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Old 11-10-2019, 04:29 PM   #1
Sons to Glory!
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Default How do you experience the Cross?

I've always struggled a bit with the concept and the application of the cross. I've realized for many years I held a most laborious and religious concept around it, and therefore generally practiced avoidance of the topic. Yet I knew it was something critical to the Christian life and have often prayed to be given light. Recently, I think the Lord has been showing me that I've been making it much more complicated than it should be.

In my morning time today a couple devotionals spoke to me about experiencing the cross. Then later I had a simple "demonstration" via the Anointing.

But before I tell you more about this, I wanted to put it out there for fellowship to see how my realization lines up with others. So what is your understanding of the concept and application of the cross in your life?
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
I've always struggled a bit with the concept and the application of the cross. I've realized for many years I held a most laborious and religious concept around it, and therefore generally practiced avoidance of the topic. Yet I knew it was something critical to the Christian life and have often prayed to be given light. Recently, I think the Lord has been showing me that I've been making it much more complicated than it should be.

In my morning time today a couple devotionals spoke to me about experiencing the cross. Then later I had a simple "demonstration" via the Anointing.

But before I tell you more about this, I wanted to put it out there for fellowship to see how my realization lines up with others. So what is your understanding of the concept and application of the cross in your life?
StG,

Can you first give scriptural “evidence” that Christians “experience the cross”? Of course, in the New Testament we are frequently told to “take up our cross” which indicates we have a cross to bear. We have sufferings as Christians, but “rain falls on the just and the unjust.” I don’t find verses to support “experience the cross” as something we are commanded to do. We have a cross to bear, take it and follow Him.

Is it possible that your question/concern is grounded in the unique teachings of Witness Lee? Lee often took “descriptions” of events in Scripture and “prescribed” actions as though they were scriptural commands.

When studying the Bible, it is important to determine whether the verse or passage at hand is descriptive or prescriptive. The difference is this: a passage is descriptive if it is simply describing something that happened, while a passage in prescriptive if it is specifically teaching that something should happen. Simply put, is it a description or a command? Is the passage describing something (it happened) or is it prescribing something (it should happen)? The difference is important. When a biblical passage is only describing something but is interpreted as prescribing something, it can lead to errant thinking and behavior..

https://www.gotquestions.org/descrip...scriptive.html

Lee was prone to complicating the simple gospel of Jesus Christ. Lee’s teachings were often so complex that we were dependent on him for interpretation and explanation on how to practice what he preached. (One church, one city for example.) This was a way to control us and make us depend on Lee.

Figuring out the “how to’s” is a real crazy-maker. (How to do “church”?)

Nell
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

Another provocative thread by Sons to Glory! Keep em coming bro!

My response is going to be pretty similar to Nell's great post.

Notice that our Lord said "Pick up your cross". He didn't say "go looking for your cross and then pick it up". There is no need for us to come looking for the cross. Trust me...the cross will come to you. In fact, if you go looking for the cross, and then find something that you think is the cross, trust me...it is probably not the cross. In my experience and observation, anytime we go looking for the cross, and end up picking up something that is not the cross, we end up losing out on the second part of Jesus's stern admonition "and come follow me".

This was one of the main features and emphases in the teachings of Watchman Nee - that we should always be looking around for a cross to pick up. It seems to me that the poor man was always and forever looking around for a cross to pick up. Eventually, the Lord saw fit to give him a cross to pick up all right - and what a cross it was. May God have mercy on all of those who would seek to follow him.
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

To reply to what Nell and UTH have posted, it's agreed that we shouldn't go about "looking for my cross." When I was a new believer and first hit the LC, I was given WN's book, "The Release of the Spirit." The preamble to this title was "The breaking of the Outer Man (for the release of the spirit)." This preamble always rubbed me wrong, and I suspect this sense was rooted in the inner Anointing. Over the years I tried several times to pick the book up, but my sense was always basically the same, and I never got through more than a couple chapters before setting it aside again (I recently donated my copy to the church library - maybe someone else will do better with it).

Bill Freeman was fond of saying that self examination is mostly just "morbid introspection," and this is to be avoided always, as it simply results in condemnation. He says the self is not qualified to examine the self, and that this should be left to the Spirit alone. (I might also say that this is a root of Christless religion, but I know many on here don't necessarily share the same aversion to the word "religion" as I do.)

