Sunday, August 23, 2009

More - Grace, but..........

I just received the following text in an email, after having a conversation with a lovely person recently. It actually hurt my heart to read it, and I would like to hear how you (my grace friends) might consider responding. Thoughts please???

"Grace IS a beautiful, basic doctrine of the New Testament, but it is not the ONLY doctrine found in the N.T.  It could be an eternally fatal mistake to treat it as if it is the only doctrine in the N.T.

We need to make a distinction between Salvation doctrine (how we are grace alone!), and how we are to live once we are saved.  The N.T. is full of right attitudes, right behaviors and good fruits we are to "put on" if our saving faith and salvation grace are real.  To overlook those verses one would have to eliminate most of the N.T.!  Although we will not lose our salvation over them, there are rewards in Heaven that will be gained or lost by our works on earth."


Matthew Campbell said...

There is so much I want the person who wrote that to understand.

This has Galatians wrote all over it. Grace is a beautiful doctrine, BUT. An eternall fatal mistake to say grace is the only doctrine. Are you kidding? It's eternally fatal if it isn't! If it isn't all of grace, then it's eternally fatal.

I don't mean to be rude, but this really frustrates me and I don't understand why I or anyone else has had such trouble seeing it.

It's saying grace is nice, but we still have to work. Well then it's no longer grace! You have fallen away from grace. You have set it aside and insisted we must do something.

I understand fruit comes from the Holy Spirit living within us. But this person is not saying that. They're saying it's grace, but we still gotta do something.

If Jesus didn't do it all, what are you going to bring to the table? If God couldn't finish the job, then what are you going to do? Jesus fulfilled the law for you! What an insult to Jesus who sold all that he had to buy you!

Having been saved by grace are you now going to complete the job by works? What nonsense. What contradiction.

lydia said...

Gotcha good and riled there, hey Matty Boy! Well, that's a good thing, your spirit is in tune with error!!

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I think it's sad that people think grace is only a doctrine to get you saved and then you have to work it out on your own!

Grace is a beautiful gift - Jesus gave His very life for us to have within! That is the bomb dealio to me!!

Love your passion my bruhtha!!

lydia said...

Wouldn't it be cruel of God to leave us to ourselves? I mean what was the point of the cross, the brutal extent of the cross? Just to get us forgiven and 'in' and leave us on our own to figure life out? No - God is way better than that. He gave us everything we need for life and godliness in Christ we have fullness, and completeness!! Thank Goodness, right!!!

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

The interesting thing about this email is that it is true. I'll wait a second while Matthew gets his grace filled hands off my throat.

If you actually read through the NT it is filled with bald injunctions. Do this and do that.
And unlike we are doing today, hardly any of these injunctions are qualified in any we are really feeling to do in these days.
So who is right then? And if you go back a couple of decades to Larry Christenson one of his great analogies is that every injunction that the NT gives us to do is likened to the wooden forms that you build around what you want to construct before pouring in the real thing...the concrete. He likens the rather poor quality rough wooden forms to anything we attempt to do in sheer obedience to the Word, all the while believing for God to fill in the gaps with His real stuff. His Love, His Presence, His joy etc. And you know what, looked at through certain eyes this is actually what happens when for example you extend hospitality.
Say perhaps Jamie gets it into her head to invite a load over to the Farm. She prepares the rooms, the food, they both open their home and hearts....but It is only God who supplies the Presence, the Joy, the Impact of His Word, the manifestation of Body life. So in that respect Larry's picture holds true.

But this is the clever bit that the Body as a whole are only gradually waking up to. It's this.
Who are we? Who is the one doing all these injunction type things.
Who is this me?
The first bit of the Christian life seems to be like a massive strip down of everything we thought we were, in order to learn painfully that "I can do nothing apart from Christ" We begin to get a lifechanging revelation that it really is nolonger I who live, but Christ who lives now within me...and we proceed onwards in the faith of that. And as soon as we get dispeace (because peace was given to us as an umpire) we stop, and sense what Christ is or is not doing through us.
So yes...there are enjoinders for us to do things
IT DOES NOTHING TO ADD TO OUR SALVATION...well as independent beings in any case
They are rather prophetic reminders, grace filled reminders of the sort of things Jesus naturally does through rather than forget who we are now, we must open ourselves to let Him do these kind of behaviours through us.
But identity precedes function.

lydia said...

