Grace Overflowing

26 June 2014, 12:00

Moderator

68

Our sin, even that which continues in the Christian life, reveals the grace of God. Paul says, in Romans 5, that the grace of God overflows in greater measure than any sin. What that means, put simply, is that you can never “out-sin” God’s grace.

Some people don’t like that. Or maybe I should say that makes some people very uncomfortable. To them it gives license for anyone to do anything and be forgiven. And, of course, they are right. God forgives all our sin, no matter what it is and no matter when we do it. But the freedom to sin is already ours. We were free to sin before Christ and we are free to sin after Christ. Do you doubt that? Does lightning strike the sinner? Does God actually do anything to stop or supernaturally punish the offender, either the believer or the unbeliever? No, He allows sin as He allows us to make free choices.

Yes, there are consequences for sin. Lots of consequences. More than we realize. But that isn’t what I am talking about here. The simple truth is that the believer is free to sin. The wonderful message of grace is that there is freedom not to sin and love for those who do sin—because of Jesus.

And when you sin, God’s grace is greater. You see, this message isn’t for those who want to go out to see if they can find the limits of God’s love and forgiveness. People who use grace as license to sin don’t really know grace and probably don’t even know Jesus. This message is for those who so desperately want to know that they can be forgiven—even when they continue to do stupid or wicked things.

overflowing grace waterfallThe Greek words in Romans 5:20 suggest that grace is already overflowing in the life of the believer to an extent much greater than any sin. So Paul says that where sin increases, grace already overflows sufficiently. Those who look to Jesus find grace abundant, enough to cover anything.

There is a great verse in 1 John 2:1 that reminds us not to sin:

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1 (NKJV)

Don’t sin. It’s bad for you and those around you, and you don’t have to do it. But, if you do, Jesus is enough. The grace of God in the person of Jesus is more than enough.

Dr. David Orrison has been a pastor for over 30 years and is now the Executive Director of “Grace for the Heart,” a ministry dedicated to proclaiming the sufficiency of Jesus Christ for all aspects of the Christian life. Dave has served in the Evangelical Free Church and in the United Presbyterian Church, and he holds a Ph.D. in Theology from Trinity Seminary. Dave has unique insights into the struggles of what he calls “performance spirituality,” as he has worked extensively with people who are unsure of their relationship with Jesus because of the burden of legalism and the hopelessness of a “works-based Christian walk.” David has lived in Loveland, CO for 25 years and is happily married to Alice. They have eight sons. David blogs on a regular basis at http://graceformyheart.wordpress.com.

 

Photo copyright: Carmen De Bruijn / 123RF Stock Photo

All articles on this site reflect the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of other Recovering Grace contributors or the leadership of the site. Students who have survived Gothardism tend to end up at a wide variety of places on the spiritual and theological spectrum, thus the diversity of opinions expressed on this website reflects that. For our official statement of beliefs, click here.

68 Comments

  1. Brumby June 26, 2014 Reply

    Thanks, Dr. Orrison, for the edifying words of wisdom and hope.

  2. Libby June 26, 2014 Reply

    Thank you!

  3. Sarah Brantley June 26, 2014 Reply

    Thank you for this article! It presents a slightly different point of view of grace that I'd never seen before.

    I grew up in ATI and thought I had re-evaluated my opinions and beliefs that it had influenced, but have realized as I've read this and other similar articles on RG that there were (and still are!) things it has influenced that I have not recognized. Thank you so much for your continual encouragement.

  4. C. Read June 26, 2014 Reply

    26 June 2014

    Hi Mr. Orrison,

    I really do not like to be contentious, but in your recent article "Grace Overflowing" you stated some inaccuracy's regarding sin that I would like to refute. I hope you will prayerfully contemplate what I am led to share with you and those who read this.

    Sin is the doorway into the Darkness, and the longer we walk in sin, the darker it will get. And yes, even "believers" can go that route, and THAT is where God's wonderful and amazing Grace will take over. Even in our ignorance, God is there! Praise God!

    But when God shows us the Truth about our sinful circumstances and what got us there, we have a major decision to make. Will you continue in SIN and remain in the Darkness, (where the Devil will continue to lie to you), or will you repent of your sin and come back to God?

    I contend that a faithful believer in the LORD Jesus Christ, hates sin and does not willfully chose to sin against Him. Yes, we also have a flesh nature that loves to have its own way, and THAT is what this war is all about. As Christians, we must die to our selves, and learn to put to death the desires of the flesh; and only then, can we walk in the Spirit, and thus NOT sin against God or one another.

    Moreover, we must always be on guard against the tactics of our Enemy who wants to deceive and try to lead us into sin, and away from God. But if we resist the Devil, he has to leave us alone. And as we walk in the True Light of God's Word we will see the Truth, and the Truth WILL set us free to love and serve the Lord God Almighty as He so deserves and desires of His people.

    Prayerfully consider your words in comparison to the Word of God.

    1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

    Matthew 12:30 (Jesus said:) He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.

    Matthew 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

    Matthew 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

    Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

    Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

    Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

    Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

    Matthew 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

    Thus, your statement that "God forgives all our sin, no matter what it is and no matter when we do it." is not correct according to God's Word.

    You said, "The simple truth is that the believer is free to sin."

    But please consider what Jesus and the Apostle Paul says about those who choose to sin.

    John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

    1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the Devil; for the Devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the Devil.

    1 Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

    You said that God does not "punish the offender, either the believer or the unbeliever" but again, consider what God's Word says concerning the punishment of the ungodly.

    2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

    And finally please consider this very revealing passage on the subject of sin.

    Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

    Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?

    Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

    Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection:

    Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

    Romans 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

    Romans 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him:

    Romans 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him.

    Romans 6:10 For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God.

    Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Romans 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

    Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

    Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

    Romans 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

    Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

    Romans 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

    Romans 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

    Romans 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

    Romans 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

    Romans 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

    Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

    Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    I will continue to keep you and those who visit Recovering Grace in my prayers to the Lord!

    With the love of Christ,
    C. Read




    Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

    • DaveO June 27, 2014 Reply

      C. Read,

      Thanks for these thoughts. I do appreciate the time you took to share them. It is hard to know where to start because there are several places where you and I would disagree and I really am not interested in an online Bible verse battle. Instead, let me share just a couple of things in answer to your comment.

