PDA

View Full Version : What Must We Be Brought To In Order To Get To Heaven?



immortality
Sep 15th 2008, 12:48 AM
By Jonathan Edwards

1. You must be brought entirely to renounce all hope of obtaining heaven by anything that you can do by your own strength, — that you cannot do it either directly or indirectly. Many are sensible that they cannot get to heaven by their own strength directly, but yet they hope to do it indirectly; they hope by their own strength to bring themselves to a disposition to close with Christ, and accept of him for a Savior. They are hoping to bring themselves to a compliance with the terms of salvation. You must be brought off from all confiding in your own strength; and you must also be brought to renounce your own righteousness as the price of heaven. The consideration of what has been said of the glory and happiness of the saints, may show us the exceeding folly of those that think to purchase so great happiness by their own righteousness. What a vain thought have men of their performances to think them a sufficient price to offer to God to purchase such glory of him! How would God dishonor himself, and dishonor such riches of his own goodness, if he should bestow them on men for their righteousness, and should accept their miserable performances as the price of them!

2. Your heart must be brought to close with him who has purchased heaven. Renouncing all other ways, your heart must entirely close with him, and adhere to him, as the way, the truth, and the life. Your heart must be drawn to him, and it must be pleasing and sweet to you to have heaven as a free gift, as the fruit of mercy and saving grace, and you must assuredly believe that Christ is a sufficient Savior, and your soul must acquiesce in the way of salvation by him, by his blood and his righteousness, as wise, holy, sufficient, and excellent way. Your heart must incline to Jesus Christ as a Savior above your own righteousness and all other ways. Your delight must be in this holy way of salvation.

3. You must choose the God of heaven for your portion. You must be of the same temper and disposition with the psalmist, who says, Psa. 73:25, “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none on the earth whom I desire beside thee.” You must esteem and relish the enjoyment of him far above all other things. You must be brought to see that there is that in the enjoyment of God and communion with him that is far better than all the profits or pleasures of the world. It must be so with you, that if you could have your choice of all kinds of happiness you could devise, and have which you would, and in what degree you would, to all eternity, this would be what you would far prefer.


4. Your heart must be brought sincerely to close with the employments of heaven. In heaven they are not idle, but they are continually employed, and their employments are holy employments. They spend their time wholly in holy exercises; in contemplating on God, in praising and serving him. Rev. 22:3, “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him.” If ever you go to heaven, your heart must be brought beforehand to such a temper as freely to choose such employments, you must have a relish of them, and must account them excellent and delightful employments.


5. You must be pure in heart, and clean in hands. The pure in heart alone shall see God. Mat. 5:8. They that shall ascend into God’s holy hill, are those that are of pure hearts and clean hands. Psa. 24:4. You must have and abhor all sin, and allow none in your life. Sin must become to you a great burden. You must loathe yourself for it, and fight and strive against it, to purge yourself more and more from it; striving more and more to mortify sin, earnestly desiring and seeking to be more holy, more conformed to the will of God, and to walk more becoming a Christian.

6. You must be brought to sell all for heaven. Mat. 13:44, 45, 46. Heaven must be to you like the treasure hid in a field; or like the pearl of great price. If you would have heaven, you must take it as your whole portion. You must in your heart part with all other things for it, and it must be your manner actually to part with them whenever they stand in the way of your getting forward towards heaven. If you would have heaven, you must sell your worldly profit and your credit, and the good will of your neighbors, and your worldly pleasures and conveniences, and whatever stands in your way. Many flatter themselves that they shall obtain heaven without this, and think they have a right to heaven, though they were never brought to this, but they are sure to find themselves disappointed.

