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Faith & Conscience


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#1 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:02 AM

The recent trousers thread helped me consolidate a few previously disjointed ideas into the following talk on faith and conscience.

It was recorded though unfortunately the quality is rather poor. Because of that I have also included a transcript, though this also has faults given I didn't speak from word-for-word notes and could not myself make out everything I said in the recording. Such omissions are few and short and are represented by {} in the text.

Because the talk was from minimal notes, the transcript will make the most sense when read while listening to my dulcet tones at the same time. :)

I am in the process of turning the transcript into a properly formatted article which I may post when it's done, especially if I get heaps of feedback :yep:. I'd also be keen to try making a video to put up on youtube.

Please use this thread to comment only on the exhortational side of this topic. The rest is probably best left to a separate thread where debate is permissible.

Attached File  faith_and_conscience.mp3   64.85MB   3 downloads

Edited by JeremyHughes, 22 November 2009 - 09:15 AM.


#2 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:08 AM

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Thank you, and thank you everyone for coming tonight. What I hope to do is look at the different passages that talk about faith and conscience, and show how they harmonise and contain exhortation for all of us.

Edited by JeremyHughes, 22 November 2009 - 08:09 AM.


#3 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:10 AM

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So, to start off we’ll go to Romans 14. In this section we’ll be mainly bouncing around between Romans 15, I Corinthians 8, and I Corinthians 10.

#4 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:11 AM

Accept those whose faith is weak (and as one version puts it) without debating their issues. In v2, “One persons faith allows them to eat everything”. This person has strong faith. Strong faith allows.
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In v14, Paul is convinced, “being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself”. In James 1:25 it says that, “those who look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continue in it---not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it---they will be blessed in what they do.” The perfect law gives us freedom; it allows. I Timothy 4:4, “everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer”. Galatians 2, starting at v15, Paul says, “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles know that a person is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.”

#5 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:12 AM

We are justified by faith, not by observance. Not by the things that we abstain from. In chapter 3, v11, “Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because ‘the righteous will live by faith.’” Verse 25, “Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.” And finally, in the beginning of chapter 4, he is saying that “as long as heirs are underage they are no different from slaves, although they own the whole estate. They are subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by their fathers. So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer slaves, but God’s children; and since you are his children, he has made you also heirs.” So, someone with strong faith fully understands that this means we don’t need to obey {} rules anymore. We are free; we are permitted to eat.

#6 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:13 AM

By contrast, weak faith forbids.
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Perhaps a better word would be ‘abstains’. “One person’s faith allows them to eat everything, but another person, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.” (Rom 14:2). In I Corinthians 8 is a similar passage. I Corinthians 8:4-7, “So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that ‘An idol is nothing at all in the world’, and that ‘There is no God but one.’ For even if tehre are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled.” So this is quite an amazing situation: there are people presumably who used to worship Apollo or Diana, or any other of the Pantheon, and while they they know that there is only one god {} they still have difficulty getting meat from the meat market because it has been offered to false god they used to worship. And so, their conscience is weak, their faith is weak, and they abstain. Continuing on in v9, the strong therefore need to “be careful, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t they be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols?” And so, these people are abstaining from something that we are permitted to do; we are allowed to eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols because we know there is no such thing as idols, no such thing as other gods. It is perfectly lawful for us to it; they are abstaining from something that is ok to do. But obviously for them it is not.

#7 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:16 AM

So coming back to Romans 14:3, the strong are not to dispise the weak. Those with weak faith {} with their lack of knowledge or immaturity of their faith, are not to dispise them. And the weak conversely are not to judge the strong for doing something that they themselves would not.
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The diagram is probably better represented like this.
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When we despise and judge we are raising our self up above the other person; pushing them down. However, the end of v3, “the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted that person.” So if God has accepted all of you, and me, and some of us are weak and some of us are strong, then really, this diagram is wrong, and it should be like this.
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The strong need to accept the weak and the weak need to accept the strong. Come with me to v13, “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” So, we can get along. Even though some of us eat and some of us don’t eat; some of us are weak---some of us have weak faith and some have strong faith, we can get along, if we don’t judge or we don’t dispise.

Edited by JeremyHughes, 22 November 2009 - 08:17 AM.


