Christians, Or Not…

And the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. The word Christian is only used three times in the New Testament. First, here in Acts 11:26 and again in 26:28, and later in 1 Peter 4:16.

Today, many claim to be Christians, regardless of what they believe or who they believe in, or even how they live. Here in America it seems a person can be considered a Christian just by claiming to be so. The word “Christian” is plastered all over the place, again as if stamping a program or teaching or song with that name makes it so. Today we even have teachers claiming people can be Muslim or Hindu and be Christian too. Some of us really don’t read even the most simplest words of our bibles, do we?

We, the redeemed in Christ seem to follow right along with these people, not questioning their behavior or beliefs, we simply accept what they claim as the truth and jump in beside them supporting them, working their programs, buying their music and training how to’s.  We do this with blindness – chosen blindness. How many times have you heard, “I don’t wanna judge”? Oh, really?

So, in thinking of some things I have witnessed this past year I started to realize there had to be a definitive. And there is. Jesus, our Messiah, never called His disciples “Christians”.  This is actually a term given to the disciples by unbelievers, or as the bible refers to them, “Gentiles”. But, the Lord called them followers, friends, disciples. One thing sets true disciples apart from all the rest. That one thing is still true today in the eyes of the Lord. It is a qualifier much overlooked and because it has been so overlooked our society has become confused in what a Christian, or a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ really is.

It is quite simple, really. In John 14:15 Jesus said “If you love me keep my commandments”.  Again in 15:14 Jesus said “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you”.  He said “If anyone loves Me he will keep My word” in John 14:23, and yet, in verse 24 Jesus explains “He who does not love Me does not keep My words”.

Yeah, consider those words for a moment because there is great truth within them. After all, they are the words of the one who died for us so that we could be called by His name. These are His standards, not mine.

To continue, in 1 John 5:2-3 we are told by the author “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

There’s really no getting around it, is there? If we love Jesus we do what His word tells us to do because we love Him. Those who come at us with other words or other ways claiming THE gospel; a new message by way of visitation cuz God’s doin’ a new thing; a new way to be a Christian cuz times and society have changed and so too must we; those who claim to love yet hurt others, the unrepentant, the unforgiving, the unloving…they cannot be called by His name. They are not His disciples because they do not love Him, they have not kept His words, and this is by their own choice.

Hmm…I told you it was simple.

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93 thoughts on “Christians, Or Not…

  1. Nice to hear from you.
    I know I will be shot down for this statement: The biggest problem is that if we think there are no consequences for our actions we will do what we like.
    If guys like Charles Stanley are allowed to get away with statements like “you can never out- sin the grace of God” we have to realize we are giving people a license to sin.

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  2. Good to hear from you, M’kayla. In reference to your comment, “Those who come at us with other words or other ways claiming THE gospel; a new message by way of visitation cuz God’s doin’ a new thing;”, God has already covered in His Word what He thinks of their “new messages” and “other words or other ways”:
    Deuteronomy 4:2 “You SHALL NOT ADD TO the word which I command you, NEITHER SHALL YOU DIMINISH IT, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”
    Deuteronomy 12:32 “Whatever I command you, BE WATCHFUL TO DO IT; you shall not add to it or diminish it.”
    Proverbs 30:6 “Add not to His words, LEST HE REPROVE YOU, AND YOU BE FOUND A LIAR.”
    John 17:17 “Sanctify them by Truth: YOUR WORD IS TRUTH.”
    Revelation 22:18-19 “I warn everyone who listens to the statements of the prophecy in this book; If anyone shall add anything to them, God will add and lay upon him the plagues that are recorded and described in this book. And if anyone cancels or takes away from the statements of the book of this prophecy, God will cancel and take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the city of holiness, which are described and promised in this book.”
    When these false prophets and teachers come at people with “personal prophecy” and their new messages to tickle people’s itching ears, they cannot possibly be from God, rather they are agents of the devil himself, who ever seeks to draw men away from the Word of God, because he knows the powerful Word of God contains the only truth that can save the souls of men AND bring true followers of Christ to spiritual maturity.

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  3. Hey Mkayla,
    I love this teaching—– and I love Jesus’ words. How can anyone love Jesus and not love His words and the words of His apostles? There can be no loyalty to Christ apart from loyalty to His word.
    1John 4:6— John said, “He that knows God hears us; he that is not of God does not hear us. Hereby we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
    1John 3:18-19—“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we aere of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

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  4. One more thing—-You’re right that they don’t keep His words because of their own choice—–BUT only because God has left them to their own choice and left them to their fallen state of mind. He has obviously not opened their understanding—-which makes me wonder if they are saved.
    There are many instances in God’s word where Jesus had to open the disciples understanding too—-like on the walk to Emmaus—- and in Luke 24:45, etc. But they wanted to understand.

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  5. M’Kayla, thank you for giving those Scripture references. The verse in Peter’s letter is clear that he himself used the term ‘Christian’ to identify believers. Did you notice that?

    It’s sad that the term ‘Christian’ has come to be used as a perjorative in our day and age, but that’s not surprising when one considers the Scripture where Christ Jesus said we would be hated because He Himself was hated by the world.

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  6. Great post Mkayla, the issue has and always will be that of obedience. I quoted this verse on another blog last night which brought home again the point that you made.

    2 Thess 1:8
    In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God , and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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  7. Harry’s right that the biggest problem in this area is people turning the grace of God into licensiousness. Anyone who claims the grace of God as an excuse to sin, is not a true Christian. That’s why it’s so important to “examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith.” If God has truly enabled us to repent, believe the gospel and obey His word, we can know we are His and that He has changed our heart. If we are not able to do these things, we can be sure that we still have an evil heart of unbelief.
    I think Charles Stanley goes too far in trying to express eternal security. Although it’s true that Jesus is the author and finisher (security) of our faith—-a faith that thinks too lightly of sin is not a saving faith, but the faith of devils—for even they believe, but not to obedience. If one has really been granted belief in Jesus, they will automatically have the desire to obey and be granted the grace to do so. Not in perfection but in the right direction. We are still held accountable for how we’ve handled God’s grace in overcoming the external compulsion to sin. Thank God we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus who intercedes for us in our weaknesses!!

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  8. excellent!!! and timely, i shall rename myself from a believer to a “follower of Jesus” – that shall be a great opener for some new dialogue, welcomed as always, “friend”, mary

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  9. Although the focus of a Christian life should be about putting into practice all God’s commandments as they were taught by the Lord Yeshewa, many believers seem to be discouraged to do that perhaps due to the influence of an imbalanced preaching and teaching that creates a dichotomy between faith and works or law and grace. In my personal view, all theological doctrines contradicts the simplicity of the gospel reaffirmed in the letters to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation. What matters to the Lord is faith, proclaiming His name and gospel amid persecution, perseverance, service, good works or deeds, keeping our garments clean.

