I Beg to Differ.

Use this forum to discuss the May 2020 Book of the month, "Grace Revealed: Finding God's Strength in Any Crisis" by Frederick J. Sievert.
Claude Belemu
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Re: I Beg to Differ.

Post by Claude Belemu »

I agree. I believe God sees us as individuals. I think God does see our mess. HE is not blind to it but chooses to turn a blind eye if we:
1. Have accepted Jesus
2. Are aware of our depravity and cling to God for both grace and salvation

We need to remember that we are the righteousness of God through Jesus. Therefore, our right standing is because of the finished work done at the cross. God does see our mess but we are not under condemnation so long as HIS Spirit which is in us causes us to cry 'Abba'! Because we cling to Jesus, despite our perceived mess, we have the status of 'righteous' because we are the righteousness of God THROUGH Christ Jesus.

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Post by Adanna Inya »

No one knows the mind of God, so I think that it's presumptuous to assume.

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Post by Dragonsend »

sirbobthewise wrote:
31 May 2020, 09:17
Sushan wrote:
30 May 2020, 22:58
sirbobthewise wrote:
20 May 2020, 07:25
These are only my own thoughts, of course, but I believe it is both. He only sees Jesus when He looks at us (looks at our sin) but he cares about us as individuals. I think what the author is ultimately trying to bring out is what that chapter is about, "Jesus paid it all." In other words, when God looks at us Christians (who believe in Christ and announce Jesus as our Savior) in our sin (because we will always be sinners, even when we cling to Christ), He no longer sees the sin inside of us as requiring punishment and death. Jesus, instead, paid the price for our sin (because only He could do such a thing) so that we could be reconciled with God.

When we believe in Christ, even though we continue to sin (because we are not perfect), we are reconciled with God (we no longer have to fear his punishment), because we are clothed in Jesus. Thus, when God sees our sin, He sees Jesus. I believe Rick Warren (who the author quotes in that passage) is speaking on the matter of sin and reconciliation, not God's intention toward us as His children.

So, in regard to our sin, God sees Jesus and does not require punishment or payment (because Jesus paid for it). On the other side, God is our creator, our Father, and therefore, cares about us deeply as individuals. He cares about our sanctification. But we are even able to be sanctified and grown in a unique, beautiful, and individually-crafted way because Jesus paid for our reconciliation first. We needed to be reconciled first so that we could even be able to HAVE a relationship with God, which will thus allow our sanctification process (through the Holy Spirit). I don't believe it's an "either/or" answer. It's both.

Thanks for the great question!
He cares us for all. But we can continue to sin and will never be punished. I am utterly confused. So, is it a license to be a sinner? Correct me if I have got this wrong
That is a really great question! Thank you for asking. :) Paul in the Bible actually directly comments on the same point, so it's definitely an important question! He writes in Roman 6: "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life." I would want to put up all of Romans 6, but I think that would be too long, so if you would be interested, I might suggest reading Romans 5 and the rest of Romans 6 for full context.

The language can seem a little weird, so I hope I'm able to explain it well. If you have an interest in this, I would suggest asking a pastor to give a better explanation of it. Paul's words can be difficult to understand (they are difficult for me, at least!), but I'll try to explain the best that I can. When we accept Christ, we are made new. That's why we sometimes call Christians "born-again Christians." We believe that God gives us a new heart when we accept Christ. This means that while we are still sinners (and always will be until we are raised again) we are no longer enslaved to sin like how we were before we accepted Christ. We no longer desire to sin like we did when we were non-Christians. In other words, before we accepted Christ, we were sinners who could never choose good for ourselves. But with our new heart, while we are still sinners, we are at least now capable of not choosing sin with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us. Before Christ, we are unaware of our sin; but it is through Christ and through the awareness of our fleshly weakness, that we realize how incapable we are to not sin and not choose good without God's help; and we realize how much we need God's grace.

