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True and Better

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If the spirituality and miracle of the Bible comes to us— not just in its individual thoughts and events— but in the way all of them, together, help us see our need of the God who has come to us in Jesus, then,

Can we also conclude that living with conscious reliance on the Spirit of Christ is the true and better way of living a lawful life (John 1:17); (Gal 5:1); (Gal 5:22-23)?

This thought about the true and better has been echoing in my mind after thinking again about an approach to Scripture that we’ve considered in the past. For those who might have missed it, here’s a summary:

Author and pastor Tim Keller has a way of understanding the Bible that I think enables the details of Scripture to resonate not only within themselves, but with the  details of life as we experience it.

Keller reads both Testaments as if they were inspired by a Divine Author who uses the characters, events, and details— even of subplots— to develop the heroic nature of the main Character and Story.

The result is that readers who think the surprise ending is too good to believe can see through hindsight a continuity of Story, and convergence of subplots, written by scores of authors over many centuries— in a way that none of them, individually or together, could have orchestrated or contrived.

I think Keller’s findings about Who and what is True and Better are too important to forget.

For example (and I’ll give some links below so that you can hear or read more for yourself), Keller suggests that,

“Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us.

Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, his blood now that cries out, not for our condemnation, but for acquittal.

Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void not knowing wither he went to create a new people of God.

Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. And when God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love from me,” now we can look at God taking his son up the mountain and sacrificing him and say, “Now we know that you love us because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love from us.”

Also in Keller’s words,

“This isn’t typology. It’s instinct.”

To hear all of his examples, here’s a short 2 minute audio link:


And here’s another graphic approach to the same presentation:

In a related explanation, here’s a wonderful 10 minute excerpt of a Keller message where he likens each piece and part of Scripture as being like a John the Baptist who says, “It’s not about me. It’s about him.”


That’s the background for the question I’m suggesting  that we consider together: Is life in the Spirit— as Jesus promised it, and as Paul described it— the true and better way of reflecting the heart of Jesus… and pleasure of our Father?


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111 Responses to “True and Better”

  1. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    Pray all is well in your lives! Off topic here… I have a prayer request… I have a court hearing (divorce process) this morning, and I want to ask if all would keep me in your prayers. Haven’t had an opportunity to read the new blog topic, but I’m looking forward to it!

    81 degrees in my neck of the woods right now…

    Love to all,

  2. bubbles says:

    I’m confused by the word “instinct” that he used in his video clip. What did he choose that word?

  3. Mart DeHaan says:

    Regina, thank you for letting us know of your need for intercession, grace, and wisdom today.

    Bubbles, my guess is that Keller is referring to what he believes to be a God-given capacity to sense the direction and meaning of the details of the Bible without wanting to get into the kind of entangling arguments that occur in discussions about what is a “type”.

  4. SFDBWV says:

    In wondering what the heart of this topic is I am left to agree that the whole story of the Bible is about God and God specifically in the Son.

    That man is less and only is able to share in the glory of the Son because of the Son.

    I am left then to ask what about all of the horrible suffering that people endure. Some because of bad choices some just because they were born into a broken world.

    Where is their suffering seen as glorifying God or the Son?

    As a believer in God and in Jesus as Lord, I am left to have hope for all the broken people of the world, but in too many cases their hope is not seen as living here and now, but rather in a future existence apart from this world.

    I can testify to the Son as Lord and tell the world they have a Savior, I can live as He wants for me to as well as I can, but in the end it is all up to Him and not me. Just like the characters of Scripture He will always be a better me than I am able to be.

    Praying for your needs Regina.

    55 degrees damp and rich with the feeling of the approaching fall.


  5. oneg2dblu says:

    I can address and agree with the Keller’s view that Christ was the better Adam, being Adam was a man, and Christ was also a man, while He walked on the earth.

    But, in the Garden?


    In the Garden where all future mankind would be equally “imputed” with a sin nature because of disobedience, wouldn’t that be a touch closer to the actual Garden Story, then Keller’s imaginative, and a bit slippery telling, or retelling, as Christ’s obedient presence in the Garden, is not the story line I felt I read.

    But, I may be wrong.

    Why not leave the Garden, the Garden, and move on to where Christ’s birth, ministry, and Life over Death Victory actually concurs with the written word?

    Just saying.

    Isn’t that a glorious enough story just as it is written, telling enough for every Christ Follower and every living being, being it is all God’s Word?

    Why read it backwards, tell it with our own words, and not just let it speak for itself?

    Oh yeah, we writer’s must write, we thinker’s must think, and if we go a little outside the box, so be it, as we would say, we’ve harmed no one by adding our take on the word of God.

    Yet, where does false teaching come from, other than, slightly changing, rearranging, and telling of the story with a little different take, saying to ourselves, we’ve harmed no one.

    But, it does make for an interesting blog exchange, and so we all get to exchange.

    Just thinking…

  6. oneg2dblu says:

    It just makes me wonder why we always go from the Greatest Story Ever Told, to the greatest retelling, of the Greatest Story Ever Told.

  7. joycemb says:

    Your question Mart about life in the Spirit; a triumphal YES! Everything God promises is only fulfilled in the spirit and not in the temporal. In the temporal-as Steve says- we suffer and hope for the best, but we have a better home to come! All because of Jesus.

    Regina praying for you also as I’ve been where you’re at right now. Keep looking to heaven for your sure future and hope of better things to come.

    Blessings all, Joyce

  8. joycemb says:

    “It’s not about me, it’s about Him”. Thank God for this message. A hard pill to take in this age of scientific reasoning which includes self-exploration and wonder all for the purpose of being a better ‘me’. Which has crept into our bible studies and Sunday school classes. If we could be better by knowledge alone we would not need a savior. Adam and Eve found that out in the very beginning. We keep on doing the same thing, as Keller so aptly points out. Love his message.

    On typology that’s what I’d always been taught. I’m sure many others here had been taught this also. No, it’s not about me. It’s about Him. And it always has been if the scriptures are based on a systematic theology of God alone, Christ all in all.

  9. Mart DeHaan says:

    I read Keller’s comment about Jesus passing the test in the Garden (and imputing his obedience to us) as an insightful reference to Jesus (as the last Adam) facing and passing a far tougher temptation in the Garden of Gethsemene.

  10. bubbles says:


    Thank you for the clarification of “instinct.” The reason I asked was I understand “instinct” to be behaviors inherent to animals such as birds building nests, migration, and so on.

    For Keller to say that what Jesus did was instinct. . . I have understood Scripture to say that what Jesus did was in obedience to God. Obedience is a choice. I thought instinct was something animals did without thinking about it; it’s programmed in their make up to do. Do birds really think about choosing to migrate? The robins have left this area, but did they “think” about doing it?

    I haven’t read a verse stating that Jesus acted on instinct when he died for us. I thought Jesus CHOSE to obey. He asked if the cup might pass from Him, but not His will, but God’s be done. I understand that as a choice.

    I’ve heard people say that since Jesus was God incarnate, He could have never sinned. Then I’ve heard since Jesus was 100% man and 100% God, He could’ve sinned, but chose not to. The fact is, He didn’t sin; He was perfect. He was God in a body.

    Please know I’m not trying to split hairs or argue. I did enjoy the parallelisms Keller made. Hadn’t thought of Jacob or Esther. . very interesting.

    Also, I’ve never understood the issue with typology in the Bible. I know Jonah was a type of Christ and there are others, but why do people get uncomfortable if someone sees something in the Old Testament to help them understand Jesus

    In my mind I see Joseph as a type of Christ because there are many similarities between the two. I won’t list them.