    Let me share one simple specific teaching of the Lord that I have been trying to put into practice. When we organize a social gathering at our home or special dinner we are taught to invite those who cannot return the invitation. And the list include the poor and people with different disabilities. To put into practice this simple Christian teaching I found out I had to overcome barriers of different kind. It is certainly easier to make a donation to the food bank -or different ministries that provide help to the poor and disabled- than to open our own home to them to offer the simplicity of sincere and transparent friendship.

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    • Nick, the focus of the Christian life is actually —- God. He is to be exalted, not our works. Works are the outgrowth of salvation, not the means of salvation.
      Theology is basically the study of God and it’s something all Christians are compelled to do …..2 Tim.2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God”….rightly dividing the word of truth.” And if our “theology” is not correct concerning Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit, the Bible makes it clear that we aren’t His. For instance, if we don’t have the Son, we don’t have the Father. If we don’t have the Father, we don’t have the Son……1 John 2:23 for example.
      The mormons for instance don’t have their theology correct about the Son—they believe Jesus was a brother of Satan—-Jehovah Witnesses believe He was just a man or Michael the archangel…..therefore they can’t possibly have the Father either.
      Likewise, Bethel teachings portray Jesus as just being a “Spirit empowered man who hhad to be “born again” in hell—–such blasphemy.
      Theology is important.

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      • Theology has its roots in the Greek philosophy and it can be seen as a systematic study of divinity which tries to put into different boxes or theoretical frameworks God’s revelations in the Bible. There is no more difficult task for our human mind than to try to theorize God and to understand His nature. No wonder why there are so many interpretations of this complex issue. Again we have to return to the simplicity of the Gospel. What we need to know about God’s and the Lord Yeshewa nature is revealed through the apostle John. Unfortunately, back in the Nicea council Chrstians leaders were engaged in theological discussions whose starting point are outside of the simplicity of the gospel.

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        • Nick, what we need to know about God’s love is revealed throughout the entire bible. I agree that we need to get back to the Gospel and its simplicity. However, I am having a hard time tying your comments in with the topic.

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          • M’Kayla, your topic of showing our love for God by obeying His commandments is clear and straightforward. However I wonder why is it not the focus of Biblical teaching imparted from the pulpit in most Christian congregations. And my personal answer is that theological doctrines have caused such confusion to many believers to the point that they can not stay focus on the simplicity of the gospel. To elaborate more on that in response to another blogger’s comment is that theology can address questions that may be quite irrelevant for the Christian life since it tries to go beyond what is written in the Bible. For instance in relation to the divine nature of the Lord Yeshewa which was one the main topics of discussion in the Nicea council which gave birth to the mainstream organized Christian Church in the western part of the world.

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        • Hi Nick
          Well said!!
          We complicate things too much with our studies. Not to say we must not.
          But our studies lead to conclusions that complicates God for other people we are missing it.
          We do not need to study God. Jesus said eternal life is to know God and the one he send.
          If an illiterate person living in a squatter camp cannot understand the Gospel then we have lost the plot.
          The church needs to be De-Greeced….

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  10. Nick, I hope you’re not saying we don’t need to study. There’s simplicity in CHRIST, and all He has created is “systematic” and orderly. Naturally, His word would be harmonious also. It only gets complicated by false teachers and their doctrines, which subtly slip in thru a worldly system of non-thought, where our mind can become passive to the point of just believing whatever we’re told, rather than going to God’s word ourselves. In fact, lack of reasoning is why so many are ending up in cults today. “The simple believeth every word; but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” Prov. 14:15
    Even Acts 17: 11-12 tells of noble minded Bereans who searched the Scriptures daily for themselves, to see if all they were being told was true. This scenario show us that we are to be involved in theological matters…..for we all need to “test the spirits” with sound doctrine and discernment to keep from being deceived by “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils,” which are sadly shipwrecking the faith of many today, 1 Tim. 4:1.
    The Bereans applied themselves to know the truth, as God was drawing them thru His word and by His grace granting them belief in Jesus, with the Holy Spirit enabling them to respond in true repentance and faith……. A beautiful example of the simplicity of the gospel.

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  11. It is my understanding that the Bereans were not theologians and there is not any indication in the Bible that they proposed a set of concepts and principles to understand God and the gospel preached by the apostles. They purely and simply wanted to corroborate the consistency of the preaching with the written word of God. And this is exactly the best protection a believer can have against cults and false teaching. Every cult you can think of will have at least one major clear and open contradiction with the Lord Yeshewa’s teachings. A simple example: to set a date for the second coming of the Lord when clearly the Lord taught that nobody knows that.

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  12. Mkayla, Have you ever heard of Frank Viola and his heretical concept of “simple” church, also called “organic” church? I’ve actually read a couple of his books and all the way thru them he speaks against the importance of doctrine. It’s a very subtle deception, but reading thru them helped me to discern big red flags when they pop up —–you know what I mean?
    He has recently co-authored a book with a contemplative heretic called “Pagan Christianity” which addresses everything—-except all the heretical mysticism that’s going on in the churches. He implies that the problem in the churches is theological doctrines and those who teach “sound doctrine,” rather than the real problem, which is mysticism (which ironically throws caution to the wind).
    Although he points out the many problems in our churches, his solution is total apostasy or what he terms “Reinventing Church.” We must remember that if doctrine was important to Jesus and the Apostles, it should be to us too.
    By the way, the main sign of a cult—-is a faulty view of salvation by grace alone, faith alone in Jesus alone—-which leads into every other heresy imaginable….including throwing out study and biblical doctrine.

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  13. Sorry Mkayla, I must be half asleep tonight (it’s late)—-I need to reword that last part—-all cults have a faulty view of salvation (work-righteousness) which leads to every other heresy—– such as throwing out biblical study and doctrine.
    A biblical view of salvation is by grace alone, faith alone in Jesus alone, where works are the outgrowth of salvation.

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      • Interesting comment on a book and author I had never heard or read before. It is good to learn from each other in this blog and to be aware of the danger of becoming involved in any movement that may start or end claiming to be the only one true Church of the Lord.
        Let me just comment that the current doctrine of salvation by faith was elaborated only on the basis of the apostle Paul’s writings. It is interesting to note that Martin Luther, one of the main authors of this doctrine, disregarded the book of Revelation as a doctrinal book. And the reason is clear, what is written in the letters to the Seven Churches does not support at all that view. On the contrary the reference to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans might suggest that there was a group who thought that their declarative faith in the Lord Yeshewa would justify their lawlesness life style and they would enter into the Kingdom of God.

