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Don't Miss The Opportunity

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Don't Miss The Opportunity

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Scripture Lesson: Romans 6:1-23 (Read Romans 5:1-21)



The Apostle Paul was writing to the Church at Rome addressing the very same issue we face today. There were people, claiming to be Christian, who were misrepresenting the Grace of God. Due to their lack of understanding, they totally missed the point and were misleading others to follow them down a destructive path.

There are many today, who take the position that because God’s love is so great He would never condemn anyone to hell, therefore all people, regardless of their lifestyle, will go to heaven when they die.

Throughout the sixth chapter of Romans, the Apostle Paul puts the words “grace” and “sins” directly into relationship with one another. Let me put it in very simple terms. Grace is the “doorknob” on the door of life which allows us to move from a life of sin to a life of righteousness. Jesus is that Door! (John 10:7-9) Grace gives us a moment of opportunity to reject sin and accept mercy and forgiveness. It allows us to move from death to life, from darkness into light. As Paul puts it in verse two: “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus tells us a story of a man who did not understand GRACE. He received it abundantly but refused to give it sparingly. As a result he lost the benefits of grace and received judgment instead.

Because of God’s great love, He offers us grace. It is what we do with that opportunity which shows whether we appreciate it or not. Grace is NOT forgiveness, it is the opportunity to REPENT and receive forgiveness. Even John the Baptist understood the difference. Without repentance, grace becomes only a lost opportunity.

Jesus died for our sins that all men “might” be saved, it is up to each one of us to accept that opportunity of grace on His terms, not ours. (1 Timothy 2:4)

I THOUGHT THIS WA A GOOD DEFINITION OF GRACE BY MY GOOD FRIEND RICHARD DEEMY

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Re: [jamesgodson] Don't Miss The Opportunity In reply to
jamesgodson: Hi.

Grace is NOT forgiveness, it is the opportunity to REPENT and receive forgiveness.

I think that God's forgiveness is greater than any kind of human forgiveness because God is able to forgive in advance, in the hope that it will stimulate repentance.

Let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts:
and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him;
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts
. Isa. 55:7-9.

This is God's default position with everyone who admits their faults. But God, being God, 'goes the extra mile for sinners'.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Rom.5:8.

God (in Christ), pleaded for his persecutors to be forgiven, not on the grounds of their repentance, (it simply was not there), but on the grounds of their ignorance.

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; because they know not what they do. Luke 23:34.

Further more, as my sign off says, God was in Christ making the first move toward reconciliation with us, "not holding our sins against us". Not demanding a grovelling apology from everyone in the human race before he was willing to forgive.

In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 2 Cor. 5:19. Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pet.4:8b.

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rdrcofe: Apr 24, 2018, 1:36 AM
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Re: [jamesgodson] Don't Miss The Opportunity In reply to
Hi James.

You write of those who are not "saved" yet and who may be through grace:

<<Grace gives us a moment of opportunity to reject sin and accept mercy and forgiveness. It allows us to move from death to life, from darkness into light.>>

I rejected sin early in life and have remained in a state of rejecting sin.

Sin being defined as <<an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law, (sin against) offend against (God, a person, or a principle).

As I do not accept the existence of any entities that others claim to be deities, I must seek mercy and forgiveness from my fellow humans, but first from myself, my conscience, my ego.

Living thus in a state of human grace means that I accept my faults and mistakes, make amends where I can and ever strive to do better.

I am not ling in death or darkness. I am living in life and light.

I understand your frustration with small "C" Christians, as it has always been mine, but I contend that they are small "H" human beings, who place themselves above love and compassion, truth and responsibility to our species and our home. Or...they have so corrupted what they are that they do not think such stuff is important and woe is us if humans such as these have power over humanity.

I guess even as some Christians choose to remove themselves from this way of thinking and these people, so do I choose to do so and have done so from a very early age, thanks to my parents. I continued this with my family with varying results, but I think the core will hold and the ideal of rejecting sin will continue.

-Jeanne
"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."
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Re: [jeanne53] Don't Miss The Opportunity In reply to
Jeanne53:

You write of those who are not "saved" yet and who may be through grace:

<<Grace gives us a moment of opportunity to reject sin and accept mercy and forgiveness. It allows us to move from death to life, from darkness into light.>>

I rejected sin early in life and have remained in a state of rejecting sin.

Sin being defined as <<an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law, (sin against) offend against (God, a person, or a principle).

As I do not accept the existence of any entities that others claim to be deities, I must seek mercy and forgiveness from my fellow humans, but first from myself, my conscience, my ego.

Living thus in a state of human grace means that I accept my faults and mistakes, make amends where I can and ever strive to do better.

And this is essentially the way we were originally created to function. Human moral disfunctionality is attributable largely to ignorance, greed or fear.

In my opinion whether one intellectually embraces the concept that 'deities' exist or not is irrelevant.

If they don't exist, then there is still a fundamental requirement for human beings to behave in a moral and ethical manner which is, as far as possible, agreed upon to be the norm of acceptable human behaviour. Otherwise it is impossible to hold concepts of what is 'acceptably human' and what is 'inhuman' behaviour.