Nell, I'm still considering your question as to the scriptural basis for experiencing the cross, and will come back to it when I have some more time . . .
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

Pick up your cross by loving your neighbor as yourself.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

More or less, teaching concerning cross among "local churches " is something related to LSM's agenda. For example, being crucified with Christ for keeping oneness among saints in the churches under LSM's control. If a sister complained how she is harrassed sexually by elder, she wouldn't be crucified with Christ and experience the cross. So, she should remain silent for proving that she has already been crucified with Christ. This is what we are taught in LSM about cross experience.
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

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More or less, teaching concerning cross among "local churches " is something related to LSM's agenda. For example, being crucified with Christ for keeping oneness among saints in the churches under LSM's control. If a sister complained how she is harrassed sexually by elder, she wouldn't be crucified with Christ and experience the cross. So, she should remain silent for proving that she has already been crucified with Christ. This is what we are taught in LSM about cross experience.
Thanks. What is your own idea/experience of the cross?
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

From this forum's "Quotes & Quips" for today:
Quote:
We do not filter the gospel; we just carry it. In this way the extraordinary is transferred within the confines of our daily “ordinary.” Each day I take the hope, love, and forgiveness of the Cross with me to the grocery store, on the plane, and to the office. I carry it everywhere my life takes me. These are the places where I offer the power and wonder of the cross.
- Lisa Bavere
Before I actually saw this quote I was considering something related to it while walking at lunch today and musing before Lord. If we substitute "Christ" for the words "the cross" (and for "it") in this quote, it makes good sense. That is, we often hear about "loving the cross" or "embrace the cross." But what is the cross without Christ? Of course nothing.

My point here is even something as cherished as the cross can be made something apart from Christ and therefore a distraction, right? If we really want the experience of the cross (death and resurrection life), the only way is through turning to Him! (Apart from Him we can do how much?)
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Old 11-12-2019, 02:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
Can you first give scriptural “evidence” that Christians “experience the cross”? Of course, in the New Testament we are frequently told to “take up our cross” which indicates we have a cross to bear. We have sufferings as Christians, but “rain falls on the just and the unjust.” I don’t find verses to support “experience the cross” as something we are commanded to do. We have a cross to bear, take it and follow Him.
Here are some verses to consider pursuant your question.

Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." Matt 16:24:25

"Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." Gal 5:24-25

Objective Fact: "For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." Subjective Action: "Put to death, therefore, the components of your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry." Col 3:3 & 5

Objective Fact: "Our old man was crucified with Him." Subjective Action: "If by the Spirit you put to death the practices of the body, you will live." Rom 6:6 & 8:13
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Old 11-12-2019, 02:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

I think I have a story that fits this question.

I have a relationship with my mom that is sometimes turbulent and troubled. Last year, once again, the spiritual warfare kicked up a notch and she stopped speaking to me again. I was very saddened and I probably was moping to the Lord regarding my situation, how I was never really loved by my parents, and I was in the word, and He just imparted to me this.....He said, I love you, and that is sufficient for you. You just do my work. And of course, this interaction with Him returned my joy and I was filled with satisfaction at the obedience to this word.

And the thing is, His love is sufficient. Or more than sufficient, actually. And He wants me to just keep on sharing His death, resurrection, and ascension with her, not looking for, nor expecting what I think is normal affection from her. The cross in this situation is to love her enough to just offer up Christs' sacrifice, and let her be her, love or no love returned.

I was really glad to have this experience of Him and I was strangely encouraged by your opening post/question, STG, because I also always struggled with understanding what is my cross, what is this, how am I supposed to pick it up if I don't know what it is, etc. A bit of a mystery to me.

So, now, I have to agree with other posters here about not going looking for your cross, He will show us. And He will give us everything required for carrying it. Grace, mercy, strength, love. He has it all on tap. Drink freely, brothers and sisters!
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

Thank you so much byHismercy for your heartfelt and helpful post! After all, the cross must be a very real, and very practical thing for us. Otherwise why would it have been such a central part of our Lord's ministry to his disciples, and why else would the apostle Paul have admonished us to only glory, to only boast "in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ"? (Gal 6:14) Surely "the word of the cross is the power of God" to those of us who are being saved (1 Cor 1:19), and it can be the only power that we hope and pray can bring our loved ones to the very same salvation.

The cross, like so many of the wonderful and glorious items of the Christian faith, is not only a fact of history that belongs to the past (it is most surely that), it belongs to all who would believe in the Lord from the time that He bore the cross, all the way up to this present day. And I think that byHisMercy's post reflects that, even with our faintest of cooperation, God can use us to speak the word of the cross into the lives of those around us.

Can we experience the cross? No, I don't think we can experience the cross. The cross was something that only one man could experience, because he was the only man called by God to experience the cross. Nobody before him could have experienced the cross, and nobody since Calvary could experience the cross. That was his to bear, and to bear alone, and I think we all would do well to keep this in mind.

All this being said, may the Lord grant us all his grace and mercy that we would be faithful and responsive to pick up any cross that he sets before us
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:02 AM   #12
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Here are some verses to consider pursuant your question.

Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." Matt 16:24:25

"Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." Gal 5:24-25

Objective Fact: "For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." Subjective Action: "Put to death, therefore, the components of your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry." Col 3:3 & 5

Objective Fact: "Our old man was crucified with Him." Subjective Action: "If by the Spirit you put to death the practices of the body, you will live." Rom 6:6 & 8:13
I dunno STG. It appears to me that these verses point more to the workings of the Spirit; that is, in bearing the cross you allow the Spirit to do the work....it’s not something separate from the Spirit or something we could ever figure out.

I think, as UntoHim alluded, He experienced the cross so we wouldn’t have to. For our part, we pray, trust, obey...walk the path in front of us taking and bearing our cross. We can make the choice...we can choose Him. He is the Great Physician who can diagnose and heal by whatever means He decides. He is the Potter. We are the clay. We don’t need to concern ourselves with how He works...just that he is the willing and doing of his good pleasure.

Anyway, I think that’s what I think about that.

Nell

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Old 11-14-2019, 08:20 AM   #13
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

The promise:
Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. (John 14:19)

The fulfillment:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

The way we "experience" the cross is the very same way we "experience" the resurrection - it is in and through "the life I now live", and the life I now live begins when we get out of bed in the morning. Yes, to be sure, there is a battle to be waged between the old man and the new man, between the old creation and the new creation, and between the kingdom of this world and the Kingdom of God. There is the cosmic war without, and there is a cosmic war within.

The simple fact is that our Lord Jesus has actually won the cosmic war without - he did this through his all efficacious death on the cross. But the story did not end there: "Because I live, you also will live". He experienced death - He tasted death, so that we could experience life. The life that is really life.

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Old 11-14-2019, 08:56 AM   #14
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

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I dunno STG. It appears to me that these verses point more to the workings of the Spirit; that is, in bearing the cross you allow the Spirit to do the work....it’s not something separate from the Spirit or something we could ever figure out.

I think, as UntoHim alluded, He experienced the cross so we wouldn’t have to. For our part, we pray, trust, obey...walk the path in front of us taking and bearing our cross. We can make the choice...we can choose Him. He is the Great Physician who can diagnose and heal by whatever means He decides. He is the Potter. We are the clay. We don’t need to concern ourselves with how He works...just that he is the willing and doing of his good pleasure.

Anyway, I think that’s what I think about that.

Nell
Amen - yes, exactly! It is only by the Spirit in and through us. Religion (and complexity) are in a mis-rendering of the verse, "If, by the Spirit, you put to death the practices of the body, you will live." That verse conveys it simply. But if we take out the "by the Spirit" part, then we are left with thinking we have to put to death something.

What I'm beginning to see these days is the cross is a much simpler thing than I had thought. It is just turning to Him and obeying Him - then His life is allowed to operate and grow in us in that area. There is no onerous putting to death whatever it is, because it's experienced in Him and His life in us.

Does that make sense? Me, doing anything other than turning to Him and trusting Him, is pointless.

UntoHim - ditto!
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Old 11-15-2019, 03:15 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Amen - yes, exactly! It is only by the Spirit in and through us. Religion (and complexity) are in a mis-rendering of the verse, "If, by the Spirit, you put to death the practices of the body, you will live." That verse conveys it simply. But if we take out the "by the Spirit" part, then we are left with thinking we have to put to death something.

What I'm beginning to see these days is the cross is a much simpler thing than I had thought. It is just turning to Him and obeying Him - then His life is allowed to operate and grow in us in that area. There is no onerous putting to death whatever it is, because it's experienced in Him and His life in us.

Does that make sense? Me, doing anything other than turning to Him and trusting Him, is pointless.

UntoHim - ditto!
...and obedience!

1 Samuel 15:22 ...obedience is better than sacrifice. And I don’t mean obey the teachings of Lee...or the “blendeds”. By the time I left “it” I was convinced that it was much “easier” to follow Jesus than it was to follow Lee, or the likes of the truly merciless Ron Kangas!

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

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Old 11-15-2019, 08:01 AM   #16
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...and obedience!

1 Samuel 15:22 ...obedience is better than sacrifice. And I don’t mean obey the teachings of Lee...or the “blendeds”. By the time I left “it” I was convinced that it was much “easier” to follow Jesus than it was to follow Lee, or the likes of the truly merciless Ron Kangas!

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Nell
Pursuant to what you wrote, I woke up this morning with this old song (that gets sung very infrequently around here) in my head:

Trust & Obey
For there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus
Than to Trust & Obey

I must admit I never really liked that song much and it always sort of bugged me. I've had some issues with authority my whole life, and I guess I just don't like the idea much of obeying anyone . . . But as I've been asking the Lord to show me more, and to simply my complex thinking around the cross, this idea is pretty simple, isn't it!?
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:00 PM   #17
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Trust & Obey
For there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus
Than to Trust & Obey
Yep. I thought of that wonderful classic hymn, too.

