Gospel-Centered Pro-Life Podcast
Gospel-Centered Pro-Life Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

Is God An Incrementalist or Immediatist?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Within groups that stand against abortion there's a lot of debate over which stance is the correct one, Incrementalist or Immediatist. Some folks may not even know what these terms mean. Join Vicky and Daniel as they explain the differences and talk through this subject from a Biblical perspective. 

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charlotte.cities4life.org

I Am Yours, I am yours, I am yours s and me, Lord, I am your. Biblically speaking, is God an incrementalist or an immediate test when it comes to the issue of abortion? What are those terms? Even me will stick with us as we explore this topic and talk through this thing biblically. I felt show tassish touch your welcome to the Gospel Center per life podcast. We're going to talk about an important subject, because all of the subjects that we talked about are important. Of course, I feel like they are anyway. Yep, and it's one that has been flying around, I guess, in the bloggest sphere and the social media sphere and all of that, and it's the subject and we're sort of tagging it. Is God an a mediatist or an incrementalist? And you who are listening may or may not know what those terms are. Actually did a podcast interview with Flip Benham some months ago where he talks about the dangers of incrementalism. We did an interview with with Carl who's with abolish human abortion, and called Carl Turnmeier, who's with abolish human abortion here in North Carolina, and he talked about abolition the abolitionist stance against per life stance. We see you on our facebook news feeds and social media feeds, a lot of arguments and stuff, you know, even accusations against, you know, the abolitionist against the prolife folks. I'm even pro life folks against abolitionist folks. And really the the debate is about the immediate abolition of abortion or incremental steps to to end abortion in our country. And you know, there's a lot out there is a lot that people can read. There's a lot of stuff you know. Maybe you know, if you reach out to us, we can point you in the right direction. Some things you can read, but I think the most important thing to read when it comes to subjects like this that are very important is the Bible. And that's what we're going to be looking at it from a perspective of not just politics and what politicians say and and what works, because, you know, pragmatism can be a big, big time trap and it can cause us to compromise the Gospel and compromise truth. So we don't want to do that. But what does the Bible say? Is God himself and incrementalist or an immediatist? And I think at the end of this podcast will probably have offended everybody. Right. That's our which is our goal really not what our goal? What we do best is offending people, making people angry. If you're offend, listen. At the end of the day, if you listen this podcast and you're offended by it, please let us know. Listen either either way. As far as incrementalists and immediatist I'm willing to be convinced. I'm open minded either way and just kind of let the cat out of the bag. I'm more tinned toward the immediatist abolitionists. Persuasion, but also no, practically, there's some things that, you know, the Lord uses, but I'm willing to be convinced either way. As long as you're arguing from the scriptures. I don't care about your opinion, I don't care about your experience, I don't care about what your grandma believes. I care about what the Bible says. I don't know you do too, because yes, and you've got an article which we're going to hopefully put up on sidewalks for life right in the coming weeks that sort of lays out, I think, really a very good case. So let's jump into it. Yeah, so I you know, I'll be honest, I've been doing this now for six, six years, really very involved in some counseling and and prolife ministry, and I had really no idea that this rift between I didn't know there were these two camps about how to bring about the end of abortion and I just thought everyone was kind of all together it. Clearly anyone working in this...

