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BadDog
Jun 9th 2010, 04:11 PM
How much faith or what kind of faith does it take to save?

The purpose of this thread is not to debate eternal security, nor to debate the conditions of the gospel message. But of course, we will naturally drift into the latter. The purpose of this thread is to carefully think through the following:

What is faith?
What kind of faith saves?
What if faith ceases?

We will of necessity need to consider Greek grammatical principles. On the first post after this OP, I will give a brief background for those not as familiar with Greek grammar. But I do not want anyone to feel that they need to be proficient in Greek IOT participate in this discussion! I'm sure that many of you will also be able to find cross reference passages to support your position on faith. Hopefully, we will all have something to think about as we consider what each of us is posting.

Finally, it is difficult to design a poll that satisfies everyone... hence the "other" option. :D

Faith and salvation: the kind of faith described in John's gospel and letters and Paul's writings, is it continuous in nature or point-in-time kind of faith? To say that it is point-in-time is not to say that it lasts necessarily only for a moment. The question is "What is the kind of faith seen in John 3:16?", for example. Was it linear, continuous kind-of faith that continues throughout a lifetime or else it was not real salvivic faith?

To say that it may not be continuous in nature does not presuppose that faith will cease. But it does assume that the promises to Christians take effect the moment (point-in-time) that a person believes the gospel message and trusts in Christ. It does assume that the moment that we trusted in Christ that we were born again... born spiritually... regenerated (whichever term you prefer). Those who hold to a faith that is continuous will (should) insist that real saving faith is continuous, and hence that unless we endure to the end that we never really believed, or perhaps that we stopped believing and hence are no longer saved, though the latter may be difficult to defend. Those are the two extremes.

I feel that the best way to differentiate our various perspectives is to consider what kind of faith "regenerates." Now for you Reformed users, don't worry about the ordo salutis ("logical order of salvation"). The question for you becomes what kind of faith results from regeneration.

So then: "What kind of faith regenerates?"

Continuous: Saving faith must be active, hence the faith that saved was continuous
Middle-ground: Faith may dwindle at times, even cease, but it always returns
Point-in-time: Saving faith is point-in-time kind of faith.
Other or "I'm not sure"


Thx,

BD

Redeemed by Grace
Jun 9th 2010, 04:16 PM
How much faith or what kind of faith does it take to save?

The purpose of this thread is not to debate eternal security, nor to debate the conditions of the gospel message. But of course, we will naturally drift into the latter. The purpose of this thread is to carefully think through the following:

What is faith?
What kind of faith saves?
What if faith ceases?

We will of necessity need to consider Greek grammatical principles. On the first post after this OP, I will give a brief background for those not as familiar with Greek grammar. But I do not want anyone to feel that they need to be proficient in Greek IOT participate in this discussion! I'm sure that many of you will also be able to find cross reference passages to support your position on faith. Hopefully, we will all have something to think about as we consider what each of us is posting.

Finally, it is difficult to design a poll that satisfies everyone... hence the "other" option. :D

Faith and salvation: the kind of faith described in John's gospel and letters and Paul's writings, is it continuous in nature or point-in-time kind of faith? To say that it is point-in-time is not to say that it lasts necessarily only for a moment. The question is "What is the kind of faith seen in John 3:16?", for example. Was it linear, continuous kind-of faith that continues throughout a lifetime or else it was not real salvivic faith?

To say that it may not be continuous in nature does not presuppose that faith will cease. But it does assume that the promises to Christians take effect the moment (point-in-time) that a person believes the gospel message and trusts in Christ. It does assume that the moment that we trusted in Christ that we were born again... born spiritually... regenerated (whichever term you prefer). Those who hold to a faith that is continuous will (should) insist that real saving faith is continuous, and hence that unless we endure to the end that we never really believed, or perhaps that we stopped believing and hence are no longer saved, though the latter may be difficult to defend. Those are the two extremes.

I feel that the best way to differentiate our various perspectives is to consider what kind of faith "regenerates." Now for you Reformed users, don't worry about the ordo salutis ("logical order of salvation"). The question for you becomes what kind of faith results from regeneration.

So then: "What kind of faith regenerates?"

Continuous: Saving faith must be active, hence the faith that saved was continuous
Middle-ground: Faith may dwindle at times, even cease, but it always returns
Point-in-time: Saving faith is point-in-time kind of faith.
Other or "I'm not sure"


Thx,

BD

Hi BD...


OH Boy, you must enjoy swimming with the sharks...

Two things, this isn't set up as a poll, just in case you didn't realize it until now. And secondly, you forgot to include those responses that say that saving Faith is given by God upon a believer.

I think I'm going to take a bye on this thread for a while and see what happens...

BadDog
Jun 9th 2010, 04:21 PM
Hi BD...


OH Boy, you must enjoy swimming with the sharks...

Two things, this isn't set up as a poll, just in case you didn't realize it until now. And secondly, you forgot to include those responses that say that saving Faith is given by God upon a believer.

I think I'm going to take a bye on this thread for a while and see what happens...RbG,

Actually, you responded in the middle of the process. I didn't forget to include the Reformed view of saving faith. I addressed that in the OP. Whether one believes faith is a gift or not, what kind of faith is it? I phrased it as "faith which regenerates" because then people would be clear on what I am asking. :D I suppose you would prefer something like, "What kind of faith justifies?"

When you set up a poll, you have to submit the OP first, then they give you the opportunity to write the poll. I actually just cut-n-pasted the 4 possibilities very quickly - perhaps two minutes after submitting - but you were just too quick on the draw. :thumbsup:

BD

Redeemed by Grace
Jun 9th 2010, 04:25 PM
RbG,

Actually, you responded in the middle of the process. I didn't forget to include the Reformed view of saving faith. I addressed that in the OP. Whether one believes faith is a gift or not, what kind of faith is it? When you set up a poll, you have to submit the OP first, then they give you the opportunity to write the poll. I actually just cut-n-pasted the 4 possibilities very quickly - perhaps two minutes - but you were just too quick on the draw.

BD

Sorry.. wasn't trying to be slow or quick, it was just there when I was.... Must be the providence of God that I caught this before you moved quicker.

I hope your tennis moves are faster than your posting moves... :P:rofl:

BadDog
Jun 9th 2010, 04:27 PM
Sorry.. wasn't trying to be slow or quick, it was just there when I was.... Must be the providence of God that I caught this before you moved quicker.

I hope your tennis moves are faster than your posting moves... :P:rofl:
Uh, well last weekend I was playing great in mixed doubles... perhaps the best I've ever played. But my doubles partner got sick--turned out to be food poisoning--and we had to default, though leading.

Take care,

BD

BadDog
Jun 9th 2010, 05:18 PM
Concerning Koine Greek verbs, there are two things to consider:

The time of the action ("past," "present" or "future")
The kind of the action ("aspect")

Before we can look into tenses, we need to look at what is referred to as the "mood." Mood has to do with whether or not the action of the verb is actually taking place, or the degree of potential action. The indicative mood is the actuality mood. It refers to action really taking place (or having really taken place in the past or that will take place in the future). There are other moods of potential action: subjunctive, optative and imperative. Now only in the indicative mood is the "time of action" a factor. I know, hard to think of present tense and not think about when it takes place. But if it were, for example, present tense subjunctive mood action, all that matters is the kind of action. We cannot assume that the time of the action must be in the present.

That said, there are various kinds of action. "point-in-time" kind of action is referred to as "punctiliar." Another basic kind of action is referred to as "linear" action. That means that it has some endurance. For example, I may have given someone a 5 dollar bill. I would probably use punctiliar kind of action to express that. But if I am going to be playing tennis tonight (hopefully :P ) I would probably best use linear kind of action, since I won't just be hitting the ball once (again, hopefully!).

The present tense and the future tenses have linear aspect. Now, there are other kinds of action, but they do not in general play a role in this discussion. (Well, I will probably refer to the perfect tense, which is a past tense in Koine Greek. The kind of action there is punctiliar in the past with a linear state that continues into the present.) Edited-added: There are different types of past tense (imperfect, perfect, pluperfect, aorist), but only one type of either future or present tense.

OK, here's how this Greek grammar is used sometimes to argue for faith being enduring: It is argued that since the present tense usually used by John in his gospel when he refers to "believing" has an aspect (kind of action) which is continuous that the faith presupposed by John was faith that continues throughout the life. I'll leave that for those interested to debate. I will only say at this point that it is "linear" not "continuous" kind of action. There is a significant difference.

Sorry about the technical stuff. You can just ignore it if you prefer and argue your case based on scripture which you think supports your point. I'll make my point for punctiliar faith saving in a while.


OK, the game is afoot!

BD

notuptome
Jun 9th 2010, 05:40 PM
How do we describe the faith of Jesus Christ?

For the cause of Christ
Roger

BadDog
Jun 9th 2010, 05:50 PM
How do we describe the faith of Jesus Christ?

For the cause of Christ
RogerRoger,

By this do you mean the faith that Jesus had when he was here, living on earth? Is that relevant to this question? What do you think?

BD

notuptome
Jun 9th 2010, 06:29 PM
Roger,

By this do you mean the faith that Jesus had when he was here, living on earth? Is that relevant to this question? What do you think?

BD
Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Jesus was tempted, tested, tried in every point like as we yet without sin. By His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many.

I think it is the crucial element of what "saving" faith must be. God is faithful even and especially when we are not.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

BadDog
Jun 9th 2010, 07:00 PM
Are there criteria for faith to really be faith? Should we qualify or in some manner set up some criteria which must be met for "real" faith?

IMO it is significant that we don't see qualifiers used in John's gospel with the word PISTOS ("faith") or PISTEUW ("to believe"). John does not condition salvation on whether or not someone "really" believes" or "truly" believes. Where does the Bible refer to "genuine faith," "real faith," or "faith which is not real," for that matter?

IMO there's only one kind of faith. We either believe something or we do not believe it. How many times have I heard people referring to "spurious" faith or "genuine" faith? I don't see that in scripture. Now, let me be clear here though, that I do believe that someone may say they believe in Christ, and yet not actually have faith. I am not saying that to refer to "real" faith is not legitimate... but why doesn't the bible do so? That is significant IMO.

Let's compare. Does John refer to real things elsewhere in his gospel? Yes:

John 1:9 The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
John 1:47 Then Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said about him, "See an Israelite indeed; in whom is ho guile."
John 4:23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father seeks such people to worship Him.
John 6:32 Jesus said to them, "I assure you: Moses didn't give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the real bread from heaven.
John 8:16 And if I do judge, My judgment is true, because I am not alone, but I and the Father who sent Me
John 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, you are really My disciples.
John 15:1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper..."
John 17:3 "This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent -- Jesus Christ."

So why doesn't John talk about true faith? Though at times our faith is immature, weak or wavering, it is always enough for us to receive the free gift of eternal life. Faith alone is sufficient. If this were not true, then how can we ever have genuine assurance?

But assurance is possible. Jesus said that whoever believes "has" (present tense) eternal life and "has crossed over" (perfect tense) from death into life (John 5:24).

Eternal life does not depend upon how one believes or the kind of faith they have, but upon Whom one believes in--trusts upon.

Comments?

BD

BadDog
Jun 9th 2010, 07:01 PM
Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Jesus was tempted, tested, tried in every point like as we yet without sin. By His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many.

I think it is the crucial element of what "saving" faith must be. God is faithful even and especially when we are not.

For the cause of Christ
RogerRoger,

OK. Thx. Now, is there a relationship between faith and faithfulness?

notuptome
Jun 9th 2010, 07:26 PM
Roger,

OK. Thx. Now, is there a relationship between faith and faithfulness?
Yes. Active faith allows me to act knowing that God being faithful will order my actions to glorify Him. Passive faith remains unshaken and secure even when all around me seems hopeless seeing Gods promises as secure.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

inn
Jun 9th 2010, 08:58 PM
RbG,
I phrased it as "faith which regenerates" :thumbsup:
BD

BD, just iorning out things in the begining. I know it's a para-phrase, but I am scratching my head over this one. Isn't He the One who regenerates us and not our faith? Please put me at ease here.
Love

RogerW
Jun 9th 2010, 11:08 PM
BD, just iorning out things in the begining. I know it's a para-phrase, but I am scratching my head over this one. Isn't He the One who regenerates us and not our faith? Please put me at ease here.
Love

I was actually thinking along these same lines. It's become very common to believe we place our faith in Christ and in response God extends to us His grace. It is by grace ye are saved, through faith that comes as part and parcel of eternal life, all in salvation as a whole package, the gracious gift of God. It is impossible to separate faith from grace for salvation.

Blessings,
RW

BadDog
Jun 9th 2010, 11:29 PM
BD, just ironing out things in the begining. I know it's a para-phrase, but I am scratching my head over this one. Isn't He the One who regenerates us and not our faith? Please put me at ease here.
LoveOf course, Inn. But faith is the catalyst. Some don't think so. Some feel that God regenerates us and as a result we believe. That's what RbG and I were trying to iron out. I titled the thread as, "What kind of faith results in new birth (regeneration)?" IOW, what kind of faith saves? "For BY grace are we saved THROUGH faith, and this is not our own doing..." Inn, all I'm trying to do here is discuss the faith that saves. Presently we are considering the duration of the faith. Later I thought we might look into the object of our faith and then the content of our faith. But right now... the duration of our faith.

Thx

BD

RogerW
Jun 9th 2010, 11:41 PM
Of course, Inn. But faith is the catalyst. Some don't think so. Some feel that God regenerates us and as a result we believe. That's what RbG and I were trying to iron out. I titled the thread as, "What kind of faith results in new birth (regeneration)?" IOW, what kind of faith saves? "For BY grace are we saved THROUGH faith, and this is not our own doing..." Inn, all I'm trying to do here is discuss the faith that saves. Presently we are considering the duration of the faith. Later I thought we might look into the object of our faith and then the content of our faith. But right now... the duration of our faith.

Thx

BD

But again BD it sounds as though you are saying "our" faith saves us. That cannot be! "The" faith that saves us is the faith 'of' Christ that is created in us for salvation.

Blessings,
RW

BadDog
Jun 9th 2010, 11:44 PM
I was actually thinking along these same lines. It's become very common to believe we place our faith in Christ and in response God extends to us His grace. It is by grace ye are saved, through faith that comes as part and parcel of eternal life, all in salvation as a whole package, the gracious gift of God. It is impossible to separate faith from grace for salvation.

Blessings,
RWRoger,

Not exactly. Some believe that God has extended His grace to mankind, not just the elect. Faith is the means of appropriating grace for non-Reformed. But the purpose of this thread is not to discuss the ordo salutis or limited atonement. The purpose is to discuss the faith needed to be justified. Whether we see faith as the catalyst or in a Reformed manner, describe that faith.

Thx,

BD

BadDog
Jun 9th 2010, 11:56 PM
But again BD it sounds as though you are saying "our" faith saves us. That cannot be! "The" faith that saves us if the faith 'of' Christ that is created in us for salvation.

Blessings,
RWRoger,

Well that's where you and I will disagree, of course... that our faith is not really our faith, but is created in us for salvation. I'm really not trying to be difficult, guys. I tried to phrase the question in a manner that most here would understand. You say that it's God's faith--created in us. I believe that faith cannot be faith, by definition, if it is not our own. No one can believe for me or give me their faith. So we will disagree there. And our faith does not save us. God saves us (grace)--it's a gift. But we are saved through faith. What I want us to do here is describe this faith.

But regardless, here's what I said, "For BY grace are we saved THROUGH faith, and this is not our own doing..." You can't find fault with that. It's scripture. Incidentally, the demonstrative pronoun "this" (τοῦτο) is not pointing to, cannot be pointing to, faith, as its antecedent. That is not grammatically possible, for the pronoun must agree with its antecedent in gender and number. πίστεως ("faith") is feminine and singular. τοῦτο ("this") is neuter and singular. There is no neuter noun to be pointing forward to either. (It's not as common for a demonstrative pronoun to point forward [a postcedent].) When a pronoun is pointing toward a general concept in context, a neuter pronoun is used. That may be what we have here. People have been trying to figure this one out for ages. I see it as referring to "salvation by grace through faith" as the antecedent. Can there be any disagreement that "salvation by grace through faith" is not our own doing? ...that it's a gift of God? BTW, that is a common, well-received explanation. It does work. But regardless, "this" cannot be pointing toward "faith."

ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι ("We are having been saved") is a compound verb. A noun "salvation" is not there, so a neuter demonstrative pronoun would be needed to point toward "salvation" as a concept.

The question about the faith referenced in this verse is what is its duration? If its duration must be forever, then we can never have assurance of salvation. We'll never know if we had that kind of faith until we see our Savior. (You'd perhaps prefer to express it as never knowing if we are among the elect or if we were regenerated truly until we see our Savior.)

So perhaps you'd prefer to refer to this faith as that which is created upon our regeneration. My question remains, "How do we describe this faith? Must it be continual faith?"

BD

RogerW
Jun 10th 2010, 12:00 AM
Roger,

Not exactly. Some believe that God has extended His grace to mankind, not just the elect. Faith is the means of appropriating grace for non-Reformed. But the purpose of this thread is not to discuss the ordo salutis or limited atonement. The purpose is to discuss the faith need to be justified. Whether we see faith as the catalyst or in a Reformed manner, describe that faith.

Thx,

BD

Hi BD,

I would say God is certainly gracious to all mankind, for He makes the rain to fall on both the just and the unjust. But that which produces a Divine influence upon our hearts (grace), that causes us to be persuaded of the truthfulness of Christ (faith) unto salvation is for only those who believe. Of course the next question, where you prefer not to go...who will believe?

The faith unto salvation is that which comes by grace when we are morally convicted of the truthfulness of God, especially reliance upon Christ for salvation, by the power of the Word proclaimed and Spirit.

Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Jun 10th 2010, 12:08 AM
Roger,

Well that's where you and I will disagree, of course... that our faith is not really our faith, but is created in us for salvation.

But regardless, here's what I said, "For BY grace are we saved THROUGH faith, and this is not our own doing..." You can't find fault with that. Incidentally, the demonstrative pronoun "this" is not pointing to, cannot be pointing to, faith. It is referring to salvation, which is not our own doing.

I agree! But salvation is a package deal...all by grace through faith = the gift of salvation. You are correct in saying salvation is not our own doing...how could that be true if it is "our" faith that saves us, and faith is absolutely necessary for salvation?



The question about the faith referenced in this verse is what is its duration? If its duration must be forever, then we can never have assurance of salvation. We'll never know if we had that kind of faith until we see our Savior.

BD

This is a bit easier. For faith to endure it must have an object. That object of course is Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore faith must always rely upon Christ...He must increase, and I must decrease. When my faith is fixed in reliance upon Him, then my faith is stedfast, and will endure.

Blessings,
RW

2 Peter 2:20
Jun 10th 2010, 12:38 AM
Concerning Koine Greek verbs, there are two things to consider:

The time of the action ("past," "present" or "future")
The kind of the action ("aspect")

Before we can look into tenses, we need to look at what is referred to as the "mood." Mood has to do with whether or not the action of the verb is actually taking place, or the degree of potential action. The indicative mood is the actuality mood. It refers to action really taking place (or having really taken place in the past or that will take place in the future). There are other moods of potential action: subjunctive, optative and imperative. Now only in the indicative mood is the "time of action" a factor. I know, hard to think of present tense and not think about when it takes place. But if it were, for example, present tense subjunctive mood action, all that matters is the kind of action. We cannot assume that the time of the action must be in the present.

That said, there are various kinds of action. "point-in-time" kind of action is referred to as "punctiliar." Another basic kind of action is referred to as "linear" action. That means that it has some endurance. For example, I may have given someone a 5 dollar bill. I would probably use punctiliar kind of action to express that. But if I am going to be playing tennis tonight (hopefully :P ) I would probably best use linear kind of action, since I won't just be hitting the ball once (again, hopefully!).

The present tense and the future tenses have linear aspect. Now, there are other kinds of action, but they do not in general play a role in this discussion. (Well, I will probably refer to the perfect tense, which is a past tense in Koine Greek. The kind of action there is punctiliar in the past with a linear state that continues into the present.) Edited-added: There are different types of past tense (imperfect, perfect, pluperfect, aorist), but only one type of either future or present tense.

OK, here's how this Greek grammar is used sometimes to argue for faith being enduring: It is argued that since the present tense usually used by John in his gospel when he refers to "believing" has an aspect (kind of action) which is continuous that the faith presupposed by John was faith that continues throughout the life. I'll leave that for those interested to debate. I will only say at this point that it is "linear" not "continuous" kind of action. There is a significant difference.

Sorry about the technical stuff. You can just ignore it if you prefer and argue your case based on scripture which you think supports your point. I'll make my point for punctiliar faith saving in a while.


OK, the game is afoot!

BD

there you go again...talking over my head...as usual!

BadDog
Jun 10th 2010, 12:57 AM
Hi BD,

I would say God is certainly gracious to all mankind, for He makes the rain to fall on both the just and the unjust. But that which produces a Divine influence upon our hearts (grace), that causes us to be persuaded of the truthfulness of Christ (faith) unto salvation is for only those who believe. Of course the next question, where you prefer not to go...who will believe?

I agree there. The underlined portion is where we partially disagree. Those who are chosen by God will believe. (Surprised?) I too absolutely hold that unless there is a divine influence upon our hearts we will not believe. But I think that the offer is truly for "whosoever will" and I have a different ordo salutis--not calling this divine influence "regeneration." But I genuinely hold to individual (not just corporate) election, as well as "free will." Just so you know my position... not trying to debate this. :spin: I have a Molinism position of God's knowledge, which enables both to be concordant.


The faith unto salvation is that which comes by grace when we are morally convicted of the truthfulness of God, especially reliance upon Christ for salvation, by the power of the Word proclaimed and Spirit.

Blessings,
RW
Agreed. But the question is: "Describe that faith?" (You probably already have in later posts.)

Thx,

BD

BadDog
Jun 10th 2010, 01:14 AM
I agree! But salvation is a package deal...all by grace through faith = the gift of salvation. You are correct in saying salvation is not our own doing...how could that be true if it is "our" faith that saves us, and faith is absolutely necessary for salvation?
I agree--"salvation by grace through [our God-initiated] faith." Now I insist that it being "our faith" is true, and it must be our faith for salvation to not be our own doing. Otherwise, we introduce works salvation. Surprised? The very essence of faith is depending not upon our own efforts, but upon what God has done, through Christ in our place. Again, I am sure that you agree with me here. But faith is not a work. Paul constantly contrasted faith and works. Works is depending upon our own works-righteousness. Faith is depending upon imputed righteousness-Christ's work in our behalf. So I repeat, if it is not our faith, then we are not depending upon God to save us... must be depending upon our own efforts or virtues to some degree, and that is not the means to eternal life.


This is a bit easier. For faith to endure it must have an object. That object of course is Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore faith must always rely upon Christ...He must increase, and I must decrease. When my faith is fixed in reliance upon Him, then my faith is steadfast, and will endure.

Blessings,
RW
I am going to really enjoy this thread, I think. I imagine you will say that if a person's faith is not steadfast--does not endure--then he was never really saved in the first place. He was a "false professor," or something like that. Is that right?

I think I will post my thoughts on why faith is point-in-time kind of faith. Sure, it should endure. Perhaps we can say that a genuine believer's faith will endure. But what kind of faith do we find in John 3:16? Of course, you do not see that faith as a requirement for eternal life. But most people do. And if their faith must endure, then that is salvation by works in my book. I see that in your soteriology it's somewhat of an empty question, since true saints will persevere. But for others, it is something for them to deal with.

Thx Roger. I really appreciate your comments.

BD

BadDog
Jun 10th 2010, 02:27 AM
Is the requirement for eternal life linear (continuous) or punctiliar (point-in-time) faith? I realize that my Calvinistic brothers will not see such faith as a requirement for salvation. I will also have to break this up into 2 or 3 parts. :o

Occasionally a claim is made that the present tense in Koine Greek is always an expression of continual action in the present. That is just not accurate. One reason this is important is that this is then used as an argument by some to say that if a Christian ever stops believing that he no longer has eternal life since eternal life is given in John's gospel, it is argued, based on "continuous action," which is then taken to mean unending action, which is an abuse of aspect or the kind of action for the present tense. It stems from a misunderstanding of the present tense in the indicative mood, and what is meant by linear kind of action.

Sorry, but the following will get somewhat technical. The intent is not to prevent those without a background in Greek from participating. But there is simply no way to address this issue, since it is based on what is referred to as aspect, or "kind of action." In any but the indicative mood (most common) the kind of action is what matters. Only in the indicative mood does the time of the action really become significant.

Greek grammars tell us that the present tense is linear type of action. In contrast, the aorist tense is punctiliar or point-in-time kind of action - occurring in general in a moment, not repeating or describing an ongoing kind of action.

The indicative mood present tense CAN often indicate linear action in Greek. But even common sense tells us that it does not ALWAYS, or even usually, do so. There is only one present tense in Greek, compared to several past tenses. If this claim were true, how would it be possible to indicate a point-in-time type of action in the present? It would not be possible. While on occasion the aorist past tense is used in such a way that it expresses simple action, and hence can be understood as occurring in the present, it is not a present tense, but past tense. Also, similarly the future tense behaves similar to the present tense in terms of being in general linear in other than the indicative mood, so how could we indicate point-in-time kind of action that occurs in the future, such as the future coming of Christ? It would not be possible to do say that Christ will come at a particular moment, in the twinkling of an eye.

I heard this claim about six years ago and did some research on it. This claim is typically made as a result of reading basic, first-year Greek grammars. In trying to simplify things there, the wrong impression is given, and some have run with this information--drawing somewhat inaccurate conclusions as a result. But hopefully the common sense stuff I would like to talk about now will be enough to convince some of you that the "present tense always means continuous action" claim could not be true, and is not grammatically sound either.

OK, I must apologize beforehand, but the following will get a little "messy," as I said. So let me give an overview first about what my arguments are going to be. Then those who want to wade through this to get to particular technical details can do so.



I will show that the context of John 3:16 alone indicates a point-in-time event. I refer to some Greek grammars to demonstrate that they say that the present tense is not always a "continuous" sort of tense, but performs double-duty. True, it is referred to, in general, as "linear" in basic grammars. However, such a statement is true, in general, only in other than the indicative mood, which is the most common mood in Greek. In the indicative mood the present tense can indicate either linear or punctiliar (point-in-time) aspect (kind of action).

But let me give you a primer for the comments to follow:

Present tense - linear or punctiliar (point-in-time/one-time) kind of action in indicative mood and linear in all other moods.

Aorist tense - a past tense punctiliar ("point-in-time") kind of action. Basically a simple expession that something happened in indicative, and always a punctiliar type of action in other moods.
I will then look at John 3:16 more closely, in particular at some aorist phrases there and draw some conclusions. Then I will list a few verses in which aorist action is indicated for belief in Christ. Now the aorist tense is used for point-in-time kind of action.

Then I will look at the present tense form for "believe" used in John's gospel, which is not in general a simple present tense, but articular participial present tense. And articular participles are often used as substantives, meaning that they essentially behave like nouns. That makes a significant difference. And that is the present tense form for PISTEUW in nearly every instance in John's gospel.

Then I will deal with what's referred to as the tensual fallacy. I give an example of the overplay of tense that is sometimes done with the use from John 6 of several references to Christ having come down from heaven. The present tense, aorist tense and perfect tense are all used to refer to the same event in 7 different verses. That certainly should alert us to be careful about making statements that are too dogmatic regarding tense.

I will look also at the tenses in John 1:12 in detail.

Then I will look at John 20:30, 31 where John expresses why he wrote this gospel. The tenses used there will make it clear that the present tense could not possibly have been intended to be viewed in a linear manner by John.

OK, I appreciate your patience.

So much for telling 'em what I'm going to say. :P

BD

BadDog
Jun 10th 2010, 02:31 AM
The most basic "mood" in koine Greek is indicative, indicating basic action taking place in real time. I spoke of other moods briefly earlier: imperative (commands-volitionally possible), subjunctive (possibility), optative (rare - subjectively possible). Bottom line, with all but the indicative mood the time of action is not significant at all, but the kind of action, the type of action, is emphasized. So in all but the indicative mood, the statement that present tense is a linear kind of action is true. In those moods, the aorist tense always indicates punctiliar (point-in-time) kind of action, and the present tense always indicates linear action. But in the indicative mood, that is not how it works. In the indicative mood, aorist indicates simple punctiliar action, while present tense indicates either punctiliar or linear action. Those with a Greek background, please hang with me here, for you do not see this expressed often, except perhaps in more advanced classes.

BTW, to say that the action is "linear" is not the same as saying that it is "continuous." So to say that action is continuous in the present does not lead to the conclusion that it will continue for any length of time into the future. Linear action simply describes the kind of action at the time, in this case, in the present. This is referred to as the dietic center of the action. It says nothing about the duration of said action. That is another common misconception about linear aspect.

Let me give a practical example of this. Suppose someone looked out the window and said (in koine Greek) that I was playing catch with my son in the front yard. The assumption would be of some sort of linear action... that I didn't just throw the ball to him once, and then turn around and walk into the house. If he had said, "He threw the ball to his son," then people might assume that I just threw it once - point-in-time kind of action. But now, let me ask, "If linear action had been described, would it be accurate to assume that at midnight that my son and I were still playing catch? Of course not! And that is what is referred to as the "tensual fallacy" made regarding tenses with linear aspect. As I said, nothing should be assumed about the duration of the action, unless something in the context made that clear. That's why I said that linear action is different from continuous action.

The tense of the Greek verb πιστεύω (PISTEUW) for "believe" in John 1:12 is a present tense articular participle. Because it's in the present tense, some have assumed in commentaries that this faith must be continuous IOT realize the promise of eternal life. (John MacArthur made such an assumption in The Gospel According to Jesus.) However, this does not make sense logically, since the giving of this eternal life is aorist and takes place the moment the faith occurs. The giving is conditioned upon the believing. So if believe meant continuous faith, then the giving could not be completed until death. And then we would be forced to conclude that eternal life could not be a present possession in this life since you would have to wait until death to get it. But this is obviously not the case as John 5:24 and 6:47 show. There we see that eternal life is a present possession once faith occurs. But there is also a large grammatical problem here as well. You see, "receive" is in the aorist tense and surrounded by aorist verbs denoting punctiliar action. (ἔλαβον [ELABON] - aorist active indicative 3P/plural - from λαμβάνω [LAMBANO]--"to receive") Although believe is in the present tense (a participle), it cannot denote continuous action since it is equated with the aoristic verb "received" in what is referred to as an appositive format.

Regarding the articular participle Robertson also said that the aorist participle has "the simple punctiliar action," pg. 859, but the present participle "with the article sometimes loses much of its verbal force," pg. 892. IOW, the articular present participle often acts more like an adjective or noun. In John we translate it as "whoever believes..." which idea could also be expressed as "all believers."

What Robertson has said here is that the present tense is a very poor indicator of continuous type action. In fact, even in cases where it would seem to be clearly indicating continuous action, that may not be what it is about.

But there's more in John 1:12 to indicate point-in-time action. The word typically translated "become" in this verse is an aorist infinitive (γενέσθαι GENESTHAI) and so it too is punctiliar and cannot mean that at some later time those who received Him would become God's children if they continue to believe. It's past tense, point-in-time action. And this aorist infinitive expresses action that is simultaneous with that of the two preceding finite aorists ἔλαβον-ELABON ("received") and ἔδωκεν-EDOKEN ("gave"). IOW, the moment of someone accepting/receiving Christ, that, too, is the moment of becoming a child of God. The fact that receiving Christ means receiving him by faith is clear from vs. 7 where we read, "...so that all might believe through Him."

Now aorist infinitives strongly point to punctiliar (point-in-time) action taking place--more so than a simple verb. This point-in-time nature of "become" demands that "received," "gave," and "believe" also be understood as point-in-time.