If deities or a supreme deity, even an only deity exists, which is responsible for human beings coming into existence, then presumably that deity would have an interest in whether each of its creations is behaving in ways that it originally optimally intended. If that deity is in fact 'Gracious' then it will be tolerant of aberrations from the optimum, if those aberrations are through ignorance or unintentional. Perhaps even if the aberration is deliberate, (depending on circumstances). (i.e. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do"). The gracious nature of the deity is 'entirely of its OWN nature', therefore not dependent upon the performance of its creatures and certainly not dependent upon whether they confess intellectual assent to the deity's existence, since without proof, they cannot be expected to be certain. Certainty can only result from reasoned proof and if human beings are to be considered 'reasonable', they should demand proof before being certain about anything. If they were indeed 'made that way', then their creator will consider them to be functioning appropriately. Faith, therefore is entirely optional, as far as human optimum functionality is concerned. Faith however is recommended, because it has the ability to make decisions where insufficient data is available to arrive at 'Certainty'. Thus progress can still continue and confidence maintained, when proof is unavailable.

There is 'blessing' in believing without tangible proof. Jn.20:29.

So, one way or the other, if God is truly 'Gracious', then we have nothing to fear beyond death and if God does not exist then we will have no more to fear 'after this life', than we did 'before we existed', which is nothing to fear, if God is gracious.

In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 2 Cor. 5:19. Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pet.4:8b.

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rdrcofe: Apr 27, 2018, 2:27 AM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Don't Miss The Opportunity In reply to
Good grief, Chris.

What does that even mean..."good grief"? Oh:

<<An exclamation expressing surprise, alarm, dismay, or some other, usually negative emotion. For example, Good grief! You're not going to start all over again, or Good grief! He's dropped the cake. The term is a euphemism for "good God." [Early 1900s]>>

You write:

And this is essentially the way we were originally created to function. Human moral disfunctionality is attributable largely to ignorance, greed or fear.

In my opinion whether one intellectually embraces the concept that 'deities' exist or not is irrelevant.

If they don't exist, then there is still a fundamental requirement for human beings to behave in a moral and ethical manner which is, as far as possible, agreed upon to be the norm of acceptable human behaviour. Otherwise it is impossible to hold concepts of what is 'acceptably human' and what is 'inhuman' behaviour.

If deities or a supreme deity, even an only deity exists, which is responsible for human beings coming into existence, then presumably that deity would have an interest in whether each of its creations is behaving in ways that it originally optimally intended. If that deity is in fact 'Gracious' then it will be tolerant of aberrations from the optimum, if those aberrations are through ignorance or unintentional. Perhaps even if the aberration is deliberate, (depending on circumstances). (i.e. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do"). The gracious nature of the deity is 'entirely of its OWN nature', therefore not dependent upon the performance of its creatures and certainly not dependent upon whether they confess intellectual assent to the deity's existence, since without proof, they cannot be expected to be certain. Certainty can only result from reasoned proof and if human beings are to be considered 'reasonable', they should demand proof before being certain about anything. If they were indeed 'made that way', then their creator will consider them to be functioning appropriately. Faith, therefore is entirely optional, as far as human optimum functionality is concerned. Faith however is recommended, because it has the ability to make decisions where insufficient data is available to arrive at 'Certainty'. Thus progress can still continue and confidence maintained, when proof is unavailable.

There is 'blessing' in believing without tangible proof. Jn.20:29.

So, one way or the other, if God is truly 'Gracious', then we have nothing to fear beyond death and if God does not exist then we will have no more to fear 'after this life', than we did 'before we existed', which is nothing to fear, if God is gracious.


I think the key phrase within may be "If that deity is in fact 'Gracious' then it will be tolerant of aberrations from the optimum, if those aberrations are through ignorance or unintentional. Perhaps even if the aberration is deliberate, (depending on circumstances). (i.e. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do"). "

It is the "depending on circumstances" in which any and all human ethics and divine commandments are prone to fail to guide our behavior due to human frailty of body, mind and spirit.

And...these instances are what the whole of humanity and the individual must continually atone for, if we claim to be more highly advanced in our behavior than those we left behind in the jungle and on the savannah. We ask atonement only of ourselves, not our fellow creatures, no matter how closely we are linked.

That we ask atonement of ourselves indicates to me that the "god" we imagine is within us and not unsubstantiated at all, but called "God" as an outer manifestation of what we imagine humans can be.

That "God" is a comfort to most and a guide to many, even non-believers, who may feel compelled to act within the boundaries set by a deity or skirt around the negative parts of scripture to find a working code of conduct for themselves. But...in all this picking and choosing, humans will, nonetheless, develop core principles that move societies to live in harmony, rather than discord.

Excepting, of course, for circumstances in which our less harmonious selves must fulfill the always dominant function of preserving the species, that is our own skins and that of our offspring.

The ideal of "God" IS independent of our actions and DOES act of its own nature, because it is, in varying ways, the ideal of particular cultures and mostly of those in power (the Alpha males), who support that ideal, therefore above the less powerful (the Beta males, females and children) who in order to survive must support those in power. To live within this particular society/tribe, it is necessary to follow the guidelines of that ideal, which is represented by the chosen Creator Deity.

Beyond death, I do not fear. It is the end of life period that makes me uneasy. Although our parents went fairly gently, many are not so fortunate. It is why older folks speak with envy about the lucky so-and-so that passed in sleep from a massive heart attack. We should all be so lucky to live fully until we die quick.

Good to have you back.

-Jeanne
"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."