Post Number: 208
|Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 12:31 am: || |
The flesh in Romans 8: 13 could be alluding to the receptive functions of the flesh, the five senses, and the ensuing evaluation that the mind, or our" fallen state" interprets those events. Also what our "fallen state's" interpretation of ourselves comes up with. Modern psychology commonly refers to this as the ego.
some verses that come up are,
John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement.
11 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith,not by sight.
Pauls says," I die daily"
Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
So we can all get stuck in what the world says about us, or what our senses are saying about us, or what our mind is saying about us or we can believe what God says about us.
Not if, but when( because that if always comes) we believe what the world, or our mind, or our ego tells us about ourselves, we picture this painful separation from God, we are living in the flesh.
When we reach that continually returning point of faith( not continuous because it is constantly being interrupted by the flesh) , we believe what God has to say about us, what God has done for us ,and the promises that holds. The following are all things God can say about us because of what Jesus did on the cross.
" I will never leave you or forsake you"
" joint heirs with Christ"
" I write these things so you shall know you have eternal life"
" I call you no longer servants but friends"
" Come unto me, all ye that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
" I have loved you with an everlasting love and with loving kindness"
"we are the children of God"
The list goes on, and on about the nice things God says about us, or has done for us, or is doing for us. You all can add many scriptures to this list of love and kindness that God has for us.
When given the choice to believe in what the flesh, the world, our senses, and our mind tells us about ourselves, or what God tells us, if you can remember, , believe what God tells us.
Post Number: 923
|Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 12:00 pm: || |
When I was SDA , I put a lot of work into learning and getting things understood because that was the percieved means by which we were to avoid deception.
The excerpts you included are typical I think of anywho who has or is going through this discovery phase. It is EXHAUSTING.
There used to be a perception of at least a sense of security within the fellowship (if you ignored the dissonance).
I find myself experiencing what most formers likely have gone through in transition, only complicated by other things and my own personal dynamics.
Worst of all, I cannot help but to come across as foolish at times.
I sacrifice personal pride , because learning truth outweighs everything.
Post Number: 924
|Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 12:08 pm: || |
It does help and it presents a new insight to consider. I have to think about this.
ASurprise & Chris,
I agree with your premise in general and in principal. But I am not yet sure it is that black and white. I still think it is somewhat conditional and we do have a work.
Though I am begining to agree that the work is a consequential outgrowth rather than merit based on our part.
Post Number: 6024
|Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 1:43 pm: || |
Other formers that I have talked too seemed to think that formers should "Just get on out there and be Christians, get past it and get over it."
I don't happen to agree with that, I think its a lot more complicated than that, more for some than others.
Look, I have romped on you, pleaded with you, cried with you, prayed for you, did my best to encourage you.
I sat here and cried with you through the days leading up to your divorce and beyond, so we go some way back together, if I may be so gross as to put it that way.
Jim, you are getting there, I know you have had a lot on your plate, and more than most. Big guy, it will happen for you.
Now you just hang on in there and ask the hard questions, whatever questions you need to ask.
Nobody expects you to just swoop in here and swoop out all better, and everything hunky dory, least of all I sure don't.
I've had a heart for you since the first day you got here, and that hasn't changed.
You'll get there bud, just be encouraged today. Be blessed Jim. It'll all work out.
Post Number: 6025
|Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 1:46 pm: || |
I'll tell you something that would be a lot more foolish too, and that is to try to go this alone.
Post Number: 10953
|Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 3:34 pm: || |
Jim, the preceding posts to you are good. I just want to add a bit about the "ifs". Jackob pointed out that Romans 8 lists a lot of "ifs"...his quote from John Owens is good.
When a person studies Romans in context, chapter by chapter, it becomes evident that after a person places his faith and trust in Jesus, there is still a "war" inside us. Our spirits are alive because of the Spirit who now indwells us, but our bodies are still mortalódead in sin. Romans 8:10 even states this fact: "If the spirit of Christ lives in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness."
Romans 6 and 7 describe this conflict. Romans 7 even explains that when we are in Christ, we have died to the law so we can be married to another--to Him who rose from the dead. We are IN CHRIST--and nothing can take us out of His grip or remove us from His love (Romans 8).
