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Hburgpreacher
Nov 13th 2007, 03:19 AM
Jesus tells us in His word that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him. Under the Old Testament covenant, salvation was based upon man's ability to keep the law and maintain the sacrifices of atonement for sin.

My question is this... Most of us would agree that obtaining salvation through works and following the rituals of the law is not obtainable. If one must accept the atoning sacrifice of Jesus to be saved, what is the salvation status of those who died under the old covenant? Furthermore, how are they brought under the sacrifice of Christ?

Ayala
Nov 13th 2007, 03:37 AM
Those in the OT who were servants of God and who believed in His promise were preserved in Abraham's Bosom until Christ's sacrifice could atone for their sins and allow them to be with the Lord.

Wintermute
Nov 13th 2007, 03:50 AM
Read Hebrews 11. There we find that those that lived before the reality of Christ were saved by faith just as we are. The only advantage we have is that we KNOW that Christ came. They had to trust that He would. The sacrifices were an outward expression of faith, saying that they believed He would come.

Toolman
Nov 13th 2007, 03:52 AM
OT Saints are saved in the same manner as all men are saved, because of the person and work of Jesus Christ. There is only one way of salvation and works of the Law is not it.

The OT Saints looked forward to the Messiah and His atoning work. We look backward to the Messiah and His atoning work. We are all saved in the same manner, through simple faith in Him and His work.

No flesh is justified by the works of the Law (Galatians 2:16). The OT Saints were justified by faith in the promise of the Messiah to come (Hebrews 11:13).

Hebrews 11:13,39-40 - These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

SemperReformanda
Nov 13th 2007, 03:53 AM
Under the Old Testament covenant, salvation was based upon man's ability to keep the law and maintain the sacrifices of atonement for sin.
Sorry, but no.

What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness."
(Romans 4:1-3)

cross crusader
Nov 13th 2007, 03:55 AM
Jesus tells us in His word that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him. Under the Old Testament covenant, salvation was based upon man's ability to keep the law and maintain the sacrifices of atonement for sin.

My question is this... Most of us would agree that obtaining salvation through works and following the rituals of the law is not obtainable. If one must accept the atoning sacrifice of Jesus to be saved, what is the salvation status of those who died under the old covenant? Furthermore, how are they brought under the sacrifice of Christ?
Mans salvation was never about keeping THE LAW, (here goes a thousand posts on why we need to keep the Law.) It has always been about faith and thats it. Their faith made them righteous. And their hope in Jesus.

David Taylor
Nov 13th 2007, 06:54 PM
Jesus tells us in His word that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him. Under the Old Testament covenant, salvation was based upon man's ability to keep the law and maintain the sacrifices of atonement for sin.


That premise is wrong.

Humanity, regardless of when they were born, find salvation in faith and belief in Jesus Christ and His shed blood for the atonement of sin.

It doesn't matter if they were born 1000 years before Calvary or 1000 years after Calvary....His blood is still the venue for the remission of sin of all people.

Keeping the law, and maintaining animal sacrifices never atoned for sin.


Galatians 6:13 "For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law"

Hebrews 10:4 "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."


Acts 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

dancedwithdolphin
Nov 14th 2007, 05:24 AM
Without faith it is impossible to please God.

We are told Abraham faith was counted unto him as righteousness.

We are saved in the same manor under the new testiment (Jesus), by faith.

(Even the law itself is faith based. I mean how can the blood of sacrifices save a person, if the person doesnt believe it will? I mean if you didnt believe it would, then certainly you wouldnt even bother).

So the same faith, in the same God, is our salvation.

God Bless

Phil Fourie
Nov 14th 2007, 05:30 AM
Nice question, we are actually having the same discussion on the Afrikaans forum.

Would you guys agree, looking at Scriptures such as Heb 11, that the object of Abraham etc's. faith and my faith is the same, i.e. Jesus Christ?

That if we look at Scriptures such as Is 53 etc, that they knew that Christ would come as our Saviour?

God bless
Phil

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 14th 2007, 04:48 PM
Would you guys agree, looking at Scriptures such as Heb 11, that the object of Abraham etc's. faith and my faith is the same, i.e. Jesus Christ?Abraham did what God spoke/commanded Him to do, IOW he followed the Word.
We follow the Word in the same way, only difference is, we see a physical example of how that Word is to be lived out.

Does that make sense to you Phil ?

Shalom,
Tanja

Toolman
Nov 14th 2007, 04:52 PM
Abraham did what God spoke/commanded Him to do, IOW he followed the Word.
We follow the Word in the same way, only difference is, we see a physical example of how that Word is to be lived out.

Romans 4:1-4 - What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,

Phil Fourie
Nov 14th 2007, 06:15 PM
Abraham did what God spoke/commanded Him to do, IOW he followed the Word.
We follow the Word in the same way, only difference is, we see a physical example of how that Word is to be lived out.

Does that make sense to you Phil ?

Shalom,
Tanja

Yes, that makes sense thanks;)

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 14th 2007, 09:07 PM
“Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,Toolman, they keyword here is that Abraham believed, and acted on that belief, he still did works, based on belief/Faith....
The one that works relying on his own understanding is the one that incurs a debt.

Jas 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?
Jas 2:22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;
Jas 2:23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"--and he was called a friend of God.


Shalom,
Tanja

Toolman
Nov 14th 2007, 10:07 PM
Toolman, they keyword here is that Abraham believed, and acted on that belief, he still did works, based on belief/Faith....
The one that works relying on his own understanding is the one that incurs a debt.

Jas 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?
Jas 2:22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;
Jas 2:23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"--and he was called a friend of God.


Shalom,
Tanja

He still did works but those works did not justify him before God. His trust in God and the soon coming Messiah is what justified him before God. His works did nothing to justify him before God.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 14th 2007, 10:12 PM
Toolman,
i think you're missing the point, doing what God commanded Him to do is what justified Abraham, by his Faith.

Scripture here says plainly, that he was "justified by works" (these being the works God commanded him to do, these being the only works which will justify a person)..... the only way to reconcile this with other passages saying one is not justified by works, is to separate works that one does by relying on their own understanding, and not following the Spirit, and those works done that God Himself tells you to do, and following the Spirit.

Scripture is clear here that there are works that justify you, as long as you have faith, and believe.

Anything else is dead works.

Shalom,
Tanja

Sherrie
Nov 14th 2007, 10:24 PM
I have always understood that God saved them, by their belief/faith that Jesus death, and his resurrection would happen. There is only one Salvation, and that is Jesus Christ.

Soj
Nov 14th 2007, 10:53 PM
Jesus tells us in His word that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him. Under the Old Testament covenant, salvation was based upon man's ability to keep the law and maintain the sacrifices of atonement for sin.

My question is this... Most of us would agree that obtaining salvation through works and following the rituals of the law is not obtainable. If one must accept the atoning sacrifice of Jesus to be saved, what is the salvation status of those who died under the old covenant? Furthermore, how are they brought under the sacrifice of Christ?Individual salvation under Old Testament Mosaic law was earned by obeying the commandments and offering the appropriate sacrifices. When that was done an individual was "saved." If that same individual failed to obey a commandment and/or offer the appropriate sacrifice that individual lost his salvation. He could, however, get right with God at a later time and regain God’s favor with obedience and restitution.

New Testament salvation is NOT the same, we are saved by God's grace through faith, not of the works of the law.

Christ's sacrifice was made once for all, atoning for the sins of both old and new testament saints, but the OT saints had to wait for His sacrifice to take place before they could enter heaven, therefore they went to that place of rest and waited for Christ to come and get them and take them to glory. For the NT saint, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, so as soon as a Christian dies he/she is immediately in heaven.

Partaker of Christ
Nov 14th 2007, 11:57 PM
Sin in the O/T were 'covered' Being covered would indicate that they could be uncovered.
Sin in the N/T are 'washed away', by the Blood of the Perfect Lamb of God. Having been 'washed away' they have gone for good!!

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 12:17 AM
I have always understood that God saved them, by their belief/faith that Jesus death, and his resurrection would happen. There is only one Salvation, and that is Jesus Christ.

I'm not sure how Abraham would have known about the Word dying, because the books in which we see those prophecies were not in existence yet.
I'm speaking of Isaiah.....

Just food for thought.

Toolman
Nov 15th 2007, 12:31 AM
Toolman,
i think you're missing the point, doing what God commanded Him to do is what justified Abraham, by his Faith.

Scripture here says plainly, that he was "justified by works" (these being the works God commanded him to do, these being the only works which will justify a person)..... the only way to reconcile this with other passages saying one is not justified by works, is to separate works that one does by relying on their own understanding, and not following the Spirit, and those works done that God Himself tells you to do, and following the Spirit.

Scripture is clear here that there are works that justify you, as long as you have faith, and believe.

Anything else is dead works.

Shalom,
Tanja

I respectfully disagree that this is the only way to keep scripture from being contradictory.

Nowhere does James state that Abraham was justified before God by his works. The scripture simply doesn't state that and if it did it would be in direct contradiction with Paul's statement that Abraham was justified before God by faith apart from any works.

In fact, Paul speaks clearly of Abraham's obedience to God by being circumcised and how this obedience to God and what He commanded Abraham to do was NOT what justified Abraham. Abraham was justified APART from what he did in obedience to God and Paul is quite clear on that and uses circumcision (what God commanded Abraham to do) as to illustrate that point.

I don't think Abraham was "relying on his own understanding, and not following the Spirit" by obeying God in being circumcised. By Paul clearly states that this is NOT what justified him before God.

So, James is clearly not speaking of being justified before God when he speaks of works justifying Abraham.

Toolman
Nov 15th 2007, 12:34 AM
I'm not sure how Abraham would have known about the Word dying, because the books in which we see those prophecies were not in existence yet.
I'm speaking of Isaiah.....

John 8:56 - Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.

Galatians 3:8 - And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 01:50 AM
Nowhere does James state that Abraham was justified before God by his works. The scripture simply doesn't state that and if it did it would be in direct contradiction with Paul's statement that Abraham was justified before God by faith apart from any works.The only person who can justify someone is God, therefore when it says that Abraham was justified by his works then i take that to mean God considered Him justified by his works which were based on faith. Or else it wouldn't be in scripture and it would likewise be pointless to mention this. I consider this a strawman argument.

I already explained that works apart from faith are dead, and therefore would not justify anyone, but Abraham did all that God commanded him to do in faith.



In fact, Paul speaks clearly of Abraham's obedience to God by being circumcised and how this obedience to God and what He commanded Abraham to do was NOT what justified Abraham. Abraham was justified APART from what he did in obedience to God and Paul is quite clear on that and uses circumcision (what God commanded Abraham to do) as to illustrate that point.Rom 4:12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

Circumcision was not what led to justification, doing things in faith was. Since Abraham was already circumcised in the heart, he was justified before the physical circumcision was performed. As evidence by the statement that he already walked in faith.... and that faith is evidenced by Abraham doing what God commanded.



I don't think Abraham was "relying on his own understanding, and not following the Spirit" by obeying God in being circumcised
I never said he relied on his own understanding following God's command to be circumcised. Quite to the contrary, i believe this was further evidence of works done in faith and thus what justifed Abraham in the sight of God.


John 8:56 - Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.
Galatians 3:8 - And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”He announced the good news to Abraham which means He told Abraham of the coming salvation.. of the Word.
I can see that Abraham understood this by the sacrifice of his own son that never came about because God provided a sacrifice in his son's stead.
So you are correct that He knew, and i need to retract my statement.
I clearly wasn't thinking when i wrote that part.

That doesn't mean however that Abraham isn't justified by Faith in follwong/doing God's Word, wither that be a prophecy or a command.

Shalom,
Tanja

Toolman
Nov 15th 2007, 02:28 AM
The only person who can justify someone is God, therefore when it says that Abraham was justified by his works then i take that to mean God considered Him justified by his works which were based on faith. Or else it wouldn't be in scripture and it would likewise be pointless to mention this. I consider this a strawman argument.

Actually to justify something doesn't mean it is God who is the one before whom the justification is happening.

For instance, if I said wow Tanya not only talks the talk but she walks the walk, then we could rightly state that your works justified your faith before me.
On the other hand those works would have no part in justifying you before God.


I already explained that works apart from faith are dead, and therefore would not justify anyone, but Abraham did all that God commanded him to do in faith.

But what he did is NOT what justified him before God and Paul could not be any clearer on that point. It is not what Abraham did but what and on whom he believed that justified him.


Rom 4:12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

Circumcision was not what led to justification, doing things in faith was.

Abraham was circumcised in faith. God commanded it and Abraham did it (trust me, that would take faith!).

But Paul makes clear that it was not the doing of what God commanded that justified Abraham. It was what and whom he believed that justified him.


Since Abraham was already circumcised in the heart, he was justified before the physical circumcision was performed. As evidence by the statement that he already walked in faith.... and that faith is evidenced by Abraham doing what God commanded.

That faith is evidenced by what Abraham did I'm not arguing against. I agree with that.
But Abraham doing what God commanded is an evidence that he was justified and is NOT what justifies him.


I never said he relied on his own understanding following God's command to be circumcised. Quite to the contrary, i believe this was further evidence of works done in faith and thus what justifed Abraham in the sight of God.

Paul cannot be clearer that it is not what Abraham does that justifies him and his circumcision did not make him anymore justified before God.

Faith, not works (including circumcision) is what justified Abraham before God.

His circumcision can justify and evidence his faith to us but it did nothing to remove his sin before God.


He announced the good news to Abraham which means He told Abraham of the coming salvation.. of the Word.
I can see that Abraham understood this by the sacrifice of his own son that never came about because God provided a sacrifice in his son's stead.
So you are correct that He knew, and i need to retract my statement.
I clearly wasn't thinking when i wrote that part.

Its cool :)


That doesn't mean however that Abraham isn't justified by Faith in follwong/doing God's Word, wither that be a prophecy or a command.

Shalom,
Tanja

Abraham was justified before God not because of "doing" but because of what and on whom he believed.

His "doing " (works) was simply an evidence of his justification but did not, does not and never will produce his justification or ours.

It is not by our works that our sin is forgiven but by simply believing on the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.

VerticalReality
Nov 15th 2007, 02:37 AM
So, basically what you're saying, Toolman, is that Abraham was not justified by works?:lol:

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 02:37 AM
But Paul makes clear that it was not the doing of what God commanded that justified Abraham. It was what and whom he believed that justified him.Well then explain this statement:

Rom 2:13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.

Jas 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.


Abraham was justified before God not because of "doing" but because of what and on whom he believed.See above.

I clearly differ in my perspective, those that fell in the wilderness fell because of their unbelief. God complained more often than not, that they were not following His commands and being disobedient.

If belief is only a mental work of believing in the person Yeshua, then io encourage you to study the word "emunah" which means faith in Hebrew, so you get a fuller picture of what all faith entails.
Believing in what He/Yeshua said to do, and following Him physically i think is what i think will really justify you. Of course into that equation also comes the amount of "Talent" you are given.

Shalom,
Tanja

Hburgpreacher
Nov 15th 2007, 03:01 AM
But don't you have to ACCEPT Christ's sacrifice? How did the Old Testament believers who lived before the Messianic prophecies know what to place their faith in -- much less how to accept Christ?

Toolman
Nov 15th 2007, 03:02 AM
So, basically what you're saying, Toolman, is that Abraham was not justified by works?:lol:

Yeah... in a nutshell :rofl:

Toolman
Nov 15th 2007, 03:39 AM
Well then explain this statement:

Rom 2:13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.

That's fairly easy. There is no one, not one single person ever, who has been justified by the Law.

Galatians 2:16 - knowing that a man is NOT justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

James 2:10 - For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

Romans 3:19 - Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

There is not a single person ever who has been a doer of the Law and justified by following the Law, because each and every person has "stumbled in one point", as James says, and is guilty (the opposite of justified!!) before God.


Jas 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

James is not saying that works justifies a person before God. He is simply stating to be obedient to God. Which we should and will, but nevertheless it is not what justifies us before God.

Our works are not what takes away and forgives our sin. Only the person and work of Christ ALONE can do that and our simple trust in Him and His death and resurrection as the ONLY thing that makes us right with God.



See above.

I clearly differ in my perspective, those that fell in the wilderness fell because of their unbelief. God complained more often than not, that they were not following His commands and being disobedient.

They were disobedient because they did not believe. Its really quite a simple equation:

Faith results in Justification which is will produce Works.

A faulty equation would be as follows:

Faith + Works produces Justification.


If belief is only a mental work of believing in the person Yeshua, then io encourage you to study the word "emunah" which means faith in Hebrew, so you get a fuller picture of what all faith entails.

Paul cannot be clearer in response to what you are stating in Romans 4.

Faith is believing in the person of Jesus apart from any works we do.

Faith and works are not the same thing and never will be. Faith results in us being justified which will produce works... but those works have never and never will justify us before God. Only Christ and His death and resurrection alone can do that.


Believing in what He/Yeshua said to do, and following Him physically i think is what i think will really justify you. Of course into that equation also comes the amount of "Talent" you are given.

Shalom,
Tanja

Feel free to believe that what you do justifies you before God but I will continue to simply state what scripture teaches and what Christianity (as opposed to all other religions teaches).

That a person is not justified before God by the good things they do but simply based on the person and work of Jesus Christ alone, apart from ANY works we do for Him.

Those works are a production of our justification not the cause of our justification.

Sherrie
Nov 15th 2007, 02:01 PM
Many times in OT the Angel of the Lord appeared and walked here on earth. As did with Abraham. The Angel of the Lord appeared with David. The Spirit came on Saul. Moses on the mount. God is with His people. Books of the gospels were not required, for us to be saved. It was by faith, that all are saved.

Teke
Nov 15th 2007, 02:12 PM
Jesus tells us in His word that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him. Under the Old Testament covenant, salvation was based upon man's ability to keep the law and maintain the sacrifices of atonement for sin.

My question is this... Most of us would agree that obtaining salvation through works and following the rituals of the law is not obtainable. If one must accept the atoning sacrifice of Jesus to be saved, what is the salvation status of those who died under the old covenant? Furthermore, how are they brought under the sacrifice of Christ?

Jesus is God. Salvation is being faithful ONLY to God.

David Taylor
Nov 15th 2007, 02:23 PM
Individual salvation under Old Testament Mosaic law was earned by obeying the commandments and offering the appropriate sacrifices.

That's not true.

Both the O.T. and the N.T. teach that salvation is a gift of God, given freely by faith through His grace to all men.

Works have no meritous part in 'earning' salvation.

Noone has ever earned salvation except Jesus Christ, but even in His situation, he didn't need it, for He was sinless to begin with.





New Testament salvation is NOT the same, we are saved by God's grace through faith, not of the works of the law.

People living in O.T. times were saved by God's grace through faith as well...not works of the law either.

If earning salvation through good works were possible, then Christ wouldn't have needed to come and die on Calvary for the sins of mankind.




Christ's sacrifice was made once for all, atoning for the sins of both old and new testament saints
This statement is true....now, apply it equally to all humankind, regardless of when they were born.

David Taylor
Nov 15th 2007, 02:31 PM
But don't you have to ACCEPT Christ's sacrifice? How did the Old Testament believers who lived before the Messianic prophecies know what to place their faith in -- much less how to accept Christ?

God was alive and working in their lives no less actively than He works in lives of men today.

Through His Word, through the prophets, through visions and dreams, through divine revelation....

Most of the OT writings themselves, pointed to Christ by faith, for their salvation.

Isaiah didn't have any trouble finding it and writing about it.
Neither did Daniel, or Job, or Solomon, etc...

Paul wrote the following, as something that had already happened long before he wrote the book of Romans, and before the N.T. itself was written and sent out to the nations....

Romans 10:18 "But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. But Isaiah is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me."

Paul was quoting something Isaiah told them 500 years earlier....
Isaiah 40:21 "Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?"

drew
Nov 15th 2007, 02:41 PM
Well then explain this statement:

Rom 2:13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.
This is indeed a legitimate question and I think that the commonly held idea that a "one-time mental assent" to the proposition that Jesus died for one's sins and that He is Lord is a deception that many fall into.

How can we make sense of statements like the above in light of other texts which seem to draw some kind of a "faith - works" distinction?

I am a big fan of NT Wright and I think he presents more or less the following view:

1. Romans 2:13 is indeed true - the "final verdict" for our justification is based on the entire life led, not on some one-time event of accepting Jesus.

2. Nevertheless, when a person truly accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior in the present, God gives that person the Spirit and it is that Spirit that enables the person to indeed live the kind of life that will result in their final justification on the last day as Romans 2:13 indeed seems to teach (see the rest of Romans - this 'judgement' takes place after our lives are over).

3. Because of the action of the Spirit, we can be assured in the present what the outcome of that final judgement will be.

There may be some "holes" in this overview. For exampe, can a person choose to not follow the Spirit even if she, at one point, genuinely did accept Christ by faith - this is essentially the old "did she fall away or was she never a believer in the first place" question.

In any event, I think this picture best makes sense over the seeming tension between texts that suggest salvation by "faith" and those, like Romans 2:13, that suggest "works" are also involved.

As I believe Jesusinmyheart has suggested, we need to be careful how we interpret the word "faith". In our culture, this word can have a pure "intellectual assent decoupled from actions" kind of connotation. I am suspicious that this may be a misreading and that the authors of Scripture always intended the word "faith" to be intimately intertwined with actions in some sense.

drew
Nov 15th 2007, 02:54 PM
Although I am no New Testament scholar, I have read arguments to the effect that when Paul refers to "works" in the book of Romans, he is almost always referring to Torah, and not to "good works in general". To the extent that this is true, profound changes in meaning result. I won't go into detail in this post except to say that if the "works means Torah and not good works in general" interpretation is correct, it tends to deflate the commonly held view that justification is entirely decoupled from "living a good life".

People often "explain away" the "justification by works" implications of texts like Romans 2 by suggesting that Paul is talking about a hypothetical category that actually has zero members. In other words, the argument is that Romans 2 is all about how we would get saved if we could get saved by works.

I find that argument to be extremely awkward and I think we need to accept texts like Romans 2:13 as applying to all people. It seems like a real stretch to argue that Romans 2 involves Paul proposing a "what if we could be saved by works, then this is how it would work out" model.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 03:55 PM
2. Nevertheless, when a person truly accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior in the present, God gives that person the Spirit and it is that Spirit that enables the person to indeed live the kind of life that will result in their final justification on the last day as Romans 2:13 indeed seems to teach (see the rest of Romans - this 'judgement' takes place after our lives are over).Right, i agree with that, but i believe we also need to be very careful and make sure that what we perceive to be the Spirit telling us to do something is of God.
If one knows the Word, then that's easy. But i have heard too many say the Spirit told me, and yet what they did was clearly in violation of the Word.


3. Because of the action of the Spirit, we can be assured in the present what the outcome of that final judgment will be.The Spirit guides us into all truth, the action must come from us. This determines the final judgment IMO According to:

Rom 2:13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.
And also the parable of the Talent.


There may be some "holes" in this overview. For exampe, can a person choose to not follow the Spirit even if she, at one point, genuinely did accept Christ by faith - this is essentially the old "did she fall away or was she never a believer in the first place" question.I'm not sure if that is falling away, but surely a disobedience, and rebelliousness. This person according to the parable of the Talents will get a severe beating, and IMO is in danger of being cut off.


As I believe Jesusinmyheart has suggested, we need to be careful how we interpret the word "faith". In our culture, this word can have a pure "intellectual assent decoupled from actions" kind of connotation. I am suspicious that this may be a misreading and that the authors of Scripture always intended the word "faith" to be intimately intertwined with actions in some sense.You are correct in your assertion my friend :hug:
study the word "Emunah" Faith in the Hebrew and it will give you a deeper meaning of just what true faith is about.

Mat 25:32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
I still wonder just who the goats are who Yeshua will seperate from His sheep, and will be condemned because they do not appear to be unbelievers, because they asked:

Mat 25:44 Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?'

So apparently they were in the impression they knew what they were doing but did not.

Shalom,
Tanja

Teke
Nov 15th 2007, 04:24 PM
we need to be careful how we interpret the word "faith". In our culture, this word can have a pure "intellectual assent decoupled from actions" kind of connotation. I am suspicious that this may be a misreading and that the authors of Scripture always intended the word "faith" to be intimately intertwined with actions in some sense.

Action should follow conscience. Christians should have a good conscience with their actions before the dread judgment seat.
Romans 2 outlines the basis of God's judgment.

An example would be when God confronted Paul with what he was doing.
Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
That certainly changed Paul's conscience on the matter.;)

Pleroo
Nov 15th 2007, 06:06 PM
Although I am no New Testament scholar, I have read arguments to the effect that when Paul refers to "works" in the book of Romans, he is almost always referring to Torah, and not to "good works in general". To the extent that this is true, profound changes in meaning result. I won't go into detail in this post except to say that if the "works means Torah and not good works in general" interpretation is correct, it tends to deflate the commonly held view that justification is entirely decoupled from "living a good life".

I don't see how you can differentiate between the two? How is the Law summarized? Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Outside of this, exactly what constitutes a good work in your mind?



People often "explain away" the "justification by works" implications of texts like Romans 2 by suggesting that Paul is talking about a hypothetical category that actually has zero members. In other words, the argument is that Romans 2 is all about how we would get saved if we could get saved by works.

Actually, I believe Scripture makes it clear that that category has exactly ONE "member". Jesus Christ. And if we are in Him, then we are in the "category" as well. It is Christ in us who justifies us.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 06:38 PM
Pleroo,

Long time no see :hug:


I don't see how you can differentiate between the two? How is the Law summarized? Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Outside of this, exactly what constitutes a good work in your mind?

I see a clear difference between what God considers dead works and what He considers Works produced by Faith and Repentance.
I can't answer for drew, but to me Good works, constitutes doing what the Word of God tells me to do along with what the Spirit points out to me as what i need to focus on.



Actually, I believe Scripture makes it clear that that category has exactly ONE "member". Jesus Christ. And if we are in Him, then we are in the "category" as well. It is Christ in us who justifies us.

And Yeshua is the Word of old, from the foundation of the earth having been slain, which means the plan was set in motion from the beginning, not that He died at the beginning. But the Word of God came forth anytime God spoke to people in the OT wither this was by Himself of by a prophet.
Even the Ten commandments and all that Moses prophesied and spoke as Law was the Word of God....what is termed as Law of Moses is still the Word of God regardless, only that it came through Moses. It was and always will be the living Word.

So if the Word of God resides in us, wither that be from the OT or the NT it is the Word.
The blood the Word shed is what presents us without spot and blemish, but the Word itself must reside in us in order to justify us, and this has to be outward manifest by the fruit of the Spirit.

I cannot see God rewarding someone who simply believes in Yeshua but didn't display any fruit.. scripture actually tells us that those branches that bear no fruit are cut off and thrown into the fire.

Shalom,
Tanja

Partaker of Christ
Nov 15th 2007, 06:44 PM
Action should follow conscience. Christians should have a good conscience with their actions before the dread judgment seat.
Romans 2 outlines the basis of God's judgment.

An example would be when God confronted Paul with what he was doing.
Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
That certainly changed Paul's conscience on the matter.;)


This is indeed a legitimate question and I think that the commonly held idea that a "one-time mental assent" to the proposition that Jesus died for one's sins and that He is Lord is a deception that many fall into.

How can we make sense of statements like the above in light of other texts which seem to draw some kind of a "faith - works" distinction?

I am a big fan of NT Wright and I think he presents more or less the following view:

1. Romans 2:13 is indeed true - the "final verdict" for our justification is based on the entire life led, not on some one-time event of accepting Jesus.

2. Nevertheless, when a person truly accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior in the present, God gives that person the Spirit and it is that Spirit that enables the person to indeed live the kind of life that will result in their final justification on the last day as Romans 2:13 indeed seems to teach (see the rest of Romans - this 'judgement' takes place after our lives are over).

3. Because of the action of the Spirit, we can be assured in the present what the outcome of that final judgement will be.

There may be some "holes" in this overview. For exampe, can a person choose to not follow the Spirit even if she, at one point, genuinely did accept Christ by faith - this is essentially the old "did she fall away or was she never a believer in the first place" question.

In any event, I think this picture best makes sense over the seeming tension between texts that suggest salvation by "faith" and those, like Romans 2:13, that suggest "works" are also involved.

As I believe Jesusinmyheart has suggested, we need to be careful how we interpret the word "faith". In our culture, this word can have a pure "intellectual assent decoupled from actions" kind of connotation. I am suspicious that this may be a misreading and that the authors of Scripture always intended the word "faith" to be intimately intertwined with actions in some sense.

Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

drew
Nov 15th 2007, 07:02 PM
Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
I am going to assume that your provision of this text is a way to express disagreement with what Teke and I posted.

I think it is important to point out this statement by Jesus is not really as "cut and dry" as it seems.

By inference, I will assume that you believe Jesus means something like the following:

"Through this single declaration of his status as a sinner along with a plea for mercy, the publican has secured eternal life".

I suggest that an equally valid reading is something like this:

"Through this single declaration of his status as a sinner along with a plea for mercy, the publican is given the Spirit and the action of the Spirit in his life over the next 40 years (for example) will ensure that he is justified by his works at the time of the future judgement".

