Archive for the ‘John McArthur’ Category

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MacArthurite Values: Love your Enemies?

August 10, 2007

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MacArthurite Values: Love your Enemies?

August 10, 2007

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Prayer versus the "Truth Wars": Goodbye to Watching the Watchdawgies for Christ

May 2, 2007

Prayer versus the “Truth Wars”: Goodbye to Watching the Watchdawgies for Christ

Recently I attempted to enter into the “Truth Wars” of John MacArthur with a blog that watched thoses who were slandering the emerging church… this is part one.

A lot of prayer and soul searching has caused me to take another look the message of my different Blogs. My first gut feeling response was that I did not want to even do this, yet in me is a fighter, and I veiw that one should stand up against those who abuse others at times and set things right as best we can.

Yet, saying that there is a huge danger of becoming like those who we are hoping to see their error by find we are using the same tools that this world uses, or worse that we justify our actions so that we can feel “good” though we have fallen into the very error we are fighting. This is a narrow path and easy to stray from so Grace, Mercy, humility, and most of all Love must be there to keep us focused on our true calling and that is serving Jesus.

Originally I believed God to be calling out for those in the emerging church movement to ignore the critics and even more so when Johnny Mac declared the “Truth War”. From the start it was clear that the accusations that were thrown out had not merit as most of us responded with, “Who are they talking about?” as they waxed on and on about what the think we think we believe…

To fight or not to fight? Is this “war” of Johnny Mac’s a “Just” war or is it just his? i am seeing more and more it is the latter.

John Wimber who was the head of the Vineyard Church, believed God had told him to never give answer to his critics and for years John did not. Then some very intelligent men begged him to let them give answers and he relented. In a very intellectual way, they did very good in their rebuttals and I reference them here and on my other blog at times. Yet, something changed as my local pastor stated he noticed. Vineyard the gained an unfair reputation of being militant… mostly from the very people who mobilized their attack against Vineyard in the first place.
I see there is a direct correlation between that and now… that we have given in to playing their games… and in some way have lost a bit of ourselves… or at least that is how I feel as of lately dealing with these people.

I think that to expose them has become a waste as they tend to expose themselves as to their theology that justifies hate and judgmentalism. They cry out about homosexuality yet in doing so slander many others in the process… I have come to fully realize to argue with a person with a divisive heart, is futile as that is what feeds their ego and their sick doctrine, the more you fight them and tell them they are in error, the more they gloat as they have made you fall to their level.

I see this as wicked… and that the scripture is clear to have nothing to do with divisive men…

Now, then what to do with this blog?

Here is an email I sent to Russ N who is the other person who has been doing a great job here… I was going to just paraphrase the email but I think I will just post the whole thing as it will speak better as I wrote it from my heart at the time…

Russ,

I first off want to thank you for helping… it has been good to know I have a friend in my corner, even if we have not formally met.

I have doing a LOT of praying and soul searching… and reading of scripture… and as I said from the beginning, I never really wanted to do a blog about Ken or others… I just wanted the lies and slander to stop… and I have a tendency to defend others… to a huge fault at times.

I want you to know I am very seriously thinking of shutting it down… Maybe putting a post to explain what is going on… so these people do not think we are tucking tail and running.

I see other sites that can walk that fine line between becoming like the people one is confronting… and keeping an open ended opportunity to give away Grace and mercy… and I wonder if I am not the right person to do that as I get into the heat of the battle and sometimes lose site of the end goal… reconciliation.

I think in many ways the blog has been very good and exposing some who they really are… and that the real issue is their theology that justifies hate and judgmentalism…. yet, in all that I just get tired of confronting… and wonder if it is worth it? I mean I can expend half the energy and people find Jesus… and I am energized, or I can fight with idiots…. (beloved idiots of God) and be just worn to a frazzle… don’t get me wrong, It is not that I feel the confrontation is wrong, just maybe a waste of time.

Please pray with me… I am pretty set at shutting it down as I have had a scripture run through my head from day one…

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

In some way I feel the blog is a record of wrongs… and though I will never condemn others like CRNinfo… as I see they are doing a great job, I just seem to not have this in me… It feels like this list may as well be my wrongs… and in that I have been forgiven and saved into a new life in Christ, I want to give that away instead of being like Ken Silva who is keep a list of wrongs…. as judged by his own eyes… I think I would rather give room for God to avenge than to avenge myself… I hope that makes sense.

I also was contemplating, (yep that evil purposely reading and think about scripture thing) on Romans 12: 6-21

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

That is were I live… and seemed to be missing this last month… I desire to have it back…

If you do not agree with me I understand… if you do I hope that as we pray we will receive wisdom to get things set back…

I am not saying you have been guilty of anything… these are the things on my heart… I have enjoyed your posts and appreciate all you have done…

I do feel guilty a bit in dragging you in all this though (grin) and then sounding so wishy washy here as I may be changing my mind.

Blessings,
iggy


I hope that IF this blog continues, that we will go in a more positive and less confronting way… the jury is still out as to if we will be here in the next week or two… though we will be deleting most of the accusational posts in the next day or so if not sooner.

I appreciate Russ and know he has a post rearing to go as God has been working in and on his heart also… It will be a major blessings that he will share.

My only desire is to serve Christ in a manner that gives Him glory. I do not see that fighting other brothers in Christ a productive way to spend my time as there are many going to hell every minute I spend in an unproductive argument. I mean think about it… if a person is divisive at heart… do you think arguing will change his mind… no… only one thing will and that is prayer…

So, please let us all prayer for each other and for myself and Russ, mostly though for those who have declared “war” and made themselves our enemies… which I have never considered that of them… The Body of Christ has but one enemy and that is Satan… so if Johnny Mac declares “war” on his brothers… OK I will stop, but there is no war here anymore….

