How Do We Know What’s True?

Christians and those who call themselves as such, hold differing and opposing views on many theological points.  One example of many is the respective views of the doctrines of eternal security vs. insecurity as regards salvation.  If you don’t know about this debate, please pause a few minutes and do a bit of google-ing so I don’t have to do a “bunny trail” to cover it.  Anyway, as our Bibles are translated and understood today, there are convincing arguments on both sides of this debate.  So, what are we to believe on this essential doctrine? I say this:  Whichever of these two views generates the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace,patience,kindness,goodness,faithfulness, gentleness and self control) in us.  I can tell you that for me, considering eternal security as the Truth leads me into the fruit of the Spirit.  I feel more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled when I think I’m eternally secure.   Eternal IN-security leads me into almost the opposite of each of these.   Don’t overlook the point being made here.  It may be very, very important.  You need a way to determine which “Christian view” is actually true.  This may be the very way.  Kind of a “compass”.  I hope I’m being clear but brief.

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15 thoughts on “How Do We Know What’s True?

  1. I’m not feeling “effortless fruits of the Spirit” 24/7 and yet I believe in eternal security. Not b/c of how believing makes me feel but b/c it’s logical to me. When one is born, one cannot get unborn. Your father is your father no matter what all you think, you are born of him. My fruit of the Spirit is sporadic but that has nothing to do with the revelation God has personally shown me, it just is real to me. No amount of intellectual explaining nor debate can convince someone who has not been shown God’s heart about things = revelation. It is all in the seeing.

    • Sky – I’m sitting here thinking only about your comment. So, another response that is a question. I’m limited by my own experience in my response. But…if a person (you…or me) really strongly, certainly believes that God is infinitely Love, and you are sure He has promised you (Skylla) that your eternity is 100% secure such that you don’t fear Him at all in that regard, and your Life here is very temporary and short, and your eternity will a “million times” better than your very best day on this earth, and NOTHING can thwart His intention/desire/decision that your future is that great…how can that not produce peace and joy (which are Fruit)? How can that NOT effortlessly free you from fear and deliver joy (Fruit)? Does not compute to me.

  2. OK. So far so good. I trust the point I was making here and believe is True and hope is helpful -that the presence of effortless (Fruit is generated only effortlessly, except for the effort of working on believing Jesus) Fruit can be a guide to our beliefs, it seems. Whatever beliefs, over time, creates peace/joy in your soul can be trusted to be True. I’ve never seen it thought of this way by other bloggers/writers/teachers. But, this seems to line up with scripture, with the experience of other Grace believers and with my personal experience. Love to dialogue on this if that would be helpful.

  3. Maybe this illustration will help. A car rolls across your foot and parks there. Do you feel peace and joy at that moment? Regardless of what I know or believe about something other than that particular moment, I still feel pain and don’t much like it. I do know that God can (it’s up to Him, not up to me) bring me peace and joy in the midst of that, but I can’t “believe” my way into it. Although it sounds like you have received, this is a gift from God – through Him, His revelation, by grace. I’m just not sure you can’t teach it, it has to come from God. This is my problem with the word of faith guys, they take a Biblical principle and try to manipulate one’s thinking into whatever the person wants for the enhancement of the flesh, or at least that’s the way it seems to me. It cheapens the riches of grace to try to get from God what we want.

    • You are doing so good with your questions. It SO helps me to see where it seems you’re temporarily “stuck”. I very quickly (2 seconds) felt I was clear on the content of an answer to you. But, I’m going to try to really take my time in this response to keep it clear, brief, True. You may “get this” in a flash. Or we may have to correspond several times (tennis volley) on this point to get there. Know that it’s not a burden on me (a joy, really) to volley when needed. Also, what I’m writing below can’t/doesn’t answer every conceivable follow-on question. So, I’ll be ready for quite a few of them after you read this. I’m not ignoring any of these follow-on questions. But, I want to answer the questions YOU have at this point, not the ones that I think you should have.

      The pain that you have from your temporal difficulties isn’t from those difficulties, in and of themselves. It’s from what you BELIEVE about those difficulties. (OK. Big swallow!!!) Follow me, please.

      (1) If you made a list of these difficulties that cause you emotional pain, you would see that in every single case, there is a lot “on the line” for you in each. You stand to “suffer loss” in this way or that if they don’t go well. God made you so that you crave “not ever suffering loss”. Back in the Garden, there was no such thing as suffering loss. So, “not suffering loss” (i.e., having perfect peace + joy with everything you need/want provided as a gift from God and not as a result of human effort) is in your basic design.

