Friday, November 06, 2009

a little truth with grace

It was neat (after the sweating) to read free grace brothers and sisters noticing that I am "too gracious." What did that mean? I actually discovered this same message was being said to me elsewhere IRL (in "real" life). Grace, is good. But truth -- I could use a little more truth. I get it now! :) Truth is a "help" for God's purposes, just like grace is a "help" for God's purposes.

Evangelicals realize that preaching the truth is purifying to the saved and unsaved. But what they frequently overlook is that demonstrating grace is also equally purifying. Am I wrong or right? Grace is not license for sin. Understanding this point is a core teaching of the gospel Paul preached and defended as he was appointed by the LORD.

Here Paul commands the church to attain holiness through manifesting His variegated grace:

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Col. 3:12-17

I recently enjoyed reading through Proverbs. I wanted to find a proverb for every virtuous quality of grace.

Firstly, grace is virtuous:
He who loves purity of heart and has grace on his lips, the king will be his friend. Prov 22:11

And now, Colossians' various manifestations of God's grace....

Mercy over foolishness, is purifying.

He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honor.

Forgiveness between believers, is purifying.

The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.
Prov. 19:11

Kindness toward inadequacy, is purifying.

He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.
Prov. 22:9

Humility is purifying.

By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life.
Prov. 22:4

Forbearance is purifying.

By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, and a gentle tongue breaks a bone.
Prov. 25:15

Love toward believers is purifying.

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.
Prov. 10:12

What I learned from the comments left by believer-friends, is that truth is equally worthy and I should be using it more often. I don't have to lean so hard into grace to see God's will be done.

Lastly, I must add a little more truth with grace.

Truth, of course, is purifying:

He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue.
Prov. 29:23

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law.
Prov. 29:18

Now, if I could just come to know how to wisely use both grace and truth? I don't know. It can be done, says the Word:

There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.
Prov. 12:18


Sanctification said...

How can I explain to someone that the grace of God has nothing to do with putting up blinders to sin?

goe said...


I posted this on your previous thread, but I thought it would be most appropriate here since it's about grace and truth.

You said: "I began reading "Absolutely Free" by Hodges today." The foreword by Dr. R. says, "In defense of the purity of the gospel of grace, Zane Hodges has combined his years of careful biblical exposition with seasoned humility and simplicity to recapture a portrait of God's unconditional love. ... When you have finished Absolutely Free!, I trust that you will be able to join me in saying, 'Thank you, Lord Jesus!'"

"Absolutely Free" was the first book I ever read by Zane and that was when God really began turning the light on for me. When you finish it, I too, trust that you will join Dr R and many others around the world in saying, "Thank you, Lord Jesus!"

I also appreciate this comment by Peggie:
"I'm not sure Zane was experiencing a change of mind, I think he was trying to expound on what he said in the deserted island speech.
I think he is doing what he always did. Showing the simplicity of the Gospel and sharing his concerns. He said “But the question is this. Can grace people still search the Scriptures honestly when some traditional view of their own is called into question? Are we open to the Word of God whether it agrees with us or not? “ 
I agree with Zane's conclusion, God has raised up the grace movement, whether we go forward or stand around and argue remains to be seen."

Thank you Peggie, especially for your last sentence.

To borrow Jim's metaphor, when Zane Hodges stepped up to the plate for FG in 1989 he literally (pun intended!) knocked the cover off the ball with "Absolutely Free":

For the next 19 yrs it was thunder and lightning for grace and truth right up until the very end.

I just love old movies!

Now that Zane is gone, I guess the least I can do is "step up to the plate" on Zane's behalf for the true and original FG Movement and again remind everyone of a grand slam Zane once hit:

If anyone has had "guts to do the works of the Father", it has been men like Zane and Dr R. Many little people like me are still thanking the Lord Jesus Christ to this very day for raising them up for the battle.

God bless you Michele,


agent4him said...


My take on your last question in the body of the post: Stay connected to the Vine in His true community. How much of that is "local" community and how much is "online" in this "information age"? Don't know.

My take on your question above? I think your dialogue with LM a year ago on JP's was a good example. (Earned you a coveted award, if I remember correctly? Not that you were vying for that award, of course.)

goe said...

P.S.--Even though he is no longer with us, when it comes to the "Free Grace Movement", Zane Hodges is STILL THE MAN-- and don't let anyone tell you different.

Thank you Lord Jesus.

MaioCampo said...

I must add a little more truth with grace.

Ah... my favorite topic. Heh, heh.

I personally think it not impossible to deliver 100% of the truth with grace. It all boils down to that old saying we've all heard from our mothers and fathers, "It's not what you say, but how you say it."