You may object that I seem to be "reading stuff in". Well, I suggest that I am really trying to make all the relevant texts work together. I am not at all sure that your position (as I have inferred it) can work with the following from Romans 2:

5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God "will give to each person according to what he has done."[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%202;&version=31;#fen-NIV-27954a)] 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism.
12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

What do think Paul is saying here?

Pleroo
Nov 15th 2007, 07:02 PM
Pleroo,

Long time no see :hug:



I see a clear difference between what God considers dead works and what He considers Works produced by Faith and Repentance.
I can't answer for drew, but to me Good works, constitutes doing what the Word of God tells me to do along with what the Spirit points out to me as what i need to focus on.

I see a difference there, too, but that's not what Drew was driving at. He was saying that we need to produce good works (things not mentioned in the Law) in order to be justified.

Works produced by God in us through faith are, indeed, good works, but they do not justify us before God. Christ in us justifies us. To say that works WE DO justify us (which is what Drew was saying) is not acknowledging that it is only what Christ has done that justifies us.



And Yeshua is the Word of old, from the foundation of the earth having been slain, which means the plan was set in motion from the beginning, not that He died at the beginning. But the Word of God came forth anytime God spoke to people in the OT wither this was by Himself of by a prophet.
Even the Ten commandments and all that Moses prophesied and spoke as Law was the Word of God....what is termed as Law of Moses is still the Word of God regardless, only that it came through Moses. It was and always will be the living Word.

So if the Word of God resides in us, wither that be from the OT or the NT it is the Word.
The blood the Word shed is what presents us without spot and blemish, but the Word itself must reside in us in order to justify us, and this has to be outward manifest by the fruit of the Spirit.

I cannot see God rewarding someone who simply believes in Yeshua but didn't display any fruit.. scripture actually tells us that those branches that bear no fruit are cut off and thrown into the fire.

Rewards and justification are 2 very different things. Christ in us justifies us before God. Christ in us is eternal life. Christ working through us to produce fruit brings reward. The fruit itself IS the reward, imho.


Edit: I was so busy answering I forgot to say hi! LOL

Toolman
Nov 15th 2007, 07:08 PM
I cannot see God rewarding someone who simply believes in Yeshua but didn't display any fruit.. scripture actually tells us that those branches that bear no fruit are cut off and thrown into the fire.


This is where you, IMO, are making your mistake Tanja.

You are saying that a person who has faith has the ability to not produce fruit. I cannot find that anywhere within scripture.

In fact scripture clearly indicates 2 things:

1) A person who has faith WILL produce fruit (works of God done thru them).
2) That a person is NOT justified before God by those fruits but IS justified before God by simply trusting in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone, His death and resurrection as the ONLY thing that makes them right with God.

Romans 4 is absolutely clear on this 2nd point:

Romans 4:1-8 - What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.

Now, Paul clearly says here that IF Abraham was justified by works then he has the right to boast.

Yet, you keep stating that a person is justified before God by their works in clear contradiction to what Paul is clearly stating here.

For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

Abraham believed God and God accounted it to him as righteousness. Paul is CLEARLY contrasting what Abraham did (works, obeying God, etc.) with what and on whom Abraham believed.

And it was NOT what he did but on whom he believed that justified him before God.

Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

Paul again makes a clear statement about works, that if one were justified before God by works (which Abraham clearly had) then eternal life, God's acceptance, etc. (the "wages") would be something we earned (debt) and not be a gift of grace.

Every religion in the world teaches this very thing. That somehow man has to EARN his salvation and somehow has to EARN God's favor. Buddhism - Become enlightened, Hinduism - work thru karma, Islam - follow the five pillars... all these messages teach a works-based salvation where man does something to earn God's acceptance.

Christianity (the true Gospel) is the ONLY religious message in the world that is in contrast to man's works based religious methods. The Gospel teaches that salvation is a completely free gift that is given by Jesus Christ simply based on the person's trust in Him ALONE... APART FROM ANY WORKS THEY DO!!!

This is what makes the Gospel a unique message and what seperates it from every other religion of the world. Grace is what seperates the Gospel from man's works-based mentality of how to be justified before God.
That's why Christ is a stumbling block and foolishness. Our flesh doesn't like that... we want to earn something so we can be proud and boast.
The Gospel tears our pride and boasting to shreds.

It is by faith in Jesus Christ alone that we are justified before God, apart from any works of merit.

Toolman
Nov 15th 2007, 07:14 PM
Although I am no New Testament scholar, I have read arguments to the effect that when Paul refers to "works" in the book of Romans, he is almost always referring to Torah, and not to "good works in general". To the extent that this is true, profound changes in meaning result. I won't go into detail in this post except to say that if the "works means Torah and not good works in general" interpretation is correct, it tends to deflate the commonly held view that justification is entirely decoupled from "living a good life".

Romans 4 is fairly clear that Paul is not speaking of the Law of Moses.

He uses Abraham and Abraham's circumcision as examples and both of these proceeded the Mosaic Law. Abraham and all the works he did, including circumcision, were 430 years before the Law.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 07:27 PM
Let me clarify as i used the wrong word = reward....
It should have read: I cannot see that God will save a person who has no produced fruit Simply believing in Yeshua and then going on in life and doing whatever one wants is not a sign of a true follower of Yeshua, nor is it producing fruit.


I cannot see God rewarding someone who simply believes in Yeshua but didn't display any fruit.. scripture actually tells us that those branches that bear no fruit are cut off and thrown into the fire.

Rewards and justification are 2 very different things. Christ in us justifies us before God. Christ in us is eternal life. Christ working through us to produce fruit brings reward. The fruit itself IS the reward, imho.

Shalom,
Tanja

Pleroo
Nov 15th 2007, 07:31 PM
Romans 4 is fairly clear that Paul is not speaking of the Law of Moses.

He uses Abraham and Abraham's circumcision as examples and both of these proceeded the Mosaic Law. Abraham and all the works he did, including circumcision, were 430 years before the Law.

Okay, someone educate me here. I always thought that Torah was the word of God given through the entire first 5 books of the Bible (assumed to be written by Moses), not just the Mosaic law? Am I wrong?

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 07:32 PM
You are saying that a person who has faith has the ability to not produce fruit. I cannot find that anywhere within scripture.

I do:
1Th 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.

Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Heb 10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Heb 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
Heb 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

These speak of people who were rebellious against the instructions of God.

Shalom,
Tanja

Ayala
Nov 15th 2007, 07:34 PM
Okay, someone educate me here. I always thought that Torah was the word of God given through the entire first 5 books of the Bible (assumed to be written by Moses), not just the Mosaic law? Am I wrong?

It is Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Yes.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 07:34 PM
Okay, someone educate me here. I always thought that Torah was the word of God given through the entire first 5 books of the Bible (assumed to be written by Moses), not just the Mosaic law? Am I wrong?
Yes, the Torah is the first 5 books of the bible.

Pleroo
Nov 15th 2007, 07:34 PM
Let me clarify as i used the wrong word = reward....
It should have read: I cannot see that God will save a person who has no produced fruit Simply believing in Yeshua and then going on in life and doing whatever one wants is not a sign of a true follower of Yeshua, nor is it producing fruit.

Well, that would go back to what you and TM were talking about before, I think. You're saying that the fruit produced is a "sign" of a true believer. A sign to whom? The Father knows what [WHO] is in us -- He needs no outward sign. So, the outward sign, the fruit we produce cannot justify us before Him, but only before other people.

God saves us not because of anything we do, but because of what Christ has done.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 07:42 PM
TM,
I have repeatedly shown and stated that there are two types of works, those works of man that are not in line with God, which don't justify, and those works that are in line with God's Word through the Spirit that do indeed justify.
I do understand that Yeshua's sacrifice is a free gift and i will never deny that, but God does also expect us to conform and renew our minds and God provides the Word for that purpose.

Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Yes, it is God's work, i agree with that too, and don't deny that, but we have free will control over our bodies, we can either walk in the Spirit and go along with that, or we can do what the flesh wants to do.

I am by no means teaching that salvation needs to be earned, that's the furthest thing from my mind, But God has given us a gift, which is a covenant, and this covenant comes with rules, and stipulations. When we accept that gift we essentially agree to hold it in high regard.

Shalom,
Tanja

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 07:51 PM
God saves us not because of anything we do, but because of what Christ has done.

I agree with that Pleroo, and that's not the issue, I guess what i'm driving at is that salvation can be lost.... And if lost is the wrong word, then being cut of from being deemed worthy is probably a better definition.
There is a parable for that also.

I also agree with you that God knows and doesn't need no sign of our status and fruit, but if He didn't care about fruits being visible, then why all the hoopla in the scriptures about it ?
What it is IMO is that the fruit is the light we are to shine to others... to spread the word and give an example just like Yeshua was a Light to us.

We don't hide the light under a bed now do we, nor is that the purpose of it all, is it ?

God wants out fruit to show and to have it bear seed and more fruit unto others. If we don't do that, then it was useless, and it surely doesn't further the kingdom.

Shalom,
Tanja

Toolman
Nov 15th 2007, 08:12 PM
I do:
1Th 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.

Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Heb 10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Heb 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
Heb 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

These speak of people who were rebellious against the instructions of God.

Shalom,
Tanja

No where does this passage state that these people had faith.

Teke
Nov 15th 2007, 08:14 PM
Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Another good example of ones conscience in action (the publican).
:) The Pharisee's conscience wasn't right in his actions.

Toolman
Nov 15th 2007, 08:18 PM
TM,
I have repeatedly shown and stated that there are two types of works, those works of man that are not in line with God, which don't justify, and those works that are in line with God's Word through the Spirit that do indeed justify.

You have not shown from scripture that works (any kind of works) justify us before God.

Our works do not earn us anything with God, our sin is NOT forgiven because of works but because of Christ alone.
Our works might evidence our salvation but they do not earn that salvation. It is a free gift and free actually means free!


I do understand that Yeshua's sacrifice is a free gift and i will never deny that, but God does also expect us to conform and renew our minds and God provides the Word for that purpose.

Expecting us to do something and justifying us because of it are 2 seperate things.

Our sin is NOT forgiven because of works but because of Christ alone.


Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Yes, it is God's work, i agree with that too, and don't deny that, but we have free will control over our bodies, we can either walk in the Spirit and go along with that, or we can do what the flesh wants to do.

I am by no means teaching that salvation needs to be earned, that's the furthest thing from my mind, But God has given us a gift, which is a covenant, and this covenant comes with rules, and stipulations. When we accept that gift we essentially agree to hold it in high regard.

You can say that you are not teaching that salvation is earned but that is exactly what you are teaching. You are teaching that because of what we do we receive (earn) the forgiveness of sin.
Paul clearly states that is not the case and he does it in extremely clear language.

Toolman
Nov 15th 2007, 08:31 PM
Okay, someone educate me here. I always thought that Torah was the word of God given through the entire first 5 books of the Bible (assumed to be written by Moses), not just the Mosaic law? Am I wrong?

From what I understand "torah" can by used a few different ways but my understanding of the argument that Drew was referencing was that Paul was specifically only speaking of the Law of Moses (torah) and not "good works in general" (whatever those are).

The Torah (תּוֹרָה) is the most important document in Judaism, revered as the inspired word of God, traditionally said to have been revealed to Moses. The word Torah means "teaching," "instruction," "scribe", or "law" in Hebrew. It is also known as the Five Books of Moses, the Law of Moses (Torat Moshe תּוֹרַת־מֹשֶׁה) or Sefer Torah (which refers to the scroll cases in which the books were kept), in Greek called Pentateuch (Πεντετεύχως "five rolls or cases").
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torah

Pleroo
Nov 15th 2007, 08:37 PM
I also agree with you that God knows and doesn't need no sign of our status and fruit, but if He didn't care about fruits being visible, then why all the hoopla in the scriptures about it ?
What it is IMO is that the fruit is the light we are to shine to others... to spread the word and give an example just like Yeshua was a Light to us.

We don't hide the light under a bed now do we, nor is that the purpose of it all, is it ?

God wants out fruit to show and to have it bear seed and more fruit unto others. If we don't do that, then it was useless, and it surely doesn't further the kingdom.

Shalom,
Tanja

I'm going to start here, because I find much agreement with it, and it's always so much nicer to agree than to disagree. ;) We have been saved for a purpose! I love that. Our salvation is not just about us being reconciled to God but about spreading the GOOD NEWS of that reconcilation to others, furthering the Kingdom, as you say.

The Father, through Christ in us, produces fruit, first in our own lives. As we decrease and He increases, He can draw others to Himself through us. This produces, then, the fruit of others coming to know Him as their Savior, and also the fruit of drawing other believers into a deeper relationship with Him. There are people here who the Father has used for that very purpose in my life and I am so grateful!

What an awesome reward to be used in that way. And I agree that we can deny ourselves that reward by resisting God's work within us.


I agree with that Pleroo, and that's not the issue, I guess what i'm driving at is that salvation can be lost.... And if lost is the wrong word, then being cut of from being deemed worthy is probably a better definition.
There is a parable for that also.

And this is where we'll part ways, if I'm understanding you correctly. Salvation IS Jesus Christ, and I can't lose Him because I'm not the one who is doing the holding on. If I was, then it is a surety that I would lose. But, praise God, HE is holding onto ME!!

But it is entirely possible, I believe, to lose the reward of being used by Him to further His Kingdom. We CAN be cut off from that high calling, just as the unbelieving Jews were cut off and also we can and do, in our own lives, forfeit the fullness of His fruit in our own lives every time we look to ourselves and what we do, rather than looking to Christ in us. That is my true conviction, and why this topic concerns me so much. The temptation to fall back on looking to myself instead of Him is always there for me (and I think for all of us). And giving into that temptation leads to a loss of the peace of knowing that it is Christ and Christ ALONE who saves me -- in every way.

Pleroo
Nov 15th 2007, 08:39 PM
From what I understand "torah" can by used a few different ways but my understanding of the argument that Drew was referencing was that Paul was specifically only speaking of the Law of Moses (torah) and not "good works in general" (whatever those are).

The Torah (תּוֹרָה) is the most important document in Judaism, revered as the inspired word of God, traditionally said to have been revealed to Moses. The word Torah means "teaching," "instruction," "scribe", or "law" in Hebrew. It is also known as the Five Books of Moses, the Law of Moses (Torat Moshe תּוֹרַת־מֹשֶׁה) or Sefer Torah (which refers to the scroll cases in which the books were kept), in Greek called Pentateuch (Πεντετεύχως "five rolls or cases").
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torah



Yah. That makes sense. I got lost for a second there. :lol:

drew
Nov 15th 2007, 08:43 PM
You have not shown from scripture that works (any kind of works) justify us before God.
If I recall correctly, and with some inference on my part, your take on Romans 2, with its rather clear statements about justification by works is that it addresses a "non-existent" category of people - that it is a description of how we would be justified if we could be justified by the law.

Please clarify exactly how you interpret Romans 2, specifically in relation to statements Paul makes about people being justified by things they do.

My opinion is that the view that Romans 2 involves Paul speaking about how things would be if we were justified by works seem awfully awkward and contrived (I am not necessarily ascribing this view to you, by the way). If one argues this way - claiming that Paul is speaking about a different universe in which one is justified by works - one can accomplish almost anything.

I hope to get back to you re the issue of whether "law" means "Torah" in Romans generally and in chapter 4 in particular.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 08:50 PM
You are teaching that because of what we do we receive (earn) the forgiveness of sin. Please show me where i am teaching that.....I have over and over stated that i trust in Yeshua for the forgiveness of my sins.
Being given the free gift of salvation is different from gaining justification through works.

Shalom,
Tanja

Partaker of Christ
Nov 15th 2007, 08:56 PM
I agree with that Pleroo, and that's not the issue, I guess what i'm driving at is that salvation can be lost.... And if lost is the wrong word, then being cut of from being deemed worthy is probably a better definition.
There is a parable for that also.

I also agree with you that God knows and doesn't need no sign of our status and fruit, but if He didn't care about fruits being visible, then why all the hoopla in the scriptures about it ?
What it is IMO is that the fruit is the light we are to shine to others... to spread the word and give an example just like Yeshua was a Light to us.

We don't hide the light under a bed now do we, nor is that the purpose of it all, is it ?

God wants out fruit to show and to have it bear seed and more fruit unto others. If we don't do that, then it was useless, and it surely doesn't further the kingdom.

Shalom,
Tanja


Hi Tanja!

If it Christ and Christ alone who saves us 'By the will of God the Father' (not by our will, or by anything that we do). Then how can it be, our will and what we do that can loose our Salvation?

That would mean that our will and our works, are greater than Gods. For they could undo what God alone has done.

Fruit are for Gods Glory, and with that we reap our rewards, our treasures in heaven.

Disobedience and lack of fruit, will result in loss but not loss of His Life in us


1Co 3:9 For we are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

"gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;"

Gold, represents the Father [Glory]
Silver, represents the Son [Purchased by His Son]
Precious Stones, represents the Holy Spirit [Fruit and Gifts]

These commodities are rare in the earth.
God makes rocks and stones, and man makes bricks.

Wood, Hay, and Stubble, represent mans works, and are many. These will be burnt up and will suffer loss.

;

Toolman
Nov 15th 2007, 09:00 PM
If I recall correctly, and with some inference on my part, your take on Romans 2, with its rather clear statements about justification by works is that it addresses a "non-existent" category of people - that it is a description of how we would be justified if we could be justified by the law.

Please clarify exactly how you interpret Romans 2, specifically in relation to statements Paul makes about people being justified by things they do.

My opinion is that the view that Romans 2 involves Paul speaking about how things would be if we were justified by works seem awfully awkward and contrived (I am not necessarily ascribing this view to you, by the way). If one argues this way - claiming that Paul is speaking about a different universe in which one is justified by works - one can accomplish almost anything.

Yes, that is generally what I believe Paul's case is leading up to through Romans 2 is that no person is justified by the Law.

That is his exact point and I don't see it as either awkward or contrived.


I hope to get back to you re the issue of whether "law" means "Torah" in Romans generally and in chapter 4 in particular.

k :)

tgallison
Nov 15th 2007, 09:07 PM
Jesus tells us in His word that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him. Under the Old Testament covenant, salvation was based upon man's ability to keep the law and maintain the sacrifices of atonement for sin.

My question is this... Most of us would agree that obtaining salvation through works and following the rituals of the law is not obtainable. If one must accept the atoning sacrifice of Jesus to be saved, what is the salvation status of those who died under the old covenant? Furthermore, how are they brought under the sacrifice of Christ?

Hburgpreacher Hi

Who better than David should know whether works get you into heaven in the Old Testament.

Psalm 143:1 "Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness." (Jesus is our righteousness)

Psalm 143:2 "And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified."

It sure sounds here like David had no interest in being judged by the law. It sounds more like he was begging for mercy.

In Jesus Christ, terrell

Partaker of Christ
Nov 15th 2007, 10:08 PM
I'm going to start here, because I find much agreement with it, and it's always so much nicer to agree than to disagree. ;) We have been saved for a purpose! I love that. Our salvation is not just about us being reconciled to God but about spreading the GOOD NEWS of that reconcilation to others, furthering the Kingdom, as you say.

The Father, through Christ in us, produces fruit, first in our own lives. As we decrease and He increases, He can draw others to Himself through us. This produces, then, the fruit of others coming to know Him as their Savior, and also the fruit of drawing other believers into a deeper relationship with Him. There are people here who the Father has used for that very purpose in my life and I am so grateful!

What an awesome reward to be used in that way. And I agree that we can deny ourselves that reward by resisting God's work within us.



And this is where we'll part ways, if I'm understanding you correctly. Salvation IS Jesus Christ, and I can't lose Him because I'm not the one who is doing the holding on. If I was, then it is a surety that I would lose. But, praise God, HE is holding onto ME!!

But it is entirely possible, I believe, to lose the reward of being used by Him to further His Kingdom. We CAN be cut off from that high calling, just as the unbelieving Jews were cut off and also we can and do, in our own lives, forfeit the fullness of His fruit in our own lives every time we look to ourselves and what we do, rather than looking to Christ in us. That is my true conviction, and why this topic concerns me so much. The temptation to fall back on looking to myself instead of Him is always there for me (and I think for all of us). And giving into that temptation leads to a loss of the peace of knowing that it is Christ and Christ ALONE who saves me -- in every way.

Hi Pleroo!

100% agree with you on all of this.

Personally I think, that one of the biggest causes of damage to a Christians growth, is Introspection.
It takes our eyes off Him, and on ourselves. Our eyes should be single.
When we look to ourselves all we see is our darkness. He is the Light.

Just as the Earth and Moon are in themselves naturally dark, so are we.
As the earth and the moon turns towards the sun, they begin to reflect the light from the sun. The more they turn to the sun, the more light they reflect.
He is the True Light, and the more we turn to Him, the more of His light we reflect in the dark world.
If we turn our back to Him, His light still shines upon us, but all we see is our dark shadows.

Toolman
Nov 15th 2007, 10:23 PM
Hi Pleroo!

100% agree with you on all of this.

Personally I think, that one of the biggest causes of damage to a Christians growth, is Introspection.
It takes our eyes off Him, and on ourselves. Our eyes should be single.
When we look to ourselves all we see is our darkness. He is the Light.

Genesis 2:25, 3:6-11 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

The serpent's deception has always been for us to place our "eyes" upon ourselves (our nakedness) and our "good" or "evil" and to take our eyes away from the tree of life.

Adam and Eve were unconcerned with their nakedness until their eyes were opened to introspection.

Pleroo
Nov 15th 2007, 10:25 PM
Hi Pleroo!

100% agree with you on all of this.

Personally I think, that one of the biggest causes of damage to a Christians growth, is Introspection.
It takes our eyes off Him, and on ourselves. Our eyes should be single.
When we look to ourselves all we see is our darkness. He is the Light.

Just as the Earth and Moon are in themselves naturally dark, so are we.
As the earth and the moon turns towards the sun, they begin to reflect the light from the sun. The more they turn to the sun, the more light they reflect.
He is the True Light, and the more we turn to Him, the more of His light we reflect in the dark world.
If we turn our back to Him, His light still shines upon us, but all we see is our dark shadows.

I love it when the Father does this -- what you've said here is such a confirmation of what He's been dealing with me on in the last little while -- the danger of introspection. It's such an insidious habit! :rolleyes:

Pleroo
Nov 15th 2007, 10:32 PM
The serpent's deception

Sssserpent'ssss deccception
Inssssidioussss introsssspection


:lol:

Sssssorry. Couldn't help myself.

Toolman
Nov 15th 2007, 10:34 PM
Sssserpent'ssss deccception
Inssssidioussss introsssspection


:lol:

Sssssorry. Couldn't help myself.

:)

Reminds me of a bad b-movie I saw as a kid...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070622/

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 10:36 PM
The serpent's deception has always been for us to place our "eyes" upon ourselves (our nakedness) and our "good" or "evil" and to take our eyes away from the tree of life.They looked to themselves to gain wisdom and knowledge, to become like God, and they acted upon that fleshly desire.

If they had listened to the Word of God who told them not to eat of that tree, and followed through on what God told them not to do, they would have been fine.

The sin of Adam and Eve wasn't manifested til both of them ate, and in fact until the head of the house ate.

Looking to oneself to make sure that what we do is in line with God's Word is no sin.

2Pe 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Pe 1:9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
2Pe 1:10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
2Pe 1:11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Shalom,
Tanja

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 10:40 PM
I seriously am aghast that Introspection is considered a sin.... :o It's shocking and bewildering to me...:o

2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Scriptures tell us to examine ourselves:

1Co 11:28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
1Co 11:29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.

This here tells us that a person who drinks the cup without making sure that what the body does is in line with the Word, eats and drinks judgment on themselves.

It's like claiming the Name, and not playing the Game.

This is IMO a very dangerous road to be on........... :(


Shalom,
Tanja

Toolman
Nov 15th 2007, 10:47 PM
I seriously am aghast that Introspection is considered a sin.... It's shocking and bewildering to me...

I am aghast that works are seriously being considered a means of meriting and earning salvation but sometimes it be's that way :)


2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Shalom,
Tanja

There is no doubt that human's who have been justified but not yet glorified are called to examine themselves because we, unfortunately, are still fallen creatures not fully saved yet and we battle the flesh.

This will not be the case when sin is finally destroyed and no longer exists. There will be no need for introspection for our eye will be fully light.

I've posted this before as far as how I believe the scripture, as a whole, teaches us to handle self-examination:

I personally look at examining myself as a sword and a dagger.

The Sword
On the one hand I examine my position in Christ, that He has purged ALL my sin and the penalty for it FOREVER, that I am now seated with Him in the heavenlies secure in His Grace, and that in Him I am blessed with ALL spriritual blessings. My identity is found in Him and Him alone.

This is the sword of examination. I must constantly remind myself that when God looks upon me He sees His Son and not my sin.
This conquers the condemnation that the enemy would love for me to wallow in.

The Dagger
On the other hand I examine my practical walk with the Lord. Where am I missing the mark in what He would will for my life. Who would He have me minister to that I have neglected? What intents of my heart are not godly?

This is the dagger of examination. This conquers the complacency that the enemy would love for me to slide into.

The Precedence
The sword and the dagger are both vital but the sword must always proceed (take precedence over) the dagger or condemnation and guilt will result from the dagger.

And just to clarify any examination we do is because of God working in our hearts to conform us to the image of His Son. We do not do it in our own power or strength. True examination comes from God and does not bring condemnation but brings about a progressive maturing and conforming to His image.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 10:53 PM
I am aghast that works are seriously being considered a means of meriting and earning salvation but sometimes it be's that wayToolman, i am tired of you painting me in a way that is contrary to what i say. I have NEVER said one can earn salvation. I have repeatedly explained that earning salvation is NOT possible.
What you consider to be earned salvation is what i consider justification by works, these are not interchangeable, however, there is a fine line and they are closely related.

Since you cannot understand my position you fail to see what i mean despite my efforts of explaining it to you.
I would ask that you refrain from painting me in a light that i'm certainly not. I repeat: SALVATION CANNOT BE EARNED. AND I NEVER SAID OTHERWISE!
What you and i have a beef with is how justification comes about.

Do you really think God will justify you if you willingly disobey, even though you believe in Yeshua?

Shalom,
Tanja

Pleroo
Nov 15th 2007, 10:58 PM
I seriously am aghast that Introspection is considered a sin.... :o It's shocking and bewildering to me...:o

2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Scriptures tell us to examine ourselves:

1Co 11:28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
1Co 11:29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.

This here tells us that a person who drinks the cup without making sure that what the body does is in line with the Word, eats and drinks judgment on themselves.

It's like claiming the Name, and not playing the Game.

This is IMO a very dangerous road to be on........... :(


Shalom,
Tanja

I sure can't improve on what TM said, Tanja, but I do want to add my .02.

Looking at myself through my eyes, never bears good fruit in my life.

The Psalmist said:

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


It's God-inspection as opposed to Intro-spection, if you see what I mean. :)

Toolman
Nov 15th 2007, 11:02 PM
Toolman, i am tired of you painting me in a way that is contrary to what i say. I have NEVER said one can earn salvation. I have repeatedly explained that earning salvation is NOT possible.
What you consider to be earned salvation is what i consider justification by works, these are not interchangeable.

Shalom,
Tanja

Tanja,

I'm not trying to paint anything contrary to what you are stating.

Earning salvation and justification by works are synonymous. They are the same thing.

If we are going to start with comments like "I'm aghast that...", then don't be offended if the same comes back :)

I'm not trying to be mean to you personally here (its not personal at ALL) but I will continue to call a duck a duck and justification by works is earned salvation and it is THE very doctrinal reason for the reformation.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 11:04 PM
I sure can't improve on what TM said, Tanja, but I do want to add my .02.

Looking at myself through my eyes, never bears good fruit in my life.

Ok right there is where you err, when i introspect, and examine myself i look at myself from what the Word says it true and good. So i'm looking at myself from His perspective.

Shalom,
Tanja

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 11:06 PM
TM i'm going to show you what i mean and see that one is Justified by Faith, i do not disagree with that biblical statement at all, but i disagree with how this is understood to work by many. (pun)

Give me about 5-10 minutes and i will have a response to that and an explanation how this goes along with works justifying us.

Shalom,
Tanja

Toolman
Nov 15th 2007, 11:08 PM
Since you cannot understand my position you fail to see what i mean despite my efforts of explaining it to you.
I would ask that you refrain from painting me in a light that i'm certainly not. I repeat: SALVATION CANNOT BE EARNED. AND I NEVER SAID OTHERWISE!
What you and i have a beef with is how justification comes about.

If justification is accomplished by something we DO then that is salvation earned and what Paul is specifically addressing in Romans 4.

I don't see a way around it.


Do you really think God will justify you if you willingly disobey, even though you believe in Yeshua?

Shalom,
Tanja

Yes, I believe that God has completely forgiven my sin even though I have willingly disobeyed Him. I have done it before.. I might do it again... my trust is not in myself and how well I perform... I put ALL my trust in Him alone.

Have you ever willingly disobeyed God? Did David, Moses, Abraham ever williingly disobey God?

Partaker of Christ
Nov 15th 2007, 11:17 PM
I seriously am aghast that Introspection is considered a sin.... :o It's shocking and bewildering to me...:o

2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Scriptures tell us to examine ourselves:

1Co 11:28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
1Co 11:29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.