      (2) The Curse changed it all such that humans have to PROVIDE FOR THEMSELVES (I’m not speaking here of just money, food, etc. but of all the things we were designed to need and want). This part of the curse introduced fear of the future (of not getting what you want or need down the road), stress in the present (as you fearfully and with fatigue push to get what you want and need) and depression (when you look back and see all your failures).

      (3) (2) The Jesus Plan was God’s way of returning us to The Garden (I believe this is also now called The Kingdom of God in New Covenant lingo) – to be able to experience life the way A+E did before the Fall. His original and ongoing hope/dream for us. He hasn’t changed His mind on what He wants to provide for us.

      (4) So, part of the Jesus Plan was that our work/efforts would no longer be connected to getting our wants/needs met. God agrees in the New Covenant to provide all you need/want. Work (all forms of human effort except one, in my view – which I’ll touch on in a moment) is now intended only for our recreation, just as it was with in Eden before the Fall.

      (5) So, ideally, as we grow in Grace/the New Covenant/the Kingdom (there are so many “idioms” that speak of this same thing) we “let go” of trying to control these temporal events. We realize it’s not our job to “get good outcomes” or provide for ourselves (or those we love). Instead, we work on growing (the only work we are required to do) to TRUST HIS PROMISE TO PROVIDE RATHER THAN TRY TO GET IT FOR OURSELVES.

      (6) But, this God-provision is only real/tangible/experienced as we believe/trust Him. That’s why working to believe/trust is the most important and only work we are “required” to do as New Covenant believers. As we seek in the endeavor of believing/trusting, the provision (not just material things) flows. I see this in my life all the time.

      So, to sum up, I think until this email, you didn’t understand key part of the temporal aspects of Grace. You’ve understood the eternal aspects very well. Bring on the questions, friend!

      • If a person (1) knew (2) and fully believed what I’ve written here, they would live in peace/joy and the rest of the Fruit and be fully provided for. Very differently than how I lived for 60 years. Depression, addictions, anxiety, pride, greed, the list goes on and on as I tried to provide for myself (not only material stuff).

  4. What do you mean “the temporal aspects of grace” ? Can you explain/compare to the eternal. I see the 1-5 points you made yes. I don’t seem to know what I don’t know except I’m pretty sure I’ve a long way to go.

    • Thanks for asking.
      SKY WROTE: I totally know that I am infinitely wealthy through Christ, that He will NEVER leave me nor forsake me and that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and that I will not, ever be without a future of eternal happiness and joy and heavenly intimacy with Jesus AS God, Father, Holy Spirit, Life itself. And yet…….today life on earth is bearing down heavy on me, there are troubles right here in river city HA! More to do than i can do, something to lift that I cannot lift, relationships too confusing to describe, hell is people etc. A window to open that is stuck shut. Those kinds of oh so dramatic metaphors. And I still have my sense of humor too, by grace. All is grace, I know this. But ……. and therein is the problem eh? The But.

      SKY – I TOOK THIS TO MEAN THAT THERE ARE EARTHLY (TEMPORAL) MATTERS THAT CAUSE MUCH EMOTIONAL PAIN AND THIS EMOTIONAL PAIN CAN’T BE NEUTRALIZED BY REALIZING THAT ONE’S ETERNITY IS SECURE. OK. PLEASE IGNORE THE 1-6 DOCUMENT AND LET ME GO AT THIS A BETTER WAY.

      LET’S EXAMINE JUST ONE OF YOUR MORE TEMPORAL PROBLEMS (MORE TEMPORAL THAN YOUR ETERNAL SECURITY). LET’S TALK ABOUT MONEY FEARS. GOD HAS SAID THAT IF YOU SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, ALL OF THE THINGS YOU NEED MATERIALLY WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU. IF YOU CAME TO FULLY TRUST THAT, THEN YOU WOULD NO LONGER HAVE MONEY FEARS. YOU WOULDN’T EVEN NEED TO WORK VERY HARD TO SECURE YOUR FINANCES. IS THIS TRUE OR NOT TRUE FOR YOU? PERHAPS YOU WOULD RESPOND LIKE THIS, “WELL, I MAY STILL FEAR THE ‘SHAME’ OF NO LONGER BEING CLASSIFIED BY MEN AS A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS PERSON BUT AS A LOWER INCOME PERSON. THAT SCARES ME.” OK, I FULLY UNDERSTAND THIS COMMON FEAR. BUT, GOD SAYS THAT HE HAS DECLARED WITH ALL HIS AUTHORITY, AT THE MOMENT OF YOUR CONVERSION, THAT YOU ARE FULLY WORTHY, VALUABLE, PERFECT, LIFTED UP. YOU ARE, IN FACT, THE MOST VALUABLE, WONDERFUL HUMAN IN CREATION (TIED FOR FIRST PLACE WITH ALL OTHER BELIEVERS). SO, FOR YOU TO CLING TO THE UNTRUTH THAT YOUR VALUE WOULD BE IN ANY WAY DIMINISHED AS YOUR NET WORTH FELL FROM “X” TO SOME SMALL FRACTION OF “X” IS UNTRUE. THE PAIN CAUSED BY CLINGING TO THIS UNTRUTH, WILL IN FACT CAUSE FEAR AND EMOTIONAL PAIN. THE CURE IS TO BELIEVE WHAT GOD SAYS OF THE MATTER.

