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Thread: A Work necessary for Salvation?

  1. #31
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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    Do you believe that Adam and Eve shared God's uncreated life?
    I don't think so, but I may not understand the question.

    The man became a living creature. (Genesis 2)

    They couldn't have been a part of God or like other versions of Jesus, who has always existed. Adam and Eve became living creatures.

    Were they "one with Him" in the garden?
    Not in the sense of being the same substance, because God cannot be tempted or sin. But if you mean one in "fellowship", I don't know. My head hurts thinking about it.

    Do you think there is anything that someone could do to become one with God and share His uncreated life?
    Nope, definitely not.
    「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

  2. #32
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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    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.
    I agree, the context is important. So what context is Jesus using the word "perfect?" Let's just go through His speech from Matthew 5:

    The Subject: Good works that go even beyond the Law. (Not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished) [...] Righteousness [that] exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees).

    Explanation: Examples of going beyond the Law, first stating the law, then giving a greater commandment (You have heard that it was said ... But I say to you ... and so throughout the chapter).

    Summary: You must be perfect as God. (You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect).

    So obviously He is speaking of sinless perfection. "Sin" pertains to the law, therefore righteousness exceeding the law is the same as saying sinlessness. Jesus begins and ends the speech with the same idea - your righteousness must exceed the law/be as perfect God.

    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.
    That's also correct. We only believe the gospel when we hear it, as faith comes by hearing. You either believe or you don't.

    God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls [...] What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (Romans 9)

    And clearly, there are human works involved if Christ required the Rich Young Ruler to give up his wealth in order to be Saved.
    He was giving the ruler an opportunity to see that he was flawed. Remember what Jesus actually said to him first - "keep the law/commandments?"

    The ruler claimed that he kept all of them, so Jesus gave him a new standard that went beyond the Law, knowing that the ruler could not bring himself to obey it. But rather than appealing to God's mercy like the tax collector of the parable, the ruler left discouraged - thinking that he would have to attempt to reach a new standard of perfection in order to have eternal life. In other words, he persisted in his arrogance rather than humbling himself and acknowledging that he actually could not be "perfect as the Father is perfect."

    The ruler never said, "God be merciful to me a sinner!" which is what would have justified him. Instead he continued as the Pharisee, thinking "Okay I just have to overcome this reluctance and keep yet another law." If this were a parable, it'd be funny to imagine him coming back to Jesus constantly and getting new laws until he figured it out, but tragically it was a real person who didn't repent. This is an example of what Paul also said:

    Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be justified in His sight by works of the Law. For the Law merely brings awareness of sin. (Romans 3)
    「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

  3. #33
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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    I don't think so, but I may not understand the question.

    The man became a living creature. (Genesis 2)

    They couldn't have been a part of God or like other versions of Jesus, who has always existed. Adam and Eve became living creatures.



    Not in the sense of being the same substance, because God cannot be tempted or sin. But if you mean one in "fellowship", I don't know. My head hurts thinking about it.



    Nope, definitely not.
    I agree with you in all this. And since righteousness must be as His righteousness, even Adam and Eve needed to be "born again" to share His uncreated life. IMO, they had to eat of the Tree of Life in order to pass the test. IOW, there was nothing they could do, ever, even in their unfallen state to become one with God. Or said another way, their righteousness, apart from His grace, would never have been enough for their righteous to meet God's standard of "exceeding the righteousness of the Pharisees". IOW, while they did not need "saving from sin" in their pristine state, they still needed some kind of change to share in His uncreated life as God forshadowed through Eve (i.e. her being the first being ever that was created life from life).

    I know this isn't something that is often talked about, but it is something to consider, IMO.

    Thank you for taking time to respond and God bless!
    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

  4. #34
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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    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.
    You still think that God gave a work for the rich young ruler to do in order to earn salvation? IMO, he quoted the law and gave the command for the express purpose of showing the rich young ruler he could not do the work required. One HUGE purpose of the law is to tie up all men under sin, i.e. to show them the power of sin within them. That is why it is called "the ministry of death".

    Jesus gave the rich young ruler a ministry of death because the rich young ruler though he could do something to qualify for eternal life.
    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

  5. #35
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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    The right response of the young man would have been to immediately fall to his knees and say "God be merciful to me a sinner, for my heart is full of greed and I cannot change myself". Then Jesus would have granted him forgiveness without a work just as He did the publican.
    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

  6. #36
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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    I agree, the context is important. So what context is Jesus using the word "perfect?" Let's just go through His speech from Matthew 5:

    The Subject: Good works that go even beyond the Law. (Not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished) [...] Righteousness [that] exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees).