So, why do Christians sin if we have been made new? If we have God on our side and the Holy Spirit living inside of us to help us no longer choose sin, why do we still choose to sin? I believe that's because there is a difference between salvation, justification, sanctification, and glorification. Salvation is when we are saved; we are given the Holy Spirit and made new. We accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Justification is a one-time event at salvation (we are justified by Christ and no longer will receive the penalty for death, because Jesus died for us... this is what I was discussing in the previous post). However, just because we have been saved and justified, it does not mean that we are perfect. It does not mean that we not will sin; it does mean that our motivations and our desires toward sin change as we become sanctified. We slowly (sooooooo slooooowly) want sin less and want God more. We choose sin less and choose God more. So sanctification is the process throughout our entire life in which we are changed more and more into the likeness of Christ. We are more and more able to choose godliness and not choose sin (which is what we want now; or, at least, what we hope to want). We no longer desire to sin, but recognize that we are not perfect and that there are times when we still will sin, and so we rest in those times and days knowing the God's grace is sufficient for us. We do not punish ourselves for our sin, because Jesus already paid for our sins on the Cross. In those moments, we look to the Cross, grieve our sins, confess our sins to God (and, perhaps, to any parties that we may have sinned against), and continue to commit our lives and self to God, continuing the walk of sanctification. Our heart changed at salvation (so that we can be continually changed), and then the Holy Spirit inside of us keeps changing us through sanctification. Our motivations change within us and we find that we don't want to disobey God (or at least, we want to want to not disobey God). And our sanctification largely depends on our relationship with God and our relationships with others. We face Christ and keep our eyes toward the Cross no matter what, in comparison to before salvation when we were turned away from Christ. Glorification is the assurance that we will be completely removed from sin once going to Heaven.

So, do we have license to sin? As Christians, should we still live as if we are enslaved to sin? No. We have been freed from that and shouldn't walk in our old ways once coming to Christ. This is what Paul is saying. Should we aim to be more godly and to not sin? Yes. And it is our desire to do so, because it becomes our desire to obey God more when we accept Christ. That desire to obey Him comes from our love for Him, because He loved us first, not because of any obligation. But we still are aware that we are sinners. We are aware that we do this imperfectly and that we are in need of God's help and grace. However, through our salvation, justification, and sanctification, we are accepting that God has made us new and that we no longer have to follow in our old ways. And that we shouldn't. Because now we have help. Now we have freedom. Now we can choose life over death (sin). Do we? Not all the time. But that is why I'm grateful for God's grace, and that, is largely what this book is about.

I hope that makes some sense! If you have any more questions or follow-up questions, feel free to ask. :) Once again, thanks for an awesome question, and I hope I didn't confuse you more!

I believe you did a great job of explaining. Some people I believe also fall from grace which is horrible, that Is when you deliberately sin. By deliberately, I mean that you are not remorseful nor do you even try to make better decisions. In which case you can't say that you truly accepted Jesus nor God, because you are not of a heart to change. I love that you said 'freedom, the freedom to choose life instead of death(sin).' Awesome! :tiphat:
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 :angelic-grayflying:

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Post by lydiafmatson »

I absolutely agree. The beauty of life in Christ is that God sees all of our imperfections but he loves us regardless because they've already been paid for by Christ's death on the cross.

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Post by Christieee »

As I began reading your statement on the book, I was initially confused because I too believe that God through his son Jesus has washed away all our sins and sees us beyond our imperfections. But as I continued reading, I discovered a new perspective. I feel like your perspective should not be distinctly separated from the author’s view. Because even while God sees us beyond our imperfections, I believe that he notices our wrong doings and wishes nothing more than for us to realize his unending love for us and live for his glory. This is something to be learned from the parable of the lost sheep-That Jesus would rather leave the large flock in search of just one sheep who had lost his way. So I believe that God not only sees our iniquities and confusions but he sees beyond them and loves us regardless.