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  14. Here’s just a few vss. on the importance of doctrine: John 7:16, Acts 2:42, Rom.6:17, Eph.4:14, Tit. 2:10, 1Tim. 1:3, 2 Tim.3-4, 1Cor.1:10, Jude 3, 2John 9-10—
    Emergents make the excuse that since we can’t get theology/doctrine right, it should just be thrown out for the sake of “simplicity” or “unity.” These verses prove we must be able to “get it right” because the Holy Spirit leads all believers —–into all truth.

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    • A pathway to begin persecution against the true church, and it has already started. Brian MacLaren recently stated that Christians who believe Christ will return need to be confronted. Rick Warren has chimed in with him and we already know he is against the study of prophecy, calling it a waste of time. If you think about it, division of the church has always been about doctrine. Now they could care less about it and instead use words like “love”, “mercy”, “forgiveness”, “unity” taken out of their intended meaning, creating a whole new doctrine that has nothing to do with Christ at all.

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  15. Jude 4—“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old, ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness”….in other words they use grace as an excuse to sin or as a license to do whatever. That is NOT the “doctrine of salvation.” A faith that thinks lightly of sin is not a saving faith but the faith of devils…..and cannot be blamed on God’s gift of free grace to those who are truly His. “For we are saved by grace, thru faith, not of works lest any should boast, it is the gift of God” Eph.2:8.
    Furthermore, Martin Luther is NOT the author of the doctrine of salvation by faith—-God is the “author and finisher of our faith” Heb. 12:2. And it’s not just a “profession of faith” it is a work of God in our hearts.

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    • This is why we need to start testing the fruit of these teachers, leaders, pastors, prophets who claim they are Christians, that the love Jesus, yet teach things that are not in the bible – aka another gospel, another jesus that scripture warns of.

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  16. You’re right Mkayla, we have to inspect their fruits, not by appearance, but by the Word of God. They will call us judgmental by doing so…. to try to get us to back down or give into their lies, but Jesus said in John 7:24, “Judge not according to appearance, but judge by righteous judgment.”
    “For they serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches they deceive the hearts of the simple.” Rom.16:18.

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    • Fruits of righteousness should be observable by anyone. There is no need to have the gift of discernment. In the Lord own’s words those who obey His commandments and teach others to do the same will be called great in the Kingdom of God.

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  17. It all goes back to where Jesus speaks in Matt. 7:15-23 about wolves in sheep’s clothing and about how good fruit cannot come from a bad tree and how bad fruit cannot come from a good tree. Just like the bad tree in the garden of Eden—it had bad fruit—-BUT by appearance it seemed good. Just as wolves appear “good” as long as they have the outer sugar coating that “pulls the wool over our eyes” so to speak—-by doing and saying good things.
    This is where discernment comes in—as Heb. 5:14 puts it—we must have our senses exercised to discern good from evil. We must be “studied up” and nourished in the word of God to recognize a counterfeit when it comes along.
    God Himself begins this process —-e. g. Phil.1:6— by changing our hearts so that we are a “good tree” w/ sincere fruits of righteousness, because it’s HIS righteousness we become partakers of—2 Pet.1:4. And God does this not by giving us precepts and laws to keep, or by just setting a pattern for us to follow, but upon the merits of Jesus’ blood sacrifice applied to our account by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit (being born again)……And Jesus blood is not laws, ordinances, or commands—-but a redeeming price—-“paid in full” so that we are no longer in debt to the curse of the law.
    True believers are under the new covenant sealed by Jesus’ blood, which empowers those who are His to fulfill the law written on their hearts—–in spirit and in truth, rather than legalistic bondage. I praise Him for only He is to be glorified—-not us.

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  18. Nick’s comments are ringing true to me. The people known as “the Church Fathers” were anti-semitic to the core. Martin Luther, Justin Martyr, St. Augustine … they all came from a Greek mindset, which was directly opposite a Hebrew mindset. Martin Luther was so hateful to the Jews, Hitler used his writings as “inspiration” for the holocaust pogroms! These same “Church Fathers” were the ones who handed down our doctrines on “love” and “grace” … and these same teachings are taught in our colleges and seminaries … no wonder we have so many fruitloops for teachers these days!

    Over the last year, I’ve studied some church development from the book of Acts to the present day “church” and it has changed my life forever. The Gospel preached by the disciples is NOT the gospel taught today. Our message is now so diluted that we are merely producing baby apostates destined to hell (rather than true followers), unless God miraculously intervenes.

    Anyhow, just thought I’d throw my two cents in.

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  19. It’s so sad that God’s gospel of grace is being rejected because of those who pervert it and by reformers like Martin Luther. It’s true that he made sure popes didn’t continue to dictate to us what Scripture says and by pointing out to the Catholic church that God’s righteousness can only be imputed to us by what Jesus did on the cross for His people, rather than the belief of “infused” righteousness thru sacraments, such as baptism. Although Luther had high hopes for the Jews and even witness to them for years, he became bitter toward them when he couldn’t convert them to Christianity. But don’t we all as true laborers feel this sense of frustration toward those we can’t seem to convert too. If we’re honest, we’ll have to confess this natural tendency in our flesh. We can learn from Luthers mistakes that we too need to be careful about becoming bitter toward those who hate the grace of God and would rather rely on their own works of righteousness.
    By the way, although Luther believed the gospel, he didn’t “author” and pen Eph. 2:8-10, Tit.3:5, Phil.1:6,29 and all the other hundreds of verses that proclaim God’s grace———-God did. It baffles me that some claim otherwise, which makes me wonder why.

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    • Hey girl!
      Very true we need to be careful of how we treat people who will not accept or believe the truth. At the same time, we are told what we are to do with those who will not accept the gospel. Seems like there is a balance there of wisdom and Spirit led discernment in these situations.

      Not sure what you meant in the last sentence. Will you clarify? – It baffles me that some claim otherwise, which makes me wonder why.

      Thanks! 🙂

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  20. Hey Mkayla, in an earlier comment by Nick, he not only claimed that Martin Luther was the “author” of the doctrine of salvation by faith, but also seemed to try to discredit this biblical doctrine based on Luthers sins and shortcomings. This concerns me. My point is that God’s truth stands despite the failings of those who were supposed to stand for it and despite those “who try to turn the grace of God into liscensiousness” Jude 1:4……
    In other words, “Let God be true, but every man a liar” Rom. 3:4.

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  21. Just a thought on Martin Luther…We can thank him (along with William Tyndale and others) for risking everything to translate the Word of God into German and English and wrestling it out of control of the papacy. Prior to that, the Roman Catholic Church was conducting everything in Latin; and most of the people attending church couldn’t understand anything that was being said. They didn’t have bibles to read for themselves. Faith comes through hearing the Word of God, and they were not hearing it. It is so easy for us to take for granted that we have bibles at our fingertips…if we would only open and study them.

