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The true gospel does not give the Christian the liberty to sin

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  • The true gospel does not give the Christian the liberty to sin

    Proof that the true gospel is against all sin, stands this one fact. Jesus hated sin so much that He had to die to pay for our guilt of it.


    by A.W. Tozer

    To many observing persons today it appears that conversion does

    not do for people as much as it once did. Too often the experience

    passes, leaving the seeker unsatisfied and deeply disappointed.

    Some who are thus affected, and who are too sincere to play with

    religion, walk out on the whole thing and turn back frankly to the

    old life. Others try to make what they can out of a bad bargain

    and gradually adjust themselves to a modified and imperfect form

    of Christianity spiced up with synthetic fun and enlivened by

    frequent shots of stimulants in the form of "gimmicks," to give it

    relish and sparkle.

    The knowledge that revival campaigns can come and go without

    raising the moral level of the cities and towns where they are held

    should surely give us serious pause. Something is wrong some-

    where. Could it be that the cause back of this undeniable failure

    of the gospel to effect moral change is a further-back failure of the

    messenger to grasp the real meaning of his message? Could it

    be that, in his eagerness to gain one more convert, he makes the

    Way of Life too easy? It would seem so. In other times it was not

    an uncommon thing to witness the wholesale closing of saloons

    and brothels as a direct result of the preaching of the message of

    Christ in revival campaigns. Surely there must have been a

    difference of emphasis between the message they preached in

    those days and the ineffective message we preach today.

    To allow the gospel only its etymological meaning of good news

    is to restrict it so radically as actually to make it something it is

    not. That "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures" is

    good news indeed. That He, having by Himself purged our sins,

    sat down on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens from

    which exalted position He mediates grace to all believers, is

    wonderful, heartening news for the sin burdened race. But to limit

    the Christian message to this one truth alone is to rob it of much

    of its meaning and create a bad misunderstanding among those

    who hear the resultant preaching.

    The fact is that the New Testament message embraces a great

    deal more than an offer of free pardon. It is a message of pardon,

    and for that may God be praised; but it is also a message of

    repentance. It is a message of atonement, but it is also a message

    of temperance and righteousness and godliness in this present

    world. It tells us that we must accept a Savior, but it tells us also

    that we must deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. The gospel

    message includes the idea of amendment, of separation from the

    world, of cross-carrying and loyalty to the kingdom of God even

    unto death.

    To be strictly technical, these latter truths are corollaries of the

    gospel, and not the gospel itself; but they are part and parcel of

    the total message which we are commissioned to declare. No

    man has authority to divide the truth and preach only a part of it.

    To do so is to weaken it and render it without effect.

    This is more than a mere splitting of definitions. It has real

    consequences among Christian workers and, what is more

    serious, it has consequences among the trusting seekers who

    come to these workers for counsel. To offer a sinner the gift of

    salvation based upon the work of Christ, while at the same time

    allowing him to retain the idea that the gift carries with it no

    moral implications, is to do him untold injury where it hurts him worst.

    Many evangelical teachers insist so strongly upon free,

    unconditional grace as to create the impression that sin is not

    a serious matter and that God cares very little about it. He is

    concerned only with our escaping the consequences. The gospel

    then in practical application means little more than a way to

    escape the fruits of our past.

    The heart that has felt the weight of its own sin and along with this

    has seen the dread whiteness of the Most High God will never

    believe that a message of forgiveness without transformation is

    a message of good news. To remit a man´s past without

    transforming his present is to violate the moral sincerity of his

    own heart. To that kind of thing God will be no party.

    We must have courage to preach the whole message. By so

    doing we shall undoubtedly lose a few friends and make a number

    of enemies. But the true Christian will not grieve too much about

    that. He has enough to do to please his Lord and Savior and to

    be true to the souls of all men. That may well occupy him too

    completely to leave much time for regrets over the displeasure

    of misguided men.

