Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Questionable "Questionable Teachings" (2-1)

Continuing from my previous post, I will be discussing "questionable teaching #2" in Rev Kong Hee's article "Balance is the key of life (Part 3)". Again, I want to emphatically say that I have no intention whatsoever to discredit the ministry of Rev Kong Hee or City Harvest Church. I believe they are working for the kingdom of God but here I want to question whether those teachings that Rev Kong Hee deem questionable are really questionable.

Questionable Teaching #2: Being Taught The 10 Commandments Is Like Taking Poison!

Those who espoused this brand of extreme grace proclaimed that holding on to the 10 Commandments would cause a believer to lose his freedom in Christ. They preached that the teaching of the 10 Commandments has absolutely no place in new covenant church life, and that believers who have been taught them were, in a sense, actually given spiritual poison!

The common error here is the simplistic equating of the 10 Commandments as the
whole Law of the old covenant. This is erroneous because the Law is really made up of three portions: civil, ceremonial, and moral. While the civil and ceremonial aspects of the Law are no longer relevant to us in the new covenant, the moral aspect still is. As such, with the exception of the Sabbath observance (Commandment #4), everyone of the 10 Commandments are still taught and recorded in the New Testament. For the brevity of space, I would give just one Scriptural reference for each one of them:


- Jesus Himself taught on the first commandment of putting God first in Mt. 22:37-38.

- John taught on the second commandment of not worshiping idols in 1 Jn. 5:21.

- James taught on the third commandment of not swearing in Jas. 5:12.

- Paul taught on the fifth commandment of honoring your parents in Eph. 6:1-2.

- John taught on the sixth commandment of not committing murder in 1 Jn. 3:11-15.

- Paul taught on the seventh commandment of not committing adultery in 1 Thess. 4:3-7.

- Paul taught on the eighth commandment of not stealing in Eph. 4:28-29.

- Paul taught on the ninth commandment of not lying in Rom. 13:8-9.

- Paul taught on the tenth commandment against covetousness in Col. 3:5.

Eminent Bible scholar, Professor C. Peter Wagner, in the Autumn 2001 issue of
Church Growth wrote under the heading of "Our Disadvantaged Church" (pg. 17) the following words: "The Church is really short on biblical teaching ... today many rebel at being told that there is such a thing as rules. You have to go a long way to find a large congregation well versed in general Bible content, the use of the Lords Prayer, and the 10 Commandments. There is skimpy teaching on subjects such as tithing, forgiveness, honesty, and especially holiness."

Therefore, to say that the 10 Commandments are no longer applicable because we are new covenant saints only exhibit ideological ignorance of foundational Christian beliefs.



I think Rev Kong Hee is mistaken to say that grace preachers preach that the teaching of the 10 commandments has no absolutely place in new covenant church life because they do teach about the 10 commandments BUT not in the way that Rev Kong Hee and other preachers like him preach.

We are taught that the 10 commandments are holy and good BUT have no power to make us holy and good for the law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. (Rom 8:3-4, NLT)

Rev Kong Hee says it is erroneous for us to simply equate the 10 commandments as the whole Law of the old covenant because the Law is really made up of three portions: civil, ceremonial, and moral. He also says while the civil and ceremonial aspects of the law are no longer relevant to us in the new covenant, the moral aspect is.

I agree with Rev Kong Hee that the Law is not just the 10 commandments and consists of three portions which we have conveniently categorized as civil,ceremonial and moral BUT I disagree that these portions can be individually separated and replaced. There is only ONE LAW and ONE COVENANT and either the WHOLE LAW applies or it doesn't. We, mere man, are the ones who divided the Law into 3 portions, not God. (Rev Kong Hee has "kindly" confirmed this for me in his 28/6/09 blog post, read here)

Jesus did not come just to replace bulls and goats; God sent His only Son, Jesus as the mediator of a NEW AND SUPERIOR COVENANT and not as the modifier of a OLD COVENANT. God gave us a brand new car model, not a facelifted old model. The old covenant has not been modified but has been REPLACED by a new covenant.

Hebrews 9:14-15 (NLT)
Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.

Hebrews 8:6-7 (NLT)
But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises. If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it.

God is no longer talking to us from Mount Sinai where the Law was given but from Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, and through Jesus we now also have the boldness to talk with God :

Hebrew 12:18-24 (NLT)
You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.”

No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.

The reason why Rev Kong Hee has this mistaken impression that we erroneously equate the Law with the 10 commandments is because he himself has done so! By saying that the civil and ceremonial portions of the Law are no longer relevant and only the moral portion applies now, Rev Kong Hee has in effect reduced the Law to only the 10 commandments!

In fact, Rev Kong Hee has reduced it even further because according to his teaching, the 10 commandments are no longer laws but a code of conduct. This is because there is now no more punishment for breaking any of the 10 commandments since Jesus has already taken care of that by being the sacrifice and hence "the civil and ceremonial aspects of the Law are no longer relevant ". I have written in a previous article that the very nature of how the law works dictates that punishment must be very much part of the law. If the law does not include a punishment component or a punishment that is enforceable, then that law is in actual fact no law at all!

We are the ones who give proper respect to the Law in the fact that we acknowledge that the standard demanded by God is impossible for us to keep. God also knows it is impossible for us, therefore He sent Jesus to the cross to pay the penalty, once and for all, for us breaking the Law and in the process abolishing it once and for all.

Colossians 2:13-14 (NLT)
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.

Since it is impossible for us to keep the 10 commandments, preaching that we need to keep the 10 commandments in order to live a holy life will only result in condemnation and death. We have been made right with God through Christ not to continue living in the "old way" which leads to death but rather we should live in the new and glorious way through the Holy Spirit which gives life.

2 Corinthians 3:4-9 (NLT)
We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God!

We do not need the Law ie. the old covenant to guide us in our Christian walk. We in Christ and Christ in us - this is the NEW COVENANT, this is the way to live.

(For the brevity of space, I will try to address the scriptural references quoted in Rev Kong Hee's article in my next post)

47 comments:

Daughter Of Sarah said...

Kong Hee is basically picking and choosing which aspects of the Law he likes n which he doesn't like, but this is not a salad bar.

I agree with Stan and believe Jesus's work is a complete and finished work - He came to fulfill ALL of the law, not some of the law.

To say otherwise would to completely discredit his death on the cross and subscribe to a salvation that still requires us to save ourselves.

In no way is saying that we now live under grace not law, cheapening the death of Jesus Christ. Rather, we are glorifying in His perfect work and acknowledging that it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives through me.

We no longer try to keep the 10 commandment, we are able to live the life Jesus wants us to live because we have the victory over the various areas of human weaknesses that the 10 commandments address.

It is only throug His grace that we can overcome, not by our own strength or might, but by His Spirit. It is no longer about trying to overcome but acknowledging that we have overcome our human nature by letting Christ take control.

