Monday, April 21, 2008

How Do We Glorify God? (and more)

My blessed friend Amy has been a delight to me. She is an avid seeker of truth. Oh, that we would all follow her example of searching after God and the answers he wants us to have!
I have been nursing a sick seven year old all day and yet really wanted the bottom line answers to these wonderful questions. We can ALL benefit from these reminders!
(Personally I have to say a funny. I've had the words on my heart of Jesus the past two-three days: "If you love me, you'll keep my commands" which is referred to by Tami here in this post. God in his goodness allowed me to see myself through my son. Superkid was making an "I love you" sign and picture for me. It was so sweet. Then he smiled and said "And I also did that" He had drawn a smilie face and something else on my candle centerpiece on the table that is white. I had no anger because there was no room when the Holy Spirit spoke to us both through my mouth "Yes, but if you love me, you will keep my commands!" )

Amy's comment was on the post linking to a wonderful conference session by Piper
She wrote:
So the next question...
"God does everything for His glory and I'm commanded to join Him in it",
1. How do we do this?
2. How do I know if I have done it right or enough today?
3. How do I know if I've satisfied or pleased Him in my glorying?

From Tami Rutledge: (thank you dear friend you have been so kind to serve with your time:)

What glorious questions!

1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

First we must never forget that positionally God is pleased with us because He sees us through His Son, He sees us as perfect. Nothing I do or don’t do will change that!

We could never please Him more or less in that regard because it has nothing to do with us. That was accomplished through the precious death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Glorifying God is an honor and a privilege and one that should consume our thoughts.

Glorifying Him is how I demonstrate my love for Him

The desire to love God flows from my heart because the Holy Spirit lives in me. Our hearts cry is to please Him, to hear Him say, Well done. Not because we have to, but because we can’t bear not to!

Psalm 34:3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.

Psalm 86:12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.

Romans 15: 5May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2 : 1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

But, God wants us to live our lives in such a way that we please Him. This is not about our position in Christ, it is about our condition. It is about what we look like to this world. We are to be reflections of Christ. We are to be “little Christs” to this world. We are His ambassadors.

Romans 8:6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

Colossians 1:10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,

1 Thessalonians 4:1 Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.

God’s desire is to continue to do a work in us so that we look less and less like those who live according to the patterns of this world and we begin to look more and more like a reflection of Christ Jesus. This is the process called Sanctification.

Colossians 3: 5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

So, to answer your questions… How do we do this. Many ways… our giving of money or time with a cheerful heart, using our spiritual gifts, praying, witnessing, raising our children, cleaning, driving, ….

We glorify God / please Him when by faith (which comes from God) we put to death our sinful responses and instead out of love for God we obey His word.

For example, someone is unkind to you and you desire to be unkind in return, or think unkind thoughts, or talk about them to someone else, or withhold kindness or forgiveness. That is the patterns of this world. But God calls us to take up our cross and follow Him. That means… put those sinful responses to death and instead obey what God has called us to do in scripture.

Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
Colossians 3:12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Mark 8:34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

How do you know if you have done it right or enough for today.

You know you have done it right when you have the joy of the Lord instead of anger, resentment, bitterness and no peace. You know you have done enough for today when you fall into bed and go to sleep. Because you see, glorifying God is what we do when we make choices. All day long you will find yourself making choices… what do you listen to, what do you think about, what do you do with your time, how do you respond to this person, how do you respond to some news you heard, how do your respond to your child, how do you respond to split milk, broken washing machine… etc etc… all day long. It is in our thoughts, our words, our facial expressions, etc that we glorify or grieve our precious Lord and savior.

Colossians 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

1 Thessalonians 4:1Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.3It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. 7For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 4:1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

How do we know if we have satisfied the Lord… number one thing to remember is that He is the one helping us do this, it is a process. The deceiver (Satan) would love us to always feel as though we have fallen short so that we give up trying. But God is delighted in our hearts desire to please Him. It is the same when a child is learning to walk, when he takes his first faltering step we as parents are delighted, we call grandma , we write it in the baby book!! PROGRESS! That is how our loving heavenly father is, our daddy. He delights in our progress. He sees our hearts.

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

Personally I never knew until I was in my 30s that my purpose for existence was to please God.

When we glorify God we are eye pieces to this world and they look through us and see JESUS!!

It is not and never can be about duty or earning something. It is out of love, like in a marriage. I am married and nothing will change that, but the more I know my beloved the more I desire to please him. I delight in getting to know him so I know what pleases him and what doesn’t please Him.

