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Open Letter To All Religious Churchians



To whomsoever it may concern, for whom Christ died,



    In my house, we have been praying that we will be worthy of his coming, and that our garments are not mothed and dirty. [Luke 21:36, James 5:2, Revelation 3:4, Revelation 16:15] I have something that I want to repent of. The only way that I can see to be able to explain it to you is with a letter and verses. Many of these verses you will know, so I have tried to just put references to them instead of making this too long to read.


    The Bible says confess your faults to your brethren, [James 5:16] “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”


It also says, “test the spirits.” [1 Thessalonians 5:20–21, 1 John 4:1]


    While I was in Florida we went out and did some witnessing with a friend, the guy that I went with confused me so much that I had to go through and make sure that what I knew was correct. We should have a good understanding of forgiveness/atonement and how its mechanics works. I am very technical, so if something doesn’t make sense I have issues, it is just how God made me. I am not going to go into the back story, because it is too long, basically the guy would give a partial Gospel going off in all kinds of directions. However, this is what I found in the bible about how forgiveness/atonement works. I have known parts of this but not all put together, I guess that is what happens when you have to listen to your dad every Sunday preach… la, la, la, la, la.


    Starting with when Adam and Eve sinned God showed them that there must be a payment for the sin they committed. God sacrificed an animal (quite possibly a sheep). God show them that it he requires blood to pay for a crime committed against him. This is seen all the way through the Old Testament when Abel offered an animal and having faith in the blood sacrifice [Heb 11:4]. When Noah, sacrificed and burned and offered on an altar [Gen 8:20]. When Abraham offered Isaac on the altar and God gave a sheep to sacrifice instead. When Moses, built altars and called upon the name of the Lord. During the Passover in Egypt they had to apply the blood. Leviticus 17:11 says, that the blood makes atonement for the soul. And [Heb 12:24] says, that what Jesus did speaketh better things than that of Abel. [Heb 9:7-28, Heb 10:4], and [Heb 10:19] explains this in extreme detail. It talks about ‘how’ the patterns apply from Old Testament into the New Testament. And so the Gospel is spelled out in [1 Corinthians 15:1-4]. I have also found that Peter got in trouble by Paul for making the gentiles behave like the Jews in [Galatians 2:10]. Peter repented and changed his mind and said in [2 Peter 3:15] that Paul was given wisdom that we should learn. In [1 Corinthians 15:3] it talks about “how” Christ Died and the latter in Hebrews explains the how.


    So then, they used a blood sacrifice to call upon the name of the Lord. However, “Call” seems to have changed in meaning through the years. Webster's Dictionary says,


    1. To name,

    2. To request to meet or come,

    3. To invite,

    4. To appoint or designate,

    5. To invoke or appeal to,

    6. To utter a loud sound,

    7. To draw into union with Christ, to bring to know, believe and obey the gospel.


    Romans 10:13-14 says, Call upon the name of the Lord, and then it says, how then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? [2Ti 2:22] says, Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Because [Eph 2:8-9] says it is not of works, that means you cannot “DO” anything to be saved and forgiven. I do not want to be guilty of honouring Jesus with my lips: [Mar 7:6] He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with [their] lips, but their heart is far from me. [Mar 7:7] Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men. [Mar 7:8] For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. Also, there are examples of how words have changed through history, today we would think that the word “letteth” means “to permit or to allow” in [2 Thessalonians 2:7], however in the bible dictionary the same word means “hinder/restrain/hold back.”


John R. Rice said:


Many people believe that a sinner cannot be saved without a period of prayer, without consciously calling upon God. However, the Bible does not say that a sinner must pray in order to be saved. In fact, immediately following the verse in [Rom. 10:13] is an explanation which shows that calling on God is an evidence of faith in the heart and that it is really faith which settles the matter... No matter how long he prays, if he does not trust in Christ, he can never be saved. If he trusts in Christ without conscious prayer, then he is saved already. There is just one plan of salvation and just one step a sinner must take to secure it. That step is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!


Charles H. Spurgeon said: 


Thou art to be saved by faith in Christ...and in Christ alone. Do not think thou must experience this, or that, before thou comest unto Jesus...Rely not on anything thou canst DO, or THINK, or SAY, or know; rest alone on Jesus only, and thou art saved. Give up all other trusts, and rely on Jesus alone, alone on Jesus, and thou shalt pass from death unto life.  ~ written in The Sword and The Trowel Magazine 1895 “Christ's Atoning Sacrifice.”


    In a book, God's Plan With Men, T.T. Martin (1862-1939) wrote, in which he shows that it's IMPOSSIBLE for man to obtain salvation from God by “asking for it in prayer.” Several excerpts:


When one faces the question of his sins and realizes that he deserves just punishment, one of the first impulses is to pray and beg God to be let off, to be forgiven. Alas! Much of the religious instruction to the sinner is to the same effect. Many feel that God forgives the sinner because he begs to be forgiven instead of because he accepts and relies upon the atoning death of Christ as his Substitute. But God does not forgive a lost sinner just because he begs for forgiveness. 


Jesus to Nicodemus gave no such instruction [John 3:14-16]. Philip to the eunuch gave no such instruction [Acts 8:29-39]. Paul and Silas to the jailer gave no such instruction [Acts 16:30, 31]. Peter to the household of Cornelius gave no such instruction [Acts 10:42,43].


The Gospel of John, the one book specially given to lead a sinner to be saved, gives no such instruction [John 20:30,31].


    T.T. Martin shows that man's first desire when found guilty is to BEG or ASK to be forgiven. But this is not the Gospel. God never tells anyone to ask Him for forgiveness. If salvation were obtained by simply uttering a prayer or begging God to be let off, then Jesus would not have had to die on the cross! He could have stayed in heaven and used a prophet to tell us, “Okay, now I'm starting a new dispensation. Anyone who just prays, begging me for salvation, I'll accept and give them the new birth!” I have been guilty of this and I didn’t even know it!


T.T. Martin continues by giving us the illustration of judicial law. He says: 


Every transgression must have “a just recompense of reward,” however sorry the sinner may be, however much he may pray and beg to be forgiven, let off; however much the priest or preacher or friends may pray for him to be forgiven, to be let off. A man who has violated the state law falls on his knees before the judge, confesses his sin and begs the judge to forgive him, to let him off; and he calls men from the audience to come and help him beg. The judge replies, “If I should yield to these petitions I would be a perjurer; I would trample on law. Every transgression must receive a just recompense of reward.” Would that all could realize that every prayer from sinner, priest, or preacher, for a sinner to be forgiven, let off, is a prayer to God to become a perjurer. If sinners could realize that, after all their kneeling every night and confessing their sins, and praying to be forgiven, to be let off, every sin ever committed is still there, and that “Apart from shedding of blood there is no remission,” they would then realize their real need of a Saviour, a Redeemer.


No righteous judge in any court of law would let a condemned man go free simply because he “asked to be let go” or “prayed that he give him leave.”


Next, to define repentance is to feel pain, sorrow, or regret for something done or spoken, also to change one’s mind on the subject. [Luke 13:3-5]. 


Examples of sacrifices and unrepentant hearts that were rejected by God (Esau, Nadab, Abihu, Judas):


  • Esau in [Hebrews 12:16-17], Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. Esau prayed and cried and God rejected him. He didn’t feel sorry for what he did.
  • Nadab and Abihu tried to innovate the sacrificial system, the violations that got them in trouble was unauthorized entry, lack of reverence, and offered strange fire, they used fire from another source and should have used the fire from the brazen altar, I found that it is suggested that they were intoxicated also and then God consumed them with fire. Leviticus 10.
  • Judas Iscariot called upon Jesus with “Hail, Master” [Matthew 26:49]. [Matthew 27:3-4] says, Judas REPENTED HIMSELF and saying I HAVE SINNED to the elders. He did not repent to God and he sure did not trust the Blood of Jesus to forgive him (verbal confession). Judas made confession to a priest, just as every Roman Catholic does. But they do not receive forgiveness of sins because of it, and neither did Judas. Forgiveness only comes through trusting the blood of Jesus [Eph. 1:7]. Clearly, the moment a person BELIEVES, he is saved [Eph. 1:13]. Paul plainly tells us in [2 Corinthians 4:13] “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I BELIEVED, and THEREFORE have I SPOKEN; we also believe, and therefore speak.” After a sinner's saved, he will SPEAK, or CONFESS that he is saved! SPEAKING THE CONFESSION itself isn't what saves a man, FAITH is necessary for God to give a man the new birth. But, if a man is saved, he will then CONFESS that he has trusted Christ as his Saviour!


    So, there is a group of people that God speaks of, and that “Says Lord, Lord”; I do not want to be part of this group! In [Matthew 7:21-23], we see people who called upon the Lord, but were never saved:  Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. They are trusting in what they did, prophesy, casting out devils, many wonderful works… Matthew 7 tells us that they did not have faith from the heart in the finished work of Christ.


    There are things in the Old Testament that are used as a way to show how salvation works, [Luke 18:13-14] as an example of forgiveness is Old Testament. The New Testament starts where Jesus Died, was buried, and rose again, and his blood hit the ground, and after he rose he ascended to heaven to offer himself up to God as our Atonement for sin. Luke 18, is not an example after Jesus died. Also when Peter said “Lord, Save Me” [Matthew 14:30] he didn’t want to drown, he was not asking Jesus to save his soul, he called for physical salvation of his life, not spiritual salvation of his soul. Then as we know Peter denied Jesus, so we know he had a heart problem. Those are a few examples of calling upon the Lord in the wrong way, and I do not want to be guilty of this.