"Identity precedes function"

I'd say so! I think I hear what you are saying Chris. I think identity produces function. When we know who we are, we act like who we are!! The 'church' at large knows not who they are, but they sure know how to talk about how to function - problem is they are functioning out of the flesh level most often and not out of their source!!

I like that wooden frame analogy..............

Joel B. said...

Yeah, the email text gets me riled too! :) Any and all of the "do's" of the Christian life are not in addition to grace. They are a result of the working of grace. I've heard PAW put it this way (although in my own words)... the 80/20 principle... that 80% of the NT epistles are laying of the grace/identity foundation, and the other 20% is the "living out" of who we are. And again, it's not doctrine that's added to grace, but it's lived out completely and totally in the realm of grace!

What gets me about what this person is saying is that it sounds like he/she is saying that grace is for salvation, but then the rest is up to us! It's great that we're saved by grace, but then we've got to "get over" grace and start living the life! How sad is that!

For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. The life that I live in the body, I don't! It's not me at all, trying to fulfill the works of the Christian life! It's Christ living His life through me. I like what Chris said, "grace filled reminders of the sort of things Jesus naturally does through people."

The church tries to get people to be super, naturally. But we live supernaturally!

The Lewis Family said...

One fellow told us a vision her had when he was recently er born of the Spirit. In his vision he saw many asleep in the holy of holies, some starting to wake up. I can't remember the details, but I remember when Dan and I heard it we looked at each other in astonishment, having seen how true that is. So many have no clue who they and where they really are. Wake oh sleepers and rise from the dead. . .

Jamie said...

I love you guys. You are SUPER!! This is a great post, Lyds, and wonderful comments. Does anyone else see how we are edifying each other by sharing our revelations and experiences? WOW!! This knitting together is a beautiful thing.

I just had to give all my kittens a warm hug.

Da Mama Cat

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

like that Joel.
That sleepers thing is so cooool.
Hi Jamie. Hope you didn't mind your name used in vain?

Jamie said...

LOL, Chris! I'm used to THAT, just ask MATT!!! :D

Are we all getting together at The Farm??? COOL!!!!!

Phil said...

I guess we could say 'grace is everything God has done freely,is doing freely, and will do freely,for, in and through us, not missing anything pertaining to life and godliness, bringing in all abundance out of the fulness of the complete abundance of blessing already ours in Christ'.

Matthew Campbell said...

I ditten do nuthin'!!

Eileen said...

I like the beginning of Phil's definition, then I get sort of lost in the verbiage. But Jesus does not make us act in a certain way - like a marionette or a robot. Jesus does not MAKE us act in a way that is godly or holy just because he lives in us.

We have free will and can choose to use it to do things that are in accordance with God's will and commandments, or not. Jesus gave us several commands - and did not blow off the 10 commandments when he was asked by the Pharisees which was most important. He pointed out that the first two were most important, and the implication is that we have the ability NOT to do these things.

Treating others with contempt, anger, unkindness, and more - these things still happen in the life of the Christian. And if we claim to be Christians and preach grace yet treat others in this way, we are exemplifying faith without works, which we know to be dead.

If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. I John 4:20

God is not the only one we're supposed to love, and sometimes loving others takes work from may not simply flow freely out of the fact that Jesus lives in us. And if Jesus felt this commandment was second only to loving God, then I think we need to work at it. I wouldn't want to have to face him one day knowing that I preached one thing and acted another.

Christ's finished work is all that we need for salvation...our works do not contribute to our salvation, but Paul tells us to run the race with perseverance. It doesn't take perseverance to float along on grace alone and assume that there is nothing left for us to do.

Just my two cents...from seats that are WAY cheaper than CJ's. :) I agree with your original questioner that it's dangerous ground to tread thinking that God's grace is the only doctrine of the New Testament.

Joel B. said...

When people asked Jesus about Law, He answered with Law talk. Jesus was by "a certain lawyer" in Luke 10, "Teacher what shall I DO to inherit eternal life. This is where Jesus responded with the LAW! That's kind of odd, since we know through Paul's writings that we don't inherit eternal life through keeping the law! And the conversation continued with the 'certain lawyer' being the one who brought up "You shall love the Lord..." and "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus responded, "Do this and you shall live." Sounds simple, right? But yet Paul told us that there is NO commandment which can give us life! The conversation continued in Luke 10. It says that the man, "seeking to justify himself, asked "and who is my neighbor?" Jesus then followed with the parable of the "Good Samaritan."