    I really want to understand why in some circumstances it isn’t right to say someone in the OT is a type of Christ.

    What I’d like to know is what is the correct definition of “type?” If I knew that, it would help me understand.

    Thank you.

  11. street says:

    instinct and the word discernment caught my attention. thinking of a jury system where one is presented stories that have to be gone through for the purpose of rendering a verdict. in away the verdict reads us.

    i still think and marvel at this strange character in the story called the serpent and the part played.

    gary said,”Why read it backwards, tell it with our own words, and not just let it speak for itself?”

    thinking the story needs to be in us, forgiveness faithfulness hope love perseverance… it a first person account. just like the ones who penned the scriptures, we need to be penned too. they looked to us and we looked to them. if we find God we have exceed all expectations of man.

  12. street says:

    bubbles said,”but why do people get uncomfortable if someone sees something in the Old Testament to help them understand Jesus better?” hurt pride rarely responds correctly? it is easier to attach than be a berean. turning to God and His Word will keep you out of much more trouble than turning to man.

  13. street says:

    looking at the picture, study, live, teach.

    well, at least my picture is not up there again.

  14. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart… I totally missed your point about the New Testament Garden, when the name Adam was mentioned in the starting point of the discourse, I instinctively, keeping my mind set in the original era of those names Adam, Moses, and Jacob, being old testament, also kept my thoughts stuck in the original garden as well.
    I have yet to read Keller’s inferential comparisons, so thanks for bringing me up to speed.
    Now, that I have the time, I’ll go check them out.

  15. oneg2dblu says:

    Now that I am fully up to speed and informed as to Keller’s views and his teaching of the scriptures, and how we should see the bible story, I ask this, “Why can’t we read the bible as both, for information, and for transformation.

    Why can’t we see the story is about both man and about Christ.

    If you pick up any book and read it cover to cover, you develop thought as you move through its passages. You don’t start reading it with the second half of the story already presented to the full, and base your entire experience on knowing the ending either.

    It is a process for every writer, and for every reader, to unfold each element as one should discover it.

    For the old testament Jewish people to look beyond the word they had at that time, and envision what events would happen in the future new testament, is as absurd as any person today reading the bible for the first time to fully find any comparisons that a Christ type awaits their discovery at every turn of the page in the old testament.

    I believe we can wish that everyone who reads the bible sees Christ on every page, but, they see themselves first, they learn what God has chosen to show them first, and in the natural unfolding of the story, as it is revealed, book by book.

    So, like the story goes, we discover the created world first, we breath its air, hear its noises, and feel its temperature, as we use our senses given to us at birth.

    Then, at some point we discover ourselves second, and yet God still awaits His Timing to introduce Himself to us fully and personally, and at just the right moment in our lives.

    After that moment, our God-chosen Awakening, we can then find Christ everywhere in our lives, in the written word, in the story line of the bible, in the eyes of our neighbor, and even in the middle of the night.

    We can not ignore the fact that modern man can not see spiritually God directed events unfold anywhere, until God gives him sight.

    So, for the Jew today who reads the bible, he can not see Christ as his Savior, and for the worldly person who reads the bible, that same Divine Blindness, prevents them from doing so on their own, for they must first await His timing.

    But, I may be wrong…

  16. Mart DeHaan says:

    Bubbles, I guess we are struggling with the nature of “excerpts”. The implication is not that Jesus acted by “instinct.” You’re right about that. Keller is saying that the ability to see how people and events in Scripture can be seen as a foreshadowing of something far greater in Christ is something that we must “sense” as we become immersed in the bigger Story.

    And Gary, yes, that same story is a commentary on our need of being to find life and hope in such a Creator, Savior, Sustainer…

  17. SFDBWV says:

    I’ve been thinking a bit about this subject since it came up, but life has taken me away from any effort to comment. I think that is going to be my point this morning.

    We read and hear of such perfect things as living in the Spirt and reflecting the heart of Jesus, but then there is life and all the loud and intrusive priorities that we live and breathe every moment of our days and nights.

    My son Matthew often says to me, “Why do we go on, what is the purpose?”

    My immediate answer is that because this is what we do, we never quit, we never give up, we keep doing what we can and hope for things to get better.

    Because I raised him up to be a believer, he gets angry with God, because things don’t get better, at least that he can see and believing that God is in control he is left to believe that God doesn’t care.

    Whereas it is noble to say we live in the Spirit and then try to reflect Christ by our actions, too often it is just another reminder that we fail and can never live up to *our* expectations of what being Christ-like is.

    Matthew just wants to go to sleep and never wake up, I can relate and sometimes want the same thing; but as long as God has given me my purpose I continue to rise and face it and so does he.

    I like the word “Sustainer” that Mart used, as far too often I have to believe that it is the power of Christ that enables me and mine to continue, no power of my own.

    Having all this Bible knowledge means nothing if we don’t apply it to living, and the first and most important of our actions is to surrender our *self* to Christ and then live within His sphere of existence daily.

    Sometimes quietly at peace and other times loudly as we battle life here and now.

    Mart I am very pleased to see you interacting once again with the conversation. Your presence here is needed.


  18. Mart DeHaan says:

    Steve, I resonate so much with what you are saying. So much of life is being given the grace to sense the presence and grace of God beyond the point of our own exhaustion, goodness, and will.

  19. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes, I agree it is a blessing to see Mart interacting here again, we need that, we need all of us working here, to make here work.
    That being said, “Come Jesus!”
    Each of us have life pulling us in different directions and with different voices, as that is all part of God’s plan from Babel on, we are scattered throughout the earth and with mixed understanding, even as we read the same exact words.
    Follow Me, the same Savior, as one body each being a different part of the whole.

  20. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    Pray all is well in your lives. Mart, joycemb and others who prayed for me, truly I’m the one who’s thankful, honored and privileged that you all would take out time to go before our Father on my behalf!

    I was awarded a continuation of my spousal support yesterday up until the final court hearing, which should take place in November. My attorney informed me that the last hearing won’t be any later than February. After that hearing, I will, finally, be free! I cannot tell you the joy that I’m already experiencing as I no longer having to live in the environment that the LORD brought me out of. Words can’t do it justice.

    Would you help me thank the LORD for delivering me out of that situation, and for providing for me now that I’m out? He’s such a *phenomenal* friend!!! And He’s worthy of ALL of the praise and ALL the glory!!! Will read the blog topic later… On my way to work now.

    77 degrees and sunny in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,

  21. oneg2dblu says:

    When we use the term, lawful life, to describe a life in Christ, one who lived by the Law as a Jew in His never breaking any of them, or by His total sinless living, He being the model for us, to not be falling away from Grace (because) of our following the law, is that not all seen as just, double speak, to a world who does not have any thing but our words to read, and our actions to witness, as our lives are to be that model for them to see Christ in us?

    Without our living under, through, and with Grace given to us, freely imputed by faith, as a Gift from God, how does the rest of the world, ever wrap their heads around that premise, just by seeing us living out our lives as Christ Followers?

    Did any of us, before our receiving of the Gift of Grace, in God’s timing, live as forgiven, holy, lawful, sinless creatures in the Eyes of God, or anyone else for the matter?

    Probably not, as the word says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God.”

    So, living by that truth, or law, what are our neighbors or our world actually hearing coming from us?

    Just a thought…

    May God allow each of us to have a Christ filled day of lawful living.

