Galatians: A Lesson from Acts, Part 5 (Some conclusions)

Hmm … There are just so many applications. Let’s start with —

Grace

Peter said,

(Act 15:11 ESV)  11 “But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”

We don’t really believe that, do we? Just a two weeks ago, I spoke to someone who’d been a member of our congregation for over 50 years, and he told me that he’d never felt saved until this year.

We’ve been teaching grace for decades — from the pulpit and in the classes — and yet we have members who’ve been here for decades who don’t feel saved because they just can’t escape the legalism they grew up on.

Here’s the deal. Until we accept that we really are saved by grace — not just at baptism but for our entire lives — we’re doomed to misery.

But Peter wasn’t speaking to Jews who doubted their salvation. Their problem is that they were too sure that they merited salvation. He was speaking to the arrogant who believed they actually got the rules right!

You see, when we’re taught a works-based salvation, we either respond with a plea for mercy, feeling utterly inadequate, or we respond by concluding that surely we deserve our salvation. We’re either miserable and defeated or arrogant and insufferable.

Grace allows us to be honest about who we really are (we don’t deserve our salvatoin; it’s a free gift) and yet see the good in us that God put there. We don’t have to pretend that we’ve got it all together. And we don’t have to pretend that we can’t do anything at all for God. Rather, we can be completely honest with ourselves and with God. No more pretending.

Race and scruples

Grace means that no one gets in by virtue of his race and no one is excluded by virtue of his race. It’s based on faith in Jesus as Messiah.

Therefore, the notion of “white” and “black” churches in the same town is deeply, deeply sinful and anti-gospel. It totally misunderstands God’s will. It is a parody of Christianity.

The easier thing for Paul and James to have done would have been to establish separate congregations so that no one had to put up with anyone else’s annoying scruples and cultural peculiarities. But they struggled valiantly to avoid exactly that. There’s only one church — and unity comes not from perfect agreement on opinions but from love, forbearance, and tolerance of those both on our left and our right.

God

God is in control. He doesn’t have to follow the patterns and rules we construct in an effort to fit him into our puny minds. In fact, God seems to take a certain delight in surprising his children. He loves irony.

It was God’s idea that a Roman soldier be the first Gentile convert. It was God’s idea that Peter be forced to show hospitality to another Roman soldier. It was God’s idea that Peter — the apostle to the Jews — preach salvation for the Gentiles in Jerusalem. It was God’s idea to baptize Cornelius with the Spirit before he was baptized with water — to force Peter’s hand. You see, God broke his own pattern to demonstrate a far more important pattern: that faith in Jesus saves, even the Gentiles.

Law

We’ll, of course, get much more thorough instructions on the Law and gospel in Romans and Galatians, but some elements appear clearly here in Acts —

* Obedience to the Law of Moses is not an element of salvation. Salvation is by faith.

* Christian leaders should be very, very guarded against any effort to slip legalism into the church, that is, the idea that there are “tests of fellowship” and “salvation issues” other than faith in Jesus (“faith” being understood as I’ve taught here many times before, that is, as including trust and faithfulness/repentance). We can’t become legalists to create unity. We can’t become legalists to get along.

* However, love compels us to be respectful of the scruples of others — so long as they don’t bind them as tests of fellowship. That is, scruples can be honored if they don’t divide the church. But division over scruples is sin.

It’s a fine line, and never, ever about the desire of one faction to exert power over the other. It’s never “You must do this or I’ll leave.” Rather, it’s more, “Please, don’t make me violate my scruples so I am not forced to sin by staying.” The idea of separating or leaving over something other than the core of our faith should be unthinkable.

However, no one can complain that they are “forced to sin” by being in fellowship with someone they disagree with over scruples. That would be anti-gospel. We all sin. We’re going to disagree over some issues. And we have to be in full fellowship with those we disagree with — even if they seem unclean to us.

Table fellowship

We struggle to understand portions of Acts because they centered their Christian lives around table fellowship. We center it around the song service and the sermon. We think the Lord’s Supper is theologically important but not important enough to spend any real effort on it. We hurry past it or dawdle over it, but we don’t work very hard at doing it well.

As we see throughout Paul’s epistles, eating together was a key part of the Christian experience. Consider —

(Gal 2:12 ESV) 12 For before certain men came from James, [Peter] was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.

(Rom 14:21 ESV) 21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.

(1Co 11:33 ESV) 33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another–

(1Co 5:11 ESV) 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one.

Can you imagine the elders announcing that we are not to eat with a disfellowshipped Christian? This would rarely cause the sinner any pain because no one would have ever eaten with him!

