Author Topic: Saved by Grace  (Read 587 times)

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Offline Add Homonym

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Saved by Grace
« on: December 19, 2013, 11:21:55 PM »
I was thinking through all the permutations of being "Saved by Grace". What could it mean?

1) It could mean simply a new law, which replaced the old law. Grace could be simply the NT. That would be being disingenuous to the way Paul explains it.
2) It could mean payment of original sin, similar to someone paying off your outstanding parking fines, but not paying off any other driving offences you commit from here on.
3) It could mean you are now free from sin, and can sit around, playing PS3
4) It could mean you are a slave to Christ, like Paul says in Romans 6

[15] What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
[16] Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
[17] But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
[18] Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
[19] I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
[20] For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
[21] What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
[22] But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.


If Paul's expo is true, then it should mean that you are now possessed by Christ, and can do no evil. What could it possibly mean? Could it mean that any evil you do, is now evil for good? eg, if I get drunk and run someone over, it will transpire that I just ran over someone who was about to commit a murder, or rape. Since I'm now guided by Christ, anything I do will turn out good.

If this was generally believed to be the case, then Christians wouldn't try to be good all the time. And Christ wouldn't warn that even lusting after a divorced woman could send me to hell.

Coming back to a more conventional explanation: I should have the spirit of Christ in me, and that should, at the very least, free me from unnatural carnal lusts, like masturbation, homosexuality, avarice, sex addiction, gambling addiction, hate, envy, sloth. It should do all this, even if I get no other decent help from Christ. This at the very least, should occur. God forbid I ask that my life gets any easier, after I become a Christian; so, I'm not asking to be physically healed, or get any free breaks in life, or for God to help out with the phenomenal tasks I'm supposed to achieve, to sustain my free gift.

After thinking that, I realised that Christians shouldn't quote Job, if they think Grace is a free gift. Because, if you believe that Grace is a free gift, then who exactly is trying to test your faith, and take it all back again? It's sort of like, I'm giving you this free gift, and now I'm going to kick you in the nuts until you give it back to me.


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Offline gzusfreke

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Re: Saved by Grace
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 09:16:17 PM »
I was thinking through all the permutations of being "Saved by Grace". What could it mean?

1) It could mean simply a new law, which replaced the old law. Grace could be simply the NT. That would be being disingenuous to the way Paul explains it.
2) It could mean payment of original sin, similar to someone paying off your outstanding parking fines, but not paying off any other driving offences you commit from here on.
3) It could mean you are now free from sin, and can sit around, playing PS3
4) It could mean you are a slave to Christ, like Paul says in Romans 6

Or it could be none of the above and something else entirely.

Grace in the Bible means receiving good that you do not deserve or earn.  If I mail you a Visa gift card for $1,000 "just because," then it would be an act of grace on my part and you, if you took the card and used it, would be receiving grace.

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If Paul's expo is true, then it should mean that you are now possessed by Christ, and can do no evil.

No, that's not true.  If that were the case, then there would be no need for him to write the letter to the Romans or most of the other letters he wrote.  In fact, if you read on to Romans Chapter 7, you'll see that Paul makes the argument that even he doesn't do the good that he should do and does the bad that he shouldn't do. Just because someone receives grace, that does not change the fact that they have a natural tendency in this life to sin.  It's in everyone's nature to sin, even after salvation.


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What could it possibly mean? Could it mean that any evil you do, is now evil for good? eg, if I get drunk and run someone over, it will transpire that I just ran over someone who was about to commit a murder, or rape. Since I'm now guided by Christ, anything I do will turn out good.

No, a lot of Christians do bad things either by choice or ignorance, and other people can get hurt. Not all things a Christian does turns out for good, because Christians are still free to make moral decisions.

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If this was generally believed to be the case, then Christians wouldn't try to be good all the time.

Only those, believers and non, who don't understand grace come up with this conclusion. When one receives grace and then understands grace, one wants to "be good all the time" out of gratitude. It is a voluntary response for the grace shown to them.

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Coming back to a more conventional explanation: I should have the spirit of Christ in me, and that should, at the very least, free me from unnatural carnal lusts, like masturbation, homosexuality, avarice, sex addiction, gambling addiction, hate, envy, sloth. It should do all this, even if I get no other decent help from Christ. This at the very least, should occur.

