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NLathrop
Dec 22nd 2003, 02:28 PM
There have been numerous threads recently that have been discussing Salvation, Works, Baptism, and Obedience. Some have attempted to tie Salvation in with certain works, obedience and baptism, while others have tried to separate these 4 issues claiming salvation comes by faith and faith alone. I would like everyone to examine this information and take the time to digest it into your Spirit so God can have the opprotunity to speak to you about this issue BEFORE you respond. I know that for some this will be difficult, as it may cut deep to your fundamental beliefs that have been learned over long periods of time. And let me assure everyone, this thread is meant, in NO WAY, to undermine the importance of Salvation or Christs' work on the cross, but to try and get everyone to see the bigger picture of salvation so that we can all become the type of Christians we have been called to be.

Several questions to ponder:

1. Does the Bible actually teach Salvation comes from faith and faith alone?
2. Are works a vital ingredient of Salvation?
3. Is obedience a key ingredient to being saved?
4. Are Works and Obedience the same in God's eyes?
5. Is Baptism a required step to becoming saved?

Does the Bible actually teach that we are saved by just having faith and believing in Christ alone? Or does the Bible teach that we must meet certain other conditions in order to secure our Salvation? First, we need to look at the verses that say we are saved by faith:


John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Acts 16:31; 10:43; 15:9; 13:39; John 8:24; 3:36; 5:24; 6:40; 20:30,31; Romans 3:22-28; 4:3,16 (sorry for not posting all of the verses in their entirety, but it would take up alot of space, and this is already going to be a LONG post.)


Many use these verses to stake the claim that we are saved by faith and faith alone. But, do these verses say that ALL we have to do is believe or have faith in Christ? No, they say that faith is a requirement in order to be saved, but doesn't exclude other possible requirements. Take these verses, for example:

John 12:42,43 - 42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

According to John, an esteemed and beloved disciple/apostle of Christ, the chief rulers BELIEVED Christ was the Son of God but yet they were not saved. They had the faith the previous verses call for, but still it wasn't enough.

James 2:19,20 - 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

James tells us that even the devils believe in Christ, but they are not saved. (We'll deal more with verse 20 further down.)

James 2:14,24 - 14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Ah, the clencher....James says faith only CANNOT save us. James even says that faith without works is worthless.

Is Obedience an essential part OF Salvation or does obedience come AFTER Salvation? Some peope tend to believe that obedience comes after Salvation, and isn't essential in order to receive forgiveness of sins. BUT, again the Bible says the opposite:

*1 Peter 1:22,23 - 22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (We purify our souls in obeying the truth.)

*Romans 6:17,18 - 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
(Servants of sin must obey from the heart in order to be made free from sin.)

*Hebrews 5:9 - 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

*James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

*Acts 10:34,35 - 34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Acts 11:14 14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. (Peter told Cornelius words whereby he would be saved. But the first words He said were that, to be accepted by God, people must work righteousness. This is true for all people, for God shows no partiality!)

*Matthew 7:21-27 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Luke 6:46 - 46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (To accept Jesus as Lord (ruler, master) and enter the kingdom of heaven, we must do what He says. We may believe and confess Him yet be rejected, because we did not obey.)

*2 Thessalonians 1:8,9 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
Romans 2:6-10 - 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: (Receiving eternal life requires us to do good. Those who do not obey will be destroyed.)

*1 John 5:3 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
*John 14:15, 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
*John 14:21-24 - 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. (Loving God requires us to keep His commands. If we do not obey, we do not love Him. Can one be saved if he does not love God?)

Clearly from these passages, we see that we MUST obey God/Jesus in order to be saved. If we do not obey, we are not truly trusting in Christ and do not truly love Him.

(Continued)

NLathrop
Dec 22nd 2003, 02:51 PM
Are works the same as obedience? We all have heard that "Works are the only way to salvation" and the opposite "Works have no bearing on Salvation". Some have even claimed that "Works are a PART of Salvation". Now, obviously not all three can be true. I think just by the above Biblical passages, we can see that Works Only has been clearly disproved. So, which of the other 2 is correct? Again, lets look at Scripture to see what God requires or says regarding Works:

Matthew 22:37-39 - 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.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
(Love is the greatest of all commands. If obeying commands is not necessary to salvation, then love is not necessary!
Yet note 1 Corinthians 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

Lets define Anathema
Anathema \A*nath"e*ma\, n.; pl. Anathemas. [L. anath?ma, fr. Gr. ? anything devoted, esp. to evil, a curse; also L. anath?ma, fr. Gr. ? a votive offering; all fr. ? to set up as a votive gift, dedicate; ? up + ? to set. See Thesis.] 1. A ban or curse pronounced with religious solemnity by ecclesiastical authority, and accompanied by excommunication. Hence: Denunciation of anything as accursed.
Sounds pretty clear what message is being portrayed in 1 Corinthians 16:22, Don't love the Lord, you are NOT Christian...and you are not His, thus no salvation has been given to you. (John 14:21-24)

Acts 17:30 - 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: (Repentance is a command. If keeping commands is not necessary, then repentance is not necessary to salvation! 0
Yet note Acts 2:38; 3:19; Luke 13:3; 2 Peter 3:9.


Romans 10:9,10 - 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
(Confession with the mouth is a command. If obeying commands is not essential to salvation, then confession is not essential! Yet the Bible says it is essential. And it is not just an inner act; it is an outward act done with the mouth, in contrast to faith in the heart. Like baptism, here is an outward, physical action that is essential to salvation. )

1 John 3:23; 23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
John 6:28,29 - 28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
(Faith itself is a command; it is a work God tells people to do. If works and obedience are not necessary, then faith itself is not necessary! But if faith is essential, then we must abandon the view that obedience and works are not essential!)

Now there are 3 types of works the Bible discusses: Works of the flesh, works of the OT law by which one earns salvation, and works of obedience to meet conditions of forgiveness. The first two are clearly NOT what God has called us to do. BUT, the scripture is clear that works of obedience are necessary to secure our salvation.

Proper faith results in blessings from God. But as we see in the OT, people of faith were not blessed until AFTER they obeyed God.
Look at OT cases of faith...
Noah - Was he saved by faith before he obeyed, or did God save him from the flood only after he obeyed? Would he have been saved if he had not obeyed?
Abraham - By faith he obeyed God and went to the place God eventually showed him. Did God reward him before he obeyed, or only after he obeyed?
Israel at Jericho - By faith the walls of Jericho fell. Did they fall before the people did what God said, or afterwards? Would the walls have fallen had the people not obeyed? The verse says the walls fell "after they were compassed about."

Saving faith is faith that obeys. Now some will say that this is just putting the trust in us and our ability to do good works instead of trusting in Christ, or that I am adding to God's Plan of Salvation...but I implore you to read God's Word...Faith without works is a dead faith, according to the Bible...dead faith cannot save us. That equates to saying we would still be saved by Christ's Blood if Jesus had never been resurrected. The resurrection is PART of the Salvation Plan. Salvation isn't salvation WITHOUT the eternal life promise we have been given. Now, on another thread someone tried to discount faith plus by using the snake on the stick story from Numbers 21....9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Definition of Beheld
be·hold ( P ) Pronunciation Key (b-hld)
v. be·held, (-hld) be·hold·ing, be·holds
v. tr.

To perceive by the visual faculty; see: beheld a tiny figure in the distance.
To perceive through use of the mental faculty; comprehend: “Behold the man of the future” (Jerry Adler).
To look upon; gaze at: We beheld a beautiful vista before us.

IOW, to be saved from death, they had to LOOK upon the serpent of brass....they had to DO something other then believe.

Now, is baptism by water a requirement to secure our Salvation? We all know that Jesus did not start His ministry until AFTER He was baptized. (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21,22)

So is baptism an afterthought we have after we have been saved or is it part of salvation? Again, I refer you to the Word of God:

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
But the common accepted doctrine is that our sins are gone when we are saved and baptism is nothing more than "window dressing" or an outward expression of our already received forgiveness.

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Again, we are told to believe AND be baptized, and THEN we are saved. And these words came straight from Jesus' mouth.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for (*EIS) the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Again, repent and be baptized....not just believe or faith alone.

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For (*GAR) as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Again, two more passages that say we must be baptized in order to receive Christ.

*EIS = Greek work for unto
*GAR = Greek work for because

1 Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Water saved Noah, and water saves us...NOw, it is not JUST water baptism. We must have faith, obedience and baptism in order to be saved.

Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;




So what is essential to Salvation?

God's grace (Ephesians 2:4-10; 1:7; Titus 2:11,12; Acts 15:11)

Jesus' death and resurrection (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 5:6-10; 1 Peter 1:18,19; Revelation 1:5; 1 Corinthians 15:17; 1 Peter 3:21)

The gospel (Romans 1:16; 1 Peter 1:23-25; Acts 11:14; James 1:18,21; 1 Corinthians 15:1,2; John 8:31,32)

Learning God's will (Acts 11:14; John 6:44,45; Romans 10:17; 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:21)

Faith (see the verses listed on post 1)

Love (1 Corinthians 16:22; 13:1-3; Galatians 5:6; 1 John 4:7,8)

Hope (Romans 8:24)

Repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30; Luke 13:3,5; 2 Peter 3:9)

Obedience (Hebrews 5:9; Romans 6:17,18; 1 Peter 1:22; Acts 10:34,35; 2 Thessalonians 1:8,9; Galatians 5:6; James 2:14-26)

Confession of Christ (Romans 10:9,10; Matthew 10:32)

Baptism (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3-7; Galatians 3:26,27; Colossians 2:12,13)

Faithfulness (Matthew 10:22; Revelation 2:10; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Matthew 28:20; Titus 2:11,12; 1 John 2:1-6)

Church membership (Acts 2:47; 20:28; Ephesians 5:23,25)

Some of these are things God has done; others we must do. All are essential to our salvation.


Now, please, before you run headlong into disagreeing, let this resonate in your soul, read the passages again preceeded by prayer. Let God show you the Truth behind these verses. Discernment of the Truth can only come through faithful prayer and open eyes and ears. Then come back and discuss the issue if you still have questions or problems.

Toolman
Dec 22nd 2003, 05:04 PM
NLathrop,

A very well thought out post and good insight.

I will share from my understading of salvation as revealed in the scripture.

I believe scripture reveals that salvation is made up of 3 distinct yet inseperable acts.

================================================== ==========
Justification: - We are delivered from the Penalty of sin. The act of God as 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).

Sanctification: - We are being delivered from the Power of sin. This is the process, in this life, of coming 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.

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, and establish His everlasting kingdom.
================================================== ==========

The lines must not be blurred between these 3. When we blur the line between Justification and Sanctification it is easy to lose the assurance of our eternal life and begin to doubt God's promises.

Justification is completely of God and is given FREELY at the point a person trusts in Christ alone.

Sanctification is done on a daily basis and requires our will to be involved in the process. God is the initiator in this process and we respond to His grace daily to be conformed to the image of Christ.

Glorification is completely of God and happens in the twinkling of an eye when redemption of everything is complete.

NLathrop
Dec 22nd 2003, 05:29 PM
But one isn't truly saved, according to the Bible unless they have all of the extras from my previous posts. It is clear from the Bible that they are all connected to Salvation, not a separate process.

I know I will get bashed by some, and criticized for others by this information, but the Truth is never easy, and those who spread the Truth are always kicked to the curb. People today only want to hear what makes them comfortable, not what the Truth is. And Thank God, He has provided me with a very think skin to handle the backlash this thread will bring. And Thank God for the overwhelming peace He has given me regarding this issue.

Toolman
Dec 22nd 2003, 06:56 PM
But one isn't truly saved, according to the Bible unless they have all of the extras from my previous posts. It is clear from the Bible that they are all connected to Salvation, not a separate process.

I know I will get bashed by some, and criticized for others by this information, but the Truth is never easy, and those who spread the Truth are always kicked to the curb. People today only want to hear what makes them comfortable, not what the Truth is. And Thank God, He has provided me with a very think skin to handle the backlash this thread will bring. And Thank God for the overwhelming peace He has given me regarding this issue.

Well hopefully I won't be bashing you but present the truth also as God has revealed it to me.

I agree with you that the things you mention will ACCOMPANY salvation but those things are not what justify us before a Holy God.
Only trusting in the work of Christ on the cross and His ressurrection are what justify us before God.

The things you mention are the fruits that will come from being born of God but they do not birth us.

The same God who has justified us is the same God who is sanctifying us and is the same God who will glorify us. Salvation begins and ends with God. The glory is all of Him and none to us.

I will disagree with you on what makes people comfortable. I think the message of a list of things WE must do to be saved is very comfortable to people. It puts them in control of their salvation, brings glory to themselves and puts confidence in the flesh. I think people are very comfortable with that. That message strokes the pride of the flesh.

But the cross is offensive. It says that their is no salvation in ourselves. That someone else had to take our punishment for us and credit His righteousness to us or else we would have never been clean before a Holy God.

I think that is why the message of Faith in Christ ALONE takes so much of a beating and gets kicked to the curb. Because it is offensive to our prideful flesh.

Matt14
Dec 22nd 2003, 08:50 PM
Good post, NLathrop.

MetalFortress
Dec 22nd 2003, 10:11 PM
Clarify this for me:

If someone on their death bed, finally comes to trust in Jesus Christ by faith, in their heart, and repents for their sins, but dies before they can be baptized, where do they go?

NLathrop
Dec 23rd 2003, 12:20 PM
MetalFortress:

I would hope that Jesus would allow them into Heaven, but that is a call He has to make not me. I believe if their repentance was sincere, but they were unable to become baptized before death struck, Jesus would be fine with this. But this points out the urgency that the disciples and apostles had in baptizing those who accepted the Truth.

Acts 2:41 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Acts 8:35-39 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

Acts 16:25,33 25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

Acts 22:16 16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.


Now, how many ministers do you know today, who after leading a lost soul to Christ on the telephone (And yes, I have known several who called their local minister at home in themiddle of the night and found salvation) would leave and go to baptize this person? If it was good enough for the disciples, and they felt the urgency to baptize in the middle of the night, why is it we now feel the need to wait weeks, months or years before suggesting someone get baptized. The disciples also demanded those who claimed to believe in Christ to be baptized, now it is a "if you feel it is important, go ahead and be baptized"?

We may not like the conditions attached, but they are still there.



Toolman, where does the Bible tell us that it is by Faith Alone that we are saved? Specific verses that say ONLY or alone....not just that Faith saves us. Faith includes ALL these things.

I have provided tons of verses that say we must have faith AND ....be baptized...be obedient...be repentant.

But all I am getting back is that these things come after salvation, with no Biblical proof of this. No offense towards you or anyone else on this thread or board, but without Biblical backing, your words are nothingmore than an opinion given by a flawed human being. (And yes, I included myself as being a flawed human as well.)

vume
Dec 23rd 2003, 12:55 PM
The couple of Scriptures which follow tell me that: (1) grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, (2) salvation comes through the cross of Christ alone, not works. BUT, good works will follow someone who is in-Christ.