I am LdS. Many interactions between your camp and mine, especially on the Internet, are horrible when it comes to grace. So many on both sides seem more interested in bludgeoning one another with their respective truths than they are in building relationships and delivering their respective truths in friendship and love. It saddens me.

To me sharing the gospel with others should be an investment... not a drive by smash and grab.

Sanctification said...

Hi Gary,

Thanks for leaving the comments both here and there. Boy, you said it, in your comments and the video clip. I feel exactly the same way. Luis Rodriguez writes the other foreword in the front of the book, and says,

"This book leads me to look back to the time when I came to trust the Lord Jesus Christ. It happened in an old building with a woodburning stove and handmade benches. But the true gospel was preached there every Sunday and every Friday night.

How easy it was for a boy of nine to understand the freeness of the gospel that was taught there. The gift of eternal life was received just by asking for it! But how soon we forget how we came to trust the Lord. We begin to put things into the gospel, things like "lordship," repentance, surrender, even baptism.

Absolutely Free! will challenge every Christian to look at what he or she is teaching today concerning the true gospel. In a time when all kinds of things are being taught, evangelical Christians must decide whether salvation is a free gift or not."

This is exactly my journey too. In fact, free grace "saved" me from more than just this. It saved me by giving me urgency to preach the gospel again. It gave me back my faith in prayer. It saved me from judgment of others to judgment of myself (through reading books such as 1 John as tests of fellowship instead of tests of salvation). It gave me back my ability to choose to abide in Christ. It gave me back the very point of my post - I'm still receiving this truth - that truth is just as much a ministry as grace - I was on my way to liberal protestantism.

I called it the sweetest song I never heard. It is precious, in this world!!


Keep on doing your own precious part to stand up for the truths that Zane also served. I wholeheartedly welcome and also rely in the community of Christ on your conviction and understanding of the Word. Undoubtedly there is so much opportunity of service to be given for the simplicity of salvation.


Sanctification said...


P.S.--Even though he is no longer with us, when it comes to the "Free Grace Movement", Zane Hodges is STILL THE MAN-- and don't let anyone tell you different.


And I hope that you can notice, that there is a lot to the grace message. So many truths, simple truths, to serve in Christ. One that I believe Jim is passionate for amongst several, and that I am passionate for, is the grace of God, and how it is a yoke that is unburdensome, converting and sanctifying the believer. It should never be hidden or despised or mistaken for licentiousness. It is, out of all of the mechanics of God's salvation, the signified "substance" that saves us.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." eph. 2:8-9

Not our willingness, not our faith, not the truth, but God's grace. God overlooks our faults and credits us, when we are saved. What a comfort and source of confidence He gives!

And it is the "substance" that sanctifies us too.

There are so many ways to serve His grace in and out of the church.

God bless you brother...

Sanctification said...

Hi Maio,

Yes... I noticed the threads of late. I had been meditating on whether I should start... a thread.

Those threads you've participated in recently demonstrate how a lot of Evangelicals haven't achieved total clarity. Tim calls it "navel gazing." You guys get that all the time. The evangelical there is estimating whether you're okay with Christ's gospel by what you do.

But what we do isn't the gospel. The gospel is 1 Cor 15, Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, He was in the tomb for three days and was resurrected to new life by the Father according to the scriptures, though Jesus was also God eternally. Salvation begins with believing in His testimony for eternal life.

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. john 5:24

Where she is judging you to find (or not find!) assurance that you're okay with God as you are, I would do differently. I would look to the promise. If you or I or anyone else believes the promise stated above, no one can condemn you anymore.

Hopefully the above is a little helpful to the "smash and grab" trend than just one more evangelical nuance.

I'd like to introduce Maio to anyone who is reading along here. Talking about community, online, of any kind, Maio and I have been talking since January 2003. In fact I was thinking the other day how interesting it is that I selected the community of LDS people to test and grow what it is I was coming to believe from the Bible.

Why did I do that? It wasn't the best choice for either them or myself, I mean I did a lot of bashing, and some compromise too. But at least I learned about the true gospel piggybacking off the grace of the LDS people. There is a blessing to be obtained from living graciously as the proverbs teach, and I think LDS people know the blessing intimately.

Thanks for leaving a comment, brotha' from another motha'. (Is this so not P.C.?) :O


Sanctification said...

Hi Jim,

Thanks for leaving the comment. I am certainly learning to be attached to the Vine through selecting the correct community.