      First, I hope you read the whole post above. In no way did I suggest that sin is good or that a believer should sin. In fact, I said just the opposite. I believe that God hates sin for a simple reason: it hurts the people He loves. God knows what will bless us and what will hurt us. He warns us about the things that will hurt us. By definition, sin is bad for us. I doubt that I can be more direct than that.

      Second, 1 John 1 is very helpful. You see, I believe that all sin is forgiven for believers because Jesus did what He came to do. When John writes about the darkness and the light, he makes the distinction between those who are unsaved and those who are saved. Paul made the same distinction in the same way and so did Jesus. In Eph 5, Paul makes it clear that we once were in darkness but are now in the light. Jesus says much the same thing in John 8. So, when we read in 1 John 1:7 that the “blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin,” that means us. All sin. Those who walk in the light (believers) have been cleansed from all sin.

      As I said above, that doesn’t mean that there are no consequences for sin in this life. Sin is bad and it hurts people. But it does mean that we are already forgiven.

      When I say that we are free to sin, I speak of the experience we both share. We do sin and we do it willingly. We might feel guilty or ashamed. We might even feel afraid. We will almost certainly regret our choice. But we choose to sin and God does not strike us down. The condemnation unbelievers will face will be their own choice as they reject the Lord. The rest of us, who place our hope in Jesus, will find that our place in Heaven is secure because of Him alone. The message of grace is different from the message of the law. The law led people to try to manage sin and guilt and moved them to live in fear; grace takes us past those and shows us the Savior who loves us.

      For my part, I will continue to share the amazing news of the love of God in Jesus. I hope that you and the many who have been taught the things you share will one day find the rest that Jesus wants you to have. May the perfect love of Jesus cast out your fear.

      Thank you for your prayers. They are much appreciated.

      Dave

      • Heidi Barry Will June 27, 2014 Reply

        DaveO,

        Thank you for your thoughtful response to C. Read. Your original article was very encouraging to me, and I was struggling to put into words my thoughts regarding C. Read's response, but you did it much better than I could have.

        As a former ATIer, I have spent the last several months (since discovering Recovering Grace) re-reading the Bible to see the whole message so that individual verses taken out of context will no longer cause me fear and doubt as they used to. If I'd read this exchange at the beginning of that journey, I'm sure I would've been very confused, conflicted and distressed. But now I see the real issue much more clearly.

        It isn't a question of whether or not believers should sin. Of course we shouldn't. The problem is that we do. On these two points it seems that we all agree. The question is, how do we stop sinning, and how does grace fit into the equation?

        C. Read said "We must die to our selves, and learn to put to death the desires of the flesh; and only then, can we walk in the Spirit, and thus NOT sin against God or one another." So first we must stop sinning, and then God will give us grace.

        But this is the opposite of what Paul says in Galatians 5:16 "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." In other words, FIRST comes God's grace, THEN we are enabled (through the Holy Spirit) to stop sinning.

        The real issue is whether the focus (and burden) is on us, or on God. I am beginning to see that this is ALWAYS the fundamental issue in pretty much any theological dilemma! It's always all about God, not me. What a relief! What joy to be able to rest completely in God's perfection, love, and grace!

        Thank you, Recovering Grace, for helping me and so many others to take our eyes off ourselves and put them back on God, who is our only hope.

        • mosessister June 27, 2014

          Heidi Barry Will,

          Thank you for a very helpful, succinct summary of the issue and positions. I read Dr. O's article, and agreed with it, but then I couldn't figure out what C. Read was taking issue with. But I do see now.

          And this reminds me of something I ran across in one of IBLP's Daily Success mailings the other day: "When a group of believers is cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ through salvation and is in right relationship with God and others THROUGH OBEDIENCE TO HIS WORD, there is an increased desire and motivation to become like Christ and to carry out the work of His kingdom." No! We are in right relationship with God because of GOD'S righteousness, not because of OUR obedience. OF COURSE, we should be obedient, but our obedience DOES NOT make us righteous, only God does! And the source of our motivation is the Holy Spirit, not our obedience and works! This is so human-centered, when it truly is really "all about God!"

          What is sad is it is so deceptive...it starts out right, with "being cleansed by the blood of Christ through salvation." But it ends on a terrible human-centered note. And that is why it is so confusing and deceptive...it is half right!

          Really appreciated this post and the ensuing discussing here, Dr. O. Thanks!

        • greg r June 27, 2014

          @mosessister

          What is sad is it is so deceptive...it starts out right, with "being cleansed by the blood of Christ through salvation." But it ends on a terrible human-centered note. And that is why it is so confusing and deceptive...it is half right!

          Great catch: and I've heard it said that if you really want to make a potent lie, put large amounts of truth in it. apparently

      • Anonymous from Somewhere June 27, 2014 Reply

        Dave,

        When I read your article yesterday I knew there would be at least one legalist who would have problems with "grace overflowing". Members of legalistic cults, if they believed in the truth of God's overflowing grace, would then no longer have the need of nonoptional principles to follow to "merit" God's grace.

        And most hard core legalists do not live in fear. As has been stated by a number of them on RG, including DaveO, they actually believe they are living as (paraphrased) "good Christians" (yes, even no longer living in sin) and look down upon those who are not living up to their legalistic standards.

        I expect there will be some who will be very disappointed to not be able to engage you in online Bible verse battle...

        Thank you for teaching the truth of the gospel, and by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, God's overflowing grace.

        • Anonymous from Somewhere June 27, 2014

          The great news, instead of nonoptional principles, His Word clearly tells us: Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV) "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."

        • Anonymous from Somewhere June 28, 2014

          Dave, I'm sorry for incorrectly using your name in my post above instead of C. Read. My statement is corrected here: And most hard core legalists do not live in fear. As has been stated by a number of them on RG, including C. Read, they actually believe they are living as (paraphrased) "good Christians" (yes, even no longer living in sin) and look down upon those who are not living up to their legalistic standards.

        • Nancy2 June 28, 2014

          Anonymous from Somewhere, what you are talking about is what I call the second side of the legalistic coin in my post below, but your post said it more clearly.

          It is forgotten that any good we have is not of ourselves, but the work of the Holy Spirit moving in us toward a better understanding. As long as my eyes are turned on myself I am not glorifying God but instead practicing self edification. The root of pride is found in one's need for unhealthy comparisons (Wanting to be better to prove greater worth, instead of finding worth in the Blood and Resurrection of Christ Jesus.). I can't tell someone how to live. I can only share with them the One who has taught me love and loves them. My desire for others is for them to enjoy a growing relationship with God the Father and God the Son as the Holy Spirit moves them in His perfect way and time.

