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#34506 - Sun Nov 26, 2006 5:24 PM All Mixed Up  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 10
Bill W Offline
Plebeian
Bill W  Offline
Plebeian

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 10
Sioux Falls, SD
Hello all this is my fist post!

I have been challenged by a good friend that believes in predestination to study the scriptures and see what I find. I believe that scripture points many times to election throgh grace and not a work of man.

This leaves me very humbled and uneasy at times.

To be honest is it possible to be saved by God at a young age around 12 and then live a sinful life, then by lifes events be brought to my knees to make a choice to start honoring God like I knew in my heart should have been doing all along?

Thanks For any responses and I have a lot more questions...

Bill W

#34507 - Sun Nov 26, 2006 8:10 PM Re: All Mixed Up [Re: Bill W]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,296
Pilgrim Offline
Head Honcho
Pilgrim  Offline

Head Honcho

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,296
NH, USA
Quote
Bill W said:
To be honest is it possible to be saved by God at a young age around 12 and then live a sinful life, then by lifes events be brought to my knees to make a choice to start honoring God like I knew in my heart should have been doing all along?

Bill,

Welcome to the Discussion Board! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/hello.gif" alt="" />

1) Is it possible . . . etc.? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/yep.gif" alt="" /> But, to be perfectly honest, it is impossible to tell. And, in my experience, however, it is not the case, but rather the latter conversion/renewal experience is the "genuine article". The important thing is not "when" but where are you now! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

2) The Highway website has lots of books, articles, sermons etc., on this subject. You may want to venture over here: Articles on Predestination and read through some of the many items there. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bigglasses.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
#34508 - Sun Nov 26, 2006 10:36 PM Re: All Mixed Up [Re: Bill W]  
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
CovenantInBlood Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian
CovenantInBlood  Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian


Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Virginia
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/hello.gif" alt="" /> Hi Bill, welcome to The Highway!

I'd agree with Pilgrim on this issue. But no matter when your true conversion occurred, God has providentially brought you to where you are now. It's a wonderful thing to learn about His sovereignty and grace!

We look forward to seeing more posts from you. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
#34509 - Mon Nov 27, 2006 1:29 AM Re: All Mixed Up [Re: Pilgrim]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 10
Bill W Offline
Plebeian
Bill W  Offline
Plebeian

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 10
Sioux Falls, SD
Quote
Pilgrim said:
The important thing is not "when" but where are you now!


I am in the word sometimes everyday, but then there are weeks when I am not. If I don't make it the first thing I do sometimes I let it slip.

I usually do some reading in my car before work. I listen to teaching on the radio and sometimes online.

My wife and I will be starting to serve at the mission soon here in December.

My prayer life is lacking big time... I have a hard time listening. Spend most time talking to Him. I think if I could make a breakthrough in my prayer life I might not have these doubts at times.

I need some encouragement as we all do at times.

Thanks Again

Bill W

#34510 - Mon Nov 27, 2006 1:07 PM Re: All Mixed Up [Re: Bill W]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,296
Pilgrim Offline
Head Honcho
Pilgrim  Offline

Head Honcho

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,296
NH, USA
Quote
Bill W said:
My prayer life is lacking big time... I have a hard time listening. Spend most time talking to Him. I think if I could make a breakthrough in my prayer life I might not have these doubts at times.

I need some encouragement as we all do at times.

Bill,

Unlike what you might find and/or expect to find among typical professing Christians, I cannot and will not pat you on the back and say something like, "He, no problem brother.... God loves you and everything is okay!" <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" /> What I can and will encourage you to DO is to resist living by your feelings, e.g., "I don't feel like reading my Bible or praying right now." but rather be obedient to the Lord's commands:

Quote
John 8:31-32 (KJV) "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, <span style="background-color:yellow">If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;</span> And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

John 15:4-9 (KJV) "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love."

Romans 11:21-22 (ASV) ". . . for if God spared not the natural branches, neither will he spare thee. Behold then the goodness and severity of God: toward them that fell, severity; but toward thee, God's goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off."

Colossians 1:21-23 (ASV) And you, being in time past alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and unreproveable before him: <span style="background-color:yellow">if so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and stedfast,</span> and not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye heard, which was preached in all creation under heaven; whereof I Paul was made a minister."

