February 8, 2011

We want you to show this same diligence to the very end

Heb 6:9 "Even though we speak like this, [warn against falling away] dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your casethe things that have to do with salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."

'Convinced of better things', but anyway, salvation seems to be accompanied by works of love. What to do if I think I don't have these enough in my life? Really, not easy. Right now, I don't manage much more than taking care for my little kids, and even this is far from perfect.   I'm not able to add much more deeds to my life, but I can still fight for patience, faith and other good attitudes in everything I do.
2 Pe 1:5-9 "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;  and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;  and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, loveFor if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins."


R.A. said...

"What to do if I think I don't have these enough in my life? Really, not easy. Right now, I don't manage much more than taking care for my little kids, and even this is far from perfect.

R.A. It is edifying to speak about Bible, as we did in the community. But because these Bible-talks were often oriented to disproval of false teachings in respect to the other denominations, then I think God valuates educating children more than that kind of deeds. For sure. I suppose it is more difficult to raise up children than to speculate about spiritual topics in the evenings, as we used to do in the community.

Jose said...

I think the passage in Peter clearly shows how we have been cleansed and yet we might lack works that accompany our faith. The cleansing has already happened by the blood of Christ by faith alone. What I understand Paul also writes about this cleansing as we are "declared righteous". It is something that has happened in the past. We have been declared righteous and we have been cleansed solely by faith without works as Romans 4 clearly states.

We have been cleansed and we are righteous. That is great news for us. :)

L. said...

With deeds I do not mean critisizing others.
Concerning the Bible, it is still the source of getting to know God, not for disproval as the aim, but for searching new clarity and balance in teaching and practical life.
Of cause, it's not enough to do it alone only. So deeds include communication and fellowship with Christians for Christian formation, but also interaction with unbelievers for expressing God's love to them.

The most we educate children by our example in the real life.

R.A. said...

L: "So deeds include communication and fellowship with Christians for Christian formation,..."

R.A. Maybe I see again community's deeds in too black colours. Because I understand community's kind of fellowship now as a loving manipulation, which led all the members to speak and act like robots, like zombies without soul. When we said: "I am glad and joyful!", then we did in the manner, that outsiders were about asking: "Has something happened? Some catastrophe?". Our stony face indicated, that these words were just words, which must convince others, that everything is OK. But it wasn't. Our emotions were repressed in the community, our accidental hollow grinses and cold words convinced maybe ourselves, but not others.

L: "...but also interaction with unbelievers for expressing God's love to them."

R.A. I agree, it is important. But still to raise children is more worthwhile than this kind of "expressiong God's love" as we used to do in the community.

The idea is good, to express God's love to unbelievers. We are called to this actions. But not at the expenses of our own souls. Who would like to join with zombies, who sing in a choir:

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." (Galatians 2:20)

I don't know, to which direction our community goes. Maybe we will soon recognise community members seeing them with only one hand and one eye. Because they will have collectively learned meanwhile about the conquering the sins from Jesus' words in Mt 5:29-30.

L. said...

R.A, yes, I think you see the community in too black colors.
And if somebody does something what the community does, it doesn't mean it must happen the same extreme way as in the community.
One shouldn't avoid in itself good things/practices just because someone has misused these practices.

R.A. said...

In other words: the end does not justify the means. Both are connected and have effect for both of them. Our aim for actions might be good, but if we use the means that God would not recommend for us, then the result will be just a shadow of the original plan.
If children are not taken into our plan, then our 'career' as a Christian community will sooner or later run on the rocks. Community's 'emergent situation' lasts already more than 20 years and there seems to be no end of it. Community is impotent to integrate the family life.
I draw constantly parallel with our community in order to show, that every thing has its price.
I would even not say, whether it has to do with right or false teaching, but this is my rational calculation. We have brain and intuition 'to assess', to what extent can the "club of confirmed bachelors" reach unbelievers. Mostly our target was limited with unmarried, young people, who were able to hop on the train with such a speed as we had.

I know, family life is like a snail compared to our community, and it could make outsiders frustrated, unpatient, unsatisfied with the life, which is so different from our community-life. But New Testament calles us many times to be patient.

Our 'slow life' makes easier for outsiders too see it more compatible to their present situation. It gives more hope to them, to see realistic to join us. They have also family-life and with their experiences they will surely be able to help us to solve many questions concerning taking care of children.

K. said...

The second coming of Our Lord in Scripture is often compared to the fire. I think we can draw from this some conclusions. Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 3 states, that in this fire our works will be tested.

In my opinion it is like: every evil will be burned by this fire.
Some of our works also will... I mean that God's grace would do everything to save everyone - the choice of everyone is: either to Go to Jesus, or oppposite direction to these evil deeds. Like in John 3:19 about the judgement.

I assume that the difference between me and you, Jose is that you think it does not apply to a repented Christian.

But I think that the difference between us is not really in the image of gracious God, but in understanding of human freedom.

Jose said...

I think that there is a declaration of our righteousness based on our faith. Our works will also be tested in fire. Paul writes to Christians who in the end will be saved, even if they had not built of precious materials and not on the foundation of Christ. Our works, good or bad, are not the basis for our eternal destiny. We are saved by faith alone, but we get rewards and enjoy life abundant in Christ if we live in a fellowship with Him.

Just what I think.

K. said...

Jose - I think we pesented our views quite clearly and it is difficult to add something more.

Thank you very much for the discussion!

Jose said...

Still I didn't understand how our views differ from each other?

Yes. Thank you for the discussion.