LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Sunday, June 24, 2007

True Free Grace regenerates, justifies, adopts, and sanctifies.

Romans 8:14 KJV For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

It is a glorious reality that believers, who are led by the Spirit, are adopted and become sons of God. Paul has now added adoption to the theme he has been developing throughout Chapter 8. In the first 13 verses of Romans 8 Paul has given the following characteristics of believers: Believers are in Christ, set their minds on the things of the Spirit, live according to the Spirit, walk according to the Spirit, and have the Spirit dwelling in them. If someone is being led, then it means he is following the person doing the leading. A person that is led by the Spirit follows Jesus Christ and becomes adopted as a Son of God. While not perfect, He is a Christian and a disciple. One hundred percent that are led by the Spirit of God and them only are sons God. Paul in the first 13 verses of Romans 8 has contrasted this with unbelievers who live in the flesh and walk in the flesh.

Therefore, if a person is not led by the Spirit of God, then he is not a son of God. He has not been adopted because he has not been justified, and he has not been justified because he has not been saved. He is unsaved, still in the flesh, and has not been born again. This is yet another verse that refutes the belief that a person can be a Christian and yet not follow Christ. Adopted sons of God are followers of Christ because they are led by the Spirit and this verse does not offer any other possibility for justification.

If anyone is clinging to the false hope of the false carnal Christian teaching, then I urge them to read Romans 8 very carefully. Obviously being led by the Spirit of God would rule out the possibility of a believer being totally dominated by the sin nature. A person who claims to be a Christian, but is not led by the Spirit of God is a hypocrite and is not saved. A person who tells you that you can have faith and not be led by the Spirit of God is contridicting this verse and is a false prophet.

31 Comments:

Blogger mark pierson said...

"A person who tells you that you can have faith and not be led by the Spirit of God is contridicting this verse and is a false prophet."

Amen!

Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13) was also a minister of the New Covenant (2 Cor. 3:6) looks at the Corinthian church as his letter of recomendation (2 Cor. 3:2). The evidences of the indwelling Holy Spirit, dwelling within each believer in New Covenant fashon is what Paul points to when his evangelistic encounters were over. He is able to point to the newly formed church in each city, the labor of his efforts, and say "see, they are walking in the Spirit". That was the sign and seal of his ministry, people, once dead and enslaved by sin, now walking in the Spirit, following in the footsteps of Christ.

Great post, Wayne

June 25, 2007 8:08 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

I wonder about Galatians 3:5 "...He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you"... Yes ultimately this is a referance to the work of God, but I wonder if also here this is making that each minister should be looked at as a dispenser of the Holy Spirit? If so then I wonder if those who radically sever justification away from the rest of what is offered in the New Covenant can see that they are not following in Paul's footsteps as being ministers of the New Cov.

June 25, 2007 8:15 AM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Following Jesus is more than saying you are a Christian. Anyone can claim Christ as Savior, but those who are truly saved will bear visible fruit. There has to be some change, some conviction.
He who started a good works in me promises to finish it, if there is no change then that person is not part of the Potter's work.

Matthew 13:8
"And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.

Cristina

June 25, 2007 8:46 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
Good point and later in Galatians 3 Paul says:
"26for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ."

In Christ, sons of God, through faith, not most but all sons of God put on Christ. The teaching is seen over and over in the N.T. and there is no teaching that describes believers as being dominated by the sinful nature their entire lives.

There are passages describing false believers being dominated by sin and their are passages describing believers struggling with sin.

June 25, 2007 8:55 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Another passage.....
"Romans 6:22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life."

Set free from sin, slaves of God, fruit you get, leads to sanctification..... Paul did not say "now that most of you have been set free...."

There is power in the Blood....

June 25, 2007 9:05 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

I know believers who aren't "struggling" with sin - they are just giving in to it.

June 25, 2007 10:11 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose, how is it that you know they are belivers? Is there an ache in their lives for restored intimacy with Christ? See Psalm 32. Do they cry "oh, wretched man that I am!"? These are signs that true regeneration has taken place in that person.

June 25, 2007 11:11 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

To all:

Tonight, when he gets home from work, my friend John MacMillan, as a new contributer here, will put up his first post. His handle is "only1way".


Welcome aboard, John!

June 25, 2007 11:20 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
Mark is correct. How do you know they are believers? You have affirmed that people "pretend to believe" so that is definitely a possibility. JOHN has the following to say about it.....
1 John 3:9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.

June 25, 2007 11:48 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Cristina,
Right on and that is a good parable that illustrates the point.

June 25, 2007 11:50 AM

 
Blogger Scribe said...