So if we're going to go with LAW, then indeed we MUST love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves. And who is our neighbor? Well, it's EVERYONE, even those who are our enemies. The point of all of this was not to give Christians a teaching on how to live the Christian life, but it was showing the Jews how futile it is to try to keep the law!

Paul later told us that the law was given "that every mouth may be stopped and the whole world may become guilty before God." Looking back, we can see that Jesus used the law PERFECTLY!!! Not as a Christian teaching, but as a way to stop people's mouths and to show them their guilt! So it's true that Jesus didn't blow off the Ten Commandments. He simply used them exactly in the way that God intended! The law, which includes "You shall love the Lord your God..." (Deut 6:5) and "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18), was the tutor who brought us to Christ, but now that we're in Christ the tutor's (law) work is DONE!

We've got to understand that Jesus came as one who was "born of a woman, born under the law to REDEEM those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." (Gal 4:4). The teaching of the law leads us TO this redemption, and TO this sonship, but afterwards plays absolutely no part in it!

Eileen said...

Foolish to try to keep the law as a means of gaining salvation - YES!

BUT it is not foolish to try to keep the law out of love for the one who redeemed us.

If you love me, keep my commandments, Jesus said in John 14:15. What are these commandments? Matthew 22:35 is where the Pharisee asks which is the greatest and Jesus replies with an answer similar to the one he gave the rich young ruler you mention above.

I don't get the idea that just because Jesus lives in us, his grace and love are the things that will do the good works through us - and FOR us? - that are necessary for our faith not to be dead.

Jesus ought to have said, then, "Since I love me, I'll keep my commandments. You don't have to do anything, just keep being selfish. Group hug. You're great!"

Matthew Campbell said...

Very clearly spoken, Joel. You spoke my mind exactly.

I love how Jesus preached the law. By preaching it, he remained faithful to the Old Covenant that was still in effect during his lifetime, but at the same time he was also preparing people for a NEW Covenant of grace by magnifying the Old.

Phil said...

Sorry 'bout the verbiage, Eileen. Hang on the word 'freely' in the bit you said you liked. I meant it in this sense of a gift given without condition or price to receive,keep,or operate. The gift of salvation is free and is a salvation from every death-consequence of Adam's sin,not just justification. Of course it all comes through that...this gospel doesn't demand obedience to the law, or help us with it. It FREES us from all those obligations,thus giving us liberty, as well as the way to all obedience. Just now as natural 'fruit' of the Spirit, rather than dead 'works' of the law that mimic it and cause sin and death to increase...So the way to bear fruit to God as indicated by the commands is to live free from the law. And we do that by living by quality new covenant faith that recognizes we are always in God's love,favour and blessing,blessed with all spiritual blessings in him-already complete and not seeking to become complete. Not 'dying to self' by submitting to law to try to become something we're not, but 'yielding' ourselves up more fully,by quality faith alone,to the completeness of all grace for everything,that we already have. Thus being what we've already been made. In the new covenant glory realm where we find our genuine desires to will AND to do of his and our good pleasure, as we choose to believe things so. Faith being the vehicle but not the engine that drives. That's the grace..Soz..more verbiage. Speaking to myself here some. Bit of an outlet ;-)

Phil said...

...See,Lydia,I'm doing it again. Talking doctrinally when I think I'm better shutting up until I know what I'm talking about. I'm sure I'll be more relaxed and natural when I talk,too,like the boys above.

lydia said...

Hey Phil no need to be sorry, honestly you sound natural to me!! I thought that was a great explanation!!

lydia said...

Eileen ~ Whoa loaded comment! I never did understand why CJ wanted to consider himself in the cheap seats when as new creations in Christ we are seated in heavenly places!!!
Got some questions for you. Firstly, do you think that we need to measure our works and others works in order to prove our faith?? Should we regard each other after the flesh?? Also, are you assuming that those who preach grace, Jesus, and His finished work are passively living their lives? Just curious. I want to understand your thoughts more before I respond any further.
Also what did you think of Joel's comment after yours?
In your second comment you mentioned how Jesus spoke to the Pharisee...........STOP right there. Whenever Jesus spoke to the Pharisees, he gave them the law. He did not preach grace to them. Why?
All of the Bible was written for us, but not all of it was written to us. We have to rightly divide the word and distinguish the old from the new. The old covenant thinking is my efforts get me God's favor and blessing, my failures get me curse and disfellowship. The new covenant is Jesus performance removed any possible curse and gave me all the blessings!!!
Anyway, there is much more I could say, but for now that's all. Let me know your further thoughts.........

