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What does Sin, Forgiveness, and Freedom Mean to a Christian?
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 4:50 pm    Post subject: What does Sin, Forgiveness, and Freedom Mean to a Christian?  Reply with quote

First off, I'm not trying to proselytize with this post at all; I'm just putting it out there for comment or for others to post their beliefs. Sani's thread on Hell made me think of this, and everyone's welcome to state their POV.

So many people (Muslims especially) like to argue with Christians about the Christian idea of forgiveness for sins and so easily misunderstand it. I thought it would be interesting to start a thread talking about what we as self-proclaimed Christians think about how our sins are forgiven, and what that means to us.

I know that it's a broad topic, and like most things we all have our own ideas about what being "saved" means. I'm pulling one of my posts from a Christian forum because it was probably for me my first public statement about what Jesus's death on the cross really signifies for me. Here's my position on sin and forgiveness.

Without making it too long, the Bible tells us that the Law is written on our hearts when we accept Jesus as Savior and seek to do His will. The Law isn't gone, but it's been fulfilled for us through Him as a balance paid when we come face to face with God.

God tells us again and again that the wages of sin are death. If sin is the state to which we are born and live our Earthly life by virtue of Adam, then we cannot escape it--even AFTER we accept Jesus. What we escape is the penalty of those sins by the Grace of God through the payment of Jesus for us. As James said, if you break the least of the Commandments, you've then broken them all, because the Law is One Law under God. No one can be perfect except Jesus--we are constantly in the process of being MADE perfect, but I don't believe that we ever will be while we still have our sin nature (ie, earthly bodies). Remember the saying, "Be patient, God isn't done with me yet"? I believe wholeheartedly that this "perfecting" is a life-long process and is not one done by ourselves at all but wholly by our Lord God in Heaven.

I'm in no way saying that when we are aware of our sins and aren't repentant that we can continue along the path thinking we are saved or even righteous. What I'm saying is that the more one allows the Holy Spirit to take WHATEVER sins we live in (even those we AREN'T aware of--because we ALL fall short every DAY!), the more one begins to witness the Spirit's effect on our lives.

I'll tell you that many, MANY of the things that I did as a matter of course in my daily life--things that most people don't consider all that "bad" (like swearing, sarcasm, hard feelings) have been slowly washing away from me as I have allowed the Holy Spirit to work in my life more and more. I have done NOTHING but allow my faith that God will do with me what He sees best to be the force for change in my life. Seeing the need for repentence is sometimes easy when we are challenged by others to see our mistakes, and we can take an active part in "working out our salvation". The sins that God sees are much more subtle, and we may not even know that we are actively sinning, nor will others around us (even those who are saved). These I believe are the moments, when we allow God and His Spirit to address it, that we are changed not through our own doing but through the Spirit working in us.

Something else I've noticed in my own life that this "leaning on Him" has done for me is to free me from the burdens of guilt that sometimes can overwhelm. When you're trying to quit an addiction (or live life in The Spirit), you will always have moments of "falling off the wagon". Should these times be filled with guilt and shame, or do we "get back on the wagon" and move forward? I believe that the forgivness Jesus brings is the thing that keeps us from despair--that keeps us "getting back on the wagon" time and time again. In time, and with His grace, we find that we no longer even need "the wagon"--we are being carried by Him! As a consequence, it is EASIER to live in love for others without judgement, as we were (and often still are) sinning just as they are. We are all at different stages of trust in the Lord, and all of us are in the process of learning how to be carried, learning how to let go of ourselves to let Him be the Master of our souls.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:16 pm    Post subject: Infinity, Truth, Freedom; hence Sin, Cross, Forgiveness Reply with quote

Hi, Tater Salad.  Like you, I wondered about these meanings.  Spent the last eight years vetting what I believed and testing it against Bible and common sense, tried to explain the answers in a manner which a reader could TEST in his own spiritual journey.  My own beliefs dramatically changed as a result.

Infinity is Key to Understanding Perfection in God

Core here is INFINITY.  Full-spectrum.  The Perfection of God means He wants ALL TRUTH to be ordained to freely exist and freely operate.  That's why there must be a hell. For if you shave truth, you shave freedom, and then whatever's left, would be a lie.  God doesn't like that.  So, good truth, bad truth, any truth BECAUSE truth, is what He ordained.  You see it poignantly depicted in Isaiah 52:13-14, the high-low of the ordination.  Because there would be CHRIST, there would be creation.  Freedom must be paid for, since the first truth is, God should receive Justice for what is against Him.