John 1:15-18
15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Gal 5:1-12
1 So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law. 2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ cannot help you. 3 I'll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey all of the
regulations in the whole law of Moses. 4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God's grace. 5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive everything promised to us who are right with
God through faith. 6 For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, it makes no difference to God whether we are circumcised or not circumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love. 7 You were getting along so
well. Who has interfered with you to hold you back from following the truth? 8 It certainly isn't God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. 9 But it takes only one wrong person among you to infect all the others - a little yeast spreads quickly through the whole batch of dough! 10 I am trusting the Lord to bring you back to believing as I do about these things. God will judge that person, whoever it is, who has been troubling and confusing you. 11 Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised - as some say I do - why would the Jews persecute me? The fact that I am still being persecuted proves that I am still preaching salvation through the cross of Christ alone. 12 I only wish that those troublemakers
who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves.

NLathrop
Dec 23rd 2003, 01:56 PM
The couple of Scriptures which follow tell me that: (1) grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, (2) salvation comes through the cross of Christ alone, not works. BUT, good works will follow someone who is in-Christ.

Gal 5:1-12
1 So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law. 2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ cannot help you. 3 I'll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey all of the
regulations in the whole law of Moses. 4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God's grace. 5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive everything promised to us who are right with
God through faith. 6 For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, it makes no difference to God whether we are circumcised or not circumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love. 7 You were getting along so
well. Who has interfered with you to hold you back from following the truth? 8 It certainly isn't God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. 9 But it takes only one wrong person among you to infect all the others - a little yeast spreads quickly through the whole batch of dough! 10 I am trusting the Lord to bring you back to believing as I do about these things. God will judge that person, whoever it is, who has been troubling and confusing you. 11 Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised - as some say I do - why would the Jews persecute me? The fact that I am still being persecuted proves that I am still preaching salvation through the cross of Christ alone. 12 I only wish that those troublemakers
who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves.
This passage, when read in its entireity states the same things I have said.... Let's finish that section shall we?

Galatians 5:12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Our liberty, our freedom has a condition...we MUST love and serve each other. Otherwise we haven't achieved freedom at all but are still slaves to the law.

Jesus told us, in layman's terms...If you love me, you will obey me. If yo do not obey me, you do not love me. And if you do not love me, you are not mine. He didn't say we had to try to obey Him, but me MUST obey Him, it IS a commandment.

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Faith WITHOUT Works is dead faith...dead faith CANNOT save.

2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.


Not having good works (fruits) shows that you have lost your faith. Again, faith and works (obedience) tied together.

1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

We must abide in Him or be ashamed when He returns. If I am saved but not abiding in Him, how can I be ashamed? I'm not guilty of any sin, I'm saved.

1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

If we do not keep His commandments, we do not know Him, hence we are not saved.


I do not know why some people see faith as just believing...faith is so much more than believing.

Matthew 8 28-34 tells the story of Jesus' encounter with demon filled men. These demons believed Jesus was the Son of God but they did not believe they had to obey Him. Belief isn't enough. Faith means we must accept what He has done for us, receive Him as the only one who can save us and live by obeying His word. Otherwise, we simply believe He is the Son of God as the demons did.

Again, read James 2:19-2 19 Are there still some among you who hold that "only believing" is enough? Belieing in one God? Well, remember that the demons believe this too - so strongly that they tremble in terror. 20 Fool! When will you ever learn that "believing" is useless without doing what God wants you to? Faith without works is dead faith. 21 Don't you remember that even our father Abraham was declared good because of what he did, when he was willing to obey God, even if itmeant offering his son Isaac to die on the altar? 22 You see, he was trusting God so much that he was willing to do whatever God told him to; his faith was made complete by what he did, by his actions, his good deeds. 23 And so it happened just as the scriptures say, that Abraham trusted God, and the Lord declared him good in God's sight, and he was even called "the friend of God". 24 So you see, a man is saved by what he does, as well as by what he believes. 25 Rahab, the pr#stit#te, is another example of this. She was saved because of what she did when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead when there is no spirit in it, so faith is dead if it is not the king that results in good deeds.

Faith INCLUDES good deeds, obedience, baptism...not reults in good deeds, obedience and baptism. Faith without these is just believing, which, as James says, is useless and does not save.

Toolman
Dec 23rd 2003, 02:18 PM
MetalFortress:
I would hope that Jesus would allow them into Heaven, but that is a call He has to make not me. I believe if their repentance was sincere, but they were unable to become baptized before death struck, Jesus would be fine with this.

The thief on the cross might be a good person to ask this question of.
It appears his justification was simpler than ours, all he did was put his trust in Christ.
BTW - I wholeheartedly agree that baptism should be an immediate response to belief in Christ.


Toolman, where does the Bible tell us that it is by Faith Alone that we are saved? Specific verses that say ONLY or alone....not just that Faith saves us. Faith includes ALL these things.

Romans chapter 4 is as clear cut as possible that it is by Faith in Christ ALONE that we are justified before God:
Romans 4:1-5 - 1 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
These verses CLEARLY spell out that Abraham was NOT justified by works before God (verse 2). It says that Abraham was imputed (an accounting term for credited) righteousness (verse 3). It says that those who work the wages are not by grace but they are earned (earned justification - verse 4)

Lets see some more of Chapter 4
Romans 4:5-8 -
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:
"Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered;
Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.

The scripture goes on to explain that the person WHO DOES NOT WORK but BELIEVES on God, that persons FAITH is accounted (credited) for righteousness(verse 6).
Then David is quoted explaining what this crediting means to sin, how does it effect our sin. Well, lawless deeds are forgiven and sins are covered.(verse 7-8)

So when was righteousness credited to Abraham, before or after he did good works?

Romans 4:9-12 - Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.

The scripture plainly states that righteousness was credited to Abraham BEFORE he was circumcised (verse 10). He then received the SIGN of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness by faith he already had (verse 11). He is the example to all those who believe on Christ that righteousness is imputed to them also (verse 11).
Before Abraham had done ANY good deeds, before circumcision, before patiently waiting for the promise of Isaac, before offering Isaac on the alter, God credited Abraham with being righteousness (imputed righteousness and covered his sin and forgave his lawless deeds) simply based on his Faith in God ALONE.

The same is true with all those who have faith in Christ alone. At the moment they trust in Christ alone God credits them righteous (imputes righteousness, covers their sin and forgives their lawless deeds). Before they do ANY good deeds, before baptism, before partaking of the Lord's supper, before confession of sin, before repentance of sin, they are justified.

So now with a clear understanding of Romans 4 you have to decide is James 2 contradicting Romans 4. If you would like to discuss that I am up for it. I do not believe they contradict one another.


I have provided tons of verses that say we must have faith AND ....be baptized...be obedient...be repentant.

Obedience, baptism, repentance of sin all follow AFTER justification. They are a part of our sanctification. Remember salvation is made of 3 distinct yet inseperable events.
Justification - Just explained in Romans 4 as being credited with Christ's righteousness, lawless deeds FORGIVEN, and sins COVERED.

Sanctification - Daily walk with Christ in this life, discipleship - obedience, maturity, repentance, baptism, fellowship)

Glorification - the receiving of our new, sin-free bodies when all of redemption is complete and Christ returns.

These 3 events are what constitute what the scripture calls Salvation. It is a complete redemptive work done by God in the believer's life. Justification first, Sanctification in this life, and Glorification in the life to come.

The mistake you are making here is the same mistake that the Roman Catholic church made in that they confused Justification and Sanctification. Once you do that you begin to add works onto the message of the Gospel and add works to being justified before God.
The protestant reformation was about this very unbiblical doctrine. Works are NOT required to justify a person before God, Faith in Christ alone is what justifies a person before God.



But all I am getting back is that these things come after salvation, with no Biblical proof of this. No offense towards you or anyone else on this thread or board, but without Biblical backing, your words are nothingmore than an opinion given by a flawed human being. (And yes, I included myself as being a flawed human as well.)

Well, I hope that you will not listen to my words but clearly discern what the scriptures have spoken to you here. I think the evidence is overwhelming that justification before God comes at the point of belief in Christ alone, before ANY works. I pray that you will reconsider your position based on the declaration of scripture.

If you would like we can also do an exegetical look at Ephesians 2.
Here is a highlight from that chapter:
Ephesians 2:8-9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast

Just let me know.

Matt14
Dec 23rd 2003, 03:02 PM
The thief on the cross might be a good person to ask this question of.
It appears his justification was simpler than ours, all he did was put his trust in Christ.
BTW - I wholeheartedly agree that baptism should be an immediate response to belief in Christ.


Toolman, do you think that the thief on the cross was living under the New Covenant, or the Old Covenant?

Heb 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
Heb 9:16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
Heb 9:17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

The New Covenant was not in force for the thief on the cross. Christ granted the thief salvation, but not under New Testament conditions. That's my understanding. FWIW

NLathrop
Dec 23rd 2003, 03:03 PM
Like I said in my last post, it seems you and I are on different oipinion as to what Faith actually is.

In all honesty, I cannot just look at Romans 4 and overlook James 2. James 2, IMO, explains what real faith actually is. Faith is obedience, trust, belief, baptism into Christ....not separate.

Faith Definitions

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.


faith ( P ) Pronunciation Key (fth)
n.
Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief. See Synonyms at trust.
Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
often Faith Christianity. The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
A set of principles or beliefs.


Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

faith

\Faith\, n. [OE. feith, fayth, fay, OF. feid, feit, fei, F. foi, fr. L. fides; akin to fidere to trust, Gr. ??????? to persuade. The ending th is perhaps due to the influence of such words as truth, health, wealth. See Bid, Bide, and cf. Confide, Defy, Fealty.] 1. Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting solely and implicitly on his authority and veracity; reliance on testimony.2. The assent of the mind to the statement or proposition of another, on the ground of the manifest truth of what he utters; firm and earnest belief, on probable evidence of any kind, especially in regard to important moral truth.

Faith, that is, fidelity, -- the fealty of the finite will and understanding to the reason. --Coleridge.

3. (Theol.) (a) The belief in the historic truthfulness of the Scripture narrative, and the supernatural origin of its teachings, sometimes called historical and speculative faith. (b) The belief in the facts and truth of the Scriptures, with a practical love of them; especially, that confiding and affectionate belief in the person and work of Christ, which affects the character and life, and makes a man a true Christian, -- called a practical, evangelical, or saving faith.
Without faith it is impossible to please him [God]. --Heb. xi. 6.

The faith of the gospel is that emotion of the mind which is called ``trust'' or ``confidence'' exercised toward the moral character of God, and particularly of the Savior. --Dr. T. Dwight.

Faith is an affectionate, practical confidence in the testimony of God. --J. Hawes.

4. That which is believed on any subject, whether in science, politics, or religion; especially (Theol.), a system of religious belief of any kind; as, the Jewish or Mohammedan faith; and especially, the system of truth taught by Christ; as, the Christian faith; also, the creed or belief of a Christian society or church.

Which to believe of her, Must be a faith that reason without miracle Could never plant in me. --Shak.

Now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. --Gal. i. 23.

5. Fidelity to one's promises, or allegiance to duty, or to a person honored and beloved; loyalty.

Children in whom is no faith. --Deut. xxvii. 20.

Whose failing, while her faith to me remains, I should conceal. --Milton.

6. Word or honor pledged; promise given; fidelity; as, he violated his faith.

For you alone I broke me faith with injured Palamon. --Dryden.

7. Credibility or truth. [R.]

The faith of the foregoing narrative. --Mitford.

Act of faith. See Auto-da-f['e].

Breach of faith, Confession of faith, etc. See under Breach, Confession, etc.

Faith cure, a method or practice of treating diseases by prayer and the exercise of faith in God.

In good faith, with perfect sincerity.

Easton's Bible Dictionary.

Faith - Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true (Phil. 1:27; 2 Thess. 2:13). Its primary idea is trust. A thing is true, and therefore worthy of trust. It admits of many degrees up to full assurance of faith, in accordance with the evidence on which it rests.

Faith is the result of teaching (Rom. 10:14-17). Knowledge is an essential element in all faith, and is sometimes spoken of as an equivalent to faith (John 10:38; 1 John 2:3). Yet the two are distinguished in this respect, that faith includes in it assent, which is an act of the will in addition to the act of the understanding. Assent to the truth is of the essence of faith, and the ultimate ground on which our assent to any revealed truth rests is the veracity of God.

Historical faith is the apprehension of and assent to certain statements which are regarded as mere facts of history.

Temporary faith is that state of mind which is awakened in men (e.g., Felix) by the exhibition of the truth and by the influence of religious sympathy, or by what is sometimes styled the common operation of the Holy Spirit.

Saving faith is so called because it has eternal life inseparably connected with it. It cannot be better defined than in the words of the Assembly's Shorter Catechism: "Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel."

The object of saving faith is the whole revealed Word of God. Faith accepts and believes it as the very truth most sure. But the special act of faith which unites to Christ has as its object the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 7:38; Acts 16:31). This is the specific act of faith by which a sinner is justified before God (Rom. 3:22, 25; Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:9; John 3:16-36; Acts 10:43; 16:31). In this act of faith the believer appropriates and rests on Christ alone as Mediator in all his offices.

This assent to or belief in the truth received upon the divine testimony has always associated with it a deep sense of sin, a distinct view of Christ, a consenting will, and a loving heart, together with a reliance on, a trusting in, or resting in Christ. It is that state of mind in which a poor sinner, conscious of his sin, flees from his guilty self to Christ his Saviour, and rolls over the burden of all his sins on him. It consists chiefly, not in the assent given to the testimony of God in his Word, but in embracing with fiducial reliance and trust the one and only Saviour whom God reveals. This trust and reliance is of the essence of faith. By faith the believer directly and immediately appropriates Christ as his own. Faith in its direct act makes Christ ours. It is not a work which God graciously accepts instead of perfect obedience, but is only the hand by which we take hold of the person and work of our Redeemer as the only ground of our salvation.
Saving faith is a moral act, as it proceeds from a renewed will, and a renewed will is necessary to believing assent to the truth of God (1 Cor. 2:14; 2 Cor. 4:4). Faith, therefore, has its seat in the moral part of our nature fully as much as in the intellectual. The mind must first be enlightened by divine teaching (John 6:44; Acts 13:48; 2 Cor. 4:6; Eph. 1:17, 18) before it can discern the things of the Spirit.

Faith is necessary to our salvation (Mark 16:16), not because there is any merit in it, but simply because it is the sinner's taking the place assigned him by God, his falling in with what God is doing.

The warrant or ground of faith is the divine testimony, not the reasonableness of what God says, but the simple fact that he says it. Faith rests immediately on, "Thus saith the Lord." But in order to this faith the veracity, sincerity, and truth of God must be owned and appreciated, together with his unchangeableness. God's word encourages and emboldens the sinner personally to transact with Christ as God's gift, to close with him, embrace him, give himself to Christ, and take Christ as his. That word comes with power, for it is the word of God who has revealed himself in his works, and especially in the cross. God is to be believed for his word's sake, but also for his name's sake.