Peter stood condemned(!) for refusing to eat with Gentiles. That is, he didn’t deny their salvation. He didn’t preach them into hell. Rather, to please the “conservatives,” he simply refused to be seen eating with them — and thereby contradicted the gospel.

Conclusions

These aren’t easy lessons to apply because our denominational culture is so very anti-gospel at times. You see, rather than being about love and accommodating differences, it’s become about power and imposing one party’s will on the other.

And power and feeling superior are addictive. There are plenty of good reasons to disagree about all sorts of things, but pride, the desire to feel superior to others, and an unwillingness to admit error aren’t good reasons to hold to any position. Any position.

Imagine how Peter felt when God told him to go see Cornelius. He’d been running from Jesus’ command to preach to the Gentiles for years. He was desperately trying to hold on to his identity as a faithful Jew. He wanted the pleasure of refusing to associate with Gentiles. And he wanted the approval of his friends and fellow church members.

When he went to preach to Cornelius, he gave up a lot — all for the sake of Jesus. He was criticized by his brothers in Christ and fellow Jews. He was caught up in controversy and disagreement. He surely lost many good friends in the process.

And if he’d not done it, we Gentiles would still be damned.

Profile photo of Jay Guin

About Jay Guin

I am an elder, a Sunday school teacher, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a lawyer. I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. I’m a member of the University Church of Christ. I grew up in Russellville, Alabama and graduated from David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University). I received my law degree from the University of Alabama. I met my wife Denise at Lipscomb, and we have four sons, two of whom are married, and I have a grandson and granddaughter.
This entry was posted in Acts, Acts, Galatians, Galatians, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Galatians: A Lesson from Acts, Part 5 (Some conclusions)

  1. Royce Ogle says:

    This is surely one of your best posts.

    Thank you

  2. Doug says:

    Jay, I don’t want to mess with your humility but this whole selection of posts has been very enlightening. Although I come from an Independent Christian Church background , we in that collection of churches struggled with many of the same issues you have addressed lately. Your posts encourage me to keep on running for the finish line my Brother.

  3. Skip says:

    Jay, Your recent posts on grace give me renewed hope for the Church of Christ in some quarters. Unfortunately I still know many within Churches of Christ who don’t read things like this and are apparently hopelessly stuck in a flawed mindset while overseeing their dying churches.

  4. laymond says:

    God poured out his “grace” upon the whole of man, not baptized Christians, since there were no such people at the time. Jesus was given for ALL mankind, as a matter of fact Jesus said he had come to save the sinner. Yes, only the grace of God, gave man the opportunity to have life eternal. But everyone who received the “grace of God” will not be saved. Unless one believes in Jesus Christ, and the gospel he taught, and follow the example he set. there is no salvation through grace, or faith.
    The grace of God leads to faith in his son Jesus Christ, faith in Jesus leads to good works, or doing what he said do. We are saved through a covenant with God, a covenant has two participants, Jesus is the “go between” and also the judge. grace + faith + works.
    All who hear have the same opportunity — That is how the bible reads, however God being God can do as he wishes . Father your will, not mine.

    Jhn 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
    Luk 6:47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

  5. Jerry says:

    Amen to Jay, Royce, Doug, and Skip. Some of what Laymond says is good – but it is inconsistent. He wants both grace and merit; faith and works. He does not seem to realize that as believers in God and His Son, we have His Spirit within us – and that whatever “works” we may do are His works in us that He might be glorified. In Romans 2:4, Paul asked, “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” In 1 Corinthians 15:10 he said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” It is grace that makes us His servants – and we serve Him by the grace that is with us.

    In passage after passage that we have neglected, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; Peter, Paul, James, and Jude all extol the gracious kindness of God – and challenge us to walk by the Spirit in being transformed into the likeness of His Son. When we read these passages and respond, “Yes, but….” we despise His grace; when we read passages that speak of the obedience that comes by God’s working within us as if this were our duty and what we offer to God instead of what He graciously works within us, we deny His Spirit that He has placed within us. I blogged about this in an item called “Tempted to Do Good.”

    Jay, thank you for an excellent presentation of the meaning of Grace. May many read it and be converted. I know the power of legalism. When I first sat at the feet of a teacher who taught grace I resisted it with all my power. I did not “get it” until I finally realized that God’s grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and lust to live holy, upright lives in this present age. Without grace, we cannot and do not live as we ought. As you said, the legalist will either be proud and arrogant or fearful and miserable without hope – and this is the same position that those who do not obey the gospel are in.

