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Logo of GYC 2012 Acts: The Revolution Continues

Last Generation Theology: A Different Salvation?

Nick Miller

Conference

Recorded

  • December 31, 2012
    3:00 PM
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to this message and see what I see two thousand twelve hundred Seattle Washington and other resources and sent us online at www. IC with one heavenly father we thank you for the blessing that the old days have been with these faithful and devoted young people around the country and around the world I've been inspired to see their enthusiasm and their devotion and know that the church is in good hands for the future with young people so interested in the Bible and Bible study and outreach we pray for your Holy Spirit in our midst here as we tackle this important question may our eyes be opened may we have a deeper and richer view of this important topic as we look at both church history and a reformers and how they can help us as we study the Bible for ourselves we pray these things this afternoon in Jesus name amen sell a little bit about my background in Fessler at Andrews University in the seminary Church history Department I have a degree in theology and developed an interest in church and state went to law school practiced law for nearly a dozen years set largely in the area of religious freedoms in church and state and I was sponsored by the church to go and study Church history and I teach at the seminary in Andrews I have been interested in this topic of righteousness by faith and the final generation ever since I was a teenager began studying it in the church part of the being that I've developed it over the last few sessions here and looking at history one of the reasons that we need the help of history is that our own church is impacted by the culture that were in you were in business who influences that I talk particularly about an impact event visit impact of larger Christianity which activism is a part in the late twentieth century there was a rise in response to scientism and empiricism and the need for certainty in any kind of truth field Christianity as a whole respondent in one of two ways one group we call them the fundamentalists responded by saying yes the Bible is absolutely certain and perfect and we can prove that to everybody and that was where the theory of verbal inspiration developed that every word of Scripture was given by God in the Bible is absolutely perfectly consistent and can be proved to be such now that you recognize that Ellen White and our pioneers didn't embrace that form of inspiration they understood that it was more of a thought inspiration that God works on the human being the man and there is of the involvement of the human in choosing so there was a kind of artificial view of the Bible that was developed that while our pioneers rejected it has impacted our church especially after the death of Ellen White and why would never formally embrace that definition of inspiration all too often we treated the Bible as though we have embraced it that way and treated Alan light that way at times as well that's one influence because another influence on the opposite side what we call the liberal influence and said now we the Bible is imperfect it's not proposition the perfect only have her copies so really what's important is your experience in the Bible can tell you give stories of people who have experiences with God it's not true in the sense of telling us absolute truth about reality you need to have your own experience with God and they moved away from the belief in miracles and a belief in that that the Bible told us true statements about the universe of the the creation and in the sixties and seventies have church in some circles became more influenced by Matt brand of Christian theology and so today Adventism is caught in some ways between these two competing larger views of the world activism itself is neither at its core liberal or fundamentalist it is biblical which is has a somewhat different view than both those extremes when talking about these topics are generally identified talk about creation and the moral government of God scriptural authority is usually not server right side in a wrong side there's two extremes where we've been influenced by one of these competing streams of thought and then as a moderate middle ground that we often actually find greater insight to in the reformers in some of our pioneers and this can help us see where we are pulled in two directions by these other philosophies and the same is true of what I'm calling Adventism perfection in the final generation and it is set up my discussion of history by talking a little bit more about the present hour at least the last fifty years in the end this church before I came to the seminary that position that I hold in a church history department was held by quite a well-known scholar who is now retired that George Knight Professor Knight had an educational background it went into church history with one of the most prolific authors in the end this church for a long long time written on lots and lots of things and I think Professor night if I could write half of what he wrote I would have been very successful scholarly career and that remains to be seen whether I can do that and so I have a lot of respect for him he had some very important insights and Adventist history well I don't necessarily agree with him on everything and I'll share with you where I think he's made some important insights and perhaps where I would try to enrich some of his observations but one of his burdens was in this area of last generation theology and he went through what he described as a very legalistic conservative stage of his life where he tried to be perfect he was to be the first Adventist to be perfect and he spent a lot of time doing that until the burned out and became by his own a testimony agnostic and went out into the world and study philosophy employee had another a conversion experience and came back to the church but in analyzing the story of Adventism Professor night suggests that they are came into Adventism a stream of final generation theology through a theologian in the early nineteen forties and fifties now