This is not cheap grace. This IS grace.

cybeRanger said...

Worth reading -->
http://www.newcovenantgrace.com/commandments-under-new-covenant/

Jerry said...

Amen hungribunni!

Sometimes,I get the feeling that alot of people out there talk about the 10 commandments but never really admit to others the kind of frustrations and depression they go through when they try to follow them (I believe alot of them did sincerely try to follow them).

Frustrations did not come from feeling restricted by the law but from the inability of keeping them no matter how hard you try. I know that the law is holy but I am a helpless sinner who can do no good (that's no humility, that's what I gather after many years of failed attempts). I know that the commandments are the Lord's standard but I can never attain them, not even one of them. Just when i thought I am doing fine, progressing, I slipped and regressed.

Only after I realised that I am the righteousness of God in Christ, I found strength, rest and suddenly, what seems difficult becomes much easier (his burden is light but its still there, at least for me). I still stumble, but instead of focusing on my fall, I focus on Christ's finished work on the cross, he picks me up, we move on and we make progress. When I lost my focus, I stay down, slide backwards till the kindness of my Lord draws my attention back to him, then with his grace, we move ahead once again. The process repeats itself and more light is being shed on dark areas of my heart that I don't even know existed.

My point is this, when one insist that he is still under the law, he is compelled to attain the standard set by the law. But it makes no difference, the more one tries, the more impossible it is. I learned one thing, the law is good, the law is holy, I am WILLING to follow them and the ABILITY to do so is to come out of it and go under GRACE, then the Spirit leads, move and guides me to where I wanted to be in the first place. Only after all these years, I understood what it means when my Lord Jesus says that that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Well, good that in this instance, science is right, weight is relative.

Daughter Of Sarah said...

Good post Jerry =)

Stan and I discussed before how people get really insecure about their faith and salvation when they have been listening to legalistic preaching. All those constant re-dedicating their lives to Christ at every altar call... we've seen so many of those and some of us have even done those repeatedly in the past.

The Logical Mouse said...

Stanley

I’m not a Rev Kong follower and I’m not trying to support what his says. What I’m saying below is my own interpretation of your article.

When I read your article, I have a nagging feeling that something is amiss. But I cannot say what exactly. So I dwell a little longer, I clarify my thoughts and came up with this.

Without being lost in Bible quotations, I want to put forward 3 scenarios:

Scenario 1: One does not believe in the 10 Commandments or do not practice it (Lawlessness)

Scenario 2: One understands the 10 Commandments and tries his best to practice it without actively monitoring whether he breaks any of them

Scenario 3: One actively practices the 10 Commandments and does Repentance whenever one breaks it (LAW)

Now, which scenario do you fall into? I believe S2, right? Can we say that we take the 10 Commandments as a Code of Conduct then?

PS: If you don’t fall into the above scenarios, please accept my apologies and do clarify. Thanks.

Daughter Of Sarah said...

LM:

IMHO Stan does not believe in all 3 scenarios U have posted. I will let him explain himself.

For me, this is my belief:

I am not morally right because I feel that if I dun keep the laws, I will be sentenced to death.

Like a person sent to the gallows, but later told that I am free to go because someone has willingly come and allowed himself judged guilty for me, and thus died in my place, I now live a life of gratitude. I no longer want to do the things I used to do, to live the life I used to live where I was engaging in wrongful activities and trapped by a smallness of heart.

I live a new life of goodness now because I am thankful for the second chance.

In the NT, the High Priest rents his priestly garb before Jesus because the Old ways was giving way to the New Covenant.

The veil in the temple rent into two at the death of Christ because in the past people could not come face to face with God because of the holiness of the 10 commandments and their unrighteousness, but now that we have become righteous through the perfect sacrifice of Christ on the cross, we can have a relationship with God. We can call Him Abba, Father - not because we deserved it through our self-righteousness but because we deserve it through our righteousness paid for by that perfect offering on the Cross.

Christ cried out- "It is finished." To tell us that He has perfectly and completely saved us, redeemed us from the curses of the Law and all the sins we have committed throughout our lives from birth to death.


Today we are no longer under the 3 scenarios, but this 1 scenario:

One does believe in the 10 Commandments and one acknowledges that it is holy and just., but one also agrees with apostle Paul and acknowledges that no one can perfectly fulfill it because we are all imperfect and "our righteousness are as filthy rags" when we try to DIY. We thus humbly come before Jesus, accept that we need Him, we need His grace and His salvation. Now, He has taken away all our sins (pastm present,future), clothed us anew. It is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us - when we let go and let God, we naturally do not want to remain in our old sinful nature of the flesh, but we put on our new robes of righteousness in Christ and have a heart transformation. now we live under grace and live as new wineskins and not old wineskins.
We may still make mistakes from time to time, but God not only uses that as an opportunity to teach us a new lesson, He also turns the curses that usually would have come along with the mistake to stumble us, into blessings and stepping stones... to show forth His glory through our lives.

Stanley Wong said...

Hi Logical Mouse,

Geri is right ... it's none of the scenarios you suggested and your suggestions suggest that you have not fully understood my article.

I have just written a follow-up post (2-2) ... hopefully you will understand my position better after reading it :-)

eekpil said...

Logical Mouse:

If you were a woman, what kind of a husband would you like to have:

(1) one who does not believe in the Woman's Charter or does not practice it (Lawlessness)

(2) one who understands the Woman's Charter and tries his best to comply with it without actively monitoring whether he breaks any of the stipulations in it (Mixture)

(3) one who actively practices the Woman's Charter and does Repentance whenever he breaks it (LAW)

OR

(4) one who acknowledges the existence of the Woman's Charter, but does not feel any compulsion to study it, keep it, or break it, but simply respects, protects, cherishes and loves you, because he knows he is a completely forgiven and deeply loved child of God. He loves you because He he is first loved by God. He loves much because he knows he has been forgiven much.

I believe Stanley is a type 4 husband. :)

Stanley Wong said...

Hi Lip Kee,

You're back ;-) Thanks, I agree with you, I am a type 4 husband! (when 2 agree, it shall be done)

Say, when are you going to be truly a type 4 HUSBAND? That woman is gonna be really blessed ;-)

eekpil said...

Thanks Stanley. I agree with you that by God's grace, I shall be a blessing to the woman who will be my wife (when 2 agree, it shall be done) :)

The Logical Mouse said...

Lip Kee

I really don't care whether he feels any compulsion to keep it or not... the important thing is he MUST abide the rules in the Woman's Charter. Otherwise, I would feel very insure with such a husband.

If I were a woman, I'll prefer type 2. I would prefer a husband who knows the rules, never breaks them and never has to do any repentance. However, if the husband does ever break any rules, he should repent and not to do it again (type 3). Type 1, no way. For type 4, I don't know, I think he's not very clear minded.