#8 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:19 AM

And really, the rest of the chapter is talking about what the strong should be doing for the weak. In v19, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” There we go; instead of the strong dispising the weak, the strong are lifting up and edifying the weak.
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In the start of Romans 15, “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. We should all please our neightbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me’.” Jesus didn’t die because he wanted to, it wasn’t because he was pleasing himself, and if we think about the enormity of what Jesus did in not pleasing himself, the man who had the strongest faith on the planet, these things are small by comparison. I Corinthians 10 is another chapter that deals with this subject, and at the end of the chapter, in v31, Paul says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
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If I eat and by my eating I am causing my brother to stumble, although it is ok for me to eat what I am eating, I am not glorifying God. “Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God---even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

#9 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:19 AM

If we have strong faith, we are to edify the weak. In v20 of Romans 14, it says, “Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.” And flicking back to I Corinthians 10 (we will be doing this a lot) v28, “If someone says to you, ‘This has been offered in sacrifice,’ then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours.” Because if you are strong, you don’t have a conscience on these issues. “For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness,” and eat meat {} “why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?” And the answer is, because, “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Not for the glory of your own stomach. I Corinthians 8, just back a page, carrying on from where we were before, v11, “So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.” So this isn’t just a simple matter of, “I enjoy eating meat, and he has a problem with it, but it’s his problem”. You sin against Christ. The attitude we need to have is in v13, “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.”

#10 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:21 AM

Remember, we are talking about someone who is in the position of being strong, so, Romans 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.” So if I know that eating meat is fine, but my brother has a problem with it, well, I know that the kingdom of God isn’t about what I eat, because I know I can eat anything; I know that the kingdom of God is about righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit; and so how am I going to help my brother? By showing him that that’s the case. If I’m eating meat I’m pleasing my self. If I’m showing righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit I am building my brother up. I am showing my brother that food doesn’t matter.
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“You have a problem? Ok, I wont eat meat, because food doesn’t matter, because the kingdom is about righteousness and peace and joy.”

#11 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:26 AM

Flicking back to I Corinthians 10, sorry, I Corinthians 8:8, it says, “Food does not bring us nearer to God, we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.” And obviously food is a stand-in for anything; anything on this physical ball of earth. I Corinthians 10:23, they are responding to him and they say, “’I have the right to do anything,’ you say---but not everything is beneficial, ‘I have the right to do anything’---but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” Now, in Christ we have freedom, and so all things are permissable. Not everything is beneficial, so here’s a Venn diagram.
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All things are permissable, but not everything is beneficial. So we really need to only do the intersection of both, which is the green circle. As it says in chapter 8v9, we are not to exercise our rights to the detriment of others. And when outside the green circle, doing what we are permitted to, but hurting others, that’s not good. So, “do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food” (Rom 14:20).

#12 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:27 AM

This is a summary of what we are doing when we are eating meat {} our brother.
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I think we’ve covered all these verses, most of them are Romans 14. We are no longer acting in love, we are destroying our brother or sister, we are spoken of as evil, we are destroying the work of God (because that’s what our brother is), and we sin against Christ. So what are we going to do?
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That. By all means eat meat in your own home, but when you’re sitting next to your brother, eat veges.

#13 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:29 AM

Ok, now, coming back to Romans 14, there’s something interesting going on here. v1 says, “Accept those whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.” or, without trying to change his mind over his issues. So, keep your mouth shut. At the end of the chapter it says, “So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.” (v22). So whether you eat or whether you don’t, just keep your mouth shut. Don’t talk about it. Keep it between yourself and God. So on the part of the strong: don’t try to change their mind, don’t try to tell them how, “Apollo doesn’t exist, don’t worry, eat meat, yum yum!”. Just keep your mouth shut. And the converse for the weak, is in I Corinthians 10:25-26, “Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questiongs of conscience, for, ‘The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it’.” So if you are weak and you have a conscience over these things, don’t ask questions that are going to put your conscience at risk. Eat meat without asking questions. If you have issue with it possible being from the temple of Apollo, just don’t ask that question, and you won’t know, and God made it anyway.

#14 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:31 AM

So, there are two things for {}, and both involve keeping your mouth shut. I guess it can waste a lot of time debating these issues, trying to change people’s minds, and ultimately it’s not that useful.
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So don’t fly your strong or your weak flag; stick it in your pocket. Instead, going back to Romans 15 and carrying on where we left off before, v5, “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” One mind and one voice. This isn’t the weak minds and the strong minds together with the weak voices and the strong voices; this is everybody together. Unity.
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As we mentioned before in I Corinthians 10:39, whatever we’re doing whether we are eating or not eating, or whatever it is, give glory to God by what you do. And if that means you abstain, you abstain. So this unity only happens when we care for each other and we keep our consciences to ourselves.