This here tells us that a person who drinks the cup without making sure that what the body does is in line with the Word, eats and drinks judgment on themselves.

It's like claiming the Name, and not playing the Game.

This is IMO a very dangerous road to be on........... :(


Shalom,
Tanja

Hi Tanja!

No one said it was a sin, but it is a choker.

Those verses are probably the only ones that you will find, and it is not introspection as such.

2Co 13:3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.

It is basically 'Are you trusting in Christ'?
Paul's calling was being questioned.
He said examine yourselves, see if Christ be in you.
If not then you are reprobates. If you are in the faith, then that would confirm my ministry.

The other verses [1 Cor 11], are about recognising the Body.
Wait for one another (tarry) until all are there.
Communion was not about stuffing your face, but having fellowship with one another.
If you are hungry then have something to eat at home. The fact that they were not considerate towards one another, and they had issues with one another that had not been resolved, was causing them to eat in a manner that was unworthy.
Leave your gift at the alter, and go make up with your brother first.

Pleroo
Nov 15th 2007, 11:19 PM
Ok right there is where you err, when i introspect, and examine myself i look at myself from what the Word says it true and good. So i'm looking at myself from His perspective.

Shalom,
Tanja

The word can kill too, Tanja. The letter kills -- the Law kills. The Spirit gives life.

If you're looking at yourself from God's perspective, then you are seeing the Spirit of Christ in you. Once again, our eyes are not on ourselves but on Him.

Partaker of Christ
Nov 15th 2007, 11:52 PM
Ok right there is where you err, when i introspect, and examine myself i look at myself from what the Word says it true and good. So i'm looking at myself from His perspective.

Shalom,
Tanja

Hi Tanja

Can darkness expose darkness?

It is the light that exposes our darkness.
God does not accuse us, but He exposes us as He draws near to us, and we draw near to Him.
The problem is that when our nakedness is exposed, we try to cover it up.

If 'I' am credited with doing anything, then that is 'my' glory.

A good test is that when we have (or believe we have) done wrong, how bold are we when we enter His throne room? Do we enter boldly or sheepishly?

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 11:56 PM
Have you ever willingly disobeyed God? Did David, Moses, Abraham ever williingly disobey God?
Yes, and they all repented, which is why salvation was extended again. But Moses experienced severe punishment for not obeying.
David experienced punishment for comitting adultery.
We still reap what we sow today, God still disciplines us.
Salvation and mercy do not equal a rescinding of discipline by God.

And yes, i too have willingly disobeyed God. I look to my salvation, but i still can expect some form of punishment. It won't be death, but maybe a good whooping and discipline throughout my life here on earth, and a loss of earthly blessings as well as possibly heavenly rewards.
However there could come a time where one is cut off...

Heb 3:12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.

Shalom,
Tanja

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 15th 2007, 11:58 PM
Partaker,
i urge you to re-read what i wrote:


...when i introspect, and examine myself i look at myself from what the Word says it true and good. So i'm looking at myself from His perspective.



Can darkness expose darkness?
Of course not, but i was using the Word which is light as the way to expose the darkness within me....

Shalom,
Tanja

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 16th 2007, 12:08 AM
Faith:

Deu 32:20 And he said, 'I will hide my face from them; I will see what their end will be, For they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faithfulness 529. (in whom is no truth emphasis mine)
Deu 32:21 They have made me jealous with what is no god; they have provoked me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are no people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

H529
אמוּן
'êmûn
BDB Definition:
1) faithfulness, trusting
1a) faithful, trusty (as adjective)
Part of Speech: noun masculine
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H539
Same Word by TWOT Number: 116d

H529
אמוּן
'êmûn
ay-moon'
From H539; established, that is, (figuratively) trusty; also (abstractly) trustworthiness: - faith (-ful), truth.

Hab 2:4 "Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith 530.

H530
אמנה / אמוּנה
'ĕmûnâh
BDB Definition:
1) firmness, fidelity, steadfastness, steadiness
Part of Speech: noun feminine
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H529
Same Word by TWOT Number: 116e
H530
אמנה אמוּנה
'ĕmûnâh 'ĕmûnâh
em-oo-naw', em-oo-naw'
Feminine of H529; literally firmness; figuratively security; moral fidelity: - faith (-ful, -ly, -ness, [man]), set office, stability, steady, truly, truth, verily.

Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.


Now let me give you an example of how this truth in us justifies us when it is manifested in works.

Mat 14:26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out in fear.
Mat 14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid."
Mat 14:28 And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water."
Mat 14:29 He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.
Mat 14:30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me."
Mat 14:31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"

Peter called out first verifying it was indeed the Word that was walking on the water, before he would act on his Faith.
The Word/Truth replied in the affirmative “It is I:”
Peter recognized the truth and acted upon it. This (work) done in Faith justified Peter walking on the water, until he began to doubt. So then peter needed to fall back on the Word/Truth, and asked to be saved.

This is the best example that came to mind about how works justify us through Faith.

Faith is something you do, you live it out, as the Truth would want us to.
It’s a two part process, you hear the truth, you know the truth, and understand it, and then you act on it. Without acting on it you have failed to complete the process.

If there is no complete faith, then there can be no justification.
It starts with believing, thinking and finally a doing.
Without the completed process I don’t think there will be any justification at all.

What’s there to justify if faith is not carried out in works…. James calls that dead faith.
Jas 2:17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.


Can dead Faith be justified ?
If you have dead faith, do you believe ?
Is God going to extend salvation to someone who does not believe ?
If you don’t believe and have no faith then is there truth in you ?

With that I’m in no way trying to condemn a baby Believer/Christian who is just learning to overcome and gaining understanding, but once that small flicker of belief sets in a series of actions take place, even if that may be purely on a mental level at first. A maturing Believer/Christian will learn to walk the walk and produce fruit which manifest in works.

However a person who stalls at the first stage and will not bear fruit ever will be broken off. It is not for me to determine anyone in that category as being dead however.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

Salvation is extended to us for free, no doubt about it at all. But without belief and a growing to maturity having Faith manifesting in works bearing fruit, I’m not so sure one is going to stay saved. We are saved continuously (as can be seen in the Peter walking on the water incident). And someone broken off can be grafted in again. Repentance is the key to that.

These are my thoughts.

Shalom,
Tanja

Toolman
Nov 16th 2007, 12:11 AM
Yes, and they all repented, which is why salvation was extended again. But Moses experienced severe punishment for not obeying.
David experienced punishment for comitting adultery.
We still reap what we sow today, God still disciplines us.
Salvation and mercy do not equal a rescinding of discipline by God.

I have never stated that people who are justified (sin completely forgiven by God) will not be disciplined. In fact those who aren't disciplined are bastards according to scripture.

Nevertheless, the answer to your question is yes. God justifies those who willing disobey Him.


And yes, i too have willingly disobeyed God. I look to my salvation, but i still can expect some form of punishment. It won't be death, but maybe a good whooping and discipline throughout my life here on earth, and a loss of earthly blessings as well as possibly heavenly rewards.

Nevertheless, you do not receive the wages for your sin... death.

You willing disobeyed God and you are justified. You have answered your own question.

Discipline and punishment by a loving Father does not equate to not being justified. Sons are disciplined by their Dad.


However there could come a time where one is cut off...

Heb 3:12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.

Shalom,
Tanja

Nevertheless, justification is by faith in Christ alone, apart from works.

As far as a person who has an evil, unbelieving heart I would not equate that as one who has faith.... sounds like an unbeliever but there has been tons of threads on who and what Hebrews is speaking to.

My point, and my only point in this thread, is that people are justified (sin forgiven) because of the person and work of Jesus Christ alone and thru simply trusting in Him and His death and resurrection (atoning work) as the ONLY thing that puts us in a right position with God. Our works have not and never will do that. Our works will result from God working thru us but they do not justify us before God.

Pleroo
Nov 16th 2007, 12:16 AM
Can darkness expose darkness?
Of course not, but i was using the Word which is light as the way to expose the darkness within me....

Shalom,
Tanja


John 5:39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

It is in the Person that we find Life.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 16th 2007, 12:18 AM
You willing disobeyed God and you are justified. You have answered your own question.

If i willingly disobeyed and io get a spanking for that, i'm not so sure i call that justification.
I call that the mercy of God which is salvation given as a free gift.

Anyways, i'm not saying one will lose their salvation based on some disobedience... but it's definetly not a good place to be and continue on, as IMO it can lead to a falling away.

As for that Hebrews scripture about falling away, i clearly believe it speaks to a believer, how can an unbeliever fall away, when an unbeliever is already fallen.

Shalom,
Tanja

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 16th 2007, 12:31 AM
John 5:39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.That verse is misunderstood and misapplied. The Word is the Person, and the scriptures are about the Word/Person.... thus the scriptures give life, because the Word is life, it doesn't matter in what form you look at the Word. However, it can only give life if it is written in your heart, and if you allow it in your heart, the Holy Spirit will not come and write the Law into your heart if you don't want it there.

You know Pleroo, throwing that particular scripture out like this is the reason why many dig no further in the Word to expose the darkness within themselves. Therefore they expect the Holy Spirit to do all the work which ain't gonna happen.

We are supposed to seek and find, knock... and this is what yeshua was saying to the Pharisees there, that scripture is actually a command of Yeshua telling the Pharisees to read the Word, and read it correctly... leaving them without their traditions.

Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Joh 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

Go ahead and google this, there are quite a number of protestant scholars that believe this can very much be understood as a command by Yeshua, for the Pharisees to read the scriptures, and they would not do that, because they knew that their traditions were not scriptural, they knew that their extra rules and decrees were not in scripture, and moreover a burden they would not bear themselves.

That's what Yeshua was saying here.

Shalom,
Tanja

Pleroo
Nov 16th 2007, 12:57 AM
You know Pleroo, throwing that particular scripture out like this is the reason why many dig no further in the Word to expose the darkness within themselves. Therefore they expect the Holy Spirit to do all the work which ain't gonna happen.

Dear friend :hug:, you are correct. I do expect the Spirit to do all the work, and I acknowledge that I, myself, can do nothing. As the Spirit of Christ is raised up within me HE casts His light into every dark place within me, revealing to me what He knows it is best for me to see, and HE is overcoming the darkness within me. I have and do hinder His work, and there is no doubt in my mind about that -- sometimes by my self-willed sinfulness and sometimes by my self-efforts to form myself into His image, which is something only He can do. I thank the Father for His mercy and patience.

And I thank you for your willingness to discuss this. I know it isn't always easy to put yourself out there like you are doing.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 16th 2007, 01:20 AM
Pleroo,

I rely on the work of the Spirit and the Word whose work is ongoing. I am not doing anything myself except the desire that God has put in my heart that drives me to the scriptures which i seek to know and understand truth. The Holy Spirit meanwhile is quick to point out my mistakes as God leads me across the scriptures.

Let there be no doubt that there's nothing i can boast of as maybe some of you may think that i am doing. The Spirit of God is the one that gives me understanding and discernment, leading me into all truth, without Him, i am nothing.

I just happen to have a different understanding and insight than you do. :hug:
We all grow at different rates.

Shalom my friend,
Tanja

Toolman
Nov 16th 2007, 01:46 AM
If i willingly disobeyed and io get a spanking for that, i'm not so sure i call that justification.

But it is what the bible calls it. Justification simply means that the penalty of our sin, death, is forgiven by God and we are adopted into His family.

Children get disciplined by a loving Father, bastards do not.


I call that the mercy of God which is salvation given as a free gift.

Anyways, i'm not saying one will lose their salvation based on some disobedience... but it's definetly not a good place to be and continue on, as IMO it can lead to a falling away.

I'm not addressing the issue of whether one can lose salvation or not.

I am addressing the issue of what justifies a believer before God. What is it that forgives sins and blots out transgressions? I believe it is Christ alone and simply trusting in His death and resurrection as the only thing that makes us right with God.


As for that Hebrews scripture about falling away, i clearly believe it speaks to a believer, how can an unbeliever fall away, when an unbeliever is already fallen.

Shalom,
Tanja

I understand you believe that and why you believe that.

Nevertheless a person is only justified by faith in Christ, apart from any works they may do.

The only people who are under God's condemnation and the penalty of death are those who reject His Son and do not believe on Him.

Toolman
Nov 16th 2007, 01:47 AM
BTW,

Tanja, if I have been a bit snippy in this thread I apologize. I've been working alot of hours and I may not have been as patient as I should have been.

I disagree vehemently with your position on justification but I respect and cherish you as a person and child of God.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 16th 2007, 02:12 AM
Hey TM,
i accept your appologies with much gratitude, though i have not felt offended.
I understand thjat my position and view on things differ.

I hope i likewise have not offended you in any way. :hug:


I disagree vehemently with your position on justification but I respect and cherish you as a person and child of God.
I ditto that !!! :)

Shalom,
Tanja

Pleroo
Nov 16th 2007, 05:26 PM
We are supposed to seek and find, knock... and this is what yeshua was saying to the Pharisees there, that scripture is actually a command of Yeshua telling the Pharisees to read the Word, and read it correctly... leaving them without their traditions.

Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Joh 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

Go ahead and google this, there are quite a number of protestant scholars that believe this can very much be understood as a command by Yeshua, for the Pharisees to read the scriptures, and they would not do that, because they knew that their traditions were not scriptural, they knew that their extra rules and decrees were not in scripture, and moreover a burden they would not bear themselves.

That's what Yeshua was saying here.

Shalom,
Tanja


Tanja, I wanted to address this, because perhaps you got the wrong impression. I, in no way, am saying that Scripture is unimportant. But what you're saying about how you believe this passage should be translated, doesn't in any way negate the point I was making by quoting it...

If our asking, seeking, knocking leads us to attempting to do anything to justify ourselves before God, then we are missing the point of Scripture. If it is not leading us to Jesus Christ, and Him alone, then we are missing LIFE. Anything else is death.

Does that make what I was saying clearer? :)

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 16th 2007, 08:54 PM
Pleroo,
I understand, but still, if i seek the word, and it becomes written on my heart as i sit and ponder it, and the Holy Spirit makes it understandable to me, and i start living out the Word, am i really doing anything of myself or is the Word in me doing it ?


I have an example, that crossed my mind as i was reading a book earlier about scripture and prophecy. What i was reading was:

Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

When Yeshua was going to the synagogue every sabbath and spending time there reading scriptures, He surely did come across this and saw this. The Word of God spoken through His prophet Isaiah.
We know that Yeshua as a human learned things and increased in wisdom too.

So then it dawned on me that Yeshua learned from the scriptures how He was to act and do, when that time came. The Holy Spirit no doubt helped Him through that time reminding Him of Isaiah. So He followed The Word, (or Himself if you will) to the "T".

In the same way i believe we can learn from the Word what we are to do in any given situation, and should we forget due to the trying time we might be in, the Holy Spirit is quick to remind us. Following the Word after it has sunk deep within us to do it's work IMO is a VERY far cry from doing things on my own.

Shalom,
Tanja

drew
Nov 16th 2007, 09:41 PM
I understand, but still, if i seek the word, and it becomes written on my heart as i sit and ponder it, and the Holy Spirit makes it understandable to me, and i start living out the Word, am i really doing anything of myself or is the Word in me doing it ?
I agree with your implication here. I do not wish to seem critical of others, but I do think there is a problem when people take the "salvation is a gift of God" idea and get so literal and "technical" about it that they argue that any position that has us doing anything, even simply reaching out to accept the gift, amounts to an effort to achieve salvation by "by works".

Toolman
Nov 16th 2007, 09:44 PM
I agree with your implication here. I do not wish to seem critical of others, but I do think there is a problem when people take the "salvation is a gift of God" idea and get so literal and "technical" about it that they argue that any position that has us doing anything, even simply reaching out to accept the gift, amounts to an effort to achieve salvation by "by works".

Let me be clear here that I have never stated that works are not involved in salvation. I believe they are intergral and will be evident in those whom the Spirit dwells.

But works are not what justify us before God. Never have and never will.

StevenC
Nov 17th 2007, 07:07 AM
My question is this... Most of us would agree that obtaining salvation through works and following the rituals of the law is not obtainable. If one must accept the atoning sacrifice of Jesus to be saved, what is the salvation status of those who died under the old covenant? Furthermore, how are they brought under the sacrifice of Christ?

It could be said that it was God's desire that Israel be saved.

Psalms 95:10-11 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

However, because of Israel's rebelliousness God gave them a covenant not of salvation but of judgment.

Ezekiel 20:23-25 I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols. Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;

Regarding whether those who lived during Old Testament times can be saved, the answer is most assuredly yes!

Matthew 22:31-33 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

That is, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be there in the kingdom among all those whom God declared righteous.

-Steven

Pleroo
Nov 17th 2007, 07:29 PM
Pleroo,
I understand, but still, if i seek the word, and it becomes written on my heart as i sit and ponder it, and the Holy Spirit makes it understandable to me, and i start living out the Word, am i really doing anything of myself or is the Word in me doing it ?


I have an example, that crossed my mind as i was reading a book earlier about scripture and prophecy. What i was reading was:

Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

When Yeshua was going to the synagogue every sabbath and spending time there reading scriptures, He surely did come across this and saw this. The Word of God spoken through His prophet Isaiah.
We know that Yeshua as a human learned things and increased in wisdom too.

So then it dawned on me that Yeshua learned from the scriptures how He was to act and do, when that time came. The Holy Spirit no doubt helped Him through that time reminding Him of Isaiah. So He followed The Word, (or Himself if you will) to the "T".

In the same way i believe we can learn from the Word what we are to do in any given situation, and should we forget due to the trying time we might be in, the Holy Spirit is quick to remind us. Following the Word after it has sunk deep within us to do it's work IMO is a VERY far cry from doing things on my own.

Shalom,
Tanja


Tanja,

I read something recently that I think puts this into perspective. I'm going to try to summarazie it here.

In the garden of Eden, God planted 2 trees: the Tree of Life (ToL), and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (ToK). BOTH of those trees were planted there by God, yet one brought LIFE and one brought death. The ToL is Jesus. In eating of Him, we have LIFE. The ToK is anything we do that is independent of Him and when we eat of that, we die. In a sense, you could say that both of these trees are the word of God. The ToL is the Living Word, the ToK is the letter of the word.

Notice that on the ToK there is not just evil, there is also good. The Scriptures are full of the word of God telling us what is evil and what is good. But if we take those things and avoid doing what is evil and implement the good in our lives with the assumption that then justifies us before God, we have just eaten from the ToK, the letter of the word, and not from the ToL, the Living Word.

So, while I completely understand what you are saying in your post and find much there that sounds good, when I combine it with what you APPEAR to be teaching -- that we are justified before God by faith in Christ but only with the addition of our own works, rather than by Christ alone -- then I feel that it is crossing a line from Life into death.

Notice that in the Garden, God did NOT tell Adam to eat from the ToL and then also to eat from the ToK. He simply said, DO NOT EAT from the ToK. It is CHRIST, and HIM ALONE, who is LIFE and by HIS LIFE He justifies us before the Father.

Can you see, then, where I'm having trouble with what you are proclaiming about justification by our works? :hug:

Truly, I can't tell if I'm disagreeing with what you actually believe, or only with what you're saying. As Christ lives His Life in and through us, He WILL produce His good works. We can hinder that work and not bear fruit by not abiding in Him. If this is what you actually believe, then I am in agreement with it. But if, as you say, it is OUR works and efforts which justifiy us and save us, then that is where I find disagreement with you.

tgallison
Nov 17th 2007, 10:01 PM
Tanja,

I read something recently that I think puts this into perspective. I'm going to try to summarazie it here.

In the garden of Eden, God planted 2 trees: the Tree of Life (ToL), and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (ToK). BOTH of those trees were planted there by God, yet one brought LIFE and one brought death. The ToL is Jesus. In eating of Him, we have LIFE. The ToK is anything we do that is independent of Him and when we eat of that, we die. In a sense, you could say that both of these trees are the word of God. The ToL is the Living Word, the ToK is the letter of the word.

Notice that on the ToK there is not just evil, there is also good. The Scriptures are full of the word of God telling us what is evil and what is good. But if we take those things and avoid doing what is evil and implement the good in our lives with the assumption that then justifies us before God, we have just eaten from the ToK, the letter of the word, and not from the ToL, the Living Word.

So, while I completely understand what you are saying in your post and find much there that sounds good, when I combine it with what you APPEAR to be teaching -- that we are justified before God by faith in Christ but only with the addition of our own works, rather than by Christ alone -- then I feel that it is crossing a line from Life into death.

Notice that in the Garden, God did NOT tell Adam to eat from the ToL and then also to eat from the ToK. He simply said, DO NOT EAT from the ToK. It is CHRIST, and HIM ALONE, who is LIFE and by HIS LIFE He justifies us before the Father.

Can you see, then, where I'm having trouble with what you are proclaiming about justification by our works? :hug:

Truly, I can't tell if I'm disagreeing with what you actually believe, or only with what you're saying. As Christ lives His Life in and through us, He WILL produce His good works. We can hinder that work and not bear fruit by not abiding in Him. If this is what you actually believe, then I am in agreement with it. But if, as you say, it is OUR works and efforts which justifiy us and save us, then that is where I find disagreement with you.

Pleroo

Thank you for your post.

terrell

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 17th 2007, 10:59 PM
Well Pleroo, that is where i differ, I don't think the Tree of the knowledge of Good and evil was the Word, but rather it was a simple tree, on which God placed the stipulation not to touch. The fruit itself did not give knowledge, what gave knowledge of good and evil came from Adam and Eve's actions. Actions, i might add, which were not based on the Word of God, but on their own selfish desire to reach forth and claim that which they thought God was withholding from them. It led to an act of disobedience.

What i am teaching Pleroo is, that if i read the Word, and it tells me not to steal, and the Holy Spirit explains to me the many definitions of stealing as i go through the day that i may come across, and i make the decision to follow the advice of the Holy Spirit's explanation that if i take a money offering from someone, who figured we were in need and i am not in need, then i'm stealing just as much as i would be if i stole bread out of a store. If i followed the Spirit in this matter then is works, after the Word of God, after the Holy Spirit's explanation. This is walking after the Spirit according to the Word.

If the Spirit explained to me that the spirit of the law of "thou shall not steal" is stealing if i accepted that money, then not following what the Spirit told me is rejecting the Spirit's wisdom, and following the flesh instead. Can the work of my flesh be justified ?

No, because now i have sinned against God, against better judgment. Now, i don't mean to say that i'm now overall condemned because of that sin, that's only for God to judge. But if i break one Law, i'm guilty of breaking them all, because i did not act in love.
All in all, i can expect to get some sort of discipline form the Father for accepting money when i wasn't clearly in need.

I'd like to again point to the parable of the Talents, where the master gave each servant a certain amount of money. This money can be representative of spiritual wisdom, and knowledge, given by the the Holy Spirit. Those that used what they were given wisely, came back with a doubled or tripled return of using what was given to them. Not so the wicked and lazy servant who buried His wisdom and knowledge given in the ground. Therefore He did not act on what the master had taught him, and let that knowledge sit unfruitful in the ground, hidden away. This wicked and lazy servant is asked to give account, and due to his act stripped of what he had been given, and thrown out:

Mat 25:30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

Those people will not enter the kingdom.

That's what i'm trying to say.

Shalom,
Tanja

Partaker of Christ
Nov 18th 2007, 11:32 PM
Hi Tanja!


Well Pleroo, that is where i differ, I don't think the Tree of the knowledge of Good and evil was the Word, but rather it was a simple tree, on which God placed the stipulation not to touch. The fruit itself did not give knowledge, what gave knowledge of good and evil came from Adam and Eve's actions. Actions, i might add, which were not based on the Word of God, but on their own selfish desire to reach forth and claim that which they thought God was withholding from them. It led to an act of disobedience.

It matters not what we think, but what the word says.

If this was just a simple tree, then what of the Tree of Life?
Of all the trees in the garden, God only mentions these two trees specifically.

What these two trees represent, is Dependence and Independence.
We either Depend upon God for all things, or we depend upon ourselves.
Before God created man, He first provided absolutely everything that man would need for life. Mans first day was rest.
In Christ Jesus, our Heavenly Father has provided everything we need. We need to depend on what He has done for us, and enter that rest. We work 'from' our rest, not 'too' our rest.
We don't have to climb up the mountain, because in Christ we are on the mountain top. We need to stand and stand firm (on the mountain top). Satan would try and tease us down the mountain. If and when we do stumble and fall, we loose our peace, we loose our joy, we loose our boldness and our strength etc: If we stand and stand firm, then that is 'overcoming'

You will notice that the Armour of God, is all to defend ourselves with. Only the Sword of the Spirit is used for both attacking and defending with.




What i am teaching Pleroo is, that if i read the Word, and it tells me not to steal, and the Holy Spirit explains to me the many definitions of stealing as i go through the day that i may come across, and i make the decision to follow the advice of the Holy Spirit's explanation that if i take a money offering from someone, who figured we were in need and i am not in need, then i'm stealing just as much as i would be if i stole bread out of a store. If i followed the Spirit in this matter then is works, after the Word of God, after the Holy Spirit's explanation. This is walking after the Spirit according to the Word.

Only God is good. If we are in Christ, then 'I' is dead. To deny thy self is to deny the 'I' It is not only our bad, but also our so called good.

Therefore recon yourselves dead. God does not repair us or patch us up. He replaces us. New wine in new wineskins.



If the Spirit explained to me that the spirit of the law of "thou shall not steal" is stealing if i accepted that money, then not following what the Spirit told me is rejecting the Spirit's wisdom, and following the flesh instead. Can the work of my flesh be justified ?

What is the 'spirit of the law'?




No, because now i have sinned against God, against better judgment. Now, i don't mean to say that i'm now overall condemned because of that sin, that's only for God to judge. But if i break one Law, i'm guilty of breaking them all, because i did not act in love.
All in all, i can expect to get some sort of discipline form the Father for accepting money when i wasn't clearly in need.

You can only break the law if you are under the law.

The old man (who is now dead) was under the law
The new man is under Grace.

(read Romans 7:1-6)
We cannot live under Law and under Grace, for to do so is committing adultery.



I'd like to again point to the parable of the Talents, where the master gave each servant a certain amount of money. This money can be representative of spiritual wisdom, and knowledge, given by the the Holy Spirit. Those that used what they were given wisely, came back with a doubled or tripled return of using what was given to them. Not so the wicked and lazy servant who buried His wisdom and knowledge given in the ground. Therefore He did not act on what the master had taught him, and let that knowledge sit unfruitful in the ground, hidden away. This wicked and lazy servant is asked to give account, and due to his act stripped of what he had been given, and thrown out:

The parable of the Talents, is about the Lord giving us gifts. These gifts are not for us to benefit personally, but they are gifts to give others. We all have at least one talent, and some have more.

If I desire to grow in Christ, just so that I can be a better Christian, then I am no better then a fool.
My desire to grow in Christ, should be first to Glorify the Father, and to benefit and build up the Body of Christ.



Mat 25:30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

Those people will not enter the kingdom.

That's what i'm trying to say.

Shalom,
Tanja

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 18th 2007, 11:54 PM
What these two trees represent, is Dependence and Independence.Exactly... that was my point....




What i am teaching Pleroo is, that if i read the Word, and it tells me not to steal, and the Holy Spirit explains to me the many definitions of stealing as i go through the day that i may come across, and i make the decision to follow the advice of the Holy Spirit's explanation that if i take a money offering from someone, who figured we were in need and i am not in need, then i'm stealing just as much as i would be if i stole bread out of a store. If i followed the Spirit in this matter then is works, after the Word of God, after the Holy Spirit's explanation. This is walking after the Spirit according to the Word.

Only God is good. If we are in Christ, then 'I' is dead. To deny thy self is to deny the 'I' It is not only our bad, but also our so called good.


I'm not sure what you're getting at, as my above statement shows a denying of myself .... It's not about "I", i still have a free will to follow the Spirit as do you. There was nothing selfish about that message, it was an example how i could die to myself with the help of the Word and the Holy Spirit's guidance.... You entirely missed that.


What is the 'spirit of the law'?The Spirit of the Law goes deeper than just the obvious part of the Law itself. As i explained in my prior example, for example stealing money from someone is the obvious part, but when someone offers you money because they think you are needy and you accept that, that is where the spirit of the Law comes in, when you tell that person, give it to so and so instead. The spirit of the Law ties that particular case in Law in with Love, and goes deeper.
The Holy Spirit has revealed many of such things to me. (there, i boasted in the Lord) :)


The parable of the Talents, is about the Lord giving us gifts. These gifts are not for us to benefit personally, but they are gifts to give others. We all have at least one talent, and some have more.Salvation is a gift isn't it ? The one that hid his salvation in the ground to where others could not see it was called wicked and he made no return on what he was given. Not to mention he made no return even for himself. He returned to the master with the same amount of what was given to him in the beginning, not glorifying his master at all.
The Master even told him if he had at least taken what he was given to the bankers....
And in the end everything was taken from him, so i vehemently disagree that everyone has at least one talent, because scripture shows there are those from whom it is taken.
The parable of the Talents could be about anything, you fill in the blanks.


We cannot live under Law and under Grace, for to do so is committing adultery.
I don't live under the Law, but i establish it with God's guidance through the Holy Spirit and the Word.

