise and opened my eyes with that message..
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  #5  
Old 04-14-2009, 06:47 PM
BruceG
 
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Default Re: Sola Fide or Christian Double-Talk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by antonio View Post
Dear AMA-D, I of course was excluding Jesus. But I know of no one else, excluding the son of God and the mother of God. I know of no one else who has rejoiced and let the rest of us poor slobs know that he/she had "died to the flesh." If there is anyone, they should, not from pride, but in the interest of our hope, let us know. However, If there were such a person, it would contradict what Paul has said repeatedly and I can't imagine any greater struggle with sin , than Paul's.

So, isn't it double-talk to so solemnly preach that we confess and repent, be saved and pronounce death on our fleshly nature and then, within one or two breaths footnote, that each of us then must by our effort comply with "law?" I can just imagine those happy faces after hearing about being saved by God's grace, then seeing those same faces frozen in rigor at hearing it was just the same old BS. I don't think that's the message Paul set the Mediterranean on fire with
Where is the "good news." Where is the easy yoke and the light burden? And most importantly, what was the point of Jesus' sacrifice, we were better off under the Torah. And if not Jews, God's word being written in our hearts, we were better off as heathens,who knew of no law, had no concept of sin, living on our south sea island, warm, lazy, satiated, and happy-that's where I'd want my parents to drop me off. If I were a heathen, boy would I be ticked off if someone came around to my island paradise and opened my eyes with that message..
It seems to me we have mis-understood what sin is to begin with Antonio, and becasue of that fact, so much is confusing on the topic of overcoming sin that most are just bewildered and scared to go forward or go backwards so they just stand frozen in time and space.

In my understanding of sin for Christians, not sin defined by the law, whatsoever is not of faith is sin. It is now God inside us, not external to us and as He breathes life on our God-conscience, we walk pleasing to Him by abiding with Him under the easy yoke, obeying his leadings. If we obey, we abide, and obedience is easy now, not like under the demands of a stern taskmaster who reaps wherehe does not sow. Our gentle master, in contrast, lets US reap where He DOES the sowing! Huge difference! It is He who promises to cause us to obey His still small voice.

For example, is anger sin? Not necessarily. We are told "Be ye angry and sin not", so we know all anger is not sin. However, once someone gets angry, we get past the adrenaline rush of our bodies and an unfortunate initial outburst, God whispers to us to point out our way of escape, and we then have a clear cut choice, not affected by chemicals and emotions. We can get angrier, not forgive, not let Christ heal the situation or we can submit ourselves to His loving authority and choose His path. If inside us, we believe we are still sinners? It simply will not work, despite our most strenuous efforts. But to the man or woman who by faith in what Christ has accomplished in us, past tense, stands firm in their new man, created in righteousness and true holiness, the choice is an easy one. This is the easy yoke. The key though is who we believe we are, old trying to become new, or dead to the old and alive to the new. For it is "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he".

This is only a small example. Take lust. One sees an attractive man or woman and they are drawn like a moth to a flame. It is pheramones, testosterone, and being human. Our eyes apprecite beauty. To say we have no desire would simply be a lie. iYet is there sin there? Not necessarily. The key is listening to the still small voice of God inside us, if we believe we are His and He keeps us from falling, then we will clearly see the way of escape, we glorify god for keeping us from falling into sin and we smaile and we move on in our thoughts. Is this possible? Oh, yes! Yet, to those who are "trying to become new", they on the other hand have no defence from satans attack and are left on their own to battle satan. They most likely will persist, bypassing the escape God ALWAYS provides, and it is like an avalance of thoughts that they cannot escape from and thus, in the end, it breaks forth into vain imaginations and sin, either outwardly or inwardly in the heart and thoughts alone. Either one is death.

It is because of this faulty understanding that we think it impossible to not sin. We think someone who does not sin must be a guru, or levitate in the lotusposition or suffer greatly in their body like an ascetic. Not at all. it is for all, from the least the greatest. The everyday saint, the man or woman on the street. My prayer and hope is that Christians truly begin to see that they have been given the power to choose, unaffected by the old nature that roared in its need to be satisfied. Sin in the old nature is like a drug that does not ask to be fed, it DEMANDS we feed it. We have a choice, yes, but we have no weapons, no power to fight the temptation off if we are left to our own strength and will power.

To the man or woman in faith, must not we still make that some choice? Absuloutely! Is obedience still a requirement? Of course! But there is a huge difference. Whereas before we were left on our own to face satan in our old man, who can resist his temptations if the weapons of our warfare are carnal ones? None. There may be those with great diligence who can BODILY use self control to not submit to outer sins. But what about in the playground of the mind? Do we still retain angry feelings when we were trespassed? Are we haunted by lustful imaginations even if we do not succumb to temptations outwardly? In the flesh, yes, absolutely, Even if by chance we do resist, using the cold shower technique, it is a painful and heavy yoke we carry, and the joy of victory is missing. Our thoughts as well as our actions are judged by God, and the only safe place is abiding by faith in the new nature God has given us, where we CAN obey and not violate our conscience 100% of the time.

