Grace goes against the grain

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by GH, Jul 14, 2002.

  1. GH

    GH
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    Hi All,

    Grace and salvation are totally unconditional.

    Salvation through works would mean that we had to meet some condition so that we could then be saved. It could be:

    - keeping the laws of Moses
    - keeping the rules of the church
    - doing penance
    - charitable acts
    - regular prayer, bible reading, etc.
    - saying the ‘sinners’ prayer’
    - being baptized
    - repenting (whatever people mean by that)
    - accepting evil experiences as ‘refinements’
    - ‘accepting’ salvation (whatever people mean by ‘accepting’)
    - grovelling to God

    The rescue from the eternal oblivion and nothingness of death which is God’s salvation through Jesus is NOT AN OFFER, any more than creation-in-the-beginning or our own individual births were offers (I didn't ask to be born, did you?). It is an unconditional gift: that means that we don’t have to meet any condition to receive it – not even accepting an offer.

    Jesus told us through his parables what the grace of God is.

    In His story of the runaway son, when that son finally returns, rather the worse for wear, the father abandons all dignity, so highly prized in that society for elders, to welcome the son who had in effect told him that he wished him dead – and make no mistake: the father had NOTHING to do with the mess the boy got himself into. And now we see the nature of God’s grace ...

    Does the father wait until the son is cleaned up before he greets him (the ‘God can’t look on sin’ fallacy)? No, he immediately throws his arms round the smelly, muddy boy and covers his matted hair with kisses.

    Does he put his son through a time of testing or refinement – give him a bad time to make him worthy of ‘sonship’? NO! He throws a party for him without delay, puts the robe of honour and the ring of authority on him, and treats him like the best thing ever created. He won’t even hear of anything else. He does all this before he checks whether his son is coming back to take more from him and return to his debauched lifestyle.

    What’s more, the father isn't upset that everyone isn’t reacting in the same way – it doesn’t even cross his mind to do anything to the returning son that isn’t overwhelmingly welcoming and pleasant. He is happy and smiling and filled with joy!!!!

    That’s what grace is.

    Once ‘grace’ is conditional upon anything at all it is no more grace, it has somehow been earned or merited.

    The completely unconditional nature of grace goes against everything that instinct, training and good sense tell us.

    It simply cannot be that anyone, even GOD, would do something hugely beneficial for us without our doing anything at all to merit it, or even set it in motion.

    Real grace – that is, totally unconditional grace – is outside our imagination. Only someone weak and foolish, a complete pushover, would risk doing something like that.

    Aha!

    The weakness of God; the foolishness of God – that is what grace is!

    God is ‘holy’ – that means ‘other’. It is very ‘other’ to give one’s own life to another – especially when that other

    has not deserved it,
    has not asked for it,
    has not acknowledged the giver
    or the giver’s superiority
    or maybe even the giver’s existence.

    The grace – the totally unconditional favor – of God is OTHER. His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts.

    The grace of God goes completely against the grain.

    It cuts across the whole notion of religion, the idea that it is through:

    what we experience
    or do
    or say
    or think
    or feel

    With real grace, all those things – ALL of them – are COMPLETELY irrelevant.

    Otherwise grace is no longer grace.

    Any thoughts on this?

    Love, Di
     
  2. preacher

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    Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

    21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

    You seemed to have missed the repentance of the son. Yes the father had mercy before, but the son repented to let the father know he was sorry for what he had done.That showed he hadn't returned to " take anymore".
    Also he was cleasned,after the father met & welcomed him. We're not cleasned before being forgiven, but as part of it
    If I offer you a gift, & you refuse it, then I make you take it....is that grace?
    Also..where do you get the meaning of Holy to be "other"?

    [ July 15, 2002, 12:57 AM: Message edited by: preacher ]
     
  3. AITB

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    [​IMG]

    That was my thought! :D

    Thanks for sharing about grace...

    love
    Helen-AITB
     
  4. AITB

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    False analogy...are you a Calvinist?

    I guess not, since Calvinists understand that the gift when rightly understood/seen, is never refused because it is never not wanted. [​IMG]

    God opens the eyes of our hearts to what the gift is.

    love
    Helen-AITB

    [ July 15, 2002, 08:35 AM: Message edited by: AITB ]
     
  5. GH

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    Dear Preacher,

    I used to believe that God chose some (the elect) for salvation, but after studying Romans 9 – for many, many years I must say, God opened my eyes to the fact that He also chooses NOT to save some.

