Feeling or Doing?

Suesbed
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“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.” 2 Corinthians 5:16 ESV

We all make judgments every day of our lives, so not all judgment is bad. It is only bad if we are making judgments – if we are judging others by ourselves, by human standards, by our own personal prejudices, by our human traditions, by outward appearances, or unjustly or hypocritically.

If we make judgments about others, thus, they need to be according to God’s standards, but in truth and in love, and not according to our own flesh. And, our goal should never be to destroy another person in our judging, but to help another into the light and out of the darkness.

For so many people today are under the cloud of deception, and they are following after a lie, and not after the truth, and so they need to have their eyes opened to the truth so that they can be delivered out of the darkness. And, so we need to expose the lies for what they are, and we need to proclaim the truth in opposition to the lies, in hopes that blinded eyes will be opened, and that people will be turned from darkness to light (Acts 26:18).

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

“In Christ” is not just a status we claim. It isn’t just a list of “Who we are in Christ,” either, especially if some of that list is false. But “In Christ” has to do with a relationship with Almighty God. And, that relationship is based off several factors.

First and foremost, we are only able to be “in Christ” because of God’s grace to us, and because of Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death for us on that cross where he took our place so that we could be delivered from our slavery to sin and be reconciled to (restored to friendship with) God (1 Co. 6:20).

Secondly, we can only be “In Christ” by God-given faith in Jesus Christ which submits to Christ as Lord, which turns away from sin, and which turns to God to follow him in obedience to His commands, and then walks in His ways and in His truth as a matter of course, of practice, of lifestyle (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

So many professing Christians these days are claiming who they are “in Christ” in order to appease guilt over the fact that they are still walking in the darkness, living in and practicing sin. And, many of those at high levels who are pushing this are doing so deliberately to keep people still in bondage to sin while giving them a false hope of security in Christ.

Truly in Christ

Now, don’t get me wrong. If truly we are in Christ, by genuine God-given faith in Him, and we are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, we can find comfort in what the Bible teaches regarding who we are in Christ when Satan and his hordes come against us.

But, so many people today are using this as a means of pacifying themselves in their sinful practices so that they don’t feel guilty when they continue living in sin in direct disobedience to our Lord. And, some of these lists of who we are in Christ have things on the lists which are not biblical, and the lists themselves do not apply across the board to everyone who makes a profession of faith in Christ, either. So beware of those lists.

For, according to scripture, to be “In Christ” means we no longer walk (in conduct, in practice) according to our sinful flesh, but we now walk (in lifestyle) in agreement with the Spirit of God, in holiness, purity, honesty, uprightness, faithfulness and godliness. For, if we do not, and we continue to make sin our practice, and we don’t walk in obedience to our Lord, then scripture says we don’t know God, we don’t love God, and we don’t have eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21; Eph. 5:3-6; 1 Jn. 2:3-6).

For, to be “In Christ” means that our old lives, of living for sin and self, have been put to death with Christ, that we have been made new in Christ, and now we live according to the Spirit of God and not according to our flesh.

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 ESV

Many people are saying, though, that what I just described above is works-based salvation. But, it is what Jesus Christ and his NT apostles taught, and they taught the grace of God. And, the grace of God instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s return. And, this death to sin and living to God and to his righteousness is what Jesus died for, too (Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Co. 6:20; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; Eph. 4:17-24; Rom. 6:1-23; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

So all this is from God, not from the flesh of man. For the flesh of man has no power to conquer flesh. Only God can conquer sin and the flesh and set us free from the darkness and bring us into his wonderful light. And, only God can empower us to live godly, upright, holy, pure and faithful lives for the glory and praise of God. And, the very purpose of his death on that cross was that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. So, we need to not listen to the lies that say that if we walk in holiness that we are trying to earn our own salvation. That is hogwash!

For, to be reconciled to God is not about just God forgiving our sins so we can go to heaven when we die, although that is what many are teaching these days. It means to be changed, to come to the same position as God about our sin and about his righteousness. It means we change from enmity with God to friendship with God, by God’s grace, but also by God-given faith in Jesus Christ which submits to Christ as Lord, repents of sin and walks in obedience to our Lord’s commands (see all previous noted scriptures).