...sort of ministry wants abortion end. We hate abortion, we know it's youthful, we know it's wrong, it's against God's clear commands. So so I really approach this as as someone who is pretty ignorant about both of these positions. But I will tell you that it dismays me when I saw some of the what I see as attacks on on fellow Chris Christians and and I do feel dismay grieves me. Yeah, a house divided us against itself cannot stand. So I think it's a very important subject and what I did is exactly what you said. I went through scripture and I tried to determine really kind of in a sense, well, what is God? Yeah, is he immediate test or is he an incrementalist? And two main events biblical events came to mind that I think could make a compelling case for one of the other okay, and those were the the exodus into the promised land, yeah, and the conquering and settlement of the Promised Land. That's one thing. That's one thing largely told in the book of Joshua. And then the second thing is the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, okay, and the salvation and sanctification of his people. All right. So sort of an old testament picture, HMM, and a new testament picture, right, okay, right, yeah, so God promises for the first time in the Bible to secure the land for his people. Okay, in right at the beginning of the Bible, in in Genesis, right, and that specific promise, I think is important and to read. And that's Genesis fifteen versus eighteen to twenty one. All ready got those, okay. Yeah. So Genesis Eighteen through three, twenty one, okay, says on that same day the Lord made a covenant with Abraham, saying to your descendants, I have given this land from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates, the Canaanites or the Kenites, sorry, in the Kenyasites and the Kamonodites and the HIVOTITES and the priserites and the refree them the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Gurgishites and the jebusites and all of those sites. That was purposely just to hear you say you on the me to be thank you. That was very humbling. Okay, so look at the beginning. Okay, your descendants, I have given this lamb. Okay, okay, it's it's pres intense, it's Dawne. Yeah, it's it's an imman right thing. It's immediate, it is absolute, it's complete. And the interesting thing is this promises made before Abraham had borne a single child. It's actually why he's still called Abram, right is he called jelled? Abraham hadn't even become Abraham yet. So God has a goal and ambition and it will be completely accomplished. The deliverance, though, is many, many, many years down the road. Yeah, in God's eyes it's already a done deal. Yeah, right, God's outside of time. But this promise says the land is given, he has been given. But the reality is it took actually four hundred and seventy years from that promise before the first victory over a city, Jericho. Yeah, in the Promised Land, a hundred and seventy years. And even that first victory was not immediate. You remember the famous story of the soldiers mark. God tells them you're going to March seven times around that city before they would blow...

...the trumpets and and Jericho would be seven days. Yeah, what did I say? Seven days is yeah, that I'm ATT right. Seven days around that city before they overthrew the city. Why not immediately? Yeah, why? I'm really God could have taken over Jericho immediately, right, sure, right. So a similar question can really even be asked about the whole promised land process. How did he bring about the conquest of the Promised Land? Did he lead his peed pole instantly out of Egypt? Well, it took some took some prom some process ultimately bring judgment upon Egypt and bring the children of Israel out. HMM. And it took how many years? Forty years, right, forty years. That was supposed to be a trip where that is a trip that can take eleven days. Yeah, that's whatever ridden commentaries. Right. So it took forty years and God clearly didn't take the most immediate route he didn't take the most direct route. He took them on a maddeningly long circuitest adversity filled root for forty years. Yeah, and when they when they finally get to the Promised Land, most of those adults, right, that had been led for those forty years, are not allowed to enter, right. Yeah, Promised Land. Yeah, even before we go much deeper into this, because there's some I believe there's some comparison, some good comparison here, between per life, abolition, incrementalism, immediatism and that sort of thing. Let's real quick, though, define our terms. Okay, we didn't do that. Oh, okay, when we need to do that, sure, yeah, when we're talking about a mediatist, what we're saying is basically that we want the immediate abolition of abortion, we want abortion to be made illegal in this these United States, for the unborn child to be deemed a human being with full rights as a any other human being would be in this country, and for people to stop murdering them. And that to me, praise God, that's what I want. So I mean that would be a good definition, don't you think? May I think? Yes, listening would jimmy was a different definition. But and and they immediate tost would and they would say that any law that limits abortion is showing that there is a group of those unborn babies that are somehow of less value. Yeah, yeah, so if the the exception for rape, for example, limits abortion except in the case of rape, well, are the babies of rape of less value than the babies that are conceived outside of rape? Right? And of course not. Right, of course not. They're all of equal value. Yeah, and you know, Flip said something is that. You did the interview with him, which you guys, if you hadn't listen to that, please go back and listen. Yeah, he's basically saying, you know, all this legislation, all this incremental would just define that real quick. Basically, it means just some steps toward ending abortion. So bands on abortion at you twenty weeks, bands on abortion at you know, when a heartbeats detected. Bands on abortion against children, that you can't abord a child just because it's a it's a girl or boy, sex selective abortions, bands on that sort of thing, bands on parts or the Moor fee. Yeah, bands based on you can't abort based on a disability and all that stuff and so this would be incremental steps, chipping away really right, chipping away at abortion, and ultimately the goal, at least I would hope the goal for for folks who would be in that camp, would be ultimately the end the thing. But we feel, you know, they would say, we feel like it's going to take some steps, not just immediate ending of abortions, and at least some babies are saved. The incrementalists would say, at least some babies are saved along the way that would otherwise not be saved because full abolishment of abortion is just not going to happen right now. It's not realistic.