Faith in Christ secures for the believer freedom from condemnation, or justification before God; a participation in the life that is in Christ, the divine life (John 14:19; Rom. 6:4-10; Eph. 4:15,16, etc.); "peace with God" (Rom. 5:1); and sanctification (Acts 26:18; Gal. 5:6; Acts 15:9).

All who thus believe in Christ will certainly be saved (John 6:37, 40; 10:27, 28; Rom. 8:1).

The faith=the gospel (Acts 6:7; Rom. 1:5; Gal. 1:23; 1 Tim. 3:9; Jude 1:3).


Faith means much more than just believing...faith is also an allegience to duty, among other things as listed in these defintions. Faith is not separate from obedience. Faith is not separate from submitting entirely to God's will and commands.

Now, you use Ephesians 2:8,9 which says we are saved by grace...which means:

Grace - (1.) Of form or person (Prov. 1:9; 3:22; Ps. 45:2). (2.) Favour, kindness, friendship (Gen. 6:8; 18:3; 19:19; 2 Tim. 1:9). (3.) God's forgiving mercy (Rom. 11:6; Eph. 2:5). (4.) The gospel as distinguished from the law (John 1:17; Rom. 6:14; 1 Pet. 5:12). (5.) Gifts freely bestowed by God; as miracles, prophecy, tongues (Rom. 15:15; 1 Cor. 15:10; Eph. 3:8). (6.) Christian virtues (2 Cor. 8:7; 2 Pet. 3:18). (7.) The glory hereafter to be revealed (1 Pet. 1:13).

Grace, means of - an expression not used in Scripture, but employed (1) to denote those institutions ordained by God to be the ordinary channels of grace to the souls of men. These are the Word, Sacraments, and Prayer.

(2.) But in popular language the expression is used in a wider sense to denote those exercises in which we engage for the purpose of obtaining spiritual blessing; as hearing the gospel, reading the Word, meditation, self-examination, Christian conversation, etc.



Grace is ALL of the things I have listed in the first 2 posts...

You show verses that say works do not save...while, 2 of the 3 types of works do not save, as I showed...but good works are part of faith, not something that comes after faith.
Works, Good - The old objection against the doctrine of salvation by grace, that it does away with the necessity of good works, and lowers the sense of their importance (Rom. 6), although it has been answered a thousand times, is still alleged by many. They say if men are not saved by works, then works are not necessary. If the most moral of men are saved in the same way as the very chief of sinners, then good works are of no moment. And more than this, if the grace of God is most clearly displayed in the salvation of the vilest of men, then the worse men are the better.

The objection has no validity. The gospel of salvation by grace shows that good works are necessary. It is true, unchangeably true, that without holiness no man shall see the Lord. "Neither adulterers, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards" shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Works are "good" only when, (1) they spring from the principle of love to God. The moral character of an act is determined by the moral principle that prompts it. Faith and love in the heart are the essential elements of all true obedience. Hence good works only spring from a believing heart, can only be wrought by one reconciled to God (Eph. 2:10; James 2:18:22). (2.) Good works have the glory of God as their object; and (3) they have the revealed will of God as their only rule (Deut. 12:32; Rev. 22:18, 19).

Good works are an expression of gratitude in the believer's heart (John 14:15, 23; Gal. 5:6). They are the fruits of the Spirit (Titus 2:10-12), and thus spring from grace, which they illustrate and strengthen in the heart.

Good works of the most sincere believers are all imperfect, yet like their persons they are accepted through the mediation of Jesus Christ (Col. 3:17), and so are rewarded; they have no merit intrinsically, but are rewarded wholly of grace.

Now, youwill never hear me say or see me type that we are saved by works, because this is not true. Works themselves do not say, baptism itself does not save, obedience itself does not save...Faith saves...But faith and believing are two different wrods, having two different meanings...

Toolman
Dec 23rd 2003, 03:28 PM
Toolman, do you think that the thief on the cross was living under the New Covenant, or the Old Covenant?

The New Covenant was not in force for the thief on the cross. Christ granted the thief salvation, but not under New Testament conditions. That's my understanding. FWIW

Matt,

Great question. I believe the scripture is clear that people are always justified by trusting in Christ alone. Every Old Testament saint was justified before God in the same manner that Abraham was, by trusting in God alone.

The New Covenant, as you said, was not in force at the point that the thief died but he was justified just as Abraham was, by trusting in Christ alone.
The scripture makes it plain that the New Covenant (Grace) was promised BEFORE the Old Covenant (Law), 430 years to be exact. But, as you say, the promises did not come to pass until after the sacrifice was made(Christ's death). But all those who trusted that God would send messiah to atone for sin were justified before God by faith.

Old Testament saints looked FORWARD to the messiah and His death/resurrection and trusted in Him. We look BACK to the messiah and His death/resurrection and trust in Him.
We are all the Body of Christ and are justififed in the same manner, by trusting in messiah alone. God has never changed the way of salvation, it has been and will always be by faith in God alone.

Matt14
Dec 23rd 2003, 03:46 PM
So was Abraham "saved" before Christ's sacrifice, or after?

Also, did someone living under the Old Testament law have to obey the Old Testament law in order to be justified, or just believe?

If justification in OT was by faith alone, why did God institute sacrifices for the atonement of sin?

What you seem to be saying is that the OT sacrifices were unnecessary. Did God saddle the OT people with the sacrificial system for no reason?

Toolman
Dec 23rd 2003, 04:07 PM
Like I said in my last post, it seems you and I are on different oipinion as to what Faith actually is.

In all honesty, I cannot just look at Romans 4 and overlook James 2. James 2, IMO, explains what real faith actually is. Faith is obedience, trust, belief, baptism into Christ....not separate.

Actually if you will view the text of both passages, Romans 4 and James 2, you will see that Faith and Works are 2 seperate things. Otherwise they would use 1 word but both chapters do comparison and contrast of faith and works.
Just because you cannot look at it that way does not mean it is not so.

James says that FAITH without WORKS is dead. He makes a clear distinction between the 2. One is faith, the other is works. Let the text speak for itself.

Romans 4 does the same comparison/contrast between Faith and Works.
They are NOT the same thing.




Saving faith is so called because it has eternal life inseparably connected with it. It cannot be better defined than in the words of the Assembly's Shorter Catechism: "Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel."

The object of saving faith is the whole revealed Word of God. Faith accepts and believes it as the very truth most sure. But the special act of faith which unites to Christ has as its object the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 7:38; Acts 16:31). This is the specific act of faith by which a sinner is justified before God (Rom. 3:22, 25; Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:9; John 3:16-36; Acts 10:43; 16:31). In this act of faith the believer appropriates and rests on Christ alone as Mediator in all his offices.

Faith in Christ secures for the believer freedom from condemnation, or justification before God; a participation in the life that is in Christ, the divine life (John 14:19; Rom. 6:4-10; Eph. 4:15,16, etc.); "peace with God" (Rom. 5:1); and sanctification (Acts 26:18; Gal. 5:6; Acts 15:9).

All who thus believe in Christ will certainly be saved (John 6:37, 40; 10:27, 28; Rom. 8:1).

The faith=the gospel (Acts 6:7; Rom. 1:5; Gal. 1:23; 1 Tim. 3:9; Jude 1:3).


I agree with many of the definitions of faith that you have posted. Especially regarding saving faith as evidenced in the definitions above.

I believe you are once again not understanding how God justifies a person. Romans 4 says that God forgives our lawless deeds, covers our sins, and credits Christ's righteousness to us based on simply trusting in Christ alone, not because of our obedient works.
This is HOW we are justified.

Now how are we sanctified? God begins this process after we are justified, to conform us to the image of Christ. He begins to change our will to obey His will and to love Him and others.
This is the process of sanctification. It is a work done by God through His Spirit in our lives.
But this process and all its resulting works is not what justifies us before God. It is a result of that justification but is not what results in that justification. This is what James 2 and Romans 4 are both saying and agreeing with.

The only thing that justifies a person before God is the person and finished work of Jesus Christ and trusting in Him ALONE.

You make the statement that:


Faith is not separate from submitting entirely to God's will and commands.

I would ask you this question. Have you submitted entirely to God's will and commands since you first believed until now. Has their ever been a point when you have sinned since becoming a believer. If yes, then according to your definition of Faith, your faith is dead because it was not submitted entirely to God's will and therefore was a false faith.


Now, youwill never hear me say or see me type that we are saved by works, because this is not true. Works themselves do not say, baptism itself does not save, obedience itself does not save...Faith saves...But faith and believing are two different wrods, having two different meanings...

Faith and believing can be synonomous as long as both have the element of TRUST.

The demons believe in God i.e. that He exists. But they do not trust Him.

Saving faith or saving belief always contain the element of trust.
You are trusting in the object of your faith.
That object is the person and work of Jesus Christ.
All people who trust (have faith, believe) in Him alone will be justified before God. That is the good news of the Gospel.

Toolman
Dec 23rd 2003, 04:33 PM
So was Abraham "saved" before Christ's sacrifice, or after?

Romans 4:9-11 - Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also

John 8:56 - Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

Hebrews 11:39-40 - 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.


Also, did someone living under the Old Testament law have to obey the Old Testament law in order to be justified, or just believe?

Romans 3:20 - Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight

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

Galatians 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.


If justification in OT was by faith alone, why did God institute sacrifices for the atonement of sin?

Hebrews 10:1-4 - For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is imossible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.


What you seem to be saying is that the OT sacrifices were unnecessary. Did God saddle the OT people with the sacrificial system for no reason?

The purpose of the sacrificial system was to point to Christ and His soon coming sacrifice. This sacrifice did not have the power to make those who participated in it perfect. But the real sacrifice does have that power and those who trusted in this soon coming sacrifice were justified.

The purpose of the Law, which was given 430 years after the promise of the New Covenant was made to Abraham, was to lead Israel (and gentiles)to faith in Christ alone.

Galation 3:21-25 - Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

Matt14
Dec 23rd 2003, 04:39 PM
Why do you suppose God would use the strict law to lead Israel into "faith alone?"

Toolman
Dec 23rd 2003, 04:54 PM
Why do you suppose God would use the strict law to lead Israel into "faith alone?"

Because of sin.

Galation 3:21-25 - Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law

Matt14
Dec 23rd 2003, 05:36 PM
So, all you had to do during OT times was to believe, and you were saved?

We understand in hindsight of the NT what the law was, but what did OT people know?

If one didn't follow the law, were they guilty of anything if they just believed?

From God's point of view, was obeying the law a good thing, or a bad thing?

Toolman
Dec 23rd 2003, 06:05 PM
So, all you had to do during OT times was to believe, and you were saved?
The New Covenant has always been established on belief in God alone as the Romans 4, Galatians 3, and Hebrews 11 passages showed.

There has NEVER been multiple ways of salvation. There is only one way of salvation and that is through Christ and His work.


We understand in hindsight of the NT what the law was, but what did OT people know?

John 8:56 - Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

Luke 24:25-27 - And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?"
Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

Habakkuk 2:4 - Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith



If one didn't follow the law, were they guilty of anything if they just believed?

ANYONE who does not follow God's Law perfectly is guilty of sin and condemned to death. This applies then as well as now.
The only way to be justified of this penalty of death is to trust in Christ alone. If you do so your sin is forgiven and you are credited Christ's righteousness.



From God's point of view, was obeying the law a good thing, or a bad thing?
The Law is Holy, so obeying it is a good thing but obeying it does not justify anyone before God, because NO ONE obeys it perfectly. And James says if you break 1 of the laws you are guilty of them ALL. The Law demands absolute perfection and because of our SIN we fall short.

That is why we must put ALL of our trust in Christ ALONE. His righteousness is the only righteousness that God will accept.

NLathrop
Dec 23rd 2003, 10:02 PM
Actually if you will view the text of both passages, Romans 4 and James 2, you will see that Faith and Works are 2 seperate things. Otherwise they would use 1 word but both chapters do comparison and contrast of faith and works.
Just because you cannot look at it that way does not mean it is not so.

James says that FAITH without WORKS is dead. He makes a clear distinction between the 2. One is faith, the other is works. Let the text speak for itself.

Romans 4 does the same comparison/contrast between Faith and Works.
They are NOT the same thing.

Thats like saying oxygen and lungs are different. They are not as far as the body is concerned. If we have just lungs but no oxygen we die, if we have oxygen but no lungs to process it, we die.

I still feel you are missing what true faith really is. Faith isn't just believing that Christ died on the cross, rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven. Just believing in these events will NOT get anyone to Heaven. Yes, this is part of what we must believe but faith entails so much more than that.





I agree with many of the definitions of faith that you have posted. Especially regarding saving faith as evidenced in the definitions above.

You agree with the definitons, yet debate that faith and works, which when used in my posts is not stuff like feeding the hungry or clothing the poor, but obeying Jesus' commandments are not tied together. The definitions clearly point that faith IS Fidelity to one's promises, or allegiance to duty, or to a person honored and beloved; loyalty. Our DUTY is to trust Christ and obey His commandments (Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind; Love your neighbor as much as I have loved you.) One cannot lay claim to saving faith if they violate these two commandments, especially the first one. One cannot claim to be born again if they violate or disobey the First, and most important commandment. We cannot serve two masters...So we either Love Christ with everything we have and are and will be or we love someone or something else instead. (For others who peek in on this thread, this type of love is not the same as the way we love our parents, spouse, children, other family members or friends. Loving your spouse, etc with all your heart doesn't vilate the First Commandment Christ gave us, so long as your spouse is not your number one priority.)



The only thing that justifies a person before God is the person and finished work of Jesus Christ and trusting in Him ALONE.

You make the statement that:


I would ask you this question. Have you submitted entirely to God's will and commands since you first believed until now. Has their ever been a point when you have sinned since becoming a believer. If yes, then according to your definition of Faith, your faith is dead because it was not submitted entirely to God's will and therefore was a false faith.





At one time, my faith was dead. I turned my back on everything Christ had done for me. I decided being good wasn't fun enough, was too restrictive, didn't allow me to be me. I allowed satan to regain his stronghold on my life, I allowed sin to continue to exist in my life, I allowed satan to convince me I did not have to follow Christs' commandments. And yes, in hindsight, my faith was a false faith, as many in today's world have, because I thought all I needed to do was have faith that Christ was born, died on the cross, rose again and then ascended into Heaven. I never understood that I had to obey Him, turn everything over to Him, Trust Him, be baptized in Him, and allow His work to flow from me to the rest of the world. I had been taught, as so many others are, that all we need to do is believe in who Christ is and we are saved. I knew Christ was the Son of God, I knew that He died for my sins, I knew He beat death (satan) when He rose from the grave, I knew He ascended to sit on the Throne in Heaven. But what I did not know was that part of faith was obedience to His calling and commands. I have found my way back to Christ and His perfect forgiveness. Now my life is TOTALLY different. I have turned everything over to Him, I AM obedient, His love flows from me into the rest of the world, I have been baptized in Him. Blessings starting flowing into my life when I started OBEYING Christs' will and commandments, not beforehand...My faith is complete and saving faith and obedience comes easily this time. I do not worry about sinning because Christ is living through me and with me.