There is an Indian Chief named Chief Joseph… and incredible man well educated in both his worlds… as the USA decide to round up all the tribes and put them on reservations, Chief Joseph gathered his people and ran with them… men, women children, old and young sick and well and for a long time kept them out of the hands of the Cavalry who was chasing them… the warriors would do distraction and Joseph would lead the people safely away… this went on for a time and frustrated the US military, that a savage was outsmarting them…

It seemed a victory as Chief Joseph had only about 50 miles to get to Canada… and he was finally caught. Yet, unlike other tribes that went out in a blaze of glory, Joseph saw all his people went through and made a discussion…

His quote sums up my feelings here.

“I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohulhulsote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led the young men is dead. It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are–perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs. I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”

I am not saying that we lost… but I think that fighting only leads to more loss on our side… no matter how many we ever “take down” (I mean that only in correction grin) there will be another… and another… and so on… in fact I think Falwell is taking a stand against Calvinists as we speak… so there is a war… and I will let the fundamentalist fight it out amongst themselves… I think I would rather focus on my people and bring those that have been harmed back to health and search for the lost lambs to bring them to the Great Shepherd. I only thank God that this is not like the original reformation where then did kill those they deem heretics.

Blessings,
iggy

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Prayer versus the "Truth Wars": Goodbye to Watching the Watchdawgies for Christ

May 2, 2007

Prayer versus the “Truth Wars”: Goodbye to Watching the Watchdawgies for Christ

Recently I attempted to enter into the “Truth Wars” of John MacArthur with a blog that watched thoses who were slandering the emerging church… this is part one.

A lot of prayer and soul searching has caused me to take another look the message of my different Blogs. My first gut feeling response was that I did not want to even do this, yet in me is a fighter, and I veiw that one should stand up against those who abuse others at times and set things right as best we can.

Yet, saying that there is a huge danger of becoming like those who we are hoping to see their error by find we are using the same tools that this world uses, or worse that we justify our actions so that we can feel “good” though we have fallen into the very error we are fighting. This is a narrow path and easy to stray from so Grace, Mercy, humility, and most of all Love must be there to keep us focused on our true calling and that is serving Jesus.

Originally I believed God to be calling out for those in the emerging church movement to ignore the critics and even more so when Johnny Mac declared the “Truth War”. From the start it was clear that the accusations that were thrown out had not merit as most of us responded with, “Who are they talking about?” as they waxed on and on about what the think we think we believe…

To fight or not to fight? Is this “war” of Johnny Mac’s a “Just” war or is it just his? i am seeing more and more it is the latter.

John Wimber who was the head of the Vineyard Church, believed God had told him to never give answer to his critics and for years John did not. Then some very intelligent men begged him to let them give answers and he relented. In a very intellectual way, they did very good in their rebuttals and I reference them here and on my other blog at times. Yet, something changed as my local pastor stated he noticed. Vineyard the gained an unfair reputation of being militant… mostly from the very people who mobilized their attack against Vineyard in the first place.
I see there is a direct correlation between that and now… that we have given in to playing their games… and in some way have lost a bit of ourselves… or at least that is how I feel as of lately dealing with these people.

I think that to expose them has become a waste as they tend to expose themselves as to their theology that justifies hate and judgmentalism. They cry out about homosexuality yet in doing so slander many others in the process… I have come to fully realize to argue with a person with a divisive heart, is futile as that is what feeds their ego and their sick doctrine, the more you fight them and tell them they are in error, the more they gloat as they have made you fall to their level.

I see this as wicked… and that the scripture is clear to have nothing to do with divisive men…

Now, then what to do with this blog?

Here is an email I sent to Russ N who is the other person who has been doing a great job here… I was going to just paraphrase the email but I think I will just post the whole thing as it will speak better as I wrote it from my heart at the time…

Russ,

I first off want to thank you for helping… it has been good to know I have a friend in my corner, even if we have not formally met.

I have doing a LOT of praying and soul searching… and reading of scripture… and as I said from the beginning, I never really wanted to do a blog about Ken or others… I just wanted the lies and slander to stop… and I have a tendency to defend others… to a huge fault at times.

I want you to know I am very seriously thinking of shutting it down… Maybe putting a post to explain what is going on… so these people do not think we are tucking tail and running.

I see other sites that can walk that fine line between becoming like the people one is confronting… and keeping an open ended opportunity to give away Grace and mercy… and I wonder if I am not the right person to do that as I get into the heat of the battle and sometimes lose site of the end goal… reconciliation.

I think in many ways the blog has been very good and exposing some who they really are… and that the real issue is their theology that justifies hate and judgmentalism…. yet, in all that I just get tired of confronting… and wonder if it is worth it? I mean I can expend half the energy and people find Jesus… and I am energized, or I can fight with idiots…. (beloved idiots of God) and be just worn to a frazzle… don’t get me wrong, It is not that I feel the confrontation is wrong, just maybe a waste of time.

Please pray with me… I am pretty set at shutting it down as I have had a scripture run through my head from day one…

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

In some way I feel the blog is a record of wrongs… and though I will never condemn others like CRNinfo… as I see they are doing a great job, I just seem to not have this in me… It feels like this list may as well be my wrongs… and in that I have been forgiven and saved into a new life in Christ, I want to give that away instead of being like Ken Silva who is keep a list of wrongs…. as judged by his own eyes… I think I would rather give room for God to avenge than to avenge myself… I hope that makes sense.

I also was contemplating, (yep that evil purposely reading and think about scripture thing) on Romans 12: 6-21

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

That is were I live… and seemed to be missing this last month… I desire to have it back…

If you do not agree with me I understand… if you do I hope that as we pray we will receive wisdom to get things set back…

I am not saying you have been guilty of anything… these are the things on my heart… I have enjoyed your posts and appreciate all you have done…

I do feel guilty a bit in dragging you in all this though (grin) and then sounding so wishy washy here as I may be changing my mind.

