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The Goodness of God

Discussion in 'Bible Chat' started by Sue J Love, Aug 9, 2017.

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  1. Wednesday, August 9, 2017, 5:13 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “My Jesus, I Love Thee.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 27 (Select vv. NASB).

    My Salvation (vv. 1-3)

    The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    Whom shall I fear?
    The Lord is the defense of my life;
    Whom shall I dread?
    When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
    My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
    Though a host encamp against me,
    My heart will not fear;
    Though war arise against me,
    In spite of this I shall be confident.​

    We are all born into this world with sin natures. We all fall short of attaining God’s divine approval, by human effort. So, God the Father sent his Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ (God the Son) into the world to die on a cross for our sins. He who knew no sin became sin for us on that cross so that we might become the righteousness of God (1 Co. 5:21). So, when he died, our sins died with him, and were buried with him. But, when he was resurrected from the dead, he rose victorious over sin, hell, Satan and death, on our behalf. He died that we might die with him to sin. And, he lives that we might live with him to his righteousness. Jesus Christ “gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Tit. 2:14; & 1 Pet. 2:24).

    When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, thus, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ro. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24). The old has gone. The new has come. This is what it means to be “born again” of the Spirit of God. Our lives are changed, transformed of God’s Spirit away from living to sin and self and to living to Christ and his righteousness. Now we no longer walk (conduct our lives) according to our sinful flesh, but we now walk (in lifestyle) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God, not necessarily in sinless perfection (See: 1 Jn. 2:1-2), but in a consistent and persistent walk of faith, daily, by the Spirit, putting to death the deeds of the flesh (Ro. 8:1-14; Lu. 9:23-25).

    When we believe in Jesus Christ, we are given the hope of eternal life with God in heaven. The Holy Spirit of God comes to dwell within us, and he lives within us to empower, strengthen, guide, teach, counsel, convict, rebuke and encourage us in our walks of faith with our Lord Jesus. Through our times of fellowship with our Lord each day in his Word, listening to him speak his truths to our hearts, and through prayer, talking with him and listening to him, we grow in our faith and knowledge of our Lord, and we are strengthened in our faith, and mature in our spiritual walks. We learn to know his sovereignty over our lives, and that we never have any reason to fear the enemy of our souls (Satan) or any of his servants and messengers, for our God and Lord will give us all we need to remain faithful to him.

    He Will Not Leave (vv. 7-10)

    Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice,
    And be gracious to me and answer me.
    When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
    “Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.”
    Do not hide Your face from me,
    Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
    You have been my help;
    Do not abandon me nor forsake me,
    O God of my salvation!
    For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
    But the Lord will take me up.​

    Coming to faith in Jesus Christ does not mean we won’t face difficulties in this life, or that we won’t know trouble, hardships, pain, suffering or heartaches. In fact, Jesus said that if we follow him, we will suffer like he suffered, and we will be treated like he was treated. But then he, although he was perfect, learned obedience through the things that he suffered. And, we, as well, learn obedience, including patience, perseverance, love, faithfulness, trust, and humility, etc. through our sufferings and hardships.

    Our Lord will never abandon or forsake us, though. He will remain faithful even if we are faithless. He will always be there to comfort, encourage, give hope and healing, and to counsel us in the way that we should go. He will give us everything we need to live godly and holy lives for him in this present world and to not give way to fear. We just need to keep seeking his face and his counsel, and we must trust him with our lives, and rely upon his strength and power, and then rest in him, and believe that he will work out all things for good for those who love him, who obey him, and who have been called according to his purpose (Ro. 8:28).