7. You must never expect to go to heaven in any other than a strait and narrow way. Some expect to get to heaven who are not walking in a narrow way. The way they are walking in is a way of indulging their ease, and of shifting off the hard and difficult parts of religion. It is not the ways of self-denial, and toil, and laboriousness, but they walk in a broad way, a way wherein they are not pinched, but can go on without labor, or watchfulness, or bearing the cross. But such as these, let their hopes be what they may, and their profession what it may, and their pretenses to experiences what they may, are not like to get to heaven. To some, the way that the Scripture has laid out is too narrow and strait. Therefore they are endeavoring to get to heaven in a broad way; but it is in vain for you to contrive this. If you can find out any way of getting to heaven that is not a strait and narrow way, it will be a way that you are the first inventor of. If you go thither, you must go in the way of the footsteps of the flock. If you would go to heaven, you must be content to go there in the way of self-denial and sufferings, you must be willing to take up the cross daily and follow Christ, and through much tribulation to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

MyGod
Sep 15th 2008, 01:14 AM
I'm confused. I tried to read all of this but it's a lot. Still reading. Are you (well, the author of this information) suggesting we have to do anything other than accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal savior? Because, that's all you have to do to get to Heaven. Simply put, accept His death and sacrifice as payment for your sin debt.

HisLeast
Sep 15th 2008, 01:22 AM
I'm confused. I tried to read all of this but it's a lot. Still reading. Are you (well, the author of this information) suggesting we have to do anything other than accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal savior? Because, that's all you have to do to get to Heaven. Simply put, accept His death and sacrifice as payment for your sin debt.

Saying it and living it are 2 entirely different things. If it were a simple or easy decision, I doubt we'd have a new testament full of impassioned encouragements, dire warnings, or scourging admonishments.

livingword26
Sep 15th 2008, 01:25 AM
By Jonathan Edwards

1. You must be brought entirely to renounce all hope of obtaining heaven by anything that you can do by your own strength, — that you cannot do it either directly or indirectly.


7. You must never expect to go to heaven in any other than a strait and narrow way. Some expect to get to heaven who are not walking in a narrow way.


These two statements are not compatible.

Richard H
Sep 15th 2008, 01:26 AM
I'm confused. I tried to read all of this but it's a lot. Still reading. Are you (well, the author of this information) suggesting we have to do anything other than accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal savior? Because, that's all you have to do to get to Heaven. Simply put, accept His death and sacrifice as payment for your sin debt.

It's a beginning.

Mat 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but the ones who do the will of My Father in Heaven.

IMHO Mere belief or confession is nothing if it does not spark real change.
A change from the inside to the outside.

It was a bit much to read, but I think the point was that we cannot be good enough to get into Heaven by our works or merit.

MyGod
Sep 15th 2008, 01:35 AM
It was a bit much to read, but I think the point was that we cannot be good enough to get into Heaven by our works or merit.

Lol. Oh, then I agree!

MyGod
Sep 15th 2008, 01:42 AM
Saying it and living it are 2 entirely different things. If it were a simple or easy decision, I doubt we'd have a new testament full of impassioned encouragements, dire warnings, or scourging admonishments.

You don't have to live a certain way to get into Heaven. You simply believe. True, we should be walking as christians but some of us saved folk are living carnally or as babes in Christ. That doesn't mean they're not saved. And that doesn't mean they should continue to live a sinful lifestyle. But, our works or lifestyle is not what gets us into Heaven. Jesus Christs' work is what gets us into Heaven.

Those impassioned encouragements, dire warnings, and scourging admonishments are for our protection. When we live a sinful life, it only results in spiritual death. Plus, we are supposed to be ambassador's for Christ and His representatives. People are supposed to see us and want to serve our God. But, our walk isn't what gets us in.

9Marksfan
Sep 16th 2008, 10:34 AM
These two statements are not compatible.

They are not. The first talks about our standing before God. The second speaks about the INEVITABLE outworking of having been justified freely by God's grace - all who are so justified WILL walk that strait and narrow way - it's called following Christ.

Edwards, as always, is perfectly balanced.

Richard H
Sep 16th 2008, 12:25 PM
You don't have to live a certain way to get into Heaven. You simply believe. True, we should be walking as christians but some of us saved folk are living carnally or as babes in Christ. That doesn't mean they're not saved. And that doesn't mean they should continue to live a sinful lifestyle. But, our works or lifestyle is not what gets us into Heaven. Jesus Christs' work is what gets us into Heaven.

Those impassioned encouragements, dire warnings, and scourging admonishments are for our protection. When we live a sinful life, it only results in spiritual death. Plus, we are supposed to be ambassador's for Christ and His representatives. People are supposed to see us and want to serve our God. But, our walk isn't what gets us in.

