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Archive for the ‘Dallas Willard’ Category

Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things. – Proverbs 28:5

Confusion is caused more by prejudice than logic. Unwillingness to release precious ideas, pride, or action(inaction) prevent an honest assessment. That honest assessment is all God is asking.

Truth can be discovered by those who want to know and who are willing to act on what they learn.

“Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own.” – Jesus (John 7:17 New Living Translation)

Dallas Willard, in his book, “Renovation of the Heart” makes this point:

“[T]he confusion now publicly prevailing over the makeup of the human being may not be due to its inherent obscurity. Rather, it may be due to the fact that it is a field where strongly armed prejudices—assumptions about what must be the case, “don’t bother me with facts”—prevent even well-intended people from seeing what, at least in basic outline, is fairly obvious, simple, and straightforward”.1

– fritz

1 – Renovations of the Heart NavPress, Copyright 2002, pg 30

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Christ in me

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20

I’m not just living “in Christ”, he is living “in me”. I am not trying to do what he did and to be like him, instead I am allowing him to guide my daily tasks as if he were living through me, which he is. I become more like him as a byproduct.

Former pastor and author, Dallas Willard, puts it this way:

[H]e is, in any case, interested in my life, that very existence that is me. There lies my need. I need to be able to lead my life as he would lead it if he were I. So as his disciple I am not necessarily learning how to do special religious things, either as a part of “full-time service” or as a part of “part-time service.” My discipleship to Jesus is, within clearly definable limits, not a matter of what I do, but of how I do it. And it covers everything, “religious” or not.

– fritz
1 – The Divine Conspiracy, by Dallas Willard, pg.276

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“And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” – 1st John 3:5

“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” – Romans 6:14

Sin is the real culprit in our failed relationships and broken lives; most understand this but find it impossible to avoid.

Jesus brings forgiveness and the ability to refuse to obey sin’s call – he gives the ability to say, “No”. That fact is not diminished even when we still sometimes say, “Yes”.

Dallas Willard has a helpful way to look at this; take a moment to think about what he wrote.

“The psychological condition established in us by the influx of Christ’s life–a psychological reality–allows us to rise above our “old person” for the motivation, organization, and direction of our physical existence.

Even if we waver and turn back to the “old person”” upon occasion, we still are able to do otherwise. People without the new life have no choice. but we have a new force within us that gives us choice. In this sense we are free from sin even if not yet free from it. Doing what is good and right becomes increasingly easy, sweet, sensible to us as grace grows in us.”1

-fritz

1 – Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines (HarperCollins 1998) by Dallas Willard (emphasis is mine)

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“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” – Romans 15:4

The biblical viewpoint has always been that the scriptures were written not just for their times but for us, and written in such a way normal people could understand and be encouraged.

I was impressed by what philosophy professor Dallas Willard wrote concerning his own assumptions about the Bible:

“I assume that it was produced and preserved by competent human beings who were at least as intelligent and devout as we are today.”

“I assume that [God] did not and would not leave his message to humankind in a form that can only be understood by a handful of late-twentieth-century professional scholars, who cannot even agree among themselves on the theories that they assume to determine what the message is.”1

– fritz
1 – Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy (HarperCollins, 1998) 13.

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Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard. – Proverbs 13:15

Following Christ can be hard but, considering the alternatives, life without Christ is harder and has no future.

“To depart from righteousness is to choose a life of crushing burdens, failures, and disappointments, a life caught in the toils of endless problems that are never resolved…The “cost of discipleship,” though it make take all we have, is small when compared to the lot of those who don’t accept Christ’s invitation to be a part of his company in The Way of life.1

– fritz

1 – The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard

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They will name him Emmanuel (Hebrew for “God is with us”) – Matthew 1:23 (Message)

In Christ God is with us in our life’s situation now. This is very hard to realize when the car breaks down, the children are sick, the job is floundering, and more sometimes all at once.

The fact is we must see our lives and circumstances as the place of God’s blessing, the place of service, and the place of our current calling. The Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul said,

“we know that all things work together for good to them that love God … called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

We must hold tight (in spite of opposite feelings) to the knowledge that God is at work through the good and difficult – not that all things we experience are good things but that God is using all things, even the unwanted, for our good.1

“God has yet to bless anyone except where they actually are, and if we faithlessly discard situation after situation, moment after moment, as not being “right,” we will simply have no place to receive his kingdom into our life. For those situations and moments are our life.”2

— fritz@langgang.com

1 – see also: “Escapism in the Bible” (June 4, 2010)
2 – The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard, published by HarperCollins, copyright 1998

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>We are all called to “Full-time Christian Service”. No, not as a pastor, missionary, or “Evangelist” but to be fully engaged with Christ in the roles we have.

We are conditioned to think service to Christ means doing “religious” things and we find those things increasingly irrelevant. We are not called to live his life, we are to allow him to live ours. Recognizing his presence to help us do our lives his way is very relevant, even essential.

Dallas Willard, a university professor, put it this way,

“As Jesus’ apprentice … I constantly have before me the question of how he would deal with students and colleagues … How would he design a course … How would he compose a test, administer it, and grade it? What would his research projects be, and why?1

Begin by asking, “Would Jesus do this line of work?” If not ask him to lead you to something else but if, “Yes”, ask him do it through you his way.

Butchers and bakers, homemakers and pastors, missionaries and factory workers, if serving Christ, are all in Full-Time Christian Service.

– fritz

1 – The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard, Published by HarperCollins e-books, Copyright 1998

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