    How does God Forgive us? [Mat 6:12] And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. [Mat 6:14] For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: As? If? For the As and If we find in Luke 17:3 the process that is given for us to forgive each other. [Luk 17:3] Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. So in the process, it goes step 1. Rebuke(express disapproval), step 2. If he feels sorry and changes his mind(repents) then go to 3 if not go back to step 1, step 3. (Forgive) him. Luke 17:4 says if the entire process fails repeat the process steps 1-3. So in this order we learn that the Holy Ghost Convicts(rebuke), I feel sorry and change my mind about my direction(repent), it is God’s job to (Forgive)! In the above process we do not find anything that tells us that we must “Ask” for forgiveness so that we might receive it. Also remember that the Lords prayer is putting the Law on a pedestal, you would think that forgiveness is conditional if you only teach the Lords Prayer, remember, this was given pre-Cross. Are we not in trouble if we are only forgiven by how much we forgive? Is it a me centered gospel or Jesus Centered Gospel? Is forgiveness once for all or is it progressive little by little?


[Hebrews 10:10] By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all].


    I cannot find anything in the bible that says “Ask for your sins to be forgiven.”, “Ask and you will be saved.” I cannot find anything of the sort. So as we know: [Luk 6:45] A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.


Thus, I have repented from “Asking for Forgiveness.”


  • The old me every night and all the time:

    “Dear Lord, please forgive me of (x sin) that I have done that displeases you. Help me to do better. (over and over every time I fail)”
    • The Short version during the day when something happens; “Please forgive me.”
  • The new me every night and all the time:

    “Dear Lord, I am sorry for (x sin) that I have done that has displeased you, do not want to do it again, please help me to do better, Thank You O Lord for your Forgiveness/Atonement in this matter because you said ‘IT IS FINISHED’.”
    • The Short version during the day when something happens; “Sorry Lord, Thank You for your Forgiveness.”


    The old me was constantly asking for forgiveness, the new me is constantly giving thanks after I repent and even when I forget to repent. When Jesus forgives us of all sins, it is for the Past-Present-Future, so all I can do is say I am sorry and give thanks.


[Eph 2:8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:


    If forgiveness/salvation/atonement is a gift, how can I “Ask” for it? All that is left is to “Receive” it, and show God my gratitude. What do you say when you receive a Christmas Present? “Thank You!” [Psalm 30:12] and [1 Thessalonians 2:13] says we should give thanks forever that believe!!! This verse says that ‘by faith Christ is in us’ it does not tell you to “ask” for it. [Eph 3:17] That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith… see companion verses [Galatians 2:20, 2 Thessalonians 1:10, Colossians 1:27, Galatians 4:19, Galatians 1:15-16, 2 Corinthians 4:6-7, Romans 8:10].


    I have noticed with my children that it drives me nuts when they ask every 30 seconds for something. God has to be annoyed when I was constantly ‘asking for forgiveness’ all the time when He said ‘IT IS FINISHED’!


Do you believe man or do you believe what God says about the New Covenant?


Did you know that there is a transition from the Old to the New?


[Hebrews 8:7] For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second [covenant].


In Christ and in Love (Eph 3:17), 

Matthew, for whom Christ died!


Video's pertaining to the subject:


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106 comments:

  1. beautiful,...transforming

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  2. I love this post. Thank you Matt.

    Along the same line of thinking, the below pasted forum post REALLY helped me have a firm foundation for what is repentance. Robert Breakers videos about the blood where important for me too.

    board.unsealed.org/thread/213/repentance

    I grew up in a Baptist Church and had fallen into a confessional "loop," so to speak. I had an understanding that salvation is by faith in Jesus' shed blood on the cross and I had "asked Jesus into my heart" when I was young and had repeatedly over the course of my life been asking for forgiveness for my sins. Nevertheless, I don't think that understanding or even asking necessarily correlated with actually possessing a faith that Jesus's shed blood HAD BEEN APPLIED to my own soul.

    Why would I repeatedly ask God to save me or have doubts in my heart, if the inner man within me truly believed that I was?

    The hard truth is that if I had at that time truly believed, I wouldn't have asked! Therefore, such doubt revealed that the faith I had was not FULLY in Jesus. I guess that I still had doubts that Jesus would do for me, what I at that time I already knew he could do for me. I needed an anchor and that anchor is "THROUGH faith in his blood." I needed to understand the "through."

    Faith + Doubts =/= "not equal to" Faith

    Basically, I had to properly understand repentance, to be able to get off my "confessional" knees and instead make my stand in God's faithfulness being my victory. His shed blood on the cross is the atonement for my sins. Mechanically, for years I already known that part, but I still needed to separate out confession from salvation, so that 100% of my confidence could rest on Jesus's death, burial and resurrection on the cross.

    I guess my point is that having faith is more than just an understanding and even a request to God to be saved. No, REAL FAITH is so firmly rooted in the truth that Jesus is faithful to save those who believe in his propitiation, that there is no doubts. I stopped asking myself when I got saved because I no longer cared about "being sure" of a date and instead I (or probably the Holy Spirit) cast out all doubt by believing the Holy Spirit HAD ALREADY baptized me into the body of Christ. Hillary's follow up article to your "The Lawless Lawkeeper's" helped me too.

    Anyways, the same very moment that my heart possessed this unwavering faith, is I believe the same moment that I was truly baptized into the body of Christ. Who cares when? I sure don't care when. I'm more than content just resting in the faithfulness of Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. He gave me this faith and there's nothing that can shake it.

    Basically, I never had peace until I stopped confessing and started believing.

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    1. I agree like 99% - but what of John 1:9

      "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

      I liked the article - Just trying to include John 1:9 into the process.

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    2. Unknown; I believe you mean 1 John; and in learning what was written above and thinking on it, and reading 1st John in several different versions of the bible, I believe it is possible the meaning intent was if we confess that we are sinners and need the blood of Christ then perhaps it fits. (I am not trying to rewrite scripture or anything; perhaps someone who is better studied in translations of the ancient text, could say so better.) Just my thought on it.

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    3. Lyndsey - yes, thank you for the correction :) 1 Jn. 1:9 I think confession to God is acknowledging our sin - God I did this sin. He forgives us of the sin whatever it is, and because of what HE has done, the punishment is already taken care of. The confession cleanses our conscience and guilt and allows us to move forward without condemnation. I have found that when I sin, I usually am pretty clear that it IS sin, but my believe in God doesn't change at all. It's outside my confession. I KNOW AND BELIEVE without hesitation about who God is, what Christ as done for me, and nobody or anything can take that away. I literally can't deny what I know to be true. But because of sin, like the article said, the sin keeps me in check and dependent on God - which is maybe why sin is in the world in the first place - the age old question WHY? WHY GOD is this your perfect plan - to include so much suffering and evil. One could say this is what God ordained and they wouldn't be far off - but He of course HAS A PURPOSE in it that we may not ever know until we are with Him. I have seen first hand what polished holy living looks like in people who are in ministry - sometimes they look so good, you start to wonder if they ever struggle with any sin in their lives. They are in such a high position of leadership and have so much responsibility and accountability (think BUBBLE), that sometimes I wonder if they aren't out of step a little bit with the average everyday "sinner" who is exposed to the world at hand. Their confession is no less genuine of course - seems that the less we sin, the more pronounced it is when we DO sin. I sometimes feel as though people in the church think they sin so much less that they can go a day without sinning. I don't know if that is possible. I don't think anyone can go even half a day with sinning - I mean if you look in the mirror while using the restroom and like the way you look, or think your posture is great, or even just have a passing glance that you've arrived in any way no matter how miniscule, that is pride and it is a sin. I know people who think they don't sin much anymore... which I believe is a real misunderstanding about the nature of sin. thanks for listening.

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    4. Yes, I think we need to view 1 John 1:9 in light of 1 Corinthians 15:3. This is the "confession" John had in mind. The context is acknowledgment of sin (1 John 1:10) not recitation of sin.

      We've been wired and programmed to connect "confess your sins" with images of the priest in the booth, or admitting wrongdoing to a confidant, but in Bible speak, "confess" has a meaning like "confession of faith," "acknowledgment," etc.

      The gospel is:

      1. Christ died for our sins

      2. Was buried

      3. Rose again

      If we don't acknowledge our sins, we can't believe Christ died for our sins. It's the same thing. Two sides of the same coin.

      It should also be noted 1 John 1:9 is the only instance of confession of sins related to forgiveness found in the epistles.

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    5. 1st John 1:9 is not about our Salvation.

      When people walk away from God AKA backslide that is when 1st John 1:9 comes into play.

      People don't lose their salvation when they backslide but when they confess their sins he is faithful and just to forgive their sins and to cleanse them.
      The key word here is cleanse. To be cleansed of all unrighteousness is to be brought back into Fellowship with God or to be brought back into His will for your life.

      It is something that can only happen after someone is saved by believing on and trusting in Jesus Christ and his finished work at the cross.

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    6. @Gary, what a wonderful mic drop!

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    7. I have to disagree with Gary here. 1st John chapter 1 clearly discusses in context our state of fellowship with God. The forgiveness spoken of here is not concerning our judicial or positional forgiveness of God after a believer receives Christ, but rather relational forgiveness that concerns every believers walk with Christ.

      The reason to confess our sin is God's way of cleansing His children. We are all inevitably going to stumble in our walk with Christ. Confessing sin is admitting that we need God to make our paths straight, instead of walking our own way, it's our way of relying on Him in our walk. Confessing sin isn't anything new just look to Ezra 10:1:

      Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore.

      Similarly in Leviticus 5 confession was a part of the process to keep in fellowship with God. Christ is the ultimate sacrifice, but we must look to Him and not ourselves to maintain His fellowship and blessing. The parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-22) pictures this same process. We are still God's children when we live a life for ourselves, but we deprive ourselves from God's blessing and fellowship. Once we turn back to our Father and confess our sins like the prodigal son, we are restored with fellowship and blessing. Confessing we fall short is acknowledging we need God to fight our battles instead of venturing forth on our own.

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    8. Just another man's opinion: When we confess our sin we are acknowledging, to God, that we recognize what we did was sinful. The more our relationship with God grows the more we recognize the sins we commit. This in turn helps sustain us the next time an opportunity arises for us to sin in a similar fashion. Therefore we confess or acknowledge our sins before God not to ask for forgiveness, which has already been provided through Yeshua’s sacrifice on the cross, but to strengthen our relationship with the Father through an understanding our own failings.

