Examine ourselves

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Judith, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. Judith

    Judith
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    Jesus said the following;
    Matt 7:21 Not every one 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.

    Now let me say this. If anything or anyone means more to us than Jesus and our relationship (walk) with Him then we need to question our salvation.

    2Cor. 13:5
    Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

    Verse 8 Here is how to do that examinazation;
    For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.

    We all make mistakes from time to time, but Eternity is too long (forever) and hell too terrible to make a mistake in this area. Let us diligently examine ourselves by scripture and not by our own hearts or by comparing ourselves to others.

    For if we are really on the right road we can do nothing against the truth but for it.
     
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  2. HankD

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    Galatians 5
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
    23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
    24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
    25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

    1 Corinthians 13
    4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
    5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
    6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
    7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    These spiritual virtues CANNOT be mimicked by the flesh.

    The fruit of the Spirit - agape love. You have or you don't.

    HankD
     
  3. AVL1984

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    In this day and age it is so EASY for people to just say a prayer and believe that they are saved. This easy believism has led to a quandry in our churches. I've heard many statistics on how many people the pastors of churches believe are truly saved in their own congregations..anywhere from 40 percent or less, and out of those only a few are showing any of the fruits of the Spirit. Few are involved in sharing the Gospel of Christ and I find it astonishing that many who claim to be a Christian would not even be sensitive enough to the opportunities that the Lord opens for them to share the Gospel of Christ with not only their families, but their friends and acquaintances. Truly, as you said, let us examine ourselves. One can't go long in the worldly lifestyles or leave church and have NO desire to go back (as my pastor said this week...we are LINKED by the Holy Spirit, and we NEED that spiritual food and fellowship to be alive and well in Christ) and call themselves a child of God. Thank you for this thread.
     
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  4. HankD

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    It is "easy" to hand out tracts, easy to go out on visitation and I've done it all.

    I have a clash with the words "easy believism" it should be called "phony believism" because believing on Jesus Christ is one of the easiest things I know how to do. It's easier than breathing which for the most part is a level below consciousness.

    I have even been accused (falsely IMO) of misunderstanding "easy believism" for bringing this fact (of my ease) to the surface.

    On the contrary N0 ONE can believe in Jesus Christ apart from the power of the Holy Spirit belief in Jesus Christ is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE without this power. With this power it is absolutely done with NO EFFORT at all (at least for me).

    What is the alternative to "easy believism" (and it begs that question)? "Difficult believism".
    Coming to grips with the reproval/conviction of sin is often times exceedingly difficult but NOT believing in Jesus Christ after receiving Him.

    So "phony believism" is IMO the correct term. The difference of the wheat and the tares of Matthew 13.
    The tares (the phonies) can talk the talk and some can even appear openly to walk the walk.

    2 Corinthians 11
    14 ... Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
    15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

    HankD
     
  5. AVL1984

    AVL1984
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    Hank, I can certainly concede the statement you made about my "easy believism". True Christians KNOW that there is NO SUCH THING. I guess I've used that terminology because of the constant use of it over the years and the constant hearing of the phrase. Many find it very hard to accept the Lord Jesus Christ, including many in my own family. They've heard the Gospel, and some say that they believe Jesus was the saviour...yet, they won't accept him.They believe that being a good person will save them in the end. We know that this isn't the case.
    I guess for me it was hard to come to Christ. I was raised in a "Christian" home, and even attended a Christian school from 8th grade to the end of my high school years, and then even attended Bible college. It was there that I accepted the Lord after a year of struggling with whether or not I truly had accepted Christ in my earlier years.
    Phony believism would be an acceptable term to me, because for those who just say a prayer and go on their way, it is phony IMHO.
    Glad you brought this up. The discussion is good and helps us to understand more what it truly is to accept and follow Christ.
    Blessings.
     
  6. HankD

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    Yes, IMO the essence of a "difficulty" of coming to Christ is actually the difficulty of the unregenerate to accept the fact that they (specifically) are sinners.
    Once that fact is accepted then as John Bunyan said - my sins rolled off my back to the cross of Calvary.
    It seems that the population of tares will only get worse and worse in the local churches until Jesus "Takes Care of Business".

    Matthew 13
    37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
    38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the
    wicked one;
    39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
    40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
    41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend,
    and them which do iniquity;
    42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
    43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear,
    let him hear.