  22. oneg2dblu says:

    “Preach the word, and use words if you have to.”

    I love that sermon.

    I wish that message resonated from every Christian’s walk, their following in the path of Christ, not always pressing the test of Grace, but in the living of a lawful life, which speaks a huge message to the rest of the “not currently listening” world.

  23. Mart DeHaan says:

    When Paul describes the fruit of the Spirit and then says, “Against such there is no law”.
    (Gal 5:23), is he describing the spiritual results of trying to keep the law, or the evidence of a trusted relationship?

  24. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart, being that no one else has answered your query, and I am now done feeding several hundred current learners and future leaders, I’ll give an answer.
    The fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, and self control, comes through having a right relationship with the Spirit, through Listening and Following that Still Small Voice.
    Now if that is a law unto itself, then one must abide in that law, as one abides in the Spirit.
    By choice…

  25. bubbles says:

    Mart, thank you for your reply. Foreshadowing makes sense. I love to learn about those in Scripture because it does give a deeper understanding and appreciation.

    Please know I wasn’t wanting to be argumentative. Thank you!

  26. oneg2dblu says:

    Sorry my battery was very low so I had to post a partial answer…
    Am home now, so to continue, No law is against the bearing of fruit, unless we see the “law of relationship,” which in my mind, must first precede the fruit bearing.

    Am thinking of the “law of remaining,” remaining attached to the vine, as a branch must remain, to bear fruit.

    We also see the “law of separation,” for apart from the vine, the branch withers and dies.

    The “law of reaping and sowing,” applies as well.

    As any branch that produces fruit is pruned to produce even more, and the branch the has no fruit is cut off, to be thrown in the fire.

    There are so many laws, both written and unwritten, which come into play whenever we speak about the Flesh vs the Spirit, or law verses grace.

    The “law of obeying only one Master,” comes into play, for no one can equally serve two masters, for he will either love the one, and hate the other.

    I will say this, when Paul speaks to the issue of the Jews who were Following Christ, he was warning them, that some were being falsely led to going back under the old way, or the”law of circumcision” of the flesh to gain any right standing, as a proof of a relationship.

    Then, we are speaking of yet another set of laws, which are again separate and beyond, the Law of Obedience to the Spirit, which is really defined by the evidence of the fruit of the Spirit.

    Yes, I know that is a rather laborious and circuitous route just to say, Paul taught us both, which laws to follow, and which of the laws we need to let go of, which laws produce right living, and those which are no longer needed for earning any righteousness with God, but for living successfully with the Holy Spirit, with always aligns with both God’s original Law, the Ten, and with God.

    So, where there is no law against love, there is a law against not loving your neighbor as yourself.
    Where there is no law against peace, there is a law against killing others.
    Where there is no law against kindness, there is a law against hating others.
    Then, against stealing and cheating others,and against worshiping other gods, and the like, and those laws will always stand against God’s Will.

    We all know the rest of the list, the Ten, and eating pork is not on that list.

    So, Thank God we can eat bacon… :)

    On that humorous note, and with a light heart, I’ll leave you to your interpretation of which law we really should follow to bear fruit in keeping with the Spirit, and which law is useless for us to follow, for it is in keeping with the flesh.


  27. SFDBWV says:

    Looking this morning at the comment of “instinct”.

    Under most every society and set of legal responsibility, knowing right from wrong defines a person’s ability to be seen as either insane or not against legal offenses.

    So it appears that we are all born with a sense of right and wrong instinctively as a part of our DNA.

    The science behind DNA is fascinating and intriguing as it opens up how changes come about at the molecular level in our development.

    Jeremiah 31:33 states that God will write His law in their inward parts and in their hearts; that the teaching of this law will no more be needed, that all will know Him and all be forgiven their sins.

    Looking at the DNA code as a code and reading a statement made thousands of years ago about how God would “write” His law upon our hearts should be quite an eye opener to anyone of us. Because as I see it when we become born again this law is written on our hearts, changes our DNA and is in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

    He is written into our DNA and becomes a part of us and we Him at the molecular level.

    In essence He becomes our instinct.

    The giveaway for me in understanding Jeremiah 31:33 is found in the statement that our sins are forgiven and are no more as a result of God’s law (Christ) being written into our inner parts and in our hearts.

    It also helps me understand how we are physically transformed, raptured and resurrected as was He.

    Our God is an awesome God…

    56 degrees under a clear sky and half-moon grinning down at me.


  28. foreverblessed says:

    That verse in Jer 31:33 is also essential for the New Covenant “law”.
    If we are attached to God, (attached to the Vine) then the Holy Spirit WILL work out what God has send out in His Word, and it will not return void, it is promised in Isaiah..
    Jesus is ALL, and that is through the Holy Spirit.
    The work of the Holy Spirit is our life, and faith is our lifeline to that work of the Holy Spirit.
    So keep attached, it is in our Being that we are One and He is working in us. And that is the Law of the Spirit, if you like to speak in terms of the law.
    Just as Mart was saying, the result of a loving relationship we have with GOd

  29. foreverblessed says:

    As the topic is that everything in the bible is about Jesus, or the work of Redemption Jesus is doing, I found a study on the rivers in Genesis 2

    Gen 2:10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

    I would like to share it with you if I may, it is more then 100 years old this study, from W.F. Grant, a study on Ezekiel 47, about the river that flows from the Temple.

  30. foreverblessed says:

    Pison, “increase,” is first; it compasses the land of Havilah, “anguish,” or “travail,” where the gold is which is good. Gold is the symbol of God’s glory. Increase for eternity has been accomplished by Christ through the encompassment of the land of anguish — the birth-pains of the new creation of which He is the Beginning. There, nevertheless, has been found in all its wealth the glory of God. And if faith now can say, “And the gold of that land is good,” how much more in the eternal day! It is added, “There is bdellium and the onyx-stone.” The Hebrew word for bdellium means “in trouble,” and that for onyx-stone, “their recompense.” Here perchance we get a hint of faith’s connection with the sufferings of Christ and the glories which follow. It is given to those who find their increase through the anguish of Christ, not only to believe but to suffer for Him; but to suffer leads to being glorified with Him, and so there is both the trouble and the recompense. Both of them bring us in their way into a knowledge of the glory of God.
    The second Edenic river is Gihon, “the bringer-forth.” It surrounds the whole land of Cush, “terror,” or “black.” Christ is our Deliverer from the land of our terror and blackness. God in His mercy thus brings out of darkness into marvelous light. If in the first river we read the lesson of the cross from the Godward side — God glorified in Christ — here in the second the enemy is in view. But he is a smitten enemy, all his power has been encompassed, he is annulled, captivity led captive, and now nothing can separate God’s redeemed people from His love in Christ Jesus, their Bringer-forth. Thus we can speak of being delivered from the authority of darkness and translated into the kingdom of the Son of His love. To this end Christ first entered the land of terror and blackness, and came forth as the firstborn from among the dead. Those who believe share in His triumph.
    Hiddekel, the third, means “thorn of God.” It “goeth in front of Assyria,” (Assyria meaning: )”a footstep,” or “to go forward,” and in front lies the thorn of God — the thorn is the significant sign of the curse, which God Himself must bring in because of sin. How man in his every forward move as independent of God, following the inclination of his own will, guided by his own wisdom, meets with the thorn in such a path. Blight falls in some form upon even his greatest and highest achievements, for close by the gourd under which he seeks rest and in which he greatly rejoices, there is the worm which causes it to wither. Then the sultry east wind blows, and man faints. The thorn of God is there. To this creation is subject, and groans. But, thank God, there is deliverance. There is One who has worn the crown of thorn, but who is now crowned with glory and honor. Into His hand all power and judgment has been committed. He has made peace by the blood of the cross. He will remove the blight of sin from creation, and as the Sun of Righteousness chase away all the shadows of its long night, and under His wings of healing grace and power gather all things together in one. Viewing the lesson here from another angle, we may say that because sin and man’s ruin brought in the curse, it must be borne, the judgment involved be fully endured, if God’s purposes are to go forward to ultimate success. Christ has accomplished the needed work and all is assured. Then it is no wonder that in the fourth place we have Euphrates, “fruitfulness.” This is the grand result which shall be made good throughout the length and breadth of the universe.
    By WF Grant, study of Ezekiel 47

