April (14 Dec 2010)
"To Steve W - thank you!"

That was a very well thought out and presented response. :) That is exactly what I was hoping for! I think we agree more than we disagree. I don't think those passages obviously imply that all are overcomers, especially since in so many passages the punishments for non-overcomers is specified and so many times Jesus told us to "die to self and follow Him". However, I totally agree with you that the power comes from Jesus alone. Only He can cleanse us. Only He can purify us. Only He does the works, we are just empty vessels for His use. Our works are as filthy rags. Only those done by Him through us in obedience remain through the fire of the Bema seat.

I admit, I don't have all the answers, but this has opened my eyes and unlocked the scriptures for me, erasing all the confusion about believers having "even what they have... taken away." Of course we don't have to agree on the theology. As long as each and every one of us, every single day, decides to be obedient to the Lord and do His Will, the intended result is achieved. Because whether or not you believe in unequal benefits for the Kingdom, obedience is the heart of the issue. Dying to self. Ensuring that our souls are cleansed as well as our spirits - and self must die to do so.

I also don't see 1 John 5:4-5 as a contradiction. This is specifically talking about the world. Jesus overcame the world at the cross. That's what I would consider Justification. Death and the world no longer have a claim to us. Praise God!!

Again, thank you so much for this response. You presented a fair and balanced rebuttal for the Doves to digest and make their own decisions about what they see as the truth. Thank God for free will, right? :) I appreciate your passion in the counterpoint and I look forward to debating more in the Kingdom with you. The we'll have the Ultimate source of truth available to us always - Jesus Himself, the Word made flesh - and He can set us both strait when we need it and guide us into the understanding of deeper mysteries than this.

Here's hoping to see you soon!!!
-April A