Glory of God Prayer Group, St. Cecilia Parish, Wa Diocese, Ghana - Let Your Light Shine

Saint of the Day

He that is jealous is not in love

He that is jealous is not in love. Saint Augustine

Man is a great depth

Who can map out the various forces at play in one soul? Man is a great depth, O Lord. The hairs of his head are easier by far to count than his feeling, the movements of his heart. Saint Augustine

Charity and wisdom

Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Francis of Assisi

He will not save us without our consent

He who created us without our help will not save us without our consent. Saint Augustine

meet with a smile

Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love. Mother Teresa

Education without values

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil. C. S. Lewis

He that is evil is a slave

He that is kind is free, though he is a slave; he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king. Saint Augustine

Forsaken by sin

To abstain from sin when one can no longer sin is to be forsaken by sin, not to forsake it. Saint Augustine

Destroyer of peace

The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between. Mother Teresa

Pray and work

Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you. Saint Augustine

God judged it better

God judged it better to bring good out of evil than to suffer no evil to exist. Saint Augustine

False words

False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil. Socrates

The souls of the righteous are immortal …

All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine. Socrates

Forgive those who hurt you

One who is injured ought not to return the injury, for on no account can it be right to do an injustice; and it is not right to return an injury, or to do evil to any man, however much we have suffered from him. Socrates

Importance of Christianity

Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important. C. S. Lewis

Faith

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. Saint Augustine

Beauty is the bait

Beauty is the bait which with delight allures man to enlarge his kind. Socrates

Be faithful in small things

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. Mother Teresa

The richest

He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature. Socrates

unwanted, unloved

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat. Mother Teresa

Dear ...,

I hope this writeup meets you in good spirits.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t complete the discussion we started, so I decided to put my thoughts together in this writeup for you to study. I hope you read this writeup with an open mind.

I referred to Matthew 5:21-24, 38-48, Matthew 6:14,15 and Matthew 18:21ff to make the point that unforgiveness is one of the gravest sins, because it actually prevents your other sins from being forgiven. You challenged that a Christian can’t possibly need to forgive others’ sins before their own sins are forgiven because all of a Christian’s sins, past, present and future are forgiven at the time they receive Jesus Christ. That is to say, every sin a Christian will commit in the future has already been forgiven and therefore does not need to be confessed. Your idea was based on 1 Peter 3:18 and Hebrews 9 (emphasis on verse 12). Even though Jesus was unequivocal in the texts of Matthew about the need to forgive others in order to in turn receive forgiveness from God, you opined that Jesus made the statements before his death, and so they did not apply after his death. You, however, agreed that one needs to receive Jesus before their past, present and future sins are forgiven. I would like to continue the discussion from here.

  1. You claimed that Jesus’ teaching about the need to forgive to be forgiven only applied before his death. I want you to think deeply about this. Why would Jesus spend his time teaching about something that was applicable for just three years or less (depending on when the teaching was given)? (Jesus’ whole ministry lasted just about 3 years). Jesus was here for all generations, not just the people of his day. He must have meant for his teachings to apply to all generations.
  2. The followers of Jesus wrote down his teachings after his death. They must have written down what they deemed to be relevant even after his death, otherwise, they wouldn’t bother to write them after his death. You must be claiming to understand Jesus better than the people who walked with him over the three years of his ministry, and whom he trusted enough to directly hand over his ministry to. These are the people even the great Paul had to consult with to confirm his own teachings (Galatians 2:2).
  3. The texts of 1 Peter 3:18 and Hebrews 9:12 do not in any way preclude the need for [seeking] forgiveness of sins [on an ongoing basis after accepting Jesus] after His [sic] death. The texts tell us how Jesus won for us forgiveness of sins, that is “died once”, and the scope of that forgiveness, that is “for all”. They do not, however, tell us how this forgiveness was to be applied.
  4. When both Peter and Paul said “for all”, they did not give any restrictions/exclusions. We have to use texts like John 1:12, which you quoted, to understand that people have to believe in the name of Jesus in order to have that forgiveness applied to them. You also commented that one cannot use one or few verses of scripture to understand a point. Just as John 1:12 helps us to understand how the forgiveness won for us by Jesus is applied, so are other scripture texts able to help us understand it even more.
  5. In John 20:21-23, an encounter of Jesus with some of his disciples is reported as follows: “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained” (KJV, since that is your preferred bible version). This encounter was after Jesus’ resurrection, and therefore, after his death. Jesus clearly empowered his disciples to forgive sins after his death. If all sins, past, present and future were forgiven at Jesus’ death, with no additional action needed, which sins would his disciples be forgiving? Surely if Jesus’ followers were to decide whether to forgive or retain some sins, they would have to have those sins confessed to them.
  6. The apostle James wrote: “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” – James 5:14,15 (KJV). James has put the final nail in the coffin. He wrote to believers, people who had already accepted Jesus and had their sins forgiven (which by your argument would include all future sins), yet James taught that when such a person is prayed over, they could have sins which would be forgiven through that prayer.

The points above should leave you with no doubt that the forgiveness won for us by Jesus by his death is a victory won once but applied on an ongoing basis.

Texts like Romans 3:23 and Romans 5:12 teach us that we have sinned. Texts like 1 Peter 3:18 and Hebrews 9:12 teach us that Jesus died for our sins. A text like John 1:12 teaches that we need to receive Jesus to obtained forgiveness of our sins. A text like Galatians 5:19-21 teaches us that believers can still commit sins and lose their salvation. Texts like John 20:21-23 and James 5: 14,15 teach us that believers need to confess sins committed after receiving Jesus. All these different texts from different witnesses help us get the complete picture of how salvation works.

Pack your things and give them to me to …

Drama this Morning:  My wife and I were having a serious quarrel when I said to her, "Pack your things and ...." At that moment her phone rang, so I had to stop for her to receive the call. It was her dad. The phone was on speaker so I could hear what he was saying. After the usual pleasantries between father and daughter, he said: "my daughter, I have transferred $1,000,000 into your account, give your husband $500,000 out... Read more>>>

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