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Modelling-cont’d

  

I guess this is probably the most relevant thing I’ll ever pursue..Honestly, I’d say most of us reading this have gotten over the hurdle of not being able to identify with Christ due to erroneous “dualities” imposed on him via trinitarian dogma..and further still, have grabbed onto the promise of a future kingdom for the inheritors of the “downpayment” of the future promise, the spirit of Christ, holy and reconciled to God spirit..

I think if I could just grab ahold of that alone- Our God has purchased for us belligerent and uncontrollably selfish children a pure, clean and truly loving heart by the shed blood of his own son..the propitiation fo our sin..Is it just me that has to grapple with just identifying with being- born again?

Anybody else taught that being born again was a point in time (confessors prayer) rather than a place (in Him)?

Now, you may want to know what my understanding of being born again has to do with a continuation of the modelling discussion..but think about it, it has everything to do with it..We are talking about what our SALVATION means!!

I want to desperately make sure that before we try and “re-model” or “re-form” our “services” or the purpose and formulation of our fellowships let’s be very clear that:

1-we must haev a basic and revelatory understanding of what it means to “BE or BE-ING (I think that it’s a -ING scenario) SAVED”

and 2- that we know that fellowship and discipleship all must stem as a BY-PRODUCT of living out that salvation, rather than a PRODUCT of training, teaching, etc.  I don’t see discipleship as being “complete” by the model of direct  affectation-it becomes a show..

It must be indirect-a result, like the disciples, “that they had BEEN with Jesus”

As usual, we make it too complicated, trying to “make it happen” and by default-stifle it completely..it reminds me of the scene in “A Beautiful Mind” where Russell Crowe’s character says the same thing about our education model..

You’re thoughts?

7 Responses to “Modelling-cont’d”

  1. on 10 Feb 2008 at 9:49 pmJohnO

    I always had wondered what “in Christ” meant exactly. I am more convinced now that being “in Christ” means that very identification with him.

    I think the distinction between past tense salvation and present tense salvation is the point of conversion. Conversion, that is faith, repentance, and baptism is the first identification with Christ. As we continue to identify with him more fully, in every reach of our life, we are being saved. God is continuing in a way, to purchase us, to restore us piece by every piece we give him as we find them.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your second point that the Christian lifestyle came as a product of the truth, their salvation, their being with Jesus.

    We must believe that we have a Gospel powerful enough to introduce an entirely new, life-changing event in someone’s life. When the Gospel is preached to an open heart – that is a life-changing event. And I don’t mean that as sentiment, or emotional thinking. We must believe that the Gospel literally creates a new person out of the old.

  2. on 11 Feb 2008 at 7:04 amWolfgang

    Hi John O.,
    you wrote

    We must believe that we have a Gospel powerful enough to introduce an entirely new, life-changing event in someone’s life. When the Gospel is preached to an open heart – that is a life-changing event. And I don’t mean that as sentiment, or emotional thinking. We must believe that the Gospel literally creates a new person out of the old.

    I’d suggest that Jesus with the parable of the sower and the seed and the different type of grounds provides insight and understanding into this matter. Notice, that all four types of ground received the word (the gospel message) … and then it was later (some sooner, some later, some in pleasure, some under pressure, etc) that those who had received the gospel message experienced different developments …

    From what the parable teaches, I do not think that there is some kind of “life-changing event” that will definitely bring a person into the “good ground” category … for ALL mentioned types of ground do receive the gospel and do experience a change at the time of that event … however, the person receiving the gospel message seems to have the opportunity and responsibility to “continue” … and depending on how they continue on, they are categorized by the Lord as those different types of ground.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  3. on 11 Feb 2008 at 10:13 amJohnO

    “I do not think that there is some kind of “life-changing event” that will definitely bring a person into the “good ground” category”

    I agree, that isn’t what I was saying.. clearly I was saying this:

    “for ALL mentioned types of ground do receive the gospel and do experience a change at the time of that event”

    Everyone is changed who has an open heart (that would not be those whom Satan steals from… since it is clear that the seed never took root in any soil)…

  4. on 11 Feb 2008 at 3:45 pmFrank D

    God uses many agricultural visuals to teach the concept.

    The analogy of the seed is so perfect. It takes time to grow. It takes time to produce fruit. None of these things are immediate consequences of being ‘born from above’. Jesus says you will know a tree by its fruit. Paul planted, Apolos watered: There has to be watering, too. Ephesians 4 tells us to walk worthy of our calling and then goes on to talk about us “growing together” in the Body of Christ. There has to be time for growth.

    John 15: 1-8 beautifully teaches about the vine and the branches. Notice that a branch can still wither and be cast out. If the branch doesn’t bear fruit, it is taken away.

    I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away. And every one that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered. And they gather and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you. In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you shall be My disciples.

  5. on 11 Feb 2008 at 5:49 pmSean

    Frank D,

    Excellent point with the vine parable of John 15. We have to be careful not to squeeze a parable of more truth than it was intended to convey. The parable of the sower and seed (or parable of the soils if you like) is about the different types of people and how they respond to the “word of the kingdom.” Jesus outlines what it takes to be good soil–those who hear the gospel, understand it, accept it, hold fast to it, and bear fruit with perseverance. This is not to say that one is stuck being one type of soil.

    Back to Jason’s original post. Jason, I too struggle sometimes with believing that I’m born again when crazy thoughts pop into my head. If I’m not vigilant, sometimes some really sinful stuff will start to brew and sometimes I honestly say to myself, “I really thought we were over this, God help me to think holy thoughts.” But I do not doubt that God saved me, from my old life and from my sins to make me into a totally new person–anyone who knew me before can attest to that 🙂

  6. on 17 Feb 2008 at 6:31 pmJason

    It seems we all agree with the “IF ye continue in my word” part of the gospel.. One word that always raises the hackles of dogmatists and pedantists is the word “conditional”..wouldn’t we all agree that our salvation is conditional? I’d want to clarify that with the condition being Faith. Can anyone really argue that? And if our salvation is to be scrutinized and examined in some metaphysical way-could we not summarize by saying we are transformed at the hearing of the word of faith, and that in keeping in that faith, we are-AND are BEING- saved?

  7. on 17 Feb 2008 at 11:15 pmSean

    Salvation is definitely conditional. The condition is perseverance to the end in faith that expresses itself in obedience. Faith without works is dead. Faith and works that doesn’t last until the end is ultimately useless as well. I think we need all three…and probably a fourth: truth–or better–the message of truth. In other words, we need faith in the gospel not just faith in anything.

  

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