The Weekend Word

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  1. Michael says:

    Rejection of the Errors

    by Which the Dutch Churches Have for Some Time Been Disturbed

    Having set forth the orthodox teaching concerning election and reprobation, the Synod rejects the errors of those

    I

    Who teach that the will of God to save those who would believe and persevere in faith and in the obedience of faith is the whole and entire decision of election to salvation, and that nothing else concerning this decision has been revealed in God’s Word.

    For they deceive the simple and plainly contradict Holy Scripture in its testimony that God does not only wish to save those who would believe, but that he has also from eternity chosen certain particular people to whom, rather than to others, he would within time grant faith in Christ and perseverance. As Scripture says, I have revealed your name to those whom you gave me (John 17:6). Likewise, All who were appointed for eternal life believed (Acts 13:48), and He chose us before the foundation of the world so that we should be holy… (Eph. 1:4).

    II

    Who teach that God’s election to eternal life is of many kinds: one general and indefinite, the other particular and definite; and the latter in turn either incomplete, revocable, nonperemptory (or conditional), or else complete, irrevocable, and peremptory (or absolute). Likewise, who teach that there is one election to faith and another to salvation, so that there can be an election to justifying faith apart from a peremptory election to salvation.

    For this is an invention of the human brain, devised apart from the Scriptures, which distorts the teaching concerning election and breaks up this golden chain of salvation: Those whom he predestined, he also called; and those whom he called, he also justified; and those whom he justified, he also glorified (Rom. 8:30).

    II

    Who teach that God’s good pleasure and purpose, which Scripture mentions in its teaching of election, does not involve God’s choosing certain particular people rather than others, but involves God’s choosing, out of all possible conditions (including the works of the law) or out of the whole order of things, the intrinsically unworthy act of faith, as well as the imperfect obedience of faith, to be a condition of salvation; and it involves his graciously wishing to count this as perfect obedience and to look upon it as worthy of the reward of eternal life.

    For by this pernicious error the good pleasure of God and the merit of Christ are robbed of their effectiveness and people are drawn away, by unprofitable inquiries, from the truth of undeserved justification and from the simplicity of the Scriptures. It also gives the lie to these words of the apostle: God called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of works, but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time (2 Tim. 1:9).

    IV

    Who teach that in election to faith a prerequisite condition is that man should rightly use the light of nature, be upright, unassuming, humble, and disposed to eternal life, as though election depended to some extent on these factors.

    For this smacks of Pelagius, and it clearly calls into question the words of the apostle: We lived at one time in the passions of our flesh, following the will of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in transgressions, made us alive with Christ, by whose grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with him and seated us with him in heaven in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages we might show the surpassing riches of his grace, according to his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 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 (Eph. 2:3-9).

    V

    Who teach that the incomplete and nonperemptory election of particular persons to salvation occurred on the basis of a foreseen faith, repentance, holiness, and godliness, which has just begun or continued for some time; but that complete and peremptory election occurred on the basis of a foreseen perseverance to the end in faith, repentance, holiness, and godliness. And that this is the gracious and evangelical worthiness, on account of which the one who is chosen is more worthy than the one who is not chosen. And therefore that faith, the obedience of faith, holiness, godliness, and perseverance are not fruits or effects of an unchangeable election to glory, but indispensable conditions and causes, which are prerequisite in those who are to be chosen in the complete election, and which are foreseen as achieved in them.

    This runs counter to the entire Scripture, which throughout impresses upon our ears and hearts these sayings among others: Election is not by works, but by him who calls (Rom. 9:11-12); All who were appointed for eternal life believed (Acts 13:48); He chose us in himself so that we should be holy (Eph. 1:4); You did not choose me, but I chose you (John 15:16); If by grace, not by works (Rom. 11:6); In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son (1 John 4:10).

    VI

    Who teach that not every election to salvation is unchangeable, but that some of the chosen can perish and do in fact perish eternally, with no decision of God to prevent it.

    By this gross error they make God changeable, destroy the comfort of the godly concerning the steadfastness of their election, and contradict the Holy Scriptures, which teach that the elect cannot be led astray (Matt. 24:24), that Christ does not lose those given to him by the Father (John 6:39), and that those whom God predestined, called, and justified, he also glorifies (Rom. 8:30).

    VII

    Who teach that in this life there is no fruit, no awareness, and no assurance of one’s unchangeable election to glory, except as conditional upon something changeable and contingent.

    For not only is it absurd to speak of an uncertain assurance, but these things also militate against the experience of the saints, who with the apostle rejoice from an awareness of their election and sing the praises of this gift of God; who, as Christ urged, rejoice with his disciples that their names have been written in heaven (Luke 10:20); and finally who hold up against the flaming arrows of the devil’s temptations the awareness of their election, with the question Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? (Rom. 8:33).

    VIII

    Who teach that it was not on the basis of his just will alone that God decided to leave anyone in the fall of Adam and in the common state of sin and condemnation or to pass anyone by in the imparting of grace necessary for faith and conversion.

    For these words stand fast: He has mercy on whom he wishes, and he hardens whom he wishes (Rom. 9:18). And also: To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given (Matt. 13:11). Likewise: I give glory to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding, and have revealed them to little children; yes, Father, because that was your pleasure (Matt. 11:25-26).

    IX

    Who teach that the cause for God’s sending the gospel to one people rather than to another is not merely and solely God’s good pleasure, but rather that one people is better and worthier than the other to whom the gospel is not communicated.

    For Moses contradicts this when he addresses the people of Israel as follows: Behold, to Jehovah your God belong the heavens and the highest heavens, the earth and whatever is in it. But Jehovah was inclined in his affection to love your ancestors alone, and chose out their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as at this day (Deut. 10:14-15). And also Christ: Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! for if those mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes (Matt. 11:21).

  2. Babylon's Dread says:

    My vacation ends with THIS? Homer strike the pose…..

  3. Michael says:

    Welcome back, Dread! 😉

  4. Believe says:

    ….dooooh! 🙂

  5. Believe says:

    Two good messages this morning…both on the topic of “Love”…

    1. John Snoderly, CC Antioch subbing for my step-dad in Visalia…via internet…taught on “Love” via 1 Corinthians 13.
    2. My local pastor is in the Holy Land…and one of the associate pastors taught on “Love” from the perspective of the Apostle John in 1 John.

    …look forward to seeing Pastor Gene’s message from CC Hanford and Pastor Rolph’s message from CC Pac Hills…and reading about all of the PP families “weekend words”…as well.

    Wish there were more hours in the day…can’t get enough! Love you all.

  6. Michael says:

    I taught on Luke 11: 1-13 with particular emphasis on the need to forgive to be forgiven.

    As we were all convicted by this truth, the encouragement that we gleaned from vs. 5-13 concerning the heart of the Father toward his children brought us to confession and repentance around the Lords Table.

    “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”
    (Romans 2:4 ESV)

  7. Michael says:

    “For the Lord by his kindness shows to us, that it is he to whom we ought turn, if we desire to secure our wellbeing, and at the same time he strengthens our confidence in expecting mercy. If we use not God’s bounty for this end, we abuse it. But yet it is not to be viewed always in the same light; for when the Lord deals favorably with his servants and gives them earthly blessings, he makes known to them by symbols of this kind his own benevolence, and trains them up at the same time to seek the sum and substance of all good things in himself alone: when he treats the transgressors of his law with the same indulgence, his object is to soften by his kindness their perverseness; he yet does not testify that he is already propitious to them, but, on the contrary, invites them to repentance.”

    Calvin

  8. centorian says:

    Preached my heart out today on suffering. Many are out of town or where ever. It Sundays like this that I wonder if I’m to stay here and die with the few faithful or move on. Guess I was preaching to my self more than I thought.

  9. Michael says:

    Centy,

    It was a word from God for the few…keep your head up.

    I know it’s easier said than done, but I also know God is with you.

  10. Linnea says:

    While 3/4 of my family camped and fished, I visited a new Anglican church down the road. It feels like home already! The message was on tranformation…Saul to Paul…and on us sharing our story/testimony with those who don’t know Christ.

  11. Linnea says:

    Cent…Michael’s right….keep your head. Suffering is a message few like to hear, but suffering visits us whether we’re ready to hear it or not. Matthew 11:15 “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

  12. Linnea says:

    Oooops… I’m sure you’ll keep your head….I meant keep your head up!

  13. Believe says:

    What do you guys make of this passage and the use of “if”?

    Luke 17:3-4 (English Standard Version)

    3Pay attention to yourselves!If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, 4and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

  14. Michael says:

    Very difficult passage in light of the clear teaching of the Disciples Prayer that we must forgive to be forgiven.

    I used to use that verse as a proof of conditionality but other clear teaching has caused me to rethink the matter.

  15. jlo says:

    Shaun Sells, been praying for you today, how did your teaching go?

  16. Em says:

    just a thot as i read down the thread …
    grace and forgiveness are not interchangeable, i don’t believe and, perhaps there is a forgiveness that comes, as the Deadman noted ,without reconciliation. It is under the banner of grace and allows us to bear with, hope and believe that the offender will apologize and reconcile and then is when forgiveness can become action? dunno

  17. Believe says:

    Michael…the context to me…as I look at forgiveness from another angle…to be clear, I am poking at the doctrine of forgiveness from several different sides…to try and cement my understanding of it…may be:

    1. We are to forgive, so that we may be forgiven. Is that Salvational forgiveness? How could it be? That would add something to Faith and Belief in Jesus Christ…it would be Salvation plus something…would it not? So if one does not forgive someone in their life…they could lose their Salvation…or not be Saved? That is not the unpardonable sin…so it does not seem consistent with unconditional forgiveness…

    2. Could our forgiveness be the same as Christ’s forgiveness to us? We are only forgiven upon Faith and Belief (Repentance)…are we not? Christ’s atonement, while it is for “the whole world”…only Salvationally covers those who Repent, correct?

    Just some thoughts on the subject…

  18. Michael says:

    I just exegeted Luke 11 last night and I don’t see anyway around the command to forgive.

    In my theology disobedience would manifest itself as bringing the discipline of God, not the loss of salvation.

  19. Michael says:

    Believe,

    You’re operating out of an Arminian view that I would probably not be the best person to address… 😉

  20. Believe says:

    Michael…LOL! Appreciate the Calvinist perspective…thanks for the input.

  21. Believe says:

    …Michael…you aren’t dabbling in Universal Reconciliation are you?

    You haven’t been studying Gregory of Nyssa…have you?

  22. Michael says:

    Believe,

    I’m just examining Calvinistic constructions on soteriology in light of Calvins teachings.

    Calvin is clear that Christ died for all…in some fashion.

    Boring, but important to me.

  23. Michael says:

    Holly,

    As you know I believe that God sovereignly grants regeneration before He gives the elect the gift of faith to exercise as well as the gift of repentance.

    That’s all you get tonight, my carpal is too inflamed to teach.

  24. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Believe,
    “…Michael…you aren’t dabbling in Universal Reconciliation are you?”

    I dabble there… on God’s end, He has already reconcilled the world to Himself and no longer counts man’s sin against him – done deal… on God’s end.

    “2 Cor. 5:19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation”

    That is the message we are to preach “God is no longer mad at you, stop being mad at Him.”

    However, people keep rejecting and poking God in the eye. If salvation is not attained, it is not because of sin (because believers still sin) – it is for rejecting the message. So, even though God has reconciled all men to Himself, not all will receive – bu not due to lack of a universal reconciliation.

  25. Buster says:

    We went to Oden Fong’s church this morning. The band “Two or More” appeared in place of the regular worship team, and gave some new twists to a number of contemporary worship songs. I had not heard of them before, but really like their sound. Their lead guitarist is exceptionally talented.

    But the best part was Oden’s message. He spoke on Mark 9, especially about the healing of the demon-possessed boy. What I really appreciated is that in all of Oden’s message, the advice given was practical and based on personal experience, with the expectation that his audience would take and act on that advice, and not just sit on it.

    I could learn a lot from Oden. Makes me wish we didn’t live so far away. But between the traffic and the recurring natural disasters…

  26. jlo says:

    ohh, me too Buster. But my husband and i are going to try and make it next thursday.

    Dusty, how is your headache.

    the pollen this time of year in cali just does me in. lots of sudafil and advil for me for the next month or two.

  27. Em says:

    MLD,”I dabble there… on God’s end, He has already reconcilled the world to Himself and no longer counts man’s sin against him – done deal… on God’s end” – amen

    you are absolutely correct sir – the debt is paid – “oh, sinner, be ye reconciled!”

    God keep all close and comforted this night

  28. Believe says:

    MLD and Em…your position does make sense in the context of the Unpardonable Sin being the Sin of Unbelief…

  29. Lutheran says:

    What MLD said.

    God has indeed reconciled the world to himself.

  30. Believe says:

    MB…Oden Fong is:

    1. A great guy.
    2. Dad to 3 nice looking boys…husband to a beautiful wife.
    3. A pastor of a church in Huntington Beach.
    4. Former pastor at CC Costa Mesa.
    5. Host of E-Fest.
    6. A Glock afficianado 🙂
    7. Son of Benson Fong (well-known Golden Age of Hollywood character actor).

    I’m sure I left a lot out…but those are some highlights 🙂 🙂

  31. Buster says:

    8. Former head of the CC Office of Fellowship.
    9. Long-timer participant and reader of PP.
    10. Christian music pioneer

  32. SHW says:

    God accepts for salvation every single person who fears Him and works righteousness.

    Acts 10:35 “But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.”

    God desires that not even one person be lost/damned (perish) so He keeps calling every person to repentance until the moment of death.

    2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

    The elect are known to God because He had (and still has) foreknowledge of future events. He did not arbitrarily choose some persons for salvation and all others for damnation.

    1 Peter 1:2 “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:”

    God predestined all persons before the foundation of the world whom He foresaw were in the state of sanctifying grace at the time of their deaths (the Holy Spirit was abiding within their souls at the time of death) 1 Corinthians 3:16-18, Revelation 17:8.

    He knows who will be saved because He has foreknowledge of every future event including the Last Judgment and He had this foreknowledge before He predestined and He predestined according to His foreknowledge of these future events. Predestined is only used in a positive sense. No person can be predestined to hell; however, a person can be condemned to hell after he/she is judged by his/her works and he/she will be condemned if he/she were evildoers and did not repent before death. (John 5:28-29)

    (Romans 9:11-13) God preferred Jacob to lead His people and not Esau because God knew before the foundation of the world that Esau would sell his birthright to Jacob (Hebrews 12:16). God hates no person that He has made. This is a Semitic manner of speaking (exaggeration/hyperbole such as Mark 9:47 and it was used to strongly emphasize a point) and in this case it means that God has a preference for Jacob to fulfill a special aspect of His Salvation Plan.

    This type of “election” for Jacob is for specific service just as Saul/Paul was chosen before he was born to be the apostle to the Gentiles (Galatians 1:14-16).

    For more info: http://www.amazon.com/Predestined-Inherit-Eternal-Scripture-ebook/dp/B003MC5DBO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1275922203&sr=1-1

  33. SHW says:

    MLD

    Jesus reconciles us spiritually to God through baptism Mark 16:16, but then we must maintain this reconciliation by cooperating with His grace. If we choose to sin sins that lead to death (cause the loss of sanctifying grace) after we have been reconciled to God, Romans 6:16, Galatians 5:19-21, 2 Peter 2:20-21, Hebrews 10:26-27 then we lose our spiritual fellowship with God and unless we repent of this sin before death, we will not inherit eternal life. Revelation 22:14

    This is why we must be determined to not sin after we have been justified by faith. If we sin, then we fall from grace and we are no longer saved. Satan keeps trying to convince us to lose our salvation through sin. 1 Peter 5:8-9, Hebrews 12:14-16

    1 John 3:6 “Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.”

    If a person desires to continue to abide in Christ, then he must choose to not sin. If he does choose to sin, then he does not continue to abide in Christ because when a person chooses to sin, then he no longer knows God. A person who truly knows God does not choose to sin. A person who claims to know God, but does not obey God’s commandments is a liar and all liars, if they do no repent before death, end up in the lake of eternal fire. 1 John 2:4, Revelation 21:8

    Galatians 5:4 “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”

    These persons who were baptized attempted to add more justification by circumcision and this was a sin leading to death (it caused them to fall from grace) and so unless they repent before death, they will not inherit eternal life.

    We must continue in the faith, obeying God’s commandments, until death in order to be approved to inherit eternal life. Christ only saves/approves for eternal life those persons who obey Him until they die. Hebrews 5:9, 2 Thessalonians 1:8, Acts 14:21-23

    Revelation 3:4 “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.”

    These people did not defile their baptismal garments with sin and so they will inherit eternal life.

    We will all be judged by our works as proof of our faith and not by faith alone. John 5:28-30, James 2:24

    Many Christians will be surprised when they are judged because they have always believed that they were saved. After all, they told people about Jesus, they claimed to love Him, etc. However, they will find themselves thrown into the eternal fire instead of entering into eternal life. Luke 13:25-27, Galatians 6:7-8

    Jesus only saves the persons who love Him. James 1:12 Persons who love Him obey His commandments. John 14:21

  34. Captain Kevin says:

    Good Monday morning, Phoenix Preacher Family!

    I have something I’d like anyone and everyone to weigh in on. I will be filling the pulpit for my pastor later this month, and anticipate doing so several times in the months to come.

    The Greatest Themes/Doctrines/Teachings, etc. of the Bible…”Top Ten Answers are on the Board” is a series I’d like to tackle. To be sure, I want to teach on the Tri-unity of God/Deity of Christ.

    What do you all think should be the most important teachings that a body of believers should know or be exposed to?

  35. Buster says:

    CK:
    “Jesus loves me, this I know.”

  36. Believe says:

    Buster…”for the Bible tells me so…” …so we have to go beyond Jesus Loves Me…and search the Word of God to Find Him…and “know” all there is to “know” about Him…otherwise, “who” is the Jesus that Loves you? Are you sure it is the correct Jesus?

    …that’s a line of reasoning I’m encountering in another discussion.

    Good times! I love this stuff!!!

  37. Bob says:

    Believe:

    “otherwise, “who” is the Jesus that Loves you? Are you sure it is the correct Jesus?”

    I believe this is a valid question to ask any one considering there is the Jesus of:

    The Jesus of Mormon belief.
    Watchtower Jesus.
    Muslim Jesus.
    Jesus of “The Way International.”
    The, punch the devil, fighting Jesus of Joel Osteen.
    The Jesus of Todd Bently.
    The Jesus of “The Jesus Seminar.”
    Peter Jennings Jesus.
    The wealthy Jesus.

    I think you get my point.

    So maybe this would be a good series for CK to look at with his church.

  38. SHW says:

    Jesus loves us. True. He died for us so that we could have the hope of inheriting eternal life. Titus 3:7 His death proved His love for us.

    We prove our love for Jesus in return for His great sacrifice by obeying His gospel/commands 1 Corinthians 14:37, 1 John 5:3 (we must die to sin and remain dead to sin until our death in order to prove and to continue to prove our love for Him). Romans 6:1-3

    He only saves and approves for eternal life the persons who truly love (obey) Him.

  39. Believe says:

    ..yes Bob…I agree.

    In the other discussion…the main issue (it appears) is that Len Sweet’s Jesus in Jesus Manifesto…is a different Jesus…and that Salvation is not “easy”…it takes a lot of “work”…(put in very simplistic terms…)

    I’ve been down that path…and will probably learn a lot from the guy I’m having the conversation with…he’s engaged and has a good grasp of his line of thinking.

    I’m arguing for minimums and simplicity…he’s arguing against false teaching and easy believism (if my interpretation of his communication is correct)…

    We’ll see where the discussion leads…as always, it helps to test beliefs and the best way (often)…is to take a position…and defend it.

  40. Buster says:

    Believe,
    You are correct, but some devote themselves so intently to knowing about him, that they never really appropriate or experience his love, nor pass it on to others.