In the Grace Gospel, God has forgiven us, yes. But does that means that we cannot think for 1 moment "oh, I should not kill another cause it's not right". By thinking that thought, we are condemned to death? Oh, no. You said, we are already forgiven. My point is, you are constantly using some form of COC (from LAW, Confucious, etc). In your mental process, you are doing it all the time. Right or wrong, good or bad... and some are related to the 10 Commandments... meaning that you are also practicing the 10 Commandments as a form of COC.

Let's discuss this further, when you accept Jesus as your Savior, Jesus lives in you. In you, there are:
- Jesus
- yourself
- Sin

So when you are tempted to commit adultery, who is the one really in control? It cannot be Jesus, cause if it's Jesus, you will NEVER sin again! Cannot be Sin. So it's you who ask yourself to STOP! For some people, they always win over sin for the case of adultery. For others, they win sometimes. So it's you who is in control.

Now, how do you know it's not right to commit adultery? For some people like the Chinese, it's so called inborn, according to Confucius. For Buddhist, it's the precepts. For Christian, it's the bible and the rules (to differentiate from LAW as the system) laid down.

I am still incline to think that people (Christian as well as others) have in them some COC. For Christian, they are from the Commandments and since you don't follow LAW, you treate the LAW as a form of COC.

Sorry, that's all the time I have for tonight.

------------------------------------------------

After I've written the above and was about to submit. I came to a realisation. The idea is just budding. I think I understand what Grace is attempting to do. It's like Buddhism. You can have many rules and you abide them or you can have 1 pure thought. With the pure thought, you will never do anything wrong. Now, don't take this as exactly what buddhism is about... it's way after 1am right now.

Now, many people attempts to reach that pure state. But before you reach there, you need to hold the precepts. I think it's the same for Christianity. If my suspicion is right, then I guess many Christians don't understand Grace. If you are really following Grace, then you will never do anything wrong, cause your thought is only of Jesus as your Saviour and you are constantly rejoicing in that thought. You don't have the opportunity to even think of any 10 Commandments, and definitely you have no chance to break the any of the rules.

If my suspicion is correct, most Christians under Grace have not really received Grace at all then.

Sorry folks, it's after 1am and I hope you are not offended by my comments.

eekpil said...

Logical Mouse,

I am not sure, but I reckon you are neither a woman, nor are you married. Am I right?

If I were a woman, I would want my husband to treat me well because he WANTS TO do so, out of his respect for me and his love for the life we share. I would want his actions toward me to be based on his RELATIONSHIP with me.

I don't think I would want my husband to treat me well because he MUST do so, out of his respect for the law and his love for doing the RIGHT things. I would not want his actions toward me to be dictated by the RULES contained in the Woman's Charter.

Do I want my husband to be a person who respects the law and who loves to do the right things? Yes, of course I do.

But I think my sense of security as a wife should be based more on our respect and love for each other (i.e. our relationship) rather than on my husband's law-keeping and right-doings (i.e. the rules).

eekpil said...

Logical Mouse,

Our Heavenly Father loves us very much. He wants us to experience the good and beautiful life while we are still in this world.

It breaks our Father's heart to see us fall into sins, suffer the consequences of sins, and forfeit the abundant and victorious life that He so wants us to enjoy.

When I am conscious of how good my Heavenly Father is, how much He loves me (so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die on the Cross for me), and how much He has forgiven me (of ALL my sins), I DO NOT WANT TO sin.

I DO NOT WANT TO sin, because I do not want to break my Father's heart. Not because I MUST obey His laws.

I do not want to kill, steal and destroy, because I know my Lord's heart is into giving life, providing, and building up.

And when I get married, I will NOT WANT TO commit adultery, not because I MUST obey the rules in the Woman's Charter, but because I would hate to break my Lord's heart and my wife's heart. I WANT TO honor my Lord. I WANT TO protect my wife's heart.

How about you? When you get married, would you remain faithful because you MUST, or because you WANT TO?

eekpil said...

Logical Mouse:

You wrote:
"Now, how do you know it's not right to commit adultery? For some people like the Chinese, it's so called inborn, according to Confucius. For Buddhist, it's the precepts. For Christian, it's the bible and the rules (to differentiate from LAW as the system) laid down."

Lip Kee's comment:
With due respect, I disagree with the logic and the conclusion of your statement as quoted above.

I believe that regardless of race, language or religion, we all have a sense of what is right and wrong, just and unjust - commonly referred to as the "conscience".

Before I became a Christian 20 years ago, I already had a conscience. I already had a sense of what is right or wrong, just or unjust. I do not need the Bible and its rules to tell me what is right and wrong. I do not need to Christian teachings to know that adultery destroys lives. I see and know that adultery wreaks relationships, breaks up families and causes great grieves and pains.

Even though many may deny it openly, I think there are believers who still regard the Christian faith as a religion that defines, teaches and regulates moral rules. They insist that the Christian faith is NOT ONLY about having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, but ALSO about learning and obeying the moral rules. They are saying: teaching grace (having an intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ) is not enough. The church must also teach Law (obeying rules for right behaviors).

So, in fact, what they are saying is that the Christian faith is BOTH a a relationship and a religion. Hence the so-called "balanced" teachings: treating the Christian faith as BOTH a relationship as well as a religion - an attempt to partake both of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, as well as the Tree of Life.

Some of us are of the persuasion that our Heavenly Father wants us to partake only of the Tree of Life. We believe that the Christian faith NOT a religion, but a relationship.

We believe that our Lord Jesus did not come to set up a religion to teach people the knowledge of good and evil, but He came to establish a relationship with us to give us the God-kind of life. We believe that our Lord did not come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people live.

We believe that the Christian faith is all about knowing Christ - beholding the beauty of the Person of Jesus and being conscious of His Finished Work on the Cross.

We believe that when one is conscious of how beautiful Jesus is and how complete the His work on the cross is, one becomes truly alive, and starts to enjoy the abundant and victorious life that Jesus came to give.

The Logical Mouse said...

This statement "I do not want to sin" is cheating oneself. Why? I keep saying I do not want to sin but sin lives in me and therefore I will sin, not that I wanted to. Hey presto, I can continue to sin and I have a foolproof way to avoid condemnation. But Father, I sincerely don't want to sin... That's a good one.

Yes, I do not want to sin but I also do not make an attempt to stop sinning because I have a good excuse: Sin is living in me. Now, if I even take a little effort to sin less, the people here would tell me that I'm practicing LAW and that's DEATH. So I don't even try to do anything about it... and not doing anything about not sinning is following Grace!

God does not want us to sin and yet if I do a slightest effort to stop sinning, I'm practcing LAW which leads to condemnation and death.

Sorry for repeating myself. I just don't know how to explain further this illogic.