Hebrews 3:12-14 (ASV) Take heed, brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God: but exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called To-day; lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin: for we are become partakers of Christ, <span style="background-color:yellow">if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end:</span>"

James 1:22-26 (ASV) "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves. For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But he that looketh into the perfect law, the [law] of liberty, and [so] continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing. If any man thinketh himself to be religious, while he bridleth not his tongue but deceiveth his heart, this man's religion is vain."

My purpose of providing you with these passages is two-fold: 1) To illustrate the biblical teaching concerning those who profess faith and those who possess faith. The former have the appearance of being of God and the latter are of God for their lives are governed by a true desire to please God and actually exhibit the fruits of the Spirit of God. 2) To show you that assurance comes and goes in relation to ones conformity, obedience to the will of God. One cannot neglect God and expect to have assurance of His love.

Quote
1 John 1:5-7 (ASV) "And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

Does this mean that assurance is based solely upon our desires and/or works? No, not at all. For the promises of God are irrevocable. All for whom Christ died will be infallibly saved. In other words, assurance of salvation has an objective aspect to it, i.e., the surety of God's promises and Christ's substitutionary atonement. And, there is a subjective element to it which varies according to how we live before God. We cannot presume upon God's saving grace in Christ for ourselves if we spurn Him, as the Apostle John wrote above. So, perhaps often our prayers will consist of, "Lord, I believe . . . help my unbelief!"

From this I hope to encourage you to be conformed to the image of Christ and do those things which are glorifying to the God you profess before men and which will serve to conform you to the image of the Christ.

Quote
Colossians 1:9-14 (ASV) "For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray and make request for you, that ye may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, unto all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love; in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins:"


In His grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
#34511 - Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:45 PM Re: All Mixed Up [Re: Pilgrim]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 10
Bill W Offline
Plebeian
Bill W  Offline
Plebeian

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 10
Sioux Falls, SD
Quote
Pilgrim said:
Bill,

Unlike what you might find and/or expect to find among typical professing Christians, I cannot and will not pat you on the back and say something like, "He, no problem brother.... God loves you and everything is okay!" <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" /> What I can and will encourage you to DO is to resist living by your feelings, e.g., "I don't feel like reading my Bible or praying right now." but rather be obedient to the Lord's commands:


Thanks Pilgrim

I agree I do not want fluffy everything is ok encouragement. What I need is truth to keep me on the course.

Feelings do get in my way at times and when I get in the word when I don't feel like it, I get something out of it.

Quote
John 8:31-32 (KJV) "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, <span style="background-color:yellow">If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;</span> And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

John 15:4-9 (KJV) "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love."

Romans 11:21-22 (ASV) ". . . for if God spared not the natural branches, neither will he spare thee. Behold then the goodness and severity of God: toward them that fell, severity; but toward thee, God's goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off."

Colossians 1:21-23 (ASV) And you, being in time past alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and unreproveable before him: <span style="background-color:yellow">if so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and stedfast,</span> and not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye heard, which was preached in all creation under heaven; whereof I Paul was made a minister."

Hebrews 3:12-14 (ASV) Take heed, brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God: but exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called To-day; lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin: for we are become partakers of Christ, <span style="background-color:yellow">if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end:</span>"

James 1:22-26 (ASV) "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves. For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But he that looketh into the perfect law, the [law] of liberty, and [so] continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing. If any man thinketh himself to be religious, while he bridleth not his tongue but deceiveth his heart, this man's religion is vain."


Quote
Pilgrim said:
My purpose of providing you with these passages is two-fold: 1) To illustrate the biblical teaching concerning those who profess faith and those who possess faith. The former have the appearance of being of God and the latter are of God for their lives are governed by a true desire to please God and actually exhibit the fruits of the Spirit of God. 2) To show you that assurance comes and goes in relation to ones conformity, obedience to the will of God. One cannot neglect God and expect to have assurance of His love.


"A true desire to please God"

Sometimes I have a true desire to please God. Sometimes I just want to do it my way.

I want to possess not just to profess. Nowdays people think salvation is your choice and you get to choose. I want to live a real Faith filled life.

I found this forum when doing reasearch on predestination as a friend has exhorted me to do so. I choose to post here beacause I want real answers to really important stuff and not "everythings ok brother". Thanks fo providing this place.