          I have enjoyed your posts.

        • DaveO June 28, 2014

          AFS: no problem about the name error. I did try to think of when I might have said that, though. :-)

          I wrote a general response to your comments on the legalists not being motivated by fear. (A primary level comment below) Just something to consider. Your perspective might be different, based on the people you have known or the life you have lived. Perhaps it doesn't really matter whether it is pride or fear that moves some people to be mean-spirited and miss the joy of salvation.

        • Anonymous from Somewhere June 28, 2014

          Nancy2, I think both your posts are clear with excellent insight...

        • Anonymous from Somewhere June 28, 2014

          DaveO, I respect your thoughts on legalists living in fear of the law. It just seems to me that many of the legalists who have posted on RG come across as believing that they are doing a good job living within the law, and really look down upon those that understand we don't live under the law.

          It was life changing for me about 19 years ago when I understood from scripture for the first time that life in Christ is about God and his overflowing grace through His Son, and not about me and feeble attempts to "be good". Legalists seem to be offended at the thought that it is not about them and their works. I agree with your statement that it probably does not matter whether or not some are motivated by pride or fear in their legalistic pursuit of what they believe is merited grace. May God shine His light upon them (and upon us all) and open our eyes to the profoundly beautiful gift of grace in Jesus Christ and the freedom and joy that comes from this truly amazing grace.

    • Don Rubottom June 27, 2014 Reply

      C. Read, you said: "I contend that a faithful believer in the LORD Jesus Christ, hates sin and does not willfully chose to sin against Him."
      If this is correct, then, if I commit any one sin willfully, I am not saved.
      {Hmm.... But that means the Christian's only defense is that I did not intend to sin....no wonder that defense is so popular these days....if I confess that I meant it, I am not saved.......but wait, if I do not confess, I am not forgiven....oh, who can deliver me from this body of sin?....}

      • Sharon July 6, 2014 Reply

        Maybe it's true that "a *faithful* believer in the Lord Jesus will not willfully choose to sin"...but since when are we all faithful? We all have many lapses in faithfulness, but thank the Lord that he is faithful even when we are not.

        "The one who calls you is faithful, and HE will do it." (I Thess. 5:24)

        • C. Read July 7, 2014

          Hi Ms. Sharon,

          Yes, I agree HE is the One who is faithful, and I do trust the Lord to finish the work He started in me. And it is my greatest desire that God will one day say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant…” That is my hope, but it is not yet reality. Please consider this passage.

          You will be in my prayers.
          C. Read


          1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

          1 Timothy 1:6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

          1 Timothy 1:7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

          1 Timothy 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;

          1 Timothy 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

          1 Timothy 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

          1 Timothy 1:11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

          1 Timothy 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

          1 Timothy 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

          1 Timothy 1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

          1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

          1 Timothy 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

          1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

      • C. Read July 7, 2014 Reply

        Hi Mr. Rubottom,
        I respectfully do not agree with your logic, but I will say this: Jesus Christ CAN, and He IS the only one who can, deliver you from “this body of sin.” And I hope you will look to Him to do it. And please prayerfully consider this passage from the Holy Scriptures.

        Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

        Hebrews 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

        Hebrews 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

        Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

        Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

        Hebrews 10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.

        Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

        Hebrews 10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;

        Hebrews 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

        Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

        Hebrews 10:11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

        Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

        Hebrews 10:13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

        Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

        Hebrews 10:15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,

        Hebrews 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

        Hebrews 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

        Hebrews 10:18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

        Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

        Hebrews 10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

        Hebrews 10:21 And having an high priest over the house of God;

        Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

        Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

        Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

        Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

        And that Day is closer than it has ever been!

        Take care!
        C. Read

        • Don Rubottom July 8, 2014

          I John 1:8 says, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." This and Romans 7 refute your claim that a faithful Christian cannot commit willful sin. I therefore agree with Greg, below. But you seem to think we are ignorant of Scripture while you claim an immunity from sin that your verses do not support. Did you learn Bible Study from Bill Gothard?

        • C. Read July 8, 2014

          No. The Holy Spirit is my teacher. Thank God!

      • greg r July 15, 2014 Reply

        Well said; C. Read's line of thought actually, and I would say inevitably, will lead many to doubt that they aer even saved at all. This is a pity, and sad, and totally avoidable with better teaching. God is not the angry, petulant grade school teacher who still "gives swats" as we said in grammar school.

    • greg r June 27, 2014 Reply

      and does not willfully chose to sin against Him. Yes, we also have a flesh nature that loves to have its own way,

      Oh, the tortured mental and spiritual gymnastics it takes to make this work. I guess you can say that the sin nature is not REALLY us, so it's not us sinning when it appears we are sinning. There are some other equally strange directions this can go. All of them lead to some amount of self delusion: this is not good news, not a word of hope to the broken and sinful.

      • C. Read July 7, 2014 Reply

        Hi Mr. Greg,

        You said, “I guess you can say that the sin nature is not REALLY us, so it's not us sinning when it appears we are sinning.” And I say, for the true Christian, that is actually a very true statement, and I hope you will prayerfully consider this passage and ask the Lord to give you the understanding.

        Sincerely, C. Read

        Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

        Romans 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

        Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

        Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

        Romans 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

        Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

        Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

        Romans 7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

        Romans 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

        Romans 7:10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.

        Romans 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.

        Romans 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

        Romans 7:13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

        Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

        Romans 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

        Romans 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

        Romans 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

        Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

        Romans 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

        Romans 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

        Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

        Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

        Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

        Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

        Romans 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
        Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

        Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

        Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

        Romans 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

        Romans 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

        Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

        Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

        Romans 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

        Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

        Romans 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

        Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

        Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

        Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

        Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

        Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

        Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

        Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

        Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

        Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

        Romans 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

        Romans 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

        Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

        Romans 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

        Romans 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

        Romans 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

        Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

        Romans 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

        Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

        Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

        Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

        Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

        Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

        Romans 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

        Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

        Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

        Romans 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

        Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

        Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

        Romans 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

        • LynnCD July 13, 2014

          Hi, C. Read,
          Somewhere you replied to one of my comments. Apparently not here, but I read quickly through your reply to me at the time, and now I can't seem to find it. I don't want e-mail replies to my comments as I am using an account I don't access much any more, so sometimes the comment threads get buried and I can't find them.