I am God’s child, he is my daddy, nothing will ever change that. But my heart desires love the Lord my God with all my heart soul mind and strength. And I can do nothing on my own. Anything I do that is good, glorifies God because without Him I can do nothing!

I love Him.

John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command.

John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

John 14:23Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

John 14:24
He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

John 15:10
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.

1 Peter 1:22
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

1 John 2:5
But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him:

1 John 5:3
This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,

Why is obedience so key to loving God – because His commands are written for our good and when we trust and obey we are saying, God I believe you, I believe that obedience is what is best for me. You sent your son to die for my sins, I don’t want to sin against you any more. (But God knows I will, but what delights Him is that I don’t want to, I want to repent and never ever do it again, because I love Him and hate to grieve Him.)

Ephesians 4:30
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

This is not about the law, it is about love!

Providentially Session 2 of Piper dealt with the above and as I'm making chicken pot pies, I'm listening. It's great. I think God is so good to walk me though all this with my friend Amy, with Tami, and it is a set of pieces that he seems to want to just have fall into place. Listen and be encouraged.


Alicia said...

the translation you used is very understandable and clear and yet highly accurate. What is it?

tricia w. said...

Hi Alicia,

You were missed tonight. I see though God had different plans for your time. I also delight in Amy seeking the truth. I have read along with her and it has truly blessed me. I tried twice to listen to the first session today, but God has different plans for me. I will try maybe tomorrow.

Alicia said...

Thank you, I missed you all to. I was very sad not to make it to the last study. However, I was too busy to notice how i felt too much! Emma woke up around 4:40 pm and was a different kid. She was still very pale but wanted to go out and play. I hesitated and then just thought it really doesn't matter either way (meaning if she got sick again or not), I'm here!
I really am sorry your having trouble with the Piper thing. Did you restart your computer and try that? Well, let me know if it works tomorrow. There are some things my comptuter does not like to play either.

Anonymous said...

I love the NASB for study, but I use the NIV for reading and sharing. I hope Emma is better.

By the way, we had a great Mini Perspective retreat... one thing that is hardest for people to belive is that God sovereignly desigs trials into the lives of His children. We struggle with this because of our take on trials. We think they are bad, and yet if you understand that with out faith it is impossible to please God and that trials are thee most beneficial in the producing of faith then ,,, if your goal and passion is to please God,,, you will see the love in trials! Abnd also, I have never seen any scripture that backs up the claim that Gos is not sovereign over them.

Our God reigns ... and He is loving.


Psalm 119: 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. 68 You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. 69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. 70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law. 71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. 75 I know, O LORD, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.

tricia w. said...

The second time I could not watch the video it was because of my kids not because of the video, it worked fine. It was one of those times when you are thinking this is good for me and God should want me to hear it and God was saying to me not today I have other plans for you. I could hear myself starting to get upset and getting cranky with the kids, then I could hear the God says this is a time you need to trust me and I have other plans for you right now. So I turned it off and the rest of the day went great.

Amy B said...

I love the Word! And there is much of it in this answer. (-: I agree with you that we are to live right according to what He has called us. Phil. 2:13 says that He works in us to will and act according to His good purpose. He gives us the willingness and the performance according to His purpose.

I agree with you that He deserves all praise and glory and honor. I agree that He is sovereign in all things. Jesus said we would suffer pursecution, that Jesus learned trusting-obedience through what He suffered.

I still do not agree with John Piper's stand that the "great gospel" is that God pursues our praise and we are in pursuit of praising Him. I still think that to say that God pursues our praise, is to say that God is in need of something, namely our praise. For in my finite being, I am unable to give anything to an infinate being that He is not already FULL of. The desire to praise Him cannot come from me knowing that He is pursuing that from me and that I am to pursue praise to Him, and this is where the heart of our disagreement is - where the desire to praise Him originates. He is complete, whole and lacking nothing, uncomprehensible FULL and abounding with all goodness. Therefore, He can only give. (suffering is not the issue here. Yes, He allows trials by removing His hand)

So this does go back to the law because the law is, in essence, performance. And isn't that what we are actually talking about here? Am I praising Him enough today? Have I thought only good thoughts? Have I accomplished purity? Are my feelings telling me that I made Him happy in His and my pursuit of my praise? Doesn't the focus seem more on me than on Jesus? In Galatians, it talks about the law being a "tutor" to show us that we cannot fulfill what God has required of us. For the law only shows us where we come short, it has no power to make us obey. I believe this is not only for salvation but for living in Him. Even if the requirment is to praise Him, we are still unable to accomplish this. We are saved by faith; we will live as Christ lived through faith and faith alone.

