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III. Legalism: You May Have Legalism(And Not Even Know It)In Your Life

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#101
bopeep1909

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I do not think that you can be too obedient when it comes to Christ.I can see the misconception of women not wanting to wear pants or not cutting their hair because they think the Bible tells them not to.Look at where the fashion world has gone.Alot of women who wear dresses or skirts now have most of their body showing.The Amish are big on legalism.

http://www.gotquesti...n-legalism.html

#102
Sevenseas

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The Amish? LOL! sorry...that really gave me a chuckle

#103
saved34

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I do not think that you can be too obedient when it comes to Christ.I can see the misconception of women not wanting to wear pants or not cutting their hair because they think the Bible tells them not to.Look at where the fashion world has gone.Alot of women who wear dresses or skirts now have most of their body showing.The Amish are big on legalism.

http://www.gotquesti...n-legalism.html


Actually you can. It's not real obedience or worship, but asceticism. The heart is the root of the matter. A woman can be covered from head to toe with a thing covering her face, and a man can still see her shape and be tempted by her. Surely we should be discreet in what ever we do, but it's not the things on the outside that defiles us, it's our own wicked hearts.


Col 2:20 You died with Christ and were made free from the powers that influence this world. So why do you act as if you still belong to the world? I mean, why do you follow rules like these:
Col 2:21 "Don't eat this," "Don't taste that," "Don't touch that"?
Col 2:22 These rules are talking about earthly things that are gone after they are used. They are only human commands and teachings.
Col 2:23 These rules may seem to be wise as part of a made-up religion in which people pretend to be humble and punish their bodies. But they don't help people stop doing the evil that the sinful self wants to do

Don't wear pants, don't go to the movies, don't listen to this, or don't eat that. That is not the Christian life. Pants does not defile a woman, neither does a mustache defile a man.

#104
Butero

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If I am taking you right, you are saying that since the born again believer has righteousness imputed to him or her, no matter what they do, they are sinless in the sight of God, but they won't continue in sin.



Answering the first part of this question, that is correct brother, that is what Justification is. Because of what our Lord has done, God can now declare the believing sinner righteous. There is no such thing as a reversal of Justification. It is the gracious act of God whereby he will not lay sin to the account of the one who has faith in Christ as his or her sacrifice.

Rom 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,
Rom 4:6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
Rom 4:7 "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED.
Rom 4:8 "BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT

Now as far as the second part of this question, "They wont continue to sin". Is not what I am saying Scripture does not teach that. They will not continue in sin is more accurate statement. The two statements are worlds apart. To say you have no sin, or that you don't sin is only to deceive yourself.

1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.


I would then have to come back and ask, what if they do sin? Does that mean they were never saved?



Why would that mean they were never saved? Let me get this straight, you believe each and every time a man or woman sins, he or she must get re-saved, or that they were never saved? God has made provisions for the saint who commits sin.

1Jn 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
1Jn 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

Confession of our sins as we walk in the revealing light of God is our practical sanctification. Christ our advocate insures that positionaly we are perfect, in our actually walk and fellowship, confession, chastisement, tribulation, etc molds the believer into the man or woman that God has already by grace, made them positionaly.

why find fault with the couple in adutlery and incest in the Corinthian Church? If they were Christians, and the transgressions were not charged to them, and we know that where there is no law, there can be no transgression, why did Paul put them out of the church and turn them over to Satan?



God still hates sin just as much as he ever did. Grace is not a license for the believer to just sin it up, and live a filthy life. Contrary, it is the main reason a man or woman lives right.

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
Tit 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

In the case of the great sin at Corinth, Paul said to put them out for the express purpose of chastisement. Which is the divine tool of God to get us in line if we ourselves will not confess our sins.


1Co 5:5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1Co 3:15 If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

1Co 11:31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.




Sorry for the long drawn out post., but what I'm presenting here is the doctrine of standing and state. As far as condemnation, your sins will never be brought against you, but in actual walk or state, sin is not to reign in your mortal body. We as believers will give account of ourselves before Christ as to what we have done both good and bad. Not for salvation, but for stewardship and rewards. lol I hope I'm not confusing you on my position. I pray God that no one thinks that I believe we can just sin all we want, and everything will be just fine and peachy with God.