          Just wanted to say, thanks for continuing the dialogue.

      • greg r July 7, 2014 Reply

        Quick recap then:
        1)you know how to sin, and do.
        2)you know how to cut and paste bible verses.

        impressive

        • C. Read July 8, 2014

          You need to be careful Mr. Greg.

    • Anonymous July 12, 2014 Reply

      I couldn't agree with you more; preach it!!!

  5. Cricket June 27, 2014 Reply

    " The law led people to try to manage sin and guilt and moved them to live in fear; grace takes us past those and shows us the Savior who loves us."

    WOW!!

    How many years did I try to manage sin- even manufacture sin so I could give it up!- and guilt, and lived in fear.

  6. Nancy2 June 27, 2014 Reply

    Dr. David, I love articles that make me ponder how the Grace of God has carried me through life. Yours achieves exactly that. I love your closing.

    "Don’t sin. It’s bad for you and those around you, and you don’t have to do it. But, if you do, Jesus is enough. The grace of God in the person of Jesus is more than enough."

    I can't help but think of how not only does the Grace of God cover our sins, but how Jesus is enough in everything.

    I remember when I was first called to serve along the Gulf Coast rebuilding churches. So many people would speak of how God was sure to give me a blessing. That concept made me sad. For me the work was my blessing. I didn't desire anything more. Every morning I got a front row seat to see the Hand of God moving in the lives of His children. Every evening I had amazing events to thank God for that had nothing to do with what I was doing. Every moment was an opportunity to build relationships within the Body of a Christ, and see a picture of the love of Jesus as those relationships grew. Knowing Him is enough. Watching His love in action is enough. He is our blessing. He is the reward we could never earn.

    Your article reminded me that the two sides of the legalistic coin are the fear of punishment and rewards as our motivation. When we see ourselves as successful Christians it become easy to forget we lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus.

    Rev. 4:9-11. 9 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

    Thank you again.

  7. The Quiet One June 27, 2014 Reply

    I remember so clearly, drilling Romans 6, 7 and 8 into my head as a young teen - the chapters that were the key to gaining moral purity in the IBLP world. Of course, every day I drilled those first verses of Romans 6, I could see that final verse of chapter 5 - "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound..." - but in the back of my mind, I reasoned that verse did not quite mean what it appeared to say on the surface; that because of the immediate qualifications of the chapter I was memorizing. When I finished memorizing Romans, I didn't gain the freedom and victory over sin that had been promised, but I blamed myself, for not 'meditating' on it more.

    I went on to the other recommended memorization passages, among them I John. That first chapter gave me such hope that I could be forgiven and cleansed, but I was afraid to trust that hope. It took an elderly pastor, preaching through I John, to confirm to me that I had not misinterpreted those wonderful promises in John and that Christ's blood was sufficient to continually cleanse me from sin, not matter how many times I failed. I have always found praise and encouragement a greater motivation that criticism and condemnation and so it has been in my Christian life. Why should I want to keep sinning, when I have such a loving Saviour?

    • Jeff Gill June 28, 2014 Reply

      For me it was memorising Ephesians 4, 5 and 6. Just after I left ATIA, I attended a bible study on Ephesians. I was furious that ATIA had seen fit to ignore the first three chapters. All the doing in the second half of the letter is based on the grace-filled being in the first three chapters. But Bill was never a fan of people experiencing grace-filled being.

      • MatthewS June 28, 2014 Reply

        For me, it was Galatians. I was leading an adult Sunday School class, of all things. Between conversations with a pastor friend, and commentaries by Longenecker and McKnight, Galatians came off the page and blew me away.

        It hit me that everything I had done in Gothardism, I could do "in the flesh": you can get up at 5am in the flesh, read the Bible in the flesh, go to church and sit on the front row in suit and tie in the flesh, refuse to listen to contemporary music in the flesh... The symptom will be that instead of "love, joy, peace..." your life is more marked by anger and distance from other people.

        Chapter 3 resonated so much: I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?

        • DaveO June 28, 2014

          Although I had been troubled about many things presented by Gothard, the real break for me came with the 2000 Definition of Grace. Understanding grace had been an increasing pursuit for me and I was interested to read what Gothard wrote.

          When I saw that there were over 50 Scripture passages supporting his deviant position - AND NOT ONE FROM GALATIANS - I saw the purposeful omissions as simply deceptive. What Paul writes to the Galatians is so powerful, of course Gothard had to leave it out. The document was not the result of careful Scripture study. It was plain old propaganda.

        • The Quiet One June 28, 2014

          Galatians helped me to see ATI for what it truly was. By the time I memorized that, I had come to a personal peace; but still thought that ATI had been a good program, despite its failure to help me spiritually. But when I came to Galatians 5:19, "But the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these...", it suddenly hit me. This wasn't about living a sensual life. Paul was saying that these are the fruits of trying to be righteous by our own strength.

          It fit with what I had experienced not only in my life, but also what I was beginning to see in other ATI and other highly conservative families and churches. They had strict rules of conduct, but there was terrible moral corruption underneath the surface. That was when I began to realize that we had been deceived.

        • Julia Fetters June 30, 2014

          Great observation, MatthewS. Yes, all of those things and many, many more can be done in the flesh. I know. Before He taught me to rest and walk with Him.

          I personally believe these (those fulfilling all these good things in the flesh) are the ones Jesus is speaking of in Matthew 7:22. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, lord, have we not in thy name prophesied? and in thy name cast out demons? and in thy name done many mighty things?

          I also believe these make up most of the "Christians" we are seeing "fall away" today in gross sin. Just watch Dateline or 20/20 or Nightline... as they do exposes (sp?) on different crimes...

          I am not saying that we are not all capable of such sin (that puts the fear of God in me in a good way) but having said that, many, many who make the Church look impotent are those trying and trying to be Christian instead of trusting in and leaning on and loving God for the grace he has given in Jesus' death for us and His keeping power. Just a thought.

      • The Quiet One June 28, 2014 Reply

        Those first chapters are wonderful. The same elderly pastor taught a series in Ephesians during my years of struggle. Whenever I read that passage "...what is the breadth and length and depth and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge..." I can hear his voice, teaching it with such simple faith and joy. Although I did not realize it at the time, those lessons were making an impression on me. That pastor did challenge Gothard's teaching from the pulpit, after we had given him some of the materials to look at. My parents did not take offense, so we stayed to learn so much more about grace.