    Explanation: Examples of going beyond the Law, first stating the law, then giving a greater commandment (You have heard that it was said ... But I say to you ... and so throughout the chapter).

    Summary: You must be perfect as God. (You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect).

    So obviously He is speaking of sinless perfection. "Sin" pertains to the law, therefore righteousness exceeding the law is the same as saying sinlessness. Jesus begins and ends the speech with the same idea - your righteousness must exceed the law/be as perfect God.
    I don't think so. "Talking about the Law" is not "talking about perfection." The Law of Moses not only spoke of righteousness, but it spoke of *Israel's righteousness,* which was imperfect. And it involved redemption ceremonies, which clearly had to do with flawed human obedience. In other words, Israel's obedience, though righteous, still had to be cleansed by redemption ceremonies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    That's also correct. We only believe the gospel when we hear it, as faith comes by hearing. You either believe or you don't.

    God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls [...] What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (Romans 9)



    He was giving the ruler an opportunity to see that he was flawed. Remember what Jesus actually said to him first - "keep the law/commandments?"

    The ruler claimed that he kept all of them, so Jesus gave him a new standard that went beyond the Law, knowing that the ruler could not bring himself to obey it. But rather than appealing to God's mercy like the tax collector of the parable, the ruler left discouraged - thinking that he would have to attempt to reach a new standard of perfection in order to have eternal life. In other words, he persisted in his arrogance rather than humbling himself and acknowledging that he actually could not be "perfect as the Father is perfect."

    The ruler never said, "God be merciful to me a sinner!" which is what would have justified him. Instead he continued as the Pharisee, thinking "Okay I just have to overcome this reluctance and keep yet another law." If this were a parable, it'd be funny to imagine him coming back to Jesus constantly and getting new laws until he figured it out, but tragically it was a real person who didn't repent. This is an example of what Paul also said:

    Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be justified in His sight by works of the Law. For the Law merely brings awareness of sin. (Romans 3)
    I understand what you're saying, but that's not what the Scriptures say here. That theology is relatively sound, but does not apply here. In this case Jesus is positively *requiring* the Rich Young Ruler to give up his wealth.

    Luke 18.22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    Jesus was not just teaching the man a lesson, insinuating that he need not obey his specific instructions. No, the specific requirement was to do this particular thing in order to have treasure in heaven. Otherwise, he would not get that treasure in heaven. It is specifically what Jesus required of him in this particular case. We should not just make it an "optional lesson" when Jesus here is actually requiring this.

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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    You still think that God gave a work for the rich young ruler to do in order to earn salvation? IMO, he quoted the law and gave the command for the express purpose of showing the rich young ruler he could not do the work required. One HUGE purpose of the law is to tie up all men under sin, i.e. to show them the power of sin within them. That is why it is called "the ministry of death".

    Jesus gave the rich young ruler a ministry of death because the rich young ruler though he could do something to qualify for eternal life.
    Clearly that is *not* what the passage says, however. As I just told Aviyah, this passage is not teaching the man a lesson about the Law. He is acting as God's spokesman, as God's spoken word, requiring the man to perform in a specific way. It was the confession that God requires of all men in order to be saved.

    In this case, the confession was to take a specific form in order to cause the man to recant of his former carnal lifestyle. It is not something God requires of every individual. But we must all give up our carnal ways and adopt the spiritual life of Christ.

    1 Tim 6.12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

    Rom 10.9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    [QUOTE=randyk;3526951]Clearly that is *not* what the passage says, however. As I just told Aviyah, this passage is not teaching the man a lesson about the Law. He is acting as God's spokesman, as God's spoken word, requiring the man to perform in a specific way....[quote]

    If a greedy rich man gives away all his money to the poor, what are you left with? (1 Cor 13)

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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I don't think so. "Talking about the Law" is not "talking about perfection." The Law of Moses not only spoke of righteousness, but it spoke of *Israel's righteousness,* which was imperfect. And it involved redemption ceremonies, which clearly had to do with flawed human obedience. In other words, Israel's obedience, though righteous, still had to be cleansed by redemption ceremonies.



    I understand what you're saying, but that's not what the Scriptures say here. That theology is relatively sound, but does not apply here. In this case Jesus is positively *requiring* the Rich Young Ruler to give up his wealth.

    Luke 18.22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    Jesus was not just teaching the man a lesson, insinuating that he need not obey his specific instructions. No, the specific requirement was to do this particular thing in order to have treasure in heaven. Otherwise, he would not get that treasure in heaven. It is specifically what Jesus required of him in this particular case. We should not just make it an "optional lesson" when Jesus here is actually requiring this.
    Brother,

    There's a bigger point. All of scripture is connected. It all points to the same exact thing. Jesus gave the man a command that the man could not keep. It pierced him to the heart and made him sad. It did what the law was supposed to do.