called ML Andreasen and Professor Knight suggests that in his book the sanctuary service Andreasen added or created conceptions of theology in the last generation that were unique to him now let me set this out and I'll suggest that that element Professor Knight is perhaps overstated his case but there is I believe some truth to what he says he says he makes three points three points he suggests Professor Knight suggests that MLM dress and make perfection perfection of individual Christians of Adventist as somehow part of God 's atonement for it as part of the plan of salvation and necessary for the salvation of the final generation that somehow this victory over sin this perfection was connected in some ways with salvation with the plan of salvation and with receiving salvation at the time of the he also suggested that perfection became a primarily along oriented works focused externally standard measured condition and finally that perfection created the perfection that M Andreason was proposing was creating an internally focused question of personal holiness and purity which caused people to turn in and look at themselves now I'm not sure that Professor Knight is exactly right in blaming and Andreessen for all those things I do think I've gone and read Andreasen myself and I think that there were some perhaps overstatements about the perfection of the final generation playing the role and connecting it to Christ's atonement which I don't think was perhaps the most healthy way of framing it what I think has happened is that certain fundamentalist elements in the church influenced by the larger fundamentalist movement which puts an emphasis on orthodoxy and external absolute standards of either true or right and wrong and have taken these elements and heightened these tendencies and created a vision of perfection in the final generation which is somewhat different than that as envisioned by Ellen White and some of the reformers now I want to go next and look at the three things that the three are you point that I've made in the first three but I will pray that the professor knife for all his observations does not explore perhaps see that what Elder though that what Professor Andreasen was setting out much of what Professor Nye criticizes can actually be found in some of the writings of Ellen White and Scripture and I'm not sure that that Professor Knight has been fully cognizant of that in his fatigues of Andreasen but there are some differences between the two and so let me set out what I see as the fundamentalist extreme on this position and I'll talk about the liberal reaction and that will set up our study of church history to help us see where perhaps the middle ground is the fundamentalist position on victory over sin has attended in some circles to take on a salvation focused as a salvation focus I should I should put it there is a suggestion where there is an experience that there's a difference standard for those living at the end of time if you want to be safe throughout history you can be saved without being absolutely perfect because he will die before the close of probation and you'll always have a mediator but if you want to be saved at the end of time you have to have perfect victory over sin and death were living at the end of time now how can you have the assurance of salvation without having perfection as well and the externally focused and command oriented which causes an inward focus on our own attainments the question sometimes becomes not saying anyone actually says the him patient has and I know because I've experienced it am I measuring up to the standards of the ten Commandments all the other biblical injunctions all of what Ellen White says and what the Holy Spirit might convict me of perfectly so I can be saved in these last days a properly understood we want to do all those things right but do I want to have to of done all those things before I have the assurance of salvation and if perfection is required in the last days and these are the last days then the feeling is as I can only have assurance if I'd done these things and I now for my own personal experience and the experience I've seen in others that this is all too often the experience that has been part of the discussion of perfection in the Adventist church and has been a reaction against this experience this feeling of legalism in our church on the liberal side of the church which is to say perfection is impossible at some biblical it's not taught by the Bible that either the character perfection is an unattainable ideal it's like a North Star right versus a harbor like you can get to a harbor like but you can't get to the North Star is just an ideal we should strive for them and God will come and take us there when it comes to heaven that's not really biblical another approach is disabled character perfection is only a legal idea when the converted Christ character stands in for ours and what perfect and that's the end of the story and all Christians who have faith are perfect and we don't need any more discussion about her all perfect as soon as we are accepting Christ but this these approaches overlooked Biblical and spirit prophecy statements about the possibility of perfection and victory over sin especially in the final days you can get around when I was a young person I was shown them and they haven't changed since then what has changed is my understanding of what Ellen White in the Bible actually we say perfection and their lies a very important lesson of history Communists summarize the points that emerge from these historical figures were going to look at and it will look at their actual quotes in the three important points that emerge is that perfection is concerned primarily with what I call the Odyssey it is something that happens at the time of the end that God does in his people for the glorification of God 's character and the culmination of the great controversy to show that in fact God is capable of saving people and saving them fully from sin and the focus is not salvation yes all those saved in the end will have overcome sin because they done through this experience but they don't have the assurance of that salvation until they attain the perfection there saved like everybody else's