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 ESV

So, to be reconciled to God, or to be “In Christ” by faith in Jesus Christ, is not some emotional experience we go through, or some words we say after someone else, or some intellectual assent to who Christ is and was. For, love for God is not an emotion. It is not what we feel. IT IS WHAT WE DO.

Therefore, Jesus died on that cross, and he who knew no sin became sin for us so that, IN CHRIST, we might become the righteousness of God. And, this is not just his righteousness positionally, but in practice. For, Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died, as well, that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; Tit. 2:11-14).

So, before you go claiming who you are in Christ when you don’t want to feel guilt over your sinful practices, make sure you are really in Christ, according to what the scriptures teach on the whole (the whole counsel of God), and not in a few cherry-picked scriptures taken out of context.

For, “In Christ” means we have died with Christ to our old sinful lifestyles, that we have been transformed in heart of mind of the Spirit of God away from sin and to obedience to Christ. And, it means that we are now walking (in practice) according to (in agreement with) the Holy Spirit of God and not in accord with our old sinful flesh.

It doesn’t mean we have arrived, or that we have already been made perfect, or that we are living in sinless perfection. But what it does mean is that sin is no longer our master because we were bought back for God with the blood of Christ so that we would now honor God with our lives – with our minds, bodies, emotions and speech. He is now Lord of our lives, not our sins and not Satan, if we are truly in Christ – because love for God is not an emotion. It is not what we feel. But, IT IS WHAT WE DO for the glory of God.

Your New Life / An Original Work

Based off the Gospels / May 15, 2014

Go and make disciples of peoples,
Teaching them to obey their Savior.
Do not fear, but go where He sends you.
Tell them all of what you have heard.

The kingdom of God now is upon you.
Come, and follow Jesus, your Lord.
He will make you fishers of man.

If the people Jesus desire,
They must die to sin and to self-life.
If they want to hold on to their lives
They will lose them forevermore.

Surely you heard that coming to Christ
Means a new life in Jesus, your Lord.
Follow Christ wherever He leads.

Love the Lord with all of your heart, and
Love your neighbors as you would yourself.
Preach the gospel to all the nations.
Do not worry what you will say.

Proclaim the freedom for all the captives.
Share the light with all who are blind.
You are ministers of our God.

 

9 thoughts on “Feeling or Doing?

  1. And here I thought I was the only one who used the word “hogwash”. Please note that I am NOT saying that what you have stated in this post is hogwash, just that you used the word “hogwash”. I actually used that word when I was at my mother-in-laws home many years ago when I WROTE THAT WORD on a tract that had been left out and in which, it expounded upon the virtues of Mary. My mother-in-law was Roman Catholic and I was in my “voicing my anti-Roman Catholic doctrine” days, while residing in their home. Not that articulating the errors of RC doctrine is wrong, but I was off a tad when I did so while in their home, as a guest, with something that belonged to her. The reality of 1 Corinthians 13:13 hadn’t really taken root in me yet. That is where faith, hope and love are noted with love being observed as the greatest attribute. And of course, the Greek word used for love is the agape love, in 1 Corinthians 13, where our love is self-giving, sacrificial, unconditional love for one another, where it is compared to how Jesus loved us.

    Everything that you wrote in this post is obviously correct because you’re directly quoting and expanding upon what the Apostle Paul clearly said to the Corinthians in this 2nd letter but he also wrote to them previously in his 1st letter, where agape love is expanded upon in chapter 13. The brotherly or affectionate love as noted in Greek as “philos” that was used to describe how Jesus loved John as in John 20:2, is still a valid love, when cited in the appropriate circumstances. And as we previously discussed, Jesus actually is quoted as using it in the third time He asked Peter if he loved him. Most of us can attest to having experienced philos love but the instances of demonstrating pure agape love are far less in number, because as you state, that agape love is where personal feelings about self are put aside. No argument here Sue, just an observation.

    And as you may recall, I’ve been in the presence of that agape love emulating from God for a very short duration and I know exactly how it felt. And yes it was a feeling because all of my senses where acutely aware of His presence. I never wanted to leave God’s presence, ever, not even for a second, but I was only given a taste. This link refers: https://bcooper.wordpress.com/2018/10/20/the-presence-of-god-revisited/

    There is a huge huge unimaginable difference between philos and agape love. I had at that time and still do, a great philos love for my wife yet there was no comparison, not even close, which is truly difficult to comprehend. I don’t presume to understand it all, in fact I know that I don’t, but that does not negate the reality of the agape love that I tasted. I also believe that it is God alone who is the author of that agape love, that kind of love which emulates from Him and it is solely through His Spirit in us that it flows infrequently through us, because as Paul states, we are still in these tents. Someday we will understand but I can tell you, words alone cannot describe it.