    HankD
     
  7. Van

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    Before we conclude the issue when we examine ourselves is to determine if we are engaged in ministry, lets recall that ill advised ministry will be burnt up and we could enter heaven, not abundantly, but as one escaping from a fire.

    Have you actually studied scripture and made a list of "all" Christ has commanded? Have you and your church "made disciples" teaching them to observe all He commanded? Take a look at "your" discipleship manual, does it contain all that Jesus commanded? Now recall that if you love Him, you will keep His commandments.

    It is ever so easy to find fault with the walk of others, but do we find fault with ourselves? God gives grace to the humble but opposes the proud.
     
  8. HankD

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    And it is ever so difficult to find self-fault but I do indeed find fault in myself - mainly laziness and excuse-making amongst other things.

    My approach to others and their faults - I try to behave as a doctor to heal not as a judge to condemn.

    but I also find this:

    Matthew 25
    24 Then he who had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
    25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.
    26 But his lord answered and said to him, You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.
    27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.

    Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    So I am careful and critical of myself but take the risk with prayer for myself and for those to whom He has given to me to guide them along the way.

    In addition He has put those among the many I "teach" to keep me on my toes. :)

    HankD
     
  9. Van

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    With all those whip snapping critics, certainly your discipleship manual has a list of Christ's commands, right? Otherwise, is it not a modified easy believism? Is it as easy as believe Jesus is God, believe Jesus is the Messiah, believe Jesus provides propitiation for your sins, and viola you are automatically saved!! Without the commitment to become like Christ, and to serve Christ.

    How do we make disciples if we are clueless when it comes to presenting all Christ commanded?
     
  10. HankD

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    Yes, if you are addressing me Van, I am an easy believer. As I said before, believing in Jesus Christ is the easiest thing I know how to do. For those who are not the children of God it is "impossible believism" (but it can be mimicked or taught) .

    For the tares (the children of satan) whatever form their "godliness" takes, it is "phony believism".

    You do not know me, you certainly do not/cannot know my heart.
    You do not know what I say in my teaching of others.

    But I will say this, in the right time babes in Christ learn to walk and talk after their desire for the sincere milk of the word is met.

    The problem with commitment in some LS churches (my former background) Van is that in my estimation, what you call "modified easy believism" simply takes another form of what might be called "easy churchianity" in which tares are taught to talk the talk and even to give the impression of walking the walk via a performance oriented agenda of rote and canned "commitments", coming up front for prayer (even with tears), etc.

    If the love of God does not develop on its own in the heart of a "believer" then something is indeed wrong.

    So, my issue is one of approach (as one of the revs noted), not to helping the young (in Christian terms) develop agape love (which is the overriding issue in resulting in a genuine commitment to Christ).
    IMO, All the post salvation good works and discipling classes are worthless without it.

    Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
    2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
    3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

    I am not denigrating you personally, I don't know you, I certainly cannot know your heart, but if you are feeding the sheep under the venue of your approach and they are thriving, then may God continue to bless you and them.

    So, you may not want to believe it (don't know for sure) but we both have the same objective.

    HankD
     
  11. Van

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    I did not address your stewardship, The fact that you are a fine Christian gentleman shines through your every post. I addressed any evangelical effort that does not teach observing all that Christ commanded as part of the gospel. By your avoidance of addressing my question, I am forced to infer your discipleship manual does not list or reference all Christ commanded. The gospel requires going "all in" for Christ.
     
  12. HankD

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    My sense is that we should not force babes in Christ beyond that which they are able or lay burdens upon them that are Pharisaical. So I do not ask if they have "committed all" to Christ or made Him LORD of their life, while these concepts are scriptural the LS words and phrases are framed in the language of the world IMO.

    My technique (which has proven successful) is by way of example not only my own but others as well.

    It is also important for the young in Christ to see how mature Christians behave in adversity and yes even human failure.

    Our pastor is expositing through Genesis currently related to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bringing their human failings into the twenty first century setting and relating how we can overcome these examples through the indwelling Spirit.

    In addition we are presently trying "small groups" mingling the babes in Christ and the young men (ala 1 John) with the mature (at least one couple) to gently guide them along the way - we have had good results.

    Signature words like "commitment (a 21st century word)" and "LORDship (used twice in the NT and not of Christ)" are used sparingly.

    A "complete surrender" or "commitment" to Christ are not verbalized because the wordings are not biblical phrases (try scanning for them).

    Rather in a more scriptural wording in guiding the brethren through the scripture showing our father's expectation we most certainly use the following passage:

    Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

    Which (living sacrifice) seems a higher order than simply making a "commitment".