    I liked what Viola and Sweet say in regard to this in the Jesus Manifesto:

    “When Christ is understood in terms of a cohesive theological system, Jesus becomes subordinated to a human description. The ‘idea’ of Jesus is treated as the as the equivalent of the *reality* of Christ. We are then hindered from growing in his life, being tied down to a frozen construction of him. We also become insulated from the challenges posed by the reality of Jesus, which always exceeds our present descriptions of him.”

    “When Paul exhorted us to put on the ‘mind’ of Christ, the Greek word he used for ‘mind’ had nothing to do with cognitive skill or intellectual brainpower. To have the mind of Christ does not mean possessing the *knowledge* of Christ or the intellectual comprehension of Christ but the relational *knowing* of Christ.”

  41. Em says:

    “This is why we must be determined to not sin after we have been justified by faith. If we sin, then we fall from grace and we are no longer saved.”

    i haven’t been able to come up with a civilized comment on the above – to believe that would make it impossible to get out of bed in the morning (or stay in it for that matter)…

    i won’t try to instruct on this fallacy, but some people have done a pretty good job of it and convinced me

    but then… perhaps, i misunderstood 😀

  42. Believe says:

    Buster…I agree…it is a hard concept to articulate in a way a person who is well-versed and well-established in the logos (man’s reason applied to Theology)… to understand.

    This guy I’m having the discussion with…clearly loves Jesus…he is a brother. However, he is very much hung up, IMO, on Bibliolatry…though that is my subjective interpretation.

    It will be a lengthy and tedious process to discuss the issue with him in a linear fashion…but I will follow through on this one and continue to engage him…if he is open to continuing the discussion.

    Something I’m going to differently in the past, when I’ve had lengthy discussions…I’m going to commit to praying for him every day and ask the Holy Spirit to help me and to help him…and teach us both through our interaction…to learn more of what God wants both of us to learn…rather than “trying” to win an argument.

    I see things so much differently now…since my days at The Master’s College…and for years afterward.

    There is a Spiritual aspect to all of this that is difficult to quantify…and that is where many of the hang-ups are IMO.

    Of course, one must reason…and hyper-charismania with no Word (Logos)…hyper-spiritualism…with no Word (Logos)…is a mistake also…

  43. Em says:

    i’d take the mind of Christ one step further than ‘relational’ … we can feed on the Word, grow in nurture and admonition and internalize the mind of Christ … your spirit matures as God the Holy Spirit bears witness with it … kind of the difference between a fact grasped’ and a fact savored, perhaps…

    whatadshesay again?

  44. SHW says:

    No person alive today knows for sure if he/she is a member of the “elect.” We cannot know until we meet Jesus after death. Paul calls all believers “saints” as an encouragement only. Romans 1:7

    Paul cannot judge them (read the intentions of their hearts or see the sins on their souls) Romans 2:16, 1 Corinthians 4:2-4 and he also does not know if they will endure to the end of their lives in fellowship with God or not. Matthew 24:12-13

    Jesus chose Judas yet Judas betrayed Him, and then Judas chose to die in despair, believing that his sin was greater than God’s mercy. John 6:70, Matthew 26:24

    Peter denied Christ yet he repented and as a result, he was still given the keys to the kingdom of God Matthew 16:17-19 and he also became known as the main apostle to the circumcised. Galatians 2:8

    God knows who His elect are because He has foreknowledge of all future events 1 Peter 1:1-2.

    Peter encourages his flock by reminding them that the elect are known by God according to His foreknowledge. We do not have this foreknowledge and so we are warned by Peter to live in fear 1 Peter 1:17-19 and Paul reminds us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling Philippians 2:12-13.

    If we revert to a sinful life and do not repent before death, then it would have been better if we had never been reconciled to God at all. 2 Peter 2:20-21, Matthew 23:14

  45. Buster says:

    Believe,

    Sometimes it takes a difficult life experience to teach people that their scholarly/legal approach to the Bible won’t allow them to solve all of life’s problems.

  46. SHW says:

    Em,

    Most of the content of the New Testament epistles are warnings to the members of the Church to remain (to continue to be) reconciled to God.

    What do you not understand about the following?

    2 Peter 2:20-21 “For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.”

    First, these persons were saved (they received sanctifying/saving grace 1 Corinthians 6:11), then they sinned and fell from grace (they no longer have sanctifying/saving grace).

    You need sanctifying grace in your soul at the time of your death in order to then be forever saved and inherit eternal life.

    What are examples of sins that cause the loss of sanctifying grace within the soul (sins that lead to death/cause loss of eternal life)? Here are some examples:

    Ephesians 5:3-7, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Timothy 5:8, Matthew 6:15

  47. Believe says:

    ….amen Buster. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for me…I have to learn the hard way…but thank God He is a patient and loving God (ODM alert: I do not believe those are God’s ONLY attributes, but those are two important attributes of my Father).

  48. Bob says:

    Believe:

    thanks for the words.

    Buster said this:

    “You are correct, but some devote themselves so intently to knowing about him, that they never really appropriate or experience his love, nor pass it on to others. ”

    I believe God tests people (see James) to let them really see what they are made up of and normally many of us find out it isn’t Jesus. What I found is often times my Jesus is there to fill my lusts and desires and I believe this is the heart of the test.

  49. I taught from John 14 and part 4 in a series about the HS. Taught on the difference between the “gifts” of the HS and the manifestations of the HS in chapter 12 of 1 Cor. I’ll finish up next week, It’s been a good series because as I talk to people, there seems to be is so a lot of confusion about the HS. I am sure I am not going to end the age old debate and I am no scholar but I come from Lutheran back ground and went to an A of G college. I’ve had some input from some good scholars so I hope my perspctive at least serves as a way thru some of the fog

  50. Buster says:

    “Paul calls all believers “saints” as an encouragement only.” LOL

  51. Em says:

    SHW, here’s what i do understand – justification; sanctification; grace (as much as the human mind can); my spiritual birth and it’s needs including constant washing in the Word of God and confessions of sin(s) committed, and the turning from same. I know i am shepherded and corrected and loved by a faithful, all sufficient Triune God. I am not a dog that returns to its vomit – but if i am overtaken in a sin, my shepherd will do whatever it takes to clean me up and return me to where my walk is intended to be… He is not silent, watching and hoping that i won’t “go bad” on Him…

    i don’t feel led debate your verses – all of which i know and treasure

  52. Believe says:

    SHW…welcome…or have you been here before?

  53. SHW says:

    Buster,

    Paul does not know for sure if they will die as saints or not so he calls them saints as encouragement to them to either become (and/or remain) saints.

    2 Timothy 4:3-5 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

    They have to be given the truth and also accept the truth first in order to be able to turn away from this truth later.

    Acts 13:43 “Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.”

    They have to believe the truth first in order to be persuaded to continue in it. What happens if they choose to sin and thereby not continue in the grace of God?

    Romans 11:22 “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.” Matthew 7:13-18, Ezekiel 33:12-20

    Paul is explaining to the Roman Church that if they continue to obey God (continue in His goodness), then they will also continue to be saved. But, if they choose to disobey God’s commandments Luke 10:25-28, Luke 18:18-21, then they will be cut off the Vine who is Christ. Branches (persons) who are cut off from the Vine (Christ) are thrown into the fire and burned (unless they repent again before death and become reattached to the Vine and then remain attached to the Vine until they die). John 15:6

  54. SHW says:

    Em,

    If persons commit sins that lead to death after they have been saved, then they are like a sow who returns to its mire. A sow is a dumb/non-reasoning animal by nature and acts on instinct.

    A fool is a person who forfeits his salvation by returning to sins that defile his temple Proverbs 26:11 and cause the Holy Spirit to destroy him 1 Corinthians 3:16-18 (if he does not repent again before death).

    The Holy Spirit cannot live in a defiled temple. The Holy Spirit abiding within our souls at the time of death is our only guarantee that we will be saved. He is the sanctifying grace that saves our souls. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, Acts 5:32, 1 Peter 1:22, Isaiah 63:10, Ephesians 4:25-33

    Without the Holy Spirit abiding in our souls at the time of death, God will not “know” us and so we will not be saved. Luke 13:25-28, Matthew 7:22-23

  55. SHW says:

    Believe,

    Thank you for the kind greeting. Yes, I have been here before, but not this year and maybe not last year either. I can’t remember. 🙂

  56. Michael says:

    Long morning…now this.

    Ҧ For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.
    I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
    Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
    (2 Timothy 4:6–8 ESV)

    Paul was assured that his crown was waiting for him…and not only his but all who are in Christ.

    We are already in possession of eternal life;

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
    (John 5:24 ESV)

    Jesus says He will lose NONE of those given to Him;

    ““I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
    But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.
    All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
    For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
    And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
    For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.””
    (John 6:35–40 ESV)

    Our redemption is a completed work;

    “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
    For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
    And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
    (Romans 8:28–30 ESV)

    and the coup de gras…

    “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
    He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
    Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
    Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
    As it is written,
    “For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
    ¶ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
    For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
    nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
    (Romans 8:31–39 ESV)

    End of the story…bye, bye.

  57. Believe says:

    Glad you’re here…good stuff to re-consider and consider…please stick around.

    I am very much interested in seeing the variety of responses. I am hopeful many will engage you…

    …I have so much to learn…and re-learn…and test and refine.

  58. Michael says:

    Ҧ Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,
    who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
    and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
    for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,
    which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me”
    (2 Timothy 1:8–13 ESV)

    “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
    (Philippians 1:6 ESV)

    My God is able to keep me safe till I get home…it’s His work, not mine.

  59. Michael says:

    Phil. 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

    1 Thess. 5:23-24, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”

    2 Tim. 4:18, “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

    1 Peter 1:23, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

  60. SHW says:

    Many Christians claim to saved, but Paul warns, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:1-12

    Paul commands the believers, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.” 2 Corinthians 13:5

    Who are the disqualified? They are the ones who still think that they are saved even though they commit adultery, etc. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13

    Who are the ones who are presently being saved? They are the persons who obey God’s commands.

    “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1

    God (Word) humbled Himself and became man (Jesus) in order to redeem us by His sacrificial death on the cross so it is reasonable for Him to ask us to present ourselves as obedient children (living sacrifices who are dead to sin) in return for eternal life. Hebrews 12:14-16, Romans 6:16

    “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:27

    Paul took care to remain in Christ. Paul took care to continue in the faith. Paul took care to make himself into a living sacrifice in imitation of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1

    Jesus stated:

    Luke 9:23 “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

    Matthew 10:38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” Revelation 3:4 Those who are judged worthy are approved to inherit the crown of eternal life after they die. James 1:12

  61. Believe says:

    SHW and Michael…thank you both for sharing your positions…

    This discussion helps support my premise that there are seeming cross-currents in the Bible…and that man’s logos (man’s reason) is incapable of reconciling all of the doctrinal and Theological complexities contained in Logos (the Word)…and that Simplicity is the answer…and that God has made it this way for a reason…He is the One who does the revealing…it all points to Jesus and the Simple message of the Gospel…and it is God who supplies the Power through His Holy Spirit…the Power to defeat sin in a person’s life…the Power in our efforts to evangelize…”we” are not God…”we” will never figure it all out with all certainty…and “we” don’t have to…”we” are to “bow our knee” and have Faith in Jesus Christ…God WILL take care of the rest…

    1 Corinthians 1:17-30 (English Standard Version)

    17For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

    Christ the Wisdom and Power of God
    18For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written,

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

    20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    26For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,

  62. Michael says:

    SHW,

    So can we assume that you now live a perfectly obedient and sinless life?

    I have refuted your claim that Paul did not have any assurance of salvation…waiting for your retraction.

  63. Michael says:

    PERSEVERANCE
    GOD KEEPS HIS PEOPLE SAFE
    And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
    ROMANS 8:30
    Let it first be said that in declaring the eternal security of God’s people it is clearer to speak of their preservation than, as is commonly done, of their perseverance. Perseverance means persistence under discouragement and contrary pressure. The assertion that believers persevere in faith and obedience despite everything is true, but the reason is that Jesus Christ through the Spirit persists in preserving them.
    Scripture emphasizes this. John tells us that Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, is under promise to his Father (John 6:37-40) and to his sheep directly (John 10:28-29) to keep them so that they never perish. In his high-priestly prayer before his passion Jesus asked that those whom the Father had given him (John 17:2, 6, 9, 24) would be preserved to glory, and it is inconceivable that his prayer, which still continues (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25), will go unanswered.
    Paul sees the sovereign plan of God for the salvation of his elect as a unitary whole, of which the glorifying of the justified is part (Rom. 8:29-30). On this basis he builds the triumphant peroration of Romans 8:31-39, in which he celebrates the present and future security of the saints in the almighty love of God. Elsewhere he rejoices in the certainty that God will complete the “good work” that he began in the lives of those Paul addresses (Phil. 1:6; cf. 1 Cor. 1:8-9; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Thess. 3:3; 2 Tim. 1:12; 4:18).
    Reformed theology echoes this emphasis. The Westminster Confession declares,
    They, whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved. (XVII.1)
    The doctrine declares that the regenerate are saved through persevering in faith and Christian living to the end (Heb. 3:6; 6:11; 10:35-39), and that it is God who keeps them persevering. That does not mean that all who ever professed conversion will be saved. False professions are made; short-term enthusiasts fall away (Matt. 13:20-22); many who say to Jesus, “Lord, Lord,” will not be acknowledged (Matt. 7:21-23). Only those who show themselves to be regenerate by pursuing heart-holiness and true neighbor-love as they pass through this world are entitled to believe themselves secure in Christ. Persevering in faith and penitence, not just in Christian formalism, is the path to glory. To suppose that believing in perseverance leads to careless living and arrogant presumption is a total misconception.
    Sometimes the regenerate backslide and fall into gross sin. But in this they act out of character, do violence to their own new nature, and make themselves deeply miserable, so that eventually they seek and find restoration to righteousness. In retrospect, their lapse seems to them to have been madness. When regenerate believers act in character, they manifest a humble, grateful desire to please the God who saved them; and the knowledge that he is pledged to keep them safe forever simply increases this desire.
    Packer, J. I. (1995). Concise theology : A guide to historic Christian beliefs. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House.

  64. SHW says:

    Michael

    [quote]Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,
    who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
    and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
    for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,
    which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me”
    (2 Timothy 1:8–13 ESV)[/quote]

    Christ is powerful enough (after all, He is God) to be able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to Paul because Paul has chosen to entrust himself to Christ. It is a mutual entrusting.

    Christ never denies a person his free will to either obey Him or disobey Him. Paul continues to obey Christ’s commands and so Christ continues to guard him and so Paul’s temple (heart/soul) remains undefiled and since it remains undefiled, the Holy Spirit remains in him, continuing to save him. The Holy Spirit is given to and remains with only those persons who obey God. Acts 5:32

    [quote]“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6 ESV)[/quote]

    Christ does not force persons to obey Him. They have free will to choose to either obey Him or disobey Him. He does not save those who do not choose to obey Him. 2 Thessalonians 1:8, Hebrews 5:9, Joshua 24:15

    Those believers who do not continue to obey Him and who do not repent before death are called evildoers (and evil persons and sons of disobedience) and they are not saved. Ephesians 5:5-7, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13

    [quote}My God is able to keep me safe till I get home…it’s His work, not mine.{/quote}

    God saves only the persons who cooperate (in obedience) with His saving grace. So, if a person chooses to not serve God (disobeys His commands), then he is choosing by his own lack of obedience to not be saved.

  65. Em says:

    SWH, well, you got one thing right – the Holy Spirit cannot reside in a defiled temple – that is why we are blood washed and why we study the Word of God and confess (clean house regularly) – but all that life stream comes from the Throne of God, not from us

    just sayin (and asking God to bless Michael)

  66. Another Voice says:

    If the baptism of the Holy Spirit were properly taught (as opposed to improperly taught or ignored) then eternal security would make so much obvious sense. There would be less dueling verses.

    The moment of salvation is when the Holy Spirit places you into the Body of Christ – no longer are you identified as being “in Adam” but now you are “in Christ”

    This is a work of the Spirit of God.

    There is NOTHING in Scripture that suggests that after this takes place, God’s Spirit would place you back into Adam (the only other alternative for all humanity), or that you can thwart the work of God and put yourself back into Adam.

    And no, I am not a Calvinist, but I sometimes may seem to act like one on the internet…

    🙂

  67. Believe says:

    Child-Like Faith:

    Matthew 18:2-6

    Mark 10:15

    Luke 18:17

    Christ is the Stumbling Block…the Cornerstone…even for some “believers”…they argue…”It can’t be that simple…you just don’t understand…there is more than Christ…”

    No. There isn’t. The Thief on the Cross was saved the same way we are…Faith and Belief in Jesus Christ.

    But, but, but…there was more Revelation that he didn’t have at the time of his Salvation…you’ve got to do this and this…and you have to understand this and this…and if you have all of this proper understanding…and if you obey all these commands…you are “truly saved”…

    We cannot be good enough…we cannot “go and sin no more…”….we cannot have a “perfect understanding”….while we are called to turn away from sin and to obey His commands…it is our Faith in Jesus Christ that saves us…it is a regeneration that occurs once we’ve “bowed our knee”…a regeneration that God does…because we Believe and exercise Faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

    There is no such thing as “correct” doctrine…outside of the Simple Message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ….there are a lot of theories…but I’m believing more and more that the message really is that simple…

  68. Believe says:

    ….stuck in the purgatory filter 🙂 help me BrianD!!!!

  69. Michael says:

    SHW,

    You have moved beyond error into heresy.

    You have a complete misunderstanding of the nature of sin…any sin not under the blood will damn a person, whether of commission or omission.

    Unless you can claim that you now have reached a state of total perfection you are damned under your own system.

  70. SHW says:

    Em

    I agree. Jesus forgives sins.

    It was the grace of God that first saved us Ephesians 2:8 and it is because of our continuing obedience to God that His grace continues to save us 1 Corinthians 1:18.

    It is disobedience to His Word/gospel/commands that condemns and this disobedience will continue to condemn unless there is repentance before death. 1 Timothy 3:2-7, 1 Timothy 5:11-13

  71. Michael says:

    Those verses have nothing to do whatsoever with the topic…that is pure eisigesis.

  72. Believe says:

    SHW said, “It is disobedience to His Word/gospel/commands that condemns and this disobedience will continue to condemn unless there is repentance before death.”

    Repentance for every last sin of omission, commission…what if one is deceived and doesn’t “know” they are in a particular sin and die? There is a general Repentance unto Salvation…recognizing sin as sin and that one is a sinner and requires Christ for Salvation. To pursue sinless perfection…while a worthy goal to be holy and experience more of the fruits of the Spirit on this earth…and experience less discipline from God…is an impossible exercise.

    Do you believe that Peter was unsaved when he sinned by denying Christ? Do you believe Paul was unsaved each of the moments he claims to have been the “chief of sinners”…?

    If your standard is correct…God and Jesus and the Elect Angels…must be pretty lonely…

  73. Bob says:

    AV:

    “There is NOTHING in Scripture that suggests that after this takes place, God’s Spirit would place you back into Adam (the only other alternative for all humanity), or that you can thwart the work of God and put yourself back into Adam.”

    Agreed!

    I tend to get the feeling that the only real test of a person’s salvation is if, like Paul, they hold their testimony unto death or the return of the Lord, whichever comes first.

  74. SHW says:

    Michael
    Michael,

    Regarding Paul’s belief in absolute assurance of salvation:

    His own words: 1 Corinthians 9:27 “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

    Paul states that he must remain diligent in continuing to discipline his flesh (even though he has preached “the Way to salvation” to others), so that he himself will not sin sins of the flesh leading to death (loss of spiritual life) and thereby disqualify himself for salvation. Ezekiel 33:12-20

    The righteous man will not remain saved if he commits adultery, fornication, etc. after he is saved.