  31. oneg2dblu says:

    Jeremiah is also speaking in God’s Word, in saying, verse 30, Instead, everyone will die for hos own sin; whoever eats sour grapes-his own teeth will be set on edge. “The time is coming,” when that the old covenant is no longer, the children will no longer be punished for the sins of their fathers, the old sacrifices for sin will no longer be needed, and the teaching of the people which certainly happened in the temple, as we know that Christ even in the temple, and that was their way of hearing the word, but, that was to be replaced by God himself writing in their minds and on their hearts, and in verse 34 it says, “No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least to the greatest,” declares the Lord.
    Do we live in that time, where there is no longer teaching, because they will all know me, declares the Lord.
    “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
    Or, do we live in a time, our time, where teaching still goes on, where people still have not all heard and believed, and where the Great Commission is still valid, and ongoing?

    I believe we live in a time, where repentance is still needed, where God’s Word still needs to reach the people, in the houses of worship as well, and not all are His, because we are still to be the light in this darkened world where every man “has not yet,” had God’s Law written in their minds, and on their hearts.

    I believe we still live in the time, the time now, is of the Age of the Church where teaching the world about their need to know the Lord, still is a need.

    To me, we are all still awaiting, the unfolding, of that “coming time,” which Jeremiah spoke.

    But, I could be wrong…

  32. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed that is quite a beautiful look and explanation at the rivers that flow forth from Eden and a glimpse of the river that flows from the throne of God.

    Thank you for that effort you put into your comment.

    Though I keep trying not to get dragged into an endless discussion with you Gary let me just say you are right about one thing in your commentary, you are wrong, or perhaps better said you are confused.

    The verse is about the coming of Messiah Jesus and we His bride (child of God) becoming a part of His nature and being.

    I pray Gary that you stop looking backward and start looking forward. But I feel that my words and effort is wasted on you and for that I am sorry.

    As I promised myself before I will leave you to yourself.


  33. poohpity says:

    If the very instinct of God is love then every part of the bible that fits so well together by different authors over thousands of years to reveal that very thing. Not one of them had any idea what another wrote well with the exception of the first 5 books as reference but it all pointed to the True and Better. A love that truly shows an action of what was/is/will be in the best interest of the one’s loved that would be Jesus, His life, His deeds, His fulfillment that will be formative or reformative in the life of one who truly believes.

    How can one answer the question without the background information? Thank you Mart for not only asking the question but providing the answer found in taking the time to listen to 16 minutes of inspired teaching. It is similar to giving a book report without first reading the book or giving a synopsis on a lecture without ever listening to the lecture. Pretty futile to say the least.

  34. poohpity says:

    I thought this song fits with the “True and Better” it is called “More Than You Think I AM”

    You always think I’m somewhere on a mountain top
    But never think behind bars
    You’d be amazed the places that I’d go to be with you
    Where you are
    So forget what you’ve heard
    What you think that you know
    There’s a lot about me
    That’s never been told
    I’m more than you dreamed
    More than you understand
    Your days and your times
    Were destined for our dance
    I catch all your tears
    Burn your name on my heart
    Be still and trust my plan
    I’m more than you think I am
    More than you think I am
    Rumor has it there’s a gavel in my hand
    I’m only here to condemn
    But let me tell you secrets you would’ve never known
    I think of you as my best friend
    So much has been said
    Even doubted my name
    But I’m showing you now
    Who I really am
    I’m more than you dreamed
    More than you understand

  35. joycemb says:

    Good day all,

    My heart is so heavy as I had to give up my dog yesterday to a shelter because he was becoming over-protective of me and wanting to attack people and other dogs. So sad, but the 3 mos I’ve had him I for the first time in my life felt what it means to be loved unconditionally. I’ve never known that before in the flesh. But it also reinforced in me that the flesh and everything we see, feel, taste, touch, and smell are not the end. We have a better place; a place of rest.

    No matter what our theological differences are (this blog is a good example with well-supported arguments on every side) they are typical of the world we live in today. But the greatest thing which we all can agree on is love, even though it’s defined differently by some here. Unconditional love is just that, unconditional, and doesn’t matter what your mood is, your actions are, or your thoughts even. Sin or no sin. Love just is.

    We can always learn how to love each other better in hopes of building up as we look forward to our final perfection, Christ our hope. Looking back in scripture does show us the struggles mankind has had waiting for the Messiah, but our mission looking forward is love.

    My take as I’ve mulled this over the past couple days is that the scriptures are about us and God. Without God there would be no us, and vice-versa.

    Rejoicing with God and a sad heart today,

  36. joycemb says:

    My last sentence, “without God there would be no us, and vice-versa” I’m speaking of the people of God, not the individual ‘me’.

  37. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, I am so sorry about your dog. Maybe down the road you could find a rescue dog that needs a home and someone to love unconditionally.. ;-)

  38. narrowpathseeker says:

    Regina, I am so glad things are looking up for you…God is sooooo good to us.

  39. Mart DeHaan says:

    Am so sorry to hear that you’ve had to give up a pet so close to your heart.

  40. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… to bad that you spoke in the flesh when tempted, only because you could not find the right spirit in you, the one who would have given you, a way out from under it, but you chose to not listen to that spirit.
    Instead, you lost it again, a chance to extend a teachable moment in love, because there can be no victory in the flesh speaking for the flesh, especially for those who should walk in the spirit.
    Am glad you have the bible all figured out for yourself, and anyone who does not see it your way, is the one who is wrong.
    But, at least you’ve cleared your head for the moment, now you only need a proper receptacle to dispose of the mess you hold in your hands.
    Maybe next time you’ll hold your tongue and just let others speak as they would, for we are all part of one body here, and we can not tell another part they are all wrong because they have a different view.
    If you do not agree that we live in the church age and the gospel still needs to be taught, both by a man to his neighbor, and in the house of God, because the Great Commission is not yet fulfilled, then, as you say, have it your way.
    Gotta go, battery low!
    I’ll keep praying for you brother.

  41. joycemb says:

    Thank you Mart and Pearl

  42. oneg2dblu says:

    The things we learn here when we all share are amazing.

    For instinct, oops, I mean for instance,

    I never knew that our DNA, that fixed code or permanent identifier, we where actually born with, changes when we are born again.

    Imagine that!

    So, I guess now that the more learned among us, who study and share such things and have had their eyes opened by them, now they will now believe who their brothers and sisters in Christ are, if they get some their drool and study its DNA profile?

    My bible must be missing that drool because I do not see it anywhere.

