POLITICS, ELECTIONS, LAWS AND JESUS

Although I don’t usually get into political debates on the blog, this one sort of just happened. There are two videos here with Trump and Hillary. While there seems to be such outrage over Trump’s statements, I’m not so sure there is the same about Hillary’s. Just below the videos is a conversation that ensued which I wanted you to see. You, of course, are entitled to your own opinion and I would ask that you share it.

 

 

Clark: I have watched the Trump video over and over and the only reasonable conclusion is that he is suggesting armed violence against her. This is not his first time advocating armed violence. In a country awash in lethal weapons, this is the most insanely reckless behavior imaginable. Here’s hoping that all her appointments will work to restore sanity to the second amendment.

Louie: You know I don’t usually get into the fray of political argument because I for one know there is no real solution to our problems apart from Christ. I will say this though-it is really scary to me to think that after all these years in politics Hillary hasn’t accomplished anything she and her party have been promising for years and years. After eight years of being in charge, how can she talk about doing anything? If she was going to do anything she would have already done it don’t you think? She has had eight whole years to do it.

Louie: I definitely don’t see how guns are in any way the problem. The real problem is the heart of man that needs to be regenerated. Jesus said, “”For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” This is why we need a new heart and that’s only offered to us in Christ. Without a heart change we will never solve the violence troubles in this country or the world. Politicians and laws can never change a heart.

Toni: Louie – I don’t think that you realize the reason “nothing has gotten done” is because of an ineffective Congress not because of Hillary Clinton, who hasn’t been a Senator in the last 8 years, but when she was there were things that happened, not because of her but because Congress could work together. And yes guns are the problem, when there is evil in a man’s heart he is going to find a way to use that evil and a if a gun is easily obtained then the gun is used for evil.

Louie: guns used for evil…..so is a rock, stick, knife, car, lamppost, table leg, van, bus, slingshot, branch, poison, sword, etc. shall we ban all of these too? The un-redeemed heart is the problem, not objects with no choice of their own. Again electing this one or that one will not solve our troubles just as passing this or that law cannot do it. Only Jesus Christ and Him crucified solves humanity’s problems. By this it’s not to say we should or shouldn’t vote. I’m about pointing to the real problem and the real solution not a temporary fix but an eternal one which is Jesus! I think folks focused “only” on politics and government to fix things are a bit shortsighted don’t you?

Louie: As far as the “nothing has gotten done” aspect, Obama has gotten to do what he wanted to do since he’s been in office virtually unchallenged. Besides if they do he simply turns to executive order to by pass them. Ultimately, in my opinion, government has overstepped it’s bounds. I for one don’t need their input in everything little thing in my life and don’t think the average American does either. Most of them seem to think they know how to live my life better than I do. Their overall attitude seems to be saying, “I am so much smarter than you, let me make decisions for you. I know what’s best for you more than you do.”

Toni: I notice u changed from Hilary to P Obama that u have issues with. It is congress where u have your problem P Obama has issued less EO’s than other presidents. If the government has overstepped their bounds it’s because of the legislative branch that makes the laws. I feel pretty content setting out here in my barn with a cat in my lap expressing my 1st amendment rights, inheriting ownership of some 2nd amendment rights which to ever expect to use. I was in the the first group of voters who used the 26th amendment to vote. So if u mean electricity, water from Barkley dam, interstate highways, the list of government interference goes on and on and on in a very positive way.

Louie: I see Hillary and Obama as the same.

Toni: That’s great to see her as President.

Louie: It really doesn’t matter much to me because I know man, or woman, cannot fix the problem of a sinful heart….only Jesus can.

Toni: And they have sinful hearts and the rest of us don’t?

Louie: The unregenerate-i.e. those without Christ. Any without Christ have a sinful heart..those joined to Christ, on the other hand, do not have a sinful heart because they have been transformed into a new creature!

Louie: Elections and laws cannot make people love others only a brand new heart which is only available in Christ. You see while we all live in this country, full of laws and politics, those who walk according to the Spirit of God don’t need them. Why, you may ask? Well, because if we have the God who is love living in us we will simply act naturally and love others even as He has loved us. When this happens we won’t kill anyone, steal from others, lie to one another and so on. You see because the Law (of love) is written in our hearts!