Yeah, and so you know, I guess the incrementalist would say the immediate test ideas of pine this Guy Right, not going to happen. Right. We need to chip away at this thing. And of course the immediates would say like what flip said. Basically all this legislation says can have a tag on the end of it, it says, and then you can kill the baby. So you know things like regulations for abortion clinics. You know, abortion clinic has to have such and such in place and all this other stuff, and then you can kill the baby. Yeah, you know, twenty week bands. Long as it's not older in twenty weeks, then you can kill the baby, right, you know. And so, you know, I get that point and yeah, I agree that a lot of it. I don't know what percentage that because, you know what, honestly I don't deal in the political realm too much. People ask me questions about politics and about, you know, things, bands on abortion. I mean you asked me a couple weeks ago, I think, as the twenty week band been lifted in of Carolina, like I don't know. Yeah, I mean maybe, probably, I think it has been. Yeah, and actually, you know, just to to jump on that point for a second, because I did find out. But it relates to this discussion also, is that in North Carolina now until the age of viability. Yeah, a baby can be killed in an abortion, but viability is up to the doctor and subjectives. Most real think it's around twenty three, twenty five weeks, something like that. But but so again, that's another demonstration of what the abolitionists would just be furious with. It is that. Oh, but it's okay before, you know, a day before their viable. and WHO's to determine viability? Yeah, yeah, of course that's a valid or it is a very valid art trusting. Sure, the quote doctor, I'm using air quotes here, guys, right, and the doctors that do abortions and abortion clinics, people you get paid to murder children for money, are going to do the right thing. And all, this baby's viable. And let's let mean, what does that even? Well, I'd also like to know how they would be able to determine that the baby's in the womb. Yeah, how do they know if the babiest viable? They don't. They don't. It's ludicrous. Yeah, and of course I think we're making the argument for the immediate ast against the incrementalists. Say this. Those ridiculous and a lot of times when things are legislations thrown out there, some judge strikes it down and it really doesn't matter anyway. And I get that point too, and I agree, and that's one of the reasons why I tend to lean that way. Yeah, however, I wish they just from experience, I have seen babies saved right here, you know, just you hundred, fifty yards or so down the road from where we're sitting right now, the busy subortion clinic in the southeast. I've seen women turned away right who came on board the mobile dress on unit to see their baby and and get our resources and connect with us. We're able to share the gospel with them who were turned away because they were, you know, past nineteen weeks and six days. So I can't discount those lives that were saved either. But you know, I think one of the points in this story of the exodus that we can take a lot out of it. There's a lot there, oh man, the story of the exodus and the children of Israel going through the wilderness, the parting down to the parting of the Red Sea. I mean, and I believe it's First Corinthians, chapter ten, Paul uses as an example of baptism and the rock. He says it is Christ who was with them in the Wilderness, and there's a lot of stuff there that you can dig out and in the particular, I think, in this subject to yeah, you know, the children of Israel, the incrementalist or the the mediatists, sorry might say. Well, the children of Isra wondered in the desert for forty years. We've been wondering in the Wilderness of trying to abolish abortion in this country for forty seven years, you know. And so, you know, what do we say to that? How do you how would you think anycrementalists of respond to that? Yeah, because it's true, that that is true. We still haven't ended this thing. Yeah, you know, I guess the best response that I can find biblically as the hardest deceitful above all else who can...