The Logical Mouse said...

Lip Kee

I agree, conscience also plays a part. But Muslims also have conscience and they can have 4 wives. Ancient Chinese can have several wives. Now, Singapore law says only 1 wife. So Lip Kee, how many wives are you intending to have? Is conscience helping you make the decision or the LAW (this is not the Christian LAW, but nevertheless, some rules). I believe it's a mixture of both but I don't throw away law per se. I'm not an expert in this... but I think conscience helps you abide the LAW.

"You shall have no other gods before me." There are many people all over the world with conscience but they worship many Gods. How does you conscience 20 years ago tell you to worship only 1 God? Conscience + Grace as you have presented is incomplete.

I'm hearing this from you:
Christianity is a religion when it's LAW.
Christianity is a relationship with God when it's Grace.

But does it imply that a person abiding LAW does not have a relationship with God ? What happened to those people before Christ? None of them achieve salvation then ?

Lip Kee said "We believe that our Lord Jesus did not come to set up a religion to teach people the knowledge of good and evil, but He came to establish a relationship with us to give us the God-kind of life. We believe that our Lord did not come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people live."

First of all, God-kind of life implies no sin. Does God sin ?

You said "Lord Jesus did not come to teach people good from evil." I don't believe that's true but I don't want to argue that one as the LAW was already taught in the Old Testament. But does Jesus want us to sin less? Yes !

1 John 2: 1 My little children, I write these things to you in order that you may not sin, but if someone sins, we have a helper before the Father, the righteous Jesus Christ.

It is clearly written "in order that you may not sin". Think of yourself as a tightrope walker. If you do not sin, you will reach the other side safely on your own. But if you do, you will fall down and die. Jesus is the safety net to save you. But that does not mean you should fall with every step. You will fall initially. Jesus catches you and put you back on the rope. Your skills should improve with time and rely lesser on the net. But Jesus is always there to save you if you fall.

Lip Kee said "We believe that when one is conscious of how beautiful Jesus is and how complete the His work on the cross is, ..."

Yes, I also believe Jesus' work is complete, ie referring to the safety net.

Malcolm Loh said...

Dear Logical Mouse

I take it that you are a Christian? If so, then to make a comparison to those of other religions is treading on thin ice.

The conscience or the knowledge of good and evil is imbedded in all men as the result of Adam and Eve eating from the tree.

That is why any man can understand the law -- do good get good, do bad get bad.

It takes the Holy Spirit to understand grace -- which is God's undeserved, unearned and unmerited.

http://rootss.blogspot.com/2009/04/we-are-not-world.html

eekpil said...

Logical Mouse,

LM wrote: This statement "I do not want to sin" is cheating oneself.

Lip Kee's comment:
I don't know about you. But I honestly do not want to sin. God be my witness. I am not cheating anyone here. :)

Do I still stumble and fall sometimes? Yes of course I do.

There is only one perfect man whose desires, thoughts, words and actions are always perfect. And I am not him.

I am glad this perfect Man is my Lord and Savior. And as I see Him unveiled more and more, and as I appreciate His grace more and more, I no longer struggle with sinful thoughts, desires and deeds as much as I did previously.

I am experiencing more and more the truth in Rom 6:14: "Sin shall not have dominion over you for you are not under law but under grace".

Living under grace and not struggling with sin's dominion is a wonderful life. :)

I pray that you can get to experience such a life too. When you can say, "I do not want to sin" and know that you are not cheating yourself. :)

LM wrote: Yes, I do not want to sin but I also do not make an attempt to stop sinning because I have a good excuse: Sin is living in me. Now, if I even take a little effort to sin less, the people here would tell me that I'm practicing LAW and that's DEATH. So I don't even try to do anything about it... and not doing anything about not sinning is following Grace!

Lip Kee's comment:
When one TRIES not to sin, one usually fails. Read Romans 7.

The way I understand it, the Christian life is NOT about TRYING, but TRUSTING - knowing and believing that Jesus has made you the righteousness of God in Him.

I don't focus on trying to do something about sin to overcome sin. I don't try to make myself less angry or less lustful or less greedy. The more I tried, the more I cried out, like Paul did, "O wretched man that I am!" (Rom 7:24)

I have learned to just focus on resting in Christ and enjoying the abundant life in His grace.

And I am glad to tell you that that I am able to proclaim boldly,"I thank God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Rom 7:25) in response to the question,"Who will deliver me from this body of death?" (Rom 7:24)

I pray that you will soon get to do the same too. :)

LM wrote: Sorry for repeating myself. I just don't know how to explain further this illogic.

Lip Kee's comment:
The logic of the world says we must TRY and do something in order to overcome sin. The question they ask is, "What can deliver me from this body of death?"

Gospel logic works differently. See my comments above. :)

I pray that you will struggle less and less with the world's logic, but will get to enjoy more and more the benefits of God's logic.

Daughter Of Sarah said...

Watchamn Nee once spoke about how Christ is the sum of all spiritual things.

He wrote about how Christ is our righteousness - He has not given us a righteousness. Christ is our sanctification - He has not granted us a thing called power to make us holy. Christ is our redemption - He has not offered us a redemption. Christ is the way - He has not opened to us another way in which to walk. Christ is our truth - He has not presented some truth before us to to understand. Christ is the life - He has not conferred on us a thing called life. Christ is our provision - He has not just given us some provision. Christ is our peace - He has not just given us a means to go get peace.

His hope was that as we travel along God's course, we will discover more and more that of all God's grace there is only one grace, of all God's gifts there is only one gift. That grace is Christ, that gift is also Christ. Thank God, day after day He is showing us how Christ is all-inclusive.

His concern was that many are attempting to discover doctrine, but they have not found fact. It threfore remains as words and a dead matter. It is neither light nor life nor Christ.

My hope is that you see that CHRIST is your all and be concerned with grace as a person, not grace as an object.

The Logical Mouse said...

hungribunni

-------- start
What is an advocate?

* a person who speaks or writes in support or defense of a person, cause, etc. (usually fol. by of): an advocate of peace.

* a person who pleads for or in behalf of another; intercessor.

* a person who pleads the cause of another in a court of law.
-------- end

The example I've given relies on the word helper. Yes. If you think an advocate is correct, then you discount the example. I don't know who is right. I don't know Greek.

>>>> Saying that over time you should lean less on Jesus and more on yourself is a very dangerous thing. When we accept Christ we take on His nature and He lives in us - how can we then subtract Jesus from the equation?

Of course, you should lean more and more to Jesus. But does it mean that if a person think for a moment "I've told a lie, I better change" will bring him away?

>>>> Because if you believe in Christ alone then you cannot lean on self-effort.

I'm more inclined to Balanced Preaching. I want to make sure that when I did a wrong, I'll change. I'll try but if I fail, I must know I'm still a sinner and I thank Jesus for being my Saviour.