The gospel of Jesus had to be simple enough for the entire world of different people to understand from the youngest to the oldest. I got saved as a 5 year old...I understood enough to sing “come into my heart Lord Jesus...”

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Old 11-16-2019, 09:59 AM   #18
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Yep. I thought of that wonderful classic hymn, too.

The gospel of Jesus had to be simple enough for the entire world of different people to understand from the youngest to the oldest. I got saved as a 5 year old...I understood enough to sing “come into my heart Lord Jesus...”

Nell
Amen the simplicity - everything is found in Him . . . even the cross! Even the willingness to obey is found in Him, as Phil 2:13 says, "For it is God who works in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure."

So here is the little experience I had that I mentioned at the start of this thread. In my previous experience, whenever God is speaking to me, He sort of "sounds the same note" repeatedly. So last Sunday, the cross was the note He was playing for me, and in my devotional readings that morning the message and simplicity of the cross was coming through much more clearly than ever. Then I went to a Sunday gathering and heard a bro speaking on Galatians. Afterward, several people stood up to share things related to the message. I had two things in me I thought were really good, but didn't know quite how to convey them. So inwardly I gave it to Him and asked for guidance. I could easily share both points, but knowing my tendency to be on the verbose side, I didn't want to say more than I needed to. So I trusted Him and stood up, and shared on one of the points. After I said a few things about it (it was good and flowed well, and was well received), I had the sense that it was enough. I hadn't shared the second point I wanted to, which I thought was also a very good point to make. But, as the Anointing conveyed, what I had said was enough.

Immediately upon sitting down, a sister stood up and began to share the second point I was going to make. I thought, "Lord, there it is . . . you are so faithful." Afterward, I shared my experience with this sister and her husband, and we all had a little laugh. Her husband said that he sensed I had something else to say when I sat down, but now he knew the rest of the story. So that was a small, but meaningful experience for me. And I marvel at how He speaks something, and then follows-up with a simple experience to help cement the concept!

Here's the entirety of the Trust & Obey song mentioned earlier - the words convey things so well! (I especially noticed verse 3!)

Quote:

1 When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.


2 Not a shadow can rise,
Not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear,
Not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

3 Not a burden we bear,
Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
Not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.

4 But we never can prove
The delights of His love,
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

5 Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do;
Where He sends, we will go,
Never fear, only trust and obey.
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Old 11-25-2019, 11:44 AM   #19
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

Pursuant to this thread I read this today in a devotional and thought I would post.

Quote:
The Objective and Subjective Cross November 24th

"When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear
with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are
on the earth."
COLOSSIANS 3:4-5

Our minds must be renewed with the revelation of the objective
cross in order that we could experience the subjective working
of the cross. These two aspects are connected in Colossians 3:3 and
5. In verse 3 the objective aspect is given: "For you died, and your
life is hidden with Christ in God."
That is the fact, and nothing can
change it. Our feeling cannot change it. The atmosphere cannot
change it. Whether we believe it or not, it still remains a fact.
Disbelief cannot eradicate it. The fact is the fact. We died. This is
the objective cross.

Then in verse 5 we see the subjective side: "Therefore put to
death your members which are on the earth."
This is the subjective
working out of the cross. So the two sides of the cross are revealed
in Colossians 3: "You died" in verse 3, and "put to death" in verse
5. We put to death our members which are on the earth because we
died. The objective truth is that we were crucified with Christ. But
now subjectively we need to apply this and experience it.

By knowing the truth, you know exactly how to relate to
yourself. You know how to relate to your reaction. You know how
to relate to that ugly thing rising up in you. You are not looking at
it, being anxious about it, or hoping that it will somehow disappear.
You are not in that false kind of realm, wishing for a change. Once
you have seen the fact that your old man was crucified, that you died,
then when that reaction rises up in you - when you feel it, when you
sense it - you know your position with it. You know exactly how
to relate to it. You say, "That is not me anymore. That thing died,
and right now I am going to put it to death." This is faith. This is the
exercise of our spirit of faith. This is being clear and knowing what
the truth is. So we can see how crucial it is for us to know the facts of
this revelation from the Word - that our old man was crucified.
It is good to declare it. It is good to announce it and then to apply the
subjective working of the cross by the Spirit.
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Old 11-26-2019, 07:16 AM   #20
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

From reading that devotional piece (see previous message) I was once again reminded of how the New Covenant operates. That is, Jesus has done it all - now it is our job to believe and appropriate the facts of His work and have it applied it in our individual lives. The spiritual, universal truth has been established by Him - He's won the victory! Yet we still have to agree with Him, to allow it to become a reality in our own lives. Therefore, there is always the objective truth of His work, and our subjective realization of it.

