Every tree that bears good fruit family morality

Every tree that bears good fruit family morality

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To take but one example, in his book The Theory and Practice of Virtue , the Lutheran ethicist Gil Meilaender draws constructively upon works written by Stanley Hauerwas in what was arguably his most Wesleyan phase. Highlighting the realities of such cross-pollination and convergence, an argument could be made that our traditions are not meaningfully different in their views of transformation. They do so at least in part, I argue, because Lutheranism and Wesleyanism represent distinct traditions shaped powerfully by their respective founders, who diverged not only in their immediate practical aims but even more decisively in their theological visions, particularly in how they envisioned the relationship between divine grace and human free will. Even as Luther and Wesley sought to sing praises to God, the particular scales they sang most often and ardently led them to produce markedly different melodies. And yet, as my conclusion will argue, the convergences one might identify among some academic ethicists are not simply departures from these traditions but amplify notes that, though often muted, are present within each.

  • Lausanne Occasional Paper: The Gospel and Ethics
  • Bear Fruit
  • Of Fruit Trees and Newborn Babes: Luther and Wesley on Moral Transformation
  • The Gospels’ Fruit Test
  • Chaos in the Capitol: What Will We Preach This Sunday?
  • Matthew 7, 15-20
  • Havelock News
  • The Problem With Stink-Fruit
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Lausanne Occasional Paper: The Gospel and Ethics

Download the full PDF. The question of discernment LOP 63 G. Introduction 1. What do we mean by the Whole Gospel as distinct from the Gospel? What do we mean by ethics?

What is the relationship between the gospel and ethics? Gospel and ethics—Jesus 2. Gospel and ethics—Paul 3. Gospel-Ethics dichotomy IV.

Implications for evangelism V. Biblical understanding of the gospel and ethics 1. For nominal Christians 2. For our evangelical theology and evangelism. Why do evangelicals draw such a sharp distinction between faith as cognition and faith as a way of life? This stands in marked contrast to modern evangelical stress on proselytizing and church planting, with expansion of a particular theological franchise as the goal.

That is very good news! Jesus did not invite people to believe in the New Testament or to become Christians. He invited men and women to learn from him, to follow him, and to acknowledge him as Lord. There is no gospel apart from Jesus Christ.

And our gospel is not only about who Jesus was and what he did , but about what he says and where he leads. Someone who does not follow Jesus cannot be said to be his disciple in any New Testament sense of that term.

It is discipleship that we are called to live and proclaim. According to the online version of Encyclopedia Britannica , ethics is all about ultimate value and how human actions can be judged right or wrong. It is enough to point out that if ethical con- tent were to be stripped from our scriptures, there would be almost nothing left.

We live out our lives in a moral universe, created by God. In Christ, God showed and taught his people how to live in his universe. In answering this question, Scripture is best left to speak for itself. If one were to remove the ethical content from the New Testament, whatever remained would be undecipherable or meaningless. Watch out for false prophets. By their fruit you will recognize them.

Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Away from me, you evildoers! In the Sermon on the Mount Mt. In the case of the roads, not comfort along the way, but destination, is everything; in the case of the two trees, the one that produces fruit is the good tree; in the case of the two builders, it is the one who goes down to bedrock whose house stands.

Far from being inimical to the gospel, genuine repentance, evidenced by ethical behaviour, is at its very core. Jesus frequently warned religious insiders whose flawless social standing and impeccable religious credentials were thought to give them the inside track with God that if these were the primary basis of their presumed good standing before God, they were profoundly deluded. He would go on to comment with strong approval on the faith of persons whose sole qualification was behaviour Mt.

I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. It was the doing of his will that constituted irrefutable proof of family-of-God affinity. While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him.

In the story of Zacchaeus Lk. Welcoming Jesus as his guest was only the first step of the genuine repentance that ensued, and it was his repentance that elicited from Jesus his reassuring words about salvation.

In the sobering account of the final judgment Mt. The gospel is not merely a speech about Jesus, but a practical personal response, however inconvenient, to concrete need. If there were those who could not speak for themselves, Jesus would respond to requests on their behalf. This is a profoundly ethical dimension of the true gospel. For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. Paul—so often misused to support the notion that there can be spiritual regeneration without any evidence of new life in Christ—leaves no doubt about what he means by the gospel.

