Make Disciples – but who am I?

 

To begin, an excerpt from Bob Diffinbaugh

“Apart from His sacrificial work on the cross, the most significant thing our Lord did upon the earth was to make disciples. Our Lord had written no books, He had built no organization; there were no physical structures or monuments left to commemorate Him. He had placed the future of His earthly work entirely in the hands of His disciples. Had they failed their task, humanly speaking, the church of Jesus Christ would not exist today.

In the last decade, discipleship has become a popular subject in Christian circles. The great difficulty is that when we use this term we frequently mean something entirely different from that denoted by the biblical term. For instance, we hear much talk about discipling others or being discipled. Being in close proximity to a great seminary, I have seen many young and enthusiastic theologs come and go …..

We almost completely fail to grasp the biblical concept of discipleship. It is interesting that we never find the term ‘disciple’ used with reference to the relationship between Paul and Timothy. As a matter of fact, we find the two primary terms for discipleship employed very frequently in the Gospels, sporadically in the book of Acts, and almost never in the rest of the New Testament. …… What was so important in the life and ministry of our Lord should be very clear to us today who wish to be known as His disciples.”

 

To repeat the quote above – “ What was so important in the life and ministry of our Lord should be very clear to us today who wish to be known as His disciples.”

 

But Who Am I?

How would I like to be defined?

A Disciple , a Christian, a Believer in Christ, or a Saint?

Which identity describes my blessedness?  How would God name me?

whoami

 

Does the term disciple best describe me? Does it allude to my intention or does it characterize my faith?

Does the term disciple suggest or hint of my noble pursuits?

Should my identity point to my intents and integrity as one who follows and learns from Jesus or should it point to my God Who set me apart, cleanse me, sanctified me and qualified me to be His ?

If the apostles were to write to a group of us, how would they address us?

Or does the term “saint” best describe the love of God and His sole initiative and awesome and amazing grace to set me apart and give me the gift of repentance and gift of faith to be incorporated into His glorious kingdom?

 

 

“Personal Commitment to Jesus. During Jesus’ earthly ministry the disciple was to “follow” Jesus, an allegiance to his person regarded as the decisive act, whether a literal or figurative attachment. Jewish disciples would follow their master around, often literally imitating him. The goal of Jewish disciples was someday to become masters, or rabbis, themselves, and to have their own disciples who would follow them. But Jesus’ disciples were to remain disciples of their Master and Teacher, Jesus, and to follow him only. Following Jesus means togetherness with him and service to him while traveling on the Way.”

(Michael J. Wilkins)

 

And lastly to quote Jerry Bridges again –

I believe grace motivates a person to obedience. I use Isaiah’s experience – the vision in Isaiah 6 – as a paradigm. At the conclusion of my sermon on Isaiah 6, I said that passage can be summed up in four words: God, guilt, grace, and gratitude. God’s holiness, our guilt, the gospel of God’s grace, and Isaiah’s gratitude is expressed. When God said, “Who shall I send?” Isaiah didn’t ask where he would go and what he would do. Instead, he answered, “Here am I.” And I believe that when we read of Jesus’ experience with the sinful women in Luke 7, we are seeing only the tail end of the story. The only way we can understand that story is to assume she had a prior encounter with Jesus and had become acutely aware of her sin and received his forgiveness. So now she comes out of gratitude to wash his feet. The parable of the debtor brings that out, of course. I define grace these days not just as unmerited favor. I say without guilt there’s no grace. So I define grace in this fashion: it is God’s blessings through Christ to the people who deserved his curse.

 

Thank you Heavenly Father for calling me and saving me, cleaning me up so that Your Holy Spirit can indwell me, and sealing Him in me, never to leave, and making me Your child – yes a saint, called, set-apart and sanctified.  Indeed You are Great, Good, full and overflowing with Grace to me!

Disciples are made, not born (according to a bestselling author.)

But Saints are Born, nod made!

 

Confession of SIN 1 John 1:9

Confession of SIN, confession of sins.

NCC’s pastor KM was on the phone.  He told me that J Prince had a new book and would like to send one to me, though it was yet to be released officially.  But he cautioned that there might be some stuff difficult to comprehend and accept, and that JP was apprehensive whether it would go down well.  I asked what was the issue, and he said it was about confession of sins.