Daughter Of Sarah said...

14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens,[e] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

- Hebrews 4:14-16

LM mo one is saying that grace is permission to sin. It is not. It is the reason why we don't want to sin again and why we have the ability to live life anew.

When you are in grace it is a different person living that life you lived. It is not the old you anymore. It is the new you who has died to sin, died to all that you were and is now risen to a new life in Christ.

Now that you have Christ in you, you don't make decisions the same way anymore.

You are assuming that a person who has grace lives as the old person he or she was - that is why you have that misunderstanding about what grace is.

Grace is Jesus. Grace is the solution. Grace is not the problem.

The problem is that anyone who thinks that grace is licence to sin has not truly received Jesus, understand what He has achieved on the Cross and had a change of heart.

When a person is truly in grace, he is a new creation (i am not saying that they must be in our church. it is the term used in the bible.) in Christ Jesus. He is a totally different person - a transformed person.

We are not self-righteous but Christ-righteous. And if anything a person who is self-righteous tends to give condemnation rather than grace.

We have Jesus and therefore we have redemption, but also because we have Jesus, we no longer want to do what we used to do, make the wrong choices we did.

It is easy to comment from where you are but if you speak to people in our lives who know us personally, who are not Christians even, they can testify that after we received grace so many of us changed for the better. We were renewed. The obesssions, the strongholds that had a hold over us in the past no longer hold us prisoner. And the people we know see it. I dun care what you think about us because honestly, I only care what God thinks. And the opinions of my family and friends of me is prob more accurate anyways.

You can say what you wanna say LM but like I say you don't know us and because we have that relationship with Christ and our families, our colleagues and friends can attest to our going from glory go glory in Christ, you can say all that you wanna say and it will just not stick on us.

We have a better opinion of God and Jesus and the grace He has given that has changed us anew. And it doesn't matter what anyone else says about us. God knows and God judges not men any way. =D

And perhaps you have a problem comprehending us - we respect the law very much. But we admit we cannot keep the law on our own efforts. We need Jesus. And once we receive Him into our lives, once we died in Him and rose in Him - we no longer need to keep the law because Jesus kept it for us and more importantly. we supernaturally in grace don't want to break the law anymore.

It is not an outright i wanna keep the law from A-to-Z or rlse how can I be saved?

But it is because i am saved that is why I won't want to break the law again. The law no longer has a hold over us not because we are rebelling against it but coz we no longer desire to break it when we are in grace!

The Logical Mouse said...

Malcolm

>>>> If so, then to make a comparison to those of other religions is treading on thin ice.

I agree with you. I should not compare.
I also apologise to everybody who read some of my comment above, esp "If my suspicion is correct, most Christians under Grace have not really received Grace at all then." Who am I to say such a thing. Only God knows and I'm trying to play God. I'm very sorry to everbody and to God. I will try to control myself and not write such things again.

I have made a mistake and I repent for it. Do it conflict with Grace ? By apologising and really make an effor not to do it again, I will be condemn to eternal hell?

If so, next time, whenever you see somebody apologises to you for a mistake, you should feel very sad for the person.

PS: I really am sincere in my apologies. Don't get me wrong.

The Logical Mouse said...

hungribunni

I don't know you. Can you give me some examples how you are transformed so that I can appreciate Grace better?

Daughter Of Sarah said...

LM you said:

The example I've given relies on the word helper. Yes. If you think an advocate is correct, then you discount the example. I don't know who is right. I don't know Greek.

My view:

Greek is the language the scripture was ORIGINALLY WRITTEN in. Any other language is a translation. I go back to the Greek for NT and Hebrew in OT because that is how you understand what the Scripture REALLY says about something.


You say:

Of course, you should lean more and more to Jesus. But does it mean that if a person think for a moment "I've told a lie, I better change" will bring him away?

My view:

You can say that. I did not say you can't. =) I agree you should say that you should change. Repentance is a heart transformation not just saying sorry over and over again. What I mean is when we think we need to srive against that problem we have, we are wrong. Because of amazing grace we can now say "Thank you Jesus. I was wrong but you have given me the grace of forgiveness and the strength not to make the same mistake again." We don't operate by our own strength or might anymore but by the power of the Holy Spirit in us. We don't go head on with our sins and problems through our own salvation and self-efforts, but by first taking it to Jesus, lifting that area of issue up to Him and walking out His grace for it in our lives.

I used to have one heck of a temper but ever since I've come to know grace, I find it easier not to lose my cool and to actually forgive and not bear a grudge. It was diff from when I was learning legalism coz I felt that person was in the wrong and should be dealt with what, so why must i apologise? I may be wrong but he is wrong also wat. But when you are in grace, you see that everyone is God's project in progress. You see that as much as that person is a sinner, you too are one if not for Christ. You thank God for His loving you despite yourself, forgive the person, forgive yourself and make sure you don't do the same thing again.

>>>> Because if you believe in Christ alone then you cannot lean on self-effort.

No one say you can't try to live right. But you cannot live right by your own might. You need to ask Jesus to lead and to give you that strength and wisdom to walk His salvation and grace out in your daily life.

We don't work for righteousness. We have that righteousness and we need to walk it out. We make decisions not because of a spirit of fear but out of a spirit of worship.

When I decide to do something good it is not because I want to clock brownie points.

I do it because Christ in me leads me to do the right thing.

That is what it means to live in grace.

We do things not because the law dictates. There is now the Holy Spirit in us that teaches us ALL things and through the HS, Jesus leads us to do the right things.

We don't have to purposely keep the law, we actually don't break the law when we learn to walk in His grace because once you know how much Christ paid for you on that cross, you don't want to do the same old things you used to do anymore.

Daughter Of Sarah said...

LM, you said:

I have made a mistake and I repent for it. Do it conflict with Grace ? By apologising and really make an effor not to do it again, I will be condemn to eternal hell?

If so, next time, whenever you see somebody apologises to you for a mistake, you should feel very sad for the person.


My view:

Dear, dear brother you are not understanding what we are saying at all.

Of course it is okay to apologse but it is not okay to keep feeling condemned inside of you for a wrong you have committed.

I dunno about you but I've known many, including myself, who walked further from God the more condemned I felt. Coz I would try to do right but fail continously in the past, and feel less worthy of His love, His forgiveness. It got so bad that i would constantly re-dedicate myself to Christ during altar calls because i was not confident of my salvation. I felt I had not kept the 10 commandments and I was still very sinful.

But that is contraty to what the bible says about us. I don't memorise scripture and itz getting late but I will hunt out the various scripture passages for you.

I used to read the OT a lot and the synoptic gospels too and revelations... but i skipped the acts of the apostles and epistles. It was only when I began to really STUDY - not just read- the epistles and even to study the OT and see Christ in the OT, that i was able to really understand what was achieved on the cross, what was truly won for us and how we can now live in victory from victory.