...know it? Yeah, and that we are as sinful fallen world. Yeah, and and it's not a perfect world, not even close, and it won't be until we're all in heaven. Yeah, and the new world. It is here. Yeah, so heavens in the new earth. That's right. So the A, the sad reality, is because we're working in a fallen world. That that the perfect outcome that we want and we want now. Well, you're working with a fallen world, yeah, and an in a fallen and broken system. As far as the the government general, styll and and broken. You know, people who are in the government, the politicians. So I think it becomes I think the Exeter story is really a good one, because why did they wander for forty years? Yeah, they wandered for forty years because they were sinful disobedient, rebellious and God was teaching them really critical things about himself and about them. Yeah, absolutely. And while is can can we make the same parallel with what's happening with abortion? I don't. I don't know, but I I know that God is working on all of us. Yeah, and in the same way we are. We are a fallen people that are seeking to follow God imperfect yeah, yeah, absolutely so. In this as we're talking about the Exodus Story and the conquest of the promised land. HMM, in this story, is God and immediateist or an incrementalist? Right? And your estimation and what we're reading, what we're talking about? I'll answer the question for you. Okay, I think at least in one sense, God is an immediateist. He wants immediate conquest of the promise and he proclaims that at the beginning. Immediately does yeah, Plat, done, deal right. I want you to go in, I want you to take possession of the land, I want you to eject all of the sights, parasites and Gep his side and him the die, and I late that. Yet they got to be pushed out of the land, annihilated, gone. I want that so it's almost like, okay, in in his perfect will, if we're going to separate the wheels of God. I don't want to get into a theological discussion about that. But in his perfect wheel he wants it immediately done, but he's willing to he's willing to settle for an incremental conquest, and that means doesn't lastmistry say that God's willing to settle for something? You know, I agree with you. I think that's what we see. If he could have just wiped everybody out, yeah, and said you didn't listen to me. I wanted immediate conquest. If you'd listen to me, you would all be drinking milk and gobbling honey and and living in in this wonderful, wonderful abundant land. Yeah, but it's because of your sin, you're disobedience, your intermarrying with the people like told you to annihilate. You're making peace treaties with the people I told you to annihilate. I'm just going to get rid of you. But that's not what happened. It took them seven years, but some of the scholars I read said it took seven years to settle the promised land and even then it. They did not completely wipe out their enemies. Like I said, they intermarried, they made peace treaties. They're still enemies of God's people now living in Israel. Yeah. So. So, I think God's heart is probably an IM mediast. Yeah, he wants all it, just in the same way as we get into the discussion of salvation. He wants all of us to come to him immediately, yeah, and and to follow him wholeheartedly and perfectly. That's his desire, but that's not what we do. Yeah, and that's not what happened in the settling of the promised land. And instead...

...of just wiping us out and giving up on us, he walked alongside the his people as they imperfectly settled. Ye, and he and there were blessings that came to them from God as they are imperfectly following his plan. So I think while his heart is an immediast, his reality with a sinful people is that it was going to be incremental. Yeah, and I think that you you have to admit that that is how the Promised Land was settled. Yeah, was incrementally. Yeah, of course, the the response, since the valid response is what you said before. You know, okay, if that's how it was. It was an incremental thing. Well, they never really conquered the thing anyway because of all the covenants in the inner marrying and all that stuff. But you know, God's that the divided kingdom was established in Israel and the Messiah's line comes after the Line of David. I mean the golden age of Israel was after the conquest and the establishing of God's Kingdom and God's new man, David in that place of rulership. So yeah, I mean there's a lot to learn in that and I encourage you guys all to dig into that story, the story of the exodus, the children of Israel wandering in the Wilderness. So many spiritual parallels there. Yeah, and one of the ones actually I want to I want to point out, and then you sort of touched on it. I love this story, so I have to point it out. It's one of my favorite stories in the Old Testament because it's funny but it's also pretty scary, and it's the treaty that in Joshua, Chapter Nine, the treaty that the children Israel made with the Gibeon, I right, and they were told to like those Gibby Knights as getting nights out, and it says and talking about the Gidea Knights, says they work craftily. This is verse four of Chapter Nine. And Joshua, they work craftily. And went and pretended to be ambassadors and they took old sacks on their donkeys and old wine skins and and torn and men did old patches on their sandals, old garments on themselves, and all the bread and there of their provisions was dry and mouldy. So they got tattered, close muldy bread to make it look like there were no threat. And they were from so far away that there were no thread at all. They all trying so long that their sandals were up, their bread was rotten. I mean it's it's like wow, these people went a long way. They were to really dope that children of Israel. Ba says, Hey, we're not a thread at all. Just, you know, make a covenant with Hey, we we're not even in that promise and we're not an issue there. And the children of Israel did make a covenant with these people of giving and actually God told them they'd had to under their covenant. That's right. They couldn't break this covenant. Made a covenant. God told him they needed honor it. But Hey, they're going to be a thorn in your side and boil were they? Yeah, in verse fourteen, it says then the men of Israel took some of their provisions, but they did not ask counsel of the Lord. So Joshua made peace with them, made a covenant with them to let them live, and the rulers of the congregation sword of them. So here he makes a covenant, but I have it underlined actually my Bible here in verse fourteen. But they did not seek counsel of the Lord, and that's the problem. They didn't seek God. If they would have sought God, God would have showed them these people are not from far away. They are actually a threat. They're just from over the other he'll, you know, and with their multi bread and their tattered clothes, they're just tricking you. And you know, I think this can be comparative to some of the politicians out there that claim to be prolife and the want to end abortion. The fact is they're coming with their tattered closing, their muldy bread, claiming, hey, we're no threat. Actually we're going to benefit you, like the Gibbeess we're going to be a benefit. You just give us your vote. Hey, you know, just vote for us, since we're Republicans. We're going to end this thing. In the reality is they're just using prolife people, people with a sensitivity toward the unborn, for votes, and the reality is they have no intention of ending abortion. So that's one of the traps and that's one of the things that I appreciate that abolitionists, that you know, immediateists, would point out is the hypocrisy of a lot of the...