    Just thinking…

  43. street says:

    been thinking….walking in the Spirit. the fruit mart mentioned begin with love. if you had all the other fruit and no love would they be a fraud? was at a pizza joint today and one of their former ads was to make your day a little better. was thinking along that line when chatting with the counter help. work in all it’s forms is to make life better, safer, more enjoyable relieve suffering and pain, but that is not always the case. too many walking through life wounded, blind or as a wrecking ball. you can still have a difficult outcome even when things are done with great skill and wisdom. knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. just thinking. maybe more doing. plenty of rain today.

  44. street says:

    gary i can see you are in a very dark mood today. where is gentleness, faithfulness, and self control? are you being the older brother today?

  45. joycemb says:

    Gary, I’m going to be honest here. I was wondering if you hadn’t had one too many beers after work today. Not being mean, just wondering.

  46. joycemb says:

    Gary and everyone I’m sorry, that was way out of line. Had a tough couple days here, I miss my Charlie.

  47. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, I have also thought about our DNA in the way you described. I believe that your messages are always interesting (if not fascinating)inspiring, honest, and uplifting…I have no idea why anyone would take offense to anything you write…hope all is well with you Matt, and Glenna.

  48. SFDBWV says:

    Will admit that when this subject first appeared I was stuck as to how it could be viewed any other way than to just agree with Keller and let it go at that.

    In an almost humorous view I could imagine a group of us setting together and all grinning and nodding in agreement, but with little or nothing to say to add.

    There are a great many mysteries penned within the pages of Scripture, they are mysteries because sometimes we aren’t ready to accept the answer or we don’t like the answer and continue to look for one we do like.

    It is very frustrating to have discovered a pearl that others only recognize as an irritant.

    Whereas I/we can treasure in our hearts some revelation knowledge to transfer that same event or encounter to another is at best difficult.

    Keller’s view is one of those pearls that he has discovered for himself and has shared with all who will receive it. I have to believe he isn’t the only person in all of Christianity to have made the connection, but like many things needs to be rediscovered and reminded to old and new believers alike.

    Who can disagree with the view that Jesus is a better person when compared to anyone else?

    So what then do we do with this knowledge to help us endure life, be a better person and live more closely with God?

    I think that is the question Mart has put forward to us.

    57 degrees under that same grinning half-moon.


  49. oneg2dblu says:

    If nothing else comes of my presence here, other than to show each of us, when we act out in our humanity, our sin nature, we lose the battle.
    Every time you slander, every time you put your demeaning labels on another, or get into that personal attack mode, you lose.
    But, we all have to make that choice, it is not already done for us, so we still battle, and we do they wrong thing when we serve the wrong Master.
    But, according to some higher thinkers, if we are all already forgiven, then, what we say, how we witness, or even if we worship other gods, even if we disclaim Our Savior, even if we walk/fall/turn away, everything is just fine with our life, because, we think we are already forgiven, as Charles Stanley says, “No matter what!”

    So to him and those who believe as he does, all the Warnings in God’s word, don’t really matter. All the teachings in God’s word, don’t matter. How we choose to live our lives after initial salvation, doesn’t matter?
    Whether we say loving things, or if we constantly challenge the status quo, or the easily deceived masses, and when others are not receiving it in a loving way, or feel threatened, they automatically reject the messenger, act out in their flesh, and lose another battle.
    Or, was that how Christ himself was received by the higher thinkers in his day, who equally did not like His warnings, teachings, and rebuke.
    Just thinking…

    Street… your 7:58 was a great post, and you are thinking great thoughts.
    Thank you for sharing.

  50. oneg2dblu says:

    In answer to many, who are really showing they care, no beers, no booze, no dark moods, just the actions of a human being, being rejected again.
    I too, when attacked, am able to act out in the flesh.

    As one brighter than myself once said, he who acts out in revenge, had better dig two graves.

    Again, I’ll forgive any all who lash out at me, which goes against my old man, but because my DNA changed, I’ll have to continue to pray for others who act in their humanity alone, and to their battle. Every time.

    Prayers to all,

  51. poohpity says:

    I don’t know about others but when I meet someone I usually spend time to get to know them. I like to learn all I can about their character, heart and mind, normally just whatever it is that makes them who they are. God being unlike us never changes He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Seeing Him through the eyes of someone who may have spent more time with Him and it is always a joy to listen to their experience and in some instances see that we share common thinking and insight others times learning more and then there are times we may not agree but God is still the same.

    For me to understand that Jesus came as a reflection of the Father to reveal His heart for mankind, not as some of the religious leaders had lead people to believe but what was truth it helps me discover that God had always wanted people to know Him personally and that is revealed through the history of mankind’s relationship with Him from the beginning of time through all the stories we have in the Bible.

  52. oneg2dblu says:

    sorry for fractured sentence structure, my cursor has wild mood swings and composes its own arrangements so quickly
    I miss them.

  53. poohpity says:

    The fruit of that growing relationship begins to manifest itself in the life of the one who they follow after. The more time one spends with another they seem to take on the very characteristics of the One who has their heart.

  54. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes Steve… No other name can compare with the name above all names.
    There is no other name which has that power, or ultimate divine authority, on earth or in heaven.

    In the name of Jesus Christ alone, have we all have met Our Master.

  55. poohpity says:

    The is always a battle going on the sad part is people take that to mean against each other but in that case the one who really enjoys that has won. Our battle even within our minds is against the dark forces, powers and principalities of this world. Spending more time in that thinking rather than time spent with the Lord will lead to being held captive and then actions/behaviors will follow.

  56. joycemb says:

    I was just thinking about how positive Keller’s message is, as are all of Marts. Just thinking out loud here, but wondering if Jesus and His message was just as positive. Could it be? I like to think so.

  57. poohpity says:

    Joyce you do not have to wonder about Jesus and His message any longer it seems a pretty good glimpse of it is written in the Bible. Make a good day.

  58. joycemb says:

    Thank you Pooh.

  59. joycemb says:

    It actually was a rhetorical question Pooh, I already knew the answer!

  60. rokdude5 says:

    The word “instinct” caught my eyes too and immediately I thought how we are all created in His image. So therefore I can see how and where our “instinct” comes from. And that “instinct” does show itself whether youre a believer or not. Lots of non believers dont steal, commit adultery, murder, etc, etc. They just dont attribute such virtues to God.

    Since the posed question seems rather rhetorical, it does begs a larger question of how can we feeble followers remain in that Spirit? I have pleaded to God that I dont want to sin and please have His Spirit loom larger and larger in my mind and heart.

    Blessings and youre in my prayers Kim Davis.

  61. joycemb says:

    rokdude5 good thought! Imago Deo, yes, I believe we are created in the image of God. Our fallen nature has also skewed the instinctive drive to do good. Staying in the Spirit is the remedy. Hard to do, but we keep on keeping on, don’t we! God is able to do what we can’t that’s for sure.

    As Pooh said, it’s Jesus! Yes, Jesus is the way we stay in the Spirit. He was the one who sent the Spirit to help us spread the Good News. It’s a partnership, isn’t it! A Holy partnership. And if the Good News is positive, then it’s more receivable I think.

  62. joycemb says:

    Fruits of the Spirit say nothing about judging, condemning, criticizing, manipulating, lying to myself and others, feeling sorry for myself, or causing another pain. Yes I am very capable of all of these things. But Jesus and the Spirit He gives shows me another way and I keep on trying to do better, the ‘born again’ instinct now within.

  63. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Joyce – I also see the positive in Keller’s commentaries and Mart’s as well.