Well thanks for mentioning that. The actual spot where I was interceding for acceptance and integration of my IFB brother I believe had been deleted by JP by the time you read along, if memory serves me. It's an award that commemorates my immaturity, not grace. I look back on some of that stuff and I was disgustingly prideful! What I actually had done, quite often was refresh opportunities for a dear brother and sister, Rose and Antonio, to be undertrodden just one more time. It was sinful! I feel like I need to beg and borrow on their forgiveness just to be their associate in any way.

It's a sad occasion all around. There are some people who are so single-purposed of their theological mission that they refuse to reconcile their relationships until after they've cleared out doctrinal error. So long as reconciliation is held hostage in this way, it is foolishness to have any interaction, gracious or no.

Jim, do you think differently? I am curious for your input.

What I would like as I wrote in my first comment is some way to write the doctrine of the sanctifying nature of God's grace.

I have to hurry up now! Missy is lurking. She's hoping I'd be a little more buck.



Hi Michele & Gary & all!
I just wanted to say that, not being from the GES tribe of free grace, but as an offspring of the Florida Bible College tribe, blended with some Moody Bible Inst., I really appreciate the GES tribe. I heard Bob Wilkins on Philly radio maybe 8 yrs ago, got his book, and needing some food and fellowship,found Antonio's maybe 5 months ago. I can not appreciate youse guys without appreciating thems that brought you. So thanks to Bob Wilkins, and Zane Hodges, Antonio, and the others, Thank You. And thanks to the Lord for sending them out.

Thank You Michele and Gary O.


agent4him said...

Gary & Michele,

Gary, Zane was a giant, and I also thank God for using him to snatch you out of slavery. You really are "absolutely free," and I deeply cherish the role you have played in this whole thing over the last few months. You got the truth, Bro, and now it has been especially encouraging to see the grace upon grace that He has added to your "style" in building on that foundation! (Kind of the other direction Michele was going on this thread. :-)

Michele, I don't know what was deleted from JP's and haven't really seen much of the (now) legendary carnage, but I did see an extended exchange with LM that wasn't as much about reconciliation as it penetrated to the core of how you should just plain treat people if you expect to engage in respectful dialogue on the blogs. That's been the greatest casualty of these "food fights" over the last 2-3 years, IMO. I think I can read immaturity fairly well---and it's entirely possible that your "hidden agenda" was really to try for reconciliation (and you know how I feel about that)---but the exchange I saw without knowing you at the time seemed to be filled with grace and truth, from all that I could see. My 2 cents.

In the final analysis that I think being "gracious" clearly involves "turning the other cheek" in these conflicts but it does not mean becoming a doormat for abuse. I just so appreciate how our different personalities can show grace in such varied ways, being wise as serpents but innocent as doves. Ultimately, however, we should all end up at the cross.

Sanctification said...

Hi Jim,

Thanks for the affirmation. I suppose it's not the worst thing in the world to doubt one's work once it's done; I can think of a couple examples in the bible of saints who did that. According to Tim the work should continue. Biblically speaking, he's right. I certainly am thrilled with this sort of warfare as you know because it's so Pauline and Spiritual. (Thank you Father for adopting me as Your daughter!) Though I have strategically emptied my individual treasure of salt for this situation. God really is calling me to excel in what He is showing me so I am moving forward.

"The desire of the righteous is only good"
Prov. 11:23

(This verse is referenced with Romans 2:6-8, which ties with your conversation on being responsible to obey the light already received.)

When you read my word "reconciliation" do you think I mean theological? Because I never did though I heard that being said about me over and over again ad nauseam. Why is it so difficult to imagine two people getting together to confess their mutual sins and then forgiving it and moving on? Why does theology have to be a part of that moment? I don't get what I don't get.

I mean, try and imagine the wonders it could do for someone who cares about doctrinal purity, to have attained mutual forgiveness with the one he seeks to convert.


"Can you see my blind spot cause I can't."

Sanctification said...


I heard Bob Wilkins on Philly radio maybe 8 yrs ago, got his book, and needing some food and fellowship, found Antonio's maybe 5 months ago.

Thanks for sharing a bit of your story. When you heard Wilkin on the radio, it was ministry enough to go and find one of his books...?

I believe it!

Your sis,


Hi Michele!
Yeah, saved out of John 3:16 in
1978, but there there are not a lot of us out there, so when I heard Bob on the radio, He was echoing what I already knew. I called the program and affirmed (for what it's worth) what he said and thanked him. I called a contact # they gave for GES, and ordered his book CONFIDENT IN CHRIST, which I've been trying to locate for about three weeks now.

Your Brother

agent4him said...