I understand your position, but here again is the problem, and I will try to narrow it down to one specific thing so I won't confuse you. The Bible tells us that sin is the transgression of the law. If the law was done away with, there is no law to transgress, so there is no longer any such thing as sin. Where there is no sin, there is no transgression. You could go out and commit an act of adultery or theft and nothing would happen to your soul because the law was done away with. It would cease to be sin. That is why I brought up Ananias and Saphira. They were thieves in that they were trying to claim they sold all their possessions and gave them to the Apostles, which would have made them partaker in all the benefits afforded those who had all things common. Thou Shalt Not Steal is part of the law, so if the law was done away with, they didn't sin because they couldn't sin. Sin is the transgression of the law. That is what I am asking you to explain?

I wanted to stop with that, but there is one more glaring question. If God has imputed righteousness to the believer, and he cannot ever become defiled again because of the blood line, even if God does hate sin, he cannot see it. Ananias could steal, and God couldn't see past the blood line, and he would still be saved. He couldn't even sin in the first place if the law was done away with, because theft would be lawful. If God couldn't see the transgression, or there was no transgression, why was he struck down?

#105
Butero

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But getting back to the actual OP, how would you consider what I mentioned in this post, Butero?
(#91)

I don't know that I would say that this would fit into legalism, but I suppose that emphasizing the positives over the negatives in everything can be good in some instances? It is like the glass half full mentality. I admit I do tend to look more on the negative than the positive in most things, and there needs to be a proper balance.

The only bad thing I can see here is that it puts you into a scale balancing act. In other words, you could have a man who is the salt of the earth in nearly every aspect of his life, but he cheats on his wife. He is charitable. He is friendly. He would do anything for you, but he has that one issue. Do we ignore the adultery and focus on the good?

#106
GoldenEagle

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This topic has been edited... Debate the subject, not the person. It is possible to disagree about a doctrine or subject under discussion without insulting the person with whom you are debating. Also remember that the fact that a person disagrees with you does not mean they are attacking you as a person. Respect each other in the love of God!

Let's stick to the OP. If you're interested in discussing women wearing pants, men having mustaches, a different definition of legalism etc. please comment on a different thread below. Again let's stay on subject. Posts that are not on topic will be either edited out or split to a different thread...

I. Legalism: Defined - http://www.worthychr...d/page__st__160

V. Legalism: Split... Understanding Legalism and Examples - http://www.worthychr...m-and-examples/

God bless,
GE

This is the OP so let's discuss it:

I was brainstorming with my wife last night about legalistic views/ideas and legalism. This was after someone I know pointed out that one might be legalistic and not even know it. Here's what we came up with.
Which of these hit home the most? Your thoughts? Anything to add to the list?
God bless,
GE

You May Have Legalism (And Not Even Know It) In Your Life…


1. If you believe God’s love for you depends on your efforts or what you do.

2. If you believe God’s love for you depends on how much you have done for Him lately and the love you have shown him recently.

3. If you fall short because in your mind you need to be a better person, you haven’t prayed enough, or you don’t have enough faith.

4. If you believe God is predisposed to be angry with you because you are a sinner and let’s face it He knows you can do better.

5. If you know God’s law but don’t have a personal relationship with Him.

6. If you focus more on your fellow Christians church attendance, tithing, version of the Bible, outward appearance rather than getting to know others and accepting them where they’re at in their walk with the Lord.
{Nebula's take on this one is good: 6. If you focus more on what is wrong with your fellow Christians than what is good, righteous, holy, and beneficial about the person.}

7. If you have grown accustomed to living by the expectations of others, especially those in positions of authority or those in your local church, as this is essential to your life.

8. If your sense of worth is based on the opinions of a Christian leader, your reputation, your church membership, or a group’s opinion of you rather than a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

9. If you are more concerned with your reputation than with heart change in your life conforming to Christ.

10. If you tell your children not to do something at church or around other Christian families that you allow in your home or elsewhere.