We no longer strive for victory over our sinful selves because those who UNDERSTAND grace, not all believers do, come to live life as more than conquerors of their old habits, bad traits, sinful nature.

We are not saying now we have grace hahaha sin again man, bring it on. Coz where sin abounds got more grace mah!

NO WAY! None of us here agrees with that view at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What we mean is you can say sorry,. but He has already forgiven you. Nothing you can do can make Him love you more and nothing you have done can make Him close the door. Because of His great love, He gave His only Son. Everything was done so you would come back to Him with all your heart and not let Fear keep you apart from Him.

What is important is not saying sorry as it is to acknowledge you have the victory over that problem are in Jesus and then conquer that problem through Christ. We are not the solutions, our trying is not the solution over our sin... JESUS IS.

We are thus not saying cannot apologise or you are in law and condemened. No no no dear bro... no.

I really think you've got us wrong. I really hope you can meet up with us at Stan's stall. Sometimes ping ponging on cyberspace does not get the full message of what we are trying to discuss with each other.

We are a really nice bunch of people and in no way are we inviting you so that we can whack you.

Rather, we just want to have a good fellowship and to help clarify any queries you have as constructively as possible.

LM you said:

PS: I really am sincere in my apologies. Don't get me wrong.

My view:

Apologies are definitely accepted all around and no one is getting you wrong.

But we hope you are not getting us wrong coz from your replies it is clearer and clearer that we are saying A but you are hearing B, C, D, E, F etc but not A.

The Logical Mouse said...

>>>> Repentance is a heart transformation not just saying sorry over and over again. What I mean is when we think we need to srive against that problem we have, we are wrong.

I don't fully understand this statement. So you are agreeable that we should repent ?

>>>> "Thank you Jesus. I was wrong but you have given me the grace of forgiveness and the strength not to make the same mistake again."

Strenght not to make the same mistake again.... Strength makes it eaiser to stop the mistake... BUT BUT BUT you must do it. And stop making the mistake is the effort lah ! Strenght from Jesus makes it eaier. If strenght from Jesus can stop the sinning, then Christian would not sin again!

>>>> I used to have one heck of a temper but ever since I've come to know grace, I find it easier not to lose my cool and to actually forgive and not bear a grudge.

Thanks for the example. Now we have a more concrete situation to discuss. I take it that you still lose your temper. What makes you turn to Jesus for help you control your temper? Is it not recognising that loosing your temper is not right? You pray to Jesus to help you. Jesus gives you the strenght. But if you don't want to stop the bad habit, the strenght is useless to you. So how do you know loosing temper is bad ? Remember COC ? Code of Conduct.

The Logical Mouse said...

---------- start
I have made a mistake and I repent for it. Do it conflict with Grace ? By apologising and really make an effor not to do it again, I will be condemn to eternal hell?

If so, next time, whenever you see somebody apologises to you for a mistake, you should feel very sad for the person.


My view:

Dear, dear brother you are not understanding what we are saying at all.

Of course it is okay to apologse but it is not okay to keep feeling condemned inside of you for a wrong you have committed.
---------- end

Did you missed the part that says "and really make an effor not to do it again".... ?

Hey, I don't feel condemn. Cause I know, I made a mistake, I make an effort to change. I will be better. Why should I be condemned ?

I have done this before. I have succeeded. I also have a temper but when I see people get upset, I felt bad about it. I tell myself to stop. I'm a much better person now.

The Logical Mouse said...

bunni

WRT background... You don't have to write more... I didn't expect this. I was hoping to get a more concrete case to work on.

Now, it's too complicated to work on !

Daughter Of Sarah said...

LM:

Good for you! I am glad for you.

But not everyone is the same.

There are people who feel good for months then when their button is pushed and they explode at someone and things go downhill, they feel bad coz it becomes this whole rollercoaster ride.

I have a friend who goes from high to low to high to low. She knows the bible well, her uncle is a pastor and all... and she has been a Christian ALL her life. Ang;lican.

But she would experience the highs of victory and the lows of defeat in her spiritual life and when she hits rock bottom, it is rock bottom. She then goes through periods of condemnations and will avoid everyone because she feels she has failed in some aspect or feels ugly about some small issue.

She used to ask my hubby and I how come we can walk in constant joy even when things go bad around us.

She could not experience the joy of Christ in her life because she magnified her sin instead of her Saviour. And she thought so much and so greatly of her area of stronghold, she let it dwarf her faith in God and her understanding of God's faithfulness.

It is only recently that she understands grace that she really is walking from victory to victory over all her strongholds.

And mind you her 2 legs are swollen at the moment, wine red in colour and 6 specialists have no idea what is wrong, and she gets all sorts of rubbish attacks from people because she is in the media line- and our line is a real bitch fest- and she is able to keep her joy in her LORD and still have victory over her anxiety (she has anxiety attacks) and eating disorders.

It is tough, but she relies on the grace of Jesus to get by everyday, to change her weakness everyday into strength.

She is no longer sin conscious but Christ conscious and it shows in her walk, in her day to day... everyone around her felt the change and her FB was peppered with messages and she really has.

Now she tells me she finally understands that Jesus is her joy. She does not look for joy. Jesus is her forgiveness, she does not have to spend her days seeking for God's forgiveness. Jesus is her perfection - she is imperfect but He changes her anew every morning.

Grace is not a theory LM. It is hard to discuss it. It can only be undersood by experience and when you look back, you see the various pit stops of your walk before grace and the results after you walk in gracce.

I mean we are really trying to share with you here, sincerely so I hope you too can be willing to open your heart and mind to discussions. This is not a cow boy gun fight where u draw, i draw we shoot and see who drops dead.

It is a fellowship so I hope you respect that we try and reflect that respect back with constructive comments =D Which you have so far... so thank you.

As The Deer said...

Thank God then that Jesus worked on me lol. Any normal person would have given up and written me off as a lost case.

You have no idea the knots He untangled to get here where I am today. =)

I am now married happily to a guy who loves me regardless of my past and whose family loves and accepts both my son and I with all their hearts.

I am wonderfully provided for because Christ is my perfect provision and hubby and I marvel at all the goodness in our lives that is because He is our all in all.

My mum and I have a great relationship. My parents and I have gone closer and my aunt recently commented on how much I have changed and matured as I walk in the grace of Jesus.

My parents were once upset, though not against, my being Christian and are now growing in their walk with Christ because of the victories they are witnessing in my life throug Jesus and Jesus alone.

I have lost some old friends because they liked me angsty and dark. But God has blessed me with friends who share the same faith walk and none of them dare to believe or can imagine what I used to be.

I am known to be a kai xin guo and a very joyful person who always believes God is good all the time and that it is not I who lives but Christ who lives in me.

