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122Adding to Faith

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  • Stephen Shields
    May 29, 2000
      You wrote:

      <<I guess my question was more this If people inadvertantly add to
      Christ does this nulify their faith. For example I have a whole bunch
      of relatives that believe that we need faith in Jesus but in their
      opinion as person also NEEDS water baptism for salvation. >>

      I don't believe that God requires perfect theology (otherwise I'm in big
      trouble). That being said, I do believe that the moment we put our heart's
      trust in anything other than the fact - as the first century church leader
      Paul writes - that "Christ died for our sins" (1 Corinthians 15:3) that we
      are in danger of trusting in our own efforts for God to accept us (also see
      Ephesians 2:8-10 and the whole book of Galatians). If God's acceptance of
      me depends on what I do and how well I follow him, I'm in deep, deep
      trouble! If it depends on the fact that "God made him [Jesus]who had no sin
      to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God"
      [2 Corinthians 5:21] then I'm ok. God's righteousness is perfect and if
      that's on my account (to use one biblical metaphor) then I'm home free!

      HTH and please follow up with any other insights, questions, etc.

      Stephen Shields
      Cedar Ridge Community Church
      stephens@...
      http://www.crcc.org


      -----Original Message-----
      From: taxbill@... [mailto:taxbill@...]
      Sent: Monday, May 22, 2000 9:22 AM
      To: findingfaith@egroups.com
      Subject: Re: RE: God and Relationship


      -
      You Wrote...

      > There's a couple of things that the first century leader Paul wrote
      one of
      > his letters that has suggested to me part of what was going on in
      the OT
      > with this kind of stuff: The "black and whiteness" of things in
      the OT,
      > the "do it exactly in this way" part of the OT.
      > One of those is a comment Paul makes in his letter to the church at
      Galatia
      > where he writes:
      >
      > <<So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be
      > justified by faith>>
      >
      > Galatians 3:24
      > The other is a comment he makes later in the same correspondence
      when he
      > writes:
      >
      > <<But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son....>>
      >
      > Galatians 4:4
      >
      > Gal 3:24 implies that the Law of the OT (all those rules) had a
      purpose to
      > direct us to faith in Jesus. Gal 4:4 further informs us that there
      was a
      > timing issue here as to exactly when Jesus would hit the scene. I
      believe
      > that part of the timing was the maturing of the human race. There
      was a
      > certain time when humankind would be first ready to understand the
      concept
      > that God would forgive us of our sins if we believed, as Paul writes
      > elsewhere "that Christ died for our sins" (1 Corinthians 15:3).
      What might
      > be going on here is that grace and forgiveness can't really be
      appreciated
      > until you understand sin (which I understand - at its core - as me
      putting
      > myself at the center of the universe instead of God).
      >
      > My kids have convinced me of this. I have 3 girls under the age fo
      5 and I
      > have to give them very black and white instructions. (e.g. "No,
      you can't
      > let go of my hand in the parking lot.") They don't understand the
      subtleties
      > of why I expect various things. I suspect that mankind maturing is
      like
      > humans maturing. We need to understand the basics ("Worship God in
      exactly
      > this way very carefully") before we can understand the subtleties
      (e.g. "Yet
      > a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will
      worship the
      > Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the
      Father
      > seeks." John 4:23)

      Yes I agree with this that the law was ment to guide us to Christ but
      I guess my question was more this If people inadvertantly add to
      Christ does this nulify their faith. For example I have a whole bunch
      of relatives that believe that we need faith in Jesus but in their
      opinion as person also NEEDS water baptism for salvation. I also
      have a bunch of Catholic friends who have faith in Christ but feel
      pretty dependent on the church for some aspect of their salvation.
      Although I'm not sure how all of it works for them they are from
      Mexico which puts a different slant on the catholic church. But my
      point here is that people add to their faith all the time not
      conciously thinking if I go church I will be saved or if I am
      involved in evangelism this will secure my salvation but feeling like
      if they don't do these things then they don't mesure up. I have a
      friend who pretty much left the church because of a hugh emphasis to
      participate in a particular form of evangelism and He just couldn't
      do it and it left him feeling so inadequate like he wasn't acceptable
      to God that he just left the whole thing and has not been back in
      years. So in some ways it seems to me that we add to faith (not
      intentionally) all the time by doing stuff that we think will make
      us feel adequate when supposedly Christ alone does this so in Gal 5:1-
      4 you get the impression that all this inadvertant adding to and
      some of it very intentional in the case of my catholic friends and
      relatives becomes a nullifier (Sp?) thus it seems to me making faith
      itself a perfect work. I think? Does that make sense?


      ]
      > <<At this point my list of absolutes has dissolved to there is a
      God and I
      > Need Him! Thus does good faith
      > have to be relational? I would prefer it to be, and deep down I
      think
      > I believe that it is but do I know? >>
      >
      > I think your instincts are good here! Part of knowledge is your
      experience
      > with a person (i.e. it can't be necessarily empirically proven).
      What about
      > your experience of God has led you to think He might be relational?

      You can learn alot about the artist by looking at his work and
      whoever made this world had relationship on the mind because it's
      whole existence is based on things and people relating. Maybe more
      on this later but now it's time for work.

      Connie



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