11. If you believe that what people wear, skirt length, swimsuit type, tattoos, piercings, hairstyle, length of hair, etc. is a clear indication of a person’s spiritual maturity and character.

12. You look at people’s lives and instinctively judge them rather than see them through God’s eyes – a work in progress for those who Believe and potential children of God for those who do not.

13. You believe you’re standards somehow make you superior to others.

14. When you miss a service or program at your church, even with a legitimate reason, you feel guilty.

15. You’re so loyal to man-made tradition you don’t think any significant change could possibly be from God.

16. You believe you’re church/denomination is the only group really focused on teaching God’s Word.

17. You believe that those who have been divorced are less valuable in the eyes of God and you feel superior to them.

18. You believe that how your kids turn out is solely your responsibility and the measurement of your success or lack there-of as a Christian parent.

19. You believe that even associating much less discussing ideas with those different than you is sinful compromise.

20. If you believe that the expression of spiritual gifts (provided by the Holy Spirit) is evidence of one’s personal walk with God.


Edit: For clarification the working definition for legalism on this thread is taken from here: I. Legalism: Defined - http://www.worthychr...20#entry1877865



noun
1. strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence, to law or prescription, especially to the letter rather than the spirit.
2. Theology .
a. the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works.
b. [b]the judging of conduct in terms of adherence to precise laws.


We've attempted to discuss points 1, 2, 3, and 6. Which one should we discuss next?

#107
GoldenEagle

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How about #4?

4. If you believe God is predisposed to be angry with you because you are a sinner and let’s face it He knows you can do better.

2 Cor. 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.


Hebrews 4:16
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


1 Cor. 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.


Thoughts? Are there other passages that deal with this #4 statement? Your thoughts?

God bless,
GE

#108
Tinky

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I've struggled with legalism by way of, when I've sinned, I tried to "make up for it" by doing something good, or simply wallowed in self-condemnation until I thought God had forgiven me.

#109
GoldenEagle

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Or better yet #5? What passages address this?

5. If you know God’s law but don’t have a personal relationship with Him.

This remind me a lot of what religious leaders (Scribes and Pharisees) were doing during Jesus's day. Thus the invention of the Talmud. The letter of the law without the spirit of the law. Trying to earn salvation through good works. Something even today some "Christian" (I use th term loosely) denominations or leders teach.

Or later when in the early years of the church with Paul and Peter when the Judaizers wanted to add circumcision as a condition to salvation. (Acts 15)

Circumcision of the heart (repenteance, confession, accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord):

Rom. 2:28-29
28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

Regarding head knowledge but no repentence...

James 2:19
You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!

What other verses come to mind for #5?

God bless,
GE

#110
saved34

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I understand your position, but here again is the problem, and I will try to narrow it down to one specific thing so I won't confuse you. The Bible tells us that sin is the transgression of the law. If the law was done away with, there is no law to transgress, so there is no longer any such thing as sin. Where there is no sin, there is no transgression. You could go out and commit an act of adultery or theft and nothing would happen to your soul because the law was done away with. It would cease to be sin.



Butero, you do bring up some excellent points here, but you are wrong on a few points. First, sin is sin apart from the Law. Before God gave man his righteous laws and demands, sin was here. The Law was given to expose sin in man, to show man his utter depravity. God hated Adultery well before he told man not to commit it, but when he gave his Holy Law concerning Adultery then man stood before God condmened, because even if a man had not actually physically committed the act, the Law is spiritual and it would hold him guilty for looking on a woman with lust. The Law utterly condemns and cuts right to the seat of sin, which is the heart of man. Now, as a man in Christ, I'm dead to the Law because in Christ it exacted it's Holy demands, or more to the point, God exacted his Holy demands on the Holy One. Christ stood before the Law of Moses unblemished, and completely free from sin, yet he was hung on a tree for you and I. The Law has been completely satisfied on our behalf which is why we can say we are no longer under the Law. We died with Christ (Death is the ultimate penalty of the Law), and now we are alive to God. Not in the sense that we have no obligation to live right before God, but we do not need a rule or a Law to tell us to not commit adultery. Christ has reconciled us to God, and now our hearts and minds are turned in that direction. Regardless if God had never given us his Laws, sin would still be here, but the Law sheds light on sin and makes it exceedingly sinful. Christ came to actually deal with sin, in our lives as well as to give us a perfect standing before God. We are being sanctified throughout our lifetime by the Holy Spirit to deal with sin on a daily basis. Legalism can never accomplish this.