The Spirit of Christ is not like an instant "Mr. Clean" that automatically changes all the wiring in your brain and soul that causes these sins into wiring that produces only good thoughts and desires. Why do you think that Christ's Spirit in you should take away all of your evil desires?  Is this what your church teaches or what someone told you?


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God forbid I ask that my life gets any easier, after I become a Christian; so, I'm not asking to be physically healed, or get any free breaks in life, or for God to help out with the phenomenal tasks I'm supposed to achieve, to sustain my free gift.

The problem is not with asking for these things, but 1) coming to God only for what He can give and 2) having a sense of entitlement.  True, He may not give you any of these things, but then again He might.


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After thinking that, I realised that Christians shouldn't quote Job, if they think Grace is a free gift. Because, if you believe that Grace is a free gift, then who exactly is trying to test your faith, and take it all back again? It's sort of like, I'm giving you this free gift, and now I'm going to kick you in the nuts until you give it back to me.

When God tests your faith, it isn't "to kick you in the nuts until you give it back." You test things to see how reliable they are.  You would test a rope that you mountain climb with.  You would test the air in your auto's tires before going on a long journey.  You test your bath water temperature so you don't get burned or chilled. Testing can be a good thing.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Saved by Grace
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2013, 12:12:57 AM »
Only those, believers and non, who don't understand grace come up with this conclusion. When one receives grace and then understands grace, one wants to "be good all the time" out of gratitude. It is a voluntary response for the grace shown to them.

A lot of responses there, but not many answers.

If a Christian "wants to be good all the time" in response to "the grace" shown to them, then what was the grace shown to them?

Is it simply that a Christian believes he has been given grace, (whatever that means), and any good that he does, he now believes is good enough to get him into heaven (according to his own level of paranoia)? Is that "the grace"? You can now be saved, not by being good, or following Jewish law, but you can now believe that anything you do is good enough, because you are now saved. That could be option 5. I forgot that one.

Before, I phrased it as: "everything you now do will end up being good".

What if my level of paranoia in Christ is higher than my neighbour's and I decide that I have to give all my money away, to be safe from Jesus?

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When God tests your faith, it isn't "to kick you in the nuts until you give it back." You test things to see how reliable they are.

God should know, without having to test you. God is omniscient. The random "tests" that appear through life, could just be random events, and not tests at all. If you are saved, because you accepted Christ, there should be no tests, unless it's revokable. It is Christians making excuses for God's lack of intervention, which creates the idea that the book of Job can be used as a metaphor in some way. What if there are no tests?

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Testing can be a good thing.

If you are human, and have the omniscience of a pea.

Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline gzusfreke

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Re: Saved by Grace
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2013, 09:59:21 PM »
No, there were answers, but maybe not the ones you wanted to hear.

The grace shown to Christians is the forgiveness of their past, present, and future sins for no merit of their own.

If a Christian does any good, if he understands what the Bible says, it is not to earn his way into heaven. it is because he was shown grace and saved in order to do good works that reflect the character of God, and this is so that God can be honored for the good.

If you decide to give all your money way, let me know so I can send you the mailing address of my new nonprofit ministry.  :)

If you give all your money away to the poor and give yourself as a martyr, even for the cause of Jesus, if you don't have love for God and for your fellow man then the Bible says all that is just a bunch of useless noise.

Peace and grace.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

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Re: Saved by Grace
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2014, 04:22:31 AM »
I am very pleased to have this web service

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Re: Saved by Grace
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2014, 05:18:06 AM »
Divine GraceWiki is quite an article on Wikipedia. Its opening definition is

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Divine grace is a theological term present in many religions. It has been defined as the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire virtuous impulses, and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation;[1] and as an individual virtue or excellence of divine origin.

The article goes on to describe a suggested meaning to the word in various places of the biblical text. To me, it looks like a catch-all expression for those who don't want to say god / Jesus saved me.
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Re: Saved by Grace
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2014, 10:09:09 AM »
Grace in the Bible means receiving good that you do not deserve or earn.  If I mail you a Visa gift card for $1,000 "just because," then it would be an act of grace on my part and you, if you took the card and used it, would be receiving grace.
What if I don't use the gift card?

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When God tests your faith, it isn't "to kick you in the nuts until you give it back." You test things to see how reliable they are.  You would test a rope that you mountain climb with.  You would test the air in your auto's tires before going on a long journey.  You test your bath water temperature so you don't get burned or chilled. Testing can be a good thing.
I take it then that god is not all-knowing?