Quote
1 John 1:5-7 (ASV) "And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin."


Quote
Pilgrim said:
Does this mean that assurance is based solely upon our desires and/or works? No, not at all. For the promises of God are irrevocable. All for whom Christ died will be infallibly saved. In other words, assurance of salvation has an objective aspect to it, i.e., the surety of God's promises and Christ's substitutionary atonement. And, there is a subjective element to it which varies according to how we live before God. We cannot presume upon God's saving grace in Christ for ourselves if we spurn Him, as the Apostle John wrote above. So, perhaps often our prayers will consist of, "Lord, I believe . . . help my unbelief!"

From this I hope to encourage you to be conformed to the image of Christ and do those things which are glorifying to the God you profess before men and which will serve to conform you to the image of the Christ.


Being conformed to the image of Christ doesn't happen overnight, although I wish it could be that easy.


Quote
understanding, to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, unto all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love; in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins:"


Thanks Again

Bill W

#34512 - Mon Nov 27, 2006 5:51 PM Re: All Mixed Up [Re: Bill W]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,296
Pilgrim Offline
Head Honcho
Pilgrim  Offline

Head Honcho

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,296
NH, USA
Quote
Bill W said:
Being conformed to the image of Christ doesn't happen overnight, although I wish it could be that easy.

How true that is. And if, at the end of my days here on earth I resemble even one of the Lord Christ's toenails, I shall consider myself fortunate and blessed. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
#34513 - Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:53 PM Re: All Mixed Up [Re: Bill W]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 277
doulos Offline
Enthusiast
doulos  Offline
Enthusiast

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 277
Bill I'll have to throw in my encouragement here as I am a reluctantly reformed Baptist. Having been taught all my life that I was the one who did the chosing it is difficult to imagine the "when" of it. I am content, however, with the "how" right now, knowing that salvation isn't based in some decision I have made but on the action of God who has:

"...blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved."
Ephesians 1:3-6 (NASB)

There are so many who have been taught differently and are choking on it now. Was I saved? Was MY decision real this time? Maybe I need a steeper aisle to walk.... Keep up your studies in spite of these things. It's well worth any effort to know the truth.


Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."--2 Timothy 2:9
#34514 - Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:30 PM Re: All Mixed Up [Re: doulos]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 10
Bill W Offline
Plebeian
Bill W  Offline
Plebeian

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 10
Sioux Falls, SD
Thanks Josh

I will keep reading.

I have wrestled with the fact that God chooses us and it is beyond ourselves and an act of mercy.

I have been reading and doing research about this for months. At first I thought how could a "loving God" send people to hell and not give them a choice. It took a long time and looking at a lot of scripture before it was so undeniably true.

Have a great day,

Bill W

#34515 - Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:19 AM Re: All Mixed Up [Re: Bill W]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 21
Brother Bret Offline
Journeyman
Brother Bret  Offline
Journeyman


Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 21
Florida, U.S.A.
Hi Bill. I too would like to welcome you to this forum. You will discover that I am a " sometimer" here, but I have been on here and have known Pilgrim for about 10 years now. As a matter of fact, Pilgrim was one of God's main instruments in bringing me to the doctrines of sovereign grace while I was in the Free Will Baptist Association. The only thing I would like to add to the discussion is to ask you if you are in a solid bible believing, expository preaching church that is not ashamed to proclaim the blessed doctrines of sovereign grace when they come up in the text? Currently, I'm the pastor and fellow elder of Grace Fellowship in Mountain Home, ID. If you're interested, check out our church website at: www.gracefellowshipmh.org. There you will find some more articles, mp3 sermons, and links to some great websites including this one :-). I/we can also point you in the direction to several church directories to help you find a church in your area like I described above, if there is one there. To God be the glory!

Brother Bret


Brother Bret Lovitz

#34516 - Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:39 PM Re: All Mixed Up [Re: Brother Bret]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 10
Bill W Offline
Plebeian
Bill W  Offline
Plebeian

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 10
Sioux Falls, SD
Quote
BrotherBret said:
I would like to add to the discussion is to ask you if you are in a solid bible believing, expository preaching church that is not ashamed to proclaim the blessed doctrines of sovereign grace when they come up in the text? I/we can also point you in the direction to several church directories to help you find a church in your area like I described above, if there is one there. To God be the glory!