    • kevin June 28, 2014 Reply

      "I remember so clearly, drilling Romans 6, 7 and 8 into my head as a young teen - the chapters that were the key to gaining moral purity in the IBLP world."

      It really hit me what a false gospel Gothard is teaching, when I read chapter 4 from the Rebuilder's Guide, titled:

      "Seeking After God Means Entering Into the Resurrection Power of Christ"

      "Seven Steps to Enter Into Christ's Power

      Step 1: Engraft Romans 6 and 8 into your soul."

      He goes on to describe what engrafting is and how the first step is word for word memorization. He sure loves Romans 6 and 8. Interesting that none of his steps call for us to "engraft" any of Galations or any other Scripture into our souls.

      He goes on to give 6 more steps (works) that we must do to "Enter Into the Resurrection Power of Christ"

      Gothard gets Grace wrong and he gets the Gospel wrong. He is teaching a false gospel based on man made works.

  8. Lisa June 27, 2014 Reply

    I struggled with this issue for years. I feared that I could lose my salvation because of my inability to live sinless. I still remember the morning, in Sunday School, when Pastor Pat Nath was teaching the "ABCs of Christianity" and it began with "A: Assurance of Salvation." I cried when I finally realized that I was safe in God's love. The more I began to comprehend how secure I was in Jesus, the less power sin had over me. Fear binds people and Jesus' love and grace sets them free.

  9. TaylorB. June 28, 2014 Reply

    Thank you for this article! It summarizes beautifully the grace I've seen for the first time in the last year. After growing up in legalist churches most of my life, it is a truth that I have to constantly refresh myself of, because it is so hard to believe it's true after what I've always been told.

  10. Vanessa June 28, 2014 Reply

    I recommend a little book by Alva J. McClain called "Law and Grace". It's a fabulous summary of New Testament teaching on grace, law, and sin. One thing he brings up is that many legalists teach that portions of the law must be followed, not as a way of salvation, but as a "rule of life". The problem is that the Bible clearly teaches that no one in any age could be saved by law-keeping, so being "under the law" for OT people had to mean that they were under it as a rule of law. SO, what can it possibly mean when it says that today we are not under the law, except in the sense that we are not under it as a rule of life?

    He also says that it is only under grace (and beholding the face of the Lord Jesus) in which the will of God can be realized in the Christian life. "In this context of grace we grow (II Pet. 3:18); we stand (I Pet. 5:10); we are built up (Acts 20:32); we are made strong (II Tim. 2:1); we are made perfect (I Pet. 5:10); we find freedom from sin's dominion (Rom. 6:14); we find complete liberty from legal bondage (Gal. 5:1-4)...we find recovery when we fall (Heb. 4:16); we find assurance as to the final outcome of the Christian life (Acts 20:32)."

    • MatthewS June 28, 2014 Reply

      That's a great little book! I think somebody should blog through it for RG.

      I am told that McClain had reputation for being an intelligent and peace-making kind of person.

    • Lori June 29, 2014 Reply

      I second what was said by Vanessa and MatthewS. "Law and Grace" by the late Alva J. McClain (founder of Grace Theological Seminary) is only 80 pages long but is packed with profound biblical truths, explained clearly and powerfully. You can get this little gem for only $4.46 on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Law-Grace-Alva-J-McClain/dp/0884690016/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404085465&sr=1-2

  11. DaveO June 28, 2014 Reply

    For Anonymous From Somewhere and others:

    Just something to consider...

    When I was in seminary a professor challenged the account of the woman taken in adultery by saying that the Pharisees would not have hesitated to pick up the first stone. Because of their adherence to the law, he said, they considered themselves to be good enough and they certainly would have been bold enough to stone the woman. But, when Jesus said for the one who is without sin to cast the first stone, they all walked away. The professor believed that indicated that the passage was a later addition to the true text.

    I do not believe that I have ever met a legalist who was not afraid of the truth about themselves. In fact, I think it is why the passages that tell them to “fear God” resonate so strongly with them. The law is not only a schoolmaster; it is a harsh master, one who knows the whole truth. The law exposes sin, no matter how deeply we try to hide it. No one else may know the thoughts of a man’s mind, but – under the law – such things are known.

    I have known brazen legalists, quick to accuse others and pronounce judgment. I have known insidious legalists who connive to reveal the secrets of others. I have known cruel legalists who would take pleasure in stoning others. But I have never known one who had no internal fear of God and the truth.

    Most of the legalist’s boldness is not from inner strength, but from inner fear. It is an attempt to distract, to project, to point the finger at others so that the finger doesn’t point at them. But in secret they fear the exposure they bring on others. They are afraid that their lies will be revealed, that their children will somehow fall short and uncover family weaknesses, or that they will slip and others will know the truth. So they are quick to lie again, quick to reject even the ones closest to them, and quick to blame others and situations.

    We all sin, but those who live under the law and refuse to see the grace and love of Jesus live in fear of judgment. They not only see sin in more places than we do, they have little hope when they do sin.

    The Pharisees walked away that day because, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit through the words of Jesus, they could not risk the truth being revealed. The passage says that they walked away “one by one.” As each one realized what he would have to risk by throwing that first stone, he decided it wasn’t worth it.

    Some may see things differently, of course, but it seems to me that much of the negative behavior we see and experience from legalists comes out of fear. Even their supposed pride is a desire to hide their fears.

    The law causes fear.

    • Beverly June 28, 2014 Reply

      "Most of the legalist’s boldness is not from inner strength, but from inner fear. It is an attempt to distract, to project, to point the finger at others so that the finger doesn’t point at them. But in secret they fear the exposure they bring on others. They are afraid that their lies will be revealed, that their children will somehow fall short and uncover family weaknesses, or that they will slip and others will know the truth. So they are quick to lie again, quick to reject even the ones closest to them, and quick to blame others and situations."

      Wow, just wow! Very, very true. I think there is a reason why we are commanded "Do not fear" so often in Scripture. There is no fear in love, because perfect love casts out fear. If we're fearing God, we're unable to love Him with a perfect love.

    • Libby June 28, 2014 Reply

      Oh yes, as a recovering legalist, I can affirm this. Fear of exposure, fear of failing, fear of losing control, fear of men, thankful that "perfect love casts out fear"!