Blessings,
iggy


I hope that IF this blog continues, that we will go in a more positive and less confronting way… the jury is still out as to if we will be here in the next week or two… though we will be deleting most of the accusational posts in the next day or so if not sooner.

I appreciate Russ and know he has a post rearing to go as God has been working in and on his heart also… It will be a major blessings that he will share.

My only desire is to serve Christ in a manner that gives Him glory. I do not see that fighting other brothers in Christ a productive way to spend my time as there are many going to hell every minute I spend in an unproductive argument. I mean think about it… if a person is divisive at heart… do you think arguing will change his mind… no… only one thing will and that is prayer…

So, please let us all prayer for each other and for myself and Russ, mostly though for those who have declared “war” and made themselves our enemies… which I have never considered that of them… The Body of Christ has but one enemy and that is Satan… so if Johnny Mac declares “war” on his brothers… OK I will stop, but there is no war here anymore….

There is an Indian Chief named Chief Joseph… and incredible man well educated in both his worlds… as the USA decide to round up all the tribes and put them on reservations, Chief Joseph gathered his people and ran with them… men, women children, old and young sick and well and for a long time kept them out of the hands of the Cavalry who was chasing them… the warriors would do distraction and Joseph would lead the people safely away… this went on for a time and frustrated the US military, that a savage was outsmarting them…

It seemed a victory as Chief Joseph had only about 50 miles to get to Canada… and he was finally caught. Yet, unlike other tribes that went out in a blaze of glory, Joseph saw all his people went through and made a discussion…

His quote sums up my feelings here.

“I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohulhulsote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led the young men is dead. It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are–perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs. I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”

I am not saying that we lost… but I think that fighting only leads to more loss on our side… no matter how many we ever “take down” (I mean that only in correction grin) there will be another… and another… and so on… in fact I think Falwell is taking a stand against Calvinists as we speak… so there is a war… and I will let the fundamentalist fight it out amongst themselves… I think I would rather focus on my people and bring those that have been harmed back to health and search for the lost lambs to bring them to the Great Shepherd. I only thank God that this is not like the original reformation where then did kill those they deem heretics.

Blessings,
iggy

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Obedience of Faith… (Lordship Salvation?)

March 15, 2007

Obedience of Faith…

In the Book of Daniel (Chapter 9) we are told that the Mashiach which is transliterated into Greek as Christ, will come… both of these mean “Anointed One”. If one even reads a superficial reading of the OT they will find the one’s that are anointed were kings… Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords… He is God incarnate, the Creator and Living Word of God…

To demand one must accept Him as “Lord” of their life lowers Who He actually is! We have no life to give Jesus, that is a misnomer. It misses the very point we are DEAD in our sins… and a dead person is not regenerated until they receive LIFE… and that is the Life of Christ or the Holy Spirit… John is teaching that one must receive the Holy Spirit before they can receive the Holy Spirit… which is nonsense.

The washing of regeneration happens when one receives Jesus… not before… Titus 3:5

A simple reading of Titus shows this out…

Titus 3: 4-7

“But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Notice “He saved us” it is repeated twice… It is by His mercy we are saved… BY the washing of regeneration… regeneration is not before… but at the time of salvation… why? We are renewed by the Holy Spirit…

John MacArthur and many Calvinists teach that regeneration comes before the Holy Spirit is received and that is impossible as one must have the Holy Spirit to be regenerated! One must receive Life and be raised from our own death into the Life of Christ to be saved! Then we are regenerated by the very life of Christ… or by the Spirit Who is Life… One must be dead, buried and resurrected “in Christ” to be regenerated by Christ.

This summed up clearly by verse 7: That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

We are first justified by His Grace then made heirs as we have the hope now of eternal life. As we turn in Faith which is a gift of God, we express this by our hope that we are justified and now have eternal Life…

To turn this around make no sense… and demands that a person must be saved to get saved… and that is nonsensical… and that negates the Blood of Jesus.

Now here is the major flaw in the Lordship debate. Faith and obedience are connected… yet not in the way John MacArthur is stating… in fact the way John and many other understand obedience turns obedience into “works righteousness”.

We all agree with the Apostles and Peter and that “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) Yet many as I said do not understand what that obedience is… We are called to the “obedience of Christ” and in that way take all thoughts captive. (2 Cor 10:5) Yet, few notice it is “of Christ” from where the obedience comes… if it being “of Christ” then it is not “of us”… or from our own works…

Romans 5:19 really hit me one day. “

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous.” (I added Jesus for clarity as in the context it is understood.)

Because Adam sinned, we died, for we were inside Adam’s loins as we are all descendents of Adam.

This is a bit hard for some to grasp, yet it is what the writer of Hebrews uses to explain about why the Priesthood of Melchizedek was greater than the Priesthood of Levi, for Abraham gave tithe to Melchizedek which was giving honor, and Levi was still in the loins of Abraham. (One must think a bit like a Rabbi here to understand the logic – Hebrews 7)

We who are in Christ are born of the man of heaven. 1 Cor 15: 45 – 49 states:

“So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.”

In Christ we are born of the Spirit… in that we are made righteous by the One man’s (Jesus) obedience… we walk in His obedience and not our own…

God had kept this all a mystery. Yet, now God has opened to all nations the obedience of faith through Jesus Christ. (Romans 16:25-27)

Faith is a gift… (Ephesians 2:8) It is also trusting that God is faithful to His Word and will do as He promised. We walk in “faith” and not by sight. Many think that walking in faith is doing good works… but there are no good works aside from the works God has prepared for us to do… to think we can do works whether to “prove our salvation”, earn “brownie points” with God, or even become more “sanctified” misses the point completely. We are saved by Grace through faith and sustained by Grace through faith… nothing is of us, all is of God. In the book of Galatians 3:3 Paul asks a question. “After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” We would be wise to consider the answer… if we say yes, then we are saying we “sanctify ourselves” if we say no, they we say it is God who sanctifies us. It is the Holy Spirit that sanctifies us… as 1 Peter states “through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” The “works” are God’s by His Spirit… and it is the Holy Spirit that sanctifies us. (1 Thessalonians 5: 23) for we are told in 2 Thessalonians 2: 13, “because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.”