...politicians and a lot of the legislation. Yeah, however, that does not mean that there aren't politicians that that at least genuinely believe that incremental steps are a good thing and that are going to ultimately limit and ultimately end abortion. There are some good politicians out there and maybe they're misguided, I get it. But in one of the points I think that we that we need to touch on, that we're going to touch on, and we probably already have just a little bit, is is the contention that's there and the contentious spirit that's in a lot of the folks who would claim to be immediatests that listen to as we have this particular persuasion. We need to be patient with people. We need to understand that not everybody's on the same page with us and it's not going to help if we just say, well, you're not a Christian, then you know, if you don't believe in the immediate abolition of abortion, you believe that, you know, incremental steps are good in any way, then you're not a Christian. Thank you. Just don't read Your Bible and you're not a Christian. Yeah, now, so that's how that's harsh accusation to bring against people who may very well just not. Maybe they don't have the same information you've got, maybe not stuttered it as much as yeah, I certainly. Maybe they have and they've come to a different conclusion. And maybe they have and and it. I think he is what you underlying in your Bible there seek the Lord, see Lord and in all that you do. One of the things that I thought of as I was exploring this topic was would what I do out on the sidewalk, where I'm actively intervening in the abortion minded woman's desire to kill her baby, would it change if I was an immediaist or a incrementalist right and my work would not. Yeah, our work would not the people on the front lines would still share the gospel. If there're a Gospel Focus Ministry, as ours is, they would still intercede on behalf of that child, based on God's clear word about the sanctity of that baby's life and the value of that child's life, and we would still offer hope and help. Yes, so for to see all the rancor and even hatred of groups who don't agree, yeah, against fellow Christians, does damage, I think. I'm not sure if it does more damage than good in fact. Yeah, because the world is watchain and and weird to be known by our love. Yeah, love and unity. And you know, some folks might will say, Hey, love and unity, that's all fine and Danny, but we're not supposed to be unified with evil and by you know, folks who would, I think, be more inclined to the abolitionist persuasion would say, you know, the Pro Life Movement is just plain evil. Yeah, and they for we can't be associated with it. You know, Feesians five, was it seventeen? Having a fellowship with him, Froo, for works of darkness rather exposed. I think it's five, seventeen. Five seven something. You guys can you guys can look it up. This is an Effasian steps of us has, yeah, an efficians chapter follow. So we're not supposed to have fellowship with him. Frou faction of darkness that I might say. You know, the pro life movements unfruit for work of darkness. But you know what, I know too many people. Yeah, and it's not about experience. But these are godly people who whose lives line up with the scriptures and who live their hearts after the Lord and are loving them their neighbor as themselves. Who would say their pro life? You know, say I'm pro life. Somebody asked me, are you pro life about? Yeah, it's not because, you know, I agree with everything the quote pro life movement does, but it's because people know what you're saying. Hey, you know. If you say, well, no, I might abolitionists, well then you got to you get into this whole big explanation of what that even means and why that's similar to abolition of slavery. But but this and that, and this and that and all the reasons why you don't say your pro life just like okay, I'm pro life. I'm Christian first and because I'm a Christian, I'm prolife, I'm anti abortion. I have no problem with some I call me anti abortion, like you can call me anti sex trafficking, anti lying, anti stealing. I'm antie...

