gospels

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Re: gospels

Postby pipermac » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:53 am

Brothers and Sisters,
I speak very much from personal experience. This is my testimony. I grew up in a very legalistic, but theologically-correct home. My father was a Presbyterian pastor. I was that "Christian", that Elder, that Deacon, that Sunday School teacher, that talked the same, laughed at and told the same dirty jokes as my work-mates. I wasn't salt and light. I am, with the Apostle Paul, the "chief of sinners". My "sins are ever before me" with the Psalmist. I looked good, smelled good...at least from a distance, but was rotten to the core. My "Christianity" had been about keeping a set of rules, which I didn't keep very well.

Don't even get me started on church politics, because I have seen way too many evil dealings in churches to last me five lifetimes. Dad got thrown of of one church because of a power struggle. He had brought too many people of the "wrong kind" into the church, and that was eroding away at the power base of the old-timers. After they threw dad out, most of the "newcomers" left, and all that was left was the handful of "old-timers". I had just gone into the service when this all happened.

Maybe that, and my legalistic upbringing, were a big part of why I rebelled while I was in the service. I rarely darkened the door of a church the whole time I was in the service, because I said "If these people are "Christians", I don't want any part of it". I did everything I wasn't allowed to do growing up. After getting out of the service, I started going back to church, but all I had was religion. Sure I could talk the talk with the best of them, but I really didn't know anything about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I was still trying to do it on my own.

Years later, I taught Sunday School, became a Deacon, and finally an Elder. Sure, I was a "believer", and a theologically-correct one at that, but I didn't have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I did it my way. I even got thrown out of the church I was an Elder in...

Then the Good News of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ started sinking in. I could no longer do it on my own. I had to become dependent on Him. I had to accept His righteousness, because I really had none of my own. "Nothing in my hands I bring. Simply to Thy cross I cling..."

Now, I am that outcast...that loser, that "sinner". I am that person the goody-two-shoes don't want to associate with. I am that many-marriages, many-divorces man that doesn't fit in, because I don't fit into the typical mold of a "good Christian". I am different. I care. I want to be salt and light to those sick and hurting people most churches want nothing to do with, because I have "been-there, done-that, and got the T-shirt". Maybe I am different because God wants me to be different, so my experiences give me more love and compassion for those who know they need the Great Physician. My arms are open wide. Anyone need a big hug, come on over.

God bless!
Steve
1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1, 1:14
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Re: gospels

Postby prairieboy » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:25 am

pipermac wrote:Then the Good News of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ started sinking in. I could no longer do it on my own. I had to become dependent on Him. I had to accept His righteousness, because I really had none of my own. "Nothing in my hands I bring. Simply to Thy cross I cling..."

But now you can look at yourself in the mirror of God's Word and declare, "I AM RIGHTEOUS," with that perfect, blameless, righteousness. If I ever get to Florida I will come and collect on that hug.
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Re: gospels

Postby jochanaan » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:39 pm

If we do not point out others' errors because "we're not perfect either," there would never be any growth in Christ. But we must be careful not to do the errors we point out, and also to do everything only to build up Jesus' Kingdom--not to "puff ourselves up" or put others down.
You can live your life in fear--or you can live your life.
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Re: gospels

Postby Ramblinman » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:56 pm

Amen, Jochanaan! We all have blind spots. but that doesn't mean that we let our friends stumble over furniture that is on their blind side, for fear that we are "judging" them. We help one another in a spirit of humility.
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Re: gospels

Postby natman » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:29 pm

jochanaan wrote:If we do not point out others' errors because "we're not perfect either," there would never be any growth in Christ. But we must be careful not to do the errors we point out, and also to do everything only to build up Jesus' Kingdom--not to "puff ourselves up" or put others down.


I am not too sure I agree with this sentiment. A good example is Alcoholics Annomous. They point out the errors of drinking. However, they also know that they themselves are susceptible to and will often "fall off the wagon". This does not destroy their credibility to point out the errors of drinking in themselves and especially in others. In fact, it shows how much they need each other for understanding and support.

The Church is filled with sick people (sinners) helping other sick people (also sinners), all the time pointing to the One (Christ Jesus) Who has the power to heal them perfectly and permanently.
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

Get exposed to the sun, and get exposed to the Son.
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Re: gospels

Postby prairieboy » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:26 pm

Who says you have to point out the error of their ways? They are probably very aware of their sin. They are likely feeling shame and condemnation enough for ten people. They need to be shown love and forgiveness. Okay, I know that there comes a time for sterner measures, but do it when the Holy Spirit tells you it is time. The best way to convince people of the error of their ways is to live in victory oneself. Demonstrate in your life the fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance. Christians who want to live for Christ will want what you have. If you are the light of the world, you will expose what is wrong. What does more good, talking about the dirt in the room, or switching on the light?
John 7:38
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
As April Wine sang back in the 70s, The Whole World's Going Crazy. If you demonstrate the abundant life the Jesus talked about. Salvation is about so much more than just going to heaven, it is peace during times of turmoil, it is joy when things are against you, it is love to those that are against you, it is health when sickness is going around. Believe it, live it. Those that want more than they have will be open to listening. Those that don't want a closer walk with God, well, there is a verse about casting your pearls before swine.
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Re: gospels

Postby Ramblinman » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:41 am

prairieboy,

If you venture beyond what the Holy Spirit has told you, then it's just you talking. We all do it, but hopefully less as we learn how painful it is not to.

The gospels are a mixture of tough love and gentle talk. Sometimes his saints use both, (as the Lord leads of course).

John the Baptist was stern with those who needed it, gentle to those who repented.
His candor did cost him his life, but I see nothing in the Bible that condemns his choice of words.
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