So I don't know if anyone is still following this thread, but your fellowship regarding this is appreciated!
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Old 11-27-2019, 12:33 PM   #21
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The promise:
Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. (John 14:19)

The fulfillment:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

The way we "experience" the cross is the very same way we "experience" the resurrection - it is in and through "the life I now live", and the life I now live begins when we get out of bed in the morning. Yes, to be sure, there is a battle to be waged between the old man and the new man, between the old creation and the new creation, and between the kingdom of this world and the Kingdom of God. There is the cosmic war without, and there is a cosmic war within.

The simple fact is that our Lord Jesus has actually won the cosmic war without - he did this through his all efficacious death on the cross. But the story did not end there: "Because I live, you also will live". He experienced death - He tasted death, so that we could experience life. The life that is really life.


-
Yes, apart from Christ’s resurrection we wouldn’t experience the cross.

For example Romans 6 covers our being united with Christ in both His death and resurrection, then goes on to say we reckon ourselves as dead to sin and alive to God through Jesus Christ. https://biblehub.com/bsb/romans/6.htm. Hallelujah we have both in Christ.
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Old 11-28-2019, 08:12 AM   #22
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

I note that, in a different but related way, Paul said that we ARE crucified with Christ, not as something to figure out how to do.

While definitely more extreme, Lee's theology is not that dissimilar to much of evangelical/fundamental theology in that it misreads Paul and then forces that misread to color the reading of the "primary" text in the gospels. Rather than centering on Christ and his words, actions, example, etc., then reading Paul through that lens, the whole thing is turned on its head.

Makes for a Christianity that does not really resemble what Jesus taught.
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Old 11-28-2019, 09:40 AM   #23
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I note that, in a different but related way, Paul said that we ARE crucified with Christ, not as something to figure out how to do.
Yes, our part is to believe and apply the reality He's accomplished!

We had the best and most practical fellowship around this, this morning at the weekly brothers' breakfast. How in those hot moments of reacting to our spouses (for instance) we can just say, "Lord, here comes this reaction in me. I don't have the goods to handles this well, but you do as the One living in me - be my reaction to this situation!"

May everyone have the most blessed and thankful Thanksgiving Day - He's done it all and is leading us into glory!!!
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Old 11-30-2019, 12:52 PM   #24
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Lee says “so subjective is my Christ to me, real in me and rich and sweet. All inclusive is my Christ to me. All my needs he fully meets”. But, If one asks where is the living that compares to “the one who went around doing good and healing all of those who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38) the answer is “doing good is from the wrong tree”.

When I ask “Brother Lee” to review whether a matter handled by brothers he appointed in my locality was done righteously or not, he says, “ I don’t feel that is the Lord’s leading”. (true story) The objective truth gets lost in a sea of subjectivity (what he “feels”).

“What would Jesus do?” is lampooned as “Fallen Christianity” in TLR when a good dose of that is exactly what is needed.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:51 PM   #25
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“What would Jesus do?” is lampooned as “Fallen Christianity” in TLR when a good dose of that is exactly what is needed.
WWJD is usually just an attempt to outwardly act out what someone thinks the historic Jesus would do in that situation. But the proper model and application of WWJD for us, is that Jesus would seek the Father in the situation, to know and do the Father's will and to die to His own will.
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:56 PM   #26
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WWJD is usually just an attempt to outwardly act out what someone thinks the historic Jesus would do in that situation. But the proper model and application of WWJD for us, is that Jesus would seek the Father in the situation, to know and do the Father's will and to die to His own will.
Sorry, that's an awful big generalization STG
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Old 12-02-2019, 08:42 PM   #27
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Sorry, that's an awful big generalization STG
Okay . . . what's your definition of WWJD? Wasn't He always about His Fathers will and work? In my understanding, Jesus was constantly looking at the Father in a living and constant interaction with the Father, in order to do nothing out from Himself, but only what He saw His Father doing, right?

WWJD always seemed to me to be a human-contrived way to do what we read about Jesus doing in the gospels, by trying to superficially apply those examples to our own situations. In my mind this is just an outwardly religious effort, rather than something coming from an inner life relationship with Christ. Sure, the Lord's example of human living is the perfect model, but to apply it takes a moment by moment relationship with Him in spirit . . . it's via His life in us, not something we produce by our own effort.

