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WHI-1140 | The Bread of Life

Posted by on in 2013 Show Archive
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In John chapter six, Jesus has miraculously fed five thousand men. But this sign was intended to point to a greater reality, namely, that Christ himself was the eternal bread of life. Yet the crowds continued to crave more and more temporal miracles; in particular, they wanted another free lunch. But because Jesus was interested in creating disciples rather than consumers, he began delivering some hard sayings that left even the disciples scratching their heads. What are the implications of this text on reaching out to the masses by "dumbing things down"?

In John chapter six, Jesus has miraculously fed five thousand men. But this sign was intended to point to a greater reality, namely, that Christ himself was the eternal bread of life. Yet the crowds continued to crave more and more temporal miracles; in particular, they wanted another free lunch. But because Jesus was interested in creating disciples rather than consumers, he began delivering some hard sayings that left even the disciples scratching their heads. What are the implications of this text on reaching out to the masses by "dumbing things down"?




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  • Guest - Bill

    You still don't have a clear conscience towards God. Only the blood of Christ can clear you of all your guilt. Once you trust that the blood of Christ has atoned for all your past, present, and future sins you will have a clear conscience. It is not that God just forgives you, he justifies you in Christ Jesus. God is both just and merciful. His Son died on the cross for you, he took your place, if God were to condemn you for your sin he would be unjust because his justice has already been satisfied with Christ's death. He did not spare his Son, so that he can justly spare you. This way God is both just (his Son was punished) and merciful (you are forgiven). You need to trust in the atoning work of Christ and you will never again second guess yourself whether you have lived a life consistent with repentance. Because I can tell you right off the bat that none of the elect have lived a life consistent with repentance, only Christ is without sin, the rest of us are all sinners until we die. God does not impute sin to the elect. Christ came to take away the curse of the law, the penalty for sin, but he did not come to take away sin altogether. This will only happen with the resurrection, so you will continue to sin until you die, the question is do you trust that Christ has paid with his life for your past present, and future sins? His righteouness and holiness God imputes to you? Do you believe that? If you answer yes, then you are saved and you will stop questioning whether you have enough good works that are evidence of repentance.

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  • Guest - Bill

    Teresa, and one last thing, once you've trusted that Christ fulfilled all the requirements of the law for you, and you are not under the law any more (your obedience or disobedience doesn't count with God) you will actually have huge burden removed from you knowing for certain that you have been redeemed by Christ. At that same time you will find that you will be actually notice what Bunyan noticed, tha sin will lose its power, you'll be able to obey Christ noticeably better than you are right now. Nevertheless your best works even after you've trusted in Christ will be polluted by sin, so you will still need to trust in the blood of christ alone for the rest of your life. You will not be able to look at your works as confirmation of salvation, because the best works of the Saints are like filthy rags as Jeremiah wrote.

    Now go read the book of Romans chapters 3 to 5 after you've read my posts and see if it doesn't teach exactly what I'm teaching.

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  • Guest - teresa.

    you guys just don't get it. i am by no means trying to "work hard" for salvation. I know Sola Fide is true. The point is, how can I be sure I have saving faith? the bible and the confessions both say that a loving heart is proof we are saved. if i say i'm trusting christ, but over the years i check my spiritual pulse and find a dead, loveless heart then i am surely unsaved and God has not chosen to give me saving faith. in the end if works are not present, neither is salvation.(romish and protestant formulas do not differ much, because if you not overflowing with LOVE then faith and salvation are not present either.) in short, i look to christ alone but it's not working for me!!! I've concluded that I don't have saving faith. I've tried to believe in Jesus for ten years but I can't. I fear I'm beyond saving.

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  • Guest - Jane

    Dear Teresa,

    I hear your frustration. Come home to Rome. Jesus feeds you with the Bread of Life. The Gospel is simple. Listen to Jesus, rest in Jesus, in silence God will speak to you. He loves you.