    It is good news to know that in all the ways that humans fail, Jesus triumphs. It is good news and that is positive. It is good news that Jesus has done what we could not. He triumphed over sin and death and He did it because we could not. Has anyone here triumphed over sin and death? I haven’t, I know that much. But the Good News is that Jesus has. Jesus is true and better. I am so thankful. Praise God. This is positively good news. “How can I stop from singing His praise?”

    I know this is a strange post, but I’m on my lunch break and I don’t have time to fix it.

  64. joycemb says:

    Tracy that was not a strange post at all! Very good and uplifting, thank you.

    To all: I just finished reading an article on Christianity Today about whether fallen pastors should be restored. It is very very good, and points to healing of inner issues which is how God works through our fallenness to make us better. He is so good, and that is very positive!

  65. oneg2dblu says:

    Instinct… where does it come from, and where does it go, if changed?

    Let’s take a cat, wiggle something tantalizingly in front of them, and wham, you get a paw full of claws.

    Have you invoked their image, or their natural instinct?

    I know this, I have seen many shadows that reflect an somethings image, but I’ve never seen even one cast from an instinct.

    A camera snapshot may capture someones image, but not their instinct?

    What about a wolf in sheep’s clothing, are we fooled by their deceptive image, or evil’s instinct to deceive us?

    Just some thoughts about why instinct and image are two different words, and in many cases with two different meanings.

    Should we now mix them together just to serve our thoughts here?

    “Let us make mankind in our image”… is not the same as, let’s give mankind our instincts.

    Mankind was deceived in the Garden, mankind was disobedient in the Garden, and mankind avoided taking responsibility for his actions in the Garden.

    To me, those things do not properly reflect the Image of God, nor are they God’s instincts.

    But, I may be wrong…

  66. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… your thoughts are resonating some really good thoughts.
    In fact all the other’s comments are as well.
    Just thinking…

  67. joycemb says:

    we all have natural instincts that usually tell us how to act and get along in our surroundings, whether church, neighborhood, or the corner bar. These are ‘rules’ for living and when we break them, there are consequences. However, the Holy Spirit comes in and gives us another set of rules, which become instinctual toward Holiness and right living according to God’s good. The damaged image of God in flesh now becomes the born-again, new image of God, created to do good things.

    More fun with words…

  68. joycemb says:

    I just took Macadamia nut cookies out of the oven.
    Wish I could share them with all of you :-)

  69. oneg2dblu says:

    I think you just did.

  70. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    Pray all is well in your lives. Thank you, narrowpathseeker! God is, indeed, so very good to us! 1 John 3:1-3. Long day today, but a good one. Multi-tasking right now… Doing laundry and eating dinner (cheese pizza). Will try to make time to read this new blog topic and comment on it.

    96 degrees, and the sun is preparing to sit down in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,

  71. joycemb says:

    Hadn’t thought of that, I probably did though Gary. All is vanity the Bible says. I’m no different. Vain and self-righteous and all that bad stuff at times. But Jesus still loves me!

  72. saled says:

    I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this post and the comments this week. Tim Keller is a new name to me, and I was excited about his ‘true and better’ examples. I’m not sure if he mentions Jonah or not, but think about it: Jesus is the true and better Jonah who stilled the waves instead of being thrown overboard. We can go so many places with this idea.

    Mart’s phrase about ‘living with conscious reliance on the spirit of Christ as a true and better way of living a lawful life’ also struck me. I think this something that we all try to develop. This past summer was a stressful time in my life and when I sometimes went outside first thing in the morning to do some simple yoga exercises in the sunshine. While doing the tree pose one morning I thought of Psalm number one, where it says that blessed is he who meditates in the law of the Lord and that he shall be like a tree planted beside rivers of water. And as I looked at the strong oak, maple, and pine trees surrounding me, my prayer was that I could be like a strong tree for my family. And then I thought about water.

    Water: foreverblessed, thank you for the WT Grant study in Ezekiel. We could never exhaust this subject of water in the Bible. I don’t want to be just a tree planted beside rivers of water; I want the living water springing up in me that Jesus spoke to the woman at the well about. It seems to me that this water is the ‘true and better’ than the water that the tree was planted beside.

  73. SFDBWV says:

    A few years ago we received information along with our copy of “Our Daily Journey” pamphlet stating it was geared toward believers under 40 years of age. So we ask to no longer receive the material as we are well over that age.

    So as I consider the question of “life in the Spirit” as a better way of reflecting “the heart of Jesus”, I am reminded that this is a very relative term.

    Paul considered it best to never marry and dedicate yourself to the service of Christ yet understood this was not possible for everyone.

    Along that line of thinking I see all of our views as being relative to where we are in life as well as where we are in Christian development.

    Our age and development has a great influence on how we reflect what we believe is the heart of Christ; however when we are living completely in the Spirit our age and development doesn’t matter as it is the actions of the Spirit through us that will reflect the heart of Christ, not our view or age or development.

    This is a matter not fully under our control, rather under the control of The Spirit of God.

    How can we exercise our behavior to better allow the Spirit to have His way…by surrendering our self over and over again and again.

    A child will reflect the heart of Christ (Isaiah 11:6), young men shall see visions, old men shall dream dreams, sons and daughters shall prophesy (Joel 2:28).

    The Kingdom of God is here and now, receive it and you too can experience living in the Spirit more and more every hour.


  74. poohpity says:

    Submission! Now that is a hard action especially for those who want to be in control of their own lives and the lives of others; the motto seems to be “I want it my way”. So to come the place of submission one has to realize my control has been what has lead me to the need of the of a Savior. Will I be submissive to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit or will I continue to think my way of doing things is the best way to go?

    Paul described life lived in the Spirit(Gal 5:22-23) does my life reflect that? Am I growing in the knowledge and understanding of God and is my desire for Him first and foremost above all else?

    “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”

    It is about God.

  75. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… I see nothing vain in your wishing you could share your freshly made cookies with the rest of us.
    PS… thanks for sharing, mine was delicious!

  76. joycemb says:

    See how completely insecure I am! I thought you were referring to my previous post as ‘nuts’ . This is something I deal with every day. But it always draws me close to Jesus who is my only help and hope in times of persecution; whether real or perceived.

    Years of real persecution have left me with scars and a limp God chooses not to change, but has left for good as it makes me more dependent on Him rather than others. (Ever hear of Stockholm syndrome)

    All I have really is an IQ a little on the high side so therefore learning for me has never been an option but a great joy! However, as I said, vanity all is vanity. The Bible says knowledge puffs up. Yes, so as the woman who poured out her best perfume on Jesus’ feet I too must remember that the best I can give is what I have learned to Jesus and let him do with it whatever He wants.

    I am so thankful for this forum that allows me to be myself with others and get reliable feedback, both good and bad, to foster my spiritual growth.

    The cookies were real and not metaphor, and really good!

    Blessings, Joyce

  77. foreverblessed says:

    Keep it up,Joyce! Thanks Saled! I have that same dream, water flowing out of my belly, or inner parts, John 7:37-38
    Is that not ‘instinct’?
    God at eventide Sep 5 talks about this ‘instinct’
    The intuitive knowing of Gods will for those for those who have close and intimate contact with God.

  78. SFDBWV says:

    Viv and Maru I hope all is well with you two. I worry a little when we don’t hear something and have said goodbye to far too many contributors.

    It is another densely foggy morning and 56 degrees, most all of the humming birds have left and the little goldfinches have lost their yellow feathers for their brown winter coats.

    Praying all today are blessed with answered prayers and fellowship with God.


