Puritan Belief

The Puritans are the men of God who started in the 16th century building on the purity of the gospel message that Salvation is by Grace alone.

By The Spirit and Not the Letter

.... and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Rom 2:29

What men do by nature is place all their emphasis on their understanding of the written word of God. They say that the 66 books of the bible is God's perfect books. Our faithful church forefathers have it down perfectly for us. Now that this perfection has come healing is finished, Speaking in tongues is finished prophecy is no more (1 Cor 13:9) for they have the bible what more could you need?
WRONG!
We are not to live by the letter but by the Spirit. All those born of the Spirit know Jesus voice for he saved them. For the Spirit in us backs up scripture. Otherwise scripture is meaningless.

No sooner have I said this then in peoples minds they think of chaos and people falling by every whim of doctrine thinking of those heathen Pentecostals and quickly go to 2 Tim 3:16 for consolation. They forget that:

The Word Became flesh and dwelt among us. (Jn 1)

Spirit not the Letter
How often do you hear "I want to know nothing but Christ and him crucified" quoted. However the real punch behind this verse is:

"I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power." 1 Cor 2

The Gifts are Now
Cessationalists shy away from this section of the verse for their message is in their perfectly structured doctrines. But Pauls message was not wise and persuasive but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power. A perfectly structured book called the bible could never replace the Spirit for it is Jesus who is our scripture. Who wrote the true word namely Himself in our hearts and minds.

I want to see the lame walk, men and women filled with the Holy Ghost speaking in tongues. I want to see the Spirit's power making the blind see and the deaf hear. For these signs will follow those that believe. For the word of God Jesus Christ is living and active NOW not in a distant dispensation.

Add Your Comment(16)

By The Spirit and Not the Letter
Posted by Correy Edmed Wednesday, May 31, 2006

16 Comments:

Anonymous Darrin said...

And the heretical positions just keep piling up at Puritan Belief! (And with this view of scripture it is easy to see why). Let everyone clearly see what a departure from God's revelation will do to a person's belief's!

Tell me, how do you know anything about Christ at all if not through the scriptures? The Spirit you say? How do you know it is not the Devil himself masquerading as an angel of light that is your teacher? If you understand what I'm asking, you'll realize that without the scriptural revelation of Christ and the gospel, you can NEVER know anything about Him. Scriptural revelation is the starting point of Christian knowledge for it reveals who Christ is and what He did. If you deny this, please tell me how you derive the gospel message outside of scripture.

Do you go to a church? Have you humbly submitted to the teaching of men God has given us for our benefit? Or are you just a renegade who thinks of himself as one of the few "true believers," making up stuff as you go along to the peril of your own soul? These positions of yours on sanctification, the nature of the triune Godhead, and revelation are so utterly unbiblical that I pray you find godly men to help you. ("All I need is the Spirit!" But again, you have no way of telling whether or not it is the Spirit of God, or a deceiver).

Your comments also show you have absolutely no idea what cessationists believe.

May 30, 2006 10:04 PM   Edit
Blogger Modern Day Magi said...

What did Jesus use to overcome the Temptation of the Devil after His 40 days of fasting in the wildernes?

MDM

May 30, 2006 10:31 PM   Edit
Anonymous Darrin said...

You wrote:
A perfectly structured book called the bible could never replace the Spirit for it is Jesus who is our scripture. Who wrote the true word namely Himself in our hearts and minds.

Could you demonstrate this for us? Can you tell us something about Jesus that has been written on your heart that is not in the scriptures? I'd be curious to have a glimpse at this further revelation.

May 31, 2006 1:21 AM   Edit
Anonymous Vic said...

Spirits are the truth and eternity, the physical matters are temporary. Some people deserves the kingdom of God even if they have not seen the bible, as long as they are using their pure, innocent and sinless heart which parallel the bible. However, humans are not pure spirit. They have the attributes of materiality. That's why Jesus transformed into human from pure spirit to equalize and communicate with humans. "Its like a human tranforming into an ant so the ants can understand him.
The letters of the bible are wisdom of God. Spirits are greater but the letters of God were great too.

May 31, 2006 3:48 PM   Edit
Blogger elessi said...

"But again, you have no way of telling whether or not it is the Spirit of God, or a deceiver"

An interesting argument from my point of view, since I could argue to you that you have no way of knowing whether God really exists either. Or whether God is good. Or.. well anything that depends on faith. That's what it's all about isn't it? Faith?

May 31, 2006 6:19 PM   Edit
Anonymous Darrin said...