Why does god demand that we not test him, but it's totally OK for him to test us?  Is it a "do what I say, not what I do" kind of thing?
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Re: Saved by Grace
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2014, 10:28:12 AM »
When God tests your faith, it isn't "to kick you in the nuts until you give it back." You test things to see how reliable they are.  You would test a rope that you mountain climb with.  You would test the air in your auto's tires before going on a long journey.  You test your bath water temperature so you don't get burned or chilled. Testing can be a good thing.

When climbing, I test the rope, and then use it. When going on a trip, I check the pressure in my tires, and then use them. When ready to bathe, I test the water temperature and then take my bath.

So is grace something that is only a test, or is it ever used? And by whom. You or your god?
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

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Re: Saved by Grace
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2014, 10:36:53 AM »

When God tests your faith, it isn't "to kick you in the nuts until you give it back." You test things to see how reliable they are.  You would test a rope that you mountain climb with.  You would test the air in your auto's tires before going on a long journey.  You test your bath water temperature so you don't get burned or chilled. Testing can be a good thing.

Your analogy doesn't really quite work here, gzusfreke. You see the thin with the bathwater, the rope or the tyres is that we start out with a state where we can see the objects concerned and can devise something to test them - a test that anyone that might walk past could come and look at and confirm for us.

Your god, on the other hand, cannot be seen and nor can his love be detected, apart form an individual claim, by asking a passer by to check on it. So rather then an object test - my tyre is inflated to 30 psi - we have an individual who says this invisible god loves me and another person standing by who has no clue what is being talked about. A better anaolgy would be to stand next to a passser by and ask if they can feel the neutrinosWiki passing through them.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

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Re: Saved by Grace
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2014, 11:51:55 AM »
A better anaolgy would be to stand next to a passser by and ask if they can feel the neutrinosWiki passing through them.

Not a very good analogy. According to scientists, about once a year one of the neutrinos passing through your body will interact at the atomic level with some particle inside you. Harmlessly. But that means that neutrinos interact with us far more often than their god ever does.  ;D
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Saved by Grace
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2014, 06:19:45 PM »
No, there were answers, but maybe not the ones you wanted to hear.

The grace shown to Christians is the forgiveness of their past, present, and future sins for no merit of their own.

If a Christian does any good, if he understands what the Bible says, it is not to earn his way into heaven. it is because he was shown grace and saved in order to do good works that reflect the character of God, and this is so that God can be honored for the good.

If you decide to give all your money way, let me know so I can send you the mailing address of my new nonprofit ministry.  :)

If you give all your money away to the poor and give yourself as a martyr, even for the cause of Jesus, if you don't have love for God and for your fellow man then the Bible says all that is just a bunch of useless noise.

Peace and grace.
So your definition is that it does not matter if evil (by your definition) acts are undertaken by a Christian as long as he believes he has been graced through belief,nor do his good acts matter. So God by your definition is indifferent to your actions as long as you have faith and are graced by HIS actions.

 This goes to show that a Christian just has to believe,but his good or evil actions are ignored by this indifferent god as long as you praise him you are OK.
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Re: Saved by Grace
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2014, 07:48:22 PM »
Grace is reasonably well described in the Bible. It is clear what it is in earthly terms: Someone's grace is what you have when someone more powerful or influential than you favours you - he thinks you are an 'ace dude':

1Sa:27:5: And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee?

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.


You will note that Ephesians 2:8 says that your own faith is insufficient - you have to have that faith, but it is then down to God to give you that faith and then consider if that faith is worthy. So if God, on a whim, then decides you are the sort of person He likes, then you're saved, which presumes you are OK for heaven.

And He does act on whims:
2nd Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.

Here, "grace" seems to have been given to us by Jesus. However, this can also mean that He favoured us by sending Jesus. In the light of Eph:2:8, this latter interpretation would seem to be better.

Whereas in 1Sa:27:5, David knew he had Achish's grace, there can be no independent test to show you have God's. So no one can know if they have that grace and, God, being God, may change his mind at any time.

I should imagine this is part of what drives a Christian onwards to even greater deeds in order to become God's BFFL.
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Saved by Grace
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2014, 02:36:00 PM »
If we were saved by Jesus before time began,then God killing all those people in a flood was unnecessary and evil,because Jesus is timeless. The next question is why God allowed Jesus to die?  For the sole purpose of satisfying God's own bloodlust? If God NEEDED the sacrifice,he is very definitely a psychopath. 
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