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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

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  • « Why are so many Christians hostile towards Reformed Theology? | Main | If People Do Not Have Free Will, How Do You Explain Adam? »

    Question: How do we confront sin in skeptics and not come off as self-righteous?

    Response: Important question. Jesus said, "...first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." So how do we take the plank out of our own eye? Well, the first and most important step someone must take if someone is to even be considered a Christian at all is to cast away all self-righteousness, pride, and conceit of their own goodness. In light of God's holiness, they know with certainty that their ONLY hope to be reconciled with God is to recognize themselves as a poor sinner, saved only by the mercy of Christ alone, and not because they have merited God's favor. Therefore, Christians who persistently act or think as if they were superior to others are living and thinking directly contrary to the most crucial concept involved in becoming a Christian, and as such they may not even be Christians at all. The Bible teaches that all people are sinners, and none can even approach the righteous of God on the basis of their own behavior. So when true Christians who have been humbled by God, tell others that their behavior does not meet God's holy standards, it is not an attempt show superiority, since we obviously are not superior... but rather to warn them in love of the danger they are bringing to their soul in light of their actions before God. So we come to others both as an equal and as a friend.

    >>>More on this issue here <<<

    Posted by John on August 1, 2013 06:59 PM

    Comments

    Question: How do we confront sin in skeptics and not come off as self-righteous?

    Cliffton: Answer...realize this question/concern is itself born out of self-righteousness. And two, realize that righteousness is defined by the law of God to whom alone we are accountable.

    Clifton ... and since our righteousness is (as you say) defined by the Law of God, then none of us have it of ourselves.

    Question: How do we confront sin in skeptics and not come off as self-righteous?

    Cliffton: Answer...realize this question/concern is itself born out of self-righteousness. And two, realize that righteousness is defined by the law of God to whom alone we are accountable.

    John H: Clifton ... and since our righteousness is (as you say) defined by the Law of God, then none of us have it of ourselves.

    Cliffton: Christ is superior to the "skeptic". Therefore all those who have the mind of Christ are superior to the "skeptic". The "skeptic" is inferior to Christ. Therefore the "skeptic" is inferior to all those who have the mind of Christ. The Christian and the skeptic are not "equal" and are not "friends" for friendship with the world is enmity with God.

    The Christian is not superior in himself, but he is superior in Christ Jesus the Lord. Only a "skeptic" would deny this.

    Cliffton

    You said, "Christ is superior to the "skeptic". Therefore all those who have the mind of Christ are superior to the "skeptic".

    With respect dear sir, that is a non-sequitor. Instead, biblical truth is superior to the ideas in unbelief (since the world's ideas are always inconsistent and self-defeating) and therefore our application of biblical truth is superior to the arguments of unbelief. But since we are declared righteous for Christ's sake (from the outside), we are not righteous in ourselves. That is why we are not to act superior to, and don't go out and "choke" our those who owe us or make us angry. We are to be merciful to others BECAUSE we ourselves have received mercy and are to continue in this posture AFTER we are forgiven (As just one example, see the Parable of the Unmerciful servant - Matthew 18:21-35) Therefore since Jesus declares the same principle that I just posted and since His word is superior to yours, then it follows that your argument about being superior to others has no basis except your own self-declared authority.

    We are poor sinners saved by the grace of Christ ALONE. So we confront sin in others because the word of God is superior to all unbelief. That is a fact. But we are not in God's graces because WE are better than others. Therefore we come to the skeptic with a biblical tension which gives us the authority of the word but with humility in ourselves - (sinners saved by grace). A great tension which is the basis of all biblical apologetics.

    Since you are responding to the post then you appear to be arguing for the idea that we should NOT take the "plank out of our own eye" and we should NOT "cast away all self-righteousness, pride, and conceit of our own goodness." But rather we SHOULD BE self-righteous. REALLY? Your logic has taken you so far from the Bible that you need to rethink your ideas and think your thoughts AFTER God.

    Likewise being friends with a skeptic is not the same, by any stretch, as friendship with the world. You seem to be confused about this. It is not talking about the same thing here. Please go look up what it means to be "friends with the world". It doesn't mean what you think, but something vastly different.

    Shalom
    John


    John: You said, "Christ is superior to the "skeptic". Therefore all those who have the mind of Christ are superior to the "skeptic".

    With respect dear sir, that is a non-sequitor. Instead, biblical truth is superior to the ideas in unbelief...

    Cliffton: You are fundamentally confused. Chrisitians are "biblical truth" thinkers...BY DEFINITION. As a man thinks, so is he.

    There is no such thing as a "non-thinking" thought. If biblical thoughts are superior to non-biblical thoughts, then it necessarily follows that biblical thinkers are superior to non-biblical thinkers. For as a man thinks so is he.

    One more time then:

    If Christ is superior to the skeptic, then it follows that all those who are in Christ (Chrisitians) are superior to the skeptic. The only way to deny this is to separate a person from what he thinks and a Christian from Christ. However take heed, what God has joined together let not man separate.

    This is my last post for this thread.

    Interestingly there is research tying belief in free will to honesty

    http://voices.yahoo.com/the-forgotten-link-between-free-will-honesty-12077072.html?cat=72

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