    When a believer dies, he/she enters Heaven because God doesn't count him sins against him.
    When an unbeliever dies, he enters Heaven because God does not count his sins against him.

    I'm just saying that if unbelievers are punished then we who are believers must on some level have contributed to our own salvation; at the very least, we've saved ourselves from punishment through our obedience - and how can we say that without boasting?

    Or we say that all are punished because God does not show favoritism but then there is no grace either - everyone pays for their sins!

    Believing that God has already forgiven all sinners regardless of their lack of repentance and faith has enabled me to truly forgive people I had not been able to forgive for as long as I thought that God would punish them one day...
    To me, the gospel is "Your sins ARE forgiven" not "Repent and then God will forgive you"

    Now THAT’S good news!

    Love in Jesus’ all-sufficient, finished work on the Cross.

    Diane

    “It does not depend, therefore, on MAN’S DESIRE or EFFORT, but on God’s MERCY. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore, God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He HARDENS whom He wants to harden.” Romans 9:16-18
     
  6. GH

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    Dear Preacher,

    I wanted to respond to your question:

    Also..where do you get the meaning of Holy to be "other"?

    Webster’s dictionary says that other is:

    Being one or ones DISTINCT from that one or those ones already mentioned; Different

    Ie, His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. There is NONE like Him.

    He is the only one of His kind.

    I hope this helps.

    Love in Him, Di
     
  7. Me2

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    Hello GH,

    Well What Is Grace?
    Thank God, He Wasnt Looking For The Best, or The Brightest. That Performance Didnt count.That He Wasnt Needing Me To Worship Him, or Tell Him How Great He Is..or Even To Be His Friend Because He Might Have Been Lonely.or He Was Having A Bad Emotional Day and needed someone to hold his Hand.
    To Understand Grace, We Look At Character...God Is Love..Infinite..Complete..

    Whoa..What Do I Mean Complete..

    That God Doesnt Need Anything..That I Wasnt Created To Serve A Purpose That God Needed To Fulfilled. That God Made Me...Just To LOVE...God Didnt Create Me Just To Get Something Out Of Me..He Doesnt Even NEED Me..He Doesnt Come To Me To Receive Worship From Me..
    He's INFINTE..in Every Department..He's Already Got A Full Inventory Of Everything.!

    He Made Me To LOVE Me...Its ALL HIM To ME..His Infinite Supply To Itsy Bitsy Me..
    What Can I Give Him to Deserve His Love?..Nothing

    That Means..I Dont Have To Put On A Show For Him..To Perform, To Please....It Doesnt Matter..
    Its Not How I Perform...or How About How Ill Perform Tomorrow ?...Nope

    Well I Prayed Extra Long Today..Went To Mass Every Day..Surely God Loves Me More..At Least, More Than Him..He Only Went Four Times This Week...Theres Nothing I Can Do To Manipulate God Into Loving Me or Even Deserving Love.

    How About..Ill Promise To Be Better..or Maybe in Gods Omniscience..He Just Knows Ill Be Better In The Future....Nope

    God Loves Me Because Who HE IS..I Cant Control His Love..He Is It..I Cant Make Him Upset At Me..He Doesnt Change..He Is Not Going To Say.."You Make Me Sick !".

    God Come To Me In Completeness,Needing Nothing. Just To Love Me.
    God Is Not Like Humans..Hot And Cold..He Will Just Leave Me after He's Finished Loving Me.
    God Promises Are Eternal..God Is Love..Infinite Love

    Eph 1:5 Having Predestined Us to the Adoption of Children by Jesus Christ to Himself, According To His Good Pleasure of His Will.
    What Did We do to Deserve That Paul?..His Good Pleasure..Just Because HE WANTED TO

    Well Do I Have To Do Something?.. NO....HE WANTED TO and HE CHOSE TO

    In Plain English..God Was Saying..He Chose To And Beyond That, Its None Of Mankinds Business

    But Some People Want To DO Something...Nope..No Manipulating God So That He Will Love You...Sorry..Gods Complete....Infinitely Complete.

    So Now What?...What Do I Do?..Whats The Meaning Of Life For Me ?

    Well First Of All Probably Say "Thank You"..