Hi MG,

You're right: it is the work of Jesus which “gets” us into heaven.
He purchased us with His blood – taking on the full punishment of our sins (past present and future).
We receive forgiveness by faith that He was qualified to pay that price.
That He was and is indeed the messiah – the sinless Son of God who is the very expression of YHWH’s love and mercy.
And that He rose from the dead and thus conquered death and the result of sin (hell).

Receiving that forgiveness is an ongoing process – because we will always fall a bit short of perfection.
Receiving grace (a “grace-period” when one has the opportunity to make change) means that we repent when we do fall short.
It’s a life-long process of turning 180 degrees from what SELF wants to do – in favor of what God would have us do.

To recite the sinner’s prayer once is not enough. We must remain in Him. Not through our own power, but allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us daily into the likeness of Christ.

Then what you heard from the beginning let it abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you will abide both in the Son and in the Father.
And this is the promise which He promised us: everlasting life. 1Jn 2:24,25

Jesus said that a good tree will produce good fruit – and that every branch which does not bear fruit will be cut off.
Our fruit is not what brings us eternal life. It is the evidence of a changed life.

The world may be attracted by this evidence, but don’t suppose it is interested in serving God. Their god is SELF.
Only the Holy Spirit can change hearts and minds – bringing about true repentance and the desire to serve the one true God.
(How shall they know about Him, if we don’t tell them?)

So – saying a prayer to get “saved” and living as the world (SELF) lives and thinking as the world (SELF) thinks is not a good thing.
It seems to be evidence that they are ignoring this grace-period – like the “foolish virgins”. (Matt 25)

I hope this helps. It took me awhile to figure this stuff out – and I’m still learning.

Richard

9Marksfan
Sep 16th 2008, 01:10 PM
Hi Richard

I appreciated your reply but the following phrase had me a bit puzzled :hmm:


Receiving grace (a “grace-period” when one has the opportunity to make change) means that we repent when we do fall short.

Where do you get this idea of believers having a "grace period" and that this constitutes "receiving grace"? Also this one....


It seems to be evidence that they are ignoring this grace-period – like the “foolish virgins”. (Matt 25)

But the foolish virgins were shut out of the kingdom - are you saying that those who say the sinner's prayer were saved, then lost if they ignore the "grace-period" - or that, if they do not really repent and live a new life, they show they were never saved in the first place?


I hope this helps. It took me awhile to figure this stuff out – and I’m still learning.

Richard

So am I, bro - so am I! :)

drew
Sep 16th 2008, 02:30 PM
Are you (well, the author of this information) suggesting we have to do anything other than accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal savior? Because, that's all you have to do to get to Heaven.
Yes, but........

Paul is quite clear that our ultimate justification and salvation will be based on the good works that our lives manifest:

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

Are these works done "in our own strength? No they are not. As Paul makes clear in places like Romans 8, these are the works of the Holy Spirit.

If you wish to think of the "good works" as the evidence of the reality of a saving faith and faith alone is the key to justification in that "good works" naturally flow from such faith, I am perfectly happy to agree with such a characterization. If the faith is real, then the good works will be there.

But let there be no mistake. If the works are not there, eternal life is not granted (except of course, for cases like the thief on the cross who did not have the time to do the good works).

Richard H
Sep 16th 2008, 02:39 PM
Hi Richard

I appreciated your reply but the following phrase had me a bit puzzled :hmm:

[/font]

Where do you get this idea of believers having a "grace period" and that this constitutes "receiving grace"? Also this one....



But the foolish virgins were shut out of the kingdom - are you saying that those who say the sinner's prayer were saved, then lost if they ignore the "grace-period" - or that, if they do not really repent and live a new life, they show they were never saved in the first place?



So am I, bro - so am I! :)

Hi Mark'sFan,
I’m not sure – it was from an internet sermon. I think it was Jim Searcy. If you like I can give you a link (via personal message).
He (I think it was he) spoke about the business world’s concept of grace period where one has a certain time frame to meet obligations. I thought it was a good analogy.

We are given our remaining time on this world and that is our grace-period. The thing is that we do not know the definite date it expires other than: it is the moment of death.

