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Examine Yourselves Whether You Be in the Faith, Part 1
GTY.org ^ | September 24, 1978 | John MacArthur

Posted on 11/21/2013 11:02:12 AM PST by redleghunter

Paul calls for an examination in another passage and I want you to notice this. It's the last chapter of II Corinthians, Chapter 13, and verse 5, I want you to note what it says, Il Corinthians 13:5, just the first sentence, "'Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; (prove it, is what he's saying) prove yourselves." You say to someone "are you a Christian?" 'Yes.' What do you base that on? 'Well so many years ago I made a decision.' That means nothing. The Bible never verifies anybodies salvation on the basis of the past, It's always on the basis of the present, And if you don't have the evident proof of real salvation in your life now, there's a very real possibility you're not a Christian at all, no matter what happened in the past. So examine yourself, to se whether you are in the faith prove yourself. You say John' how do do that? How do I know if I'm really a Christian? I believe! (Maybe you've even been baptized.) I go to church, I, think I'm a Christian.' Look with me Matthew Chapter 5 and let's find out. When Jesus had arrived on the scene, the Jews had already decided what right-living was all about. They had already built their own code. They had already developed their own system, and they had it pretty cu and dried and pretty well laid out that this is what it was to be holy, and it was all external, it was all self-righteousness and works, and Jesus came and shattered that thing and He said I want to give you a new standard for living.

(Excerpt) Read more at gty.org ...


TOPICS: Evangelical Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: bullinger; darby; dispensationalism; faith; hyper; hyperdip; obedience; salvation
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Above is an excerpt. I think it very important to either listen to or read the entire sermon at the link provided.

God Bless

1 posted on 11/21/2013 11:02:12 AM PST by redleghunter
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To: redleghunter

Billy Graham said it best recently, nothing new, many have said this truth, however this is Billy.. its also what I believe.... I paraphrase

I know I am a Christian and am going to Heaven, NOT because I have preached to many, NOT because I go to Church, NOT because of any good deeds I do, but, only because of The Cross of Christ, what Jesus did for me, shedding his blood on the cross, dying for me

Yes works should follow if it was a genuine conversion when we humbled ourselves and asked Jesus into our lives, asking forgiveness for sins, thanking Him for dying on the Cross for our sins, asking him to Be Lord of our life etc.

To completely turn back on God and go the other way is one thing.

But I believe in once saved always saved before I would believe that our salvation vanishes every time a mistake is made, so if those are my choices I believe once saved always saved.

Now if a person is voting for children to be aborted, for God`s Word to be removed from public square and classroom, for Barack Obama, for Bill Clinton, for John Kerry or Al Gore, or even yes Jimmy Carter, then I think we can ask was that persons conversion to Christ ever sincere or genuine

I certainly challenge

Personally I don’t think Christians should be watching modern sitcoms or movies at all. I think all these things are something to be considered.

Liberals love to quote Scripture such as ...let Him without Sin cast the first stone, they say it as if nothing can be questioned at all, they say Jesus was kind and compassionate, absolutely, but he also says go and sin no more

Now I am a sinner saved by grace nothing more, just a dirty rotten sinner saved by the grace of The Lord Jesus Christ and what he did on the Cross for me, but its NOT judging to say that Christians should not vote to kill Gods unborn children, or should not vote to have Christ/God removed from the Public square

It`s only common sense , if people have no concern for a unborn child, or are fine with teaching children that its OK to be homosexual, then yes I challenge absolutely

Even NON Christians realize that abortion is murder, so I don’t think saying we are deceived is a excuse at all

To become a Christian one needs to ask Jesus into their life, attempt to turn from their sin, when if we sin there is forgiveness

Jesus come into my life, thank you for dying on the cross for me, I turn to you Lord God, from my sins through faith in Christ Jesus, come into my Life Lord Save me...

a prayer along those lines would be a very good start

But at some point we have to reach a point when we are not always falling on our faces from various pleasures of the flesh

A single Christian can have zero sex life. Outside of marriage their is no sex life available for a single Christian (not even self gratification)

