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    • By Behold
      Gospel : Paul teaching = "preaching of the Cross". "we preach Christ Crucified"..."Jesus sent me not to baptize but to preach the Gospel".."faith comes by hearing this".....

      So, all that, if believed by an unbeliever resolves an eternal issue......
      What is the issue?
      What is God's purpose for coming to earth to die as Jesus The Christ on a Cross?
      What is He doing?...What is He alone solving, that all our 10 commandment keeping and holy lifestyle can never solve, which is WHY HE had to solve it? ?
      And right here is what is so often misunderstood, or not taught correctly, and this is why so many people who mean well, and love Jesus, or would like to love him, do not understand <>WHAT IS<> the actual reason that God came here to die.

      So what is that reason?
      The reason, is that keeping the law, the 10 commandments, and doing good works, confessing sin, and living as holy as we can, could not make us acceptable to God..
      And here is the "catch 22".... It also can't AFTER you are saved.
      And right here is where "Legalism vs Grace" becomes the touchstone of constant fighting on forums, and everywhere else that it can show up where believers WILL clash.
      (Apparently this clash became such a long standing fight and fury on this forum that members here are barred from posting- fighting about it.)

      It is a fact and statement of the CROSS that the law and the 10 Commandments can't make you righteous, they can only show you that you are unrighteous., as that is the actual purpose of the Law, as well as outlining what God expects regarding our basic moral conduct & behavior, once we are born again.
      So, how can it be that half the body of Christ is trying to keep all this, all these works, and they believe that this is "keeping them saved".
      Whereas the other half of the body of Christ is trusting in Jesus to keep them saved.
      So, do you see the line in the sand?
      Its this " What is keeping you SAVED"....that is the minefield of theological confusion.
      THATS the fight.
      Legalism vs Grace.
      Its happening on every forum like this one, and its the reason for 5000 denominations that don't agree, and 300 bibles that don't agree.
      This issue started with Paul and his preaching of "justification by Faith" >alone, and he wrote the letter to the Galatians that talks about it, and explains it.
      2000 yrs later, this issue of Legalism vs Grace is still a fist fight between "Christians".
      Here on this forum, apparently they outlawed the battle. 

      Isn't it interesting to realize that if the 10 commandments, or lawkeeping, or living holy, could save you or keep you saved, if that were the truth, then Jesus could have stayed in Heaven and saved Himself some PAIN.....
      But ita not the case.
      Now im not certain what you have been taught, but i teach that you "present your body a living sacrifice" and you to "live holy as God is holy", not to save yourself or keep yourself saved, but because this is what you should do, and what God expects, .. because you ARE saved.
      The Legalist would argue that .."no, you do it to stay saved", and if you don't then you're not.
      I wonder, reader, what you believe.
      However, keep it to yourself, as this is between you and God, tho make sure you get it right, as if you get it wrong and you are teaching it, then Galatians 1:8 has become quite a literal issue for you.

      So, leaving all that now, lets just look at the problem that God had to come here and solve for us, as to look at this, is to understand the reason for Salvation which is to understand Salvation.
      Our problem we had, before we were saved, is only one thing, one issue only. And God Himself had to solve it, because we can't.
      We are born, and we get older, and we don't have any righteousness.
      None.
      And so, God can't accept us, because we are UNRIGHTEOUS. 
      This is "lost", "unsaved"....hellbound = we don't have any RIGHTEOUSNESS< as all of ours, are "filthy rags".
      So, in steps SALVATION... Down from Heaven God as The Christ arrives... The Cross has been raised.... As God bleeding out on the "tree" has come down from Heaven to give us HIS righteousness so that He can accept us, based on THAT.......and for no other reason will He accept you, or me.
      God, literally became a man, and died on a Cross, to GIVE US "the righteousness of Christ". (God's very own righteousness).
      And that is what salvation actually is....Its God coming to earth to give us His righteousness so that HE can accept us, as by giving us His very righteousness, this makes us acceptable to God.
      Welcome to Salvation.
      Salvation is only.... "what makes you acceptable to God"....and that is one thing, its GOD'S Righteousness, becoming ours.
      A born again person, has literally BECOME "the righteousness of Christ", and Christ is GOD.

