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Nahum

"Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven."

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For some reason that slogan has always bothered me. Not that it isn't true, because it certainly is a factually statement. But there seems to be an attitude these days of extreme "easy believism" that is almost devoid of any kind of serious discipleship, self-discipline, and the like.

 

Anyone else catch a whiff of that when seeing this slogan?

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Hi Nahum, what I think that slogan is supposed to mean to our non-Christian friends is that Christians (apart from Christ) aren't anything special, that we're just like everyone else. And I believe it's also meant to carry with it the insinuation that because of that fact, because we're, "nothing special", that anyone who truly wants to be a Christian too, can be :)

 

I can see your point, but for me anyway, I think that slogan speaks far less of, "easy believism", and far more of, "whosoever will may come".

 

Yours and His,

David

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Hi Nahum, what I think that slogan is supposed to mean to our non-Christian friends is that Christians (apart from Christ) aren't anything special, that we're just like everyone else. And I believe it's also meant to carry with it the insinuation that because of that fact, because we're, "nothing special", that anyone who truly wants to be a Christian too, can be :)

 

I can see your point, but for me anyway, I think that slogan speaks far less of, "easy believism", and far more of, "whosoever will may come".

 

Yours and His,

David

 

I tend to agree with your take on the phrase. You provided a good explanation. The other thing that is important to remember is that Christians need to maintain a dialogue with God, make real effort to follow his commandments, and continue to seek forgiveness up until their last days to truly be Christian and forgiven. You can't just ask for forgiveness once and do whatever you want while assuming all is well. You will continue to sin throughout your life and need to be honest about it with God and seek forgiveness. You also need to continue to do your best to follow God's laws for us.

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I tend to agree with your take on the phrase. You provided a good explanation. The other thing that is important to remember is that Christians need to maintain a dialogue with God, make real effort to follow his commandments, and continue to seek forgiveness up until their last days to truly be Christian and forgiven. You can't just ask for forgiveness once and do whatever you want while assuming all is well. You will continue to sin throughout your life and need to be honest about it with God and seek forgiveness. You also need to continue to do your best to follow God's laws for us.

 

Hi Nytegeek, I see you joined us pretty recently too, so I'll start off by saying, WELCOME TO CF to you as well :)

 

I agree with what you said above, and I think that's probably what Nahum had in mind when he saw, "easy believism", in the slogan he mentioned. I'm sure you know this already, but I think I will go a step further and say that doing things like following/obeying God and choosing to do what pleases Him (and to be continually asking for forgiveness when we don't), is the mark of someone who already is, "in Christ". IOW, it's the mark of a true Christian, someone who is already saved (i.e. John 5:24; Romans 10:9-10; 1 John 5:13).

 

Good works and the ability/desire to live a holy lifestyle are the "result", not the cause of our salvation, and if such things have never been present in the life of someone who "claims" to be a Believer, then chances are very good that their "claim" is nothing more than that. I think that John Calvin was correct when he said, "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith the justifies is never alone".

 

I think it's also true that those who God causes to be born again (Ezekiel 36:26; John 3:3) and makes into "new creatures" in His Son (2 Corinthians 5:17) as a result, will also persevere in the faith (as a result of those changes and, of course, because of the Lord's continuing work in the hearts, minds and lives of His elect .. i.e. Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 7:25).

 

 

 

Yours and His,

David

"He who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has

eternal life, and does not come into judgment,

but has passed out of death into life"

John 5:24

 

 

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Well, I don't think there are any perfect people in the world. We are all imperfect and that's the thing which makes us real in the first place. It's totally fine to have flaws. Overcoming them makes us grow and turn into something stronger. And we can do that If we have enough faith.

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I think there are some Christians who actually do take that literally. An extreme version of saved by faith only. There are Christians who believe that once you are "saved" (salvation means something entirely different to them) you can' lose your salvation (which is unbiblical). And anyone who believes they don't have to try hard enough to be perfect as Jesus commanded (Matt: 5:48 — Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect . . .) is yet to know Christ.

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I think that sometimes we take our status as forgiven a little far. The thought comes in that, "oh, I can go ahead and drink this beer until I pass out... I'm forgiven." Or, "it's okay to have an affair with this person, God forgives me." God does forgive us when we sin, but He wants us to walk with Christ as much as we humanly can. That doesn't mean we can go ahead and do whatever we please because there's no punishment for it. That's not true. There is punishment, often in the form of incredible guilt felt by the sinner. We walk more in repentance than we do in forgiveness, constantly having to repent for bad decisions, minor sins, (I shouldn't have gotten drunk, that sort of thing) and all around questionable things that we've done. Many of us say, "I really should pray more. This is where I'm lacking in my Christian life." I've said that myself, more than once. Guess what, this is Christ nudging us toward that conversation with Him, because He knows we need repentance and forgiveness. Another popular phrase is this: "Prayer is our first resource, not our last resort." Many of us use prayer in exactly that way, believing we can handle our problems ourselves... until we can't. Yeah, we Christians aren't perfect, and yes we are forgiven... but we'd better be repenting all along the way, because we still sin... a lot. We haven't strayed that far from the forbidden tree, that's for sure.