So then not only is the immediate context of "believe" in verse 12 surrounded with aorist verbs indicating point-in-time action, but the present tense participle "believe" is equated with the aorist tense verb "receive." They are synonymous expressions.

But we're not done here. What about the verb translated "believe" in v. 7? What tense is it? Aorist. And not just indicative aorist, it is an aorist subjunctive which as I said above ALWAYS specifies punctiliar ("point-in-time") action. In the indicative mood, the aorist tense is fairly "simple," not necessarily indicating too much more than that something happened, in typically punctiliar kind of action. But in other than indicative it is ALWAYS punctiliar! So then, one act of faith, punctiliar ("point-in-time") action, was required for faith to be saving. Continuous faith is not required. The action spoken of here is clearly point-in-time kind of action.

So you see, the use of the present tense itself simply does not imply that the action involved cannot stop. But there's more, since this is not a simple present tense. This is participial, and the present participle is usually used of actions that have stopped! For example consider John 9:8, "Isn't this the man who sat begging?" Actually, it is something like more literally, "Isn't this the one who sits begging?" Yes, you got it. The verb for "sits begging" is a present tense participle. So should we assume then that the man who had been healed by Jesus of his blindness continues to sit begging? "This is the man who is sitting begging." ?? In the final analysis the Greek construction of the present participle (with an article) translated by "he who believes" or "the one who believes" is merely descriptive. The participle is being used to simply identify the person as "a believer," but it does not specify anything at all about the continuity or kind of action, just as the participle for the blind man simply designates the man who used to sit there begging. It is essentially a substantive, acting like a noun.


Now, let's move on to a well-known and quoted verse--John 3:16. Notice that "should not perish" is in the aorist tense providing a completed state of never perishing at the moment one becomes "a believer." A completed action of never perishing cannot be affected by whether or not the believing continues on after that. Otherwise, the lexical meaning of the words make no sense. Furthermore, a completed action of never perishing is another way of saying that the person is in a state of possessing eternal life which is what immediately follows in parallel in John 3:16 after the connective word, "but" (ἀλλα-ALLA--strong "but"). "...whoever believes in Him should not perish BUT have eternal life". The two are clearly tied together. "Should not perish" is contrasted with "have eternal life."

So then, why would a continuous state of believing be necessary if a completed action of the aorist tense of "never perishing" results the moment one becomes a believer? It cannot be. The context here is very clear.

Now let's consider another popular verse, concerning Paul and Silas and the Philippian jailer... Acts 16:31 ("Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved") The tense there is aorist, which has a punctiliar (point-in-time) aspect. There clearly only a point-in-time kind of action can be indicated.

But with the present tense, the tense itself does not tell us whether the action is a one-time or a continuing event in the indicative mood. Zane Hodges in his book, Absolutely Free, pp. 211, 212 points out for example that in John 6 the author uses several Greek tenses to describe the same single event - the coming of the Lord from heaven to earth. He gives as examples:

John 6:33 "He who comes down from heaven" - (present tense)

John 6:38 "For I have come down from heaven" - (perfect tense)

John 6:41 "...because He said, 'I am the bread which came down from heaven'" - (aorist tense)

John 6:42 "He says, 'I have come down from heaven'" - (perfect tense)

John 6:50 "This is the bread which comes down from heaven" - (present tense)

John 6:51 "I am the living bread which came down from heaven" - (aorist tense)

John 6:58 "This is the bread which came down from heaven" - (aorist tense)

He says, "Obviously, in John 6 we are told nothing about the continuing of the action by the fact that one tense or another is used. Indeed, three tenses are used to describe the very same historical and unrepeated event of the Incarnation—and the present tense is one of them!

"Moreover, in John’s gospel, the present participle preceded by the definite article is often used to identify ‘the one who believes’ (or, ‘he who believes’). The use of the present tense does not imply that the action involved cannot stop. On the contrary, the present participle is used of actions that have stopped!"

And he gives the following examples:

Matthew 2:20 "those who sought [= article + present participle]...are dead"

Mark 5:16 "those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed" (= article + present participle)

Mark 6:14 "John the Baptist (= article + present participle) is risen from the dead"

John 9:8 "Is not this he who sat and begged?" (= article + two present participles)

Galatians 1:23 "He who formerly persecuted us" (= article + present participle).

"In the final analysis the Greek construction translated by ‘he who believes’ or ‘the one who believes’ is merely descriptive. It identifies a person as ‘a believer,’ but it does not specify anything at all about the continuity of the action. We do well to heed Robertson’s observation: "But usually the pres. part. is merely descriptive." See A. T. Robertson, []A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research[/u], (Nashville: Broadman, 1934), p. 891."

OK, in A. T. Robertson's grammar he spends 8 pages covering "Punctiliar (Aoristic) Present” tense. I read it and its footnotes several times very carefully--it was very clear that assertions regarding the continuous action of the present indicative tense are simply not valid.

A. T. Robertson, A Grammar Of The Greek New Testament In The Light Of Historical Research
A greater difficulty is due to the absence of distinction in the [present] tense between punctiliar and linear action. This defect is chiefly found in the indicative [mood], since in the subjunctive mood, optative mood, imperative mood, infinitive and participle, as already shown, the aorist is ALWAYS punctiliar and the so-called present practically always linear, unless the Aktionsart[vii] of the verb itself is strongly punctiliar...

But in the indicative present the sharp line drawn between the imperfect and aorist indicative (BD: both past time tenses) does not exist. There is nothing left to do but to divide the so-called Present Indicative into Aoristic Present and Durative Present (or Punctiliar Present and Linear Present). The one Greek form covers both ideas in the indicative mood.

It is not wise therefore to define the present indicative as denoting ‘action in progress’...due to the failure in the development of separate tenses for punctiliar and linear action in the indicative of present time.

In addition to Hodges' comment regarding Robertson, let me emphasize what I posted above found in Robertson on pp. 864-865, where he had lots of comments regarding the present tense and there he comments,

"There's nothing left to do but divide the so-called Pres. Ind. into Aorist Present and Durative Present (or Punt. Pres. & Linear Pres.). The one Greek form covers both ideas in the indicative."

"It follows ... that it is the context of a statement—and not the tense of the verb—that determines whether the action is viewed as a single act or as a continuing one."

So as is so often true in Greek, as in English, it is the context of a statement that is critical. What determines whether the action should be viewed as a point-in-time act or as a continuing one is not the subtle distinctives of the tense of a verb or participle. If you just consider the John 3:16 context as well as various other contexts in John, the meaning is clear--and it is most definitely not continuous.

In the context of John 3:16, John 3:14-17, the snake on a pole is used to illustrate Christ's death as the means of our salvation. Clearly this indicates that if one just looks once he is saved forever from the effects of the poison of the snake. Jesus used that to illustrate the cross and John 3:16. Obviously Jesus was not referring to the continuance of the believing, but that the person just needs to believe just as that Israelite just needed to look--once. So the analogy that Jesus used (or some say - John is commenting here) makes it clear that a single-moment of believe was the intention of the analogy.

Now that we've dealt with what is often referred to as the "tensual fallacy," let's look at other passages that indicate that point-in-time belief is what is required for eternal life:

Mark 16:16 "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."

"believes" = ὁ πιστεύσας (hO PISTEUSAS)--"the one believing" - a nominative sing., masc. aorist active participle. "but whoever does not believe" = ὁ δὲ ἀπιστήσας (hO DE APISTESAS)--a nominative sing., masc. aor. active participle (Note: the aorist tense indicates a point-in-time moment of faith in order to be saved.) But these are articular participles, indicating use more as a noun.

John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

"Whoever believes" = ὁ πιστεύων (hO PISTEUWN), and "But whoever does not believe" = hO DE ME PISTEUON are both - nominative sing. masc. present. active participles.

But, "because he has not believed" = ὅτι μὴ πεπίστευκεν (hOTI ME PEPISTEUKEN) - perfect tense, active, indicative, 3rd, sing. participle. Now the perfect tense signifies a completed action moment of faith (point-in-time) with an existing state of ongoing results in the present. And this is the requirement to avoid being condemned. Thus the present participle, "whoever believes" is paralleled with the perfect tense "because he has not believed," indicating that only a moment of faith is what's required IOT gain eternal life.

Acts 16:29-31 "The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household." I dealt with this before, so I'll stop there. Regarding the articular participle acting like a noun...
[quote]So "pas ho pisteuon" = "everyone who is the believing one", i.e, everyone who is the believer at the moment one begins believing.

I'll have to stop here, as I'm running out of space. In the last part, I'll quote other Greek grammars and books and articles to support my assertion.

Thx,

BD

BadDog
Jun 10th 2010, 02:36 AM
Following is more support for my assertion that saving faith in the NT is point-in-time kind of faith:

["Syntax of New Testament Greek", Brooks & Winbery, 1979, University Press, Lanham, Md, pp. 144]:

"THE SUBSTANTIVAL PARTICIPLE

The participle, like an adjective, may be used in the place of a noun or other substantive. The participle itself then functions as a noun. Its case, gender, and number are determined by its use in the sentence. It may be used in most of the ways in which a noun is used, e.g. as a subject nominative, as a dative of indirect object, as an accusative of direct object, etc. It may be used with or without an article. It always stands in the attributive position [following the article]."

I mentioned Acts 16:31, but Mark 16:16 also uses the aorist participle to describe saving faith as a one-time kind of action. Are there others? Yes. See Acts 11:17, 19:2 and 19:4. In the latter, it's a subjunctive aorist, which is ALWAYS punctiliar. In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit is given and He seals us as a result of an aorist (one-time) act of faith. According to 2 Thessalonians 2:12 we are condemned or judged based not on continuous believing, but based on aorist faith.

Now granted John uses the present tense consistently when referring to coming to faith in Christ. But in two instances, he also used aorist πιστεύω-PISTEUW ("believe"). (John 7:39 and John 20:29) There punctiliar (point-in-time) kind of faith is required to receive the spiritual, eternal life, imparted by the Spirit.

So if you just consider the John 3:16 context as well as various other contexts in John, the meaning is clear--and it is most definitely not continuous. I pointed out earlier that the snake on a pole illustration of Christ in John 3:14-18 clearly indicates that one just looks once and is healed forever from the effects of the poison of the snake. Obviously Jesus was not referring to the continuance of the believing, but that the person needs to believe just as that Israelite just needed to look--once. There was no implication in that illustration of a linear sort of looking that endures.

The context is clear. We need to be careful not to abuse the present tense so that it ends up saying something obviously different than the context indicates was intended.

Well, I could go on by looking at parallel passages in the synoptics in which present participial "believe" in John is expressed in Matthew, Mark or Luke by aorist terms. But I think I've made my position clear.

Well, enough for now. I appreciate your patience. Following will be some quotes from various additional Greek grammars regarding this issue:

Under the heading of Aspect, Mounce says...

"The present tense indicates either a continuous or undefined action."

IOW, depending on context, the writer may use the present tense to either refer to linear or repeated action (gnomic present - rare) or to action where the kind of action (repeated or otherwise) is not emphasized (i.e., undefined). So with the undefined aspect that is sometimes in view with the present tense, the author is not concerned about how the action takes place but only that the action takes place (e.g., the writer perhaps just wants to say that something happens in the present without an interest or emphasis on whether or not it is repeated or enduring kind of action).

Here are some quotes from Daniel Wallace:


In Wallace's Greek Grammar, Beyond the Basics, Wallace says...

"This (BD: Aorist tense) contrasts with the present and imperfect, which portray the action as an ongoing process. It may be helpful to think of the aorist as taking a snapshot of the action while the imperfect (another kind of past tense) takes a motion picture of the action, portraying the action as it unfolds." [p. 555 - GGBTB--1st edition, 1996]

BTW, Wallace goes on to say that the aorist tense, in indicative mood and particularly in narrative type literature (like John's gospel), that the snapshot analogy "seems appropriate."

On p. 516, 517 Wallace refers to the present tense indicative as having "two particular uses of the present: instantaneous and progressive." The assumption of continual action in the indicative mood is just not true. He goes on to say, "The present tense may be used to indicate that an action is completed at the moment of speaking. This occurs only in the indicative. It is relatively common." To clarify he added that in the indicative mood in narrative literature that "...the element of time becomes so prominent that the progressive aspect is entirely suppressed in this usage." This is not to say that the progressive present tense is not common in the indicative mood. But so many assumptions have been made about it that are just not true, and common sense would tell us that it could not be true, or certain kinds of present tense kind of action simply could not be expressed in Koine Greek directly.

BTW, my edition of Wallace's grammar is the 1st edition (1996). There is a newer edition out, and the pages will not precisely line up.

[The Language of the New Testament, Eugene Van Ness Goetchius, Chas. Scribner's Sons, N.Y., 1965, p. 173] has regarding the present participle...

"Present participles may be used substantively [BD: as a noun]... In the translation of such constructions into English one must usually resort to paraphrases of the types illustrated...

[Compare Ro 12:7]:

"If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;"

"o didaskon" = the teaching one, the one teaching, the one who is teaching, the one who teaches.

So "pas ho pisteuon" = "everyone who is the believing one", i.e, everyone who is the believer at the moment one begins believing.


Dr. Robert Wilkin states, in The Grace Report, Monthly Report of the Grace Evangelical Society, Irving, Tx. www.faithalone.org, Mar 1999, Notes and Letters, p.4...

"The articular participle (=the article 'the' [='ho'] plus a participle [ex. pisteuon = believing] functions as a verbal noun. Thus ['ho pisteuon' =] 'the one who believes' does not mean 'he who keeps on believing and believing and believing' but means 'the believer.' [i.e., one who at some time exercised a single moment of faith alone in Christ alone]. Anyone who comes to faith in Christ is from that moment forward 'the believer.'"

IOW, the articular present participle has in view one who at some moment in present time exercised a single moment of faith in whatever is specified, in this case, trusting that God gave His one and only Son for one as a believer.

Thx,

I will try to keep up on posts. There are other arguments besides the Greek grammar, but I'll leave that for later. Please do not feel that you have nothing to share here if you do not have a Greek background.

Comments?

BD

BadDog
Jun 10th 2010, 02:43 AM
there you go again...talking over my head...as usual!
Truly sorry, 2P2. But this much must be understood IOT follow the rest of my presentation. :P Perhaps you'd just like to share how you see saving faith. I'm sure that you will support that from scripture, as is your practice. I appreciate that about how you post. BTW, what you saw there, the introductory post, is 1st year-1st semester Greek stuff. What I posted later is not.

I posted that material here because I am just tired of hearing that since the present tense has linear kind of action that it must be continuous and endure for an indeterminate period of time. I don't know that you'd have a problem with that. And again, since faith in Christ results in a 2 Corinthians 5:17 kind of changed life, of course the faith should be expected to endure. I am looking at it purely logically--what are the requirements. That does impinge upon the OSAS issue. :D

Thx,

BD

2 Peter 2:20
Jun 10th 2010, 02:50 AM
Dude,
It takes me 30 minutes to get through your messages! By the time I get to the bottom I forget what I wanted to comment on back at minute 2 or 3. Then I have to go back and read it again and then I find something else around minute 10 I want to comment on and again I forget it by the time I get to the bottom. I think I'll agree with whatever you say because it seems less painful.:lol::hmm:

2 Peter 2:20
Jun 10th 2010, 02:54 AM
Really...I'll post something tomorrow. My laptop battery is just about dead.

Redeemed by Grace
Jun 10th 2010, 11:30 AM
OK, Here's a thought or two...

Faith is a gift from and of God, for He supernaturally works within the recipient’s heart and opens ears and eyes to His Gospel call - and dwells in the believer. The awareness for this , I believe is a known event within one's life, a second birthday, if you will.

Faith, as with salvation, one can’t be a little saved or have ‘a little faith', for both are given in full strength, without dilution. How we use faith, though, may give indication of volume, yet it's not that full faith is not always available, our dependence may deny using all that is to our avail. By example, one may chose to add a portion of fear to faith, but if testing for faith passes, then the process would have been very bumpy, but complete, none-the-less.... If on the other-side, if faith was lost and Christ now rejected, then that faith wasn’t God-breathed.