Matthew 7:22, 23 seems to allow for false professers of faith...in fact they do not realize that they are false professors until death. I like how A.H. Strong delineates between a true believer and a deluded professer:

"The Christian is like a man, makin his way up hill, who occasionally slips back, yet always has his face set towrd the summit. The unregenerate man has his face turned downwards, and he is slipping all the way"

Or consider Spurgeon on perserverence:

The believer, like a man on shipboard, may fall again and again on the deck, but he will never fall overboard."

/Scribe

June 25, 2007 12:02 PM

 
Blogger only1way said...

Rose~ said...

I know believers who aren't "struggling" with sin - they are just giving in to it.

June 25, 2007 10:11 AM

Rose -- you say you "know believers" who have no struggle with sin. How then do you "know" that they are believers. If there is no lifestyle evidence (hatred of sin and combat with sin, etc) what makes you so sure that they are Christians? Knowledge is based on evidence. What evidence do you have that underscores the fact that they are believers and absolutely His own?

June 25, 2007 12:29 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Not every believer is like Paul ... or David ... or Mark. We are all different.

June 25, 2007 12:47 PM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Hi Scribe,
I agree, I like that...."The believer, like a man on shipboard, may fall again and again on the deck, but he will never fall overboard."

And he when he falls he will get up again and continue his walk-showing fruit.

Cristina

June 25, 2007 1:01 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose, if we look at 2 Cor. 3:18 we see that the Christian experience is one of growing from glory to glory as we behold Him in the scriptures. IOW, what you don't feel so guilty of now tomorrow will be a different story due to your constant beholding Him in personal study, fellowship at church, prayer, etc...

June 25, 2007 1:01 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

the Christian experience is one of growing from glory to glory as we behold Him in the scriptures. IOW, what you don't feel so guilty of now tomorrow will be a different story due to your constant beholding Him in personal study, fellowship at church, prayer, etc...


What if you don't do the personal study, fellowship at church, prayer, etc?

That has been my point all along in this discussion. Not everyone continues on doing those things, although they should.

June 25, 2007 1:47 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
You said......
What if you don't do the personal study, fellowship at church, prayer, etc?

I do not mean to take Mark's question, but he's at work so I have a comment and a question. On your Rose's Reasonings Blog you posted the following on July 25, 2006 and I quote:

"In the church, we have sons. I am not thinking of nominal Christians, but those who have been born-again – they are true sons, all of them."

You have also stated that born again Christians are the only kind of Christians, so, the nominal Christian you speak of above is a false Christian. Therefore, why do you have such a problem with us speaking of false Christians when you are on record as having done the same thing?

June 25, 2007 5:34 PM

 
Blogger Daniel said...

There is a danger, in some circles more than others, of confusing spiritual immaturity for a spiritual counterfeit.

"He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' So the servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' But he said, 'No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them." - Matthew 13:28-29 [ESV]

In asking if the master wanted them to go and gather the weeds, we take some instruction.

What were they going to look for?

Weed-like behavior.

Why were they not allowed to pull up the weeds?

Because some of the wheat looked like weeds.

We often twist that around and say the tares look like wheat - but that wasn't the problem here was it? It was that the wheat looked like tares.

If angels are not discerning enough to tell with certainty which are spiritually immature, and which are not spiritual at all - it behooves us to take instruction in the matter.

God has given the church clear instruction about what to do if a person continues in perpetual sin. We call that "church discipline" - those who refuse to repent are cast out of the church. Whether they be tares or wheat we will know on that last day - but there is no room in God's pure church for an unrepentant person - believer or false believer both.

If a "professing" believer doesn't have any visible fruit in their life - they certainly resemble a tare. Our job is not to determine whether or not they are in fact a tare, but to discipline them.

It is right to say - "no one who is obediently following Christ would act this way" and demand obedience to our Lord as the qualifier for inclusion in the church, but it is wrong to think that we can rightly judge what even angels cannot know - whether a person is a tare or a wheat.

Notwithstanding - in offering comfort to those who are in doubt about their salvation we are right to point them to the things that witness the presence of God in their lives - in particular the conviction of sin and righteousness, which is the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and in practical term - whether or not God is producing in them the will and means to do those good works which were prepared beforehand for the Christian to walk in.

I think most of us would agree that we cannot, based upon external evidence, say who is saved and who is not - nor is it our privilege to do so. We can - nay, *must* however reject everyone who presents themselves to the church in the guise of a tare. It serves no purpose to speculate as to whether they truly are a tare or not - all that matters is that as far as the church is concerned, they be treated like, and for all intents and purposes, assumed to be tares.

But that's me. I hardly comment. ;-)

June 25, 2007 6:00 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Following Jesus is more than saying you are a Christian. Anyone can claim Christ as Savior, but those who are truly saved will bear visible fruit.

Cristina, a hearty AMEN!

I can say I'm a tennis player all I want, but am I really if I never set foot on the court?