    Martin Luther, William Tyndale, and others like them were men who made mistakes but loved the Word of God. They risked much so that common lay people could read the Word for themselves and break the chokehold of the catholic church over the body of Christ. The danger comes when the body starts to follow any man, whether that be Martin Luther or Bill Johnson, past what the scriptures say. When Peter refused to sit with the Gentiles, Paul stood up to him and corrected him (instead of following him). When the Judaizers tried to tell the Gentiles that God was bringing into the church that they much be circumsized to be saved, the church corrected the falsehood and stuck to the Word of God.

    We all make many mistakes, and scripture rightly handled is fully capable of correcting them all…thank our LORD for that! Imagine if the only parts of Peter’s service we considered were his denial of Jesus and his refusal to sit with the Gentiles. We need to be careful what eyes we look at people like Martin Luther through. There is a difference between a false gospel and a disputable matter.

    Blessings!

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  22. Something we need to understand is that, even though we like to think differently, our doctrines are largely influenced by the interpretation of these men (Luther, etc). Sermons and lectures are taken from the writings of these men, or someone else who are heavily influenced by these men. We can look at any verse in the bible (especially Paul’s epistles) and interpret it various ways. What I’ve found is that, oftentimes, people will interpret scripture according to the ways they were taught growing up, or according to the interpretation of their present denomination(s). When they do this, they are convinced that they are right, or that the Holy Spirit revealed it to them.

    For me, and I can only speak for myself, I prefer to take the scripture within the historical and cultural context of when the scripture is written and derive it’s interpretation from there.

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  23. @godlee4life The misinterpretation of the “salvation by faith” doctrine has caused a lot of problems. In our western mindset, we interpret the word “faith” to be “mental assent”. Like, if we just believe in our minds (or hearts), with no accompanying works, then we’re good to go. If this were true, the demons are saved, because they KNOW Jesus died and rose again. They KNOW Jesus was born of a virgin and that His blood cleanses sin. Is that the kind of faith we are to have? I hope not!

    It’s the works … as EVIDENCE of your faith that is also included in the term “faith”. According to the Jewish mindset … Faith and Works are inseparable. So it is both KNOWING and DOING that equates to faith. Am I saying that works saves you? NO … but I AM saying that you will DO that which you believe. That’s why James said that faith without works is dead. They are inseparable.

    BTW: Martin Luther tried to have the book of James stricken from the cannon because he couldn’t stand the idea that works had anything to do with Salvation. A good study would be to look into Greek philosophy and it’s affect on the Gospel.

    Blessings,

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    • Kevin, thanks for clearing that up. I don’t know much about Luther, tho I have heard his name throughout my life. I simply have never taken the time for that to be an area of study.

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  24. I don’t want to seem bitter. It’s just that I’ve determined that there is a reason why the church is failing – and will continue to fail, in it’s present form. Seeds were planted many years ago that are bearing fruit. There is a reason why the “church” in Acts looked one way and the church of today looks the way it does. If you have time, look at the influence that Constantine had on the church … it will blow your mind. I wrote an article on the church fathers and the influence that they had on the modern day church on my blog. If you like, I can post the link here (I don’t wan to overstep any boundaries).

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    • No Kevin, you are in good company here as many of us have first hand witnessed the failing of the church and its steady decline into other religions. Is it bitterness or another step in the direction of acceptance, as these things must be? We live in scary times, at least for me, it is a bit scary. 🙂

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  25. Case in point, at the root of every heresy there’s a faulty view of salvation. For instance, most churches that try to be “relevant” are doing so because of a sense of impotence…why?—- because a false gospel has no power. Therefore they feel they have to conjure up something on their own.
    The bottom line is that only the true gospel is the power of God (Rom. 1:6). And we need to remember that God’s sovereign freegrace cannot be limited by mans “free”will. God’s will is sovereign and unlimited, ours isn’t. This knowledge alone would clear up so much confusion in the churches and would put the focus back on God and what He’s doing, rather than focusing on man and what he’s done in the past or what he’s doing now. God knows the beginning and the end. We don’t. Though this seems a little scary, it’s not if we trust Him.

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  26. godlee4life said:

    “Case in point, at the root of every heresy there’s a faulty view of salvation.”

    Awesome point. Our test of the spirit of the anti-christ is one who “denies Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh” according to 1 John. Bill Johnson, for example, fills this category with his “born-again, Jesus in the flesh was just a man, psuedo-gnostic gospel”. If I’ve understood correctly, he also encourages his followers to put down their bibles out of fear of becoming “religiously bound” or some other sort of nonsense.

    Martin Luther, for example, made mistakes; but the gospel that he put forth was the true gospel…”sola scriptora”. He worked diligently to get the Word of God translated into the common tongue (German), so that people could learn straight from God. He faced enormous persecution.
    Many of those who followed him, like William Tyndale, ultimately gave their lives so that the true Gospel could be read and understood by all whom the LORD would call.

    When I was first “born again”, I was in the Word hours each day just eagerly absorbing it. For a short time, though, I was convinced that Paul’s letters couldn’t possibly belong. I understand with humility now that God was working to convict me of some things in those very letters that I needed to repent and change. My own discomfort made me want to disregard it, but love and devotion to Jesus and the power of God overcame that. We are all on a journey with the LORD. We can follow any man’s errors, or we can follow Him.

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  27. Mkayla, I feel I also need to clarify some things about the book of James so readers won’t get the strange idea that faith plus works is some kind of “formula” for salvation.
    Faith and righteousness are both freegrace gifts from God.
    James’ main focus wasn’t on the gospel of grace, but on survival of the saints during a very difficult time. However, James 2:10 still proves his belief of our need for God’s freegrace since we’ve all broken God’s law at least once, which makes one guilty for eternity unless God intervenes.
    If you notice from the very beginning he addresses saints who were “scattered abroad”—-kinda like what we are still seeing today. He simply wanted to remind them of what Heb.11 (the famous hall of faith) entails. That faith is not the means of salvation, but the outgrowth of salvation.
    This is getting redundant but as I wrote earlier, a faith that thinks lightly of sin is not a saving faith, but the “faith” of devils. But true faith has “things that accompany salvation” (Heb. 6:9). And those who have truly been given “the gift of righteousness” (Rom. 5:17) are not “those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Heb.10:39). Now that’s a saving faith—-a faith where WE are not the “author” or finisher of it—-GOD is— (Heb.12:2)!!

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  28. kevinkleint said:

    “I don’t want to seem bitter. It’s just that I’ve determined that there is a reason why the church is failing – and will continue to fail, in it’s present form. Seeds were planted many years ago that are bearing fruit.”