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  3. Just for context, asking of God in scripture. I limited to New Testament, for there are way too many!
    A couple points I will make. Even though you know your parents will and do forgive you, is it not a sign of respect to ask for it and not to continue in the manner you asked forgiveness for? Why would all the apostles and Jesus tell us anything we ask for in his name, and or in accordance with his will, will be given us, if asking for forgiveness was frowned upon or not accepted? The knowledge that He will always forgive us if we repent of our sin, is not saying that showing the respect of asking Him, thereby acknowledging our deed and humbling ourselves, is to be abandoned. Jesus himself asked the father to forgive those who crucified him, so asking forgiveness is good for other peoples sin but not our own?

    Matthew 6:8, Matthew 7:7, Matthew 7:11, Matthew 18:19, Matthew 21:22, Mark 11:24, Luke 11:9, Luke 11:13, John 11:22, John 14:13, John 14:14, John 15:7 , John 15:16, John 16:23, John 16:24, Colossians 1:9 , James 1:5, James 1:6, James 4:2, James 4:3, 1 John 3:22, 1 John 5:14, 1 John 5:15, 1 John 5:16

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    Replies
    1. Does Jesus forgive each sin after we repent or ask for forgiveness, one by one?

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    2. No, Jesus does not "forgive each sin after we repent or ask for forgivess one by one" because after we've been redeemed; sins are no longer being imputed to our account, so there's nothing left to be forgiven because he has already forgiven it all and even went one step farther by imputing those who have been redeemed with his righteousness.

      Romans 4:8 "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin."

      Romans 3:22 "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference"

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    3. Respectfully, none of these verses are about asking for forgiveness of sins

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    4. Um I'm not 100% sure though, but if you once ask for forgiveness, you should try your best to not sin anymore

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    5. It is impossible for human beings to not sin anymore after asking forgiveness.

      In fact being saved has nothing to do with asking forgiveness of sin.

      First, God gives us the power to make a choice.

      We can choose to believe on Jesus Christ as Savior or reject Him.

      When we choose through through faith to believe on Jesus Christ as Savior trusting in his finished work on the cross, that's when we are saved.
      We don't have to ask to be forgiven because we are automatically forgiven when we believe.

      Jesus doesn't forgive only some of our sins, for example, our past and present sins, he forgives 100% of our sins even those that we have yet to commit

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    6. @Unknown, This is a good clip in reference to what you are talking about: When We've Sinned

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  4. Replies
    1. youtube: 717 connects to Strongs 1426 = "Evil Report" for TishaB'Av - July 17th, 2021

      https://youtu.be/GuL4OMJ_R8A

      I thought this was extremely interesting....for those who have doubted that God has planned to use Strongs in some special way for end time signs...I think this is astounding confirmation...

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    2. youtube: July 24th rapture speculation - the best day for a wedding - the day of love

      https://youtu.be/PQkowrXimYA

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  5. Christianity is a way of life not a Religion! How can there be a doubt of that? Paul created a Church, whose members make up the body of Christ. One body! Paul only knew one story. He got it from God, and he devoted his life to teaching all who would become his brother in Christ, the meaning of the brotherhood of Christ and the promise of redemption fulfilled.
    For centuries, religious organizations have adopted the Christian way of life as the basis for their belief system, each claiming it their own, with each dividing the word differently, but all practicing the rituals of religion that have been handed down by tradition for two millennia.
    What happened to the body Paul began? Funny, God asked the same question of each of the Churches in Revelation. Two are singled out for praise; Smyrna, for enduring the bitterness of persecution, and Philadelphia, the body of brotherly love for keeping the truth of His word. The others are reminded of their short fallings and finally warned in the end time age of Laodicea to repent or suffer the Great Tribulation.
    If we are in the time of the end signaled by the events of Daniels prophecy coming to life on the stage of history, then we are in the time when the Christian Church on earth is depicted in Revelation as the Laodicean Church. Laodiceans are going to be spit out unless they repent.
    Philadelphian’s on the other hand have a door being held open for them by Jesus, and His promise that He won’t let the warning to the Laodiceans last very long.
    John is writing to the Churches that Paul started. In just a few years the body of Christ that Paul started was already beginning to be diluted into what became the exchange of a way of life for a structured set of religious beliefs known generically as Christianity.. Each sharing the common intention of getting followers to heaven through them.
    Paul was a blunt talking preacher. He got right to the point and didn’t mince many words. His end time prophecy is pervasive through out his teachings, yet seldom do I find or hear of a guru teaching on it.
    Typical of the time I guess, because a major characteristics of the Laodicean’s is their blindness and their need for eye salve.
    Scripture shows that God punished the Jews in line with the Covenant He made with them, but the covenant that He made with the Church doesn't involve punishment; it involves forgiveness and reward for being a member of the body.
    Jesus died for all man kind, and His covenant requires a willful act to become a member and participate in the forgiveness and the reward. You either join in or you don't! It's just that simple. It makes no difference to God what kind of sins you commit. He’s not looking to punish you for them, He’s looking for you to recognize that they are sins, and to know that because you do, you are being looked at through the work of Jesus, and they are covered by Him. The word sin comes from the Greek; Homorita, which means to fall short. Everything we do as humans falls short of the glory of God, therefore no sin is "worse" than any other, and all of them, past, present and future were nailed to the cross that Jesus bore.

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  6. God is looking for trust from man, not perfection. Remember folks, we are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we’re sinners.
    I can think of two reasons why God made us sinners. First, it fits His plan perfectly to use our sinfulness to keep the connection with us alive and vital. Our personal relationship is dependent on sinning! We stay connected to God by knowing that our sins were forgiven by His actions, and working directly with Him in our daily struggle to avoid the Devil and his temptations. Without owning up to sins, we would have no need for God. Secondly, for His own good, He uses our sins to build the trust in Him that is requires to accept His word as fact, so you can freely accept the graciousness of the gift of His mercy. Sin gives grace meaning. That’s why He doesn’t make and end to it until the end.
    Christians are Raptured! Paul said that you are changed from corruptible to incorruptible when you put on your immortality. You are no longer a sinner, but sin goes on, and the Great Tribulation is how He deals with it after the Rapture, with those who mistrusted Him and didn’t accept His gift.
    The law is included in the covenant with the Jews, not Christians! Christians are covered by Grace, which is "unmerited favor" from God because of what Jesus did. Faith is what saves, and faith is an action based upon belief and sustained by confidence. People are either in Christ or not in Christ, and scripture is clear about how you get in Christ; you must ask Him in, and when you do, by God’s GRACE you receive eternal life for your FAITH, instead of the death that sinners deserve, because the LAW says, for sin comes DEATH!

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  7. The Lord's prayer has a line of repentance in it (forgive us for our debts). Both Jesus and Peter said to repent. Revelation 9:21 said they would not repent of their sins. Revelation 14:12 talks about those who keep the commandments of GOD. Jesus said he did not come to destroy the Law but fulfill it. The Law still stands and even Jesus told you to repent in His own prayer and other places in the Bible.

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    1. The Law still stands (Rom. 3:31), but we are no longer under it (Rom. 6:14; Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14; Heb. 8:7–8, 8:13; 10:1), because Jesus was obedient to the Law on our behalf. His righteousness becomes our own. The old covenant is not the new. In summary:

      Leviticus:
      *All the commandments must be kept [Lev. 26:14–15; see also Numbers 15:39–40, Deut. 5:29–30].

      Deuteronomy:
      *The Law cannot be added to or broken up (Deut. 4:2; 12:32) [meaning there is no "moral law, civil law, and ceremonial law," there is only "the Law," which is made up of 613 Commandments].
      *42 verses in Deuteronomy indicate that Israel’s blessing depended on them keeping all the commandments perfectly.

      Matthew:
      *Under the Law, hatred or reviling is murder and lust is adultery (Mt. 5:21–28).
      *"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" is part of the Law (Mt. 22:36–37, Lk. 10:26–27, Deut. 6:5).

      Acts:
      *The Jews did not keep the Law (Acts 7:51–53).
      *The Law is a yoke that the Jews couldn’t carry (Acts 15:10).

      Romans:
      *The Law brings knowledge of sin but cannot justify (Rom. 3:20).
      *The promise to Abraham was by faith, not the Law (Rom. 4:13–14).
      *The Law brings wrath (Rom. 4:15).
      *Sin is not counted when there is no Law (Rom. 5:13).
      *The Law increases sin (Rom. 5:20).
      *Faith places one under grace, not under the Law (Rom. 6:14).
      *Christians have become dead to the Law by the body of Christ (Rom. 7:1–4).
      *When the Jews were seeking to be justified by the law, the sin aroused by it produced death (Rom. 7:5).
      *We have been delivered from the Law (Rom. 7:6).
      *The Law is holy but cannot make you holy (Rom. 7:7–12).
      *The Law is not sin; but it shows us what sin is and arouses it in us (Rom. 7:7).
      *Apart from the Law sin was dead; but under the Law, sinful desire is produced (Rom. 7:8).
      *When there is no Law, there is life; when there is Law, sin revives and results in death [i.e., misery, "lack of real life…the power of doing right, of confidence in God and the hope of future blessedness" according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon] (Rom. 7:9).
      *The Law is appointed for life but only brings death due to our sin (Rom. 7:10).
      *The Law produces death, making one exceedingly sinful (Rom. 7:13).
      *Attempting to be righteous by Law is equated with the flesh and the carnal mind; and is contrasted with the Spirit which is of faith in Christ’s imputed righteousness, which is received by that faith (Rom. 8:1–13).
      *The Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2).
      *The Law is weak through the flesh (Rom. 8:3).
      *The Law is not fulfilled through the flesh; but through the Spirit (Rom. 8:4).
      *Those in the flesh [unbelievers] focus on the flesh [and by implication, attempt to be righteous by their own efforts] those in the Spirit [believers] focus on the Spirit [and are righteous through faith] (Rom. 8:5).
      *The flesh [and by implication, the attempt to be made righteous by the Law] is carnally minded, and results in death [i.e. misery]; but life and peace comes through faith [i.e. trusting in Christ] (Rom. 8:6).
      *The carnal mind is opposed to God, and cannot meet the high standards of the Law (Rom. 8:7).
      *Christians are not indebted to live according to the flesh [i.e. by the works of the Law] (Rom. 8:12).
      *Living according to the flesh’s work results in death (Rom. 8:13).
      *The concept illustrated in verses 1–13 is that an attempt to be righteous by the Law is an attempt to be made righteous by one’s own performance, and is motivated by a mind centered on the flesh (first birth, born from Adam) and it’s works in this world, doomed to fail, and only by the Spirit, given at the moment of faith in Christ’s finished work (second birth, born of the Spirit), is one righteous; having joy and peace.
      *Israel attempted to establish their own righteousness through the Law; faith in Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness (Rom. 10:1–4).