    If the man had done it, it would not have saved him at all as the law never had that power to begin with. Selling all you have and giving it to the poor may reveal that you might love your neighbor as yourself. (Though 1 Cor. 13 shows us that it is possible to give all you have to the poor and not have love.)

    God tells us repeatedly in other passages what the purpose of the law is. When we understand that, then we can understand what Jesus is doing with the rich young ruler and why. Take the passage all to itself, and the greater point is missed. IOW, let the scriptures interpret the scriptures.

    God bless!
    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

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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I don't think so. "Talking about the Law" is not "talking about perfection."
    Then what do you think He meant by the command to be "perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect?" Is God imperfect in any sense of the word?

    The Law of Moses not only spoke of righteousness, but it spoke of *Israel's righteousness,* which was imperfect.
    That's why Jesus said our perfection and righteousness must go beyond the law of Moses and exceed the scribes. He gave a command of true and perfect righteousness - to the standard of God's perfection - righteousness even to the heart and mind. Are you obedient to that? I'm certainly not.

    Jesus was not just teaching the man a lesson, insinuating that he need not obey his specific instructions.
    You're right, it was not optional. It was a specific command that the ruler disobeyed. Why did he disobey? Because Jesus gave him a command "exceeding the scribes and Pharisees" which He used to revealed the true selfish heart of the ruler, his imperfection.

    For the Law merely brings awareness of sin. (Romans 3)

    The ruler became aware of his sin, and went away attempting reach perfection, rather than repenting by pleading to God for mercy.

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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    That's why Jesus said our perfection and righteousness must go beyond the law of Moses and exceed the scribes. He gave a command of true and perfect righteousness - to the standard of God's perfection - righteousness even to the heart and mind. Are you obedient to that? I'm certainly not.
    This is excellent Aviyah! Most excellent! Indeed, we must go beyond the law. Even though the law says to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind, soul and strength" and "love your neighbor as yourself". If we keep the first law, then we would not break any portion of the law. But we would still not have uncreated life within us. We still would not be "perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect". We still would fall short. For God is much greater than law. Only when His uncreated life is in us, only then do we have righteousness that is enough. For complete obedience to the law was never able to bring God's righteousness at all. That is why it had to be by grace, even for Adam and Eve.

    God bless!
    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

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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    If a greedy rich man gives away all his money to the poor, what are you left with? (1 Cor 13)
    Don't get me wrong, Mark. I'm not saying that your points are invalid--just that the passage does not actually say what you are drawing from it. The passage, in other words, is not designed to teach that the Rich Young Ruler cannot obtain, through his good works, eternal life. It actually seems to teach the opposite, that if he did do all that Jesus said, including good works and giving up his wealth, he would indeed achieve eternal life.

    This is not saying that he is achieving redemption on his own--only that he would be fulfilling *his part* in the Salvation equation. Salvation requires Christ's redemption as well as our participation in it, which is acceptance of the Cross and whatever is necessary to do to prove this acceptance.

    In the rich man's case, accepting redemption under the Law and doing good deeds were equally part of the prescription for maintaining the hope of eternal life. Christ said it was required of him that he prove his acceptance by giving up his wealth. In my view, that is tantamount to proving his need for Christ's redemption, along with the good works that are also part of Christ's virtues.

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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    Brother,

    There's a bigger point. All of scripture is connected. It all points to the same exact thing. Jesus gave the man a command that the man could not keep. It pierced him to the heart and made him sad. It did what the law was supposed to do.

    If the man had done it, it would not have saved him at all as the law never had that power to begin with. Selling all you have and giving it to the poor may reveal that you might love your neighbor as yourself. (Though 1 Cor. 13 shows us that it is possible to give all you have to the poor and not have love.)

    God tells us repeatedly in other passages what the purpose of the law is. When we understand that, then we can understand what Jesus is doing with the rich young ruler and why. Take the passage all to itself, and the greater point is missed. IOW, let the scriptures interpret the scriptures.

    God bless!
    I think you're just conflating the teaching of Paul, that the Law amplifies our sins, with this particular passage, which takes place *prior to the advent of Christianity.* While I would agree with Paul that the Law amplifies our sins, I don't think that has anything to do with what Jesus said was required of the man to obtain Eternal Life.

    Under the Law, 2 things were necessary to retain the hope of Eternal Life. It was clearly not achievable until Messiah came, but under the Law Israel had to do good works, as specified by the Law, and they had to perform ritual ceremonies indicating their regular need of redemption from their sins. Both were needed--good works and ritual redemption, morality and atonement.