June 25, 2007 6:02 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Welcome aboard, John!
Thanks for the heads up, Mark.
Is this the same John you know personally from your own geographic area? Is he the commenter who wrote the connection between the words faith and belief in the Greek? (I loved that.)

June 25, 2007 6:04 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Why were they not allowed to pull up the weeds?

Because some of the wheat looked like weeds.

We often twist that around and say the tares look like wheat - but that wasn't the problem here was it? It was that the wheat looked like tares.


Daniel,

I don't see in that Scripture that either plant resembled the other. I just see that both plants were next to one another.

I don't disagree with your point overall, but I believe the conversation here tends to revolve around the importance of repentance in the life of a believer, not man judging souls. Calvinists and Reformed believers here continually have to correct non-Calvinists who accuse the former of being "fruit inspectors."

A true believer will be uncomfortable with his or her sin and remorseful over any affront to God - and not just go along ok living with it. I don't think that those people commenting here to affirm this are judging souls unto hell as much as they are following Scripture to remind true believers of the necessity of repentance and defend it Scripturally.

June 25, 2007 6:26 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

What if you don't do the personal study, fellowship at church, prayer, etc?

That has been my point all along in this discussion. Not everyone continues on doing those things, although they should.


I think it's more than "should." I read once on Daniel's blog that Paul certainly had choices in his life, but following Christ and preaching and writing as he did was akin to "an itch he had to scratch."

That comparison stayed with me. It's a good one, I think. Although I may drift from time to time in my diligence, the Spirit always beckons me back. I can't *not* be in Scripture for too long without yearning for such food. I can't *not* be in fellowship without a sense of withering. I can't *not* pray at all, although my prayer life leaves much to be desired.

I just think it's more than a "should." It's a need. An itch. A yearning. A desire. And a begging and pleading with God to fill me with more and yet more love for Him that I don't have so that I truly am less within myself. I don't *want* so much of myself as I have today. I want less tomorrow. And Lord willing, if He yet gives me breath, even less the day after that. And it's a prayer I utter daily.

May God in His infinite mercy grant all of us here less of ourselves and more of Him.

June 25, 2007 6:37 PM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Amen, Daniel. Thank you. I completely agree.

Susan said, "A true believer will be uncomfortable with his or her sin and remorseful over any affront to God - and not just go along ok living with it."

What is the acceptable amount of time for a person to become "uncomfortable" and "remorseful"?

This speaks to what I said the other day. (re: my husband) Is 25 years too long? What if someone doesn't become uncomfortable or remorseful in 25 years? Five years? Two years? One month? What is the time limit for repentance? And who sets it?

And since we cannot read tone in our comments, please know that I'm not being smart, I'd truly like to know. Also, I'm not discounting or refuting any of the Scripture references; I hold them to be the truth of the Word of God. But I'm not seeing any time limits set in Scripture.

I think we have to keep in mind that we can't even BE repentant without God being merciful and granting repentance to us. I would suggest that His perfect plan is being carried out in the life of Beleivers exactly as He sees fit. In His time.

I think Daniel hit the nail on the head in talking about church discipline. THAT's how it's handled.

June 25, 2007 6:53 PM

 
Blogger Daniel said...

Susan, you said, I don't see in that Scripture that either plant resembled the other. I just see that both plants were next to one another.

That is understandable. Here is an extract regarding the tares in Matthew 13, taken from "All The Plants Of The Bible" by Winifred Walker:

This plant is the bearded darnel or rye grass, and resembles wheat so closely that it can prosper in the cornfields and be almost indistinguishable until fully grown. It flourishes in quantities in countries along the Mediterranean Sea. To the farmer it is one of the most destructive of all weeds, and in Eastern countries women and children are employed to pick out these tares before they can ruin the good crop. As soon as the ears are formed, it is possible to recognize them, but both the wheat and the tares are usually left intermixed until after reaping. Then they are separated by a fanning that blows away the lighter and smaller seeds of the tares, and after threshing, all seeds are shaken in a sieve. Thus any darnel seeds still remaining will usually pass through and leave the larger wheat behind. The inner coats of these seeds often harbor seriously poisonous fungus growths that, if eaten by humans or animals, will cause dizziness and vomiting and sometimes even death. Virgil calls it the infelix lolium, and the Arabs siwan.

I take Christ's parable therefore to be speaking of a truth that was commonly understood by his hearers - that the two resembled one another. While I agree that the scriptures do not make explicit what I presume to be implicit - I find this is one of those truths that being so universally known to the first century Palestinian mind, that I must presume upon it being understood if I am to understand the parable as it was understood at the time.

If that helps explain where I am coming from.