    Those “bad seeds” were around from the very beginning of the church, and they did deceive and lead away many even then. It leads them away, not because the bad seed is there; but because in their hearts they don’t really want the truth, so the seed takes root:

    “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…” (Mat 24:10-11 NIV)

    The love of most will grow cold…

    They don’t love God enough to cling to His Word and stand firm to the end. They are incapable of loving one another, because their love for God and His Word has run cold. It is heartbreaking, and I believe most people on this blog (including myself) have been at the receiving end of some very cold love. “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:13 NIV) Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching…” (John 14:23)

    And then:

    “….They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (2 Thes 2: 10b-11 NIV)

    They perish because the refused to love the truth. The true church…those who love the Word of God and believe it…will not fail. Even the gates of hell will not overthrow her. (Matt 16:18) That brings me much peace. When I want to be frustrated and angry over the false teachings of men, I try to remember why people follow them. Just a thought, brother….blessings!

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  29. Mkayla, I spotted an error in my last post—–the part where I wrote “faith is not the means of salvation”—–I meant “works” are not the means of salvation, works are the outgrowth of salvation. Sorry about that!!

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  30. just1ofhis, I think you too have made a good point about the bad seeds that take root. It reminds me of when Jesus said the devil is the one who planted these “tares among the wheat”—-so in that sense the bad seeds must actually be bad people. Those you say who “do not receive a love of the truth” (2Thess) are those God gives over to their natural evil inclinations. This is the glory of God’s grace, that He would even consider saving us from our own natural inclination toward evil and allow us to be partakers of His divine nature (2Pet.1:4)!!—–because He obviously “planted” those who are His as “good seed” (wheat)……and you’re right, it is a comfort that His promises to His seed will never fail and “the gates of hell cannot prevail” against the true church of believers in Christ. That almost rhymed!
    Be encouraged because He says He will someday take away the tares! It’s just hard to be patient sometimes when those tares are so annoying and mean isn’t it? I’ve experienced Bill Johnsons followers hate first hand —-it’s not pretty.

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  31. @just1ofhis – I agree that there is His ekklesia out there who are seeking the Truth, so I’m not trying to insinuate that all is a lost cause for those who seek Him … so I stand corrected on that point. From my own personal experience, and from those who I’ve been in contact with … the more you try to follow the Word and not the doctrines of men, the more you find yourself in opposition to the “church”. That is why I say the “church” (as in what is considered a normal “church”) will fail … simply because they have no regard for the Word — from my experience. If you can find a church out there who truly seeks His Will above their programs … more power to ya!

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    • Kevin, if you have found other believers who are hunger and thirst for righteouness and are eager to live up according to the Word of God above anything else, it would be a good thing you gather and have fellowship, pray and serve others together and teach others -by word and example- to do the same. This is the true meaning of ecclessia.

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  32. @just1ofhis – As far as Martin Luther goes, I’ve read the 95 thesis and, from what I could see, it was nothing but a rebuke to the catholic church on the “selling of indulgences” … which, in essence (if I remember correctly, it’s been a year or so), has to do with pardoning someone after they have already died. The clergy was charging their followers for this “privilege”. While it is true that Tyndale copied the bible, I don’t see that for Martin (and I’m open to correction on that).

    Something that is not being considered here is that it wasn’t just Martin Luther who was anti-semitic. It was the entire society that was against God’s chosen people. It was through Luther, and earlier (especially) Constantine, that the church lost it’s true identity. I know I may be opening up a HUGE can of worms by even bringing this up …. but the Church was decidedly more “Jewish” in nature back then. And this was NOT just because it was made up of Jews. Anyhow, if you haven’t already, do some research on just what Martin and the other “church fathers” said … to me, it’s enough to dismiss them out of hand. The doctrines of grace and love that they taught (and most accept) are false anyhow.

    Please don’t think that I’m trying to be insulting to you or anyone on this blog, I just don’t think the “church fathers” are all that great.

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    • Kevin, I am posting your article. http://www.honorofkings.org/athiests-teresa-macbain/

      I have to say I was shocked beyond words when I read the stand that had been taken against the Jewish people. No wonder the Holocaust and seems Hitler was simply a pawn in that spirit already at work. And you are correct that many Christians have no clue of these quotes which show the black hearts of these men. Wow.

      So, this takes us back to the intent of my article as yet another great example in determining who is and who is not a Christian.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Highly recommend the read, all!

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  33. Another little bit about the 95 thesis … from what I read … there was no mention of renouncing Mary worship, the need for a priest, and other things that we would consider “core issues” of our Christianity. So, we didn’t really break from a lot of catholicism – even though Martin Luther thought he did.

    At the Council of Trent, held in northeast Italy (1545 to 1563). The papal representative, the Archbishop of Reggio, silenced the “scripture only” arguments of Martin Luther and the Protestant “reformers” when he correctly stated:

    “The Protestants claim to stand upon the written word only; they profess to hold the Scriptures alone as the standard of faith. They justify their revolt by the plea that the Church has apostatized from the written word and follows tradition. Now the Protestant’s claim that they stand upon the written word alone is not true. Their profession of holding the Scriptures alone as the standard of faith is false. Proof … The written word explicitly enjoins the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath. They do not observe the seventh day, but reject it. If they truly hold the Scriptures alone as the standard, they would be observing the seventh day as it is enjoined in the Scripture throughout. Yet they not only reject the observance of the Sabbath as enjoined in the written word, but they have adopted, and do practice, the observance of Sunday, for which they have only the tradition of the (Catholic) Church. Consequently, the claim of Scripture alone as the standard fails and the doctrine of ‘Scripture and tradition as essential’ is fully established, the Protestants themselves being Judges.”

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  34. We’ve been home-churching for one year plus now. Our family story would be painfully familiar to many on this blog. It has helped to read testimonies and know that we definitely are not alone. I am just so grateful to God for His grace in getting us through it all and keeping us safely in His Word.

    Where two or more are gathered….

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  35. Kevin, you said Luther taught doctrines on love, but was full of hate. I’m confused. Are you trying to say he contradicted himself because of his sounding bitter toward the Jews for being Jesus haters?
    And could you clarify his beliefs on grace and love that you said were wrong?

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  36. Hi godlee4life … what I’m saying is that a person with that kind of hate towards God’s chosen people (or any people for that matter) cannot teach on topics of love/grace with a correct view. It would be like an abusive husband giving a message on “Godly Marriage”. I’ve never read his writings, and don’t plan to.

    I’ll just read the Word and take it at face value. Check out the link that M’Kayla posted above for direct quotes from Luther and the church fathers.

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    • Kevin, is that why you said the doctrines on grace and love that he taught were wrong? I understand your stance on so adamantly defending the Jews, but defending God’s word is more important. If you’re not sure what doctrines Luther taught on grace and love how can you automatically dismiss them at face value?—–just because he may not have been practicing what he preached?

      Wouldn’t that be like us rejecting grace and love altogether just because there are some who pervert it?? This seems very strange and unbiblical to me.

      As I quoted earler “Let God be true, but every man a liar” Rom. 3:4. His word is true no matter what man has done or ever will do.

