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    "You are really cool you are married to an European!! How cooler can you be??"
    Fisherman Pecheur

    "Smarty Pants"
    Mad Matt

    "Oh, you did not ask for Bonhoeffer's opinion did you? You wanted mine..."
    the SOFYST

    "You are like the master at this "feelings" stuff!
    Kind Kristi

    "I enjoy your comments, but they are always delightfully enigmatic"
    Dyspraxic Fundamentalist

Thursday, May 11, 2006


It is most popular these days to question another as being a believer if they are not true disciples but are we looking at this backward? Is it possible that there are more who are trying to be disciples without being true believers? It would seem that the present effort to have men prove themselves elect through “righteous” living has resulted in them failing to prove themselves righteous in Christ. They are content to offer their life to God in the hope for eternal life rather than cling to the Son of God whose life was offered in their stead and is the only means by which they can have any hope at all.

Is your eternal destiny in question?

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13 (NASB)

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Blogger Seeker said...

A prostitute comes to Christ, and claims to believe in Him for salvation. She knows that prostitution is sinful, but continues to practice it openly and unrepentantly. She says she knows she has eternal life because of God's promise through her belief in Christ, and that God loves her just the way she is, and she plans to continue in sin.


5/11/2006 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Karen thanks for sticking this out.

I think most likely she would do as the rest of us and justify her sin rather than confess it, even to herself but still this begs the question;

can the gift of eternal life be earned through righteous living? Are there moral requisites to appropriate or merit eternal life?

5/11/2006 06:19:00 AM  
Blogger Seeker said...

The answer to both your questions is no. Eternal life comes by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.


-A walk worthy of one's calling is the fruit, not the seed. A tree doesn't strain to put forth fruit, and yet Paul implores us to walk in a certain way, with humility, gentleness, patience, love, etc. We don't strain, either. Yielded to God's enablement our life produces fruit.

-A new creature is not the same as the old creature.

-As a Christian "you are not your own for you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body".
(Does willful unrepentance glorify God?)

Is believing in Jesus the same as trusting in Jesus? What does it mean to trust in Jesus? Does my life show that I trust Him? HOW does my life show that I trust Him? What am I trusting Him for?

John 6:48-58 tells me that if I EAT the living bread (Jesus) I will live forever. What does this mean in the realm of believing/trusting in Jesus?

5/11/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

This is why I suspect we have it backward. If we consider salvation in every aspect then it is an event, a process and a goal. The event begins the process and the goal is to be fully transformed into the image of Christ Jesus. The event is the spirit birth, which is the conception of God's grace through our faith in Christ Jesus. This event does not insure the process as is evidenced by the believing rulers and the Corinthian sinner. It is also evidenced by the constant and consistent admonition throughout the NT that we remain steadfast. This is where we stumble. We don’t grant ourselves entrance into God’s family so there’s nothing for us to fowl up in that and our problems are centered in maintaining our part of the restored relationship we have with Him. If we constantly doubt what He’s done for us instead of focusing on the problem, which is what we’ve yet to do in Him, then we’ll never make any progress toward the goal, which is to be transformed.

Given the example you cited if we cause the prostitute to stumble at the clear Gospel message instead of focusing on the real problem, her own proud will, then she can never be transformed. If we are able to convince her that she cannot possibly be saved without first being transformed then we will succeed in convincing her of a works based salvation. The foundation of faith is sure but she sets out to build with straw. If we force her to look at the rock of faith in Christ as the problem and fail to show her the straw of self justification then what should we expect the outcome to be? I say a house blown away and I think that’s exactly what we’re seeing in many believers today.

With respect to John 6, I am persuaded that metaphorically represents that we are sustained by God in Christ just as the Israelites were sustained by God with manna.

5/11/2006 08:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Timothy said...

Interesting comments... and you are beginning to sound Reformed. :)

I think one of the trends is that of "doing" for the Lord, whether it be discipleship programs, mission trips, evangelism... the underlying emphasis is a works-based salvation. "I'm saved because look at all the things I'm doing..."

Yet, what is true fruit of the Spirit? I remind my congregation of this all the time. We are to produce true fruit of the Spirit and then all these other things will be an outgrowth of that. If others see the fruits of the Spirit in us, then the Spirit can and will use that to draw others to Himself.

As for discipleship, that is not something we do, it is something we are if we are in Christ. You cannot help being a disciple if you are in Him.

Good piece.