You also said, "but I believe the conversation here tends to revolve around the importance of repentance in the life of a believer, not man judging souls"

Agreed, but in discussing the topic of repentance with Free Grace advocates, I have found that the greatest area for potentially derailing tangential asides, comes in the form of insisting that anyone who mentions repentance must therefore be an advocate of "sin sniffing" to find out who is and who is not saved. I have been on the net long enough that I begin to couch my casual remarks in language that is pre-insulated against the common fires. ;-)

June 25, 2007 10:50 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Daniel,
I have been on the net long enough that I begin to couch my casual remarks in language that is pre-insulated against the common fires. ;-)

10-4 on that brother. In the EE ministry it is called precluding objections.

June 25, 2007 11:40 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Daniel, Susan, and Gayla,
Thanks for the good points. I think we should be careful not to judge anything for certain concerning whether someone else is a believer or not a believer and if they have drifted away or not. As Daniel mentioned the church should carry out discipline as required by Scripture.

As for how long someone can abandon his walk in favor of the flesh, we do not have a certain time limit given. One thing to consider in cases where a person might appear to return to the faith and that is it may not be returning at all. It could be a case of person coming to true faith for the first time. My former Pastor related a case of a church elder having a dramatic eye opening experience where he realized that he had not understood the gospel at all and embraced Christ for the first time.

Scripture gives us information as to what the power of regeneration does for a person and Paul tells us in Chapter 7 about the on-going battle we have with sin.

As for me, I am going to go with what Scripture teaches on the subject and not be in the business of speculating on the justification or sanctification of particular persons.

However, understanding the subject doctrinally is a different matter.
This post is about Romans 8:14 which in light of Romans 1 through Romans 8:13 gives absolutely no possibility in my opinion of someone being saved without being led by the Holy Spirit and progressing in their walk in spite of periods of falling into sinful behavior.
wayne

June 25, 2007 11:42 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

"As for how long someone can abandon his walk in favor of the flesh, we do not have a certain time limit given. One thing to consider in cases where a person might appear to return to the faith and that is it may not be returning at all. It could be a case of person coming to true faith for the first time. My former Pastor related a case of a church elder having a dramatic eye opening experience where he realized that he had not understood the gospel at all and embraced Christ for the first time.

Scripture gives us information as to what the power of regeneration does for a person and Paul tells us in Chapter 7 about the on-going battle we have with sin."

Well said, Wayne. Well said indeed. A point I tried to make known in an earlier reply.

June 26, 2007 5:31 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Daniel,

Thank you. That explains a lot and it was a most interesting passage you shared. I want to be careful about not reading into (eise-gesis) passages more than is written in them by God for us, but also want to engage in proper exegesis to draw out what is indeed in Scripture for us to know. I'm going to have to think more on that wheat/tares parable.

I understand what you are saying about on-line discussions between Reformed and non-Reformed minds. I'm moving toward trying to take greater care with my words in these discussions and not be so hasty without prayer prior to 'speaking' (writing).

At the same time, I'm finding myself increasingly concerned about the teachings of FG and the casual Christianity that can result from this system. I think our churches (in the US at least; I don't know about Canada) are filled with casual cultural Christians.

June 26, 2007 8:58 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Gayla,

Forgive me if I made any offense. I certainly wasn't meaning to suggest that anyone in particular is unsaved as a result of what's seen (or not seen) in his or her life.

Perhaps my comment re: FG and casual Christianity in my response to Daniel above may help clarify what I meant.

I think that true 'born again' Christians are indeed moved and sanctified by the Holy Spirit - certainly in His time and not our own, but they're moved and sanctified nonetheless. God doesn't leave His children alone.

Irresistible grace - by definition - cannot be resisted. It's the itch one needs to scratch. It is truly irresistible if one is moved by the Spirit and walking in Same.

June 26, 2007 9:07 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Oh no, Susan. No offense taken in the least. I was just questioning, that's all. :)

We in the reformed camp, myself included, I think, tend to be very adament about, we WILL see fruit, we WILL do this, and we WILL do that. I don't disagree; I just think we've gotta be able to extend some grace.

June 26, 2007 11:25 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Gayla,

I think also that Internet communication doesn't express the grace very well (even if there), with the impersonal communication lacking tone, gesture, facial expressions, nuance, give and take in real time, etc.

As for myself, I don't hear others say or think myself the "we WILL ...xyz" as much as I hear and think that I cannot *possibly* do xyz in and of myself. Without God granting me even the love for Him (and others) and the ... well, everything, I can't do a single thing. The very breath I breathe is owed to Him.

I think the communication via Internet wires may tend to "sound" like the Reformed camp is adamant about "we WILL" or "this must be," but everyone in the Reformed camp whom I've met (and those I haven't) to date *all* credit God with the doing for their being anything.

June 26, 2007 5:52 PM

 

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