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Thread: A Work necessary for Salvation?

  1. #16
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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    [QUOTE=Pbminimum;3526517]
    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    What is an "ANIT?"
    Wall's doctrinal errors are much deeper than this. He flat out posted that Jesus does not justify the sinner. He didn't come for that. Those were his very words.
    I agree. I read your arguments there, and completely agree with you. You put his arguments in a corner, and I don't think there's any escape. Either your works are self-justifying, and illegitimate, or all of us Christians get into the Kingdom of Christ.

    Christ's justifying death and atonement was designed to give us entry into the eternal Kingdom of Christ. I certainly wouldn't distinguish between the Eternal Kingdom of Christ and the Millennial Kingdom as a reward for God's People over all!

    There certainly will be a diversification of reward, based on works. But none of this has to do with being rewarded with a *place* in the Kingdom of God! It is, I believe, the reward of *all Christians,* no matter the quality or volume of works, to obtain a place in the Kingdom of Christ. Receiving different rewards will not change this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pbminimum
    This is where I actually kinda sorta line up with the reformed camp. Scripturally speaking of course, since we are filled with the Holy Spirit the moment we place genuine faith in Christ, He will empower the change, or full circle repentance in out lives. So no, I don't see repentance as a work. I see it as God MOVING us in His direction after we yield to him in belief. AKA surrender.
    I understand the point, at the very least. No work we do can justify us in the presence of a holy God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pbminimum
    "Give up" is another description of the term surrender. I'm not saying repentance isn't a choice , because it is. But it's only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. So in reality, who gets the credit for it ? Us or The Holy Spirit ?
    Yes, when I read "Bondage of the Will" by Martin Luther many years ago, I marked up the book through and through. I had problem with "determinism" in the philosophical sense. Either we choose or God chooses. Maybe it is somewhat inexpressible? God chooses, and we therefore choose, according to how God has chosen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pbminimum
    Again, see the term surrender, belief, yield. The only "ACT" is removing ourselves as our master and submitting to Christ. Then the "doing" is possible.
    Well, that was the whole point. Repentance or Surrrender are human acts, requiring human volition, and not purely the domain of divine choice. God does not *determine* our choice. He may pre-choose what we incline towards in our choices, but we must choose ourselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pbminimum
    I see it as a choice. Not a work. Again, the "doing" comes after the choice, and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Exactly and Amen.

    It's not a dilemma when we see that all we do is submit and allow God to work THROUGH us instead of us WORKING to obtain.

    Surrender.

    It's only when man stops doing things and submits to Christ's way of doing things can anything ever truly be done. And it's Christ in us, not us working for Christ.
    Thanks for making a reasonable effort at expressing your view in this kind of argument. It's on the unusual side, and likely to not be entirely satisfying.

  2. #17
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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Yes, when I read "Bondage of the Will" by Martin Luther many years ago, I marked up the book through and through. I had problem with "determinism" in the philosophical sense. Either we choose or God chooses. Maybe it is somewhat inexpressible? God chooses, and we therefore choose, according to how God has chosen?
    I believe that salvation is synergistic in nature. It takes cooperation of both parties involved, bot God and man. God has already extended His hand , so the rest is about accepting or denying. But I agree... it can be inexpressible at times.

    Well, that was the whole point. Repentance or Surrrender are human acts, requiring human volition, and not purely the domain of divine choice. God does not *determine* our choice. He may pre-choose what we incline towards in our choices, but we must choose ourselves.
    "Acts" and "works" can be looked at differently. As I was describing earlier I believe that surrender is an ANTI - work. I really do. It's giving up. It's STOPPING more than it's DOING. I know it's vague , but it's all I can glean from the entirety of scripture that makes man's ability to choose and God's sovereignty co-habitable with one another.


    Thanks for making a reasonable effort at expressing your view in this kind of argument. It's on the unusual side, and likely to not be entirely satisfying.
    I appreciate your input. And if you find one that is entirely satisfying , please let me know.

