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Living In Grace

A Christ inspired work dealing with American Christian Culture in the New Century.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Transforming Gospel: Man's Best Effort or God's Grace?

Rich in Mercy and Grace

Previously we explored  how  man's efforts at moralism is a bankrupt system and the difficulties that come from trying to earn a priceless gift.  Every false religion ranging from Buddhism to New Age, Jehovah's Witness to Mormonism, or any derivative of the Social Gospel and Moralism are either man's best effort at appeasing God or a corruption of the doctrines of grace.  The false assumption that anything we can do apart from God's grace is no Gospel at all, but a misplaced trust in the goodness of man.

Soup kitchens, food pantries, and clothing drives all have their place within the framework of the love we are to show  others, but if those actions are devoid of the transforming power of the Gospel and rely solely on the falsity of a humanistic worldview they cannot save.  Feeding the poor and caring for the downtrodden are Biblical mandates but they will not save you.  Defending the unborn, preserving a God-given definition of marriage, or caring for the elderly are noble works but none can wash away the sin that man is born into.  The very need to pursue such endeavors is a tell- tell sign that something is very wrong with humanity and things are not as they should be.  A man centered gospel is merely looking to the cause of the problem in an effort to remedy it.

But God......those words are an amazing comfort ringing forth from the pages of Scripture revealing that God, by His grace, has performed a work in the life of the sinner apart from his futile efforts of man to earn it.
  • You were dead in your trespasses and sins...But God
  • You walked according to the course of this world...But God
  • You walked according to the prince of the power of the air....But God
  • Among whom we all once conducted ourselves...But God
  • While we were all fulfilling the desires of the flesh...But God
  • And we who were by Nature children of wrath....But God
BUT GOD, who is rich in mercy and because of His great love, even while we were still dead, made us alive with Christ.  For it is by this grace that we have been saved through faith, and not of ourselves, it is the Gift of God, and not of works lest we should boast ( Eph. 2:1-8 ).  God is the one who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints and delivered us from darkness into Light ( Colossians 1:12-13 ).  It is through  the the faith in the working of God that He is transforming  dead sinners into living saints with the circumcision made without hands ( Colossians 2:11-13 ).  This Gospel renews our minds and transforms us so that we may prove what the will of God is ( Romans 12:2 ).  The will of God is:
  1. Galatians 1:4 That He might rescue us from this present evil age
  2. Colossians 1:27 God willed to make known the riches of the glory of the mystery which is in Christ Jesus
  3. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 That we will be sanctified and abstain from sexual immorality
  4. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 For us to be thankful
  5. 1 Peter 2:15 That we do right to silence the ignorance of foolish men
  6. 1 Peter 4:19 Even sometimes to suffer for Him
Can you do any one of those things by your own efforts in a manner worthy of Heaven?  Can you be pure, loving, thankful, or do the right thing in suffering by simply willing it to be so?  Or must you be born again and have been transformed into a new creature leaving the old things behind ( 2 Cor 5:17 )

If you are a child of God look to your past and praise Him for graciously saving you from the depravity that consumed your life.

If you have never been born again and are wondering what must I do to be saved remember what Paul told the jailer, " Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household " ( Acts 16:31 ).  Then you can praise Him and say, but for the grace of God there go I.

But God who is Rich in Mercy.

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Anonymous Minister-Raymond said...

Luther it does not surprise me that you're baptist because baptist get their jollies out of criticizing other religions and hating others as well.  I saw your comments on another page so I thought I would give you a visit. Baptist are the biggest homophobes known to mankind. This is because most baptists are gay and hiding it. Paul and Timothy were most likely gay so that should give you some comfort. Jesus also never said anything about gays so that should tell you something too. Stop hating Luther and you will find the doors of perception open to you. I will leave you with a link to my friends website. It is not mine so dont be spewing your baptist hate there! Go there and get educated!

May 16, 2011 at 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Minister-Raymond said...

Baptist Jokes you may enjoy:

Why were Two hundred Southern Baptists were stranded on Treasure Island in
Disneyland Sunday night? They refused to take the ferry.

Now the Southern Baptists are boycotting `The Flintstones'. They
absolutely refuse to have a gay ol' time.


May 16, 2011 at 7:17 PM  
Anonymous Carla@3-foldcord.com said...

 Raymond, I find it hilarious that you find it useful to call others hateful while at the same time being hateful yourself. Your comments are off topic and scathing. If you really believe in your message you probably shouldn't be insulting those you are attempting to "convert". However because your language is simply name calling laced with gross biblical misinterpretation I can only guess that you are highly unintelligent and probably mentally ill as well. But I still love you, cause Christ calls me to love my enemies. But He also warned me about antichrists like you, so I am wary of your childish rhetoric but not at all challenged or intimidated by you. But I would kindly ask you to stop harassing good Christian folks and spew your Presbyterian hate elsewhere!

May 16, 2011 at 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Carla@3-foldcord.com said...

Luther, this was a beautiful post. It was a great reminder that anything devoid of Christ's love is worth nothing. In our current world balance isn't something that many people understand or put into practice, even Christians struggle with this. When Mark and I see ministries that seem to be deviating from Scripture we always look at where they started, did they start with the love of Christ, did they start with godly intentions and strong scriptural basis. If the answer is yes we won't be joining the mob to throw them under the bus, instead we pray and trust God will show them back to His way. Usually when people or ministries go astray they are as you stated following a man made gospel.

 I loved how you pointed out how powerful the words, "but God" are. There are so many things we are incapable of but God gives us the power. There are so many things we once were but God transformed us. Beautiful.

Thanks for the great post!

May 16, 2011 at 8:27 PM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

 Raymond, please forgive me for  not calling you Minister since to have the honor of the title you must know both the Gospel and the Lord who is the giver of it.