I am no longer hungry spiritually all the time but very well fed - not just by my church- but through quiet times and other reading materials and reflections in my life.

Because there was so much sin abounding my life, grace super abounded... I was just beginning to show you what was wrong, then how I walked in law and then how I walked out in grace and conquered the old me =D

All in Christ and in Christ ALONE. =)

As The Deer said...

oh it is HB =D

I changed my nick coz I love the song As The Deer...

You alone are my strength, my shiled
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my heart's desire
And I long to worship You

Used to sing it in the old chapel in school when I was a kid and feeling down.

Stanley Wong said...

Deer Geri,

Thanks for sharing your heart with us. I knew you had an "eventful" life but I did not want to ask you to elaborate as I felt it may be insensitive of me and a bit too hurtful for you to retell your past.

However, I am glad to learn about your background, and from it learn how wonderful the grace of God is. Truly where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. Truly, you've shown us that even though the things we go through in itself is bad but eventually "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Rom 8:28)

The Logical Mouse said...

HB said "This is not a cow boy gun fight where u draw, i draw we shoot and see who drops dead."

For my case, the more I don't want that. I'm not getting anything out of it. I'm not getting fame or recognition. Nobody knows who I am, right ?

HB, it works for you. But I of know a family where it does not work as well. They have a good family, it seems. The spouse have a good "relationship" it seems. But there are cracks and the spouse is tolerating the other using conscious own effort. They say Jesus but you hear the tone of the voice and you know. Yet the person claims the same relationship with Jesus as you.

Both you and Lip Kee tries to use your own experience to justify Grace. But for others, they *may* not experience Grace and they may not know. How you do you solve that problem? How come they don't experience it but deluding themselves that they are walking with Jesus. May be there are different levels of walking and they are just entry level. But I don't think so lah. I think just self deceit. That's where I'm coming from.

You don't understand what I write cause you see from your perspective and I don't see yours. If you are really concern about your fellow Christian, don't just think what works for you will work for them. That's what I can say lor.

As The Deer said...

Sorry to make corrections to this. - It is not just my life changing LM that causes me to walk close with Him. It is my undeniable experiences of Him that have made the walk a closer, more intimate one.

As The Deer said...

LM says:

Both you and Lip Kee tries to use your own experience to justify Grace. But for others, they *may* not experience Grace and they may not know. How you do you solve that problem?

My view:

Well, LM - it is not for us to solve it. The ball is actually in their court. Whether they want to reach out to Jesus, to really accept His redemption and live life differently from before. Not by obeying the ten commandments but by coming to know Jesus and to be loved so as to love. Jesus is the solution.

LM says:

How come they don't experience it but deluding themselves that they are walking with Jesus. May be there are different levels of walking and they are just entry level. But I don't think so lah. I think just self deceit. That's where I'm coming from.

My view:

They have a walk but like kids- some walk beside their parents, some run havoc all over the place, the parents call them back but they don't care. Then kenah elbow in the face by some stranger and get hurt. U cannot say they were not walking with their parents, they were but whether they were walking in their parent's will and whether they were walking closely to their parents is a different thing.

Same, your friends may claim a walk with Christ but how can 2 walk together if they dun agree? Do your friends who claim that walk really listen to His leading in the inner man or is it just a doctrine walk? The former has life, the latter is dead.

The Logical Mouse said...

HB

What you have said about your life experience, your friend on the train, etc. I have come across Buddhst who experience such things also. But not as "colourful" as yours.

When I discuss with Christians and bring them up. I get such comments:

- superstitious
- coincidence
- mind over matter
- God is working on the person

So I don't know what to say now!

The Logical Mouse said...

HB >>>> They have a walk but like kids- some walk beside their parents, some run havoc all over the place, the parents call them back but they don't care. Then kenah elbow in the face by some stranger and get hurt. U cannot say they were not walking with their parents, they were but whether they were walking in their parent's will and whether they were walking closely to their parents is a different thing.

May be they are not walking with their parents at all but they don't know. When they hear experience like yours and when they attend the Church often enough, they think they are walking but they aren't. Possible or not ?

And they can be from the same Church as you and listening to the same pastor.

As The Deer said...

LM>> May be they are not walking with their parents at all but they don't know. When they hear experience like yours and when they attend the Church often enough, they think they are walking but they aren't. Possible or not ?

And they can be from the same Church as you and listening to the same pastor.

My view>>

LM, they are embarking on the journey but are still at a crawling stage. Babies all learn how to walk from being carried, then crawling, then being supported as they walk, then walking albeith shakily falling down now and then, then walking faster, then picking up even more pace then once their muscles are ready, they run like the wind.

No babies transit from being carried to being able to run straight away. The same goes for a spiritual walk.

It doesn't matter if we are listening to the same pastor. Different people have different spiritual maturity at different seasons.

They can be attending Hillsongs or Lakewood Church or Rhema bible College or any church in the world... but if they are at that spritual age, they pick up only that much. They will slowly but surely pick up their pace of understanding as they progress through life. Some faster, some slower. Even in a classroom you have kids who pick up things straightaway and some who take months to figure out what the other kids picked up that quickly.

We are all unique individuals with different personalities, different gifts, different levels of udnerstanding.

You don't plant a seed and expect it to turn into a tree overnight right??

Even as I walked in the past, I fell a lot more than i walked. Today I still fall, less perhaps but i still fall. Reason being I am not perfect. No one is.

The whole of life is one long learning process.

As long as they keep moving forward, holding His hands and walking as best as they can, they will get out of whatever darkness they are trapped in or whatever circumstances are delaying their growth.

As The Deer said...

LM>> What you have said about your life experience, your friend on the train, etc. I have come across Buddhst who experience such things also. But not as "colourful" as yours.

My view>>

Hmm the whole way of addressing it seems quite derogatory me seems. Colourful? Well, I tell my experiences as they are. Like it or not, believe it or not, it is like that. =)

It doesn't mean if you are Buddhist God doesn't love you or Jesus didn't die for you leh.

Jesus died for EVERYONE so I am glad if they have doses of grace in their lives.

Do you know some people who later come to Christ after practicing another faith, actually look back to these events and see God's grace already working in their lives even before they accept Him?

Whether we accept Him or not, it does not change the fact that Jesus died for EVERYBODY's SINS past, present and future. He did not die for the Jews or Christians (not even a race lor). But everyone and anyone who accepts His Son's gift of salvation.

LM>> When I discuss with Christians and bring them up. I get such comments:

- superstitious
- coincidence
- mind over matter
- God is working on the person

So I don't know what to say now!

My view>>

People will always have something to say but when you are going through it, and if you dare to try to open up and challenge God to make His presence felt in your life, be prepared to feel Him working in your life.