    In the Old Testament, when the Angel of the Lord (divinity) was present, the prophets, dropped to their knees. There is a reason for that and no, one does not think about it, it just happens.

    My apology for rambling, just felt led to share this with you, inadequate as my words may be. And one last point of clarification, God’s Word is indeed, the ruler of measurement by which everything is determined, without exception.

    Praying for you and yours to have a blessed New Year Sue.

    Love in Christ,

    Bruce

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bruce, thank you. I will get back with you later on in response to what you shared but I just wanted to thank you for sharing. No worries, though. 🙂 Just really tired, so I will respond when my brain is more awake. Have a blessed day in Jesus!

      Liked by 2 people

    • I do have a quick question for you, Bruce. Do you believe that anyone can philos love someone and be sinning against that person habitually at the same time? I ask, because I believe this comes into play here. Even a brotherly affectionate love that is not agape love, for it to be love and not just lust, I believe needs to be shown by action, based on the scriptures I have read where we are commanded to have a brotherly love for one another. I don’t believe we can practice sinning against others and call it love, for even brotherly love should do no harm to its neighbor. For, like you said, when Jesus asked Peter a third time he used the word “philos” and when Peter answered that he did love Jesus in that way, Jesus told him to feed his sheep.

      There was no objection by Jesus to Peter’s response which there would have been if Peter had been living in sin against his Lord. Love, to call it love, I believe has to be shown by what we do and not just by what we say or what we feel because feelings can be deceiving as can be words if they are not followed up with action. God says that to love him is to obey him. And, to love others is to do no harm to them, and it is to do them good. Thus, our worship of God cannot be based on our feelings, but on our conduct, on our obedience. true worship of God is to surrender our lives to him, to give him our all on the altar, to forsake our idols and our sinful practices and to follow him in obedience, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Quick answer: Do you believe that anyone can philos love someone and be sinning against that person habitually at the same time? YES. Even though you may truly love someone (philos) you can still sin against them because you are still placing your self interests above theirs, in spite of the philos love you have for them. This happens all the time.

        While I agree with you that feelings can be deceiving, it does not necessitate that they are ALWAYS deceiving. Jesus loved John with a brotherly love, nothing wrong with that. Obedience that flows from fear is obedience that is followed because you have to, not that you want to, because the basis for the obedience is fear. And we know that perfect love casts out all fear. Obedience that is driven by value of worth (respect) and a balanced love, whether it be philos or agape love, puts the other person or God in the position of us wanting to please them or Him above wanting to satisfy one’s own interests. Jesus did this when He asked His father to remove the cup that He had been asked to drink, if it was possible, but nevertheless, that God the Father’s will was to be done.

        I agree with you that obedience is the fruit of being born again, but I’m pretty sure it is progressive and I don’t think we ever completely get there, not while in these bodies because we live in a fallen world and are fallen creatures that have been adopted into God’s kingdom. That’s why our bodies grown because our redemption has not been fully realised yet, that is our hope, that we will become like He is, with a new resurrected body.

        Obedience without love (agape) is obedience not fully realised, just like love (agape) without obedience is love not fully realised. We love Him because He first loved us. It cannot be just one or the other, it must be both at the same time. We obey because we value His guidance and trust in His decisions and provisions for us, over our own.

        I don’t really disagree with anything you are saying but the motive behind our obedience must be our love for God and like Peter, that love starts with a philos love and grows from there into agape love but that is a long transition that develops over time and the source is God, not of ourselves. I think we are talking about the same thing but from two different angles. Hope that answers your question.

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      • Bruce, this is what I found out about philos:

        5368 philéō (from 5384 /phílos, “affectionate friendship”) – properly, to show warm affection in intimate friendship, characterized by tender, heartfelt consideration and kinship. Philos – beloved, dear, friendly, a friend; experienced-based love.

        Beloved – 27 agapētós (a verbal adjective, derived from 26 /agápē, “love”) – properly, divinely-loved; beloved (“loved by God”), i.e. personally experiencing God’s “agapē-love.”

