Biblical difference?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by moscott, May 22, 2007.

  1. moscott

    moscott
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    Biblically, does it distinguish between someone who obeys God's word after thought vs from the heart? What I mean is someone who doesn't take something after thinking about it(WWJD) vs someone who has no desire to take it. It seems to me there are certain people who genuinely don't want to sin while others seem to have to stop themselves from sinning knowing it goes against God's word.
     
  2. jshurley04

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    Huh?

    Man, I am sorry but I simply do not understand your question. Maybe I am just a little thick today, but could you rephrase?
     
  3. moscott

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    Sure, let me use an example to illustrate my question. 2 people happen upon a large sum of money. The first has the inclination to take it, but then after thinking about doing the right thing or WWJD to be a good Christian, decides not to take it. The 2nd happens upon the money and immediately, without thought chooses to turn in the money. Biblically is there a difference between the 2?
     
  4. Scarlett O.

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    I know what you are saying. Even though I can be a little thick-headed myself sometimes.

    Yes, there is a subtle difference. But neither is better than the other. I'm not sure that the bible delineates between the two, but I think motivations to obey come from two different places.

    Sometimes we choose to obey God because our hearts are totally in line with His heart to begin with. For example, I have no desire to inject heroin into my body because I know that God said that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. I obey God here because of heart's desire.

    Then again, sometimes we choose to obey God inspite of the fact that our heart's desire is not His heart's desire. For example, there are many times that I have an overwhelming desire to leave the church I am attending and move my membership elsewhere. There are some things that I am not happy with. But, God has not given me instructions to move. In fact, His instructions to me are to stay put and quit grumbling. So, I stay put. I obey God, even though my heart's desire is nowhere near His heart's desire in this matter.

    So we obey sometimes because of our own heart and sometimes in spite of it.

    I think the key point is that we obey. And when do obey, our hearts line up more and more with His anyway.
     
  5. saturneptune

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    I think I understand what you are saying. We are all sinners, and all weak. Different things bother different people. For example, if a friend and I walk past a bar, I may not give it a second thought, while he may have a real struggle with some past events. Then as we go on down the street, we come upon a casino. He may not give it a second thought while it may be a struggle for me not to go in and gamble.

    Those are ridiculous examples, but the principle applies. To me, the one that struggled and left it through the power of the Holy Spirit had God working in his or her life more than the person for whom it does not bother. This is all just my opinion.
     
  6. jshurley04

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    Thanks

    Now I understand what you mean. I would say it is partially a maturity issue and partly an old-nature battle issue. As we mature in Christ, we get beyond some petty things and learn to simply do right. However, from time to time we find an issue that we just cannot get around without a fight with the old nature. I don't know that there is a teaching that indicates that one is better than the other (in reference to your example). I just know that Christ sees the heart attitude and our desires and knows us better than we know ourselves and handles us accordingly.
     
  7. moscott

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    That's just it though---the 1 mans heart has no desire to sin, while the 2nd mans heart's desire IS to sin. However, after thinking about God's law he doesn't commit the sin. Seems to me that the man who has no desire is walking with Christ while the 2nd man doesn't seem to be at that level yet, even though he ultimately obeys God's command.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    First, I don't think there is a great biblical distinction between the heart and mind. So, I think the difference between your two is that one person's mind is immediately tending towards godliness and the other person's mind has more of a struggle to do the right thing. That is an issue of spiritual maturity and growth.
     
  9. Scarlett O.

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    I disagree with your ranking of these situations.

    All of us have sins that do not tempt us and sins that plague us.

    Just because Christian A can drive right passed a liquor store and NEVER have a desire to drink and Christian B struggles with the desire on a daily basis doesn't mean that Christian A is more mature than Christian B.

    Because I guarantee you, Christian A has some struggles with some sinful desires of his own that Christian B knows nothing of.

    Wouldn't you say that Christians who fight the temptations and obey God even when their flesh wants to give in does that from spiritual maturity? It's not that the lack of temptation is a sign of spiritual maturity, but the overcoming of it through Jesus Christ.

    If the lack of temptation were a sign of spiritual maturity, then toddlers and pre-schoolers would be more spiritually mature than all of the pastors in all of the pulpits of the world.
     
  10. Servent

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    Wouldn't you say that Christians who fight the temptations and obey God even when their flesh wants to give in does that from spiritual maturity? It's not that the lack of temptation is a sign of spiritual maturity, but the overcoming of it through Jesus Christ.

    A-Men



     
  11. Amy.G

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    First of all, what man is there that has no desire to sin? We all have the sinful nature still inside us which wars against the new man.
    The first man that you speak of does not exist.
     
  12. EdSutton

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    Well said, Amy.G

    Well, with the few exceptions that regularly post on the BB that claim to have overcome any desire to sin. Or maybe that is merely their "pet" sins, since pride does not ever seem to be included! :rolleyes:

    Ed
     
  13. DQuixote

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    I'm using "you" in this not for you specifically, moscott, but as a general "you".

    The desires of the flesh, the old nature, over against the spirit imparted at the moment one believes. It is an age-old battle that never ends. Draw a circle. Divide it down the middle. On the left side insert the word "flesh". On the right side insert the word "spirit". When spirit is in control the left half of the circle is reduced in size. The right side of the circle now takes up, for example 75% of the circle. The line down the middle moves from its center, like the hand on a clock. I'm not into mental imagery, but if it helps spirit gain control of one's thought life, put a mental image of that right above one's eyes. Each time one is tempted, see the right side of the image gaining more of the circle ~~ gaining the upper hand, so to speak.

    Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Don't rush about rebuking him yourself. Say something like "In the Name above all names, Jesus, get thee behind me, satan!" whilst walking past the bar, or retrieving the money to turn in. The other day I made a self-serve purchase. The changer spit out 5 cents more than I should have received in change. I instantly thought about taking it to the manager. Then I thought he or she would laugh at me. After I got home I was plagued with guilt about that nickle. My wife told me to forget it. Guess what? Next time I'm in that store I'm taking a nickle to the manager. The right side of my circle was / is in control.

    One must be super-careful with mental imagery - with the thought life - especially if one is a babe in Christ.
     
  14. moscott

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    Amy.G,

    So you are saying there is NO person who would not be tempted to take the money? Everybody who comes across this money would want to take it---no exceptions?
     
  15. Amy.G

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    No. Now you are talking about individual people with individual temptations.
    I was referring to this statement when I said that all have sinful desires:
    It seems your are trying to equate the lack of temptation with being a more spirtual person. Scarlett gave a good post on this.
     

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