Only Love can solve Justice.  Justice can only commend, or condemn.  So it requires something ABOVE Justice, to pay, Psalm 89:14-15.  So the Son, Absolute Love just as the Father is, elected to take on Humanity and make a Love Gift by paying in that Humanity for sins.  It wasn't owed by the Humanity.  But it was a way for His Godness to do the only thing God 'can't' do -- pay for sins.  God is owed payment, so should not pay.  Ahhh, but that doesn't stop Son Who is Equally God from making a gift (not polytheism, since Each God is Equal, Infinite, Same Nature).  Philippians 2:5-10 explains all that, as you well know.

Hence Perfection is the UNITING of all these conflicting truths.  Since these truths are ongoing, therefore the uniting is a PROCESS which continually occurs, union-of-opposites, hupo+stasis, aka Hypostatic (lit., one thing standing under another thing, term has other idiomatic meanings as well).  Which opposites, full-spectrum truths, God Himself holds together.  Christ's THINKING on the Cross, makes that jusfitiable, Isaiah 53:10-12 is the contract telling us this (add 1Tim2:5, where while still 'only' God, the Son accepted the terms).

There's another angle which we Christians and pretty much everyone else, seldom recognizes:  it can't be enjoyable for Infinite God, to watch us puny, what with all our banal living and silly preoccupations.  We spend hours pouring over the latest gossip about Britney Spears, but a scant three minutes chanting some prayer we don't understand but think we must do, to win some blessing from God!

So surely God's plan for us eternally, is not under the earth somewhere with a nicer version of what we had here, topside.  OUR NATURES CHANGE when we get saved, into His:  We get His Own Righteousness (2Cor5:21), His Own Type of (Eternal) Life, John 3:16, 10:28;  and we get all that, so that we can get His Truth poured into us as we learn it, Romans 8:4, Ephesians 3:15-19 -- which culminates in His Own Love being built in us (Greek word agape, only means GOD's love in Greek lit and Bible, never human love), Romans 5:5 and Eph3:19, plus many other verses.

That pouring in, fulfills John 10:34, making us like Christ.  For why should God settle for less?  He's Omnipotent, He doesn't have to settle for less.  He could just say "Be!" and we'd be like Christ; but that would override our free will consent.  So instead, He chooses to do it the hard way, the Romans 5:5 way, pouring truth into us with our discrete consent, moment by moment.  For Love, never coerces.  I like to call it "DDNA", our spiritual instruction set which transforms us into Him, 1John 2:28-3:2, Romans 12:1-3 (only in Greek, English is horrible).

Aha:  so now God doesn't have to settle for us being lesser than:  Hebrews 2 is on that.

Hence Sin is evidence and expression of Freedom

SIN means freedom to reject God.  God is omnipotent, so He CAN sin.  But He won't. Doesn't want to.  Being Omniscient, He knows what sin is and would never want it.  But since He knows, He can UNITE sin to Perfection, so that the bad truth of sin is never shaved, even as no good truth is ever shaved.

Hence Forgiveness is evidence and expression of Freedom

Ergo, there is Christ.  Hence, Christ paid for it all, else it would be unjust to create, in the first place.  That was a pre-creation contract, Isaiah 53:10-12 summarizes it.  Therefore creation can exist (decree to create being in Isaiah 52:13 which actually begins Chapter 53 in Hebrew).  That handles the Freedom question.

Forgiveness is a bifurcated matter.  For the unbeliever, the only issue is to believe in Christ, not what sins he commits (since those were all paid), John 16:9.  That's the Holy Spirit's job to convince, not ours.

For the believer, it's different.  Once we 'do' John 3:16 we are forever saved, but then in post-salvation life, we have a new spiritual life (hence the term born again in John 3:3,7, really born from above, see also 2Cor5:17).  So we need to grow up spiritually.  John addresses this as his main subject in 1 John (I've only exegeted it up to 1Jn2:4).  Paul addresses it in Ephesians 4:11-16, especially 4:14 about our childishness, and 4:13 about the maturity standard God makes available in Christ.  Verses 12-13, 15-16 are the mechanics, learning and living on Bible under whomever God appointed as your right pastor (Greek "haphe" in verse 16, variantly translated in English, usually "joint").