      1 Corinthians:
      *The strength of sin is the Law (1 Cor. 15:56).

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    2. 2 Corinthians:
      *The Law written on stones (10 Commandments, i.e. "the moral law") is a ministry of death (2 Cor. 3:7).
      *Those commandments are a ministry of condemnation (2 Cor. 3:9).
      *The Law has no glory at all in comparison to the New Covenant (2 Cor. 3:10).
      *The Law is passing away (2 Cor. 3:11).
      *Attempting to be righteous by the Law produced a veil over the hearts of the Jews that is taken away in Christ (2 Cor. 3:13–15).

      Galatians:
      *Placing the burden of the Law onto people turns you away from God, and perverts the genuine Gospel into a false one; and Paul wishes that those who preach a perversion of the Gospel be accursed [disliked, scorned, spurned] (Gal. 1:6–9).
      *The Law does not justify (make one innocent) (Gal. 2:16).
      *Christians are dead to the Law (Gal. 2:19).
      *If righteousness came through the Law Christ died for no reason (Gal. 2:21).
      *Going back to the Law is not believing the truth (Gal. 3:1).
      *Living according to the Law is attempting to be perfected through the flesh (Gal. 3:2–3).
      *The Law curses all who practice it and fail to do it perfectly (Gal. 3:10).
      *The Law is not of faith (Gal. 3:12) [see also Romans 14:23, "that which is not of faith is sin"; these verses imply that attempting to be righteous by works of the Law is sin].
      *Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law (Gal. 3:13).
      *The Law had nothing to do with the promise of God to Abraham to be a father of the Seed of many people, i.e. Christ (Gal. 3:18) [see Gen. 15:5].
      *The Law functioned in God’s purpose as an Instructor from Moses to John the Baptist in order to preserve the Jews until Christ (Gal. 3:16–23).
      *The Law is not against the promise of the Savior; because if a law could give [eternal] life - which it can't - then the Law could make someone righteous before God [and Christ would be unnecessary] (Gal. 3:21).
      *The Law was an instructor, to bring us to Christ, but after Christ, there is no longer an instructor (Gal. 3:24–25).
      *The Law (first covenant) gave birth to bondage (Gal. 4:24).
      *We are not children of the Law (Gal. 4:31).
      *Do not be yoked by the bondage that is the Law (Gal. 5:1).
      *Following one part of the Law puts you in debt to follow the entire Law (Gal. 5:3).
      *Christ is of no effect to those who try to be saved by the Law (Gal. 5:4).
      *In 5:9, "A little leaven leavens the entire lump"–leaven represents the sin of pride, which infects the entire lump of dough when introduced - the implication of this analogy in this context is that inserting a requirement the Law to be justified is an act of pride which taints the Gospel.

      Ephesians:
      *Christ has abolished the Law, making peace with God for us (Eph. 2:15).

      Philippians:
      *Paul associates the law to the flesh and considers what it gained him as "skybalon" which is a vulgar Greek word equivalent to "crap" (Phil. 3:4–8).

      Colossians:
      *The Law was against us, and was erased at the cross (Col. 2:14).

      1 Timothy:
      *The Law is good if used correctly–but it's correct use is not for the righteous [believers] but for the unrighteous [nonbelievers] (1 Tim. 1:8–9) [see also Matthew 5:21–28].

      Hebrews:
      *The Law and Commandments were "fleshy" (Heb. 7:16).
      *The Law was weak and made nothing perfect (Heb. 7:18–19).
      *The Law was faulty and needed a better Covenant (Heb. 8:7–8).
      *The Law is obsolete, old, and ready to vanish (Heb. 8:13).
      *The rituals by the OT priests were done because the way into the holy place [i.e. Christ] wasn’t opened yet (Heb. 9:8).
      *The OT sacrifices could not help the conscience of the worshiper (Heb. 9:9).
      *The OT sacrifices were only imposed "until the time of reformation" [i.e., the cross] (Heb. 9:10).
      *The Law is only a shadow of Christ and could never make someone perfect (Heb. 10:1).

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    3. James:
      *If you try to be righteous by the Law, and fail at one part, you are guilty of breaking all of it (Jas. 2:10) [see also Ezekiel 33:13].

      1 John:
      *Sin is transgression of the Law (1 Jn. 3:4) [Note: it thus stands to reason from this verse that the phrase "turn from sin" used in a Gospel presentation as a prerequisite for salvation and as a necessary result of salvation is mistaken (see here). "Turn from sin" is a phrase that carries the implication that living according to the Law must be done for salvation–note also that this phrase is not the literal definition of the Greek word for "repent," which is "metanoia," and literally means "change of opinion." God "repents" (metanoia) several times in older translations of the English Old Testament and in the Greek translation that Christ and His disciples used (Ex. 32:12, Deut. 32:36, Ps. 90:13; 110:4; 135:14; Jer 4:28; 18:8; 26:3, 26:13; 42:10; and Eze 24:14), thus the English meaning of "repent" has likely changed, as well].

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    4. Also note: "repentance" is amoral (note: not moral OR immoral). It's just a change of mind. To be persuaded or convicted about something. To convert from one position to another. God "repented" in the Old Testament on numerous occasions.

      You can repent from evil and do good. You can repent of good and do evil.

      The idea of "repentance" in relation to the New Covenant is to change your mind about Jesus and convert - to place your faith in Him for salvation.

      WHAT IS REPENTACE?

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    5. Thanks Gary! A lot of great stuff in your comments and your post on repentance. I'm still hearing preachers today, men that are great Bible teachers and pastors, that say "repent and forsake your sins," when calling people to be saved. But it's impossible for an unbeliever that hasn't been regenerated and have the Holy Spirit living in them to forsake their sin.

      It also seems like another way that works tries to pervert the simple Gospel message, because forsaking your sin would be something we do.

      I especially liked reading Curtis Hutson's comments. He preached at the church we belonged to back in the 80s and I used to like listening to his tapes.

      I post a version of the ABC's of salvation in the comment section on YouTube videos, and people sometimes mention I left out repentance.

      Like you mentioned, I also struggled with it in the past, thinking that maybe my heart wasn't right when I got saved because I struggled with sin. So my thinking was, maybe I hadn't repented.

      All in all, it's just another way the enemy tries to trip us up and get us to doubt, thereby making us struggle in our walk and be ineffective. Thanks again.

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    6. That is not the Lords Prayer, that is the Disciples Prayer.
      The Lords prayer is in John 17. Is very different!
      Especially John 17:20. believe
      "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent"
      James says the same thing, "works of Faith"
      Start "Faithing" and that secret personal prayer "work of Faith" starts it off.
      Stop focusing on SIN and start Faithing.
      And for that, God puts you in Christ and you become a new creature.
      The more you faith, the more mature and confident you become in Christ.
      Not tossed around by every wind of doctrine.

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    7. Jesus taught the Lord's prayer to everyone at the Sermon on the Mount. Why does everyone twist the Lord's Word and teachings? I don't understand this. You wrote way too much to prove a point that didn't clearly prove it. If Jesus says one thing and another person says another; who do you believe? I believe Jesus. He is Lord God, hte sixth day male and the Earth is the female. Lord God planted the seeds for the Earth to birth. No other man. Listen to His Word and understand Him.

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    8. What did the Lord say on the cross? "It is finished." Everything He had come to do has been completed. If any man were to come after and start preaching anything but what Jesus had taught, we have an issue. Anyone remember the parable in Matthew 13:24-43? The evil one would come and plant weeds among the wheat. What does Paul offer that Jesus had not already said? Why does Paul contradict Jesus? Jesus said His Word would not change until Heaven and Earth pass away (which is never). So why would you believe someone who is changing the Lord's Word? Wake up! The bad seeds have been planted with the good on this Earth. Again, read Paul and compare with what Jesus taught.

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    9. If you believe in Jesus, do you not follow His Word and Law? If not, then maybe you didn't believe in Jesus or anything He taught. Did Jesus not say that He will tell some, "I never knew you"?

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    10. J. Baker (PoseMotion)

      I know its hard to let go of tradition.
      Like Gary said and I will add, we can do nothing to earn our way, Jesus did that for everyone He fulfills the Law.
      He also said The whole Law and the profits are summed up in two "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

      The Disciples prayer says if you cannot forgive others there Sin's against you neither will your Heavenly Father forgive you your SIN'S.

      Lets talk about forgiveness though. Forgiveness is more for you not to hold a grudge, or hate because of it. And its not acceptance of the one who did the sin against you.

      So whats left?

      The fruit of the spirit!

      We are under Grace, not Law, the Jews are under Law not the new creatures in Christ!

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    11. "After this, Jesus knowing THAT ALL THINGS WERE NOW ACCOMPLISHED, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst." - John 19:28
      Key words are "ALL THINGS". Listen to Jesus. Anyone who states anything different after Him, can not be truth. And I do not hold onto tradition. It is most of the Christian church that holds onto tradition. I'm just trying to wake some of you up. Listen to Jesus and no one after Him, if they contradict Him.

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    12. J. Baker (PoseMotion)

      Jesus chose Paul and told him everything about the church covenant of grace, including the end of it.

      On my website that I created for me I have all four gospels sequenced together so the reader can see and read all four gospels at the same time, with helpful references links on the side.

      There are some amazing things He does that most don't understand!