This walk of not sinning seems so extraordinary when we compare it to our normal Christianity, but it is not extraordinary at all to God and to the saints who have cried out for deliverance and the faith to believe the good news of the new creature. You mentioned Paul struggled with sin greatly. He did not. I am assuming that you are referring to Romans 7. If you read the entire chapter, you will clearly see that he is referring in this chapter to a man under the law and that this is the "fruit" of that type of relationship to God. It convicts you but gives you no power to obey. The new covenant, the walk of faith, on the other hand is not like that. That is the walk Paul walked in day in and day out- Romans 8. That is the walk where God promises to "cause" us to obey, to will AND to do of His good pleasure.

The other huge misunderstanding is that being free from sin is not perfection, or even Christian maturity. It is simply taking the initial step to entering into discipleship classes, getting free of the class bully who has saints so tied up in self effort or so afraid and freaked out that they never even show up for class. Once the class bully is dealt with, saints are finally free to start the process of getting changed into the image of His beloved Son.

Let all understand, there is most definitely a process, and the word calls it growing "from glory to glory". We never grow from flesh to glory. THAT is a never-ending process with no discernable end and is not the Christian walk God ordains for us. But when we, by faith, reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin, we finally are able to abide in Him without interruption from the class bully and in the abiding, we are changed into His image, miraculously. There is NOTICEABLE growth. People, even our enemies, see a difference in us, a joy in our step, a lightness in our attitude, a power that they cannot put their finger on yet they know it is there.

Sorry this was so long and I hope it clears a few things up.

Last edited by BruceG : 04-14-2009 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Sola Fide or Christian Double-Talk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by antonio View Post
[color="DarkRed"]Dear AMA-D, I of course was excluding Jesus. But I know of no one else, excluding the son of God and the mother of God. I know of no one else who has rejoiced and let the rest of us poor slobs know that he/she had "died to the flesh." If there is anyone, they should, not from pride, but in the interest of our hope, let us know. However, If there were such a person, it would contradict what Paul has said repeatedly and I can't imagine any greater struggle with sin , than Paul's.


If there are or have been such persons, and I believe that there are and there have been, they cannot open their mouths to say it unless it is God's will as it was with Jesus. An overcomer will never speak simply to satisfy our curiosity, but only our need, and only God knows our need. We do not know our own needs, at least, not fully!

As to struggles with sin, no one can overcome sin. Only God's Spirit can do that. The difficulty of our struggle lies in surrendering completely and continuously to His will. He can help with that too. We are not there, because somewhere in our heart we do not really want to surrrender our will to His. Even Jesus had to pray three times to His Father before surrendering Himself to the torture and death which was for Him. His Father's Spirit helped Him and will do likewise for us if we really desire it. If we really desire it it is easy because nothing is difficult for God. It is still our own will that is the obstacle!
Quote:
So, isn't it double-talk to so solemnly preach that we confess and repent, be saved and pronounce death on our fleshly nature and then, within one or two breaths footnote, that each of us then must by our effort comply with "law?" I can just imagine those happy faces after hearing about being saved by God's grace, then seeing those same faces frozen in rigor at hearing it was just the same old BS. I don't think that's the message Paul set the Mediterranean on fire with
Where is the "good news." Where is the easy yoke and the light burden? And most importantly, what was the point of Jesus' sacrifice, we were better off under the Torah.
This is where I see two groups Antonio, the Body of Christ, which has a 'perfect mind' and a 'willing heart', but in the time of this life in the flesh this group of people are never able to completely and continuously surrender. Like King David they are ever watchful, but still they err and when they do they repent ASAP. Within that Body of Christ is a much smaller group, those who are able to completely and continuously surrender before they finish their course here in this flesh. These last are the Bride of Christ, the ones without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Most people here will disagree with me on this point, but I am not trying to prove it. I am simply saying how it appears to me.

Quote:
And if not Jews, God's word being written in our hearts, we were better off as heathens,who knew of no law, had no concept of sin, living on our south sea island, warm, lazy, satiated, and happy-that's where I'd want my parents to drop me off. If I were a heathen, boy would I be ticked off if someone came around to my island paradise and opened my eyes with that message..
We are all condemned already! People are essentially the same everywhere in every period of historical time, in every different culture that exists or has ever existed. God provides them, all of them I believe, with the opportunity to come to Him. Did those under Torah have an easier or more difficult time than we do? I do not really believe so. God gave them different rules to look to, but He was watching for the same things within each of them.

Paul's words that 'all have sinned and come short' do not only apply to those that were here after the resurrection of Christ, but to all people everywhere and everywhen. The primary difference is that we are given more information and more power, but God understands that very well. With more information and more power, His evaluation of us will still be fair, taking into consideration what we have in His decision of what is required of each of us. His evaluation will probably not be pleasing to many! This is why only He is capable of making such an evaluation fairly!

So am I saying that Jesus died for nothing? No, he became the open Door for all people including those that came before His natural birth in Bethlehem. Without Him no one could make it in by simply surrendering. Without Him the only thing anyone would have coming would be final and permanent death for all have sinned.