5/11/2006 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pastor I always love it when you join in these discussions. As you know I am certain you reformed theologians are not all wrong (hehe). You, Adam and the Rev (JP) are some of the only reformed folk that will allow my heresy and I really appreciate that! (grin)

I won't argue with you but I would like to know your understanding on the believing rulers and the Corinthian sinner and how that is resolved in your theology.

5/11/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Seeker said...

You can build a mansion on the sand or a shack on the solid rock; and there are other possible combinations, as well.


If a person trusts Christ, he will be transformed.
If a person claims to trust Christ, the same result is not necessarily guaranteed.

5/11/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Nellie Bellie said...

I agree "If a person trusts Christ, he will be transformed." We are called to repent, turn from our old ways, there is an expectation for living...how many churches did Paul write to about their wicked ways and reminding them about how they should be living...We can't stand under the blanket of "saved" and continue to walk in our old ways. A true believer in Christ has a desire to change and live for Him. God sees us as saints, not sinners anymore, let us strive to please Him.

5/11/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

I'm concerned that it is a current popular misconception to expect our life to be transformed by virtue of our conversion. While our soul is given life and our bodies resurrected in glory our life can only be transformed if we present ourselves a living sacrifice. I don’t find the scripture to indicate that transformation to be a foregone conclusion. Romans 12 states this can only occur through the renewing of our mind (Vs. 2) after having submitted our body for sacrifice (Vs. 1). I’m concerned the necessity of daily submission to Christ is overlooked when we expect transformation to be automatic by virtue of the spirit birth. They are two distinct and separate issues that when combined lead to the current confusion and the problem I pointed out in my previous comment.

5/11/2006 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Nellie welcome and thanks for taking part. Our comments crossed but I appreciate your thoughts here. ;-)

5/11/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

At least in my little world there are very few instant transformations upon accepting and believing in Jesus the first time. Let's take the prostitute and say she/he becomes a believer. Some may at that moment walk away from there chosen profession but others even though they believe may continue as they learn and study, as they deal with what brought them to the place they are at in the first place. As they deal with drug addiction, past sexual abuse and a host of other things they have done and have been done to them that made the option of being a prostitute a option in the first place. It is the path that reveals the difference of belief verses just stating Christ as there Savior. The prostitute will change if they really believe but not if the requirement for there salvation is to stop the behavior. We can not save ourselves, we can not clean ourselves, we can not bridge the gap.

God bless the ones who do and can change in an instant but God does not abandon those running to Him regardless, He remains where He always has been. However there is a point I think that the works of one become something measured, but I don't know when that is and frankly I do not want to be guilty of calling a brother or sister out and accusing them of no real relationship with God only to reject them and have God call me on it. Then I would have to check everyone, who has had a thought outside of what Christ would have you think?, a selfish act anyone guilty? If Jesus stands before God everyday on our behalf why would He need to if we were perfect upon belief?

Obviously there are charlatans who profess but there hearts are hard and time always outs them. I know how very deadly my life was to my soul before accepting Christ and I can't even identify with it anymore but it took time and the reality was sinful behavior was still present I just did not like it anymore. God bugged me all the time and there were key places in which He gave me choices and thankfully because it was time for me to turst Him I had the ability to walk away. He moved believing people in my life to be there to help and put things in place so the changes I made because I loved Him were real and concrete. Anyone could have come to me after I accepted Christ and at the start of the road to clean up my life and said your not a real believer cause if you were then this or that would not be in your life, or just have faith...

I have seen people accept, and believe even within there very sinful life start talking about Jesus himself, alienating there friends who they also love, there business partners that put food on there table and with surety God works in there life piece by piece cleaning it up. Thankfully they are the ones who do not forget where they come from because often there intense and uphill struggle to change teaches so much that they can enter the world they used to be in with Jesus and really start making differences.

The ones that cause so much trouble is the ones who profess change and then have themselves revealed as lairs later in the very world they said they changed away from. That is so damaging to the hopes of the other unbelievers in that world of sin. They watch, they listen all the time. They watch the walk and it would be better for them to see the struggle of trying to change because its all you want is to please God and have sin still in your life then see you "change" for the benefit because your suppose to only to see the one who claims behave in ways that were part of there "old" world in there "new" world. If you were a pimp and then you "get God" but in your new business, you treat your employees with disdain and lack of human respect you are no different you just look different and that is what the unbeliever uses to mock the whole idea of Christ.

be loved its cool

5/11/2006 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Kc, your post is excellent.

5/11/2006 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I would urge those of you who think believers cannot be immoral to read some of the New Testament's warnings against immorality.