      • esbee June 28, 2014 Reply

        and the biggie in a legalist's life---that God will getcha if you don't follow all those commandments!!!!

      • Melody June 28, 2014 Reply

        Libby, as another recovering legalist, I can say that I agree with you wholeheartedly!

  12. Christy Bell June 29, 2014 Reply

    And THIS recovering legalist is so thankful that Jesus wants to cleanse me and love me instead of beating me into submission! =-D

  13. Guy Cooksey July 3, 2014 Reply

    The best part of this good article is that : "Jesus is enough!" He is enough to keep me from sin (2:1) and, if per chance, I do sin and confess it, He is enough to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness (1:7,9). The problem is when I deny that I am a sinner and I have, indeed, sinned (1:8, 10). Thus, we can be victorious over sin, but we must be real and humble when we do sin and confess it to Jesus and agree with Him that it is sin and he can forgive and cleanse it away to restore fellowship (1:7)

  14. C. Read July 4, 2014 Reply

    4 July 2014

    Dear Dr. Orrison,

    I Am sorry you and your supporters are so offended by me. I did read your whole article, and I stand by my statements AND the Word of God. However, I do not take responsibility for those who misunderstood, added to, or took away from what I said.

    I Am not a liar, a deceiver, or a legalistic person. Nor am I in a cult. But you have the freedom to espouse and believe those lies if you choose to, but it doesn’t make it the Truth.

    I could cite many other Scriptures that would validate the concerns I have with some of your views, but it appears that you are not interested in Biblical dialogue.

    I just know how dangerous it is to walk in sin of any kind, and it should never be taken lightly. Yes, because we are human we will sin, and God is so gracious to forgive us and cleanse us of the unrighteousness if we are willing to repent, but I can honestly say that I DO NOT willfully choose to sin against God and His Word. Yes, I still make mistakes, and I may even fall, but God, by His wonderful grace is there to pick me back up because my heart belongs to Him.

    Contrary to what you said, sin can lead even a "believer" into the darkness, and away from God, exactly where Satan wants people to be so he can fill their mind with lies! And the Wicked One has been very effective, especially considering all the unsuspecting souls who have been deceived or seduced by Bill and those like him.

    I just hope that you and those who are so opposed to me would prayerfully read the Scriptures regarding the true grace of God, willful sin, and "the unforgivable sin," and may the LORD give you understanding.

    Since you are a moderator, I assume you are one of the leaders of this website and you may choose to disallow my view to be voiced here, especially considering the recent article on "Citing Scriptures," but that is okay. Nonetheless, I will continue to keep you and the visitors of Recovering Grace in my prayers to God.

    With the love of Christ,
    C. Read

    • LynnCD July 4, 2014 Reply

      Dave O. wrote this about his message, which is included in the main entry above:

      "You see, this message isn’t for those who want to go out to see if they can find the limits of God’s love and forgiveness. People who use grace as license to sin don’t really know grace and probably don’t even know Jesus. This message is for those who so desperately want to know that they can be forgiven—even when they continue to do stupid or wicked things."

      C. Read, when Dave O. set the limits on his message to *exclude* those who want to use grace as a license to sin, it appears to me every comment you make against his message is a straw man.

      The message is *specifically* for people who have had it hammered into them that God is out to get them for any and every little thing, and that He is not a gracious God of forgiveness. There are people who wonder, on account of legalism such as Gothard's and IBLP, as to whether God loves them at all.

      I admit I did not read every part of the back and forth between you two, but it appeared your first remark to Dave you were coming at him with both barrels and taking him to task for something he did not say, and in fact, made *sure* people were aware he was not saying it, in the main body of his essay.

      If you know a believer C. Read, who had been abused by other believers, believers who claimed they were in charge, and this believer was taught to obey all kinds of rules for success in this life, even rules not contained in Scripture, where just the least little departure from anything and this one was accused of rebellion and sin (over things that are not sin, for example, riding horses if you are female), just what would YOU say to a person in such bondage and despondency?

      Because THAT kind of person was the target audience of this particular entry. NOT people who want to sin and sin and sin.

    • LynnCD July 4, 2014 Reply

      PS: C. Read,
      I am not offended by what you wrote. I'm just curious what you would say to a group of people who are downcast in their feelings about themselves, and who are in doubt about whether God loves them and forgives them even when they sin from time to time, as we all are prone to do.

      • C. Read July 7, 2014 Reply

        Hi Ms. Lynn,

        I still disagree with some of his statements EVEN with the “exclusion,” as noted below:

        Dave O said on 26 June 2014: “…you can never ‘out-sin’ God’s grace. Some people don’t like that. Or maybe I should say that makes some people very uncomfortable. To them it gives license for anyone to do anything and be forgiven. And, of course, they are right. God forgives all our sin, no matter what it is and no matter when we do it. But the freedom to sin is already ours. We were free to sin before Christ and we are free to sin after Christ. Do you doubt that? Does lightning strike the sinner? Does God actually do anything to stop or supernaturally punish the offender, either the believer or the unbeliever? No, He allows sin as He allows us to make free choices.”

        Please think about this passage as you consider whether God will “punish the offender, either the believer or the unbeliever.”

        2 Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

        2 Thessalonians 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

        2 Thessalonians 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

        2 Thessalonians 1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

        I hope that you and those who may be “downcast in their feelings about themselves, and who are in doubt about whether God loves them and forgives them” will prayerfully consider these passages from the Holy Scriptures:

        1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

        1 Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

        1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

        1 Peter 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

        1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

        1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

        1 Peter 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of souls. [Please note I excluded the words in italics (which were added by the KJV Editors for clarity, and were not in the actual manuscripts) because they actually change the meaning of what God was saying in this verse.]

        1 Peter 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

        1 Peter 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

        1 Peter 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

        1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

        1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

        1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

        1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

        1 Peter 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

        1 Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

        1 Peter 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

        1 Peter 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

        1 Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

        1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

        1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

        1 Peter 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

        1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

        And another passage that is very relevant to this discussion that I hope you will prayerfully consider:

        1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

        1 Peter 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

        1 Peter 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

        1 Peter 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

        1 Peter 4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

        1 Peter 4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

        1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

        1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

        1 Peter 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

        1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

        1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

        1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

        1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

        1 Peter 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

        1 Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.

        1 Peter 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

        1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

        1 Peter 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

        1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

        You will be in my prayers. May God be with you!