...those things. Things are that God is against. I'm against you know. So, yeah, it's a little caveat there, but yeah, there's a passage and I think we've pointed this out in some other podcast, but it's so important, I think, for we, the Christian minister, for somebody WHO's ministering in on the streets, on the sidewalks entered whatever whatever context you're minishing. The GOSAM were all called to be Christian ministers, by the way, but you know I mean. Yeah, and this is in Second Timothy, Chapter Two and Verse Twenty Four. And The Servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach patient and humility, correcting those who are in opposition. So in humility, correcting those are opposition, if God will perhaps grant them repentance so that they may know the truth, that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him. To do as well and so we have to in humility. If there are people that don't embrace things that we know to be Biblical Truth and Biblical standards, we have to, in humility and with gentleness, answer them. And just going on facebook and being a keyboard warrior in blasting everybody who doesn't agree with your persuasion is not obeying that scripture. This is brother Paul who wrote this to Timothy, who suffered a lot of persecution. He suffered a lot of accusations from Jews and gentiles, and yet he's given to Timothy this charge. This is how you ought to be. Got To be gentle. Yeah, I definitely had that sense from Carl who you interview. That was my first time, I believe, meeting him and he was a gentle soul and he seemed to have a very kind and open yeah, exchange. Yeah, if I listen, I've seen the nasty on both sides. I've seen the nasty on the prolife side. I seen the nasty on the your right, abolitionist right media side and the nasty. Listen, guys, it doesn't help. It doesn't help one bit. It makes it makes the whole thing, the whole anti abortion movement. Yeah, maybe everybody would be under that umbrella. I don't know, look bad. Yeah, and it's not all about outward appearances. Is Ultimate. It's about honoring God. That should be the chief concern of everything, not even the abolition of abortion. Yeah, listen, if your chief goal in life is to abolish abortion, you're missing the mark. Your chief goal in life should be to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. That should be your chief goal. And you glorify him by, you know, abolishing abortion, by Proclam proclamation of the Gospel, by standing in front of an abortion kinic and trying to say babies. But and wasn't it Jesus himself who said a house divided against it itself will not stand? Yeah, and you know, you look at okay, on both sides are people most I would say, that that deeply desire those babies to be rescued. Yeah, and so if if we're doing a good work and and babies are are being saved and the other campus saying that this is evil, well, that's you're working against what is really a joint purpose. Yeah, common purpose, which is that God would be glorified first and that babies would be saved and and and and come to abortion. Yeah, so well, should we? Should we hop into the second yeah, absolutely. And Yeah, so we're really not talking about an event, like historical event in the sense that, you know, we're doing at individuals being say, which is a horse historical event, based on the historical event of Jesus Christ Crucifixion, correct resurrection. We're talking about, you know, a biblical thing that happens, a biblical construct that we see here in the Bible, and it's salvation basically as well. That's right, and that's yours, in to a mediatist and incrementalist understanding of abolishing abortion. Yeah, of abortion. And the more that I looked at at the more I thought...