  • #2
    I thought this message from A W Tozer, who died in 1963, is even more appropriate for the church in this nation today than is was in his day.

    What are you thoughts ?


    • #3
      All preaching is inadequate for salvation.
      Memorizing the entire New Testament is inadequate for salvation.
      On the other hand,
      The simplest of sermons containing the bare skeleton of God’s plan of redemption is adequate for salvation.
      The few Bible verses contained in a salvation tract may be adequate for salvation.

      Each of these statement are factual because the way salvation happens is not just because of knowledge but because of the hearer's response to the knowledge, and this response is between the hearer and God.

      The same things might be said of our sanctification or how much like Christ do we appear? I suppose every follower of the Lord Jesus has at sometime in their pilgrimage felt disappointment with the “spirituality” of other Christians. Such a juvenile response occurs because we think we know our own heart as a heart committed to the Lord while thinking we can know the other person’s heart.

      Life as a Christian has reinforced this lesson over and over. I cannot trust my own heart. A life of repentance and rededication is required to maintain a relationship with God. I have friends from times past who has seen my sin and judge me correctly even when I do not.

      Life as a Christian has reinforced this other lesson over and over. I can never perfectly know another Christian’s heart. What the Holy Spirit is doing in another is sometimes observable but many times is unknown to the rest of us. Observation is not a technique which can determine the difference between the wheat and the tare (weed). It is the Lord who searches the heart.

      Related Digression:
      I am producing an extended Bible study tool for discipleship testing just for the very reasons I suppose Lou has posted the words by A.W. Tozer which is not for judging others but so the Holy Spirit might search the heart of the Christian reading these verses and become committed to be a more dedicated follower of the Lord. Christians might benefit from a comprehensive list of Bible verses which are categorized by a particular word as it applies to our relationship with the Lord - – words such a love, obedience, redeemed, believe, treasure, etc. At first I intended to separate out love as applied to discipleship. However, the categories have grown to thirty-one words.

      If anyone wishes to have such lists concerning discipleship I would post them as completed. Some are relatively short and others are longer than I would expect members to read.
      Last edited by glen smith; November 25, 2017, 09:38 AM.


      • #4
        I'm not very familiar with the church of today. Being brought up going to the synagogue makes for a strange discomfort with the idea of the church as my bridge to God since I was not even comfortable with the synagogue. So I bypassed "the church" altogether and went directly to the Lord. He has never failed to meet me at my worst and always points me towards my best.
        I would like to see the list you mentioned Glen.
        I need constant rededication and repentance all day long and the Lord guides me to and through it.
        We are all in trouble and need reminding that He is the only way out.
        Last edited by Steve Hollander; November 25, 2017, 01:21 PM.


        • #5
          May I suggest the post under “Word Studies”
          Topic: CHURCH – What is the Church?
          I completely understand the issue with feeling uncomfortable in local congregations.
          Steve wrote, “He has never failed to meet me at my worst and always points me towards my best.” This is known as grace and not victory.
          Breaking into the fellowship of a congregation requires effort and consistence – as in attendance.
          Starting in a Sunday School class is advised.

          A different entry into a congregation:
          Sometimes and in some places there is a charismatic preacher and excellent teacher. In such circumstances the spiritual food feeds the soul and changes the fellowship. Believers cannot wait to get to church.

          The best entry into a congregation:
          The Lord shows up on Sunday morning. Those of us who have been in such congregations are never the same and can never again be satisfied in the best of ordinary congregations. When the Lord shows up believers are driving two hours to get there. You can hear of such congregations at the beauty shop, barber, or any place people talk. It is all they can talk about. It even makes the news. In the early 20th century between 1900 and 1910 there was such an out pouring of the Holy Spirit in New York City that 10,000 people each week were accepting Christ.

          Let me say that worshipping with a congregation is essential. We are saved as members of the body of Christ and not as hermits. Salvation requires service, growth, and ministry as the body of Christ. I am always so pleased with the medial professionals or construction professional that go on mission trips. When they return, they are never the same. Those who were marginally faithful return sanctified. Their profane attitudes have become rejected as vulgar and ungodly. The Lord is real as never before.