A single Christian needs to be celibate

The Bible says nothing shall separate us from the love of God

Romans 8 v38,39

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life ,nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing ,shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord

Assuming that our conversion was sincere, that is pretty awesome promise

And Jesus promised to forgive us our sins along the way if we honestly confess and repent

But this idea that salvation can come from works of any kind is from the pit, none of us are good enough by our own merits to be saved, only the blood of Christ, our righteousness is as filthy rags


2 posted on 11/21/2013 12:02:29 PM PST by Friendofgeorge ( Palin 2016 or bust)
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To: Friendofgeorge

Excellent post. Did you get a chance to review the entire sermon? JM recieved a lot of flak for this sermon and the book that followed.


3 posted on 11/21/2013 12:08:26 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: daniel1212; GarySpFc; Elsie; metmom; CynicalBear; roamer_1; boatbums

PING


4 posted on 11/21/2013 12:09:38 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: redleghunter

Thanks for posting. Read it and then some more on that site. Great stuff.


5 posted on 11/21/2013 1:06:00 PM PST by unlearner (You will never come to know that which you do not know until you first know that you do not know it.)
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To: redleghunter

I’m finding that I’m having some issues with what John MacArthur is saying. I’ve never paid much attention to him but have had a couple of encounters with his speeches lately that bother me. When I got to the part where he says “if you are really saved there will be righteousness, there will be holiness,” the red flags went up and they didn’t go back down as I read the rest of the transcript. Sure there will be a changed life and as the new Christian grows there will be more but his focus on what WE are to do is somewhat troubling. It’s Christ’s righteousness and holiness that show through. The whole thing reminded me of the Catholic approach to man doing the work. I see many who “do good works” and rely on those “good works” as their entry into salvation.


6 posted on 11/21/2013 2:00:54 PM PST by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: CynicalBear

He’s setting up standards for behavior that no one can meet.

I liked him a lot at one time. But I’ve noticed over the years that he’s become very severe and harsh in his approach.

We don’t all come to Christ broken to the depths of our soul over our sinfulness. I don’t think you really reach that point right away. The unsaved person does not have that kind of spiritual sensitivity. That comes later, IMO.

The point is not how perfect we are but that we are being conformed to the image of Christ.

Even Lot was called *righteous Lot* in 2 Peter, hardly a term I’s use to describe Lot. Not to mention David and his adultery and murder. What? Was he not saved? And yet God calls him *a man after my own heart*.


7 posted on 11/21/2013 2:53:07 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith....)
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To: CynicalBear

I believe his previous sermon series before this one was on “dead faith” and Jame’s epistle. I think JM saw what happened with televangelism and easy believism and is being reactionary in these sermons. I read an interview transcript on what motivated his book on this sermon. It was having close friends through Christian schools and seminary who went on to deny Christ or live in sin without remorse. I am in the middle of “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ” and he makes the point, as he does in this sermon, the compass heading should have done a 180 when we were saved.

I think his point is the examination. Some kids who grow up in Bible believing Christian churches and make that altar call, are baptized go off to school and then they either move on to be faithful Christians showing the fruits, or you never hear from them or when you do it is not a good report. I did not get the impression he is saying those are not saved, he is just saying if someone repents and has saving faith you will see a change no matter how small and that person will hate the sin that used to enslave them.

I did not get at all that JM is promoting a faith+works salvation. The boldest point I think he made is, well there is a litmus test for us and not others to judge us.

Thus, the title of examining ourselves.

I am reminded of a “Way of the Master” Ray Comfort video where he encountered a man who was clearly a crossdresser and transvestite. When asked if the ‘man’ was saved, the man said “yes I made an altar call many years ago and am living the life God wants me to live.” Of course Ray pointed out to the man the same points JM did in this sermon. I think with all the debates on this forum about works based salvation, we never get to the meat of “if you love Me you will obey Me.” If we say that here (as I just did:)) the responses would be “see works are necessary for salvation.” Well John Mac is not saying that. He is saying what the Bible says. If we are a new creature we will act like one. We won’t be perfect, but those things that kept us from Christ will no longer command us. And it is with this changed heart we love to obey.