Does that make sense?
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:56 AM   #28
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WWJD is usually just an attempt to outwardly act out what someone thinks the historic Jesus would do in that situation. But the proper model and application of WWJD for us, is that Jesus would seek the Father in the situation, to know and do the Father's will and to die to His own will.
Shouldn't we allow young people their catchy slogans and movements to help them "stop and think," setting their hearts and minds on the Savior?

It was always so characteristic of WL to condemn all things not originating with him. Should not we now consider ourselves recovering judgaholics, and give others a little liberty?
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:11 AM   #29
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Shouldn't we allow young people their catchy slogans and movements to help them "stop and think," setting their hearts and minds on the Savior?

It was always so characteristic of WL to condemn all things not originating with him. Should not we now consider ourselves recovering judgaholics, and give others a little liberty?
Well, then, let's stop judging all things WL and LC!

I get your point, and don't want to labor it too much. Just my opinion.

To me, the outward model of WWJD? is like the law. The Christian life is impossible without the life of Christ within us. So we may think about how Jesus would handle a situation and want to do that, but it's only possible by turning to Him and (for instance) saying, "Lord I really want to love this person and care for them, but it's just not in me to do that properly. Lord, you are my real life, so please live and do this through me!" Therefore, WWJD? is like the law: a child-conductor to lead us to the reality of His life within!
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Old 12-03-2019, 02:30 PM   #30
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Well, then, let's stop judging all things WL and LC!

I get your point, and don't want to labor it too much. Just my opinion.

To me, the outward model of WWJD? is like the law. The Christian life is impossible without the life of Christ within us. So we may think about how Jesus would handle a situation and want to do that, but it's only possible by turning to Him and (for instance) saying, "Lord I really want to love this person and care for them, but it's just not in me to do that properly. Lord, you are my real life, so please live and do this through me!" Therefore, WWJD? is like the law: a child-conductor to lead us to the reality of His life within!
It's not a law, it's a reminder, by wearing a bracelet.

Did you ever write a "to do" list or were you ever given a "honey-do" list?

Stop! Tear them all up! You just put yourself under the Law!

I have the mind of Christ! I don't need no list.
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:10 PM   #31
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Okay . . . what's your definition of WWJD? Wasn't He always about His Fathers will and work? In my understanding, Jesus was constantly looking at the Father in a living and constant interaction with the Father, in order to do nothing out from Himself, but only what He saw His Father doing, right?

WWJD always seemed to me to be a human-contrived way to do what we read about Jesus doing in the gospels, by trying to superficially apply those examples to our own situations. In my mind this is just an outwardly religious effort, rather than something coming from an inner life relationship with Christ. [Sure, the Lord's example of human living is the perfect model, but to apply it takes a moment by moment relationship with Him in spirit . . . it's via His life in us, not something we produce by our own effort[/u].

Does that make sense?
Your first paragraph is a good summary, I don't take issue with. The second paragraph is consistent with what I was taught in TLR, and I too had made the same sort of generalizations (underlined by me) and had dismissed WWJD as having any value whatsoever.

As you admit (, in bold, Jesus is the perfect model, as the gospels and apostles' testimonies documented. Therefore WWJD has value as one is considering the myriad options life presents us and to check on what comes out of the moment by moment relationship with Him in spirit.

For example. Do you recall Jesus ever turning someone down who asked for His help/ "Sorry, I just don't feel that is the Father's leading"? I sure don't.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:25 AM   #32
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

Regarding WWJD, I also remember a time when I looked down my nose at that "christianities' version".....but contemplating this conversation now, the Lord led me to consider again

Proverbs 3:6....In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.

How precious the faith displayed by those, His children, holding forth this idea (WWJD), and how precious this acknowledgement of Him.

And likewise how precious the faith of ones seeking to intimately receive His personal leading....

I cannot find fault with either. But I think it folly to pretend the Christian with WWJD as their concept somehow falls short of this interpersonal and real experience of the Lord. If they received Jesus as their Lord, He already has that direct line to their hearts and minds same as He does in me, and the lie we believed from Lee was that there was some kind of difference in the connect to their savior, vs. the All Superior connect we had with our savior in the LC.

Can anybody hear exactly how ridiculous that sounds now? Total folly, total foolishness. LC put too much emphasis on our part, somehow. That concept of exercising our human spirit to open the channel between us and God....there is something true in that and something so disturbing to me.....something niggling my brain, that wants to call that works. Vain, dead??? works. I don't know. I have been thinking about it for a long time and I haven't quite worked it all out. So far, in my experience, my effort is not worth much....really pitiful....but the Lord brings me on, as He is doing in all His children. He will finish what He began in all of us, He said so, right?