God sustains us. Some might think this is a Armenian versus Calvinist argument… to me it is not… it is a Calvinist vs. the Bible debate. Now saying that I will add that I am not a “Calvinist hater” I am not saying a Calvinist is not saved (confused maybe on some important issues) but I would never say we must separate over differences in our doctrine. Man is a flawed and finite creature. We easily can fall sway to “man’s” teachings… be it “free grace”, “Lordship salvation”, “Works righteousness”. I am also not saying at all I have all the answers, yet I will say I am sharing out of years of bondage under “works” and have lived years “under grace”. No one has ever been “free”. We have “free will” yet when we were not in Christ, we were slaves to sin, and if now one is in Christ we are a slave to righteousness… I pray whatever tradition you have chosen that you will chose to walk in the faith God has given you. (Rom 6)

We are to walk as Jesus walked… and in that as 2 John 1 states:

“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”

If we are “in Jesus” as He is in the Father, we are immersed in Love… for “God is Love”. (1 john 4:8)

One can accept Jesus as Lord, yet the real issue is that is not even enough… for one who has come to a relationship with Jesus must at some time realize that Jesus is one’s very LIFE. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (1 Philippians 1:21)

For it is by His Grace we even come to eternal Life.

Blessings,
iggy


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h1

Obedience of Faith… (Lordship Salvation?)

March 15, 2007

Obedience of Faith…

In the Book of Daniel (Chapter 9) we are told that the Mashiach which is transliterated into Greek as Christ, will come… both of these mean “Anointed One”. If one even reads a superficial reading of the OT they will find the one’s that are anointed were kings… Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords… He is God incarnate, the Creator and Living Word of God…

To demand one must accept Him as “Lord” of their life lowers Who He actually is! We have no life to give Jesus, that is a misnomer. It misses the very point we are DEAD in our sins… and a dead person is not regenerated until they receive LIFE… and that is the Life of Christ or the Holy Spirit… John is teaching that one must receive the Holy Spirit before they can receive the Holy Spirit… which is nonsense.

The washing of regeneration happens when one receives Jesus… not before… Titus 3:5

A simple reading of Titus shows this out…

Titus 3: 4-7

“But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Notice “He saved us” it is repeated twice… It is by His mercy we are saved… BY the washing of regeneration… regeneration is not before… but at the time of salvation… why? We are renewed by the Holy Spirit…

John MacArthur and many Calvinists teach that regeneration comes before the Holy Spirit is received and that is impossible as one must have the Holy Spirit to be regenerated! One must receive Life and be raised from our own death into the Life of Christ to be saved! Then we are regenerated by the very life of Christ… or by the Spirit Who is Life… One must be dead, buried and resurrected “in Christ” to be regenerated by Christ.

This summed up clearly by verse 7: That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

We are first justified by His Grace then made heirs as we have the hope now of eternal life. As we turn in Faith which is a gift of God, we express this by our hope that we are justified and now have eternal Life…

To turn this around make no sense… and demands that a person must be saved to get saved… and that is nonsensical… and that negates the Blood of Jesus.

Now here is the major flaw in the Lordship debate. Faith and obedience are connected… yet not in the way John MacArthur is stating… in fact the way John and many other understand obedience turns obedience into “works righteousness”.

We all agree with the Apostles and Peter and that “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) Yet many as I said do not understand what that obedience is… We are called to the “obedience of Christ” and in that way take all thoughts captive. (2 Cor 10:5) Yet, few notice it is “of Christ” from where the obedience comes… if it being “of Christ” then it is not “of us”… or from our own works…

Romans 5:19 really hit me one day. “

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous.” (I added Jesus for clarity as in the context it is understood.)

Because Adam sinned, we died, for we were inside Adam’s loins as we are all descendents of Adam.

This is a bit hard for some to grasp, yet it is what the writer of Hebrews uses to explain about why the Priesthood of Melchizedek was greater than the Priesthood of Levi, for Abraham gave tithe to Melchizedek which was giving honor, and Levi was still in the loins of Abraham. (One must think a bit like a Rabbi here to understand the logic – Hebrews 7)

We who are in Christ are born of the man of heaven. 1 Cor 15: 45 – 49 states:

“So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.”

In Christ we are born of the Spirit… in that we are made righteous by the One man’s (Jesus) obedience… we walk in His obedience and not our own…

God had kept this all a mystery. Yet, now God has opened to all nations the obedience of faith through Jesus Christ. (Romans 16:25-27)

Faith is a gift… (Ephesians 2:8) It is also trusting that God is faithful to His Word and will do as He promised. We walk in “faith” and not by sight. Many think that walking in faith is doing good works… but there are no good works aside from the works God has prepared for us to do… to think we can do works whether to “prove our salvation”, earn “brownie points” with God, or even become more “sanctified” misses the point completely. We are saved by Grace through faith and sustained by Grace through faith… nothing is of us, all is of God. In the book of Galatians 3:3 Paul asks a question. “After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” We would be wise to consider the answer… if we say yes, then we are saying we “sanctify ourselves” if we say no, they we say it is God who sanctifies us. It is the Holy Spirit that sanctifies us… as 1 Peter states “through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” The “works” are God’s by His Spirit… and it is the Holy Spirit that sanctifies us. (1 Thessalonians 5: 23) for we are told in 2 Thessalonians 2: 13, “because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.”