Even after we accept Jesus, we can still live by the flesh instead of by the Spirit. After all, we are still in our flesh! The difference now, though, is that we actually can choose. Before being born again, we have no choice but to live by our flesh, because we were still dead in sin. Even our compulsions to "do good" were "filthy rags"--works of the flesh, not of the Spirit.
Now, however, we can choose to surrender our weakness and temptation to the Lord Jesus. And if we sinówe are still in Christ. Romans 8:1 assures us that there is NOW no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Jim, there comes a time when you have to let go of the mental analysis about these things and simply believe God and His word and promises. We were taught that our understanding and cognitive analysis is how we now "truth".
False! We "know" truth by the revelation of the Holy Spirit after we accept the sacrifice of Jesus for our sin. Spiritual revelation transforms our minds; we do gain cognitive clarity. For sure. But understanding Truth doesn't start with the mind. It starts with trust. We have to give up our right to second-guess everything and submit our minds to the Lord Jesus and His word. We can't retain our "right" to mentally dissect and argue with God's word. We have to believe Him and trust Him.
He will not trick us. Our own minds, however, will trick us. That's why it is so awesome that the Holy Spirit renews our minds. But we must give up our "Right" to analyze everything to death.
Trust isn't cognitive; it's related to surrendering to God's word and to Jesus' finished work. Then He Himself convicts us and teaches us truth.
And BTW--as long a church is truly Christian with a biblical statement of faith and biblical teaching, one church can be as good as another, even if there as secondary issues that differ.
It's not about periphery; the core doctrines must be grounded in the New Testament. If they are, there can be many different kinds of Christian churches that are good.
We just have to avoid the "churches" without orthodox statements of belief.
Post Number: 539
|Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 7:21 pm: || |
Colleen said : "It's not about periphery; the core doctrines must be grounded in the New Testament. If they are, there can be many different kinds of Christian churches that are good. "
How different this is from Adventism's teaching that they are "THE remnant" The only "true" church.
I have had a problem understanding the "if's" also.
I have to learn to let them go along with my feelings of unworthiness and learn to TRUST that Jesus will do what He has said He will do.
It's not that I don't trust Him really,, it is just hard to let go of that old ingrained argument that I have to be "found worthy" and knowing that is not and never will be possible because I will NEVER be "worthy". It is just hard to believe that Jesus loves ME so much that He is willing to save ME. I cant understand why He would love me that much when I do not see myself as (theres that word worthy again) of such a gift. I have to somehow get that idea out of my head... 40 years is a lot of time to accumulate ideas that I need to rid my brain of.
I want it to happen NOW. How long will those false teachings haunt me ? will they ever completely leave ?
I doubt that I have another 40 years to UNlearn all the SDA garbage...
Lord give me patience (and I need it now).
Post Number: 531
|Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 8:08 am: || |
Jim, you said:
Though I am begining to agree that the work is a consequential outgrowth rather than merit based on our part.
You are right, that's consequential, and should not be your first and foremost concern when you're struggling with doubt.
There is a danger to be so concerned with your own inner world, inner thoughts to the degree that the picture of Jesus dying on a cross for our sins and raised for our justification is forgotten. This is the gospel and it is a news (good news) that happened 2000 years ago, it refers to something that is outside of you. That's what you will find in the word.
I'm speaking as someone who's as prone to wander from the good news to personal transformation and improvement of my walking with God as anybody, including you. I'm in daily need to hear again the gospel in order that my preoccupation with myself, my worries, my doubts, or my personal achievement should be stopped and my eyes be directed outside of myself toward Jesus, toward what he did for me already 2000 years ago, toward something historical, external, objective, not internal, subjective.
Being so focused on yourself as you seem to be, I guess that perhaps what Colleen and others had told you may sound for you as a technique, a submission to God's word that magically will quiet your doubts, shut your questions, and will turn you in the right direction, something that in your understanding you feel unable or ill equipped to do. I don't think anybody from here wants you to take their words in this way, as a new "work", something you must "do", another skill you must acquire.