“Oh” I rejoined – “it’s not an issue with me.  Prince’s conviction is correct.”  And I went on to offer to send him a few articles from my personal reading and study.  I am not sure about how those articles had helped KM.  Much later, when Prince was preaching on this topic, he shared that he was aware of the ripples – no – more like tidal waves it would cause.  But something that he came across spurred him on.  And there is now no turning back!

Either the waves of this teaching has washed away the debris from the ‘sacred cows’ and Confirmation Bias in thousands of believers (like the washing of feet caked with dust, or the washing of the Word [Eph 5:26] or the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit [Tit 3:5] ) and illuminated our hearts and liberated us from legalistic shackles, OR the waves have crash against the bedrocks of various denominational creeds and convictions. The latter has been real and relentless. Collateral damage to holding on and handing on a truth that liberates and anchor us in our liberty and life of Christ! Romans 10:17 tells me that when Christ speaks, His Word to me engenders faith, not fear. Faith in believing when He says “I do not condemn you, you are forgiven  for I have justified you, redeemed you, and imputed to you My Righteousness. I will contend for your freedom, for I am your Advocate”  (1 John 2:1-2; 2:12)

 

When I was first exposed to Prince’s version of 1 John 1:9, I was skeptical and doubtful.  I had to check up for myself. And the delightful outcome were the following :-

 

1)  Total Forgiveness and the Confession of Sin, a study and message by John MacArthur on 1 John 1:8-10

https://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/62-8/total-forgiveness-and-the-confession-of-sin

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6GA4nPW4QDxRHN6ZjV6WFB4UzQ

2)   Confession – Truth or Chains, a study by James R Owen 2004.  (I can no longer find the original link, which seemed to have disappeared from cyber space, or trace this James Owen.  Let me know if anyone out there has the link.  Thank you.  However, if anyone care to read, one can read it from Pilgrim Sojourner’s Google Drive –

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6GA4nPW4QDxSlJlQV9HWkphOTA

3) “Should Christians Confess Their Sins” – a study by Dr Christian Pope of Sanctification.com.  I corresponded with him briefly years ago, and he said, yes, his name is really Christian Pope!  But his website has been revamped as he is now very much into the Hebraic Root of our Faith, and that study is no longer on his website.  However, I just wrote to him asking about it. Again, its on my Google Drive –

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6GA4nPW4QDxSkVvZWp5aTdGbVU

 

I am more of an Ethiopian first, then a Berean.  Read and listen to what others have to teach, then study and verify.  I put on my parachute which only works when it is open, and hold my Confirmation Bias in abeyance.

 

In my own journey and pilgrimage of faith, I am learning along the way. A lifelong journey!

Acts 8: 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

 

I invite you to come into my life and teach me, for how can I understand unless someone guides me

 

 

God Desires to Bless Us – the Aaronic Blessing

710JD+LZSnLThe law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul  (Psalms 119:7)

Indeed God’s Word is perfect.  “at many times and in many ways, God spoke” (Heb 1:1).  He has revealed Himself in historical events (Egypt and Passover), visually (rainbow, bronze serpent, Noah’s ark, the Tabernacle, the Menorah, etc), Hebrew words and alphabet, the Feasts and seasons, colours, numbers, metals, personalities in types, etc to point to His Beloved Son, lest we fail to see that He has now spoken to us by his Son in these last days.

Many indeed has been astounded and awed by the fresh vista and vigour of God’s character and compassion when meditating devotionally in the words and alphabet of Hebrew, the language of God’s people. While devotional meditations augment one’s affection, awe, adoration and admiration for our Lord, it must not trigger off a devotional license to superimpose and overlay my devotions over established doctrines and teachings, or even to overstate or inflate such meditations as revelations of new teachings (actually recognising and realizing God’s revelation), or to draw attention to oneself as the source? of such enlightening “truth”. For “…. there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said,  “See, this is new”?  It has been already in the ages before us.” (Ecc 1)

Devotional meditations must be consistent with the major and main biblical body of truth.

John Garr’s book “Our Lost Legacy” – restoring our Hebraic root of our faith” has been most instructional and illuminating to me.  Another of his book is “Bless You – Restoring the Power of Biblical Blessing”

How I was awed and filled with joy when I read his devotional explanation of the Aaronic Blessing in the original Hebrew language.  One must read it as this 2nd hand sharing would do injustice.