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    13. "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." - John 14:21

      How can those who follow Paul say the Torah is dead and we are not under the Law? Jesus makes it clear that we are still under the Law and He loves those who keep His commandments.

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    14. John 6:

      28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

      29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

      Our commandment-keeping and obedience are vicarious. Righteousness is a gift (Rom. 5:17).

      "How can those who follow Paul say the Torah is dead and we are not under the Law?"

      Because that's exactly what Scripture says.

      "Jesus makes it clear that we are still under the Law..."

      He does? Where? He said He didn't come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. That doesn't mean WE are under the Law. It means He lived under the Law FOR US. Vicariously. He fulfilled the Law FOR US, because we cannot fulfill the Law.

      Galatians 5:

      4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born UNDER THE LAW, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.

      ***If you look again at my first reply, I provided some 70 Scriptures showing how God's word is crystal clear on this subject.

      In short, you have two options:

      1. If you choose to live under the Law you must keep it perfectly your whole life, not wavering from it even one time. We both know you can't. Scripture leaves no room for "almost." The Law was given as an ALL or NOTHING thing. If you do it ALL you will have life. If you fail, you will have death. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

      2. If you recognize your inability to keep God's perfect Law, He has provided a perfect substitute who DID perfectly keep the Law. His obedience and righteousness are given to you as a gift through faith.

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    15. First, the one He has sent is the Holy Spirit.
      Second, you didn't read any of my post or the last one because Jesus says He loves those who keep His commandments. And here's just a few points I just made else where...

      Paul states that we are not under the Law but Jesus says, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father..."

      Paul states "I", multiple times, instead of Jesus or Lord; like he is in charge or something.

      Paul said, "I wish that all men were as I am." Does no one remember the parable in Luke 18:9-14?

      Jesus said, "It is finished" (at the cross) and that all things were accomplished. So why would anyone come after Him?

      Peter makes the comment that Paul's writings are, "hard to be understood."

      Paul's account is of his own. Are there not suppose to be at least two witnesses anymore?

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    16. "First, the one He has sent is the Holy Spirit."

      Even if that were the case, it still tells us the work of God is simply to believe in Him. But I've never heard an interpretation where Jesus was here speaking of the Holy Spirit. For starters, God hadn't sent the Holy Spirit yet (see Jn. 14:16). Second, the very next verse seems to dispel your interpretation: in John 6:30 the crowd understands Jesus to be speaking of Himself. Jesus confirms their understanding in vv. 35, 40. In v. 40, for instance:

      "For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day."

      Jesus is speaking of Himself.

      "Second, you didn't read any of my post or the last one because Jesus says He loves those who keep His commandments."

      Really? False accusation? I was responding directly to your point, which I *did* read.

      Do you perfectly keep God's commandments? No. No one does. Except Christ, that is. So to reiterate what I mentioned above: 1. keep God's commandments, or 2. receive Christ's commandment-keeping, obedience, and perfect righteousness as a gift (Rom. 5:17).

      Again, I provided over 70 Scriptures that make this crystal clear. Jesus' death and resurrection CHANGED THE SALVATION EQUATION. This is Christianity 101.

      "Peter makes the comment that Paul's writings are, 'hard to be understood.' "

      Peter also agreed with and submitted to Paul and Barnabas regarding the Gospel of grace / sola fide (see Acts 15 and Galatians 2-3). In the very verse you cited—2 Peter 3:16—Peter equates Paul's writing with Scripture and does not denounce them.

      I regard all of the NT to be Scripture, but sola fide and the gospel of grace aren't reliant on Paul. It's a theme throughout Scripture (e.g., Gen. 3:15; 15; Hab.; etc).

      The whole 1 Cor. 15 gospel is even in Luke (24:46-47):

      “and He said to them, 'Thus it has been written, and thus it was necessary [for] the Christ to suffer, and to rise out of the dead [on] the third day, and conversion and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in His Name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem:'”

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    17. No one is perfect and everyone has sinned. When Jesus died on the cross, that doesn't mean we are not under the Law anymore. Jesus made that clear. It means we can repent and change our ways and get back on path. The Lord's prayer has a repenting verse in it. As for not hearing Jesus speaking about the Holy Spirit; if you would of looked up and kept reading about where Jesus says He loves those who keeps His commandments, it states... "These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." - John 14:25-26
      Again, go and read everything Jesus says and compare with what Paul says. It should confuse you. That's why I say that I follow Jesus and not Paul.

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    18. Not that I can confirm that Paul is this but... You know how to be a good liar? Give some truth mixed in with the lies. If a liar just lies, most will not believe. But if a liar adds some truth, you can make many believe. Specially when most will not even look up anything and confirm what is truth and what is not.

      If a prophet makes one mistake, then none of it was from God. Even if he prophesied many things that came true. So, if a person makes a comment that does not agree with Jesus or God, I would assume that none of it was from God. How can Paul state that all writings are inspired if Paul states "I" instead of Jesus? He does this many times and declares things by his own thinking. That is strange to me. He sounds just as arrogant before his supposed encounter with Jesus, that no one can testify to but Paul. Where are the two witnesses to prove Paul's account? There have always been at least two witnesses.

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    19. Oh, and I ignored some of the post because you can not prove Paul by quoting Paul. That's just ridiculous.

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    20. Let's make this simple. If the world is no longer under the Law and we are not to repent (Lord's prayer states different), then why is the Lord going to judge the world?

      If you think Jesus came to create "lawlessness" you are calling Him the anti-Christ because that is what the anti-Christ does.

      Jesus even blessed those who keep the commandments in Revelation 22:14. An event that hasn't happened yet.

      Paul followers are ignoring Jesus' own Words and listening to Paul. That's strange.

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    21. Look at what Jesus says about the Law and those who teach against it.

      "17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

      Has heaven and earth passed away? No.

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    22. I love discussing, but this isn't a discussion. This is you talking past me and not responding. And then reiterating the same points I've addressed. It's not a free-for-all here. We have comment rules (please see above).

      This will be my last response.

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      "No one is perfect and everyone has sinned."

      Exactly. The Law wasn't given as something that can be "almost" kept. It was explicitly given as all or nothing. See Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, James, etc. They all say the same thing: the Law is all or nothing. Without Christ's gift of righteousness your own words will condemn you.

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      "When Jesus died on the cross, that doesn't mean we are not under the Law anymore."

      Yes, that's exactly what it means. He died for our sins, iniquities, and trespasses and then rose again. Our lawlessness was nailed to the Cross and we bear it no more—IF we have faith in Christ and not ourselves for righteousness.

      Peter: the Law cannot be kept by us (the disciples), nor our ancestors. We are saved by grace just as the Gentiles are. [Acts 15:10]

      James: whoever keeps the entire Law, but stumbles at a single point, has broken the whole thing. [James 2:10] We all stumble. [James 3:2] We won't command the Gentiles to keep the whole Law. [Acts 15:19-21]

      Author of Hebrews (probably not Paul): the Law was weak and made nothing perfect. [Heb. 7:18–19] The Law needs something better to replace it. [Heb. 8:7–8] The Law is obsolete and about to vanish. [Heb. 8:13] The Law was just a shadow. [Heb. 10:1] We are made perfect forever through the single sacrifice of Christ.

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      "It means we can repent and change our ways and get back on path."

      "We" can do nothing (John 15:5; Rom. 7:18). Only God can change our ways and He does so with GRACE via the Holy Spirit. Attempting righteousness by the Law is impossible, only arouses more sin, and sets one up for sin-consciousness and perpetual failure. Grace enables a person to actually be transformed into Christ-likeness and to live a practically holy life. Those who don't understand the Gospel of grace will live perpetually defeated and unproductive lives defined by self-righteousness, pride, arrogance, judgmentalism, and hatred.

      Furthermore, it's important to understand that "repent" is derived from Latin and stems from penitence. This is completely unrelated to biblical metanoia, which literally means "after thought." In other words, to change your mind about something. The Greek LXX mentions God "repenting" many, many times. In the NT context, to "repent" means to change your mind about Christ and to believe in Him for salvation. It's not a separate thing from faith/belief. See here.

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    23. "As for not hearing Jesus speaking about the Holy Spirit; if you would of looked up and kept reading... [you then go on to quote Jn. 14:25-26]"

      You're evading. What I initially responded to was your claim that we must keep Christ's commandments (assumedly for salvation since that's the whole debate). I pointed out that the crowd in John 6 asks Jesus what works they must do to be saved. Jesus says the only work is to believe in the One God sent (a.k.a. Jesus).

      You then responded that the One God sent wasn't Jesus, but was the Holy Spirit. I pointed out that the passage would still indicate the only necessary work is to believe in God, but then I showed that the passage explicitly tells us the One Jesus is referring to is Himself and NOT the Holy Spirit. I also pointed out that the Father hadn't sent the Holy Spirit yet as we learn in John 14. You then quote John 14:25-26, which says exactly what I'm saying. The Holy Spirit wasn't sent yet. And even if He was, Jesus was referring to Himself in John 6.

      The only work necessary for salvation is to believe in Jesus. This isn't Paul's message. This is Jesus' own message. And it's a recurring theme throughout the Gospel of John.

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      "Again, go and read everything Jesus says and compare with what Paul says. It should confuse you."

      It doesn't confuse me at all. Seems pretty clear actually. I'll keep reiterating the two paths Scripture offers: 1. keep the whole Law perfectly, or 2. trust in the One who kept it perfectly for you. This isn't just Paul's message. This is the whole message and theme of Scripture.

      "That's why I say that I follow Jesus and not Paul."

      I also follow Jesus and not Paul. Moreoever, I actually trust in Jesus rather than myself. Those who reject the gospel do not trust in Jesus, but something else (usually oneself).

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      "Where are the two witnesses to prove Paul's account? There have always been at least two witnesses."

      Jesus Himself (Acts 9), Peter (Acts 15; 2 Pt. 3:16), James (Acts 15), Barnabas (Acts 9:27), Luke (author of Acts), AND THE HOLY SPIRIT (Acts 13:2). Help me with my math.