save down through history by faith in Christ and his righteousness the second point that emerges so it's it's not so carry allergy incidents the Odyssey the second point that emerges is that it's love perfection of love and not legalism perfection that is concerned with motives not legalistic we defined external conduct now it's incompletely separated if you have perfect motives are you to be doing wrong things all the time now but the till are important there connected and yet they're different if the focus is on motives first of all is an allowance for mistakes ignorance and errors you can do the most loving thing possible that you may misunderstand you may not be informed you may not do that which is you may make mistakes even if you're perfectly well motivated what if God 's and and and and just as important so that there's an allowance for human freedom is the sort of him perfection there's a sense that you have is the ten Commandments and then there's everything else in the Bible under his watch Ellen White wrote and is also what God prompts us to do through the Holy Spirit is a lot of different things to live up to and if perfection is defined primarily as carrying out the commands of outside agencies they be laws or commands or impressions from the Holy Spirit we can lead people into a sense that moment by moment they need to be following the voice of the Holy Spirit and of everything they're doing is not in accord with wax with there being directed worship being directed to do and they are falling away and not needing the standard section them in the Minutemen many of you have an encounter that experience in your life but I've had enough friends who then maybe on the edge psychologically anyway and when they're confronted with this kind of theology it pushes them over the edge and had friends in mental institutions because they feel are not quite living up to that voice of what God is telling them to do what if God 's will for you is not something that he tells you moment by moment now but get me wrong we should be the spirit moment by moment he may want to tell me some things in this very moment but what if most of the time God 's will for me or you is for you to do what it is that you want to do when the parameters of his law what if it is that yes he can especially guide us and impresses with his Holy Spirit but he wants us free to follow the desires and impulses of Barbara nude minds does that give you a new sense of what then God 's will and perfection can be about this isn't something I'm just making up I think it's a very important teaching of Scripture personal freedom what about achieving freedom not about becoming a puppet of a higher force as though every act and word that is directly I dictated to us Galatians five one puts this very well and of course this is the book written to those that are laboring under this kind of legalism it is for freedom that Christ has made us free therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject to a yellow of slavery God 's will is that we be free that we got could've made us robots right but he wants us to be who we ardently made us the one ascending he wants us carry out this freedom within the parameters of the law one of my favorite sex in the Old Testament Ecclesiastes young man follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes that's within the context of God 's law because the next phrase goes on to say the remember these things will you will be brought into judgment but the point is and of course the context is the converted and renewed mine once you've had this experience God wants you to live a life fully following those things that you love and desire within the boundaries of his of his law but it's certainly a different view it's a perfection that springs from the motivations within not trying to align yourself with a series of commands and rules from without denying the ten Commandments you know not doing that it's big it's the mirror that continues to suggest whether in fact you're fooling yourself about your motives in your desires if your motives and desires are suddenly taking contrary to one of the ten Commandments you're not in touch with God and what you should be and it becomes a check it brings you back the third point is that the perfection that we find in this strand of Protestant theology doesn't cause and inward focus like a navelgazing it becomes outward focus ironically the people that were concerned about perfection is early forties they were the ones that are most zealous to do away with slavery to work with society thing this perfection if you will be like when perfect society but they had a duty to try to make it as good as possible for everybody they quit as possible fighting against social injustice and righting wrongs feeding the poor freeing the slaves and all too often in our more modern version abandoned his that hasn't been the case so much it's been more of a retreat from the world of focusing on making ourselves the best people we can be and not not helping sure will work with society 's ills so let's go back in history and look at it those of you who are here earlier heard my lecture on the moral government of God I suggested it was a view of God opening himself up to the standards of justice and right and wrong and Jacob Arminius was one of the early reformers who helped develop this known for his belief in the freedom of the will that humans can choose right and wrong of course only through the grace of Christ in preventing and grace but interestingly this teaching on perfection of the possibility of overcoming sin also comes through the same line of thought these moral government of God thinkers and it's Arminius who opposes the Calvinistic teaching actually comments on Romans seven the good that I would I cannot do and that which I want to do I can't do Calvin said that the converted men which is always still be sending an always falling in Armenia says no this is the convicted man but not the converted L Arminius was an absolutely clear on whether Christian perfection was possible but he left open the possibility and said we shouldn't deny it the Scripture seems to allow for this we should allow for working to get the final word on it but it was where they open the door