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5.06.2014

Means of grace

Is this a biblical string of words: means of grace? Probably, but not in the way those who default to an unregenerate priestcraft - Romanist or Protestant - use it.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit can be seen as monergistic prior to regeneration, and synergistic after regeneration. Like definitive sanctification and progressive sanctification.

If being filled with the Holy Spirit is grace (a part of, a type of) then we can say there are biblical means of grace.

Watchfulness, or being awake, is one.

Loving your enemy is another.

Prayer, obviously.

The Word of God itself, engaging it, meditating upon it is a means of grace, it goes without saying.

What about ritual water baptism and the priestcraft ceremony variously defined and called by different names, Lord's Supper, Communion, Eucharist, Mass, etc.? Are they means of grace, as in dispensing grace? Many Protestants actually claim they aren't, but secretly believe they are, through the back door. Romanists obviously teach full on priestcraft. Protestants are all over the board in how they try to define these rituals. They don't know what to make of them, but the ones most pining for the Beast Church of Rome know what they want them to be. Unregenerate clergy cling to these so-called sacraments for a host of reasons. I'm rambling here because to put succinctly what Protestants believe about these 'sacraments' would be like trying to put succinctly what Marxists believe about economic theory. They're all over the board, half dishonest to begin with, and more addled by the Devil than the fallen angels themselves.

It seems to me that Jesus strikes ritual of any kind from any notion of means of grace. He said it about prayer. Mindless repetition - part of the soul of ritual - is not what we are suppose to engage in regarding prayer. So it seems to me this recruiting of the visual parables of ritual water baptism and breaking of bread and drinking of wine into being the heart of the Christian faith is pretty much of the Devil. The Devil fears regeneration of God's elect the most. It lessens his time before the lake of fire. So anything to drive people away from the Word and the Spirit and into priestcraft ritual is his game.

Note the first two means of grace listed up there: watchfulness, or being awake; and: loving your enemy. But systematic theologies don't talk about those. Are they even in the Bible?

Obviously they are. And they're difficult to do. You have to be regenerate to begin with. Because to attract the Spirit into you by ever greater degree you have to already have the Spirit in you by an act of God. That's a catch-22, you have to have something in you before you can have something in you. God gets us around this catch-22 by regenerating us by the Word and the Spirit. By giving us the Spirit in a monergistic act. We don't do it. God does it. Once it's done we then can attract the Spirit to greater degree. Only Jesus could contain the Spirit "without measure", but we can potentially contain ever greater degree. If we provoke and extend our limits. Which we do by effort to be awake and to love our enemies. Two practices not understood at the church level because the Devil doesn't want it taught at the church level. (They correlate also to the two great commandments of Jesus to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself.) But to see the depth of the teaching requires a search guided by the Holy Spirit. I use the language of the Fourth Way from books such as The Fourth Way and Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution by Ouspensky, but to each their own. Note: the word evolution in that title doesn't refer to mechanical Darwinian evolution. Ouspensky was an effective debunker of the Theory of Evolution.) But if you are going to use the phrase means of grace, they - being awake, and loving your enemy, along with prayer and reading/meditating upon the Word of God itself - are your means of grace. And they are biblical. Taught to you by Jesus Christ Himself.

So be awake.

And love your enemy.

If you fear extra-biblical languages, a. you're probably too shallow to begin with, so, b. just at least make *some* effort with higher influences (art, music, history, philosophy, imaginative literature, science, religion). Don't be a typical no-effort dope. Such types unfortunately define church level leadership and attendance.

And read the Bible complete, the real thing, many times.

And pray.

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