      To say that God's Grace is amazing, is really the least of what it is...
      How can you describe the wonder of God, dying to give you His righteousness in place of your unrighteousness, as a free Gift?
      Is there a word that can even claim to honor this spiritual transaction enough?
      Just one.
      LOVE.
      Agape` Love.
      God is LOVE.
    • By dazeddaisy
      I'm in an odd situation, one that led me to this forum to begin with.
      Recently, I've been trying to use a prayer journal and pray for specific individuals. In that time, I've felt a very strong desire to pray for an individual that I used to be infatuated with, whom I have not been in contact with in some years.
      The problem: back then, I idolized and lusted after this person. I genuinely placed them before God in pretty much every area of my life. Ex: he was on the worship band, so I stared at him during worship. He was funny, so I always thought of his jokes during church services. I would be so upset on days that he wouldn't talk to me, but I rarely ever prayed. (I know, I'm ashamed just thinking about it.)
      God told me in no uncertain terms that this person was not the one for me, even when I was still trying to hold on.
      Back to the present: I am actively trying to stop thinking about this person, and though it's taken some time, I've been mostly successful. I've been more focused on growing in my relationship with God than ever before, and I'm almost always in prayer. I have felt a call to pray for that person, their walk with Christ, their resistance to temptation, finding a community of believers, and so on.
      However, I do not trust my intentions. I don't know if this is truly God moving on my heart to pray for this person, or if this is me trying to stay attached to this person through prayer.
      If this is God's will, I don't want my fears to stop me--especially if this person really is wrestling with their faith. However, if this is just my flesh, I don't want to let myself fall back into old patterns of sin (lust and idolatry).
      So I guess my question is, is this God or my flesh talking? What advice would you give me on handling this situation?
      I have asked God for confirmation on whether or not this is Him. I have also asked a family member, a couple people who are more spiritually mature than me, and a couple friends. Now I'm asking for your input.
      Please help! Thanks!
    • By Davidlyanno
      Can a robot substitute for pastoral care? Can it bring a theological perspective to our prayers (relationship factor)?
      Christianity is not about religious activities or mere confession; it centers on the person of Jesus Christ who is the absolute mediator between Mankind and God the father. The essence of Christianity is "Relationship." Thus, worshiping an idol is wrong; having another mediator (any human being) is idolatrous. Worst of all, a new spiritual virus, by human intelligent activity without God, is born recently. They called it Robot Priest or Pastor.
      Here it is: "Robot priest unveiled in Germany to mark 500 years since Reformation"
      https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/30/robot-priest-blessu-2-germany-reformation-exhibition?fbclid=IwAR16ZEli1xnIKctvJSu9Hjo3RATZJ1Xq_HUGOWTk7PbBpSwI7Lc7QiCHHNg
       
