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The Heart - Not The Letter -nc

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by netchaplain, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. The primary difference between Law and Grace isn’t their motives, for both desires to please God. It’s their method; Law has to do with works of the carnal nature - from man towards God. Grace has to do with works of the new nature - through man towards God; it’s all a matter “of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter” (Rom 2:29) and until one has a new heart (born-again) everything is from the carnal, sinful, Adamic nature.​

    Just because the Law has ceased in its purpose it doesn’t cease to be “holy, and just, and good” (Rom 7:12). It’s the dispensation era of a system which determines its value. That was the pre-cross dispensation of judgment, which has led to the post-cross dispensation of grace. Just as Adam’s Law (Gen 3:19) was evidence of the impossibility of pleasing God of himself, Israel’s Law was evidence of the same; “For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh (old nature), God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh (old nature), and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh (old nature)” (Rom 8:3).

    Until the believer understands that the works of a Christian are not the support for acceptance with God, he will be carrying the weight (Heb 12:1) of uncertainty and will be “as one that beateth the air” (1 Co 9:26) in much of the works. What we do as believers effects only one thing; to “glorify your Father” (Mat 5:16) and any other reason will revert the credit for glory to the believer. God is the one who “draws” (John 6:44) but He does it through believers, from whom others may “see your good works”.

    If wanting to please God is the believer’s primary goal in everything, He is pleased, for He knows this; but He continues to show us that we are to have the understanding that it’s not works from us, but through us, that pleases Him; for the works through us are those of His Son in our new nature—by the Spirit; not those which are from us in Adam from our carnal nature. Only works from the “new man” are from Christ and all else is Adamic, which the Father does not desire; “So then, they that are in the flesh (old nature) cannot please God” (Rom 8:8).

    It’s not to be that Christ shows us the way to please the Father from what we are, but from what He is in us, because “as He is, so are we” (1 John 4:17). When the Father sees one of His own, He doesn’t just see His Son, but He sees the believer also, in “the new man” which is created “after the image” of His Son (Col 3:10). Jesus doesn’t replace us, He recreates us. -NC
  2. Our New Life Is Christ's Life

    On the night before He was crucified, Jesus met with His disciples in the upper room. Among other things, He taught them how to continue to live His life after His departure.

    He first gave them a marvelous object lesson in humility and service. He laid aside His outer garments and washed their feet, as if He were a slave (John 13:13-15). He made it clear that His disciples should have His attitude of purpose. "Not to be ministered unto, but to minister" (Matthew 20:27,28)

    Next, He gave them a single "new commandment" to live by. He told them to love others as He loved them (John 13:34,35). He had concerned Himself about their welfare, He had comforted and counselled them, He had prayed with them and for them, and He had even declared publicly that they were as dear to Him as His own family. Now He commanded His disciples to treat others the same as He had treated them.

    He promised them that they would do greater things than He had done (John 14:12), and warned them that they could expect to suffer as He had suffered. Though Jesus was about to depart at the time of this promise, His work would not end. He told His disciples they should pursue His work as vigorously and successfully as ever, and that work continues to this day.

    Also, every committed disciple suffers in some way because of his commitment, even today. He can expect to be rejected by many, and mistreated by some.

    There is an essential difference between a believer and the world. This difference incites the contempt of the world, and ignites the flame of hatred in the spirit that is in the world.

    Finally, He assured them they would receive another Comforter, who would be for them as He had been. It was His promise to send the Holy Spirit to guide, to empower, and to teach them to walk in this newness of life (John 16: 12-25).

    Without the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, the disciple's life would be filled with frustration. Because of the presence of the Holy Spirit, the disciple is treated to the steadfast love and faithfulness of God in a new way every morning (Lamentations 3:23)

    The Apostle Paul frequently revealed the mystery of:

    To the Colossians, he revealed the mystery of:
    "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27)

    To the Galatians, he testified:
    "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." (Galatians 2:20)

    To the Philippians, he summarized it all by saying:
    "For me to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21)

    To the Romans, he explained:
    "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection". (Romans 6:5).

    1. How would I describe humility?
    2. If I have not been ordained, how can I become a minister?
    3. How could I possibly learn to love others as Jesus loved them?
    4. What kind of suffering can I expect to experience as a disciple of Christ?
    5. How do I feel about the presence of the Holy Spirit?
    6. In what way do I need the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit?
  3. Thanks for your reply WTH and God's blessings to your family!

    I like the understanding that it's not me living Christ's life in me but Christ Himself--through the Spirit of course, living His life in me; "not I but Christ"! By this I see it that it's not me using Him, but Him using me.
  4. Hi 1an - God's blessings to your Family and thanks for your reply. I understand what you mean and I believe grace only comes from God, but what is meant by "Grace has to do with works of the new nature - through man towards God" is that for the Christian, our works are not to be of the Law or any "law", but are of our "new man", which by grace is added to us and by this new nature, the Spirit brings forth the life of Christ in us. Therefore, it is Christ living His life in us and using us to bring forth fruit (works) acceptable to God.
  5. Got you! That's what I call the fruit of the Spirit which as you know is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

    I was confused because 'grace' doesn't feature but thank you for helping me to see it from your point of view. :)
  6. I appreciate your concern for my post and wanted you to know that not fully understanding one another is an acceptable occurrence. It took me a while to reply because your point was highly relevant and involved.

    God Be Blessed
  7. Sorry to say NC, but the alarm bells have gone off planet with the quoted post.
    For what does the scripture say? Gal 2:20. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

    And what am I reading in your post? "Therefore, it is Christ living His life in us........"
    There is I believe a difference between Paul's teaching and yours!
    Consider the houses in which we live.
    Our tenancy gives our houses a certain character, yes, however our lives are not in any way bound up in our houses.
    We do not live our lives in our houses...unless we are 'housebound'.... Is Christ 'housebound'?
    In the same way, Christ's tenancy gives us character .....He is not living His life in us!
    This is touching on Brahmanism I believe. Though I'm sure that is not your intent.
    We do live our own lives after-all!
    I think we all need to be careful not to go beyond what is written wouldn't you agree?