Toni: In a perfect world but we know we will never have a perfect world because there was only one perfect human. We are all sinners and there once upon a horrible time in this land a group called the Ku Klux Klan thought they were being Christians. That’s one of many reasons why there are laws.

Louie: According to the Bible the Law (God’s law) was given as a schoolmaster to lead us to Christ (Galatians 3:24). Thankfully I don’t have to answer for the KKK, who I would think are part of the unregenerate group I spoke of earlier. What I’m talking about though is the only real solution which is a change of heart-something no law can ever give us.

Louie: “For an external law is only in existence where there are those who do not fulfill the law by nature, but who can and may and do break it: “the law is for the lawless” (1 Timothy 1:9). When people live the law by internal instinct, there is no outward law (Galatians 5:23). External law only came into an existence when humanity began to live by its false god, the god of lawlessness, of independent self–“that wicked one.” The moment, therefore, that humanity is restored to its predestined relationship of inner union with God, external law ceases to exist for it.”

Clark: Make no mistake; I am a strong Democratic supporter, a strong Clinton supporter, and a very strong gun safety supporter. Despite 8 years of GOP obstruction, we have better health care, better human rights, and stronger foreign policy that 8 years ago. The economy is stronger and people are getting more and better jobs. But gun safety is near the top of my priorities. No amount of “god talk” will bring back the thousands of innocents killed each year by people with guns in this country. It doesn’t happen elsewhere. As I get older, I am more convinced that the love of guns is an illness, a sickness, a sin. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims …” has become a sickening blasphemy. Guns kill people, people kill people with guns. More guns make for more killing. Apologists for gun violence don’t even try to square with Christ’s teaching.

Louie: Speaking of “god talk” do you think we should be able to make the decision to have a gun or should those in Washington, who are so much smarter than we, make that decision for us? I am not a “gun apologist” I am for freedom though and part of the reason for the 2nd amendment is for me to be able to protect myself in the instance of this or any other government becoming tyrannical.

Louie: guns cannot kill people!

Louie: My top priority is “Christ in you (and others), the hope of glory!’

HOLY SPIRIT CONVICTION

The following question: “I know the Holy Spirit convicts the “unbeliever” of sin but does the Holy Spirit convict the “believer” of sin? If so can anyone tell me the verses?” resulted in this conversation.

Ronnie:Would that be john 16:8?

Louie: Ronnie you are on to something here-John 16:8-11 to be exact. But notice what it says, “he (the Spirit) will convict the world of sin…because of unbelief.” Did you catch that? The “world” because of “unbelief.” You see if you are a believer you’re not in unbelief, right? He goes on to say also “righteousness, because I go to my Father…” I believe the Holy Spirit convicts the unbelieving world of “sin’ but He convicts the believer of “righteousness.” What I mean is without the conviction of sin we can’t be saved, but once we are saved (we become a believer) we are made righteous…because Christ has gone to the Father. You see when a believer commits a sin the Holy Spirit points us to Jesus and reminds us we are righteous. He’ll say something like “My children don’t act like that.” In other words if we, as a righteous believer sins, the Holy Spirit will remind us who we are in Christ. Either way we stop sinning and turn our eyes to Jesus! But my point in this is the Holy Spirit convicts or convinces the believer of righteousness not sin. The Holy Spirit shows us who we really are, either “the sinful, unbelieving world,” or the “righteous believer.” That’s what He convinces us of.

Ronnie: Amen. Thank you for clarification. I am always learning everyday. You are a inspiration

Louie: Ronnie, You are welcome brother. It may sound a bit nit-picky sometimes but I think it’s an important distinction to see how God deals with us as an unbeliever is a bit different than how he deals with us as one of His own.

Tom:The Holy Spirit convicts of all sin, saved or not. Otherwise, there would be no conviction. Without the Spirit’s conviction, no one would be aware of their sin.

Louie: scripture please.

Tom: John 16:8 is a start Louie. If you know how to use it, you can find cross references from there. I’m really surprised you even have to ask the question. Even a casual reading of the New Testament will make it obvious that the only reason man is aware of his sin is the Holy Spirit. It’s an elementary principle.

Ronnie: Its the holy spirits task to convict us of sin

Mike: Looks like we’ve switched the Comforter for the Convictor without evidence….

Tom: Not true Mike, Louie…the Holy Spirit is the convictor and the comforter.

Tom: Try Roman Chapter 8…the entire chapter. That should make it clear what the Spirit’s job is. One of the best scriptures on this subject.