      The folks that want to cut Paul out and remove 14 books from the NT, will still be unable to remove the Gospel of grace. It's there. It's in Genesis 3. It's in Genesis 15. It's in Isaiah 53. It's in the Psalms. It's in the Gospels (e.g., Lk. 24:46-47; John 3). It's in Acts (e.g., Acts 10:43; 13:38). It's in Revelation (1:4-6; 7:14; 12:11; 22:14, 17).

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    24. "Oh, and I ignored some of the post because you can not prove Paul by quoting Paul. That's just ridiculous."

      No response.

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

      "Let's make this simple. If the world is no longer under the Law and we are not to repent (Lord's prayer states different), then why is the Lord going to judge the world?"

      The world IS under Law. WE are not. Through faith. And we have "repented" (i.e., changed our minds about Christ and put our faith in Him).

      He's going to judge the world first and foremost for rejecting the free gift of salvation found in His Son (Ps. 2:12; Jn. 3:17-18; 8:24). And when they have no covering because no one is perfect, they will be judged by their deeds (Rev. 20:12-13).

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

      "If you think Jesus came to create "lawlessness" you are calling Him the anti-Christ because that is what the anti-Christ does."

      No, that's not what I'm saying. Just because grace COMPLETELY covers us, doesn't mean we go on in sin. Our sins are FORGIVEN, not made OK. Paul addresses this. The most lawful people in the world are those fully persuaded of the gospel and living deeply in the transforming grace of God. We no longer need the written record because His law is written on our hearts.

      Also, just a separate point: according to Scripture an "antichrist" is technically someone who denies that Jesus is the Messiah and God's Son (1 Jn. 2:22).

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

      "Jesus even blessed those who keep the commandments in Revelation 22:14. An event that hasn't happened yet."

      Commandments are not mentioned in Revelation 22:14. That was a scribal error (or maybe intentional). The best manuscripts have "wash their robes." I.e., wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb (cf. Rev. 7:14; 12:11; 16:15; Zech. 3:1-5; Isa. 61:10; Mt. 22:1-14; Gal. 3:27; Gen. 3:7-10, 21).

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

      "Paul followers are ignoring Jesus' own Words and listening to Paul. That's strange."

      Not worth a response. Jesus' own words disagree with this statement.

      Delete
    25. "Look at what Jesus says about the Law and those who teach against it."

      You claimed I didn't read your earlier post. Are you reading mine? I directly addressed this.

      At this point you've got to take it or leave it. If you disagree with me, fine, but move past it. "I can agree to disagree."

      JESUS FULFILLED THE LAW FOR US. He didn't abolish it. He fulfilled it. FOR US. FOR US. FOR US.

      THE LAW STILL STANDS (Rom. 3:31), BUT WE ARE NOT UNDER IT (Rom. 6:14).


      Thank you Christ Jesus for living a perfect life FOR ME, shedding Your own blood FOR ME, dying FOR ME, rising again FOR ME. Thank you for giving me Your own law-keeping record, Your own obedience, Your own righteousness. In You alone I find my refuge.

      And I will see Your face so soon.

      Delete
    26. "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:"

      That would be everyone who ever lived. Except Jesus.



      "but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven"

      That would be Jesus, who DID THEM and TAUGHT THEM. HE ALONE is great in the Kingdom of Heaven.



      Revelation 5:

      1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

      Delete
    27. Not every has broke the Law and taught others to do the same. You are missing the context of that sentence completely. If we preach lawlessness in the church, how long will it take before the church is completely corrupt? Jesus did die for our sins but not to the point that we should ignore it nor repent of it. That is insane and against everything He taught. May the Lord wake you up. As we know in the last days, some will not repent of their sins. What a shame.

      Delete
    28. Ok, brother in Christ. Yes, I'm reading your post but why are you ignoring Jesus' own words?

      "If ye love me, you will keep my commandments" - Jesus (John 14:15)

      This is what it means to believe in Jesus Christ. The believer follows what He says and that includes keeping His commandments. It is what He ask for.

      Jesus didn't die and rise so we could ignore the Law but repent of our sins. That's why He stated that repentance line in the Lord's prayer.

      May God bless you and open your eyes to see this more clearly.

      Delete
    29. "Not every[one] has broke the Law and taught others to do the same."

      Sure they have. Maybe unknowingly, but they have. No one has kept the Law perfectly or taught others perfectly. Only Christ. He alone is worthy.

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

      "If we preach lawlessness in the church, how long will it take before the church is completely corrupt?"

      I don't preach lawlessness. I preach grace and Christ. Lawlessness says "go and sin." Grace says "all your sins are forgiven, so live a life worthy of the One who called you."

      The Old Covenant was a Law no one could keep. It only condemns. Scripture says this repeatedly in both Testaments. It was a Law written on stones. The New Covenant is better. We are NOT UNDER the old Law. We are under a new law—the law of the Spirit / the law of grace. It's a law without condemnation where we are completely free, but since we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we LOVE to obey God and follow Him.

      "because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." Rom. 8:2 (context: NO CONDEMNATION ANYMORE - Rom. 8:1)

      "for sin will not have lordship over you, for you are not under law, but under grace." (Rom. 6:14)

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

      "Jesus did die for our sins but not to the point that we should ignore it nor repent of it."

      I think maybe we're not as far apart as we think. My hope is that God will open both of our eyes to see His grace and truth more clearly.

      I don't teach we should ignore sin or not repent of it. I simply teach that all sins are forgiven for those who believe. These are not mutually exclusive. Just because we CAN sin without condemnation, doesn't mean we SHOULD. If we sin, grace HYPER-ABOUNDS for those who believe, but how can we continue to live in sin? We should do what's right.

      And you know what the big secret is? Those who truly trust in Christ (and not themselves) and understand His grace, can't help but love Him and obey Him.

      "And law came in, that the offense might abound, and where sin abounded, grace hyper-abounded, that even as sin reigned in death, so also grace may reign, through righteousness, to continuous life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. What, then, will we say? Will we continue in sin that grace may abound? Let it not be! We who died to sin—how will we still live in it?" (Rom. 5:20-6:2)

      Delete
    30. "in the last days, some will not repent of their sins"

      I don't disagree with "repenting of sins," but to be clear, that phrase is not found in Scripture. There's a reason for that. As I've shared several times, "repentance" comes from "metanoia," which means to "change your mind, think differently after, be persuaded, convert."

      In the NT the context of "repentance" is to change one's mind from unbelief to belief—specifically in Christ. So in terms of SALVATION, to "repent of sins" would mean to acknowledge that you are a sinner (i.e., that you have sinned and have sins counting against you) and that Christ died for ALL of your sins and rose again.

      It definitely is a shame that many will reject the free gift of grace and righteousness offered through Christ alone.

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

      "Ok, brother in Christ. Yes, I'm reading your post but why are you ignoring Jesus' own words? [you quote Jn. 14:15]"

      Just because I see them differently doesn't mean I'm ignoring them. My whole focus has been on Jesus words as can be shown throughout our discussion. I don't ignore Jn. 14:15 either, but I might see them differently than you.

      In short: the ONE command that Jesus gave that is NECESSARY for salvation is the command to believe in Him (see John 3:14-18, 6:28-29, etc). The reason this is necessary is because Jesus is literally our righteounsess and He literally bore our sins in His substitutionary (vicarious) death. This is what grace is—that you receive measureless unmerited favor. That Christ took your sins of ommission and commission and gives you His own righteousness and merit in return. That's a really good deal.

      Other commands SHOULD be followed, but NO ONE can follow them perfectly enough to merit salvation, maintain salvation, or restore salvation. Salvation isn't given on a sliding scale. You don't obtain forgiveness by "being good enough." A C- or B+ won't open the gates of Heaven to you. Only trusting in the finished work of Christ. And when you DO trust in Christ, His Spirit enters you and seals you permanently. You become a son of God, adopted into His family.

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

      "This is what it means to believe in Jesus Christ. The believer follows what He says and that includes keeping His commandments. It is what He ask for."

      Believing in Christ just means to believe in Christ. In other words, to know He exists, to know He truly died for your sins and rose again, and put the weight of your life on Him (i.e., to truly trust in Him). Legalism prevents a person from truly trusting in Him since they are instead focused on themselves and what THEY can do. To say Jesus is the only way, but to then turn and say works or obedience to the Law are necessary, are not compatible views. You can't have both. It's not "ME," or "ME + JESUS," it's just JESUS. Anything else is a false gospel.

      Delete
    31. "Jesus didn't die and rise so we could ignore the Law but repent of our sins."

      There was only one necessary rule in Eden: don't eat the forbidden fruit. There's only one necessary rule for us on this side of the Cross: believe in the One God sent. The Law was given to condemn the whole world (Rm. 3:19, 23; Gal. 3:19) in order that the world would turn back to God (Jn. 3:14-18).

      Those under grace who are FULLY convinced of God's love for them do not need a law, because they naturally do what's right. God is trying to get us back to an Edenic state where rules are no longer needed. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit they expressed unbelief in God. Anything apart from faith is sin (Rm. 14:23). So since the world is without faith, it is FULL of sin. Those under grace have faith in God and Jesus and the more they walk out their faith, the less sin is in their life.

      I highly recommend THIS ARTICLE discussing how God's plan was always to get us back to the freedom of sonship.

      Delete
    32. J. Baker (PoseMotion)

      "If ye love me, you will keep my commandments" - Jesus (John 14:15)

      That piece of scripture is after the last supper, where He is talking to His Apostles.

      "And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

      "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

      "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

      "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;

      that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.

      "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

      "After a little while the world will behold Me no more; but you will behold Me; because I live, you shall live also.

      "In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

      "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and He who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him."

      Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?"

      Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.

      "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.

      "These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you.

      "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

      "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

      "You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater then I.

      "And now I have told you before it comes to pass, that when it comes to pass, you may believe.

      "I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me;

      but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go from here.

      I think you are mixing Law with Commandment.

      Jesus makes it clear to the religious leaders of the day you keep the whole Law In thought, word and deed.

      You see Jesus condemns the thought as well as the deed, so I don't care who you are your guilty as hell.