God gives His children 100% portion of faith, a full and complete portion. God gives us a full salvation, not something that grows or something that ebbs and tides with time. It be inappropriate to say I am more saved today than I was 40 years ago, for salvation is either or.

Same for faith. God can and does give more grace as testing and as trials happen, our faith is tested for authenticity, but we don’t get or return portions of faith, but we do depend or fail to use the full portion we have been given.

So as with our salvation being an always now event, but happening to our hearts with a one-time, guarantee, secure awareness of being bought with the blood of Jesus, faith too is a onetime awareness of Christ’s power of faith within us, living moment by moment in faith, which assures, which confirms, which holds, which trusts, which relies, which depends, which enables, which purifies, which authenticates, which hopes, which brings us into a person relationship -- a face to face, spirit to Spirit relationship with God and with Jesus

For His glory...

BadDog
Jun 10th 2010, 04:45 PM
RbG,

Looks good to me. Same thoughts, different words. :P

I just have one comment: "It is not a matter of the quantity of the faith." In Matthew 17:20 we read that if we had faith the size of a mustard seed we would tell this mountain to move from here to there, and it would happen. What was the purpose of this teaching? You see, I don't doubt that there are varying degrees with which we act in faith. But Jesus' whole purpose of saying that if you have faith even the size of a mustard seed that you could do some great, incredible feat was to show how very little faith is required. The meaning is that it isn't a matter of how much faith you have, but whether or not we use the faith we have.

If we have faith in Christ, we have eternal life.

Thx,

BD

Redeemed by Grace
Jun 10th 2010, 05:06 PM
RbG,

Looks good to me. Same thoughts, different words. :P

I just have one comment: "It is not a matter of the quantity of the faith." In Matthew 17:20 we read that if we had faith the size of a mustard seed we would tell this mountain to move from here to there, and it would happen. What was the purpose of this teaching? You see, I don't doubt that there are varying degrees with which we act in faith. But Jesus' whole purpose of saying that if you have faith even the size of a mustard seed that you could do some great, incredible feat was to show how very little faith is required. The meaning is that it isn't a matter of how much faith you have, but whether or not we use the faith we have.

If we have faith in Christ, we have eternal life.

Thx,

BD

Amen BD... It's good to be in harmony...

As far as the mustard seed, think of it as accessing just a portion... Like squeezing an ounce of mustard from a 16 ounce squeeze bottle... You could have used it all, but an ounce was enough... It's a metaphor though. The metaphor is to have faith, not that faith is measured by size or the obstacle is big as a mountain.


Cheerio

RogerW
Jun 10th 2010, 08:14 PM
I agree--"salvation by grace through [our God-initiated] faith." Now I insist that it being "our faith" is true, and it must be our faith for salvation to not be our own doing. Otherwise, we introduce works salvation. Surprised?

I'm not following you here BD! You agree that faith unto salvation is by grace or God-initiated. So far agreed. When you say you insist that being our faith, do you mean faith has become ours through grace? The way you've stated the above, I am surprised...not that you agree saving faith comes by grace, but that you say it must be our faith or we introduce a works salvation? If faith for salvation is ours by grace, then how can it be our faith that saves us? And, how is that not introducing a works salvation?


The very essence of faith is depending not upon our own efforts, but upon what God has done, through Christ in our place. Again, I am sure that you agree with me here. But faith is not a work.The underlined part, I do not agree! We are relying upon what God has done through Christ in our place...is not what Christ has done work? Is not the faithfulness of Christ to do what He has promised from before the foundation of the world, His work of righteousness and obedience to do the works the Father gave Him?

Heb*4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Joh*5:36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.



Paul constantly contrasted faith and works. Works is depending upon our own works-righteousness. Faith is depending upon imputed righteousness-Christ's work in our behalf. So I repeat, if it is not our faith, then we are not depending upon God to save us... must be depending upon our own efforts or virtues to some degree, and that is not the means to eternal life.Faith we receive in salvation is most assuredly ours, it is a necessary ingredient for obtaining the gift of eternal life. Again, I am confused by your reasoning??? It is our faith, but we still depend upon God to save us...how? By faith! We would be depending upon our own works of righteousness if we believed faith unto salvation did not come to us by grace, not only at regeneration, but also justification and glorification. Salvation from beginning to end is the work of Christ in us. After receiving faith unto regeneration, that by the Spirit, do we then believe we will be made perfect by the flesh, or by our own works of faith?

Ga*3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Ga*4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Ga*4:8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
Ga*4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

The faith we stand on, which is ours by grace, is the faith of Christ working in us to both will and do of His good pleasure. When our faith is fixed on Christ and the works He is doing in and through us, how could we ever fall? Of necessity, we must obey...IOW we do the work God gives us to do by faith, but always acknowledging that without Christ in me, I can do nothing!


I am going to really enjoy this thread, I think. I imagine you will say that if a person's faith is not steadfast--does not endure--then he was never really saved in the first place. He was a "false professor," or something like that. Is that right?I might have once said that BD. But now I'm inclined to ask "what one's faith is fixed on"? IOW every man has faith, or every man can believe, but unless his faith is anchored in the righteousness or faith of Christ from the beginning of salvation unto the end...well there will be those standing in the Judgment thinking they too were among those saved by grace through faith. Sadly their faith was fixed on what they could do for Christ, rather than on what Christ has already done for them. It would appear their foundation of faith was the wrong foundation all along.


I think I will post my thoughts on why faith is point-in-time kind of faith. Sure, it should endure. Perhaps we can say that a genuine believer's faith will endure. But what kind of faith do we find in John 3:16?Jo 3:16 is absolutely true! But again the question is, "who will believe"? For the one who truly believes in/on the Lord Jesus Christ will not perish, but have everlasting life. That my friend is faith unto salvation, believing that Christ alone is righteous, and He alone will save His people from their sins!!!


Of course, you do not see that faith as a requirement for eternal life. But most people do.Oh, not so my friend! Faith is absolutely needed for eternal life...i.e. that faith that comes by grace that is not our own but His work of faith from before the foundation of the world. Apart from the faithfulness/righteousness of Christ, His obedience to the will or the Father, no man would be saved.


And if their faith must endure, then that is salvation by works in my book. I see that in your soteriology it's somewhat of an empty question, since true saints will persevere. But for others, it is something for them to deal with.It's about the focus of our work of faith. Is our focus on doing righteous works or is our focus on Christ doing righteous works through us? If we claim after regeneration to have works of faith apart from the righteousness of Christ, then we are building on another foundation.


Thx Roger. I really appreciate your comments.

BDThx right back at ya! I also appreciate your comments, and I am enjoying this thread.

RW

inn
Jun 10th 2010, 08:34 PM
I find one major thing about OSAS, many NOSAS folk seem to have pre-concieved ideas about 'us ' , mainly thinking that 'we ' say holiness is unimportant. This is SIMPLY untrue and needs to be understood correctly. We DO believe in holiness and obedience to God's word! And ' we ' still hold to the OSAS position even if ' we ' believe in obedience!
Love

inn
Jun 10th 2010, 08:41 PM
How we use faith,.

I really like most of what you are saying, but feel a bit uncomfortable with this phrase; ' How we use faith'.
Can we actualy use faith, or is God just working in us to beleive Him for something great?
Love

inn
Jun 10th 2010, 08:42 PM
OK, Here's a thought or two...

Faith is a gift from and of God, for He supernaturally works within the recipient’s heart and opens ears and eyes to His Gospel call - and dwells in the believer. The awareness for this , I believe is a known event within one's life, a second birthday, if you will.
.

This is lovely!!!

inn
Jun 10th 2010, 08:52 PM
But what kind of faith do we find in John 3:16? Of course, you do not see that faith as a requirement for eternal life..
BD

I think you and I are on the same page, I still need to get used to the way you communicate. Salvation definatly has NOTHING to do with me, in the sense that , it is His work.

I was wondering what you meant exactualy by what you said above, especialy regarding'who so evEr BELIEVES...' Jn3:16

BadDog
Jun 10th 2010, 09:42 PM
I agree--"salvation by grace through [our God-initiated] faith." Now I insist that it being "our faith" is true, and it must be our faith for salvation to not be our own doing. Otherwise, we introduce works salvation. Surprised?

I'm not following you here BD! You agree that faith unto salvation is by grace or God-initiated. So far agreed. When you say you insist that being our faith, do you mean faith has become ours through grace? The way you've stated the above, I am surprised...not that you agree saving faith comes by grace, but that you say it must be our faith or we introduce a works salvation? If faith for salvation is ours by grace, then how can it be our faith that saves us? And, how is that not introducing a works salvation?
Faith cannot be"given" to a person. Either you believe in someone or you do not. Faith is our response to the gospel message. Now either salvation is purely by grace or there is something required for us to do. If faith is a work, then salvation is not by grace alone, and and we cannot say that it is "not of ourselves." Faith is trusting in someone else rather than yourself. It is not merely believing that Jesus is God... that He died for us. "Trust" is inherent. Either we rely upon our own efforts/virtue to a degree, or we say "I give up. I cannot do it. I am hopelessly sinful. Help!" Now ironically, some Calvinists say that faith is a work. (Many do not.) When they do so, they are are saying that salvation is not by faith alone. John Calvin would never have said so. :P He said that "assurance is of the essence of faith," with which I agree wholeheartedly. IMHO modern day Calvinism treats faith significantly differently than did Calvin. I agree with John Calvin in this respect more than Calvinists. If faith is a work, then this makes no sense.


The very essence of faith is depending not upon our own efforts, but upon what God has done, through Christ in our place. Again, I am sure that you agree with me here. But faith is not a work.

The underlined part, I do not agree! We are relying upon what God has done through Christ in our place...is not what Christ has done work? Is not the faithfulness of Christ to do what He has promised from before the foundation of the world, His work of righteousness and obedience to do the works the Father gave Him?
BD: Yes, we are relying upon Christ's work--not our own. Faith is depending upon what someone else has done. Works is relying upon our own righteousness. That is why Paul contrasted them so severely. If faith is a work, then we are still in our sins.

Heb*4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Joh*5:36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
BD: Jesus DID works. He had righteousness. He was able to justify Himself. We cannot. I am surprised you don't see it that way. If our trusting in what Christ did instead of our own efforts is work, then we are not saved by grace alone.

Faith we receive in salvation is most assuredly ours, it is a necessary ingredient for obtaining the gift of eternal life. Again, I am confused by your reasoning??? It is our faith, but we still depend upon God to save us...how? By faith! We would be depending upon our own works of righteousness if we believed faith unto salvation did not come to us by grace, not only at regeneration, but also justification and glorification. Salvation from beginning to end is the work of Christ in us. After receiving faith unto regeneration, that by the Spirit, do we then believe we will be made perfect by the flesh, or by our own works of faith?
No, we would not (underlined). Just the opposite. Ironically, since this thread is about the scope and meaning of "faith," the disconnect between us is because of how we view "faith." Since you view faith as a work, you must say the underlined. I say that by definition, faith is the complete opposite of work inherently. Hence it must be "our" faith-otherwise we are not depending upon God; it must not be a work-otherwise salvation is not by grace alone; it cannot be a gift-by definition. Think about it. How do we give something non-tangible such as "faith" or"believing" to someone else? it cannot be done. it makes no logical sense to even say such a thing.

Now this is why I am careful to say that faith is not gift, but that we would not, could not, respond to the gospel message in faith without the working of the Spirit in our lives. However, that is not the same thing as saying that faith is given to us. That is not possible. I say that it is God at work in us, drawing us to Himself, enabling us to believe. But it is our believing.


Ga*3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
BD: Right. Hence, faith is not a gift. :P We were initially saved (justified) by grace alone, through faith. The growth is also by faith.

Ga*4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Ga*4:8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
Ga*4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
BD: How does this relate to what I've said? :confused

The faith we stand on, which is ours by grace, is the faith of Christ working in us to both will and do of His good pleasure. When our faith is fixed on Christ and the works He is doing in and through us, how could we ever fall? Of necessity, we must obey...IOW we do the work God gives us to do by faith, but always acknowledging that without Christ in me, I can do nothing!
Regarding last paragraph: Faith is not a gift by grace. Salvation (by grace and through faith) is ours by grace. Now do not take that to mean that our coming to believe in Christ is a result of our own efforts. I'm not saying that. Christ is working in us both to will and do..." I don't even understand what that creature is, "the faith of Christ working in us." What I underlined above is not scripture. Here it is:

Philippians 2:13 For it is God who is working in you, [enabling you] both to will and to act for His good purpose.

God is working in us; not the faith of Christ. Regarding the rest of that paragraph, as I see it as long as we are in these bodies, we will struggle with sin. Paul did (Romans 7:24, 25).


I am going to really enjoy this thread, I think. I imagine you will say that if a person's faith is not steadfast--does not endure--then he was never really saved in the first place. He was a "false professor," or something like that. Is that right?


I might have once said that BD. But now I'm inclined to ask "what one's faith is fixed on"? IOW every man has faith, or every man can believe, but unless his faith is anchored in the righteousness or faith of Christ from the beginning of salvation unto the end...well there will be those standing in the Judgment thinking they too were among those saved by grace through faith. Sadly their faith was fixed on what they could do for Christ, rather than on what Christ has already done for them. It would appear their foundation of faith was the wrong foundation all along.
I suppose that is certainly possible. I do prefer the wording of this response. But I still see a claim that the person must not have been saved in the first place. But bottom line: that is still what you're saying. If their faith was founded on the wrong object, then I'd imagine you would say that it did not come from God. And don't you still say that they were never saved, right?



I think I will post my thoughts on why faith is point-in-time kind of faith. Sure, it should endure. Perhaps we can say that a genuine believer's faith will endure. But what kind of faith do we find in John 3:16?

Jo 3:16 is absolutely true! But again the question is, "who will believe"? For the one who truly believes in/on the Lord Jesus Christ will not perish, but have everlasting life. That my friend is faith unto salvation, believing that Christ alone is righteous, and He alone will save His people from their sins!!!
Roger, I've posted it, and it is point-in-time kind of faith. That was my only point there. The illustration is one that makes it clear that the person does absolutely nothing! To walk up to that snake on a pole and simply look at it. What a great illustration of pure faith. No works there at all. He just looks, expecting to be healed, of course, or why bother to walk up to that brass snake and look at it? It's like Naaman dipping in the Jordan River 7 times.


Of course, you do not see that faith as a requirement for eternal life. But most people do.

Oh, not so my friend! Faith is absolutely needed for eternal life...i.e. that faith that comes by grace that is not our own but His work of faith from before the foundation of the world. Apart from the faithfulness/righteousness of Christ, His obedience to the will or the Father, no man would be saved.
I guess I was being sloppy with my Calvinism theology. I should have said that our believing the gospel was a gift. Salvation is a gift, not faith.


It's about the focus of our work of faith. Is our focus on doing righteous works or is our focus on Christ doing righteous works through us? If we claim after regeneration to have works of faith apart from the righteousness of Christ, then we are building on another foundation.

Thx right back at ya! I also appreciate your comments, and I am enjoying this thread.

RW
Well, I hope we don't have too many such interactions... too complicated and time-consuming... but refreshing! :P Now I do like the part about our focus. And remember that "works of faith" is the response of a person who has come to believe and desires to then serve His Savior. It is a work, and Jesus and Paul gave many examples of how it is rewardable too. But it has absolutely nothing to do with our justification.

You know, we believe quite similarly, yet we define so many terms differently that it becomes confusing at times. :hmm:

Take care,

BD

notuptome
Jun 10th 2010, 10:49 PM
Any faith that a man might have surely must be as flawed as man. Man always has doubt.

Christ never doubted. His faith alone was perfect. Is this faith imparted to us when we ask Christ to save us?

Does our imperfect faith become perfect in Christ the moment we believe?