Louie: I don’t see where it says anywhere that the Spirit’s job is to convict the believer of sin. He is our advocate not accuser. We know who the accuser is and in Christ his accusations hold no water. “There is no condemnation for those in Christ!” According to the scriptures the Law (not the Spirit) was given to make us “shut our mouths and be declared guilty.” In Christ we are justified, sanctified, made righteous, holy and blameless. Like I said before, I do think the Holy Spirit convicts us as believers, but He convicts us by reminding us we’re righteous in Him. If we are acting in a manner that is out of bounds with our new nature in Christ, by sinning, the Holy Spirit reminds us by saying, “My children don’t act like that.” The enemy is the one who deceives us into sinning in the first place and then turns right around and accuses us. Thankfully God loves us like a Father.

Tom: Sorry Louie, Your understanding is wrong. The truth is there for you to see, but for some reason you don’t want to see it….and if you don’t, you won’t. The word teaches us that it is the Holy Spirit that brings us awareness of our sin and then moves us to repentance. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. Regardless of your misunderstanding, the Spirit will continue to point out the sin that comes between you and the Lord and lead you to turn away from it and find victory. Keep on with your study of the word, he’ll show you when you are ready.

Mary: That scripture is addressed to unbelievers in need of salvation, not believers.

Mary: The Holy Spirit points the believer back to the finished work of the cross. “For by one offering He HAS sanctified them forever….” HEBREWS 10

Mike: Romans 8 is one of my favorite passages…read it once more after your comment. I still see Spirit as the encouraging counselor with no conviction anywhere. Our new nature as saintly ones, and the events outside our nature being unnatural to God’s righteous children, bring that uneasiness of fleshly indulgence with differing levels of repentance and eventual rest as the Holy Spirit eases, heals and comforts.

Louie: Amen Mike!

Tom: All of you, ask yourself this question….If it’s not the Holy Spirit, who is within you to reveal your sin and lead you away from it. I think you are confusing the terms “conviction” and “condemnation.” The Holy Spirit will never “condemn” you, but he will reveal your sin to you daily and lead you away from it But if it’s not him….who is it?

Tom: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us”… and John wrote that to believers. The Holy Spirit’s presence within us is grieved when we sin…yes, sin as Christians…but he reminds of that sin – makes us aware (conviction) and leads us to Christ so we can ask forgiveness of those sins we commit daily. But you say it’s not the Holy Spirit that does that?…..then who is it?

Tom: You are to be commended for plumbing the depths of Biblical teaching….keep it up. But I’m really surprised you can make this kind of error. I’m just praying God will reveal to you how he is working in you – THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE BLOOD OF CHRIST…to give you victory daily over the “sin that so easily besets us.” I have confidence he will.

Barb: Folks you are all saying the same thing, you realize? This quote from Louie clarifies that you are: “You see when a believer commits a sin the Holy Spirit points us to Jesus and reminds us we are righteous. He’ll say something like “My children don’t act like that.” In other words if we, as a righteous believer sins, the Holy Spirit will remind us who we are in Christ. Either way we stop sinning and turn our eyes to Jesus! But my point in this is the Holy Spirit convicts or convinces the believer of righteousness not sin….Louie’ Back to me LOL….convicts/convinces what is the difference? It is just another way to look at what the Holy Spirit does…Holy Spirit DOES convince us that we are the Child of God and should not be sinning….therefore we are Convicted and repent…simple.

Louie: Wow! In the original question I asked if anyone could show me verses that showed the Holy Spirit convicts of sin for the “believer.” In John 16:8-10 Jesus clearly defines the answer to my inquiry. If you look at v.9 you will see the Holy Spirit convicts/convinces the world/unbeliever “of sin, because they don’t believe in me (Jesus).” I’m still waiting for even “one” verse about the Holy Spirit convicting or convincing the “believer” of sin. According to Romans 7:7 the Apostle Paul said the Law is what made sin known to him “I would not have come to know sin except through the Law…” Elsewhere Paul said, the Law was given in order to “shut our mouths, make us accountable and give the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:19-20). So it seems to me the Law’s role is to show us sin but the unbeliever has to be convinced by the Spirit. Another thought is what’s up with the Spirit convicting of righteousness because Jesus goes to the Father? (John 16:10) Who needs convicting/convincing of righteousness?