    God Is So Infinitly Fantastic..He Just Wants To Share Himself with Somebody.

    This Give Me A Value, A Worth..Whew.. God Loves Me...Unconditionally

    God Seeks My Highest and Best..to Give My Life Purpose, Meaning. A Desire For Me To Reach My Highest Potential...Which Is To Enjoy His Love And His Life...

    The Unconditional Loving Father Runs to Where He Is. Falls On His Neck, Smothers Him in Kisses....Love Killed The Sons Deal ! No Deals No Promises No Performances

    [​IMG]
    Me2
     
  8. GH

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    Whew again, Me2!!!

    Yes, yes, I thank you Lord. I thank you Abba (Daddy), Father.

    Also, I want others to see this wonderful God - He who is love. This is why we come to these forums - to bless in His Name, hopefully. But I know that He causes the growth.

    I just love to climb up on my Daddy's lap and receive the oceans of love He has for me.

    Loveya, Di
     
  9. preacher

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    GH,
    You said "When an unbeliever dies, he enters Heaven because God does not count his sins against him." Is this a typo or do you believe the lost are going to be in Heaven too?
    So then there will be no final judgement at the Great White Throne? If not then the Bible I read is false. It also teaches repentance, John the Baptist preached it, so did the Apostles. So did Christ.
    If you study Exodus you will see that pharoh hardened HIS own heart first then God hardened afterwards.
     
  10. preacher

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    AITB,
    No, not even close to being a calvinist!
    Why is the anology bad, if God offerd me the gift of salvation, & I refused it (PRAISE His Holy Name I didn't!)then He MADE me be saved...how is that Grace? Now if He made everyone be saved...might be different, but He gives all a choice.
    You are right that He opens our eyes, and I know He supplies the Faith to turn to Him, but He does NOT force us to turn...we CHOOSE. :D
     
  11. Star

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    Yeah Di! :mad: ;) What if some did not believe????shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

    If we "believe not" is it at all possible that He could abide faithful???

    Is it possible for God to show mercy if one acts in ignorance and unbelief???

    Could it be that God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all???

    Answer these charges! lol! What could you be thinking? :rolleyes: :D ;)

    In Him Kimbo
     
  12. GH

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    Oh Star, you're a pip. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Jesus said nothing or very little when He was challenged to answer for Himself. Bless Him! And on the Cross He said, "Father forgive them, they know not what they do." Grace, Grace, Grace, Grace!!! [​IMG]

    And maybe I should do the same? Sometimes I think so and let the Spirit bring life to my words. But you know me, I'm compelled to keep opening my big mouth:) Open mouth insert grace. lol

    Loveya, Di
     
  13. Star

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    Grasshopper,
    lol! Open mouth insert Grace! I like that one! :D

    Well its not as though its ineffectual or anything, better to be smothered in it and grow in it. I always enjoy the fruit of your lips when it comes to sharing the goodness of God.

    In Him Kim [​IMG]
     
  14. Don

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    Ya know, I just realized I didn't get an answer to this in the other thread.

    What Star, GH, and Me2 are providing is a superficial look at grace, which is something we all agree on.

    Where we disagree is the difference between offering and bestowing.

    I find no scriptural references or examples of grace being bestowed upon an unbeliever, or a rejecter of God. I see God striking Ananias and his wife dead, and King Agrippa being promised a place other than heaven.

    I find all kinds of scriptural references and examples of grace being offered to everyone.

    Now, the question I didn't get answered in the other thread was: If ALL, meaning believers and unbelievers alike, have the promise of entering into heaven, then what was the purpose of the sacrifice on the cross?

    So that all may enter in?

    If that were true, then why would God Himself caveat that with "whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish"? Which obviously means those that don't believe in Him will perish.

    John the Baptist even echoed this, when he said that those who believeth not are damned.

    Damned? Will perish?

    Damned to what? Perish how?
     
  15. Star

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    I see God striking Ananias and his wife dead

    Don where does it say God struck these two?

    In regards to "perish" thats a good word to look into and see how its used. I have to look into that further myself, I personally don't have all the answers or am neither a walking concordance lol!

    Gees... I was studying ALL now I'm distracted into PERISH, lol!

    In Him Kim
     
  16. GH

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    Hi Brother Don,

    What Star, GH, and Me2 are providing is a superficial look at grace, which is something we all agree on.

