How Faithfully Must Christians Persevere?"How much obedience is enough? Twenty percent? More? Less? How do we quantify our obedience?"
Just how faithful must a Christian be?
- The general purpose of this "GROW BY LEARNING" BLOG has been for the purpose of writing my journal of how I have grown by learning. I have tried to write my thoughts of events that have happen in our family life and ministry. In this journey I have grown in maturity, (well maybe) and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have tried also to record the development of thought about ministry. The development of preaching and teaching.
- Generally I have just written for the express purpose of my family. Along the way, now only three months into this journey and ninety six posts, there are a few more who from time to time drop by "GROW BY LEARNING." For the present its still my purpose to write about my journey, and my growth in the Christian life. Periodically I will address an issue that I think would be neat to think about, but again its from my perspective, and has been part of my experience in life and ministry. I have tried to make this Blog "GROW BY LEARNING" how my personal thinking has moved and developed over the last fifty years.
- One of those perspectives that I have dealt is the topic of "Preaching the Gospel." If there has been an issue in my ministry its been over "Preaching the Gospel." The issue of what does the Bible teach about "salvation." How does a person become a Christian. And how do you know if a person really has become a Believer. The issue is how you preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- And in these last seven Blogs, or threads, or articles I have tried to address my perspective, and how I have arrived to my understanding on this issue. I am sure this issue will take more then seven articles, but I will try to enter weave this issue in with articles as we go along.
I will refer you to the link below that will address this issue. The article is from this link. Phil Johnson over at "PyroManiacs"
http://www.sfpulpit.com/2006/11/17/how-faithfully-must-christians-persevere/ Phil Johnson
These last seven posts have been as a result of the Pulpit Magazine’s Nathan Busenitz articles. Though this issue has been a part of my personal journey in ministry for over forty years.
The following article is taking from John MacArthur’s book, an excerpt from Faith Works: The Gospel According to the Apostles (189-92).
I will post this article in Part One and Part Two. (For the sake of the length)
"After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you" (5:10).
Can you grasp the magnitude of that promise? God Himself perfects, confirms, strengthens, and establishes His children. Though His purposes for the future involve some pain in the present, He will nevertheless give us grace to endure and persevere. Even while we are being personally attacked by the enemy, we are being personally perfected by God. He Himself is doing it. And He will accomplish His purposes in us, bringing us to wholeness, setting us on solid ground, making us strong, and establishing us on a firm foundation. All those terms speak of strength, resoluteness.
The Problem of Quantification (to determine or express the quantify of:)
Inevitably, the question is raised, "How faithfully must one persevere?" Charles Ryrie wrote,
- So we read a statement like this: "A moment of failure does not invalidate a disciple’s credentials." My immediate reaction to such a statement is to want to ask if two moments would? Or a week of defection, or a month, or a year? Or two? How serious a failure and for how long before we must conclude that such a person was in fact not saved? Lordship teaching recognizes that "no one will obey perfectly," but the crucial question is simply how imperfectly can one obey and yet be sure that he "believed" . . .?
. . . A moment of defection, we have been told, is not an invalidation. Or "the true disciple will never turn away completely." Could he turn away almost completely? Or ninety percent? Or fifty percent and still be sure he was saved? . . .
Frankly, all this relativity would leave me in confusion and uncertainty. Every defection, especially if it continued, would make me unsure of my salvation. Any serious sin or unwillingness would do the same. If I come to a fork in the road of my Christian experience and choose the wrong branch and continue on it, does that mean I was never on the Christian road to begin with? For how long can I be fruitless without having a lordship advocate conclude that I was never really saved? (So Great Salvation 48-49, emphasis added).
Part Two: Next
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 11-20-06 (Charity is working at the Bakery) Thanksgiving A record number of pies. Over 200 pies and over 150 dozens rolls. Debbie and Charity, Pauline, Tammy, Rich and Sonda have worked hard this last week. My little part is in the clean the floors and making flyers.