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      • It DOES all go back to God’s word. The quotes from Luther and the others that Kevin put in his article are in direct opposition to the love and grace God displays toward us. These men spoke about love and grace, etc., but obviously did not believe or support it as far as the Jews were concerned – blatant hatred of a race and inexcusable before God. We are called to love our enemies, even those who are considered to be enemies of God. And, Whew!! we all know it is impossible without Him. So again, we see the bad fruit in these men who were considered fathers of the Christian faith.

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        • I see what you are saying, but the point I’m making has not been answered yet. However, it was touched upon by “just1ofhis” and I’m trying to bring forth that point. The point is that although we don’t know whether Luthers motivation was complete hatred toward the Jews or a passion for defending God’s truth from Jesus hating Jews who were perverting it. Even the prophet Hosea compared the Jewish people to prostitutes and whores, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a man of God.

          I’m saying also that it’s wrong to think we no longer have a sin nature to struggle against once we are born again. Luther, like the rest of us, was still living in the flesh and like Lot, he was tormented day and night by the filthy conduct of God haters. Although some of his writings were used as Nazi propoganda by Germans (the real instigators of the Holocaust), doesn’t discredit any doctrines of grace that he may have taught. That would be like saying, “Billy Graham is an ecumenical heretic because he preached on the Bible for years—the Bible must have tainted him.”
          See my point?
          That’s what I’m gathering from Kevin’s comments, that Luther was a hateful, Jew hating heretic because he preached on grace, therefore, the doctrines of grace must have tainted him……that’s what I’m sensing and reading here.

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          • Hi godleelife,

            That’s not necessarily what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that you cannot preach correct doctrine on love/grace if you have seeds of hatred in your life. “Jam 3:12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh” We all make mistakes, and we all have areas to work on … but to idolize (by not questioning) teaching from someone on a topic that they obviously had issues with doesn’t make sense.

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          • godlee, did you read the article on Kevin’s site? He is saying Luther claimed grace in his preaching, yet his words over them were of hatred, a complete opposite. How can a man call for grace while at the same time voice such hatred? I posted the link to Kevin’s article so we would have a clear picture on what he had been referring to.
            – – – –
            I very much appreciate the conversation here. But, we have gotten a bit off track from my article. Kevin brought the point of Luther, etc. because it is yet another example of what I am getting at. This is something we need to pay attention to. We cannot know Luther’s heart, but we can know a bit of it by his words. This is what we are often judged by as our words show the condition of our hearts, what is inside of us.

            While Luther may have been thoroughly disgusted with the Jews’ rejection of Christ, it is not his place – nor an area of freedom granted by Christ – to make these kinds of statements. This is why I made the connection with the Holocaust! So, if Luther was persecuted and hated he still had to place to voice such hatred. After all, Christ and His followers were treated much worse, and they continued to love, sacrifice and speak the truth. This is the example all of us should follow and hold others accountable to, not call for their death and destruction. This would be like me going out to Portland on Father’s Day during the Gay Pride parade and calling for the death of the participants. Is this God like? No. Have they too rejected Christ and spit in the face of all that is holy and right regarding sex and marriage? Absolutely, and they continue to make an outright mockery!

            Once again, we find ourselves debating the words and intentions of men who have stepped outside the teachings of the word of God, yet have found great place in Christian history. Finding excuses for Luther’s behavior is no different than excusing current false teachers of theirs and we know where that leads.

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  37. Mkayla
    Having read through the article on Kevins site , i must admit that I am shocked by by the antisemitic views put forth by these men, it is an appalling read, but it is a timely reminder to focus on what the bible says and not the words of men.Having said that though, there is a point on which I would disagree , and that is the assertion that the Jews are Gods chosen people. I believe a great injustice is done in not comprehending just who Gods chosen are . And to that point I am reminded of what Paul wrote to the Ephesian church;

    Ephesians 1:4-5
    According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Christ Jesus to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.

    Stated simply , Gods chosen people are those who are born again through Christ , and yes , this includes many of those who prevailed under the old covenant , but they ,as like us , were justified by the death and ressurection of Christ.

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    • I’m with ya on that Ray! Christ came first for the Jews, and was rejected. We, the “Gentiles” have been grafted in, permanently a part of the plan and the body of Christ. I know many people believe God still has plans for the Jews and it is an area I struggle with. In the end, no one sees God or finds forgiveness outside of Christ.

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  38. @godlee4life – OK, this is a “pre-coffee” response, so you need to have “grace” for me, ok? (haha)

    I knew it would be self-incriminating to be against Luther’s teachings without ever having read them. (PS: Did you read the link that I wrote that M’Kayla posted?) If you see the quotes Luther has spoken about God’s chosen people, they are not just “mild insults” because he had a little grudge. They were completely demonically inspired – completely beyond the pale! So, yes, I can dismiss his writings. Even satan quoted the Word, and Jesus chose not to listen to him. Just because mainstream Christianity holds Luther’s teachings on Love/Grace as “correct” doesn’t mean you or I have to. In fact, the more I study Love, Grace and other topics, in the historical and cultural context of the Word … the more I realized that we really were duped!

    Would you listen to teaching on marriage from someone who has had 3-4 divorces (like Copeland’s daughter)?
    Would you listen to teaching on sexual purity from the Hookers4Jesus girl (forgot her name, sorry)?
    Would you listen to a holiness message from Joel Osteen? (yeah, I would too …. that would be hilarious)

    Just the same, I don’t feel the need to study any lessons on love and grace (or lessons “inspired” by Luther) from a man who had such seeds of hatred in his life. What he said later on in his life didn’t just “appear” out of no where … they were the fruit of seeds planted long before. Anyhow, do you get where I’m coming from?

    So, the next question would be: What did he find that was different? I could start itemizing things that I’ve found, but this thread would explode and I would have to spend the next week defending my viewpoints. Quite honestly I don’t have time for that. Suffice it to say that MUCH of what we have been taught has been taught by people who were raised in an anti-Semitic society, were schooled in a “catholicized” version of the faith, and many times looked to take any reference to God’s people out of the Word.

    Honestly, this is more about defending the historical and cultural context of the Word, not defending the Jews. I’m not (at least directly) Jewish. But like it or not, we serve a God who showed the Jews HIS ways and we have failed to be like Him.

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  39. Hi Ray,

    The OT makes a pretty biased statement in Deuteronomy, showing God’s favoritism to the Jews:

    Deu 14:2 “For you [are] a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who [are] on the face of the earth.”

    … above all people? Wow.

    This carries on in the NT. Here is a scripture that your mainstream “christian” loves to claim:

    1Pe 2:9-10 “But you [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once [were] not a people but [are] now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”

    What people don’t realize is that this letter was written to the Jews of the Diaspora (Dispersion).

    1 Peter 1:1-2 “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.”

    The verses following v9-10 further clarify this distinction:

    1 Peter 2:11-12 “Beloved, I beg [you] as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by [your] good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

    If you’re not a Jew, you’re a Gentile.