8 posted on 11/21/2013 3:10:17 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: metmom
The point is not how perfect we are but that we are being conformed to the image of Christ.

I think that is exactly what JM is getting at. A new child of God will be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. That is what Romans 8 tells us, it is a promise. My take on this sermon (from 1978 during the outbreak of televangelists-'touch the screen to get saved') is JM is saying exactly what you just posted. We who have saving faith will bear the fruit of the work God is doing in us. We won't be perfect (JM says that) and we will sin (JM says that too) but when we do fail Him we will repent (Holy Spirit convicts us) and hate with all our being what we did. I think we all agree that is very Biblical. Perhaps JMacs approach may seem rough around the edges, but what good pastor isn't:)

9 posted on 11/21/2013 3:19:18 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: CynicalBear; redleghunter; metmom
I'm having the same problem with this, CB.

"Being confident of this very thing, that HE which hath BEGUN a good work in you will PERFORM IT until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6).

It is the Holy Spirit who is in us who has begun the good work in us. And HE will continue to do so until Christ comes for us.

We now have peace with GOd through the finished work of Christ. (Rom. 5:1-11).

We now have the ministry of reconciliation, that God has given believers (2 Cor. 5:14-21). Ours is a life of a new creature, saved and commissioned to preach that commission to the lost. Not to be focused on ourselves, but Christ. And the Holy Spirit as He leads, directs, and perfects our life for the glory of God.

10 posted on 11/21/2013 3:50:29 PM PST by smvoice (HELP! I'm trapped inside this body and I can't get out!)
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To: metmom; redleghunter
>> He’s setting up standards for behavior that no one can meet.<<

And doing it in a carnal way it seems to me. He seems to be focusing on the external. Even the question “am I a Christian” followed by some external law keeping criteria puts the focus on the carnal. I realize it’s a fine line sometimes but like you say “we are being conformed” and to demand that all Christians exhibit the same “holiness” or “righteousness” to determine if they are saved is not what scripture teaches. That level of expectation would have the tendency to drive new Christians into believing they must not have been saved after all.

11 posted on 11/21/2013 4:16:18 PM PST by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: redleghunter; metmom
>>Thus, the title of examining ourselves.<<

Can you imagine a just born again Christian comparing themselves to his list of what it takes to be “holy” or “righteous” to determine if they are indeed saved? I surely wouldn’t want them to. I can’t look into his heart and determine what he “meant” but can only hear the tone of his words.

Scripture tells us “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” and that’s good enough for me. After someone “professes with their mouth and believes in their heart” I’ll leave it to the Holy Spirit to write into their heart unless I see direct contradiction to what scripture teaches at which time we are to “exhort, rebuke or correct”.

The external examination simply smacks of legalism. The external can too easily be faked and then self glory expecting salvation on one’s own merit.

12 posted on 11/21/2013 4:25:03 PM PST by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: CynicalBear

The problem I have is that we all struggle with some sin that seems to be a particular weakness for us.

*The sin that so easily besets us*.

Now, I can not do the sin in my flesh, in the body. I have the self-control, but the thought life???

That’s another matter. And Jesus teaches that even thinking some things is the same as doing them. Hating = murder. Lust = adultery.

So the outside can be clean and the inside not.

He comes perilously close to advocating a works based salvation. I honestly think that it’s that kind of severity what has driven people away from churches.

I know how this is coming across sounding, but I do think there needs to be more coming along side someone who is struggling. Not to condone the sin but to encourage. It’s the speck and the log thingie.

Encourage the weak.


13 posted on 11/21/2013 4:31:18 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith....)
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To: CynicalBear

Did he make up his own list? Will have to look at it again. I only caught the Bible references. Will check again.

I will post part 2 tomorrow.


14 posted on 11/21/2013 4:35:24 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: metmom

Excellent post. You have loads of company with struggling.

I will confess you are all taking this sermon like angels compared to how I reacted the first time I heard it.

We have to remember the title is examine ourselves. Your own admission of struggling and hating your sin is what JM is pointing out in the Gospels and epistles.