Phil said...

Why thank you ;-) Maybe it's growing pains...One more thought. Surely no one is objectively under law before God? Else we could never justly believe. That we've all been bought already is the ground to believe and by saved. The Law covenant was a tutor on the hearts of the Jews until Christ,but the only reason it remains in principle on folks' hearts is because they're not lining up with it in faith, thus while it's theirs, it's of no benefit until it's seen for what it is. But there's no law in the left hand to get past to the gospel in the right for anybody in any way. That's why it's good news,and why the Spirit convicts the world of sin because of unbelief in it,rather than this or that sin. He testifies to the gospel always,and a state of being on account of it. Just a recurring thought.

Phil said...

Aigh..that 'it' that folks hearts are not all lined up with was obviously meant to be what's been done for them. Didn't mean law. It's been nailed to the cross cos it was against the world's blessing in Adam

Joel B. said...

Grace is not merely for salvation. And it's not merely a 'doctrine' or 'topic' in the Christian life. Grace is the very essence of every last aspect of the Christian life! The source for loving and serving God and others is God's very own love and grace! Nothing happens apart from grace.

Hope you don't mind if I quote from an article I wrote three years ago:

For example, when it comes to spiritual gifts Paul tells us that we’re each gifted differently "according to the grace given us." In speaking of his own spiritual growth and ministry Paul writes, "by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain, but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me." Elsewhere he testifies, "I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power."

Was Paul saying, "I put forth my best effort and grace covered the rest?" To me it seems more like, "Every single thing I did was solely the result of grace working in me." "This is our boast," he affirms, "our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God's grace." Paul’s boast in his accomplishments wasn’t really a boast in his accomplishments! It was a testimony to the power of grace. His devotion to his call, his understanding of the gospel, his abundant labor in the Lord, his servanthood, his persistence, his humility, his... you name it, wasn’t sustained for a moment by his own strength, striving or abilities.

We've died to the law. Paul makes that point several times in his epistles. We had to die to it in order to be joined with Christ! And now that we're dead to the law, everything we do is Christ-in-us (not Christ "helping" us. It's His very life! And so everything that we do - including walking in love toward God and others - is a result of nothing less than pure grace and His very life in us, and never a result of Law!

lydia said...

Awesome points Joel!!

I'd like to add to, that God loves us as individuals, he values who we are, and he longs to be in union WITH us. He does not cast aside our personalities and character traits. He gave them to us. We are precious to Him. He chooses to join with us in a partnership. If he didn't long to be with us and in us, he would have never created us to begin with. It would have just been Him, Jesus and the HS.
Don't think that 'we' individually don't matter to God. We matter immensely!
But because of God's character he could not be in union with fallen man in the way that He so longed to be. He had a plan all along for Jesus to stand in the gap. After all He is 'the lamb slain before the foundation of the world'.
Now God is raising up a bride for His Son, His church, the redeemed. God could have had life without us, but He chose us. Not so he could have robots or so he could boss us around, but so he could have relationship. I think God is all about relationship and being able to pour out the goodness of who He is upon His children.
Anyway, all that was in response to that last part of what you commented Eileen. Hope that helps some...........Peace to you!!

Matthew Campbell said...

Brilliant, Joel!!

Paul's quote, "By the grace of God I am what I am" really hit me. It isn't by my flesh that I change myself, but it is by God's grace. The law is weakened BY the flesh! There is absolutely nothing wrong with the law. There is something wrong with US! Which is precisely why God found fault with Israel under the law. Therefore he said, "I will make a NEW Covenant with them not like the one I made with them when I led them out of Egypt. For THEY did NOT CONTINUE in My Covenant.

"God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are, so that NO human being might boast in the presence of God. HE is the SOURCE of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Therefore, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:27-31)

Everything is by the finished work of Jesus Christ. Grace isn't just for salvation! You are to remain in grace and grow in it.

We never become stronger, but are to continually acknowledge our weakness and so rely on His grace.