Get out your bibles ladies and let's look at Hebrews 4. The whole chapter is beautiful but vs. 3b says "the works were finished from the foundation of the world." He is speaking here of Jesus' finished work on the cross, fulfilling what God requires for righteousness. Vs. 9 says "There remains therefore a rest for the poeple of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His." Here he is talking about resting in Jesus finished work, dying and being raised again and us with and in Him.

And finally vs. 11 "Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience." So this is saying that my position is to labor to stay at rest in His finished work. The disobedience comes in when I take my eyes off Jesus and what He's done for me and put them back on myself as being able to do something to be right in God's eyes. I fall from "grace" back into the "law" and am powerless. The disobedience is unbelief.

Hebrews 8 is all about the new covenant. The thing that we forget is that God said "A new Covenant", the first being made obsolete. What makes this new is that with Jesus blood, God said "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." So think of us as catapillars under the law. Jesus came, we believed and are transformed into butterflies. As butterflies, we may fall into the "garbage heap" of sin but we are still butterflies....

sorry, I'm getting off track here. Let's discuss this and see where it goes from there. Lord, open our eyes... Love you guys - let's dig!

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone! So much good .... I will take a little at a time.

Just to respond to paragraph one. I do not give God glory / praise because He needs it and I only have the ability to praise Him because the Holy Spirit is in me. I am in awe of HIs power working through me... without Him I cam do nothing.

2 Corinthians 5: 16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

When I praise / glorify God I am being His ambassador! He is inviting me to participate in reaching the world! The desire is that men would know Him so they to could be His ambassadors to a lost world.

Matthew 5: 14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Again, the issue to me is love. My heart desires to love God and this does not originate from my own desires. I only have this desire because the Holy Spirit lives in me. No matter what argument man might have over the centuries about theology… if they do not have first in their hearts a desire to love God as they debate then the debating can turn sinful. Our first goal must always remain to please God in our words and thoughts. My love for God is not law based it is God based.

1 John 4: 7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Here a section from John Mac Arthur’s sermon on God’s glory (link at the end)

The church is called to represent His glory, to be His glory in the world. And if the world is to see the glory of God, if they are to see the God they are to glorify, they need to see in us that glory. That's why in 2 Peter 1:3, listen to this, it says, "God has called us to glory and virtue." And as you live that virtuous, obedient life, you and I manifest the glory of God.

Well I can't think of a higher calling, can you? I can't think of a higher calling. I mean, I've grown up studying the Bible and always had a great sense of awe in thinking of the presence of God in the garden, a great sense of awe in thinking of Moses seeing the glory of God on Mount Sinai, coming down with it on his face, a great sense of awe in imagining the cloud filling the tabernacle and the temple, a great sense of awe about the incarnate Christ who was veiled glory and oh what a marvelous, what a heart-searching thought it is to realize that in this time and for now I am that vehicle to transmit the glory of God to a watching world so that whatever I do, eat or drink or whatever I do, I do it all...what? the glory of God. May it be so. Let's bow in prayer.

Our prayer, Father, together tonight is that we would fulfill this high and holy calling to live to Your glory, to seek not for our own but for Thee, to be not concerned with ourselves but Thee, to show the world not us but Thee, to manifest not our abilities and our talents and our skills but the glory that Thou hast planted in us by the indwelling of internal life in Christ. May it be that we shine and that the world when seeing us will give glory to God who shines through us. May we adorn Thee as Paul said to Titus. We thank You for our fellowship today and because Jesus Christ was willing to die and rise for us, we can give Thee glory. For that we rejoice. Father, we pray tonight for those who may not yet know what it is to reflect Your glory, that ere this day passes they'll seek to know and we are confident that to those who seek there shall come an understanding for that's Your promise, for Christ's sake. Amen.

With joy! Tami

Anonymous said...

paragraph 2 I continue! Thank you....

The law is performance based.

Now performance so to speak comes as a result of a life given to His glory, the result is the fruit of the Spirit not the fruit of Tami. Loving obedience comes not from my efforts but the powerful working of the Spirit in me.

I do not love Him because I have to, I love Him because by His power alone I get to! I am not trying too earn anything… but I do desire to live .my life as a sweet fragrance to Him .