Numbers 6:22-26 (Jewish Orthodox Bible)

And Hashem spoke unto Moshe, saying, Speak unto Aharon and unto his Banim, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the Bnei Yisroel, saying unto them,

Y’varekhekha Adonai v’yishmerekha

(Hashem bless thee, and keep thee);

Ya’er Adonai panav eleikha vichunekha

(Hashem make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee);

Yissa Adonai panav eleikha v’yasem l’kha shalom

(Hashem lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee shalom).

Firstly, within this 3-fold blessing there are 3, 5 and 7 Hebrew words in the respective blessing and benevolence upon His people

3 – God the Father Who desires to bless and keep us;

5 – the Son full of Grace (represented by the number 5), Who manifested, displayed and portrayed to us the Almighty Heavenly Father, as (Matt 17:2)

“If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” ….  “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”  Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (John 14:8,9)

7 – the Holy Spirit (Revelation mentions the seven spirits of God, sent into the world).

Secondly, within the 3-fold blessing, there are 5, 10 and 15 letters.  5 letters in the first 3 words, 10 letters in the second 5 words, and 15 letters in the last seven words.

Multiples of 5 – how God the Father has blessed us in His Son, Grace multiplied, Grace upon Grace!!!! Hallelujah.

Just as the prayer and blessing is for us to have spiritual revelation and wisdom to know Christ manifested in His face, so that our hearts can be enlightened (Eph 1:17,18), the prayer and blessing is for the Holy Spirit to lift up His face towards us and fill us with His shalom peace that is beyond understanding (Phil 4:7,9).  Indeed, He Who is the Comforter, will stoop down to my level, and in doing so, He lifts up His face and look at me with His tender eyes. Or as another put it, the Holy Spirit, in His role, in lifting us up towards Jesus, also lifts up His face upon us! He is ever my Comforter (Jn 14), and my Commander, Captain, Counsellor and Companion.  He will hug me, hold me by my hand as I pilgrim on to my blessed hope!

Hallelujah! What a Heavenly Father, what a Saviour, what a Comforter and Counsellor!

Hyper Grace and Dr Michael Brown

The current issue of Singapore’s Impact magazine  (Vol 38 No 6 feature on “Hyper Grace”) carries a feature interview on “Hyper Grace” with the renowned and well-respected Dr. Micahel Brown, a Messianic Jew, known for his “Fire School of Ministry” and http://askdrbrown.org/; and a professor of Bible and Hebrew studies at many leading seminaries.

When I received and read the interview, I wrote to the editor of ‘Impact’ yesterday, somewhat along these words :-

I’ve great admiration for Dr. Michael Brown, and have followed him for some time.  However, his comments on Hyper Grace in Charisma magazine, his book, and now on ‘Impact’ does not reflect the same degree of scholarship as in his scholarly debates and his teaching ministry.  He has focused on the “partially empty cup” rather than the “FILLED cup” of this restoration of the original and pure Gospel of abounding and amazing Grace to the believers worldwide.  For times like this, we should glory in the filled cup, after decades of many believers worldwide missing and misunderstanding God’s Grace and find their lives indeed filled and fulfilled by our Lord Jesus Who came full of grace.

Michael Brown rightly observed that “there are people who are literally set free … because of the truths of the message”

Michael Brown’s reference to anecdotal experiences of pastors and leaders who “reached out to him”; and being “flooded with people telling me horror stories …” does not negate or invalidate the truth of the Gospel of Grace.  Equally there are anecdotal experiences of pastors and believers who are refreshed and released by the Gospel of Grace.

This awesome, abounding and amazing Grace of God cannot ever be ‘hyperise’ or exaggerated.  Rather I think it is under-rated and under preached for too long, far too long, and have been replaced, displaced and misplaced by discipleship issues, (I am not discounting the importance of discipleship, rather how it has neglected and discounted the power of His grace for our discipleship).

It is for such well-meaning believers who struggled with discipleship issues that the pure message of Grace brought freshness and fullness into our life in Christ, by grace and faith. Teachings on grace have been too “casual” rather than being exemplified embodied and incarnated in the Person of Jesus, His love and power! our legacy (Ephesians chapter 3)

Definitely, in the focus and return to the Gospel of Grace, there is unintended collateral damage, as no one is sufficient to address issues completely in a balanced manner – the full counsel.  Nothing amiss or awry about hyper grace, just that some leaders have yet to explain and expound Grace in His Fullness and fulfillment to sinners.  Definitely in due time as pastors and believers stand and be established in Grace.  I rejoice that for the countless who have been shackled by religious laws and works and discipleship, Jesus comes, “Grace upon Grace” while the law came by the servant Moses.