    Teach Me Your Way (vv. 11-14)

    Teach me Your way, O Lord,
    And lead me in a level path
    Because of my foes.
    Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
    For false witnesses have risen against me,
    And such as breathe out violence.
    I would have despaired unless
    I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
    In the land of the living.
    Wait for the Lord;
    Be strong and let your heart take courage;
    Yes, wait for the Lord.​

    The goal of our salvation is not merely that we should escape hell (eternal damnation) and have the hope of heaven when we leave this earth. God’s grace to us is also not a free license to continue in sin without guilt and without remorse. His grace, which brings salvation, instructs (commands) us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions (lusts), and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14). Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). If we claim to have fellowship with God, but we walk (in lifestyle) in darkness (sin), we lie and we do not live by the truth (1 Jn. 1:5-9). And, if we continue to make sin our practice, we don’t have the hope of eternal life with God (See: Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-6; Ro. 8:1-14; Lu. 9:23-25).

    The goal of our salvation is that we forsake our sinful lifestyles, and that we walk righteously before God to please him in all that we do, and think, and are, and say. Jesus becomes our husband, and we, as his church, become his bride. So, we forsake our former “lovers,” and we commit ourselves to him to faithfulness, obedience, and to making him our only Lord and Master. We do this because we love him, and because we are now in relationship with him, and our desire is now for him. So, we want him to teach us his ways, because we want to walk in them, and no longer live to please our sinful flesh. This is not to say we will never sin again, but that our desire should now be for him, to walk in his ways, and that we will now walk (in lifestyle) according to his Spirit, and no longer according to our flesh.

    When we make that decision to follow our Lord in obedience, though, we will face opposition from our enemy and from his followers (his servants and messengers), and from those whom he has deceived with his many lies. And, there will be those who will bear false witness against us, who will slander us, and because they hate us and our testimonies for Jesus Christ, and our relationship with our Lord. They are those who are still bound in their sins or are those whom the enemy is deceiving that they can still be addicted to sin and that God’s grace covers it all. And, so they will find the true gospel and its messengers an offense to the lifestyles they choose.

    Yet, we are not to fear them or their slanderous tongues, or their mistreatment of our bodies, for our Lord is completely sovereign over all that he has made, and he will see us through it all to victory. He will carry us through it all, and he will give us everything we need to endure and to come out shining like gold. And, one day we will get to be with our Lord forever, and all sorrow, pain and crying will cease. Amen! So, we just need to wait on our Lord, believe what he says, trust in his promises, take courage, keep on loving others, and keep on loving and serving our Lord with our lives.

    My Jesus, I Love Thee
    William R. Featherstone / Adoniram J. Gordon

    My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;
    For thee all the follies of sin I resign.
    My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou;
    If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.

    I love thee because thou hast first loved me,
    And purchased my pardon on Calvary's tree;
    I love thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow;
    If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.

    I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
    And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
    And say, when the death-dew lies cold on my brow,
    If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.

    In mansions of glory and endless delight;
    I'll ever adore thee in heaven so bright;
    I'll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
    If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.
     
    Christ4Ever likes this.
  2. Sue just want to add the improtance of baptism. This is how we become christians. We must be born again by spirit and water. Nobody can just say they are christians without this step, that Jesus commands us to obey. We are buried with Christ and raised to life, baptism is when we are buried, immersed in water and then raised to life when we come out of it. We are commanded to baptise believers.

    If the holy spirit is not dwelling within you, you are none of His. Ask to receive his holy spirit.
    I think many people are taught that they just have to wait round on earth till Jesus comes back? But Jesus says he will send us the comforter. And that he will never leave nor forsake us.

    If Jesus is not in your life right now, if you dont know Him, if you still struggling with the flesh and not walking by the spirit..you need to ask, believe and receive. Dont refuse His baptism. Many people might believe, but they just havent received!! You can tell because they arent walking anywhere and arent experiencing a new life.
     
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  3. Being born of water and the Spirit is not about physical baptism with water. The context of the passage of scripture is clearly that of physical birth and spiritual birth. We are born of water via physical birth from the wombs of our mothers and we are born spiritually of the Spirit of God. Jesus was explaining to Nicodemus that he had to be born physically and spiritually, and that they were two separate births. To apply "water" in this context to physical baptism is just not there in the context, nor is it implied.

