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  • Salvation: Faith Only/Alone or Obedient Faith?

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

    Several questions to ponder:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (Continued)
    "Maranatha" Come, Lord Jesus

  • #2
    Continued from 1st post

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




    So what is essential to Salvation?

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

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

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

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

    Faith (see the verses listed on post 1)

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

    Hope (Romans 8:24)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Comment


    • #3
      NLathrop,

      A very well thought out post and good insight.

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

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

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

      Sanctification: - We are being delivered from the Power of sin. This is the process, in this life, of coming to realize more and more just how sinful and in need of a savior we are. God begins to work in our will to show us our great need for Him and to change our will to follow and obey Him.

      Glorification: - We will be delivered from the Presence of sin.This is the final part of salvation when God will complete redemption of His believers and actually remove sin and satan, and establish His everlasting kingdom.
      ================================================== ==========

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

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

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

      Glorification is completely of God and happens in the twinkling of an eye when redemption of everything is complete.
      WDJD - what DID Jesus do

      He died on a cross for our sin and rose from the dead,
      securing, for all who believe, eternal life and forgiveness of sin

      Toolman

      Comment


      • #4
        But one isn't truly saved, according to the Bible unless they have all of the extras from my previous posts. It is clear from the Bible that they are all connected to Salvation, not a separate process.

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

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by NLathrop
          But one isn't truly saved, according to the Bible unless they have all of the extras from my previous posts. It is clear from the Bible that they are all connected to Salvation, not a separate process.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          He died on a cross for our sin and rose from the dead,
          securing, for all who believe, eternal life and forgiveness of sin

          Toolman

          Comment


          • #6
            Good post, NLathrop.


            [CENTER][SIZE=2]A FEW MINUTES WITH SOMEONE WHO LOVES YOU

            Comment


            • #7
              Clarify this for me:

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

              Comment


              • #8
                MetalFortress:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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



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

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

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  One version

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

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

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by vume
                    The couple of Scriptures which follow tell me that: (1) grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, (2) salvation comes through the cross of Christ alone, not works. BUT, good works will follow someone who is in-Christ.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

                    Faith INCLUDES good deeds, obedience, baptism...not reults in good deeds, obedience and baptism. Faith without these is just believing, which, as James says, is useless and does not save.
                    Last edited by ejant; Aug 13th 2004, 05:47 PM. Reason: key search engine words
                    "Maranatha" Come, Lord Jesus

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NLathrop
                      MetalFortress:
                      I would hope that Jesus would allow them into Heaven, but that is a call He has to make not me. I believe if their repentance was sincere, but they were unable to become baptized before death struck, Jesus would be fine with this.
                      The thief on the cross might be a good person to ask this question of.
                      It appears his justification was simpler than ours, all he did was put his trust in Christ.
                      BTW - I wholeheartedly agree that baptism should be an immediate response to belief in Christ.

                      Originally posted by NLathrop
                      Toolman, where does the Bible tell us that it is by Faith Alone that we are saved? Specific verses that say ONLY or alone....not just that Faith saves us. Faith includes ALL these things.
                      Romans chapter 4 is as clear cut as possible that it is by Faith in Christ ALONE that we are justified before God:
                      Romans 4:1-5 - 1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
                      But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness

                      These verses CLEARLY spell out that Abraham was NOT justified by works before God (verse 2). It says that Abraham was imputed (an accounting term for credited) righteousness (verse 3). It says that those who work the wages are not by grace but they are earned (earned justification - verse 4)

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

                      Originally posted by NLathrop
                      I have provided tons of verses that say we must have faith AND ....be baptized...be obedient...be repentant.
                      Obedience, baptism, repentance of sin all follow AFTER justification. They are a part of our sanctification. Remember salvation is made of 3 distinct yet inseperable events.
                      Justification - Just explained in Romans 4 as being credited with Christ's righteousness, lawless deeds FORGIVEN, and sins COVERED.

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

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

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

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

                      Originally posted by NLathrop
                      But all I am getting back is that these things come after salvation, with no Biblical proof of this. No offense towards you or anyone else on this thread or board, but without Biblical backing, your words are nothingmore than an opinion given by a flawed human being. (And yes, I included myself as being a flawed human as well.)
                      Well, I hope that you will not listen to my words but clearly discern what the scriptures have spoken to you here. I think the evidence is overwhelming that justification before God comes at the point of belief in Christ alone, before ANY works. I pray that you will reconsider your position based on the declaration of scripture.

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


                      Just let me know.
                      Last edited by Toolman; Dec 23rd 2003, 07:18 PM.
                      WDJD - what DID Jesus do

                      He died on a cross for our sin and rose from the dead,
                      securing, for all who believe, eternal life and forgiveness of sin

                      Toolman

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Toolman
                        The thief on the cross might be a good person to ask this question of.
                        It appears his justification was simpler than ours, all he did was put his trust in Christ.
                        BTW - I wholeheartedly agree that baptism should be an immediate response to belief in Christ.
                        Toolman, do you think that the thief on the cross was living under the New Covenant, or the Old Covenant?

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


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


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                        • #13
                          Like I said in my last post, it seems you and I are on different oipinion as to what Faith actually is.

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

                          Faith Definitions

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


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


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

                          faith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                          7. Credibility or truth. [R.]

                          The faith of the foregoing narrative. --Mitford.

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

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

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

                          In good faith, with perfect sincerity.

                          Easton's Bible Dictionary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Matt14
                            Toolman, do you think that the thief on the cross was living under the New Covenant, or the Old Covenant?

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

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

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

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

                            He died on a cross for our sin and rose from the dead,
                            securing, for all who believe, eternal life and forgiveness of sin

                            Toolman

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              So was Abraham "saved" before Christ's sacrifice, or after?

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

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

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


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