    Jesus was telling this man that he could not retain his hope for redemption while he still fell short morally, in the area of money. There were all kinds of laws governing wealth, and the Rich Young Ruler could not avoid that. There was the need to get money honestly. There was the need to show compassion towards the poor. And there was the need to tithe.

    But most importantly, there was the need to obey God, and to donate according to God's prophetic word. Unless the Rich Young Ruler followed these principles, he was in violation of the Law and could not hope to apply the redemption rituals to himself. He would lose the hope of eternal life.

    The same thing applies in the Christian age. If we hope to apply Christ's atonement to ourselves we have to be willing to put into use His righteousness in our lives. This is not earning redemption for ourselves, but rather, expressing a true confession of our belief in the need to repent of our carnal ways, and to exchange our fallen life for the life of Christ. To accept Christ we have to be sincere about it, and to properly respond to whatever God says we need to do to achieve this confession.

    I think a major point here is the element of our response to God's spoken word to our heart. If our works are self-determined, and not accomplished in partnership with the word of God, we are only doing good for ourselves, and not for God. And this does not achieve Eternal life, even though it may indeed accomplish good. Faith towards God must be expressed in all of our good works, or Eternal Life will not be the "end game."

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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I think you're just conflating the teaching of Paul, that the Law amplifies our sins, with this particular passage, which takes place *prior to the advent of Christianity.* While I would agree with Paul that the Law amplifies our sins, I don't think that has anything to do with what Jesus said was required of the man to obtain Eternal Life.

    Under the Law, 2 things were necessary to retain the hope of Eternal Life. It was clearly not achievable until Messiah came, but under the Law Israel had to do good works, as specified by the Law, and they had to perform ritual ceremonies indicating their regular need of redemption from their sins. Both were needed--good works and ritual redemption, morality and atonement.
    Neither was necessary for salvation under the law. David shows this in Psalms 51 when he rightly wrote that "burnt offerings God does not desire". But rather "a broken and contrite heart You will not despise". Good works, nor keeping the law ever made one righteous, else the Pharisees would have been righteous. Paul himself said according to the law, he was blameless when he was lost. But he was still lost and needed Jesus. He needed salvation before Jesus died and after he died. The pharisees were going to hell regardless of their good works and their keeping of the law. The law was never able to save before or after Christ.
    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

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    Re: A Work necessary for Salvation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    Then what do you think He meant by the command to be "perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect?" Is God imperfect in any sense of the word?
    This, Aviyah, is a circular argument. Jesus must have been referring to "sinless perfection" because he used the word "perfection." And "perfection" means, by definition, "sinless perfection."

    My argument was that Jesus used the word "perfection" in a particular context in which "sinless perfection" was not necessarily implied. And I gave the example of a covenant agreement, in which both parties were required, minimally, to preserve the agreement by certain acts of performance. Performing these acts constitute "perfect compliance," but not necessarily "sinless perfection!"

    Jesus was requiring perfect conformity to the covenant of the Law, but not "sinless perfection" under the Law, which would've been impossible. So the word "perfection" is properly understood by its context, and not by some singular meaning, imposed upon all passages.

    To compare Israel's "perfection" with God's "perfection" is not a matter of comparing our own sinless perfection with God's own sinless perfection. We *cannot* be sinlessly perfect, nor did God ever require it of us. And He did not use the Law to frustrate Israel over their inability to comply with the terms of the agreement. Clearly, the agreement had written into it means of dealing with Israel's imperfections! These were the redemption rituals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    That's why Jesus said our perfection and righteousness must go beyond the law of Moses and exceed the scribes. He gave a command of true and perfect righteousness - to the standard of God's perfection - righteousness even to the heart and mind. Are you obedient to that? I'm certainly not.
    God never asked us or Israel, under the Law, to act with sinless perfection. This is completely contrary to the spirit of the Scriptures. Everything God did was filtered through mercy. The righteousness He has required of Man is through a redemptive spirit, and implies that redemption is part of our righteousness. In other words, we can do right even in our sinful flesh. We can produce divine virtue even with an imperfect mind and even with an imperfect spirit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    You're right, it was not optional. It was a specific command that the ruler disobeyed. Why did he disobey? Because Jesus gave him a command "exceeding the scribes and Pharisees" which He used to revealed the true selfish heart of the ruler, his imperfection.

    For the Law merely brings awareness of sin. (Romans 3)

    The ruler became aware of his sin, and went away attempting reach perfection, rather than repenting by pleading to God for mercy.
    That doesn't make sense, sister. You're suggesting that Jesus deliberately made a man sorrowful, asking him to do something he couldn't possibly accomplish. I'm suggesting that Jesus was asking him to do something he could accomplish, and went away sorrowful not because he couldn't do it, but rather, because he wouldn't do it. He didn't want to give up his riches. And clearly, he could've done that!

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