God is not a superstition. The Cross was not a coincidence. It is because mind over matter fails that He had to die so that we can step on "the matter" in victory. And yes we ALL are God projects in progress whether we believe it or not. =)

LM, Christ must be experienced personally in your life... doctrine, theology they only help you see Him only so far. The real journey begins when you take the first step.

eekpil said...

Logical Mouse,

Would you care to answer a few questions before I continue this discussion with you?

1. Have you read Romans chapter 7, as I've suggested you do?

2. Have you meditated on the significance of Romans 6:14 for yourself?

3. Are you a Christian?

4. If you are a Christian, how long have you been one? And how would you describe your relationship with your heavenly Father, with the Lord Jesus Christ, and with the Holy Spirit?

5. Is Logical Mouse just one person, or a group of people using one pseudonym? (Please don't take this last question the wrong way. Personally, I feel I need to get an honest answer to this question before I am able to engage you in a meaningful way.).

Regardless of who you are, and what your intentions are, I pray that you experience the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Shalom.

The Logical Mouse said...

HB.

OK. I hear you.

LK.

Not Christian. I thought people would know by now. TLM is a person lah. My goodnes! I hope you don't think I'm a split personality!

My intentions, you can read another comment. I've written to HB.

May be you both don't fully understand my side and from my angle. But may be other people read this and do understand.

I think we have already both stated our stand and we all know by now, we aren't going anywhere. So I'll let you reply to close off your side.

As The Deer said...

LM:

Orh.

Oh ya forgot to say - Christ died for everyone even if they don't know Him or don't want to accept Him (not just Christians or people who blv). He still died for them. He has done everything for them, even conquered death, sin, diseases, lack, etc... but the ball is in their court whether they choose to receive that gift. If they don't it still does not change the fact that HE died for them. It's just that they didn't want that gift.

The gift does not come into being only after u decice to accept the giver, the giver already is holding the gift out to you and asking you -

"Will you accept that I died for you on the Cross? Independantly from the way you see people use or abuse the gift, will you accept me?

Don't decide on such an important matter based on the Christians you see, like you they are sinners and imperfect people.

Look at me and only me. Decide by looking at me, at what I've done, what I've said.

Don't decide not to accept me based on what other people said. Have you read the gospel? Have you really seen my love? That love I have is for you. I love the unloveable, touch the untouchables, forgive those whom nothing in this world can forgive.

I knew you before you were born. I know every one of your thoughts. I gave you free will and I will let you choose but don't make your all important decision based on the Christians you know, or what people say about me. Base it on your coming to know me, hear me through my Word, my life, my walk in the Scriptures.

Don't care about what people say about me. What do you say about me?"
The work is already done, it is whether we accept His work, or we feel we need to DIY our way to heaven.

I feel there is a reason that some people feel they should prepare hell notes, hell credit cards and apartments and cars for hell and maids for hell and clothes for hell... they know deep inside them that they are not worthy of heaven of themselves alone.

You don't need us LM, we are humans like you. We stumble, we fall, we bleed, we have emotions.

What you need is Christ and maybe today you won't see it, but never say never ok? He really really really really loves you whether you love Him or not.

eekpil said...

Logical Mouse,

Thanks for the reply. So you are NOT a Bible-believing Christian.

Personally, I think before we continue to engage each other in this discussion thread, which is about "questionable teachings" on grace as defined in the Bible, you and I should first discuss about:

(1) our different world views and life philosophies
(2) faith in God
(3) the definition of sin
(4) the meaning of grace
(5) the authority of the Bible
(6) the difference in being religious and being spiritual
(7) the significance of Jesus Christ and His Cross

I believe it will be more meaningful for us to discuss and understand each other more with regard to where we stand on the BASIC areas (as listed above), before we jump into discussing about the "questionable teachings".

Otherwise, it will be like a chess player (who has never played, does not appreciate, and does not know how the game of football is played) and a football lover trying to engage in a discussion about the validity/usefulness/beauty/logic of the off-side rule.

The football lover must first learn how much the chess player knows and understands about the game of football, before they can discuss meaningfully about the more intricate rules of the game, don't you think so? :)

The Logical Mouse said...

Lip Kee, HB

I think this blog should be renamed. It shouldn't be called "The Logical Christian".

It would mislead people to think that Christianity can be logical.

Many times, I want to engaged using logic, I see that ultimately Faith comes in to override, which should just be accepted as it is.

So what's the point in further discussion?

I shall wait for that Damascus experience that Malcolm still owes me.

The Really Logical Mouse

Stanley Wong said...

Hi Logical Mouse,

I think if you want to comment about the name or rather renaming of MY BLOG, you should have addressed your comment to ME, and not Lip Kee and HB.

Take note that I named MY BLOG "The Logical Christian" and not "The Logical Mouse" because I am discussing teachings taught in church, and whether those teachings are logical within the framework of the bible. I am not dealing in worldly logic here.

What we discuss here has to be based on the bible and our different interpretations of the text within. In this context, Christian faith is involved because we believe the bible to be the Word of God.

I have mentioned before in one of my comments and I reiterate here that MY BLOG is meant for fellow Christians to discuss Christian teachings, and not as a platform to prove to non-Christians our faith or win them over.

Lip Kee, HB and I have engaged in discussions with you earlier not knowing that you are a non-Christian and it is no wonder (now that you have expressly said you are a non-Christian) that you do not understand many of the things we say.

Logically, we should not be continuing further discussions with you as you are not on the same frequency as us.

Thank you for visiting MY BLOG and I will gladly welcome you back should you decide to pay us a visit here after your Damascus experience.

Stanley
The Logical Christian

Derrick said...

Hi Stanley

Sorry I am not going to follow the previous 51 comments :)

What do you mean by dividing the laws (into ceremonial, civil, moral) is the work of man?

Maybe I can ask 2 questions:

1. Do we still need to obey "Thou shall not murder?"
2. Do we still need to obey the Jewish dietary laws?

If you answer yes and no, truth is, you are separating the law into different categories (and rightly so).

Stanley Wong said...

Hi Derrick,

In my article, I have stated clearly that "I disagree that these portions can be individually separated and replaced. There is only ONE LAW and ONE COVENANT and either the WHOLE LAW applies or it doesn't."

Therefore, my position is that if you want to follow the Law, then you have to abide by all of them ... that means obeying the "dietary laws" is just as important as the law of "Thou shall not murder" for James 2:10 says "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."

My point is that the Law cannot be divided into ceremonial, civil and moral portions and Christ's sacrifice merely replaced the ceremonial portion. No, the Law is one complete whole and represents one complete covenant and this covenant has been replaced by one new and superior covenant mediated by Christ Jesus (Hebrews 8:6-7, Hebrews 9:14-15). We now do not follow the letter of the law but live according to the Spirit:

"Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters but don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love, for the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.

The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. The Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions but when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives."
(Gal 5:1,13-18,22-25 NLT)