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Redeemed by Grace
Jun 11th 2010, 01:09 AM
Faith cannot be “given" to a person. Either you believe in someone or you do not.
I lovingly disagree…
Peter writes “to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Peter is very clear that there was a unique and similar bond between them, a comparative way in receiving faith through and in Jesus Christ.


Faith is our response to the gospel message.

Stated somewhat differently, we do respond to the Gospel message, and would say that in our mind, would say that we ‘decided’ to believe. So the action is active within out thought hearing and replying.

However, in subsequent diligent study of the word, we learn things about God, His nature, our sinfulness, His will, our life, and should better see how sovereign God is…. that we had no clue about before when we actively believed. For with Godly wisdom comes or should come the understand as to how God uses man to work His grace through and in him… So it’s our response, at the hands of a mighty God revealed.


Now either salvation is purely by grace or there is something required for us to do. If faith is a work, then salvation is not by grace alone, and and we cannot say that it is "not of ourselves."

Faith is absolutely one of the 5 solas… The work and effort is for God, of God, by God, in God, through God, because of God least any man should boast… It’s all God… His work, of Faith, of Grace, of His Son, of His Spirit, of Repentance, of Sanctification.


Faith is trusting in someone else rather than yourself. It is not merely believing that Jesus is God... that He died for us. "Trust" is inherent. Either we rely upon our own efforts/virtue to a degree, or we say "I give up. I cannot do it. I am hopelessly sinful. Help!" Now ironically, some Calvinists say that faith is a work. (Many do not.) When they do so, they are are saying that salvation is not by faith alone.

I suggest this is an interpretation and not really what Calvin, Spurgeon, Paul , Augustine, or even many others here that are presenting scripture from a reformed view. Faith alone is what scripture presents and what we believe. The WORK we declare is two fold… The work of salvation is all of God, which includes giving faith as a gift. The second truth as James writes is that faith without evidence of faith by actions, and as Paul completes of the good works that God has prepare us to walk in…. God does it all, through man, through the gift of faith, by His grace.


John Calvin would never have said so. He said that "assurance is of the essence of faith," with which I agree wholeheartedly. IMHO modern day Calvinism treats faith significantly differently than did Calvin. I agree with John Calvin in this respect more than Calvinists. If faith is a work, then this makes no sense.

Faith is of God given… It is His complete work gifted, so we stand and always stand in grace alone, in Christ alone, by faith alone, with scripture alone, and Glory to God alone.

Faith is never a work of man… but the work of God within a man.

Sirus
Jun 11th 2010, 02:20 AM
Any faith that a man might have surely must be as flawed as man.Man did not give himself the ability -faith- God did. If then it is flawed, why is it flawed?

Sirus
Jun 11th 2010, 02:23 AM
Peter writes “to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Peter is very clear that there was a unique and similar bond between them, a comparative way in receiving faith through and in Jesus Christ.That would be 'the faith' -Christianity, not a thing many call faith that can be a type. If there's a thing called saving faith and it is given by God, who gave man the other type? Why doesn't scripture speak of this?

Redeemed by Grace
Jun 11th 2010, 02:45 AM
That would be 'the faith' -Christianity, not a thing many call faith that can be a type. If there's a thing called saving faith and it is given by God, who gave man the other type? Why doesn't scripture speak of this?

This is easy... Satan is the father of the false faiths... and scripture speaks so very clearly...

Matthew 7:15,16 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?

Matthew 13:24-30 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 "But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26 "But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27 "The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' 28 "And he said to them, 'An enemy has done this!' The slaves *said to him, 'Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?' 29 "But he *said, 'No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 'Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.""'

So again, Peter states that they have , and now emphasizing the next portion... "received a faith of the same kind as ours." Noticed it was given BY God and it was RECEIVED by Peter and those he was addressing. How you ask? BY and THROUGH Jesus Christ, who is the righteousness of God, our God. So one true Faith through the righteousness of God and all other faiths -- which are false, or temporal, or look alike, and thus are judged so and die.

Sirus
Jun 11th 2010, 02:55 AM
RbG, those do not say we are given a thing called faith, that is not a saving faith, by Satan. So again,
"Why doesn't scripture speak of this?"

BadDog
Jun 11th 2010, 04:02 AM
Any faith that a man might have surely must be as flawed as man. Man always has doubt.

Christ never doubted. His faith alone was perfect. 1) Is this faith imparted to us when we ask Christ to save us?

2) Does our imperfect faith become perfect in Christ the moment we believe?

For the cause of Christ
Roger
Roger,

Reformed theology says "yes" to "1." Not sure about "2."

BD

BadDog
Jun 11th 2010, 05:07 AM
I lovingly disagree…
Peter writes “to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Peter is very clear that there was a unique and similar bond between them, a comparative way in receiving faith through and in Jesus Christ.
Peter writes to those who have the same salvation he experienced, which he calls "a like precious faith" or "a faith equal to ours" or "a faith of the same kind as ours." This faith was obtained, and not by the efforts of man, but by the righteousness of our God. However, this "faith of the same kind as ours" probably speaks to the fact that all believers have the same "faith," referring to what we believe in general, and perhaps simply meaning "the faith." Some say that Peter is referring to the fact that Jews and Gentiles enjoy the same faith, and the same benefits in Jesus. regardless, Peter was not saying that God gave us our "believing."

Peter is saying that our salvation is a faith we have "received." But the word translated "received" here is not the typical word for it, which is used hundreds of times in the NT (LAMBANW). This word is found only four times in the NT. The word is λαγχάνω, which means to receive by lot. Peter is saying that we can take absolutely no credit for what we have been "received." Here are the other texts:

Luke 1:8, 9 When his division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, it happened that he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense.

John 19:24 So they said to one another, "Let's not tear it, but toss for it, to see who gets it." [They did this] to fulfill the Scripture that says: They divided My clothes among themselves, and they cast lots for My clothing. And this is what the soldiers did.

Acts 1:16, 17 "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled that the Holy Spirit through the mouth of David spoke in advance about Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was one of our number and was allotted a share in this ministry."

We can have no pride in being given our salvation. It simply "fell to our lot" to receive the gospel. It was given to us by grace so we could take no pride in it. Very interesting term.


Stated somewhat differently, we do respond to the Gospel message, and would say that in our mind, would say that we ‘decided’ to believe. So the action is active within out thought hearing and replying.
:P Sorry, don't buy that. Thinking is not a work.


However, in subsequent diligent study of the word, we learn things about God, His nature, our sinfulness, His will, our life, and should better see how sovereign God is…. that we had no clue about before when we actively believed. For with Godly wisdom comes or should come the understand as to how God uses man to work His grace through and in him… So it’s our response, at the hands of a mighty God revealed.
Underlined portion is interesting, though I'm not exactly clear what you mean.


Faith is absolutely one of the 5 solas… The work and effort is for God, of God, by God, in God, through God, because of God least any man should boast… It’s all God… His work, of Faith, of Grace, of His Son, of His Spirit, of Repentance, of Sanctification.
SOLA FIDA during the reformation meant that we are saved by "faith alone." It's His work... which provides salvation for us by grace... which we receive through [our] faith. SOLA FIDA means that we are saved by faith alone... no works. :D We're not going to agree on this.

My favorite expression is, "faith alone in Christ alone." You see, what is referred to as "Lordship salvation" makes it not SOLA FIDA.


I suggest this is an interpretation and not really what Calvin, Spurgeon, Paul , Augustine, or even many others here that are presenting scripture from a reformed view. Faith alone is what scripture presents and what we believe. The WORK we declare is two fold… The work of salvation is all of God, which includes giving faith as a gift. The second truth as James writes is that faith without evidence of faith by actions, and as Paul completes of the good works that God has prepare us to walk in…. God does it all, through man, through the gift of faith, by His grace.
Well, I've read some of Calvin's works. I am convinced that his view on faith IS different that what is accepted as modern Calvinism. The underlined portion again is where we disagree, of course. That part of Reformed theology is nonsensical IMO. God woos us, draws us (John 6:45) and enables us to respond to the gospel. But it has to be our faith, or else nothing happened.



Faith is of God given… It is His complete work gifted, so we stand and always stand in grace alone, in Christ alone, by faith alone, with scripture alone, and Glory to God alone.

BD: Amen to the underlined above... though we understand some of the terminology a bit differently.

Faith is never a work of man… but the work of God within a man.
Faith is never a work... period. :D

To believe in Christ is to not only accept the fact that there is nothing I can do to save myself, but to trust in the fact that God has promised that when I believe in Christ, my sins are forgiven and He declares me righteous before Him (justification), even though I am still a sinner. God can draw me to His Son. I will not trust in Him if He does not.

OK, we may have reached an impasse. I want to post some thoughts on a question which was posed recently: Can a Christian ever stop believing. I know what you'll say on that, RbG. And I am curious what you and others will say on this--your arguments.

BD

BadDog
Jun 11th 2010, 05:31 AM
Is it possible for a "believer" to stop believing?
Because of the hardening that can take place in a believer's heart due to sin, a believer could reach a place in the downward spiral his rebellion and continued disobedience when he no longer is really sure if he believes in anything. But can a true believer reach a state where he could be classified as an 'unbeliever?" Some say that a Christian can commit apostasy. They are in general those who do not hold to eternal security.

But I say "no." A genuine believer could never become a genuine unbeliever.

When we speak of a believer, we are talking about a person who has trusted in Christ, Who is God's Son, and Who died for our sin and rose again. They also reached a point where they recognized their own sinfulness, which causes a separation from God. To summarize, they have trusted in Christ alone to save them.

There is a term used in John's gospel to refer to the "believer." John's gospel is the single NT book which explicitly refers to itself as written for evangelistic reasons (see John 20:30, 31):

John 20:30, 31 Now Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

What is the term used? Let's look at John 3:16 as an example:

"...that whoever believes in Him..." The term translated as "whoever believes" is an articular participle. That means that it is a participle with an accompanying article. Typically, it is quite common to translate such as what is referred to as a "substantival"... a noun. IOW, that term is acting like a noun. It could be translated as "the believing one." IMO the fact that John used this sort of expression makes it clear that a "believer" is one who "believes." If we include a common preposition which accompanies this expressions, we have in Greek: ὁ πιστεύων εἰς--"the one believing in."

So I don't believe that a genuine "believer" ever stops believing. He has been changed (2 Corinthians 5:17). He is now indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He may mess up. But he knows Whom he has believed in. "For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that Day."

Comments?

BD

Redeemed by Grace
Jun 11th 2010, 11:25 AM
Is it possible for a "believer" to stop believing?
Because of the hardening that can take place in a believer's heart due to sin, a believer could reach a place in the downward spiral his rebellion and continued disobedience when he no longer is really sure if he believes in anything. But can a true believer reach a state where he could be classified as an 'unbeliever?" Some say that a Christian can commit apostasy. They are in general those who do not hold to eternal security.

But I say "no." A genuine believer could never become a genuine unbeliever.

I agree.

Matthew 24:21. For then there will be a great tribulation [testing], such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.




When we speak of a believer, we are talking about a person who has trusted in Christ, Who is God's Son, and Who died for our sin and rose again. They also reached a point where they recognized their own sinfulness, which causes a separation from God. To summarize, they have trusted in Christ alone to save them.

There is a term used in John's gospel to refer to the "believer." John's gospel is the single NT book which explicitly refers to itself as written for evangelistic reasons (see John 20:30, 31):

John 20:30, 31 Now Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

What is the term used? Let's look at John 3:16 as an example:

"...that whoever believes in Him..." The term translated as "whoever believes" is an articular participle. That means that it is a participle with an accompanying article. Typically, it is quite common to translate such as what is referred to as a "substantival"... a noun. IOW, that term is acting like a noun. It could be translated as "the believing one." IMO the fact that John used this sort of expression makes it clear that a "believer" is one who "believes." If we include a common preposition which accompanies this expressions, we have in Greek: ὁ πιστεύων εἰς--"the one believing in."

So I don't believe that a genuine "believer" ever stops believing. He has been changed (2 Corinthians 5:17). He is now indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He may mess up. But he knows Whom he has believed in. "For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that Day."

Comments?

BD

I would also agree!.

Redeemed by Grace
Jun 11th 2010, 11:34 AM
Peter writes to those who have the same salvation he experienced, which he calls "a like precious faith" or "a faith equal to ours" or "a faith of the same kind as ours." This faith was obtained, and not by the efforts of man, but by the righteousness of our God. However, this "faith of the same kind as ours" probably speaks to the fact that all believers have the same "faith," referring to what we believe in general, and perhaps simply meaning "the faith." Some say that Peter is referring to the fact that Jews and Gentiles enjoy the same faith, and the same benefits in Jesus. regardless, Peter was not saying that God gave us our "believing."

Peter is saying that our salvation is a faith we have "received." But the word translated "received" here is not the typical word for it, which is used hundreds of times in the NT (LAMBANW). This word is found only four times in the NT. The word is λαγχάνω, which means to receive by lot. Peter is saying that we can take absolutely no credit for what we have been "received." Here are the other texts:

Luke 1:8, 9 When his division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, it happened that he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense.

John 19:24 So they said to one another, "Let's not tear it, but toss for it, to see who gets it." [They did this] to fulfill the Scripture that says: They divided My clothes among themselves, and they cast lots for My clothing. And this is what the soldiers did.

Acts 1:16, 17 "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled that the Holy Spirit through the mouth of David spoke in advance about Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was one of our number and was allotted a share in this ministry."

We can have no pride in being given our salvation. It simply "fell to our lot" to receive the gospel. It was given to us by grace so we could take no pride in it. Very interesting term.


:P Sorry, don't buy that. Thinking is not a work.


Underlined portion is interesting, though I'm not exactly clear what you mean.


SOLA FIDA during the reformation meant that we are saved by "faith alone." It's His work... which provides salvation for us by grace... which we receive through [our] faith. SOLA FIDA means that we are saved by faith alone... no works. :D We're not going to agree on this.

My favorite expression is, "faith alone in Christ alone." You see, what is referred to as "Lordship salvation" makes it not SOLA FIDA.


Well, I've read some of Calvin's works. I am convinced that his view on faith IS different that what is accepted as modern Calvinism. The underlined portion again is where we disagree, of course. That part of Reformed theology is nonsensical IMO. God woos us, draws us (John 6:45) and enables us to respond to the gospel. But it has to be our faith, or else nothing happened.



Faith is never a work... period. :D

To believe in Christ is to not only accept the fact that there is nothing I can do to save myself, but to trust in the fact that God has promised that when I believe in Christ, my sins are forgiven and He declares me righteous before Him (justification), even though I am still a sinner. God can draw me to His Son. I will not trust in Him if He does not.

OK, we may have reached an impasse. I want to post some thoughts on a question which was posed recently: Can a Christian ever stop believing. I know what you'll say on that, RbG. And I am curious what you and others will say on this--your arguments.

BD

Let me ask you this BD, when does the Holy Spirit participate within a believer...?

Once a a man believes, the the Holy Spirit is united with this man, OR, does the Holy Spirit enter a man prior to faith - to change the man's heart - for the man to then understand and respond?

notuptome
Jun 11th 2010, 11:49 AM
Man did not give himself the ability -faith- God did. If then it is flawed, why is it flawed?
Man is corrupt. The only faith that can save is Gods faith. The faith of Christ.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

2 Peter 2:20
Jun 11th 2010, 01:04 PM
Is it possible for a "believer" to stop believing?
Because of the hardening that can take place in a believer's heart due to sin, a believer could reach a place in the downward spiral his rebellion and continued disobedience when he no longer is really sure if he believes in anything. But can a true believer reach a state where he could be classified as an 'unbeliever?" Some say that a Christian can commit apostasy. They are in general those who do not hold to eternal security.

But I say "no." A genuine believer could never become a genuine unbeliever.

When we speak of a believer, we are talking about a person who has trusted in Christ, Who is God's Son, and Who died for our sin and rose again. They also reached a point where they recognized their own sinfulness, which causes a separation from God. To summarize, they have trusted in Christ alone to save them.