  6. laymond says:

    Jerry, do you deny that the gift of God was offered to all men? Do you deny that not all men accepted that gift? even tho it was offered freely (the grace was already poured out) there were certain things we must do to receive it, God fed the Jews in the desert he gave manna from heaven, but they had to harvest it or it would not have been of any use.

  7. Ray Downen says:

    It’s important that we accept God’s help in living for Him. But Peter points out that WE are to add to our faith… It’s not all up to God. The offer of grace must be accepted by our obedience to “the gospel” in primary obedience and in living daily for Jesus. Two hymns come to mind, “We’ll work ’til Jesus comes,” and “Trust and obey.” Both hymns are based on scriptural apostolic teaching, and both point out that we must not just relax and trust Jesus to make us into the persons He wants us to be. As for God giving His Spirit at times other than at the new birth of water and spirit, we must admit that God is free to give His Spirit to whomever He chooses at any time. He promises, through Peter, to give the Spirit to those repentant believers who are baptized “into Christ.” The gift of the Spirit promised to new Christians is not in any way the same gift of the Spirit which was given to the apostles. The baptism in the Spirit was accompanied by remarkable sounds and sights which have never since been repeated so far as I know. No writer during the apostolic age reports a second such occurrence although many water baptisms as ordered by the Master are reported.

  8. Jerry says:

    Laymond asked if I deny that God expects obedience from us. Of course I do not deny that. If he had really read what I said instead of reading into my comment what he thought I meant, he would realize this. I wrote:

    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; Peter, Paul, James, and Jude all extol the gracious kindness of God – and challenge us to walk by the Spirit in being transformed into the likeness of His Son. When we read these passages and respond, “Yes, but….” we despise His grace; when we read passages that speak of the obedience that comes by God’s working within us as if this were our duty and what we offer to God instead of what He graciously works within us, we deny His Spirit that He has placed within us.

    In the emphasized portion of this, I freely acknowledge that we are to walk by the Spirit. The rest of this excerpt from my comment above speaks of the attitude that “acknowledges” grace, but wants to tack on works to make grace effective.

    As to walking after the Spirit, I do not maintain as some seem to believe that the Spirit makes us into mindless robots. In the blog entry I link to above, I liken the “gentle nudging of the Spirit” to the subtle temptations of Satan. I argue that if the Devil has power to “tempt” us to do evil, that surely the Spirit of God has a similar power to “tempt” us to do good. Must we follow his “nudging”? No, we can resist the Spirit – just as we can resist the Devil. Peter says that if we resist the Devil, he will flee from us. What happens when we resist the Spirit of God? After a time will He not also flee from us?

    The idea that grace means we can sin with impunity is an idea that Paul frequently addressed, notably in Romans 6:1 and following. Why do so many still make the argument that he emphatically answered in that chapter and elsewhere? Yet, many still insist that God’s grace is license to sin. I know – because I used to feel that way as well.

  9. Price says:

    Jay, you said this above…..”You see, God broke his own pattern to demonstrate a far more important pattern: that faith in Jesus saves, even the Gentiles.”

    I was thinking that being saved by Grace through Faith WAS the pattern…

    Trust and Obey…great song..written by a Presbyterian minister after attending services held by Dwight L. Moody… Sad we can sing their songs just not in their churches…

  10. laymond says:

    Jerry says; Amen to Jay, Royce, Doug, and Skip. Some of what Laymond says is good – but it is inconsistent.
    We are so lucky to have one with such wisdom, sit in judgment. One who admits to many faults in the past, but now is evidently perfect in all knowledge.

  11. Skip says:

    Laymond, You appear to misunderstand what others really are saying and now you lash out at Jerry who made a legitimate observation. When you make the statement, “even though it was offered freely (the grace was already poured out) there were certain things we must do to receive it” you imply that God only gives grace to us AFTER we do things for God. This is the very definition of earning our salvation by our works. I Romans 4:4,5 clearly addresses this.

    “Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.”

    Christians under grace should outwork legalists on any day but they work from gratitude and love rather than working for grace. Constantly working for grace is a tough row to hoe.

  12. laymond says:

    “Constantly working for grace is a tough row to hoe.”
    I know Skip. that is the reason so many are looking for the easy road..

    Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
    Mat 7:14 Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    Mat 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

  13. laymond says:

    When you make the statement, “even though it was offered freely (the grace was already poured out) there were certain things we must do to receive it” you imply that God only gives grace to us AFTER we do things for God.