15 posted on 11/21/2013 4:42:21 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: metmom

I think the overarching point is if the inside is dirty one won’t care what the outside looks like.


16 posted on 11/21/2013 4:44:25 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: CynicalBear

The other problem with depending too much on the external is those who think they are saved because they prayed a prayer some time and added works to it.

There’s a lot of thinking out there that works added to *faith* saves someone and can end up giving a false sense of security.

Some of the most committed believers I know, who loved the Lord deeply, still occasionally swear, drink on occasion, and have even been known to go to bars on occasion!

*gasp*

Turns out some of the best witnessing I’ve done was in a bar with some friends. It’s an unbelievably relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere. Better than many churches I’ve been in, sad to say. And both those people ended up eventually accepting Christ and are genuinely saved.


17 posted on 11/21/2013 4:49:21 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith....)
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To: smvoice

Well said! I shuddered when I read that as I thought about the doubt he could be putting in the hearts of any new Christians who think they all at once would be “holy” and “righteous” in their own eyes in order to be saved. How many would just walk away thinking they must have been “unworthy”?


18 posted on 11/21/2013 4:49:33 PM PST by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: redleghunter
I think the overarching point is if the inside is dirty one won’t care what the outside looks like.

THAT is certainly true.

I am reminded of a friend long ago.

To say the guy was rough around the edges is the understatement of the century. He pushed many of the Christians at church right over the edge.

However, considering where he came from, he made LIGHT YEARS of progress spiritually. I always contended that if all the other Christians who condemned him so freely made as much spiritual progress as he had, that church would have transformed the community. You wouldn't recognize it.

But, no, in their self-righteous back patting, they weren't like him.

Maybe on the outside....

On the inside, I daresay that God was more pleased with his sincere heart than his social decorum.

And there were things in his life that would have been considered blatant sin for someone else. Problem is, he had SO much baggage, that there just some things that had to wait.

In essence, God was dealing with what HE saw as most necessary, not what we think is.

IMO, if someone is making progress, that's all I care about.

19 posted on 11/21/2013 4:57:33 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith....)
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To: metmom
>> Some of the most committed believers I know, who loved the Lord deeply, still occasionally swear, drink on occasion<<

That has always amused me that Christ Himself made water into wine for the guests to drink but some of today’s so called Christians hyperventilate.

>> Turns out some of the best witnessing I’ve done was in a bar with some friends.<<

Same here. It’s really, really sad that people feel more welcome in a bar than they do in many churches. I loved country song where the guy went to church and ended up sitting outside.

20 posted on 11/21/2013 4:58:27 PM PST by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: CynicalBear; metmom; redleghunter

I’ve heard it said before that people are going to be SHOCKED at who is in the rapture...and who is NOT.. I agree with that.


21 posted on 11/21/2013 5:00:28 PM PST by smvoice (HELP! I'm trapped inside this body and I can't get out!)
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To: redleghunter; GarySpFc; Elsie; metmom; CynicalBear; roamer_1; boatbums
Thanks! Having read this previously, I am still impressed that this is very close to the Gospel originally given. The proofs to me, are in the essence though - that 'sin' and 'iniquity' have no meaning without the Torah, and that Yeshua actually presented a more strict interpretation of the Torah (the thought in the mind is every bit as bad as taking the action)... so the onus upon the Christian is necessarily harder on the Christian (having been given that directive as a disciple), albeit that we can throw away the interpretations in the tradition of the rabbis. What is sin, if not the transgression of the Torah? And Yeshua made it more so, not less.

I believe I have said before that the Hebrew sense of 'believe' is to 'hear and do', and 'easy-believism', as you have put it, eliminates the 'do' part, having left the Torah, and resigning 'sin' to something defined ethereally by men, rather than by the only definition that there is, or ever can be. And the believer is left without any proof, any gauge, to see how he is doing, or even an inkling that he should be proving his faith.

An excellent, excellent sermon!

22 posted on 11/21/2013 5:01:30 PM PST by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
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To: redleghunter
I think the overarching point is if the inside is dirty one won’t care what the outside looks like.