    This is why Paul warns, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;” Philippians 2:12

    There would be no need to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” if a person could not possibly lose his salvation. There would be no need for either fear or trembling if a person is guaranteed his salvation (no matter whether he obeys God or not).

    This is why James states, “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” James 2:24

    This is why we are judged by our works on Judgment Day as either proof of our living faith or else proof of our lack of living faith John 5:28-30. There is no Scripture verse which states that we are saved by faith alone. There is no Scripture verse that states that we are judged on Judgment Day by faith alone.

  75. Em says:

    just a thought i’m passively pondering (as i recover from mowing a wet lawn)… the payment, the ransom, the atonement for mankind’s sin is to be differentiated from the forgiveness of sin(s) – the former being an event and the latter an on-going process? if it is, as it seems to me, there can be no question, but that the atonement is a finished, completed offering (available to all who will receive it) …

  76. Believe says:

    Can a child have “proper understanding” unto Salvation…and conceptualize doctrinal complexities?

    When a person is unregenerate…can they have a “proper understanding” of doctrinal complexity as a pre-requisite to Salvation?

    How can it be that someone in a Third-World Country is “saved” upon hearing the simple message of the Gospel…yet they lack the “proper understanding” of the full historical Jesus…and “properly defined Jesus of my particular Biblical interpretation”…and “proper doctrines”….?

    There is a work of the Spirit that occurs…and that is difficult to quantify.

    Yes, we will “know them by their fruit…” etc…however…sometimes I believe some should change their title to “Frutians” or “Doctrinalians”…rather than “Christians”…

  77. Em says:

    Believe, since i’m still signed in here … FWIW – i don’t think Peter was saved when he denied his association with Jesus as the atonement had not yet been accomplished … probably, the word ‘saved’ needs defining (like some of those Greek verb tenses)

    now i’m gone – my left hand is numb from running the electric string trimmer – i’m scared of that gas motor on the ‘good’ one that doesn’t vibrate so much (and it’s probably safer than the electric one 😆 )

  78. SHW says:

    What is sin? Sin is disobedience to God.

    The angels who fell from grace (lost eternal life) disobeyed God. This disobedience is sin.

    These demons still believe that there is a God, but they did not and do not obey Him. James 2:19 They will be thrown into the eternal fire on Judgment Day.

    Adam had eternal life. Then, he fell from grace when he disobeyed God. This sin caused both him and his descendants loss of spiritual fellowship with God and loss of eternal life. Adam cannot pass on to his descendants what he no longer has. He ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in order to please Eve instead of obeying God. Only Jesus could restore this lost fellowship with God by His sacrificial death on the cross. Ephesians 2:8-10

    Belief that there is a God means nothing unless obedience to God follows. 1 Corinthians 7:19,

    Galatians 5:6 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.”

    Faith plus righteous works makes us worthy to inherit eternal life. We are judged on both of them and not faith alone.

    Obedience is equated with belief. Disobedience is equated with unbelief. Hebrews 3:18-19

    If you deny Christ by committing sins (evil works), then He will deny you salvation as a consequence of your own evil free will choices. Titus 1:16

  79. Michael says:

    “There is no Scripture verse which states that we are saved by faith alone. ”

    I hope you don’t do this for a living…

    Ҧ And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
    in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
    among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
    But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
    even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
    and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
    so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
    For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
    not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
    (Ephesians 2:1–9 ESV)

    “So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.
    But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.”
    (Romans 11:5–6 ESV)

    “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
    who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
    (John 1:12–13 ESV)

    “The righteous man will not remain saved if he commits adultery, fornication, etc. after he is saved.”

    Jesus says if you look at a woman with lust you’ve committed adultery.

    If this hasn’t happened to you , my guess is that you have hormonal as well as theological problems.

  80. Believe says:

    …Em, Peter had Faith in Jesus as Messiah…he had the same Faith that Noah, Moses, Abraham and the other Apostles had…a Faith in the Messiah to come…only the Apostles…pre-Resurrection…who were contemporaries…had Faith in Messiah…both pre and post Resurrection…

  81. Em says:

    interesting little preposition differentiation in the English “by” faith v “through” faith … dunno if it has any significance – but i suspect it might as i read James 2 – dunno

  82. Lutheran says:

    SHW,

    Welcome.

    1 — Mormon? Or SDA?

    2 — What is the gospel?

  83. Believe says:

    Paul the Apostle…notice the words “I am”…not “I was”….

    1 Timothy 1:15

  84. Em says:

    i know that, Believe – my point was that the Redemption had not yet occurred and, so… that faith which was a certainty and counted for righteousness had not yet been actualized – the faith of Abraham saved him, as our faith saves us … but it (Salvation) had not been accomplished at the time of Peter’s denial

  85. Believe says:

    John 1:1

    Em…I just see “time” as a finite “man” construct…God is infinite…Spirit…He is not bound by our concept of “time”…The Logos (The Word, Jesus) Is….as God Is…”in the Beginning”…eternal…always was, always will be…Salvation Is…was…before we were even Created…

    In the Garden…Adam and Eve sinned…God “allowed” it…but didn’t make them sin…however, The Logos, The Word, Jesus…and Salvation…already Is, was.

  86. Lutheran says:

    SHW,

    Again…

    1 — Mormon? Or SDA?

    Or did you come up with this soul-crushing crap just doing your own prooftexting, er I mean, study, of the Bible?

  87. SHW says:

    We are saved by grace, but our own free will actions determine whether we remain/abide/continue in this saving grace. 1 John 2:6, Romans 11:22

    Yes, we were saved by faith. Ephesians 2:8, Past Tense.
    Yes, we are being saved now. 1 Corinthians 1:18 Present Tense.
    Yes, I will be saved when I die if I continue to abide in Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:15, 1 Timothy 2:15 Future Tense.

    Salvation is a life-long process; it is not a one-time event.

  88. SHW says:

    Lutheran,

    CATHOLIC!

  89. Believe says:

    Lute…I’m guessing Messianic…Torah.

  90. Believe says:

    ….and we have a winner!!!! RCC it is!!!!

    Cool. This should make for some great discussions 🙂

  91. Em says:

    Believe, it is both and more ….. 😉

  92. Em says:

    SHW, RC? no worries then, but it’s between you and God to sort out those sins IMO

  93. SHW says:

    Em,

    James is speaking of the royal law/commandment of love. If you sin against it, you are called a transgressor/law breaker of the royal law. 1 John 5:17,

    Royal Law: Luke 10:25-28, Mark 12:29-31

  94. Em says:

    Believe, my (new) gravatar is cuter’n your gravatar 😆

  95. Glenn says:

    Em,

    What’s the name of your cuter gravatar. Looks like a real sweetie!

  96. Believe says:

    “Believe, my (new) gravatar is cuter’n your gravatar 😆 ”

    While the majority is certainly on your side on this one…there a couple of ladies in my household who would argue with you on that one 🙂

    Cute pup..what’s his/her name?

  97. Em says:

    Don’t think he has a name yet, my daughter just sent me the picture and i couldn’t resist – he’s their second shep and since the older one is a girl, i don’t think that they’ve thot this one thru… 😉

  98. Michael says:

    Romans 8…salvation as a completed work.

  99. SHW says:

    Thank you for the welcome. 🙂

    Lutheran,
    What is the gospel?

    God created man in His own image and likeness. The first man, Adam, sinned and he lost spiritual fellowship and eternal life for himself and also for all of his descendants. Romans 5:10

    Jesus, God’s Son, loves all people and so He desires for all of them to be saved and also for them to inherit eternal life when they die and so He died as a ransom for all of them 1 Timothy 2:3-7 and He waits patiently for them to repent 2 Peter 3:9 so that they can then have the hope of eternal life Titus 3:7; but He only approves for eternal life the persons who love Him James 1:12. The only persons who actually love Him are those who also obey Him. John 14:21

    The devil roars about the earth trying to deceive people into losing their salvation 1 Peter 5:8 which was given to them as a free gift of grace Ephesians 2:8.

    But, they must continue in the grace of God (salvation) by continued obedience to His commandments in order to be approved worthy to enter into eternal life after death. Colossians 1:9-12, Revelation 3:4, Matthew 24:12-14

  100. Believe says:

    Michael…that’s not fair…throwing Romans eight at a Catholic 🙂

  101. Believe says:

    Em…can you suggest the name “Phoenix”… 8)

  102. Em says:

    i’m convinced, Michael – truly am convinced and that is what causes me to pause when some who claim to be saved don’t manifest anything other than their fire insurance policy…

    i’m not qualified to throw Scripture around here, but, from KJV…
    Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
    Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain

  103. Michael says:

    Im trying to post with my iPod from the skatepark…think I might quit trying.

  104. Em says:

    hmmm “Preacher” might be even better, Believe 😀 but, alas, it’s not my duggie

  105. Em says:

    Michael, using your iPod from a skateboard is not a good idea 😆 … besides, i’ve been meaning to speak to you about that skateboard thing … my adult son got a helicopter ride doin that

  106. Believe says:

    LOL! Picturing Michael…so wanting to engage in this discussion…but pressing that little screen on his iPhone…it’ll take him an hour to get a complete thought out… 😆

  107. Em says:

    speaking of gravatars, are my suspicions right? do they slow down the thread’s loading?

    i don’t know whether this typing is good for my numb fingers or the opposite, but i’ve used up my space quota here today and then some …

    God keep

  108. SHW says:

    Michael,

    “So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” Romans 11:5–6 ESV)

    God promised through Isaiah that a remnant would be saved. Romans 9:27. God desires that no person should perish/be damned/be condemned. 1 Timothy 2:3-6, 2 Peter 3:9

    Jesus died on the cross for all mankind in order to reconcile us to God after Adam sinned and lost salvation and eternal life for us. Romans 5:10

    None of us could do anything nor did we do anything to merit this favor/grace/free gift. Jesus redeemed the whole human race as His free gift to us including the remnant Israelites.

    However, we are individually saved through/by faith and baptism Mark 16:16, 1 Corinthians 6:11 (and repentance and continued obedience to God’s commandments).

    So, only a remnant of the Israelites will actually be saved and be approved to enter into eternal life. We must imiate Christ’s life by taking up our own crosses (we shall be saved by His life) in obedience to His Father’s commandments until death in order to actually inherit eternal life. Matthew 7:20-24

  109. Michael says:

    Trey is doing first aid on a kid that bit it hard…good thing we keep a kit in the car. I’m raising a paramedic…

  110. Michael says:

    Em,
    I wish he loved another sport…but this is his passion.
    Scares hell out of me.

  111. Em says:

    the picture in my mind of that little kid doing first aid makes me smile and you just might have a medic or a doctor???

    now i’m gone

  112. SHW says:

    Michael,

    “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12–13 ESV)

    Yes, He gave them the right to become children of God. However, these children of God have to remain His children by their continued obedience to Him; otherwise, if they sin, they will then become sons of disobedience and they will not continue to be saved and they will not inherit eternal life as a consequence of their disobedience. Ephesians 5:5-7

    It is their continued obedience until death which gives them the right to eternal life. Revelation 22:14 Only those persons who continue to obey God until death will enter the New Heavenly Jerusalem. It is endurance in obedience to God until death that matters. James 1:21-22, Matthew 24:12-13

  113. Believe says:

    John 3:14-21

    John 7:17

    Gang up on the Calvinist!!! 😆

  114. Believe says:

    ….argghhh spam filter strikes again!!!

  115. Believe says:

    I’ll try it this way….

    John 3:14-21

    ….and

  116. Believe says:

    ….

    John 7:17

    …gang up on the Calvinist!!! 😆 8)

  117. SHW says:

    Michael,

    I said: “The righteous man will not remain saved if he commits adultery, fornication, etc. after he is saved.”

    You said: “Jesus says if you look at a woman with lust you’ve committed adultery.”

    Reply:

    Jesus was using a Semitic manner of speaking (hyperbole/exaggeration) to stress His point that all sin is unrighteousness. Matthew 7:3-5

    He did not mean that looking at a woman with lust was the exact same thing as committing the actual act of adultery. Galatians 6:7 He was warning them that the act of adultery begins in the heart and mind Matthew 15:19 and so they needed to nail their evil thoughts to the cross (bring their bodies into subjection 1 Corinthians 9:27) so that they would not end up committing adultery with another person and thereby losing their salvation. Galatians 5:18-21

    Jesus also did not literally mean that we should literally cut off our hands, feet, or pluck out our own eyes if we do sin. Mark 9:42-48

    Nor did He mean literally that we cannot call our own biological parent “father.” Matthew 23:9

    What He meant was that not all persons who claim to be fathers actually are good fathers. Paul claims to be a good father. 1 Corinthians 4:15 He calls Timothy his son. 1 Corinthians 4:17

    There are degrees of sin and there are corresponding punishments for these different degrees of sin. Matthew 5:22

    The Sanhedrin Council gave out fines and prison sentences to those who appeared before them, but these punishments do not cause the loss of eternal life. 1 Corinthians 3:10-18

    Hellfire causes the permanent loss of eternal life.

  118. Lutheran says:

    SHW,

    Are your positions the official ones of the Roman Catholic Church?

  119. Believe says:

    SHW…what is your take on these verses?

    2 Corinthians 5:17-19

    ….and

  120. Believe says:

    ….

    Jude 1

  121. SHW says:

    Michael,

    Romans 8

    If a person accepts Jesus as Savior and/or becomes baptized, then he has been reconciled to God.

    Romans 8:12-17 “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

    “13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die” (lose eternal life). Ezekiel 33:12-20

    The “son’s” or daughter’s “inheritance” is conditional. They keep their inheritance if they do not live according to the flesh. They lose their inheritance when they sin against God’s commandments (when they live according to the flesh). Romans 6:16

    If they allow the Holy Spirit to lead them and they choose to obey Him, then they will be heirs. If they choose instead to live according to the flesh (become sons of disobedience by sinning against God’s commandments), then they become children of the devil and they can now expect wrath instead of eternal life. Ephesians 2:1-3

    ” but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”

    Our inheritance is a conditional inheritance: Obey God and inherit eternal life. Disobey God and receive eternal damnation. 2 Thessalonians 1:8

    “16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”

    If you defile your temple 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 with grievous sin (sin deserving of hellfire), then the Holy Spirit no longer lives in/abides in you 1 John 3:24 and so He no longer bears witness with your spirit that you are a child of God. So, instead of inheriting eternal life, expect His vengeance. Hebrews 10:26-30, 2 Corinthians 13:5

    You disqualify yourself from eternal life when you defile your temple/soul with grievous sin. Isaiah 63:10, Ephesians 4:30,

  122. SHW says:

    2 Cor 13:5 got split up in my last post and so it does not make sense. It should be:

    “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.”

  123. Em says:

    just popping in to say 🙄

    tread lightly on Calvin – make sure you’re quoting Calvin himself and not some guy who says he’s a “Calvinist” – i don’t think Calvin laid claim to being a “Calvinist;” probably didn’t even believe in them… just speaking up for my poor dead brother…

    course now, Martin Luther is another subject altogether – his words have traveled with the Lutherans pure and unadulterated – mebbee – dunno

  124. SHW says:

    Lutheran: Yes, but they are mine also.

    Believe: 2 Corinthians 5:17-19

    When we are “in Christ” then we are a new creation and so He no longer counts our past transgressions against us. However, when we disobey Him, then we are no longer “in Him.” Ezekiel 33:12-20

    Christ only abides in the souls/hearts/minds of persons who obey His commandments. John 15:10, 1 John 3:24, Romans 11:22

    Jude 1:

    Jude is warning the faithful to be on their guard because some fellow “Christians” will try to seduce them with the false gospel of guaranteed salvation without obedience to God’s commandments. James 1:22, Acts 5:32

    Jude 1:17 “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.”

    These “certain men who crept in” are people who heard the Word and who were once believers in the one true gospel of Christ (they obeyed the commandments of the gospel at one time), but now they deny Christ by their own sinful works, and so they will be condemned. Titus 1:16, Revelation 2:13, 2 Thessalonians 1:8

    Gotto get some work done at home now. “See” ya later.

  125. Another Voice says:

    I urge “my” congregation each week to examine themselves to see whether they are in the faith. And I teach the eternal security of the believer.

    P.S. My point on the baptism of the Spirit still stands from earlier today – unrefuted.

  126. ( | o )====::: says:

    SHW,
    Hi. I’ve been lurking all day ad have a couple questions

    1 It feels like you are compelled to focus on bible verses which seem to say that a believer can end up in hell even though they have full confidence in Jesus to provide for whatever is lacking in their ability to perform to the standard which is oftentime expressed in Hebraic constructs of hyperbole. What is driving that in you? Are you fearful that you could die and end up in hell?

    2 What if you allowed yourself to believe that Jesus sacrifice on the cross, being enough to cleanse you of every sin you could ever commit, is also His sure promise that He will keep you and all that the Father gives Him He will lose not one, that one being you? Have you ever entertained this possibility?

    I say this in brotherly pondering, not in an attitude of throwing down a challenge to debate.

    Wishing you the best and promising to check back later.
    ( | o )====:::

  127. SHW says:

    Oops!

    2 Thessalonians 1:8 got split up in the last post and so it does not make sense. It should be:

    “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

  128. BrianD says:

    FYI – multiple links land you in the spam filter. Not because we don’t like you, but because spammers put multiple links in the posts they try to get past the filter onto blogs.

  129. Believe says:

    AV said, “I urge “my” congregation each week to examine themselves to see whether they are in the faith. And I teach the eternal security of the believer.”

    Yes…I clearly see both…and I see lots of “both” in Scripture…”we” can not reconcile it all and make it fit in tidy doctrinal boxes.

    It is good to have SHW on here to bring the RCC perspective…and illustrate…more than ever…the balance (or seeming cross-currents) in Scripture…IMO.

  130. Another Voice says:

    Believe, this is not one of those cases where a reconciliation is needed. There is nothing seemingly ontradictory in just encouraging people that they truly are trusting in the Lord’s grace. I do not want anyone to mistakenly think their church attendance, good works, or (to put the Calvary spin on it, also Baptist) their “going forward” is why they are saved. So, examine yourselves is not the same as ‘examine in case you lost your salvation’

    Bella – if it helps, I spent years believing and teaching that one could reject Christ after truly being saved. It is the fruit of my Calvary Chapel upbringing – as was my mistaken understanding of what the baptism of the Spirit happens to be. I know all the prooftexts used in this thread, as they are old friends. As I grew in my understanding of the Word, I came to my current position.

    So please note, unlike many Calvinists (no offense intended to anyone), I did not come to eternal security because I read the commentaries of those interpreting the Scripture that way. Because I already was interacting with such works as a fighter against such men. It was the Bible itself, and my coming to grips with the faulty exegesis of my argument that changed my view.

    And chief in this is the understanding of the baptism of the Spirit, as I state above.

  131. Lutheran says:

    ‘Lutheran: Yes, but they are mine also’

    SHW,

    I’m from Missouri – at least figuratively.

    Where are you taking these Scriptures from? The Baltimore Catechism? Again, what is your source?

  132. Lutheran says:

    SHW,

    Also curious…

    Are you a cradle Catholic? Or did you come to faith in Rome after spiritually sojourning elsewhere?

  133. Another Voice says:

    The message by some here (as I understnad it) is that one must obey Christ’s commands to be saved.

    Christ commanded us to be baptized.

    So to be consistent, one must say that baptism is essential for salvation…unless one wants to make the argument that baptism is the one command that can be disobeyed with impunity.

    So is that the view here – baptism is needful for salvation? If not, why not?

  134. SHW says:

    Michael,

    As I pointed out before using Scripture, the “elect” were chosen “before the foundation of the earth” Revelation 17:8 and this was done according to God’s foreknowledge of future events. 1 Peter 1:2

    The elect are also known as the predestined. God foresaw every action of every person who was to be born in the future and He accepted for eternal life (predestined/elected) all persons whom He foresaw were still fearing Him and working righteousness at the time of their deaths. Acts 10:34-35 These persons whom He predestined had put on the armor of Christ Ephesians 6:10-13 and so they died in the state of sanctifying grace. 1 Thessalonians 5:2

    Our own “personal” day of the Lord will happen at the time of our death. Hebrews 9:27, Luke 16:19-26

    Acts 10:34-35 “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.”