    Skip, you are absolutely right, I misspoke, instead of saying we must do certain things to “receive it” I instead should have said “KEEP IT” it is already poured.

    Skip, do you believe a newborn child, even those who are under the age of accountability are covered by the grace of God.Or do you believe they are held to the same standard as an adult Christian male.
    If we look back to the old testament the young were excused by God’s grace.

    Every child born today lives under God’s blanket of grace until a certain age, then they shoulder their responsibility. How do we lose our coverage if not by disobedience.?

    Exd 30:14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD.
    Exd 30:15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when [they] give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.
    1Ch 23:24 ¶ These [were] the sons of Levi after the house of their fathers; [even] the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their polls, that did the work for the service of the house of the LORD, from the age of twenty years and upward.
    No one under twenty was drafted into the army.

    Yes it seems man was always born under the grace of God, but many lose it, how does this occur?

  14. Skip says:

    We lose the grace of God in essence by saying to God that we don’t want his grace. We forfeit grace by deliberate and consistent disobedience. There are numerous Old and New Testament passages that show that God is very, very forbearing and patient with our foibles. We aren’t in and out of grace on an hourly basis. We don’t stay in grace by a specific number of acts of obedience every hour. We remain in grace by remaining in God’s love. Obedience is the RESULT of being in love with God not the cause of loving God. Tragically some parents are duped into thinking their children love them because their children are compliant. Same is true with us and the Lord. God doesn’t want compliance, He wants our heart first. Our behavior follows.

  15. laymond says:

    Skip, how come the first and greatest COMMAND is love God. this love, God demands is not an emotional thing. It is a demand for respect, this same respect is demanded for your neighbor. If you truly respect God, and fear his powers, you think twice before you disobey him. If you respect your neighbor as your equal you do not try to harm him. Your child can respect your authority, and love you emotionally at the same time. If you respect God as God, then over time you as a Christian grow to love God emotionally, as a wise father. I love the country song “Daddy’s Hands” a good father is both Stern and loving at the same time.

  16. laymond says:

    Fortunately, I have never had the experience that some here evidently have had, so I guess I do think differently than some others do. I have never been told by one of my children (one girl, one boy) they didn’t love me, I have never been told they disrespect my opinion, it sometimes is still sought after, although both have grandchildren of their own, I have never been asked to leave a congregation, by anyone. even knowing my opinion on some things. never been refused brotherhood, until recently on Internet blogging. I didn’t know some CoC members worshiped Jesus, I didn’t know some claimed HG indwelled, I didn’t know some claim salvation by grace or faith alone.
    I have been exposed to a lot I didn’t know.

  17. Royce Ogle says:

    All of us should be offended that in our coc circles, responses to the good news about Jesus get far more play than Jesus himself. According to church websites I have seen and various blogs, IM and baptism are ahead of Jesus at a ratio of at least 5 or 6 to 1 or worse. We claim to be a church of Christ yet far too often Jesus plays second billing to opinions, accusations, and one-upsmanship, all done in His name. (I’m guilty…)

    I just checked my own blog and as of today, and my most used tags were “Christ” and “Jesus”. In my view he should be much more important than he is to all of us.

  18. Skip says:

    Laymond, The fear and respect of God is certainly a Biblical principle but fear and respect are not Biblically held out as the HIGHEST motivation for serving God. Nor do I agree with your thesis that fear comes first and love comes later. Is this how it worked for you? How did that work in your marriage relationship. Did your wife fear you first and then gradually come to love you later? I fell in love with the God who loved me enough to redeem me by the sacrifice of His Son. After my conversion I would cry tears of joy because God had shown me much mercy. I cried in church because I was so thankful that my many sins had been washed away.

    Love is God’s highest attribute held forth in scripture. I John 4:16,17 says

    “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.”

    We are confident on the day of judgement, not mainly because fear keeps us pure but because “love was made complete in us”. God’s love for me restrains me from far more sin than fear ever could. It seems you are applying your experience of fear motivation as a universal principle for all Christians. Again, I am not saying fear is not important but fear is not the Christians main motive over the entire Christian experience. This is not an aberrant view. This is core Christianity.

  19. Doug says:

    Laymond, I wonder what John 16:7-9 says to you? To me, it says that it is God’s grace that sent the Holy Spirit which, in turn, allows us to be convicted of our sin and turn to repentance in the first place. God and His grace makes the first move… Not us. We respond or don’t respond to the Spirit’s prompting but God’s grace is first.