God sustains us. Some might think this is a Armenian versus Calvinist argument… to me it is not… it is a Calvinist vs. the Bible debate. Now saying that I will add that I am not a “Calvinist hater” I am not saying a Calvinist is not saved (confused maybe on some important issues) but I would never say we must separate over differences in our doctrine. Man is a flawed and finite creature. We easily can fall sway to “man’s” teachings… be it “free grace”, “Lordship salvation”, “Works righteousness”. I am also not saying at all I have all the answers, yet I will say I am sharing out of years of bondage under “works” and have lived years “under grace”. No one has ever been “free”. We have “free will” yet when we were not in Christ, we were slaves to sin, and if now one is in Christ we are a slave to righteousness… I pray whatever tradition you have chosen that you will chose to walk in the faith God has given you. (Rom 6)

We are to walk as Jesus walked… and in that as 2 John 1 states:

“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”

If we are “in Jesus” as He is in the Father, we are immersed in Love… for “God is Love”. (1 john 4:8)

One can accept Jesus as Lord, yet the real issue is that is not even enough… for one who has come to a relationship with Jesus must at some time realize that Jesus is one’s very LIFE. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (1 Philippians 1:21)

For it is by His Grace we even come to eternal Life.

Blessings,
iggy


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h1

Regeneration does not precede faith…

March 12, 2007

Regeneration does not precede faith…

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. -Titus 3:5-7

How can it?

Once one actually notices the context of Titus 3:5-7 one should notice that one must be saved first to be regenerated… notice the first three words of the paragraph.

“He saved us.”

This is written to those who are already saved, not to those who need to get saved.
To say one must have a regenerate mind to receive the salvation gets things so out of whack… it is saying one must somehow get saved… before getting saved!

This is a teaching widely spread and is accepted. Yet, if one bothered to read the passage one might actually see the great salvation of our Great God!

We are saved by Grace…

By Faith…

Not of works…

It is Faith that is a gift… given to us that enables us to turn, we still must come to Christ and be regenerated as we must first receive the Holy Spirit to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. If one has not yet been filled by the Holy Spirit then how can they be regenerated? Only after one come to Christ Jesus will they be regenerated and renewed by the Holy Spirit.

Note also these same people often teach of the wrath of God at the expense of God’s great grace… yet in the verses just before Titus 3:5-7 it is stated in verses 1 -4:

“Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,”

We are to be ready to do good works… to speak evil of no man… and to live after the kindness and love of God our Saviour. It is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance… not His wrath nor regeneration.

We cannot be regenerated of our spirit if one has not yet received the Holy Spirit Who does the work or regeneration. That is why man must acknowledge his sin nature and turn to God for salvation. Until that takes place and pride is removed… only when man humbly bends his knee and cries out “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” The God will now act upon the faith He gave for one to cry out for deliverance… only then will He deliver and give New Life… only then can man enter in through the Kindness of God’s Merciful Grace… only then will man be given the Spirit of Life that is the regeneration of our Spirit, only then by Grace do we then mover forward to conform to the Image of Jesus… only then do we be transformed by the renewing of our mind…

To say one is regenerate before salvation is heresy upon heresy as it negates the Blood of Jesus. For what value then is it if man is regenerate with out the washing of the Blood of our sins?

Again, some appeal to Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin all mighty men of God in their way… but even men of great knowledge fall prey to prove their doctrine at the expense of what the bible actually teaches. Salvation is a process and it seems some teach that regeneration can come before the process even begins.

Pray we do not fall victim this error… and lead someone to receiving the Holy Spirit before they have even turned to God. That would be just foolishness. The Spirit woos but has yet to indwell… and then we are regenerated by Him.

Faith is the gift to see in a moment our sin, and to also see the kindness of God in Christ Jesus… it is then at that moment we receive the gift of Faith by Grace… It is trusting at that moment that even though we cannot see who we are to be, we still trust that God will be faithful to do it, and after that regeneration begins. Regeneration is coming into New Life in Christ… one cannot come into that Life before they come into His Life… It is again nonsensical.

Faith is more about God’s faithfulness to us than what some call our own faith. Salvation is offered by Grace. In that we respond to knowledge that God has done all for us at the Cross by His Blood… and in His death and Resurrection. We must accept that we do nothing except fall at His feet to be saved. For, just as Jesus must be our very Life… He is our only Salvation. The just shall live by faith… we are justified at the Cross and saved by His Blood, and Live by His Life giving Spirit.

So, again, all one needs to do is read three little words that sum up the issue… “He saved us”.

Blessings,
iggy


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h1

Regeneration does not precede faith…

March 12, 2007

Regeneration does not precede faith…

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. -Titus 3:5-7

How can it?

Once one actually notices the context of Titus 3:5-7 one should notice that one must be saved first to be regenerated… notice the first three words of the paragraph.

“He saved us.”

This is written to those who are already saved, not to those who need to get saved.
To say one must have a regenerate mind to receive the salvation gets things so out of whack… it is saying one must somehow get saved… before getting saved!

This is a teaching widely spread and is accepted. Yet, if one bothered to read the passage one might actually see the great salvation of our Great God!

We are saved by Grace…

By Faith…

Not of works…

It is Faith that is a gift… given to us that enables us to turn, we still must come to Christ and be regenerated as we must first receive the Holy Spirit to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. If one has not yet been filled by the Holy Spirit then how can they be regenerated? Only after one come to Christ Jesus will they be regenerated and renewed by the Holy Spirit.

Note also these same people often teach of the wrath of God at the expense of God’s great grace… yet in the verses just before Titus 3:5-7 it is stated in verses 1 -4:

“Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,”

We are to be ready to do good works… to speak evil of no man… and to live after the kindness and love of God our Saviour. It is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance… not His wrath nor regeneration.