Rom 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
Rom 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. ;)


If I desire to grow in Christ, just so that I can be a better Christian, then I am no better then a fool.What's wrong about this if i desire to be better ? Who says i desire this for selfish reasons ? Do you propose to know my heart ?
To the contrary, i desire to be better so i can glorify my Father in heaven!


Shalom,
Tanja

Pleroo
Nov 19th 2007, 04:48 PM
Tanja, I still can't quite pinpoint what I am saying that you disagree with. I thought I understood, but then you said that bit about dependence & independence being your point and that threw me off. So, let me just ask a simple multiple choice question, if that's okay with you. :)

Do you believe...

(*I am assuming that you believe, as I do, that the Spirit guides into truth and understanding as to what constitutes obedience and "good works" , so that is a given in either case.)


A) We are justified before God by faith in Christ along with the addition of our own efforts, obedience and works. *The outcome of the Spirit's guidance would be that you are then able to do good works and obey because you know what God expects of you.

or

B) We are justified before God by Christ alone. If we abide in Him, Christ lives His Life in and through us, and He will produce His good works (fruit) in our lives. *The outcome of the Spirit's guidance would be that you can recognize whether or not you are bearing Christ's fruit and thus be aware of whether or not you are abiding in Him.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 19th 2007, 06:19 PM
Pleroo,

First off, thank you for your loving and patient nature, in this topic trying to understand my position.

With the two short options you give, i would have to take option A as the one most closely resembling my beliefs. And in all reality, if i do the works based on the Spirit's guidance and the Word, i produce good fruit, and therefore i/others can see that i'm abiding in Him. It's really not that much different than point B.

Let me show you stepwise how i see this process of salvation taking place:


1. God’s foreknowledge of the person (his knowing us before we were born, Rom. 8:29-20).
2. God’s marking us out ahead of time (predestination, Rom. 8:29-30).
3. The Call: as N.T. Wright calls it, “the moment when the gospel of Jesus as Lord is announced and people come to believe it and obey its summons.”
4. Justification (initial): God declares that we are (a) right with him/pardoned/declared innocent and (b) we have joined the covenant family of God (Jew and Gentile).
5. Sanctification: the ongoing process of growing in righteousness and good works in the Spirit’s power.
6. Justification (final): God’s final judgment, which is by works. If our works prove our faith, we are finally saved. (1Co 3:12 - 17 emphasis mine)
7. Glorification: resurrected and made perfect like Yeshua.Taken from: http://derek4messiah.wordpress.com/2007/08/14/a-new-look-at-paul-justification/

Point B isn't wrong in my opinion either, but i think it fails to lay the responsibility into the believer's hand to follow in Yeshua's footsteps and be His disciple by works. If you have the Word in you and you chose to follow the guidance of the Spirit then His Word abides in you. It's so easy and IMO a fallacy to think God is in you and wait on Him to do anything about your sinful nature.. (and just mentally think you've done your part, because "oh, can't do anything about my flesh")
We are called to deny our flesh (ourselves/sinfull nature) We are called to die to our flesh (ourselves/sinful nature)
We are called to run hard to win a price, this requires unceasing training like an athlete.... this is work, hard work. But it's godly work. Yes we all fall short and this is precisely why we need Yeshua. God knows our hearts, and that means if He sees us trying, and running hard according to the Word/Spirit, we will receive mercy through Yeshua and be washed clean. God is longsuffering and patient, but He will not be mocked. If someone tramples the blood of Yeshua underfoot, that is akin to mocking God, this person will not receive mercy.

Finally, let me quote a friend, who came up with a heavy two sentence midrash (Thought):

Justification gets you out of Egypt. Sanctification gets Egypt out of you.I hope that clears it up Pleroo :hug:

Shalom,
Tanja

Pleroo
Nov 19th 2007, 09:29 PM
Pleroo,

First off, thank you for your loving and patient nature, in this topic trying to understand my position.

With the two short options you give, i would have to take option A as the one most closely resembling my beliefs.

Good! I think I understand pretty much exactly where you stand then and I appreciate you indulging me by choosing between the 2 choices I put out. I realized neither one could fully capture all the nuances of your beliefs, but it's a good start, I think. My responses to the rest of your post are an attempt to explain why our beliefs, then, are at odds with each other.




And in all reality, if i do the works based on the Spirit's guidance and the Word, i produce good fruit, and thuse i can see that i'm abiding in Him. It's really not that much different than point B.

Here, of course, I disagree. They are at completely different ends of the spectrum, I believe. The outcome outwardly may look deceptively similar (and that is why I believe it's taken me so much time to see clearly where you stand) but, in the heart of the matter, they are diametrically opposed to each other.

One says it is my life, lived with God's help, that is being saved.

The other says it is the Life of Christ in me which saves me, though I lose my life in the process.




Let me show you stepwise how i see this process of salvation taking place:


Quote:
1. God’s foreknowledge of the person (his knowing us before we were born, Rom. 8:29-20).
2. God’s marking us out ahead of time (predestination, Rom. 8:29-30).
3. The Call: as N.T. Wright calls it, “the moment when the gospel of Jesus as Lord is announced and people come to believe it and obey its summons.”
4. Justification (initial): God declares that we are (a) right with him/pardoned/declared innocent and (b) we have joined the covenant family of God (Jew and Gentile).
5. Sanctification: the ongoing process of growing in righteousness and good works in the Spirit’s power.
6. Justification (final): God’s final judgment, which is by works. If our works prove our faith, we are finally saved. (1Co 3:12 - 17 emphasis mine)
7. Glorification: resurrected and made perfect like Yeshua.
Taken from: http://derek4messiah.wordpress.com/2...justification/ (http://derek4messiah.wordpress.com/2007/08/14/a-new-look-at-paul-justification/)


Point B isn't wrong in my opinion either, but i think it fails to lay the responsibility of the believer to follow in Yeshua's footsteps and be His disciple by works. If you have the Word in you and you chose to follow the guidance of the Spirit then His word abides in you. It's so easy and IMO a fallacy to think God is in you and wait on Him to do anything about your sinful nature.. We are called to deny our flesh (ourselves/sinfull nature) We are called to die to our flesh (ourselves/sinful nature)

Yes, we are called to deny our SELVES -- not just our vices, our pet sins, but our very SELVES, all that we are in and of ourSELVES. Anything we do, be it bad or "good", if it is of ourSELVES then it is not of God. We are to lay down OUR life in order that the LIFE of Christ may live in us.

You say it is wrong to wait on God to do anything about our sinful nature, but this is exactly what we must do. As His Life grows and matures within us, then the Light of that Life overcomes our darkness. Salvation (justification, sanctification, glorification) is of the Lord. Period. Not of the Lord and of ourSELVES.



We are called to run hard to win a price, this requires unceasing training like an athlete.... this is work, hard work. But it's godly work. Yes we all fall short and this is precisely why we need Yeshua. God knows our hearts, and that means if He sees us trying, and running hard according to the Word/Spirit, we will receive mercy through Yeshua and be washed clean. God is longsuffering and patient, but He will not be mocked. If someone tramples the blood of Yeshua underfoot, that is akin to mocking God, this person will not receive mercy.


Finally, let me quote a friend, who came up with a heavy two sentence midrash (Thought):

Quote:
Justification gets you out of Egypt. Sanctification gets Egypt out of you.



I appreciate the thought and agree with it, but the Bible is quite clear that it is God who does the sanctifying, not we ourselves. The battle is not ours, but God's.


I hope that clears it up Pleroo :hug:

Yes, it definitely does clear it up for me, Tanja. Thanks very much for investing the time and effort in explaining yourself.

Teke
Nov 19th 2007, 09:36 PM
Glad you understand Pleroo. Because I still don't see how some see themselves in a covenant (like Tanja does) and others in a dispensation of grace (IOW relaxing of the law). :lol:

Pleroo
Nov 19th 2007, 09:39 PM
Glad you understand Pleroo. Because I still don't see how some see themselves in a covenant (like Tanja does) and others in a dispensation of grace (IOW relaxing of the law). :lol:

Okay, now I have no idea what point you're making. :hmm: Shoot, and here I thought I was done with the dispensation of confusion. :saint:

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 19th 2007, 09:54 PM
Pleroo,
you don't understand fully.....


One says it is my life, lived with God's help, that is being saved.

The other says it is the Life of Christ in me which saves me, though I lose my life in the process.It's both, i make a conscious choice to live a life in a godly manner.
In that process i lose my life because His ways are not my ways, and vice versa, without His help in guiding me and showing me and teaching me through the Word and the Holy Spirit, i would not know better, and therefore not be able to chose life. But because of both i know which way to go. And it's only through Him that i do go that way.
But don't forget, it is your choice always to chose good or evil.


Yes, we are called to deny our SELVES -- not just our vices, our pet sins, but our very SELVES, all that we are in and of ourSELVES. Anything we do, be it bad or "good", if it is of ourSELVES then it is not of God. We are to lay down OUR life in order that the LIFE of Christ may live in us.
I disagree. Because what then is the purpose of God creating us individually, if we are to deny our essence. We are to deny the sinful desires of the flesh, that does not mean we are to deny our God given ability to chose life over death, and this is in essence a choice of good and evil deeds.
Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,
God wants us to act upon our knowledge, given and revealed by the Holy Spirit.
The only waiting on God i do is when i do not know about something i am not sure how to go about, but the moment the Holy Spirit reveals to me a course of action written in the scriptures lining up with the Word, then i'm going to go for it, and act upon that.


I appreciate the thought and agree with it, but the Bible is quite clear that it is God who does the sanctifying, not we ourselves. The battle is not ours, but God's.I disagree, it's very much our battle, as much as it is God's. If God lays a way out before us, and we refuse to take that route then it was our flesh and free will that lost the battle, and we are accountable to God for it, until we repent. It was our own choice to chose evil over good.
1Pe 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. (personal choice)
1Pe 2:12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable(personal choice), so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Shalom,
Tanja

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 19th 2007, 09:58 PM
God gives a hand, and i take a hand.....there's conscious action involved on both sides.

Shalom,
Tanja

Teke
Nov 19th 2007, 10:05 PM
Okay, now I have no idea what point you're making. :hmm: Shoot, and here I thought I was done with the dispensation of confusion. :saint:

Bing did a lil thread titled "talk to me about the age of grace", here (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=105132). The thread did not get a lot of response, I suppose that means everyone understands what a dispensation is. ;)

Pleroo
Nov 19th 2007, 10:10 PM
Pleroo,
you don't understand fully.....

No, really, I do understand what you are saying and it is clear that we disagree at a core level. But, I'm ready to let it rest for now ... I'm not convinced at this point that going on with the conversation will bear good fruit but will just end up in dizzying circles. :hug: Perhaps we'll have the opportunity to discuss this again at another time. :)

Pleroo
Nov 19th 2007, 10:17 PM
Bing did a lil thread titled "talk to me about the age of grace", here (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=105132). The thread did not get a lot of response, I suppose that means everyone understands what a dispensation is. ;)

Okay, so any chance you want to tell me your point or do you want to continue dispensing confusion to me? :lol: :hug:

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 19th 2007, 10:18 PM
Allright, dear Sister. :hug:

I might post a different thread that also may explain why i'm seeing things differently than you, but from a totally different angle.

Much love and Shalom,
Tanja

Teke
Nov 20th 2007, 01:14 AM
Okay, so any chance you want to tell me your point or do you want to continue dispensing confusion to me? :lol: :hug:

JIMH believes to be in a "covenant" with God, this includes keeping the law according to Israel. You believe something entirely different, that being the dispensation of grace through Jesus Christ.
Tis all my speculation of the matter, so I could be understanding you both wrongly. If so forgive me. :D

Though they are both different things, they can both be done in a dispensation (the lenience granted by grace).

Pleroo
Nov 20th 2007, 01:44 AM
JIMH believes to be in a "covenant" with God, this includes keeping the law according to Israel. You believe something entirely different, that being the dispensation of grace through Jesus Christ.
Tis all my speculation of the matter, so I could be understanding you both wrongly. If so forgive me. :D

Though they are both different things, they can both be done in a dispensation (the lenience granted by grace).


If I'm understanding you correctly, Teke, I'll have to disagree. Anyone who is attempting to keep the law as a means of justification or sanctification or anything else is missing the Boat. Christ (Israel) has already fulfilled the Law. In Him and Him alone is salvation, including for the saints of the OT who looked ahead to His coming. Their righteousness was in Him alone, as is ours. Grace doesn't grant lenience -- grace grants us the righteous Life of Christ working in and through us. If we are looking to our own righteousness, then we are still partaking of that which brings death.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 20th 2007, 01:50 AM
Teke,
I believe that i am in a covenant with God which is based on His mercy through Yeshua, but still has the Law if effect. This is how i see scripture anyways... anyone is free to disagree.
But this came about through the Holy Spirit teaching me and my studying it out, because i was at that time not sure if it was truth, based on me never havingn heard this before. But soon i learned that what the Holy Spirit had pointed out to me was truth according to the Word.

Shalom,
Tanja

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 20th 2007, 01:54 AM
Teke, Pleroo,

I know for a fact i'm not missing the boat, but rather will have great rewards coming.

Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


Shalom,
Tanja

Pleroo
Nov 20th 2007, 02:07 AM
Teke, Pleroo,

I know for a fact i'm not missing the boat, but rather will have great rewards coming.

Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


Shalom,
Tanja

:lol: No fair pulling me back in after I said I was out, Tanja. Actually, we can both just blame it on Teke. ;)

Tanja, I'm not telling you to break the law, I'm telling you that the Law IS FULFILLED in Christ. Actually, I'm not telling you that, Jesus told us that. And if Christ is in us, then He has fulfilled it IN US (we are justified) and is fulfilling it THROUGH US (we are being sanctified).

And He who has fulfilled the Law is filling us, until He is ALL IN ALL (we will be glorified).


__________________________

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 20th 2007, 02:45 AM
LOL, true, blame it on her. ;)

As for Yeshua having fulfilled it, He has fulfilled the Law and the Prophets, as in doing what was required of HIM to be that sacrifice for us, but He is still fulfilling the Law within and through us, so it's not an immediate thing IMO.
Or else we'd all be grown up the minute we accept His salvation and not sin no more, but you and i both know we all still sin.. so it's an ongoing process of sanctification til we are either dead or stand before God's judgment.


Just my opinion.

Shalom,
Tanja

Teke
Nov 20th 2007, 02:33 PM
If I'm understanding you correctly, Teke, I'll have to disagree. Anyone who is attempting to keep the law as a means of justification or sanctification or anything else is missing the Boat. Christ (Israel) has already fulfilled the Law. In Him and Him alone is salvation, including for the saints of the OT who looked ahead to His coming. Their righteousness was in Him alone, as is ours. Grace doesn't grant lenience -- grace grants us the righteous Life of Christ working in and through us. If we are looking to our own righteousness, then we are still partaking of that which brings death.

I agree anyone who believes that they are justified by any law has misunderstood what the laws are. But there are a lot of things misunderstood in the OT. Such as those who believe that God actually wanted animal sacrifices, or believe that such things appease God. Or such as believe that Jesus was a sin sacrifice according to OT ecclesiastic practices of sacrifice.

Guess I should be a bit more clear about this.
If when one says Jesus was a sacrifice for sin, they mean that God forgives sin, then I agree.
If when one says Jesus was a sacrifice like the animal sacrifices, and they mean that He sustains the priesthood, then I agree.
If when one says Jesus fulfilled the law, meaning He was sinless, I agree.

If one says that salvation is a one time event, then I disagree. Because salvation has to do with the economy of God's people. What effects one effects all, and that has to do with the DIVINE economy.

In the eastern church, we don't use the western term "dispensation", but rather "economy" according with the Greek use in scripture of the meaning.
To quote from the thread link I posted,


Quoted by Soj_NZ
The term "dispensation" is found four times in the Scriptures (1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10, 3:2; Col. 1:25), and each passage makes it clear that God is dispensing something.
___________________________

Reply by Teke:
The 1 Cor. 9:17 use of the English word "dispensation" = stewardship (Gr. "oikonomos", referring to the 'work of economy').
The other scriptures Eph 1:10, 3:2, Col. 1:25 are the Greek word "oikonomia" = economia, which means less strict or less restrictive.

Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_(Eastern_Orthodox_Church)) is the Wiki on "economy" to further understand the concept being related, as there is "Divine economy" and "ecclesiastical ecomony". The basic meaning of the word is "handling" or disposition" or "management" of a thing -- usually assuming or implying good or prudent handling (as opposed to poor handling) of the matter at hand.
Such is why things like Gentiles being circumcised was not strictly adhered to, along with other things

<snip from link above on Divine Economy>
"Economy," therefore, refers to any and all of God's dealings with creation. But it is also used in particular to speak of God's actions undertaken to save and rescue fallen mankind; and related to this is another meaning which is more restricted: "economy" is used specifically to Christ's incarnation; when used in this sense, it is virtually synonymous with "incarnation."

Finally, in yet another related sense, "economy" is often used by the Church Fathers to refer to any accommodation or concession made by God, to human weakness, for the purpose of salvation. For example, God's action in furnishing the Body and Blood of Christ to his people under the forms of the bread and wine of holy communion, is an act of divine economy in this sense.
<snip>

<snip from link on Ecclesiastical economy>
In this sense "economy" means, as already noted, "handling", "management", "disposition". In general then, "economy" refers to pastoral handling or discretion or management in a neutral sense.

But it also can take two specific forms: it can be "exact" ("precise", "strict"), which means the usual or general rule is followed precisely; or it can be "lenient" (a loosening or modification of that usual or general rule). The former is called "economy according to strictness (exactness)" and the latter, "economy according to leniency." Economy according to leniency -- a modification in the application of the usual rule -- has always been done when, in the judgment of the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 15:28, "it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us") this would result in the wider salvation of souls through the extension of God's mercy.

In later usage of the terms, "economy" came to be used as a synonym for "economy according to leniency" -- that is, a deviation from the exactness of the usual rule -- often involving a practice that indeed appears more "lenient." At the same time, the newer terminology speaks simply of "exactness" (or "strictness") instead of "economy according to exactness (strictness)". Thus in this more recent use of terms, the dichotomy "economy according to leniency" vs. "economy according to exactness (strictness, preciseness)," is replaced by "economy" vs. "strictness" ("exactness", "preciseness").

It is important to observe that when economy is correctly used and applied (that is, as a modification in the application of the usual rule) such correct application of economy itself is one of the rules. Thus, if one speaks of "bending", "suspending", "dispensing with", "relaxing" the usual rule, one should bear in mind that such descriptions could be misleading, since the correct use of economy is always done in accordance with the rule of Christ, and never contrary to it. This brings up the general principle that in the Church all canons and laws exist in subjection to the rule of Christ -- that is to say, his commandments, teachings, and precepts.

An example in the New Testament of the application of lenient economy, or "economy according to leniency", is found in Acts chapter 15, where the Apostles decided to limit the number and degree of Jewish observances that would be required of Gentile converts. An example in the New Testament of the application of strict economy, or "economy according to exactness (or, strictness, preciseness) [akribeia]", may be seen in Acts 16:3, when St. Paul set aside the usual rule, just mentioned, and decided to circumcise Timothy, whose father was a gentile, in order to placate certain Jewish Christians. In both instances, economy was exercised in order to facilitate the salvation of some of the parties involved.
<snip>


I hope I have clarified this for you and JIMH. If so, then we should better understand one another, and the scriptures. :)

_________

Partaker of Christ
Nov 20th 2007, 02:46 PM
LOL, true, blame it on her. ;)

As for Yeshua having fulfilled it, He has fulfilled the Law and the Prophets, as in doing what was required of HIM to be that sacrifice for us, but He is still fulfilling the Law within and through us, so it's not an immediate thing IMO.
Or else we'd all be grown up the minute we accept His salvation and not sin no more, but you and i both know we all still sin.. so it's an ongoing process of sanctification til we are either dead or stand before God's judgment.


Just my opinion.

Shalom,
Tanja

Hi again Tanja!!

Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spoke unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

Zec 4:7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
Zec 4:8 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Zec 4:9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

*Why dividing of soul and spirit?

He has laid the foundation of his house, and He will finish it.
What we would do is to our own glory, and He will not share His Glory with another.

The Spirit of the Lord, will work on us, in us and through us.

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Gal 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Gal 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

*Flesh = soul (our intellect, our emotions and our volition)

Gal 3:4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
Gal 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Gal 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
Gal 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
Gal 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
Gal 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
Gal 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Gal 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

*Why, having been delivered from the curse, do we put ourselves back under the curse?

Gal 3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
Gal 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

*The law came in 430 years after the promise, and it could not disannul the promise. The law was brought in, to bring us all to the promise.

Gal 3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
Gal 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
Gal 3:20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
Gal 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
Gal 3:22 But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 20th 2007, 04:31 PM
Partaker,
you're not teaching me anything that i don't already know, and i clearly disagree with how you interpret these things. Suffice to say, that i believe that Yeshua has me covered and that my robes are washed clean where i fall short and transgress the Law.

Let me address one scripture verse you have posted

Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spoke unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.(Correct, the Spirit of the Lord the Holy Spirit is the one helping us understand, i never denied that.)
Zec 4:7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. (Do you know what or who Zerubabel represents ? It's listed in Strongs as sown in Babylon.)
Zec 4:8 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Zec 4:9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. (Notice, Zerubabels hands have laid the foundation, and his hands also shall finish it!)

Let me show you something for your consideration. And i mean really think about it for a while, and not reject it right out of hand:

This is a small but beautiful tidbit i found today on Faith, ("emunah" in the OT)


The outcome of this study, in the hearts of those who study, is emunah, faithful obedience. Normally translated as faith, Emunah has a dual meaning. Etymologically, it is related to the word meaning to train or accustom oneself, and also to the word for power and strength. This definition is very misleading! The basis of Emunah is knowledge! We start with knowledge and then when we are faithfully obedient to that knowledge, we have emunah, we have faith. Emunah is our faithful obedience to a knowledge. Something you connect to so thoroughly that you would give your life for it. Emunah must be the same as the knowledge that you exist. After this is acquired, then one must be faithfully obedient to that knowledge despite the influence of the lower self. The pinnacle of Emunah is to connect with knowledge so thoroughly that you can experience it’s future pleasures, now. Emunah is a zeraim, a seed. Just as you know, without any doubt, that a seed will produce a plant with fruit, if it is properly cared for, so emunah is something you know. It is something that is certain.So you can see that Faith is not something that one just has in their minds, but that it comes out in works, and if you don't have works then where is your faith ?

Emunah leads you to Godly works, this is Faith in it's completion. Faith without works is dead, IOW it's not completed. It is only completed by works, this means getting down to the nitty gritty and denying your flesh and conforming it to do what you would not do if it weren't for that knowledge that the Word and the Holy Spirit have revealed to you. This is dying to your flesh as you walk after the Spirit in a very physical way, just as Yeshua became a physical being, denied His flesh when He knew what was to come before he was arrested, and in a very physical way followed out the word written in scripture, that He submitted to the authorities and rulers, and spoke not a word like a lamb led to the slaughter.

Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
He submitted Himself in a very physical way, and died a gruesome physical death, for without it we could not be redeemed, He laid down His life in love for us.

Joh 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. Faith without works is dead, and dead faith gets you where ?

I have no beef with the scriptures you posted, but i have a totally different understanding of them as the Holy Spirit showed me, and believe you me i tested the Spirit, and studied all of this out in countless hours for over a year. And everything i was shown lines up with the Word.

Abraham is my father, as is Jacob and Isaac, they did their works in faith....or do you think Sarah conceived without Abraham laying with her in faith that God's word was true and what He said would happen ? We know there's only one immaculate conception in scriptures. So what would have happened had Abraham not done his part in faith and had not had sexual relations with her ? He already screwed up when he depended on himself sleeping with Hagar as per recommendation of his wife, that was one unfaithful act i might add! She and you and i paid/pay the price of that decision made independently, this was truly works done apart from God!

I can tell you partaker, my mind is made up, with what i have been shown by the Holy Spirit, and have studied out with the Word and Holy Spirit combined has led me to the conclusion that this is the way to go. This is based on my personal relationship with God and the Holy Spirit, and the Word who is Yeshua. You're free to disagree.

Shalom my friend,
Tanja

drew
Nov 20th 2007, 05:02 PM
Hello JIMH (and others):

I repost what you posted as follows re the "overall process":


1. God’s foreknowledge of the person (his knowing us before we were born, Rom. 8:29-20).
2. God’s marking us out ahead of time (predestination, Rom. 8:29-30).
3. The Call: as N.T. Wright calls it, “the moment when the gospel of Jesus as Lord is announced and people come to believe it and obey its summons.”
4. Justification (initial): God declares that we are (a) right with him/pardoned/declared innocent and (b) we have joined the covenant family of God (Jew and Gentile).
5. Sanctification: the ongoing process of growing in righteousness and good works in the Spirit’s power.
6. Justification (final): God’s final judgment, which is by works. If our works prove our faith, we are finally saved. (1Co 3:12 - 17 emphasis mine)
7. Glorification: resurrected and made perfect like Yeshua.

I have studied NT Wright quite a bit and I think he is on the right track when he makes the above points (I assume these points are Wright's in origin - it certainly sounds like him).

I think that we need to have a theology of justification that makes sense of all the relevant texts - including the ones (like Romans 2) that make it appear that salvation is a matter of works. Many view Romans 2 as Paul writing about a theoretical, non-existent category of persons who would be justified by their works if that were possible, with Paul believing that it actually is not possible. I think that is an extraordinarily contrived position to take. Paul nowhere hints that in Romans 2 he is doing anything except telling it like it is - we will indeed be justified by works at the end.

If one says that Paul does not mean what he says in Romans 2, the sky is the limit - one can relativize almost any text if one takes such liberties. I really would ask those who think Paul is talking about a non-existent category of persons in Romans 2 to explain how they justify (no pun intended) this extraordinary interpretation of the text. What specifically gives one cause to assume that he does not mean what he says?

If your answer is that elsewhere he teaches "justificiation by faith alone", I suggest you need to re-examine your fundamental methodology. If we are to say that all Scripture is authoritative, any moves that essentially discount entire teachings need to be viewed with extreme suspicion. I think we simply cannot have a theology that requires us to discount Romans 2 (and other texts) as not meaning what they say. We are better to accept them at their face value and see if we cannot develop a theology that respects them as well as all the other relevant texts.

I think Wright succeeds in doing this as per the quoted material above.

Toolman
Nov 20th 2007, 05:20 PM
Hello JIMH (and others):

I repost what you posted as follows re the "overall process":



I have studied NT Wright quite a bit and I think he is on the right track when he makes the above points (I assume these points are Wright's in origin - it certainly sounds like him).

I think that we need to have a theology of justification that makes sense of all the relevant texts - including the ones (like Romans 2) that make it appear that salvation is a matter of works. Many view Romans 2 as Paul writing about a theoretical, non-existent category of persons who would be justified by their works if that were possible, with Paul believing that it actually is not possible. I think that is an extraordinarily contrived position to take. Paul nowhere hints that in Romans 2 he is doing anything except telling it like it is - we will indeed be justified by works at the end.

If one says that Paul does not mean what he says in Romans 2, the sky is the limit - one can relativize almost any text if one takes such liberties. I really would ask those who think Paul is talking about a non-existent category of persons in Romans 2 to explain how they justify (no pun intended) this extraordinary interpretation of the text. What specifically gives one cause to assume that he does not mean what he says?

If your answer is that elsewhere he teaches "justificiation by faith alone", I suggest you need to re-examine your fundamental methodology. If we are to say that all Scripture is authoritative, any moves that essentially discount entire teachings need to be viewed with extreme suspicion. I think we simply cannot have a theology that requires us to discount Romans 2 (and other texts) as not meaning what they say. We are better to accept them at their face value and see if we cannot develop a theology that respects them as well as all the other relevant texts.

I think Wright succeeds in doing this as per the quoted material above.

You can't just read Romans 2 in some type of vacuum. You must understand it within the continuing context and Paul makes that context abundantly clear:

Romans 3:
9What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10As it is written:
"There is no one righteous, not even one;
11there is no one who understands,
no one who seeks God.
12All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one."
13"Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit."
"The poison of vipers is on their lips."[e]
14"Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."
15"Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16ruin and misery mark their ways,
17and the way of peace they do not know."
18"There is no fear of God before their eyes."
19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.
20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

21But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.[ 25God 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— 26he 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.

N.T. Wright's new perspective is no new perspective at all. It is the same perspective of the Roman Catholic church during the reformation.

Here are the anathema's that Rome proclaimed at the Counsil of Trent against anyone who said that men were justified by trusting in Jesus Christ alone, apart from any works we do but simply based on His atoning work of death and resurrection:

Canon 9. If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone (supra, chapters 7-8), meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification, and that it is not in any way necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the action of his own will, let him be anathema.

Canon 11. If anyone says that men are justified either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost (Rom. 5:5), and remains in them, or also that the grace by which we are justified is only the good will of God, let him be anathema.

Canon 12. If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy (supra, chapter 9), which remits sins for Christ's sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, let him be anathema.

Canon 24. If anyone says that the justice received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works (ibid., chapter 10), but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not the cause of the increase, let him be anathema.