Conversion is to Jesus, and disciple- ship is a lifelong, essential part of what it means to follow him. It is this that unites those who are his from the beginning to the end of the human story.

Righteous men and women live by faith. Faith is a way of living. Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. Those con- trolled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the mis- deeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God Rom. He makes it clear that God can- not be fooled by a religious or racial pedigree. It is behaviour based on knowledge—obedience to what has been revealed—that marks his true children, whatever their religious label.

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.

Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith?

Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law Rom. This sacrifice, it is clear, is not merely some kind of mental assent to correct doctrinal formulations!

Paul makes by clear practical implications for everyday life what he intends his readers to understand by this:. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Practise hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.

Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.

Bear Fruit

What does the Bible say about? Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. You will recognize them by their fruits.

A good person produces good out of the good stored up in his heart. “It is impossible for a good tree to produce bad fruit—as impossible as it is for a.

Of Fruit Trees and Newborn Babes: Luther and Wesley on Moral Transformation

Today, I want to invite you to think with me a bit about excellence, a strangely neglected topic in Christian circles. When was the last time you heard someone talk about excellence? Why is this topic neglected? My thesis today is this: God has called every one of us to excellence, simply defined as being a person that is above reproach and that is doing their work diligently and with distinction. Yet defining excellence is not the main problem: we all know excellence when we see it. Too often, we focus primarily on doing and neglect being. But doing is rooted in being! When I talk about excellence today, I do so as a matter of aspiration, not reality. Is excellence only relevant in the business world?

The Gospels’ Fruit Test

Experience of sound Christian teachings should show good fruit, not bad fruit. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Download the full PDF.

Chaos in the Capitol: What Will We Preach This Sunday?

Roger J. Lent is the time for us to realize that we are dust and unto dust we shall return. It is the time to heed Jesus' call to "turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. They remind us that every day we have is a gift from the Lord, but that gift also leads to a task, to bear fruit through a life of faith. The Lord, who began this Lent by marking us with ashes and telling us, "Repent and believe in the Gospel," says to us with urgency as he said to his contemporaries after some local disasters, "I tell you, unless you repent, you will all perish.

Matthew 7, 15-20

I grew up in central Texas with huge pecan trees that shaded our house in summer. When the leaves fell in fall they left behind bare branches bearing thousands of pecans. It was my job to climb to the top-most branches and shake loose a hail storm of pecans that covered the ground. A persimmon tree grew outside our kitchen window. The treehouse I built among its branches became my favorite hiding place where I discovered the magic of books that transported me through time and space. In fall the persimmons ripened into delicious reddish-orange fruit. But a bite or two of green ones ruined their taste for life. My mouth still puckers when I think about it.

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree.

Havelock News

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. Now Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood; its length was two and a half cubits, and its width one and a half cubits, and its height one and a half cubits; and he overlaid it with pure gold inside and out, and made a gold molding for it all around. He cast four rings of gold for it on its four feet; even two rings on one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it.

The Problem With Stink-Fruit


I grew up in central Texas with huge pecan trees that shaded our house in summer. When the leaves fell in fall they left behind bare branches bearing thousands of pecans. It was my job to climb to the top-most branches and shake loose a hail storm of pecans that covered the ground. A persimmon tree grew outside our kitchen window.

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In recent months, several items of historical interest have surfaced in one way or another, stirring a renewed interest in the life of Joseph Smith and the means through which he established the Church. In my remarks today I do not wish to make any assessment of the validity of the newly discovered documents nor the extent to which they might, in the eyes of some, affect the reconstruction of Church history. I would like, instead, to point to some ultimate tests that can be applied to determine the divine nature of any religious work. These are tests which the Lord himself prescribed. They overreach the tentative significance of any historical document that may survive the passage of time, whether it relates to specific events or to the people who participated in the events. Often, documents of historical interest reflect, at best, the way one individual recalls or perceives events or the actions and motives of those who participated in them. Such reflections may be interesting, but they may not always be accurate.

First of all, I have a question as I am curious to know what time you got up this morning? But I shall put you to sleep with this speech! I am pleased to meet you on the ten-year anniversary of the Association which brings large families together in Italy.

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