    God knew that Adam would sin, and thereby lose eternal life for all mankind, before He created him and so He therefore also foreordained the Word to become Incarnate (Jesus Christ) before the foundation of the world in order for Jesus to redeem mankind (atone for Adam’s sin) so that people could then have hope Titus 3:7 to inherit eternal life 1 Peter 1:20

    Hope is not a guarantee. (I can hope to go to the ballgame, but something may come up (illness, accident, etc.) which prevents me from attending the game.)

    God judged all of us before the foundation of the world according to our future works which He foresaw before we were ever born. Ephesians 1:4, Hebrews 4:3-11

    Romans 8:28-30 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    God foreknew His elect (His predestined). Foreknew and predestined are only used in a positive sense in Scripture. Because He foreknew them He will also know them on Judgment Day. Those persons whom He foresaw who were disobedient at the time of death He will not know them on Judgment Day. Luke 13:23-27

    30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

    God predestined according to His foreknowledge of future events (if He foresaw that a person remained/abided in Him in obedience to His commandments until death, then He predestined him).

    Every person that He predestined before the foundation of the world/earth according to His foreknowledge, He also called. Every person whom He predestined, He also justified. Every person whom He predestined, He also glorified.

    Did He call some persons, but not justify them? Yes. Matthew 22:14

    Did He call and justify some persons, but not glorify them? Yes. Not every person continues to abide in Christ until death. Luke 8:5-15 Those who do not will not inherit eternal life.

    Whom does he glorify? He glorifies the persons who remain faithful until death. Revelation 17:14 They remain/abide with Him in obedience and so their love does not grow cold. Matthew 24:11-13

    Likewise, John 10:27-29, no person was put into God’s hand unless God foresaw that he would remain faithful until his death. This is the reason that he cannot be snatched out of His hand.

    Regarding Romans 8:38-39, it is true that the elect cannot ever be separated from the love of God.

    However, His elect Romans 8:33 were chosen before the foundation of the earth according to God’s foreknowledge of future events. If a person’s future actions met His approval, then He predestined him/her and he/she became His elect.

    God knew every thought, word, and deed that every single person would do after he/she was born until the moment of his/her death and only those persons whom He foresaw were still abiding in Christ (found still faithful to His commands) at the time of death were actually chosen to be His elect (predestined). 1 Corinthians 4:1-4, Hebrews 4:13

  135. Buster says:

    SHW,
    Sorry, I don’t have time for you. Linguisitic analysis and historical context and use will all be irrelevant to you because it’s the Church of Rome who decides for you who is a Saint. Like all the other arguments above, for you, they will all come down to “What does the Church teach about this?” That is your ultimate authority.

    It’s an authority that I have rejected, and no amount of words will convince me to return to the bondage of Rome, and to shift the burden of my salvation back on my own shoulders.

  136. centorian says:

    Foreknow does not mean to foresee as much as it means to have relationship with previously. To believe that God chose based on our chosing Him implies that His sovereignty is subservient to ours.

  137. Michael says:

    First off, most of SHW’s citations had nothing to do with soteriology as I pointed out earlier.

    Second, Centorian has pointed out that foreknowledge in the NT never speaks of God foreknowing events, but of foreknowing people. “Proginsko” literally means “to set his love upon”, to know in an intimate way.

    Third, Buster is absolutely correct in his statement that the magisterial authority of the church in Catholic theology trumps Scripture.

    This is not a case of dueling proof texts…

  138. SHW says:

    ( | o )====:::

    Howdy 🙂

    You said:
    “1 It feels like you are compelled to focus on bible verses which seem to say that a believer can end up in hell even though they have full confidence in Jesus to provide for whatever is lacking in their ability to perform to the standard which is oftentime expressed in Hebraic constructs of hyperbole. What is driving that in you? Are you fearful that you could die and end up in hell?

    Reply:
    Since both Peter and Paul admonish/warn us to remain faithful until death, I believe it is a good idea to do so since I do want to inherit eternal life after I die. 🙂 Since Jesus states that few people actually inherit eternal life, I do want to be counted in that number. Luke 13:23-27, Matthew 7:13-14

    That said, I am taking up my cross every day in imitation of Christ in obedience to His Father’s will (which means that I follow Him) so that God will count me worthy to inherit eternal life when I die. Luke 9:23, Matthew 10:38, Colossians 3:23-25, Jude 1:20-21, Matthew 7:21-24, 1 Corinthians 1:23

    Galatians 5:24 “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

    You said:
    2 What if you allowed yourself to believe that Jesus sacrifice on the cross, being enough to cleanse you of every sin you could ever commit, is also His sure promise that He will keep you and all that the Father gives Him He will lose not one, that one being you? Have you ever entertained this possibility?”

    My reply:

    Jesus cleansed me from every sin that was on my soul at the exact instant that I received baptism and the only sin that I had on my soul at that time was Adam’s sin which I inherited from him (I was a baby when I was baptized and so I had no personal sins of my own on my soul). Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 6:11

    Every time that I sin a new sin after baptism, I must repent of this new sin in order to receive forgiveness from Jesus for this new sin on my soul. Matthew 5:23-25

    1 John 2:1 ” My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

    There is no forgiveness for sins committed after baptism unless we repent of these sins first. John 5:14, John 20:22-23

    The Father only gave Jesus those persons (whom He foresaw before the foundation of the earth) who at the time of their death were in the state of sanctifying grace. (The Holy Spirit who is sanctifying grace was found abiding within them at the time of their death.)

    When Jesus stated, “It is finished,” He meant that the Old Covenant was now fulfilled/completed and that His New Covenant had begun. Luke 24:44, Hebrews 8:13

  139. SHW says:

    Lutheran,

    You said: I’m from Missouri – at least figuratively.

    Where are you taking these Scriptures from? The Baltimore Catechism? Again, what is your source?

    My reply:
    My head. 🙂

    But, I do locate the correct book, chapter, and verse(s) online at Biblegateway.com of the Scripture verses/passages that I quote in my posts because I do not have all of their exact locations in the Bible memorized.

  140. SHW says:

    Lutheran,

    You said: Are you a cradle Catholic? Or did you come to faith in Rome after spiritually sojourning elsewhere?

    My reply: Yes, but when I became an adult I studied the religions of the world, and as a result of this study, I chose to remain Catholic.

  141. Bob says:

    SHW:

    You said:

    “My reply: Yes, but when I became an adult I studied the religions of the world, and as a result of this study, I chose to remain Catholic.”

    When I did the same, studied world religions, I became a Christian and let loose of all the religions of the world. According to our scriptures there is only one pure religion in the world.

    It’s late and that’s a cheap shot, sorry.

  142. SHW says:

    Buster:

    Howdy,

    You said:
    Sorry, I don’t have time for you. Linguisitic analysis and historical context and use will all be irrelevant to you because it’s the Church of Rome who decides for you who is a Saint. Like all the other arguments above, for you, they will all come down to “What does the Church teach about this?” That is your ultimate authority.

    It’s an authority that I have rejected, and no amount of words will convince me to return to the bondage of Rome, and to shift the burden of my salvation back on my own shoulders.

    My reply:

    You have given us a good example of your own free will choice (you freely chose to disbelieve the Catholic Church’s teachings and so you did not remain a member nor should you remain a member since you do not believe.) 🙂

    All persons who are in heaven are called saints and are saints.

    The Catholic Church merely picks out a few of these persons to honor in order to show us good examples of how we should act if we desire to become saints also.

    Truth is truth. Truth exists and remains truth regardless of whether any person believes it or not.

    It does not hurt my feelings if you do not have time for me. 🙂

  143. SHW says:

    Centorian,

    You said: Foreknow does not mean to foresee as much as it means to have relationship with previously. To believe that God chose based on our chosing Him implies that His sovereignty is subservient to ours.

    My reply:
    I agree in that God “foreknew” the persons whom He “predestined.” However, He knew all future events before He created the world because He is all-knowing (omniscient).

    God is sovereign. He freely chose to give every person free will so that every person could then either choose to serve Him or else choose to not serve Him. This is His gift to mankind. Joshua 24:15

    But, He only saves those for eternity who do choose Him by obedience to Him and who also keep on choosing Him until they die. Hebrews 5:9

  144. SHW says:

    Michael,

    You said: Third, Buster is absolutely correct in his statement that the magisterial authority of the church in Catholic theology trumps Scripture.

    My reply:

    Scripture is inerrant in regards to faith and morals.

    The Catholic Church claims to be infallible (without error) in her interpretation of Scripture. 2 Peter 3:15-17, 2 Peter 1:20

    So, Catholic theology does not trump Scripture. It claims to teach the correct interpretation of Scripture. So, what people disagree with is the Catholic Church’s interpretation of Scripture. Many persons today decide for themselves what they think the Scriptures mean. They claim to be infallible in their own interpretations just like the Catholic Church claims to be in her own interpretations.

    The Catholic Church has been given the authority by God to interpret Scripture for all its members. But, this is a whole different subject best kept for another day. 🙂

  145. SHW says:

    Bob,

    You said: When I did the same, studied world religions, I became a Christian and let loose of all the religions of the world. According to our scriptures there is only one pure religion in the world.

    My reply:

    God meets persons where they are presently, spiritually speaking. However, He expects them to grow into mature Christians after they become Christians. 1 Corinthians 14:20

  146. Lutheran says:

    SHW,

    When you studied world religions, did you spend any time studying non-RCC Christianity — i.e., Orthodoxy and Protestantism?

  147. came2pass says:

    Just when I thought I dodged the bullet…looks like I’m going to hell after all…crap…

    If hot air rises won’t heaven be hotter then hell?

    OK…sorry…I’ll go back to my lurking now, you guys have enough to deal with…ugh…

  148. Bob says:

    SHW

    Who’s yoke do you wear?

    Btw most of your responses are irrelevant out of context Scripture fragments. You need to do a bit more explaining.

  149. Another Voice says:

    Simple example:

    A man trusts Christ for the first time one night and tells the congregation. He is congratulated and then told about baptism. They say, we can baptize you tonight if you like – the man says “Can we do it next week, I have to go now” The pastor (if it was someone like me) says “sure!”

    Now – this man disobeyed a command of Jesus Christ, didn’t he? So if he dies that week won’t he be rejected by Christ (and isn’t the pastor a heretic for encouraging this)?

    I’m sure if the guy was living in sin and said he wanted to put off for a week obeying the Lord, we all would have a big problem as to whether his repentance was sincere.

    SO the question stands – the guy is killed before baptism the next week – heaven or hell?

  150. Believe says:

    SHW said, “Truth is truth. Truth exists and remains truth regardless of whether any person believes it or not.”

    Amen.

    And, for the record…I believe you are brother in Christ…FWIW.

    “God meets persons where they are presently, spiritually speaking.”

    Amen.

    Jesus is the Cornerstone and the Stumbling Block…IMO…that man through his logos has splintered into a million fragments doctrinally…if Jesus Christ as Messiah is central…all roads (built on Jesus Christ the Messiah) lead to Heaven.

    The RCC, IMO, is not the Harlot…and I don’t believe that the Anti-Christ will be a Pope or hail from Rome. The Anti-Christ is Islam’s messiah…the Madhi…the 12th imam.

    I think I may disagree with some of your doctrinal positions regarding Eternal Security (or lack of)…and positions that if someone dies while having one sin unrepented…that they will go to hell.

    However, I recognize that the Holy Spirit continually…every moment…is convicting the Believer of sin…”the law is written on your heart…” and when a work of the Holy Spirit has happened in one’s life…they repent continually of sin…

    I also recognize that while Jesus came to fulfill the law…we are still to obey the law as Jesus sums it up for us and boils it down to its “simplest” form:

    Luke 10:25-28

    …and “do” this and you shall live.

  151. Believe says:

    However…Jesus answered the Lawyer in Luke 10:25-38 in the same manner He dealt with the Rich Young Ruler…IMO.

    To point the person to the Cross. To point out or futility of “self”…to ultimately bring us to a place where we “give in”…and realize “we” are not God…”we” are incapable of pleasing God on our own. We need Jesus Christ…we need the Power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

    Outside of Jesus Christ and the Work of the Holy Spirit…NO MAN can keep the law or overcome sin’s power…been there…done that.

  152. SHW says:

    Lutheran,

    You said: When you studied world religions, did you spend any time studying non-RCC Christianity — i.e., Orthodoxy and Protestantism?

    My reply: Yes. But, I rejected them because these churches did not receive authority Matthew 18:17, Luke 10:16-17 from God to make changes (Schism, Reformation) in His one Church which He built upon Peter, the apostles, and prophets. Matthew 16:17-19, Ephesians 2:19-21

    None of the non-Catholic Christian churches were given the authority nor do they have the “keys of the kingdom.” Only the Church which has Peter’s successor as head has the keys of the kingdom. Matthew 16:18-19 Only one church can have the keys of the kingdom and therefore speak for/represent Christ on earth with Christ’s authority.

    Only this one Church has been given God’s authority to interpret His Word because the NT Word was compiled into a Book by this one and the same Church and therefore it is trustee of this Word of God. However, the Word of God is not confined to a Book. 2 Thessalonians 2:15, 1 Corinthians 11:2 John 21:25

    This Book supports and promotes the teachings of this One, Holy, Catholic (universal), and Apostolic Church. This Book supports both the oral traditions and written traditions of this one Church. Any and all interpretation(s) of this Book that do not support Catholic teaching is in error because when Scripture is correctly interpreted, this Book supports and promotes Catholic teaching. It is the one Church’s own Book, written and compiled by this same Church.

    Only His one Church was given the authority and therefore had the authority to determine which of the early writings/letters are true Scriptures and to include them in His Church’s Book. This Book cannot be changed 1500 years later (books taken out) by a man/men who misunderstand(s) the truth that Eternal Salvation/Justification is achieved by faith working through love (faith plus good works) and not by faith alone. James 2:24, Galatians 5:6. These men chose to interpret a few verses themselves and misunderstanding them, they changed the gospel of Christ into a different gospel according to their own design. Galatians 1:6-9, 2 Peter 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20, 2 Peter 2

    It is this one Church only that is the true support and foundation of the truth of the gospel of Christ. 1 Timothy 3:15

    Scripture is not the support and foundation of the truth. Scripture is helpful to the Church for teaching its members, etc., but Scripture cannot interpret itself. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

    The Church existed first, the Bible came later. NT Scripture is a product of the Church and it was written by members of this Church who were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    Christ’s promises to His Church:

    Jesus promised to be with His one Church until He returned at the end of the age (Second Coming). Matthew 28:19-20

    He promised that the Holy Spirit would guide His one Church into all truth. John 16:13

    He promised that the gates of Hades would never prevail against His one Church.

    He gave His Church the authority to make changes in worship practices, etc., but not doctrine. Matthew 16:17-19, Therefore, it is impossible for His one Church to teach error.

    If His one Church ever teaches error, then Jesus is a liar because He promised His one Church that the gates of Hades would not prevail against it. If His Church teaches error, then the gates of Hades have defeated His Church. Since we know that Jesus is not a liar, then we also know that His Church cannot possibly teach error regarding faith and morals.

    And, this is why I am not either Orthodox or Protestant. 🙂

  153. SHW says:

    Bob,

    You said: Who’s yoke do you wear?

    Btw most of your responses are irrelevant out of context Scripture fragments. You need to do a bit more explaining.

    My reply:

    I have put on the yoke of Christ. Matthew 11:28-30

    Since I have put on the yoke of Christ, He directs me and helps me and so His commandments are not burdensome to me. 1 John 5:3

    If you have questions about any of my responses, let me know and I will be happy to try to explain more clearly.

  154. ( | o )====::: says:

    SHW,
    Thanks. Welcome to Phoenix Preacher.
    I’ve got a project due so I’ll have to catch up with you again sometime and only have a few minutes to post today.
    I’ll be praying for you and your journey with Jesus, as I’m sure you’ll reciprocate.
    As I read your posts it seems you have taken a view that Jesus is sufficient for all sin to the point of repentance, and you then build your case from varied bible references, but I could not long remain in that point of view and I left that understanding when I wrestled with the reality of humans and our varied ability to grasp abstract concepts and deal with memory and suffering diminished capacity. That compelled me to continue to seek the bible verses which speak of continued acceptance and cleansing of sin on the part of God even if the believer cannot fully participate in the full grasp of a desire to repent.

    I know I have forgotten some things along the way, being the type who can be easily distracted. I’ve also had 2 fainting episodes and I can tell you that I don’t know the few minutes which led up to the syncopies, so if I was sinning in some form all I can do is count on Jesus to apply His forgiveness to sins unknown, in fact I vaguely remember the liturgy and my catechisms teaching a profound truth like that as well. My only confidence is His ability to accomplish more than I can, especially if I ever have a stroke and lose some of my memory. I had that happen to my mom and for all she forgot, she still remembered Jesus and in a simple and childlike way could put her trust in Him for her soul.

    Regardless of these fine points of theology which many fine people have disagreed over for centuries, may you find yourself increasingly confident of Jesus love and care for you, that you may relax into His passionate and anticipatory love for you, and may you know the joy of your confident assurance of His unceasing watch over you and care for you.

    May he be The Sufficient One for any sin you commit but do not remember and forget to repent of.

    Again, welcome to a fine place to be, a community of people who care.
    ( | o )====:::

  155. Em says:

    There is only one true Church, begun at one point in time – that is a fact that most agree on here. But, the biggest miracle of the Church’s history is that it has survived to this day. In spite of man’s attempts to define and dominate it, it moves on. The devil must be very upset.

    just passin by

  156. Bob says:

    SHW:

    So you got my reference to the yoke. Now let me ask you, what does the “yoke of Christ mean to you?”

    Please don’t fire a bunch of scripture references, rather put he meaning of those scriptures into how you understand them in your life.

    You see to me, when I read about the yoke of Jesus I think about how the religious people around him built a yoke and burden based upon their “oral” traditions and interpretations of the Torah. They built layer upon layer on top of the simplicity God had declared in the written instructions and thus their burden became heavy.

    So back to you, how do you describe the yoke of Christ in your life?

  157. Bob says:

    SHW:

    Let me through one more at you for explanation:

    Jesus said, “if my words abide in you…”

    What words were Jesus talking about and how do they abide in you?

    He also said, “seeing and seeing…hearing and hearing…”

    What does He mean? How can we see and yet not see or hear and not hear?

    What do these words of Jesus mean to you?

  158. Bob says:

    SHW:

    sorry I meant to write: Let me throw one more at you for explanation:

  159. SHW says:

    Believe,

    I am your sister in Christ. 🙂

    You said: I think I may disagree with some of your doctrinal positions regarding Eternal Security (or lack of)…and positions that if someone dies while having one sin unrepented…that they will go to hell.

    Reply: I am sorry that I was not more clear. Mea culpa.

    Persons can have many sins on their souls when they die and still inherit eternal life as long as they are not sins that insult the Holy Spirit.

    If a person sins a sin that leads to death (which we call mortal sin), then he has insulted the Holy Spirit and so He moves out of the temple of your soul. Since it is the Holy Spirit’s presence within a soul at the time of death which determines/guarantees eternal salvation, if He is no longer there, then this person cannot be saved. God will not know this person when he is judged because God only recognizes persons as His own who are actually abiding in Him. Since God does not know him because the Holy Spirit is not in residence within the temple of his soul when he dies, he is then cast into the fire of hell and this is when the Holy Spirit takes His vengeance for the insult. Hebrews 10:26-30

    Jesus gave examples of the degrees of sins and their punishments:

    Matthew 5:21-22
    You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’

    22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment;

    whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; (fines, imprisonment)

    and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. (hellfire)

    Persons who are doing their best to please/obey God do not let themselves commit sins which deserve fire of hell (hellfire). Instead, they freely choose to not commit these types of sins. 1 John 3:5-7 God judges the intentions of our hearts/minds and He is always a merciful judge when we repent. He knows our weaknesses and He will answer us when we call upon Him for help. He will help us to not sin. 1 Peter 5:5-9

  160. Believe says:

    SHW…sorry sis! 😆

  161. SHW says:

    174. ( | o )====:::

    Thank you for your prayers. Much appreciated. I will pray for you, too. 🙂

    God is a merciful and just Judge. He judges the intentions of the heart. We need have no fear of judgment as long as we are doing the best that we can do. He alone knows what our best is. We must strive to become holy, but we must also not despair when we fail. Philippians 3:12-14, 1 John 2:1 God is on our side. He desires for us to inherit eternal life so when we call on Him, He is pleased to help us.