As far as what happened to Ananias and his wife you have to understand the Church that they attended and the incredible circumstances they were under. First and foremost, there will never be a local assembly on the level of the Church that first formed in the Book of Acts. You had a church that was 100% Jewish, a church that had the original 12 hand picked Apostles and many, many disciples who actually walked and talked with the Lord. Not to mention Mary the mother of the Lord. We will never see a local assembly with that much power of witness and purity in one place. Whether Ananias and his wife was saved I do not know, I do know that in that Church impurity was not the norm, unlike today. An Apostle had great power from God, and could do miracles that even our Lord never did. (He said it himself). In the first established local Church, the Spirit made an example of that man and woman. I wasn't even there and it scares me when I read it.

#111
Sevenseas

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I've struggled with legalism by way of, when I've sinned, I tried to "make up for it" by doing something good, or simply wallowed in self-condemnation until I thought God had forgiven me.


Yeah...it's like we want to balance things out somehow...or sometimes we might wait for punishment because surely the trespass demands it?

I believe that if we are in 'continued' sin we will eventually reap the consequences of that.....Biblical principal......but sin does occur and when it does we have forgiveness if we recognize
that sin and ask forgiveness.

It is good to be sensitive and not want to sin but we are not made perfect in this life in our own life but only through faith in Christ and I guess a legalistic attitude would dictate behavioral
change rather than heart change whereas a heart change will effect a behavioral change in the desire to no longer sin. You can make someone dress or behave a certain way if the
punishment...such as being ostracized from a group that dictates you must dress/behave in a certain way...is painful enough but it would be absolutely harder to change a heart.

A changed heart will want to behave in the way it perceives God desires even when it is by itself with no one watching (other than the One who see us all anyway)

#112
enoob57

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I've struggled with legalism by way of, when I've sinned, I tried to "make up for it" by doing something good, or simply wallowed in self-condemnation until I thought God had forgiven me.


Yeah...it's like we want to balance things out somehow...or sometimes we might wait for punishment because surely the trespass demands it?

I believe that if we are in 'continued' sin we will eventually reap the consequences of that.....Biblical principal......but sin does occur and when it does we have forgiveness if we recognize
that sin and ask forgiveness.

It is good to be sensitive and not want to sin but we are not made perfect in this life in our own life but only through faith in Christ and I guess a legalistic attitude would dictate behavioral
change rather than heart change whereas a heart change will effect a behavioral change in the desire to no longer sin. You can make someone dress or behave a certain way if the
punishment...such as being ostracized from a group that dictates you must dress/behave in a certain way...is painful enough but it would be absolutely harder to change a heart.

A changed heart will want to behave in the way it perceives God desires even when it is by itself with no one watching (other than the One who see us all anyway)

I've always loved the Light in the question when your all alone-> by yourself .... are you?

#113
Butero

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I understand your position, but here again is the problem, and I will try to narrow it down to one specific thing so I won't confuse you. The Bible tells us that sin is the transgression of the law. If the law was done away with, there is no law to transgress, so there is no longer any such thing as sin. Where there is no sin, there is no transgression. You could go out and commit an act of adultery or theft and nothing would happen to your soul because the law was done away with. It would cease to be sin.