Without 1Jn1:9 being breathed when we believers sin, we are in a carnal state and cannot learn and live on Bible.  It's spiritual apnea, we are NOT filled with the Spirit and hence any Bible we think we learn and live on, is but hot air.  So we won't mature.

Hence Spiritual Growth is evidence and expression of Freedom

John uses the Greek verb "katharizw" (to purify) in both 1Jn1:7, and 1Jn1:9, to show juridical precedence of the Cross.  

That same verb is in the Greek OT of Isa53:10.  So John is tying back to Isaiah, when he says this.  There are five infinitives in Isaiah 53:10-12 of Greek OT, and the Lord often quoted from the Greek OT aka Septuagint or LXX, so it's important to use, to understand how NT authors, mean what they say.  They frequently tie back to the LXX, and especially to Isa53:10-12.

Isa 53:10-11's five infinitives 'chart' this process of spiritual growth, and as is typical for John, he picks the first infinitive in the list, katharizw, to use in 1Jn1:7, and 1Jn1:9.  That's Greek shorthand for including the ENTIRE LIST.

So what are these infinitives?  
  1. katharizw, to purify, and pronounced kath-ar-IDZ-oh;
  2. aphairew, to carry off (as in a prize, take away something which didn't belong to you), and pronounced af-a-REH-oh;
  3. deiknumi, to manifest, declare, publish, make known, point out (frequently used of the Holy Spirit, in the NT), and pronounced dike-NUM-ee;
  4. plassw, to sculpt (and in the LXX of Isa53:11, it means to sculpt His Thinking, clever placement of the verb), and pronounced PLAAHH-ssoh;
  5. dikaiow, meaning to make righteous, justify, vindicate, prove victorious in the trial docket, and pronounced dick-eye-OH-oh.
So it's a circle:  
  1. you use 1Jn1:9,
  2. then you carry off plunder of His Thinking via learning and living on Bible;  
  3. next, God the Holy Spirit makes known to you new understanding out from that learning, adding it to your database, so you mature a little more, each day.  
  4. Next, you are 'sculpted' to be more like Christ in His Thinking;  
  5. and that, vindicates you experientially, makes you a victor in the Trial (which is before angels, click on my www button if you wish to examine that idea in "Advanced Topics").
 In Isaiah 53:10-11, all these infinitives are done by God.  First, done to Christ, then done to us because we are in Him.  That's His Legacy to us.  We can't do a thing to grow spiritually.  It's all God's work, and the Filling of the Spirit is a perceptive thing, enabling superhuman comprehension, not a frothing at the mouth, rolling in the aisle, "getting the Ghost" circus show.  Demons like circus shows.  God doesn't.  

So I submit these five infinitives are the process of what happens inside our souls as we breathe 1Jn1:9 as needed, and thereby learn and live on Bible in spiritual states.  That's the process of spiritual maturation, and like human maturation mentally, it is a lifetime thing.  

Again, one must be filled with the Spirit to learn Bible properly.  Katharizw, first infnitive, is used for purifying the Temple in the OT.  Else you're in the dark (1Jn1:6), you think you're in the light and holy, but you are making a mockery of yourself and God (1Jn1:8, 10).  That's most of Christianity today.

As you know, we believers are stones in the living Temple (as it were) of Christ's 'body' (representative body of all believers between Session and Rapture, aka Church).  So we sin, we are defiled, we use 1Jn1:9 and we are back in spiritual status again.

Spiritual maturity is thus a progressive, accretive, accumulated result of the many spiritual stati that we get in over some period of years.  http://www.geocities.com/brainout1/SMP.doc charts the progression in our thinking as we mature spiritually (only six pages, Word doc).

So 1Jn1:9 is our forgiveness, and it's a license to grow.  I must think "I'm arrogant, Dad!" (my way of phrasing it to Father) a bizillion times a day.  I don't want to be out of fellowship.  Notice how the Cross is God-ward, but post-cross it's manward.  Forgiveness means the person forgiven ADMITTED he was wrong.  

The unbeliever admits it when he believes in Christ the first time.  