Romans 12: 1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Faith and love are the key…

Galatians 5: 1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
2Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
7You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? 8That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9"A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough." 10I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. 11Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
13You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 15If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

we are saved by grace alone... remember salvation is not the issue. do not add salvation to this. I would never say to my precious savior.... "Jesus thanks for dying on the cross, but it wasn't quite enough so I will finish the work you started. Good job I will take it from here. May it never be. My desire is... Lord help me to glorify you... be your ambassador to this world so that others might see your glory through me. this is not about my salvation ... it is about what happens to us when we are saved. we desire to let His glory shine through us so that others might know Him! To love like this requires faith!

with joy! Tami

Anonymous said...

Well that is all for now, I have no comment on the following paragraphs because I delight in them the work is finished... as far as salvation goes. Since I am not talking about salvation I am talking about what comes from us as a result of salvation.

2 Corinthians 5:15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Galatians 2:19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

Hebrews 13: 20May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

well I am delighted in the Lord. I need to make it very clear though. I am can not be more passionate... I am saved by faith to do good works, I am not saved by good works. I am saved by grace! glorifying Him is an honor and I am honored to be counted worthy to be so blessed. Salvation is accomplished by God through faith in Him and the faith to believe is even from Him.

Thank you God for your salvation, thank you that is it a free gift, thank you that we desire to express our love to you because you first loved us. Thank you that it is by your power alone that you allow me the honor of pleasing you.

with love Tami

John 19:30
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Anonymous said...

My husband is taking me to lunch! I delight in him. I love him so much. I said to him, "Honey are you trying to marry me?" His answer was "HUH?" You see, we are already married. He delights in pleasing me and I in him. But we are married, I can not become more married to him than I am.

I am saved. I delight in pleasing my Lord because I love Him. I can't be more saved, but I can become more like Christ and that is my desire. I want to become more like Christ because Jesus Christ is the perfect example to imitate. He was fully God's son, He wasn't trying to become God's son. He did want to please God because He loved Him.


Tami (Off to lunch with my beloved!)

Alicia said...

First of all I have so say how fun it is to go to sleep, wake up and see that poeple have been here when I'm gone talking about God! It tickles me!
I am not an academic. I am not good at research (Tami shines at this and I have been so thankful for her help, spelling or grammer. I am a bottom line thinker looking for as my friend Donna said when I was in her class as a teen "lookin' for the elephant that goes all the way down" (donna, you need to tell me that story again so I get it right). The story is long, but the elephant represents the big bottom line that all other thoughts on a subject sit upon. I come here and read and I feel like I'm going to burst out of my skin, really. I get so excited about finding the bottom line.
I want to respond to this here (and I put it here for referance sake and my own ease at seeing it and responding fully):

"I still do not agree with John Piper's stand that the "great gospel" is that God pursues our praise and we are in pursuit of praising Him. I still think that to say that God pursues our praise, is to say that God is in need of something, namely our praise. For in my finite being, I am unable to give anything to an infinate being that He is not already FULL of. The desire to praise Him cannot come from me knowing that He is pursuing that from me and that I am to pursue praise to Him, and this is where the heart of our disagreement is - where the desire to praise Him originates. He is complete, whole and lacking nothing, uncomprehensible FULL and abounding with all goodness. Therefore, He can only give. (suffering is not the issue here. Yes, He allows trials by removing His hand)"
Amy, you are right, God does not need my praise. For that matter, God does not need me, he does not need creation, the universe, none of it. He does WANT it. It does make Him happy. Was he happy before it? Yes. It does not define or determine his happiness. I do not praise, or obey God because needs me to but because he commnads me to. The result is my joy if I obey because he has set up my very fibers to find completion in this formula. He persues our praise because it brings him happiness to do so. He wants to persue our praise, and we only benifit by any want he has.
What John Piper says is not meaning that he needs us, it is saying that he wants it.
You are also right when you say that it cannont come from me. He desires it from us through the work of His spirit, so in a sense he desires praise procured through the spirit of himself! We only GET to be the vessels of praise. The very fact that he knew we could not give him what he wanted (proven by the failing of the law in and of itself) set the glorious stage for Jesus! Now, the law is not obsolete, it is complete! It needed a supernatural intervention on our behalf by God to be fulfilled, taht is Christ positionally and the Holy Spirit conditionally.
The desire to praise Him originates from Him, through Him (in the form of the Holy Spirt in us) and to Him. He does give, He gives to us so that we can give it back and thereby complete the transfer of His own praise in the way He wants it to be done!
On a side note, I do not believe that God removes his hand on us when we are in a trial, or that we get the trail because His hand has been removed. The very essence of God's soverignity is that he is just as present in all things. That is the fact of soverignity, His EVER PRESENT HAND. Otherwise, who's hand is on us in trial? Does he hand us over to the enemy? Does he say "I'm going to turn my back now and let evil take over and I'll be back to clean up the mess. I'll be back to turn it all for good, and I'll fix it". Oh, that is the beauty of this statement "What the enemy intended for bad, GOD INTENDED for good!" HE INTENDED! It came from Him, was used by Him, and His hand was always in it. I love this most preciously because even what the enemy thinks he is doing to mess God up, God IS DOING to work His glory. His work is always hands-on.
IF God ever removed His hand from me I would explode I think. The very thought brings terror into my soul. And then the words come to mind "I will never leave thee, nor foresake thee."
Let it be said too that God is a giver and a receiver. He gives Himself to receive Himself right back. This makes him abounding in happiness that he would have if he did it anyother way as well.
The amazing thing about all this is how unneccessary we are, and YET we are the benificiaries of His working of His own happiness! This is where his commands become lacking in their burden... it does not depend on me! And yet, He choses to use me anyway!
My mission? To obey (and obedience is not just defined by belief there are practical things I need to obey in and choose whether or not I do). My reward? Joy. My resources? Nothing. My production? The very glory of GOD!