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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Actually salvation is works-based if you are able. Here's the commandment Jesus gave for us to earn it:

    For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven ... You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5)

    So in addition to the commandments in the law, we need to exceed that and go beyond to full perfection (as perfect as God). There are two responses you can have to this knowledge - either you think and attempt to reach that standard and follow all His commandments, or you realize that you are hopeless and can never attain perfection. Jesus gave a parable explaining this:

    Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. (Luke 18)

    Repentance is about understanding that you are a sinner - and it is an appeal, calling out to God for mercy, with nothing to offer. It has nothing to do with works. The tax collector merely prayed and went home justified, not after doing godly works. Salvation is purely an internal affair. If you want to add to it with works then you must be perfect, as Jesus said. God does not accept anything less.
    「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
    撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    Actually salvation is works-based if you are able. Here's the commandment Jesus gave for us to earn it:

    For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven ... You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5)

    So in addition to the commandments in the law, we need to exceed that and go beyond to full perfection (as perfect as God). There are two responses you can have to this knowledge - either you think and attempt to reach that standard and follow all His commandments, or you realize that you are hopeless and can never attain perfection. Jesus gave a parable explaining this:

    Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. (Luke 18)

    Repentance is about understanding that you are a sinner - and it is an appeal, calling out to God for mercy, with nothing to offer. It has nothing to do with works. The tax collector merely prayed and went home justified, not after doing godly works. Salvation is purely an internal affair. If you want to add to it with works then you must be perfect, as Jesus said. God does not accept anything less.
    Amen Aviyah. Excellent post.

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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnE View Post
    Here is the part the "free grace" folks miss.
    Did you pay for your grace?
    Some people don't mind contradicting themselves as long as they can keep disagreeing with you...

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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChangedByHim View Post
    Did you pay for your grace?
    If he did , he doesn't have any.

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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Jesus told a number of people what they needed to do to be Saved. These things could conceivably fall into the category of "Works," though certainly not in the sense that they were able to "earn Salvation!" So do you think that we can explain these "Works to be Saved" in any way? My own view is that these "works" are designed for each individual based on what they need to do to give up their independent carnal lives for the life of Christ.

    Thoughts? Here are a few pertinent Scriptures...

    [I]Matt 19.16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
    17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
    Hi Brother Randy. I think this is an excellent question! Here are some of my thoughts.

    On the rich young ruler. Look at how Jesus started out responding. "Why callest thou me good? There's is only One who is Good."

    Right off the bat, Jesus challenges the young man about who He is. God is the only one that is good, and this young man could have known that from the Psalms. But the point was lost. And so Jesus goes on to answer his question.

    "...Keep the commandments..." Now, the young man wanted more information (maybe to justify himself as he tries to do later). "Which ones?", he asked. So Jesus quoted him a few. The one he ended with in that passage was "Love your neighbor as yourself". The young man said he had kept all of these. But Jesus, knowing his heart, pressed him. "then sell all you have and give it to the poor". That would have demonstrated that the young man did indeed love the poor as he did himself. What was Jesus doing?

    He was doing to the rich young ruler the same thing he did to Paul. Here's what Paul said about the law when it was presented to him by God.

    Romans 7:7 ...for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.

    Paul did not know about coveting being sin until he saw it in the law. Then sin was empowered by that law and Paul's sin rose up mightily in him. This rich young ruler did not rightly understand the law, and thus thought himself good and that he had kept them all from his youth up. Therefore, Jesus used the law to show the man he had not kept them at all. For he loved his money more than he loved people and was disobedient to the One who did forsake everything and gave all that He had to the poor.

    The man went away sad. He didn't yet recognize Jesus as God, but he did come to understand that earning one's salvation was always impossible (even before the fall).
    Adam was given life and then fell. But the life he had was not earned. It was granted. And while he could have stayed righteous, he could not even resist the law of "Do not eat this fruit" without eating from the Tree of Life any more than we can resist sin without the Holy Spirit as outlined in Romans 8.

    Some of the other verses, I will not respond to as they have been debated on this site without end.

