In recent times, traditional local assemblies with marquee boards or electronic signage have gotten quite creative with the saying they post in public view.
BATMQ.NET, being a Internet Ministry, does not have one. If it did, however, I would display the title of this presentation on it. It reflects the mind of Christ (1Cor. 2: 16 NASB), exemplified by our Lord's interaction with the woman who was caught in the act of adultery (John 8: 11), and should be the mindset of those who claim to be his followers.
"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him (John 3: 17 NASB)."
The doors to any "Christian" ministry should be as wide open to welcome sinners as were the hands of the Lord that were nailed to the cross.
With the ONE exception, that being the sin of disbelief (John 3: 18), the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ, paid in full, the sin debt of the whole world (1John 2: 2 NASB)." This exception was not a deficiency in the finished (John 19: 30) work ON THE CROSS. It was by divine design, leaving only ONE requirement for salvation. Salvation is an irrevocable gift (Romans 11: 29) from God that He freely bestows on those who choose to believe in a presentation of the Gospel Message. God does not need or desire any human or religious assistance to apply the benefits of the atoning work that was "finished-John 19: 30) on the cross by the Lord Jesus Christ.
God the Father cannot require ANYTHING further than an individual's act of faith in order for a spiritually dead soul to be saved. Such a concept contradicts the "finished (John 19: 30 NASB) aspect of the atoning Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. "Religious" teachings that promote such things are not merely inaccurate, but amount to blasphemy as they amount to an attack on the integrity of the Person and the Work that the Lord Jesus Christ that He accomplished while nailed to the cross.
Note that He Himself declared His work "finished" (past tense) while still physically alive (able to speak) (John 19: 30 NASB)." The type of death that atoned for our sin was spiritual (separation from God) in nature, exemplified when He quoted, in part, the 22nd Psalm, at the beginning of the last three (of six) hours He spent nailed to the cross.
"My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me (Psalms 22: 1 NABS)."
It was during that time that a supernaturally induced darkness fell over the land (Luke 23: 44).
The Lord Jesus Christ bled several times in the process of being scourged, beaten, having a crown of thorns pushed down on is scalp, as well finally having His hands and feet nailed to cross. Each time that He would lift up His body (in order t breath) the wounds on His hands and feet would open and bleed. It was during the last three (of six) hours on the cross that He bled and suffered spiritual death (seperaton from God that He made atonement for the world's sin. It was during those horrific last three hours on the cross that God the Father placed on our Lord's atoning humanity, the sin debt of the whole world, much like the sins of the people were symbolically placed on the lambs of sacrifice during the Old Testament animal sacrifices. It was and is by placing one's full trust and confidence on this atoning work that one receives eternal life (John 3: 16) with a regenerated (Titus 3: 5) human spirit. God did for Man, what Man could never do for himself.
* The 22nd Psalm contains several detailed prophecies that were literally fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ while on the cross.
See vs.s 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. This itself would make a very edifying presentation and is one of the greatest examples of detailed prophecy being fulfilled centuries after it was composed.
"My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me (Psalms 22:1 NASB)."
The Lord Jesus Christ was quoting Scripture and NOT asking God "why?"! The Lord knew all along the why, as well as the what the God's plan of salvation required of Him (Matt. 16: 21/Matt. 20: 17, 18, & 19).
"From that time Jesus Christ began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things fro the elders and chief priests, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day (Matt. 16: 21 NASB)."
"And as Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by them, and on the way He said to them, Behold we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up (Matt, 20: 17, 18, & 19 NASB)."
I believe that is was not the humiliation, the betrayal of Judas, the rejection and condemnation of His own people, the abandonment of his disciples, or even the physical suffering that concerned Him the most, but the spiritual death (separation from God in His Humanity) that He would suffer that caused Him to pray as He did in the Garden (Luke 22: 42).
"saying, "Father if Thous art willing, remove this cup (spiritual death the cross) from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done (Luke 22: 42 NASB)."