Interesting thing is, I have an acquaintance who, by the charismatic standards, is *saved*. She professes to love God and had some kind of experience. She's spoken in tongues, gotten slain in the Spirit, and all that.

And God has honestly delivered her from alcohol.

However, she went back to it and in the more than year that I've known her, has made no progress spiritually.

She's one person who, although God clearly did something for her, I am really beginning to question if she's really saved.

Not because she still struggles. But she isn't evidencing the real kind of changed heart you would expect. Yes, she does want to be freed from her problems but seems to see God as the mechanism for that but does not seem to have a desire to KNOW Him.

23 posted on 11/21/2013 5:02:52 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith....)
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To: CynicalBear; smvoice
Well said! I shuddered when I read that as I thought about the doubt he could be putting in the hearts of any new Christians who think they all at once would be “holy” and “righteous” in their own eyes in order to be saved. How many would just walk away thinking they must have been “unworthy”?

That would have been me at one time.

Some *spiritual giant* like him saying that, that's the conclusion I would have come to, and I likely would have given up trying.

That only leads to torment and doubt. Not what God wants for His children, I daresay.

I know better now, as a mature Christian, but as a new believer, that could be very damaging.

24 posted on 11/21/2013 5:05:53 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith....)
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To: redleghunter; metmom; smvoice
>>Did he make up his own list? Will have to look at it again.<<

No he didn’t. I know I seem to be walking a thin line here but really want to get across that Christians who examine themselves expecting an outward “holiness” or “righteousness”, whatever that may mean to them are going to fall short. What then? Do they walk away thinking they were never saved? Doubting ones salvation isn’t from God it seems to me.

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." (John 5:24)

1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Rom. 3:28-30, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

Rom. 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,"

If our “faith is reckoned as righteousness” why are we to “examine ourselves” other than to ask for strength of faith?

25 posted on 11/21/2013 5:13:40 PM PST by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: metmom; smvoice
Those legalists and Old Testament external law keepers can take a hike as far as I’m concerned. Rightly dividing tells me Paul taught the New Covenant for today rather well.

It was so stark to me the other day when I watched those two videos you pointed me to metmom. The first was from the conference the second was the pastor. The pastor nailed it and my spirit soared. It was long past my bedtime but I couldn't stop watching untill the end.

26 posted on 11/21/2013 5:20:59 PM PST by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: CynicalBear

That was an awesome video, IMO.


27 posted on 11/21/2013 5:50:07 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith....)
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To: metmom

Indeed. We all spend time here on LP defending the Biblically sound Grace by faith. I don’t think JM who many call a Calvinist is peddling a different gospel. He is pointing out what Paul, James, John and Peter tell us, which is to examine ourselves. We are not discussing how one is saved, but how one who is saved obeys his Master.

The RCs stereotype us as antinomians. It is a false accusation. JM is giving a sermon on dead faith. It is very Biblical and SHOULD make us feel uneasy. It is not that we examine ourselves externally or internally to see if we are meriting salvation...May it never be! We examine ourselves as washed in the Blood of Christ Kingdom citizens. For me it has to do with pleasingly Him and what pleases Him is to obey Him because we love Him.

We are the pound puppies. Saved from the dog catchers needle of death, the pound puppy wants to please his master who saved him.


28 posted on 11/21/2013 5:50:19 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: metmom

Amen, and I think the sermon points out we should be pointing in the right direction. Thus my military example of the compass. Before we are saved our compass points to the south pole. When we are Sovereignly led to repentance and are saved the Holy Spirit gives us a new heading to True north. Jesus is at the helm and we obey His orders on maintaining the sail and deck.


29 posted on 11/21/2013 5:58:32 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: redleghunter
And I heard a fellow say the other day, and he was preaching, and he said, "isn't it wonderful that you can come to Jesus Christ and you don't have to change anything on the inside or the outside." That's a lie right out of hell. There better be a transformation.

I don't buy into that and I don't believe the author of the bible does either...This fella seems to have some troube with the definition of repentance...

When I came to Jesus, ask for his salvation, I didn't change a thing...I just know some sort of short lived peace came over me...I was in bad shape...Jesus was my very last resort...