We cannot be regenerated of our spirit if one has not yet received the Holy Spirit Who does the work or regeneration. That is why man must acknowledge his sin nature and turn to God for salvation. Until that takes place and pride is removed… only when man humbly bends his knee and cries out “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” The God will now act upon the faith He gave for one to cry out for deliverance… only then will He deliver and give New Life… only then can man enter in through the Kindness of God’s Merciful Grace… only then will man be given the Spirit of Life that is the regeneration of our Spirit, only then by Grace do we then mover forward to conform to the Image of Jesus… only then do we be transformed by the renewing of our mind…

To say one is regenerate before salvation is heresy upon heresy as it negates the Blood of Jesus. For what value then is it if man is regenerate with out the washing of the Blood of our sins?

Again, some appeal to Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin all mighty men of God in their way… but even men of great knowledge fall prey to prove their doctrine at the expense of what the bible actually teaches. Salvation is a process and it seems some teach that regeneration can come before the process even begins.

Pray we do not fall victim this error… and lead someone to receiving the Holy Spirit before they have even turned to God. That would be just foolishness. The Spirit woos but has yet to indwell… and then we are regenerated by Him.

Faith is the gift to see in a moment our sin, and to also see the kindness of God in Christ Jesus… it is then at that moment we receive the gift of Faith by Grace… It is trusting at that moment that even though we cannot see who we are to be, we still trust that God will be faithful to do it, and after that regeneration begins. Regeneration is coming into New Life in Christ… one cannot come into that Life before they come into His Life… It is again nonsensical.

Faith is more about God’s faithfulness to us than what some call our own faith. Salvation is offered by Grace. In that we respond to knowledge that God has done all for us at the Cross by His Blood… and in His death and Resurrection. We must accept that we do nothing except fall at His feet to be saved. For, just as Jesus must be our very Life… He is our only Salvation. The just shall live by faith… we are justified at the Cross and saved by His Blood, and Live by His Life giving Spirit.

So, again, all one needs to do is read three little words that sum up the issue… “He saved us”.

Blessings,
iggy


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h1

A study on the different heretical forms of the God-man Jesus

January 9, 2007

A study on the different heretical forms of the God-man Jesus

(Warning: one long post here)

Adoptionism
Docetism
Apollinarianism
Arianism
Gnosticism
Kenosis
Monophysitism
Nestorianism
Pelagianism
Semi-Pelagianism
Socinianism

“Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in on attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than truth itself.” Irenaeus Against Heresies 1.2

Heresy is a word some seem to love to throw around. It is used by many to shame and to provoke and to abuse many though the one doing may also carry heresy in their own doctrine with or without their own knowledge.

I see that most heresy comes out of ignorance, and also pride. First off the ignorance is that one may know the scripture, yet lack understanding. Partly as I have pointed out in many other posts the lack of the Holy Spirit to guide one is the most crucial and fatal flaw one can have in grasping the teachings of scripture. Even then if one is regenerated, one can fall under the teachings of often some good intentions and still believe a lie. I see this all over.

I will by using examples, this does not mean that I see these people of “heresy” or that they are false teachers as I see no one has perfect doctrine… for even the Pharisees who did, still failed in their knowledge to see Who Jesus truly was/is and that God is bigger than our own understandings. I in no way claim I am completely without error in my teachings and in that extend grace, and hope in return to receive the same said grace. For all of us must totally depend on Jesus for our salvation…

With error there must be truth. Contrary to my detractors I do believe in truth. I have stated in many posts I do and have explained my view ad nauseum so if I will not try to explain to the one or two who cannot get beyond their own myopic view of what I actually teach. Suffice it to say I see much in the form of heresy in their own views which they are very blind to.

I have linked above to a website that has some very brief summaries of the different heresies and with that hope to be able to use the terms in a sort of short hand with a reference so that one can go to and see what I am referring to.

Since my encounter with grace I have seen a ton of errant teachings. Again, most do not realize what they are teaching is errant, and most often have been taught and are only repeating what they have learned by other men. This is dangerous and why we must first be tapped into Christ Jesus Himself for Truth to flow in the way it should.

The first one I have encountered is the heresy of Pelagianism/Semi-Pelagianism which is subtle in some forms yet not in many others. I view the idea of progressive sanctification as akin to these heresies. It is that man being a moral being can achieve more righteousness and more holiness (sanctification) than that which is imputed to us by Christ Jesus. It is saying that our works prove or add to our own salvation in any way. This is taught in the Armenian circles and was promoted greatly by John Wesley. Though salvation is a process it is the works of God and God alone and not of man… or as I have said before we can boast in those works. This is subtle but to follow and believe this error usurps Jesus from being the author and finisher of our faith.

In a book by Chuck Smith (which is a great book though this one example he used ruined it a bit for me) Charisma Vs. Charismania, Chuck uses the example of lifting a table. He states that God is on one side and you are one the other and “helping God lift it”. As I read that it struck me that that was so wrong. We are not helping God. He is lifting the table and we look as if we are, but that is so we can say, “Look what the Lord has done.” to give God the Glory. Even Jesus did the miracles that the Father set out. Jesus depended totally on the Father and only did as the Father had already done or was doing. That is how we are to live now. To say we are helping God in our own salvation is heresy.

Now not only are Armenian style churches afflicted to this as I see that many Baptist are also. I see that John MacArthur and those who are like him teach that in order to prove one is saved they must do works. Scripture teaches that the proof of our salvation is not OUR WORKS, but the seal of the Holy Spirit. (1 John 5: 7-13; 2 Corinthians 1: 20-22)

The second one I see is a subtle form of Platonism in the form a Gnosticism. Though many will fully affirm that Jesus came in the flesh, which the major error of Gnosticism was that Jesus had not, they miss that the Gnostics taught that the flesh was evil and the spirit was good. This is taught in so many churches today and many twist passages to say just that. Yet, if one looks closer at the teachings of Scripture, it is the evil desires that are in us, or the desires of the flesh that are evil or contrary to the spirit. For if flesh is evil then Jesus was clothed in evil… and to cover that issue I have seen may other heresies in action. Mostly it is the lack of understanding in the teachings that Jesus was the God-Man.