In my present situation at the church I attend, my body and mind is telling me to withdraw fromthe church. Nothing feels right there anymore, not worship, not the sermons, not the people...But God is telling me to Be Still and stay put. Every bone in my body wants to leave but my faith tells me I must be obedient to God.
In my Missionettes group, the girls are nasty to me, treat me like garbage, and I no longer enjoy teaching them the Word. Every bone in my body is telling me to leave there too, but once again my faith tells me I must be obedient to God and stay put.

That is what faith is....it encompasses ALL whelms of True Christianity, and it is what we must come to Salvation through. And my only regret in life is that it took me so long to come to that understanding, wasted years that I could have been blessed during, all because I didn't understand that saving faith meant I MUST be obedient to Christ.

Armistead14
Dec 23rd 2003, 10:21 PM
Toolman, I just want to say a great big thank you to you. Your teaching
is biblical, reasonable, and mostly workable for those of us that are new
in Christ. We know we have to start somewhere, I'm still in the process of learning about sin and what sin really is. There was one thing in my life I didn't feel was really sin for a long time, but as I grew, I realized it was sin, but still feel I was saved in this learning process even though I was actually sining. Salvation to me, and I'm new to this, has to be a work in progress, if not I couldn't do it. Who can get saved and become
sinless. You have a way of making things very clear to me and have been
such a blessing. Yu clearly show that it is all about Christ, not us. You show such love and
and have a way of saying what you feel without being judgemental. You set an example of the Christian I hope I can become.

Matt14
Dec 23rd 2003, 10:21 PM
Toolman, I guess I've got so much going on that my mind is fuzzy, and I'm having a hard time understanding you.

How were people under the law saved by faith in Christ, when they didn't know Christ? And if they could be saved by "faith alone" in Christ in OT days, then there was no purpose in keeping the law. And if faith alone is all it took, why send Christ to sacrifice Himself at all? Why not just have "the faith that Christ WOULD sacrifice Himself?" Why not just have faith alone, and be saved?

How about this? What if Christ didn't exercise (perform, WORK) when it came to His ultimate sacrifice? I believe Christ not only trusted in God's plan, but also OBEYED. If Christ hadn't of OBEYED, then where would we be?

Heb 5:7 In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.
Heb 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
Heb 5:9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,
Heb 5:10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Just a thought...

NLathrop
Dec 24th 2003, 12:15 AM
And what about Noah....what if Noah hadn't obey God and created the ark? What if Noah had not obeyed God and gone into the ark? Would he still have been saved? No! He would have been slaughtered with everyone else.

cbalke
Dec 24th 2003, 12:47 AM
There is one thing we're forgetting here...there is a HUGE difference between believing someone is who they say they are and believing in what they are doing.

Having faith that Jesus is the son of God does not necessarily mean that you have faith in what he's done for you. It's more of an acknowledgement that you accept his driver's license as valid.

The belief, faith, and ACCEPTANCE in His gift to us is what sets us apart from others.

We are told that at the end every knee will bow and every tongue will acknowledge Jesus as king...that doesn't mean that everyone will therefore believe in him and what he's done.

Faith and acknowledgement and acceptance are mutually exclusive things that sometimes go together, but often do not.

As a for instance, Jesus asked the sick man if he really wanted to be healed. The guy obviously knew and believed he could be healed by Jesus, but his acceptance of the gift was what Jesus was after....

Toolman
Dec 24th 2003, 01:34 AM
Toolman, I just want to say a great big thank you to you. Your teaching
is biblical, reasonable, and mostly workable for those of us that are new
in Christ. We know we have to start somewhere, I'm still in the process of learning about sin and what sin really is. There was one thing in my life I didn't feel was really sin for a long time, but as I grew, I realized it was sin, but still feel I was saved in this learning process even though I was actually sining. Salvation to me, and I'm new to this, has to be a work in progress, if not I couldn't do it. Who can get saved and become
sinless. You have a way of making things very clear to me and have been
such a blessing. Yu clearly show that it is all about Christ, not us. You show such love and
and have a way of saying what you feel without being judgemental. You set an example of the Christian I hope I can become.

That is a VERY encouraging word and I sincerely thank you for it. I try to handle God's Word with the best stewardship that I have been given and though I often fumble in my communication, if God has blessed you through this conversation then I say Glory to His name. Soli De Gloria.

Thank you again Armistead14, your words are a great exhortation and encouragement to me.

Toolman
Dec 24th 2003, 01:44 AM
Toolman, I guess I've got so much going on that my mind is fuzzy, and I'm having a hard time understanding you.

How were people under the law saved by faith in Christ, when they didn't know Christ? And if they could be saved by "faith alone" in Christ in OT days, then there was no purpose in keeping the law. And if faith alone is all it took, why send Christ to sacrifice Himself at all? Why not just have "the faith that Christ WOULD sacrifice Himself?" Why not just have faith alone, and be saved?
Matt,

I'm not sure how better to communicate than what I have already spoken. I think I have already answered that question in my other posts.

The New Covenant was not in force before Christ's death. But OT saints looked FORWARD to God's provision that would be supplied in Christ. We NT saints look BACK to Him. But we all have faith in the same provision of God.

Go back and read Romans 4, Galatians 3 and Hebrews 11 for more info on how people in the OT came to faith in the soon coming messiah.
Those this covenant was not in force yet people still entered it the same way we do, through faith in God alone.

I will say 1 thing you seem to be interpreting what I am saying is that faith justifies us. It does not. Everyone has faith in something (usually themselves and their good works).
It is faith in Christ that justifies us, not faith in faith.
It is the object of our faith that justifies us (Christ and His work).
I hope that is clear.


How about this? What if Christ didn't exercise (perform, WORK) when it came to His ultimate sacrifice? I believe Christ not only trusted in God's plan, but also OBEYED. If Christ hadn't of OBEYED, then where would we be?
Dead in our sins.

I want to be very clear to all. Works and obedience will be a major part of our sanctification (Which is a part of our salvation).

They WILL FOLLOW our justification but they DO NOT justify us before God, only trusting in the person and work of Christ will do that.

Romans 4 is as clear as it gets. Faith/Belief in Christ is completely seperate from ANY works. And it is by Faith in Christ that we are justified before God.
Works are what follow Justification in the process of Sanctification (discipleship, maturity).

Toolman
Dec 24th 2003, 02:07 AM
At one time, my faith was dead. I turned my back on everything Christ had done for me. I decided being good wasn't fun enough, was too restrictive, didn't allow me to be me. I allowed satan to regain his stronghold on my life, I allowed sin to continue to exist in my life, I allowed satan to convince me I did not have to follow Christs' commandments. And yes, in hindsight, my faith was a false faith, as many in today's world have, because I thought all I needed to do was have faith that Christ was born, died on the cross, rose again and then ascended into Heaven. I never understood that I had to obey Him, turn everything over to Him, Trust Him, be baptized in Him, and allow His work to flow from me to the rest of the world. I had been taught, as so many others are, that all we need to do is believe in who Christ is and we are saved. I knew Christ was the Son of God, I knew that He died for my sins, I knew He beat death (satan) when He rose from the grave, I knew He ascended to sit on the Throne in Heaven. But what I did not know was that part of faith was obedience to His calling and commands. I have found my way back to Christ and His perfect forgiveness.

It is not God's fault that you did not understand that you were supposed to be obedient to Him. You either were not discipled correctly or did not study the scripture or both.
We are called to be sanctified. To live a life of obedience to Christ.
But that is sanctification and plays absolutely NO part in justifying us before God. Obedience and Faith in Christ alone are 2 seperate things. One justifies us before God, the other works in sanctifying us before God and the world.

But it is a testimony to Christ that He never let you go. He remained faithful to you even when you weren't faithful to Him and has brought you back to His sanctifying grace. I pray that He will continue to reveal His truth and love to you (and me).


Now my life is TOTALLY different. I have turned everything over to Him, I AM obedient, His love flows from me into the rest of the world, I have been baptized in Him. Blessings starting flowing into my life when I started OBEYING Christs' will and commandments, not beforehand...My faith is complete and saving faith and obedience comes easily this time. I do not worry about sinning because Christ is living through me and with me.

Yes sanctification is a blessing from God.


In my present situation at the church I attend, my body and mind is telling me to withdraw fromthe church. Nothing feels right there anymore, not worship, not the sermons, not the people...But God is telling me to Be Still and stay put. Every bone in my body wants to leave but my faith tells me I must be obedient to God.
In my Missionettes group, the girls are nasty to me, treat me like garbage, and I no longer enjoy teaching them the Word. Every bone in my body is telling me to leave there too, but once again my faith tells me I must be obedient to God and stay put.

That is what faith is....it encompasses ALL whelms of True Christianity, and it is what we must come to Salvation through. And my only regret in life is that it took me so long to come to that understanding, wasted years that I could have been blessed during, all because I didn't understand that saving faith meant I MUST be obedient to Christ.

NLathrop, my suggestion to you is to read the book of Galatians. What you are teaching here is very similiar to the message that the judaizers were teaching, that a person must be circumsized to be justified. Acts 15 also ties in with Galatians. You might want to spend some time studying these areas.

Toolman
Dec 24th 2003, 02:09 AM
And what about Noah....what if Noah hadn't obey God and created the ark? What if Noah had not obeyed God and gone into the ark? Would he still have been saved? No! He would have been slaughtered with everyone else.

Are you saying that if people disobey God that there is no way for them to be saved?

How about:
Abraham,
Jacob,
David,
Soloman,
Peter

Were these men saved? Each one sinned. Come to think of it I think the scripture claims that ALL have sinned.

MetalFortress
Dec 24th 2003, 06:18 AM
Faith without works is dead. Let's think about this one. This doesn't mean that salvation is based on works. Of course, salvation IS based on faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone, but faith is like a car. If you don't change the oil and refuel, it's dead. Think about this: Say two people in the same situation had the same faith. Person 1 goes to church, fellowships with other Christians and makes an effort to live out his/her faith. Person 2 stops going to church, stops fellowshipping with other Christians, stops reading the Bible, starts going out, having one night stands, drinking and smoking, smoking weed and crack cocaine daily. Whose faith will die off? Person 2's faith will, because while person 1 is refueling and checking and changing the oil in the proverbial engine, person 2 is urinating in the gas tank, pouring cheese whiz into the radiator, spraying whipped cream into the oil tank, and dumping spaghetti sauce into the power steering.

But this doesn't mean you can take the word Faith and invent new definitions for it. Faith is faith, by faith in Christ we are justified and we become sinless in the eyes of God, but by works our faith is kept well. Big difference.

vume
Dec 24th 2003, 09:56 AM
We are living in the days of revelation.
NLathrop are you getting what you want out of this thread?
Is our Father getting what HE wants?
I believe I have moved to a more relevant place in reguards to Truth because of the obedience of the participants of this thread. So who do I give the Glory to? "Daddy". He who is obedient to the truth the Father has given them is not wrong, but he who will not give the Glory and Praise to the Master is wrong.

NLathrop
Dec 24th 2003, 01:17 PM
MetalFortress, I wasn't trying to create NEW defintions for thw rod Faith, but get peopel thinking about the REAL definition of faith. Much to opften people think faith simply means to believe in who Christ is....but faith and believe are two different words, yes, as Toolman pointed out, they can accompany one another, but they are not the same.

Obviously a few individuals haven't fully understood the purpose of what this thread means, and since I was the author, that fault lies with my inability to put into words that all can understand with ease. That is why I initially asked everyone who read to to take it to God in pray so that He could reveal the Truth.

We come to Christ with Faith...but it has to be more than just believing that Christ was born, died on the cross for our sins, rose 3 days later, than ascended into Heaven. As the thread title says....Is your faith faith alone/only or obedient faith. Does your faith call you to be obedient to the Father and His Son? Does your faith call you to complete our mission on Earth? Does your faith call you to love your neighbors like Christ loved us EVEN IF you really do not like them? Does your faith call you to praise and worship the Father and the Son when you would rather be doing something fleshly, such as sleeping, playing online, watching TV? Does your faith shine through for the world to see?

If you answered no to ANY of these questions, then you have the dead faith I talked about in posts 1 and 2...you have wandered away from Christ....or, you may not have come to Christ through faith at all but for some alternative purpose or reason. Now, do not mistake what I am saying to be the qanity of faith, because, as Jesus said, even faith as small as a mustard seed can move a mountain. No, I am speaking merely about the quality of faith.

Now several on here have chosen to break up this entire Faith issue into "steps". Justification, Sanctification, Glorification, all nice terms but it really turns everything into work. Some, and it is obvious by the wording of the replies, have these "steps" put into the proper perspective...but I have seen others on other threads, and in real life, who see these "steps" in totally the wrong light. Complete faith makes these "steps" possible, but improper faith or dead faith makes them impossible. When one has improper faith or dead faith, the fruits of the Spirit are not evident in their life, their light has been severely dimmed or extinguished, their salt old and stale. Complete faith, one that encompasses obedience, good works, and trust will ensure ones ability to overcome....

As I said, I was not trying to change the way to Salvation, but make people reexamine the type of faith that they have come to Christ with...For if your faith doesn't call you to the things listed in my posts, you do not have true and complete faith...

(KJV)Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
(LBT)Romans 10:9 For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord, and believe in your own heart that God raised Him fromt he dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in his heart that a man becomes right with God; and with hismouth he tells others of his faith, CONFIRMING his salvation.

(KJV)Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
(LBT)Romans 7:4 Your "husband", your master, used to be the Jewish law; but you "died" as it were, with Christ on the cross; and since you are "dead", you are no lonfer "married to the law," and it has no more control over you. Then you came back to life again when Christ did, and are a new person. And now you are "married," so to speak, to the one who rose from the dead, so that you can produce good fruit, that is, good deeds for God. 5 When your old nature was still active, sinful desires were at work within you, making you want to do whatever God said not to, and producing sinful deeds, the rotting fruit of death. 6 But now youo need no longer worry about the Jewish laws and customs because you "died" while in their captivity, and no you can really serve God; not in the old way, mechannically obeying a set of rules, but in the new way, [with all of your hearts and minds].

(KJV)Romans 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
(LBT)Romans 2:29 No, a real Jew is anyone whose heart is right with God. For God is notlooking for those who cut their bodies in actual body circumstances, but He is looking for those with changed hearts and minds. Whoever has that kind of change in his life will get his priase from God, even if not from you.

Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Ephesians 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

(KJV)Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
(LBT)Ephesians 4:30 Don't cause the Holy Spirit sorrow by the way you live. Remember, he is theone who marks you to be present on that day when salvation from sin will be complete.

Toolman
Dec 24th 2003, 03:14 PM
NLathrop,

If your purpose was to call believer's to maturity in Christ, I am fully in support of that. To challenge believer's to live for Christ and die to self. To be a disciple of Christ, to love God with all our heart and others as ourselves.

I believe your intention is right but your method is abominable.

When you add works onto the Gospel of Christ, I cannot stand by and idly allow that to go unchallenged.

When certain men came to Galatia and preached that not only did you need faith in Christ BUT you must also be circumsised, the apostle Paul said that such men should be cursed. He said even if an angel from Heaven preached another Gospel that they should be cursed.
He proclaimed that what they were teaching was another Gospel. That the true Gospel was faith in Christ alone, seperate from ANY works done by us.
You are teaching the same Gospel as them.