      So who will save me from this body of this death? Oh yea, Paul says the same thing, thats why Jesus picked Paul.

      Delete
    33. Also those two commands Jesus talks about is really summed up in one.
      And no one does them.

      Delete
  8. Psalm 23:1 (ESV)
    A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Worship, Praise, Adoration, Joy, Peace, Prayer, Hymns/Songs, Celebration, Honor and Homage, Thanks
    Giving, True Justice, Absence of Evil/Promise of Eternity ... COME SOON, LIVING AND ETERNAL KING AND PRIEST JESUS CHRIST - OUR TRUE SALVATION ! We seek to be in YOUR PRESENCE !!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Gregg,

    You've said that scripture is clear that people are saved by "asking Christ in", but where can such scripture be found? Here's all of the "ask" New Testament verses."

    https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/search.cfm?Criteria=ask&t=KJV&csr=9#s=s_primary_0_1

    Sure there are many verses stating that the believer can ask for God's provision and he will provide, but those are directed to those who already believe. Might it be a mistake to assume such verses are about asking for salvation?

    Alternatively, what I do find is lots of verses about having faith/believing in Jesus who died, was buried, and resurrected, by which our propitiation is made available through faith in his blood.

    Acts 14:27 "And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles."

    Why not call this the door of acceptance, the door of asking for Jesus forgiveness, the door of remorse? No, it's the door of faith.

    Acts 15:9 "And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith."

    Are hearts purified by asking for forgiveness or by faith?

    Acts 26:18 "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."

    We're sanctified by faith. Why no mention of "asking Jesus in?"

    Romans 3:22 "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:"

    There's still no asking in sight, but again we see that believing in Jesus is the means of being made righteous. None of these verses are about needing breed, clothing, water, protection, ect. These are about salvation through faith alone. There is no mention that you must "ask him in." Why not mention it anywhere? It is perhaps because the asking isn't the same as having faith in Jesus?

    Romans 3:25 "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;"

    What is connected to faith is the blood, which is clearly spelled out as the means by which Jesus is able to provide the remission of sins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. + [Hebrews 10:14 KJV] 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

      Delete
  11. Thank you for contenting for truth; what a Salvation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TY Annette for reading it in its entirety. I am thankful that it is such a blessing.

      Delete
  12. With "asking" hopefully now out of sight from a connection to salvation, one should then look to a similar term in the Bible that does have verses linked to salvation and that word is to "call" upon the Lord. I found only a few verses linking "calling" with being saved in context of salvation of the soul.

    Acts 2:21 "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

    Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

    That seems rather straight forward, right? All that call on Jesus are saved! Well not exactly. Those people who call shall be saved, but Romans provides some additional information that specifies calling is impossible without belief!

    Romans 10:14 "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?"

    Just two verses later, obeying the gospel is specifically stated not as "calling," but rather as believing.

    Romans 10:16 "But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?"

    Without spending an absorbent amount of time, my point is to show that faith is always the means. Although "calling" is referenced a few times, with the guarantee that those who call are sure to be saved; such calling is impossible without faith, so we know people who do biblically "call" are people possessing faith. It's as if such calling is the by-product of a heart that has been filled with faith in Jesus.

    These people who have faith, will be the same people who call upon the Lord and of course they are saved, sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, baptized into the body of Christ and eventually will be raised up at the redemption of the purchased possession. I think the Bible connects salvation with being "saved" from all of these things. Since the rapture hasn't yet occurred, even we who have already found salvation and are alive and those who have already found salvation and are dead, will still be future tense "saved" by the glorification of our bodies at some time yet to come. Therefore, "shall be" ... saved is not necessarily indicative that such people with the promise of being saved in the future tense are not already currently "saved" in the sense of possessing eternal life because of faith in the gospel.

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  13. I don't think it's wise to jump to the conclusion that "asking Jesus in" is what is going on in the case of people "calling" on the Lord or that "asking Jesus in" is the moment of sealing of the Holy Spirit. We've seen that those who call on the Lord are people who have already believed. They're people who by the practice of their faith in the blood of Jesus will pray/call to God, in the name of Jesus. They will share the good news to others, that Jesus is the one who saves. Their tongues will ask Jesus for his provision in their time of need. They'll call to Jesus for wisdom. His name will be on their lips, and so calling unto the Lord will be common occurrence for these crazy to the world Christians, who testify of the blood of the Messiah. Why wouldn't people of such faith in the gospel speak his name? Why wouldn't scripture testify they'll being saved?

    Nevertheless, it's the not "calling" that is the means of salvation. It's their faith in the gospel that brings forgiveness through the blood of the lamb. Does man accept God by "asking him in" or does God accept man by faith in Jesus?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because you had to ask that "Question" means your not ready for the answer!

      Delete
    2. God did His part, now it is up to us, the ball is in our court!
      The last message to the Churches is right there.
      Rev 3:19-22
      Yes you do have to do something, you have to open the door
      and invite Him in to your heart, and His substance in you changes you from the inside out.
      The "Church" is caught up with beating you over the head with guilt.

      Delete
    3. Yes, we do something and that something is to repent, but repentance is not asking/inviting Jesus into your heart. We repent by faith in "The Door" by hearing the gospel and believing it.

      Take a look at Act 14:27. How had they "opened the door of faith?" The context doesn't talk about how they invited Jesus into their heart, but rather how they were preached and thereby heard the gospel... and believed!

      Why split hairs over this topic? Well, I'm arguing for the simplicity of the gospel. We believe the good news and are saved. There's nothing left to be done after that change of mind.

      Adding an extra step of accepting Jesus into the heart sounds all nice and romantical. It might make people feel all warm and fuzy that they checked all of the "ABC" boxes, but is that really the gospel?

      How do you know you accepted him enough? How is one for sure they gave Jesus enough of their heart?

      My daughter is 5. She believes Jesus died on the cross for her sins. She believes he was buried and rose again. She believes his blood was shed to pay for her sins.

      Do you really believe she's not saved because she hasn't spoken something like, "Jesus come into my heart. I accept your forgivess..." ?

      Delete
    4. Tomatoes, Tomato

      But we don't know what people say in there private prayers!

      Kids are that way, just simple and to the point.
      For of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.

      Delete
    5. Through Faith are we saved, not through the Law.
      For by Grace (unmerited favor) are we saved.
      Faith is an action word.
      One takes that belief and acts on it, with the mouth declaration is made.

      I think you answered your own question, She believes because She told you!

      Well there you have it "with the the heart declaration is made".

      Besides all that children, are innocent.

      The Laodiceans are different, there works of faith are lukewarm and that we should
      take note of.

      Delete
    6. correction!

      Well there you have it "with the the mouth declaration is made".

      Delete
  14. As usual an excellent article on a timely topic...
    I've had similar thoughts, but never rationalized them in quite that way. I always assumed that during the period of His suffering, while He was separated from His Father, He was paying not just for every sin that had been committed but, for every sin that would ever be committed. So, rather than asking for forgiveness for the sins I had committed that day, I would express my sorrow for adding to His suffering that day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting, i personally use this verse: [Hebrews 13:15 KJV] 15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.

      Thank you Dear Lord for your forgiveness, what you did on the cross, and rising up 3 days later to give me life.

      Check this out: [Romans 5:10 KJV] 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

      ^^^ See we are forgiven by his death, but we are saved by his life. Epic eh?

      Delete
  15. This has the potential to become one of those discussions that really only holds real-world consequences for a very select few. And therefore, it's not worth being argumentative about.

    Have you asked for salvation? Do you wish to stop sinning? I think the great majority of us are in that category. So pray anyway you wish. Have your regrets before or after, whatever your pleasure. Coming to grips with the very idea of "faith" can take awhile.

    Neither does it behoove anyone to make abstract rules, statements, or dogmatic posts for the 1%. Never rule for the exception, because that's what we call a "rabbit hole," and it borders on missing the forest for the trees. Conversely, if you really want to push it to the nth degree, I suggest both sides start yet another Protestant branch over it . . . cause that's what we need right now.

    Jeremy

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    Replies
    1. There are a lot of versions of the Gospel out there. I am sure i missed some:

      Is there any shedding of blood, is there any forgiveness?
      - Baptism = no/no
      - Church Rituals = no/no
      - Prayer = no/no
      - Changing Your Life = no/no
      - Asking him to save you = no/no
      - Turning from sin = no/no
      - Confessing your sins = no/no
      - Confess Christ = no/no
      - Commit your life = no/no
      - Give your life to Him = no/no
      - Make Him Lord over all = no/no
      - Ask Jesus in your heart = no/no
      - Keep Promises to God = no/no
      - Lords Supper = no/no
      - Jesus Death on the Cross = YES! and YES!

      Many do not know they are in this, i am glad that you have not been suckered like many people have.

      Delete
    2. Hello Jeremy,

      With respect, this is hardly a rabbit hole. Faith alone as a gift, not of any works at all is the crux of Paul's gospel which has been largely ignored and misunderstood and not preached on during this lukewarm Church age. Details matter. What has happened is detail after detail after detail has been ignored and now the church has actually lost the forest for the trees, and they are sending people on rabbit trails, chasing things that they are not supposed to chase after, and they are lukewarm and useless for lack of a better term. Welcome to the end of the church age.

      Bonus: the way to be saved, to overcome sin, walk in power etc etc etc is to listen to and understand the details.

      Grace and peace to you Jeremy.

      Delete
    3. It's not a rabbit hole YET, Steve. But it is in danger of becoming a discussion not relevant to the challenges most talked about here. Does that make more sense? This is a board full of prophetic news, and arguing Luther for too long isn’t really on-point.

      If anything, most of you seem to be trying to say the same thing, and you’re talking past each other, in a respectful way. Can we agree on these?

      The “way to be saved” has nothing to do with "overcoming sin." Only Jesus is capable of that.

      It has nothing to do with "walking in power." Faith is all that we have, and Grace is all that we need. Walk in confidence if you've accepted Jesus as your savior.