  20. laymond says:

    Doug, it may take more than one comment to explain what, and why this scripture means, what it does to me. But I will start by saying I am pretty sure I see Jesus’ audience as being smaller than you see it, and I see Jesus asking God to arm the apostles with the same power as he had when he was sent out to convince the world, and defeat the devil.
    Jhn 17:11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name–the name you gave me–so that they may be one as we are one.

  21. Doug says:

    Laymond, Jesus was talking to the apostles but John 16:8 is directed to those that the Spirit will assist and it states that this is the entire world. Unless I am missing something, these particular verses are for meant for you and I and everyone else.

  22. laymond says:

    Yes 16-8 says God will bring the world to account, by judgement by the spirit, but will do it by the same spirit that worked in Jesus,( that is why the spirit could not be sent, until Jesus was glorified) and Jesus asked God in my opinion to protect those who Jesus sent out in the same way as he did the one The Father sent out. by making them “Sons of God” just as Jesus was given the name “Son of God”.
    Jhn 17:11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name–the name you gave me–so that they may be one as we are one.
    Jhn 17:12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. (speaking of Judas one of the original apostles)
    Jesus asked “The Father to give them “The Word” just as he had given it to Jesus.
    Jhn 17:17 Sanctify [fn] them by the truth; your word is truth.
    Jhn 17:18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.
    Jhn 17:19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

    No I can’t find where Jesus promised the spirit to all Christians, Just the apostles.

  23. aBasnar says:

    Act 2:14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.
    Act 2:15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.
    Act 2:16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
    Act 2:17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;
    Act 2:18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.

    Act 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
    Act 2:39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

    Certainly Peter did not understand Christ to say that only the twelve would receive the promised Spirit.

    Alexander

  24. laymond says:

    Alex, God truly does pour out gifts of the spirit upon all mankind, the bible speaks of such, but what Jesus was asking, and what Peter was saying, is nowhere near the same. All mankind does nor receive what Jesus was asking for the apostles, and that he later administered to them. What do you think Jesus meant when he said I have done the work you gave me? He surely hadn’t brought the gospel to the whole world, What do you think Jesus meant when he told the apostles, that they would do greater work than he? Jesus was simply asking the same consideration and support for his apostles, as was afforded the one sent by God, himself.As he told the apostles you no longer need me to go between you and The Father, he is your Father also, so go directly to him. No I don’t read that every Christian, much less every person, is indwelled with what Jesus was asking for his apostles. He told the apostles ask anything in my name and you will receive it, not you might get it but “you will” , Alex, have you gotten every single thing you have asked God for, has anyone you know. I really doubt it. The apostles were special people, men given by God to help Jesus do God’s work.

  25. laymond says:

    I believe it is said that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. So let’s take a little bite. (watch out, it could be bitter)
    Alex, I believe you say Jesus was speaking of all Christians, when he said.
    Jhn 14:26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
    If you are right, and I am wrong, how can two men claim to be indwelled with the same “Holy Ghost” and see things so differently, as you and others on this post so often do? Is there a lie/fly in the pudding, some place? certainly not in what Jesus said, he never lies. so is someone claiming to be a Christian, who is not.Or is there some explanation I don’t know of. surely the truth is the same in every man’s ear. Is it not. Self proclaimed Christians can’t even agree on what is written down, much less what is in their soul.

  26. Doug says:

    Laymond, I wish I could convince you that your beliefs about the indwelling Holy Spirit are incorrect but I know from past experience that you are very settled in your beliefs so I won’t go down that road. I would say that if the Spirit was only given to a few select people, that does not seem like a “pouring”, more like a a “sprinkling”. As far as evidence, I know people that have struggled with alcoholism all of their life and tried their best to rid themselves of it, only to fail time and time again. When they surrrendered to God, their alcoholism was taken away immediately. Some of these people were drinking 1-2 quarts of hard alcohol a day and their alcoholism was well know to everyone, even the church members. Where did their help come from? As far as differences that occur on doctrine between brothers, we are to die to self but that dying takes time and I think is imperfect in most of us. Each of us is on a different trajectory toward this ideal goal where it is no longer us who lives but Christ living in us. I know that I have been wrong about things that I was sure that I was right about… I have had to apologize more than once. That hardly invalidates the indwelling Spirit. I think that when I have asked God for things He has always responded… sometimes (many times) it’s just not in the way I envisioned. He knows better than me on what I need.

    Once again, I am not trying to change your mind… I am just responding to some of the things you have written.