So there are issues with some people, just as the children of the Spirit and promise will be persecuted by the children of the flesh (Gal 4:28).  Different mountains, different mothers.  Coming from Michael Brown (and Impact) might also have collateral damage to those still pursuing santification by works rather than sanctification by grace (monogist <> synergist; the latter having many proponents with discipleship para-church groups)

The moment Michael Brown’s book on Hyper Grace was published, Dr Paul Ellis responded to clarify how the message of Grace has been so misunderstood, and so mixed up (ie. mixture). 

I suppose it would be fair that since Impact has featured Michael Brown, it would consider also featuring Dr Paul Ellis, or review his book the “Hyper Grace Gospel” (available in e format) :-

http://escapetoreality.org/author/pauldellis/

Thank you.

Be blessed in Jesus, Who is Great, Glorious, Good and full of Grace.

Saved by Grace, Standing in Grace, Strong in Grace

2Tim 2:1; Heb 13:9; 1Pet 5:12

The Whole Counsel – can we really be complete and balanced?

The Whole Counsel of God (2) (a previous blog with the same title can be found here   –  https://wwwpilgrim.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/the-whole-counsel-of-god/)

My family was given a given a guided tour of Moody Church and a few of Erwin Lutzer’s books when we were there a few years ago. Since then, I began to listen online to Erwin Lutzer’s sermons upon returning to Singapore. I even downloaded his message on the Imputed Righteousness of Christ and passed it to a few friends.  Recently, someone who relocated to Moody Church from Singapore’s New Creation Church commented that believers in Moody are requested to search themselves before partaking of the Lord’s supper, while at NCC, we are to examine the Lord Jesus and His sacrificial work on the cross instead of examining ourselves, who have been made righteous.  So is Moody inconsistent or more likely addressing an equally important aspect of our lives as a sojourner on earth?

Yes, indeed we are made righteous by Christ’s death. We are taught – As He is righteous, so are we in this world, right? And Christ is not against Himself, Christ is not against us, and we are disease-free as Christ is disease-free?

Yet we read about Jesus’ words in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 that He is against the believers, and sought for active and practical works of the new creation.

NCC’s Joseph Prince, especially in the west has popular appeal and drawn appreciation from believers who watch him or read his books.  Those who scan the horizon for distortions and deceptions in the church would fault his associations with the WOF and dispute his occasional use of proof-text, anecdotes and devotional interpretations to encourage and build up those who have been distraught by the Christian religion. (see posting on ‘Proof Text’ June 2013).

The radical message of Grace as proclaimed by Joseph Prince has brought untold relief and release to many who have long been exposed to teachings which do not fully encompass the essence, significance and consequence of receiving God’s Grace. However, does this renewed and refreshed teaching of Grace discount or demolish the traditional teachings of discipleship and the ‘working out’ our salvation? (see posting in June 2013 on OSAS?? and OSAS!!!)

Much misunderstandings and heat has been generated when certain convictions are championed and subsequently challenged. This can be seen by the comments against Joseph Prince in his teachings on ‘repentance’, ‘confession of sins’, ‘examining ourselves re the Lord’s remembrance meal’ etc.  It is sad, and rather awry and amiss when someone labelled Joseph Prince’s book “Destined to Reign” as Destined to Ruin.

Personally, such dissonance might be due to the starting definition of terms and points of reference for the various issues.  JP has focused clearly and convincingly on the doctrinal foundation and outcomes of the finished work of Christ and His Grace upon Grace for the believer – our position in Christ, sealed and delivered.  I can fully appreciate his intense and resolute teachings to correct deeply entrenched fallacies of our faith.  The testimonies and reviews of his books in Amazon.com bear this out. However, in any pointed discourse, it would invariably be incomplete, and would have left out other aspects of the scriptures (see posting of ‘The Whole Counsel of God’)

And was I delighted when I read what Roger Nicole wrote in Polemic Theology: How to Deal with Those Who Differ from Us”

http://founders.org/fj33/polemic-theology-how-to-deal-with-those-who-differ-from-us/

James Montgomery Boice was quoted to have commented :- “If there was one man in America I could study under, it would be Roger Nicole.”   (http://9marks.org/article/reflections-on-roger-nicole/)

Roger Nicole wrote: (words in bold, enlarged, etc are edited for emphasis)

Could I be Wrong?