Especially in the United States and much of the Western world, most of those labeled as Christians are too soft and lazy, spiritually, and unwilling to really sacrifice any of their essential natural comfort. They have much and they apparently give alot, but like the Pharisees of 2000 years ago, they give from the excess of their abundance. God, I believe, would like to see more who are like the poor widow who gave two mites as her offering which was everything that she owned. I wish I could say that I, myself, did as well, but that would not be the Truth.

Is God going to absolutely require that we all give everything? Maybe not, but I would not be surprised to see people with a lot less abundance available to give from especially in the United States in the not too distant future.

Many of the rich and comfortable Jews in Western Europe never expected to lose not only all of their comfortable ways, but their very lives; but Hitler and the Nazis made it happen. Some of them may have been ready to endure because they loved God, but most simply died in their sins. I expect, unfortunately, to see the same thing here if God permits me to live that much longer, because I believe it is going to happen. Too many people care about too many things more than they really care about God. I do not ever want to be found in that position by God.

Glory to His name!
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:37 PM
antonio
 
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Default Re: Sola Fide or Christian Double-Talk?

Dear Bruce--you wrote
Quote:
It seems to me we have mis-understood what sin is to begin with Antonio, and becasue of that fact, so much is confusing on the topic of overcoming sin that most are just bewildered and scared to go forward or go backwards so they just stand frozen in time and space.
Lets take the easy stuff (stuff that is easy to relate to but tougher than an addiction to eliminate) the sins that run through our minds and hearts but we usually have enough self control and socialization that we don't reveal them--we repress them.:
Impatience --in traffic, at the market, at home, at work at the elevator etc etc.--is impatience which sneaks over you like San Francisco fog, consistent in a heart that is dead to the things of flesh? I don't think so. It is only recently that I even realized impatience has all the components of not loving your neighbor-pride, selfishness, ego, unforgivingness,compassionless , etc.


Judgment--the little ones, you think, "don't you ever bath", "god your fat"
"Haven't you had enough to drink, you friggn drunk." "I'd never let you operate on me." , You are so boring." it is infinite. Little nasty thoughts about people popping up in your mind, unloving, judgmental,--is this what you'd expect from a person, dead to things of the flesh?
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:24 PM
BruceG
 
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Default Re: Sola Fide or Christian Double-Talk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by antonio View Post
Dear Bruce--you wrote

Lets take the easy stuff (stuff that is easy to relate to but tougher than an addiction to eliminate) the sins that run through our minds and hearts but we usually have enough self control and socialization that we don't reveal them--we repress them.:
Impatience --in traffic, at the market, at home, at work at the elevator etc etc.--is impatience which sneaks over you like San Francisco fog, consistent in a heart that is dead to the things of flesh? I don't think so. It is only recently that I even realized impatience has all the components of not loving your neighbor-pride, selfishness, ego, unforgivingness,compassionless , etc.


Judgment--the little ones, you think, "don't you ever bath", "god your fat"
"Haven't you had enough to drink, you friggn drunk." "I'd never let you operate on me." , You are so boring." it is infinite. Little nasty thoughts about people popping up in your mind, unloving, judgmental,--is this what you'd expect from a person, dead to things of the flesh?
That is where the love of God shed abroad in our hearts comes in. When we FULLY realize how good God has been to us, overlooking our flaws, strengthening us when we do not deserve it, it is that enlightening, that humbling that it is the death knell for those thoughts. I am seeing it work in my own walk. Can they be overcome? By us? Doubtful at best. By Him in us? Unless we want to confess with our mouths that He is a liar, when He says plainly that we can do ALL things through Christ that strengthens us, then our answer must be, shall be, a resounding faith filled YES, those thoughts can be dealt a death ****.

We have to see how unbelief is our real enemy, how it limits God, how it calls HIS character into question, challenges His power to save to the uttermost them that come to Him in need and faith. Just as the flesh was the root of the power of sin in our old man, unbelief is the culprit in the new. Jesus said he would take responsibility to be the author and the finisher of our faith, but we must give ourselves fully to Him to work on us. He is a GREAT potter, we are but lumps of clay. If we yield ourselves to His hand, is there anything too hard for God? If He raised the dead, split the Red Sea in half, healed Naaman of leprosy dipping in the muddy Jorden River, can He not easily heal our spirits of evil thoughts if we do not limit Him with our unbelief? I believe He can. I believe He will. I believe He has already.
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  #9  
Old 04-15-2009, 12:13 PM
antonio
 
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Default Re: Sola Fide or Christian Double-Talk?

Dear Bruce--don't you see the double talk--"Thou shall pursue what you can never obtain."
If I'm missing it, I apologize but I just become more convinced that my perspective is the only rational one.
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:22 PM
BruceG
 
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Default Re: Sola Fide or Christian Double-Talk?

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Originally Posted by antonio View Post
Dear Bruce--don't you see the double talk--"Thou shall pursue what you can never obtain."
If I'm missing it, I apologize but I just become more convinced that my perspective is the only rational one.
I am truly lost on this post now. Who are you quoting?
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