to but it was equally as clear that perfection was not the basis of assurance of salvation scheme wasn't it was justification perfection was perhaps something that could come later Ron and I mentioned Wesley being a follower of Arminius and the moral government of God and unsurprisingly Wesley also embraced an understanding of Christian perfection he had a couple of quite famous sermons and treatises on this question account of Christian perfection and thoughts on Christian perfection she developed the West Wing Holiness tradition with the belief in victory over sin or perfection it's unsurprising that Ellen White should be acquainted with this because she was raised what a Methodist so she came out of this tradition and while she did not agree fully with Wesley on every point of his understanding of perfection it's clear that some elements of her thought are similar very similar in echo Wesley in a number of ways Wesley was clear that perfection wasn't the basis of our sure it's not something we had to a tanning before we could rely on or were have the security and peace of salvation this was something beyond salvation for a greater intimacy with God and the glory of God we different from Ellen White is a view that as a sort of instantaneous event he called the second blessing and he believed that the people beyond the possibility of sending you claim this for himself Wesley did and Ellen White obviously did not accept those elements of which you can view this instantaneous you committed is a process and on this Earth with your sinful nature you would never be be on the possibility of sending but she and Leslie would agree on perfection not being the basis of salvation and the focus being the perfection of love okay which is the second important point of Leslie here what is Christian perfection well at Hamburg on thoughts on Christian perfection the loving God with all our hearts minds soul and strength this implies that no wrong temper more contrary to love remains in the soul and all the thoughts words and actions are got burned by your love he was fond of saying its perfection of love elsewhere he said perfection is nothing higher nothing lower than this but sure love of God and man a loving God with all our heart and soul and our neighbor as ourselves it is love governing the heart and life running through all our tempers words and actions so there's a central focus on the motivations and the motivations of the heart being fully mature and perfect he had some warnings about perfection because he realized that it could be misused and as I read his list I feel him seeking to such contemporary Adventism and some of his concerns pride and self-centeredness it's just when there is a focus on external perfectionism on reaching standards and focusing making those the focus there becomes a warrior about myself a focus on myself that can turn into a kind of narcissism and so concerned about myself and not so much about other people I'm frustrated with myself for not reaching the standards this frustration flows out onto other people because I hold these standards up to them as well he says we have to avoid enthusiasm and fanaticism of visions dreams and voices and this is an important point and I know me and in some making void any part of the law but some perfectionists even an earlier visit many years ago that disconnected perfection from law keeping it simple and perfect now that means everything I do is okay even if it looks like I'm breaking the law and Wesley said no and is a very important the quote here God has adopted every point of the moral law and grafted into the law of love for you then so while the focus is love it's not a denial of the standards of the ten Commandments Wesley said all of the moral law is engrafted into the law of love but what's the focus the focus is on the love and the motivation we have been there to make sure we're not fooling ourselves but it's an internal and sometimes people feel like while you're lowering the standard you're talking about a perfection of love not a profession of law we need to focus on the law you think about this what seems harder to do is make a list of do 's and do not think of the day and try to avoid doing the things are not supposed to do or to go through the day perfectly loving every human being the contact with which is harder beyond right we can try to do a list when we need to perfectly lovable and come in contact with we can only do that if were in touch with Christ and with God moment by moment basis is not a lower standard the higher standard in some ways but it's a higher standard that's less ultimately frustrating and overwhelming it's one that has me wanting to be in touch with God not focused on my own effort beware of sins of omission the focus on external conduct can actually cause me to overlook all the things that I could be doing you know about some not do this and that the other thing what about all the things that I could be doing if I was really looking at the people around me with love above all be aware of schism of making a rent in the church of Christ beware of the divisive spirit and we seen any sense of divisiveness or antagonism sometimes in the church associated with those pushing a certain kind of perfection agenda and it seems to for some reason have gone him and now one of the West Wing to believe this but I also talked about usually Calvinists were opposed to perfection because of their emphasis on strong emphasis on original sin but these new school Presbyterians the one that came to understand God 's moral government of love actually move towards adopting a view of perfection themselves Charles Finney the great evangelist the second great awakening Asa Mahanta they were both founders of Oberlin College Oberlin perfectionism is a contemporary with early Ellen White and also was characterized by three things purpose for God 's glory not obtaining salvation motives of love not external standards and outwardly focused and helping others here's Charles Finney on Christian perfection Christianity requires that we should do neither more nor less than the law of God prescribes it is true that the gospel does not require perfection of the condition of salvation so again finished making very clear assurance