There is a term used in John's gospel to refer to the "believer." John's gospel is the single NT book which explicitly refers to itself as written for evangelistic reasons (see John 20:30, 31):

John 20:30, 31 Now Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

What is the term used? Let's look at John 3:16 as an example:

"...that whoever believes in Him..." The term translated as "whoever believes" is an articular participle. That means that it is a participle with an accompanying article. Typically, it is quite common to translate such as what is referred to as a "substantival"... a noun. IOW, that term is acting like a noun. It could be translated as "the believing one." IMO the fact that John used this sort of expression makes it clear that a "believer" is one who "believes." If we include a common preposition which accompanies this expressions, we have in Greek: ὁ πιστεύων εἰς--"the one believing in."

So I don't believe that a genuine "believer" ever stops believing. He has been changed (2 Corinthians 5:17). He is now indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He may mess up. But he knows Whom he has believed in. "For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that Day."

Comments?

BD

BadDog,
Are you saying that the sin of apostasy is not scriptural? You are a Greek studied guy and you know the word is there in the Greek.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 KJV

3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

646 ἀu960 οu963 τu945 σu943 α [apostasia /ap•os•tas•ee•ah/] n f. Feminine of the same as 647; TDNT 1:513; TDNTA 88; GK 686; Two occurrences; AV translates as “to forsake + 575”once, and “falling away”once. 1 a falling away, defection, apostasy.

apostasy (Gk., apostasia, falling away) Total renunciation of the Christian faith by a baptized person or a desertion by a professed religious who had taken perpetual vows.

2 Peter 2:20
Jun 11th 2010, 01:16 PM
Continuing with the apostate line of conversation I will add this to the mix as well...

1 Timothy 4:1 KJV

1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

868 ἀu966 ίu963 τu951 μu953 [aphistemi /af•is•tay•mee/] v. From 575 and 2476; TDNT 1:512; TDNTA 88; GK 923; 15 occurrences; AV translates as “depart”10 times, “draw away”once, “fall away”once, “refrain”once, “withdraw self”once, and “depart from”once. 1 to make stand off, cause to withdraw, to remove. 1A to excite to revolt. 2 to stand off, to stand aloof. 2A to go away, to depart from anyone. 2B to desert, withdraw from one. 2C to fall away, become faithless. 2D to shun, flee from. 2E to cease to vex one. 2F to withdraw one’ self from, to fall away. 2G to keep one’ self from, absent one’ self from.


4102 πu943 σu964 ιu962 [pistis /pis•tis/] n f. From 3982; TDNT 6:174; TDNTA 849; GK 4411; 244 occurrences; AV translates as “faith”239 times, “assurance”once, “believe + 1537”once, “belief”once, “them that believe”once, and “fidelity”once. 1 conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’ relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it. 1A relating to God. 1A1 the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ. 1B relating to Christ. 1B1 a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God. 1C the religious beliefs of Christians. 1D belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same. 2 fidelity, faithfulness. 2A the character of one who can be relied on.

We can say it this way...
to make stand off the conviction of the belief respecting man's relationship to God, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour, born of faith and joined with it
to cause to withdraw from the conviction of the belief respecting man's relationship to God, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour, born of faith and joined with it
to remove from the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things and the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ

So what does this mean? Sounds like a "true blue" believer can depart from the faith. The real question comes down to this...what are the consequences for such a state?

2 Peter 2:20
Jun 11th 2010, 01:20 PM
And lastly...

1 Timothy 1:19-20 KJV

19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

683 ἀu960 ωu952 έu969 [apotheomai, apothomai /ap•o•theh•om•ahee/] v. From 575 and the middle voice of otheo or otho (to shove); TDNT 1:448; GK 723; Six occurrences; AV translates as “cast away”twice, “thrust away”once, “put from”once, “thrust from”once, and “put away”once. 1 to thrust away, push away, repel. 2 to thrust away from one’ self, to drive away from one’ self. 2A repudiate, reject, refuse.

4102 πu943 σu964 ιu962 [pistis /pis•tis/] n f. From 3982; TDNT 6:174; TDNTA 849; GK 4411; 244 occurrences; AV translates as “faith”239 times, “assurance”once, “believe + 1537”once, “belief”once, “them that believe”once, and “fidelity”once. 1 conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’ relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it. 1A relating to God. 1A1 the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ. 1B relating to Christ. 1B1 a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God. 1C the religious beliefs of Christians. 1D belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same. 2 fidelity, faithfulness. 2A the character of one who can be relied on.


3489 νu945 υu945 γu941 ω [nauageo /now•ag•eh•o/] v. From a compound of 3491 and 71; TDNT 4:891; TDNTA 627; GK 3728; Two occurrences; AV translates as “suffer shipwreck”once, and “make shipwreck”once. 1 to suffer shipwreck.

We can say it this way...
to thrust away the conviction of the belief respecting man's relationship to God, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour, born of faith and joined with it
to push away the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things and the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ
to repel the conviction of the belief respecting man's relationship to God, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour, born of faith and joined with it

Again what are the consequences for such a state? The key word in the scripture here is "may" and I posted in the other thread that the word "may" is not a definite term...it is a conditional term.

BadDog
Jun 11th 2010, 09:50 PM
[COLOR="Silver"]

Let me ask you this BD, when does the Holy Spirit participate within a believer...?

Once a a man believes, the the Holy Spirit is united with this man, OR, does the Holy Spirit enter a man prior to faith - to change the man's heart - for the man to then understand and respond?The Holy Spirit works in a man's life, drawing him to God, before he believes the gospel. But he is not indwelt by the Spirit until he believes.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free -- and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Romans 8:9; 15-17 You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father!" The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God's children, and if children, also heirs -- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ -- seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

John 14:16-18 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn't see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.

John 15:26 "When the Counselor comes, the One I will send to you from the Father -- the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father -- He will testify about Me.
I realize in this last text that Jesis was telling His disciples that after he returned to the Father that he would send the Holy Spirit to be with them.

1 Corinthians 2:10-12 Now God has revealed them to us by the Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the concerns of a man except the spirit of the man that is in him? In the same way, no one knows the concerns of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, in order to know what has been freely given to us by God.

Only believers are actually indwelt by the Spirit. And it happens when they become a part of the body of Christ, according to 1 Corinthians 12:13--which is what the baptism of the Spirit is actually.

BD

BadDog
Jun 11th 2010, 10:28 PM
BadDog,
Are you saying that the sin of apostasy is not scriptural? You are a Greek studied guy and you know the word is there in the Greek.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 KJV

3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

646 ἀu960 οu963 τu945 σu943 α [apostasia /ap•os•tas•ee•ah/] n f. Feminine of the same as 647; TDNT 1:513; TDNTA 88; GK 686; Two occurrences; AV translates as “to forsake + 575”once, and “falling away”once. 1 a falling away, defection, apostasy.

apostasy (Gk., apostasia, falling away) Total renunciation of the Christian faith by a baptized person or a desertion by a professed religious who had taken perpetual vows.
This "falling away" is referring to what is happening in the world, and in the body of Christ as well, just before Christ returns. There will be a real hardening of hearts to the gospel message at the time. There will also be a spirit of disobedience within the body of Christ. But this is talking about a general movement in the world... it isn't referring to individuals in this context.

Now the word you're talking about appears in only two places in the NT as you said, neither of them referring to Christians apostasizing. The term means to "to fall away, or to defect or revolt." Bauer, Gingrich and Danker says this term refers to "rebellion or abandonment." You listed the 2 Thessalonians 2 text and the other text is in Acts 21 which refers to a false claim by the Jews that Paul was trying to get them to defect from following Moses. That verse doesn't seem to apply. Just because in 2 Thessalonians 2 Paul speaks about the climate in the church and world just before Christ returns, does not mean that any individual can/will stop believing.

So IMHO, and it is just my opinion, when a person has come to trust in Christ he will not come to be an unbeliever. He can become a very disobedient Christian. The Lord may just take him home early, as a result, if his testimony gets bad enough.

Thx,

BD

inn
Jun 11th 2010, 10:32 PM
The Holy Spirit works in a man's life, drawing him to God, before he believes the gospel. But he is not indwelt by the Spirit until he believes.


Yes, I agree!!!

Vhayes
Jun 11th 2010, 10:32 PM
So IMHO, and it is just my opinion, when a person has come to trust in Christ he will not come to be an unbeliever. He can become a very disobedient Christian. The Lord may just take him home early, as a result, if his testimony gets bad enough.

Thx,

BD

Me too. Although I've only known three other people who believe that way. Thank you! You make 4.

inn
Jun 11th 2010, 10:37 PM
Maybe tell us what happens to those who 'fall away.' in the 'apostacy'.
Love

inn
Jun 11th 2010, 10:38 PM
Me too. Although I've only known three other people who believe that way. Thank you! You make 4.

In this forum, or in the world? only 4? wow
Love

Vhayes
Jun 11th 2010, 10:45 PM
In this forum, or in the world? only 4? wow
Love

In the world. Granted, I don't know everyone and I don't even know most of the Christians. But of those I do know and have talked to about this issue, only 4 now counting BadDog.

BadDog
Jun 11th 2010, 11:00 PM
Me too. Although I've only known three other people who believe that way. Thank you! You make 4.
Thx Vhayes. Actually, if you run around in the right circles, it's not that uncommon. Scripture does not explicitly deal with this issue one way or the other, so we have to take our best shot.

Take care,

BD

BadDog
Jun 11th 2010, 11:06 PM
2P2,

The Bible sometimes refers to a set of beliefs as "the faith." "Departing from the faith" or suffering "shipwreck to the faith" is not saying that someone stopped believing in Christ, but that their lifestyle was dealt a serious blow to their walk with Christ. "Faith" is often used to refer to what one believes, and therefore their "religion."

BD

inn
Jun 11th 2010, 11:10 PM
In the world. Granted, I don't know everyone and I don't even know most of the Christians. But of those I do know and have talked to about this issue, only 4 now counting BadDog.

I guess I know about 40. I hope this is an encouragement to you. I am sure there are MNAY more!
Love

inn
Jun 11th 2010, 11:13 PM
So IMHO, and it is just my opinion, when a person has come to trust in Christ he will not come to be an unbeliever. He can become a very disobedient Christian. The Lord may just take him home early, as a result, if his testimony gets bad enough.


And I think I've seen this happen before, who can tell for sure when it comes to experience, as the Lord knows those who are His!
Love

Redeemed by Grace
Jun 11th 2010, 11:14 PM
The Holy Spirit works in a man's life, drawing him to God, before he believes the gospel. But he is not indwelt by the Spirit until he believes.

Before we discuss the scriptures you provided, and thank you - we need to discuss the above in more depth.


You say that the Spirit of God doesn't indwell a believer before the believer actually believes, yet you declare that he WORKS in a man's life - for which is what I have been saying all along, yet you use the ambiguous phrase "drawing him to God...." If The holy Spirit is working in a man's life and is drawing Him without 'touching him', how can he not be indwelt by the Spirit then?


So here's the follow-on question: How then does the Holy Spirit draw a man to God?

2 Peter 2:20
Jun 12th 2010, 12:41 AM
This "falling away" is referring to what is happening in the world, and in the body of Christ as well, just before Christ returns. There will be a real hardening of hearts to the gospel message at the time. There will also be a spirit of disobedience within the body of Christ. But this is talking about a general movement in the world... it isn't referring to individuals in this context.

Now the word you're talking about appears in only two places in the NT as you said, neither of them referring to Christians apostasizing. The term means to "to fall away, or to defect or revolt." Bauer, Gingrich and Danker says this term refers to "rebellion or abandonment." You listed the 2 Thessalonians 2 text and the other text is in Acts 21 which refers to a false claim by the Jews that Paul was trying to get them to defect from following Moses. That verse doesn't seem to apply. Just because in 2 Thessalonians 2 Paul speaks about the climate in the church and world just before Christ returns, does not mean that any individual can/will stop believing.

So IMHO, and it is just my opinion, when a person has come to trust in Christ he will not come to be an unbeliever. He can become a very disobedient Christian. The Lord may just take him home early, as a result, if his testimony gets bad enough.

Thx,

BD

So we both agree that it is in the body of Christ. Yes, there will be those whose love grows cold and those who depart from the faith during this time but I do disagree with you about the individual part. The body is made up of parts and those parts represent Christians collectively, right? And that group that makes up the body is comprised of individuals, correct? So it is talking about specific Christians who will fall away.

I'm aware of the Acts reference but didn't think it needed to be brought in because the case can be made on 2 Thes. alone.

I find it hard to believe that you represent such a clear case on topics and your use of the Greek is down right mind blowing but you can't see this one. Your term and my term agree so I can't understand how you are explaining away what is clear. I'm just using the same logic you used when we were discussing the "lift up"/"cut off" of John 15. This one is clearly easier because there's not 10 different meaning to apostasy. Come on...

So you are telling me that if I'm a disobedient Christian, God will kill me and give me my reward? What about Romans 2:5-8...

5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God "will give to each person according to what he has done." 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.

You are essentially saying that verse 7 is wrong because we can be disobedient and follow evil, which according to verse 8 says that we will receive wrath and anger, and still receive eternal life. Now you are one of the most logical guys I've chatted with when it comes to scripture so I know you can see this. Throw in this verse as well...

1 Thes. 5
9For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Either we can suffer wrath or not.

2 Peter 2:20
Jun 12th 2010, 12:43 AM
Me too. Although I've only known three other people who believe that way. Thank you! You make 4.


Maybe tell us what happens to those who 'fall away.' in the 'apostacy'.
Love

please refer to my reply to BD #66

2 Peter 2:20
Jun 12th 2010, 01:01 AM
2P2,

The Bible sometimes refers to a set of beliefs as "the faith." "Departing from the faith" or suffering "shipwreck to the faith" is not saying that someone stopped believing in Christ, but that their lifestyle was dealt a serious blow to their walk with Christ. "Faith" is often used to refer to what one believes, and therefore their "religion."

BD

Come on dude...we are talking the faith! A false faith is NO faith at all and I'm sure Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost could have discerned that and would have called it just as I have called it "No faith at all".

Again I gave the Greek for "faith". The number one meaning is the real deal faith not a false faith underlined it in "red" I believe. Paul handed those who shipwrecked their faith over to Satan. Wouldn't this imply that they were separated from Satan to be handed over to him? If they were with Satan, in their false faith, the whole time then Paul's comment would not make sense.

Sirus
Jun 12th 2010, 01:44 PM
Man did not give himself the ability -faith- God did. If then it is flawed, why is it flawed?Man is corrupt. The only faith that can save is Gods faith. The faith of Christ.Man is corrupt -define that. You obviously mean internally but I fail to find that word associated with any internal problem with man in scripture. Biblically, it is corrosive and has to do with the body. Man is earthy, of the dust, dying and decaying. Corruptible must put on incorruptible -resurrection- there is a natural and spiritual body.

The faith of Christ- yes, Jesus is the way, the captain, our shepherd. We look to Him, and what He did for us and to us, and are saved. He made the way (the faith) for us to be saved. What does this have to do with the faith we put in Him?

Sirus
Jun 12th 2010, 03:52 PM
I've been trying to figure out how to answer this poll since it was posted but it's not making sense to me.
It's -what kind of faith regenerates, and regenerate in the thread title is
"new birth"
and in the OP is said to be....
"we were" past tense "born again... born spiritually... regenerated"
.....yet the poll gives continuous as an option? Why? How?
How were we (past tense) "born again... born spiritually... regenerated", but there's a possibility faith must be continuous for this point in time action?
Why is continuous an option for being born again in the past?
So of course I should choose
"Point-in-time: Saving faith is point-in-time kind of faith"
like four other people because it is impossible to choose the other three. Not much of a poll.

Then the thread proceeds in discussion with a (continuous) walk by faith in a (past tense) regenerated state. It is argued that the faith that saves (continuous) is called our faith (which I agree with), but that it is not continuous, even though the walk by faith is continuous and the placing of our faith in Christ is continuous?