The first thing that I should be prepared to learn is that I may be wrong and the other person may be right. Obviously, this does not apply to certain basic truths of the faith like the Deity of Christ or salvation by grace. The whole structure of the Christian faith is at stake here, and it would be instability rather than broad-mindedness to allow these to be eroded by doubts. Yet, apart from issues where God Himself has spoken so that doubt and hesitancy are really not permissible, there are numerous areas where we are temperamentally inclined to be very assertive and in which we can quite possibly be in error. When we are unwilling to acknowledge our fallibility, we reveal that we are more interested in winning a discussion and safeguarding our reputation than in the discovery and triumph of truth. A person who corrects our misapprehensions is truly our helper rather than our adversary, and we should be grateful for this service rather than resentful of the correction. As far as our reputation is concerned, we should seek to be known for an unfailing attachment to the truth and not appear to pretend to a kind of infallibility that we are ready to criticize when Roman Catholics claim it for their popes!

Our reputation will be better served if we show ourselves ready to be corrected when in error, rather than if we keep obstinately to our viewpoint when the evidence shows it to be wrong. I should welcome correction. It renders a signal service to me! I should respond, “I was mistaken in this; I am glad that you straightened me out; thank you for your help.” People who are unwilling to acknowledge their mistakes, by contrast, may be called stubborn and lose their credibility.

What are the Facts?

In the second place we may learn from one who differs that our presentation, while correct as far as it goes, fails to embody the truth in its entirety on the subject in view. Although what we assert is true, there are elements of truth that, in our own clumsy way, we have overlooked. For instance, we may be so concerned to assert the deity of Christ that we may appear to leave no room for His humanity. As a Calvinist, I may so stress the sovereignty of God that the reality of human decision may appear to be ruled out. Here again, I should feel grateful rather than resentful. The adversative situation may well force me to give better attention to the fullness of revelation and preclude an innate one-sidedness which results in a caricature that does disservice to truth no less than an actual error may do.

Many of the mainline elements of Christianity are thus, “two-railed,” if I may express myself in a metaphor. Unity, yet threeness in God, immanence yet transcendence, sovereignty of God and yet reality of rational decision, body and soul, deity and humanity of the Mediator, justification and sanctification, divine inspiration of Scripture and human authorship, individual and corporate responsibility. One could multiply the examples. When one of the factors is overlooked, one is doing no better than the railroad operator who would attempt to run an ordinary train with only one rail (I do not speak here of monorails!). The person who differs from me may render me great service by compelling me to present the truth in its completeness and thus avoid pitfalls created by under-emphasis, over-emphasis and omissions. Thus my account will be “full-orbed” rather than “half-baked!”

What are the Dangers?

I may learn from those who differ from me that I have not sufficiently perceived certain dangers to which my view is exposed and against which I need to be especially on guard. I may find out notably that there are certain weighty objections to which I had not given sufficient attention heretofore. Here again, I must be grateful for a signal service rendered by the objector. Instead of being irked by the opposition, I should rise to the challenge of presenting my view with appropriate safeguards and in such a way as to anticipate objections that are likely to arise.

Prince has dug his heels in proclaiming the Gospel of radical Grace and restored and inspired many with his own interpretations of the significance and outcomes of the unmerited and undeserved favor which all believers inherit. However, his vivid and vibrant teachings (perennial issues that affect and afflict the average believer) on repentance, confession of sins and the examining ourselves (amongst others) has somewhat elicit both assertions of flawed interpretation and allegations of false teaching, as they seemingly stirred up issues that had been submerged beneath the widespread calls to the ‘cost of discipleship’ and to give ‘my utmost for His Highest’. Comments and critique to Prince fill the blogosphere, with even allusions in the book “Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message” by Michael Brown.

The fog clears when one understands what Roger Nicole wrote “the mainline elements of Christianity are thus, “two-railed”.  I wrote that our finite minds cannot fully fathom the full counsel of God (June 2014).  I believe Michael Brown rightly cautioned against hyper Grace and presented aspects of our faith that could be ignored or neglected while Joseph Prince in bringing back the message of Grace had to be vigorous and robust in addressing the millions of believers hauntingly snarled by the gospel AND the trappings of religious demands for personal discipleship. But in doing so, Prince in denouncing the corrupted and mixed message of grace and works has brought collateral damage to the works of righteousness and the out-workings of our salvation.

I echoed Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1 for myself and others frequently.

Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; ….  9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be (1) filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you will (2) walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, (3)  to please Him in all respects, (4)  bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us [r]to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

So it is more than just seeking after ‘right believing’ and letting the fruiting be automatic.  It is also walking, pleasing and bearing – actions that are part of my life as a pilgrim and sojourner.  Just as I have told my family since the 90’s To Know right (God’s heart and mind), Think right, Feel right, Do right and Speak right.

Once Saved, Always Saved?

Once, over lunch, a brother asked what is my view on OSAS.  I shared Jesus’ question to Peter from John 21 – “what is that to you?”.  I answered that normally the person who asked this question is already ‘walking’ in the faith, and likely has someone else in mind or is wondering about this ‘doctrine’ or ‘teaching’ often raised by others.

I re-directed the question to him and asked if he has any issue with his own assurance of salvation at that moment, and would like to study this issue with him personally.  Jesus had said “…. what is that to you? You follow Me.”

Very often, OSAS is conjectural for the person who raises the concept.

And often too, we approach OSAS with our own understanding of the many aspects of salvation, with different definitions and reference points for this beautiful and bountiful; broad and multifarious gift.

Before I label another as not subscribing to OSAS, I need to fair and even-handed, and seek to grasp how the other person define the various words and the reference points he is working from.  One can be discussing the position of the believer in salvation while another the process of salvation, and another the product of salvation and much more.  Hence much misunderstanding could be avoided if I seek to be wise and mature in my quest for HIM WHO IS my SAVIOUR, SOVEREIGN, and SUFFICIENCY, and superlatively so, beyond all that I can ASK or THINK.

Who is sufficient to fully encapsulate our inheritance, the working of the exceeding greatness of His power (Ephesians 1).

God’s love and truth for us is profound, immense, boundless and beyond comprehension.

How do I understand salvation from Ephesians 1:14 “until the redemption of the purchased possession”?  Is it mine now, or it is not my experience until … 

What about Hebrews 9:28  “to those who eagerly await him he will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to bring salvation.”?  Does it mean that I am not saved now until Jesus appears to bring salvation to me?

So I need to understand how each person define the terms, and the terms of references he uses when discussing or teaching from the Bible.

So when I listen to David Pawson talking about OSAS in 6 parts on Youtube, am I going to label him or should I have listened carefully, grasp the definitions he used, and then realize that indeed God’s love and salvation is so beautiful, bountiful and boundless for my finite mind.

As I wrote in a previous blog –  “Who is sufficient to reduce the revelations of God in 52 Sundays sermons, in a book, in an article? Somehow, somewhere we will miss out certain aspects of His heart and mind. It is just like an individual looking at the glorious and magnificent facets of a flawless polished diamond – it is sparkling yellow, no it is shining blue, no it is dazzling crimson, no it is glittering red …….”

And the need for me once I have ‘accepted’ the Lord Jesus as my Saviour, to continue on to abide and abound and grow and glow in Him instead the folly of championing OSAS and ignoring or blacklisting those who exhort others to work out our salvation with fear and trembling and ‘seem’ to be teach that works and fruit-bearing must be the product; bearing fruit from the root.

P/S   David Pawson mentioned that he wrote the book “Once Saved Always Saved?”; while Kendall wrote a similar book “Once Saved Always Saved” without the ?   So, what are the frames of reference both are writing from, how did each define all the terms related to salvation?

For me who subscribe to OSAS!, it is not incompatible with OSAS?

Having known that God’s grace and salvation is full and total, it would delightful rather than derisive and disapproving of those who exhort us to mindful of our works and discipleship.  Ephesians chapters 1-3 delineates our riches and position in Christ, and 4-6 follows up with our responsibilities and progress in Christ.  So the first verse in the second section goes on to exhort us “to live a life worthy of the calling I have received ..”  (Eph 4:1).

GRACE MANIFESTO

“And herein is the true gospel—the good news. Because of the Father’s gracious love, we no longer have to live in perpetual self-evaluation. Grace sets us free from looking at ourselves and worrying about our performance because grace shows us that it was never about us anyway. It—life, the world, the universe—has always been about Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God who came into the world not to make bad people good, but to make dead people live. We look to Him. We depend on Him. And we rest in Him. “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” (Romans 8:38-39)

This is the grace in which we stand.

This is our Manifesto of Grace.”

 

Above is the summary of a 11 point Manifesto of Grace by Dr. Mark Wyatt