It is beyond human comprehension to truly relate to what it must have been like for God the Son to take on human form with its limitations during His time here on Earth. Ignorant skeptics would write it off as, "no big deal,", since He was God, as as God, He could do anything He wanted to and could not fail. In His deity, it is true that He could not be tempted, fail, or sin, but what they do not know is that most of what He did while here on Earth was done in the midst of His self-imposed limitations of His humanity. Truly there were many who individually benefited by the miraculous activity that He engaged in, but such activity was for the primary purpose of confirming His claim of deity (John 10: 30). The devil knew very well who He was (and is), what it was He came to do.
In his humanity He was tempted (Matt. 4/Luke 4/Hebrews 4: 15); could have failed, but didn't (Heb. 4: 15).
The devil's objective during our Lord's physical deprivation and temptations in the wilderness (Matt. 4/Luke 4) was to try to get Him to use the power of deity independently of the plan of God. Making use of the power of His deity, other than when called for in the plant of God would be using it independently.
Stop and think about it. Is their anything morally wrong (in of itself) in providing food (Luke 4: 3 ), trusting in God to protect/preserve us (Luke 4: 9, 10), or "making the best" (Luke 4:6/ 3John 1: 2) out of the opportunities that one is presented with during one's time here on Earth? No!
It's only when such things are accomplished through sin, or are given priority over God and/or the things of God that such things become a spiritual issue. For the Lord Jesus Christ, to do anything contrary to the plan that God had in mind would have not only been sin, but would have disqualified Him as the spotless Lamb of God, making null and void the work He came to do on the cross! This disqualification was what the devil was after.
Contrary to what many would think, on the cross atoning for the world's sin debt was the last place that the devil wanted to see the Lord Jesus Christ. His plans to compromise or to destroy the "Lamb the God" before He reached the cross and/or accomplished His work was what the devil was after.
Maintaining the integrity of His humanity as the spotless (without sin) Lamb of God, and enduring the physical suffering and spiritual death on the cross were accomplished in the limited capacity of His humanity.
It is beyond human comprehension to relate to what it must have been like to have the weight of the sins of the entire human race placed on His humanity. It is beyond human comprehension to relate to what it must have been like for the Lord Jesus Christ to suffer the spiritual death (separation from God) during those agonizing hours on the cross.
Our Lord's resurrection and post (after) resurrection appearances were for the purpose of providing tangible evidence that God the Father had approved and accepted His atoning work that He accomplished on the cross (1Cor. 15: 15 NASB). His final recorded act before making ascending to Heaven (Acts 1: 9), was to leave His marching orders (Matt. 28: 19, 20) for the Church that He designed. There are some things too important to leave in the hands of others.
The marching orders consisted of an external (outside) and internal (inside) mission. The external mission was to preserve and to proclaim the Gospel Message to spiritually dead souls outside of the Church, and to make disciples (disciples = students and appliers of the Word of God) out of those who are already born again.
The alternative churches that have been established by religious authorities promote and to facilitate alternative agendas.
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It is comforting to know that the woman caught in adultery was forgiven, exemplified by the fact she was not condemned, but it is critically important not to disregard what else the Lord had to say to the woman.
"Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on sin no more (John 8: 11 NASB)."
In the John 8: 11 event, the Lord was not teaching sinless perfection in order for her to retain salvation. If He had, this would have placed on her (and everyone else) a requirement that is humanly impossible (Luke 18:27) to accomplish.
What He was teaching her (and us) is the necessity of f-o-r-s-a-k-i-n-g (turning away from) sin that has been confessed (1John 1: 9). IF one does nor forsake his/her sin, he/she will either remain in or soon enough return to (2Pet. 2: 22) the same sin. The highlights the damage that sins that become a lifestyle can do to one's post salvation spiritual life. This invites an increase in the frequency and in the intensity of the divine discipline (Heb. 10: 26) that a born again believer can receive here on Earth.