    John 6.27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
    If Jesus gives it to us, how then is it earned through works? When Jesus said that, the crowd asked him a question and we see in that same passage what Jesus' answer and what work He was speaking of:

    John 6:28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

    So again, verse 27, taken without 28 and 29 can be misunderstood. But even within verse 27, we see that Jesus will give food that endures to eternal life to people.

    Acts 16.31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
    One of the things I LOVE about this passage is that it shows that God knows the heart. The rich young ruler came to Him in pride, thinking he had already kept all the laws. But these people came to Jesus in humility with hearts gripped and pierced. Look at what the passage above the verse you quoted says about them:

    Acts 16:29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

    This man approached in fear and trembling! He was well aware of God at that moment and knew he was in trouble before the Lord. Just before that he was going to kill himself because of the Romans. Now, in even greater fear, he was concerned about meeting God and was trembling as a result! Such humility!!!! This man didn't need law to break him at that point. Thus, he got a straight answer. The rich young ruler still needed law to break him down and that is what he got.

    Rom 2.7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
    My answer to this one is a bit different. When I was lost, I hated who I thought God was. I did not seek His glory and honor at all. But after I was saved, all that changed. While I was still steeped in sin, there was a desire in me to seek glory and honor in Him and for Him. That has not left even when I would wallow in sin for a while, or when I backslid, etc. And here I am now, after many years, and many trials, and many failures, and I have come to realize, that even though I have failed, probably more than I have been victorious, I am still getting up and still seeking glory, and honor for Him. That is doing good! Seeking His glory and honor. What work is that one does? Isn't seeking an attitude? Doesn't it involve looking and searching?

    I will admit that my answer on this is unlearned. Perhaps someone else can do a better job of it.

    2 Tim 1.9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.
    Amen! Being called to a holy life doesn't suggest that we are saved by it. I like this verse a lot. Thanks for sharing it.

    Titus 3.5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
    Another wonderful verse on the grace and mercy of our Lord. THank you for the encouragement!

    The things we do to be Saved appear to be different from what Christ did on the cross to save us from our sins. Christ's job was to forgive us. Our job is to accept that forgiveness by putting aside our own ways in favor of his ways.
    Jesus often perceived people's hearts and when He did, He said exactly what they needed to hear to be pierced to the core of their heart. The rich young ruler went away sad. He had to be broken of his pride for God resists the proud. We all seek self justification at first.

    Someone else brought up the "depart from me you workers of iniquity for I never knew you passage". And they went on to suggest that "free grace" is wrong and that it must include works. What struck me though, and often has, is that works were exactly what those people used to defend themselves. "We preached in your name. Cast out demons. Did miracles..." etc. Aren't those works? But are they the works of God that Jesus spoke of in John 6? What's interesting is what those folks didn't say to Jesus "But we trusted in you and the work you did on the cross Lord". Rather than come to Jesus and the throne in faith, they came by works and God cast them out saying He never knew them.

    It reminds me of what Paul said in Romans 9

    Romans 9:30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works.

    Those folks in Matthew 7 used their works to suggest they should be allowed to enter in. But Jesus rejected them. They came to Him, not in faith, but in their own self righteousness.

    As someone else pointed out, our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees. When Jesus said that, he was saying it about the sect that probably was viewed as the most holy and righteous of the lot. It would be like saying to a Catholic that the only way to get in, would be to be more righteous than the Pope. Our only hope for that to ever occur, is not in any works we do, but only in grace.

    2 Cor 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    He became our sin, the we could become His righteousness.

    Matthew said it this way "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness..." We cannot seek our own. We must seek His righteousness.


    Sorry for the long post.

    God bless.