    Also, water baptism is not required as a prerequisite to salvation from sin or to being filled with the Holy Spirit:

    Acts 10:44-48: "While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45 All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 47 “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days."

    Acts 9:15-18: But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; 16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized."
     
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  4. There is also the controversial Mark 16:16; and 1 Pet 3:21; concerning baptism.
    Also see Rom 6:4; and Col 2:12;
     
  5. The great commission (really the "only" commission) we are given says...

    Matt 28:18; And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
    Matt 28:19; "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
    Matt 28:20; teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

    Why we would we tell people about Jesus, and tell them to do the things He said, but not baptize them? Are we really doing the great commission
    if we don't?

    Acts 2:38; Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Gal 3:27; For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
     
  6. [for me anyway] the goodness of God is not a scholastically achieving endeavor, rather it is in the simplicity in Christ, that "the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance" (Romans 2:4) and that is the grace of God given to mankind.
     
    Sue J Love likes this.
  7. Jesus was water baptised and so were all the believers in the new testament after pentecost. He specifically commanded his disciples to baptise believers so to say baptism is not a requiired at all is going against what Jesus instructed.

    This may be why you have people who say they are christians but have never actually experienced baptism. That is wrong sorry. No wonder you have many people 'accept christ' or believe...but if you havent received the holy spirit in baptism (remember the holy spirit came on Jesus like a dove when he was baptised in the river Jordan?) then you havent really been buried with Christ and raised to life.

    This is why Jesus tells us to do this, and Paul explains why in his letters...and every believer from then on knows the significance of baptism.
     
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  8. First of all, no one said that baptism with water is not commanded by God or that he did not instruct us to be baptized with water. The concern some of you are expressing here is the question as to whether or not baptism with water is required by God as a prerequisite to salvation and to receiving the Holy Spirit. I have already shown biblically that there were those who received the Holy Spirit prior to water baptism, so obviously water baptism cannot be a prerequisite to faith in Jesus Christ and to the infilling of the Holy Spirit, but if does follow faith (much like with Abraham and circumcision). Abraham was justified by his faith even before he was circumcised. And, so it is with water baptism.

    It is not the circumcision of physical flesh or the washing of the body with water that cleanses us from our sins and that purifies our hearts and makes us righteous before God, but it is the act of a good conscience toward God, i.e. it is circumcision of the heart, and is the working of the Holy Spirit of God in regeneration in transforming us from death to life. Baptism, meaning immersion, meaning to engross, engage, occupy, or throw yourself into, and symbolizing dying with Christ to sin and being raised with Christ to newness of life, is not what saves us. It is our heart response to faith in Jesus Christ in dying with him to sin and living with him to righteousness that assures us of our salvation and eternal life with God. Nowhere does it say that if we are not baptized with water that we will not have eternal life with God. But, it does say that about those who practice sinning against God via the works of the flesh (See: Gal. 5:19-25).

    Concerning Jesus' baptism, Jesus was perfectly sinless. He had no need to be baptized with a baptism unto repentance, as John pointed out. So, why was he baptized? He said it was to fulfill all righteousness. John said it was a sign to him, when the dove landed on him, that he was the promised Messiah, the Son of God, the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. And, what is righteousness? It is what is deemed right in God's eyes, i.e. it is what meets with his divine approval, i.e. it is his divine approval. And, what took place when Jesus was baptized, and he came out of the water, and the Holy Spirit rested upon him in the form of a dove? It gave witness to the fact that he was the ONE prophesied about in scripture. He was the promised one, the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God, and the Savior of mankind. It revealed that Jesus Christ met with God's divine approval. So, righteousness was fulfilled in that testimony. Jesus was the righteousness of God in the flesh. And, I believe that his baptism with water was a prefiguring of what was to come, which was his death on a cross for our sins, much as our baptism with water is a symbol of what has already taken place in our hearts in regeneration, and it symbolizes, as a testimony, that we have been united with Christ in his death and resurrection.