  27. laymond says:

    To Doug; you are a good man Charlie Brown :)

  28. Royce Ogle says:

    Seems to me that the fact Paul had to straighten Peter out once invalidates Laymond’s premise. They didn’t always agree did they?

  29. aBasnar says:

    If you are right, and I am wrong, how can two men claim to be indwelled with the same “Holy Ghost” and see things so differently, as you and others on this post so often do?

    Simply because the Holy Spirit is not the only source of inspiration. there are a number of theologies, philosophies, world views and even demons that shape (or try to shape) our thinking, convictions and actions.

    Alexander

  30. laymond says:

    Royce, the fact is I don’t recall Paul being present at the event we were speaking of.

  31. Royce Ogle says:

    Oh, I thought you said this in an earlier comment:

    “If you are right, and I am wrong, how can two men claim to be indwelled with the same “Holy Ghost” and see things so differently, as you and others on this post so often do?”

    That’s why I used the illustration of Paul correcting Peter. What did I miss? lol

  32. Skip says:

    The sheer volume of scriptures proving that the Holy Spirit indwells all Christians is enormous.

    In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14

    You shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

    Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells within you? I Corinthians 3:16

    Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God, and you are not your own?
    I Cor. 6:19

    Having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
    Ephesians 1:13-14

    I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Ezekiel 3

  33. laymond says:

    Royce, how does your statement answer my question, ? does the Holy Ghost, the spirit of truth, say one thing one day, and another a different day. Just depends to whom he is speaking.

    How does Luke’s version of what happened differ from the one I gave?
    Act 1:1 ¶ The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
    Act 1:2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
    Act 1:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
    Act 1:4 ¶ And, being assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me.
    Act 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
    Act 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
    Act 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
    Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

  34. Royce Ogle says:

    Laymond I wasn’t answering your question. I was pointing out the foolishness of your argument that two people who disagree could not have the Holy Spirit living in them.

  35. Larry Cheek says:

    Laymond,
    Surely you didn’t mean to imply that the apostles were able to receive anything they asked for, using that as an example as a difference between what they were given in comparison to what we are given? As an example, I submit that Paul claimed to be fully as much and received as much as any of the other apostles. Yet, all of his requests were not fulfilled unless you read a different record of Paul’s accounts than I have found in scripture. I will speculate that it is possible that percentage wise, we may receive at least as great a portion of what we ask for as they did. We probably ask for a lot more than the apostles and early Christians did.

  36. laymond says:

    Mat 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

    Doug said; “I know people that have struggled with alcoholism all of their life and tried their best to rid themselves of it, only to fail time and time again. When they surrrendered to God, their alcoholism was taken away immediately.”

    Doug, no one here is saying “God is dead” . Are you suggesting that God can no longer answer prayers from heaven?
    Mat 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: “Our Father which art in heaven,——–”

    Larry, the apostles, being who they were, and who they followed, I doubt they were going to ask for much on this earth. I think he was speaking of spiritual things.

  37. Doug says:

    Laymond, I am sure that you realize that the Spirit is our intercessor with God, speaking with groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:26). This is just another example of the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The point I was making is these people had been praying but had not surrendered themselves to God and allowed the Spirit to transform their mind to the point where they could be victorious over their alcoholism. Do you believe that scripture tells you that God himself is responsible for transforming your mind? Why should he do that when he has sent the Spirit to deal with the needed mind transformations of mankind in spirit-to-spirit fashion (John 3:6, Ezek. 36:26-27, John 14:17,… )?

  38. Alabama John says:

    I’m continually amazed at the recognizing of the HS (HG) among some Church of Christ folks.
    What has been the teaching for 100 years or so is the HS left us the Bible so there has been no need for His acting in our lives. The HS, HG was the Bible!

    How we made fun and preached against the Holy Rollers and their believing the Holy Spirit was alive and active in their lives.
    How many debates were held that we won hands down. At least we thought we won.

    Among the progressives we see the verses quoted more and more that the Holiness group used in debates with the COC.

    I guess we owe them, even the dead ones that said what we are now saying an apology.

    I ask God to pass one on to many I can name that were neighbors.

    Seems there is more for us to learn as time goes on.

    Thank God He looks at our heart to judge us and not our being right on everything. Same mercy judging given us will also be given all others too.

  39. Doug says:

    Please excuse me, I used the pronoun “he” a couple of times in my last post in refering to God and did not capitalize it. I meant no disrespect.

  40. Monty says:

    JAy-“And if he’d not done it, we Gentiles would still be damned.”

    Nah- God would have just raised up another. Good article.

Leave a Reply