Alicia said...

there should be a parenthesis after "for her help"
"for her help) spelling and grammar."

Amy B said...

okay, glad we could discuss.

Amy B said...

Actually, I think I just found the root...

"I have no comment on the following paragraphs because I delight in them the work is finished... as far as salvation goes. Since I am not talking about salvation I am talking about what comes from us as a result of salvation."

I believe that the finished work is not only for salvation... but the result of what comes after from us too as this is our whole position as believers before our Father. IN Christ...

I can see that we could go round and round and we really do need to sit face to face and have some coffee to really dig into all of this from both sides. It was good to discuss though.

Alicia said...

Amy, I would like to suggest that you seek some real good sources on justification and santification. What they mean and how they are practically seen. Your right, we can go round and round here. The wonderful fact is that is because there is so much to learn from the point of salvation.
I was talking to my husband the other night about this. It is like a great span of land divided by a fence. At the moment of conversion, God accepts us and puts us on his side. We are there never to be removed. Now, do we sit down, lay out in the sunshine and say "Oh, I've arived how delighted to be here!" Well, yes, we do and then.....
Then God says he has a journey for us. A journey that leads us to the Glory of God and as we walk he brings to us on the journey that which conforms us to the image of Christ.
This is a very loose word picture. My point is that He does not intend that we sit in our position on the ground, He means for us to journey on and be santified in the process.
I would welcome any more thoughts on explaining this.
It never means that God says I'f you don't perform well enough today, I'm going to put you on the other side of the fence and we will have to start all over again! We are burden free! We are always moving forward in obedience from a heart that finds it's greatest delight in the glory of the Heavenly Father fulfilling the very thing for which we were created.
Does anyone have biblical referals for these topics of santification and justification?
This is so good for me, I can be complacent on homework.

Anonymous said...

above is a link to a powerful sermon on just this topic. Please do not skim it.

The Glory of Christian suffering.


Anonymous said...

Amy, a quick series of questions, just for my clarification.

What is sin?

Do Christians still sin?

Does our sin grieve God?

Thank you... I am trying to understand where we take different roads.


Alicia said...

My husband is telling me that "The Gospel According to Jesus" by John McArthur was eye opening book on justification and santification.
I'm excited to dive in to all this!
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."
1 Peter 3:15

This whole thing has chalenged me to be better at this one way I can glorify God.
I am so thankful for my sisters who are eager in thier love for God's word and anxious to learn of Him.
I'm so thankful you both have had the courage to seek and speak.
Thank you.
Let's keep it comin' cause the growin' I'm lovin'!:)

tricia w. said...

Here is what I found on Sanctification and Justification. I hope it helps. I thought I would start by defining justification and sanctification.

jus-ti-fi-ka'-shun (tsedheq, verb tsadheq; Septuagint and New Testament dikaioma, dikaiosis, verb dikaioo, "justification" "to justify," in a legal sense, the declaring just or righteous.

The Greek word translated "sanctification" (hagiasmos [ἁγιασμός]) means "holiness." To sanctify, therefore, means "to make holy."

Justification occurred when Jesus died for our sins and when we accepted Him as our Savior. Romans 5. I will quote one verse.

Romans 5:18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.