There are three possible conclusions arising fromt hese warnings:

1. A Christians can sometimes be immoral.
2. The warnigns are for unbelievers who think they are Christians.
3. The warnings are hypothetical and therefore superflous.

If 2) is correct, then we may rightly wonder whether anyone can be truly certain of their salvation.

Every Blessing in Christ


5/11/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

One reality that is ignored by so many Christians is the reality of God's chastening.

God does not allow us the option of remaining in sin.

The Lord chastens those whom He loves.

If we walk in sin, God we may become sick or suffer in some other way. If we continue in that direction, we will die, either as a result of the sin or directly through God's judgment.

In heaven, those who have failed to overcome the world will not inherit the kingdom of God. They will be deprived of all heavenly privilege and rewards.

Every Blessing in Christ


5/11/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Mrs. Zeke I really appreciate your willingness to put yourself out here for love's sake. These discussions take on real meaning when we apply them personally.

Matthew thanks again for your kind words and your contribution to the discussion.

5/11/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger forgiven said...

Great Post Kc

Matthew writes
"If 2) is correct, then we may rightly wonder whether anyone can be truly certain of their salvation."

And "The Lord chastens those whom He loves"

He has the answer to his question:

If you are not being Chasen for your sins you are not saved.

Proverbs 3

11My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

12For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Are you His son if you are not chasen

Thanks Kc Very Cool

5/11/2006 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Nellie Bellie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/11/2006 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Nellie Bellie said...

I think it lies between choosing to sin (willfully) and sinning unintentionally (being selfish and then realizing it later). We should consciously look at our actions and choose the right. If the prostitute knows her actions are wrong but intentionally, willfully continues, I question that.

5/11/2006 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

I kinda agree with you nellie but we may enter the whole Cardinal Christian discussion and I think people need a deeper understanding of some things before the assume that.

My issue is this, sometimes it takes understanding of why something is a sin then the change comes. If you have your whole life lived in a way that communication is always about sex (I am using sex because of the prostitute example but you can put anything else there) you have to learn how to communicate in a different way while being haunted by everything you know. That is not easy. If you add a non existent dad or an abusive one, most of those people combined with the sinful lifestyle are so afraid of all the clean good people in church that you will never see them set foot in a church as well as they can not understand fully a loving God they only see there own judgment. They often struggle with trying to understand God alone and surrounded by the life they are trying to leave. That is amazingly hard and I have a huge amount of respect for the ones that stay the course even if they fall once n a while.

Its not hard to praise God and stay the course when things are good. It is a much different praise when you, your world and maybe even your very life is being threatened or failing apart to say I have faith and God is with me. It is a much different faith to believe there is a loving God while you are a defenseless child being abused or a prostitute being raped by a pimp or john. I am not taking away from people's personal struggles I am saying is that besides the easy to see action like sex for money we rarely have the view into the rest of the life and we can make the error of judging one by one action.

Let me ask and it is always what I ask if you or anyone meet of prostitute and they were lead to Christ, would you put them in your home, feed them, counsel them, help them understand sin, human behavior and have the words to make them understand that despite all they have endured they are loved still? I know not everyone can and I am not saying that everyone should but it seems so very easy to use examples of people real broken lives as what we the collective Christians should not do and that's it. Feed first, teach when the stomach no longer causes one to double over in pain because of its emptiness and the starvation of the soul.

If a prostitute has no other clothes then what is on her or his back can they walk into any church and to the alter and cry out to God without anyone else pointing at there lack of clothes? Should we have stopped the person thrown a coat over them as if to say you are not enough on your own?

If we do things that harm the soul then what have we done to the ones that are without anything at all in there soul?
We can correct ourselves and correct or guide others but how sad it would be if we because of our understanding as we know it pull the only thread left on a rug one was standing because they just are not at the place we think they should be.

That is painful

I'm am forever thankful love is for everyone

5/11/2006 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Brother Doug thanks for your thoughts and kind words.

Nellie I think you made a good point in that there is a great difference between natural sin and willful sin.

I'm sad to say that a beliver is capable of both and often more determined to commit willful sin than those who don't beleive in Christ.

Mrs. Zeke I think that if we're not willing to open our heart and our home to those in need that we fall far short of the Great Commandments of love. I agree that should not always be the case but I think it should always be an option should the Holy Spirit press it upon our conscience to do so but even those who fail to love cannot undo what God has done. ;-)

5/11/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Nellie Bellie said...