Brother Bret


I have never heard any sermons on election I have lived in Salem for about a year now and only attended New Hope 4 Square. I will have to ask what their stance is.

If you could please send me any directories you may have for the Salem, OR area.

Thanks Bret

Bill W

#34517 - Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:15 PM Re: All Mixed Up [Re: Bill W]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,296
Pilgrim Offline
Head Honcho
Pilgrim  Offline

Head Honcho

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,296
NH, USA
Quote
Bill W said:
I have never heard any sermons on election I have lived in Salem for about a year now and only attended New Hope 4 Square. I will have to ask what their stance is.

If you could please send me any directories you may have for the Salem, OR area.

1) "New Hope 4 Square" is in all likelihood a Pentecostal church that holds to rank Arminianism at best. The "4 Square" in the name generally gives it away. It would be a place that I would avoid like the plague!! [Linked Image]

2) Re: Sermons on "Election" can be found on the Internet and/or via recommendations from members here who can hopefully provide links to them. Brother Bret has already provided a link to his site and I would be surprised if "RefDoc" doesn't have at least one sermon online you could listen to. Perhaps you might send him a PM and ask if he has any online at this time. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

3) Information about available Reformed congregations in Salem, OR and/or close proximity can be obtained by simply posting a request here: Church Locator Forum. James, one of our esteemed members here most always comes through with a list of churches no matter where one lives. Of course, they are not "screened" and it is your responsibility to investigate each church. We have always been more than willing to help out those who need feedback on what they have found and/or help create a list of questions to be asked, etc. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
#34518 - Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:53 PM Re: All Mixed Up [Re: Pilgrim]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 21
Brother Bret Offline
Journeyman
Brother Bret  Offline
Journeyman


Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 21
Florida, U.S.A.
Amen Pilgrim <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Also Bill, another excellent website that I recommend, is Alpha and Omega Ministries (www.aomin.org). Dr. James White is the director, and an accomplished debater and author of numerous books that you can get there. They also have a chat room called #prosapologian which is an IRC Chat Room. You can download their shareware program at www.mirc.com. The Highway I think still has a room in there too, but not sure.

Soli Deo Gloria...Brother Bret


Brother Bret Lovitz

#34519 - Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:02 PM Re: All Mixed Up [Re: Brother Bret]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 277
doulos Offline
Enthusiast
doulos  Offline
Enthusiast

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 277
Bill

I don't want to wipe you out or anything but here's a good list of some of my favorite Internet resources:

Pyromaniacs
...and his minister's a flame of fire
Old Truth
T4G
Spurgeon Archive
Monergism
Hiraeth
Dr. Mohler
Pulpit Magazine (John MacArthur)
Doxoblogy
Strange Baptists
Triablogue
Slice of Laodicea

Some of these are kind of high test (for instance you might need a helmet the first few times you read that last one) so go easy. Of course the Highway is a good spot too. Get a few ideas under your belt and post them up here to see if you're on track. They'll let you know if you're not--and quick!

Now all we need to do is convince Pilgrim to start up a Highway Blog.


Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."--2 Timothy 2:9
#34520 - Wed Dec 06, 2006 12:31 AM Re: All Mixed Up [Re: Brother Bret]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 11
Chosen Offline
Plebeian
Chosen  Offline
Plebeian

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 11
Wyoming
Hi, I guess I am mixed up to. When Jesus said, "If you continue in my word then you are my disciples, didn't that go along with, "I have sanctified them by your word, your word is truth," and "you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you." Sorry obout the paraphrases.

I was just wondering, is the abiding power given by grace or is it something. Chuck Smith, you know the heretic leader of Calvary Chapel, believes that you can lose you salvation if you stop abiding in the vine. To the contrary the Scripture teaches us that without Him we can do nothing. That is, is remain in His word it is by His doing. As Reformed believers, if we truly are, then it is not the outside of the cup but the inside that is underscrutiny, an it can only be cleansed by the washing of the water by the Word, not the word. It is sanctification by the Spirit. When we grasp the absoluteness of His foreordination in bringing into conformity our New Man with the image of Christ, we experience, yes even feel as David and all the saints of old the incredible freedom of the sons of God set free by the Son of God.