I hope I don't speak too prematurely, here. I'll let you know if He gives me any more clarity on the matter.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:24 AM   #33
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

What do y-all think of this statement:

The Christian life is impossible without the life of Christ within us.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:04 AM   #34
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What do y-all think of this statement:

The Christian life is impossible without the life of Christ within us.
The answer is simple. It is definitially impossible.

The problem is that there are so many trying to define what it means to have the life of Christ within us. Some try to say that you need to have had your morning watch to have the life of Christ within you (or within you sufficiently) to actually live the Christian life. Or be "calling on the Lord" somewhat regularly. Or thinking spiritual thoughts.

But Peter said we had all we needed for life and Godliness. And though never as directly stated, Paul did also when he declared various aspects of our union with Christ as facts, not things needed to be undertaken or worked-up.

Yet, while I understand the meaning of the statement you quoted when its source is presumed to be from a leader of the LC, it is a true statement. Those who are not believers cannot be said to have the life of Christ within them. And no matter how much they may seem to live a life that is like that of a Christian, they can never be said to live the Christian life.

So, as a statement without context, it is entirely true. But when understood in the way it was intended, it is nothing short of slander on the status of non-LC Christians.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:27 AM   #35
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The Christian life is impossible without the life of Christ within us.
Sons to Glory!,
I guess my question would be "what do you mean by 'The Christian life'?" If you mean to subjectively experience the life of God and all its various aspects, such as love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, peace, etc in our inner man, then I would agree that the Christian life is impossible without the life of Christ within us. Yet the Christian life also has an objective, observable and assessable aspect as well. As a matter of fact, according to the teachings of the Lord Jesus, and those of the scripture writing apostles, the real test of whether or not we actually have the life of Christ within us is discernible by the words that come out of our mouth, and even more by our actions. When taken to extreme, the notion that Christian life is merely "the life of Christ within us" leads to the imbibing such absurd teachings as "we don't care for right or wrong, we only care for life!". To be sure, the history of the Local Church of Witness Lee has shown us the damage that ensues when people imbibe such teachings.


A man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.
Mark 10:17-22

To put some meat on the bones of what I'm trying to say here, I have just posted the story of the rich young man who asked the Lord Jesus "what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Firstly, I would note that the Lord did not answer "eat my flesh and drink my blood", or even "believe in Me". In fact he reiterated a number of the the 10 Commandments - the law. The young man was quick to proclaim "All these I have kept. What do I still lack?" The Lord Jesus did not tell this man "good job, you have done all the outward things, now you have to eat my flesh and drink my blood and believe in Me". No, the Lord went deeper and farther with the outward things: "go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." It seems to me that this parable shows us that God cares very much for our outward actions. The Christian life is not solely defined, nor assessed by our subjective realization and experience of the life of God within. No, we are no longer under the law, but we are still bound and obligated to "fulfill" the law in our words, behavior and actions. To say that "we only care for life" is an affront and offence to God and his Word.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:34 AM   #36
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The answer is simple. It is definitially impossible.

The problem is that there are so many trying to define what it means to have the life of Christ within us. Some try to say that you need to have had your morning watch to have the life of Christ within you (or within you sufficiently) to actually live the Christian life. Or be "calling on the Lord" somewhat regularly. Or thinking spiritual thoughts.

But Peter said we had all we needed for life and Godliness. And though never as directly stated, Paul did also when he declared various aspects of our union with Christ as facts, not things needed to be undertaken or worked-up.

Yet, while I understand the meaning of the statement you quoted when its source is presumed to be from a leader of the LC, it is a true statement. Those who are not believers cannot be said to have the life of Christ within them. And no matter how much they may seem to live a life that is like that of a Christian, they can never be said to live the Christian life.

So, as a statement without context, it is entirely true. But when understood in the way it was intended, it is nothing short of slander on the status of non-LC Christians.
Okay, I get it. But not everything has to be answered by how the LC has twisted something, does it? As you said, the answer to it is simple - No, the Christian life is not possible without the life of Christ within us.

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"I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? After starting in the Spirit, are you now finishing in the flesh?" Galatians 3:2-3
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:55 AM   #37
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Sons to Glory!,
I guess my question would be "what do you mean by 'The Christian life'?" If you mean to subjectively experience the life of God and all its various aspects, such as love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, peace, etc in our inner man, then I would agree that the Christian life is impossible without the life of Christ within us. Yet the Christian life also has an objective, observable and assessable aspect as well. As a matter of fact, according to the teachings of the Lord Jesus, and those of the scripture writing apostles, the real test of whether or not we actually have the life of Christ within us is discernible by the words that come out of our mouth, and even more by our actions. When taken to extreme, the notion that Christian life is merely "the life of Christ within us" leads to the imbibing such absurd teachings as "we don't care for right or wrong, we only care for life!". To be sure, the history of the Local Church of Witness Lee has shown us the damage that ensues when people imbibe such teachings.