Here is my understanding of submission to God's word: it's not forcing yourself into submission rather is looking toward Jesus talking in his word, promising you freely eternal life, giving you assurance that because of his perfect and finished sacrifice all your sins are forgiven, washed away. The great preacher Charles Spurgeon was converted when the Holy Spirit opened his spiritual eyes through the humble agent of a very inarticulate preacher who, looking directly at him, said "Look at Jesus, look at Him" and be saved. The israelites who were bitten by the poisonous snakes and were dying had been saved through looking at the bronze snake on the pole, a symbol of Jesus as we found it in his conversation with Nicodemus.
Colleen mentioned something about second guessing everything and your need to stop this and focus on God's promises, on his finished sacrifice for us who . One of my favorite books on this subject is The Gospel-Driven Life by Michael Horton, a book that deals with our constant need to have our life shaped and motivated by God's promises to us. It's a great book on the gospel and one of the chapters has an interesting and funny title which I find revealing for your situation. In my understanding it describes very well what Colleen told you on this thread, about changing your focus from listening to your inner doubts toward listening to God's word and his promises, stopping your focusing on what you should do or work and hearing about what was already done for you:
DON'T JUST DO SOMETHING, SIT THERE!
Post Number: 1880
|Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 10:00 am: || |
Former Adventists tend to be rightfully concerned about being "burned again." We all know that being "burned" even once is a serious matter physically but it is an even greater concern theologically. Believers are not led through subjective, mental impressions or promptings to provide direction in making life's decisions--something Scripture nowhere teaches. Instead, God's Spirit objectively leads His children sometimes through the orchestration of circumstances (Acts 16:7) but primarily through: (1) illumination, divinely clarifying Scripture to make it understandable to our sinful, finite minds; and (2) sanctification, divinely enabling us to obey Scripture (Gal. 5:16,17;5:25).
When a person experiences the Spirit's leading in those ways, he gains assurance that God has adopted him into His wonderful family. The apostle Paul says the Spirit provides us with energy and power to continually and gradually be killing our sins, a process never completed in this life. The means the Holy Spirit uses to accomplish this process is our faithful obedience to the simple commands of Scripture. Indeed, we can trust the Bible and the words from the lips of Jesus himself: "and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:26 NASB).
His grace still amazes me,
Post Number: 925
|Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 5:51 pm: || |
You made my day.
Post Number: 926
|Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 6:05 pm: || |
You covered an array of nuances about the way it is, our minds and the processes that we attempt.
I can tell you this. There are a whole lot of things I have tried that don't work too well.
I think we need to grasp and understand. Even so , the figuring it out simply does not get you there either.
I understand that without God revealing Himself and His truth to us, it will only be foolishness in our minds.
There are times when I read from my Bible. Something key will jump off the page. Then I think , it's that simple, there it is!
I try to hang onto it. But so often, when I start comparing it. It falls apart or gets cluttered and I lose it.
Yet, I go back and just stay on that page , that chapter, and it becomes clear again.
It's like being in the momnet. Light and warmth.
I have considered attending a nearby Methodist church again. I have an problem about the abortion issue and the Methodist position.
Things like that make me so conflicted.
In general, all these churches are something to be absorbed and new things to experience. That is part of the problem. I am always on the outside looking in. Breaking the ice , not easy.
Post Number: 927
|Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 6:18 pm: || |
Excellent insights. I am trying to absorb this kind of thinking and shifting my focus.
But there are other aspects in my life that are also partly molded by the 3 decades of SDA.
These too are part of the introspection.
As I have been trying to remake my social adaptive skills and attempt to fit in better with those around me as well as to rebuild what can be rebuilt.
I am engaged in the daily ongoing process of learning how to eat more foods, experimenting, trying to awkwardly dress a wee bit more up to date, so many things , little things, that make a normal life. Social skills, how to act, it is a lot to encompass.
Somewhere in there, I am still me. I get tired a lot. Growing is hard work.
I spent a lot of years adamantly being SDA and making no apology about how that set me apart.
Being out of the SDA church leaves you in culture shock. A vaccum.
That fact I think is part of why the introspection happens.
We all have a series of prelearned program responses. How we react, how we think, how we process. I have been trying to rewire all of it.
Somewhere in all this, I still exist.
Going back would be easiest, but not without conviction.
Post Number: 928
|Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 6:22 pm: || |
The apostle Paul says the Spirit provides us with energy and power to continually and gradually be killing our sins, a process never completed in this life.
What passage do you refer to?
I want to save that thought.