Butero, you do bring up some excellent points here, but you are wrong on a few points. First, sin is sin apart from the Law. Before God gave man his righteous laws and demands, sin was here. The Law was given to expose sin in man, to show man his utter depravity. God hated Adultery well before he told man not to commit it, but when he gave his Holy Law concerning Adultery then man stood before God condmened, because even if a man had not actually physically committed the act, the Law is spiritual and it would hold him guilty for looking on a woman with lust. The Law utterly condemns and cuts right to the seat of sin, which is the heart of man. Now, as a man in Christ, I'm dead to the Law because in Christ it exacted it's Holy demands, or more to the point, God exacted his Holy demands on the Holy One. Christ stood before the Law of Moses unblemished, and completely free from sin, yet he was hung on a tree for you and I. The Law has been completely satisfied on our behalf which is why we can say we are no longer under the Law. We died with Christ (Death is the ultimate penalty of the Law), and now we are alive to God. Not in the sense that we have no obligation to live right before God, but we do not need a rule or a Law to tell us to not commit adultery. Christ has reconciled us to God, and now our hearts and minds are turned in that direction. Regardless if God had never given us his Laws, sin would still be here, but the Law sheds light on sin and makes it exceedingly sinful. Christ came to actually deal with sin, in our lives as well as to give us a perfect standing before God. We are being sanctified throughout our lifetime by the Holy Spirit to deal with sin on a daily basis. Legalism can never accomplish this.

As far as what happened to Ananias and his wife you have to understand the Church that they attended and the incredible circumstances they were under. First and foremost, there will never be a local assembly on the level of the Church that first formed in the Book of Acts. You had a church that was 100% Jewish, a church that had the original 12 hand picked Apostles and many, many disciples who actually walked and talked with the Lord. Not to mention Mary the mother of the Lord. We will never see a local assembly with that much power of witness and purity in one place. Whether Ananias and his wife was saved I do not know, I do know that in that Church impurity was not the norm, unlike today. An Apostle had great power from God, and could do miracles that even our Lord never did. (He said it himself). In the first established local Church, the Spirit made an example of that man and woman. I wasn't even there and it scares me when I read it.

I have been pondering your post much of the past week. I can partially see what you are saying when you say sin was before the law because God always hated things like adultery. Sodom and Gommorah were destroyed before the law of Moses was given, so it is obvious he didn't excuse bad behavior. In a way, this only validates my position that we are still expected to live by God's standard of holiness. If what you say is true, and it does make sense, God is still just as holy as he was before, and it would only make sense that he would expect us to live holy lives. If he would destroy Sodom and Gommorah that didn't have the law of Moses, he would act in similar fashion if we behave badly today.

I was finishing up the New Testament this week, and went through the books of James through Revelation twice. I was amazed at how God dealt with the seven churches in Asia. I had read this before, but it didn't stand out like it did this time. These are New Testament Churches that were around when John was alive, and he was telling them that they must be overcomers to make it to heaven, he warned them that it was possible for names to be blotted out of the book of life, threatened to remove one church, to spew out another, and to judge every man according to their works. This again during the time we call the age of grace.

What you said about the power of the New Testament church where Ananias and Saphira went is valid, but it still doesn't change the fact we see a side of God most deny exists in the days of grace. We see him strike down a couple for being thieves. The same book of Acts also tells the story of Herod being struck down for failing to give God glory. To me, it was like a light bulb went off, because I have been listening to arguments for years that we are saved by grace, and our works or lifestyle won't effect our salvation, yet when I went back through James through Revelation chapter 3, I get a completely differen't picture of God's dealing with mankind today. Before you dismiss what I said, go back and read those books again, and what God says. Especially read the letters he wrote to the seven churches in Asia. Imagine those letters being sent do churches today? Imagine having someone steal from your church, and be struck down dead by an angry God? It happened in a New Testament church before, so why couldn't it happen now?

#114
GoldenEagle

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I understand your position, but here again is the problem, and I will try to narrow it down to one specific thing so I won't confuse you. The Bible tells us that sin is the transgression of the law. If the law was done away with, there is no law to transgress, so there is no longer any such thing as sin. Where there is no sin, there is no transgression. You could go out and commit an act of adultery or theft and nothing would happen to your soul because the law was done away with. It would cease to be sin.