      Asking for repeated forgiveness in prayer isn't required, but it sure can't hurt. And I suppose that Jesus probably wanted us to keep that in the backs of our minds. Not as a prerequisite or curse, but to give perspective and purpose. The SPIRIT of continued repentance was meant to inform our discussions with each other and the rightly divided Word . . . and Paul knew that.

      As I read the above, it seems to me that most of us agree that “works” are not necessary, so maybe our worst problem is NOT that there are those who are overly invested in following “trails” or “chasing things” or doing WORKS for all the wrong reasons, you know?

      Yes, of course, the “details matter.” Faith versus Works does matter . . . but the only people arguing this particular point are bored Christians, teachers, pastors, and like-minded believers. As in Hosea 4:6, God’s people “are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” but not necessarily because they were overactive on the works front!

      I don’t mean any of this as a criticism, per se. Just that this is fodder for argument BETWEEN Christians. It's a Master's or Doctorate-level discussion, at a time when the Church can't get Freshmen in the door, as you've pointed out.

      Jeremy

      Delete
    4. Jeremy continued confession of sin is not in line with the new covenant. That leads to a conscience of sins as though the work was not finished (Hebrews 10). A believer is the righteousness of God in Christ. He confesses that Jesus did it all. Righteousness conscious not sin conscious. I am not talking about luther at all. In fact luther did not go far enough. Confession of sin vs simply believing in imputed righteousness - this is not a side topic. It is the difference between being free and empowered vs being guilt conscious, under works, cursed and ineffective.

      Repeated asking for forgiveness not only can hurt but it does hurt. That is the point.

      This is also not an intellectual exercise or discussion. The disciples had no degrees or acronyms after their names. Neither should we.

      Works are not necessary but they are the outflow of one truly under grace.

      Delete
    5. There is only one way:
      Galatians 2:19 (KJV)
      For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

      Delete
  16. Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
    I certainly found out this for my salvation in Christ, His Word totally spoke volumes to me, and I use the word spoke, yep and I heard alright, back in 1999. and admittedly I agree with the subject Gary has written here, taken a number of years to realise that I didn't need to continiously ask for forgiveness as I am forgiven, and yes I give thanks, but I do say this that through a 3 week lockdown, I fasted 21 days and much came out of me into a new understanding of relationship with Jesus and faith, I'm so greatful for what Christ has done for me, and now I stand fully convinced in Christ Jesus my Lord.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
    I certainly found out this for my salvation in Christ, His Word totally spoke volumes to me, and I use the word spoke, yep and I heard alright, back in 1999. and admittedly I agree with the subject Gary has written here, taken a number of years to realise that I didn't need to continiously ask for forgiveness as I am forgiven, and yes I give thanks, but I do say this that through a 3 week lockdown, I fasted 21 days and much came out of me into a new understanding of relationship with Jesus and faith, I'm so greatful for what Christ has done for me, and now I stand fully convinced in Christ Jesus my Lord.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Spot on Matthew. Recognize that all these other things are good! To be encouraged for sure. But they have zero to do with our adoption. Believe on the (work of) the Lord Jesus Christ=Salvation.

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    Replies
    1. @Jeff, bingo brother ;)

      Anything Self = self/works righteousness
      Only Jesus = faith/belief/imparted/gifted righteousness

      Delete
  19. Romans 5:1 (KJV) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

    ^^^ Peace be with you all.

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  20. Beautiful article.

    So many in on this topic right now elsewhere too. :)

    I think it shows the awakening of those who have been asleep, as well as the resolve of those who are already awake. :)

    🚫 🍇

    ·····|\︵/|··
    ··╱É· É·╲··
    ··╲\▼/╱··

    Foxman on the Wall

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe each generation has to go through this?

      Delete
  21. There's a difference between Fellowship and Union.
    * * * * *
    Being saved means we are in UNION (Unified = at one with) with God;
    whether we confess our sins or not we cannot loose our salvation.
    But, God is Holy and cannot abide sin.
    Being saved does not mean we are free to sin just because we still have a sin nature
    and expect to get away with it.
    While Christ's death on the cross was a once and for all remuneration for all of our sins, past and present, sin can still take us out of FELLOWSHIP with God.
    I agree that God already knows we are all sinners and knows before we do the sins we will commit.
    But, I don't agree that we should not acknowledge our sins and thank God for his forgiveness.
    David did.
    He even asked God to forgive his "hidden sins."
    It shows acknowledgement of the wrong doing on our part
    and reminds us of the sacrifice made on our behalf,
    as well as the grace and mercy bestowed upon us.
    Like The Prodigal Son, we're still our Father's child,
    but until we TAKE ACTION and repent, come back to our Father's home,
    we've allowed sin to separate us from God's blessing and favor in our lives.
    I know when I pray and ask God's forgiveness that I am already forgiven.
    But, I also know, as the old saying goes, that "confession is good for the soul."
    It puts me back on the right track with God.
    * * * * *
    It's sort of like knowing your mother's birthday is February 22nd, but if you never acknowledge it and tell her Happy Birthday, what difference does the knowing make. And, it makes mom happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In and out of fellowship? https://youtu.be/Lbje1PTEGB8

      Delete
  22. BTW, I noted the painting depicting Martin Luther pinning up his 95 Thesis.
    Luther was all about forgiveness and not having to go through a priest or paying for indulgences in order to do so!
    Luther actually, gasp, suggested congregants could pray directly to God!
    About anything, but especially concerning the forgiveness of their sins.

    Number 36: Every Christian who is truly contrite has complete remission both of penance and of guilt as his due, even without a letter of pardon (from the pope).

    ReplyDelete
  23. Romans 10:9 "If you confess with our mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved"

    John 3:16 "for God so loved the world that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life"

    Ephesians 2:8-9 "for you are saved by grace through faith, and it is not from yourselves; it is a gift of God, not from works so that no man can boast."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sealed until the day of redemption ;)

      Delete
  24. “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

    Proverbs 28:13

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phillipians 2:12, i WAS BORN AGAIN IN 99, BUT IN 2014, a situation arose, I was chasing after a woman, and i started to get problems in my right hip, which cost me my job and finances and stability, and medication i was put on, worked only to mask the pain, then came the day that they didn't work and the pain was so intense, i was crying out to God from deep within, and huge questions as to why,, but something special happened, a preacher Charles Stanley had sermon called IN THE VALLEY, and when I heard it God gave me understanding, and I realised that I had put an idol in front of God, and I Repented and cried out to GOD and was very sorry for what I had done,,,,and the next morning I got out of bed expecting all the pain and suffering, but there was none, it was gone, God Healed me, because I repented and was sorry and pleaded with God for mercy.....the physiotherapist even heard my testimony and entered it into her computer....Praise and Glory to God forever, he healed me.....thanks Jesus...

      Delete
    2. Phillipians 2:12, i WAS BORN AGAIN IN 99, BUT IN 2014, a situation arose, I was chasing after a woman, and i started to get problems in my right hip, which cost me my job and finances and stability, and medication i was put on, worked only to mask the pain, then came the day that they didn't work and the pain was so intense, i was crying out to God from deep within, and huge questions as to why,, but something special happened, a preacher Charles Stanley had sermon called IN THE VALLEY, and when I heard it God gave me understanding, and I realised that I had put an idol in front of God, and I Repented and cried out to GOD and was very sorry for what I had done,,,,and the next morning I got out of bed expecting all the pain and suffering, but there was none, it was gone, God Healed me, because I repented and was sorry and pleaded with God for mercy.....the physiotherapist even heard my testimony and entered it into her computer....Praise and Glory to God forever, he healed me.....thanks Jesus...

      Delete
  25. Gary, Gregg, I'm trying to get something in front of your eyes. If you believe it is valid you will want to tell people about it. Looking at the scripture I don't see how it isn't valid but this isn't taught by anyone that I've ever listened to. I went through it with my Bible looking at each scripture and it changed the way I see intercession. All I want to do now is think of someone else I can pray for. Start at 8:47, the beginning is rapture speculation for 2020. https://youtu.be/W5rdQuvvG-E

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hay Jim

      Can you just nutshell it for me?

      Delete
  26. Gregg,

    First of all I will say this isn't traditionally taught. I have watched several times and looked up the scripture in the original languages and I don't see anything wrong with what he is saying.
    The scriptural references are;
    Romans 9:15
    Romans 9:21
    1 Timothy 4:10
    1 Timothy 2:20-21
    Deuteronomy 16:11

    He is making the case that when we intercede for someone WE are counting them worthy to escape these things which are coming upon the earth. That particular verse has always bothered me because those covered by the blood of Christ are worthy based on what He has done (why would we pray to be counted worthy?). The unbelieving Jews are going through the Tribulation (why would they pray to be counted worthy). Obviously unbelieving gentiles are not praying to be counted worthy either. I believe something was hidden here and I think the video explains it and it is absolutely astounding if he is correct. You will need to watch the video to fully understand. I can't do justice to his reasoning in a paragraph. Maranatha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok, so what is your thinking now on that particular verse?
      And I will look at the video, but first I'll look at the verses of scripture you have up there!

      Delete
    2. The verse in question is Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. The reason I believe it is pointing to something hidden is, I believe, simple. It doesn't actually apply to anyone. The distinction between sleeping Christians and those who are awake in reference to who will be raptured was made here and very clearly. The verse doesn't apply to us, it doesn't apply to the unbelieving Jews, and it doesn't apply to the unbelieving gentiles. If they realize they are unworthy and are praying then they become Christians. Who is Luke 21:36 referring to and how is it applied? I believe it was written to make us dig deeper and I think the explanation is revealed in scripture. I believe the video is correct but; Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. If the video is correct then everyone should know. If it isn't then I shouldn't be promoting it. The video is by Jeff Sherwood and the beginning is a recap of the scripture on the feast of weeks being a description of the rapture. Dr. Barry Awe is on the same track and referenced Jeff Sherwood's videos in his last video. From 8:47 on in the video he is talking about intercession and if he's right it is mind blowing.

      Delete
  27. It is 2 Timothy 2:20-21

    ReplyDelete
  28. 221163 = jfk death
    22173 = lbj death
    lbj is 12210

    ReplyDelete


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