of salvation for work concerned with this issue but no particle obligation of laws discharged the gospel holds those who are underwritten the same holiness as those under the law is a pretty high standard this is very evident this misunderstanding but again not a condition of salvation and again a focus on love I am to show Kenny says what Christian perfection is or what is the duty actually required in the text is perfect obedience to the law of God the law of God requires perfect disinterested impartial benevolence love to God and love to our neighbor requires that we should be actuated by the same feeling attacked on the same principle that God acts upon himself that question again a very high standard the one that's focused on our connection with God and our motives in that connection and as far as the third point about social now reached the high was president of Oberlin College the first he admitted women admitted blacks to a college at a time when both of these were unheard-of the connection he made between perfection love and social concern and action was very clear in his writings and to historians one historian said Christian perfection was the foundation for his work in opposition to slavery his efforts on behalf of women in his advocacy of social reform Mohammed himself put it perfection and holiness implies a full and perfect discharge or entire duty in the final it is loving the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul dollars strength and our neighbor as ourselves it implies the entire absence of both selfishness of presence and all pervading influence of pure and perfect love love is the fulfilling of the law no what about Ellen White enough that I've made these three points I think if you go back and read Ellen White's tax on perfection and you see the context that she's writing in you will find that she's emphasizing these three same points made by these other Protestant thinkers and not so much the points that are often emphasized in contemporary discussions and presentations of perfection emphasis on God 's glory love rather than not instead of but the emphasis on law and an external other focus rather than a self focused but just look at a few of her statements on Ellen what I am God 's honor and glory the Savior came to glorify the father by the demonstration of his love of the Spirit was to glorify Christ by revealing his voice to the world the very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity we are of God the honor of Christ is involved in the perfection of the character of his people so what's the what are gone the honor of Christ our work is to strive to attain our sphere of action the perfection of Christ in his life on Europe the pain in every phase of his character he is our example in all things we are to strive to honor God in character the honor of Christ must stand complete in the perfection of the character of his chosen people but what about the assurance of salvation she disconnects that from perfection there are many seem to feel they have a great work to do themselves before they can come to Christ for salvation they seem to think that Jesus will come in at the very last of this struggle and give them help by putting the finishing touch to their life work and lose sight of the fact that Christ himself is the way the truth and the life when we individually rest upon Christ with full assurance of faith trusting along to the efficacy of his blood to cleanse us from all sin we shall have peace in believing that what God has promised he is able to perform we have peace only when he performs it or do we have to piece when we believe it and now we're open to him performing so important critical distinction and it's the difference between legalism and faith say with the apostle Paul and wife says I live yet not I but Christ within me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me rest in God he is able to keep that which you've committed to him if you will leave yourself in his hands he will bring you off more than conquerors through him and his love to SER to run you off as more than conqueror while it sounds like it's something I work that still needs to be done but you can have assurance now that he will do that the difference between and often I share this with students is between legalism in true righteousness by faith is whether your working out your salvation with fear and trembling are you working out that which you already have or are you working towards that which you do not have if you are working out that which you have you can do so with peace and assurance and a motivation of love if you are working toward that which you do not have you're going to be working out of a sense of fear and unhappiness and ultimately frustration she also has this focus on perfection while true sanctification through Cummins true sanctification comes through the working out of the principle of love God is love and he did well in love well it than God and God in him many those striving to obey God 's commandments have little peace or joy such is not correctly represent sanctification the Lord would have all his sons and daughters happy peaceful and obedience shoe sanctification means perfect love perfect obedience perfect conformity to the will of God we can focus on those last two statements are not on the first one she says right perfect obedience perfect conformity but she begins it with perfect love out of which only the other two can flow it was a scene in the ten Commandments itself the ten Commandments themselves can be a tablet of both the old covenant or the new covenant there is a grammatical ambiguity in the valve shall not they can be understood as they generally are his imperatives meaning you know you better not go and kill or steal a love story commit adultery the conjunction the end of the leave the Doctor Richard Davidson the Old Testament scholar than his tells me that they can be understood in a different way as being future descriptions of what you will be him the words and you will you trust in God you will not kill you will not commit adultery you will not hate this is a difference between a lobbying on the outside commanding it was what they were not to do in the lobbying on the inside telling you exactly you are