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Well, I don't think there are any perfect people in the world. We are all imperfect and that's the thing which makes us real in the first place. It's totally fine to have flaws. Overcoming them makes us grow and turn into something stronger. And we can do that If we have enough faith.

 

Hi Artyarson, first off, WELCOME TO CF :)

 

I agree that there are no perfect people in the world, and that overcoming our shortcomings can end up making us stronger and wiser (especially if we do so in faith), but I'm not sure that our shortcomings (IOW, our sinful nature and sinful behaviors) make us "real"? God didn't make us imperfectly, rather, He made us "upright" (Ecclesiastes 7:29), in His very "image" (Genesis 1:26-27), so what we became after our progenitors fell is a deviation from what "real" was always supposed to look like (and what it will look like again in Glory, PTL :)). IOW, the "flaws" that we all have are what "tarnish" God's original intent for us and what we were really made to be like.

 

Yours and His,

David

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I think there are some Christians who actually do take that literally. An extreme version of saved by faith only. There are Christians who believe that once you are "saved" (salvation means something entirely different to them) you can' lose your salvation (which is unbiblical). And anyone who believes they don't have to try hard enough to be perfect as Jesus commanded (Matt: 5:48 — Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect . . .) is yet to know Christ.

 

Hi Smithee, what do you mean by an "extreme version" of "saved by faith only"? And what does the "normal version" of "saved by faith only" look like in comparison to the "extreme" one?

 

Thanks!

 

--David

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by David Lee

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I think that sometimes we take our status as forgiven a little far. The thought comes in that, "oh, I can go ahead and drink this beer until I pass out... I'm forgiven." Or, "it's okay to have an affair with this person, God forgives me." God does forgive us when we sin, but He wants us to walk with Christ as much as we humanly can. That doesn't mean we can go ahead and do whatever we please because there's no punishment for it. That's not true. There is punishment, often in the form of incredible guilt felt by the sinner. We walk more in repentance than we do in forgiveness, constantly having to repent for bad decisions, minor sins, (I shouldn't have gotten drunk, that sort of thing) and all around questionable things that we've done. Many of us say, "I really should pray more. This is where I'm lacking in my Christian life." I've said that myself, more than once. Guess what, this is Christ nudging us toward that conversation with Him, because He knows we need repentance and forgiveness. Another popular phrase is this: "Prayer is our first resource, not our last resort." Many of us use prayer in exactly that way, believing we can handle our problems ourselves... until we can't. Yeah, we Christians aren't perfect, and yes we are forgiven... but we'd better be repenting all along the way, because we still sin... a lot. We haven't strayed that far from the forbidden tree, that's for sure.

 

I agree that we are not supposed to continue in sin after being saved, and there are probably some who continue to do so. I think fellowship is important, in that we can edify and uplift one another to try to behave in a way Jesus would have us do. I think any other actions usually brings the word hypocrite the conversation, which is beneficial to no one.

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I agree that we are not supposed to continue in sin after being saved, and there are probably some who continue to do so. I think fellowship is important, in that we can edify and uplift one another to try to behave in a way Jesus would have us do. I think any other actions usually brings the word hypocrite the conversation, which is beneficial to no one.

 

Everyone continues to sin whether saved or not. It is whether we seek forgiveness and have a desire to do God's will that makes the difference.

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Hi Nytegeek, I see you joined us pretty recently too, so I'll start off by saying, WELCOME TO CF to you as well :)

 

I agree with what you said above, and I think that's probably what Nahum had in mind when he saw, "easy believism", in the slogan he mentioned. I'm sure you know this already, but I think I will go a step further and say that doing things like following/obeying God and choosing to do what pleases Him (and to be continually asking for forgiveness when we don't), is the mark of someone who already is, "in Christ". IOW, it's the mark of a true Christian, someone who is already saved (i.e. John 5:24; Romans 10:9-10; 1 John 5:13).

 

Good works and the ability/desire to live a holy lifestyle are the "result", not the cause of our salvation, and if such things have never been present in the life of someone who "claims" to be a Believer, then chances are very good that their "claim" is nothing more than that. I think that John Calvin was correct when he said, "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith the justifies is never alone".

 

I think it's also true that those who God causes to be born again (Ezekiel 36:26; John 3:3) and makes into "new creatures" in His Son (2 Corinthians 5:17) as a result, will also persevere in the faith (as a result of those changes and, of course, because of the Lord's continuing work in the hearts, minds and lives of His elect .. i.e. Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 7:25).