  79. joycemb says:

    Yes I have also been wondering how you, Maru and Viv are doing?
    Thinking about what you said Maru about moving 1500 miles from family and friends. So hard. I pray God is meeting your needs as only He can. You are certainly pouring yourself out for the good of many as Paul said. Like rivers of living water.

    Viv thinking of you and praying your needs also are being met and your peace is flowing like a river.

    To all a good day,

  80. lovely says:

    Hi everyone , great comments.There is no limits in knowing this true & better & living God..& we can all search that in His word made available to all of us.Psalms 119:96 To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless.instinct here in the bible is called “nature”.because of Adam we were object of wrath Ephesians 2:3 .But because of God’s nature tht is to love,He brought us back by His love Ephesians 2:13.Now there is 2 things living in us instinct of the flesh & of Gods love.God is working in us constantly ,sometimes its our flesh that is mind emotions that is slowing it or limiting it.He is dealing with the flesh issues “self life” in my life.Found that if I beat my flesh down His Spirit will be able to work freely in me.2 Corinthians 4:16.what’s amazing about DNA.Seems like studies show that babies inherit the father s DNA & we all have Christ DNA in us.We are His offspring .Acts 17:29.Christ is definitely the better & true Adam .1Corinthians 15:44,45.come Lord Jesus come.

  81. lovely says:

    Sorry the scriptures seems to lost its link let me try these Psalms119:96

  82. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve,thank you for bringing to our attention, the absence of Maru and Viv. I hadn’t noticed as I don’t stop by everyday, nor read every post when I do stop by as I am slow as molasses lately. According to my checking ability there have been no posts from Maru since Aug 19th and I believe none from Viv since Aug 23…of course I may have that wrong but it has been awhile.. I certainly hope as you (and I’m sure all here)first and foremost, that all is well with them. Secondly, I hope it was nothing that I wrote that caused any problems.. I will be praying that all is well and that their reason for not being here is something wonderful like being on vacation or visiting relatives.

  83. jeff1 says:

    I returned on Friday from visiting my son in Bournemouth UK who had to move accommodation and his father and I went to help him. Sorry to Steve and all for not saying I was going, it was remiss of me will catch up with comments later. Good to be back.

  84. narrowpathseeker says:

    I am very glad you are back safely and that you got to visit your son. We are Blessed.

  85. SFDBWV says:

    Viv I am happy to see you have returned safely from your visit and equally pleased to see you here.

    Lovely I have noticed that the Scripture verses we give have not been highlighted nor showcased for a little while. I suppose some glitch in the system.

    Pearl and Joyce as always I am happy to see that Christ’s Spirit abides with you both.

    52 degrees this morning under a slice of silvery moon with a little star shining right beside it.


  86. jeff1 says:

    I have missed your words of wisdom and encouragement and it is good to be back with those who enlighten me to open my mind and heart to God alone. I have spent too much time fretting over the past and I am gradually realizing that God is not out to get me for my bad choices but wants me to learn from them and move on. I have not always seen God’s presence but that was down to my blindness and not God’s absence. The assumptions I make about God are not based on Biblical teaching and are more based on me believing God is tugging at my heart strings but I am much too headstrong to listen at times and so it is a struggle for me when for others they go with the tugging and make it easier for God and themselves. I am a firm believer that I am my own worst enemy and God knows that. I must get to know myself before I know how God works in me. God knows His children, this is what is truly amazing, so much so that man can not comprehend it for God knows us individually which is why one cannot compare their journey to another’s and when we do confusion occurs.
    Jesus told that to His disciples that one should not compare to another but focus and follow Him. The more I get to know God the more I realize that he is way beyond anything I can imagine for I am the little sparrow so how can I understand the God of the universe unless He so wills it!

  87. oneg2dblu says:

    Perhaps we as disciples are not to compare to another, but, we should “care enough” to know what the word says, and to apply it.

    “My brothers if one of you should wonder from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

    To me, we can compare a brother’s current walk to the word, and if the word says his walk is wandering from the truth, then, we can share the truth, share the love, share the word, and show a brother the error of his ways, if we only compare his ways to another way shown in the word.

    There is no confusion in sharing, teaching, and even rebuking others, using the word of God to help them see their error and helping them to be built up in the truth.

    Probably the hardest ones to turn, are those who has been falsely taught.

    Others may choose to believe something else, if they have been taught something else.

    I may be wrong, but I’m only saying what I see in the word, what I have been taught, and what I choose to believe.

    Be Blessed,


  88. oneg2dblu says:

    I am talking only about another’s walk and how it may conflict with the word.

    Not to compare whether another will live longer here on this earth, or what position they have in heaven, but, only how he walks as a brother while he is here on this earth.

    That to me is loving another, and caring enough, to mention, compare, teach, and even correct another from his error.

    Some here will say, that is being judgmental, but the word says differently.

    James 5:19,20

    Be Blessed, Gary

  89. poohpity says:

    Is it any of our business what a brother/sister’s walk is like? Isn’t that between them and God. God knowing a person’s heart, mind and soul and we as human beings only get a glimpse of another person but without putting effort into getting to know either of them are we grasping at straws from our own vantage point and biases which are normally distorted.

    The juxtaposition of God and man we see that one can understand man by knowing God but I do not think we can understand God by knowing man.

  90. poohpity says:

    I think it is sort of neat not having the verses that people put down come up automatically because we then, if one really cares what the verses say, can look them up in our bibles and read them within the context to get a fuller meaning of what they are saying.

  91. oneg2dblu says:

    Welcome back jeff1/Viv… you have been missed.
    We who have been here also miss the quick reference guide we had when posting a verse by book, chapter, and verse number.
    I think we all miss that as well.
    But, if it makes us reach out more for our bibles, we are certainly blessed even more because of it.
    We are all glad to hear more of Marts voice contributing in the back and forth here as well.

  92. oneg2dblu says:

    If one really cares?

    If one really cares, they should care how the rest of the world sees a common Confessing Christian’s life displayed, or a leading Pastor’s life displayed.
    Am thinking they are supposed to be a “Light to the World?”

    How does the light of the world, living out of step with the word of God, then look just as dark as the rest of the world.

    Yes, we should all care.

  93. oneg2dblu says:

    Isn’t it funny how God put in His Word what characteristics are required for certain positions to be filled in the church.
    God seems to care enough to know how we show we live, ACTUALLY makes a DIFFERENCE.
    But, I may wrong, and who am I to judge.

  94. poohpity says:

    I was thinking what happens with God and man rather than knowing we are created in the image infinite of God, human beings try to create a god in their image, from their imagination, logic, thinking from a finite mind then put effort into persuading others that is true.

  95. poohpity says:

    lol that should have been; image of an infinite God not image infinite of God.

  96. poohpity says:

    Did God really put in His word what characteristics are required for certain positions to be filled in the Church or did He put how we are to use the areas we are gifted in to fill the positions to help the church function as a body? No position is any more important than another and all are needed. There is however no position included in that body that is designated as the judge of another’s walk with God(only God can truly judge that) because that does not build up the body but tears it down. A place for forgiven sinners to meet for corporate worship and welcoming those who may not know the forgiveness of the Lord yet bringing our focus back to God and not on each other.

  97. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… I don’t know, maybe we end up thinking that the image of Mary at Fatima is actually from God, and then we try to make something holy that is not holy.
    Or we believe the thousands of images created by man as to what Christ looks like, are then portrayed everywhere throughout the world.
    I guess one could say it is nothing but the innocent working of creative man, or detestable idol worship, if one actually believes what the word says in,

    Exodus 20:4, Leviticus 26:1, Deuteronomy 4:16, Jeremiah 51:17, Ezekiel 20:4 and so many more verses that tell us what God says in His word.