Now it IS true that we receive God’s grace at one point in time, but we must continue in His grace throughout our lives.

So the “sinner’s prayer” isn’t some magic phrase which gives us a free ticket to do what we want from then on out.
We have in fact been redeemed. To be “redeemed” means to be purchased. Sort of like: when one redeems a coupon.
“Jesus paid the price.” People love to say that, but never really think about what it means.

Now we are not redeemed to be slaves – but as sons and daughters.

I think of grace as an ongoing process which continually changes me. It began when I was born again, but that was only a birth. Babies must grow into children and children into adults – all while constantly receiving the grace of God, because we can do nothing (of value to Him) apart from Him. To begin to receive grace is not enough. Continue.

[FONT=Georgia]Joh 15:7 If you remain in Me, and My Words remain in you, whatever you desire you will ask, and it shall happen to you.

Joh 15:9 As the Father loved Me, I also loved you; continue in My love.

It is not my place to say that the foolish virgins were saved in the first place or not.
I believe they were.
They just wasted time thinking: there will be sufficient time later.
Because of this assumption, they never made any effort to get ready.
Now, virgins (waiting for marriage) is an analogy, and we can never make ourselves ready “enough”, but we must make choices about what is really important – even when we see no immediate benefit or result.

Imagine that you have planted a garden.
You till the soil and add nutrients.
You water it and make sure it gets just the right amount of sunshine.

Then when the garden is ready to harvest, you notice that some of the plants were attacked by ants.
Others were too shallow in the soil and produced some fruit, but it withered.
You’d toss these plants out, because the resulting fruit is missing or withered.
It isn’t something you want on the table.

Jesus said some things which are hard to accept.
We like to think of God as all loving – and He is.
But He is also a Holy God, a righteous God, a God who desires that we place Him above all else.
If God was that gardener, He too would toss out the useless plants.

Richard

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
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.
Mat 7:17-21

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
Mat 12:33

Then hear the parable of the sower:
Everyone hearing the Word of the kingdom, and not understanding, then the evil one comes and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is that sown by the roadside.
And that sown on the stony places is this: the one hearing the Word, and immediately receiving it with joy,
but has no root in himself, but is temporary, and tribulation, or persecution occurring because of the Word, he is at once offended.
And that sown into the thorn bushes is this: the one hearing the Word, and the anxiety of this age, and the deceit of riches, choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful.
But that sown on the good ground is this: the one hearing the Word, and understanding it, who indeed bears and yields fruit, one truly a hundredfold, and one sixty, and one thirty.
Mat 13:19-23

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
Luk 8:15

Richard H
Sep 16th 2008, 03:05 PM
(continued)
While you are alive, you are in your grace-period.
Always return to the Lord.
Lean and rely on Him.

Heb 2:18 For in what He has suffered, being tried, He is able to help those being tried.
Heb 7:25 And from this He is able to save to the end completely the ones drawing near to God through Him, forever living to intercede on their behalf.

We may have some really tough times ahead, so use the time wisely.
Read His Word everyday. Talk to Him throughout each day.
Trust in YHWH and seek to please Him – not for a reward, but because He deserves it.
His Spirit will enable you to produce good fruit.

Jas 4:8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners! And purify your hearts, double minded ones!

Stand firm ‘till the end of your grace-period.
Richard

keck553
Sep 16th 2008, 03:59 PM
All of these things are filthy rags and worthless works unless we are in relationship with Yeshua. There are two ways I have come to know my Redeemer better than my best friend.

1. Trust in His Word
2. Prayer closet

You can be charitable, loving, 'good', or whatever until the cows come home, but when you're at that door the last thing you want to hear is "I do not know you"

9Marksfan
Sep 16th 2008, 06:01 PM
Yes, but........

Paul is quite clear that our ultimate justification and salvation will be based on the good works that our lives manifest:

There is a world of difference and significance between teh above comment......

...and this one


If you wish to think of the "good works" as the evidence of the reality of a saving faith and faith alone is the key to justification in that "good works" naturally flow from such faith, I am perfectly happy to agree with such a characterization. If the faith is real, then the good works will be there.