      I MEANT TO POINT OUT THAT YOU INDICATED THAT ANY ETERNAL CONCERNS ARE NON EXISTENT BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT YOUR ETERNITY. MY INTENDED POINT (POORLY MADE) WAS THAT THE PAIN CAUSED BY TEMPORAL CONCERNS CAN BE EQUALLY ELIMINATED BY COMING TO BELIEVE WHAT IS TRUE OF THEM ACCORDING TO WHAT GOD SAYS.

      HERE’S THE PROCESS FOR ANY AREA OF FEAR, STRESS, SADNESS OR OTHER EMOTIONAL PAIN. THESE EMOTIONS ARE ALWAYS CAUSED BY BELIEVING WHAT IS NOT TRUE. FIND THE UNTRUTH AND CORRECT IT WITH THE TRUTH AND YOUR EMOTIONAL PAIN WILL BE REPLACED WITH FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT, INCLUDING PEACE AND JOY.

  5. Ok I see your point and need to clarify. When you say “automatic or sustainable or durable peace and joy” are you equating that (which obviously is a feeling, right?) is that the same as what we perceive as pleasure? Is stress/frustration/suffering the antithesis of joy and peace? i’m asking in a couple of different ways so you catch the right nuance. Is this a discussion about pain vs. pleasure or am totally missing our goal here?

    • Sky – Yes, he wants you to live in great pleasure (peace, joy, Fruit). Stress, frustration/suffering etc. is opposite of joy/peace/pleasure. This is a vital insight. Most Christians think God is testing us and wants us to get great “grades”. And if we suffer to do it, then we just need to handle it. That is Old Covenant. We must stay on this point until you see it. It’s harder than you think to be able to see. If you need to get off these broader topics in order to examine the evidence that this is so, then we can do that. But, you must come to believe this Truth. It’s the heart of the real Gospel. And the heart of the experiences I’ve had for 2 years.

      • What you must see is that God wants every hour of every day to be a great for you as the very best moment you’ve had in your life. The Kingdom of God is bringing a heaven experience to your earthly life, before you die. He takes no delight in any sacrifices you make for him. Unless it’s out of the unspeakable joy of understanding The Gospel Truth. Priority One is for you to experience unspeakable joy because you’ve come to believe the True Gospel of the 100% Grace of God.

        Another point for you to ponder: I bet if you look in this whole blog, you’ll never see me talk one time about how I “need to” do this or that. Or that I “must get better” at that. Or “I’m really failing” at this or that. Or I “ought to” be more this way or that. None of these things are of my concern. I don’t try to be better at this stuff because I feel like I need to out of any obligation. That’s just dead works. These “improvements” can only occur as I grow to believe The Truth (The Gospel of 100% Grace) and then they happen automatically, joyfully, without effort as I seek to know the Truth, come to know it and work on believing it in the many ways that are available. The Fruit is God’s reward for us who have come to believe The Truth about Him, which is the only work He requires (John 6 again). Don’t try to “be or do” anything better. Try to learn what is the True Gospel and work toward believing it. Example, if I feel myself stressing and striving to “love someone” in a given situation, I know it’s not real. It’s dead works. It’s an attempt at self-righteousness. I then start my process of trying to figure out where I’m “off” in my thoughts/beliefs at that time and work to correct them.

        Here’s a good objection you might express. “Well, Rick, it sounds like you’re ‘trying’ awfully hard to teach others about Grace. How does this stack up with what you’re saying about not improving your performance?” No, friend. It’s fun. It’s joy. It’s what I can’t stop doing. It’s my addiction now. I experience no fatigue or stress in it. I don’t believe God “needs me” to do it. And I don’t fear failing at it.

        I want to repeat what I’ve said many times before. All I’m saying isn’t just me. There are millions who know these Truths. My personal spiritual experiences line up with theirs. My conclusions line up with theirs. Our words may be somewhat different on some matters.

      • I urge you to see some Joseph Prince messages on lightsource.com. And read escapetoreality.com and hischarisisenough.wordpress.com. My heart tells me that getting some confirming perspectives other than mine could help you greatly. I would not urge you in any matter of “ought to” except to come to believe in and on Jesus. The rest all comes as Fruit.

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