looking to become and who you can continue to be as humane contact with Christ as far as you're under it trying to release something that you don't have it outside you you're working towards the salvation true religion and the third point about perfection and in dealing with others true religion will lead its possessor on to perfection your thoughts your words your actions as well as their appetites and passions must be brought into subjection to the will of God you must bear fruit and to holiness then you will be led to defend the poor the fatherless the mother was in the afflicted you will do justice to the window and will relieve the needy you will deal justly love mercy and walk humbly before your God is interesting that Ellen White takes this thing that we usually just relate to righteousness by faith and victory over synergy puts it into this whole social context that the things we doing for those around us which is just what Oberlin College was doing and it reflects the understanding of perfection of the day and we shouldn't be surprised it's the context of Matthew five forty eight being perfect as your father in heaven and perfect is exactly in the context of loving your enemies doing good of others wasn't so focused about issues of personal holiness though it's not disconnected from that as a final point that I think Ellen White brings out more clearly than the other reformers did once again I want to point out that she's drawing from a tradition but in going beyond that tradition and and building on it it was something they hinted at but which you see more clearly that perfection has closer to God is actually bringing us closer to a greater experience of joy in the Christian life and how often do we think of victory over center perfection and joy in the same breath and yet this is the context that Ellen White said throughout the and and the rest of the Bible does is well done God is our God he rules over his kingdom with diligence and care in his delta hedge the ten Commandments about his subjects to preserve them from the results of transgression requiring obedience to the laws of the kingdom God gives his people health and happiness peace and joy he teaches them that the perfection of character he requires to be attained only by becoming familiar with his work but the perfection of character means are coming closer to God and the hindrances of sin which of the things that bring depression unhappiness are falling away the Bible talking about closer to God close to joy in even closer to pleasure the Bible is actually higher pleasure not worldly pleasure that's destructive the pleasures that even win the world realize our enjoyable and uplifting here some of my favorite verses he will make known to me the path of life in your presence is fullness of joy at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore some sixteen eleven the like yourself also in the heart in the Lord and he shall give you the desires of your heart Psalms thirty seven four for God giveth to amend that is good in his sight wisdom and knowledge and joy in an more from this text that I quoted earlier rejoice young man during your childhood and let your heart be pleasant during the days of your young manhood and follow only posts in your heart desires of your eyes you know that God will bring judgment for all these things now is that this told too often we focused on a very final phrase remember positively wanted for all the things he wanted to so be careful but really the way this is framed the emphasis is on the first part is obviously in the context of a renewed heart of a converted heart follow your heart is those things that bring you life and pleasure remember of course the dorm all boundaries for your own good and you need to keep that in mind but otherwise you are free to follow this halfway of joy the New Testament is off all of these things if we focus on for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost these things we write so that our joy may be made complete by this love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment there is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves punishment and the one who fears is not perfected in love we love because he first loved us why is it that all too often our experience with perfection is Adventist has not brought freedom from fear that has brought a kind of fear with it I know I've experienced in my own life is because in many many many instances I think we've had the wrong focus in the right focus would bring us this love and joy and freedom from fear you can't really have joy when you have fear but you can't have fear when you have joy is joy only principle that we can have in the absence of positive feelings and experience that we often associate with pleasure and play with like to say that love is a principal so I can really disliked it was a person but I would choose the love you right the joy is something harder do not associate with positive feelings and not that we can always be generally happy and we have difficulties in sadness says and yet underneath it all we can have the joy that we know everything can become out all right in the end there is a joy that they can undergird even our times and experiences of difficulty in breathing CS Lewis says this about desires and joys become a favorite quote of mine indeed if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and a staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels seems our Lord finds our desires not too strong but to wait we are halfhearted creatures fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in Islam BG cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea we are far too easily please what is the chief end of man says the old catechism man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him for ever John hyper proposes a modification to this which I think is supported in some ways by things that Ellen White and the Bible say man's chief end is to glorify God by enjoying him forever the worship what is the highest pleasure in the universe we have a picture of it I think in the book of Revelation of the unfallen beings and some who'd been redeemed around God 's throne ringing phrases to God worshiping God adoring the most beautiful