No, Michele. Not theological at all. I meant by this by that:

I could have totally missed you, but at times there seemed to be a need for relational healing that put a "pause" in the truth that needed to be spoken in true love. On that particular exchange, I saw you meet the challenge head-on with the truth LM needed to hear. It was not pretty, and he did not repent; in fact, things only went downhill, as we have all become victims of his drive-by shootings in retaliation. The relational breech even widened, but then Gary E. and others came along and picked up where you left off. That's the Body in action, and it has resulted in more relational "fabric" in the midst of all this than I (for one) could have anticipated.

I think this aspect of community is where the Holy Spirit shines brightest, and it's a glory to watch, especially because we in FG seem to be such infants in our attempts to forge community.

Hope that makes sense. It's what I really meant to say.

Sanctification said...

Good morning Jim!

Gary is a true servant though long before meeting me I'm confident he believed that people are of inestimable value to God, just as he recently expressed in his audioscripture on Ezek 34. He has spoken worth in to my own ears when I needed it. What a gift he has been!

Sanctification said...

Hi Jim,

Thanks for leaving that comment. This morning I am helped by the truth of His Word in remembering a conversation long ago we had, where we compared our individual notes having come to the same discernment of this, which was a pharisaical spirit.

Today I am thinking about who in the Gospels was the first example of washing the feet of others? I see two women; the one known as a sinner in Luke 7 and Mary sister of Lazarus in John 12. So it was two women, before Jesus set an example in John 13 for His men.

Mary spent a year's worth of income on fragrant oil. She used her very own hair, which scripture signifies as a woman's glory, to wash his feet. So with the glory and the stock she herself could acquire through providence, she lavished it on another.

And we all fail to live up to bible examples. I've been asking myself, is there any brother or sister that I've been stingy toward?

To wash the feet of the Body of Christ is to wash the feet of Christ.

matt 25:40 The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

The agenda, "hidden" or "plain" is, while being completely unconscious to COSF issues, to pour worth out where it deserves to be placed. Even on the feet of a "headstrong" "heretic"? I know how I answer that question.

I anticipate the sniping Judas looking on, asking "wasn't there a better way to spend your time, or a more worthy individual to receive this precious ointment?"

But scripture asks "was it lavish?"

Is it lavish, enough?

I want to learn and grow and I have a long way to go till I might emulate Mary's worship.

Praise Him

Sanctification said...

Good morning Duane!

John 3:16. That is very cool. I wonder if you have a testimony written up somewhere, more detailed. I'd like to read it very much.

Pull up a rocker with your pup, I have a pot of coffee brewed. A few ladies who come around Tuesday mornings tell me it's the best jack they know of. :) (I also have a variety of coffee creamers, 'cause that's just the way we do it in the PNW.) Glad you feel welcomed! I'll stop by yours in the near future.


Sanctification said...

BTW, if the pastor wants to contact me, I hope he is persuaded that I am open enough and very willing in my own bent to honor Christ to being shown what more it takes on my part to complete repentance. The last thing I am interested in is anyone dismissing constructive & critical dialogue because "I'm not reasonable or even interested" or anything of the like.


Rose~ said...

Hi Michele,
What pastor are you talking about?



Thanks for the interest Michelle. That kinda tickles me.

Mark D. was in cross country with me since jr. high, in N.E. Ohio. He was also a star wrestler. Nice guy. In our senior year, some of his jock buddies were talking one day, I overheard them, something like:
"Yeah, Mark has really turned into some kinda Jesus freak, always wanting to talk to me about..."

My experience with church was going to Nazarene Church with my Grandmother. I love my grandmother, God rest her soul, but the Nazarene Church is about holiness-we don't smoke and we don't chew and we don't go out with boys (or girls) that do. Oh and we don't dance (shudder). My Gramma's witness was "Jesus loves you". I couldn't connect the dots.
I think quite a few dots were missing. (What a coincidence! proofreading this, I noticed the word "dots": That's my Gramma's name, or rather, Dorothy.):0)

My friend worked as a custodian's helper after school, so I asked him: Hey Mark, what's this I hear about you being a Jesus freak?"
He laughed, and began to tell me what he was about now. I had been concerned for years I suppose. Remember powerline radio? "Your on the powerline". They probably fed my concern that there is a judge, and a reconning, but I didn't get the solution.