    A common misunderstanding is that we were all to become “Jewish”. While the pattern of the OT (and into the NT) shows the Gentiles joining the Jews so that they can serve the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the crux of the matter is missed. When God gave the Torah to Moses, He referred to it as “My Ways”, “My Statutes” and “My Commands”. This isn’t a “Jewish thing” … we’re not called to be like Jews, we’re called to be like God!

    In Ephesians 2, the joining of Jew and Gentile as “One New Man” …. before, we were “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel” … now we are “fellow citizens”. So we could act like Jews? No … So we could act like God.

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  40. Hi M’Kayla,

    The Word says that “all Israel will be saved” … that’s GOT to mean something. And I’m not one to spiritualize things because oftentimes that makes the “spiritualization” subjective to the person doing the “spiritualizing”. Also the Word says that God is faithful to His promises … and that He doesn’t change. So God definitely has a plan for the Nation of Israel.

    BTW: All Israel didn’t reject Him.

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  41. I understand that totally. I’m definitely not an advocate of Lutherans, mainly because they never completely broke away from Catholicism. Most of them still even practice the Mass, which is a total mockery of Jesus Christ. And cannot for the life of me understand how Luther could understand the doctrines of grace as well as he did, but not adhere to them. The only thing I can figure is that considering his papal roots, he still had crazy notions about the sacraments and other things. No doubt, Martin Luther mixed and mangled the truth with papal heresy.
    However, my points have been:
    1.) Luther didn’t “author” the doctrines of grace, God did
    2.) Luthers mistakes and heresies didn’t discredit the doctrines of grace in and of themselves, God’s truth prevails regardless
    3.) Luther or any other “church father” should never be used as an excuse to discredit the doctrines of grace in God’s word.
    4.) No one should ever try to claim someone’s teaching on grace is wrong unless they’ve actually read what was taught by that person, concerning grace,(in the earlier years of their life before bitterness set in).
    5.) No one should ever try to promote a subtle “faith plus works” formula for salvation by trying to discredit biblical doctrines of grace.
    The bottom line is that these points aren’t “idolatry”or a defense of man, but of the biblical doctrines of grace that God set forth in scripture so that no one can boast of their own righteousness or “faithfulness.” That the power of a holy life “may be of God, and not of us” ( 2Cor.3:7). As I stated earlier, the Bible is clear that faith and righteousness are freegrace gifts from God. Which is just the opposite of what I read on Kevins site. The reason I’m so on to that is I grew up in that mind-set and know where it leads —-to eventually discrediting the Bible, which is what I also detected on that site. Another commenter on there even caught on to that I noticed.

    When someone believes they can “determine their own destiny” (among other things I read on that site), then where does God’s grace come in? Is it only effective if we “do” something first, or does it only enable us to attain our own salvation? This is what we need to ask ourselves or we’ll all end up back into our legalistic roots.

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  42. M’Kayla said “This is something we need to pay attention to. We cannot know Luther’s heart, but we can know a bit of it by his words. This is what we are often judged by as our words show the condition of our hearts, what is inside of us.”

    I completely agree with this. In light of that, I would just throw this out:

    “As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!”

    “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.”

    “You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!”

    These scriptures in order:
    Gal 5:12 (Paul’s response to the Galatians regarding the Judaizers, Jewish men and women who were claiming to believe in Jesus and yet hold Christian’s to Jewish law, specifically circumcision)

    Gal 1:8-9 (again Paul responding to the Galatians regarding the Judaizers)

    Matt 23:15 (Jesus addressing the Jewish leaders and their followers)

    Actis 7:51 Stephen shortly before his stoning, to the Jewish leadership…shortly before he cried out to God to forgive them.

    Stephen and Paul LOVED the Jews as they loved all people. The words they spoke sounded harsh and unloving, but they came from hearts that knew these people were stubbornly on their way to hell and would feel the full and eternal wrath of a Holy God.

    I had the priviledge of listening to a WELS (old school Lutheran) pastor who has his church in a spanish speaking part of town. He ministers to migrant families from Mexico, most of whom are catholic and worship idols (Guadalupe…the Mexican variant of Mary…they set up shrines in their apartments and homes). He patiently teaches the Gospel to these families, often in their homes. He often returns many times to share the message of grace and salvation through the blood of Jesus to these souls. The thing is, he is the ONLY pastor I have ever met who actually teaches them that their shrines are nothing but idols, they must be taken down, and the worship of them must be repented. Once in a while God moves a heart and a family is converted to the truth. Most of the time, he and the gospel of truth are rejected.

    It is brutal work and largely thankless work. It was easy for me to understand his frustration with those who refused to hear the message of forgiveness and grace. The pastor wasn’t perfect, and I’m certain I wouldn’t have agreed with him on every piece of doctrine he holds to; but he absolutely was holding firm to the truth of the gospel and preaching it with love to the unsaved…and I love and pray for him. He is a fruit of Martin Luther’s work and God will judge that as He will all.

    Jesus warned us to be careful HOW we listen. We can pervert Paul’s writings as we can anyone’s, taking the message out of context. Peter warned of that:

    “Bear in mind that our LORD’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction…Therefore, dear friends, be on your guard…” (2 Peter 3:15-17)

    Therefore, dear friends, have a wonderful weekend, and be on your guard….

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  43. This is huge!! —–Luke 9:54-55
    “And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”
    But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”

    Notice, James and John were still Jesus’ disciples, even though, like Luther, they were ready to call down fire from heaven to destroy God haters.

    Jesus didn’t disown them, he corrected them!!
    Perhaps Jesus corrected Luther on a few things, we don’t know.
    And perhaps He’s wanting to correct us on a few things also.

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    • And perhaps He’s wanting to correct us on a few things also.

      Absolutely. There may be many times we wish we could destroy our enemies, and many times feel justified. But we are called to love everyone, even our enemies. If a person will not hear the message, we are to do what??? – walk away.

      On a personal note, I have had more than a few times wanted God to call down the fire, the burning coals on their heads, and on those people who call themselves Christians yet proved to be quite false, not only in “ministry” but in my personal life in situations where my own has nearly been destroyed. I speak these thoughts to Him in prayer where I know I am safe, and that I can pour out my broken, frustrated, tired heart. 🙂

      We will never speak completely perfect words or have completely perfect thoughts in this life. This is why we need each other to sharpen us, to pray, to encourage. When we find ourselves completely wasted from the words and treatment of others we find ourselves in the same place as Christ with one place to go – God.