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Post by bawhite1029 »

I believe the answer to your question, “Does God only see perfection in Jesus,” or is He also interested in us an individual? Is both. There is no one perfect other than Jesus, in so much as walking as flesh and blood on this earth. Jesus' took the punishment of our sins. Therefore, God, via Jesus' death and resurrection, only sees us as perfect. We can accept the Holy Spirit into our hearts and have a close relationship with Jesus as our Savior, and we pray to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus. Yes, God is interested in all of his creation and us as individuals.
Luke 12:7 "every hair on our head."
Isaiah 49:16 "I have written your name on the palms of my hands."
Psalm 139: 13 "You knit me together in mother's womb."

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Post by Sally_Heart »

I also agree with the fact that God sees every aspect of us. He is not impartial to our mistakes and imperfections. It seems ironic that God would only see our perfection but then still throw a bunch of us to hell. The existence of heaven and hell is not just about religious doctrines but also about actions and thoughts.

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Post by Teddyquam »

Deborah kalu wrote:
08 May 2020, 15:39
djr6090 wrote:
05 May 2020, 09:55
I think it is presumptuous to claim knowledge of what God sees. We can only hope he accepts us with all our faults and shortcomings.
We don't hope we believe. This is where the word FAITH come in,if we don't believe in God and his righteousness then,that means, we don't also believe that he died on the cross to set us free from our sins
Yes! We don't know what God sees, but we do know that he gave us his son to die for our sins, and give hope that we could enter into heaven.
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Post by Uncle_Praise »

Hmm, this is a controversial question. I also beg to differ. I don't believe God looks at only the perfection of Jesus in our life. I believe He also wants to relate with our individuality. The purpose of Jesus being the perfection of our life is for us to replicate that and be as perfect as he is

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Post by drwcroaker »

Does God only “see perfection in Jesus,” or is He also interested in us as individuals?
You bring up an interesting point. I think God does see us as individuals, but he is viewing us through the blood of Jesus which cleanses us from sin and redeems us back to God.
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Post by victoriasimons »

This is an interesting point to question which I hadn't considered when I was reading it myself. I suppose I had interpreted this section as God acknowledging our imperfections, this is how He made us, but sees only Jesus who died for our sins. Therefore, He sees our flaws through the lens of mercy and forgiveness.

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Post by fletcher_4 »

“To be in Christ means that when God looks at you, He doesn’t see all your sins, failures, and rough spots. When you are in Christ, God just sees Jesus. You may see the scars, the mess, and the problems, but God sees perfection in Jesus.”

Regarding the above quote, this is my response:
God absolutely sees as as individuals, but once we ask for forgiveness of our sins, the sin is gone "as far as the East is from the West". We remember. We are human. God no longer counts those things against us - the sins, failures and rough spots. In essence, God no longer "sees" those things. Does He know us personally, including the mess? Of course. He just remembers our sins no more.

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Post by Nwaogazie Goodness »

I for one think that we should try to decipher what God sees us as. But really, we are his creatures.

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Post by aaurba »

I think that saying that is a little bit vague, don't you think? I mean, I think that God sees us as individuals. At the same time, he sees both our imperfection and the "perfection in Jesus". Anyway, this is just my opinion.
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Post by damis »

I think that while yes, God of course sees us as individuals the author's claims there are the inherent foundation of Christianity itself. The bible says that God takes all our sin and throws it to the deepest part of the side and has no further memory of them. My point here is, once we accept what Jesus did, we get a clear score, and the very same innocence and purity of Jesus, is what we God sees in us, because our previous record is now gone for good. As Christians, that's literally what we believe in. Jesus getting rid of our blame. So is not too wild of a claim to make is it? We are individuals, yes, and we have a past, yes, but if God forgave our historial of failure and doesn't dwell on the thought of it, then it is fairly accurate to say he considers the justice that Jesus gave us with his sacrifice. Even when we, indeed,don't deserve it.

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