    Mark
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

  8. #23
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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    Actually salvation is works-based if you are able. Here's the commandment Jesus gave for us to earn it:

    For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven ... You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5)

    So in addition to the commandments in the law, we need to exceed that and go beyond to full perfection (as perfect as God). There are two responses you can have to this knowledge - either you think and attempt to reach that standard and follow all His commandments, or you realize that you are hopeless and can never attain perfection. Jesus gave a parable explaining this:

    Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. (Luke 18)

    Repentance is about understanding that you are a sinner - and it is an appeal, calling out to God for mercy, with nothing to offer. It has nothing to do with works. The tax collector merely prayed and went home justified, not after doing godly works. Salvation is purely an internal affair. If you want to add to it with works then you must be perfect, as Jesus said. God does not accept anything less.
    Amen! The righteousness that Jesus was talking about that exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees is not our own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith. (Philippians 3:9)
    Galatians 6:14 - But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

  9. #24
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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    Actually salvation is works-based if you are able. Here's the commandment Jesus gave for us to earn it:

    For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven ... You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5)

    So in addition to the commandments in the law, we need to exceed that and go beyond to full perfection (as perfect as God). There are two responses you can have to this knowledge - either you think and attempt to reach that standard and follow all His commandments, or you realize that you are hopeless and can never attain perfection. Jesus gave a parable explaining this:

    Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. (Luke 18)

    Repentance is about understanding that you are a sinner - and it is an appeal, calling out to God for mercy, with nothing to offer. It has nothing to do with works. The tax collector merely prayed and went home justified, not after doing godly works. Salvation is purely an internal affair. If you want to add to it with works then you must be perfect, as Jesus said. God does not accept anything less.
    Yes, that is sort of the standard response. Works represent a human effort to self-justify, and has nothing to do with accepting Salvation. Accepting Salvation is purely passive.

    I've never been satisfied with that. To remove human participation in Salvation, by eliminating obedience, repentance, and works, is to make Salvation purely a divine act, exclusive of human will. I don't believe it's possible to separate human choice from human works. And so, our choice to do good is part of the process of *accepting* the covenant of our Salvation.

    I think there is this basic misunderstanding that human works must justify for Salvation in order to be valid, and that human works must therefore be invalidated, or voided. But human works does *not* have to self-justify in the process of Salvation, although it can self-justify in the process of producing reasonable virtues. In other words, even though Man could not obtain his own redemption he could certainly *do good!*

    There never ever was a need for Man to be *perfect,* since God had long ago determined that no human could be perfect since the Fall of Adam. The idea of "perfection" has more to do with conformity to a covenant rather than sinless perfection.

    You either try to sidestep the covenant or meet, "perfectly," the essential standards necessary to establish the validity of the covenant. To be "perfect" is to meet the conditions necessary to comply with the covenant--not sinless perfection.

    Abraham was "perfect" before God, in terms of his covenant with God, only by departing from the land of his fathers and embracing God as his god. There never was any thought that Abraham had to be sinless and "perfect" in that sense.

    The idea that man can produce actual "virtue" in his works has always been the implications in God's covenants with men. It has never involved "sinless perfection."

    Doing good is an essential element in participating in the process of Salvation--the part where we comply with the terms of the covenant. It does not mean we redeem ourselves, but that we agree to the conditions of accepting the covenant of Christian redemption.

  10. #25
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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    Hi Brother Randy. I think this is an excellent question! Here are some of my thoughts.

    On the rich young ruler. Look at how Jesus started out responding. "Why callest thou me good? There's is only One who is Good."

    Right off the bat, Jesus challenges the young man about who He is. God is the only one that is good, and this young man could have known that from the Psalms. But the point was lost. And so Jesus goes on to answer his question.

    "...Keep the commandments..." Now, the young man wanted more information (maybe to justify himself as he tries to do later). "Which ones?", he asked. So Jesus quoted him a few. The one he ended with in that passage was "Love your neighbor as yourself". The young man said he had kept all of these. But Jesus, knowing his heart, pressed him. "then sell all you have and give it to the poor". That would have demonstrated that the young man did indeed love the poor as he did himself. What was Jesus doing?

    He was doing to the rich young ruler the same thing he did to Paul. Here's what Paul said about the law when it was presented to him by God.

    Romans 7:7 ...for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.

    Paul did not know about coveting being sin until he saw it in the law. Then sin was empowered by that law and Paul's sin rose up mightily in him. This rich young ruler did not rightly understand the law, and thus thought himself good and that he had kept them all from his youth up. Therefore, Jesus used the law to show the man he had not kept them at all. For he loved his money more than he loved people and was disobedient to the One who did forsake everything and gave all that He had to the poor.