Galatians 1:6-9 - I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Notice how in Chapter 3 the word "believe" and the word "faith" are used as synonyms:

Galatians 3:1-9 - O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain--if indeed it was in vain?
Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?-- just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 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." So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

Galatians 5:1-6 - Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

Here is how the apostle Paul encouraged believer's to maturity. He didn't add works to the Gospel or threaten them with loss of eternal life:
Galatians 5:13-15 - -For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

We are called to make disciples. To call believer's to live for and obey Christ as Lord.
But adding works to the Gospel and trying to motivate through fear of losing God's love and their eternal life is IMO not the way to spur them on to good works.

You put the focus on MAN and his works.
The Gospel puts the focus on CHRIST and His works.
In which one does salvation lie?

NLathrop
Dec 24th 2003, 03:42 PM
I have not added anything to the Gospel of Christ. Works was already there. The problem, as I see it, is that you and I are looking at works differently.

There are 3 types of works discussed in the Bible:

1. Works of the flesh
2. Works of the OT law
3. Works of obedience

Numbers 1 and 2 are self gratifying and against the Gospel of Christ. Number 3 is part of the Gospel of Christ. Keep in mind, the Gospel of Christ is more than just Salvation, it is living as God intened us to. Works of obedience are a command from Jesus to ALL Christians. Good Fruits are a requirement IOT walk in the Spirit of Christ. These works of obedience are not done by ritual or to gain the precious gift of Salvation, but they are a part of Salvation. IOW, one who claims to be saved but is producing evil fruits obviously ISN't filled with the Spirit and isn't Christian. One who claims to be saved and is producing good fruits is filled with the Spirit.

Romans 8:9 But youare not like that. You are controlled by your new nature if you have the spirit of God living in you. (And remember that if anyone doesn't have the spirit of Christ living in him, he is not a Christian at all.)

Romans 2:12-15 He will punish sin wherever it is found. He will punish the heathen when they sin, even though they never had God's written laws, for down in their hearts they know right from wrong. God's laws are written within them; their own conscience accuses them, or sometimes excuses them. And God will punish the Jews doe sinning because they have his written laws but don't obey them. They know what is right but don't do it. After all, salvation is not given to those who know what to do, unless they do it.

Knowing that we are to have changed hearts and minds, follow Christ's example on how to live, allow the Spirit to produce good fruits, but NOT doing it is just as wrong. And, according to the Bible results in NO salvation. It's not MY opinion, it is the written word of God. It is not works being added to salvation or the Gospel of Christ...it was always there to begin with. Always a part of complete and saving faith. Coming to Christ in faith but refusing to be changed means you truly did not come to Christ in faith, you came with only the same feelings the demons have about Christ.

Remember, there are no contradictions in the Bible... So if one section or passage said salvation isn't earned by works but by faith...and another says in order to be saved we must DO what we have been told to do (works as you call it, obedience as I call it) then Obedient Faith is what we must come to Christ with. Obedient Faith willing to be changed and made einto the new creature God has planned for us, not faith that says we can continue in our sinful nature and be disobedient to God's will and commands. The only difference between the OT laws and the NT Commands are the OT laws were impossible to follow completely on ones own. The NT commands are simple to follow through Obedient Faith in Christ.

Romans 3:31(b) In fact, only when we trust Jesus can we truly obey Him.

Toolman
Dec 24th 2003, 04:13 PM
I have not added anything to the Gospel of Christ. Works was already there. The problem, as I see it, is that you and I are looking at works differently.

There are 3 types of works discussed in the Bible:

1. Works of the flesh
2. Works of the OT law
3. Works of obedience

Numbers 1 and 2 are self gratifying and against the Gospel of Christ. Number 3 is part of the Gospel of Christ. Keep in mind, the Gospel of Christ is more than just Salvation, it is living as God intened us to. Works of obedience are a command from Jesus to ALL Christians. Good Fruits are a requirement IOT walk in the Spirit of Christ. These works of obedience are not done by ritual or to gain the precious gift of Salvation, but they are a part of Salvation. IOW, one who claims to be saved but is producing evil fruits obviously ISN't filled with the Spirit and isn't Christian. One who claims to be saved and is producing good fruits is filled with the Spirit.

Romans 8:9 But youare not like that. You are controlled by your new nature if you have the spirit of God living in you. (And remember that if anyone doesn't have the spirit of Christ living in him, he is not a Christian at all.)

Romans 2:12-15 He will punish sin wherever it is found. He will punish the heathen when they sin, even though they never had God's written laws, for down in their hearts they know right from wrong. God's laws are written within them; their own conscience accuses them, or sometimes excuses them. And God will punish the Jews doe sinning because they have his written laws but don't obey them. They know what is right but don't do it. After all, salvation is not given to those who know what to do, unless they do it.

Knowing that we are to have changed hearts and minds, follow Christ's example on how to live, allow the Spirit to produce good fruits, but NOT doing it is just as wrong. And, according to the Bible results in NO salvation. It's not MY opinion, it is the written word of God. It is not works being added to salvation or the Gospel of Christ...it was always there to begin with. Always a part of complete and saving faith. Coming to Christ in faith but refusing to be changed means you truly did not come to Christ in faith, you came with only the same feelings the demons have about Christ.

Remember, there are no contradictions in the Bible... So if one section or passage said salvation isn't earned by works but by faith...and another says in order to be saved we must DO what we have been told to do (works as you call it, obedience as I call it) then Obedient Faith is what we must come to Christ with. Obedient Faith willing to be changed and made einto the new creature God has planned for us, not faith that says we can continue in our sinful nature and be disobedient to God's will and commands. The only difference between the OT laws and the NT Commands are the OT laws were impossible to follow completely on ones own. The NT commands are simple to follow through Obedient Faith in Christ.

Romans 3:31(b) In fact, only when we trust Jesus can we truly obey Him.

No, actually I agree with you that Christians will produce works of obedience (good works or fruitfulness as the scripture calls them). This will be accomplished as the Christian matures and grows in Christ.

But these good works DO NOT justify us before God.
ONLY Christ's work is able to justify us (remove sin and declare us righteous)before God.

You believe that works of obedience play a part in justifying a person before God (merit).

I believe they play absolutely no part but only the blood of Christ justifies a person before God.

endure4salvation
Dec 24th 2003, 04:14 PM
Is there any Bible verses that speak of judgment according to our faith? I am not sure, but I have yet to read any.

When we arrive at judgement our works will be the measurement of our faith, this is why James can say that faith without works is dead. In fact, that statement by James is the ONLY statment in scripture that speaks of faith alone, saying that faith without works is dead being alone.

The works that show our faith are works produced by Jesus working through our lives. These are the works that will be judged as favorable. All other works, those of merit or simply out of humanism do not qualify as good works in the site of God.


Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation." John 5:28-29

"Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory, and honor, and immortality; eternal life. But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile." Romans 2:6-10

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, whether good or bad." 2 Cor. 5:9-10

"And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:" 1 Peter 1:17

"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Revelation 20:12

"And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works." Revelation 20:13

"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Revelation 22:12

Am I on to something here, or am I blowing into the wind?

NLathrop
Dec 24th 2003, 04:25 PM
From my studying of the scripture, you are right on target. Works are a part of everything Christians are called to be. Too many times in this world, Christians lean on the "faith alone" will get me into Heaven...that they neglect to be obedient to the other words Christ spoke. My cousin called this way of thinking..."They may make it to Heaven, but by the skin of their teeth."


Toolman, you keep wandering back to the "argument" that obedience/works come after we believe...but you are ignoring the Words inspired by God, that faith without works are dead...that those who do not do good are not given salvation... Obedience is the SAME as works, or at least the type of works Christians are to be called to...and Faith INCLUDES obedience. Without attaching faith and obedience together, we are in fact changing the entire message of the Gospel of Christ, which is COMPLETE and TOTAL Freedom. Forgiveness of sins is just the first "step", but must be taken in the right context otherwise it will die and make wandering back into a lifestyle of sin and death easier. I don't trust myself to be able to do the good things that are flowing from me, I know it is not because of myself that I am still at that church. In fact, on an earthly scale, I would be better off leaving the church and finding a new one. But my faith DEMANDS, not suggests, I obey Christ.

Justification, as it has been labeled is the bottom of the ladder and really not even the complete picture of the Gospel of Christ. To focus on only HOW to "secure" a trip to heaven, we actually lose our focus on WHY we needed Jesus. We HAVE to look at the BIG PICTURE in order to understand the complete meaning of Freedom through Salvation.

cbalke
Dec 24th 2003, 09:08 PM
John 3:16-21
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. F9 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

I don't see anything in here about deeds having anything to do with everlasting life. This is straight from the horse's mouth, Jesus' own words. I don't see any need to argue with Jesus, do any of you?

Tom Lessing
Dec 24th 2003, 10:28 PM
John 12:42,43 - 42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

This verse does not say that the Pharisees were not saved. It merely says that they did not confess Him because they were afraid of being expelled from the Synagogue.


James 2:19,20 - 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? .

The works spoken of here is not works unto salvation but works as the evidence of one’s salvation. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained b that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2: 10)


James 2:14,24 - 14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. .

James is not saying that faith alone cannot save us. He is saying that genuine faith will lead to good works.

Tell me, what good works did the thief do who was crucified with Jesus and to whom Jesus said, "Verily, verily I say unto you. Today you will be with Me in paradise."

Tom

Tom Lessing
Dec 24th 2003, 10:33 PM
Is there any Bible verses that speak of judgment according to our faith? I am not sure, but I have yet to read any.

When we arrive at judgement our works will be the measurement of our faith, this is why James can say that faith without works is dead. In fact, that statement by James is the ONLY statment in scripture that speaks of faith alone, saying that faith without works is dead being alone.

The works that show our faith are works produced by Jesus working through our lives. These are the works that will be judged as favorable. All other works, those of merit or simply out of humanism do not qualify as good works in the site of God.



Am I on to something here, or am I blowing into the wind?

Very true. We are merely instruments through whom Jesus wants to perform His good works. It is precisely these works (gold, silver and precious stones) that will stand the test of the fire at the Bema judgment seat of the believers. All other works done in the flesh (wood, straw and stubble) will go up in flames.

Tom

endure4salvation
Dec 25th 2003, 03:17 AM
John 3:16-21
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. F9 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

I don't see anything in here about deeds having anything to do with everlasting life. This is straight from the horse's mouth, Jesus' own words. I don't see any need to argue with Jesus, do any of you?

There are a whole lot more verses that Jesus is recorded as speaking about receiving eternal life than that one. We need to accept ALL of what Jesus said about eternal life BEFORE we form our doctrine. Look at this one:


Luke 21:19
By standing firm you will gain life.

Matthew 18:1-3
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

If we accept all of Jesus' teachings, we also must now:

Stand firm
Become humble like a child

We could go day and night posting verses that deal with eternal life, do we put any less weight on them because of John 3? Jesus was speaking directly to one person and one person only.

Just like when the rich young ruler came to Jesus, he believed in God, was keeping the commandments, but he did still lack on thing.......he had to give up EVERYTHING HE HAD!

cbalke
Dec 25th 2003, 09:49 AM
I deeply apologize that I do not have the command of all scriptures that you obviously have. I was simply looking through my bible with this topic in the back of my mind and when I came across those verses a connection was made.

In no way was I ever or will I ever discount any of the teachings of Jesus.

Well, since there seem to be so many different opinions on this topic, I'm going to assume that there will be nothing settled in this thread. And, with the fact that this will not be settled here planted firmly in my mind(especially by the bible, as has been so expertly shown to me) I will choose to simply and peacefully bow out of this conversation.

I will leave you with this, however....

I was taught by people in whom I place much greater value than I place in most of you(at this point because they are concerned about people's souls, not winning arguments) that our salvation is wholly dependent on our faith in Jesus' work on the cross and in the three days he battled for our souls before rising again from the dead. Good works FOLLOW from our acceptance of that gift by allowing Jesus into our hearts.

If anyone tries to work their way into eternal salvation, they devalue the work Jesus did on the cross. Was His sacrifice not good enough for you? Because that's exactly what you are saying to God if you are doing good deeds to get into heaven. Do you really think God will accept any of your puny attempts to get in his good graces when you've spit in His face by acting as if sacrificing His son wasn't enough to guarantee your salvation? Christ abolished the old way of attaining salvation through keeping the law.

Guys and girls, I really, really pray that you all will find peace about this. I pray that your hearts will be opened to the will of God and to the joy of His FREE gift to us in sacrificing His son. I pray that you all have the fortitude to stand up and believe that you are saved because you accept His FREE gift to you.

Please have a merry Christmas and don't dwell on your salvation. If you accept His gift, I believe you've been saved.

Toolman
Dec 26th 2003, 04:18 PM
From my studying of the scripture, you are right on target. Works are a part of everything Christians are called to be. Too many times in this world, Christians lean on the "faith alone" will get me into Heaven...that they neglect to be obedient to the other words Christ spoke. My cousin called this way of thinking..."They may make it to Heaven, but by the skin of their teeth."

Christians don't lean on "faith alone". They absolutey and wholeheartedly lean(depend) on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, His obedient life and His resurrection to secure the forgiveness of their sins and to receive the gift of eternal life. You mock "faith alone" but do not understand that it is by Christ's work alone that any of us are justified before a Holy God.

You are consistently saying that trusting in Him alone is not enough to achieve the forgiveness of sins and receive the free gift of eternal life. You say we must also trust in our good works that we do for Him.

Your view of justification is nothing new. This is exactly how the Roman Catholic church defines justification. It is nothing new for them either, the judaizer's viewed justification in the same manner also.

Your view claims that a person is not justified of their sin and given eternal life until they live a life of obedience to God. That they are justified before God by a combination of faith in Christ AND the works they do for Him out of that faith.

The protestant(and biblical :)) view of justification says that a person is justified of their sins and given eternal life by trusting in Christ's sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection ALONE, apart from any works they do.

I will say it again to be very clear. Works WILL be a part of a believer's life. They absolutely will flow OUT of faith. These are works that God prepared for us before the foundation of the world.

BUT those works FOLLOW our being justified. Justification is the forgiveness of sin, the crediting of Christ's righteousness and the free gift of eternal life.

Works DO NOT, in any fashion, justify us before God. Only the blood of Christ and His resurrection has the power to do that.
Works will justify our faith before man, but not before God. Only the blood of Christ and His resurrection justify us before God.

Your message doesn't bring freedom but brings bondage. It is the Law wrapped in new clothes.
Your message keeps people trusting in their good works instead of trusting in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.

Instead of good works flowing out of a heart of gratitude for what Christ has already done for them, you teach people to trust in those good works to somehow merit favor with God.

This is bondage and needs to be cast out. A little leaven, leavens the whole loaf.

Trust in your good works if you must, as for me I will trust in Christ's blood alone.

I will close with the words of the apostle Paul regarding this matter. The judaizers came in saying "you need faith in Christ but you must also be circumcised and obey God's Law to be justified before God."
This is the same message NLathrop is preaching with different clothes on. Each of you discern the truth for yourselves.