...of the immediist, immediatist position in what Jesus says on the cross, so pivotal event. He, Jesus, dies on the Cross and as he is about to give up his spirit, he says the words it is finished. Yeah, and in part that is it's done, his life is finished here on earth as a as a human. He's referring not only to his death, yeah, but to his fact, to the fact that that sacrifice that was necessarcessary to secure the salvation of the world through faith in him is done. Yeah, when he dies on the cross, the sacrifices made, it is finished. Yeah, it is done, it is complete, and all who submit their lives to him and accept that what he has done on their behalf are saved. Yeah, so it was an immediate moment it in terms of our discussion of immediate versus incremental, there was a moment where he says it is finished. Yeah, all that folutness. And yet you know, if you look at at lots of verses in the Bible and think about the sanctification of God's people, it is an ongoing, gradual, incremental process. Yeah, just like lundering. So one of the things that I'll say, and I like to use just everyday language, said, okay, no one get offended that I'm not using, like you, all these Greek terms and all this, but basically I'll say when you signed up for Christianity, you signed up for one thing. He signed up to become more like Jesus h and that is God's commitment to you. Your commitment to him is Lord, I'm sinful and I need to be saved, conform me to the image of Christ. His commitmenties use. I'm going to conform you to the image of Christ. That's right, and that's not about yeah, but not immediately. Be Be transformed with the renewing of your mind. Yeah, so it's not in with it's not an immediate renewal. It's renewing. You are renewing. It is a process. Yeah, and do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed in an ongoing process. So think about Roman seven, one thousand nine hundred and twenty five. Okay, that that's a good one. That's where Paul is is expressing the struggle of we are saved and there is a moment at which we submit our lives to the Lord. Okay, well, versus, but that was Roman seven nineteen to twenty five. Okay, you know. But from that point forward we are on a lifelong journey to reach what God has promised, and incremental journey and in because we are still in the flesh and and there's always that flesh nature that is struggling against the spirit of God. Yeah, that God's spiritual renewal in us. So, yeah, those are Roman seven nineteen to twenty five. Okay, yeah, I read that right here. So Romans Nineteen to twenty five, for the good that I will do I do not do, but the evil that I will not do that I practice. Now, if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin who dwells in me. And I find then a law that evil is present with with me, the one who wills to do good, for I delight in the Law of God, according to the inward man, but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the Law of sin which is in my members, a wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death? Verse Twenty Five, I think God through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. So then, with the mind, with the mind, I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. So he's talking about this struggle of doing right and and choosing to do wrong and...

...and ultimately God's commitment to us. Yeah, that he's going to bring us into a place of conformity to Christ if will surrender to him. So it does. It doesn't happen instantly. It's he's struggling. Yeah, he's struggles, as we all. I I sure can relate to those verses. I I know I'm going to struggle till the day I die. I think I win more often than I lose, the more that I am transformed into the likeness of Christ. I did. I told you the other day I was I was round down the road, I was following my phone to my destination and when I got there, my phone says you've arrived and I was like, where you been? I've arrived a long time ago, Sirie, I've arrived. No, we've not arrived. I've not arrived. I have to argue with my phone. I'm not a rob. I'm sorry, I'm at my destination, but the Lord is still working on me. You know, you'LD tongue. He still working on me. That's the reality. That's the process of sanctification. As as we, like you said, as we mature in Christ, we become more and more like Jesus, but we're also ever reminded of our inadequacies, in our weaknesses, knowing the like, the closer we get to Christ, the more we see we need him right. So, even though salvation, I would say, wow, the Bible would say the salvation being born of the spirit, is an immediate thing, the process of conforming to Christ is an incremental thing. Is God is doing is it's almost like, again, not using theological terms, just everyday language. It's almost like God'll take what he can get right and at the more that will surrender to him, the more he'll conforms to the image of Christ. And again, the ultimate goal is that we're conformed to the image of Christ. And it's all a tapestry. And you know, we can't see this beautiful tapestry that God has created as a finished work. We see that tapestry as it's being woven and and there's all these different threads and all of us are part of that tapestry that's being woven. So what is happening to US during this process? This incremental clearly an incremental process is something that others around us are affected by. Yeah, and you never know how those struggles and people watching you go through those struggles and watching you prevail and sometimes watching you fail, how that affects their relationship with the Lord and they are understanding of the Lord and it. He weaves it all together beautifully and I think that that is throughout the Bible, every incremental process, the the the Israelites entering the Promised Land and sanctification as we grow in a likeness of Christ. Every incremental process not only brings us closer to the Lord and is a benefit to us, but it benefits those around us who were watching and who are also seeing God, maybe in a way that they wouldn't see if it had happened instantly. Yeah, so I and I think that's a maybe a what would be the word? The beauty of incrementalism, okay, is is that if God had shown me all my sin all at once, I would have committed suicide. Yeah, because it was so horrimless. Yeah, it was too much. Even now, when he's like peeling back the layers as as I remember them, there are still times that I still cringe and and think I couldn't have handled this before I knew God better. Yeah, but I know that I'm forgiven, I know that I'm saved and I know that I'm on a journey. Yeah, so God's I think God is clearly in that area and incrementalist, not because it was his desire, but because he's, like you said, he'll take us where we are or I'll take what he can get. Well, what he's got is people who are steeped in sin, with with deceitful hearts. Yeah, and he his desire might be that we would...