    Jesus taught John 10:10. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
    Jesus is not the thief who would steal our lives.

    just something to ponder.
    I should add that I am overall appreciating your posted material....I don't want to sound all negative:)

  8. Do you think it would be better said that ...."Christ wants to live THROUGH us"??
  9. Hi Calvin - It's good to see your reply. I appreciate what you've pointed out and for letting me know you appreciate most of my posts. I'm always encouraged by others letting me know they are encouraged also.

    To explain, as we are co-crucified with Christ upon conversion, it becomes a co-living with Him, and wherever Christ is, He is living His life; just as wherever we are, we are living our lives.

    It's always good to point out that it's not like we no longer live our lives, as if His replaces ours, otherwise there would be no union! We are still the same in our person-hood and identity and this is what God loves, but not the nature (old man), which He has allowed to pass from the Enemy and to remain in man until "the redemption of our bodies".

    Christ lives His life in us because He is in us, and makes us partakers of "the divine nature" through our "new man" or new nature added to us; which is created after His "image" (Col 3:10). This is His holiness and righteousness, we have none of our own because these come by justification and only Christ justifies.

    This is what I believe Paul intended by "the life which I now live in the flesh (body)"; his faith is in Christ and in His works, and that Christ is doing His works (righteousness, holiness, etc.) in and by us. That which we do in our life which is not of God comes from our old life and is already accounted for - in His atonement.

    Those who misunderstand His atonement will choose to live their life apart from His, which will be evident by a lifestyle of unavoidably manifested sin; which is also evidence of never having received Christ.
  10. Hi Major - I understand what you mean and I believe there is no Christian that God doesn't work in and through (through meaning from us to others), even if it's by chastisement because He will not leave them; God causes all Christians to live in accordance with His will.

    "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would" (Gal 5:17).
  11. Major, I do not believe we can improve on Paul's teaching here at all.
    It all hinges on the preposition " ἐν "
    I find no instance of that preposition ever being translated as 'through', or 'by way of'.
    However " διά " is translated and or can be translated as "because " or 'through' as in via or 'by way of'.
    I'm thoroughly convinced that Paul knew enough Greek to know which prepositions to use and where to use them.

    There are several instances where we are taught, indeed promised that the Holy Spirit will live in us. We have Jesus' teaching that both He and the Father will live in us but never ever 'through us'. John 14:23. also uses a preposition " παρά " which never is used as through. Jesus answered 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 home with (παρά) him. 'with' has the idea of alongside, or , 'in' (close collaboration)
    John 6:56,57. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in ( ἐν) him.
    John 6:57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because (διά ) of me.
    Again: John 14:15,16,17. the final preposition is " in "

    Never are we taught through scripture that our lives are to be hijacked.
    We are promised a better, a cleaned up, a more purposeful life, we are promised eternal life with Christ Jesus.
    Never in scripture will we be likened to the substance of the dreams of Brahman who is supposed to experience corporal life through the creatures of his dreams.
    I do not believe that Jesus wants to supplant us. He wants His Holiness to supplant our sinfulness; That is why He says that both He and the Father will make their home with us...in close proximity, and nothing more.
    How often have we sung this Hymn at Church?
    It's no longer I that liveth,
    But Christ that liveth in me.
    It's no longer I that liveth,
    But Christ that liveth in me.
    He lives, He lives,
    Jesus is alive in me!
    It's no longer I that liveth,
    But Christ that liveth in me.

    Even though we do still 'Liveth'.....really, the point is, Jesus is living in not through us.

    the Chorus "He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives
    He walks with me and He talks with me
    Along life's narrow way.
    He lives, He live, salvation to impart!
    You ask me how I know He lives:
    He lives within my heart."
    Again there is no thought of "through" only "in" (within) 'in company with'

    We do need to be careful of not going beyond the instruction of the Word of God.
    KingJ likes this.
  12. Understood.
  13. The forgoing issue concerning the word "through" seems to me to be splitting hairs but I do not want to belittle the idea that it may be significant to another, so I want to address it for this reason only.

    I believe that Christ not only lives in us but also through us, as in an outward working by Him, through us, towards others, esp. towards the Father. As Christ lives in us for our sake, He also lives through us (uses us) for the sake of others: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word" (John 17:20).

    This may not be significant to anyone but I believe an additional explanation may be useful concerning "from man towards God" and esp. "through man towards God". From man towards God refers to that which is offered to God directly from man alone. That which man did by the Law was performed by man alone and offered to God. Through man towards God refers to that which is performed by Christ in man first, then offered through or from man in Christ, towards God.

    This also may not be significant and also seem excessive, but I wanted to share that the idea here is that, as we know, God does not accept anything from us where Christ is not its essence, without which would be void of
    propitiation (Rom 3:24; 1 John 2:2; 4:10). God disregards our old nature because He, through Christ has condemned it (Rom 6:6; 8:3). Thus, He relates to us only in our person-hood and identity, along with our new nature, which is from Christ (Col 3:10).
  14. Perhaps 1 Cotithians 3:5-17 is appropiate in as much as God lives in us, while at the same time we are his co-workers doing His bidding while God works through us, using as His instruments.

    What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

    By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

    Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
  15. Just to add NC that my heart goes out to all of God's workers in love and thankfulness for all that is done for the Glory of God and His kingdom. May the Lord keep you and bless you in all that you do. :)
  16. Thanks and God's blessings to all our Families as you've prayed! God be blessed!

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