    While "discipling" is part of our local church mission our thought is that the Spirit of God leads each soul in their journey from bearing the image of Adam to the image of Christ, we guide them along the way with expository preaching/teaching, correcting, admonishing, fellowshipping, serving one another with prayer and many other gifts of the Spirit.

    For this reason we have no "discipleship manual" but an outline of discipleship in our mission statement.

    I don't know if that answers your question.

    HankD
     
    #12 HankD, Aug 2, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
  13. Van

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    Always do right, even with the little things. (Matt. 3:15)
    Study the Word of God, live by it. (Matt. 4:4)
    Do not take actions that depend on God’s action to have a good result, do not put God to the test. (Matt. 4:7)
    Worship God and serve Him only. (Matt. 4:10)
    Repent and do God’s will. (Matt. 4:17)
    Be a fisher of men, follow Christ’s example. (Matt. 4:19)
    Be humble and do God’s will. (Matt. 5:3)
    Be sorry for your sins and ask for forgiveness. (Matt. 5:4)
    Control your emotions, do what is right. (Matt. 5:5)
    Focus your desires on doing God’s will. (Matt. 5:6)

    Commitment is a 1st Century concept. It seems quite difficult to examine ourselves in light of all Christ commanded, if we are clueless as to what exactly Christ commanded.

    And again, the point has nothing to do with you or your church, the point is examining ourselves to see if we are measuring up.

     
  14. HankD

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    Hi Van,

    I understand the concept of "commitment" and I agree in a qualified way.

    Qualification: being human there will be failures, so acknowledgement and repentance are the way to restoration of fellowship.

    Again (even in the earthly lesson) some babies do a lot of stumbling when learning how to walk.
    We need to be there and put on the band-aid if there are injuries, pick them up, give encouragement, etc...

    "Clueless" ? Another non-scriptural word brother, one which the world loves to use.
    Of course being in the world (but not of the world) I understand what you mean and I agree.

    And in that line of thought, I do have a "list" of scripture passages which we will occasionally take the time to look at/visit/revisit to outline our father's expectation for us and Matthew 4:4 is at the top of the list which you have also.

    Here is another on that list which I like to spend some time on because IMO a lot of Christian ineffectiveness has its root in the disobedience thereof: It is given in a mosaic "law" venue but I believe it can be used in an almost direct application to the church.

    Matthew 5
    23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
    24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

    Also agreed: self examination - very important so we won't be "clueless" about our own standing.

    Here is another word which does not appear in the bible (but does in concept) but has a bearing upon that standing : accountability.

    Being Americans we don't like this concept but it is important because even after self examination we can "swallow the camel" or as the world likes to say "miss the elephant in the room". :Smile

    HankD
     
  15. Van

    Van
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    Spot on HankD!
     
  16. AVL1984

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    I'm glad to see that there was continued subject matter here on this particular thread. I know that all of these things discussed in this particular thread could be debated back and forth forever. The point for me is this...that we are to EXAMINE OURSELVES...are we truly saved, witnessing Christians or not? I know that Christ has forgiven me, SAVED me, and is my only hope of getting into Heaven. I also know that we are to "work out"...or...let our salvation work itself out from the inside to the outside world, and that we should be bringing forth that LIGHT...Jesus Christ! I also know that I hear a lot of churches speaking of "ONLY BELIEVE"....I have a problem with this one thing being said without qualifications given...The DEVILS BELIEVE and tremble. Those angels that fell wouldn't accept God's way, though they knew HIS way was the ONLY way.
    I may not post a load of Scripture like Hank, and I do appreciate his doing so and his testimony, as well as the same of the other posters on this thread.
    Sorry I've not been on here in a while, but I've been busy. Y'all have a blessed weekend. :)
     
  17. HankD

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    I understand the concern.

    There is an adjunct to "Only believe", "for to believe aright means life eternal".

    I caution against a "rush to judgment" by the older saints many of which themselves had a rocky road and many a fall before they matured and in some cases were even written off by others but the LORD stood them on their feet again.

    Be patient with the babes in Christ who are often very worldly and not cloistered in our environment or haven't grown up in "churchianity (speak church language)". Yes, some things must be dealt with immediately but even then we should be gentle.

    2 Timothy 2
    24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
    25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
    26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

    are taken captive - perfect participle - They are/were taken captive, now we must gently help them recover out of the devil's snare.

    HankD
     

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