After that, he's a new spiritual species (kaine ktisis, 2Cor5:17), so he admits his sin using 1Jn1:9, and is forgiven for grieving and quenching the Spirit (Eph4:30, and 1Thess 5:19).  So he's Filled again, and can grow spiritually, read Bible and get something valid out of it, pray, etc.  Nothing is accomplished absent Filling, Philippians 2:12-13, 3:14, 1Cor 2 (whole chapter), Romans 8 (whole chapter, esp. verses 1-10).

Your father is always your father.  But that doesn't mean you're always on speaking terms.  So if you're at fault, you must admit it.  Not penance, that doesn't do anything, just as we couldn't earn salvation, either.  But we must admit when we've sinned.  Each time.  God won't coerce us.  Else, we're still sons, but not on speaking terms.  Hence our Bible learning, good deeds, etc. are all just so much hot air, just as the unbeliever can do.

For we get clobbered when we sin, but do not use 1Jn1:9 (Peter's Greek wordplay on that in 2Peter 1:9 is mistranslated, very witty though).  Stay out longer, and Hebrews 12:5-16 applies (ever increasing Divine Discipline).  When the believer is too far gone, he gets capital punishment from God (which is internal, so an outsider can't see it, mode of death tells you nothing), 1John 5:16.

Hence both Hell and Heaven are evidence and expression of Freedom,
and those who will be in it, will not be equal:  
full-spectrum results, freely occurring
.

In fact, since we are Royal Family of God, when we sin we retard spiritually, so stand in danger of losing our crown of kingship.  In which case, we will be in heaven alright, and be happy alright -- but with much smaller souls hence much smaller material means to match that smaller soul -- forever.  Colossians 3:25, no one gets away with anything.  As for the Royalty, lose crown problem, and all of that, the foregoing SMP doc has links to those webpages.

Not saying you should read them.  Just showing that like you, I've given the matter a lot of thought -- and there are substantial answers.  There is such a thing as suffering worse than hell.  And we get it all down here.  And we lose the inheritance rewards escrowed for us, if we don't grow up spiritually.  For one must be mature, to rule.  Ruling is parenting, not a lording-over thing.  And if we don't grow up in Christ, well -- then we'll be happy children forever.  Ruled happily by those who grew up in Him, 2Peter 3:18.  (Nerd note:  "children" then is far bigger than the smartest of all humans put together, down here.  But compared to the vastness of the mature then -- for the standard is CHRIST'S maturity level, Eph4:13 -- it will still be a 'children' level, relative to 'mature', THEN.)

Confession time:  the very LAST thing I ever wanted to be, was a parent.  But that's God's plan for every believer's life in eternity (we all have crowns at spiritual birth, ours to lose, hence the warning in Revelation 3).  So that's what I'm learning now.  But it means being closer to Him forever, since a King gets to see his KING OF KINGS more often than a Royal peasant will.  So I'm using 1Jn1:9 and trying to think Bible toward Father all the time!  Philippians 1:21 is my life, nothing but Him is of any interest, anymore!  If that means I have to learn parenting, so be it!  For true hell, is being separated from Him.  And if I don't mature all the way to "finish the course" at the Pleroma of Christ (keyword in Eph4:13), I won't be close to Him.  Happy, but.. oh so far away.  No thanks!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Infinity is the key to understanding perfection in God? Sometimes, I don't know where you come up with this stuff from, but it's very creative. Follow me on this one. As long as there are preferences, then perfection is impossible. I could show you the perfect red ball, and you could say that it would be even more perfect if it was green. So what's the perfect color? Of course, when preferences are dropped, and the demand for perfection is dropped, then everything becomes perfect just as it is. Perfect imperfection.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mutley, I documented where I get this stuff from.  I summarized it here, with verses, and if you're interested in more detail, it's in my webpages.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, so you document yourself with your own words on your own website. OK. Anyway, did what I said mean anything to you at all? I suppose it doesn't fit the direction that you wish to create. Sorry about that. Don't mind me, create on.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's documented from Scripture, Mutley.  I provided verses in my post here, and the webpages have tons more of them.  Regard them or do not, but I cannot possibly summarize all the material to your satisfaction here.  I reference the webpages to save me keystrokes.  I don't care if you agree, or not.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

brainout wrote:
It's documented from Scripture, Mutley.  I provided verses in my post here, and the webpages have tons more of them.  Regard them or do not, but I cannot possibly summarize all the material to your satisfaction here.  I reference the webpages to save me keystrokes.  I don't care if you agree, or not.