Elessi,

You can't argue that for my argument, when you consider it's starting point is unassailable. (Your only hope of showing this to be in error is to deny/show the scriptures to be false). Here it is:

The axiomatic starting point of Christianity is: The Bible alone is the word of God. You must first falsify my axiom to make that charge that I do not know God exists. Of course God exists, because the scriptures tell us He does. That may seem somewhat tautological but that does not mean it is false. We cannot start by presupposing some generic deity and argue to the Christian God. We presuppose the revelation which points us to the reality of God. If you deny the axiomatic nature of the scriptures then please tell me how you know the Christian God exists. You can try all you want to use the classical proofs for the existence of God (ontological and teleological arguments) but they are not Christian arguments for they merely "prove" the existence of a generic deity. If we start not with the scriptures and the propositional revelation of God, we can never know who the true God is and what He is like. To know God is to understand revelation. My original questions to Correy have yet to be answered.

June 01, 2006 4:23 AM   Edit
Anonymous Darrin said...

that first sentence should read:

You can't even make that arguement against me, for when you consider my starting point, my argument is unassailable unless you want to deny Christianity altogether.

Sorry about that....typed it out to quickly without first reading it over.

June 01, 2006 4:29 AM   Edit
Blogger Modern Day Magi said...

elessi,
of course it is a matter of faith. The faith needs to be grounded somewhere though.

A buddhist has faith that the teachings of Gautama Buddha are the true way to enlightenment, you can't be a buddhists and also believe that BUddha was an idiot who didnt know what he was talking about.

A Hindu has faith in all the Hindu gods etc

Also a Christian must have faith grounded in the Bible. To be a Christian means you have had the revelation that Jesus was exactly who He said he was, the Saviour, the only way to heaven, the Messiah, God. What He said, did and indeed who Jesus was, is recorded in the Bible.

PB's point about needing the Holy Spirit also is valid. There are many people who know the scriptures without knowing God.

Just as the Scriptures have no meaning without spiritual revelation, so to does spiritual revelation have no meaning without the scriptures. Christianity is based on Jesus and His sacrifice for the sins of humanity. The Old Testament, carried by the Jews (then Israelites) is filled with laws, rules, and stories of how God protected the Israelites and led them through the centuries. There are many recorded propheseys in the Old testament. ALL these propheseys , about the Messiah who would come as a saviour, were fulfilled in Jesus. All the rules and laws are there to show us that we can never be righteous on our own, no one can keep the whole of the Law by themself so we need a saviour, Jesus. Jesus, who was and is the Messiah. We know Jesus is this Messiah, and is God because of what the scriptures say. When we read the scriptures they become more than just a book through the Holy Spirit who brings them to life for us and in us, or rather allows us to see the truth in them.

It's a little of a catch 22 but Faith is what allows us to believe the scriptures are true, but that the scriptures are true is what strengthens our faith.

I hope I've made a little bit of sence.

It seems PB (and I sinceerly hope I am wrong) is suggesting that the scriptures are meaningless, and we should rely more on Spiritual revelation. Then we can use the scriptures to support our 'spiritual revelations of the truth'.

"We are not to live by the letter but by the Spirit. All those born of the Spirit know Jesus voice for he saved them. For the Spirit in us backs up scripture. Otherwise scripture is meaningless."

This view, and again I hope I am mistaken as to what PB was trying to say, is not right because the Bible warns us against the Devil who can appear as an angel of light to decieve. That is why it is essential to hold to the scripture as truth and when we feel or hear from a spirit or have a revelation we must test it against the word of God to see if it is true. Not testing the word of God by what revelations we may have, they could simply be our own brains cooking up something that is convienient.

MDM

June 01, 2006 7:29 AM   Edit
Blogger Modern Day Magi said...

I'm not comparing the religions to suggest they are all right but rather to make a point about faith being placed in or on something.

Jesus is the only Way, Truth and Life.

MDM

June 01, 2006 7:30 AM   Edit
Blogger Paul G said...

Have you ever wondered why the Calvanist argues against the Armeniens and the anti Trinitarian against the Trinitarian or even the Catholics against the Protestants all using the same Bible?

Each one uses the same Bible to destroy the other persons belief, and every one who does not believe their particular brand of faith or creed calls the other a HERETIC.

Can you see that the Bible or the letter destroys.

This is why the Lord Jesus gave us His Spirit, and the children of God walk by that Spirit.

The letter kills but the Spirit gives life.
So what is better?
The Bible without the Spirit or
the Spirit without the Bible.

The early New Testament Church did not have the Bible, but they were men of God filled with the Holy Spirit and with POWER and demonstration of the Spirit.

The Bible cannot save you, only the Spirit, and the Spirit is the Lord.

Better to be half as intellectual
but twice as spiritual !

Please don't think that I'm suggesting to throw out the Bible, for the Bible is the authority over the believers.

June 01, 2006 8:03 PM   Edit
Blogger Modern Day Magi said...

So what is better?
The Bible without the Spirit or
the Spirit without the Bible.


I would say that neither is much good.

There are many who know the scriptures but do not know Jesus. The Jews are a classic example of this, they knew the Law back to front but still did not recognise the promised Messiah.