This is what I can't understand about you and the NPP folk, drew - what you've just said IS true - but it's DIAMETRICALLY opposed to your first statement - we are justified (declared righteous) by faith ALONE AT CONVERSION and THROUGHOUT our lives as believers - but such faith is NEVER alone - it always produces good works. But if we are justified by works, then we cannot say that we are justified the moment we believe - in fact, we can NEVER know when we're justified, because (as you said some months ago) we don't know how much is "enough"! Your big problem is in the various uses of the word dikaioo in the NT - sometimes it's by God and sometimes it's by the world - and ultimately it's by the whole created order!


But let there be no mistake. If the works are not there, eternal life is not granted (except of course, for cases like the thief on the cross who did not have the time to do the good works).

Wasn't his public confession of Christ and the wonderful things he said in those few words ample evidence of his justifiying faith?

9Marksfan
Sep 16th 2008, 06:20 PM
Hi Mark'sFan,
I’m not sure – it was from an internet sermon. I think it was Jim Searcy. If you like I can give you a link (via personal message).

Please do - my Inbox is just about maxed out, so if you can't send one, send a Visitor Message.


He (I think it was he) spoke about the business world’s concept of grace period where one has a certain time frame to meet obligations. I thought it was a good analogy.

It is - but better whe applied to the world, not the believer. Grace is not conditional - or it wouldn't be grace! :)


We are given our remaining time on this world and that is our grace-period. The thing is that we do not know the definite date it expires other than: it is the moment of death.

For unbelievers, I think this may be true - but for some (Judas and Esau are the prime examples), it is sometimes BEFORE death.....


Now it IS true that we receive God’s grace at one point in time, but we must continue in His grace throughout our lives.

But doesn't God continue with His own?


So the “sinner’s prayer” isn’t some magic phrase which gives us a free ticket to do what we want from then on out.
We have in fact been redeemed. To be “redeemed” means to be purchased. Sort of like: when one redeems a coupon.
“Jesus paid the price.” People love to say that, but never really think about what it means.

Amen! Completely with you on all this! :thumbsup:


Now we are not redeemed to be slaves – but as sons and daughters.

I think of grace as an ongoing process which continually changes me. It began when I was born again, but that was only a birth. Babies must grow into children and children into adults – all while constantly receiving the grace of God, because we can do nothing (of value to Him) apart from Him. To begin to receive grace is not enough. Continue.

Joh 15:7 If you remain in Me, and My Words remain in you, whatever you desire you will ask, and it shall happen to you.

Joh 15:9 As the Father loved Me, I also loved you; continue in My love.

Amen!


It is not my place to say that the foolish virgins were saved in the first place or not.
I believe they were.

Er, aren't you contradicting yourself here? On what basis do you say that? Jesus says that he will lose none of those the Father has given Him - that we will never perish. The foolish virgins clearly perished - and Jesus says he did not know them.....


They just wasted time thinking: there will be sufficient time later.
Because of this assumption, they never made any effort to get ready.

Very true - how many THOUSANDS are there in our churches today in this very position?


Now, virgins (waiting for marriage) is an analogy, and we can never make ourselves ready “enough”, but we must make choices about what is really important – even when we see no immediate benefit or result.

Amen!


Imagine that you have planted a garden.
You till the soil and add nutrients.
You water it and make sure it gets just the right amount of sunshine.

Then when the garden is ready to harvest, you notice that some of the plants were attacked by ants.
Others were too shallow in the soil and produced some fruit, but it withered.
You’d toss these plants out, because the resulting fruit is missing or withered.
It isn’t something you want on the table.

Jesus said some things which are hard to accept.
We like to think of God as all loving – and He is.
But He is also a Holy God, a righteous God, a God who desires that we place Him above all else.
If God was that gardener, He too would toss out the useless plants.