One of the most prevalent forms is Apollinarianism. This is the idea that Jesus was a man, and had a human mind, yet the mind of Christ was solely divine. I think this is the error of some great theologians like Gordon Clark and others who seem to make Jesus as something other than a man.

Another errors are Jesus was a created being (Arianism), or that someway Jesus was a man and then adopted (Adoptionism). Docetism, Gnosticism, Nestorianism, and Monophysitism all deny Jesus being a man and either makes him to have one nature or in some way makes Jesus to be more God than man. These in someway or form are taught by saying that Jesus did the miracles though Scripture is clear that it was the Father Who did the miracles through Jesus. For Jesus stated in John 5:19 “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” This is prevalent in the error that Jesus was some sort of ‘magic-man” and is even held in contrast in the book of Acts against people like Simon the Sorcerer who wanted to have the power of the Holy Spirit for unholy reasons. I have been accused of stating Jesus was a mere man… and yet as one reads the Gospel of John one should notice that John states things for specific reasons. On the day Jesus is presented before the people by Pilot, Pilot states “behold the man” (John 19:5) John seems to have a timeline running within his Gospel and this falls on the sixth day… the day God created man. So there seems to be a direct reference to Genesis. (This also is in chapter 20 when John states that it was the first day of the week twice which is to emphasize that this is the first day of the New Creation.) Yet, to say Jesus was a mere man (though the one from Heaven) I see does no real injustice as it seems that we have turned things around a bit. We seem to make Jesus more “God” as he lived as a man, and at the Cross we make Him a man… yet to me Jesus lived more as a man and fulfilled the divine at the Cross. Jesus was a God, become the man that fulfilled the vocation of the suffering servant, who learned obedience unto death and was then Glorified. This in no way says Jesus was less God, nor was He a different “form” rather it is that He was reclaiming mankind as the “image” of God.Colossians 2:9 states “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (also see Col 1:15). It is not that Jesus was of two natures… not was He one at the demise of the other rather Jesus Christ, one Person, fully God and fully man. This is known as the hypostatic union. Jesus was one person who had two natures a Divine nature and a human nature. He was the God-man.

A side note here: Someone recently heavily criticized me for using the small “m” in man… they then quoted a scripture about Jesus be a man that to used the small “m”. I thought that was a bit funny, yet the critique is that I used the term “mere man”. I do not see that it is necessary to capitalize the “m” in man. I see that Jesus was as it is taught fully man, and fully God. Jesus lowered Himself and took on the body of flesh with all it limitations and as I stated already depended on the Father as He did anything. To emphasize the deity of Jesus at the expense of the human side of Jesus is as I have shown a heresy.

Likewise to take away the deity and make Jesus just a man… also is a heresy as it diminishes Jesus in His fullness. Socinianism does this as well as Adoptionism as they de deify Jesus and make Him only a man. Again, I may say “mere man” to emphasize the humanity of Jesus but not at the expense of His deity. So that is the difference I am stating.

The biggest issue to me is that as I look at how much error is in our accepted teachings one must recognize it is by Grace we are saved… this same Grace that calls us reconciles us, justifies us (which is not the same as saves us) and also saves us. The life of a Christian is a process… and to a degree so is salvation as it is not in its fullness until the return of our Lord.

Mostly I hope that one will see that we all have some sort of error which should make us seek God and in that express mercy and grace to each other in even greater measure.

I do see that we need to stand up and call heresy when we see it. But I also see that it is to be done in respect and gentleness. Respect first for our God who is saving someone, and to the person who is being saved. Gentleness also as a sign of the kindness of our Great God. This is done to root out the heresy or error and replace it with the TRUTH Who is Jesus which by His Spirit we are lead in all Truth.

Blessings,
iggy


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h1

A study on the different heretical forms of the God-man Jesus

January 9, 2007

A study on the different heretical forms of the God-man Jesus

(Warning: one long post here)

Adoptionism
Docetism
Apollinarianism
Arianism
Gnosticism
Kenosis
Monophysitism
Nestorianism
Pelagianism
Semi-Pelagianism
Socinianism

“Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in on attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than truth itself.” Irenaeus Against Heresies 1.2

Heresy is a word some seem to love to throw around. It is used by many to shame and to provoke and to abuse many though the one doing may also carry heresy in their own doctrine with or without their own knowledge.

I see that most heresy comes out of ignorance, and also pride. First off the ignorance is that one may know the scripture, yet lack understanding. Partly as I have pointed out in many other posts the lack of the Holy Spirit to guide one is the most crucial and fatal flaw one can have in grasping the teachings of scripture. Even then if one is regenerated, one can fall under the teachings of often some good intentions and still believe a lie. I see this all over.

I will by using examples, this does not mean that I see these people of “heresy” or that they are false teachers as I see no one has perfect doctrine… for even the Pharisees who did, still failed in their knowledge to see Who Jesus truly was/is and that God is bigger than our own understandings. I in no way claim I am completely without error in my teachings and in that extend grace, and hope in return to receive the same said grace. For all of us must totally depend on Jesus for our salvation…

With error there must be truth. Contrary to my detractors I do believe in truth. I have stated in many posts I do and have explained my view ad nauseum so if I will not try to explain to the one or two who cannot get beyond their own myopic view of what I actually teach. Suffice it to say I see much in the form of heresy in their own views which they are very blind to.

I have linked above to a website that has some very brief summaries of the different heresies and with that hope to be able to use the terms in a sort of short hand with a reference so that one can go to and see what I am referring to.

Since my encounter with grace I have seen a ton of errant teachings. Again, most do not realize what they are teaching is errant, and most often have been taught and are only repeating what they have learned by other men. This is dangerous and why we must first be tapped into Christ Jesus Himself for Truth to flow in the way it should.