Well, at least you aren't calling me beloved sir anymore, so that's pretty good.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mutley wrote:
brainout wrote:
It's documented from Scripture, Mutley.  I provided verses in my post here, and the webpages have tons more of them.  Regard them or do not, but I cannot possibly summarize all the material to your satisfaction here.  I reference the webpages to save me keystrokes.  I don't care if you agree, or not.


Well, at least you aren't calling me beloved sir anymore, so that's pretty good.


You like to see the true faces of people, don't you! Laughing
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All_Brains wrote:
Mutley wrote:
brainout wrote:
It's documented from Scripture, Mutley.  I provided verses in my post here, and the webpages have tons more of them.  Regard them or do not, but I cannot possibly summarize all the material to your satisfaction here.  I reference the webpages to save me keystrokes.  I don't care if you agree, or not.


Well, at least you aren't calling me beloved sir anymore, so that's pretty good.


You like to see the true faces of people, don't you! Laughing


Why wouldn't anybody? What eats at people? What makes them insist upon brainwashed nonsense? Who are they trying to impress? Or, who's favor are they trying to gain?? I could perhaps understand it in the situation of a job, i.e. income, i.e. family, but what other practical reason could there be? None, except for societal and cultural brainwashing, and 98% (or something like that) of people will die before they ever see that. Oh well, I can't make that my problem. It would drive me nuts.  Laughing  Instead, I've decided to view my life as a comedy. Sometimes an hysterical comedy, and sometimes a tragic comedy. Either way, it beats the brainwashed crappola. And the comedy is mostly beyond me, and I'm not even so selfish that I demand an explanation. To me, that's called being plugged into life. And boy, it can sure be a rush.  Laughing

Aw shit, my hamster just died. Leave me alone, or I'll kill you. And don't call him Muhammad, or I'll kill you. And don't let any naive, sweet school children decide to call a Teddy Bear Muhammad by accident, or I'll kill you. Get it?

And don't tell me I'm Achmed the Dead Terrorist, or I keel you !!!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uwOL4rB-go
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Infinity, Truth, Freedom; hence Sin, Cross, Forgiveness Reply with quote

brainout wrote:
[font="Georgia"]Hi, Tater Salad.  Like you, I wondered about these meanings.  Spent the last eight years vetting what I believed and testing it against Bible and common sense, tried to explain the answers in a manner which a reader could TEST in his own spiritual journey.  My own beliefs dramatically changed as a result.


Thanks for contributing to the thread.

I stopped by your website when I first saw you on FFI.  It's very impressive--I guess you don't need sleep?  Wink

Most of your post I THINK I understood,  but some of it required reading previous pages and well...I DO need to sleep sometimes!

It's an interesting way to look at it.  As an auditor, I'm sure a lot of your wording makes sense to you, but it seems much more cerebral than I would like to take on.  I don't believe even a book written by the inspiration of God is one that needs dissecting--but I DO understand that certain types of people need to dissect in order to understand.  And I like a lot of the conclusions you come to based on your understanding.

We may disagree in certain aspects, but like you've said--once a person KNOWS what God is and wants then religion starts to set in.  May we be freed from that so that we can see through spiritual eyes.

I guess my point for starting the thread wasn't so much what happens after you die or how God sees our repentance, but how we see it.  I'm not a guilt motivated person--and I DO believe that I have been experiencing a "rebirth" for the last 5 years--and I can tell you it's not from a place of guilt.  It was from the moment of realization that this thing called the Holy Spirit is a real presence within my being.  Once I realized it was there (acceptance), things started happening to me and circumstances in my life (even things that were out of my control) started changing for the better.  The more I accept WHERE these things come from and show gratitude for these positive changes, they continue to come--my cup runneth over, so to speak.  And from that, I want to know more and get closer to the source.  I'm not sure that you always get that from "Bible",  because I've been "given" Biblical truths without it only to have it CONFIRMED by Bible.  But I believe the Bible will confirm or deny thoughts we have, and so the Bible is indispensable.

I am much more of an intuitive thinker than an analytical one, so I guess my spiritual experiences with God are going to be geared more towards my own propensity than one that I don't understand. But that's why I wanted people to join in the conversation--to show different ways of thinking about one topic.


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