        With the love of Christ,
        C. Read

        • LynnCD July 13, 2014

          OK, I found your reply! Good Scriptures to ponder and take to heart, thanks.

    • Dave July 5, 2014 Reply

      C. Read,

      Three simple responses:

      First, you wrote:

      “I Am not a liar, a deceiver, or a legalistic person. Nor am I in a cult. But you have the freedom to espouse and believe those lies if you choose to, but it doesn’t make it the Truth.”

      I cannot find where I said that or anything close to it. I would apologize quickly if I said those things about you.

      Second, I am always interested in Bible dialogue. I don’t think that the comment section of a blog is the place for that and I would not find it productive to throw lists of verses at each other. If you would like to understand more of what I believe and how I see Scripture, you are welcome to write to me personally at dave(at)gracefortheheart(dot)org. I will say that, if your goal is to straighten me out and not to listen to my perspective, our conversation will be short.

      Finally, I agree that sin continues to be deceptive and progressive in the life of the believer, if that’s what you mean by leading the believer into darkness. One sin can lead to another and the believer can be in deeper danger. If, however, you mean that the believer can lose his/her salvation and become again a part of the kingdom of darkness, then I would disagree. Which do you believe?

      Oops, one more. I am not a moderator of this group and I am grateful that the moderators have allowed your comments. I am also grateful for your prayers.

      DaveO

      • Anonymous from Somewhere July 5, 2014 Reply

        DaveO, C. Read confirmed that (as a devout legalist in my opinion)"... but I can honestly say that I DO NOT willfully choose to sin against God and His Word." How scarey?!!!

        He loves to believe, as he has been falsely taught, that there is "nonwillful" sin that apparently is not as significant as willful sin??? I believe this is getting to the core danger of nonBibilical legalistic works-based do not sin teaching.

        I am a daily sinner in need of the saving grace and mercy of my Lord Jesus Christ every minute of every day. There is NOTHING that I do or do not do that merits or earns me His saving amazing grace.

        C. Read, I pray the Lord will open your eyes and heart to the truth of the gospel.

        • C. Read July 7, 2014

          To Whom it May Concern:

          Yes, it is a very scary thought Mr. Anonymous, especially when you consider this passage:

          Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

          Hebrews 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

          Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

          Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

          Hebrews 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

      • C. Read July 7, 2014 Reply

        Dear Dr. Orrison,

        Considering your statements along with those of your supporter Mr. Anonymous, (as noted below) it was fair for me to assume that you were directing those comments at me. Some of the words used were “legalistic cults,” “mean-spirited,” “quick to lie again,” and “motivated by fear,” none of which are the truth about me. And if you honestly were not directly those comments at me I hope you will forgive me for presuming that you were.

        And no, I am not trying to “straighten you out,” I have enough to do with myself and my own children. But I do hope that by me sharing some of my views on this forum, along with the Word of God, that it could direct folks to the Lord and His Word, who is truly our only hope, comfort, and great source of strength, love, and grace.

        As far as the Light and Darkness, my goodness there is so much I could say about that one, but I better go for now. It’s getting late and I have so much to do, but I just had to respond to you and some of the other folks who commented on your Grace Overflowing article.

        I will surely keep all of you in my prayers, even the Anonymous one. And I do appreciate your prayers.

        With the love of Christ,
        C. Read

        PS. As far as you being a moderator I guess I was assuming again. I wonder why the word moderator is listed at the top your article, but on some other articles it lists the authors name?


        Comments Referenced above:

        “Anonymous from Somewhere June 27, 2014
        Dave,
        When I read your article yesterday I knew there would be at least one legalist who would have problems with "grace overflowing". Members of legalistic cults, if they believed in the truth of God's overflowing grace, would then no longer have the need of nonoptional principles to follow to "merit" God's grace.

        DaveO June 28, 2014
        I wrote a general response to your comments on the legalists not being motivated by fear. (A primary level comment below) Just something to consider. Your perspective might be different, based on the people you have known or the life you have lived. Perhaps it doesn't really matter whether it is pride or fear that moves some people to be mean-spirited and miss the joy of salvation.


        DaveO June 28, 2014
        For Anonymous From Somewhere and others:
        I do not believe that I have ever met a legalist who was not afraid of the truth about themselves. In fact, I think it is why the passages that tell them to “fear God” resonate so strongly with them. The law is not only a schoolmaster; it is a harsh master, one who knows the whole truth. The law exposes sin, no matter how deeply we try to hide it. No one else may know the thoughts of a man’s mind, but – under the law – such things are known.

        I have known brazen legalists, quick to accuse others and pronounce judgment. I have known insidious legalists who connive to reveal the secrets of others. I have known cruel legalists who would take pleasure in stoning others. But I have never known one who had no internal fear of God and the truth.

        Most of the legalist’s boldness is not from inner strength, but from inner fear. It is an attempt to distract, to project, to point the finger at others so that the finger doesn’t point at them. But in secret they fear the exposure they bring on others. They are afraid that their lies will be revealed, that their children will somehow fall short and uncover family weaknesses, or that they will slip and others will know the truth. So they are quick to lie again, quick to reject even the ones closest to them, and quick to blame others and situations.”

    • Jay July 5, 2014 Reply

      C. Read, it seems that the disagreement between you and other commenters boils down to one contrast. They state that they often DO sin of their own free will, and you state, “…I DO NOT willfully choose to sin…” Your statement is worth parsing:

      1. “I” – While it is good to be confident (and introspective), our view of ourselves is never whole. What do the people you sin against say about your choices being willful or not?

      2. “DO NOT” – This means never, and one instance of willfully sinning…as determined by the fruit of your walk…is enough to disprove your stance.

      3. “willfully choose” – Here is the key to your view, I think. We would probably all agree that we willfully choose to follow Christ and no other. It is also our will, our intent and desire, not to sin against God. This is as it should be. However, that intent and desire is for a perfect state that we will not achieve in our lifetimes, per the apostle Paul et al. The truth is that my will is not perfect. Praying “not my will, but thine” does not make my or your sin any less our will. That’s the whole point of imitating that prayer. “Not my will” is our struggle. Your mother would tell you that when you were a toddler and she told you not to drop your food…and you looked her in the eyes and dropped it…you showed your will. And your will is still there.

      4. “to sin” – It appears we are all discussing sin after accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. The sins of daily living.