With a continuous walk by faith the poll options may make sense. Yet the poll is not about that it is about
"What kind of faith results in new birth (regeneration)?"
to which there is only one viable option
"Point-in-time: Saving faith is point-in-time kind of faith"

BadDog
Jun 12th 2010, 08:27 PM
Come on dude...we are talking the faith! A false faith is NO faith at all and I'm sure Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost could have discerned that and would have called it just as I have called it "No faith at all".

Again I gave the Greek for "faith". The number one meaning is the real deal faith not a false faith underlined it in "red" I believe. Paul handed those who shipwrecked their faith over to Satan. Wouldn't this imply that they were separated from Satan to be handed over to him? If they were with Satan, in their false faith, the whole time then Paul's comment would not make sense.
2P2,

"Faith" is used to refer to Christianity in general in the NT. Lexicons make that a valid meaning as well.

BD

BadDog
Jun 12th 2010, 08:33 PM
I've been trying to figure out how to answer this poll since it was posted but it's not making sense to me.
It's -what kind of faith regenerates, and regenerate in the thread title is
"new birth"
and in the OP is said to be....
"we were" past tense "born again... born spiritually... regenerated"
.....yet the poll gives continuous as an option? Why? How?
How were we (past tense) "born again... born spiritually... regenerated", but there's a possibility faith must be continuous for this point in time action?
Why is continuous an option for being born again in the past?
So of course I should choose
"Point-in-time: Saving faith is point-in-time kind of faith"
like four other people because it is impossible to choose the other three. Not much of a poll.

Then the thread proceeds in discussion with a (continuous) walk by faith in a (past tense) regenerated state. It is argued that the faith that saves (continuous) is called our faith (which I agree with), but that it is not continuous, even though the walk by faith is continuous and the placing of our faith in Christ is continuous?

With a continuous walk by faith the poll options may make sense. Yet the poll is not about that it is about
"What kind of faith results in new birth (regeneration)?"
to which there is only one viable option
"Point-in-time: Saving faith is point-in-time kind of faith"
Sirus,

Sorry you're disappointed in the poll. Let me clarify a couple things:

First, I am not proposing that a genuine believer could stop "believing" - I made that clear before. But my point was what kind of "initial" faith is "required" IOT gain eternal life. I argued that it is "point-in-time" faith. Otherwise, we could never have assurance of salvation-that would not be possible. And John in 1 John 5:11-13 makes it clear that he expects Christians to have assurance. I made some pretty strong srguments grammatically on this point.

Sorry for any confusion.

BD

Sirus
Jun 12th 2010, 11:09 PM
Let me clarify a couple things:

First, I am not proposing that a genuine believer could stop "believing" - I made that clear before.I didn't say anything about this and don't see how it relates to the faith needed to be born again.


But my point was what kind of "initial" faith is "required" IOT gain eternal life. I argued that it is "point-in-time" faith. Otherwise, we could never have assurance of salvation-that would not be possible. And John in 1 John 5:11-13 makes it clear that he expects Christians to have assurance. I made some pretty strong srguments grammatically on this point.

Sorry for any confusion.How could it be anything other than faith at a point in time? Since we were -past tense- born again we certainly did believe when we were born again --past tense- point in time--. How could anyone say otherwise?

1John 3:18-24 tells us how we can assure our hearts before Him.

How would my faith 10 years from now have anything to do with whether or not I was or am born again right now?

2 Peter 2:20
Jun 12th 2010, 11:47 PM
2P2,

"Faith" is used to refer to Christianity in general in the NT. Lexicons make that a valid meaning as well.

BD

Ok, so we agree that when it is talking about faith it is talking about Christianity. Let's go back then to the passages I posted...

1 Timothy 4:1 KJV

1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

1 Timothy 1:19-20 KJV

19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Can't we say that Paul is basically saying that "some will depart from Christianity" and "some have put away concerning Christianity have made shipwreck"

Now if we are able to "depart" Christianity (apostates for one) what are the consequences for such an action? This being one who didn't endure, one who didn't by patient continuance seek glory and honor, one who soiled their garments...Is the reward for those who do this still eternal life? We know if one returns there is forgivness to be found but I'm not talking about those.

BadDog
Jun 13th 2010, 01:31 AM
How could it be anything other than faith at a point in time? Since we were -past tense- born again we certainly did believe when we were born again --past tense- point in time--. How could anyone say otherwise?

1John 3:18-24 tells us how we can assure our hearts before Him.

How would my faith 10 years from now have anything to do with whether or not I was or am born again right now?Good question. A common claim is that the faith needed to gain eternal life is "continuous" meaning that we can never have assurance until we die. That is based upon a misunderstanding of aspect regarding the present tense. Without considering the context, the present tense IS linear in general, but that says nothing about the duration of the faith. Also, like you said, how could we say that one is born-again when they trust in Christ otherwise?

But some do... arguing that we are then saved by faith plus works.

Good comments.

Thx,

BD

BadDog
Jun 13th 2010, 02:03 AM
Ok, so we agree that when it is talking about faith it is talking about Christianity. Let's go back then to the passages I posted...

1 Timothy 4:1 KJV

1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

1 Timothy 1:19-20 KJV

19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Can't we say that Paul is basically saying that "some will depart from Christianity" and "some have put away concerning Christianity have made shipwreck"

Now if we are able to "depart" Christianity (apostates for one) what are the consequences for such an action? This being one who didn't endure, one who didn't by patient continuance seek glory and honor, one who soiled their garments...Is the reward for those who do this still eternal life? We know if one returns there is forgivness to be found but I'm not talking about those.
Thx 2P2. To "depart from the faith" is to stray from sound doctrine. When our doctrine gets off base it has serious consequences for our lives. But let's read those texts in context, and the meaning will become clear:

1 Timothy 4:1-7 Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing should be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.

If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished by the words of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. But have nothing to do with irreverent and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness

As you can see, some will depart from the faith... from the teachings which are sound doctrine. They will follow some false prophets who say that they need to be vegetarians, or not eat unclean meat, etc.. Paul is not talking about people no longer following sounds doctrines about Christ--who he is. They taught things such as "don't marry." He lists them there and in the following passages.


Let's look at that 2nd text, in context, so we can understand what Paul was saying:

1 Timothy 1:19-20 Timothy, my child, I am giving you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies previously made about you, so that by them you may strongly engage in battle, having faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and have suffered the shipwreck of their faith. Hymenaeus and Alexander are among them, and I have delivered them to Satan, so that they may be taught not to blaspheme.

Greek: περὶ τὴν πίστιν ἐναυάγησαν
"concerning the faith-shipwreck..."

Now, it is also not clear if Alexander was a Christian. He may have been on the outskirts, interested in some things that Paul was teaching, but look what it says about him here:

2 Timothy 4:14, 15 Alexander the coppersmith did great harm to me. The Lord will repay him according to his works. Watch out for him yourself, because he strongly opposed our words.

And look what it says in chapter 2 about Hymenaeus:

2 Timothy 2:15-18 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn't need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. But avoid irreverent, empty speech, for this will produce an even greater measure of godlessness. And their word will spread like gangrene, among whom are Hymenaeus and Philetus. They have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and are overturning the faith of some.

So investigating these two men, it appears that they were on the fringes of some meetings, but were opposing Paul, Timothy and Silas, teaching that Christians should still abstain from pork and other unclean foods, and teaching many other false doctrines, such as that the resurrection has already come. I am not at all convinced that these two men were ever believers. But they did try to draw some of the younger, weaker Christians away after false doctrines. Does Paul seem to be speaking about these two men as if they were, or ever had been, believers?

This is not to say that some false teachings can be propagated by genuine believers... it happens. But these two certainly do not appear to be believers.

Now that said, Paul did speak about "delivering Hymenaeus and Alexander to Satan so that they may be taught not to blaspheme." Now, just what does this expression, "deliver to Satan" mean? I think Paul was asking the Lord to really deal with them, using Satan, with the hope that they would recognize the serious errors they were teaching. If Hymenaeus and Alexander were believers, then they were ostracized, with the hope that they would get their doctrine straight. Paul was always very concerned about sound doctrine. Notice his words when addressing the elders from Ephesus before he was to leave them:

Acts 20:29, 30 I know that after I am gone fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Even from among your own group men will arise, teaching perversions of the truth to draw the disciples away after them

I think those "even from among your own group" are false believers, who have worked their way into the fellowship, so that they will be able to draw true believers away after false doctrines.

Thx 2T2,

BD

Sirus
Jun 13th 2010, 02:29 AM
A common claim is that the faith needed to gain eternal life is "continuous" meaning that we can never have assurance until we die.I've heard the claim. It's funny though because as we continue in the faith we have assurance, right? Scripture never says, be concerned for tomorrow in this regard or carnal needs. If one is concerned they will lose it tomorrow, they can be assured they will not. It's a silly claim that cannot be backed with scripture. We have scripture that says if we do 'these things' an entrance into the eternal kingdom will be made -inherit eternal life, etc....then we have others that say we can have, right now, eternal life and know it. Saying if we do 'these things' an entrance into the eternal kingdom will be made simply means do them and gives a warning to be diligent to do them. It doesn't make salvation works based and it doesn't imply that you should be concerned that you may not.


That is based upon a misunderstanding of aspect regarding the present tense.I disagree. The misunderstanding is made by those that do not even understand scripture in their own language because they do not know how to maintain context in their own language.


Without considering the context, the present tense IS linear in general, but that says nothing about the duration of the faith.why does it need to, since it is linear? If I die daily, persecution happened yesterday, today, and will tomorrow if I preach the gospel to all men. The physical persecution is continual. It doesn't say how long I was beaten before being left for dead. It doesn't need to in order to be continual death. It's the same for he that believes.


Also, like you said, how could we say that one is born-again when they trust in Christ otherwise?

But some do... arguing that we are then saved by faith plus works.I don't know anyone that says their works are separate from their faith.

2 Peter 2:20
Jun 13th 2010, 05:21 AM
Thx 2P2. To "depart from the faith" is to stray from sound doctrine. When our doctrine gets off base it has serious consequences for our lives. But let's read those texts in context, and the meaning will become clear:

1 Timothy 4:1-7 Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing should be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.

If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished by the words of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. But have nothing to do with irreverent and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness

As you can see, some will depart from the faith... from the teachings which are sound doctrine. They will follow some false prophets who say that they need to be vegetarians, or not eat unclean meat, etc.. Paul is not talking about people no longer following sounds doctrines about Christ--who he is. They taught things such as "don't marry." He lists them there and in the following passages.


Let's look at that 2nd text, in context, so we can understand what Paul was saying:

1 Timothy 1:19-20 Timothy, my child, I am giving you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies previously made about you, so that by them you may strongly engage in battle, having faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and have suffered the shipwreck of their faith. Hymenaeus and Alexander are among them, and I have delivered them to Satan, so that they may be taught not to blaspheme.

Greek: περὶ τὴν πίστιν ἐναυάγησαν
"concerning the faith-shipwreck..."

Now, it is also not clear if Alexander was a Christian. He may have been on the outskirts, interested in some things that Paul was teaching, but look what it says about him here:

2 Timothy 4:14, 15 Alexander the coppersmith did great harm to me. The Lord will repay him according to his works. Watch out for him yourself, because he strongly opposed our words.

And look what it says in chapter 2 about Hymenaeus:

2 Timothy 2:15-18 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn't need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. But avoid irreverent, empty speech, for this will produce an even greater measure of godlessness. And their word will spread like gangrene, among whom are Hymenaeus and Philetus. They have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and are overturning the faith of some.

So investigating these two men, it appears that they were on the fringes of some meetings, but were opposing Paul, Timothy and Silas, teaching that Christians should still abstain from pork and other unclean foods, and teaching many other false doctrines, such as that the resurrection has already come. I am not at all convinced that these two men were ever believers. But they did try to draw some of the younger, weaker Christians away after false doctrines. Does Paul seem to be speaking about these two men as if they were, or ever had been, believers?

This is not to say that some false teachings can be propagated by genuine believers... it happens. But these two certainly do not appear to be believers.

Now that said, Paul did speak about "delivering Hymenaeus and Alexander to Satan so that they may be taught not to blaspheme." Now, just what does this expression, "deliver to Satan" mean? I think Paul was asking the Lord to really deal with them, using Satan, with the hope that they would recognize the serious errors they were teaching. If Hymenaeus and Alexander were believers, then they were ostracized, with the hope that they would get their doctrine straight. Paul was always very concerned about sound doctrine. Notice his words when addressing the elders from Ephesus before he was to leave them:

Acts 20:29, 30 I know that after I am gone fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Even from among your own group men will arise, teaching perversions of the truth to draw the disciples away after them

I think those "even from among your own group" are false believers, who have worked their way into the fellowship, so that they will be able to draw true believers away after false doctrines.

Thx 2T2,

BD

I don't understand you're kinda bouncing back and forth...either "faith" means the true faith or not. You said the Greek renders it as referring to Christianity. They left the faith...they left Christianity...they left sound doctrine to follow after demons. It's all the same. Bottom line is...they are not following after Christ anymore. What are the consequences of such a state? Yes, you show the context and yes you are correct but the point is that they left. The reason is irrelevant. They are gone from the faith. Paul warns time and again about false teachers and false doctrine and here is just another case of that. Here is what Paul said to the Galatian church...

gal.1
6I 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— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But 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! 9As 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!

These were false teachers that Paul was condemning eternally. He's warning the church to be on guard against these false teachers...why? Did he know as Peter did that they could fall from their secure position?

2 Peter 3
16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.

I can tell you are a very smart person. You've got this grammatically correct thing going that's just way over my head but sometimes the obvious is just that obvious. It says what it says.

BadDog
Jun 13th 2010, 01:24 PM
I don't understand you're kinda bouncing back and forth...either "faith" means the true faith or not. You said the Greek renders it as referring to Christianity. They left the faith...they left Christianity...they left sound doctrine to follow after demons. It's all the same. Bottom line is...they are not following after Christ anymore. What are the consequences of such a state? Yes, you show the context and yes you are correct but the point is that they left. The reason is irrelevant. They are gone from the faith. Paul warns time and again about false teachers and false doctrine and here is just another case of that. Here is what Paul said to the Galatian church...
Well first, I didn't say that the Greek renders it as referring to Christianity. There is an article, so that certainly is possible, but it does not have to mean that--in Greek. "Faith" is used in the NT several times to refer to the set of beliefs that they held to. I believe that's what is happening there.

Now, to say they "left the faith" does not mean (necessarily) that they "left the church"... it means that they left the pattern of sound teaching of the faith. BTW, I am not going off into left field here. This is a very common understanding of those passages, and just the context alone makes it the most likely understanding.


gal.1
6I 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— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But 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! 9As 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!
This is a good cross reference. Paul is writing the Galatian believers and telling them that they are being persuaded by the Jewish crowd in their vicinity to go back to the OT law, thus modifying the gospel. Now in all of Paul's letters he starts out by telling them how he is praying for them and also expresses his thankfulness for them. We see none of that here. because this isa serious issue. if the gospel is abandoned (by the local "church") then what they areleft with is no gospel at all. Paul says "anathema," a serious charge.

If we make what may appear to be subtle changes to the gospel message, we may in fact be removing the power of the gospel from our message! So I am not clear exactly what is happening here. But the translation "eternally condemned" is not a good translation there, for what it's worth.


These were false teachers that Paul was condemning eternally. He's warning the church to be on guard against these false teachers...why? Did he know as Peter did that they could fall from their secure position?

2 Peter 3
16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.

I can tell you are a very smart person. You've got this grammatically correct thing going that's just way over my head but sometimes the obvious is just that obvious. It says what it says.
The reason Paul was concerned about the false teachers was not that he was concerned that they might lose their salvation. That's not what he says.

Sorry, gotta go.

BD

2 Peter 2:20
Jun 13th 2010, 03:21 PM
Well first, I didn't say that the Greek renders it as referring to Christianity. There is an article, so that certainly is possible, but it does not have to mean that--in Greek. "Faith" is used in the NT several times to refer to the set of beliefs that they held to. I believe that's what is happening there.