    Or, was there a different context you were trying to evoke?

  98. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh.. I am not getting what you are serving up here.
    The bible clearly gives us certain requirements for Elder and Deacons in the church, but you are not wanting to agree here, so I am leaving this thread you are pursuing right now, and moving on.
    Be in Peace

  99. poohpity says:

    I was not trying to evoke anything Gary other than taking a closer look at what God is teaching us about Himself through the Bible. With out the “True and Better” the bible can be a very dark book.

  100. oneg2dblu says:

    There is a certain teaching that allows a license for all sinning, a not taking any responsibility for ones actions.

    Truly a false teaching if you are to be chosen to serve in the church, according to the word of God.

    Perhaps without that thinking, one has clouded how they think about ones walking the talk, or Following Christ, or modeling as a Saint, or a Child of God.

    They think there is to be none of that responsibility stuff getting in the way of “their faith walk.”

    But, Faith without works is dead, according to the word of God.

    Gee, now Ill be labeled a liar because I commented on my works driven gifts, the Gift of Helps, which is useless, unless one actually helps.

    The gifts all have their specific character as well.

    That is not complicated!

  101. oneg2dblu says:

    To stay in the context about responsibility, please read 1 Timothy Chapter 3, then I think you will see what I am trying to say here.

    We must “walk the talk,” or we do not belong in service to any church which uses the Word of God to properly set its priorities.

    Unfortunately, today many churches do not really closely follow the word, they imagine it is outdated instead.

    Sorry folks, things just get out of hand here at times, and it looks as if we never seem to settle some of our differences.

  102. poohpity says:

    Gary, The only place I have ever heard any of the kind of teaching that you often elude or refer to is from you which is quite often so far removed from what is found in scripture and seems more focused on man’s thoughts, understanding and accomplishments rather than anything that has to do with God in any way, shape or form.

    If one is speaking of the qualifications of elders or deacons that Paul was referring to then one has to know the audience, culture, time period and what was going on around that church plant. Before they became believers they worshiped female goddesses as well as many other created gods in a matriarchal society and Paul seemed to be trying to bring some balance into their worship compare that with the church in Rome.

  103. poohpity says:

    Qualifications are different than characteristics.

    Qualification– a special skill or type of experience or knowledge that makes someone suitable to do a particular job or activity.

    Characteristic–a distinguishing feature or quality:
    Generosity is his chief characteristic.

  104. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… there is no place I can go with one who only wants to keep changing up the context.
    Your playing with words, in an effort to that refuses to resolve anything, so with that being the context of reasoning going on here, I’m finished discussing this thread with you.

  105. poohpity says:

    lol but Gary you have yet to even discuss this thread my friend. :-)

  106. jeff1 says:

    I believe trusting God in difficult times brought me closer to God than trying to walk the talk. I often notice how people who do not proclaim to know God behave in a Godly manner and wonder if it is God’s spirit in them. There is so much about God that I do not understand but I believe that His presence and protection is everywhere. I truly believe that God uses other methods other than His word to communicate with His children and it makes me glad for there are many I believe who have not had a Christian upbringing who have His DNA. I do not judge another by their lack of faith for I look more at their behaviour. In my experience of life and people actions speak louder than words but it is not always God fearing people who are active. I have always been taught that it is faith that pleases God and I firmly believe that most people of faith do some works and I do not think it is for us to judge what works are more important to God for that is for Him to judge. I believe it is the spirit in which we do the work that is most important.

  107. SFDBWV says:

    Viv I think you have a very healthy outlook on your faith. Whereas having the Word of God in the form of the Bible certainly aids and helps us see God more clearly, having the Word of God in the form of the Son in our hearts is a far better thing.

    The very first Gentile believers had no Bible and yet their hearts received the Gospel. Some were introduced to the Torah, but the multitude of them received Christ and spread the Gospel because the “Truth” found a place in their inner parts and in their hearts.

    It is the reflection of Jesus that shines from us that gets positive attention, not how much knowledge of the Scripture we may have.


  108. jeff1 says:

    I have focused more on God than on Christ and that is where my struggles have been greatest.
    I believe God wants me to get to know Christ as opposed to trying to understand Him. I seem to have been born with ‘Why’ on my lips. I was told when I was very young that no matter what I was asked to do I would want to know why. I have always been curious in life and I am still curious about God. I question myself as to if God sees my curiosity as wanting to know about Him rather than wanting to know Him. I believe part of me needs to understand who God is as much as allowing Christ into my heart and yet God’s answer to me is Christ is the way, the truth and the life and so the battle for me is in my head. I need to get rid of the questions so that my heart can rejoice in Christ. Curiosity killed the cat and Saint Augustine wrote in Confessions, AD 397, that in the eons before creating heaven and earth, God “fashioned hell for the inquisitive”. I do not believe I have a healthy outlook on my faith and that is what God is telling me that ‘curiosity’ does not equal ‘care’. It is Christ I need in my heart and by allowing questions on God’s character into my mind I am in fact blocking the joy I should know in Christ. I am my own worst enemy Steve, that is what God is telling me!

  109. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes, the people who were first exposed to the Gospel Message, probably were not handed a denominational tract left under a wiper blade while they were shopping at the mall.
    Nor, did they have a house full of other writings to sway them away from believing this newer message.
    Hearing was probably the only way they had, even before the words were penned in the modern expanded version saying, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God.”
    The written word was not readily available to them, nor were they as literate, but today, is another story.
    Today we have many more mixed messages,and any more books and other forms of media,all competing with the bible.
    So, why not use the bible which we already have as a complete work, allowing it to do its work, and find in it for ourselves the very word of God, given to us as His guiding light in writing, to be a light our path and be a lamp to our feet?
    Or, does knowing the bible as the Word of God threaten or weaken our faith position?

    Is making biblical knowledge an enemy, a deficit, or a subtracting/distracting element to our faith, really something we should now suggest we employ?

    Or, should we promote that every believer should spend some time every day in the word of God, hearing God through His written word, and finding it is the most reliable source ever written about the “Greatest Story” ever told.

    I wonder what the American Bible Institute would say about biblical knowledge verses ones faith.
    Just thinking…

  110. jeff1 says:

    I do not understand how you can verse one again the other. How a person comes to faith should not be your concern but God’s concern. You and I were brought up with the Bible and I for my own reasons did not choose to study it but took stories from it to strengthen my faith. There are many today who were not brought up with the Bible and if God chooses to reach their hearts and minds through other sources then so be it. It is not for us to deter where God should channel His word. He is to lead and we are to follow, what is wrong with Christianity today is one is constantly trying to pick holes in another person’s faith. Run your own race, there will be enough obstacles on your own journey to get over and if you can not agree with your fellow believer then leave it to God for in His time He will rebuke. Other believers will not thank you for trying to put them right when they have not realised they were wrong in the first place. It has to be God’s timing in that person’s journey not your timing Gary.

  111. street says:

    mart coming back to this one thinking that conflict with Scripture and other Christians is caused by ignorance, philosophy, or speculation that is not been worked out of a persons understanding or worked through God’s Word by His Spirit. any time there is unsettled truth there is muddy water to be cleaned up. thanking God for His patients and grace. find it interesting each generation gets to wrestle with God and the truth. the amazing things is there is a continuity with each generation. in other words there is no generation that starts from square one or completed without the others.

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