    I will write more on this when I have the time, which I don't have right now, but we need to compare scripture with scripture, and remember that Paul even said that God did not send him to baptize but to preach the gospel, symbolizing that there is a difference between the two. Also, remember that Jesus used the term "baptism" in reference to his literal death on a cross for our sins and his suffering for us, and in reference to our death to sin and our sharing in the fellowship of his sufferings and our newness of life. Also, Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit, not with water. And, in Bible times, physical baptism was so closely associated (in timing, especially) with the baptism of the Spirit by the Spirit in the life of the believer, that they were often spoken of simultaneously as one, but it becomes clear in context, and by comparing scripture with scripture, that baptism with water is not what saves us, and it is not a prerequisite to being filled with the Spirit of God, but it is a testimony and a symbol (sign) just as was Jesus' baptism, for no salvation took place in his heart when he was baptized, for he was and is God.
     
  9. God does require sacrifices as David explained them here:

    "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." Psalm 51:17

    David wrote that at time when the law God gave to Moses was in effect to all of God's people [the children of Israel] yet, what he was saying, I believe, is that the letter of the law is nothing, if our hearts are not right toward God. So it is with water baptism.

    "And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him." Matt 3:15

    With that admonition what believer would purposely avoid baptism in water, yet where do the water of baptism for so-called "good" thief who was crucified next to Jesus? [Luke 23:42ff]

    God has provided guidelines for is as He did for natural Israelites following Moses, but more important than the black and white rule is the heart of the matter:

    Peter clarified the problem with regard to following a clearly described set of rules:

    " Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" Acts 15:10

    He was speaking of men be unable to abide by the clear black and white rules of the law given by God to Moses. God really always wanted more than rote obedience of the flesh without a real change in the heart. Was Peter wrong? How many adults who were saved from the slavery of Egypt entered the Promised Land? Of the 600,000 without counting women and children, only two made it in... The letter of a law was not what God was looking for.

    "Who [God] also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." II Cor 3:6

    The Spirit that "giveth life" is the Holy Spirit which quickens the Word of God in us as we consume it.

    An atheist, who is truly an atheist, may read the Bible and remain dead on his feet. The obedient son of a father and mother may allow himself to be immersed in the water because his parents desire it, but if the son is not also acknowledging God as the water covers him, what good has it done him?

    So then, at the least in obedience to Jesus let us be baptized in water, but let us not presume to dictate to the heart of another and let us not presume to be God's only voice for another. What God has spoken to our heart, if need be, He will also speak to another. If not, don't offer our condemnation because they do not see what we have seen or hear what we have heard.

    "Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me." John 21:22
     
  10. Why do people always think the good thief was never baptised? John the baptist actually baptised many many people and just because one is condemned to die and be crucified, like Jesus doesnt mean he wasnt baptised!

    In the bible, we dont read of mary or martha being baptised yet nobody presumes they werent as well.

    Judas was NOT baptised. Jesus said to his discipes that they were clean, but not all of you...

    People really need to think about this and know what the significance of baptism is, to be crucified with Christ, to die to self, to be raised to new life.

    It is not just something you do because of your parents. It has never been. If you are confused about this, ask God. How can you start a new life without being baptised, and without the holy spirit, I do not know. Even Jesus did not start his ministry before he was baptised. When Jesus was baptised, everyone heard God say from Heaven 'this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased'. For us believers, baptism marks this adoption into Gods family.

    Everyone was surprised that Jesus, who was sinless, would need to be baptised. But he did this, to obey His Father. We can never presume that this was not important to God. Otherwise you can just be a christian by putting up your hand. Well no it doesnt work like that. You must be born again. Each and every believer needs to be assured they are in the faith, how can you ever be sure if you dont have the holy spirit dwelling in you? Hes not a temporary resident that you can kick out when you are tired of Him.
     
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  11. Of course you are right with regard to the baptism of John, but should we or must stop even there?

    "He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

    And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.

    Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

    When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." Acts 19:2-5

    Was it only a water baptism that Judas lacked?

