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The Ground of Grace

For those who like to discuss and debate theology. This is a forum for people who enjoy strong and lively debate with people who may not be likeminded. Participants are requested to always treat other opinions with respect.

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NetChaplain
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The Ground of Grace

Postby NetChaplain » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:37 am

There are vast numbers who think that the Lord Jesus, besides bringing pardon, is simply a means to strengthen them to keep the law. But this is sad and fundamental ignorance of Christianity. Is a believer then at liberty to break the law? God forbid! It is one thing to be a debtor to do the whole law, and another that God can make light of any breach of the law. Is there nothing possible between these two conditions—debt to the law and freedom to break it? Neither consists with a Christian. He who is free to do his own will is a lawless, wicked man. He who is under the law to do it, describes the proper condition of the Jew (in the prior dispensation—NC) and nobody else.

The Christian stands on entirely new ground. He is saved by grace and is called to walk in grace. The character of righteousness that God looks for in him is of another sort altogether, as it is said in Philippians, “being filled with the fruits of righteousness”—not which are by law, but “by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God” (Phil 1:11)—by the Lord Jesus under grace and not under law. And this is not a question solely of justification. This has to do with the responsibility of the believer to do the will of God; and the Lord Jesus, not the law, is the measure and source of the Christian life and walk, which makes all the difference possible.

It may be asked, “Was not Christ under the Law?” Yes, assuredly, but He died unto it and is now above it. The Christian, the Gentile, never was under it (but was under the “law of sin,” as the unbeliever still is—NC); and being positioned in the Lord Jesus risen, now that he believes, he stands on heavenly ground, to which the law does not apply. For this reason every Christian is regarded by God as alive form the dead, to bring forth fruit into God (Rom 7:4). The law only deals with a man as long as he lives; never after he has died. “But ye have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col 3:3). And this is not at all what is said for us after a “second blessing,” “extreme unction,” or any other step of true or imaginary perfection.

The Christian life begins in Christ in heaven! We are identified with the Lord Jesus dead and risen, seated together at the right hand of the Father. It is no longer the law dealing with me to try if it can get any good out of me. I have relinquished all by receiving the Lord Jesus, and I take my stand in Him dead and risen—and as one alive from the dead in Him, I yield myself unto the Father. This is the foundation truth of Christianity—that God has done with mere dealing with the flesh. He has another man, even a new man, the Lord risen from the dead; and the believer has received Him, and is received in Him.

A young Christian may be cast down after receiving the Savior, through the sense of evil he finds in himself. He wonders how this can be. He knows how the Lord Jesus deserves to be served, and is conscious how little he serves Him as he ought; he is filled with sorrow about himself, and perhaps begins to doubt whether he be a Christian at all. He has not yet learned his lesson. He has not mastered what his baptism set forth, the value of have a Savior who is dead and risen. He is occupied still with something of the old man; he looks at it and expects to get better, hoping that his heart will not have so many bad thoughts, etc., as he used to have; whereas, the only strength of the believer is being occupied with the Lord Jesus, and all that is lovely before the Father.

The saint, in proportion as he enjoys the Lord Jesus in glory, lives above himself. When he becomes engrossed with what takes place within him, he is cast down. How many go on months and years, expecting some good to come out (from the “old man”—NC)? It is not that they are not born of God; but they are so under the effect of old thoughts and notions, acquired from catechisms, religious books, sermons, disciplers, etc., that they do not enter into the full liberty wherewith the Lord Jesus makes free (Gal 5:1).

- Wm Kelly

http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS

jo555
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Re: The Ground of Grace

Postby jo555 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:45 pm

When you think about it, really it applies to everything. When the interest is in self (or eyes on self), death is around the corner. When it is on the Lord, his life in us blooms.

I don't believe self-interest is all bad either, as that self-interest extends beyond ourselves as a manifestation of God's love found in Christ.

It is still as simple as two trees in the garden, and our need for Jesus (our Tree of life) to unite us to Father.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

NetChaplain
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Re: The Ground of Grace

Postby NetChaplain » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:02 pm

jo555 wrote: When the interest is in self (or eyes on self), death is around the corner. When it is on the Lord, his life in us blooms.