Tom: If you don’t see that it’s the Holy Spirit that continues to convict us of sin and leads us away from it, you missed the whole point Louie. Keep studying…I’m sure the Spirit will lead you to see that his work is not finished in you just because you are a Christian. Ask yourself that question Louie, if it’s not the Holy Spirit…..WHO IS IT? It’s very simple.

Louie: Show me 1 verse then!

Louie: “the work” Jesus did is in fact finished! What he has for me to do before I die may not be but my salvation is in fact very finished!.

Louie: It seems to me when it comes to the unbeliever/world the Holy Spirit has to convince them they have sin. On the other hand, when it comes to the “believer” the Holy Spirit has to convince us we are righteous. Jesus did in fact make us righteous when He moved into us! But because of living for so long in unbelief, even after being born again it takes convincing from the Spirit to remind me.

Louie: Throughout John chapters 14-17 Jesus reveals the role of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will “teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you, He will testify about Me.” The scriptures seem to be saying to me that the Holy Spirit’s main function is to point us to Jesus not sin! In Hebrews 9-10 we discover the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ actually takes away the consciousness of sins, something the Old Covenant sacrifices could not do. In fact the scriptures say “they were a reminder of sins year by year” (Hebrews 10:4). In Hebrews 8:12 we read “I will remember their sins no more.” If God Himself isn’t going to remember them do you think He’s going to spend the time pointing them out to His children?.

Ron: After searching….the Spirit convicts the unbeliever and reminds the believer of their righteousness! As far as I know.

Tom: Here’s a good place to start Louie. From here you can find cross references: Hebrews Chapter 12: 6-10 (It concerns the punishing of Christian that fall into sin and what the Lord does to restore them through discipline. The Holy Spirit is NOT just a comforter. All Christians need to learn that.) I leave you to explore this on your own. Finding the answers for yourself is always far better than someone else relaying them to you.

Louie: Thanks Tom but I think this passage is making the same point I made in an earlier comment. If you start at v. 2 you see where we are instructed to “fix our eyes on Jesus” which is the Spirit’s main job, to point us to Christ not sin. Then if you look at v.7 you see “God deals with you as with sons…” The Holy Spirit reminds us who we are…”God’s son’s” i.e. “righteous” because Jesus goes to the Father (John 16:10). God’s goal is for us to be healed, or made whole, wouldn’t you agree? I am reminded of the story in Numbers 21 about the serpents that bit the Children of Israel. The only way they could be healed was if they looked to the serpent on the pole. Of course we know that’s a picture of Jesus on the cross, right? You see we have to look away from the bite (sin) in order to be healed! Jesus did in fact “become sin so we could become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Some refused to look to the serpent on the pole and died.

WHAT ABOUT DYING TO SELF?

The following conversation started based on this statement–The term “die to self” is not found in the Bible. Those who have received Christ have already died and have received a new heart that is free from sin.

Todd: you come to Christ denying yourself. And that means you take Christ on His terms, not yours. The proud sinner wants Christ and his pleasure, Christ and his covetousness, Christ and his immorality, but you don’t get Him on those terms. And then once you’ve come to Christ, Jesus is saying here it becomes a way of life to deny yourself. A happy way of life, admittedly, is it not? For I’m not happy when my self acts, I’m happy when the Spirit of God acts in me. Joy comes to me in obedience, in holiness.

Arthur Pink said, “Growth in grace is growth downward. It is the forming of a lower estimate of ourselves, it is a deepening realization of our nothingness. It is a heartfelt recognition that we are not worthy of the least of God’s mercies.”

That’s why in Colossians 3:5 it says we have to commit suicide. We have to mortify our members that are on the earth. We have to put off, Ephesians 4:22 says, the old man, corrupted by lust.

So, self‑denial then is the way in and it becomes the life pattern. We say no to self and we say yes to the Spirit of God. As long as we’re in this body, “the flesh” we will have to deny our natural reaction. Now we are in Christ, and yes we should hate sin…this is our position in Christ. That is how corrupt our flesh is..