    • By KiwiChristian
      ERROR OF TRANSUBSTANTIATION (1215 AD).   Definition: The whole substance of the bread and wine is converted into the actual and real entire body and blood of Christ.   Answer: Radbertus first invented this doctrine in the 9th century. Catholics support this by a literal view of Matthew 26:26-29. "Take eat; this is my body. For this is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins."   Consider these reasons why the bread and wine were symbols of Christ’s body and blood, to be partaken in for remembrance purposes only, and that there was no material conversion of the bread to the body, nor of the wine to the blood of Christ.   1. Jesus, after saying "this is my blood" in Matthew 26:28 also said "I will not drink henceforth of this FRUIT OF THIS VINE" in Matthew 26:29, showing that the grapejuice was STILL WINE and had not been changed to blood.   2. Jesus often referred to Himself in symbols. So why see Him as literal in a symbolic context?   John 10:7 "I am the door." Did Jesus mean he was literally wooden? No.   John 14:6 "I am the way." Did Jesus mean he was literally a road? No.   John 15:5 "I am the vine." Did Jesus mean he was literally a tree? No.   John 8:12 "I am the light." Did Jesus mean he was literally a torch or a sun? No.   John 6:48 "I am the bread of life." Did Jesus mean he was literally a loaf of dough? No.   John 6:63 states clearly that Jesus was speaking spiritually, not literally: "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life."   Luke 22:19 states clearly that the Lord's supper is for remembrance purposes: "This do in remembrance of me." This is a metaphor, where one thing is said to be another thing because of it’s similarity. A metaphor is a figurative use of terms without indicating their figurative nature, for example, “he shall eat his words”.   3. The bread and wine did not become Christ's body and blood because:   a) Christ was still present with them. Christ would have had 2 bodies, one which died on the cross and one which did not.   b) To drink blood was forbidden in Acts 15:20,29 "We write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from BLOOD."   In Deuteronomy 12:16 "Only ye shall not eat the blood."   4. The tense of the Greek verbs "EAT" in John 6:50,51,52,53,54,56,57,58 is in the AORIST tense showing a ONCE-FOR-ALL, point action, that is NOT CONTINUAL.   The Biblical Lord's supper is to be a repeated event, and therefore has no saving merit. Roman Catholics are commanded to believe in transubstantiation because it was stated at the Council of Trent (11 October 1551) that this doctrine was essential for salvation. They pronounced curses on anyone who would deny it.   Paul the Apostle, in contrast, pronounced a double curse on anyone who preached a gospel different from the all sufficiency of Christ's death, burial and resurrection to save us from our sins. Galatians 1:6-9 puts a double curse on this "other gospel" of transubstantiation for salvation.   5. Before Christ ascended to heaven, He promised to come to us during the Church Age, NOT in the sacrifice of the MASS, but by the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18 as Comforter): "He shall give you another Comforter ... even the Spirit of truth ... I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU.” Note: Christ will return to earth a second time visibly in glory. This is what is meant by 1 Corinthians 11:26 "For as oftenas ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death TILL HE COME."   Note: This means that Christ does not come literally and visibly as the wafer in the mass, but to the air as in 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17.   6. At the Council of Constance in 1415 it was agreed to withold the cup from the congregation lest the wine be spilt. However this contradicts 1 Corinthians 11:25-29 where ALL Corinthian believers drank of the wine: "Whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup unworthily." v.27. Drinking the cup is mentioned six times in five verses. Transubstantiation is not a mystery, but an absurdity; not a difficulty but a contradiction.   Question: How then do we eat his flesh and drink his blood?   Answer: Through the WORD OF GOD.   John 6:63 "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."   John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh."   John 5:24 "He that heareth my Word and believeth on him that sent me, has everlasting life."   The scribes who knew Jeremiah 31:31-34, "I will put my law in their inward parts", and Jeremiah 15:16, "Thy words were found and I DID EAT THEM; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart", understood the idea of receiving God's Word into one’s inner being.   Peter got the message, while others planned to desert Jesus:   "Thou hast the WORDS of eternal life." John 6:68.   "Being born again ... by the WORD of God." 1 Peter 1:23-25.   Peter knew that Jesus was speaking about the WORD of God, and not about literal flesh and blood.   Question: If this doctrine of transubstantiation only arose in the 9th century, and if it is so necessary to Roman Catholic salvation, what happened to those who lived before the 9th century not believing this doctrine? Did they all go to hell?   Question: What about the thief on the cross who repented and never took the wafer? Did he go to hell?    No! Jesus said he went to paradise.
    • By KiwiChristian
      Many catholics are arrogant enough to say that THEY "gave" us the Bible.
      The catholic organisation mearly defined what IT would use as the Bible, NOT what the Bible was.
       
      Long before the council of hippo "gave us the bible", Origen, born A.D. 185 and died A.D. 254, named ALL the books of the Bible in his writings and  Eusebius, 270 A.D., lists ALL of the books of the NT.
       
      The Old Testament books were gathered into one volume and were translated from Hebrew into Greek long before Christ came to earth.
       
      It cannot be proven that the Catholic Church is solely responsible for the gathering and selection of the New Testament books. In fact, it can be shown that the New Testament books were gathered into one volume and were in circulation long before the Catholic Church claims to have taken its action in 390 at the council of Hippo.
      God did not give councils the authority to select His sacred books, nor does He expect men to receive His sacred books only because of councils or on the basis of councils. It takes no vote or sanction of a council to make the books of the Bible authoritative. Men were able to rightly discern which books were inspired before the existence of ecclesiastical councils and men can do so today. A council of men in 390 with no divine authority whatever, supposedly took upon itself the right to state which books were inspired, and Catholics argue, "We can accept the Bible only on the authority of the Catholic Church." Can we follow such reasoning?
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