Canon 30. If anyone says that after the reception of the grace of justification the guilt is so remitted and the debt of eternal punishment so blotted out to every repentant sinner, that no debt of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in purgatory before the gates of heaven can be opened, let him be anathema.

Canon 32. If anyone says that the good works of the one justified are in such manner the gifts of God that they are not also the good merits of him justified; or that the one justified by the good works that he performs by the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit an increase of grace, eternal life, and in case he dies in grace the attainment of eternal life itself and also an increase of glory, let him be anathema.



Nothing new here.. same contention.

Is a person justified before God based simply on trusting in the atoning work of Jesus Christ alone, His death and resurrection as the only thing that puts us in a right position with God

OR

Is a person justified before God by both the person of Jesus Christ and something else (works, Law, obedience, etc.).

Protestants and evangelicals have historically believed the former but in these latter times some are turning to a works-based, law-justifying "gospel".

But it's nothing new, man has been trying to justify himself before God by doing good works since the beginning of the fall. Every major religion of the world preaches that very message. But the Gospel will forever stand in contrast to that message, because it is supernaturally different and foriegn to the heart of man.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 20th 2007, 05:41 PM
Toolman,

IMO it is very shallow to read Romans the way you show here, without considering the contradictory verses, instead of asking God for wisdom and understanding to hammer out the truth. Sorry to be so brash, but that is my opinion.


Is a person justified before God based simply on trusting in the atoning work of Jesus Christ alone, His death and resurrection as the only thing that puts us in a right position with God.When one turns to God for the first time, yes, that's what happens, the slate is wiped clean and you're reborn.
But, as a reborn human you will continue to make mistakes, and your walk is in need of Instructions which you will find largely in the OT, with the added insight in the NT.

To return to your quote TM, this is a picture of a Christian that takes no responsibility for their own actions, and choices. Well God was supposed to do all the work....
The Work God has set in motion for us to do, is that He enables us, and it;s our responsibility like seen in the parable of talents to take charge and earn a return.

I completely agree with your second statement:


Is a person justified before God by both the person of Jesus Christ and something else (works, Law, obedience, etc.)As said before Faith is only completed when you chose to do the will of God.

Jas 2:22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;

If faith is incomplete, i shudder to think what will happen at judgment.

Of course i know there are more here that disagree with me than those that have ears to hear, but that's nothing new either. When Yeshua was here and dwelt with us there were only a fraction of people who followed Him.

Mat 7:13 "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

God will do it all...... and we can sit back


Mat 7:14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

God enables us, and the choice to follow Him is up to us, denying our flesh is hard work.



Shalom,
Tanja

drew
Nov 20th 2007, 05:54 PM
Hi Toolman:

I think you still need to explain how you simply dismiss Romans 2 as not being a statement of the way things are. You seem to argue that because of texts like this:

19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.
20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

we therefore relativize (do not take seriously) texts like this:

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

and

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

It really does seem that you "choose" to accept one set of texts and then simply dismiss as "hypothetical" those texts that seem to present a competing position.

My whole point is that the fact that one does this suggest that there is something wrong in the exegesis.

Why couldn't I take the Romans 2 texts as primary and simply argue that Romans 3:20 is describing a non-existent category of persons? Something is amiss when we are forced to essentially dismiss entire chunks of text, unless there is a justification for this other than the reason that other texts conflict with it.

I suggest that the view that NT Wright proposes honours all texts. Now how he explains how Romans 2 and all the "we are justified by faith alone" texts cohere together is not something one can explain in a single post.

But I just do not think that Paul is such a bad writer that he would write all that stuff in Romans 2 about justification by works if he were intending us to not take it at face value.

Now with respect to Romans 3:20, I trust that you realize that Paul is not saying we are not justified by "doing good works". What he is really saying is that we are not justified by following Torah in an "as if by works and not by faith" kind of way. I can defend this interpretation if you wish.

Toolman
Nov 20th 2007, 06:09 PM
Toolman,

IMO it is very shallow to read Romans the way you show here, without considering the contradictory verses, instead of asking God for wisdom and understanding to hammer out the truth. Sorry to be so brash, but that is my opinion.

Tanja,

I appreciate your opinion but make no mistake. I have neither come at the text in a shallow manner nor see any contradiction whatsoever in the text.
As far as asking God for wisdom and understanding, I have and He has given it. Just because you cannot see His wisdom in justifying man by Christ alone does not mean it is not His wisdom. His wisdom is contrary and offensive to our works-oriented sin nature.


When one turns to God for the first time, yes, that's what happens, the slate is wiped clean and you're reborn.
But, as a reborn human you will continue to make mistakes, and your walk is in need of Instructions which you will find largely in the OT, with the added insight in the NT.

I do not, nor have I ever disagreed with the sanctifying work of Christ in the believer.

Has nothing to do with our sin being forgiven though. Only the blood of Christ and His ressurection alone is what does that. You, like the roman church, are confusing justification and sanctification as the reformers pointed out several hundred years ago. Scripture makes a clear distinction.


To return to your quote TM, this is a picture of a Christian that takes no responsibility for their own actions, and choices. Well God was supposed to do all the work....
The Work God has set in motion for us to do, is that He enables us, and it;s our responsibility like seen in the parable of talents to take charge and earn a return.

Tanja, you cannot earn salvation and that is the whole point of the Gospel.

And not a single time have I stated that a believer is not to have works, is not to be responsible for their actions or choices. You cannot quote me one place making any such statement.

What I have stated is what scripture states. That a person is justified before God by faith in Jesus Christ alone, apart from any works.


I completely agree with your second statement:

As said before Faith is only completed when you chose to do the will of God.

Jas 2:22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;

If faith is incomplete, i shudder to think what will happen at judgment.

Nevertheless, it is our faith, not our works, which justify us before God.

Our works may be evidence of our faith but they are not what justify us before God. Paul cannot be any clearer on that.


Of course i know there are more here that disagree with me than those that have ears to hear, but that's nothing new either. When Yeshua was here and dwelt with us there were only a fraction of people who followed Him.

Oh, I think you will find a multitude who will absolutely agree with you. For sure every major world religion will agree that God excepts us because we are good and do good things. The roman catholic church will definitely agree with you. Our flesh, and its pride, leads us that direction every time.

The Gospel is contrary to that and destoys that fleshly pride. Nothing we can do to earn salvation. Its free to all who trust in Jesus Christ alone, apart from what they do.

That's why it, the Gospel, creates a heart of gratitude as opposed to a heart that feels like it must do something to earn God's favor.


Mat 7:13 "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

God will do it all...... and we can sit back

Mat 7:14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

God enables us, and the choice to follow Him is up to us, denying our flesh is hard work.

Shalom,
Tanja

You are confused.

You believe that justification by faith in Christ alone equates to don't do anything.

It doesn't. In fact it empowers you to actually do something without trying to merit God's favor.

Justification by faith in Christ alone frees the one "doing" to do it from a pure heart that isn't attempting to get God to accept them but realizes that God accepts them already, because of Christ alone, and now because of gratitude for what God has done the believer "does" things out of a pure heart of thankfulness... not a heart trying to earn merit.

Toolman
Nov 20th 2007, 06:23 PM
Now with respect to Romans 3:20, I trust that you realize that Paul is not saying we are not justified by "doing good works". What he is really saying is that we are not justified by following Torah in an "as if by works and not by faith" kind of way. I can defend this interpretation if you wish.

So, in Romans 3:20 he is saying we aren't justified by "torah" but in Romans 2:13-14 he's saying we are justified by "torah". :confused

Paul's argument in Romans chapters 1, 2 and 3 is absolutely clear to me and that is to reveal that all men are under the guilt of the Law and have fallen short of God's glory.

And then to reveal that we are not justified before God based on Law (works) but simply based on the person and work of Jesus Christ alone, apart from our works.

Teke
Nov 20th 2007, 06:57 PM
Isn't the law matter more of a salvation matter and the justification or righteousness part a matter of worship. It seems to me that the two are being lumped together. :hmm:

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 20th 2007, 07:08 PM
Ah well Toolman,

I never said i was earning my salvation thru works, but that works on the other hand are a proof of faith. And without Faith it is impossible to please God. And God will not give to salvation to someone He is not pleased with.

Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

1Co 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
1Co 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
1Co 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
1Co 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
1Co 10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
1Co 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
1Co 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
1Co 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
1Co 10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
1Co 10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

I'm sorry Toolman, but i'm not confused at all. I see so much in scripture revealed that while Salvation comes through Christ, one must prove worthy of it. And the best way to do so is through completed Faith shown by Godly works, which is the bearing of Fruits.

I have never said that Yeshua is not who justifies me. But to stay grafted in one has to prove worthy and produce Godly fruit. Just because God prunes you and does the trimming (which are the times God disciplines and teaches you through the Holy Spirit and by what you go through in life) doesn't mean that you have nothing to do. You still have choices to make and to overcome, these are good works. Granted i trust in God in all things, and this is the only area where i don't do anything, but when God teaches me a lesson, or shows me something, i respond to it: Spiritually, mentally, and finally physically.


Shalom my friend,
Tanja

Toolman
Nov 20th 2007, 07:53 PM
Ah well Toolman,

I never said i was earning my salvation thru works,

Sure you did. Don't be shy about it :)

Here is one example.

To return to your quote TM, this is a picture of a Christian that takes no responsibility for their own actions, and choices. Well God was supposed to do all the work....
The Work God has set in motion for us to do, is that He enables us, and it;s our responsibility like seen in the parable of talents to take charge and earn a return.


but that works on the other hand are a proof of faith.

You have not stated that works are a proof of faith but that a combination of faith and works is what justifies man before God.

Works being a proof of faith is scriptural and something I can 100% agree with.
But those works have never and never will justify us before God. Our works do not cause God to forgive our sin... only the blood of Jesus Christ can do that.


And without Faith it is impossible to please God. And God will not give to salvation to someone He is not pleased with.

Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

1Co 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
1Co 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
1Co 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
1Co 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
1Co 10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
1Co 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
1Co 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
1Co 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
1Co 10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
1Co 10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

I'm sorry Toolman, but i'm not confused at all. I see so much in scripture revealed that while Salvation comes through Christ, one must prove worthy of it. And the best way to do so is through completed Faith shown by Godly works, which is the bearing of Fruits.

I simply stated that you were confused that the doctrine of justification by faith in Christ alone somehow indicates that someone does not manifest works in their life. This is where your confusion is because the doctrine does not teach this.


I have never said that Yeshua is not who justifies me. But to stay grafted in one has to prove worthy and produce Godly fruit. Just because God prunes you and does the trimming (which are the times God disciplines and teaches you through the Holy Spirit and by what you go through in life) doesn't mean that you have nothing to do.

Never said we didn't have anything to do. Once again you are confused and you will not find or be able to post a single instance of me making any such claim. I challenge you to do so.

I have simply stated that a person is justified before God by faith in Christ alone, apart from works. I have never stated that the one justified has nothing to do. Just that what they do doesn't justify them.


You still have choices to make and to overcome, these are good works. Granted i trust in God in all things, and this is the only area where i don't do anything, but when God teaches me a lesson, or shows me something, i respond to it: Spiritually, mentally, and finally physically.

Like I said I have never denied the sanctifying work that the Spirit does in our life. But you are confusing justification and sanctification. They are distinct from one another and serve different purposes. You are blurring the line between the two and confusing one with the other.


Shalom my friend,
Tanja

Grace and peace to you also :)

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 20th 2007, 07:58 PM
You know, as i was thinking about this, i realized one thing:

If God is doing everything, then why on earth did He even bother to create us to be His companions ?

Psa 55:12 For it is not an enemy who taunts me-- then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me-- then I could hide from him.
Psa 55:13 But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend.
Psa 55:14 We used to take sweet counsel together; within God's house we walked in the throng.




Main Entry:
1com·pan·ion Listen to the pronunciation of 1companion
Pronunciation:
\kəm-ˈpan-yən\
Function:
noun
Usage:
often attributive
Etymology:
Middle English compainoun, from Anglo-French cumpaing, cumpaignun, from Late Latin companion-, companio, from Latin com- + panis bread, food — more at food
Date:
13th century

1: one that accompanies another : comrade, associate; also : one that keeps company with another2obsolete : rascal3 a: one that is closely connected with something similar b: one employed to live with and serve another4: a celestial body that appears close to another but that may or may not be associated with it in space

God serves us, and has served us, and we are to serve Him.

Again, Faith without works is dead, and without Faith it is impossible to please Him.

If God warns us to not give to pigs what is holy and throw our pearls before pigs, how do you then suppose He gives His precious Son to those who trample Him underfoot and reject him and continue to do evil ?

Shalom,
Tanja

drew
Nov 20th 2007, 08:08 PM
So, in Romans 3:20 he is saying we aren't justified by "torah" but in Romans 2:13-14 he's saying we are justified by "torah". :confused.
I understand why there appears to be a problem here. But I suggest that there is no contradiction and there is a way to see our way through all this.

I tried to choose my words carefully in my post when I asserted "we are not justified by following Torah in an 'as if by works and not by faith' kind of way". This qualifier is extremely important and that is why I included it.

I think (following Wright) that we need to take Paul seriously in Romans 2 - we will indeed be justified by our works at the time of judgement. As much as this places a burden on me to square this with other teachings, I think that you are placed in a much more problematic position by what appears to be an outright denial that Paul means what he says in Romans 2. I see no reason at all to justify your conclusion that he is speaking about a non-existent category of people here.

I think Wright argues compellingly that while we are indeed justified by works at the time of judgement, we also know that if we place faith in Christ in the present, God will give us His Spirit, which then assures that we will indeed "pass the works" test. So, without having to resort to the kind of "let's just assume Romans 2 is a tangent about a non-existent class of persons" strategy that many resort to, Wright provides a model that works with all the relevant texts.

I believe the basic idea is this: Paul never says we are justified by keeping Torah in a kind of mechanical "not rooted in faith" manner. I believe that you think I am "forced" into a position (by my take on Romans 2) that we are justified by keeping the "letter" of Torah. But I do not think I am. I think that Paul argues that the essence of keeping Torah was always rooted in faith- that there is a "faith-based" way of keeping Torah and "works-based" way of keeping Torah. It is this distinction that allows me to evade the contradiction that you ascribe to me in your quoted words above.

So I think Paul is saying this: we are justified by faith and not by keeping Torah in a "technical, legalistic, not grounded in faith" sort of way. But, we are indeed justified at the end by our "works". How is this seeming contradiction resolved? By the action of the Spirit which is given to the believer and ensures that, at the last day, we will indeed be found to have perservered "in doing good".

Two final comments: I think that if one wanted to criticize this view I am presenting (not really my own in origin of course), the main objection would be that it is extremely subtle - it requires that we think carefully about a distinction between keeping Torah "as if by works" versus "keeping Torah as if "by faith". I think that this is the distinction Paul intends to draw in this from Romans 9:

What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it

I agree that the view I am presenting seems overly subtle. But I still would prefer to that to what I see as a wholesale rejection of Romans 2 (and some of Jesus' teachings as well) about how we are justified by what we do. A subtle solution is better than a non-workable one.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 20th 2007, 08:10 PM
Toolman,


To return to your quote TM, this is a picture of a Christian that takes no responsibility for their own actions, and choices. Well God was supposed to do all the work....
The Work God has set in motion for us to do, is that He enables us, and it;s our responsibility like seen in the parable of talents to take charge and earn a return.you forget that i stated that this work has to be in line with the Word and the Holy Spirit, and if you're going to quote me here and there out of several posts i made you're going to rip things out of context. Doing what the Word says to do is completed faith which is the Word in you doing this work, which is what justifies you, It isn't my own self that makes this happen, the only thing that comes into this equation is that i contribute my choice to do right by God.

If you understand this to be works earning salvation then you're not getting the picture i have.



Works being a proof of faith is scriptural and something I can 100% agree with.
But those works have never and never will justify us before God. Our works do not cause God to forgive our sin... only the blood of Jesus Christ can do that.Ok, Toolman, why would God forgive us works that are in line with Him ? It's the shortcomings despite our trying hard to run the race which God will forgive us.
God has never forgiven rebellious sin done in defiance without at least some sort of punishment or consequences. The lazy wicked servant also falls into this category. There is a price to be paid, whether that be His, or ours, and we all know ours is not enough.



Like I said I have never denied the sanctifying work that the Spirit does in our life. But you are confusing justification and sanctification. They are distinct from one another and serve different purposes. You are blurring the line between the two and confusing one with the other.I'm not so sure that i'm confusing them, but is it possible you are ?

Do me a favor, please define both terms for me then, cause i'd like to know what your understanding is of both terms. Maybe give some examples how these terms apply.

Shalom,
Tanja

Toolman
Nov 20th 2007, 08:23 PM
Toolman,

you forget that i stated that this work has to be in line with the Word and the Holy Spirit, and if you're going to quote me here and there out of several posts i made you're going to rip things out of context. Doing what the Word says to do is completed faith which is the Word in you doing this work, which is what justifies you, It isn't my own self that makes this happen, the only thing that comes into this equation is that i contribute my choice to do right by God.

I haven't forgotten anything :) but only can see what I read you saying and you have consistently stated that we are not justified by faith in Christ alone but by a combination of faith and works we earn something from God.

Paul states clearly against that position in Romans 4:

4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

You are saying that we are saved by God because of a earning not because of grace.


If you understand this to be works earning salvation then you're not getting the picture i have.

I understand it for what it is. All I can do is read what you state and IMO you have been very clear on your position.


Ok Toolman, why would God forgive us works that are in line with Him?

I'm not sure what that means. God forgives sin.


It;s the shortcomings despite our trying hard to run the race which God will forgive us.

Christ forgives all sin, I don't see His atonement as somehow limited to only our shortcomings despite our best efforts.


God has never forgiven rebellious sin done in defiance without at least some sort of punishment or consequences. There is a price to be paid, whether that be His, or ours.

If He paid the price for our sin then that is forgiveness :confused


I'm not so sure that i'm confusing them, but is it possible you are ?

Do me a favor, please define both terms for me then, cause i'd like to know what your understanding is of both terms.

Shalom,
Tanja

Salvation is made up of 3 distinct, yet inseparable events:

Justification: - We are delivered from the Penalty of sin. The act of God forgiving ALL our sin and lawless deeds and declaring us righteous. This is what puts us in a right standing with God, to be righteous. God declares us just as pure, holy and righteous as Jesus Christ himself because of the sacrifice of Christ. This is also called "imputed righteousness". God gives Christ's righteousness to us, we do not earn it. This act happens at the very moment a person places faith in Christ(trust). All that is required to justify a person before God is to trust in the person and work of Christ alone.
Also called "positional sanctification".

Sanctification: - We are being delivered from the Power of sin. This is the process, in this life, of being conformed to the image of Christ. We come to realize more and more just how sinful and in need of a savior we are. God begins to work in our will to show us our great need for Him and to change our will to follow and obey Him. This is a daily process for the duration of earthly life.
Also called "progressive sanctification".

Glorification: - We will be delivered from the Presence of sin.This is the final part of salvation when God will complete redemption of His believers and actually remove sin and satan, establish His everlasting kingdom and resurrect the saints to their new bodies.
Also called "completed sanctification".

Pleroo
Nov 20th 2007, 08:33 PM
An example in the New Testament of the application of lenient economy, or "economy according to leniency", is found in Acts chapter 15, where the Apostles decided to limit the number and degree of Jewish observances that would be required of Gentile converts. An example in the New Testament of the application of strict economy, or "economy according to exactness (or, strictness, preciseness) [akribeia]", may be seen in Acts 16:3, when St. Paul set aside the usual rule, just mentioned, and decided to circumcise Timothy, whose father was a gentile, in order to placate certain Jewish Christians. In both instances, economy was exercised in order to facilitate the salvation of some of the parties involved.
<snip>


I hope I have clarified this for you and JIMH. If so, then we should better understand one another, and the scriptures. :)

_________

Teke, as usual, most of what you're writing is beyond me, so I'll just focus on what I'm getting out of it. If I'm wrong about what you're saying, you can correct me.

What I'm seeing, again, is this idea of leniency. That God looks at us in our weakness and chooses to lower the bar for us, bring righteousness within our grasp. And, hey, if it's still too difficult for us, no worries, because He knows we tried really hard so He'll be even more lenient with us.

Actually, that's what I'm getting from Tanja too. Just try, and try harder and that is how we'll please God and secure His leniency toward us.

Here's the thing -- I don't want leniency. I want salvation! And that is what the Father has promised me in Jesus Christ. In HIM I have righteousness that has not been watered down to accomodate my weakness. His Spirit has come into union with my spirit, making me a new creature. And His Spirit within me is overcoming all within me that is unholy. I have the expectation of total and complete salvation as I abide in Christ, not just a pat on the head and shallow assurances that I tried hard so I'm not going to hell.

That isn't salvation. God, in His mercy, will not leave me as I am, nor leave me to secure my own half-baked salvation from sin. CHRIST'S righteousness within me overcoming everything that separates me from Him -- that is salvation.

Pleroo
Nov 20th 2007, 08:55 PM
LOL, true, blame it on her. ;)

As for Yeshua having fulfilled it, He has fulfilled the Law and the Prophets, as in doing what was required of HIM to be that sacrifice for us, but He is still fulfilling the Law within and through us, so it's not an immediate thing IMO.
Or else we'd all be grown up the minute we accept His salvation and not sin no more, but you and i both know we all still sin.. so it's an ongoing process of sanctification til we are either dead or stand before God's judgment.


Just my opinion.

Shalom,
Tanja

Okay, this is a bit of a red herring. (:) I'm studying logic with my kids lately, so forgive me for getting a kick out of being able to identify that. :lol: ) I never said our sanctification was not an ongoing process, so not sure why you're bringing that up. The point we were discussing was that it is Christ's righteousness, not our own, which brings salvation.

Teke
Nov 20th 2007, 09:40 PM
Teke, as usual, most of what you're writing is beyond me, so I'll just focus on what I'm getting out of it. If I'm wrong about what you're saying, you can correct me.

What I'm seeing, again, is this idea of leniency. That God looks at us in our weakness and chooses to lower the bar for us, bring righteousness within our grasp. And, hey, if it's still too difficult for us, no worries, because He knows we tried really hard so He'll be even more lenient with us.

Actually, that's what I'm getting from Tanja too. Just try, and try harder and that is how we'll please God and secure His leniency toward us.

Here's the thing -- I don't want leniency. I want salvation! And that is what the Father has promised me in Jesus Christ. In HIM I have righteousness that has not been watered down to accomodate my weakness. His Spirit has come into union with my spirit, making me a new creature. And His Spirit within me is overcoming all within me that is unholy. I have the expectation of total and complete salvation as I abide in Christ, not just a pat on the head and shallow assurances that I tried hard so I'm not going to hell.

That isn't salvation. God, in His mercy, will not leave me as I am, nor leave me to secure my own half-baked salvation from sin. CHRIST'S righteousness within me overcoming everything that separates me from Him -- that is salvation.

:giveup:
Nobody had to do anything for the Incarnation to occur. I tried to explain from the perspective of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and what that means.
It is not my desire to formulate some doctrinal formula for salvation.
The Father revealed the Son to me, and that is all I believe is necessary for me to understand.

You are even further beyond my understanding you if you already know all there is to know about Jesus, and now can move onto greater understanding.

I can only explain scripture in relation to Christ, not mine or yours or anyone else's salvation.

Forgive me if I added to the confusion.:hug:

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 20th 2007, 09:40 PM
Pleroo,

I ditto the red Hering on your statement:

The point we were discussing was that it is Christ's righteousness, not our own, which brings salvation.

That statement i totally agree, with, but you and Toolman seem to think by my doing God's works i am somehow trying to transfer that salvation to myself, which i am not. I have gone through great lenghts to explain that my position on that is no different than yours, only my understanding of how that comes about and what my part is in that is different.

It is not my own works when i say i'm doing what God told me to do. And if i follow the Word, i'm still not doing my own works, but His, which He laid out to do from the beginning, of which the foundation is Yeshua, who is Love, Grace, Truth, and Life, and many more things.

Shalom,
Tanja

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 20th 2007, 09:54 PM
Actually, that's what I'm getting from Tanja too. Just try, and try harder and that is how we'll please God and secure His leniency toward us.

Ok, for that i have 2 quotes, which Project Peter and literaryjoe once used to have as their taglines:


Grace is not opposed to obedience, but to earning Salvation. IOW obedience constitutes actions that are deeds/works in line with God's Word.


A.W. Tozer said, "To escape the error of salvation by works we have fallen into the opposite error of salvation without obedience.”You guys just misunderstand how this works out in my Faith in God. ;) (no pun intended)

I think the major problem you have is with the word "works", as if they were something abhorrent and downright evil to God.

Pro 24:12 If you say, "Behold, we did not know this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?

This goes both ways... God will repay each man for his work, according to whether this was evil or good.


Shalom,
Tanja

drew
Nov 20th 2007, 09:59 PM
To all those who think that our justification has no dependency on how we actually live out our lives, can you please provide an explanation as to how you deal with such texts from Romans 2 as the following:

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

I believe that Toolman argues that this material describes a non-existent category of persons - that this is a description of how we would be saved if indeed we could be saved that way. At the risk of being seen to "pick on" this position, I cannot underestimate how dubious it is to take this position simply because other texts that basically say "we are saved by faith and not works". This produces a very odd exegesis where one is forced to argue that Paul does not mean what he actually says in Romans 2, without any justification at all except that other statements of Paul seem to contradict the Romans 2 stuff, so we will accept those other statements and basically reject the ones in Romans 2.

The critical reader will ask: How do you decide to accept one set and reject the other? Why not do it the other way around - accept Romans 2 and reject as "hypothetical" those "faith not works" statements?

In my view, we must come up with an understanding of justification that makes sense of all the texts.

I guess this post is a restatement of things I have already written. I just think it needs to be made clear at what cost the "works do not matter for justification" position is purchased. It appears to be purchased by saying something like "Paul really did not means what he says in Romans 2".

I am just not willing to go there. Even though the NT Wright position is complex and somewhat obscure, I will take it over what I see as a position that requires that certain texts be relativized.

Toolman
Nov 20th 2007, 11:00 PM
In my view, we must come up with an understanding of justification that makes sense of all the texts.

The reformed view of justification does make sense. Just because it doesn't make sense to you does not mean that is not logical and biblical.

Pleroo
Nov 20th 2007, 11:40 PM
:giveup:
Nobody had to do anything for the Incarnation to occur. I tried to explain from the perspective of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and what that means.

I'm sorry I have caused you frustration to the point of giving up, Teke. I answered the best I could based on what I understood you to be saying. I also don't know where I said or implied that anyone had to do anything for the Incarnation to occur. I am in complete agreement with you that God has come to us where we are, but I simply don't believe that means He intends to leave us where we are and that was the point I was making.


It is not my desire to formulate some doctrinal formula for salvation.

I hope you don't think I was asking you to. I shared what I did with a passionate gratefulness for God's zeal in saving mankind fully and completely from our fall into sin and self-reliance, and His zeal for restoring us into unbroken union with Him. Honestly, I thought if anyone would appreciate gratitude for restored union, it would be you Teke.


The Father revealed the Son to me, and that is all I believe is necessary for me to understand.

You are even further beyond my understanding you if you already know all there is to know about Jesus, and now can move onto greater understanding.

I apologize that, in my very real joy over the salvation we have in Christ, I came off arrogant or as if I think I know all that there is to know of Him. I certainly don't. If I did, my salvation would be complete and it is not.


I can only explain scripture in relation to Christ, not mine or yours or anyone else's salvation.

Okay. But since salvation is of Christ, then surely we can also explain salvation in relation to Christ from Scripture.


Forgive me if I added to the confusion.:hug:

Absolutely. (And I know you also forgive me. :) )

Partaker of Christ
Nov 21st 2007, 01:32 AM
I haven't forgotten anything :) but only can see what I read you saying and you have consistently stated that we are not justified by faith in Christ alone but by a combination of faith and works we earn something from God.

Paul states clearly against that position in Romans 4:

4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

You are saying that we are saved by God because of a earning not because of grace.



I understand it for what it is. All I can do is read what you state and IMO you have been very clear on your position.



I'm not sure what that means. God forgives sin.



Christ forgives all sin, I don't see His atonement as somehow limited to only our shortcomings despite our best efforts.



If He paid the price for our sin then that is forgiveness :confused



Salvation is made up of 3 distinct, yet inseparable events:

Justification: - We are delivered from the Penalty of sin. The act of God forgiving ALL our sin and lawless deeds and declaring us righteous. This is what puts us in a right standing with God, to be righteous. God declares us just as pure, holy and righteous as Jesus Christ himself because of the sacrifice of Christ. This is also called "imputed righteousness". God gives Christ's righteousness to us, we do not earn it. This act happens at the very moment a person places faith in Christ(trust). All that is required to justify a person before God is to trust in the person and work of Christ alone.
Also called "positional sanctification".

Sanctification: - We are being delivered from the Power of sin. This is the process, in this life, of being conformed to the image of Christ. We come to realize more and more just how sinful and in need of a savior we are. God begins to work in our will to show us our great need for Him and to change our will to follow and obey Him. This is a daily process for the duration of earthly life.
Also called "progressive sanctification".