...immediately be changed, but the reality is it's a process. So it contrasts to that. Is Hebrews Thousand and ten. Okay, you want to find that? Yeah, well, you got in reading. I've got okay, yeah, I've got it. By this we will have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Yeah, and that just kind of sounds like it almost negates what I just said. Right, once for all. It's immediate. Yeah, it's immediate again, just his by it we will have been sanctified through the offering of his body once for all. So contrast that with Philippians two twelve. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Well, I thought it was once for all. Yeah, why are we working things out? Yeah, so, so there's a there's a there's a right now and not yet concept to a lot of the things in the scriptures. You know, there's a right now and not yet. In, you know, in the children of Israels and their story from the Wilderness to the Promised Land, there's a right now and not yet. As far as salvation, you know, some folks say salvation comes in a couple of different tenses. You know, you have been saved, you are being saved and you will be saved, and that's true. I believe the Greek Lens itself to that. Yeah, so you know, there is this concept and I think you know, even though we've probably not will, we've not sought to answer the questions, got an incrementalist or an immediate test, we've hopefully spurred some thought for you guys just to be thinking about this thing biblically and, more than anything, to help people to wheel back some of the accusations and some of the you know, attributing evil motives to people, and that certainly I would think there are people in both camps that have some evil motives, because you got centers in each camp, you know, and you got people who maybe not don't even know the Lord and in both camps and just are on board with some kind of movement or something like that. But you know you've got you got fallen human beings with a fallen understanding, a limited understanding. We've got to be careful with our accusations that we throw at people. Yeah, and if we have a particular conviction, and we should have be people of conviction, it shouldn't be just anything goes. Nothing's a big deal. This is a big deal. Portions a big deal. It's we need to be happy these conversations. There needs to be debates about these conversations. That's how the Church has done it for since the beginning. Yeah, there's debates about certain theological points and certain things and all of this, and there should be that. So, so I'm not saying we shouldn't have those conversations and the exchanges on facebook shouldn't be made. They should be made. Book should be written in all that stuff. But the accusations against people. But just because they are not in your camp, that their unbelievers, that that doesn't honor the Lord and I thought, I think, and you know kind of I wrote a summary of what I came to under stand is as I grappled with this issue, and I want to read that summary. Okay, because I think in part both camps there is biblical truth. There could be biblical support from both sides and I think that's important. So I I came to the conclusion that God is both an immediate to a mediatist and an incrementalist, and if he were not the first, we would have no glorious absolute standard to obtain, yeah, and to strive for. But if he were not the second, none of us would be transformed and conformed to his likeness. Yeah, so God is is an immediatist and an incrementalist in some ways. So both camps can hate us there. Yeah. So, like I said when we started, I think we're going to make some right off and everybody, which is fine. If you're offended, that's fine. Let us know why you're offended. Shoot me an email. D Parks at cities...

...for lifecom. Shoot Vicky and email. She's easier to pick on because you'll just start the question ever to me actually think and we'll debate it. We'll talk about it. Yeah, because the organ cities for lifecom want to hear from you guys. We are going to throw this article that Vicky rode out on our sidewalks for life site and we'll probably throw it up on our sidewalks for life facebook page. We just want these things to be a blessing. Want to spur thought, Biblical thought, and encourage people to to honor the Lord in their actions on the I'dewalk but also in their actions on the social media sphere. But we do want to hear you guys responses to this. Did we miss something? Is there something we we glazed over that we needed to focus on a little more? Are there other scriptures that come to mind and there's a lot that you think are important about this subject? We'd love to hear him. So you can shoot me an email, shoot Vicki an email. But you know, good check out too is we always talk about our sidewalks for life site. Get checked that out. Sidewalks the number four lifecom. It's the sidewalk counseling website. That's what it's for, to encourage people to be Gospel centered voices at the abortion clinics. You can check US OUT LOCALLY CHARLOTTE DOT cities for Life Dot Org. But we hope you guys are blessed and listening and until next time, be blessed. Gift for Love, give me our loft for gratitude. I know it will cost me my love. Nothing's too precious. And some met you.

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