    It's worse than that. IT'S FREE GRACE!!!!!!!!!!!

    I'm working on a reply for preacher, brother. You'll have to get in line. lol As the Spirit leads me.

    We're having a big first birthday bash for our grandson on Sunday and well ya know......I'm busy. But I will answer your questions as best as I can with the light that's been give to me.

    What's important is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And raised on the third day. Resurrection LIFE!!!! Amen?

    Love in Him, Di
     
  17. preacher

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    Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back [part] of the price of the land?

    4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

    5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

    As for the word "perish", In most cases, as in John 3:16 it means to be "utterly destroyed".

    [ July 17, 2002, 04:18 PM: Message edited by: preacher ]
     
  18. Don

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    YES!!!!

    YES, it is important to preach grace, and Christ crucified, and the resurrected life!

    ESPECIALLY TO THOSE THAT DON'T HAVE IT!

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

    Preach, you pasting that in there to show me something?

    [ July 17, 2002, 04:18 PM: Message edited by: Don ]
     
  19. Me2

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    Hi Don,

    John 3:16 For God So Loved The World That He Gave His Only Begotten Son,That Whosoever Believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life..
    3:17 For God sent Not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.


    Maybe Something More Smaller Of An Action....
    luke 22:50 And one of them smote the servant of the High Priest, and cut off his right ear.
    luke 22:51 And Jesus answered and said, "Suffer Ye Thus Far". And he touched his ear, and healed him.

    The Only Problem That I See in your Opinions Don Is You Dont Give God Enough Time..
    You Want To Disagree With God ..I Think He Can Wait You Out...

    You Say Damned ......If Your Predicament is Putting An End To Hunger, Pain, Fear, Death

    or Perishing... In A Den Of Lions...or a pool of sharks...Try NOT Calling Out To God....
    by the way.... Did You Mean Before of after death?

    Offered or Bestow...God Owns You...Sorry To Let The Cat Out Of The Bag..Free Will Begins when You Escape His Reach of Control...Sorry Again..
    Another Interesting Thing About God...He Uses your very own weaknesses of Sin Against You...Pain might be a great deterrant but GREED... Etrernal Bliss and its FREE

    The Purpose Of The Sacrifice...A Way of Reconciliation Back To God and covering of Curse on creation with Uncursed Blood. Jesus Is THE Only Way To God.
    He Is The Only Way. and the way he did it was so that You and I Couldnt Say That We Deserved To Be Reconciled Back To God. on Merits Of Our Own power...

    You As Well As As Many As God Has Called To Become Ambassadors Of Christ (To His Creation)
    Have Been Chosen To Be The Reconcilers..The Priests Between All Of Creation And God The Father. Presently , You Are Being Taught What And How Your Assignment Before Gods Creation Will Take Place. That Sir Is Your Calling...For All Of Eternity..But From Now To The Moment Of Perfection You Will Be Reconciling..A Priest Of One Before God And His Creation...All Of It.

    If You Account For All Who Have Lived and Died and Have Not Been Reconciled Back To The Father. I Think That Will Take A Lot Of Time..
    Thats Gods Plans For His "Ambassadors Of Christ"... None is Lost...
    All To Be Reconciled Back To The Father

    Ive Got A Question For You...

    Name Me One Thing (or Person) That God Doesnt Have Power Over?

    [​IMG]
    Me2
     
  20. Star

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    Preacher,

    How does one interpret "perish" in what sense? This is what I'll be looking at for the sake of this thread. The "outer man" perishes also but inwardly is being renewed.

    This one thought came to me but I'm not strong in word meanings and don't pretend to have all the answers, but the waters that destroyed all life are considered the same which now save. Is this speaking of the outer mans life as well as what others seem to use it in speaking of baptism? Because you see utter destruction but it seems to be interpreted as having redeeming qualities. I really have to look at it I'm hitting this by memory here.

    Yeah, I didn't think it said God struck them. I was very enamoured by these verses because Jesus said don't do your alms before men. I wondered why the apostles chose this route and do it before men. I thought we were not to let the left hand know what the right hand was doing? I don't really get this one but it comes back to me again and again to think on... perhaps someday I will. Looks to me like an abuse of power, but hey, thats how I see it given the evidence provided for me to examine.

    I certainly can't argue concerning what I'm not understanding, but questions can't help but to be asked in regard to what went on there.

    In Him Kim
     

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