Glorification: - We will be delivered from the Presence of sin.This is the final part of salvation when God will complete redemption of His believers and actually remove sin and satan, establish His everlasting kingdom and resurrect the saints to their new bodies.
Also called "completed sanctification".

:pp:pp:pp

Absolutely correct Toolman!!

Man's problem is not only what we do, but what we are, and were we are.

Sin's we commit are the result (natural works) of our fallen sinful nature.

The Blood of Christ delivers us from the 'Penalty' of our works of sin (fruits of the bad tree)

The Cross delivers us from the 'Power' of the sinful nature (the bad tree)

The Resurection will deliver us from the 'Presence' of sin.

The promises of God are Yes Yes!!

drew
Nov 21st 2007, 03:00 AM
The reformed view of justification does make sense. Just because it doesn't make sense to you does not mean that is not logical and biblical.
If this is so - if the reformed view of justification makes sense - then someone should be able to actually articulate it through some means other than simply claiming that in Romans 2, Paul is referring to a hypothetical set of persons of which no human beings are a member.

If there is a better explanation for rejecting the plain reading of statements like....:

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life

...then by all means, please provide it. As it stands the "reformed view" of justification seems to require that we ascribe a very strange behaviour to Paul here - that he is inventing a category of people that do not exist and then explaining how that category of people, and not us, are justified.

If there is an actual justification for this move - if Paul anywhere actually says that he is now talking about a hypothetical set of people - then the view would have some traction.

Without such justification, this kind of maneuvering can be used to say that any statement in Scripture refers to a hypothetical set of persons that do not exist.

I suggest that we can forge a view that is true to Romans 2 and all the other texts which say "its all about faith". One such view, I suggest, is NT Wright's "present justification - future justification" picture.

Teke
Nov 21st 2007, 02:28 PM
I'm sorry I have caused you frustration to the point of giving up, Teke. I answered the best I could based on what I understood you to be saying. I also don't know where I said or implied that anyone had to do anything for the Incarnation to occur. I am in complete agreement with you that God has come to us where we are, but I simply don't believe that means He intends to leave us where we are and that was the point I was making.

I tend to back out of these discussions once they start to be more about formulating and categorizing the text than Christ. So if "lenience" is all you understood from the many scriptures and examples from scripture I gave on "economia" as it relates to God showing His mercy for us by the Incarnation, what else can I say.

But let me address what you've said here. If God put us here, and then comes to us, why wouldn't He not leave us where He put us. IOW why come to us if He isn't leaving us where we are.

I am the same person that I was the day the Father showed me the Son. Have I missed (been left behind) something.


I hope you don't think I was asking you to. I shared what I did with a passionate gratefulness for God's zeal in saving mankind fully and completely from our fall into sin and self-reliance, and His zeal for restoring us into unbroken union with Him. Honestly, I thought if anyone would appreciate gratitude for restored union, it would be you Teke.

Sure we can appreciate the restored union, but do we understand that, which is Christ.
You previously said, "Here's the thing -- I don't want leniency. I want salvation! And that is what the Father has promised me in Jesus Christ. In HIM I have righteousness that has not been watered down to accomodate my weakness. His Spirit has come into union with my spirit, making me a new creature. And His Spirit within me is overcoming all within me that is unholy. I have the expectation of total and complete salvation as I abide in Christ, not just a pat on the head and shallow assurances that I tried hard so I'm not going to hell."

What can I say to one who doesn't want "leniency" (Gr. economia, aka God's mercy). What is salvation except God's mercy shown to us through Jesus Christ.
Righteousness is of God, how does one water down righteousness. He has accommodated (reconciled) our weakness because He is a lover of mankind and has always had compassion towards us (ie. He first loved us).





Okay. But since salvation is of Christ, then surely we can also explain salvation in relation to Christ from Scripture.


Perhaps I missed the boat on this one in my own experience. Let me explain a bit. The Father didn't reveal the Son to me in a sermon about salvation. And when He did reveal the Son to me, I didn't go find a church to explain "salvation" to me. Although that is what all the evangelical churches wanted to do.

I wasn't looking for some sort of behavioral theology science (why would I, God put me in a family who raised me the way He knew would be best for me). I wanted to be baptized and learn about the Son. My seeking Christ has never ceased.

So while I agree we can explain salvation in relation to Christ from scripture, I believe we are to do so by explaining Christ. Explaining Jesus Christ is explaining salvation IMHO. If I can do that, I do not need to explain myself in my salvation.

Partaker of Christ
Nov 21st 2007, 03:23 PM
I tend to back out of these discussions once they start to be more about formulating and categorizing the text than Christ. So if "lenience" is all you understood from the many scriptures and examples from scripture I gave on "economia" as it relates to God showing His mercy for us by the Incarnation, what else can I say.

But let me address what you've said here. If God put us here, and then comes to us, why wouldn't He not leave us where He put us. IOW why come to us if He isn't leaving us where we are.

I am the same person that I was the day the Father showed me the Son. Have I missed (been left behind) something.


Sure we can appreciate the restored union, but do we understand that, which is Christ.
You previously said, "Here's the thing -- I don't want leniency. I want salvation! And that is what the Father has promised me in Jesus Christ. In HIM I have righteousness that has not been watered down to accomodate my weakness. His Spirit has come into union with my spirit, making me a new creature. And His Spirit within me is overcoming all within me that is unholy. I have the expectation of total and complete salvation as I abide in Christ, not just a pat on the head and shallow assurances that I tried hard so I'm not going to hell."

What can I say to one who doesn't want "leniency" (Gr. economia, aka God's mercy). What is salvation except God's mercy shown to us through Jesus Christ.
Righteousness is of God, how does one water down righteousness. He has accommodated (reconciled) our weakness because He is a lover of mankind and has always had compassion towards us (ie. He first loved us).





Perhaps I missed the boat on this one in my own experience. Let me explain a bit. The Father didn't reveal the Son to me in a sermon about salvation. And when He did reveal the Son to me, I didn't go find a church to explain "salvation" to me. Although that is what all the evangelical churches wanted to do.

I wasn't looking for some sort of behavioral theology science (why would I, God put me in a family who raised me the way He knew would be best for me). I wanted to be baptized and learn about the Son. My seeking Christ has never ceased.

So while I agree we can explain salvation in relation to Christ from scripture, I believe we are to do so by explaining Christ. Explaining Jesus Christ is explaining salvation IMHO. If I can do that, I do not need to explain myself in my salvation.

Just a quick reply for now:

I think I understand what you are saying. (or may be not :lol: )

We can become more concerned about the 'things' of Christ, then Christ Himself.
All what we are and need are 'in Christ'
If we have Christ, we have Salvation, If we have Salvation, we have Christ.
We don't need more 'things', we need more Christ.
The more we see Him, the more we will be like Him, and one day we will see Him, face to face and be fully changed.

Sorry this is rushed but I have to go for now.

Pleroo
Nov 21st 2007, 03:39 PM
Just a quick reply for now:

I think I understand what you are saying. (or may be not :lol: )

We can become more concerned about the 'things' of Christ, then Christ Himself.
All what we are and need are 'in Christ'
If we have Christ, we have Salvation, If we have Salvation, we have Christ.
We don't need more 'things', we need more Christ.
The more we see Him, the more we will be like Him, and one day we will see Him, face to face and be fully changed.

Sorry this is rushed but I have to go for now.

Well, shoot, if that's what she's saying, I agree. :) Very succinct, Partaker. (A talent I do not have!)

And I've been applying that very principle to this entire conversation. I very much regret if that is not what has come through my posts.

Toolman
Nov 21st 2007, 03:54 PM
If there is an actual justification for this move - if Paul anywhere actually says that he is now talking about a hypothetical set of people - then the view would have some traction.

He does in Romans 3 but as you have said that doesn't make sense to you though he clearly states that the whole world must shut its mouth and is found guilty before God because of the Law.

You can't have some being justified by Law if Paul clearly states that all are guilty because of the Law and must shut their boastful mouths.

Makes perfect and biblical sense to me.


Without such justification, this kind of maneuvering can be used to say that any statement in Scripture refers to a hypothetical set of persons that do not exist.

I suggest that we can forge a view that is true to Romans 2 and all the other texts which say "its all about faith". One such view, I suggest, is NT Wright's "present justification - future justification" picture.

You have presented Wright's position as not justification by Christ's death and resurrection alone and our simple trust in that atoning act but have presented that in the final judgement it is our works that justify us.

Yes, God's Spirit in us guarantees these works (in your position as well as the reformed position on sanctification) but there is a hair's difference between that position and the reformed position and that hair's difference is set on fire of hell.

The reformed position is that man is justified (sin forgiven and death removed) before God simply on the atoning work of Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection alone and that we are sanctified by His Spirit in us bringing forth His works created for us.

Your position is that man is justified by his works before God because God's Spriit within man guarantees that the believer will perform these works. The atoning work of Christ is completely disregarded in this position. It has absolutely no power or bearing. Christ's blood does nothing to forgive sin. Its is not a propitiation. It is not an atonement. It does not reconcile.
Our works do and that is the difference that returns to Rome and makes your gospel no different than any other religious message of man.

BTW - I'm just addressing what I think is incorrect in your teaching. Nothing personal. I'm sure you are a nice guy :)

drew
Nov 21st 2007, 04:03 PM
BTW - I'm just addressing what I think is incorrect in your teaching. Nothing personal. I'm sure you are a nice guy :)
Thanks. You have repeatedly shown yourself to be a gentleman who can engage in a debate and argue your position without taking things personally. I think we all win when such discussions take place.

I hope to post more later - I do think some of the issues are very subtle.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 21st 2007, 04:28 PM
If we have Christ, we have Salvation, If we have Salvation, we have Christ.
We don't need more 'things', we need more Christ.That's probably pretty closely explains my position overall. Following the Word is what we all need. And the Word is in the OT as much as in the NT. It is one continuous book.


Overall this has been one of the most peacefull discussions about these things, and i truly appreciate this. :hug:

Shalom,
Tanja

Teke
Nov 21st 2007, 06:10 PM
Just a quick reply for now:

I think I understand what you are saying. (or may be not :lol: )

We can become more concerned about the 'things' of Christ, then Christ Himself.
All what we are and need are 'in Christ'
If we have Christ, we have Salvation, If we have Salvation, we have Christ.
We don't need more 'things', we need more Christ.
The more we see Him, the more we will be like Him, and one day we will see Him, face to face and be fully changed.

Sorry this is rushed but I have to go for now.

:hug: Yes.
From my own experience, I don't believe we can find God in a book, but in experience such as worship and sharing in life. I believe Jesus Christ was our perfect example of this and that is salvation.
One could term me as an existentialist, in which the never ending search continues, to better understand Jesus Christ.

For those like myself, what I call 'program doctrines' such as the model of justification, sanctification and glorification or the model of follow the OT laws, does not explain Christ to me. As they do not include such things as an explanation of the Incarnation, Transfiguration, and Resurrection.

I considered my baptism as an entry into the citizenship of the Kingdom of God. Act accordingly and move on to understanding Jesus Christ.


Mat 16:13 ¶ When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

Mat 16:14 And they said, Some [say that thou art] John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

Mat 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.


"Flesh and blood" meaning that which is created has not revealed this to you. Since Jesus points this out, I believe that flesh and blood cannot reveal Him to me. Which means I will have to look elsewhere.:)

Pleroo
Nov 21st 2007, 06:24 PM
:hug: Yes.

I nominate Partaker as the official interpreter for EO/Protestant relations. :saint:




For those like myself, what I call 'program doctrines' such as the model of justification, sanctification and glorification or the model of follow the OT laws, does not explain Christ to me. As they do not include such things as an explanation of the Incarnation, Transfiguration, and Resurrection.

To me, Teke, these are just different words for the same things.

tgallison
Nov 21st 2007, 06:28 PM
To all those who think that our justification has no dependency on how we actually live out our lives, can you please provide an explanation as to how you deal with such texts from Romans 2 as the following:

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

I believe that Toolman argues that this material describes a non-existent category of persons - that this is a description of how we would be saved if indeed we could be saved that way. At the risk of being seen to "pick on" this position, I cannot underestimate how dubious it is to take this position simply because other texts that basically say "we are saved by faith and not works". This produces a very odd exegesis where one is forced to argue that Paul does not mean what he actually says in Romans 2, without any justification at all except that other statements of Paul seem to contradict the Romans 2 stuff, so we will accept those other statements and basically reject the ones in Romans 2.

The critical reader will ask: How do you decide to accept one set and reject the other? Why not do it the other way around - accept Romans 2 and reject as "hypothetical" those "faith not works" statements?

In my view, we must come up with an understanding of justification that makes sense of all the texts.

I guess this post is a restatement of things I have already written. I just think it needs to be made clear at what cost the "works do not matter for justification" position is purchased. It appears to be purchased by saying something like "Paul really did not means what he says in Romans 2".

I am just not willing to go there. Even though the NT Wright position is complex and somewhat obscure, I will take it over what I see as a position that requires that certain texts be relativized.

drew hi

My Bible version reads a little different than yours. They essentially say the same thing.

Romans 2:7 "To them by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immmortality, eternal life."

The diligent seekers of God's righteousness will be rewarded with eternal life is the way I read this verse. The well doing is the seeking of God's goodness. To desire good and seek after it.

Deuteronomy 4:29 "But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul."

Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you."

Their is no goodness outside of God and we can only do good when we are in Jesus Christ.

Romans 2:13 "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified"

Who is a doer of the law that Paul is talking about?

Matthew 22:36-37 "Master which is the great commandment of the law? (37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." (This is our good works)

There is no disagreement between chapter two and chapter three of Romans.

Romans 3:20 "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."

In Jesus Christ, terrell

Teke
Nov 21st 2007, 06:36 PM
To me, Teke, these are just different words for the same things.

Guess that is something to ponder.:hmm:
Tho, I don't ever recall anyone explaining in that manner.

drew
Nov 21st 2007, 06:41 PM
He does in Romans 3 but as you have said that doesn't make sense to you though he clearly states that the whole world must shut its mouth and is found guilty before God because of the Law.

You can't have some being justified by Law if Paul clearly states that all are guilty because of the Law and must shut their boastful mouths.
I need to perhaps be more careful in spelling out the details of my position so that it can be more clear. I do not think that I ever said that anybody gets justified by keeping the Law - at least in the "as if by works and not by faith sense". Please remember this distinction - there are different ways of "keeping the Law". And I have not invented this distinction to serve my purposes. Paul himself draws the distinction in statements like:

What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works.

One needs to grasp this arguably subtle distinction to understand my position.

Let's return to the Romans 2:13:

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

Rather than simply suggest that Paul is talking about a hypothetical situation here as many from the standard Reformed tradition do, I will say that Paul is here to referring to obedience to the law in the sense of "pursuing it by faith" and not "as if by works" - it is people who obey the Law in this way who will be justified. Remember, this is Paul's distinction, not mine.

So there is no part of my position, whether explicitly stated or forced on me by necessary implication, to the effect that we are justified by "pursuing Torah as if by works". We are indeed justified by our behaviour as the Romans 2 texts make it clear. But we are justified when we do things by pursuing obedience to Torah "as if by faith".

The Law for Paul is a curious doppelganger and I sense that your quote above does not accommodate this. On the one hand, the Law was given to "give life" - "Follow these commandments and you will live". But the Law has a darker purpose - to shine a spotlight on sin and, as you say, "shut boastful mouths". Your post seems to suggest that the Law has only the latter purpose. If that were true, your point would indeed have some force, since I could not claim any mechanism where "obeying the Law" leads to justification. But I think I can make a case that the Law indeed has this double-edged character.

And while one aspect of the Law is all about "exposing sin", it nevertheless remains true that there is a way of following the Law - following it "as if by faith and not by works" - that leads to our justification.

And we do not take credit for this - our works are effected by the Spirit within us.

Pleroo
Nov 21st 2007, 06:43 PM
Guess that is something to ponder.:hmm:
Tho, I don't ever recall anyone explaining in that manner.

Me either, really. But it's the way I see it.

The incarnation, transfiguration and resurrection are the experience of Christ in His humanity. Justification, sanctification, glorification is how we experience Christ living those same things in us.

drew
Nov 21st 2007, 07:12 PM
Your position is that man is justified by his works before God because God's Spriit within man guarantees that the believer will perform these works. The atoning work of Christ is completely disregarded in this position. It has absolutely no power or bearing. Christ's blood does nothing to forgive sin. Its is not a propitiation. It is not an atonement. It does not reconcile.
Yikes.

While I may never have explicitly addressed the matter of atonement, Christ's atoning death is central to the position I am advocating. It is only because God condemns sin in the flesh of Jesus (Romans 8:3) that its power is broken and the Spirit given to us. And it is this Spirit that produces the works that justify us on the last day. Without Christ's death, none of this could happen - the power of sin would not broken and Spirit could not assure that we will indeed be vindicated by our works on the last day.

Again, I do concede that this view (which is really my take on what NT Wright says) is complex and requires us to think in a more sophisticated manner about the nature and function of the Law and the nature of justification. With respect to the latter, the view I am advocating does indeed appeal to an admittedly "complex" theology in which a "future works-based justification is guaranteed in the present based solely on our placing faith in Jesus Christ". It would be so much simpler if we could say that placing faith in Jesus is a one-time event that fully secures our justification.

Romans 2 simply will not let us do that, however - there is clear teaching that we are given eternal life at the time of judgment.

The irony is, however, that the position that I am advocating for does involves a guarantee in the present that we will be justified at the end, and in a very real sense, it is purely faith that ensures the outcome at the end. On this point, JIMH may not agree with me. But I do not want to pursue that in this post.

I suggest there is ample precedent for this way of God working in the world. Look at the appearance of Jesus. In a very real sense, God has brought the "eschatological future" of national Israel into Paul's present day by raising Christ from the dead and initiating the process of new creation that will only be completed in the future (and I am now talking about your and my future, not just Pauls').

My general point is this: the very advent of Christ in the world shows that God is very much in the business of "bringing the future into the present". He did it in the "new creation sense" in Jesus, and I think it is eminently reasonable that justification also has this sense of a future verdict being rendered in the present.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 21st 2007, 07:28 PM
From my own experience, I don't believe we can find God in a book, but in experience such as worship and sharing in life. I believe Jesus Christ was our perfect example of this and that is salvation.
I'm not sure why one would discount finding God in a book, it contains His Word...???
I do however agree that experience and sharing life furthers ones getting to know, and finding God. But it startys with knowledgge, and that comes only from the Word and the Holy Spirit.



I will say that Paul is here to referring to obedience to the law in the sense of "pursuing it by faith" and not "as if by works" - it is people who obey the Law in this way who will be justified.
Excellent explanation, but i'm afraid it still will be misunderstood by many. As i tried to point out before, that if i do things learned by the Word, and in accordance with the Word, and pointed out by the Holy Spirit, i'm doing nothing but God's will which leaves no room for "I" or "me".

Shalom my friends, :hug:
Tanja

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 21st 2007, 07:33 PM
The irony is, however, that the position that I am advocating for does involves a guarantee in the present that we will be justified at the end, and in a very real sense, it is purely faith that ensures the outcome at the end. On this point, JIMH may not agree with me. But I do not want to pursue that in this post.

If you mean Faith that includes works, then yes, i agree. However, i think we're going to still experience a fire....

1Co 3:13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.
1Co 3:14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
1Co 3:16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?
1Co 3:17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.

Above bolded part also shows that we lay that foundation ourselves with the help of the Word.


Shalom,
Tanja

Toolman
Nov 21st 2007, 09:30 PM
Yikes.

While I may never have explicitly addressed the matter of atonement, Christ's atoning death is central to the position I am advocating. It is only because God condemns sin in the flesh of Jesus (Romans 8:3) that its power is broken and the Spirit given to us. And it is this Spirit that produces the works that justify us on the last day. Without Christ's death, none of this could happen - the power of sin would not broken and Spirit could not assure that we will indeed be vindicated by our works on the last day.

But that is not atonement. That is not propitiation.

That is empowerment to perform God's will (sanctification, not justification).

Justification is the forgiveness of sins (the release from the penalty of death) and that happens at the very moment of trusting Christ.

Your view does not include the atonement but simply addresses sanctification, which is included within reformed soteriology but is distinguished from justification. This is the same stance that Rome took and to which the reformers were damned by Rome.


Romans 2 simply will not let us do that, however - there is clear teaching that we are given eternal life at the time of judgment.

There is clear teaching within scripture that eternal life is given at justification, sanctification and glorification. The whole of scripture must be included when forming our soteriology.


It would be so much simpler if we could say that placing faith in Jesus is a one-time event that fully secures our justification.

2 Corinthians 11:3 - But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Toolman
Nov 21st 2007, 09:33 PM
If you mean Faith that includes works, then yes, i agree. However, i think we're going to still experience a fire....

1Co 3:13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.
1Co 3:14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
1Co 3:16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?
1Co 3:17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.

Above bolded part also shows that we lay that foundation ourselves with the help of the Word.


Everyone will experience fire:

Mark 9:49 - For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

Luke 3:16 - John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

Toolman
Nov 21st 2007, 09:40 PM
And while one aspect of the Law is all about "exposing sin", it nevertheless remains true that there is a way of following the Law - following it "as if by faith and not by works" - that leads to our justification.

This is where we will disagree. There is not a way of obeying the Law that justifies one before God. Neither obeying it by faith or by works (whatever that means). Faith and works are 2 clear distinctions between

1) Faith - Trusting in Christ's atoning work alone as the only thing that justifies you before God. His death and ressurection alone as what forgives sin

2) Works - Something we do that justifies us before God.

Obeying the Law by "faith" is not what Paul was pointing to as what justifies us before God. Trusting Christ's atoning work by faith is what Paul was pointing to. Once again this view completely removes the atoning work of Christ as the only thing that makes us right with God.

This was the reformers cry.. that Rome was blurring the line between justificaiton and sanctification and confusing the 2 instead of distinguishing the 2.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 22nd 2007, 03:46 AM
Obeying the Law by "faith" is not what Paul was pointing to as what justifies us before God.I'm sure the Gentile believers as well as the believing Jews of the first century would strongly disagree with you.
There occurred a split between the early Gentile believers, who were sandwiched persecution wise by the non-believing Jews and the pagans who persecuted all Jews including the converts.

The pressure became too great and the split occurred to where the early roman catholic church was formed with a deviation from the current doctrine.

But alas, not everyone might care, so i leave it up to those who want to research this.

Shalom my friends,
Tanja

Toolman
Nov 22nd 2007, 06:25 AM
I'm sure the Gentile believers as well as the believing Jews of the first century would strongly disagree with you.

Actually they wouldn't and a simple read of Galatians and the book of Acts points that out quite clearly.

We are justified before God because of Christ and His atoning work alone, apart from any works of merit. That is what saving faith is. Anything else is another gospel.


There occurred a split between the early Gentile believers, who were sandwiched persecution wise by the non-believing Jews and the pagans who persecuted all Jews including the converts.

The pressure became too great and the split occurred to where the early roman catholic church was formed with a deviation from the current doctrine.

But alas, not everyone might care, so i leave it up to those who want to research this.

Early Church history is quite clear that there was never an orthodox opinion amongst the early Church fathers that man could be justified before God by following the Law. Justification was based upon the work of Jesus Christ alone and not following the Law.

Because of our faith in Christ we will produce works, in our sanctification, but those works never justify us before God. Only the death of Christ on the cross can forgive sin, not man's good works.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 22nd 2007, 10:48 AM
Actually they wouldn't and a simple read of Galatians and the book of Acts points that out quite clearly.

That's fine, i respect your opinion, but i have researched this in light of scriptures that clearly appeared to contradict. And there's much that evidences that what i'm saying is true. Historically speaking as well as biblically speaking. If one is willing to dig deep enough and ask God for answers on these contradictions, one will indeed find a hidden treasure.


Early Church history is quite clear that there was never an orthodox opinion amongst the early Church fathers that man could be justified before God by following the Law.
Again, i respect your opinion, but i clearly disagree. The Law is as much the Word of God, as anything esle the scriptures say. Call it what you will, but it still boils down to the same thing. Faith is a word that goes deeper than just a mental act.

And since you mention good works, here's something to seriously study out:

Mat 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Mat 5:15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
Mat 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Mat 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

I find it quite noteable, that this good works is immediately followed with Yeshua proclaiming that the Law is by no means abolished.

Joh 10:32 Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?"

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

1Ti 5:10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.

But oh well.... I pray that someday you will see the light i see.
And with that, i'm out of this discussion, it's been beaten to death. Unless something noteworthy should come up, i desire no further participation in this particular thread.

Shalom,
Tanja

Teke
Nov 22nd 2007, 01:19 PM
I'm not sure why one would discount finding God in a book, it contains His Word...???
I do however agree that experience and sharing life furthers ones getting to know, and finding God. But it startys with knowledgge, and that comes only from the Word and the Holy Spirit.



We've likely had this conversation in the past JIMH. God is not in any book. The Logos/Word/God is evident in creation. Knowledge comes from revelation (things revealed to you) which can come in many forms. ie. people, books, creation
But wisdom comes from God, what is knowledge without wisdom.

Partaker of Christ
Nov 22nd 2007, 01:48 PM
I'm sure the Gentile believers as well as the believing Jews of the first century would strongly disagree with you.
There occurred a split between the early Gentile believers, who were sandwiched persecution wise by the non-believing Jews and the pagans who persecuted all Jews including the converts.

The pressure became too great and the split occurred to where the early roman catholic church was formed with a deviation from the current doctrine.

But alas, not everyone might care, so i leave it up to those who want to research this.

Shalom my friends,
Tanja

All our works have to come from a changed heart.
Not how we change our heart, but as God has changed our heart.

In the O/T God lead the Jews by the hand, today 'in Christ' God leads us by the heart.

Does a heart that cannot kill, need an external law of 'thou shalt not kill'?

Does a heart that loves the Lord, need a commandment to Love the Lord thy God?

As God works on and in our heart, we work it out.
God does not ask us to build bricks without straw.

It is the Spirit that leads, not the Word.
The Word is the Sword of the Spirit, not the other way round.

The Spirit works from the inside outwards.
The Word works from the outside inwards.

As the Spirit leads us, we check it against the Word (test the spirit)

If the Spirit leads us, and the Word confirms it, Then we have faith (because we have heard what the Spirit says)
Our faith will then be a living faith, and produce 'GOOD' fruit.

We love Him, because He first loved us.
If we are not sure of His love for us, then our love for Him is not great.

He who has been forgiven much loves much.
If we doubt His forgivness, then we love little.


Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Eph 1:15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
Eph 1:16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers,
Eph 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Eph 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23 Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.

Toolman
Nov 22nd 2007, 03:22 PM
That's fine, i respect your opinion, but i have researched this in light of scriptures that clearly appeared to contradict. And there's much that evidences that what i'm saying is true. Historically speaking as well as biblically speaking. If one is willing to dig deep enough and ask God for answers on these contradictions, one will indeed find a hidden treasure.

I have researched the early Church and their position on Jewish Law and it is quite evident. I can provide multiple quotes from fathers before Constantine regarding the Mosaic Law and gentiles, especially in regards to the sabbath if you so desire.


Again, i respect your opinion, but i clearly disagree. The Law is as much the Word of God, as anything esle the scriptures say. Call it what you will, but it still boils down to the same thing. Faith is a word that goes deeper than just a mental act.

Again, Tanja. You are confused. You equate with faith in the blood of Jesus Christ as the only thing that justifies us before God as something that will not produce works. This is where you err and where you are confused.

Justification by faith in Christ alone does not neccessitate that works will not be produced. In fact it is the only thing that will produce the works of God.

You are making a conclusion that has no basis, therefore your argument is flawed.


And since you mention good works, here's something to seriously study out:

Mat 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Mat 5:15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
Mat 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Mat 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

I find it quite noteable, that this good works is immediately followed with Yeshua proclaiming that the Law is by no means abolished.

Joh 10:32 Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?"

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

1Ti 5:10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.

Tanja, I have challenged you once already in this thread to provide one instance of me stating that a believer will not have works shown forth in their life. That in the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit that God will not change the believer to bring forth the righteous requirement of the Law, which is love.

I give you that challenge once again. If you cannot answer that challenge then I would kindly ask that you do not persist this deceptive line of accusation. This is caused by your confusion which you cannot see.

I have never stated that the believer will not produce works of God. Not one single time.

My position is that those works do not justify us (forgive our sin and cancel our death) before God. Only the precious blood of Christ and His glorious resurrection can do that.

Once again you are confusing justification with sanctification and this is why you are confused, in error and continue to make the comments above.


But oh well.... I pray that someday you will see the light i see.
And with that, i'm out of this discussion, it's been beaten to death. Unless something noteworthy should come up, i desire no further participation in this particular thread.

Shalom,
Tanja

As I do you.

Galatians 4
1What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. 4But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba,[a] Father." 7So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

8Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
12I plead with you, brothers, become like me, for I became like you. You have done me no wrong. 13As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you. 14Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15What has happened to all your joy? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?

17Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them. 18It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always and not just when I am with you. 19My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!

21Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise.
24These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27For it is written:
"Be glad, O barren woman,
who bears no children;
break forth and cry aloud,
you who have no labor pains;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
than of her who has a husband."[b]

28Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son."[c] 31Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 22nd 2007, 04:51 PM
Toolman,

I am NOT confused at all. God is not the author of confusion, but He has given me a ton of clarity, and insight.
I have not argued that you don't believe in some works coming forth, and have stated so previously. However, i believe you fail to see that the way i believe about works isn't wrong.

I would wish you would refrain from calling me confused, just based on the fact that you don't agree with my view.



I have researched the early Church and their position on Jewish Law and it is quite evident. I can provide multiple quotes from fathers before Constantine regarding the Mosaic Law and gentiles, especially in regards to the sabbath if you so desire.
Me too, and i can tell you it becomes evident that the early churchfathers were quite adamant in the Sabbath observation being halted and had some quite anti semitic stances.

My understanding of Galatians differes from yours obviously, but since i'm no longer in the mood to debate with you, because obviously we cannot agree.
Which is ok, but please refrain from calling me confused, because i have a different view than yours.

Shalom,
Tanja

Toolman
Nov 22nd 2007, 10:54 PM
Toolman,

I am NOT confused at all. God is not the author of confusion, but He has given me a ton of clarity, and insight.
I have not argued that you don't believe in some works coming forth, and have stated so previously. However, i believe you fail to see that the way i believe about works isn't wrong.

I would wish you would refrain from calling me confused, just based on the fact that you don't agree with my view.

Tanja,

I did not call you confused based on the fact that I don't agree with your view.

I stated you were confused because you keep making statements that the doctrine of justification by faith in Christ alone means that one does not have works as part of their salvation. This is where you are confused. If you will quit making that claim then I will consider you no longer confused on that issue :)

Justification by faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ alone absolutely does not discount works. In fact it establishes those works.


Me too, and i can tell you it becomes evident that the early churchfathers were quite adamant in the Sabbath observation being halted and had some quite anti semitic stances.

My understanding of Galatians differes from yours obviously, but since i'm no longer in the mood to debate with you, because obviously we cannot agree.
Which is ok, but please refrain from calling me confused, because i have a different view than yours.

I did not call you confused in a general sense. You are just confused on the issue that justification by faith in Christ alone means that someone does not have works. It doesn't and I have shown that. If you continue to state the opposite then I must continue to consider you confused on the issue and keep clarifying what exactly the doctrine states.

We are justified before God simply based on trusting the atoning work of Jesus Christ alone, apart from any works that we do.

We are being sanctified by the Spirit of God working in us to bring forth the works He prepared for us before the foundation of the world.

We will be glorified when we are raised in the resurrection and sin and death are finally and completely done away with.

This is biblical salvation. Justification by the atoning work of Christ, sanctification by His Spirit, Glorification by the Father.

drew
Nov 23rd 2007, 06:37 PM
We are justified before God simply based on trusting the atoning work of Jesus Christ alone, apart from any works that we do.
Maybe this is old ground but can you please explain precisely how you deal with both of these texts from Romans 2:

But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself (J (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%202;&version=49;#cen-NASB-27968J))in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

6(who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: 7to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for (M (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%202;&version=49;#cen-NASB-27970M))glory and honor and immortality, eternal life.

and

for it is (X (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%202;&version=49;#cen-NASB-27976X))not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

I could be wrong here, but my understanding is that you view these statements as applying to "no one" - they are a purely hypothetical diversion into how we would be justified if we could be justified by works.

I must re-iterate a point of methodology. There should be all sorts of red flags being raised if and when people simply discount such texts by saying more or less "these texts cannot mean what they say because that would create inconsistency with these other texts over here (e.g. Romans) which say we are justified by faith alone.

Here is my key point about "methodology": Our response to such seeming contradictions should be to step back and see if we can find a model that accomodates both categories of texts.

Consider a "dunce" cap - a hat that has a circular base (the part that sits on your head) and then tapers to a point. Suppose contestants in a game are asked to try to guess the inherent shape of the dunce cap, without knowing what it is, based solely on the shadow it casts when illuminated.

Suppose that one contestant views the shadow that the cap casts when illuminated "from the side". The contestant will see a triangle. Now another contestant sees the shadow that will be cast when the cap is illuminated from either the the top or the bottom. In either case, the shadow will be circular.

Imagine how improper it would be for a third person, trying to determine what the object actually is, to say "Well, I have to pick between these two oberver's claim, so I will choose to believe the first contestant's assertion that object is triangular in shape and simply dismiss the observation of the second contestant.

The correct response, and I trust the analogy is becoming clear, is to assume that both contestants are saying something truthful (this is especially important when we jump out of the analogy and back to Scripture where authority is accorded to all Scripture) and conclude that the object is a thing which casts a triangular shadow when viewed from one perspective and a circular one when viewed from another.

At least there is then hope of getting the right answer in the end.

In the case of justification, the "viewing dimensions" map to the time dimension. As I have tried to argue, following NT Wright, justification has both a present and a future dimension. This model, admittedly more difficult to grasp, does not require to commit the exceedingly dubious move of dismissing Romans 2 as some kind of "what if" teaching.

Teke
Nov 23rd 2007, 09:10 PM
Maybe this is old ground but can you please explain precisely how you deal with both of these texts from Romans 2:

But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself (J (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%202;&version=49;#cen-NASB-27968J))in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

6(who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: 7to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for (M (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%202;&version=49;#cen-NASB-27970M))glory and honor and immortality, eternal life.

and

for it is (X (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%202;&version=49;#cen-NASB-27976X))not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

I could be wrong here, but my understanding is that you view these statements as applying to "no one" - they are a purely hypothetical diversion into how we would be justified if we could be justified by works.

I must re-iterate a point of methodology. There should be all sorts of red flags being raised if and when people simply discount such texts by saying more or less "these texts cannot mean what they say because that would create inconsistency with these other texts over here (e.g. Romans) which say we are justified by faith alone.


I believe there are many differing understandings of what "law" means in scripture. Personally I believe it is a reference to right worship (Gr. latria), also a ref. to the ten commandments. IMO right worship begins with faith. So I do not see any contradiction in what Romans is saying. Galatians says it even plainer in the question,

Gal 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Our reception of the Holy Spirit along with the guidance it provides, does not depend on the laws of Israel.

Toolman
Nov 23rd 2007, 09:44 PM
Maybe this is old ground but can you please explain precisely how you deal with both of these texts from Romans 2:

But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself (J (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%202;&version=49;#cen-NASB-27968J))in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

6(who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: 7to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for (M (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%202;&version=49;#cen-NASB-27970M))glory and honor and immortality, eternal life.

and

for it is (X (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%202;&version=49;#cen-NASB-27976X))not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

I could be wrong here, but my understanding is that you view these statements as applying to "no one" - they are a purely hypothetical diversion into how we would be justified if we could be justified by works.

I didn't say they apply to no one. In fact they apply to everyone.

Each person who keeps the Law and seeks after God will be rewarded, of their own merit.

Paul then concludes how many people have met that criteria and offers for us another way by which men can be justified before God.

That is why Paul states:

Romans 3:21-24 -But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 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.

Paul here has been leading up to his "BUT NOW" statement to contrast justification by law keeping with justification by faith in Christ alone. They are contrasting points and now the difference is clearly shown.

Its really not that complicated (unlike Wright's view) and is a brilliant argument from the apostle. I'm sorry you view his technique as so complex. Its really not.


I must re-iterate a point of methodology. There should be all sorts of red flags being raised if and when people simply discount such texts by saying more or less "these texts cannot mean what they say because that would create inconsistency with these other texts over here (e.g. Romans) which say we are justified by faith alone.

Here is my key point about "methodology": Our response to such seeming contradictions should be to step back and see if we can find a model that accomodates both categories of texts.

Consider a "dunce" cap - a hat that has a circular base (the part that sits on your head) and then tapers to a point. Suppose contestants in a game are asked to try to guess the inherent shape of the dunce cap, without knowing what it is, based solely on the shadow it casts when illuminated.

Suppose that one contestant views the shadow that the cap casts when illuminated "from the side". The contestant will see a triangle. Now another contestant sees the shadow that will be cast when the cap is illuminated from either the the top or the bottom. In either case, the shadow will be circular.

Imagine how improper it would be for a third person, trying to determine what the object actually is, to say "Well, I have to pick between these two oberver's claim, so I will choose to believe the first contestant's assertion that object is triangular in shape and simply dismiss the observation of the second contestant.

The correct response, and I trust the analogy is becoming clear, is to assume that both contestants are saying something truthful (this is especially important when we jump out of the analogy and back to Scripture where authority is accorded to all Scripture) and conclude that the object is a thing which casts a triangular shadow when viewed from one perspective and a circular one when viewed from another.

At least there is then hope of getting the right answer in the end.

In the case of justification, the "viewing dimensions" map to the time dimension. As I have tried to argue, following NT Wright, justification has both a present and a future dimension. This model, admittedly more difficult to grasp, does not require to commit the exceedingly dubious move of dismissing Romans 2 as some kind of "what if" teaching.

Reformed soteriology also contains past, present and future dimensions but does not make the mistake of blurring the distinction between justification and sanctification and glorification.

drew
Nov 23rd 2007, 10:33 PM
I didn't say they apply to no one. In fact they apply to everyone.

Each person who keeps the Law and seeks after God will be rewarded, of their own merit.

Paul then concludes how many people have met that criteria and offers for us another way by which men can be justified before God.

That is why Paul states:

Romans 3:21-24 -But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 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.

Paul here has been leading up to his "BUT NOW" statement to contrast justification by law keeping with justification by faith in Christ alone. They are contrasting points and now the difference is clearly shown.

Its really not that complicated (unlike Wright's view) and is a brilliant argument from the apostle. I'm sorry you view his technique as so complex. Its really not.
You are still basically reworking what Paul writes in Romans 2 to suggest that it was the way of salvation and now things are different.

There are a number of serious problems with this. First, you are saying that people were saved by keeping the Law and now are saved by faith in Christ alone. I do not think that this position can be sustained. Paul teaches that justification / salvation was always procured by faith. From Romans 4:

If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.

I submit that this clearly undermines the argument that people ever were saved / justified by keeping the Law.

Second, the text in and around Romans 2 gives you no basis for arguing that the Romans 2 teaching is about the way "things used to be". Where does Paul qualify his material to that effect? When Paul says "but now" in Romans 3:21 you argue that this justifies concluding that what he wrote about in Romans 2 is set in contrast as something that "used to be but is no more". But, again, the Romans 2 material itself does not draw the distinction that would support such a position: In Romans 2:6, Paul writes: "God "will give to each person according to what he has done". If this statement only applied to those pre-Christ, then why doesn't Paul draw this distinction.

Furthermore, when Paul writes "but now" in 3:21, I think he is rather clearly saying that only now has it been revealed that our justification is secured by placing faith in Christ. It does not means that the future justification described in Romans 2 has "stopped being applicable".

Regardless, I would like to see how you sustain your claim that before Christ, people were justified by works of the Law and now they are justified by faith. I think that the text from Romans 4 makes that position untenable.

And in what sense do the following words apply to everyone (as you say) if not in a sense that determines salvation:

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life

If these words do apply to everyone, then the part of getting "eternal life in the future based on persistence in doing good" apply to everyone. This is not about being given rewards over above the procurement of eternal life - it is about the granting of eternal life itself. And it is clear that this a future event.

Partaker of Christ
Nov 23rd 2007, 11:43 PM
You are still basically reworking what Paul writes in Romans 2 to suggest that it was the way of salvation and now things are different.

There are a number of serious problems with this. First, you are saying that people were saved by keeping the Law and now are saved by faith in Christ alone. I do not think that this position can be sustained. Paul teaches that justification / salvation was always procured by faith. From Romans 4:

If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.

I submit that this clearly undermines the argument that people ever were saved / justified by keeping the Law.

Second, the text in and around Romans 2 gives you no basis for arguing that the Romans 2 teaching is about the way "things used to be". Where does Paul qualify his material to that effect? When Paul says "but now" in Romans 3:21 you argue that this justifies concluding that what he wrote about in Romans 2 is set in contrast as something that "used to be but is no more". But, again, the Romans 2 material itself does not draw the distinction that would support such a position: In Romans 2:6, Paul writes: "God "will give to each person according to what he has done". If this statement only applied to those pre-Christ, then why doesn't Paul draw this distinction.

Furthermore, when Paul writes "but now" in 3:21, I think he is rather clearly saying that only now has it been revealed that our justification is secured by placing faith in Christ. It does not means that the future justification described in Romans 2 has "stopped being applicable".

Regardless, I would like to see how you sustain your claim that before Christ, people were justified by works of the Law and now they are justified by faith. I think that the text from Romans 4 makes that position untenable.

And in what sense do the following words apply to everyone (as you say) if not in a sense that determines salvation:

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life

If these words do apply to everyone, then the part of getting "eternal life in the future based on persistence in doing good" apply to everyone. This is not about being given rewards over above the procurement of eternal life - it is about the granting of eternal life itself. And it is clear that this a future event.


It really is not that difficult!

They had the promise to come, and now has come.

When they fell short in keeping the law, they had sin offering.
The sin offerings did not cleans them from their sins, but it 'covered' their sins. God knew they would not be able to keep the whole law, by there own effort.

When the Perfect 'once for all' sacrifice came, those 'covered' sins and all sins were washed away.

There is now no other way to have sins forgiven for those who live by the law written on tablets of stone.

Deu 5:23 And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders;
Deu 5:24 And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath showed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.
Deu 5:25 Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die.
Deu 5:26 For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
Deu 5:27 Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.

Notice that they said to Moses; Go and find out what that the Lord our God would have us do, and we will do it.

God said:

Deu 5:28 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spoke unto me; and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken.
Deu 5:29 O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever!

It is 'ALL' about the heart!!

The Lord our God is not deluded about our hearts, but we are.

Even Peter had to learn that lesson, when he said he would not deny the Lord. The Lord knew the truth about Peter's heart, and said you will deny me three times.

There are two major things we need to learn.
a) Who God is and His ways
b) What we (our hearts) really are like.

When we stumble or fall, we become shocked and ashamed of ourselves.
'I am a Christian, how could I have done or said that'

God is not shocked, for He knew full well, but He wanted us to also know.
That is why He gave the good Law. It was to expose us, and we are naked, and we try to cover our nakedness with fig leaves. Then the Lord God would show us the Lamb of God, who took away our guilt and shame.

drew
Nov 24th 2007, 12:01 AM
I would like to try to make the issue I see in relation to Romans 2 a little more clear - things are getting complicated.

In Romans 2 we have this statement from Paul about what will happen on the future day of judgment:

God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

To state the painfully obvious, this statement makes it clear that, on that future day, eternal life (not just "extra rewards") will be given to those who "persist in doing good". There seems to be little wiggle room here - it is clear what is being is said about those to whom the statement applies, if we have a sense of what it means to persist in doing good.

Now to try to keep this simple, I want to be clear that from this point onward, I will assume that "doing good" equals "keeping Torah". I actually think things are not so simple, but the purpose of this post is to respond to those who argue that this text is about keeping Torah but is only addressed to those who lived and died before Jesus' time.

But to whom does the statement apply? Again, to be overly obvious, it either applies to all people who have lived or will live, a subset of all people who have lived or will live, or no person who has ever lived or will live.

It seems absurd that it could apply to no people. Why would Paul write about something that would happen to no people. Why not also write about how pink unicorns will be judged.

What about application to a subset of all people and, in particular, can it apply to people who lived before the time of Christ? Can it mean that those particular people will be given eternal life based on their "persistence in doing good" while the rest of us are given life by faith in Christ alone? Can this view hold up in light of other Scripture? No it cannot.

In Romans 4, Paul makes it clear that before Christ people were not justified by keeping Torah:

If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works (Torah - my insertion), he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness

To reiterate, I am responding to those who assume that the works here and the "doing good" in Romans 2 are really both about keeping Torah. If, by contrast one sees the Romans 2 teaching as addressing a different kind of "doing good" than keeping Torah, then the contradiction goes away. And, interestingly enough, I do think that Romans 2 does address something subtly but importantly different from "doing the works of Torah". But, again, I am responding to any who would see the "doing good" of Romans 2 as being the same thing as "works" from the extract from Romans 4.

So we see that the only remaining possibility is that Romans 2 must apply to everyone since it cannot be held to apply to only those who lived before Christ as just argued - such a view cannot survive Romans 4:2-3 on the view that "persisting in doing good" equals "works".

And since it applies to everyone, it is clear that everyone will be justified - in the sense of being granted eternal life - on the day of judgement. And it this will be based on the content of a life lived - whether we persist in doing good.

And in case there is any confusion - I do not believe that these works can be claimed as earned as our own efforts. I am not ascribing to Pelagianism, as I trust will be clear by now.

Toolman
Nov 25th 2007, 01:21 AM
You are still basically reworking what Paul writes in Romans 2 to suggest that it was the way of salvation and now things are different.

There are a number of serious problems with this. First, you are saying that people were saved by keeping the Law and now are saved by faith in Christ alone. I do not think that this position can be sustained. Paul teaches that justification / salvation was always procured by faith. From Romans 4:

You have misunderstood the position. Paul's point is that anyone who keeps the Law is justified before God.

I never said that this applied only in a certain dispensation. It applies today. Anyone who is not guilty of breaking God's Law is justified before Him.

Paul explains in his continuing argument how many people have actually done that.

You cannot read Romans 2 in a vacuum but must read it in context of the whole of the letter.


I submit that this clearly undermines the argument that people ever were saved / justified by keeping the Law.

I agree. But if one were to keep the Law then one would be justified.

In fact you alluded to that by quoting Romans 2 and Paul's statement about not the hearers but the doers of the Law are justified before God.

Now you seem to be doing a bit of a switch.


Second, the text in and around Romans 2 gives you no basis for arguing that the Romans 2 teaching is about the way "things used to be".

You have misunderstood my point, probably my fault. I never stated this is the way "things used to be". It still applies today as much as it ever did.


Where does Paul qualify his material to that effect? When Paul says "but now" in Romans 3:21 you argue that this justifies concluding that what he wrote about in Romans 2 is set in contrast as something that "used to be but is no more".

No, its not a "used to be" but is still present with us today.

All who keep God's Law without sin are justified before God today, as much as they were 2000 years ago.


But, again, the Romans 2 material itself does not draw the distinction that would support such a position: In Romans 2:6, Paul writes: "God "will give to each person according to what he has done". If this statement only applied to those pre-Christ, then why doesn't Paul draw this distinction.

Obviously God does not give each person according to what they have done, else we would all be dead for eternity. You can't pull Paul's statement out of context of the whole of the letter.


Furthermore, when Paul writes "but now" in 3:21, I think he is rather clearly saying that only now has it been revealed that our justification is secured by placing faith in Christ.

I completely agree and have argued for nothing short of that this entire thread.

Justification before God is based completely on faith in Christ alone, apart from works.


It does not means that the future justification described in Romans 2 has "stopped being applicable".

Justification is past, present and future. I have never stated any differently.

Our only contention is what is that justification based on. I say the person and work of Christ alone, apart from any works we do. It is ONLY the blood of Christ which forgives sin and NOTHING!!!! else.

That has and will be my stance for the entirety of this thread.


Regardless, I would like to see how you sustain your claim that before Christ, people were justified by works of the Law and now they are justified by faith. I think that the text from Romans 4 makes that position untenable.

You are the one arguing that works justify a believer before God. Not me. And I agree Romans 4 drives a stake thru the heart of your argument.

Nevertheless, anyone who then or not keeps the Law without sin is justified before God. That has not changed one iota.

Course Paul is clear on what little ol' problem we have there :)

SIN!


And in what sense do the following words apply to everyone (as you say) if not in a sense that determines salvation:

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life

If these words do apply to everyone, then the part of getting "eternal life in the future based on persistence in doing good" apply to everyone. This is not about being given rewards over above the procurement of eternal life - it is about the granting of eternal life itself. And it is clear that this a future event.

It applies to everyone.

Every person who keeps God's Law will be justified before God.

BUT NOW, there has also been revealed a way to be justified before God and it relies COMPLETELY upon the person and work of another and not self.

It's called the Gospel.

Toolman
Nov 25th 2007, 05:23 AM
It seems absurd that it could apply to no people. Why would Paul write about something that would happen to no people. Why not also write about how pink unicorns will be judged.

Because Paul is, in context, drawing a comparison/contrast between the Law and the Gospel. This is where you are simply pulling out one text but ignoring context as I will point out following.


To reiterate, I am responding to those who assume that the works here and the "doing good" in Romans 2 are really both about keeping Torah. If, by contrast one sees the Romans 2 teaching as addressing a different kind of "doing good" than keeping Torah, then the contradiction goes away.

Well, let's look at the context, instead of a single verse of Romans 2, to determine if Paul is speaking of torah or some other kind of "doing good". Let's pick up immediately following in Romans 2:

12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

17 Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, 18 and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. 21 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? 22 You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? 24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.

25 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

Let's see. I count Paul mentioning the Law 21 times and several specific commandments. I wonder if, in context, his earlier comments had anything to do with the Law :hmm: :)


And, interestingly enough, I do think that Romans 2 does address something subtly but importantly different from "doing the works of Torah". But, again, I am responding to any who would see the "doing good" of Romans 2 as being the same thing as "works" from the extract from Romans 4.

Context shows that what Paul is referencing in Romans 2 is exactly what he's referencing in Romans 4. That's his whole point!


So we see that the only remaining possibility is that Romans 2 must apply to everyone since it cannot be held to apply to only those who lived before Christ as just argued - such a view cannot survive Romans 4:2-3 on the view that "persisting in doing good" equals "works".

Romans 2 does apply to everyone and Paul makes that abundantly clear in Romans 3:

9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.
10 As it is written:

“ There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
13 “ Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;

“ The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “ Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “ Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17 And the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “ There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that EVERY MOUTH may be stopped, and ALL THE WORLD may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.


And since it applies to everyone, it is clear that everyone will be justified - in the sense of being granted eternal life - on the day of judgement. And it this will be based on the content of a life lived - whether we persist in doing good.

It applies to everyone in the sense that no one has persisted in doing good.

Are you willing to claim that you have persisted in doing good? Have you ever transgressed God's commands? Have you recognized in yourself a desire that is contrary to God?


And in case there is any confusion - I do not believe that these works can be claimed as earned as our own efforts. I am not ascribing to Pelagianism, as I trust will be clear by now.

Works are most definitely brought out in the believer by the sanctifying work of Jesus Christ in our lives.

Those works, however, are not what justify us before God. Only the precious blood of Christ and His resurrection have the power to do that.

Alaska
Nov 25th 2007, 05:42 AM
Lay out the OT scriptures that let those then, under the OT before Christ, understand what they needed to do to obtain eternal life.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 25th 2007, 10:34 AM
Lay out the OT scriptures that let those then, under the OT before Christ, understand what they needed to do to obtain eternal life.

Luk 7:50 And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

The Faith is mine, but the gift obviously is God's... and through that Faith i am saved.
Faith = trust+obedience.

Shalom,
Tanja

Toolman
Nov 25th 2007, 05:28 PM
Lay out the OT scriptures that let those then, under the OT before Christ, understand what they needed to do to obtain eternal life.

Here are several passages where Jews speak of a Messiah/Christ:

John 1:41 - He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ).

John 4:25 - The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”

Matthew 22:42 - saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “ The Son of David.”

Matthew 26:63 - But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”

Mark 14:61 - But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”

Luke 2:26 - And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

Luke 3:15 - Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not,

John 1:20 - He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”

John 4:29 - “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”

This is just a small sample, there are many others, that reveal to us that the Jews most definitely understood that there was a Messiah/Christ who was prophesied to come. That this Christ would be the Son of God (Matthew 26:63). They understood that Christ would restore and save Israel.

Some even wondered if John the Baptist was Christ. Which he clearly denied and pointed to Jesus.

Now, all that to say that obviously the Jews were able to understand the OT prophesies well enough to realize that God was going to send His Son, the Christ, to redeem Israel.

Perfect knowledge of Jesus is not needed to be saved. If it was then none of us would be saved because we are not perfect in our knowledge.

All that is required is a simple trust in the One who is the Christ. To put all our faith in Him and His atoning work. The OT saints looked forward to Him and we look back to Him but our focus is still on the same person and work of Jesus Christ alone, apart from any works of merit on our part.

Faith = Trusting in Christ alone as the atoning and redeeming One.

Jesusinmyheart
Nov 25th 2007, 05:50 PM
Perfect knowledge of Jesus is not needed to be saved. If it was then none of us would be saved because we are not perfect in our knowledge.Maybe not perfect knowledge, but we certainly are supposed to seek Him, and His word is very much needed. And as far as perfected knowledge goes, the Spirit leads us into truth revealing to us the truth of the Word.

It seems to me too many dismiss the Word thinking they "know" Him, cause they accepted Jesus as their Messiah. How can you truly know Him, if you're not making any effort to learn what He said?

Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Eph 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
Eph 6:15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
Eph 6:16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
Eph 6:17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God..... so without the Word, you don't have a sword, IOW no denfense.

Shalom,
Tanja

Pleroo
Nov 25th 2007, 08:08 PM
Lay out the OT scriptures that let those then, under the OT before Christ, understand what they needed to do to obtain eternal life.

I appreciate that challenge. My first thought was to point you to the covenants in the OT. I did find a helpful site that does just that:

The Covenants (http://www.biblebell.org/covenant1.html#7)


Also what came to mind was the book of Ezekiel.

Eze 18: 30 "Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!


God tells them to rid themselves of ALL their offenses (and He doesn't say that there is anyone who hasn't committed any) and He also tells them to get a new heart and spirit.

Now, just how are they supposed to do that? Well ... they aren't:

Eze 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
28 You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God.
29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you.
30 I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine.
31 Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices.
32 I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign Lord. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, O house of Israel!


20:44 You will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name's sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, O house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.'"

Alaska
Nov 25th 2007, 10:26 PM
That is the point. The OT referred to the time when the messiah would come who would then do something.
Things were in types and shadows that were generally very hidden until the man Jesus would come.

So this is the mentality we need to deal with:
Even though it wasn't until Jesus and the NT brought the clarity on what the OT pointed to, what things were truth as opposed to temporary impositions as Paul calls them, (Ex. polygamy, divorce, sacrifices etc), it is assumed in order for God to be fair, they also had to have had a fair clear chance of eternal salvation like we do.

Where is it written, "believe in the prophecy that the messiah will come and you will be saved simply by this faith even though you won't hear what he says needs to be done to be saved?"

Moses told of Jesus and said when he comes you better listen to him. He didn't say, do all I teach and you will have eternal life. Or be righteous and you will have eternal life. The message of the messiah was when he would come, then the solution. Eternal life is a clear NT message. There are only hints of it throughout the OT. Right, Ez. has some good statements. A little late though aren't they?

Where is the clarity on their eternal state as living souls after death? In Gen. 3 they were to die. The Sadducees understandably did not understand about souls existing after death. The OT was not designed to clearly address the matter. Enoch was translated, but did everyone else who didn't walk close to God simply die and turn to dust like Gen, says and that's it? They really needed the messiah to answer all of this.

The fact that he brought a personal message pertaining to everyones personal relationship with God with regard to their sin needing to be taken care of was NOT what hardly anyone would have guessed. That death would bring life, that his "defeat" would be victory etc. It is the NT that reveals all of this yet the claim will be maintained that they in the OT had a conscience of heaven or hell based on whether or not they followed Moses or something like that. Just admit, the law was not of faith, but the man that does them shall live in them. It was a practical system, a civil law to a large degree for while they lived to regulate and order matters to some extent and ensure their continuance as a nation UNTIL the messiah would come who would then clearly reveal his message of salvation for their souls, which message would be preached to the entire world.

What about the dead who knew nothing about this when they lived? Just trust in God as a righteous judge to have had a system planned out for them so that fairness would surely somehow be administered. The NT speaks of Him preaching to the spirits in prison.
There simply was not a clearly laid out OT eternal salvation message. The eternal salvation message was reserved for the saviour.

Pleroo
Nov 26th 2007, 01:43 AM
What about the dead who knew nothing about this when they lived? Just trust in God as a righteous judge to have had a system planned out for them so that fairness would surely somehow be administered. The NT speaks of Him preaching to the spirits in prison.
There simply was not a clearly laid out OT eternal salvation message. The eternal salvation message was reserved for the saviour.

I don't think they were counting on "fairness". They were counting on the fact that God was their Savior and Redeemer -- 2 things that had nothing to do with fairness, but with mercy. Look up Savior & Redeemer in the OT and see that God was proclaimed to be just that whether the details of how He was going to save had been revealed or not.

I also don't think that knowledge came "late". Job was, arguably, the oldest OT book and it proclaimed God as a Redeemer.

Job 19:25 I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes--I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

Alaska
Nov 26th 2007, 02:20 AM
No dispute. Redeemer with a capital R but that is beside the point. The knowledge we have that is necessary for us to be saved was not given to them. Their saving and being redeemed was most often in a physical sense like being saved by water and being saved from the Egyptians etc.
The NT plainly states that the blood of bulls and of goats could not take away sins. It was a type of the blood that would take away sins when Jesus would come.
There was no eternal salvation message and clarity for those in the OT though we see God doing amazing things like translating Enoch and Elijah etc. The OT pointed to the NT for the answers to be revealed then, which they have.