#15 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:34 AM

Now you have probably picked up from Romans 14 that this situation is not a zero sum game. By a zero sum game I mean a game where if somebody wins, the other person loses. So the only way you can win is by making the other person lose.
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It’s not a situation like on the seesaw, where if you want to go up, you’ve got to add more balloons than the other guy, and they’re going to go down. {} I’m going to eat meat and I’m going to try and get this person to eat meat so {} defile his conscience and he goes down. Or vice versa. {} stop eating meat. {} we’re all in this together. As we’ve already read in I Corinthians 10:24, “don’t seek your own good, but that of others,” and Galatians 5:13-14, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
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We are all in this together, whether we have weak faith or strong faith, green faith or purple faith, it’s faith in Jesus Christ, and it’s the same Jesus Christ.

#16 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:36 AM

To sum up this section:
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“The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” that’s a message for all of us, but particularly those of us that are strong and that know that these physical things don’t matter. That we are permitted.

And,
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“we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.” And all we need to do is think of how Jesus Christ didn’t please himself...

#17 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:38 AM

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{} And now we’re going to look at some of the other passages that sometimes seem like they don’t really fit in with Romans 14. Mainly this one, “Do not touch, taste, or handle.” So in the next bit, we’ll be flicking around between Colossians 2 and Galations 2, 4, and 5. But first of all, we need to get clear the distinction between law and grace, or law and faith in Christ.
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Look, this is probably the Pharisees view of the law. They have these wings; they are what the law gives me, and if I flap hard enough I am going to stay up in the air. If I work really hard, if I keep the law, I can fly. Except that’s not what happens.
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Paul says in Romans 7:10, “I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.” This is what happens when you try to keep the law. Romans 5:20, “The law was brought in so that the transgression might increase.” The law was brought in to point out that we are lawbreakers, so of course, the wings don’t work. They are given to us to show that we can’t fly by flapping our arms. We need to find another way.

#18 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:40 AM

Now, that’s not really the {truth at all}, it’s not wings; this is what the law is,
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it’s a ten ton anvil tied to our ankle. There’s no way we are going to be able to get off the ground. James 2:10-13, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guiloty of breaking all of it. For he who siad, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘You shall not murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” So there’s {} between the law, of which everybody is guilty of the whole lot, because {}, and the law that gives freedom. Coming back to Romans, and chapter 3, more is said about the reason for the law. Romans 3:19, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.” Through the law we become aware of this gigantic weight that keeps us from flying.

#19 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:42 AM

However, Romans 5:20 said, “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” So the law is a ten ton anvil and grace in Jesus Christ is a balloon, just grab hold and you’ll be flying.
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Romans 6:20, “When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time fro the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And we finally get to Colossians...

#20 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:43 AM

Colossians 2:13, This describes the process, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” So formerly we were bound by sin, by this debt we owe to the law, and Jesus comes and makes it alright. He takes it all away and we are free. So, why would we give up {}. Another way of looking at this is that we now have a new head; the body is attached to the head which is Christ.
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Ephesians 4:15-16, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Jesus is our head.

#21 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:45 AM

However, reading on in Colossians, something disturbing happens, “Therefore, do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such people also go into great detail about what they have seen, and their unspiritual minds puff them up with idle notions. They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.”
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They’ve lost connection with the head, and since they are judging with regard to food and drink, festivals and days and sabbaths---it’s worse than this, not only have they lost hold of the head, they’ve got a new one.
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They’ve taken on this law that Jesus rescued them from. What {} is going on?

#22 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:48 AM

Of course, when we’re like this, we don’t think this is what’s going on. We think something more like this:
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that we are holding to this helium balloon that is Jesus and we’re going up and up and up, and, well, we’ll do extra, we’ll keep a sabbath or two, and we’ll stop eating meat, and that adds two extra balloons to the Jesus balloon so we’ll be going up even faster because now we’ve got Jesus plus. But actually, at the very best, it looks like this.
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We’ve added two weights: keeping the sabbath, and not eating meat. But, when we read a bit more, we find out it’s not even that. It’s actually this.
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Because, as Galatians says in chapter 5, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” That’s how serious it is. You’ve lost hold of the head completely. If you are adding bits of the law back into your daily observance, then you have let go of Christ, you have let of grace, and you’ve got this ten ton weight back on your ankle.

#23 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:49 AM

Coming back to Colossians 2 and continuing on in v20, “Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch, are based on merely human commands. {}. Not eating meat offered to idols, keeping the Sabbath, new moons, religious festivals. That sounds like the law. How is that merely human teaching? We have an example of that in the Old Testament: when God told the Israelites to go and scout out the land {} scout it out to prepare the way because they were going to go in and take it all over. They come back and say, “no way!” (well, ten of them said that), and the people say “no way!”, so God says, “Ok, well, you’re going to wander round another 30 years in the wilderness.” And some of them say, “Oh, oh actually we’ll go. Now that we think about it we will obey after all.” And God says, “Well, no. I’ve rescinded that command.” And they invade, and get repulsed with great losses. So this is a situation where God makes a law, then he takes it away, and then people say, “No, we’re going to follow the law anyway.” Now, it’s no longer a rule of God, so what we have now is merely human teaching. People have decided to go back into the land anyway, afterwards, were going on the basis of merely human teaching.

