Posts Tagged ‘spiritual warfare’

From Valley of Vision……..

Holy Lord,

I have sinned times without number,

and been guilty of pride and unbelief,

of failure to find thy mind in thy Word,

of neglect to seek thee in my daily life.

My transgressions and short-comings

present me with a list of accusations,

But I bless thee that they will not stand against me,

for all have been laid on Christ;

Go on to subdue my corruptions,

and grant me grace to live above them.

Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings

of the mind bring my spirit into subjection,

but do thou rule over me in liberty and power.

I thank thee that many of my prayers

have been refused –

I have asked amiss and do not have,

I have prayed from lusts and been rejected,

I have longed for Egypt and been given a

wilderness.

Go on with thy patient work,

answering ‘no’ to my wrongful prayers,

and fitting me to accept it.

Purge me from every false desire,

every base aspiration,

everything contrary to thy rule.

I thank thee for thy wisdom and thy love,

for all the acts of discipline to which I am subject,

for sometimes putting me into the furnace

to refine my gold and remove my dross.

No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin.

If thou shouldst give me choice to live

in pleasure and keep my sins,

or to have them burnt away with trial,

give me sanctified affliction.

Deliver me from every evil habit,

every accretion of former sins,

everything that dims the brightness

of thy grace in me,

everything that prevents me taking delight

in thee.

Then I shall bless thee, God of Jeshurun,

for helping me to be upright.

This has been a source of confusion for me. Anytime I bring it up I get different responses so I’m beginning to doubt there is an answer that will satisfy me. Of all the different arguments I’ve heard, I tend to agree with Dr.McMahon’s explaination the most. I thought I’d post it here and maybe start a discussion on the topic of “legalism vs holiness”.  If nothing else I would just like to hear where you stand on the subject, and if it’s a struggle for you as well…………enjoy.

There is a dilemma in the Christian church today which, by no means, will be cleared up easily. It is characterized by people who state things like, “We are a New Testament church,” or “We do not need the Law anymore because we are under grace.” Or, “People who keep the Law are Legalists.” If you have said things like these in the past, this tract is for you. We are going to look at the difference between what it means to be legalistic, and what it means to be obedient. There is a wide gulf between the two. But it seems many people have fallen short of what both of these mean.

There is an argument in the 21sth century church that goes like this: Jesus came to fulfill the Law, thus, we do not need to keep the Law. The idea continues as such: And we do not need to keep the Law because we are under the grace of Christ; we cannot earn salvation for ourselves in any way, so the Old Testament is invalid for rules of life and practice. As a matter of fact, there are many people who would throw out the Sermon on the Mount because Jesus expounds on the Law in that instance. They would place everything which alluded to or stated the Law in any way, out with the garbage. They do not give a satisfactory answer why God, in His providence, allowed the Old Testament to be included in our Bible since it deals with the Law. They are adamant that they do not need it, but cannot give a good answer to “why”. These people feel that observance to the Law, in any way, is an act of Legalism. And they do not want to become the church of Galatia again. So they have flown to grace, and thrown away the Law.

To define Legalism in a Biblical way would be to say “any person who takes the Law and uses it in a way which would merit salvation“. Legalism is an attempt at salvation. Yet, we often hear the term used like this, “Oh, those people are Legalists.” The Puritans were often stereotyped in this way. They were so forceful in bringing forth the meaning of the Law, that they were deemed legalists, and then subtitled puritanical. But if we really understand the definition above, then we find that people who follow the Law of God in a way which does not see it adding to the meritorious work of Jesus Christ and His cross are not Legalists. Legalists, by definition, would be saying that the Law helps us to gain salvation. This was the problem with the Judiaizers. They thought that by keeping the Law, plus believing in the work of Christ, made a person saved. In Galatians 5:3, Paul says, “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by Law; you have fallen from grace.” There were some who thought that being circumcised helped in salvation. But Paul says that the moment you add anything to the work of Christ, then you have fallen from grace. Christ’s work alone justifies the ungodly (Gal. 2:16; 3:11-13, 24; 6:13-14). (Sola Christus-Christ alone.) Read the Rest Here.

Rom 7:1Or do you not know, brothers–for I am speaking to those who know the law–that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? Rom 7:2For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Rom 7:3Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress. Rom 7:4Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. Rom 7:5For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. Rom 7:6But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. Rom 7:7What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” Rom 7:8But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. Rom 7:9I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. Rom 7:10The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. Rom 7:11For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. Rom 7:12So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Rom 7:13Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. Rom 7:14For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. Rom 7:15For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Rom 7:16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. Rom 7:17So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. Rom 7:18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. Rom 7:19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Rom 7:20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. Rom 7:21So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. Rom 7:22For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, Rom 7:23but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Rom 7:24Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Rom 7:25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Don’t think the way you live you life matters? Think again!~ I am ashamed at how many times I have failed in this area………….

 Thank God for Pastor’s like John Piper!!!!!

 Just to shed a little more light on the situation and to maybe get some advice from you guy’s, I want to expand on what’s going on. The person I’m referring to is not a “friend” per say, but he is a brother in Christ. He is very respected in the Christian hip-hop community and a pastor of a church he helped plant. I have had the oppurtunity to sit and talk with him about the things of God in my living room. I have no doubt, even after his transgression (of which I do not know the whole story), that he is in fact a part of the fellowship of believers. Having said that I wanted to share some thoughts I had yesterday at work. I kept wondering to myself if a good tree could in fact produce bad fruit? I thought about the hundreds, if not thousands of youth that could be impacted, in a negative way, by this revelation because of his influence. I wondered why this situation has grieved my spirit. Is it wrong, that if this had been someone, say like Joel Osteen, my reaction would be different?

 I am praying for him and his family, and I hope that after much time and reconciliation that he can be restored into the full fellowship of his family and church. And I hope that somehow, someway God would be glorified in it all.

Please feel free to comment. I may need to be rebuked for something I said, if so let me know.