Job spoke prophetically being a righteous man who God revealed things to. The average Joe needed the knowledge but God decided for it to come only when Jesus came for the offer of salvation to the world.

In the NT Jesus is the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. What set of instructions existed laying out what needed to be done then, pertaining to the salvation of their souls in the OT?

Those who have gone before us and lived and died before Jesus, both Jew and Gentile did not have the Saviour. He came after they had already died. So it is a matter of fairness because what people DO relates to how they are judged and hence their eternal state of being.
Even though we don't fully know how God is going to sort all of that out, our attitude should be that somehow he will be fair in judgment because all of mankind has to be judged.
As for us, we have been given much, things they did not have, therefore much will be required of us. The servant in the parable who knew his Lords will and did not prepare himself shall be beaten with many stripes. Someone who has no knowledge will be beaten with few. They have the excuse of ignorance. The stripes are spoken of in an eternal sense.

Teke
Nov 26th 2007, 03:13 PM
Lay out the OT scriptures that let those then, under the OT before Christ, understand what they needed to do to obtain eternal life.

All they had to do was believe in the one and only true God. Jesus confirms this in the NT. :)

Jhn 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

drew
Nov 26th 2007, 06:42 PM
I have argued that many in the reformed tradition basically ignore Romans 2, arguing that it applies to a non-existent set of persons and that Romans 2 is really about how people would be saved if they could be saved by "works". But of course they cannot.

My understanding of the position of Toolman on Romans 2: He does believe Romans 2 is indeed a criteria that applies to all people, but that, of course, no one will actually pass this "works" test and so God provided another way of being justified. Fair enough.


You have misunderstood the position. Paul's point is that anyone who keeps the Law is justified before God.

I never said that this applied only in a certain dispensation. It applies today. Anyone who is not guilty of breaking God's Law is justified before Him.

Paul explains in his continuing argument how many people have actually done that.

You cannot read Romans 2 in a vacuum but must read it in context of the whole of the letter.

I still maintain that this works out to Paul giving us a long story about a "criteria" that no one will, in fact. pass. This makes Paul into a very odd writer indeed - saying things like "God will give eternal life to those who persist in doing God" and "the doers of the law" will be declared righteous, all the while believing that precisely zero people will be in this set. This is really a strange way to make a case and I think we need to give Paul more credit for being a good writer.

I cannot go into more detail right now, but I do not think that what Paul goes on to say in Romans 3 and 4 in any way makes a case that there be no people who meet the Romans 2 test. I suggest that people misread "works" in chapters 3 and 4 as being "good works" when in fact Paul is referring to works of Torah being specifically done "as if by works and not by faith". If this is what Paul really means he makes statements like:

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

then we need not conclude that zero people will meet the criteria of Romans 2. I can still claim that there are 2 ways of doing Torah - "as if by works" and "as if by faith" - and please remember, I am not making this distinction to suit my argument, Paul makes it himself (see the end of Romans 9).

Romans 2 says those who do Torah "as if by faith" will be justified, Romans 3 (for example) says that no one will be justified by doing Torah "as if by works".

This is indeed a complex matter with no small amount of subtlety. I still think it is very difficult to believe that Paul would write what he does in Romans 2 about justification by works if he really meant to then say "but no one will be justified in the manner I have just described in Romans 2 and now (e.g. in Romans 3) I will tell you how you will indeed be justified".

Toolman
Nov 26th 2007, 07:28 PM
I still maintain that this works out to Paul giving us a long story about a "criteria" that no one will, in fact. pass. This makes Paul into a very odd writer indeed - saying things like "God will give eternal life to those who persist in doing God" and "the doers of the law" will be declared righteous, all the while believing that precisely zero people will be in this set. This is really a strange way to make a case and I think we need to give Paul more credit for being a good writer.

Paul is an excellent writer and this is a classic 1st century style of writing. Just because our modern, western style may differ does not in any way take away from Paul's genius at delivering his case in such a manner.

Just because your opinion is that it is poor writing style doesn't mean it is. I see it as excellent way of presenting the Law/Gospel hermaneutic of scripture.


I cannot go into more detail right now, but I do not think that what Paul goes on to say in Romans 3 and 4 in any way makes a case that there be no people who meet the Romans 2 test. I suggest that people misread "works" in chapters 3 and 4 as being "good works" when in fact Paul is referring to works of Torah being specifically done "as if by works and not by faith". If this is what Paul really means he makes statements like:

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

then we need not conclude that zero people will meet the criteria of Romans 2. I can still claim that there are 2 ways of doing Torah - "as if by works" and "as if by faith" - and please remember, I am not making this distinction to suit my argument, Paul makes it himself (see the end of Romans 9).

Paul does not make this distinction in Romans 9. You are reading into the text:

Romans 9:30-32 - What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law.[

Paul here make a distinction between faith in Christ against works of the Law. Nowhere does he state justification by observing the Law by faith.

There are not 2 ways of observing the Law. One which justifies and another which does not.


Romans 2 says those who do Torah "as if by faith" will be justified, Romans 3 (for example) says that no one will be justified by doing Torah "as if by works".

Nowhere does Paul state that those who observe the Law by faith will be justified but he does explicitly state that no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law. Let's not put words in the apostle's mouth to suit our doctrine.


This is indeed a complex matter with no small amount of subtlety. I still think it is very difficult to believe that Paul would write what he does in Romans 2 about justification by works if he really meant to then say "but no one will be justified in the manner I have just described in Romans 2 and now (e.g. in Romans 3) I will tell you how you will indeed be justified".

But that is exactly what he says:
Romans 3:21-28 - But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

Notice here that Paul clearly states "BUT NOW the righteousness of God APART FROM THE LAW (did you get that... apart from the Law) is revealed".

Paul is obviously contrasting his whole build up regarding the Law. How not the hearers but the does of the Law are justified (Romans 2), but none have kept the Law but ALL have transgressed it and are therefore not justified by it but condemned by it (Romans 3) and now God has revealed how the sinner can be justified before God APART FROM THE LAW and that is by simple faith in the Saviour of mankind.

Its the Gospel my friends and it is very offensive to our prideful flesh. It is the stumbling block. It is foolishness to man's work-based mentality.

But it is the power of God to save to the utmost those who trust in Him alone, apart from works.

drew
Nov 26th 2007, 07:56 PM
Nowherere in the text leading up to Romans 2 does Paul say he is describing a way of justification that, while theoretically open to all, will in fact never be attained by anyone. Let the reader, if s/he is able, let go of Reformationally informed ideas and simply ask themselves this: Does the following text represent how you, as a writer, would present the idea that there is a "justification by works" pathway available to all persons, but that, in fact, will not be attained by anyone.

1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?

5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God "will give to each person according to what he has done."[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=2&version=31#fen-NIV-27954a)] 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism. 12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

I do think it is both fair and important to underscore how confusing this text is if the real intent is to communicate a path to justification that no one will actually attain. I think is rather self-evident that in verses 1 to 6, Paul is talking about a real judgement that will actually be carried out, not a "here is a theoretical scenario that will never be realized in reality".

Think of how odd it would be to write this in verses 8 and 9, presumably intending to suggest that some will meet this criteria:

8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;

and yet in the very next breath make a statement that you know no one will meet (as you, the writer of this material, would then go on to explain in chapter 3)

10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

I just cannot accept that Paul is this kind of a writer.

Toolman
Nov 26th 2007, 08:29 PM
Nowherere in the text leading up to Romans 2 does Paul say he is describing a way of justification that, while theoretically open to all, will in fact never be attained by anyone.

Correct, it is not in the text leading up to Romans 2 but it is in the text FOLLOWING Romans 2 that Paul is quite clear on his conclusion of who has met the requiredments of being a "doer of the law" and who has been "patient in continuing in doing good and seeking for glory, honor, and immortality".

Romans 3:9-20 - For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.
As it is written:

“There is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
“ Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;

“ The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “ Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “ Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17 And the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “ There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that EVERY mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

So, here, Paul is explicitly clear on who has met the criteria laid out in Romans 2. Of course, he did not state this prior to Romans 2 because that would not serve his purpose of allowing the Law to drive men to Christ.

The Law cannot justify us before God. Only faith in the Christ and His atoning work can do that.

Call that a "Reformationally" contrived idea. I call it the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I say let go of these so-called "new perspectives" which do not hold up under biblical scrutiny but are simply a return to Rome.


I do think it is both fair and important to underscore how confusing this text is if the real intent is to communicate a path to justification that no one will actually attain.

Not if you are speaking to someone who believes they can be justified by the Law.

In fact it is a very logical argument. You show that it is not the hearers of the Law which are justified but the actual doers who are justified. You show your reader/listener that they are just as guilty as those they judge. Then you show that everyone has fallen short of being justified by the Law and that God clearly states that no flesh shall be justified by the Law.

Then you show them the way they can actually be justified, which is by the person and work of another and simply trusting in Him.

Evangelists still use this technique today (Ray Comfort to name one popular one).


I think is rather self-evident that in verses 1 to 6, Paul is talking about a real judgement that will actually be carried out, not a "here is a theoretical scenario that will never be realized in reality".

Think of how odd it would be to write this in verses 8 and 9, presumably intending to suggest that some will meet this criteria:

8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;

and yet in the very next breath make a statement that you know no one will meet (as you, the writer of this material, would then go on to explain in chapter 3)

10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

I just cannot accept that Paul is this kind of a writer.

Your acceptance of whether Paul is "that kind of a writer" does not in any way have a bearing on the text. The text is clear.

Justification is based upon faith in Christ alone, apart from works. That is actually the kind of writer Paul is.. a Christ glorifying one :)

drew
Nov 26th 2007, 08:35 PM
Romans 9:30-32 - What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law.[

Paul here make a distinction between faith in Christ against works of the Law. Nowhere does he state justification by observing the Law by faith.

There are not 2 ways of observing the Law. One which justifies and another which does not.
I am surprised that you would make this argument. I suggest that, although perhaps Paul's writing style is not entirely consistent with 21st century western style, note that he is clear as to what Israel has failed to attain to: the law of righteousness. I think that you are arguing as if verse 31 said:

but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to righteousness

with the rather obvious implication that the way to attain righteousness is through faith, and not by keeping the law in an "as if by faith" manner as I have argued.

But we need to take the text as it is written. Paul writes that Israel has not attained to the law of righteousness. Again, we make Paul to be a bad writer if we have him intending to clearly distinguish faith in Christ from any kind of keeping of the Law. He should then not have mentioned a law of righteousness. But, of course, he does.

He then goes on to say that Israel failed because they were not pursuing the law "as if by faith" but rather as "by works". And I believe, following Wright here, that when Paul refers to pursuing the law "as if by works", he is critiquing not a full-hearted effort to keep the Law, but rather the Israelite idea that they believed themselves to be justified by ethinicity and mere possession of the Law.

I think that other material in Romans supports this take and I may argue to this effect in future posts. I must underscore again, we make Paul out to choose his words unwisely if he refers to the Jewish failure to attain to the law of righteousness as having nothing to do with matters of keeping the law when we writes:

but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law

What is it that Isreal did not achieve? Attainment to the law of righteousness. Why did they fail? Because they did not seek to fulfill the requirements of the law "by faith" but rather in some other way - "as if by works".

I think it is very clear that Paul is indeed distinguishing between 2 ways of pursuing the law. And if we allow keeping the Law "as if by faith" to be a way of keeping of the Law (as I think Paul plainly teaches here), then we do not need to make the exceedingly awkward move of arguing that no one is justified in the manner described in Romans 2.

Toolman
Nov 26th 2007, 08:46 PM
but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law

Notice that Paul does not use this language of "ethnicity and possesion of the Law" as how Israel missed the boat but by the "works of the Law", i.e. believing that it was the Law which could justify flesh before God.

They missed it because they did not have faith in Christ, not because they "didn't observe the Law by faith".


What is it that Isreal did not achieve? Attainment to the law of righteousness. Why did they fail? Because they did not seek to fulfill the requirements of the law "by faith" but rather in some other way - "as if by works".

Paul doesn't mention fulfilling the the Law by faith. As far as "law" being used in regards to Christ that is without contestation. The Law of the Spirit, the Law of Christ, etc. are often used "titles" in scripture to represent the Gospel.

And also let me state that the Gospel does not destroy the Law but establishes it that those who have been justified will fulfill the righteous requirement of the Law... love.

But that fulfilling does not justify us before God. Only the blood of the Messiah can do that.


I think it is very clear that Paul is indeed distinguishing between 2 ways of pursuing the law. And if we allow keeping the Law "as if by faith" to be a way of keeping of the Law (as I think Paul plainly teaches here), then we do not need to make the exceedingly awkward move of arguing that no one is justified in the manner described in Romans 2.

I am fine if people want to determine that they are justified before God by keeping the Law. If that is what a man has determined he will stand on then so be it.

But that is not what the text of Romans is teaching and that is quite clear. Paul is showing that no flesh can be justified before God by keeping the Law, because all have sinned and must shut their mouths before Him and acknowledge their guilt and be freely justified by the atoning work of His only begotten Son.

That is Paul's message. The Gospel.

drew
Nov 26th 2007, 08:57 PM
It is, of course, possible that when Paul writes the following:

God "will give to each person according to what he has done." 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism

that he really means that real people will fall into only one of these categories - those who be condemned, while there will actually be zero persons in the other category - those will be justified by their works.

I still think that this would be an exceedingly confusing way to make the point that you argue that he is making. I think there is a much better way to read other texts in Romans - that there are two ways of keeping the Law (as per Romans 9:30-31), only one of which will not justify.

Despite appearances, this does not force me into a "justification by human effort" position. It is through the Spirit that we are able to do the works that we do when we pursue the Law "as if by faith".

In Romans 8, Paul says there is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. Why? Because as he then writes:

And so he condemned sin in sinful man in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but (live, of course, i.e. "do things" - my insertion of course) according to the Spirit

It is the Spirit that gives us the power to do the things that will indeed justify us at the end.

Toolman
Nov 26th 2007, 09:12 PM
It is, of course, possible that when Paul writes the following:

God "will give to each person according to what he has done." 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism

that he really means that real people will fall into only one of these categories - those who be condemned, while there will actually be zero persons in the other category - those will be justified by their works.

Well:

Romans 3:19-26 - Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law (Notice no distinction is made here between 2 ways of following the Law but simply the Law. Is Paul such a bad writer? :)) is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.


Those pesky words like "every mouth", "all the world", "all have sinned" sure seem to indicate to me whom Paul puts in that category of those who will be justified by the Law.

Those pesky "alls" sure seem to point out who is guilty and condemned before God. ;)


I still think that this would be an exceedingly confusing way to make the point that you argue that he is making. I think there is a much better way to read other texts in Romans - that there are two ways of keeping the Law (as per Romans 9:30-31), only one of which will not justify.

Yet, Paul clearly says that the righteousness of God is apart from the Law. Is Paul such a bad writer that he would mislead us this way and really mean, "well there is a righteousness of God that is from the Law but only if you do it by faith".

That type of argument, confusing writing, could apply to either position.


Despite appearances, this does not force me into a "justification by human effort" position. It is through the Spirit that we are able to do the works that we do when we pursue the Law "as if by faith".

Nothing that Rome didn't claim. It is still a position which has no need of a propitiation, for an atoning sacrifice.

Christ's death doesn't actually forgive sin but simply enables us to have the power within us, by His Spirit, to earn our salvation by performance. He enables the performance but nonetheless it is the performance which forgives sin and not the atoning blood of Christ.


In Romans 8, Paul says there is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. Why? Because as he then writes:

And so he condemned sin in sinful man in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but (live, of course, i.e. "do things" - my insertion of course) according to the Spirit

It is the Spirit that gives us the power to do the things that will indeed justify us at the end.

The reformed position NEVER denies that sanctifying work of the Spirit in bringing forth righteous works in the believer. It does deny that those works justify us before God. Only the blood of Christ has that power. Our sin is forgiven because He paid the debt of death owed by us. The cross is a stumbling block and foolishness.

drew
Nov 26th 2007, 09:20 PM
They missed it because they did not have faith in Christ, not because they "didn't observe the Law by faith".

I had been holding the following point back but will introduce it now:

Note the distinction between the NIV rendering and the NASB rendering:

NIV:

but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works.

NASB:

but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law.
Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works.

I am no expert in Greek or the original texts. I know that NT Wright argues that the original Greek clearly is more consistent with the NASB rendering. Note the huge, but subtle difference. The NIV translation is ambiguous as to what the bolded "it" refers to. Does the "it" refer to "righteousness (as I believe Toolman's interpretation requires) or does it refer to the "law of righteousness" which would bolster my take.

I will perhaps concede that the NIV rendering allows Toolman's interpretation to be sustained, since the "it" might not refer to any kind of keeping of the law, but rather to the attainment of righteousness, pure and simple.

But I think the NASB version, if it is indeed more true to the original Greek, really does draw a clear distinction between 2 ways of keeping the Law. Why? Because the "it" as in "they did not pursue it..." must, by rule of grammar, refer to the law. And Israel chose the "bad" way of pursuning the law. And the fact that this particular verse does not spell out that this bad way = "thinking that one is justified by ethnicity or mere possession of the Torah" does not mean that this is spelled out elsewhere in Romans. I believe that it is and may post evidence in a later post.

I think that other texts from Deuteronomy 30 strengthen the position that, with the giving of the Spirit, there is a way of keeping the law that allows us to take the justification by works criteria Romans 2 as being capable of being met by people. We then do not have to imagine that, in Romans 2, Paul is engaging in this very odd mixture of "condemnation stuff" that will judge some (e.g. verses 8 and 9 )and yet "justification by works stuff" that will acquit zero people (e.g. verse 10).

drew
Nov 26th 2007, 09:35 PM
Despite appearances, this does not force me into a "justification by human effort" position. It is through the Spirit that we are able to do the works that we do when we pursue the Law "as if by faith".
Nothing that Rome didn't claim. It is still a position which has no need of a propitiation, for an atoning sacrifice.
Not true. Where do you get the idea that my position requires no need for propitiation? I believe that I have never stated this nor have I said anything that logically requires it.

It is important to point out that just because I believe the Scriptures teach a future justification by works, this in no way requires me to believe that the atonement at the Cross is neither necessary nor fully sufficient for that justification. Please provide counterarguments if you can.

I agree with Romans 8, which I think is a perfect statement of atonement theology which is entirely consistent the "future justification by works" stuff in Romans 2 (note the stuff about "living by the Spirit")

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.[c (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%208%20;&version=31;#fen-NIV-28105c)] And so he condemned sin in sinful man,[d (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%208%20;&version=31;#fen-NIV-28105d)] [B]4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit

I suspect that you will argue that "living according to the Spirit" is something we do as a result of a one-time fully sufficient justification. Well ,the text looks like it indeed supports that reading. But it also supports a "and that living according to the Spirit will be what justifies us" reading. However, the latter reading does not require us to have to morph Romans 2 such that the "judgement" categotry contains some people and the "justified" category contains zero people.

drew
Nov 26th 2007, 09:49 PM
The reformed position NEVER denies that sanctifying work of the Spirit in bringing forth righteous works in the believer. It does deny that those works justify us before God. Only the blood of Christ has that power. Our sin is forgiven because He paid the debt of death owed by us. The cross is a stumbling block and foolishness.
I think you draw a false dichotomy here. You appear to be arguing as if it is conceptually incoherent for us to claim that both the following statements are true:

1. We are justified in accordance with the content of our entire lives led;

2. The blood of Christ is both necessary and fully sufficient for our justification.

These can work harmoniously together, I think. I hope to try to defend this claim in another post.

drew
Nov 26th 2007, 09:57 PM
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law (Notice no distinction is made here between 2 ways of following the Law but simply the Law. Is Paul such a bad writer? :))[/I] is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.
Are you assuming that this righteousness (as in "righteousness of God") is the righteous status of those who fall under the blood?

If you are at all familar with NT Wright, I think you know what my response will be. This "righteousness of God" that is "apart from the Law" is not, as is commonly believed, a righteous state that is imputed to us, but is rather God's own righteousness - his covenant faithfulness.

This is, of course, not to say that we are indeed declared to be righteous. I am only saying that here, as elsewhere in Romans, Paul uses the term "righteousness of God" to refer to the covenant faithfulness of God, not our judicially declared state of righteousness.

I believe that if this view can be sustained, your objection is responded to. I cannot go into more detail now, but hope to later.

Toolman
Nov 27th 2007, 03:11 PM
Not true. Where do you get the idea that my position requires no need for propitiation? I believe that I have never stated this nor have I said anything that logically requires it.

Your atonement theory is the "moral example" or "moral enabler". There is no need for a propitiation or an atonement to pay for sins. Sins are forgiven by the person's performance and not because of a sacrifice on their part.


It is important to point out that just because I believe the Scriptures teach a future justification by works, this in no way requires me to believe that the atonement at the Cross is neither necessary nor fully sufficient for that justification. Please provide counterarguments if you can.

The cross, in your theory, is only neccessary to enable the person to earn their salvation by working for it.

It is not neccessary to actually pay the price for sins committed.

For instance, when the blood of Christ was spilt you see this as not an atoning blood for sins committed but as an enabling power whereby the person is given power over sin and because they then perform correctly God will justify them.

Here are the definitions of atonement (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/atonement)and propitiate (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/propitiate).


I agree with Romans 8, which I think is a perfect statement of atonement theology which is entirely consistent the "future justification by works" stuff in Romans 2 (note the stuff about "living by the Spirit")

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.[c (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%208%20;&version=31;#fen-NIV-28105c)] And so he condemned sin in sinful man,[d (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%208%20;&version=31;#fen-NIV-28105d)] [B]4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit

I suspect that you will argue that "living according to the Spirit" is something we do as a result of a one-time fully sufficient justification. Well ,the text looks like it indeed supports that reading. But it also supports a "and that living according to the Spirit will be what justifies us" reading. However, the latter reading does not require us to have to morph Romans 2 such that the "judgement" categotry contains some people and the "justified" category contains zero people.

Your view of atonement does not actually atone but simply enables the believer to merit justification by their works as opposed to an actual atonement and propitiation which satisfies the debt of sin.. death.

Christ's blood is an actual propitiation and atoning sacrifice which actually forgives sin, apart from any works we do.

Leviticus 4:20 - And he shall do with the bull as he did with the bull as a sin offering; thus he shall do with it. So the priest shall make atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them.

That's atonement. The blood is shed and the sin is forgiven.

The simple Gospel. A stumbling block to our pride and flesh but the power of God to save.

drew
Nov 27th 2007, 05:09 PM
Your atonement theory is the "moral example" or "moral enabler". There is no need for a propitiation or an atonement to pay for sins. Sins are forgiven by the person's performance and not because of a sacrifice on their part.
Untrue. I know it is difficult for people, perhaps steeped in a certain way of seeing things, to make sense of the position that I am advocating for. I know that it would be conceptually "simple" to beleive that we are "once for all justified" by simple mental assent to the proposition that Jesus died for my sins and that the content of the rest of my life does not matter.

But I am not the one who wrote Romans 2 (not to mention other teachings including those of Jesus). I think arguments that no one will meet the "works-standard" of Romans 2 fail for reasons that I have already described.

There is a slight sense in which your characterization of my argument is correct. And that is your reference to Christ's death being a "moral enabler". When God condemned sin in the flesh of Jesus and gave us the Spirit, He then uses the Spirit to fully and sufficiently cause us to live the kind of life that will ensure that we will indeed "persist in doing good, seek glory, honor and immortality" and that, as a result, he will give us eternal life. But your use of the term "enabler" is misleading with its connotation of "making it merely possible for me to then take the ball and score a touchdown on my efforts".

This is not justification by works that can be credited to my effort. It is justification by works in the sense that it is the Spirit - caused works of mine that will justify me at the end. And it is indeed justification by faith "in the present" because it is faith that the atoning death of Jesus alone and belief that He is lord that guarantees that I will indeed receive a favourable verdict on that last day. I know that this "present - future" duality seems complicated, but it does not force us to do something extremely implausible with Romans 2 (and other texts which talk about 'justification by works').

But make no mistake - there is no sense at all in which the death of Christ is not fully necessary and sufficient for my justification. I have never said or implied this and the careful reader will know this.

The importance of seeing the incredible coherence of God's redemptive work cannot be over-estimated. With the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have Israel's eschatological future brought forward into Paul's time - Paul realizes that what God has promised for all Isreal at the end of history, He has done for Jesus in the middle of history.

That same "bringing of the future into the present" template is mirrored in the justification scheme that I believe the Scriptures present. Just as our faith in Jesus in the present means we will be raised in the future, so it is that our faith in Jesus in the present means that we will be justified in the future. In fact, as Ezekial 37 shows, being raised from the dead is indeed how justification will be made manifest.

Toolman
Nov 27th 2007, 05:56 PM
Untrue. I know it is difficult for people, perhaps steeped in a certain way of seeing things, to make sense of the position that I am advocating for. I know that it would be conceptually "simple" to beleive that we are "once for all justified" by simple mental assent to the proposition that Jesus died for my sins and that the content of the rest of my life does not matter.

This is an incorrect understanding of reformed soteriology.

What you describe above is more akin to some forms of american evangelicalism than it is reformed soteriology.

Reformed soteriology does not teach that it is simply mental assent or any such thing that justifies us. It is Christ's death and resurrection alone which justifies and trusting in that alone which justifies us.

But reformed soteriology does not stop there, of course. The believer is guaranteed sanctification and glorification. The "rest of my life" is correctly addressed within the soteriology to include all of God's salvific work and not just a part.


But I am not the one who wrote Romans 2 (not to mention other teachings including those of Jesus). I think arguments that no one will meet the "works-standard" of Romans 2 fail for reasons that I have already described.

And, as I have shown, your reasoning falls short when one examines the context of the whole of the letter and not just a few verses.


There is a slight sense in which your characterization of my argument is correct. And that is your reference to Christ's death being a "moral enabler". When God condemned sin in the flesh of Jesus and gave us the Spirit, He then uses the Spirit to fully and sufficiently cause us to live the kind of life that will ensure that we will indeed "persist in doing good, seek glory, honor and immortality" and that, as a result, he will give us eternal life. But your use of the term "enabler" is misleading with its connotation of "making it merely possible for me to then take the ball and score a touchdown on my efforts".

Make no mistake Drew. I have understood what you are saying.

You are saying that it is the Spirit that does the work thru you. This work is monergistic and irresistable (that is what I have understood you saying). I understand that you are saying that.

But, that is why there is no need for propitiation. For atonement.

You are justified by the works that are performed. Even if they are guaranteed it is THOSE works you perform which cause God to forgive your sin.

It is NOT the blood sacrifice alone, of Christ, which causes God to forgive your sin.

That is how this view denies the propitiating and atoning work of Christ's blood.

One need only go back to the OT to understand the atonement. The priest made the sacrifice and the people were forgiven their sin.


But make no mistake - there is no sense at all in which the death of Christ is not fully necessary and sufficient for my justification. I have never said or implied this and the careful reader will know this.

I have not made a mistake, I don't believe, and have been very careful regarding reading your position.

It clearly denies the need for the atoning and propitiating work of Christ's blood to forgive sin.

Sin is forgiven because of your performance, guaranteed by the Spirit. Still it is not the blood of Christ which forgives.

I have understood your position. I also see this flaw in it and must point it out.


The importance of seeing the incredible coherence of God's redemptive work cannot be over-estimated. With the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have Israel's eschatological future brought forward into Paul's time - Paul realizes that what God has promised for all Isreal at the end of history, He has done for Jesus in the middle of history.

That same "bringing of the future into the present" template is mirrored in the justification scheme that I believe the Scriptures present. Just as our faith in Jesus in the present means we will be raised in the future, so it is that our faith in Jesus in the present means that we will be justified in the future. In fact, as Ezekial 37 shows, being raised from the dead is indeed how justification will be made manifest.

Not a whole lot to disagree with there. It is "how" and "upon what" that we will be justified that I find disagreement.

You say we will be justified before God by the works that the Spirit does through us.

I say we will be justified before God by Christ's death on the cross, apart from any works the Spirit does thru us.

drew
Nov 27th 2007, 06:04 PM
Hello Toolman:

I think that I have presented my arguments as clearly as I can and you have done the same. Based on your last post, I do agree that you more or less understand my position. Exception: I do not think I would agree to this statement:


Still it is not the blood of Christ which forgives.

But I do not think I am ready to go into detail as to how I would respond to this this statement. I have found you to be a thoughtful and extremely gentlemanly person with whom to discuss these matters.

I will probably now bow out of this particular "sub-plot" to the thread as a whole.

Toolman
Nov 27th 2007, 06:49 PM
Hello Toolman:

I think that I have presented my arguments as clearly as I can and you have done the same. Based on your last post, I do agree that you more or less understand my position. Exception: I do not think I would agree to this statement:



But I do not think I am ready to go into detail as to how I would respond to this this statement. I have found you to be a thoughtful and extremely gentlemanly person with whom to discuss these matters.

I will probably now bow out of this particular "sub-plot" to the thread as a whole.

I've enjoyed the discussion also Drew and agree we are beginning to repeat ourselves.

Thanks for taking the time to present your thoughts and your thought out responses.

See ya in the funny papers :)