Also a spirit without being tested against the Word may be a false spiirit, or our own imagination or a spirit 'appearing' as an angel of light. The Scriptures are vital as they are the perfect and authoritive Word of God, by which all things should be and will be judged.

The early New Testament Church did not have the Bible.

This is incorrect. They ma not have had the bible as we know it today, clearly set out with chapters and verses etc. but what is the Bible. It is a collection of the Old Testament, the Jewish scriptures which all the appostles would have know very well. The Gospels are the eye whitness accounts of Jesus' life by the appostles, they lived with Jesus not just read about Him. (Jesus lives within modern believers in a spiritual and not physical way as with the apostles) The New Tesstament also includes letters or epistles, written by the appostles to one another and to the churches at the time. And the Revelation given to John. Since the apostles wrote the new testament I'm sure they were familiar with what it contained.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast."
- Ephesians 2:8-9

"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." - Romans 10:17

It is by God's grace that we are saved, through Faith, which is also a gift of Him. however our Faith comes by the Word which is the scriptures.

Faith without the scripture may be misplaced and the scriptures without faith are also useless for salvation.

MDM

June 02, 2006 2:21 PM   Edit
Blogger Paul G said...

modern day magi.
Only with the Spirit you can understand the Bible,
with the Bible you can not know the Spirit.
For the Spirit has been given only to Gods children,
and he who has not received the Spirit does not belong to Jesus Rom.8:9
Jesus said, if you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. Luke 11:13
Walk by that Spirit and you will not fulfil the lust of the flesh. Gal.5:16
If you walk by the flesh ?
Then all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness.

June 02, 2006 11:24 PM   Edit
Blogger Modern Day Magi said...

If you walk by the flesh ?
Then all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness.


So only if you are walking by the flesh and not the Spirit are the scriptures "God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness," as 2 Tim 3:16 would tell us?

I did not at all even hint that the Spirit can be replaced simply by studying the scripture. Rather both the Word of God, which builds and strengthens faith, and the Spirit which provides the new birth are essential for believers.

It is by the scripture, the Word of God Himself, that all things need to be tested and judged.

How do you judge if it is a wolf in sheeps clothing?

By the Word. If someone is teaching this contrary to the Bible then they are decievers.

"For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve."
- 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

Earlier I asked "What did Jesus use to overcome the Temptation of the Devil after His 40 days of fasting in the wildernes?"

Since this has not been addressed, Jesus quoted Scripture, not with the Spirit, but Jesus, who is our example as Christians, quoted scripture to overcome temptation.

BOTH the Spirit and the Word are vital for believers.

Either without the other may be false or misunderstood, and is useless.

I find it more than a little ironic that PB and Paul g use scripture for evidence that scripture is redundant.

If it is true that we should rely on the "Spirit and not the Letter" then show some evidence for this from outside the "Letter" which you both seem to claim is not useful.

MDM

June 03, 2006 8:43 AM   Edit
Blogger Modern Day Magi said...

John ! is clear that Jesus is the "Word", Jesus also says in John 14:6 that "I am the way and the truth and the life."

If then we are to take Jesus to be honest and to tell the truth, which He does in fact always do, then since He is the Word, Way, Truth and Life then it follows that the Word, is the Truth, Way to salvation and Live.

To say otherwise is calling Jesus a liar and is contrary to scripture.

Oh hang on, according to PB and Paul g, we must follow the Spirit and NOT the Letter so I guess calling Jesus a liar is OK, since the 'spirit' revealed His words to be uninspired and secondary.

MDM

June 03, 2006 8:48 AM   Edit
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

The Truth is Simple:

When Jesus makes himself known to you then and only then will you know Him. Otherwise he is just words on paper.

The Spirit brings life but the letter destroys. You must know Jesus for yourself and not just by the bible but by the Spirit.

June 07, 2006 8:23 AM   Edit
Blogger Modern Day Magi said...

The Scrpiture and the Spirit are not a 'one or the other' issue.

The Spirit is what calls and gives LIfe. The Word is what strengthens faith and is the 'meat' Christians are to devour.

Without the Spirit, the Scriptures are nothing but words. Without the Scriptures, then the Spirit is able to be a false spirit.

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."

- Hebrews 4:12-13

BOTH the Spirit and the Word are useful and valuable and indeed vital for a Christian life. One at the expence of the other will provide nothing but falsehood and deception.

In your post you mention "Heathen Pentocostals".

What is the comlpaint/criticism most common of pentocostal christians?

That they reduce christianity to solely an emotional and spiritual experience rather than being built and grounded in the Word.

This is not my view but it seems a little wierd that you would use Pentocostals as an example of NOT relying on the Spirit in stead of the Letter when this is their most common fault.

MDM

June 07, 2006 9:44 AM   Edit

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