    The man went away sad. He didn't yet recognize Jesus as God, but he did come to understand that earning one's salvation was always impossible (even before the fall).
    Adam was given life and then fell. But the life he had was not earned. It was granted. And while he could have stayed righteous, he could not even resist the law of "Do not eat this fruit" without eating from the Tree of Life any more than we can resist sin without the Holy Spirit as outlined in Romans 8.

    Some of the other verses, I will not respond to as they have been debated on this site without end.



    If Jesus gives it to us, how then is it earned through works? When Jesus said that, the crowd asked him a question and we see in that same passage what Jesus' answer and what work He was speaking of:

    John 6:28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

    So again, verse 27, taken without 28 and 29 can be misunderstood. But even within verse 27, we see that Jesus will give food that endures to eternal life to people.



    One of the things I LOVE about this passage is that it shows that God knows the heart. The rich young ruler came to Him in pride, thinking he had already kept all the laws. But these people came to Jesus in humility with hearts gripped and pierced. Look at what the passage above the verse you quoted says about them:

    Acts 16:29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

    This man approached in fear and trembling! He was well aware of God at that moment and knew he was in trouble before the Lord. Just before that he was going to kill himself because of the Romans. Now, in even greater fear, he was concerned about meeting God and was trembling as a result! Such humility!!!! This man didn't need law to break him at that point. Thus, he got a straight answer. The rich young ruler still needed law to break him down and that is what he got.



    My answer to this one is a bit different. When I was lost, I hated who I thought God was. I did not seek His glory and honor at all. But after I was saved, all that changed. While I was still steeped in sin, there was a desire in me to seek glory and honor in Him and for Him. That has not left even when I would wallow in sin for a while, or when I backslid, etc. And here I am now, after many years, and many trials, and many failures, and I have come to realize, that even though I have failed, probably more than I have been victorious, I am still getting up and still seeking glory, and honor for Him. That is doing good! Seeking His glory and honor. What work is that one does? Isn't seeking an attitude? Doesn't it involve looking and searching?

    I will admit that my answer on this is unlearned. Perhaps someone else can do a better job of it.



    Amen! Being called to a holy life doesn't suggest that we are saved by it. I like this verse a lot. Thanks for sharing it.



    Another wonderful verse on the grace and mercy of our Lord. THank you for the encouragement!



    Jesus often perceived people's hearts and when He did, He said exactly what they needed to hear to be pierced to the core of their heart. The rich young ruler went away sad. He had to be broken of his pride for God resists the proud. We all seek self justification at first.

    Someone else brought up the "depart from me you workers of iniquity for I never knew you passage". And they went on to suggest that "free grace" is wrong and that it must include works. What struck me though, and often has, is that works were exactly what those people used to defend themselves. "We preached in your name. Cast out demons. Did miracles..." etc. Aren't those works? But are they the works of God that Jesus spoke of in John 6? What's interesting is what those folks didn't say to Jesus "But we trusted in you and the work you did on the cross Lord". Rather than come to Jesus and the throne in faith, they came by works and God cast them out saying He never knew them.

    It reminds me of what Paul said in Romans 9

    Romans 9:30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works.

    Those folks in Matthew 7 used their works to suggest they should be allowed to enter in. But Jesus rejected them. They came to Him, not in faith, but in their own self righteousness.

    As someone else pointed out, our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees. When Jesus said that, he was saying it about the sect that probably was viewed as the most holy and righteous of the lot. It would be like saying to a Catholic that the only way to get in, would be to be more righteous than the Pope. Our only hope for that to ever occur, is not in any works we do, but only in grace.

    2 Cor 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    He became our sin, the we could become His righteousness.

    Matthew said it this way "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness..." We cannot seek our own. We must seek His righteousness.


    Sorry for the long post.

    God bless.

    Mark
    No, it was necessarily long, and brings up important points. I hope I can deal with it all.