Richard

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
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.
Mat 7:17-21

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
Mat 12:33

Then hear the parable of the sower:
Everyone hearing the Word of the kingdom, and not understanding, then the evil one comes and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is that sown by the roadside.
And that sown on the stony places is this: the one hearing the Word, and immediately receiving it with joy,
but has no root in himself, but is temporary, and tribulation, or persecution occurring because of the Word, he is at once offended.
And that sown into the thorn bushes is this: the one hearing the Word, and the anxiety of this age, and the deceit of riches, choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful.
But that sown on the good ground is this: the one hearing the Word, and understanding it, who indeed bears and yields fruit, one truly a hundredfold, and one sixty, and one thirty.
Mat 13:19-23

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
Luk 8:15

Excellent points, Richard - but the crucial difference in our understanding is whether those who do not bear fruit are truly saved and the recipients of grace in the first place. I think the point is hugely important, because it has enormous implications concerning God's trustworthiness and commitment to us and His determination (or otherwise) to save us to the uttermost. Think it through!

drew
Sep 16th 2008, 06:22 PM
This is what I can't understand about you and the NPP folk, drew - what you've just said IS true - but it's DIAMETRICALLY opposed to your first statement - we are justified (declared righteous) by faith ALONE AT CONVERSION and THROUGHOUT our lives as believers - but such faith is NEVER alone - it always produces good works. But if we are justified by works, then we cannot say that we are justified the moment we believe - in fact, we can NEVER know when we're justified, because (as you said some months ago) we don't know how much is "enough"! Your big problem is in the various uses of the word dikaioo in the NT - sometimes it's by God and sometimes it's by the world - and ultimately it's by the whole created order!
I believe I am being entirely consistent. I cannot speak for other proponents of the NPP, but you are correct in characterizing me as falling into that camp.

I believe the error lies in thinking that justification must be a one-time event. So, quite, naturally, you see a conflict between the two statements that I have made. But I am only following Paul here. Let me try to put it this way. Our justification "by faith" in the present really consists in advance knowledge of the certainty of our future justification by good works.

We simply do not need to know "how much is enough". That is the the job of the Holy Spirit.

Paul means what he says in Romans 2. And he clearly states (as does Jesus by the way) that ultimate justification is based on the good works that are made manifest in the life of the believer. Watch what people do with Romans 2. What do you think Paul means when he writes these very words:

6God "will give to each person according to what he has done."[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%202;&version=31;#fen-NIV-27954a)] 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life

I think that these words mean exactly what they say - the content of our lives as lived - "persistence in doing good" is the basis - the criteria according to which (verse 6) we will get eternal life.

You seem to think that Paul cannot hold that our ultimate justification is assured in the present, by faith and faith alone, and yet is actually rendered, at that future time, according to good works.

Well, challenging as this may be, Paul indeed holds to this seemingly odd position.

But he explains himself - the Holy Spirit guarantees that the good works will be there. So, he can indeed truly right that we "are justified" in the present by faith and faith alone.

Richard H
Sep 16th 2008, 06:56 PM
[/font]

Please do - my Inbox is just about maxed out, so if you can't send one, send a Visitor Message.



It is - but better whe applied to the world, not the believer. Grace is not conditional - or it wouldn't be grace! :)



For unbelievers, I think this may be true - but for some (Judas and Esau are the prime examples), it is sometimes BEFORE death.....



But doesn't God continue with His own?



Amen! Completely with you on all this! :thumbsup:



Amen!



Er, aren't you contradicting yourself here? On what basis do you say that? Jesus says that he will lose none of those the Father has given Him - that we will never perish. The foolish virgins clearly perished - and Jesus says he did not know them.....



Very true - how many THOUSANDS are there in our churches today in this very position?



Amen!

[font=Georgia]

Excellent points, Richard - but the crucial difference in our understanding is whether those who do not bear fruit are truly saved and the recipients of grace in the first place. I think the point is hugely important, because it has enormous implications concerning God's trustworthiness and commitment to us and His determination (or otherwise) to save us to the uttermost. Think it through!

You may be right about the foolish virgins. Certainly their lack of attention indicates a lack of authenticity. It could be that Satan distracted them. Even having made a "commitment" they still have free will.

Only God knows their hearts.
He IS trustworthy if we remain in Him. And He will keep they who belong to Him.

God's commitment to us is (I hate to use the word...) clearly :rolleyes: seen in what Jesus did for us.

The ones who are not recognized at the door seem (to me) to be the leaders. They need to check their doctrine to be sure they are on the right path toward the narrow gate.

Personally, I think paganism has infiltrated our ranks and we don't even recognize it. (but that's another thread)