So Mark told me that Jesus Died for my sins, all of them, if I trust Jesus, I'll never again have to worry about my destiny.
He used John 3:16, and probably Eph. 2:8,9. He seemed to be knowledgeable, and had Mark's confidence. I met with Mark probably on a couple consecutive evenings. I believed in Jesus Christ, we probably prayed.
It has always been faith in Jesus Christ, plus nothing to me. I would talk to other Christians, and if they did not get that, then they just didn't get it. They could offer me nothing but doubt.
I know I was excited enough to tell my parents at dinner, which dampened my excitement. I began going to church "Faith Chapel",
which was held in a defunct Howard Johnsons, until they moved into a "grange". Those were good years. I got well grounded in the Word, my high school sweetheart followed me into the faith. After High School I even did a little witnessing myself at work, I hope to meet those brothers when I get to heaven. I witnessed to my Nazarene Gramma, and my Nazarless Grampa. (I think the reformed would call him reprobate). The Lord did not intend for my love relationship with my sweetheart to last a lifetime. She broke it off for good in college, I was destroyed, or I thought I was. I rebelled hard time. Complete apostasy for maybe 4 years.
I just wrote Jim at KC's the other day:
If you ever consider rebelling, or know someone who is, compare it to this:

Stand 10 ft from a brick wall, face the wall, put your fingers on your head to immitate the bull, bend over 90 degrees at the hips,run as fast as you can, head first into the wall. Repeat until you regain your senses.

3 reasons not to (the above, or rebelling):

1. It hurts.

2. there are long lasting RE-PERCUSSIONS

3. It is not nearly as fun as it sounds.

Lasting re-percussions to this day, but FATHER has known both my sins and the re-percussions forever, and has always had a plan to use those things that have helped to shape me to this day.

I know I was created for more. Even recently I'm beginning to look up more. I'm repenting, and please hold my feet to the fire on this, I've told my wife too. I'm repenting of being a people pleaser.
You can not serve two masters, for you will hate either one or the other. This particularly applies to my vocation, anyone who has authority over me.
I feel I've been in the refiner's fire for years.
Stick a fork in me already! I think I'm done!

I'm going to type Adieu for now, or I'll go on forever.

Thanks for listening!

Pray for Bobby!

Brother Duane

Sanctification said...

Hi Rose,

A certain person left a comment here I've left unpublished. This person said "a pastor" was going to address false vs. true repentance at TheoTalk, but was persuaded not to by this certain person. Repentance, referring to mine. I hope this person would believe that the same value I've desired to establish for others I would give unconditionally to this person as well. If he wants I'll open up a new thread or he can choose here. TheoTalk too, whatever he wishes. I already have comment mod. on. I will listen. I won't let anyone, my friend or no, publish their comment unless they are respectful to this pastor. (I realize I wasn't discriminate moderating for Fred in the Dillow post.)

This could be a great opportunity to build some trust or harmonious vocabulary.

Even if that's of no interest, I am completely open to think I've personally overlooked something, perhaps even something big.

Thanks for asking Rose. Still praying for Bobby.... Hope he's alright.

agent4him said...

Hello all,

I talked with Bobby last night on the phone. He had just gotten back from out of town---part of the reason we haven't heard from him lately. He's fine other than the anxiety of not knowing what the thing in his abdomen is. He is meeting with surgeons this week to decide how to approach the biopsy. We prayed on the phone.

No pressure, but I'm pretty sure the online relationships we have are pretty important to him---he works the swing shift, so it's hard to have tight relationships with the folks at church. He's pretty concerned about the future for his family. Has two kids, ages 6 and 9. Madeline is the girl's name, and I think his wife's name is Kim.

Again, I deeply appreciate your prayers for him.

agent4him said...

Dear All,

I am so sorry and apologize to Bobby for mistaking his wife's name, which is Angela.

Sanctification said...

Hey Duane,

I'm so glad you left your story. As a matter of fact I do know someone who is considering rebellion, but yours is *so* much more dramatic - you take the prize! :)

Jesus plus nothing, you said, and you also said this:

"the Nazarene Church is about holiness-we don't smoke and we don't chew and we don't go out with boys (or girls) that do. Oh and we don't dance (shudder). My Gramma's witness was 'Jesus loves you'. I couldn't connect the dots."

Those are dots I have a lot of trouble with too.

Christians can't have a reputation for a moral code, and then also have a reputation for the gospel, too. They're at odds.

rom. 7:4-5 "Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death."

Boy that's convicting....

I don't want to hold anyone's feet to the fire, but I guess that's my problem too isn't it? ;)

Glad to know you more. I'll try and be more regular after this week is over.

God bless, Michele

David Wyatt said...

Bro. Duane,

I'm glad you left your "story" as well!

David Wyatt said...

Michele, you said, "To wash the feet of the Body of Christ is to wash the feet of Christ." That's powerful. Thanks & God Bless.

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