#24 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:49 AM

When we know that it’s Christ or the law, and Christ has done away with the law---we are saved by grace through faith alone---and we bring back bits of the law, then they’re not really bits of the law of God given to us by God, they’re merely human teaching. {}. They have an appearance of wisdom, with their false humility. Anyone that {} something that God has said, “you’re not supposed to do that anymore”, but they say, “oh no, I’m going to do it, I’m going to observe every sabbath, and only eat {vegetables}, {}” God’s saying, “don’t do it”, and you’re saying, “{I''ll go ahead and do it}”, so you are standing up against God himself in false humility.

#25 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:50 AM

Now, it gets worse, because this is just when you yourself decide that “I’m going to keep the sabbath{...}”. But these people that are judging you...it’s a bit different because not only are they observing these things themselves, they are saying, “well you guys ought to do it too---here, have your own ten ton anvil”.
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I Timothy has some pretty harsh words for this kind of situation, in chapter 4:1, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teaching come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.” So again we have something here where God is saying, “hey guys, I made you all this stuff to eat”, and they’re saying, “no you didn’t, that’s forbidden”, and they’re teaching other people that it is forbidden. So this anvil head here is a hypocritical liar.

#26 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:50 AM

Galatians 4:8, it says {}, “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.” So they worshipped Apollo, Diana, whatever, and obeyed whatever laws, ceremonial laws {}, “But now that you know God---or rather are known by God---how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!” They are not turning back to Apollo; they’re turning back to another system of religious observances, the Jewish one. And Paul says, “I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.” Again, this is, wow, this is really serious. He’s saying, “well, it’s almost like I might as well have {}, a waste of time.”

#27 Fortigurn

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:50 AM

Five star thread. :first:
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

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target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
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‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#28 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:51 AM

He carries on in v17, he’s talking about anvil head here, saying, “These people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them.” When you think about it, someone who is preaching the law in addition to Christ when Christ says you’re not supposed to do that. Who are they preaching for? Who is their zeal for? It’s certainly not for Christ because they’re not doing what he says. “It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you. My dear children for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!” For whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you. Not until you have attained perfect obedience to the law, to the weak and miserable forces. But until Christ is {}. And so not everything that is zealous is good.
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Of course {no one is going to} stand up here and say, “I think we should keep the Sabbath, I’m really zealous about it, and by the way, that’s bad.” These are things we have to discern.

#29 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:53 AM

And so like we showed a list for Romans 14 for those bad things strong people can do to weak people. Here is another list of what we’ve just been talking about.
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When we {}, {}, they are weak and miserable principles, they are a shadow, they are merely human teachings, they have an appearance or wisdom, it is false humility, and they lack and value in restraining sensual indulgence. We know that one ((sensual indulgence)) really: Jesus said that, “the law says don’t commit adultery; well I say whoever looks at a woman with lust in their heart....” so it’s not about the physical things, it’s about the spiritual things. If we flip over the page to Colossians 3, Paul has this whole list of things for us: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language, don’t lie. The good things: clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgive one another, love, let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, be thankful. These aren’t physical things. He’s not saying, “don’t physically hurt someone”, “he’s saying”, be kind. He’s not saying, “don’t have sex with another woman”, he’s saying, “don’t be sexually impure at all full stop.”

#30 Jed

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:53 AM

So the commands of the law were to do with physical things that we should and shouldn’t do, whereas in Christ, it’s spiritual things {}, they’re all up here. It’s like, I’ve got a computer on my desk and I’ve got a screen, and the computer’s doing its computation whether the screen’s connected or not; it shows up on the screen when the screen is connected, and that’s like the physical world. If my computation is to not be sexually immoral, then the screen is going to show that I’m not physically immoral with anyone either. The New Testament is about what’s going on inside, not what’s going on outside, so if what’s going on inside is right, then there’s no way the outside is going to be anything but right. So, sexual immorality is {}, could range from holding hands to sex. Let’s make rule saying, “you will not be saved if you hold hands with another woman”. That is touch not, taste not, handle not; it’s a shadow; it is weak and miserable. I hold hands with my Mother, with my sister sometimes. You see, it’s all about what’s up here {}.




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