Divine discipline can range in anything from having to live with a guilty conscience (Psalms 32/Psalms 38: 18), up to and including physical death (Acts 5/1Cor. 11: 30).
Whatever divine discipline God imposes here on Earth comes to an end when the soul departs the body, even if divine discipline is the means through which one is taken away (Acts 5/Romans 13:4).
Post salvation sin, new or repeated, also results in the loss of fellowship (1Cor. 13: 14) with the Lord each time the sin is repeated. The believer remains out of fellowship until the new offense is confessed. The time spent out of fellowship can be as brief as the few seconds it takes to confess the sin, or for as long as the rest of one's post salvation spiritual life here on Earth.
Such a believer does not lose his/her ticket to Heaven (Romans 8: 1), but will spend much of his/her post salvation spiritual life out of fellowship and spiritually unproductive. Failing to be productive denies God the glory (here on Earth) that He would have otherwise received, and results in such a believer forfeiting some (or all) of the rewards (1Cor. 3: 12-15) and privileges (Rev. 2/Rev3) that he/she could have received in Heaven. It is the production of divine good, symbolized as sliver, gold, and precious stones in the 1COr. 3 12-15 passage, and not the retention of salvation that the post salvation spiritual life is all about.
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It is the primary role of the pastor teacher, through his teaching, to make known all areas of sin, and to forewarn of the impending consequences for refusing to repent, confess and forsake these sins. This is NOT going to win anyone any popularity contests, the the pastor teacher is not here to please people (Gal. 1: 10/Gal. 4: 16).
It is the primary role of the pastor teacher to teach the individual members of the congregation how God desires to be worshiped (John 4: 23). It is the primary role of a pastor-teacher to identify, encourage, and to and promote the post salvation spiritual life of discipleship through the teaching of Bible Doctrine.
There are 300+ documented ways in the New Testament alone by which one can commit sin by acts of commission or omission in what we think, say, do, or fail to do! The sign of an effective pastor teacher is a congregation that is well familiar with what sin is, and how to address it.
This type of teaching is not to condemn born again believers (Romans 8; 1), but to afford the individual members of the congregation the opportunity to make whatever adjustments (repenting, confession, forsaking) their need to make in order for them to continue advancing in the post salvation spiritual life.
To repent simply means to change one's mind about how he/she use to view things.
To confess means to acknowledge, in prayer, to God the sin(s) that one has committed.
To forsake means to turn away from and discontinue sinning in the same way in the future.
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Born again believers are still sinners. The Apostle Paul wrote of his o-n-g-o-i-n-g battle with his fallen sin nature nearly thirty years after he was born again. He made this clear in his letter to the believers in Rome (Romans 7: 21-25.). This epistle was written towards the end of Paul's post salvation spiritual life.
James 2: 10 makes it clear that there are no degrees of sin, and that by committing one sin, the sinner stands as guilty as the one who has broken them all.
"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all (James 2: 10 NASB)."
God can not look (with approval) upon on any sin (Habakkuk 1:13), let alone be in fellowship (1Cor. 13: 14) with one who has not addressed ( by repenting, confessing, forsaking) the sin(s) he/she has committed. In light of the 300+ ways in which a Church Age believer can sin, there is not a day that goes by that we do not sin.
"If we (Church Age believers) say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth (regarding such sin) in not in us (1John 1: 8 NASB italics mine."
"If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him (God) a liar, and (knowledge of) His Word is not in us (1John 1: 10 NASB)."
The "confessional" that God established for the Church Age is open 7 days a week, 24 hrs. a day for us to address the daily sins we commit. The confession process that God established (1John 1: 9) is only a prayer away, and does not involve a clergyman (1Tim. 3: 5) or any of the activity or rituals that has Man has added to the process in the name of religion (Prov. 30: 6).
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If sinless perfection were to be the requirement for admission through the doors of any given local assembly, no one could enter. If sinless perfection were to be the requirement for remaining within the local assembly, there would be no one left in the pews or behind the pulpit.