We are never called to 'mature', or rather to IMmature into self effort. How silly to begin by grace and return to self effort!

Matthew Campbell said...

And please, Eileen, don't feel as though we're ganging up on you. Joel just got me excited and encouraged! =)

lydia said...

Matt your excitement is pouring out of my computer.......

We will mature into who we are though. Just like a baby grows up into an adult. But we know that as we grow it's not us causing the growing, it's just us being who we were meant to become. Only condition - believe!!

Another thought I had that I can't remember if it was brought up yet or not, but when we say that as believers we are to follow God's laws (meaning the big 10) we are using the law illegetimately, illegally. It's using the law for the wrong thing it was intended for!! Anyway, for some reason hearing it that way helped me, so I thought I'd share.

Matthew Campbell said...

I never thought of that, Lydia! Using the law for a Christian is unlawful!

lydia said...

Yeah I brought it up because the person who wrote this email, was arguing the point that the law will not pass away, not one iota of it!! I think this hung her up, with what I was trying to share about how the law was cancelled for us as believers. I think we need to hear as much truth as possible to help us get free from the things we once believed, and the verses that trip us up when it comes to the law!!

Phil said...

Thanks for that word on character traits,Lydia :)

Eileen said...

Whoa - sorry guys. Last time I checked, my comment hadn't even been posted yet and now there are all these replies to it!

I promise I'll read them and write a reply in the next day or two. It's hard to grab time with two little boys running around, as I know Lydia can understand!

lydia said...

You're welcome Phil :)

No worries Eileen! Just don't let them run you ragged.......heehee, oh my is that even possible!!

ofthevine said...

Hi Lydia!
I'm here by way of Jamie's blog so you can blame this on her! HA!
Believe it or not I just had a dream about this last night which prompted me to comment.. or vent..
Anyway In my dream this "man" with a "veddy English accent" spoke to me and he said, "It's all BY GRACE", which I wrote down in my notebook and then I noticed someone watching me and he kept trying to steal my notebook. (He was trying to "steal the word". End of dream. Then all day as I was pondering this, so many things came to me, I come from a charismatic background believing in all the Gifts of the Spirit. But I was realizing that they are all By the Grace of God, "Lest any man should boast." (So how did we end up so boastful?) We could insert the word Prophesy comes by the Grace of God through faith and
not of our own selves, lest any man should boast. The same with Revelation, Healing,etc. The point I'm trying to make here is it all comes through Him and By Him so Why are we so Focused on US instead of HIM? He is the Only One Good and Perfect, the rest of us are all in the process of being transformed and yet we put people,- usually men, upon pedestals and follow them like blind sheep because they have demonstrated a gifting in one area so we begin spewing out their "opinions" as if they were all from God instead of what they are- just their own opinions. But we're afraid to say anything even when our discernment light is flashing on and off letting us know this is not of God... See, I am venting.. I guess because so much of this is going on right now. Hope you can make sense of this rant.

Eileen said...

I guess this whole concept is hard for me. I knew a couple growing up and the husband was all preachy about grace alone and how we didn't have to do anything to earn God's favor, so why should we try, etc.

Which is true...

BUT, he was also abusive to the wife. He was a leader in our church and my parents were too, so they knew a little bit more than the average person knew about them. The congregation thought he was this amazingly gifted guy, but because the woman would come to our house a lot, my parents knew that he would say nasty things to his wife and treat her like crap when they were home. He verbally and physically abused her more than once, and while I'm sure she wasn't perfect, she did want to restore the relationship, but felt like she really couldn't do anything right as far as he was concerned. He finally asked for a divorce, which she reluctantly granted him.

It left a really bad taste in my mouth because I think loving your spouse is a fundamental thing that you have vowed before God and friends to do. And while this guy was hating his wife, he was talking about how much he was loving God, and everyone thought he was such a great and gifted leader in the church.

Would his treating his wife this way affect his salvation at all? I don't think so, but does it affect his standing before God at all? I think it might. Does he not have to give an account for these actions at some point? I think he's actually passed away now, but when I hear this concept of grace alone, it makes my stomach churn because I feel like he definitely did not act out of an overflow of the love of Jesus whom he claimed was in his heart towards the one person it mattered most. Sure, he showed love to other people in the church, but was that just a show? Was that what was really in his heart? Did he really not need to change his actions at all or be confronted with the way he treated his wife?