The following night I was still in just as bad a shape...Got out and was just riding around looking for a bar to get drunk in...A little bit in the distance I saw the lights of a church...Something told me I needed to be there...That quick...Had no idea of the denomination

I was plenty nervous but parked the truck and thought I could just sneak in without anyone seeing me...

Nope...No such luck...Turned out to be a Pentecostal church...The second I broke the door, there were a dozen people there hugging me and telling me Jesus loves me and that hit a nerve...I needed to know that...

After that, I didn't change a thing...I continued to hit the bars...That's where my friends were...

Wasn't long before I noticed I wasn't ordering alcohol but drinking Coke...I'd still be sober at the end of the night...

That wasn't the first change...The first one was that I found myself with the weirdest desire to look thru a bible...

It wasn't long after that that I started talking to the drunk people in the bars about God...Shortly after that, I lost any desire to go to bars at all...

The point is, when one comes to Jesus, God will make the change within you...

30 posted on 11/21/2013 7:49:12 PM PST by Iscool
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To: CynicalBear
Well said! I shuddered when I read that as I thought about the doubt he could be putting in the hearts of any new Christians who think they all at once would be “holy” and “righteous” in their own eyes in order to be saved. How many would just walk away thinking they must have been “unworthy”?

Exactly...Salvation is as easy as falling off a chair...This guys makes it sound pretty difficult...And not all that desirable...

31 posted on 11/21/2013 7:55:16 PM PST by Iscool
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To: Iscool

Awesome testimony. Thanks. Great example of the Holy Spirit transforming a life. What I think JM was getting at. I think we deal too much with the “purgatory posse” here on FR that such a sermon puts us on the defensive.


32 posted on 11/21/2013 8:15:12 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: redleghunter

I did read it, I gave my opinion. yes I sidetracked a little bit in my response/

Not at all familiar with JM, I found it awfully long, I am not great with posts that long

I guess in response I would want to add .....Salvation is a free gift of God.

We are saved by grace through faith, not of works lest any man should boast

Not suggesting the author did not agree with that, just that I like to keep it simpler


33 posted on 11/21/2013 9:32:24 PM PST by Friendofgeorge ( Palin 2016 or bust)
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To: metmom; CynicalBear; redleghunter
Some of what I hear from MacArthur sure sounds like what was called "Lordship Salvation". I think he has skated too close to that line many times and comes across as implying a works-based salvation rather than sanctification being a lifelong process for a believer that starts with receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and believing in him. Repentance means to "change your mind" and not to "turn from sin" as is often expressed by preachers like him. If we believe that grace is what saves us through faith, then that is the only way we can be saved and never because of righteous deeds that we do. It's ALL grace.

I think the reason why some preachers talk like he does is they are afraid of being accused of preaching "easy believism" - the idea that we just walk forward at an altar call, say we believe in Jesus and then, that's it, we go to heaven when we die and God doesn't care how we live until then. Of course, NOBODY really teaches that, it's a rhetorical extremist device to get people to back away from the truth of grace and lean towards works AND faith being required to be saved. We shouldn't be pressured into falling into that trap - and it IS a trap.

Instead, we should do as Paul said - through the Holy Spirit, of course - that a genuine faith WILL result in a life that is moved to do the works God has prepared for us to do. It is a realization that the old, godless, sinful life no longer holds the attraction it once did. We find that, the closer we move towards God, the less sin appeals to us and we start to see that we really HAVE had something change deep within us. Before we came to Christ, sin's temptation was hard to resist, but after, we find we HAVE power now to be able to resist sin and what once appealed to us now repulses us and we feel shame over past sins. THAT, I believe, is the evidence that we ARE born again. The Holy Spirit within us bears witness to our spirit that we are the children of God.

Do we wake up the next day after giving our life to Christ completely changed into a perfect, sinless person? Not usually, at least most people won't but there WILL be change - with some faster to reach holy living than others. Even Paul, twenty five years after his experience on the road to Damascus said that he STILL faced a spiritual tug of war between his old sin nature and his new spirit nature and that it was through the strength of Jesus Christ that he could prevail over sin. That, through Christ, he could do all things. I think the very fact that we are experiencing this going on in our lives is proof that we ARE His sheep and that we ARE His redeemed and WILL be in heaven when we die.