Now, to say they "left the faith" does not mean (necessarily) that they "left the church"... it means that they left the pattern of sound teaching of the faith. BTW, I am not going off into left field here. This is a very common understanding of those passages, and just the context alone makes it the most likely understanding.


This is a good cross reference. Paul is writing the Galatian believers and telling them that they are being persuaded by the Jewish crowd in their vicinity to go back to the OT law, thus modifying the gospel. Now in all of Paul's letters he starts out by telling them how he is praying for them and also expresses his thankfulness for them. We see none of that here. because this isa serious issue. if the gospel is abandoned (by the local "church") then what they areleft with is no gospel at all. Paul says "anathema," a serious charge.

If we make what may appear to be subtle changes to the gospel message, we may in fact be removing the power of the gospel from our message! So I am not clear exactly what is happening here. But the translation "eternally condemned" is not a good translation there, for what it's worth.


The reason Paul was concerned about the false teachers was not that he was concerned that they might lose their salvation. That's not what he says.

Sorry, gotta go.

BD

So what are the consequences of changing the gospel or following after the wrong gospel? You say eternally condemned is a poor translation and you use the word anathema. We know that anathema means...

a·nath·e·ma   /əˈnæθəmə/ Show Spelled Show IPA
–noun, plural -mas.
1. a person or thing detested or loathed: That subject is anathema to him.
2. a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction.
3. a formal ecclesiastical curse involving excommunication.
4. any imprecation of divine punishment.
5. a curse; execration.

The word anathema frequently occurs in St. Paul’s writings, and is generally translated accursed. An examination of the passages in which it occurs shows that it had acquired a more general sense as expressive either of strong feeling, Rom. 9:3, [U]or of dislike and condemnation. 1 Cor. 12:3; 16:22; Gal. 1:9.

With a self-condemning oath (Mark 14:71), Peter denied that he knew Jesus. Paul pronounced a curse on preachers of a false gospel (Gal. 1:8–9). In Romans 9:3–4 Paul said, “I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites.” The phrase “accursed from Christ” means to be separated from all benefits of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

So Paul is just physically condemning them and not eternally condemning them? Is that what you are saying? You ask for us to read the context to understand that "departing from the faith" only means to leave sound teaching (which I don't agree is the case) and I ask you to read the context as well in regard to anathema. In comparison to Romans 9 where Paul wishes he was accursed from Christ for his Jewish brethern, why would Paul not be as extreme to those teaching a gospel that as different than the one he preached. In context he is condemning them eternally which is how the NIV renders it. Wouldn't the outcome for those that follow after this false teaching be the same? That's why 2 Peter 3 warns us of the danger of falling from our secure position by following after these lawless men.

inn
Jun 13th 2010, 04:17 PM
I don't know anyone that says their works are separate from their faith.

James is certianly the one who goes on about works being a result of faith,
Jas 2:18 '...and I will shew thee my faith by my works.'
It seems like he was addressing some who said they had faith but this faith didn't affect their practical lives. I think that when we look at our works for salvation[a really bad idea], we glory in our flesh, and this grieves God.

Sirus
Jun 13th 2010, 06:48 PM
Like I said, I don't know anyone that thinks works alone save. I know they exist. Certainly did when James wrote to the 12 tribes but we aren't talking about that are we? I know some have a works based salvation today despite not saying so, but it's not because they don't think faith is necessarry it is because they mix works with grace.

BadDog
Jun 14th 2010, 07:55 PM
So what are the consequences of changing the gospel or following after the wrong gospel? You say eternally condemned is a poor translation and you use the word anathema. We know that anathema means...

a·nath·e·ma   /əˈnæθəmə/ Show Spelled Show IPA
–noun, plural -mas.
1. a person or thing detested or loathed: That subject is anathema to him.
2. a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction.
3. a formal ecclesiastical curse involving excommunication.
4. any imprecation of divine punishment.
5. a curse; execration.

The word anathema frequently occurs in St. Paul’s writings, and is generally translated accursed. An examination of the passages in which it occurs shows that it had acquired a more general sense as expressive either of strong feeling, Rom. 9:3, [U]or of dislike and condemnation. 1 Cor. 12:3; 16:22; Gal. 1:9.

With a self-condemning oath (Mark 14:71), Peter denied that he knew Jesus. Paul pronounced a curse on preachers of a false gospel (Gal. 1:8–9). In Romans 9:3–4 Paul said, “I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites.” The phrase “accursed from Christ” means to be separated from all benefits of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

So Paul is just physically condemning them and not eternally condemning them? Is that what you are saying? You ask for us to read the context to understand that "departing from the faith" only means to leave sound teaching (which I don't agree is the case) and I ask you to read the context as well in regard to anathema. In comparison to Romans 9 where Paul wishes he was accursed from Christ for his Jewish brethern, why would Paul not be as extreme to those teaching a gospel that as different than the one he preached. In context he is condemning them eternally which is how the NIV renders it. Wouldn't the outcome for those that follow after this false teaching be the same? That's why 2 Peter 3 warns us of the danger of falling from our secure position by following after these lawless men.
2P2,

ANATHEMA is a strong "curse" or proclamation--no doubt. But to translate it as "eternally damned" is assuming a whole lot. It does have a wide range of meanings, and you're right that context is important here.

Paul would be proclaiming a curse upon those who don't know Lord. But he also applied it to himself, saying that even if an angel from heaven brought a different gospel, "let him be accursed." (The word translated "different" is ALLOS--"another of a different kind." It's not just "another" gospel, but one that is "different"... not a gospel at all.) The point Paul is making is that the gospel cannot be added to or subtracted from in any way! He's trying to make a very strong statement. He applies it to all men and even angels. The point has nothing to do with whether or not a person can lose their salvation. The point is about the gospel.

BD

2 Peter 2:20
Jun 14th 2010, 10:55 PM
2P2,

ANATHEMA is a strong "curse" or proclamation--no doubt. But to translate it as "eternally damned" is assuming a whole lot. It does have a wide range of meanings, and you're right that context is important here.

Paul would be proclaiming a curse upon those who don't know Lord. But he also applied it to himself, saying that even if an angel from heaven brought a different gospel, "let him be accursed." (The word translated "different" is ALLOS--"another of a different kind." It's not just "another" gospel, but one that is "different"... not a gospel at all.) The point Paul is making is that the gospel cannot be added to or subtracted from in any way! He's trying to make a very strong statement. He applies it to all men and even angels. The point has nothing to do with whether or not a person can lose their salvation. The point is about the gospel.

BD
I highlighted the meaning of the word...2. a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction.. So I'm not really assuming too much at all. I still can't get past this logic you are using. When you are defending scripture you use the Greek word and definition of that word to support your position and you feel that it is sound. I show that the definition of the word anathema does mean accursed or consigned to damnation and you tell me I'm reaching. I don't understand

You and I can go scripture for scripture all day long, you and I can give definition for definition all day long but you and I have to get past this. The rest of our discussion hinges on this question...Again, what are the consequences for such an action if a believer were to preach a different gospel?

BadDog
Jun 15th 2010, 01:17 AM
You guys. One reason I do not like debating on the OSAS topic is that we seem to get off base so easily. What I mean... well, let me share from church yesterday. We sang a song, I don't even know the name of it, but it's one of those old hymns that have been modernized in the music.

There was so much depth in the lyrics. It focused on all that we have in Christ. It got me thinking about how for me the issue is not whether or not we can actually lose our position in Christ, and become "unsaved." It's about the magnificence of what God has done in redeeming us. It's the beauty of the gospel. Like Paul in Galatians 1:9, 10, which our brother 2 Peter 2 shared recently, I just don't want the gospel distorted or cheapened at all!

In the OSAS discussions we will find a wide range of beliefs on both sides of the issue. Some NOSAS hold that we cannot "lose" our salvation, so-to-speak, bu we can "give it up" or "stop believing," etc. Others on the OSAS side may say that it is not possible to stop believing (yours truly-though meekly) or that it's not possible to turn away from the Lord. Reformed believers hold to the "perseverance of the saints," while others (yours truly) hold to what I refer to as "the preservation of the saints," preferring to focus on what God has and is doing.

The last OSAS thread I became involved in, things got kinda unChristian-like. So I'm going to ask us to keep the focus of this thread on "faith." Now to be honest, I usually think through a thread carefully, especially a poll, before starting it. But this one was not developed very carefully by me. I really had something to say about faith needed to save being of the point-in-time type. I had an agenda. I thought there would be lively discussion on it too. Problem is, I don't see anyone really objecting very strongly to point-in-time faith.


Now I was thinking that perhaps I need to re-define things. I'd like to start with a few questions, and really see what people think. And I have no agenda with this, other than to stimulate us all to do some thinking about faith and the gospel. I'm not going to include the common question about whether or not faith naturally includes works, for I fear the discussion will go down the path, ignoring some other excellent questions to consider. besides, we've gone down that path often, and recently. Maybe we'll hit that a little later. :P So here goes:


What is faith?
How much faith is needed to get saved?
What is the content of our faith, in terms of the gospel? (What do we need to believe?)
What is the object of our faith, in terms of the gospel?
How does God bring us to believe? (IOW, describe the process that causes us to come to faith.)
Are there different kinds of faith?
For believers: how does our faith grow?


You guys will probably find ways to better express these questions, and please feel free to do so. Also, you may like to add questions regarding our faith.

OK, there it is--7 questions. Some of the questions that will hopefully come out of this are things like, "Do I need to believe in (or know about) the resurrection of Christ IOT be saved?" Or "Was faith in the OT different than in NT times?" That last one should be interesting.

Have at it! (The game is afoot!)

BD

2 Peter 2:20
Jun 15th 2010, 04:09 PM
Is it possible for a "believer" to stop believing?
Because of the hardening that can take place in a believer's heart due to sin, a believer could reach a place in the downward spiral his rebellion and continued disobedience when he no longer is really sure if he believes in anything. But can a true believer reach a state where he could be classified as an 'unbeliever?" Some say that a Christian can commit apostasy. They are in general those who do not hold to eternal security.

But I say "no." A genuine believer could never become a genuine unbeliever.

When we speak of a believer, we are talking about a person who has trusted in Christ, Who is God's Son, and Who died for our sin and rose again. They also reached a point where they recognized their own sinfulness, which causes a separation from God. To summarize, they have trusted in Christ alone to save them.

There is a term used in John's gospel to refer to the "believer." John's gospel is the single NT book which explicitly refers to itself as written for evangelistic reasons (see John 20:30, 31):

John 20:30, 31 Now Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

What is the term used? Let's look at John 3:16 as an example:

"...that whoever believes in Him..." The term translated as "whoever believes" is an articular participle. That means that it is a participle with an accompanying article. Typically, it is quite common to translate such as what is referred to as a "substantival"... a noun. IOW, that term is acting like a noun. It could be translated as "the believing one." IMO the fact that John used this sort of expression makes it clear that a "believer" is one who "believes." If we include a common preposition which accompanies this expressions, we have in Greek: ὁ πιστεύων εἰς--"the one believing in."

So I don't believe that a genuine "believer" ever stops believing. He has been changed (2 Corinthians 5:17). He is now indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He may mess up. But he knows Whom he has believed in. "For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that Day."

Comments?

BD


You guys. One reason I do not like debating on the OSAS topic is that we seem to get off base so easily. What I mean... well, let me share from church yesterday. We sang a song, I don't even know the name of it, but it's one of those old hymns that have been modernized in the music.

There was so much depth in the lyrics. It focused on all that we have in Christ. It got me thinking about how for me the issue is not whether or not we can actually lose our position in Christ, and become "unsaved." It's about the magnificence of what God has done in redeeming us. It's the beauty of the gospel. Like Paul in Galatians 1:9, 10, which our brother 2 Peter 2 shared recently, I just don't want the gospel distorted or cheapened at all!

In the OSAS discussions we will find a wide range of beliefs on both sides of the issue. Some NOSAS hold that we cannot "lose" our salvation, so-to-speak, bu we can "give it up" or "stop believing," etc. Others on the OSAS side may say that it is not possible to stop believing (yours truly-though meekly) or that it's not possible to turn away from the Lord. Reformed believers hold to the "perseverance of the saints," while others (yours truly) hold to what I refer to as "the preservation of the saints," preferring to focus on what God has and is doing.

The last OSAS thread I became involved in, things got kinda unChristian-like. So I'm going to ask us to keep the focus of this thread on "faith." Now to be honest, I usually think through a thread carefully, especially a poll, before starting it. But this one was not developed very carefully by me. I really had something to say about faith needed to save being of the point-in-time type. I had an agenda. I thought there would be lively discussion on it too. Problem is, I don't see anyone really objecting very strongly to point-in-time faith.


Now I was thinking that perhaps I need to re-define things. I'd like to start with a few questions, and really see what people think. And I have no agenda with this, other than to stimulate us all to do some thinking about faith and the gospel. I'm not going to include the common question about whether or not faith naturally includes works, for I fear the discussion will go down the path, ignoring some other excellent questions to consider. besides, we've gone down that path often, and recently. Maybe we'll hit that a little later. :P So here goes:





What is faith?
How much faith is needed to get saved?
What is the content of our faith, in terms of the gospel? (What do we need to believe?)
What is the object of our faith, in terms of the gospel?
How does God bring us to believe? (IOW, describe the process that causes us to come to faith.)
Are there different kinds of faith?
For believers: how does our faith grow?


You guys will probably find ways to better express these questions, and please feel free to do so. Also, you may like to add questions regarding our faith.

OK, there it is--7 questions. Some of the questions that will hopefully come out of this are things like, "Do I need to believe in (or know about) the resurrection of Christ IOT be saved?" Or "Was faith in the OT different than in NT times?" That last one should be interesting.

Have at it! (The game is afoot!)

BD

I don't think we got off base. Your post was the first along the lines of the possibility of a believer to stop believing. I didn't comment on anything before that point. I asked about apostasy, of which I gave the Greek and the definition of the word and where it was used in scripture. This led to where we are today with the question of the consequences of the believer to depart from the faith of which I gave scripture, Greek, and definition of this position as well. Yes, there are OSAS/NOSAS components in this topic but you introduced them. I responded to your comments with Greek and scripture to support my position and I thought we were having a good discussion. You make a good point about cheapening the gospel. Unfortunately OSAS and NOSAS can't exist together. One is right and one is wrong. Through scripture and only through scripture can the answer be found. I seek the truth and I believe you do as well. You and I believe the gospel and we both know and believe the message of the death, burial, and the resurrection but let's us leave the elementary teachings and go on to perfection...and God permitting we will do so.

BadDog
Jun 17th 2010, 01:22 AM
2P2,

No complaints, and no accusations aimed at you. My focus was not on whether or not someone could stop believing, but what kind of faith is required to become re-born. It's OK, this thread wasn't designed very well. I've got another idea for a thread, and it an OSAS one. :D

BD

Dani H
Jun 17th 2010, 01:34 AM
Before I cast my vote:

Is anybody responding in this thread actually concerned about their salvation, and do any of you lack assurance?

Because I gotta honestly say, I don't, and haven't, in years and years and years. There was a time at the beginning I wasn't sure, but that drove me to dig into God and His Word and once I found that assurance (or rather, God was turning something into personal knowledge that was already real from where He sat), it has never left me.

I've been rocked in my faith and severely tested but there has always been that undergirding that God was in control, somehow, someway, doing His thing with me and that I belong to Him, period. Still is.

If that assurance wasn't real and if our standing with God wasn't real but some shaky future promise that may or may not happen, what validity would Paul have to voice the desire that he would give his own salvation if it meant the entire nation of Israel could be saved? Those would be hallow words based on nothing then, wouldn't it, because he was putting something on the table that didn't exist? Or does it?

How about Moses when he offered for his own name to be blotted out of God's book if God wasn't going to fulfill His promises and destroy Israel and start over with Moses? Hollow too?

These people didn't know what they were talking about, and what went on was all rhetorics and figures of speech?

Sorry BD that was obviously a rabbit trail. I'll respond to your new thread, I guess. :)