    "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." John 15:3

    Jesus could and did clean people by his Word, but can even the Word of God clean a vessel that refuses to open itself up to him?
    Similarly if a person is cleaned by water baptism, will he be cleaned if his heart is open to the Lord?

    Certainly baptism in water is important to God but so are many other things. We should not be quick to make a judgment against a person because he/she doesn't meet what we see as requirements. That is, as always, between them and God.

    As you say following the lead of the Holy Spirit is where we may get our assurance but that assurance is for me rather for others whose hearts I do not know. If they are lost that is between them and God. Remember the example of Hosea who married a fallen woman because God told him to do so. How can we know what God has spoken to another person?
     
  12. If they are lost it is actually for you to know and not ignore it because God may be telling YOU to share the gospel with them, or to encourage them. That is why we act as brothers and sisters, not just fob them off and say well thats between you and God. Well God may be having YOU there to shine His light.

    We dont ignore lost sheep!

    If someone is lost or looking lost do you not give them any direction on how to get home? Do you just say to them um I dont know thats between you and God, or you should already know why dont you google it yourself? No, we dont treat those who are lost and ask for help that way!

    At the very least we pray for them!
     
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  13. I think its terrible, there are many lost children out there and adults just ignore them and expect them to make their own way home. One of my friends actually called the police because nobody there would help her. They were too late.

    Many people are in a state of spiritual emergency and the church just stands by and does nothing. That is why so many young people are literally killing themselves.
     
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  14. @Lanolin

    You are too quick to jump to conclusions and put words in other people's mouths. I never said ignore them. I never said expect them to make their own way. I said, don't judge them because we believe they have not done something right or because we believe they have done something wrong.

    Each person makes the decisions that will result in where they are and where they will be with God. We can help, but we cannot make those decisions for them. Even if we are correct in every doctrine that we believe [and who but Jesus has been right in everything?], we cannot make another person accept and acknowledge those doctrines as their own. Even God cannot do that. Yes, God is limited. He limited Himself when He gave each of us the authority to follow Him or not.

    A person can change to a better Way, to God's Way, and God will help, but the person, himself, must allow it. This is what some would call free will: Only two choices, 1) God's way 2) some other way.

    If the church [one assembly or even an organization is doing things wrong or is doing nothing, that does not , or should not, bind you and me. We have even less power to change the church when it is wrong than God does. All we can do is what we, as individuals can do. Others may or may not work with us. That is their choice.
     
  15. Well I never said we judge them, just dont ignore them. So dont put words in my mouth ether please.
     
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  16. If a brother or sister is doing wrong, we can admonish them, that isnt judging, And it isnt making decisions for them, some people do not even know they can make a decision because they are not given any options. They dont know, they are in darkness.

    So shine your light dont hide it under a bushel. You cant force people to come to the light but dont leave it off and just watch people fall.
     
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  17. Actually faith isnt just down to individuals as all we can do to encourage someone, That is why we have brothers and sisters. We are all part of Christs body yes? So we work together?

    Two are better than one..Jesus even said if someone wont listen bring another witness and go out ministering in twos.
     
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  18. Amen! To describe for you what you are saying was certainly not my intent. To the extent that I have been in error, please forgive me.
     
  19. So then, we must take them one person at the time as we are led by the Holy Spirit to do so. If we are quenching the Spirit, then of course, we are wrong before we open our mouth.

    The ones who are given no options by their ministers, still have the option to listen to God and to obey Him rather than any man [including such mis-directing ministers]. Sometimes, of course, God speaks through men, which could include you or me or another. Jesus never mis-stepped, but then He always knew God's will for the situation better than others. When we are so led by God, so do we know the situation well, but our trouble may as mine. Sometimes, it is me that is quenching the Holy Spirit. May God help me to do better. When I am quenching the Holy Spirit, then it is me that is walking in darkness.
     
  20. Its ok amaedus maybe we were talking bout different things but hope you got where I was coming from.

    Yes be led by the spirit and remember Jesus came to save not to condemn.
     
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