    I am praying with you,

    Shalom,
    Jane

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  • Guest - Bill

    Teresa, you are so close to being saved that you wouldn't believe it. Anybody that is as humble as you are is pretty much saved, you just don't know it, because you are looking at your works. You are confusing law and gospel. Christians are 100% sinner and 100% saint simultaneously. This is what Luther taught, so different from Rome. Simultaneously saint and sinner. You are 100% a Saint and 100% a Sinner at the same time. Lutheran pastor Tom Baker has a daily program called Law and Gospel. Listen to last Wednesday's program where he explains in an outstanding way the distinction between law and gospel. You are still thinking law, when in fact God doesn't care about your works, listen to Tom Baker from KFUO Radio, the radio of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
    http://www.kfuoam.org/2013/02/13/law-and-gospel-244/ You don't understand that christians are 100% sinners, pardoned solely on account of Christ's work on the cross. The fact that you are still looking at your works and obedience to see if you have been accepted by God, is proof that you still haven't turned to Christ alone and his works for your acceptance with God.

    Don't let the law drive you to despair and think you are not one of the elect. Election can only be understood after you have assurance of salvation. Election comes after faith and not before faith. Anybody that hasn't trusted in Christ and knows he is saved can not look at election. So the doctrine of election is useless until you have full assurance of your salvation by trusting in Christ's promises (not trusting on your own obedience as you are doing now). It drives people to despair like it's doing it to you now. Luther taught that any talk or thought on predestination drives you away from Christ. The doctrine of election has a place in lutheranism, it is there to comfort the believer that God will keep him in the faith and give him in perseverance, he who starts a good work will finish it in you. Election is based on the promise of the gospel, there is no election without Christ, so you have to trust Christ first for your salvation, and for his promise to keep you in the faith. Lutheranism correctly teaches that election comes after faith, this is the same order Paul follows in Romans, as Romans 9 where salvation is explained in chapters 1 to 8 and the doctrine of election comes only after the doctrine of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Calvin also taught in his Institutes election after faith, it's at the end of his Book 3 on redemption. Trust in the promises of Christ is what causes you to know you are one of the elect, it is your trust in the promise of Christ that he has forgiven your sins that causes your election, or actually it causes you to know you are elect. The gospel promises precede election, you can only know you are one of the elect because God promises it, so the promise of the gospel, Jesus Christ precedes election. This is the biblical teaching. So nobody that trusted Christ can say he is not one of the elect.

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  • Guest - Eric

    "...if you not overflowing with LOVE then faith and salvation are not present either.) in short, i look to christ alone but it’s not working for me!!! I’ve concluded that I don’t have saving faith."

    You are not looking to Christ alone if you are looking at yourself for evidence.

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  • Guest - Bill

    Basically you never look at your works or your performance to determine if you are one of the elect. And I mean never, you can not. To determine you are one of the elect you look at the gospel, at Christ and the you will know with certainty you are one of the elect. If you look at your obedience to determine if you are elect, you are looking at law and not gospel, and what will happen is what actually happened to you the last 10 years as you admit you will conclude you are not of the elect. Look at the gospel, you will know you are elect, look to the law (your obedience) you will know you are not one of the elect. For the law accuses always and condemns always, that's its purpose. To drive you to Christ and his promises as the only hope of salvation. Listen to Tom Baker's link I provided in my post above, it will help you to distinguish between law and gospel. I recommend you listen to him daily. It's one of the best programs out there, 25 minutes every day. All programs are archived, you can go back many years.

    And here it is Rod Rosenbladt of the White Horse Inn just explaining in 3 minutes that whatever you do, God does not care, he only cares about Christ has done. Rod lists all the disobedient that will be in heaven, all the christian failures like you and I. Christian failures will enter heaven just like that as Rod Rosenbladt teaches.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhCfYCRnv2E

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  • Guest - Bill

    Teresa,

    Eric just summarized it perfectly for you. It took me so many words to say what Eric said in just one sentence.

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  • Guest - Josh

    Theresa,

    Are you a sinner? Yes?

    Who did Christ come to save? Sinners! Then you're in that group. You're not "beyond saving."

    As I mentioned briefly above, sola fide as an idea must be connected to solus Christus. I know personally of this struggle, but don't spend all your time looking at the strength of your faith. Look to the one that you actually trust IN, namely Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

    Let's say that you're correct and you don't have faith. Are you going to get it through more self-examination? "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." So the answer is no. It comes from God's Word. Does faith come by the law? Well, we know that the law is meant to push us to another: Jesus. God's Word in general, through the working of the Spirit, produces faith. But it is the gospel in particular, without which we would have no Redeemer to savingly trust in.