          Going it alone is not just difficult but hazardous. We are saved as the children of God. Contrary to popular preaching we are only important in Christ. Think about Israel. Only through Israel are the promises fulfilled. Promises made to those like King David are made to forward the promises made to Israel. We are the people of God and not the person of God. Trust a congregation and see what happens. Is the Lord trustworthy?
          Someone in the congregation you choose to attend is waiting for you. It is a promise!
          Regardless, although he desired not to go, Jonah had to go to the detestable Nineveh.
          Show up as yourself in a congregation and see what happens.


          • #6
            Glen wrote:
            "Show up as yourself in a congregation and see what happens."
            Both my wife and myself have been searching for fellowship around here for years. We attended some congregations but either they were dead or after a short time they disbanded or just shut down. We would love to have a messianic congregation and Jews for Jesus started one but they gave up after 2 years and left.
            Tell me when and where, and we'll be there.
            Most of the churches are divided, and political.
            The church I got saved at split up almost immediately after we started going. We didn't want to choose a side. We stuck with the pastor and found out that he was about control of the church not service and very money motivated. I had to give him my last 30 bucks for him to marry us. The rabbi refused to so we had no choice as we were living together in sin.
            I'm disillusioned with the whole thing. 38 years a believer and I have a lot of trust issues with leaders. But I'm open to anything if it's God's will. Blessings..... Steve


            • #7
              Ministers are not always right or spiritually mature. The fact is that most ministers I have known are “messed up.” Their job requires them to be competent in ministry, Bible teaching, preaching, and business administration. Few are up to the requirements but the very successful ones are more by charisma than by competence. Choosing a congregation ought to be about the people rather than the minister. More on this subject in my next post.

              It pains me to hear of the incidents with your marriage – very painful. Here is an analogy.

              Suppose a person came to me as a sinner seeking to be saved. My reply to him, “Stop sinning and come back when you are righteous. The Lord will then forgive you your sin and you can be saved.” Are we to be without sin before the death of the Lord Jesus is effective?

              I believe most evangelical minister would not have married you. I am in strong disagreement with this position. Examples in the gospels have the Lord Jesus reaching out to people where they are. Jesus touched the leper (Luke 5:13). In some perverted sense ministers think that it is a stain on their spirituality or righteousness to marry couples who cohabit. Joining a couple in matrimony can remove at least one source of their disobedience. After all, their request is to be married in the sight of God rather than by a justice of the peace. A minister of the gospel should facilitate believers in succeeding in both their relationship to God and to the world. Ministry is primarily accepting as your own the issue of the person to whom you minister. When the issue is your own issue then you can grasp the need and how the grace of the Lord is most effective.

              I have been the officiant in a few dozen matrimonial ceremonies and hundreds of funerals. Before accepting these ministries I always make it clear that I will not accept a gratuity. For me, I would be accepting payment for something that comes from the Lord and does belong to me. However, if a minister perceives his office as a position where his time is his own and not the Lord’s, then let him charge by the word or by the minute and he shall have his reward in cash.

              You have observed most congregations have political agenda. This is because they are not a citizen of the Kingdom of God with its agenda but that of a political party or perspective.

              Faults will be in most churches. More on this next post.


              • #8
                It is most unfortunate that almost all churches are devoid of the Holy Spirit. The leadership doesn't really try to do God's work. They are building a business and bringing in revenue.
                At our marriage ceremony in pastor's office, he asked me for money and I had only 3 rolls of quarters to buy us something to eat. I was shamed into giving him my last 30 bucks. We went to my parents house and ate hotdogs that were in the freezer. We had no honeymoon. But we wanted to please the Lord.


                • #9
                  This past summer I ministered as the officiant in a marriage ceremony where bride and groom are recovering drug users. Economically they have very little and both work seven days a week for a pizza chain. They are not active in a church.