  162. Another Voice says:

    Our theology must be applied to daily living.

    I’ve had a question on the table for a couple hours now, first introduced yesterday as well.

    And it only requires a yes or no answer.

  163. Believe says:

    SHW…the “authority” issue is one that has particularly struck me in the past when I’ve wrestled…

    Very, very, very interesting…

  164. Believe says:

    AV…heaven…the Thief on the Cross wasn’t baptized.

    I know you want an answer from SHW…but thought I’d chime in…

    I think SHW pretty much clarifies that it is sin worthy of “hell fire” that is at issue…and lack of baptism is not listed as a “mortal sin”…is it?

  165. Michael says:

    AV,

    I doubt you’ll get an answer.

    I find it extremely disturbing that there seems to be no knowledge of why there was a Reformation, nor of the principles that formed it.

    No understanding of the imputed righteousness of Christ, no understanding of the passive and active obedience of Christ on our behalf, no understanding of Romans or Galatians…just wacky proof texts taken out of thin air.

    We have a big problem if this is the standard level of Protestant understanding.

  166. Believe says:

    Michael…it’s either a Big Tent…or it isn’t.

    It’s either “unite on Jesus Christ”…or back to parsing doctrine and dividing…IMO.

    …we have to agree to disagree (myself very much included)…on a variety of issues…if you want “unity”…

  167. Michael says:

    Unity has to be around truth…and while there is indeed non essential truth, the Gospel is non negotiable.

    What SHW is presenting here is a different Gospel and the fact that no one seems to recognize that is extremely troubling to me.

  168. SHW says:

    Bob,

    You said: You see to me, when I read about the yoke of Jesus I think about how the religious people around him built a yoke and burden based upon their “oral” traditions and interpretations of the Torah. They built layer upon layer on top of the simplicity God had declared in the written instructions and thus their burden became heavy.

    So back to you, how do you describe the yoke of Christ in your life?

    My reply: I will tell you part of my morning offering to God and I think this will explain my yoke pretty well:

    “Please take my heart and my mind and change all my thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and dreams so that they all become exactly what you desire for me.”

    Jesus does not disapprove of all traditions. Traditions for the most part are good. He does disapprove of those traditions which are in opposition to His commandments. Matthew 23:14, Mark 7:5-13

    Jesus attended the Hanukkah feast and this was a manmade tradition that celebrated the rededication of the second temple in Jerusalem. John 10:22-23

    Jesus gave His Church the power to bind and loose. This means that His Church can make as many traditions as it wants to as long as the traditions do not go against His commandments. Matthew 18:18, 1 Corinthians 11:2

  169. Believe says:

    Michael said, “What SHW is presenting here is a different Gospel and the fact that no one seems to recognize that is extremely troubling to me.”

    You are jumping to a conclusion rather quickly…it takes time to understand a person’s position…you know that. How many times have people tossed you in the Calvinist box and dismissed you out-of-hand…

    Patience…

    Let’s continue a dialogue and listen to SHW and ask more questions. It may be that “we” don’t understand her or the RCC perspective for that matter.

    That’s the framework and “heart” we’re working through with regards to Len Sweet…is it not?

  170. Michael says:

    SHW is presenting works based righteousness…and that is the heresy of the Judaizers and the reason God gave us a Reformation.

    I am very upset… I have done a very poor job presenting the Gospel here.

  171. Em says:

    i have been baptized 3 times – the first was the work of the Holy Spirit and was the only one that gave me entrance into the Body.
    the second was required by the Presbyterians and the third was required by the Baptists… i am permanently ostracized from any liturgical body of Believers because of this fact…
    if i am not acceptable to the Lord by believing in His finished work on the cross and in my confessed, desperate need of the remedy that awesome, holy act of obedience accomplished, somebody better explain to me who i’ve been talking to all these years & just who it is that occasionally talks back

    just sayin

    MB thank you for complimenting Mr no-name-yet 🙂 Believe had a good suggestion yesterday and i thot i did, too – but as it turns out he has to be registered with a name beginning with the letter “i.” – i think he’s headed for a search and rescue career – not certain, tho

  172. Another Voice says:

    Certainly not every convert to the faith is baptized immediately–yet the intent to obey as absolutely feasible is of utmost importance.
    ———————————————————————–
    So why can’t this be applied to ALL disobedience. Michael and I would agree that there is a difference between someone who does not seem bothered by sin, and someone who is struggling and falls again and again. The first guy is likely not saved, the second guy is. Yes, only God knows the heart’s intention – and sin has earthly consequences when done by a believer.

    But the vibe of this thread is that the FACT of sin speaks to a loss of salvation. This is where the error lies. In pastoral ministry I have (and I assume Michael and other pastors have also) dealt with men and women in bondage to sin, who hate their sin, and yet go through times of backsliding and failure. The sin does not indicate a loss of salvation, but indicates the consistent teaching of Scripture that we still have a sinful nature that must wrestle with the Spirit and we will fight sin until the day we die.

  173. Em says:

    Michael, you are in a long line of men exegeten and repeaten – thank God for you all –

  174. Michael says:

    AV,

    Well said and I concur completely.

  175. Believe says:

    SHW…who is Jesus Christ?

    How is one “saved”?

  176. Kevin H says:

    Michael,

    I think you have done a fine job presenting the Gospel here. I do much more lurking than participating and I usually lurk even more so on the more involved theological discussions because I would likely often get my backside handed to me due to my lack of knowledge relative to many others here. However, I think you do a good job at articulating and standing firm on the essentials of the faith. The ODM types may throw accusations at you because of your allowing there to be difference of opinions on secondary issues. But the Gospel is primary, not secondary, and as far I can see and remember, the Gospel has always been clear here.

  177. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    Thanks…I’m very concerned that we don’t seem to understand that the Gospel is all about what Christ did for us and nothing to do with what we do for Him.

  178. Michael says:

    JUSTIFICATION
    SALVATION IS BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH
    by J.I. Packer

    Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” GALATIANS 3:11

    The doctrine of justification, the storm center of the Reformation, was a major concern of the apostle Paul. For him it was the heart of the gospel (Rom. 1:17; 3:21-5:21; Gal. 2:15-5:1) shaping both his message (Acts 13:38-39) and his devotion and spiritual life (2 Cor. 5:13-21; Phil. 3:4-14). Though other New Testament writers affirm the same doctrine in substance, the terms in which Protestants have affirmed and defended it for almost five centuries are drawn primarily from Paul.

    Justification is a judicial act of God pardoning sinners (wicked and ungodly persons, Rom. 4:5; 3:9-24), accepting them as just, and so putting permanently right their previously estranged relationship with himself. This justifying sentence is God’s gift of righteousness (Rom. 5:15-17), his bestowal of a status of acceptance for Jesus’ sake (2 Cor. 5:21).

    God’s justifying judgment seems strange, for pronouncing sinners righteous may appear to be precisely the unjust action on the judge’s part that God’s own law forbade (Deut. 25:1; Prov. 17:15). Yet it is in fact a just judgment, for its basis is the righteousness of Jesus Christ who as “the last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45), our representative head acting on our behalf, obeyed the law that bound us and endured the retribution for lawlessness that was our due and so (to use a medieval technical term) “merited” our justification. So we are justified justly, on the basis of justice done (Rom. 3:25-26) and Christ’s righteousness reckoned to our account (Rom. 5:18-19).

    God’s justifying decision is the judgment of the Last Day, declaring where we shall spend eternity, brought forward into the present and pronounced here and now. It is the last judgment that will ever be passed on our destiny; God will never go back on it, however much Satan may appeal against God’s verdict (Zech. 3:1; Rev. 12:10; Rom. 8:33-34). To be justified is to be eternally secure (Rom. 5:1-5; 8:30).

    The necessary means, or instrumental cause, of justification is personal faith in Jesus Christ as crucified Savior and risen Lord (Rom. 4:23-25; 10:8-13). This is because the meritorious ground of our justification is entirely in Christ. As we give ourselves in faith to Jesus, Jesus gives us his gift of righteousness, so that in the very act of “closing with Christ,” as older Reformed teachers put it, we receive divine pardon and acceptance which we could not otherwise have (Gal. 2:15-16; 3:24).

    Official Roman Catholic theology includes sanctification in the definition of justification, which it sees as a process rather than a single decisive event, and affirms that while faith contributes to our acceptance with God, our works of satisfaction and merit contribute too. Rome sees baptism, viewed as a channel of sanctifying grace, as the primary instrumental cause of justification, and the sacrament of penance, whereby congruous merit is achieved through works of satisfaction, as the supplementary restorative cause whenever the grace of God’s initial acceptance is lost through mortal sin. Congruous, as distinct from condign, merit means merit that it is fitting, though not absolutely necessary, for God to reward by a fresh flow of sanctifying grace. On the Roman Catholic view, therefore, believers save themselves with the help of the grace that flows from Christ through the church’s sacramental system, and in this life no sense of confidence in God’s grace can ordinarily be had. Such teaching is a far cry from that of Paul.

  179. Em says:

    AV,”..But the vibe of this thread is that the FACT of sin speaks to a loss of salvation. This is where the error lies….” amen

    when our Lord struggled to submit to the Father in the garden, when He, knowing full well what was ahead of Him that night, when He who knew no sin became sin for us (we absolutely do not grasp what that meant and it’s a good thing we don’t as we couldn’t handle it), when He spoke from the cross, naked in emotion and body for all there to see – the crowd in their own blind arrogance and sense of self-importance judging the man and missing the majesty. Why can’t we see the complete sacrifice, the finished work? God’s masterpiece and triumph over Satan in the devil’s own yard.

    oh shoot! … We can and should walk worthy of our salvation; we sacrifice and serve, but apart from accepting Christ, we do absolutely nothing effecting our entrance into Eternity.

  180. Michael says:

    Em,

    You speak rightly. 🙂

  181. Michael says:

    “So, where Rome had taught a piecemeal salvation, to be gained by stages through working a sacramental treadmill, the Reformers now proclaimed a unitary salvation, to be received in its entirety here and now by self-abandoning faith in God’s promise, and in the God and the Christ of that promise, as set forth in the pages of the Bible. Thus the rediscovery of the gospel brought a rediscovery of evangelism, the task of summoning non-believers to faith. Rome had said, God’s grace is great, for through Christ’s cross and his Church salvation is possible for all who will work and suffer for it; so come to church, and toil! But the Reformers said, God’s grace is greater, for through Christ’s cross and his Spirit salvation, full and free, with its unlimited guarantee of eternal joy, is given once and forever to all who believe; so come to Christ, and trust and take!”

    Packer

  182. Michael says:

    “Salvation, said the Reformers, is by faith (man’s total trust) only, without our being obliged to work for it; it is by grace (God’s free favor) only, without our having to earn or deserve it first; it is by Christ the God-man only, without there being need or room for any other mediatoral agent, whether priest, saint, or virgin; it is by Scripture only, without regard to such unbiblical and unfounded extras as the doctrines of purgatory and of pilgrimages, the relic-cult and papal indulgences as devices for shortening one’s stay there; and praise for salvation is due to God only, without any credit for his acceptance of us being taken to ourselves. ”

    Dr. Packer

  183. Believe says:

    Michael said, “Thanks…I’m very concerned that we don’t seem to understand that the Gospel is all about what Christ did for us and nothing to do with what we do for Him.”

    Do we believe one has to have “proper understanding” for Salvation?

    If Salvation is a work of God…something Spiritual…Regeneration…who are we to presume that “our proper understanding”…has anything to do with it?

    Is it by Faith…or Faith and “proper understanding”?

    Are you saying that a Catholic who Believes in Jesus Christ…yet may not understand properly (in your opinion) how their Salvation occurred…or lives in fear of losing it due to sin…even if they are “wrong” in your opinion…does that negate the work that God does through the Holy Spirit when one Believes on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and He saves them?

  184. Michael says:

    “Justification by works is, in truth, the natural religion of mankind, and has been since the Fall, so that, as Robert Traill, the Scottish Puritan, wrote in 1692, “all the ignorant people that know nothing of either law or gospel,” “all proud secure sinners,” “all formalists,” and “all the zealous devout people secure sinners, in a natural religion,” line up together as “utter enemies to the gospel.”

    Dr. James I. Packer , who I have spoken to personally. 🙂

  185. Michael says:

    Believe,

    That is an excellent question.

    My position would be that if you are trusting in anything other than Christ for your redemption you are on shaky ground.

    As Packer notes, justification by works is the natural religion of fallen men.

  186. Michael says:

    “For the doctrine of justification by faith is like Atlas. It bears a whole world on its shoulders, the entire evangelical knowledge of God the Saviour. The doctrines of election, of effectual calling, regeneration, and repentance, of adoption, of prayer, of the Church, the ministry, and the sacraments, are all to be interpreted and understood in the light of justification by faith, for this is how the Bible views them. Thus, we are taught that God elected men from eternity in order that in due time they might be justified through faith in Christ (Rom. 8:29f.). He renews their hearts under the Word, and draws them to Christ by effectual calling, in order that he might justify them upon their believing. Their adoption as God’s sons follows upon their justification; it is, indeed, no more than the positive outworking of God’s justifying sentence. Their practice of prayer, of daily repentance, and of good works springs from their knowledge of justifying grace (cf. Luke 18:9-14; Eph. 2:8-10). The Church is to be thought of as the congregation of the faithful, the fellowship of justified sinners, and the preaching of the Word and ministration of the sacraments are to be understood as means of grace because through them God evokes and sustains the faith that justifies. A right view of these things is possible only where there is a proper grasp of justification; so that, when justification falls, true knowledge of God’s grace in human life falls with it. When Atlas loses his footing, everything that rested on his shoulders collapses too.”

    Packer in typically sublime fashion…

  187. Believe says:

    Michael said, “My position would be that if you are trusting in anything other than Christ for your redemption you are on shaky ground.”

    That is where I am currently at in my journey…after poking at all of this from so many different angles.

    It is Faith. It has always been Faith….whether “we” screw it all up with our man’s logos or not. The Truth Is. Logos, The Word, Jesus Christ Is…God Is.

    “But you don’t understand…if you just believe this way…if you have proper doctrine…if you consider the whole counsel of God and understand it in just this clearly defined manner and fit in the clearly reasoned doctrinal and Theological boxes I’ve constructed for you based on my discernment and direct Revelation from God…then you are double secret really truly saved…and not deceived by the devil.”

    For that person…that is their path…as long as Jesus Christ as Messiah (the Cornerstone…the Stumbling Block) is at the center of their Faith…no matter how screwed up their subjective interpretation of the rest of the Word may be…and what “works” or what eschatology…or what creeds or what “discernment” they believe one must have to validate their Salvation…

    No one has ever been save due to “proper understanding of the Gospel”…all have been saved by Grace through Faith…God regenerates them…and the rest works itself out…when it is “He who has begun a good work in you…”….whether they are “right” or “wrong” doctrinally and Theologically.

    It is that simple. Faith in Jesus Christ our Messiah…and going before God Almighty and begging Him to do the saving. The Truth Is…whether we understand it or not.

    The Thief on the Cross….the native in the deepest darkest jungle…the child…the mentally disabled…the low IQ…the scholar…the executive…the regular joe…it is Faith…it is Jesus…it is not our “understanding”…or one’s prescribed “level of understanding”…it is God’s Revelation to each one of us when He calls us…and we “bow our knee”. He saves…not us just getting to the right doctrine and “proper understanding”…

    Now there are “wheat and tares” and “stoney ground” conversions etc.

    However, IMO, we’ve got the focus so much on “proving” that one’s Salvation is real as we subjectively interpret “truly saved” doctrinally…that we often miss the main point.

  188. Michael says:

    Believe,

    The problem that you have to wrestle with in regards to works righteousness and salvation is what the Apostle Paul said.

    “¶ I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—
    not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
    But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
    As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”
    (Galatians 1:6–9 ESV)

    The damnable false Gospel was works based righteousness…

  189. Em says:

    seems to me that we get snagged on the question of our own righteousness… are we living up to God’s standard; ie am i walking worthy of my salvation? it seems to be something that both the tender hearted and the self righteous get focused on… it probably is a good thing until it becomes a self-justifying thing… just pondering

  190. Michael says:

    Em,

    We most certainly should listen to the exhortations of Scripture to holy living…to actively participating in our sanctification.

    We do miss that at times…

  191. SHW says:

    Bob,

    You said: Let me throw one more at you for explanation:

    Jesus said, “if my words abide in you…”

    What words were Jesus talking about and how do they abide in you?

    My reply:

    The gospel of Christ is His Words, His teaching.

    His gospel is His commands and this gospel was first given to the Church by Jesus orally through His preaching. The Apostles taught all new disciples of Christ this same gospel by preaching it to them. Later, the early Church Fathers wrote letters/epistles to various local churches and to some individual persons. These epistles were written to offer encouragement, to further explain something that the church members were having difficulty understanding, and to admonish the members to remain faithful to the gospel. Matthew 28:19-20, 1 Corinthians 14:37

    His Words abide in us when we are doers of His Word (when we obey the commands of the gospel of Christ). James 1:21-22

    You said: He also said, “seeing and seeing…hearing and hearing…”

    What does He mean? How can we see and yet not see or hear and not hear?

    My reply: Did you mean Luke 8:10 and/or Acts 28:26?

    If so, it is in reference to Isaiah 6:9 and this refers to punishment meted out for disobedience to God. They have hard hearts and choose to remain in their sins rather than to repent. Hebrews 3:15

    The reason that they are being punished is because they do not have humble and contrite hearts. Isaiah 57:15 Instead, they choose to continue to serve the lusts of their own flesh rather than to serve God. So, because of their hard hearts, they will not be able to understand the gospel — they will see, but not perceive and they will hear, but not understand.

  192. SHW says:

    AV,

    Believe thinks that you are waiting for an answer from me. If this is true, what exactly is the question? I will be happy to answer it.

  193. Another Voice says:

    My 7:20 AM is where you can find the question…though you might read the posts that follow to see some of the discussion.

  194. SHW says:

    Michael,

    Christ saved mankind as His free gift to us. He reconciles us individually to God through/by baptism. This reconciliation makes it possible for us (gives us hope Titus 3:7) to inherit eternal life after we die. Hope is not a guarantee. 1 Peter 1:20-21, 1 Peter 3:14-16, 1 John 3:2-3

    1 Thessalonians 5:8 “But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.”

    Catholics believe that eternal salvation is attained by faith plus good works (faith working through love). Galatians 5:6 However, if there is no faith in Christ, then good works avail nothing at all for salvation.

    Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

    First, we are saved by grace alone. However, we must then fulfill the command of Jesus Christ (we must do the good works that the Father has prepared for us) in order to inherit eternal life. Salvation/justification at some point in life does not automatically mean that a person will also inherit eternal life after he dies.

    How do we know this? James 2:24

    Jesus was asked directly — “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    Jesus’ answer — “But, if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:16-19

    Now, I prefer to listen to Jesus and to obey Him rather than to listen and to obey anyone else who disagrees with Him. After all, He will be my judge as soon as I die. Hebrews 9:27

    Many, many Scriptures state that a person must obey God’s commandments in order to inherit eternal life.