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  44. Hi godlee4life,

    Since this is getting quite detailed, let me attempt to address them point-by-point:

    1.) Luther didn’t “author” the doctrines of grace, God did

    I agree and disagree. God DEFINITELY has a doctrine of grace that we need to study and follow, however man’s interpretation of that doctrine (in this case, Luther’s doctrine) are highly influenced by personal bias and the society that the person is raised in. We have swallowed this doctrine hook-line-sinker and have accepted it as “God’s doctrine”. They teach it as “God’s Doctrine” in our colleges, seminaries, etc. Luther’s doctrine is not God’s doctrine. We’ve just accepted Luther’s interpretation as coming from God.

    2.) Luthers mistakes and heresies didn’t discredit the doctrines of grace in and of themselves, God’s truth prevails regardless.

    Luther’s mistakes and heresies discredit HIS viewpoint of the doctrine of Grace.

    3.) Luther or any other “church father” should never be used as an excuse to discredit the doctrines of grace in God’s word.

    Again … Luther’s doctrine is getting discredited.

    4.) No one should ever try to claim someone’s teaching on grace is wrong unless they’ve actually read what was taught by that person, concerning grace,(in the earlier years of their life before bitterness set in).

    I disagree. Would you really read something from someone who is flawed in the area that they are trying to teach? I wouldn’t. It’s like Kelly Copeland trying to teach on a Godly marriage when she can’t hold down even ONE marriage. It’s preposterous.

    5.) No one should ever try to promote a subtle “faith plus works” formula for salvation by trying to discredit biblical doctrines of grace.

    We’ve always been saved by grace. It was like that way in the OT and NT. God saved the children of Israel from Egypt by grace … He saves US the same way. Our obedience is a result of that grace. Faith/works are the same thing according to the Hebrew mindset … we just can’t get over our Greek thinking, which continually tries to separate the two.

    If you think that my web site is leading people from the Truth of the Word, then you obviously haven’t really looked at it. I continually tell people that:

    – IF I teach you something that is found in the Word, that the mainstream church won’t teach you, YOU are responsible to get before God and deal with it.

    – IF I teach you something that is found in the Word that goes against your present understanding, YOU are responsible to get before God and deal with it.

    As for your inference that righteousness is a free gift of God, you’re obviously ignoring the following verses:

    1 John 3:7 “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.”

    Rev 19:8 “And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”

    I’m not saying Romans 5:17 doesn’t say what it says. I’m saying that there is more to it than just blindly taking one verse and running with it.

    Rev 3:5 “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”

    … again, we see acts playing a part in our salvation. My point is (here and my site), there’s more to the Word than you are taught in today’s “mainstream church”, it’s not a matter of “doing something” to attain salvation. It’s a matter of OBEYING because you are saved. You cannot claim to be saved and keep a mamby-pamby false grace theology.

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  45. Let me run a clarification … I didn’t copy all of what I tell my readers … the correct context is:

    *************
    Let it be known, right here and now, if I ever deny Jesus as Lord (the Way, the Truth, the Life), run from me … I’m a false teacher! If I ever teach you something contrary to scripture, run from me … I’m a false teacher!

    But….

    IF I teach you something that is found in the Word, that the mainstream church won’t teach you, YOU are responsible to get before God and deal with it.
    IF I teach you something that is found in the Word that goes against your present understanding, YOU are responsible to get before God and deal with it.

    I make no apologies for the Word of God …. all of it.
    *************

    Hope that helps …. or maybe it puts me in “hotter water” … who knows?

    Like

    • You aren’t in hot water Kevin and thank you for your comments.

      If there is a problem found on Kevin’s blog, it should be discussed there, Attempting to do it here is confusing to readers who may not feel the same or haven’t read it. Maybe I should have edited out those comments from the beginning. I don’t like doing that, but I will take a stand now that we cannot discuss another blog content on this one.

      Thanks

      Like

  46. No problem, M’Kayla …. thanks for letting me go on and on …. and thank you godlee4life and just1ofhis. May God bless all of us in our search for the ultimate Truth. Great discussion!

    Like

  47. You’re right Mkayla. Sorry, and thanks for putting up with us!! I guess the Luther thing really is getting out of hand huh?
    And Kevin, you’re right too—-this has been a great discussion, maybe we can “hash it out” (as Mkayla says) on your blog (if I’m still welcome)!! Obviously we’re both in a diligent search for why the church is becoming apostate. I really do understand where you’re coming from. I definitely see people using grace as an excuse to sin in these churches. Just the other night I dared to watch Creflo Dollar for the first time in years —–it was the same ol garbage. He said instead of confessing our sins (which is biblical) we should be confessing our righteousness ——everytime we sin!! I couldn’t believe it!! No remorse, no humility—ugh!
    Anyway Kevin, maybe I just haven’t been clear enough so you can understand where I’m coming from too. But thanks for at least taking the time to read my responses to your comments and for promptly responding back.

    My prayer is that we can all just be sound and united in the faith. And I’m with you —-on searching for truth. Be blessed.

    Like

    • Even I would be happy to see/be a part of that discussion! 🙂

      Blessings to you both. I too have enjoyed it! Pop back in anytime. I’m thinking of putting up a discussion on grace next.

      Like

  48. Hey Mkayla, just to update, I had to pull back on my discernment articles for that newspaper, but they are still printing my articles solely on the gospel. Guess they thought that would be less controversial. That’s funny! the gospel itself is more controversial than anything—- as we’ve seen!! Oh well, we’ll see where it goes.
    But I’m actually thankful and rolling with it because I think God has been leading me that route all along, for I never could shake the thought that the root of all heresies is a faulty view of the gospel. So I’ll be trying to put up a new post on that soon. Look forward to yours too and learning all I possibly can. God be with us all!!

    Like

    • Yeah, we kinda knew it was headed in that direction. Just keep writing what the Lord brings to ya and forget the approval of man. 🙂 Let me know when your new one is up!

      xoxo

      Like

  49. godlee4slife said: “Just the other night I dared to watch Creflo Dollar for the first time in years —–it was the same ol garbage. He said instead of confessing our sins (which is biblical) we should be confessing our righteousness ——everytime we sin!! I couldn’t believe it!! No remorse, no humility—ugh!”

    Speaking of grace:

    How about: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…that saved a WRETCH like me.”

    So here is the sword which we cut down Creflo Dollar’s false teaching with:

    To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ (my note: sounds like Creflo Dollar’s “confession of righteousness”)
    “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner’. I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14)

    There is nothing like a good sword!

    Thanks, M’kayla, for giving us a platform to “sharpen each other” so to speak. Athough I haven’t posted here for long, I’ve been encouraged just reading and learning for some time. Blessings to all.

    Like

    • The pharisees are great examples to this discussion. They were the ones who were entrusted to teach, yet denied the truth and made their own rules that man could not abide by.

      Matthew 23:27“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28“So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

      29“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31“So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32“Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33“You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

      34“Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36“Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

      You are all welcome to continue a discussion here. I just didn’t want us to stay on Luther so much. Either way, be blessed. 🙂

      Like

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