If sinners are to be welcomed, but "sin" is not, what should the local assembly's policy be on this matter of sin that IS (1John 1: 10) going to take place in the lives of the pastor and the congregation?
Enforcing sinless perfection is not going to work. We are equally all sinners (James 2: 10), so where is the line of toleration to be drawn, and by whom? To tolerate does not mean approval or acceptance of the sin, but the sinner, with a higher goal (salvation/edification) in mind.
Only if and when an ongoing (not a past-1Cor. 6: 11) sin or behavior cause a disruption in worship services, or is encouraging other members of the congregation to join him/her in his/her ongoing area of sin outside of the local assembly, that the matter be addressed by the pastor-teacher.
If its is the pastor teacher who is the one involved, there should already be a system in place to suspend or remove the pastor teacher until the sin is addressed.
It is the responsibility and the function of the pastor teacher to protect the flock from those who would lead or encourage the members of the flock down the road that leads to destruction (Matt. 7: 13). It is the function of the pastor teacher to provide a respectful (respect for God and each other), distraction-free, worship and learning environment.
When the sins being committed by the members of the congregation that are NOT causing a disruption in the worship services, and the one involved is not encouraging others to do the same , there is no need for action to be taken. Sins that are not resulting in a disruption in the worship services and are not encouraging others to do the same are private matters between the sinner and the Lord. We are all at different levels of spiritual maturity, and there will never come a time when one can reach or maintain a position of sinless perfection. Take a look at your hand when your pointing a finger at someone else, and you will see that you have three other fingers pointing back at you. In the spiritual realm, those fingers are of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
When acting in a position of aurhority (husband, parent, clergyman, law-enforcement officer, etc.), it is not the personal hand of the one in authority in view. it is the hand of the authority (Romasn 13;1).
"Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority excerpt from God, and those which exist are established by God (Romans 13: 1 NASB)."
The one and only exception to this principle is when one is a position of delegated authority requires a subordinate to go against the plan of God (Acts 5: 29).
When there is ongoing sin that is causing a disruption or is encouraging others in the congregation to join in,to sin, the matter should first be addressed openly on a congregational level, without naming names. The pastor could simply announce from the pulpit that such and such a thing has come to his attention that and that it must discontinue if further action is to be avoided. Those involved will know who they are.
If that fails to correct the problem, the individual(s) should be confronted directly, but in private. If the problem persists, the individuals involved would be subject to public rebuke (1Tim. 5: 20) and/or being removed (1Cor. 5: 2) for the good of the order (1Cor. 5: 2). Such extreme measures rarely become necessary. Even if a persistent offender is removed, however, it is to be done with the spirit of future reconciliation (1Cor. 6: 11).
I know of Jewish carpenter's Son who had a public ministry that lasted for about about three years. He used this approach to deal with sin and sinners. His treasurer was an embezzler (John 12: 6), yet He addressed Him as "Friend (Matt. 26: 50 NASB)," even as he betrayed Him to His earthly enemies. In the end, many of His followers left (John 6: 66), and all of His inner circle or abandoned (Matt. 26: 56) Him. Public opinion eventually called for His crucifixion (John 19: 15). Yet His attitude towards sinners did not change, made evident by His prayer for forgiveness for the very ones taking part in His crucifixion (Luke 23: 34).
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In closing, the Church that God designed, reflects "the mind of Christ (2Cor. 2: 16 NABS)." Its primary purpose is to preach the Gospel Message to those outside of the Christian Community and to make disciples (students and appliers of the Word of God) out of those who are born again (John 3: 5, 7). In order to fulfill its marching orders, it is obviously necessary to have contact and interaction with the sinners who are spiritually dead and outside of the Christian Community, and with the sinners within that fill the pews. The Scriptural restrictions and punitive actions outlined in this presentation that are for the purpose of correction and reconciliation.
"Be of the same mind towards one another, do not be haughty inn mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation (Romans 12: 16 NASB)."
"if possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men (Romans 12: 18 NASB)."