34 posted on 11/21/2013 10:19:35 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: metmom; CynicalBear; redleghunter
I know how this is coming across sounding, but I do think there needs to be more coming along side someone who is struggling. Not to condone the sin but to encourage. It’s the speck and the log thingie. Encourage the weak.

Yes, encouraging those who are weak among us and not being a stumbling block to them, either. Sometimes we do that in the name of legalism. The part where we are exhorted to not be a cause of someone tripping up had to do with the liberty we have in Christ (i.e., drinking wine, eating the meat that had been offered to false gods, etc.) in I Corinthians 8, but also in Romans 14, we are told:

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. (Romans 14:1)

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. (Romans 14:13-19)

There comes a time where we have to just trust the Holy Spirit to work what needs to happen in a brother or sister in the Lord's life. We can only take our discipling responsibilities so far and then step back, pray for them, be a good example and be there when they need you, and trust that God has them in the palm of His hands, never to lose them, cast them away, forsake them or let them be plucked out - even if they try to themselves.

35 posted on 11/21/2013 10:40:56 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: redleghunter
What I think JM was getting at. I think we deal too much with the “purgatory posse” here on FR that such a sermon puts us on the defensive.

Coming out of Catholicism, yeah, I'd have to say that he does sound too close to Catholicism for my comfort. That's the issue I have even with the Reformed. it comes across as too sterile and harsh.

36 posted on 11/22/2013 2:03:56 AM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith....)
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To: boatbums

You mailed it, as usual.

Thanks for putting into words what I was trying to say.


37 posted on 11/22/2013 2:08:30 AM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith....)
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To: boatbums
Psalm 103:8-14 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

38 posted on 11/22/2013 2:12:01 AM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith....)
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To: CynicalBear
Same here. It’s really, really sad that people feel more welcome in a bar than they do in many churches. I loved country song where the guy went to church and ended up sitting outside.

The Outlaws Prayer by Johnny Paycheck most likely from what you are saying.

Another artist as liberal as can be wrote or sang two songs that IMO are two great sermons in just over three minutes. The guy is Kris Kristofferson. He wrote and sang Why Me aka {Why Me Lord} the other was actualy written by Larry Gatlin and sang by both him and Kristofferson called "Help Me". Then I stop and think about another song Kristofferson did called The Pilgrim Chapter 33 which at one point without GOD's intervention could have been my outcome.

Another good sermon in a song IMO is "America Again" by Carmen. If I could name one country artist album that has goten me through many years of different challanges I would have to say Willie Nelson's "Troublemaker" album. It's the one I learned to play six string by. IMO it's his best work. I also like an album Emmylou Harris and Ricky Skaggs did called Roses in the snow namely three songs on it. The Darkest Hour, Green Pastures, and Jordon which also has Johnny Cash.

39 posted on 11/22/2013 2:41:06 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: boatbums
Instead, we should do as Paul said - through the Holy Spirit, of course - that a genuine faith WILL result in a life that is moved to do the works God has prepared for us to do. It is a realization that the old, godless, sinful life no longer holds the attraction it once did. We find that, the closer we move towards God, the less sin appeals to us and we start to see that we really HAVE had something change deep within us.

Excellent comments sister...all of them. When I read the full sermon I did not come back with the impression JM was saying we would be perfect "walkers" in His Way right away or ever until we are glorified. I think his point was the compass has to be pointed in the right direction.

Again, your response speaks volumes on your walk with Christ.

40 posted on 11/22/2013 10:27:47 AM PST by redleghunter
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To: metmom

I will say Spurgeon gave quite the same types of sermons. He was very direct.


41 posted on 11/22/2013 10:33:44 AM PST by redleghunter
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To: daniel1212; GarySpFc; Elsie; metmom; CynicalBear; roamer_1; boatbums
Below link is part 2 to this topic for those interested:

Examine Yourselves Part 2

I want to thank all who responded and commented.