    Jesus saves the people who obey Him. Hebrews 5:9

    The Holy Spirit is given to the people who obey Him. Acts 5:32

    What happens to the people who do not obey (who do not do) the will of His Father in heaven?

    Jesus states very clearly: Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV)

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Luke 13:24-28

    1 Peter 4:17 “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?”

    Paul’s answer: 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 “..when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

    Since obedience is necessary for eternal salvation according to the gospel of Christ, then reason tells me that teaching ” faith alone” is an error.

  195. Believe says:

    Michael said, ““¶ I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—
    not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
    But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
    As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”

    So it is important to define what the “correct” Gospel is…there is in fact a “correct” Gospel as opposed to “different” gospels…and for one to have a “proper understanding” of what the “correct” version is….is a pre-requisite for Salvation?

    That would make our ability to articulate the “right” Gospel properly…and for a person to “understand” the “right” Gospel properly…of utmost importance…would it not?

    So man would have to “do” something…he’d have to have “proper understanding”…would he not?

    And…we would need to carefully define what is the “right” Gospel…the “right” Jesus…etc. would we not? And then make sure that a person “understood correctly” the “right” Gospel…am I wrong?

  196. SHW says:

    Another Voice said: A man trusts Christ for the first time one night and tells the congregation. He is congratulated and then told about baptism. They say, we can baptize you tonight if you like – the man says “Can we do it next week, I have to go now” The pastor (if it was someone like me) says “sure!”

    Now – this man disobeyed a command of Jesus Christ, didn’t he? So if he dies that week won’t he be rejected by Christ (and isn’t the pastor a heretic for encouraging this)?

    I’m sure if the guy was living in sin and said he wanted to put off for a week obeying the Lord, we all would have a big problem as to whether his repentance was sincere.

    SO the question stands – the guy is killed before baptism the next week – heaven or hell?

    My reply: We don’t know. God judges justly because He knows the secrets of every person’s heart.

    1 Corinthians 4:5 “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.”

    God meets every person where they are at presently. Not all people understand that baptism is the normal method of becoming Jesus’ disciple. Matthew 28:19

    Some people believe that all they need to do is accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior (or else they make a confession of faith) and that this saves them.

    Normal method — Baptism by water:

    Acts 2:38 “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

    Baptism by desire:

    Acts 10:44-48 “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

    Then Peter said, 47″Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.”

    Here we see that some Gentiles received the Holy Spirit without water baptism. Yet, Peter still commands that they be baptized by water because this is what Jesus commanded.

    So, the ideal is water baptism, but God makes exceptions. He can do this because they are His own commands.

    Some catechumens died as martyrs before they were able to be baptized. They desired baptism and so they received baptism by blood/martyrdom.

  197. Believe says:

    …continuing on that line of reasoning…

    Can the Catholic “Gospel” and the Catholic “Jesus”, the Reformed “Gospel” and the Reformed “Jesus”, the Emergent “Gospel” and the Emergent “Jesus”…be the same?

    Can they all three be the “correct Gospel”…or can one or all three be “different” gospels?

    Can a person be saved…if they hear and understand the Catholic Gospel vs. the Reformed Gospel vs. the Emergent Gospel?

  198. Em says:

    Believe, it must not be too hard to define as Michael (aka known as the Apostle Paul) said that he was astonished that they so quickly deserted … (is the ‘him’ referred to the Holy Spirit?)

    just passin by on way to my nap 🙂

  199. SHW says:

    Believe,

    It is extremely difficult today for people to find “truth.” There are so many different “opinions” masquerading as “truth” available to us that we need a course in logic and reasoning in order to begin to sort it all out. 🙂

    Faith is a journey. When we give our hearts and minds to God, then we can trust Him to guide us in our search for His truth. It may take many years.

  200. Believe says:

    …if they “deserted”…did they lose their Salvation…or were they never saved?

    Of course the answer to this depends on one’s view of Eternal Security…and is a “correct” understanding of that doctrine connected to believing in the “correct” Gospel…and the “correct” Jesus and so on…including all of the other doctrines…and the “whole counsel of the Word of God”…

    God reveals His Will to us through His Word…does he not? In order to have the “correct” Gospel and the “correct” Jesus and a “correct” understanding…so as to avoid falling for a “false” gospel…wouldn’t one have to have all of the doctrines “correct” that are linked to these critical issues? Are they not interconnected? Can one have the “correct” Gospel and the “correct” Jesus…if their doctrine regarding Soteriology, Christology, Justification, Sanctification, Atonement, Forgiveness, etc is “incorrect”?

    What is the “minimum” “correctness” one must have to be presenting the “correct” Gospel and the “correct” Jesus?

  201. SHW says:

    Now, as a Catholic, I would say that the Catholic Church has the full truth, but non-catholic churches have partial truth mixed with errors. 🙂

    I truly believe that Jesus gives us His actual Body and Blood in Holy Communion. I take Him literally when He states, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.” NIV John 6:54-56

    In order to remain in Him so that I will receive eternal life on the last day I must take care to always partake of His awesome gift in a worthy manner. (I cannot have grievous sin on my soul when I receive Holy Communion.):

    1 Corinthians 11:27-29 “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”

    The orthodox churches also believe this.

  202. SHW says:

    Believe,

    Were they saved at one time and then lost salvation or never saved in ther first place?

    Galatians 5:4 “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”

    A person has to have a relationship in the first place in order for the relationship to later become estranged/broken off/alienated.

    A person has to have grace first in order to fall from it later (lose it).

    Paul is saying that some of these Galatians are now attempting to remain justified by becoming circumcised. They believe that circumcision will save them. Circumcision does not save anyone in the New Covenant.

    They were saved, but then later lost their salvation through heresy. 2 Peter 2:1

    How about this one?

    1 Timothy 4:16 “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”

    🙂

  203. Michael says:

    As a Catholic, you also hold to the anathemas of Trent that condemn all Protestants.

    CANON IV. If any one shall affirm, that man’s freewill, moved and excited by God, does not, by consenting, cooperate with God, the mover and exciter, so as to prepare and dispose itself for the attainment of justification; if moreover, anyone shall say, that the human will cannot refuse complying, if it pleases, but that it is inactive, and merely passive; let such an one be accursed”!

    CANON V.- If anyone shall affirm, that since the fall of Adam, man’s freewill is lost and extinguished; or, that it is a thing titular, yea a name, without a thing, and a fiction introduced by Satan into the Church; let such an one be accursed”!

    CANON XI.-If any one saith, that men are justified, either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only the favour of God; let him be anathema.

  204. Michael says:

    Believe,

    There are false Gospels as the Bible clearly states.

    Paul is very clear in the passage I quoted that anyone who adds to the sufficiency of Christ’s atoning death and resurrection by a work of man is teaching a false Gospel.

  205. Believe says:

    Michael…would you define “proper understanding” as a work of man?

  206. Michael says:

    None of us have proper understanding on all matters.

    On the Gospel, the church has been clear and consistent since the Reformation.

  207. Believe says:

    Better stated…is one’s “correct” understanding of doctrine a work of man?

    Arminians “add” to the sufficiency of Christ’s atoning death and resurrection by believing that man must exercise his free will as a pre-condition to Salvation…do they not?

    The man must “pray the sinner’s prayer…and exercise their free will…”…am I wrong?

  208. Michael says:

    The other issue here is that you seem to understand salvation in terms of notia.

    I understand salvation as a supernatural act of God wherein He raises the dead sinners spirit to life and indwells him by His Spirit solely through a sovereign act of grace.

    In time, through the means of grace provided in the church the born again believer comes into the knowledge of holy things and grows in grace and knowledge.

    The preaching of the Gospel is the means by which God accomplishes this new birth, so the Gospel preached must be true if it is to be accompanied by the power of God to save.

  209. Michael says:

    Both Calvinists and Arminians believe that one must “believe” to be saved.

    The question is whether man is able to do that without first being regenerated or not.

    The Calvinist says nay, the Arminian, yea.

  210. Another Voice says:

    Baptism is an act of obedience, but it is also integrally linked to conversion. In this it differs from all other acts of obedience.
    ——————————————————–
    I hear your point, but disagree. Repentance from idolatry is just as much linked to conversion (note 1 Thess 1:8-10)

    You need some Scripture or otherwise you are drawing conclusions from preference.

    I can think of a LOT of acts of obedience I would expect to see from a new convert before I worried about whether he was baptized…

    UNLESS…..one argues that baptism is effective to save, or sanctify..which is troublesome ground Biblically speaking.

  211. Another Voice says:

    SHW should explain to those reading what Catholics even mean by ‘grace’ and do so in the context of the sacraments. We can’t communicate when we use common words in different theological ways…

    This is a quick link I found that might educate those interested…

    http://www.beginningcatholic.com/sacraments.html

  212. Believe says:

    Michael…thanks (as always) for your patience…and for taking the time. I’m taking positions…it’s how I learn…and how others learn…IMO…(in tandem with begging the Holy Spirit for Revelation…)

    “You must become a fool to be wise…”

    Those who never ask…never risk…never learn.

    I am constantly testing and evaluating and re-evaluating…and I’m involved in a couple of other discussions elsewhere…and am hashing some things out…and then the addition of SHW to the PP family has added another element to my perpetual internal dialogue.

    Is God limited by the proper explanation of the Gospel and the proper understanding of who Jesus Christ is? Can He Regenerate a person regardless of how the Gospel is presented to them…or their understanding of who Jesus Is? Meaning…is He limited by our limitations?

    Can a person hear the Catholic Gospel and God Regenerate them?

    Can a person hear the Emergent Gospel and God Regenerate them?

    Why would Paul warn the Galatians not to stray from the original Gospel that the Apostles taught…if God had Regenerated them outside of their own free will? His warning appears to be suggesting that man can stray from Paul’s Gospel (in the way Paul understood it) and lose their Salvation…or is this a mis-interpretation?

    Does “accursed” = “unsaved”?

  213. Believe says:

    Better stated…The Gospel is True…it is Absolute Truth…is one’s proper explanation and proper understanding an obstacle to God Regenerating a person?

  214. Michael says:

    “It is these choices, which seem “innocent” enough at first, which can lead to the lukewarm or even apostate state which puts a person on the trajectory towards an eternity without Christ.”

    Then Jesus lied, plain and simple.

    He said He would lose NONE of those the Father gave Him and would raise them ALL on the last day.

    Clear, concise, no equivocation.

  215. Michael says:

    “¶ I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—
    not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
    But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
    As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”
    (Galatians 1:6–9 ESV)

    Please note that the anathema is delivered to the teachers of the false Gospel, not to those who are troubled by hearing it.

    I don’t know what the emergent or Catholic Gospel is, but any Gospel that adds anything to the finished work of Christ is a false Gospel.

    “Why would Paul warn the Galatians not to stray from the original Gospel that the Apostles taught…if God had Regenerated them outside of their own free will? ”

    As I don’t believe that such a beast as free will even exists the question makes no sense to me.

    God doesn’t regenerate people against their will…that is a complete misstatement of doctrine.

  216. SHW says:

    Michael,

    You said: As a Catholic, you also hold to the anathemas of Trent that condemn all Protestants.

    CANON IV. If any one shall affirm, that man’s freewill, moved and excited by God, does not, by consenting, cooperate with God, the mover and exciter, so as to prepare and dispose itself for the attainment of justification; if moreover, anyone shall say, that the human will cannot refuse complying, if it pleases, but that it is inactive, and merely passive; let such an one be accursed”!

    CANON V.- If anyone shall affirm, that since the fall of Adam, man’s freewill is lost and extinguished; or, that it is a thing titular, yea a name, without a thing, and a fiction introduced by Satan into the Church; let such an one be accursed”!

    CANON XI.-If any one saith, that men are justified, either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only the favour of God; let him be anathema.”

    My reply: I have no problem with these canons. They apply to the heretics of that time period who chose to go their own way in direct disobedience to Paul’s teaching. The Reformers made their own church and fashioned it with their own interpretations of Scripture. Since Jesus stated that He is with His Church always until He returns at the end of the age (Second Coming), these Reformers are actually calling Him a liar. They do not believe Him when He said that He was with His Church always. Matthew 28:19-20 His Holy Spirit is forever guiding His Church into all truth and so He prevents His Church from teaching error John 16:13, but these Reformers don’t believe Him.

    Galatians 1:8-9 “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”

    Protestants today are not formal heretics so they do not incur the curse. Birth into a Protestant family does not make a person into an accursed heretic.

    Now, if a person knows for a fact that the Catholic Church is the true Church, but he refuses to join (for whatever reason), then this person will not inherit eternal life. The reason is that when you willingly reject Jesus’ Church, then you are actually rejecting Him.

    Jesus instructed His apostles and 70 disciples:

    Luke 10:16 “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”

    Jesus instructed the Church in Matthew 18:17 “And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”

    According to Jesus, His Church has the keys to the kingdom of heaven and it represents His authority on earth and therefore it must be obeyed. Matthew 16:18-20

    Hebrews 13:17, Hebrews 13:7, Hebrews 13:24

  217. Believe says:

    Michael said, “Please note that the anathema is delivered to the teachers of the false Gospel, not to those who are troubled by hearing it.

    I don’t know what the emergent or Catholic Gospel is, but any Gospel that adds anything to the finished work of Christ is a false Gospel.”

    Then wouldn’t it be incumbent on some to “discern” what the Catholic and Emergent Gospels are…to warn people if they are a False Gospel and in error?

  218. SHW says:

    Anoher Voice: SHW should explain to those reading what Catholics even mean by ‘grace’ and do so in the context of the sacraments. We can’t communicate when we use common words in different theological ways…

    The website you linked gives the Catholic view much better than I can. 🙂

  219. Michael says:

    SHW,

    I completely renounce Trent and completely affirm the Reformers.

    Am I damned?

  220. Michael says:

    Believe,

    All teachers should be held to and examined by the Scriptures.

  221. Believe says:

    Michael said, “All teachers should be held to and examined by the Scriptures.”

    Yes.

    Who has the “authority” to make the decision on which teaching is “false” and which teaching is “true” base on their interpretation of Scripture?

  222. Believe says:

    …the Apostle Paul certainly had that “authority”…do “we” in our Vapor?

  223. Bob says:

    SHW:

    “Now, if a person knows for a fact that the Catholic Church is the true Church, but he refuses to join (for whatever reason), then this person will not inherit eternal life. The reason is that when you willingly reject Jesus’ Church, then you are actually rejecting Him.”

    You have shown the true colors of your religion. Your yoke is not Jesus it is the RCC and you can state it as often as you want, but no man made organization, especially the RCC, can lay claim to being THE CHURCH!

    SHW I am so sorry you have fallen for such historic deception.

  224. SHW says:

    Michael: On the Gospel, the church has been clear and consistent since the Reformation.

    If this were true, then all Protestants would believe the same exact things.

    Some Protestants believe in infant baptism, some don’t.

    Some believe that you can lose your salvation after you are saved, some don’t.

    ETC…….

    No person ever gets put into God’s hand unless he was first predestined. This is the reason why none of these presdestined/elect persons can ever be snatched out of His hand. It has nothing to do with OSAS.

  225. Michael says:

    We have a very, very, long history of agreed upon doctrines taught by Spirit filled teachers across denominational lines.

    I frankly don’t think it’s an issue.

  226. Michael says:

    By the way…despite the claims made here and elsewhere the RCC is by no means agreed on one monolithic set of doctrines.

  227. Another Voice says:

    Bella..I know you meant no harm, but one of the worst ‘sins’ of internet theological discourse in my opinion is that of moving the goalposts. I NEVER do this, and NEVER will. That is what you said in effect I did.

    Now..I will challenge your answer, in hopes of showing the error of your thinking. You wrote that baptism is different from other acts of obedience..you also said baptism is ‘linked’ to salvation in a way different from other commands of obedience. You provided no Scripture for these beliefs, they were just stated.

    I was not changing questions, I was showing the problem you have (by my quoting Scripture) in a belief that there are levels of obedience in God’s sight – and that ANY single act of obedience is somehow more important (linked) to salvation than any other.

  228. Believe says:

    Michael said, “We have a very, very, long history of agreed upon doctrines taught by Spirit filled teachers across denominational lines.”

    So does that mean all doctrine is close? Like the Canon?

    That means any “new” doctrine…that hasn’t been taught consistently over the very long history since the Reformation…is suspect?

    It is important because there are those who claim “authority” in making a determination on what they consider “new” doctrine…

    Your take appears to be that “consensus” among the variety of Protestant Denominations over a long period of time is the determining factor of what is sound doctrine and what is false doctrine…

  229. Believe says:

    close = closed

  230. Another Voice says:

    SHW gave her stamp of approval to my Catholic link. If you read it, you will note the lack of Scriptural support for its contents. You will also read such things as:

    A sacrament gives grace of and by itself, by its own power.
    This is because Jesus attached grace to the outward sign, so to speak, so that that outward sign and grace always go together.
    But our own attitude does matter. Our interior dispositions have an effect on the amount of grace we receive. The more perfect is our sorrow in the sacrament of Reconciliation, the more ardent our love in receiving the Holy Eucharist, the more lively our faith in receiving Confirmation—then the greater will be the grace we receive.
    Our dispositions do not cause the grace; they simply remove the obstacles to the freer flow of grace and, in a sense, make more room for grace.

    Now….when quoting verse after verse of Scriptures that mention ‘grace’, as SHW has done here, it would be wise to remember material like the above…material that is totally FOREIGN to the Biblical teaching of grace.

    We are talking about two different things here…Like speaking to a Mormon about the virgin birth.

  231. SHW says:

    Bob: “Now, if a person knows for a fact that the Catholic Church is the true Church, but he refuses to join (for whatever reason), then this person will not inherit eternal life. The reason is that when you willingly reject Jesus’ Church, then you are actually rejecting Him.”

    You have shown the true colors of your religion. Your yoke is not Jesus it is the RCC and you can state it as often as you want, but no man made organization, especially the RCC, can lay claim to being THE CHURCH!

    SHW I am so sorry you have fallen for such historic deception.

    My reply: “IF” a person knows for a fact…….means exactly that.

    IF a person truly believes that the Refomed Church is the true Church and still does not join it, then he will not inherit eternal life. God knows every person’s intentions. You have to act in accordance with your belief.

    It is Jesus’ own Church. It is not a manmade church. Matthew 16:18

    Already in the beginning of the second century, this Church was known throughout the whole known world as the catholic (universal) Church. Romans 1:8

    “The term “Catholic” was applied to the Church at the beginning of the second century by Ignatius, the third bishop of Antioch. During the reign of Emperor Trajan (98-117) Ignatius was taken to Rome to be executed. The exact year of the journey is uncertain, but most scholars estimate it was around 107 or 110. On the way to his death, Ignatius wrote letters to churches he was passing by or through. In his letter to the church of Smyrna, he wrote:

    “Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there, just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”[Epistle to the Smyrneans 8:2.].

    This is the first recorded use of the phrase “Catholic Church,” but its usage almost certainly precedes Ignatius’s letter. He assumed his readers would be familiar with the term, and he uses it in an off-handed manner, suggesting he was not coining a new term, but picking up one already in use.”

    Historic deception? Please provide proof of your accusaton. Thank you.

  232. Believe says:

    AV…on what authority do you make your determinations?

  233. Another Voice says:

    Please note – Protestants do not speak of amounts of grace (more or less grace) in terms of salvation – and neither does the Bible (again, in the context of SALVATION).

    Grace is present or isn’t, and you are saved or you aren’t. That simple – like a plug into a socket.

    And since it is GRACE (unmerited favor) the folly of God removing it from one who has once been given it should be obvious.

    Catholics live a life of daily adding to or losing grace – and this is where the sacraments are an issue. Their works (and as the link shows, their attitude when doing these works) will determine how much grace they receive each day. Why? Because Rome says so. This would properly lead to a discussion of purgatory but I am not up to it.

    The imputation of grace to a Protestant and Catholic are WORLDS apart in meaning.