Sanctification is the process by which we as believers become holier or more like Christ (and will be completed when Jesus returns.) The best verses I could find on these topics was Romans 6- 8:39. Paul describes the doctrine of sanctification, which is God's producing actual righreousness int the believers. I will only quote Romans 6:17-22

17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

19I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

According to John MacArthur " This section continues Paul's discussion of sanctification by reminding his readers of their past slavery to sin and their new slavery to righteousness. He wants them to live in submission to their new master, Jesus Christ, and not to be entangled again with the sins that characterized their old life, sins which no longer have any claim over them."

This process starts when you were saved by grace and God gives you the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches(works) in you to show you the sin in your heart (v.17), and (v18) that sin does not have a hold on you because you are a new creature and want to obey God. Because this sin does not have a hold on us we can turn from it and towards God. This is a slow and some times painful process, but it is so beautiful as you see yourself grow. I can rejoice as I see the fruit that God has grown. The end result -- eternal life.

Amy B said...

I can see that I've made some of you angry and if that's what it takes to get us to seek the Word and not what John Piper or John MacArthur says about what we are talking about, then that's great. The Holy Spirit is our teacher and He guides us into all truth. Sometimes I think we've set up people in the church as "experts" because we have experts in all other areas of life. But this is one area that experts are not needed. We have God Himself teaching us all so let's seek Him diligently to open our eyes to His awesome truth.

Tami, to answer your questions about sin, Romans 6 is my answer.

Alicia, your comments on my blog... you completely missed the point. The Father's love is lavished on us not because He is foolish but because that's who He is, Love. His love swallows up all my rejection, His love swallows up all my sin and shame. His love swallows me up and I am allowing Him to love me out of all my wrong doing. When I realized my position is IN Jesus, knowing His grace superabounds when I sin, knowing I am still deeply loved and highly favored and blessed because He bought that for me on the cross, not because of anything I can do now to earn it. Knowing this causes me to desire and love and know Him more, which is what He is seeking from us.

Alicia said...

I just want you to know that I have not been angered by you at all. In fact I think I've said and will say again, that your questions and seeking and being willing to converse has been a blessing to me!
I think much of what has been presented has been direct scripture. Yes, there are great men of truth who try to present a more clear understand of the gospel issues and JP and JM are definatly two of the most esteemed, but they too work from the word. I have never had so many verses at once on my blog. Scripture has been presented in direct answer.
Regarding your blog post. Perhaps I was way off, I thought you were desiring us to see the Heavenly Father as also being "prodigal". I derived this by the post title and the content of explaination given as to the meaning of prodigal and how you felt it applied to the father in the parable and the Heavenly Father.
The rest of your observations on God's love above... I am completely with you.
Again, I MUST make clear, that a passion for seeking the truth is where my heart is. I have no anger about any of this. If anything, I have exileration on the churing up of these things. Iron sharpening iron and in the Love of Christ, the process is a blessing!

Alicia said...

Amy ,I wondered, after re-reading over these comments what made you feel such an inpression of anger?
Perhaps if I knew where I could understand better.

tricia w. said...


I agree we do not need an expert in the Bible to tell us what is the truth. (1 John 2:27)

I am not angry. I rejoice that I can read along and contribute things when I feel like I have something to add to the discussion.

I have never read a John Piper book (I bought my first one this week and I only just started it) or any John MacArthur book. I do have a study Bible to help me understand certain things. I can only speak from personal experiences. I did not know much about santification or justification until I was in my 30's that is when God stepped into my life and said it is time you grow and mature as a Christian.

tricia w. said...

I know I have benefited from the teachings of my pastor. He teaches from the Word. He has helped me understand things and add insight on things that the Holy Spirit may have already shown me.

Here is an example of how a good book written referring you to the Word can help. I have had a rough year and God had been showing me things along through this trial about Himself and me. It was not until I read "Trusting God Even When It Hurts" by Jerry Bridges that I was able to take the Bible, my experience and see exalt what God was teaching me. It helped in my understanding.

So yes I agree we do not need teachers, but they can be very benefitual if they are using God's words to back up what they are saying.

Amy B said...

I think what I said about the "experts" may be misunderstood. I didn't mean that we couldn't read books that John Piper or whoever else writes. My comment was to only say that when we read what other men write, we need to reflect it in the Word to see if it's truth... that's all.

Alicia said...

Thank you for making that point Amy. It is a good one. We do have to make sure those we read and listen to are following scripture and we need to make sure the scripture we read is following the orginal intent for that scripture.
You are right, we need to be always testing all against scripture and see if it stands up.