Louie: “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ….” He is the “All” in our nothingness for sure. We have already been co-crucified with Christ. Reckoning ourselves dead is the only way the Christian life is lived because it’s really Christ living it. I am not in competition with Him as if I am going to attempt to live it. As far as mortifying the members upon the earth, I don’t think those are who I am. In other words, dying to fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, etc. isn’t dying to self. I am a new self in Christ and that new self is a right self therefore I don’t deny it (the new self). I am at home with who I am in Christ. He doesn’t operate through me in spite of me. In fact He operates through me because of me. You see the invisible God makes Himself visible through common, ordinary folks who have come to see themselves as having died (already) not still dying to sin and the Law.

Todd: Rom:7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold under sin.
15 For I don’t know what I am doing. For I don’t practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do.
16 But if what I don’t desire, that I do, I consent to the law that it is good.
17 So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me.
18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. For desire is present with me, but I don’t find it doing that which is good.
19 For the good which I desire, I don’t do; but the evil which I don’t desire, that I practice.
20 But if what I don’t desire, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me.
21 I find then the law, that, to me, while I desire to do good, evil is present.
22 For I delight in God’s law after the inward man,
23 but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members.
24 What a wretched man I am! Who will deliver me out of the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! So then with the mind, I myself serve God’s law, but with the flesh, the sin’s law.
So Paul did recognize that how corrupt the flesh is…that why have to die daily not for Salvation, but deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow him…We wait with anticipation for our Glorify body. I am not argue your point, but we still have the flesh.

Louie: We do have flesh but flesh is not me (self). Romans eight tells us “you are not in the flesh if the Spirit is in you.” “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:17). This is why we are told to walk in the spirit and you won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh. In fact the real you (spirit joined to the Holy Spirit) doesn’t want to sin. On the other hand, the flesh is apt to do anything!

Todd: If I ask you another question; who lives your Christian life? Who? It’s a basic question. Come on, you’re doing this every day. Who’s doing it? You say, well, it’s me. That’s too simple an answer. If you’re living the Christian life, is it you or is it the Holy Spirit? Look, you don’t want to take credit for the good stuff, and you don’t want to blame the Holy Spirit for the bad stuff, so who is it? See, you have the same dilemma. Let me help you. The apostle Paul said this: “I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live, yet not I.” So, he didn’t understand it either; that’s the reality of it.

Louie: Well, that’s where I have to disagree with you. The Apostle Paul understood totally! The Romans 7 chapter is Paul walking us through what it looks like when someone is attempting to live the Christian life by obeying the Law. Of course obedience to the Ten Commandments was never why they were given in the first place. In fact they were given to show us our inability not our ability. The Apostle Paul’s great revelation in that chapter is he (we) have been truly delivered from trying. In Romans 6 we read we are dead to sin. In Romans 7 dead to Law. Romans 8 teaches us we are free in the Spirit! Galatians 2:20 is a one verse summary of Romans 6-8 wherein we discover the Christian life is in fact only lived by Christ but it’s in, through and as us. You see we are in a union with Christ. So when someone does “good stuff” it’s obviously Christ. On the other hand, if they do “bad stuff” it’s the enemy. Of course that begs the question of accountability. You might say, “Well, you’re blaming the devil for your sins and don’t want to own up to them.” What I’m saying is we are not the source of “righteous” deeds or “sinful” deeds. We are in fact always joined to another whether it be Mr. Sin or Mr. Righteousness. The good news is when we “sin” as a believer we are actually acting contrary to our nature. We have been born from above and are partakers of His Divine nature. We only sin when we are deceived or have forgotten we have been cleansed and transformed into a new creature in Christ.

Todd: Now, this is like trying to unscrew the inscrutable. You really cannot resolve these divine tensions. If we talk about the doctrine of the security of the believer, that we’re held safe by Christ, you can’t talk about that without flipping it over and talking about the perseverance of the saints. We will enter into glory if we continue in the faith. Every major doctrine regarding salvation in the Scripture, and many beyond salvation, have within them an apparent paradox that cannot be resolved on the human side. This is one of the evidences that God wrote the Bible and not men, or they would have eliminated all of those unsolvable paradoxes.

Louie: I was just saying this to Tracey as you were writing. When we are a spirit living in a earthly, temporal body, life is definitely lived in paradox but I wouldn’t say Paul didn’t understand it. I think He knew full well that He and Christ were joined therefore he “worked out his own salvation and yet it is God who works in you to do it.” Good stuff!

Louie: I love how this discussion of “dying to self” circled right around and found its way into Romans 6-8 which I believe is the center of the Apostle Paul’s revelation and what he taught everywhere.