If you consider pointing out the exclusivity of the Christian religion " getting your jollies " then you are devoid of any sense of what Christ's message was.  The calling out of sin and false doctrines is the most loving thing an individual can do to those he cares about and Raymond you are a harsh, unloving, deviant who makes a mockery of the Grace of God.

Raymond Jesus never spoke explicitly about homosexuality because it was a know sin and taboo in Jewish culture.  Can you me one archaeological site in Judah of strictly Jewish origin that would compare to the bath houses of the Greco-Roman world where licentiousness was rampant?  I thought not.  Jesus did say, however, that marriage was between a man and woman and had been so from the beginning excluding the possibility of same sex marriages.

Your Biblical ignorance is glaring and is a far cry from the Scottish Presbyterianism and the Reformed tradition from which it sprang.  The forefathers of your denomination, who were most often very doctrinally sound, would be greatly ashamed and mortified the direction you and your ilk have taken it.

I have a very close friend who is a lesbian and just happens to be making my son's birthday cake this week.  Your hate filled ad hominem attacks are baseless and in no way intimidate me or tarnish the the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

May 16, 2011 at 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

 Thanks Carla.  If it were not for the BUT GOD we would have never known the love and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ. 

Most errors start small and grow as they go along leading farther and farther from the Truth.

God bless and Keep the Faith

May 16, 2011 at 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Lloyd said...

 I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog.  I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out.   I will be praying for discernment for Raymond.   God bless, Lloyd

May 16, 2011 at 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

Thanks Lloyd for stopping by and I appreciate the kind comments. I
will visit your site shortly

God bless and keep the Faith

A Living Stone

May 16, 2011 at 10:04 PM  
Anonymous theoldadamlives said...


Even your hate is forgiven for Jesus' sake. As is mine. 

May 17, 2011 at 1:06 AM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

And to that I must say Amen

A Living Stone

May 17, 2011 at 1:08 AM  
Anonymous Minister-Raymond said...

 Luther living in disgrace it makes no difference how you refer to me. I have my credentials which is more than I can say for you layman.

"If you consider pointing out the exclusivity of the Christian religion"

Actually I was talking about the exclusivity of the Baptist demonic clan. I love people like you who deal in the “my way or the highway” position. You really need to learn what the Bible teaches instead of pronouncing settled law from your private pulpit or lectern.Your reason for Jesus not mentioning homosexuality is laughable and your perverted pastor would be ashamed of your reasoning. You should try sticking your nose into the KJV instead of into everyone's business and you might learn some things.
"Your Biblical ignorance is glaring and is a far cry from the Scottish
Presbyterianism and the Reformed tradition from which it sprang.  The
forefathers of your denomination, who were most often very doctrinally
sound, would be greatly ashamed and mortified at the direction you and
your ilk have taken it."

You are the ignorant on sir. Coming from you your statements above make me laugh a hearty laugh: Ha! Ha! Your forefathers have the audacity to think their bloodline and denomination come from John the baptistiser himself! Again Ha! Ha!

If you were to sit before me while I preached you would cower in my presence and fear and tremble before God. Wise up young apostate sheep for there is much to learn about love this day.

May 17, 2011 at 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Minister-Raymond said...

 No hate here oldadam. You need a new name because yours is equated with sin and defeatism!

May 17, 2011 at 9:13 AM  
Anonymous theoldadamlives said...

My (blog) name reflects the desire of the old sinner within us to stay in charge of his life and call the shots. 

May 17, 2011 at 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Minister-Raymond said...

Oh I know what your name implies (very clever) And I think it does fit you perfectly. I the smell the sin all over ya! So I apologize for suggesting the name change.

May 17, 2011 at 9:39 AM  
Anonymous theoldadamlives said...

I am a real live sinner. But I have a Savior!


May 17, 2011 at 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

Raymond, I have no trouble giving honor to Ministers, even when in disagreement, when they worthy of that honor so with that said I will continue to leave minister off of your name.  You do have your credentials however, and they are from your father the devil.

If your would lay down your gavel and actually read instead of employing your ad hominem attacks and producing more strawmen that a Wizard of Oz prop store, you would realize that nothing I have said is " my way ".  This thread has nothing to do with your particular sin or the manifestation of your depraved heart and your reaped attempts at hijacking posts is humorous.  If by " sticking your nose in other's business, " you mean proclaiming the grace of God and forgiveness of sins found in Christ Jesus then I am most certainly guilty.  you on the other hand use other people to disseminate your peculiar brand of heresy and lies.

Laugh as you will for it is like a medicine for your soul.  Few credible historians of recent memory claim that the Baptists Faith can be traced by succession to John the Baptist though we do follow him in his recommendation to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance.  Most Baptists do, howerver, trace their heritage to the 16th century and the Reformation. 

You are aware of what the prescribed punishment was for the sexually immoral under Mosaic law are you not?

May 17, 2011 at 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

Raymond a couple more things while I am at it.  The absence of Jesus' mention of homosexuality does not negate the historical and cultural climate that He operated in.  Neither did He mention S&M, pedophilia, or bestiality namely because they are all deviant behaviors without the need to mention them explicitly.  Besides it is spoken of elswhere in Scripture leaving little room for doub

Also, because A is not mentioned, whatever it is, does not give you or me the right to say  A is either sinful or not without the authority of Scripture.  It applies to all things unless an implicit command can be drawn from God's revealed Word.

May 17, 2011 at 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

I am going to remove some of the comments that have been written on this post. This is not censorship but my effort to have meaningful dialog that editors Christ and those who visit here.

If anyone would like to continue to post please do so in a respectful manner even in disagreement.

I apologize for my unduly harsh words that were not spoken in love

God bless

May 17, 2011 at 7:01 PM  

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