  234. SHW says:

    Michael: By the way…despite the claims made here and elsewhere the RCC is by no means agreed on one monolithic set of doctrines.

    And examples of this are?

  235. SHW says:

    Michael: I completely renounce Trent and completely affirm the Reformers.

    Am I damned?

    I have not a clue. 🙂 I cannot read your heart and I am not supposed to try to read it. I will trust God to judge you mercifully and justly.

  236. Michael says:

    For example;

    “The survey found significant gaps between individual values and the Roman Catholic Church’s structure and teachings. When asked to make a moral decision on several issues, 50% said in vitro fertilization procedures are not wrong, and 61% would not condemn artificial birth control. The church opposes both. Although the church also opposes the death penalty, Catholics were evenly split on the issue. However, 61% agreed with their church’s stand against stem-cell research that ‘entails destruction of human embryos’; 68% agreed, ‘that abortion is morally wrong under virtually all circumstances’; and 61% said ‘homosexual behavior’ is wrong. Nonetheless, 83% said it is wrong ‘to discriminate against homosexuals. Most would let priests marry (54%), allow women to be ordained (53%), give the laity more leadership roles (72%) and make the church more democratic in its decision-making (62%) (Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY 11/16/2001).”

    There have been significant differences between liberal and conservative Catholic theologians for years…there is even a prominent sect that believes the earth is the center of the universe and another that believes there hasn’t been a valid pope since the sixties.

  237. Michael says:

    James White has debated major Catholic apologists in structured scholarly debate…if these questions truly interest you they are very inexpensive to buy.

  238. Michael says:

    Believe,

    This circular arguing is not something I want to participate in.

    The Reformation reaffirmed the canon, reaffirmed the councils and produced the five solas that all Protestants agree on.

    On the MAJOR doctrines of the faith there is consensus and the secondary matters don’t concern me a whit.

    I accept the authority of Scripture, I learn from the Word and from history as teachers share what the Lord unveiled to them.

    I’m not at all troubled by the things that seem to preoccupy you so I’m probably not the best source for you.

  239. Another Voice says:

    I accept the authority of Scripture, I learn from the Word and from history as teachers share what the Lord unveiled to them.

    I’m not at all troubled by the things that seem to preoccupy you so I’m probably not the best source for you.
    —————————————————–
    Believe..what Michael said…

  240. Believe says:

    No problem Michael…thanks for the time and for the input you shared.

    I take no offense…you have every right to engage when you want and disengage when you want…I (obviously) like it when you engage…because I value your input for consideration.

  241. SHW says:

    Another Voice: SHW gave her stamp of approval to my Catholic link. If you read it, you will note the lack of Scriptural support for its contents. You will also read such things as:

    A sacrament gives grace of and by itself, by its own power.
    This is because Jesus attached grace to the outward sign, so to speak, so that that outward sign and grace always go together.
    But our own attitude does matter. Our interior dispositions have an effect on the amount of grace we receive. The more perfect is our sorrow in the sacrament of Reconciliation, the more ardent our love in receiving the Holy Eucharist, the more lively our faith in receiving Confirmation—then the greater will be the grace we receive.
    Our dispositions do not cause the grace; they simply remove the obstacles to the freer flow of grace and, in a sense, make more room for grace.

    Now….when quoting verse after verse of Scriptures that mention ‘grace’, as SHW has done here, it would be wise to remember material like the above…material that is totally FOREIGN to the Biblical teaching of grace.

    ********
    My reply: I see why Catholics do not remain a part of your group.

    According to some members of this forum:

    1. My quoted Scriptures are out of context, but yours are not.
    2. I am told that since I am Catholic that “I do not have time for you.”
    3. I am told that I should not quote Scripture, but that I should put what I believe in my own words.
    4. I am told that a link that I approve of “has a lack of Scriptural support for its contents.”
    5. Vague accusations about my Church and my beliefs are lobbed at me with no concrete examples for me to answer.

    Regarding: AV: “This is because Jesus attached grace to the outward sign, so to speak, so that that outward sign and grace always go together.”

    The water of Baptism applies the merits of Jesus’ sacrifice to the human soul and thereby washes away sin. 1 Corinthians 6:11 The outward sign is the water.

    John 9:5-7 “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
    6 When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. 7 And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.” The outward sign is the saliva and clay. See also Acts 5:15 and Acts 19:11-12 for more examples.

    So, where in the Bible does it state that Scripture alone is the sole authority for Christians?

    Where in the Bible does it state that faith alone gives a person eternal life?

  242. Believe says:

    “James White has debated major Catholic apologists in structured scholarly debate…if these questions truly interest you they are very inexpensive to buy.”

    This isn’t James White’s blog…it’s yours…and you’ve invited the ODMs to come on here and have a dialogue…if these discussions are tiresome…just wait until you get what you ask for when some of them arrive and want to hash things out on here…careful what you wish for…and I see this as good training for what you’ve invited… 🙂

  243. Michael says:

    If James White or Jim Packer or John Calvin have produced work that dwarfs mine in content and concision then I’m going to direct people to better resources.

    I know what I know because I spent years listening to those debates, taking classes after working 13 hour days and generally devoting my life to learning for twenty years.

    If going and doing some work on your own troubles someone, thats entirely their problem.

  244. Believe says:

    For the record…it’s not “circular arguing”…I am not stating and restating premises without proving them…I am “cross examining” to gather information for use in proving a future premise.

  245. Believe says:

    Michael, point well taken. It’s actually a compliment to you that many of us (very much me included) care so much to hear your take…rather than someone else…but I know it can be a burden. I’ll give you some space. Ignore me for awhile…there are many other good voices on here to get input from.

  246. Michael says:

    You’re right and cross examination gets old after the first few hours.

  247. SHW says:

    Michael: For example;

    “The survey found significant gaps between individual values and the Roman Catholic Church’s structure and teachings. When asked to make a moral decision on several issues, 50% said in vitro fertilization procedures are not wrong, and 61% would not condemn artificial birth control. The church opposes both. Although the church also opposes the death penalty, Catholics were evenly split on the issue. However, 61% agreed with their church’s stand against stem-cell research that ‘entails destruction of human embryos’; 68% agreed, ‘that abortion is morally wrong under virtually all circumstances’; and 61% said ‘homosexual behavior’ is wrong. Nonetheless, 83% said it is wrong ‘to discriminate against homosexuals. Most would let priests marry (54%), allow women to be ordained (53%), give the laity more leadership roles (72%) and make the church more democratic in its decision-making (62%) (Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY 11/16/2001).”

    There have been significant differences between liberal and conservative Catholic theologians for years…there is even a prominent sect that believes the earth is the center of the universe and another that believes there hasn’t been a valid pope since the sixties.
    *********

    There are many bad Catholics who claim to be members in good standing. Scandalous to be sure. Surprising, no, since Jesus stated that most people will prefer the wide road to perdition. So this is evidence that there are many Catholics on this wide road right now.

    Unfortunately, there are usually fringe members representing both extreme liberal and extreme conservative views in most groups.

    However, the Pope and Magisterium speak for the Church and this is who I listen to.

  248. Another Voice says:

    First, I could care less what others have written you – ask them and they can answer for themselves I have ‘accused’ you of very little. You asked me “So, where in the Bible does it state that Scripture alone is the sole authority for Christians?”

    That is not the issue – the issue is when the Scripture clashes with church tradition, which is primary? The Catholic answer is the church tradition.

    I don’t care for example if Catholics cross themselves – I see nothing unBiblical in that gesture (and I don’t care if it has pagan origins since Dec 25th does too)

    I do care when Catholics teach what is contradictory to Scripture.

    The Bible is the Word of God. Your question should be worded ‘Tell me where the Bible says that God’s Word is to be the authority over man’s tradition”

    To THAT question, I would suggest a reading of the New Testament.

  249. Believe says:

    SHW…hang in there…it’s got to be tough for a Catholic to come on a predominantly Protestant forum. You’ve got some guts.

    Can I bug you for awhile? I’ve got some questions…. 🙂

  250. Em says:

    SHW, if i might suggest something? one point at a time – no matter how complete one’s frame of reference and no matter how educated in one’s doctrines…
    speaking only for myself, one dissenting view given for consideration at a time is about all i can absorb – and, while hopeful, in the end we must agree to disagree, eh?

    and i have a confession to confess – no matter who is giving them, i skip long lists of Scripture verses plucked to make a point… not saying i’m doing the right thing – just confessin

  251. Another Voice says:

    There are many bad Catholics who claim to be members in good standing. Scandalous to be sure. Surprising, no, since Jesus stated that most people will prefer the wide road to perdition. So this is evidence that there are many Catholics on this wide road right now.
    ——————————————————————-
    Until the Pope and his surrogate bishops excommunicate the “bad” Catholics, then Michael’s point stands. They have the power to kick out of the church those in blatant sin and rebellion to its teachings on doctrine and behavior. They refuse to do so. For you to say that such Catholics are on the wide road to hell should cause you to challenge your priest and his bishop as to why they are giving these ‘bad’ Catholics the delusion of salvation by not excommunicating them.

    Just like Michael and I have that power in our respective churches we pastor. And we will use that power if need be…I don’t want anyone to think their heresy or sinful life is meaningless as long as they are a baptized member in the church – as apparently Rome chooses to do today.

  252. Believe says:

    AV…oh boy…

    You said, “That is not the issue – the issue is when the Scripture clashes with church tradition, which is primary? The Catholic answer is the church tradition.”

    You are CC…and you make this statement.

    You know what the qualifications for a pastor are in 1 Timothy Three…and you know what the Scripture says to do with a pastor in sin per 1 Timothy five…the Bible is crystal clear.

    Yet, CC’s “tradition” is no Scriptural accountability structure…but rather a “Moses Model”…

  253. SHW says:

    For all:

    Since you all seem to believe that Scripture has greater authority than the Church and also that no one is allowed to add to the Scriptures:

    Where in the Bible does it state that Scripture alone is the sole authority for Christians?

  254. Believe says:

    AV said, “Until the Pope and his surrogate bishops excommunicate the “bad” Catholics, then Michael’s point stands. They have the power to kick out of the church those in blatant sin and rebellion to its teachings on doctrine and behavior. They refuse to do so.”

    CC will not disaffiliate my step-dad and he is Child Abuser, a liar, a thief, etc. Instead Pastor Chuck Smith is going to re-dedicate his church.

  255. Another Voice says:

    SHW – Yes or no – in matters of conflict, do you believe the church has greater authority than the Scripture?

    Believe – I have discussed in the past that CC stereotypes do not fly with me, nor will I engage in them. I speak for myself alone.

  256. Believe says:

    SHW…there is Romans 13:1

  257. Believe says:

    Romans Thirteen: one

    1Let every person(A) be subject to the governing authorities. For(B) there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

  258. Believe says:

    AV…I gave a specific personal example…not a “stereotype”…you bash the RCC and dodge a serious CC issue…

  259. SHW says:

    AV:First, I could care less what others have written you – ask them and they can answer for themselves I have ‘accused’ you of very little. You asked me “So, where in the Bible does it state that Scripture alone is the sole authority for Christians?”

    That is not the issue – the issue is when the Scripture clashes with church tradition, which is primary? The Catholic answer is the church tradition.

    I don’t care for example if Catholics cross themselves – I see nothing unBiblical in that gesture (and I don’t care if it has pagan origins since Dec 25th does too)

    I do care when Catholics teach what is contradictory to Scripture.

    The Bible is the Word of God. Your question should be worded ‘Tell me where the Bible says that God’s Word is to be the authority over man’s tradition”

    To THAT question, I would suggest a reading of the New Testament.

    *******************

    My list was not for you specifically. I should have put it in a separate post. Please accept my apology.

    If you or others cannot prove that Scripture is the authority that we must all use, using Scripture alone, then none of your arguments stand.

    And, if you or others prove that Scripture alone is the sole authority, then you must prove that your interpretation of it is infallible. Otherwise, why should anyone believe any of you? Unless you can prove that your interpretation of Scripture is infallible, there is no proof that your understanding is the correct one concerning your view that CC tradition clashes with Scripture.

    I could say that my interpretation is the correct one and yours is not. You could say that your interpretation is the correct one and mine is not. Stalemate. Where do we go to find out infallibly whose interpretation is the correct one?

  260. SHW says:

    Believe: SHW…hang in there…it’s got to be tough for a Catholic to come on a predominantly Protestant forum. You’ve got some guts.

    Can I bug you for awhile? I’ve got some questions….

    Thank you for the encouragement. 🙂

    Ask your questions, I’m ready for them.

  261. Bob says:

    SHW:

    “Where do we go to find out infallibly whose interpretation is the correct one?”

    Not the Pope.

    The beauty of it is God left man with a very minimal but complete text of scripture to find Him and His Grace.

    And if you follow your history at all the bulk of scripture, OT, was established/canonized long before the RCC or any of its affiliates existed. And if you know your history the Jews struggled with the same issues of interpretation as you mention, but they hold scripture as the finale authority. Read Jesus’ words and reflect on how He viewed scripture and you will find your answer to their authority.

  262. SHW says:

    Em: SHW, if i might suggest something? one point at a time – no matter how complete one’s frame of reference and no matter how educated in one’s doctrines…
    speaking only for myself, one dissenting view given for consideration at a time is about all i can absorb – and, while hopeful, in the end we must agree to disagree, eh?

    and i have a confession to confess – no matter who is giving them, i skip long lists of Scripture verses plucked to make a point… not saying i’m doing the right thing – just confessin
    ***************************

    I understand. Thanks for your input. 🙂

  263. Believe says:

    SHW…who is Jesus Christ?

    How is a person saved?

  264. Believe says:

    Michael…thanks for the Packer paper on “authority”…devouring it already!

  265. SHW says:

    AV: Just like Michael and I have that power in our respective churches we pastor. And we will use that power if need be…I don’t want anyone to think their heresy or sinful life is meaningless as long as they are a baptized member in the church – as apparently Rome chooses to do today.

    ***************

    These bad Catholics usually do not even attend church. Do you think that the pope actually knows who all the bad priests and bishops are? No. Why don’t they leave the church? Because they lose their power with the media. If they leave, they would not get any attention for their scandalous behavior. They are trying to destroy the church from within or else make it into their own new image. Do I want more done concerning these issue? Yes.

  266. SHW says:

    Bob: “Where do we go to find out infallibly whose interpretation is the correct one?”

    Not the Pope.

    The beauty of it is God left man with a very minimal but complete text of scripture to find Him and His Grace.

    And if you follow your history at all the bulk of scripture, OT, was established/canonized long before the RCC or any of its affiliates existed. And if you know your history the Jews struggled with the same issues of interpretation as you mention, but they hold scripture as the finale authority. Read Jesus’ words and reflect on how He viewed scripture and you will find your answer to their authority.

    **************
    Where in Scripture does it state that the Jews used Scripture as the final authority?

    When do you think the Catholic Church was established and by whom?

  267. SHW says:

    Believe: Romans 13:1

    Yes, and who did Jesus give His authority to regarding His gospel?

  268. SHW says:

    Believe: SHW…who is Jesus Christ?

    How is a person saved?

    Jesus Christ is the Word Incarnate, the eternally begotten Son of God, and He is one of the three divine persons who are called God. Explained in John 1.

    A person is saved (reconciled with God) when he believes and is baptized. Mark 16:16 Notice that this Scripture makes no claim that the person cannot later lose this salvation.

  269. Em says:

    gotta share this before calling it a day – got an Email from a ‘girlie girl’ who shall remain anonymous – she’s a bird lover (feeds hummingbirds daily right thru the snow of winter)”

    some little birds have been nesting way up in one of her fir trees and she looked out to see a crow fixing to help himself to a morsel of baby bird… “I grabbed one of the boys B B guns, pumped it twice and I thot I had it aimed in the air as I held it at my hip and pulled the trigger… the crow dropped like a feathered brick!” – she claims it was God’s doing 🙂

    God keep all close

  270. SHW says:

    Michael,

    Jesus states that we must obey His commandments in order to inherit eternal life. So, why does your doctrine ignore this teaching?

    Matthew 19:16-19 “ow behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
    17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
    18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”
    Jesus said, “ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    Luke 10:25-28 “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
    26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”
    27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

  271. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I guess I have missed my old friend SHW the past 2 days. Hello, SHW!

    I am trying to nurse the Dodgers to a 1 – 0 victory in the 9th.

    SHW is a worthy opponents – a couple of years ago, she and I conducted an offline debate.

    The main difference is the definition of GRACE. I always interpreted her version (and the RCC) that Jesus has given you the grace to get yourself saved. She always denied it, but that is what her words actually say.

    Until we have a common understanding of grace, the conversation cannot go any further. It is a discussion of apples and oranges.

  272. SHW says:

    Hi MLD!

    Good to see you are here. 🙂

    Here is my question for you:

    Since you believe that you are already saved and also guaranteed eternal life (because you believe that Christ has “finished” all works and therefore no other works are necessary for your eternal salvation), why then, does Paul state the following under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit?:

    1 Timothy 4:16 “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”

  273. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    SHW, your memory fails you – I am not a “once saved always saved.” Although I believe that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross has covered all sins, and that I cannot sin my way out of the kingdom, I can neglect my faith and revert back to being an ‘unbeliever’

    But here is for you “2 Cor. 5:19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. ”

    2 questions
    1.) what sin is God still going to hold against us?
    2.) Is this the message you preach – the message that God has reconciled all mankind to Himself and no longer holds man’s sin against him?

    I think your message is God is waiting for you to reconcile to Him, so that He cn reconcile with you AND, that God doesn’t hold your PAST sins against you, but you are responsible from this day forward.

  274. Another Voice says:

    Bella – I KNOW you meant no disrespect in your comment. I tried to say that but obviously failed. So please forgive me on that score.

    As to my final thoughts on this thread:

    Since the Reformation is 600 years old, I have no intention on fighting the battle afresh. I have picked my side – and that is the issue, picking a side. The Catholic teaching on salvation (and especially as I noted and MLD reinforced ‘grace’) is far different than the Protestant gospel, and the fact that Protestants disagree on non-essentials of the gospel is irrelevant. Despite all these disagreements, every Protestant agrees on the issue of salvation, and a definition of the gospel – I wonder how that can happen.

    Answer – because the Bible is clear and could not be clearer on the subject. 1 Cor 15 declares this for us so simply. But, as has been noted, it is important to the Catholic that the church have final authority over Scripture in areas of conflict. This in large part is why sola scriptura was the rallying cry of the Reformation. But again, I am not looking to fight that battle. Jesus had plenty to say to those religious leaders who put centuries of tradition ahead of the Word of God.

    To compare Michael’s (or anyone else’s) willingness to refight the Reformation with a willingness to engage ODMs in the present controversy that is becoming more of an issue in evangelicalism is to certainly compare apples to oranges.

    To compare the authority and command of the Pope and the Catholic Church to the Calvary Chapel movement is to compare apples to toyotas. Calvary Chapels are a loosely connected fellowship of likeminded pastors (the pastors make you CC and are the affiliated ones, not the church) that are given a fair amount of leeway in doctrinal issues and complete independence in the daily running of the church, financial issues, discipline, membership etc.

    I minister to Catholics. Many ex-Catholics too are in our fellowship. Since the Catholic Church does teach that Jesus is God incarnate who died for the sins of the world and was resurrected the 3rd day, there is a possibility for salvation. The Catholic Church teaches a false gospel, but many rank and file Catholics love and trust Jesus for salvation and are no doubt saved.

    They are not a ‘cult’ due to their view on Jesus. However, the arguments expressed here in this thread, such as ‘Why should the Scripture be the sole authority” and “How can you Protestants be right since all your churches disagree” are two arguments that come DIRECT from the cults and anyone who has dealt with either Mormons or JWs has heard them many times and can testify to this.

    Finally, I am proud to call the men meeting at the Pastors Conference my brothers with only a handful of exceptions. That is why I stay in the movement. Other than inviting me to this one meeting each year, CCOF leaves me alone and I leave them alone.