Is a person justified before God by works they do or by trusting in the work of Christ:


Galatians 3:1-6 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain--if indeed it was in vain?
Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?-- just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."
Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.


And Romans 4 is as clear as it gets (Notice Faith and Belief are used synonymously):

Romans 4:2-5
If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about--but not before God. What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."

Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness

Here is the Strong's definitions of the 2 greek words uses in this passage:
http://bible.crosswalk.com/OnlineStudyBible/bible.cgi?new=1&word=Romans+4%3A2-5&section=0&version=str&language=en

True faith will always produce works. This is God's promise. That each person who trusts in Christ alone will be a new creature. God changes them. They are born again, from above, of the Spirit.
Those works will justify our faith before an unbelieving world. The world will know we are His disciples by our love for one another. They cannot see our faith without action.

But those works do NOT justify us before Him, only the blood of His precious Son can accomplish that.

NLathrop
Dec 27th 2003, 02:37 AM
And how many say that they are saved by the Blood oF Christ. yet do not believe that they can overcome every sin and temptation that enters intotheir path? How many claim to be born-again yet still wallow in their sinful nature? How many claim Christ is their Lord and Savior, yet cling to their old ways and disobey Christ and God's will for their lives?

This is what I have been trying to address.

"Faith alone" for many people....not all but many....means in their opinion that they do not have to avoid temptation, that they will never be able to overcome sin until they reach Heaven, that they do not have to obey Christ, because, after all, they have been saved and that is all that matters.

But it isn't all that matters...If you take away the obedience and allow sin and temptation to dominate your life, then Christ's work on the cross was for nothing. You personally, Toolman, may not have these issues...you may see things from the correct prospective, but I assure you there are many out there that do not. One only needs to look at what is going on in certain churches to see that some who label themselves Christians have totally abandoned Christ's teachings. They do not believe they can or have to overcome temptation. Their faith in Christ's work is totally and completely dead. They have turned His magnificant and loving sacrifice into a worthless and tragic loss of life in their life.

You keep wanting to separate the process but I have been and am talking about the COMPLETE picture, not just the initial Salvation issue, but EVERY STEP that exists between seeing the truth and entering Heaven. Primarily, this thread was addressing those who already claim to be Christian, but have lost their faith, who are not obeying Christ and God's will for their lives, who have lost the "fire" of serving Christ. Some, possibly, never came to Christ for the right reason. Their reasons might have been selfish or out of desperation, so it is possible that they lacked the faith needed to actually accept God's gift of Salvation. Others, who sincerely accepted the free gift, may have allowed their light to be dimmed by the troubles of the world, their salt to loose its flavour, their faith to die out...

In order to "achieve" what we have been designed for...we MUST have obedient faith. We cannot just "come to Christ" and then not do as instructed...We cannot just have faith for Him to save us of our sins, then refuse to serve Him. Look what God did to Jonah when he did this...direct disobedience results in severe punishment. Look at Lot's wife...direct disobedience brings punishment...And the only way we can possible obey Christ is to have COMPLETE Faith and Trust in Christ. We cannot keep His commandments any other way. Our Faith MUST include obedient works, otherwise we have the punishment/wrath of God to look forward to.

You look at this as adding to Salvation, but it isn't...true faith means we have placed ALL of our Trust in Christ, which means we CAN obey His commandments, not on our own accord but because of WHAT He did for us.

If you, generalized not Toolman, do not see the good Fruits coming out of your life, then maybe you need to reexamine your Faith in what Christ has done for us. If you, again generalized, find that you cannot resist temptation, then maybe you need to reexamine your Faith in what Christ has done for you. If you, generalized, find that you are not obeying Christ/God's direction/will for your life, then maybe you need to reexamine your Faith in what Christ has done for you.

Toolman
Dec 27th 2003, 05:36 AM
And how many say that they are saved by the Blood oF Christ. yet do not believe that they can overcome every sin and temptation that enters intotheir path? How many claim to be born-again yet still wallow in their sinful nature? How many claim Christ is their Lord and Savior, yet cling to their old ways and disobey Christ and God's will for their lives?

This is an emotional reaction. You cannot change the Gospel just because of what you think you see. The apostle Paul anticipated this question to the Gospel of Grace. In Romans he says "shall we continue in sin, that Grace may abound?" His answer was no. But He knew the question would come up because of the radical concept of this Gospel and the potential for some to view it as license.
But he did not pervert the Gospel to meet any ends. He kept the Gospel pure. He added NO works onto the message of the Gospel.


"Faith alone" for many people....not all but many....means in their opinion that they do not have to avoid temptation, that they will never be able to overcome sin until they reach Heaven, that they do not have to obey Christ, because, after all, they have been saved and that is all that matters.
These people need to be discipled not lied to. Telling them their works will merit favor with God is an unbiblical message. Better to show them how much God has done for them and motivate them from a true love for Him and His sacrifice.
Motivation out of fear is the Law. Motivation out of love is Grace.


You keep wanting to separate the process but I have been and am talking about the COMPLETE picture, not just the initial Salvation issue, but EVERY STEP that exists between seeing the truth and entering Heaven.
I have already explained to you a number of times every step that is involved in salvation. Here it is again:
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).

Sanctification: - We are being delivered from the Power of sin. This is the process, in this life, of coming 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.

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, and establish His everlasting kingdom.

These are the events that make up the salvation of the believer.
The process you keep harping on is called sanctification. The mistake you are making is confusing justification and sanctification.
Justification is a FREE gift given to everyone who believes on Jesus Christ and His finished work.
Sanctification is a cooperative work done between God and the believer. It is done on a daily basis and lasts for this lifetime.
Glorification is when we receive our new resurrected bodies and redemption is complete.

This is the COMPLETE picture of salvation laid out in scripture.


Look what God did to Jonah when he did this...direct disobedience results in severe punishment. Look at Lot's wife...direct disobedience brings punishment...And the only way we can possible obey Christ is to have COMPLETE Faith and Trust in Christ. We cannot keep His commandments any other way. Our Faith MUST include obedient works, otherwise we have the punishment/wrath of God to look forward to.

You look at this as adding to Salvation, but it isn't...true faith means we have placed ALL of our Trust in Christ, which means we CAN obey His commandments, not on our own accord but because of WHAT He did for us.
There is always consequence for sin and disobedience. But loss of eternal life is not one of them. The believer in Christ can rest in the finished work of Christ, though He may stumble, he can rest assured he has an advocate with the Father who has taken the FULL wrath of God upon Himself.


If you, generalized not Toolman, do not see the good Fruits coming out of your life, then maybe you need to reexamine your Faith in what Christ has done for us. If you, again generalized, find that you cannot resist temptation, then maybe you need to reexamine your Faith in what Christ has done for you. If you, generalized, find that you are not obeying Christ/God's direction/will for your life, then maybe you need to reexamine your Faith in what Christ has done for you.

As I stated earlier, I am 100% behind making disciples for Christ, encouraging people to love God with all they have and loving others as Christ loved them.
But I will not stand for the Gospel being perverted to meet that end. In fact I believe it will have the opposite effect and drive people to despair.
We are called to look to the author and perfector of our faith, Jesus and not to put our eyes and confidence in ourselves to justify us before God.

The purpose of you starting this thread was to ask a question. If salvation came through faith in Christ alone or through faith + obedience.
I have addressed this question. Obedience is involved in our salvation, it is part of the process of sanctification (discipleship) BUT obedience does not effect our justification before God. We are justified before God by the blood of Christ ALONE. To Him be ALL the glory.

endure4salvation
Dec 27th 2003, 01:50 PM
There is always consequence for sin and disobedience. But loss of eternal life is not one of them. The believer in Christ can rest in the finished work of Christ, though He may stumble, he can rest assured he has an advocate with the Father who has taken the FULL wrath of God upon Himself.

Explain to me again how this doctrine is not a license to sin for some who profess it?

Toolman
Dec 27th 2003, 03:29 PM
Explain to me again how this doctrine is not a license to sin for some who profess it?

Any system that allows for the forgiveness of sin, can be abused.

Lets take for instance your belief that a Christian who sins can be forgiven of that sin by confessing and repenting.

Is this not the reason why Christians are told that they need to repent and confess their sins in order to be forgiven for them?

Someone, so wishing, could take your belief and say "cool, I can sin as much as I wish as long as I confess and ask forgiveness". That's been going on in the Roman Catholic church for centuries.

But the scripture explains to us that it is the Grace of God that teaches us to live Godly.

Titus 2:11-14 - For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good

Here is an earlier quote from you:

The idea is that we are trying our best to do what God says. Not because we are scared of being cut off, but because we are motivated by love.

Herein lies the truth of Grace. We are motivated to obedience not out of FEAR (perfect love casts out all fear), but out of LOVE.
Those who trust in Christ alone, do not have to be afraid of God's wrath. The fullness of God's wrath was placed upon Christ and He bore the FULL punishment for our sin.

If you preach the cross of Christ and His glorious sacrifice and resurrection, you will see people change inwardly by LOVE.

If you continue to lift up the Law you will see people change outwardly because of FEAR.

Someone who truly receives God's grace and is born again WILL be motivated out of love for their Savior. This will be a work of the Holy Spirit.

If they have not truly received God's grace and are unregenerate it doesn't matter how much good they do, their works are dead.

Remember John encouraged believer's not to sin, but he did not threaten their eternal life if they did sin. He preached an everlasting advocate:

1 John 2:1-2 - My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

endure4salvation
Dec 27th 2003, 06:29 PM
Any system that allows for the forgiveness of sin, can be abused.

Lets take for instance your belief that a Christian who sins can be forgiven of that sin by confessing and repenting.


Someone, so wishing, could take your belief and say "cool, I can sin as much as I wish as long as I confess and ask forgiveness". That's been going on in the Roman Catholic church for centuries.

I already explained to you how the Bible specifically states that if we sin on purpose, expecting to be forgiven for it, there is not going to be any forgiveness of sins, but the lake of fire. Hebrews is clear about that.

Also, I have noticed that a great deal of Protestants have a distain for the Catholic Church. Why is that? I have seen Jack Chick's website and tracts and how he misrepresents so many things and how Dave Hunt thinks it is the "Great Whore Of Babylon" and so on and so forth.

Just because it may have done some bad things, does that mean that you throw out the baby with the bath water? They do have a lot of things that people don't agree with, but do they not also believe a whole lot of the same things you do?

Therein lies the problem with Protestants.

endure4salvation
Dec 27th 2003, 06:36 PM
If you preach the cross of Christ and His glorious sacrifice and resurrection, you will see people change inwardly by LOVE.

If you continue to lift up the Law you will see people change outwardly because of FEAR.

Are we not told in the NT to fear God?


Philippians 2:12
...my dear friends, as you have always obeyed...continue to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling... (NIV)

Hebrews 12:28-29
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire." (NIV)

Romans 11:20-22
...[the Jews] were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you either. Consider, therefore the kindness and sternness of God; sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in His kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. (NIV)

It seems pretty clear to me. We need to accept BOTH the LOVE and WRATH of God to get a clear picture of His real character.


Someone who truly receives God's grace and is born again WILL be motivated out of love for their Savior. This will be a work of the Holy Spirit.

If you truly believe this, then why do you always misrepresent works after salvation, calling them works of merit? Either it is the Holy Spirit doing the works through a surrendered Christian, or it is works of merit done to gain salvation.


Remember John encouraged believer's not to sin, but he did not threaten their eternal life if they did sin. He preached an everlasting advocate:

1 John 2:1-2 - My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

This is one clear proof of how our future sins are NOT forgiven BEFORE we commit them, as OSAS proponents usually claim. Here are just 2 others:


Romans 3:24-25
Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.

2 Peter 1:9 (NIV)
But if anyone does not have [positive behavior traits consistent with Christianity], he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

Please notice that only the sins that are past are forgiven. An advocate is needed so that when we confess our future sins, we will be forgiven for them. Even Jesus told us that if we don't forgive other people their sins, we will not only fail to be forgiven for our future sins, but we can have our forgiven state reversed by God!!! (see Matthew 6:14-15 and Matthew 18:21-35

Toolman
Dec 27th 2003, 07:08 PM
I already explained to you how the Bible specifically states that if we sin on purpose, expecting to be forgiven for it, there is not going to be any forgiveness of sins, but the lake of fire. Hebrews is clear about that.
You also said a Christian could be forgiven of sin by confessing and repenting.
Which is it?

Don't forget your testimony of sinning willfully after becoming a believer. How were these sins forgiven?

I was one that was leaning on the doctrine of eternal security for my salvation. I could not overcome additions to pornography and self-abuse, depression and many other things while believing in eternal security.


Also, I have noticed that a great deal of Protestants have a distain for the Catholic Church. Why is that? I have seen Jack Chick's website and tracts and how he misrepresents so many things and how Dave Hunt thinks it is the "Great Whore Of Babylon" and so on and so forth.

Just because it may have done some bad things, does that mean that you throw out the baby with the bath water? They do have a lot of things that people don't agree with, but do they not also believe a whole lot of the same things you do?

Therein lies the problem with Protestants.

My major point of problem with the Roman Catholic church is the same major point of disagreement protestants have consistently had with the RCC since the reformation and that is over the issue of justification.

I'm sure you and I agree on many things also. Christ's virgin birth, His deity, etc.
That does not mean we will agree on how God justifies a person.

I believe God justifies a person because of the work of Christ alone.

You (like the RCC) believe God justifies a person because of the work of Christ + good works done by the person.

Toolman
Dec 27th 2003, 07:31 PM
Are we not told in the NT to fear God?
Yes we are told to have reverance for God, but we no longer need to fear His wrath and the punishment of death because of the work of Christ. The one who continues in fear has not been perfected in love.

Hebrews 1:14 -15 - Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.


It seems pretty clear to me. We need to accept BOTH the LOVE and WRATH of God to get a clear picture of His real character.
Absolutely. The 2 covenants reveal just that. His wrath is revealed in His Law. His Love and Grace are revealed by the Gospel.



If you truly believe this, then why do you always misrepresent works after salvation, calling them works of merit? Either it is the Holy Spirit doing the works through a surrendered Christian, or it is works of merit done to gain salvation.
This is a false accusation.
I have consistently claimed on this thread and others that works WILL follow a Christian's justification. Works WILL be evident in the process of our sanctification.
But I have also consistently said that those works play absolutely NO part in justifying us before a Holy God. Only the blood of Christ has that power.

Anyone who claims that our works play a role in gaining or maintaining our justification (as you have done) preaches another Gospel. Those are works of merit. You have consistently motivated people to obedience to maintain their righteous standing before God. That is merit.
These works, done by a person with such a mindset, are dead and are to be repented of according to Hebrews 6.


This is one clear proof of how our future sins are NOT forgiven BEFORE we commit them, as OSAS proponents usually claim. Here are just 2 others:

Romans 3:24-25
Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.