The first one I have encountered is the heresy of Pelagianism/Semi-Pelagianism which is subtle in some forms yet not in many others. I view the idea of progressive sanctification as akin to these heresies. It is that man being a moral being can achieve more righteousness and more holiness (sanctification) than that which is imputed to us by Christ Jesus. It is saying that our works prove or add to our own salvation in any way. This is taught in the Armenian circles and was promoted greatly by John Wesley. Though salvation is a process it is the works of God and God alone and not of man… or as I have said before we can boast in those works. This is subtle but to follow and believe this error usurps Jesus from being the author and finisher of our faith.

In a book by Chuck Smith (which is a great book though this one example he used ruined it a bit for me) Charisma Vs. Charismania, Chuck uses the example of lifting a table. He states that God is on one side and you are one the other and “helping God lift it”. As I read that it struck me that that was so wrong. We are not helping God. He is lifting the table and we look as if we are, but that is so we can say, “Look what the Lord has done.” to give God the Glory. Even Jesus did the miracles that the Father set out. Jesus depended totally on the Father and only did as the Father had already done or was doing. That is how we are to live now. To say we are helping God in our own salvation is heresy.

Now not only are Armenian style churches afflicted to this as I see that many Baptist are also. I see that John MacArthur and those who are like him teach that in order to prove one is saved they must do works. Scripture teaches that the proof of our salvation is not OUR WORKS, but the seal of the Holy Spirit. (1 John 5: 7-13; 2 Corinthians 1: 20-22)

The second one I see is a subtle form of Platonism in the form a Gnosticism. Though many will fully affirm that Jesus came in the flesh, which the major error of Gnosticism was that Jesus had not, they miss that the Gnostics taught that the flesh was evil and the spirit was good. This is taught in so many churches today and many twist passages to say just that. Yet, if one looks closer at the teachings of Scripture, it is the evil desires that are in us, or the desires of the flesh that are evil or contrary to the spirit. For if flesh is evil then Jesus was clothed in evil… and to cover that issue I have seen may other heresies in action. Mostly it is the lack of understanding in the teachings that Jesus was the God-Man.

One of the most prevalent forms is Apollinarianism. This is the idea that Jesus was a man, and had a human mind, yet the mind of Christ was solely divine. I think this is the error of some great theologians like Gordon Clark and others who seem to make Jesus as something other than a man.

Another errors are Jesus was a created being (Arianism), or that someway Jesus was a man and then adopted (Adoptionism). Docetism, Gnosticism, Nestorianism, and Monophysitism all deny Jesus being a man and either makes him to have one nature or in some way makes Jesus to be more God than man. These in someway or form are taught by saying that Jesus did the miracles though Scripture is clear that it was the Father Who did the miracles through Jesus. For Jesus stated in John 5:19 “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” This is prevalent in the error that Jesus was some sort of ‘magic-man” and is even held in contrast in the book of Acts against people like Simon the Sorcerer who wanted to have the power of the Holy Spirit for unholy reasons. I have been accused of stating Jesus was a mere man… and yet as one reads the Gospel of John one should notice that John states things for specific reasons. On the day Jesus is presented before the people by Pilot, Pilot states “behold the man” (John 19:5) John seems to have a timeline running within his Gospel and this falls on the sixth day… the day God created man. So there seems to be a direct reference to Genesis. (This also is in chapter 20 when John states that it was the first day of the week twice which is to emphasize that this is the first day of the New Creation.) Yet, to say Jesus was a mere man (though the one from Heaven) I see does no real injustice as it seems that we have turned things around a bit. We seem to make Jesus more “God” as he lived as a man, and at the Cross we make Him a man… yet to me Jesus lived more as a man and fulfilled the divine at the Cross. Jesus was a God, become the man that fulfilled the vocation of the suffering servant, who learned obedience unto death and was then Glorified. This in no way says Jesus was less God, nor was He a different “form” rather it is that He was reclaiming mankind as the “image” of God.Colossians 2:9 states “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (also see Col 1:15). It is not that Jesus was of two natures… not was He one at the demise of the other rather Jesus Christ, one Person, fully God and fully man. This is known as the hypostatic union. Jesus was one person who had two natures a Divine nature and a human nature. He was the God-man.

A side note here: Someone recently heavily criticized me for using the small “m” in man… they then quoted a scripture about Jesus be a man that to used the small “m”. I thought that was a bit funny, yet the critique is that I used the term “mere man”. I do not see that it is necessary to capitalize the “m” in man. I see that Jesus was as it is taught fully man, and fully God. Jesus lowered Himself and took on the body of flesh with all it limitations and as I stated already depended on the Father as He did anything. To emphasize the deity of Jesus at the expense of the human side of Jesus is as I have shown a heresy.

Likewise to take away the deity and make Jesus just a man… also is a heresy as it diminishes Jesus in His fullness. Socinianism does this as well as Adoptionism as they de deify Jesus and make Him only a man. Again, I may say “mere man” to emphasize the humanity of Jesus but not at the expense of His deity. So that is the difference I am stating.

The biggest issue to me is that as I look at how much error is in our accepted teachings one must recognize it is by Grace we are saved… this same Grace that calls us reconciles us, justifies us (which is not the same as saves us) and also saves us. The life of a Christian is a process… and to a degree so is salvation as it is not in its fullness until the return of our Lord.

Mostly I hope that one will see that we all have some sort of error which should make us seek God and in that express mercy and grace to each other in even greater measure.

I do see that we need to stand up and call heresy when we see it. But I also see that it is to be done in respect and gentleness. Respect first for our God who is saving someone, and to the person who is being saved. Gentleness also as a sign of the kindness of our Great God. This is done to root out the heresy or error and replace it with the TRUTH Who is Jesus which by His Spirit we are lead in all Truth.

Blessings,
iggy


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