perfect object in the universe and dealing that brings the greatest joy does God require this because he's a narcissist who has to have the know what is with the people enjoying more four oh nine and worshiping and shouting at their favorite celebrities or sports teams or concerts know if the thing to do many of those that went out yesterday from door-to-door had trouble speaking to some of the man because unfortunately while went out when the Seattle Seahawks were playing a football game right and he had grown man shouting in their living rooms celebrating and this is what's bringing them joy but how much more celebrants were the is God the Creator of the universe and how much joy is there when we truly fully worship and celebrate him this is what perfection is ultimately about if we understand that unity with God and the praise and worship connected with that is the highest human joy and pleasure in perfect unity with God to be our greatest desire and longing and enjoy sin is anything that disrupts this pathway the full joy deepest pleasure and most profound fellowship and worship with media perfection the last generation theology differently if we understood complete victory over sin is the perfection of love absence of fear and full joy fellowship and true pleasure I think that's a final generation people would love to be a part of thank you for your time and attention over this session in the last few days God bless you in all of your efforts to walk closer and more joyfully with him as we learn from each other as we continue to try to learn from the great cloud of witnesses the reformers in the church that have preceded us it's been a pleasure to spend this time with you God bless you all and I think we've got a few minutes left that we could entertain some questions I there was we have another Mike or maybe I'll just repeat the questions as they come I don't about the this presentation or even any of the preceding ones as those we can make this a catchall session and you have similar been texted to me so while you're thinking when at times of refreshing come so the question is about the blotting out of sin and the times of refreshing that Peter talks about in the book of acts and what is your question about that yeah the text is a little bit ambiguous to me I certainly believe in the day of atonement in eighteen forty four in the cleansing of the sanctuary and that is a text that we have connected with that I been studying that with my wife recently because were having some sanctuary studies with a neighbor of ours and there's some other ways of if you look at new translations it seems to suggest that your sins may be blotted out so the times of refreshing shall come and it's not absolutely clear that this is a reference to the day of atonement is an ambiguity to it but I think that whether or not that refers to the day of atonement we do know there is a time when sins will finally be blotted out because of the sanctuary service Ellen White has some very clear and strong statements in the great controversy there comes a time when Christ leaves the sanctuary and does not act as an intercessor before he comes to the earth MLB a period of time when Christians lived not without a savior yes we've always had a Savior to the presence of the Holy Spirit we will always need God 's grace and presence but it comes in when apparently the sanctuary is not necessary now the way I would understand that is it's not necessary because everyone is fully committed and settled in and committed to Christ and being held by him and so once again it's not it we don't turn this into a doctrine about salvation if the doctor about God 's glory all those that could be saved are saved in the sanctuary is of no use anymore all those who are going to love God do and are fully rested in him and no more sinners are going to repentance so God is able to shut it down yeah so I have a question here on the ceiling is a question about the nature of Christ and nights view events in Andreasen 's view of it and that's a whole complicated topic that I would need another presentation to handle carefully and I think that will never perfectly know the nature that Christ had I think in reading the spirit of prophecy and the Bible there's two important crews that emerge that Christ is sufficiently unlike us to be our Savior if he was just like us he couldn't save us but he was also sufficiently like us to be our example and that we can through the power of the Holy Spirit follow his example and I'm firmly convicted on both points but that is a whole presentation accordance should be done on that that's just not this presentation today him moral perfection in the perfection of love are ultimately united it's just a question of which direction you approach it from and if you approach it from this from the mall site exclusively intend to get hung up in rules and external standards if you approach it from the love side that's the proper way to get them all aside right so I'm not denying moral perfection I'm just saying this is the wrong it's the wrong way to go about telling someone how to be perfect yes yup that's right that's right and so you know Wesley he makes this point clear that the entire moral laws and grafted on the law of love right but what do you start with right this is a very important point Israel started with the moral law and they failed in the end we need to start with the law of love and ironically will succeed where they fail in its import it's an important reframing of the issue that has profound experiential consequences at least in my experience and observations David him that one I will what do you think you are well in our data it might be easier to use the word mature but the fact is the Bible and on why use the word perfect imperfection and so I don't think we can abandon that but I also think we have to recognize that term has been abused and misused and there's this down to keep using the word fundamentalist but but but it is appropriate in terms of an attempt to show externally perfect so scientifically absolute exterior is no focused on external standards in a way that is a product of our modern thinking and not of the way online of the reformers thought about perfection in terms of internal motivation