There are definite ways we are to act towards one another, I think, and when we do not, I think it grieves God. That's why that verse means so much - you can't say you love God yet hate (or act hateful towards) your brother/sister.

lydia said...

Kathy!! So glad you stopped by and chimed in!! I think I completely hear where you are coming from, and you are right it is so common place anymore!! We need to stand on grace alone indeed!!

lydia said...

Eileen ~ I hear you girl and what a sad story!! I do not think any one of us is saying it's not important how you treat others or how you live. It's the source we are discussing. You see the Gospel is not right living, it's right believing. Jesus said the only works to do the work of God is believe in the one whom he sent. JESUS!! It's from our right believing that we WILL indeed live from our souce and the way we live and treat others will reflect that!!
Unfortunately, there are those that do hear grace and use it wrongly (look at the Corinthians). This wrong use of grace should not cause us to shy away from it, but instead preach it all the more boldy. The Gospel preached purely and boldy has the power to transform lives!! That's what I am all about on my blog. It is true that we have a choice/free will and there will be those that simply do not choose to see or choose to let go of living by their own means. Nevertheless, this does not minimize the reality of grace, and truth through Christ becoming our very life!!!!

Matthew Campbell said...

Well said, Lydia. :)

There are people who cause the grace of God to be maligned and God knows how to deal with them. Some of the Corinthians, acting out during the Lord's supper, 'fell asleep.' They died physically. God took them to be with him, I guess, because their lifestyles were a bad testimony to the Gospel.

Paul urged his converts to adorn the Gospel with acts of service and good works so that no one would have cause for offense when it came to God's grace.

Why did the guy who preached grace do such things to his wife? Only God knows the heart. I couldn't tell you, but I can tell you that it isn't the message of grace causing it. The Gospel is the power of God to salvation. Not to sin.

And to quote Rob Rufus: "When you're preaching grace and someone says, 'You are saying that I can go out and commit adultery! That isn't a revelation of the message of grace. It is a revelation of the adultery in their heart."

Even king David, devoted to God as he was and under the law, slept with a man's wife and then had the man killed. And yes, there were consequences for his sin, but David was still under the Old Covenant, which meant blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience.

But you also have to remember when David, filled with the Holy Spirit, looking forward to a New Covenant, said, "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin."

The Bible is primarily written by murderers. All of whom were under the law of God, not grace.

So you see, it isn't grace that causes people to sin. Don't let anyone scare you away from truth.

lydia said...

I was just reminded of Paul's classic response in Romans 6, 'What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?"

Then he goes on to explain how we died and were raised with Christ, just as HIm so that we may walk in newness of life. That our old self was crucified with Christ so that the body of sin my be brought to nothing and that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

Then he says in vs. 12 'Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies to make you obey their passions. Do not present you members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
And then the rest of the chapter is great too - talks about how we are slaves to righteousness instead of slaves to sin.

Eileen, my guess is this pastor you knew of did not have a true genuine revelation or very deep revelation of the grace of God!!

Phil said...

Hey,Matt,Lydia. Just a thought..I reckon that Paul is saying in Rom6v1 etc,not 'shall we do bad because we're under grace?' but 'shall we continue living as if in a *position* of imputed sin, so that grace may abound?' I.e. living as if under law when we're under grace...He goes on to say that what that living looks like is a natural consequence of realizing and laying hold of one's position in Christ. I.e. Reckoning on slavery to a position of righteousness has automatic consequences by the Spirit in us...Not rightly reckoning so is to live as if under law seeking to justify oneself before God by works. The consequence is sin and death consequences in the life. Rom7 then just highlights what life in a position of sin under law inevitably looks like for the person commited to works righteousness..I remember Joseph Prince taking about the Lord's Supper issue with the Corinthians. Surely folks have to be careful not to invoke condemnation here. It's not that they were living with this or that sin, but the why they were. They weren't 'discerning the Lord's body'. I.e. they were not laying hold of their forgiveness,righteousness,position of grace,thus were missing the blessings which inevitably would manifest otherwise. Joseph points out that to say otherwise is turn what's meant to be a blessing to one's faith into a curse that engenders unbelief because it encourages you to relate to God with a works-righteousness. So God's favour and grace then can't flow. It's condemnation that kills. As I say,just a thought.