A man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.
Mark 10:17-22

To put some meat on the bones of what I'm trying to say here, I have just posted the story of the rich young man who asked the Lord Jesus "what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Firstly, I would note that the Lord did not answer "eat my flesh and drink my blood", or even "believe in Me". In fact he reiterated a number of the the 10 Commandments - the law. The young man was quick to proclaim "All these I have kept. What do I still lack?" The Lord Jesus did not tell this man "good job, you have done all the outward things, now you have to eat my flesh and drink my blood and believe in Me". No, the Lord went deeper and farther with the outward things: "go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." It seems to me that this parable shows us that God cares very much for our outward actions. The Christian life is not solely defined, nor assessed by our subjective realization and experience of the life of God within. No, we are no longer under the law, but we are still bound and obligated to "fulfill" the law in our words, behavior and actions. To say that "we only care for life" is an affront and offence to God and his Word.
Jesus told us to be perfect too, and love those that spitefully use us - let's try that without His indwelling! Yes, as James tells us, faith without the outward manifestation (works) is dead. Jesus also told us that apart from Him we can do how much? Exactly nothing. So we begin and finish by the Spirit. Nothing else cuts it, period.

If a man could do all the things outwardly that Jesus spoke of in the so-called Beatitudes, he would still be dead and completely in vanity without Christ's life within animating him - it would amount to zero. One little word spoken or one small action taken through the life of Christ within is much more than 10,000 good things without Him.

And, sorry, I really don't care what was preached or twisted by WL or the LC. That was then and this is now. Erroneous things were conveyed and still are, but that's life swimming in the cesspool of the world we're in (and of which He has ultimate control).
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:05 PM   #38
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Okay, I get it. But not everything has to be answered by how the LC has twisted something, does it? As you said, the answer to it is simple - No, the Christian life is not possible without the life of Christ within us.
Don't forget that you are asking the question in the middle of a context — "Making sense of the Lord's Recovery Movement."

So, as we both said, without context, it is entirely true. Those without the life of Christ (the unsaved) cannot live the Christian life.

But there are those who are busy (within the context of LC/LRM theology) declaring that there are many impediments to living the Christian life. Even reasons that you should not try (at any particular time). And they even make statements suggesting that you are not "in Christ" if you have not been engaged in certain kinds of spiritual activities, much of which involve peculiar LC practices or the reading of LC "editorial" materials (writings of "The Ministry").

So, on what basis do we think that we need to try to figure out how it is that we "experience the cross?" I'm not saying that it does not happen, or is somehow a completely wrong theological question. But rather, on what basis do we need to be seeking to figure out how it is that we "experience the cross?" Is there some statement that suggests we need to be figuring this out?

I would think that it is more likely that we need to seek to understand what it means to live the Christian life — a life that displays the nature of God/Christ. Not just figure out who can live that life (I think we already know).

That doesn't mean evangelism in the popular sense, but righteousness and love. Be the ones who are pure in heart, hungering and thursting for righteousness, etc. Something that displays the One that we have found to be the "beautiful One," as a song has said. The One that we can be seen to trust in when things are not going our way (when you don't move the mountains I'm needing you to move). The One that is mighty to save.
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:36 PM   #39
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Thanks for getting us back on track, Mike! (I was wondering just what WWJD? had to do with the topic of experiencing the cross - not sure . . .)

I think it all (including experiencing the cross) has to be quite simple: Seek Him, listen to Him and obey Him. Everything He has for us is already there in Christ, that is, in the indwelling Spirit, right?

Maybe this is trying too hard figure out the exact formula . . .
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:38 PM   #40
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

Good discussion guys. Yes, WWJD was something of a diversion. But, I thought the discussion showed its relevance.

Regarding the statement "The Christian life is not possible without the inner life of Christ". the end of John 15:5 https://biblehub.com/john/15-corroborates it while the first part and Phillipians 4:13 https://biblehub.com/philippians/4-13.htm make more positive statements about what happens in Christ.
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:28 AM   #41
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Default Re: How do you experience the Cross?

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Originally Posted by JJ View Post
Good discussion guys. Yes, WWJD was something of a diversion. But, I thought the discussion showed its relevance.

Regarding the statement "The Christian life is not possible without the inner life of Christ". the end of John 15:5 https://biblehub.com/john/15-corroborates it while the first part and Phillipians 4:13 https://biblehub.com/philippians/4-13.htm make more positive statements about what happens in Christ.
Good verses! And "When I am week, then I am strong." We can't be any weaker than being dead, and that's the reality of where we are in Him!

The WWJD? thing might actually be a decent thread of its own . . . (unless it's been done before)
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