2 Peter 1:9 (NIV)
But if anyone does not have [positive behavior traits consistent with Christianity], he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

Please notice that only the sins that are past are forgiven. An advocate is needed so that when we confess our future sins, we will be forgiven for them. Even Jesus told us that if we don't forgive other people their sins, we will not only fail to be forgiven for our future sins, but we can have our forgiven state reversed by God!!! (see Matthew 6:14-15 and Matthew 18:21-35

Romans 3 is speaking of something else than what you perceive:
Here is a better translation

whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed

This is speaking of how God previously dealt with sin. Not speaking of Christ only dying for past sins of an individual.

2nd Peter says the exact opposite of the way you interpret it.

Peter is saying that this person has forgotten that they have been cleansed of their former sin nature. It is not speaking of individual sins but of the very sin nature that Christ has taken away in by His death.

Here is the greek word being translated sins:
http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=266&version=kjv

Tom Lessing
Dec 27th 2003, 08:48 PM
I already explained to you how the Bible specifically states that if we sin on purpose, expecting to be forgiven for it, there is not going to be any forgiveness of sins, but the lake of fire. Hebrews is clear about that.

Also, I have noticed that a great deal of Protestants have a distain for the Catholic Church. Why is that? I have seen Jack Chick's website and tracts and how he misrepresents so many things and how Dave Hunt thinks it is the "Great Whore Of Babylon" and so on and so forth.

Just because it may have done some bad things, does that mean that you throw out the baby with the bath water? They do have a lot of things that people don't agree with, but do they not also believe a whole lot of the same things you do?

Therein lies the problem with Protestants.

Anyone who claims to be saved by faith in Jesus Christ and . . . . has gone too far. The Roman Catholic Church' teaches that the long work of salvation begins through baptism and continues for life through participation in other sacraments, good works, and suffering. It is an outright denial of Christ's finished work on the cross.

Tom

vume
Dec 28th 2003, 12:13 AM
Ecclesiastes 3

Yahweh gives us eternal life through His Son so that we will not only realize, but in His Time, will know what He knows shall be. Life to me is like I assume it to be for everyone else: Consuming! But in the course of each of our lives developing unique personalities should assure us as to how our Father individually calls us into a definite place in His plan and purpose for this world. "He hath made every thing beautiful in His time: also He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that Yahweh maketh from the beginning to the end" Ecclesiastes 3:11. Yahweh from the begining has "set the world in (our) hearts," as a list of times perfectly paired opposites 14 positive and 14 negative conditions so that the very deepest roots of our nature assure us that Elohim exists and cares.
1. Will the ONE who bore condemnation for us turn and condemn us?
2.Will not "the firstborn from the dead" (Colossians 1:18) secure a place for those that are obedient to the command "Follow Me" Matthew 4:20)?
3. And since He is "preparing a place for us" (John 14:2-3) will He get fed up with us?
4. Who "shall be able to separate us from the love of the Father" when our Kinsman redeemer is interceding to the Father on our behalf? He asks for our acceptance, not for our condemnation. If the only one with right and authority to condemn will not condemn, then we have the assurance that our petitions are not in vain.
"Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares" (Luke 21:34). "Teaching us that, denying unholiness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and Holy, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great Elohim and our Savior Yaushua Ha-Massecah" (Titus 2:12-13). "And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure" (I John 3:3). "For all the promises of Yahweh in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of Elohim by us" (II Corinthians 1:20). Such words as "give," "gift," "gave," etc., occure more than 2,100 times in the Bible. Yahweh's gift is abundantly sufficient to provide salvation and everlasting life for the whole world. But a gift only becomes a gift when it is accepted, and the greatest of all tragedies is that this greatest of all gifts has been spurned and even ridiculed, and worst of all-simply ignored by multitudes who need it so much.
So what are the works of repentance?

Calvin
May 31st 2008, 01:06 PM
Clarify this for me:

If someone on their death bed, finally comes to trust in Jesus Christ by faith, in their heart, and repents for their sins, but dies before they can be baptized, where do they go?

Jesus told the thief on the cross, "TODAY" thou shalt be with me in Paradise. He sure wasn't gonna get baptised that day. People confuse the results of salvation with the requirements for it. For by Grace are ye saved THROUGH faith, and THAT not of yourselves, IT is the GIFT of God.

mailmandan
Aug 11th 2011, 09:14 PM
Anyone who claims to be saved by faith in Jesus Christ and . . . . has gone too far. The Roman Catholic Church' teaches that the long work of salvation begins through baptism and continues for life through participation in other sacraments, good works, and suffering. It is an outright denial of Christ's finished work on the cross.

Tom

Amen! Well said Tom.

mailmandan
Aug 11th 2011, 09:15 PM
Jesus told the thief on the cross, "TODAY" thou shalt be with me in Paradise. He sure wasn't gonna get baptised that day. People confuse the results of salvation with the requirements for it. For by Grace are ye saved THROUGH faith, and THAT not of yourselves, IT is the GIFT of God.

Amen! Well said my friend.

jes
Aug 14th 2011, 02:24 PM
Jesus told the thief on the cross, "TODAY" thou shalt be with me in Paradise. He sure wasn't gonna get baptised that day. People confuse the results of salvation with the requirements for it. For by Grace are ye saved THROUGH faith, and THAT not of yourselves, IT is the GIFT of God.

Are any of us stuck on a cross under the old covenant ? I think the thief on the cross is used as an excuse for those who have opportunity to get baptised in water and receive the Holy Spirit. "Faith alone" ? Consider the following scripture ?

Ac 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

Just because you believe does not mean that you have received the Holy Spirit.

mailmandan
Aug 17th 2011, 10:45 AM
Are any of us stuck on a cross under the old covenant ? I think the thief on the cross is used as an excuse for those who have opportunity to get baptised in water and receive the Holy Spirit. "Faith alone" ? Consider the following scripture ?

Ac 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

Just because you believe does not mean that you have received the Holy Spirit.

Paul asked them in if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed and their answer in verse 3 reveals that they were not yet believers. They had received the baptism of John but did not realize that Jesus Christ was the One to whom John's baptism pointed. Paul gave them instructions about Jesus and after they believed Paul's presentation of the gospel and came to saving faith, they were then baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. If they had already truly believed, then they would have already received the Holy Spirit. So Acts 19:2-4 shows us that just because you have been baptized does not mean that you have received the Holy Spirit.

The thief on the cross could not have yet received the Holy Spirit. In John 7:38,39 we read: He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

But for us. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins." While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" (Acts 10;43-47) Then afterward they were baptized. (vs. 48)

If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?" (Acts 11:17)

So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1:13)

jes
Aug 17th 2011, 10:55 AM
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" (Acts 10;43-47) Then afterward they were baptized. (vs. 48)


How did they know that they had received the Holy Spirit ? They spoke in tongues. Hence, every person who receives the Holy Spirit will speak in tongues.

uric3
Aug 17th 2011, 04:26 PM
To the TC it was a very informative post and a lot of good in it... I agree with a lot of that however there was one in particular thing you listed that I have a question about...

Church membership... I understand we should not forsake the assembling and should be around our brothers and sisters in Christ... however I don't think the idea of church membership ever appears in the Bible. Anyway below is an article about it...

The idea of church membership is such a commonly accepted notion that very few question it. The way most of us speak, one would think that membership in a local congregation of God's people is written in large letters on every page of the New Testament. We talk about "placing membership", "moving membership", "resigning membership", etc. The idea of church membership is closely related to the idea that the local church is some sort of organization or institution (http://www.creedrehearsal.com/is-the-church-an-institution) as opposed to just the family of God in some specific place. After all, if you have an institution, someone has to be a member of it! Yet, if one searches carefully, he or she will discover that the idea is not in the Bible at all! Most people think that church membership is found in Acts 9:26: And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. From this passage some among us see the concept of church membership, moving one's membership and a local church being able to reject a potential member. Notice that this passage says nothing about membership. He simply tried to join them. The word "join" is from the Greek work "kallao" (Strong's #2853) and according to Thayer it means:

kollao kol-lah'-o
1) to glue, to glue together, cement, fasten together
2) to join or fasten firmly together
3) to join one’s self to, cleave to

What Saul desired was to keep company with them because they were the Christians in the place where he was at that time. What word or phrase in this passage hints of placing or moving membership? What is it about the word "join" or its definition that would make us think that Saul was trying to do something more than just associate or fellowship with the Jerusalem Christians? Could it be that our preconceptions lead us to conclusions that the text doesn't support?
We are also told that Acts 9:26 gives a congregation the right to determine who it will accept into fellowship. Was the assembly at Jerusalem rejecting Saul's "application for membership"? Not at all. They were scared to death of him and didn't believe he was really a Christian. The text plainly says this! This was the man who had formerly imprisoned and killed Christians. Some of their own acquaintances quite possibly were either dead or in confinement because of this man. To put it in modern day terms, imagine that Osama bin Laden came to town claiming that he had renounced Islam and is now a Christian. Wouldn't you be skeptical and afraid? This was not an example of a local church deciding who could and could not be a member. This passage simply conveys the dread of the pharisee named Saul and how their fear caused them to recoil from him. Those who try to make this out to be anything more are twisting the passage to suit their preconceptions.
Some see the idea of "membership" in the figure of speech that Paul used to illustrate the various functions of those within the "body" of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul compared the people of God to the human body and spoke of the many "members" and the roles and functions that they all play. The word "member" can mean two different things. It is used as "a bodily part or organ, especially a limb," and it is used as "a person comprising a society or community". Do we recognize that in this context Paul uses the former meaning and is referring to a limb of the human body (a foot, ear, eye, etc) to make a point? We do not hold "membership" in the body of Christ any more than our hand or foot holds "membership" in our physical body. Just as our limbs (members) are part of our bodies, Christians are part of the church. If we recognize this figure of speech, then we should take care to keep our thinking consistent and not allow ourselves to slip into the latter meaning of the word. The two meanings are not interchangeable.
In our congregations it seems that two categories of Christians have "evolved": members and non-members. Christians can faithfully attend a congregation for years and still be an outsider because they have never "placed membership". They won't be called on to serve in any way. Someone else can move into town and "place membership" after a few visits and are then considered to be "one of us". Some may become "members" of a local congregation, not because they think there is a Bible reason to do so, but because they are either pestered to death to "join" or they "join" so that they can participate more actively in congregational work and affairs.
The Bible does not depict local congregations as clubs that people "belong to" or "place membership" in. If so, what passage can we glean this from? In order to be a "member" there would have to be some organization or abstract entity that a person could place membership in. Since local congregations are not institutions (http://www.creedrehearsal.com/is-the-church-an-institution), how can we place membership in them? If we use the words "member" or "belong" in the same sense that they are used when speaking of family members, or belonging to a family that would be an accurate usage. However, I don't think I've ever heard anyone speak of church membership in this way. In every congregation that I have been involved with, the idea of "belonging" and "membership" always meant a formal affiliation; like being a member of a club or society that has rules and qualifications for membership.
Is there some work given by God that a group of Christians can't do unless they are a "member" of a local church (http://www.creedrehearsal.com/church-responsibility)? The answer is no. A group of Christians can do everything that God requires without holding membership in some church institution. Did the Christians we read about in the Bible "place membership" in local congregations? Again, the answer is no. Since this is the case, what is the point of the membership requirement today? In the New Testament, there is no hint that local churches are anything other than believers meeting together for mutual edification and pooling their resources for the benefit of themselves and others. If we really are trying to "speak where the Bible speaks, and remain silent where the Bible is silent," then we should either find the scripture that authorizes such a practice or forever eliminate it.

Reference: http://www.creedrehearsal.com/church-membership

RollTide21
Aug 17th 2011, 04:55 PM
So was Abraham "saved" before Christ's sacrifice, or after?

Also, did someone living under the Old Testament law have to obey the Old Testament law in order to be justified, or just believe?

If justification in OT was by faith alone, why did God institute sacrifices for the atonement of sin?

What you seem to be saying is that the OT sacrifices were unnecessary. Did God saddle the OT people with the sacrificial system for no reason?Of course no one was justified by keeping the Law. Because no one COULD keep the Law. That was Paul's entire point in Romans. It's also why he considered the Law the "schoolmaster" to bring us to Christ.

The Law highlighted sin and pointed to a Savior. That was its purpose. The patriarchs who were justified, were justified by Faith. Obedience to God was evidence of their Faith.

RollTide21
Aug 17th 2011, 05:07 PM
At one time, my faith was dead. I turned my back on everything Christ had done for me. I decided being good wasn't fun enough, was too restrictive, didn't allow me to be me. I allowed satan to regain his stronghold on my life, I allowed sin to continue to exist in my life, I allowed satan to convince me I did not have to follow Christs' commandments. And yes, in hindsight, my faith was a false faith, as many in today's world have, because I thought all I needed to do was have faith that Christ was born, died on the cross, rose again and then ascended into Heaven. I never understood that I had to obey Him, turn everything over to Him, Trust Him, be baptized in Him, and allow His work to flow from me to the rest of the world. I had been taught, as so many others are, that all we need to do is believe in who Christ is and we are saved. I knew Christ was the Son of God, I knew that He died for my sins, I knew He beat death (satan) when He rose from the grave, I knew He ascended to sit on the Throne in Heaven. But what I did not know was that part of faith was obedience to His calling and commands. I have found my way back to Christ and His perfect forgiveness. Now my life is TOTALLY different. I have turned everything over to Him, I AM obedient, His love flows from me into the rest of the world, I have been baptized in Him. Blessings starting flowing into my life when I started OBEYING Christs' will and commandments, not beforehand...My faith is complete and saving faith and obedience comes easily this time. I do not worry about sinning because Christ is living through me and with me.
I will ask this question...as I have on many occasions in this discussion. How could you possibly equate the Faith that you exhibited before your transformation with the Faith you exhibited after?

Here is the point you are making: You previously had Faith...but NOW you have Faith and obedience.

My friend, if your "faith" previously allowed you to consider that there was no reason to actually follow in the footsteps of the Holy Spirit, then that Faith was dead. THAT is precisely James's point. That was not saving Faith. SAVING Faith naturally results in a surrender to God and a heartfelt desire to serve Him. Saving Faith DOES NOT result in a cavalier attitude toward sin. A person exhibiting Faith in its salvific form may well lapse into sin, but it is with a seared conscience and the conviction of this sin. On that note, if we assume that during your period of falling away, you were in constant conviction and a drawing back to Christ, does that not provide ample evidence that Christ was molding you into the person that you are today?

I went through a similar period. I was weak to the flesh and strove with conviction for a long time. Ultimately, by His Grace, He showed me the victory of submitting to Him daily. There was not a clearer picture, in my mind, of the Faithfulness of God to those who have truly submitted to Him in Faith.

Neanias
Aug 17th 2011, 05:28 PM
I havent read the whole thing... But Ill throw my two pennies in here!

The word 'faith' in greek is 'pistos'. It's actually also the same word for faithfullness. I think true faith and faithfullness actually come together. When you are full of faith (you trust in God), you are faithfull, because your trust in him strengthens you and allows no fear.

If faith without works is dead, how can it save us? Then how can faith alone save us?

We must be obedient and endure to the end! "He who endures to the end, that one will be saved" (Jesus' own words!)

