Friday, August 17, 2007

Warnings in the Bible - primarily FOR believers ?

I'm reading a book by Thomas Schreiner and Ardel Caneday called "The Race Set Before Us, A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance" and seriously, there are few books that will shut a person up.....this is one of those books.

To live the life of a Christian in light of the reality of heaven and the threat of hell is a joyfully terrifying thing. When God does not give you over to the sins that you would choose if left without grace, there is great need to rejoice tremble.

The most potent little point made that I've been thinking about is the statement that the WARNINGS in scripture are to the people in the a means of God's keeping them on the narrow path that leads to life. Notice the address at the beginning of the statement: "brothers"

Romans 8:12
"So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him."

At the beginning of the book he points out a few different views that people have as far as perseverance and assurance.

The one, most destructive and deadly (in my little opinion) is the "Loss of Rewards" view.
The view has much more detail than this, but essentially it states that believers who professed Christ at some point in their lives and obeyed somewhat in their lives, will inherit eternal life, though they will lose rewards for not mortifying a certain beloved sin(s) that they continued in -while believing that God would simply forgive them of it.....also, their sin of omission (in not doing that which Christ commanded us, to "abound in love and good works"....."when were you hungry and we fed you not, or naked and clothed you not?.....I tell you truly, when you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me."

And they will be banished with the hypocrites.

I think it is good to be quiet in light of our true desperate state before the Lord.......but as my bible study teacher said "The warnings are meant to affect you to stir you up to obey out of love and fear of the Lord, not to make you curl up into the spiritual fetal position"

May God bless you with fear and love and gratitude to Him today for the mercy you received today.....if you woke up believing have His grace with you.
In Christ Jesus.....7 years.....still shocked.....more so now than ever.


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