                  Back in the spring they called to ask if I would “perform” their marriage ceremony. I asked them to come by and tell me what they wanted. They both shared their wretched history and their desire to change. They kept apologizing for their use of curse words as if their words were an offensive to my piety. The bride is from a family where all spousal relationships are of the common law variety.

                  Since they were already cohabiting I asked why get married because their families and friends seem to accept the relationship. She said she wanted to break the practice of sin in her family. Both said they wanted to do what is right before God. They wanted a new beginning. I asked them if they meant they wanted to be restored in a relationship to God. They both begin to shed tears. ( Such a simple question to have such an emotional response. This was the clue that someone else was at work in these two.)

                  The groom professed his faith in Christ but he was asked to renew his commitment.
                  The bride had never made profession of faith in Christ but said she believed.
                  After walking them both through a short evangelical lesson
                  they committed to a marriage before God and a life of faith.

                  I told the couple I would not accept money but I desired four things of them.
                  1. For the bride to be baptized when she knows that is what the Lord Jesus wants of her.
                  2. 15 minutes a month, at a time convenient to them, for the three of us to visit and pray at my house. You do know why? “"For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”"
                  3. Every time they had an argument they would phone me for a passage of scripture they must read. They both laughed at this request, but I have had two phone calls - – the last on Thanksgiving Day.
                  4. They must place a note near the mirror in the bathroom which reads, “"Help me Lord Jesus."”

                  This is not a done deal, but neither am I.
                  They are not making all things right. Neither have I.
                  They have a long ways to go. So do I.
                  They will probably have some failures. So have I, and I shall have more.

                  As I posted previously, ministry is primarily accepting as your own the issue of the person to whom you minister. When the issue is your own issue then you can grasp the need and how the grace of the Lord is most effective.

                  Out of concern for my own purity
                  or fear I might break some commandment of the Lord,
                  I might have refused to marry this couple.

                  As a follower of Jesus I would propose the denial to marry the couple be put in other words. –
                  Out of concern for His purity,
                  and desire to be one with the Father,
                  the Lord Jesus might have refused the cross.
                  Philippians 2:1-8

                  It is a ministry of reconciliation, thereby restoring our relationship to God the Father.
                  Last edited by glen smith; November 27, 2017, 11:38 PM.


                  • #10
                    That is a very blessed couple. I think you really helped them.


                    • #11
                      [quote] . I think you really helped them. [quote]
                      Not I! The outcome is above my pay grade.

                      Brothers and sisters,
                      The natural man or the old nature in me is kept somewhat suppressed by the Spirit of God who counsels me.
                      In the wrong environment while allowing evil thoughts I am what I am.
                      My advantage is that the Christ in me has waged war against who I am.
                      Many years and many battles have made me appear as a servant to my Master.
                      But my heart can be rebellious.
                      Through experience, practice and constant counseling by the Holy Spirit I appear better than what I am.

                      My efforts at ministry may be powerful or feeble for I am a foolish tool.
                      The outcome is always what God is doing and not my doing.
                      My doing is always foolish.
                      The success of anything I do in ministry is never my doing but what is happening between God the Father and the person receiving ministry.
                      Fortunately, I do not have to blame myself for a flop since all of mine are flops.

                      This old rebellious soul weeps at the pain in others for I know it well.
                      As slave to my Master I am yet to be more than the conduit of His Grace.
                      Every time someone applauds my ministry the Spirit of Christ reminds me of His cost in this giving of a blessing.
                      This is the old soul I take with me when ministering,
                      and this is the old soul I encounter with every compliment.
                      The praise and glory is the Lord’'s, forever an always.
                      Last edited by glen smith; November 28, 2017, 04:00 PM.


                      • #12
                        Amen Glen. I was merely posting to let you know I had read what you wrote and I think these people were helped by the council they received by God through you. We can do nothing worthwhile on our own. It is all from Him and they are much better off from it.