    Think of the preaching in the book of Acts: Christ. Think of Paul's reminder of what he preached: Christ and Him crucified. Think of the book of Hebrews: basically a lengthy sermon on Christ as being better than anything else, and being the only true Savior. The Holy Spirit works faith through the gospel message.

    "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:21-24).

    Look to Jesus. Look upon His perfect life without which we would have no true righteousness declared to be ours (Romans 3:19-26). Despite His true perfection, He was hated and scorned. Look to Him in His suffering, knowing that far greater than the physical agony was the cup of the just wrath of God that He willingly drank in our place (Isaiah 53). See His death, through which the new covenant, of which He is the mediator, has taken effect (Hebrews 9:11-17). Look to our resurrected Lord (1 Corinthians 15).

    Yes, Paul ends that chapter, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." Notice the therefore? The reason we are called to do these things is because of the resurrection. As summed up in the two verses prior: "The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

    Here is an amazing hymn for you to consider:

    Stricken, smitten, and afflicted,
    See Him dying on the tree!
    ’Tis the Christ by man rejected;
    Yes, my soul, ’tis He, ’tis He!
    ’Tis the long expected prophet,
    David’s Son, yet David’s Lord;
    Proofs I see sufficient of it:
    ’Tis the true and faithful Word.

    Tell me, ye who hear Him groaning,
    Was there ever grief like His?
    Friends through fear His cause disowning,
    Foes insulting his distress:
    Many hands were raised to wound Him,
    None would interpose to save;
    But the deepest stroke that pierced Him
    Was the stroke that Justice gave.

    Ye who think of sin but lightly,
    Nor suppose the evil great,
    Here may view its nature rightly,
    Here its guilt may estimate.
    Mark the Sacrifice appointed!
    See Who bears the awful load!
    ’Tis the Word, the Lord’s Anointed,
    Son of Man, and Son of God.

    Here we have a firm foundation,
    Here the refuge of the lost.
    Christ the Rock of our salvation,
    Christ the Name of which we boast.
    Lamb of God for sinners wounded!
    Sacrifice to cancel guilt!
    None shall ever be confounded
    Who on Him their hope have built.

    Is self-examination something to be done? Of course. But self-examination over and over again with no proper end of looking to Christ is not biblical. That essentially turns the object of faith into the person's own faith, fruit of faith, striving, repentance, etc. Jesus must be looked to, because our trust is to be in Him, not in the effects that He works in His people.

    Also, those changes in believers will never be complete in this life. So, at what level would you find comfort in their improvement? Or, when God increases your faith, and you see that you are becoming more conformed to the image of Christ, would you raise the bar upon seeing that you are still not meeting God's actual standard of holiness?

    As Robert M'Chenye said, "For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ." If your major focus is on your failure, lack of growth, doubt, etc., it will become a vicious cycle. Each notice of one of these concerns will drive you into deeper doubt. However, if that doubt drives you to the Savior you can cleanse you from every sin, then that is a happy end.

    One more hymn to leave you with right now, Theresa.

    Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,
    Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
    Jesus ready stands to save you,
    Full of pity joined with pow'r:
    He is able,
    He is able,
    He is able,
    He is willing; doubt no more.

    Come, ye needy, come and welcome,
    God's free bounty glorify;
    True belief and true repentance,
    Ev'ry grace that brings you nigh,
    Without money,
    Without money,
    Without money,
    Come to Jesus Christ and buy.

    Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
    Bruised and broken by the fall;
    If you tarry till you're better,
    You will never come at all:
    Not the righteous,
    Not the righteous,
    Not the righteous,
    Sinners Jesus came to call.

    Let not conscience make you linger,
    Nor of fitness fondly dream;
    All the fitness he requireth
    Is to feel your need of him;
    This he gives you,
    This he gives you,
    This he gives you;
    'Tis the Spirit's rising beam.

    Lo! th'incarnate God, ascended,
    Pleads the merit of his blood;
    Venture on him, venture wholly,
    Let no other trust intrude:
    None but Jesus,
    None but Jesus,
    None but Jesus
    Can do helpless sinners good.

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  • Guest - Josh

    Sorry, I misspelled your name. :(

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