      Have you ever been irritated and reacted…even in thought…in a less than Godly manner to your spouse, children, siblings, parents, friends, fellow motorists, troublemakers at church, politicians, etc.? I have. And being irritated does not excuse the sin from being my choice, my will. In a perfect sense, I would not will my response. But in my unperfected self (abiding in Jesus does not make me perfect in this current world), I exercised my will to respond the way I did. You are in the same boat. Ask the people you’ve sinned against what fruit they see, and whose fruit it is. Is it your fruit, or some other entity choosing what positive and negative fruit you might produce? I believe Jesus would say the fruit is all yours.

      • C. Read July 7, 2014 Reply

        Dear Mr. Jay,

        I take complete responsibility for what I do in this body of mine. I never said that I was perfect. I know I will never be perfect on this side of Heaven, but I Am striving for perfection. And the only way I can get there is through the Lord Jesus Christ working in me by His Holy Spirit. In my flesh, I will sin, but in my Spirit, I will not. That IS what the battle is all about in the life of the believer.
        I still say, that I do NOT chose to sin against God and His Holy Word. After having walked with the Lord for almost 35 years, I have no desire whatsoever to do anything that displeases Him. But yes, there are times that my responses are not as kind and patient as I want to be, but that is when I need to ask for forgiveness from those I have offended.
        I truly want to live by every word of God, and God knows that. And I Am sorry if I have appeared to be prideful or arrogant in my responses. If you knew me, (and it is hard to truly know someone in this type of setting,) you would know that I never want to be guilty of pride and arrogance. I know I CAN sin, but my great love for God causes me to want to please Him in everything I say and do. And I will continue to ask God to help me, and thank Him for His love, mercy, and grace!

        Thank you for your comments, and I hope you will prayerfully consider these passages.
        C. Read

        Philippians 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

        Philippians 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

        Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

        Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

        Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

        Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

        Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

        Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

        Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

        Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

        Philippians 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

        Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

        Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
        Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

        Galatians 5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

        Galatians 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

        Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

        Galatians 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

        Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

        Galatians 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

        Galatians 5:8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.

        Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

        Galatians 5:10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.

        Galatians 5:11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

        Galatians 5:12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

        Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

        Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

        Galatians 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

        Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

        Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

        Galatians 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

        Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

        Galatians 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

        Galatians 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

        Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

        Galatians 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

        Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

        Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

        Galatians 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

        Hebrews 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:

        Hebrews 5:2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

        Hebrews 5:3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.

        Hebrews 5:4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

        Hebrews 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

        Hebrews 5:6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

        Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

        Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

        Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

        Hebrews 5:10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

        Hebrews 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

        Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

        Hebrews 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

        Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

  15. Anonymous July 7, 2014 Reply

    The problem is that MANY Christians DO use grace as a license to sin. My family member did and still does. This family member rebelled against her upbringing and pretty much threw everything away (that she knew was right) so she could have a life of her own choosing. And then called it all 'good' because there was grace for her. Yes, there is grace but it's not there so that we can intentionally sin. I ache for her and the judgment she will face in front of God someday. I know that I too will face God's judgment one day and don't consider myself better than her. But I do recognize that I belong to the Lord and must obey the Truths He has shown me even when my flesh wants to take another path. I can't earn God's grace; it's a free gift from Him. But I can choose to obey Him each day and strive to live to Glorify Him with my life. And that means I'm not "free" to do as I please (or whatever I want and whenever I want). There are commandments in the Bible and rules that God has laid down that I must follow.
    I ache because this family member is very much what some would call a "worldy" Christian- becoming more liberal and progressive.( We are to be a set apart people; not blending in with the rest of the world. )

    • esbee July 8, 2014 Reply

      If I may step in here as to add a comment that I hope is not offensive but sometimes people do things that other Christians think are bad but are really just life choices and not sin. As long as someone is not doing things the bible specifically states as sin such as sex outside of marriage, drunkeness (not just an occasional glass of wine or beer, etc. Some consider sin those things that legalism has claimed to be sin such as women wearing pants or working outside the home.

      • Anonymous July 12, 2014 Reply

        I certainly am not against drinking or working outside the home; I do both :) And I wear pants! I'm talking about sins mentioned in the Bible- such as bearing false witness/lying, disobeying ANY of the ten commandments, adultery (i.e. remarrying after putting your wife away), sex and lust outside marriage and so forth.

    • C. Read July 8, 2014 Reply

      8 July

      Anonymous 2 and Esbee,

      It is nice to see some like-minded folks here at Recovering Grace. I appreciate both of your comments. I have some of the same concerns.

      I used to let my anger over the sinful life style of certain people in my life get the better, but God showed me that I need to focus on Him and the work He has for me to do. He said He will deal with them, but that's not to say that it doesn't still bother me, because it surely does. I just don't want anyone I love and care for to hear the words, "I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity."

      That "Great and Dreadful Day" is coming... And I say, Woe, woe be unto those who call themselves Christian, yet do not follow Christ!

      May we be ready and watchful. And it is only by God's grace that any of us will make it unto the End!

      You and the other visitors of RG will continue to be in my prayers to the Lord!

      With the Love of Christ,
      C. Read

      • Anonymous July 12, 2014 Reply

        Thanks C! Nice to see a fellow thinker here! :)
        The sad thing is that there are sooo many who call themselves Christian and attend church and yet aren't really Christians because of how they are living in unrepentant sin and just putting on a good show at church and so forth. They think a Christian can do whatever he/she wants/feels like doing because their is God and His grace. I know of some Christians who even approve and accept homosexuality. Um, no, God talks about the evilness of that. So what should we do? We pray for them, we love them and show them the Truth.
        (That's just one example)

  16. Anonymous from Somewhere July 8, 2014 Reply

    I hope this article will also be posted by RG. Pure evil and the lowest of the low the way BG treated this girl and her family. And not the first story of how he deliberately targets and abuses young girls in troubled families. And to think he has supporters who blindly believe they do not willingly sin... BG should be in jail.

    http://redemptionpictures.com/2014/07/08/dear-bill-gothard/

  17. J.B. July 13, 2014 Reply

    "The law offends us because it tells us what to do - and most of the time, we hate anyone telling us what to do. But ironically, grace offends us even more, because it tells us that there is nothing we can do, that everything has already been done. And if there is something we hate more than being told what to do, it's being told that we can't do anything, that we can't earn anything - that we are helpless, weak, and needy." - Tullian Tchividjian

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