I am not by any means saying the change is automatic...I know we fall back into sin quite easily, Satan is everywhere. My point was that our goal is to strive for righteousness, holiness and cleanliness in our walks. We are always battling with our own sins. I know that I want my life to be pleasing to the One who owns it. Thanks for the explanation Mrs Zeke,

5/11/2006 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Mrs. Zeke,
Do you... and I'm not sure I want to bring this up, but I couldn't get past that line in your post where you brought up... well, the Cardinal Christian... do you mean, carnal Christian? I would think a Cardinal Christian would be some misguided Christian who pulls for the Cardinals of St. Louis... or perhaps a you were using the phrase to refer to the cardinals of the RC church, whom many believe are just as carnal as the prostitute... or anyone else... uhm... just curious. :)

Please delete this post if I'm out of line...

5/11/2006 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Are you referring to the man in 1 Cor. 5? If they followed Paul's recommendations, he should have been put out of the church... unless, he repented and sought reconcilliation, at which point he should have been lovingly restored. Is that what you are referring to?

5/11/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pastor yes, I was refering to that one but more the point about his spirit being saved and how the doctrine of perserverence is reconciled to that. I'm really curious and not being provocotive. I won't even challenge your response. ;-)

As for your teasing Mrs. Zeke I am confident she can fend for herself quite well! (hehe)

5/11/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I went back to it and looked a bit closer... and upon further review... I would like to say.... no comment. :)

Sorry, without giving it some more time, I think it would be imprudent to comment on the specific verse.

I will say concerning perseverance... that the Reformed position is that if he is truly saved, he will repent... but if not, then giving him over to Satan will reveal his true fruit. Does that help?

5/11/2006 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pastor I will say fair enough. If I could prove beyond all doubt every doctrine I hold to I might press for an answer but seeing my house is glass I will just say I truly understand and appreciate your effort as always. ;-)

5/11/2006 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

Timothy yes! Sorry I do that allot you should see me without spell check! Yay for dyslexia just got to love it type one thing read another. The thing around our house when I write something brilliant (not often) Zeke proofs it and I have to explain what I was trying to say. Besides that I am not genetically inclined to know where I am N,S,E or W and forget time and date references, it just was or is or gonna be :P

Nellie I hope you don't think I was implying you were cause your passion for our Father is to great for that and I see you from that perspective first, its awful pretty

KC be careful Zeke and I told God we would accept people and that was many, many,many people ago :) In fact one day we said it the next day there was a knock on the door...vacuum first!

Love is a good thing

5/11/2006 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...


You guys are the best!

5/11/2006 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I do not think the Bible makes a hard and fast distinction between willfull sin and any other kind of sin.

Hebrews 10:26 clearly indicates the possibility of a Christian sinning willfully.

Every Blessing in Christ


5/11/2006 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

kc, I have I told you lately that I love you?

I just got through commenting over at Adam's site and wanting to check in here before I went to bed, it is late. I am only a few hours north of you and corry tonight(i wish i could set up a trip to come down soon, someday Lord willing)
Anyway I really really love your wisdom in this post. I didn't have time to read all the comments but I will later.

I have been trying to communicate what you have said for a long time. But you my brother "hit the nail on the head" with a much clearer hammer than I could ever have with my writing abilities. I look forward to reading more comments later, I MUST have sleep, i have a long day tomorrow and a late trip back to Okiehoma.

I did read a couple of comments....YOU? reformed?........yeah right and Dorsey and I have decided to start going to church on Saturdays>>>>>> ROTFL

Good weekend to you, corry, and Amber.....sorry Amber I am a few hours north of you too. :)

5/11/2006 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Matthew I agree they are not hard and fast but I do see distinctions from the sin that we can pray for to the unforgivable sin. You’ve got me thinking about a new post. ;-)

Kris we’ve got to somehow take advantage of the opportunity to get together. I would love to sit down with you and talk for hours, between meals of course (grin).

I’m glad my gibberish made some sense to you but I know we tend to think along the same lines.

Now the truth is I am reformed… and Dispy, and even Catholic! (hehe) I suppose I am a theological mutt hahaha

I know you’ll be home when you read this but for others please pray for Kris on his journey.

5/12/2006 05:03:00 AM  
Blogger Kitty Cheng said...

Kc, you are wonderful! I reckon you are a great 'disciple maker' simply by the fact that your excellent and challenging post like this one ;)

I like to think that a true believer is also a true disciple. believers? I certainly don't agree that righteous living (works) will earn us salvaion.

Surely believing in the name of the Son of God is the key to eternal life.

5/13/2006 12:39:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Amen sis and thanks for the encouragement. I've got a bit of an ax to grind concerning discipleship and I'll probably sound like a broken record-player for a week or two. (grin)

5/13/2006 05:21:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Kitty, we receive eternal life by placing our trust in Jesus Christ. We become disciples by following His commandments. The two things are very different, but they should go together.