which would most too and make obvious external differences so I think they're that good there is a profound rethinking of this that happens somewhere in the nineteen between the nineteen twenties and nineteen fifties which has made perfection a very difficult thing for the church to deal with because it I often use and and and and connected with legalism and we can be perfect in every stage of development and in your present location she has about the special this goal this is an ultimate vision of the final group is going to achieve this and it's hard to discount those passages much as we would like to think we have to come to a more positive understanding of what they actually mean and I hope I'm what I'm proposing is helpful in that direction I know I will all will and will and will you I carrying out the affirmative love requirements of the law is much more difficult than carrying out the negative commands if you will the first question what I want to say what I am iron what we seem to have the example of you not only in Enoch is given as an example of those is at the end of time who will achieve have the same experience and down so I don't think it's something that's exclusive to the last days but I think in the last days what happens pressures are brought to bear sins are seen far more clearly the distinction between good and evil and right and wrong and people are forced to make choices which are deeper and more profound and therefore these characteristics are more fully expressed in their lives list on the back to Jonathan and all I will know that it doesn't and that's a good question it's done many as I would say this and you know if you choose to stop smoking have you actually sanctified yourself is not smoking holiness now you can stop smoking and stone holy are in a on a friend and I believe there is a and you are not doing it it are you loving me was a prison comes first Randy and I can give my body to be burned they can give all my goods to the poor these are external acts that seem to show love but does it really makes me loving and I think that the only thing that really makes me loving is the power of the Holy Spirit now can I cooperate to make and he help me remove obstacles to receiving that love yeah yeah but but we've got to remember that the actual change the actual love is coming from from God and I can only do these things with the right motives in the right love so far as I've received that grace and power from going to do it in the can convicted but not converted this was Arminius 's view and I think is and is a lot of different views on the anyway you uncomfortable when you die I am sympathetic with it with your video here the sense of God uses all forms of motivation to get us to comprehend right to say well God people are attracted by love for God uses fear there's some prophecies in the Bible are kind of scary and he challenges people but those fears and those challenges aren't the things that make people holding those the things and hopefully get people 's attention and get them to come to God and that there then motivations might be changed so they can actually begin doing the right thing so yeah I don't know another question maybe something else will help clarify this let's go here that the Chester and in you go ahead and this motivation of what we are scientists are coming more and more to understand that we really we use our reason our brain to justify those things that we otherwise love doing will give a whole lot of reasons for why we do something but ultimately we do it because we want to do it and the Bible talks about humans being in three parts heart mind and soul right after many advances we know what the right things are in our heart is kind of committed to doing it we want to be a Christian we go to church to understand the soul is that scene of the body where our affections actually lie and all too often we know what the right thing to do is were sort of committed to it but our souls have been shaped by popular culture popular music popular whatever it is and so when the time of temptation comes in with you the things that we know we should do and we think were committed to working with you do those things that our desires have actually been shaped to appreciate and all too often it's that and that's the him as often missing in this talk of victory over sin we make more and more listen the things we ought to noon we commit ourselves to those less like the children of Israel did and we overlook the affections sold building that would actually give us the motivation to those that's where I think we've often fallen short in this discussion just certainly yeah that was sort of like not smoking and and and do it is and is not holiness and perfection yet in the and and AAA that's right in the animal and end connected with that is that we have the peace and assurance of found celebration at that moment him a version rather than having to wait for them to leave the pain these are the things that's the difference between a life of grace a licensed life of legalism a life of frustration on the life of peace I leave on its chosen God is in it that's the choice we have this is what Arminius would say we can't choose to do those things are all the choice we have is to choose God then is a change and then we can choose the something right but we have the peace and assurance of salvation before we have to enter that other battle of choosing the things around us we can only do that successfully if we have that piece assurance and even enjoy Danny him him him him I is a you and I we need to and I have the signal so let's have a short prayer as we parked intimately father we thank you for your presence here we thank you for the conversation that we've had I pray that it's given us deeper insights into both the ideas and the experiences that we can have with you I pray that we all may enter into a more joyful walk with Jesus Christ and is a doctrine cravings things craving will be with her safety in Chinese and in this message was warning is in my seat device supporting Seventh-day Adventist seems a bit junkie and I and I sent as a download or purchase other resources visit us online sequencing when the a a a

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