God Bless!

42 posted on 11/23/2013 4:20:15 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: redleghunter; Alex Murphy; bkaycee; blue-duncan; boatbums; caww; count-your-change; CynicalBear; ...

I have FINALLY figured out what has been bugging me about this.

We are to exam ourselves to find out if we are in *the faith*, as if faith is something to be in.

Catholics use the term *the faith* as a synonym for Catholicism. Others use it in terms of religion, as in a denomination.

It’s not my being in *the faith* that saves me. I’m not saved because I’m in *the faith*, I’m saved because I’m in Jesus.
It’s Jesus who saves me THROUGH the mechanism of faith. *The faith* is not a thing.

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

So, I am not going to see if I’m in *the faith* because being a religious system does not do anything for me.


43 posted on 11/23/2013 4:49:31 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith....)
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To: metmom

bump


44 posted on 11/23/2013 4:52:08 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: metmom; redleghunter; CynicalBear; boatbums; mitch5501
And I agree 100%.

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Gal. 2:20).

It is the faith OF CHRIST that sustains my life now. He is IN ME and I am IN HIM. That is why I can have assurance, salvation, redemption, sanctification, justification, and a heavenly hope. If I were depending on my faith, it would most certainly have to be examined. There is a big difference. One will free you, the other makes you a slave to your own abilities.

45 posted on 11/23/2013 4:58:11 PM PST by smvoice (HELP! I'm trapped inside this body and I can't get out!)
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To: GeronL; redleghunter; GarySpFc; Elsie; metmom; CynicalBear; roamer_1; boatbums; cva66snipe
Turns out some of the best witnessing I’ve done was in a bar with some friends. It’s an unbelievably relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere. Better than many churches I’ve been in, sad to say. And both those people ended up eventually accepting Christ and are genuinely saved. -MM

I was sitting out front of a little eatery the other night, here in Davao City, Philippines. Most of the people there were Roman Catholic. Most of them were pedicab drivers and were now relaxing and drinking Tanduay Rum. I got into a discussion with one young man, visiting from the mountains nearby, and discovered when I quoted Scripture, he would name the chapter and verse. Upon query, I found he was Protestant and came from a church which teaches well.

As we talked, the drivers began asking questions and showing interest in the conversation. We didn't convert any that evening but I saw some seed was sown!

As for this thread, only one Scripture comes to mind that directly answers all...

Romans 7: 14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

46 posted on 11/23/2013 5:11:28 PM PST by WVKayaker ("Because nothing says "rugged individualism" like heavy-handed big government.../sarc" -Sarah Palin)
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To: redleghunter

Excellent commentary on Hebrews.

Much of that book has given a lot of people a lot of trouble and I’ve heard many pastors try to explain it who didn’t do such a good job.


47 posted on 11/23/2013 5:12:11 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith....)
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To: metmom

I agree! I also was rather bothered by the term and the whole attitude of the piece. But you are correct.


48 posted on 11/23/2013 5:17:18 PM PST by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: redleghunter; TNMountainMan; alphadog; infool7; Heart-Rest; HoosierDammit; red irish; fastrock; ...

“Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.

I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?”

Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.

For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.

This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum
Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”

Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you?

What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.
And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him

Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”

Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you twelve? Yet is not one of you a devil?”

He was referring to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot; it was he who would betray him, one of the Twelve.” [John 6: 49-71]


49 posted on 11/23/2013 5:17:25 PM PST by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
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To: WVKayaker

I know a guy who’s a Christan and a used car dealer.

Kinda sounds like an oxymoron, but the guy is really on fire for the Lord and he reaches a lot of unsuspecting people who think they’re going into his office just to buy a car.

He reaches people who would never darken the door of a church. But everyone needs a car to drive. And he’s not threatening as talking to a pastor would be. People freeze up around pastors and try to impress them but everyone can feel better about themselves than a used car dealer.

There’s something about a relaxed atmosphere that does wonders for sharing the gospel.


50 posted on 11/23/2013 5:19:05 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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