 

 

 

Yours and His,

David

"He who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has

eternal life, and does not come into judgment,

 

 

Thank you so much. I appreciate the warm welcome, the reply, and the clear explanations I think this will be a good place to learn and grow..

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Thank you so much. I appreciate the warm welcome, the reply, and the clear explanations I think this will be a good place to learn and grow..

 

You're welcome Brother, we're very glad you decided to join us :)

 

Blessings to you in Christ! (Numbers 6:24-26; Jude 24-25)

 

--David

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Everyone continues to sin whether saved or not. It is whether we seek forgiveness and have a desire to do God's will that makes the difference.

 

I absolutely agree with this :) I was pointing out that a person must turn from sin, and change. For example, I believe that once saved, a drunkard (or insert any sinful lifestyle pointed out in the bible) can't continue being a drunkard and remain in the Book of Life. Love, prayer, and fellowship can help us all keep each other on the proper path, in my opinion.

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Hi Artyarson, first off, WELCOME TO CF :)

 

I agree that there are no perfect people in the world, and that overcoming our shortcomings can end up making us stronger and wiser (especially if we do so in faith), but I'm not sure that our shortcomings (IOW, our sinful nature and sinful behaviors) make us "real"? God didn't make us imperfectly, rather, He made us "upright" (Ecclesiastes 7:29), in His very "image" (Genesis 1:26-27), so what we became after our progenitors fell is a deviation from what "real" was always supposed to look like (and what it will look like again in Glory, PTL :)). IOW, the "flaws" that we all have are what "tarnish" God's original intent for us and what we were really made to be like.

 

Yours and His,

David

 

Yeah, I've heard and read that. That was in the Bible, for sure. However, by "real" I meant "having a vulnerability".

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I absolutely agree with this :) I was pointing out that a person must turn from sin, and change. For example, I believe that once saved, a drunkard (or insert any sinful lifestyle pointed out in the bible) can't continue being a drunkard and remain in the Book of Life. Love, prayer, and fellowship can help us all keep each other on the proper path, in my opinion.

 

I wouldn't have used drunkard as an example, considering that is often a medically treatable disease, but I understand your point. Thank you for clarifying what you meant, it helped me understand.

 

Oh off topic, but I wanted to mention something. I love your forum name. that is great. :)

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There is punishment, often in the form of incredible guilt felt by the sinner.

There will also be punishment at the judgment seat of Christ, in the loss of rewards we could have earned if we were obedient.

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

(1 Corinthians 3:11-15 ESV)

 

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There will also be punishment at the judgment seat of Christ, in the loss of rewards we could have earned if we were obedient.

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

(1 Corinthians 3:11-15 ESV)

 

As a newbie I am still playing 'catch-up'.

But I was glad to read your post since 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 figures large in my particular 'paper trail' of faith, since it pulls into plausible focus so many questions.

BTW, I'm also being much encouraged, as I keep reading, to find really good thoughts from the core membership and a few other newbies.

May God use this forum to his ultimate glory and to a great catholicity of membership.

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As a newbie I am still playing 'catch-up'.

But I was glad to read your post since 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 figures large in my particular 'paper trail' of faith, since it pulls into plausible focus so many questions.

BTW, I'm also being much encouraged, as I keep reading, to find really good thoughts from the core membership and a few other newbies.

May God use this forum to his ultimate glory and to a great catholicity of membership.

 

I can't speak for everyone else, but catholicity is not a goal for me nor do I see it as a good direction to be steered towards,

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I can't speak for everyone else, but catholicity is not a goal for me nor do I see it as a good direction to be steered towards,

I trust that you understand that by 'catholicity' I mean the dictionary definition of 'all embracing', as distinct from Catholicism (which would have a capital 'C').

 

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I trust that you understand that by 'catholicity' I mean the dictionary definition of 'all embracing', as distinct from Catholicism (which would have a capital 'C').

 

No I didn't, but I don't think that most people would have either. There are better ways to express what you were saying I think. Precision of language is important in both directions. That aside, I agree that being inclusive is important.

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I wouldn't have used drunkard as an example, considering that is often a medically treatable disease, but I understand your point. Thank you for clarifying what you meant, it helped me understand.

 

Oh off topic, but I wanted to mention something. I love your forum name. that is great. :)

 

Thank you! :D

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Yes, there is definitely some truth to that. While we are forgiven, it certainly doesn't mean that we shouldn't do our very best to try to discipline ourselves, and improve areas of ourselves that need improving.

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Agreed there are no perfect people on Earth, we cannot say we are living a life totally devoid of wrongdoing. What I see here is once we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal savior we should desist from willful sins.

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Being a Christian does not make me "better" than anyone else. That being said, we should refrain from intentionally committing actions we know to be sinful, and strive to live a godly life that is pleasing to Him.

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