    First, I think Jesus' calling attention to the inherent "goodness," or virtue, in keeping the commandments of God was correct. It did not, however, make men completely compliant with the Law of God, or as Jesus said, "good." They could *do good,* but they could not *be good* unless they participated in the Law of God through obedience. In other words, doing good is good only because it was a form of participating in God. Therefore, eternal life is obtainable by participation in God.

    Paul pointed out that keeping the Law, though good, was insufficient to cover failures under the Law, that were equally part of Israel's observance of the Law. That is, both obedience and disobedience were part of the Law. Obedience brought virtue and life. But disobedience brought failure and death, requiring redemption, as self-evident under rituals of the Law.

    None of this indicated that obedience to God's Law (generically) was invalid and could not produce virtue. It surely does. When we choose to live according to Christ, God's image, we are able to produce virtue. All Paul was implying is that beyond obedience to God's word we also need Christ's redemption, to cover over our failures.

    True repentance and true acceptance of Gods' grace requires that we also embrace the works of Christ, as we obey his commandments to love God and to love one another. As the Apostle John said, John 4.21: And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

  11. #26
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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    No, it was necessarily long, and brings up important points. I hope I can deal with it all.

    First, I think Jesus' calling attention to the inherent "goodness," or virtue, in keeping the commandments of God was correct. It did not, however, make men completely compliant with the Law of God, or as Jesus said, "good." They could *do good,* but they could not *be good* unless they participated in the Law of God through obedience. In other words, doing good is good only because it was a form of participating in God. Therefore, eternal life is obtainable by participation in God.

    Jesus was pointing out two things, IMO. 1st, that He (Jesus) was good because He was God. 2nd, since only God was good, the rich young ruler was not good.

    IMO, one big lesson we can take from all this... if we approach God in self righteousness asking Him what we must do to be saved, in an effort to earn it, He will give us the impossible task. But if we approach Him in brokenness/humility and ask what we must do to be saved, grace will be granted.

    Paul pointed out that keeping the Law, though good, was insufficient to cover failures under the Law, that were equally part of Israel's observance of the Law. That is, both obedience and disobedience were part of the Law. Obedience brought virtue and life. But disobedience brought failure and death, requiring redemption, as self-evident under rituals of the Law.
    Obedience brings blessings. There can be no doubt of that. But obedience does not bring virtue, IMO. Obedience is the result of virtue, IMO.

    None of this indicated that obedience to God's Law (generically) was invalid and could not produce virtue. It surely does. When we choose to live according to Christ, God's image, we are able to produce virtue. All Paul was implying is that beyond obedience to God's word we also need Christ's redemption, to cover over our failures.
    If virtue is close to righteousness, then the law cannot bring virtue because it cannot bring righteousness. But it can reveal it.

    True repentance and true acceptance of Gods' grace requires that we also embrace the works of Christ, as we obey his commandments to love God and to love one another. As the Apostle John said, John 4.21: And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
    When Jesus is in us, then He will want to do as He has always done. Our desires change. Our hearts change. Obedience does not come because we grit our teeth and with all our might force our bodies to respond. It comes from the inside, through the grace of Christ's presence within us.

    Romans 8.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

  12. #27
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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    Actually salvation is works-based if you are able. Here's the commandment Jesus gave for us to earn it:

    For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven ... You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5)

    So in addition to the commandments in the law, we need to exceed that and go beyond to full perfection (as perfect as God). There are two responses you can have to this knowledge - either you think and attempt to reach that standard and follow all His commandments, or you realize that you are hopeless and can never attain perfection. Jesus gave a parable explaining this:

    Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. (Luke 18)

    Repentance is about understanding that you are a sinner - and it is an appeal, calling out to God for mercy, with nothing to offer. It has nothing to do with works. The tax collector merely prayed and went home justified, not after doing godly works. Salvation is purely an internal affair. If you want to add to it with works then you must be perfect, as Jesus said. God does not accept anything less.
    Hi Aviyah. This is a very good post. But I would like to discuss something and see where it leads.

    Do you believe that Adam and Eve shared God's uncreated life? Were they "one with Him" in the garden? Do you think there is anything that someone could do to become one with God and share His uncreated life?