RogerW
Aug 17th 2011, 06:43 PM
It may seem nit picking to some, but since confusion about how we are saved exists...I think not. We are NOT saved BY faith...we ARE saved by grace and declared righteous (justified) through faith. And even the faith we exhibit after regeneration comes as a gift of God's grace. Salvation from regeneration to glorification is all by grace alone, through faith alone, to the glory of God alone!

mailmandan
Aug 18th 2011, 10:44 AM
How did they know that they had received the Holy Spirit ? They spoke in tongues. Hence, every person who receives the Holy Spirit will speak in tongues.

In Acts 10:47, Peter said, "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" The question was asked as to why these Gentiles should not be allowed to be baptized because the Jews may have had trouble accepting the fact that God had accepted the Gentiles along with the Jews and proved it by demonstrating that they were already saved and have been accepted into the body of Christ by giving them the Holy Spirit. Speaking in tongues was clear evidence of this. In verse 45 we read, "All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also." Speaking in tongues is clearly not in the context of everyday salvation experience and neither is the laying on of hands to receive the Holy Spirit as we see in Acts 8 and Acts 19.

percho
Aug 18th 2011, 04:31 PM
It may seem nit picking to some, but since confusion about how we are saved exists...I think not. We are NOT saved BY faith...we ARE saved by grace and declared righteous (justified) through faith. And even the faith we exhibit after regeneration comes as a gift of God's grace. Salvation from regeneration to glorification is all by grace alone, through faith alone, to the glory of God alone!


How about being saved by Grace,that being, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, Whom God hath set forth a propitiation through faith in his blood, And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the whole world." Does that describe grace?



Through faith in his blood, being, "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Which Paul calls, the faith of Christ in many places, which I believe to be the correct translation. Romans 1:4,5 says, for the obedience of faith of Jesus unto death God through resurrection declared him the Son of God and through Jesus was made an apostle among the nations for the name sake of Jesus. In chapter 16 it is the same, it was for the obedience of faith of Jesus that the gospel is carried to all nations.

It is by the grace of God sending his Son and the faith of the Son unto death even death on the cross by which man shall be saved.

Titus 3:5 says the exact same thing. According to his mercy he saved us. That is did what was necessary for us to be saved. How according to his mercy? By being made the mercy seat, a propitiation, how by his obedience unto death called the washing of regeneration, Resurrected to live and receiving from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit. This is the promise made to Abraham and his one seed the Christ. The promise of the Holy Spirit that would come to the nations from God the Father through the Son, the rest of Acts 2:33 he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. And Titus 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
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RogerW
Aug 18th 2011, 06:04 PM
How about being saved by Grace,that being, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, Whom God hath set forth a propitiation through faith in his blood, And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the whole world." Does that describe grace?

Through faith in his blood, being, "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Which Paul calls, the faith of Christ in many places, which I believe to be the correct translation. Romans 1:4,5 says, for the obedience of faith of Jesus unto death God through resurrection declared him the Son of God and through Jesus was made an apostle among the nations for the name sake of Jesus. In chapter 16 it is the same, it was for the obedience of faith of Jesus that the gospel is carried to all nations.

It is by the grace of God sending his Son and the faith of the Son unto death even death on the cross by which man shall be saved.

Titus 3:5 says the exact same thing. According to his mercy he saved us. That is did what was necessary for us to be saved. How according to his mercy? By being made the mercy seat, a propitiation, how by his obedience unto death called the washing of regeneration, Resurrected to live and receiving from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit. This is the promise made to Abraham and his one seed the Christ. The promise of the Holy Spirit that would come to the nations from God the Father through the Son, the rest of Acts 2:33 he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. And Titus 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
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Hi Percho,

I think we're in agreement...if you're saying both the grace and faith that brings salvation are "of" Christ alone...yes? IOW saving faith does not originate from within fallen man, but is created in us by grace...this faith of Christ coming through His righteousness or His righteous deeds and not our own.

John146
Aug 19th 2011, 08:33 PM
It may seem nit picking to some, but since confusion about how we are saved exists...I think not. We are NOT saved BY faith...we ARE saved by grace and declared righteous (justified) through faith. And even the faith we exhibit after regeneration comes as a gift of God's grace. Salvation from regeneration to glorification is all by grace alone, through faith alone, to the glory of God alone!Yeah, that's nitpicking because there's scripture says it's by faith and other scripture that says it's through faith. What's the difference? None. They mean the same thing which is that faith is a requirement of salvation.

Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

The issue isn't whether salvation is by or through faith, the issue is whether God gives people that faith or if people must choose to put their faith in Christ. And we've discussed that ad nauseum before so unless you know of an angle we haven't discussed before we can just leave it at that.

BTW, it's funny that a thread that started in 2003 is active again. :D

BroRog
Aug 20th 2011, 11:58 PM
Paul asked them in if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed and their answer in verse 3 reveals that they were not yet believers.The text doesn't say they weren't believers. Of course they were believers. When asked about the Holy Spirit, they responded that they had never heard there was such a thing as the Holy Spirit. This isn't unbelief; it's just ignorance. Once Paul explained it, they believed it. Why, because they were believers.
They had received the baptism of John but did not realize that Jesus Christ was the One to whom John's baptism pointed. Paul gave them instructions about Jesus and after they believed Paul's presentation of the gospel and came to saving faith, they were then baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. If they had already truly believed, then they would have already received the Holy Spirit. So Acts 19:2-4 shows us that just because you have been baptized does not mean that you have received the Holy Spirit.I see no evidence from the text they didn't have saving faith.

Butch5
Aug 21st 2011, 12:39 AM
The text doesn't say they weren't believers. Of course they were believers. When asked about the Holy Spirit, they responded that they had never heard there was such a thing as the Holy Spirit. This isn't unbelief; it's just ignorance. Once Paul explained it, they believed it. Why, because they were believers. I see no evidence from the text they didn't have saving faith.

Hi Rog,

Food for thought, it seems more likely to me that they were ignorant of the Holy Spirit's coming not His existence. They had been baptized by John and his message was one is coming after me, He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. If agree with you that these were believers.

ksnsj1
Aug 21st 2011, 12:43 AM
There have been numerous threads recently that have been discussing Salvation, Works, Baptism, and Obedience. Some have attempted to tie Salvation in with certain works, obedience and baptism, while others have tried to separate these 4 issues claiming salvation comes by faith and faith alone. I would like everyone to examine this information and take the time to digest it into your Spirit so God can have the opprotunity to speak to you about this issue BEFORE you respond. I know that for some this will be difficult, as it may cut deep to your fundamental beliefs that have been learned over long periods of time. And let me assure everyone, this thread is meant, in NO WAY, to undermine the importance of Salvation or Christs' work on the cross, but to try and get everyone to see the bigger picture of salvation so that we can all become the type of Christians we have been called to be.

Several questions to ponder:

1. Does the Bible actually teach Salvation comes from faith and faith alone?
2. Are works a vital ingredient of Salvation?
3. Is obedience a key ingredient to being saved?
4. Are Works and Obedience the same in God's eyes?
5. Is Baptism a required step to becoming saved?

Does the Bible actually teach that we are saved by just having faith and believing in Christ alone? Or does the Bible teach that we must meet certain other conditions in order to secure our Salvation? First, we need to look at the verses that say we are saved by faith:


John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Acts 16:31; 10:43; 15:9; 13:39; John 8:24; 3:36; 5:24; 6:40; 20:30,31; Romans 3:22-28; 4:3,16 (sorry for not posting all of the verses in their entirety, but it would take up alot of space, and this is already going to be a LONG post.)


Many use these verses to stake the claim that we are saved by faith and faith alone. But, do these verses say that ALL we have to do is believe or have faith in Christ? No, they say that faith is a requirement in order to be saved, but doesn't exclude other possible requirements. Take these verses, for example:

John 12:42,43 - 42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

According to John, an esteemed and beloved disciple/apostle of Christ, the chief rulers BELIEVED Christ was the Son of God but yet they were not saved. They had the faith the previous verses call for, but still it wasn't enough.

James 2:19,20 - 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

James tells us that even the devils believe in Christ, but they are not saved. (We'll deal more with verse 20 further down.)

James 2:14,24 - 14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Ah, the clencher....James says faith only CANNOT save us. James even says that faith without works is worthless.

Is Obedience an essential part OF Salvation or does obedience come AFTER Salvation? Some peope tend to believe that obedience comes after Salvation, and isn't essential in order to receive forgiveness of sins. BUT, again the Bible says the opposite:

*1 Peter 1:22,23 - 22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (We purify our souls in obeying the truth.)

*Romans 6:17,18 - 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
(Servants of sin must obey from the heart in order to be made free from sin.)

*Hebrews 5:9 - 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

*James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

*Acts 10:34,35 - 34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Acts 11:14 14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. (Peter told Cornelius words whereby he would be saved. But the first words He said were that, to be accepted by God, people must work righteousness. This is true for all people, for God shows no partiality!)

*Matthew 7:21-27 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Luke 6:46 - 46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (To accept Jesus as Lord (ruler, master) and enter the kingdom of heaven, we must do what He says. We may believe and confess Him yet be rejected, because we did not obey.)

*2 Thessalonians 1:8,9 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
Romans 2:6-10 - 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: (Receiving eternal life requires us to do good. Those who do not obey will be destroyed.)

*1 John 5:3 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
*John 14:15, 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
*John 14:21-24 - 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. (Loving God requires us to keep His commands. If we do not obey, we do not love Him. Can one be saved if he does not love God?)

Clearly from these passages, we see that we MUST obey God/Jesus in order to be saved. If we do not obey, we are not truly trusting in Christ and do not truly love Him.

(Continued)


We can do nothing good without the help of God. We must have faith to obey.

Butch5
Aug 21st 2011, 12:46 AM
We can do nothing good without the help of God. We must have faith to obey.

Why do you say that?

ksnsj1
Aug 21st 2011, 12:58 AM
Why do you say that?

I believe that people can not do anything good, except for God helping us do good. Anything else is pride.

mailmandan
Aug 21st 2011, 12:02 PM
The text doesn't say they weren't believers. Of course they were believers. When asked about the Holy Spirit, they responded that they had never heard there was such a thing as the Holy Spirit. This isn't unbelief; it's just ignorance. Once Paul explained it, they believed it. Why, because they were believers. I see no evidence from the text they didn't have saving faith.

If they had saving faith, then why didn't they receive the Holy Spirit? We see in Acts 11:17, "If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ," and in Acts 15:8-9, "So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith." Ephesians 1:13, "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise."

So these men in Acts 19 have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit. And when Paul said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" They said, "Into John's baptism." Then Paul had to explain to them, John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

So why did Paul need to explain to them about believing on Him who would come after John to these men if they already had saving faith? Why had they previously been baptized into John's baptism but not in the name of the Lord Jesus? If they already had saving faith then what was the problem?

mailmandan
Aug 21st 2011, 12:07 PM
Hi Rog,

Food for thought, it seems more likely to me that they were ignorant of the Holy Spirit's coming not His existence. They had been baptized by John and his message was one is coming after me, He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. If agree with you that these were believers.

So if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, but you are ignorant of the Holy Spirit's coming, then you don't receive the Holy Spirit? That's your argument? Describe to me exactly what it means to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" and you will be saved. (Acts 16:31) What exactly did these men believe that made them believers before Paul spoke with them in Acts 19:2-4? What did they believe after Paul spoke with them that they did not previously believe?

BroRog
Aug 21st 2011, 05:07 PM
If they had saving faith, then why didn't they receive the Holy Spirit? We see in Acts 11:17, "If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ," and in Acts 15:8-9, "So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith." Ephesians 1:13, "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise."

So these men in Acts 19 have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit. And when Paul said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" They said, "Into John's baptism." Then Paul had to explain to them, John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

So why did Paul need to explain to them about believing on Him who would come after John to these men if they already had saving faith? Why had they previously been baptized into John's baptism but not in the name of the Lord Jesus? If they already had saving faith then what was the problem?I think the Bible makes a distinction between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. What the apostles witnessed was the giving of the gifts of the Spirit, evidenced by speaking in tongues (one of the gifts.)

So then, the giving of the Spirit in Acts 10 was the giving of the gift of tongues, not necessarily the indwelling of the Spirit. And as we follow the acts of the apostles, Luke records the many times the gift of tongues was given to various groups. At first we see the Samaritans receive the gift. Then we see the Gentiles receive the gift. Each occasion presents the Apostles with new information about the extent and scope of God's offer of salvation. I note the fact that God waited for an apostle to arrive before giving a person the gift. Peter was present when Cornelius received the gift of tongues. Even after Philip had preached Jesus to the Samaritans and many of them believed, the gift of speaking in tongues was not given to them until Peter arrived.

As you point out, Paul says the indwelling of the Spirit takes place when a person believes, which was probably the case for some of the Samaritans prior to Peter's arrival. But the gift of tongues wasn't given until Peter arrived.

With regard to those believers in Acts 19, Paul didn't need to teach them to believe in the one coming after John. They already believed John's word that one would come after him. What they didn't know was his identity. In other words, they believed in Jesus without knowing his name. John taught them that another man would come later that would take away the sins of the world. And since these disciples remained disciples, then we know that they lived in anticipation of this coming one. For some reason of practicality, they couldn't stay in Jerusalem and wait for Jesus to appear but even though they had to return home, they continued to believe John's teaching about the coming one and kept believing so that when Paul came to their hometown, they immediately accepted the truth that Jesus was the one of whom John spoke.

I don't think there was a problem. I think God was gracious enough to bring Paul to their town to explain the gospel more fully to them. This happened to Apollos too. As Luke points out, "he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately." Here we have a man who understood God's word to such a great degree, understood the significance of what God was doing in the world to such a great degree he was able to preach accurately about the coming messiah, even though he didn't know the identity of the messiah was Jesus. Priscilla and Aquila recognized that Apollos was a believer, and approached him to teach him more of the details. Apollos was familiar with the teachings of John the Baptist, but undoubtedly had not heard that the messiah had actually come and it was Jesus Christ. He was able to accurately teaching the things concerning Jesus even though he didn't know his name or his identity or the events of Jesus' ministry, including his death and resurrection.

But the heart of the believer was present in Apollos. While he lacked information, he was still a man of faith who trusted God and believed his prophet John the Baptist and began a ministry of his own, preaching about the coming messiah boldly in the synagogue. Unfortunately, back then, not everyone got the entire gospel story in one sitting. Some people, such as Apollos, received the gospel message in parts but the heart of belief was always there and as Apollos received new information, as additional parts of the story were brought to him, he continued to believe.

This is important as it teaches us that a lack of information is no obstacle to God's saving us. We might be ignorant of parts of salvation history, we might not know the identity of the messiah for instance, but the heart of faith is there. Saving faith doesn't need to be a complete faith, knowing every detail of the gospel. The important thing is that we are willing to receive the parts that God has brought to us and would be willing to accept the entire story had we had the opportunity to know the entire story.

Butch5
Aug 22nd 2011, 02:49 AM
I believe that people can not do anything good, except for God helping us do good. Anything else is pride.

What makes you believe that?