Discipleship is not an option, even though it is not a condition of eternal life.

Every Blessing in Christ


5/13/2006 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Nellie Bellie said...

Well said...

Thanks for your visit to my site. My daughter was actually born 3 months early so it has been a long road.

5/13/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

I believe the most difficult thing in the world to do is find that exact balance of love, faith, and deeds that Jesus walked.

Taking the prostitution example again only because it was bantered about before:
Should there not be some kind of sign to show repentance of all sin? Should she not have understood what sin did to Jesus? Should she not have wanted nothing to do with sin before she was saved?
When Peter gave his first sermon in Acts 2 we see the people being "cut to the heart." They freaked out because they had realized that they (all of them)killed the savior of the world and Peter told them to repent and be baptized.
There must be a repentance (a turning) toward God. This is not a bunch of actions to be taken by the potential Christian, but instead it's an inner change...a hatred of sin, and gratitude toward God which usually produces some outward actions.

Jesus does give us new hearts of flesh and we are new every moring and all that. But unfortunately, Jesus does not remove our sinful nature. We must battle it with faith in the Spirit he put in us and our own willingness to remain repentant.
Hebrews 10:26-29
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, [27] but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. [28] Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. [29] How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

Once someone has repented and has become a Christian, there should be a continually increasing gratitude for the blood of Jesus which will keep sin "lookin' ugly".

We are not saved by the things we do. Nor are we saved by continuing to do things. We are saved in order to do the things the Lord has called us to do...and one of those things is to live a repentant life.

Again, it is an incredibly difficult balance to grasp. Jesus lived it perfectly and it amazes me more and more as I try to live like him.

Just my thoughts...

5/15/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jeff just a thought. In all the examples we have where people reacted to the Gospel doesn't it seem they were made believers before they reacted? My thinking is that the gift of eternal life is promised to whosoever believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and that having received the gift these people reacted as instructed. If it is otherwise then we would have to conclude that eternal life can only be gained through our actions, right?

So let's say a man has believed and received the gift. The argument is that he WILL necessarily react yet the scripture gives evidence of many who believed but did not react. Do we conclude the promise of God is of none affect because these refused continue? Wouldn't this mean that the promise would have been, "whosever believes AND..."?

Whatcha think? ;-)

5/15/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

I think you are dealing with a cranially challenged person. (me) I've read and re-read your comment a few times and I don't think I follow it. Again, it's not you. It's me.

But if I would take a guess, I think you are saying that as soon as someone believes in Jesus they are saved, that baptism is a work and that it is only by faith we are saved.

Yes? No?

5/16/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jeff I've been reading you so I know you're far from being cranially challenged (hehe)

To be honest I am saying that believing in Jesus Christ is all that is necessary in order to recieve the gift of eternal life. Most times we equate the spirt birth and the gift of life with being saved and certainly our soul is saved at that moment, sealed unto the day of redemption, but I think salvation is much broader than that.

If we consider it an event, a process and a goal then we can begin to see the necessity of obediance in our salvation in that without it our life can be "lost". If we fail to make the distinction then we can arrive at the conclusion that in order to inherit eternal life we must be made righteous, rather than to simply trust in the righteous of Christ as our assurance. I hope that is a little bit clearer. ;-)

5/16/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...


First of all, thanks for the compliment. You're wrong. ;-) But thanks nonetheless.

"we can arrive at the conclusion that in order to inherit eternal life we must be made righteous"

My understanding is that it because of our faith in Jesus, according to Rom. 3:21-26, that we are righteous: his righteousness is given to us and our unrighteousness is no longer seen by God...so long as our faith is in him.
But Rom. 5:19ish teachis that we are made righteous.

Yesterday I posted an article about my convictions about doctrine. And I initiated a doctrinal "free-for-all" on my site. I genuinely want to understand some of the other beliefs out there. I would enjoy it if you read the article and joined in, if you have time. Because I really don't think I would be able to put my mind to this discussion and the one I just initiated, I will hope to see you over at my little corner of the web-universe.

(no, that's not a shameless plug for my site. It's a genuine desire to hear the other points of view.)

5/16/2006 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jeff we agree. My statement should have read "we can arrive at the conclusion that in order to inherit eternal life we must be made righteous by virtue of our own works" instead of the righteous of Christ.

I'll stop in and catch up on the comments at your place. ;-)

5/16/2006 10:28:00 AM  

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