Hi Jo - Thanks for the reply, and I think I know what you're sharing. Concerning death, I do not believe the Christian ever again has to be concerned about it (physical or spiritual) because eternal life is in the believer (John 6:54; 1 John 5:13).

I can understand this to apply to the unbeliever, his own eyes are always on self the most, and abides in death (John 3:18). As for the believer in his carnality, it is continuously passing away, because it is as you've indicated--His life is blooming more and more in us.

God Be Blessed!
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS

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Re: The Ground of Grace

Postby jo555 » Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:46 am

Not sure if we see eye to eye there. I do believe a believer can still reap sin and death, although I do believe his new life is hid with Christ.

For instance, I know people that I do believe are saved, born again Christians, that sometimes sin in the flesh . . . I do believe a believer can sin in the flesh and that bears fruits unto sin and death . . . and I've done it too and I do believe I am saved in Christ.

One reference: Galatians 6

Anyway, I rarely ever see exactly eye to eye with anyone . . . so, just sharing.

Thank you.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: The Ground of Grace

Postby NetChaplain » Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:00 pm

jo555 wrote:Not sure if we see eye to eye there. I do believe a believer can still reap sin and death, although I do believe his new life is hid with Christ.

For instance, I know people that I do believe are saved, born again Christians, that sometimes sin in the flesh . . . I do believe a believer can sin in the flesh and that bears fruits unto sin and death . . . and I've done it too and I do believe I am saved in Christ.

One reference: Galatians 6

Anyway, I rarely ever see exactly eye to eye with anyone . . . so, just sharing.

Thank you.

Gal 6:1 expresses the temptation to commit sin, but not doing it, which is a testing not to determine salvation but to evaluate the strength of one's faith in salvation, which salvation can never be lost--or it wasn't salvation.

Being "overtaken in a trespass (fault) is the same as a "temptation taken you" (1 Cor 10:13), which James explains that it precedes the committing or actual doing of the sin. I find it best here to view Gill's comment on James 1:14, 15: http://www.ewordtoday.com/comments/jame ... james1.htm
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS

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Re: The Ground of Grace

Postby jo555 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:09 pm

Thanks. I'll read it over.

I don't know whether one can lose one's salvation. I lean towards not, but there are several verses that seem to say one can that I can't say definitely. I don't worry about it because I do believe that He has saved me and will keep me. Worry does me no good. I cannot open the eyes and ears of my heart. I know I can't even believe without Him, even as I know I have my minor role of reading his Word (as faith cometh by the Word, and the Spirit of course).

Anyway, I believe salvation is a matter of believing in the one the Father sent - Jesus, and, in essence, receiving Him. The just shall live by faith.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

jo555
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Re: The Ground of Grace

Postby jo555 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:14 pm

Just to add one scriptural reference:

John 3:16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.[h]”
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: The Ground of Grace

Postby NetChaplain » Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:38 pm

jo555 wrote:Thanks. I'll read it over.

I don't know whether one can lose one's salvation. I lean towards not, but there are several verses that seem to say one can that I can't say definitely. I don't worry about it because I do believe that He has saved me and will keep me. Worry does me no good. I cannot open the eyes and ears of my heart. I know I can't even believe without Him, even as I know I have my minor role of reading his Word (as faith cometh by the Word, and the Spirit of course).

Anyway, I believe salvation is a matter of believing in the one the Father sent - Jesus, and, in essence, receiving Him. The just shall live by faith.

I'm with you on this reply, esp. concerning salvation is believing on Christ! The most important thing a Christian can do for spiritual growth is read and reread God's Word (already accepting of-course continually seeking His guidance in His Word). I always return to where I left off, that way I never have to decide where to read and you get it all.

Also, using a good Bible commentary (which God also uses for our learning) is the most significant tool.
(suggestion: http://www.ewordtoday.com/comments/gene ... nesis1.htm) I find Gill to be the most useful, which is in the list on commentators at the top.
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS


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