        Friend – showing kindly interest and goodwill; not hostile (adverse, of or relating to an enemy who is openly opposed or resisting). Opposite of enemy, which is an opponent, adversary, one seeking to injure another.

        So, if you love someone with that kind of love, you are not going to treat that person as an enemy. You are not going to sin against that person habitually, knowingly, willfully, in direct opposition of what love is. For, this is not just a feeling or an emotion, although feelings and emotion are involved in philos love. But, to love someone this way is to treat this person as an intimate friend, a beloved companion, showing goodwill towards that person and not harm, as a matter of practice.

        So, I need to ask you this question. Would you consider another man, for example, as a close intimate friend of yours if he was committing adultery against you with your wife behind your back and lying to you about it habitually, over a long period of time, especially? Would you consider this person a beloved, a close intimate friend and on friendly terms with you if he was stealing from you, and destroying your reputation by slandering you continuously? Would you still consider him a close intimate friend and believe that he loves you if he is injuring your children or your grandchildren, or if he willfully burned down your house? Would you believe that he loved you? Would you call that love?

        All throughout the scriptures I am reading about love, both agape and philos and I see nowhere that indicates that you can knowingly and willfully be habitually sinning against someone and still call it love, that you love that person. But, I see every indication that love, both agape and philos, treats others with honor, value, respect and consideration, and it does no harm to another, not willfully and habitually.

        There is a book written about sexual idolatry, I think it is, and it is titled “Don’t call it love.” And, there is a reason for that. It isn’t love when we willfully, knowingly, and habitually treat others as though they are our enemies and we are mean and hateful to them.

        So, yes, emotion is involved in philos love, but it can’t be emotion absent of honor, respect, true friendship, consideration, and it can’t include treating others as though they are our enemies, cheating, stealing, lying, betraying, committing adultery against them, etc. especially as a course of habit. There is just no justification for this in scripture at all.

        And, I also disagree with this statement:

        “that love starts with a philos love and grows from there into agape love but that is a long transition that develops over time and the source is God, not of ourselves.”

        I agree totally that the source is God and not ourselves, but we are commanded of God to love others with this kind of love all throughout the New Testament, and it doesn’t say that it will take a long time to get there. If the source is God, and he lives within us, his love also lives within us, and if we are tapping into that source, we can indeed love others with agape love, not necessarily with absolute perfection (we will grow to maturity in this over time), but in consistent choices of the will to love with action and in truth despite what our feelings dictate.

        So, bottom line is this: We are commanded to love one another both with agape love and with friendship love, and both of these kinds of love are not going to sin against others willfully and habitually, as a matter of habit and then call it love, for that is not love.

        So, if we want to obey God, and love others as we are commanded to do, then we need to treat them with honor and show them the kind of love that Jesus shows to us in that he cares about our real needs and he shows us the way out of our sinful addiction into freedom in Christ and in victory over darkness so that we can love others as God commanded that we should love them and so we don’t continue in sinful practices and thus treat others as though they are our enemies.

        Liked by 1 person

      • OK Sue, the answers to your lead questions are obvious no but I’m not going to argue with you, especially on this media platform. I have a question for you though, do you think Peter loved Jesus (phileo or agape) when he denied Him three times? It’s just not all black and white. Blessings.

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      • His denial was a temporary emotional response to a very difficult situation. It was not his lifestyle. He was not acting in love when he denied the Lord. But, he repented of his sin of denial and he didn’t continue to live in a continual state of denial to Jesus, but he walked in his love and he did what God called him to do from that moment forward, not in absolute perfection, but walking by the Spirit and not living by the flesh. He walked in love which was evident by his lifestyle and his obedience to his Lord on a continual and consistent basis.

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  2. All I said Sue was that philos love could be subject to faltering, I’m not talking about a patterned lifestyle although some undoubtedly have tried to take it there. Of course Peter wasn’t acting in love when he denied Jesus, yet that does not negate the fact that he loved Jesus, which is my point. From my life experience, all of us have difficulty walking in philos love consistently (thoughts, words and deeds) let along consistently walking in agape love. It’s the infrequent inconsistencies that I’m talking about. Going to call it a night, have to get up early tomorrow for work. Grace and blessings as always.

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