Butero, you do bring up some excellent points here, but you are wrong on a few points. First, sin is sin apart from the Law. Before God gave man his righteous laws and demands, sin was here. The Law was given to expose sin in man, to show man his utter depravity. God hated Adultery well before he told man not to commit it, but when he gave his Holy Law concerning Adultery then man stood before God condmened, because even if a man had not actually physically committed the act, the Law is spiritual and it would hold him guilty for looking on a woman with lust. The Law utterly condemns and cuts right to the seat of sin, which is the heart of man. Now, as a man in Christ, I'm dead to the Law because in Christ it exacted it's Holy demands, or more to the point, God exacted his Holy demands on the Holy One. Christ stood before the Law of Moses unblemished, and completely free from sin, yet he was hung on a tree for you and I. The Law has been completely satisfied on our behalf which is why we can say we are no longer under the Law. We died with Christ (Death is the ultimate penalty of the Law), and now we are alive to God. Not in the sense that we have no obligation to live right before God, but we do not need a rule or a Law to tell us to not commit adultery. Christ has reconciled us to God, and now our hearts and minds are turned in that direction. Regardless if God had never given us his Laws, sin would still be here, but the Law sheds light on sin and makes it exceedingly sinful. Christ came to actually deal with sin, in our lives as well as to give us a perfect standing before God. We are being sanctified throughout our lifetime by the Holy Spirit to deal with sin on a daily basis. Legalism can never accomplish this.

As far as what happened to Ananias and his wife you have to understand the Church that they attended and the incredible circumstances they were under. First and foremost, there will never be a local assembly on the level of the Church that first formed in the Book of Acts. You had a church that was 100% Jewish, a church that had the original 12 hand picked Apostles and many, many disciples who actually walked and talked with the Lord. Not to mention Mary the mother of the Lord. We will never see a local assembly with that much power of witness and purity in one place. Whether Ananias and his wife was saved I do not know, I do know that in that Church impurity was not the norm, unlike today. An Apostle had great power from God, and could do miracles that even our Lord never did. (He said it himself). In the first established local Church, the Spirit made an example of that man and woman. I wasn't even there and it scares me when I read it.


Good perspective especially in bold. :thumbsup:

#115
GoldenEagle

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"The problem with legalists is that not enough people have confronted them and told them to get lost. Those are strong words, but I don’t mess with legalism anymore. I’m 72 years old; what have I got to lose? Seriously, I used to kowtow to legalists, but they’re dangerous. They are Grace-killers. They’ll drive off every new Christian you bring to church. They are enemies of the faith. Other than that, I don’t have any opinion! So if I am trying to force my personal list of no-no’s on you and make you feel guilty if you don’t join me, then I’m out of line and I need to be told that." - Chuck Swindoll

#116
Sevenseas

Sevenseas

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saved 34

As far as what happened to Ananias and his wife you have to understand the Church that they attended and the incredible circumstances they were under. First and foremost, there will never be a local assembly on the level of the Church that first formed in the Book of Acts. You had a church that was 100% Jewish, a church that had the original 12 hand picked Apostles and many, many disciples who actually walked and talked with the Lord. Not to mention Mary the mother of the Lord. We will never see a local assembly with that much power of witness and purity in one place. Whether Ananias and his wife was saved I do not know, I do know that in that Church impurity was not the norm, unlike today. An Apostle had great power from God, and could do miracles that even our Lord never did. (He said it himself). In the first established local Church, the Spirit made an example of that man and woman. I wasn't even there and it scares me when I read it.


I agree with what you posted but not quite with the sentence above in bold.

It is my impression that much of the NT was written to counter act both sin and a gospel that was being corrupted by Judaizers and others

I used to have this dream of the NT church too and wanted to see that model, but after years of experience and study (I have been involved in ministry most of my adult life but am not now
as a choice due to circumstances not of my making....and no I have never been asked to step down or had an argument with a pastor or elder or been involved in some sin to disgrace
my witness while serving)

I just do not see that 'perfect' and enviable model of a church in the NT...I see rather a church struggling and growing by the grace of God a midst persecution from without and
error from within. If we examine the letters written to the believers in various churches, I just do not see that church so many think we should be like.

I'm thinking Ananias and his wife were Christians, else why would judgement have fallen so quickly at their lie? We might not think we have to fear this type of quick rebuttal from
the Holy Spirit, but in some ways, we might be even more at risk of judgement as we are given chance after chance to repent. I think God is serious when He gave us all of
scripture to learn from.

Anyway, that is my perception. Thanks
the correcting letter was addressed.




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