If I understood Pilgrim correctly, it is we who choose whether or not we remain in the vine. I think not. We who have been grafted in remain because it is he who works in us both to will and to do. Whether or not sin is present is not the measure of our salvation, but the word of Christ. Even as the Scriptures tell us that if we deny Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us, because He cannot deny Himself.

What we cannot do is judge by our feelings, but we will certainly be led by them. Let me explain. It is possible to not feel like obey the word of God, and it is possible to command those feelings, or to resist the Devil and he will flee. But, not all feelings a eminating from the fallen nature and it is a grave mistake to reduce our new life to one of vacuous emotive content. Take time to read the Psalms and you will understand more fully the life of a beliver if you read it with feeling.

It is impossible to be out of the Spirit if you are a believer, and if you are a believer you will always be doing the will of the One who sent you. The Galatian error is based around this. They were trying to complete the work of Christ in their flesh. In Galations we find this verse: "The flesh wars against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh so that you do not do as you will." You see my brothers, it is not we who will, but it is God who works in you to both will and to do of His Good Pleasure. Season of sin were abundantly talked about in the older Creeds, and are found in and throughout the Scripture. And, we have in Corinthians a dire warning, also, that if we persist in sin that He will destroy our flesh. Which is interesting, because that is what He is doing anyway. In Corinthians, however, it is clear that it means that the man who was committing incest was to be killed so that his soul would be saved in the day of judgement.

This is perhaps the greatest mystery: How is God working all things for the good of those who love God, who walk not after thier own will, but according to His purpose so that we work our our salvation with fear and templing knowing that their is now therefore no condemnation.

Surely, the mystery of iniquity works in the sons of disobedience to their distruction, but in the believer the mystery of Godliness works mightily in us admonishing us not to forget the comfort of the Lord that addresses us as sons, that when we are disobedient we will be chastened and scourged. And, if we are not then we are bastards. If we say we have not sin, then we are bastards, and the truth is not in us, but if we are His we will sin and perhaps for quite an extended time. What God will do with any of us is according to His foreordination in conforming us to the image of His dear Son. Some are healed, some are not, but in the end when He appears we will all be like Him, glorified.

Now, I do not want you to take this wrongly. We are neither anomian, nor antinomian. The perfect Law of God still binds us for we are His slaves, so we are not without law. And we do not seek evil, for we are not against the law. Yet, we are free from the condemnation of law, aht is why we are called sons of the Most High.

Luther was here, so was Calvin and Augustine, and Paul and Peter. Paul said that his conscience was clear, but he was not without guild and that if we would judge ourselves we would not be judged. His discussion of himself in Romans as a man grieved by the sin that beset him, his plea to be released and realizing that he could only serve God truly in his mind. His three fold plea for deliverance, only to be comforted by the Lords words: "My power is made perfect in your weakness." Peter had to be rebuked by Paul for again denying the Lord when he separated himself from the gentiles, and he was sent by James. Evidently James could not walk the talk, either. Of course, the Arminianist thinker believes that James is talking about doing good deeds, when in reality he is talking about proclaiming the gospel, for that is what Abraham did that was his justification. If you look the men that James was talking to had "good works."

There are two ways to approach the Christian life. One is from the perspective of the "older brother," who looks with distain upon the prodigal, or as with James' legalist who looked upon the poor brethren, then there is the Pharisee who thanks God he is not like us poor miserable sinners. Then there is the right way, to call upon God for mercy, taking the back seat, and offering ourselves as unworthy servants. There is yet a better way, to have compassion upon the elder brother, the rich, and the priest, for they also are blind and miserable and do not know what they are doing.

What we must never do is act with presumption. To call upon the name of the Lord is not and intellectual feat. It is being known as we are known. Faith is the substance (hupostasis) of things hoped for. It is the very thing of our Hope, Christ Himself is our Faith. To be known by Him is to know Him, and we have been known by Him from before the founding of creation.

Christ is our salvation, our justification and sanctification. To understand that, "Whom the Son sets free is free indeed(Truth). No one call tell you you are, and nothing that you can convince yourself of will establish it, it is not measured by your faithfulness to His commandments. It is simply in knowing that you have been set free.

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