    It is an interesting thing that happens to us upon salvation. Christ life is in us and we now share, not just everlasting life, but we share His uncreated life. It is a mystery to me!

    God bless,

    Mark
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

  13. #28
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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    Jesus was pointing out two things, IMO. 1st, that He (Jesus) was good because He was God. 2nd, since only God was good, the rich young ruler was not good.

    IMO, one big lesson we can take from all this... if we approach God in self righteousness asking Him what we must do to be saved, in an effort to earn it, He will give us the impossible task. But if we approach Him in brokenness/humility and ask what we must do to be saved, grace will be granted.



    Obedience brings blessings. There can be no doubt of that. But obedience does not bring virtue, IMO. Obedience is the result of virtue, IMO.



    If virtue is close to righteousness, then the law cannot bring virtue because it cannot bring righteousness. But it can reveal it.



    When Jesus is in us, then He will want to do as He has always done. Our desires change. Our hearts change. Obedience does not come because we grit our teeth and with all our might force our bodies to respond. It comes from the inside, through the grace of Christ's presence within us.

    Romans 8.
    Yes, we probably differ in the way we look at this. I see all men who participate in God's Law as virtuous. This takes care of the "do good" part of Man's mandate from God.

    But this isn't good enough because Man also does evil--every one of us. To take care of this problem we must embrace Christ's redemption, and not just "do good."

    The rich young ruler was, in my view, good and doing good with respect to obeying God's Law. That was the purpose of the Law, to enable Israel to do good and to set an example before the nations.

    However, the Law also indicated that doing good was not enough to save the nation. All kinds of redemption ceremonies had to be engaged in as a good faith acceptance of God's principles of reconciliation. Those like the rich young ruler who did good under the Law and yet rejected the principle of reconciliation were doomed.

    It is thus not good enough to "be good," or to "do good." There has to be a means of disposing of the bad, as well. And this is accomplished, today, only by embracing Christ's redemption.

    Some of the problem we're having here is in regard to Jesus saying that "nobody is good but God." This would seem to eliminate anybody from being "good."

    But that isn't what the Bible overall says, and you have to understand Jesus in context. He is stating that Man, independent of God's Law, cannot be good or do good. He requires a connection to God Himself in order to share in His goodness.

  14. #29
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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Accepting Salvation is purely passive [...] I've never been satisfied with that. To remove human participation in Salvation ... is to make Salvation purely a divine act, exclusive of human will.
    Exactly.

    So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. (Romans 9:16)

    It has never involved "sinless perfection."
    Then why does it say "as your heavenly Father is perfect?" We can't say that perfect doesn't really mean perfect, when Jesus is saying we have to be perfect in the same way that God is.

    You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5)
    「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
    撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

  15. #30
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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    Exactly.

    So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. (Romans 9:16)



    Then why does it say "as your heavenly Father is perfect?" We can't say that perfect doesn't really mean perfect, when Jesus is saying we have to be perfect in the same way that God is.

    You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5)
    Words mean what they mean *in context.* To say "You must be sinless and perfect" means one thing. To say "You must perfectly comply with the terms of the covenant" is another thing. One requires sinless perfection. The other does not.

    With respect to your argument that human will plays no role in our Salvation, we might find ourselves in a bind, if we accept the way you define this. This would mean that when we are challenged with the Gospel, we have no need to respond at all, since God has already made the determination for us.

    On the other hand, if we are talking about providing Christian Redemption, yes--Man's will plays no role in this whatsoever. It is purely an act of Christ.

    But in regard to responding to our provision of Salvation by responding positively, there is clearly an act of human will involved. And clearly, there are human works involved if Christ required the Rich Young Ruler to give up his wealth in order to be Saved. Even beyond this, our human will is involved in responding to the love of Christ in our hearts, or to the mandates of God's word, in order to do good.

    How do we resolve this apparent contradiction? I resolve it by pointing out that we do have virtue in responding to God's word, and must exercise free will in this respect. At the same time, with respect to Christian Redemption, our human will plays no role whatsoever.

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