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December 16, 2019, 09:04:33 am

Condition of the Heart

Started by Bryan, August 11, 2019, 01:40:03 pm

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Bryan

Something I struggled with, correction, struggle with is how to balance grace and holiness.  I grew up in a Baptist church that taught once saved always saved, but probably a very extreme view of that, where once a person was saved they could go and commit horrible acts and God would still save their soul.  That gave me a very slated view of grace I believe.  One where, there was really no accountability for my actions in this life, because "Hey, grace covers all."

While I do believe grace covers all, I find it necessary to constantly evaluate my heart to see the true intent and motive behind my actions.  I feel into this holiness trap then, a common mistake for people who escape from one extreme, fall right into another opposing extreme.  If I sinned, I would fear that God wouldn't listen to me.  Sure he would forgive me, because he promised to, but I would be cut off from his ear and that scared me.  Scared me, still does to a point.  So I would tread carefully and when I did mess up, boy I let myself have it because "hey God, I punished myself, no need for you to"

That leads me to now.  Sin is obviously, not okay.  Grace does indeed cover all.  How do I balance living in grace and understanding that trying to be perfect in thought and deed is a bit ridiculous.

It's all about the heart.

I feel (emphasis on feel/think/understand/etc) that a heart that is truly in love with God, while erring from time to time, will find such actions repulsive and genuinely seek to not offend in a similar manner again.

In my earlier "Baptist" days, this idea that I can just sin and sin because God's got this, lead me to a place where I was apathetic to the action because I just had to say "God forgive me" after and all is well.  In my "holiness" days, I would be the judge, jury, and executioner, ready to just lay justice down on every act of disobedience I found in myself.

There's a balance to be struck between the two, one where God does indeed cover all sin in grace & love, but expects us to strive for holiness every moment.  No need for penance, but also no need for indulgence.

A heart that says I love Jesus and truly means that will stumble.  But will understand that God still loves them, ask for forgiveness, and forsake the actions/thoughts that lead to offence.  All without casting a stone at themselves.
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us.  He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

jiminpa

Great topic Bryan. I want to say that I strongly disagree with the reformed theology redefining of "grace," reducing it to being a synonym for mercy or salvation. That's not what grace is. In 2 Corinthians 9:8 grace abounds resulting in good works abounding. That is amazing! So now if look at "where sin abounds, grace much more abounds," we can see that the end result, then, is that as we falter in our weakness, God more so gives us the grace to overcome sin, not just to be absolved, but to defeat it and manifest His righteousness. How is that done? by faith. We take hold of that empowerment by believing that God means His word.

What if we consider the empowerment of biblical grace in light of the scripture in Hebrews about boldly approaching the Throne of Grace. We can boldly go to God for help, strength, and power!

Knowing that, I am very much with you on habitual, legalistic thought patterns weighing me down, when I should know better. It causes me great and unnecessary struggles in my walk with God, and life here in the world.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

Bryan

Yeah, I definitely feel the modern term of grace is a gigantic misinterpretation of what true grace is.  Part of "Capital Christianity" I feel.  This movement of people who believe attracting large numbers of followers and having scores of "salvation cards" to turn into Jesus as if that will be impressive.  Like bait on the end of a fishing line, it looks appealing, but it really can be deadly.

IMHO, grace is meant to draw us closer to righteousness, not enable us to live apart from it.

I mean this in a very broad and general sense, but what is typically the first response received if we tell someone to live more holy and righteous lives?

"I'm under grace, amen?"

Well yes, you are, but God doesn't give you grace so you can live fleshly, worldly lives Sunday afternoon through the following Sunday morning.

True grace draws individuals into the heart of God where no sin can reside and all evil is forsaken.
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us.  He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

jiminpa

Quote from: Bryan on August 13, 2019, 11:49:44 amYeah, I definitely feel the modern term of grace is a gigantic misinterpretation of what true grace is.  Part of "Capital Christianity" I feel.  This movement of people who believe attracting large numbers of followers and having scores of "salvation cards" to turn into Jesus as if that will be impressive.  Like bait on the end of a fishing line, it looks appealing, but it really can be deadly.

IMHO, grace is meant to draw us closer to righteousness, not enable us to live apart from it.

I mean this in a very broad and general sense, but what is typically the first response received if we tell someone to live more holy and righteous lives?

"I'm under grace, amen?"

Well yes, you are, but God doesn't give you grace so you can live fleshly, worldly lives Sunday afternoon through the following Sunday morning.

True grace draws individuals into the heart of God where no sin can reside and all evil is forsaken.
I agree, with one exception. The redefinition of grace was successfully accomplished in the 16th century, which is why it is so nearly impossible to convince religious people, especially "Christian" fatalists, that grace is what the bible describes.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.