  275. SHW says:

    MLD,

    2 Cor. 5:19 “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

    I believe that Jesus’ free gift covers all sins on the soul at the precise instant of baptism. However, this Scripture does not say that we cannot fall from grace (become alienated again) after Baptism.

    1. Unrepented grievous sins like these: Matthew 5:22, Galatians 5:18-21, 1 Timothy 5:8

    2. Jesus reconciled all mankind to God by His death on the cross 1 Timothy 2:3-7, but we each individually receive this gift by our own repentance, belief in Christ, and baptism. Luke 15:7, Mark 16:16, Acts 22:16

  276. SHW says:

    AV:

    Legitimate question: Since you claim that Scripture is your sole authority for the complete (full) gospel of Christ and that nothing else is needed except Scripture to learn about salvation, then you need to back up this teaching using Scripture.

    Otherwise, why would any person who has the ability to reason believe you when you claim that Scripture is the sole authority? A person who can reason correctly wants proof before he makes the decision to believe people (such as yourself) who make these types of claims.

  277. SHW says:

    AV: SHW – Yes or no – in matters of conflict, do you believe the church has greater authority than the Scripture?

    Please show me first that Scripture has been given greater authority than the Church according to Jesus’ gospel and please use Scripture to prove the accuracy of your interpretation of this doctrine that you hold so dearly. 1 Peter 3:15-16

  278. SHW says:

    MLD: “your memory fails you – I am not a “once saved always saved.” Although I believe that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross has covered all sins, and that I cannot sin my way out of the kingdom, I can neglect my faith and revert back to being an ‘unbeliever’”

    So, if a person reverts back to being an unbeliever, will he still inherit eternal life if he does not repent of his unbelief before his death?

  279. Believe says:

    SHW…Sola Scriptura…except no “Sola” in the “Sciptura” eh? 😆

  280. London says:

    Fascinating…

  281. Believe says:

    AV said, “The Catholic Church teaches a false gospel, but many rank and file Catholics love and trust Jesus for salvation and are no doubt saved.”

    Interesting…

    How about Mormons? They read the Bible along with the Book of Mormon…can some Mormons be saved…despite the false gospel? Can God save some people even through Mormonism?

  282. London says:

    I’ve read the whole thread and have some random things to ask or say. No particular order and I’m not going to go all the way back through to figure out who said what at what time cause I’m too tired.
    But…

    LUTE – why did you wonder if SHW was SDA? What is it about the SDA that made you think that? I understand where early on you might have thought she was Mormon because I have a pretty good understanding of Mormon ideas about work based faith. But the SDA??

    SHW- you’ve stated a number of times that Adam, before the fall had eternal life and “lost it”. However, from my reading and understanding of Genesis 3:12-24 he did not. In fact, God threw them out of Eden in order to keep them from eating from the Tree of Life and thereby being able to live forever. He placed the cherubim and a flaming sword as guardians of that Tree. Where do you get that Adam had eternal life prior to his messing the whole thing up?

    BELIEVE- there is no such thing as an “emergent gospel” you made that up and then wanted people to tell you what would happen to someone’s eternal soul if they believed or didn’t believe your made up thing. Good for a chuckle…bad for a discussion. 😉

    The whole idea of having to live life after baptism by wondering if I’m saved or not saved at any given minute, hoping to time the asking of forgiveness so that I can be sure that I’m covered by “santifying grace” at the moment I die has made me dizzy. How can anyone live that way and not go insane?

    It almost seems easier to say “the heck with it…I can never keep proper score of where I am on the sin meter, I may as well just give up and hope for the best because there’s a 99.9% chance I’m toast anyway”

    Dunno..but that doesn’t seem much like a life of freedom, joy, peace, abundance etc to me. Seems like it’s just another way to be in bondage to the law or more correctly to “a law” with joy that’s been stolen and peace of mind that’s been imprisioned.

    It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galtians 5:1

  283. Lutheran says:

    London —

    SDAers can be extremely works oriented, at least the ones I’ve encountered — and, like Catholics, can flip Law-Gospel to Gospel-Law.

  284. Believe says:

    London said, “BELIEVE- there is no such thing as an “emergent gospel” you made that up and then wanted people to tell you what would happen to someone’s eternal soul if they believed or didn’t believe your made up thing. Good for a chuckle…bad for a discussion. 😉 ”

    London, yes (in a lot of people’s opinion). That was my point….or at least a premise I am exploring and testing…that Len Sweet’s “Gospel” is a different gospel…that Len Sweet’s Jesus is a different Jesus. There are people who take the position that Len Sweet is a false teacher…and teaches a different Gospel and different Jesus…

    Realize I always have several “discussions” going on at any given time…and a constant internal dialogue as well 🙂

    I was gathering info and testing a few things for another discussion and at the same time participating in this one.

  285. Believe says:

    1. There is always an overall “discussion”…testing and retesting my own Beliefs…and Belief System.

    2. There is the particular discussion at hand.

    3. There are many other discussions that are concurrent with the discussion at hand.

    Often the three intersect…

  286. Believe says:

    London said, “The whole idea of having to live life after baptism by wondering if I’m saved or not saved at any given minute…”

    I believe there is a possibility we all do this in some form…and that is why there are so many denominations…and why we all obsess over all of these issues and details.

    “We” are in a constant state of “proving” our Salvation…and convincing ourselves that we are actually saved and are going to heaven.

    …that dynamic, IMO, may be one of the driving forces behind even this forum.

    Many have experienced being called “evildoers” by pastors…and it leaves a scar…it plants a seed of doubt.

    Many pastors are in a constant state of defending “their” interpretation of Scripture…and having to keep their faithful convinced of the same…

    God Is…Jesus Is the Messiah…and Salvation is through Faith in Him…I remind myself of these facts daily…to convince myself in what my internal being knows innately is True.

    The doctrinal complexities and variances…despite the most ardent and supported and precise and vehemently defended position…still has holes…from a man’s logos perspective. No way around that…”sound doctrine” from a man-centered perspective…is a myth.

    Child-Like Faith. Bow your knee. Work out your own Salvation in Fear and Trembling. Beg God for Mercy and Revelation…and Salvation through His Son the Messiah.

    …and keep on begging.

  287. Believe says:

    You will not find Salvation in “sound doctrine”…

  288. Bob says:

    London:

    Discussing or arguing anything with SHW is pointless.

    You asked this question: “Where do you get that Adam had eternal life prior to his messing the whole thing up?”

    The very fact you read the context and details of the Genesis account sheds a very favorable light on you.

    So before I turn into a blueberry all I have to say to SHW is, “be seeing you!”

    Good work, London, Believe, Michael, AV, Lutheran, the guitar guy and who ever else I missed who has stood up for the faith and the written words of God on this thread. May the name of Jesus be blessed and held high.

  289. Believe says:

    Bob said, “Discussing or arguing anything with SHW is pointless.”

    It helps one cement their own Beliefs…it is good to constantly test and try one’s Faith.

  290. ( | o )====::: says:

    Michael,
    Sorry, am running at a crazy pace. Have a quick question, how is the gospel of Rome any different than Chuck Smith Sr’s gospel of “abiding” where you must abide to inherit eternal life, and if you didn’t inherit eternal life then you weren’t abiding… a very silly circular no-win type of damnable treadmill. At least with Rome there is the chance of mercy and purgatory and a lot of friends and relatives buying masses and indulgences for you. Smith’s gospel is the height of uncertainty, especially if you ask “how does one have an assurance of ‘adequate abiding'”? I left CCCM, partially, because of the choice between the eternal security of the believer and the foolishness of Smith’s abiding gospel. Eternal security motivates to holiness out of gratitude and recognition. Abiding motivates solely through fear with no ability to measure moment by moment abiding.

    Michael, I’ll check back for your answer and see if anyone else has something to add about this conundrum.
    Peace

  291. Michael says:

    Grendal,

    At the risk of creating great offense…that is a very good point and one I’ve made in years past.

    It used to be the height of strangeness to me that Catholics and Calvinists were both rejected by CC when there is very real kinship between CCCM and Rome in some aspects of soteriology.

    Both are synergistic, both require human effort to stay in the faith.

    I, of course, reject both those tenets.

  292. Michael says:

    Holly,

    “Revolting and damnable”….and I thought my enemies were harsh.

    You have completely misrepresented the Reformed position…again…but believe what ever makes you happy.

  293. Michael says:

    PERSEVERANCE
    GOD KEEPS HIS PEOPLE SAFE
    by J.I. Packer

    And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. ROMANS 8:30

    Let it first be said that in declaring the eternal security of God’s people it is clearer to speak of their preservation than, as is commonly done, of their perseverance. Perseverance means persistence under discouragement and contrary pressure. The assertion that believers persevere in faith and obedience despite everything is true, but the reason is that Jesus Christ through the Spirit persists in preserving them.

    Scripture emphasizes this. John tells us that Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, is under promise to his Father (John 6:37-40) and to his sheep directly (John 10:28-29) to keep them so that they never perish. In his high-priestly prayer before his passion Jesus asked that those whom the Father had given him (John 17:2, 6, 9, 24) would be preserved to glory, and it is inconceivable that his prayer, which still continues (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25), will go unanswered.

    Paul sees the sovereign plan of God for the salvation of his elect as a unitary whole, of which the glorifying of the justified is part (Rom. 8:29-30). On this basis he builds the triumphant peroration of Romans 8:31-39, in which he celebrates the present and future security of the saints in the almighty love of God. Elsewhere he rejoices in the certainty that God will complete the “good work” that he began in the lives of those Paul addresses (Phil. 1:6; cf. 1 Cor. 1:8-9; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Thess. 3:3; 2 Tim. 1:12; 4:18).

    Reformed theology echoes this emphasis. The Westminster Confession declares, They, whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved. (XVII.1)
    The doctrine declares that the regenerate are saved through persevering in faith and Christian living to the end (Heb. 3:6; 6:11; 10:35-39), and that it is God who keeps them persevering. That does not mean that all who ever professed conversion will be saved. False professions are made; short-term enthusiasts fall away (Matt. 13:20-22); many who say to Jesus, “Lord, Lord,” will not be acknowledged (Matt. 7:21-23). Only those who show themselves to be regenerate by pursuing heart-holiness and true neighbor-love as they pass through this world are entitled to believe themselves secure in Christ. Persevering in faith and penitence, not just in Christian formalism, is the path to glory. To suppose that believing in perseverance leads to careless living and arrogant presumption is a total misconception.

    Sometimes the regenerate backslide and fall into gross sin. But in this they act out of character, do violence to their own new nature, and make themselves deeply miserable, so that eventually they seek and find restoration to righteousness. In retrospect, their lapse seems to them to have been madness. When regenerate believers act in character, they manifest a humble, grateful desire to please the God who saved them; and the knowledge that he is pledged to keep them safe forever simply increases this desire.

  294. Michael says:

    Just for clarity…the Reformed position has NEVER been libertine or anti-nomian.

    The issue was whether or not God has the desire and ability to keep His children as He promised, using discipline and grace to keep them in the flock.

    The other issue is by whose power do we persevere…by our own or by that of God?

    Now…I’m done.

  295. Em says:

    “by whose power do we persevere…” it is God that worketh in us both to will and to do His good pleasure…
    it is drawing a fine line, splitting a hair perhaps, but i will never be good, not even ‘good enough’ and that realization ought to just about wipe out any initiative to even try… but God draws us and even can be said to court us like a lover at times and so, i learn of Him and respond to Him, but it’s all His doing …

  296. Bob Sweat says:

    This thread is taking forever to load.

  297. Michael says:

    Bob,

    You’re not missing anything… 🙂

  298. Michael says:

    Holly,

    Dr. Packer holds to the exact same “revolting and damnable” doctrine that I do so you’d better avert your holy eyes lest we inadvertently consign you to the pit through our clever sophistry.

  299. Em says:

    Believe commented that you will not find salvation in sound doctrine… ?

    IMV the basic (sound) doctrine of Salvation is step one in gaining an understanding of the Word of God (systematized or not) – why is there an aversion to ‘sound’ doctrine?

  300. Believe says:

    Em…follow that line of reasoning: “IMV the basic (sound) doctrine of Salvation is step one in gaining an understanding of the Word of God (systematized or not)”

    Is “understanding” the key to Salvation? Is “gaining a proper understanding” the key?

    I am not opposed to doctrine…I am in the process of affirming some doctrine and testing other doctrine. It is not for the faint of heart…(not saying you are faint of heart…you are a dear woman and I love you 🙂 )

  301. SHW says:

    London: SHW- you’ve stated a number of times that Adam, before the fall had eternal life and “lost it”. However, from my reading and understanding of Genesis 3:12-24 he did not. In fact, God threw them out of Eden in order to keep them from eating from the Tree of Life and thereby being able to live forever. He placed the cherubim and a flaming sword as guardians of that Tree. Where do you get that Adam had eternal life prior to his messing the whole thing up?

    Hi London,

    You are correct. This is a perfect example of false reasoning. I was not paying careful attention to what I was writing. Thank you for pointing this out to me. 🙂

    God created Adam and had friendship with him. Adam’s friendship with God at that point in time did not guarantee him eternal life.

    However, there was also no impediment to prevent Adam from inheriting eternal life in the future. Adam had hope of inheriting eternal life sometime in the future.

    When Adam sinned, he lost spiritual friendship with God. Romans 5:12, Romans 5:18

    It was Adam’s sin that prevented Adam from ever again having the possibility (hope) of inheriting eternal life since his punishment caused him to be kicked out of the garden with no possibility of ever eating fruit from the Tree of Life. There was now no hope of ever entering into eternal life because he no longer had access to the Tree of Life.

    Since Adam lost the hope of ever inheriting eternal life, he cannot pass this “hope” of entering into eternal life down to his descendants. He cannot give to others what he no longer has. Since he cannot eat from the Tree of Life, his body will die.

    But, God still loved mankind even though they were estranged from Him, so He sent his own Son to earth (Word made Flesh) to die a sacrificial death on the cross in order to atone for Adam’s sin and thereby reconcile us to God once more. What we could not do for ourselves Jesus did for us.

    The reason that Jesus could reconcile man to God is because Jesus is both God and Man. This is why He is called the one Mediator between God and Man. As the result of Jesus’ sacrifice, mankind is no longer God’s enemy. Jesus reconciled us to God as His gift to us! Romans 5:10

    Hurray! Now, we all can hope once again to be able to enter into eternal life when we die. Are we guaranteed eternal life because of Jesus’ sacrifice? No. 1 John 3:3

    There is still a condition that must be met before we are given the right to enter into eternal life.

    What condition must each person himself fulfill before he is given the right to eat of the Tree of Life and have the right to enter into heaven?

    He must pass the obedience test on earth until the very end of his life on earth in order to be given the right to eat the fruit of the Tree of Life and enter through the gates into heaven. Luke 13:23-27, Matthew 24:11-13, 1 Peter 5:8-9

    Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.”

    Jesus tells us that we must obey His commandments if we desire to enter into eternal life after we die:

    Matthew 19:16-19 “How behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
    17 So He said to him, “……. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
    18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”
    Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    Jesus is the author/source of salvation to all persons who obey His gospel and so obedient persons will be given the right to enter into eternal life after they die. Hebrews 5:9

    Jesus does not grant eternal life to the persons who do not obey His gospel. Persons who do not obey Him receive God’s flaming vengeance instead of eternal life. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9

  302. BrianD says:

    “What is so amiss with believing that for a person to have eternal life, they must endure to the end and continue in the faith and doctrine??? ”

    Holly, there’s nothing to argue with in that statement, in and of itself.

    But what does that look like, in real life, in people who have a sin nature? What does endurance look like, what does continuing in the faith look like, what does it look like to do so to your dying breath. Seems to me that would be easier if we gradually got better, less sinful and more perfect (perfect defined by God’s standard) after we got saved. But that’s not my personal experience, nor is it my observation of Christians over the years.

  303. Em says:

    Believe, you’re dear, too 😀

    i’m glad you’re not opposed to doctrine, but, while the teaching of it is reserved for an elite corps of called Saints, the learning of it is for all Saints and, perhaps those of us who are faint of heart need it the most

    as to ‘understanding’ as a requisite to salvation? i guess that depends on what you mean by ‘understanding,’ eh?

  304. Believe says:

    “You think people like me who believe that Christians can fall away adhere to a “damnable” doctrine, while I believe those who adhere to OSAS believe a “damnable” doctrine.”

    So, belief in a “damnable” doctrine is not a point to dis-unify on…and God can save someone…whether they believe the “correct” doctrine or not?

  305. Michael says:

    “You think people like me who believe that Christians can fall away adhere to a “damnable” doctrine, while I believe those who adhere to OSAS believe a “damnable” doctrine.”

    That is not true.

    I believe that it is error, but certainly not error that leads to damnation.

    To posit that a secondary doctrine will condemn someone is both careless and offensive.

  306. Believe says:

    Em said, “i guess that depends on what you mean by ‘understanding,’ eh?”

    Yes.

    It is argued that one must believe in the “right” Gospel and the “right” Jesus to be saved…which requires a human being to “understand” and differentiate…which puts the onus on a person’s “proper” understanding to be truly saved…from a man’s logos perspective.

  307. SHW says:

    Bob: Discussing or arguing anything with SHW is pointless.

    *********

    Instead of making unhelpful comments, why don’t you explain to me why you disagree with something that I have said?

    My reply to London’s post would be a good place to begin. If you disagree with what I have written in my new post to London, then please address it in a helpful, courteous manner. Thank you. 🙂

  308. Believe says:

    Michael you stated earlier in this thread, “I don’t know what the emergent or Catholic Gospel is, but any Gospel that adds anything to the finished work of Christ is a false Gospel.”

    and…”God doesn’t regenerate people against their will…that is a complete misstatement of doctrine.”

    Michael…does a person have to have a correct understanding of the “right” Jesus and the “right” Gospel to be Regenerated?

  309. Em says:

    kind of interesting underlying thread here (one that all seem to agree on – thank You, Lord) it is that we all are damned unless and until we realize that fact and come to Christ (excluding the age of accountability question)

  310. SHW says:

    Believe,

    What do you think of my reply to London? (#330)
    Thank you. 🙂

  311. Michael says:

    Believe,

    I’m riding with AV…the Reformation is 500 years old and the material is available to study.

    There is content to the Gospel and if you change the content, you lose the Gospel.

  312. SHW says:

    Michael,
    I am waiting for a reply to post #295. Thank you. 🙂

  313. Michael says:

    I believe in the imputed righteousness of Christ and His perfect active and passive obedience on my behalf.

    I put no trust in my own righteousness or works…I trust only in the cross of Christ.

  314. Believe says:

    Michael…I took a position much earlier in my time here on the PP…I made a trite statement about someone’s use of the word “Theological”…I separated the word making a proposition…”Theo” and “Logical”…of course knowing that it was wordplay to make a statement…

    I believe many of us will remember that discussion…it got into the hashing out of Logos (The Word, Jesus) vs. man’s logos (man’s reason…our ability (or better stated limited ability) to “understand” God (Theos) and Logos (The Word).

    I was told that “we” can apply logic, reason, man’s logos to Theos and Logos…and that one could gain “proper” understanding and enlightenment to discern the things of God…using man’s reason as a framework to do so when studying Scripture.

    You and others have described Theology as the “Science” of God.

    I disagreed and took the position that “we” cannot understand the things of God…using our “reason”…”we” cannot quantify Spirit accurately. We are finite, etc.

    My position was (and is…still testing…) Child-Like Faith. To which you (and others) accurately judged my position as a Theology…a doctrine…a subjective interpretation.

    I am not opposed to doctrine. I am starving for Absolute Truth. If consensus is that we are given reason by God to properly understand these complex Spiritual issues…then we are bound by the Laws of Reason.

    One cannot call Theology the “Science” of God in one breath…and deny the Laws of Reason…and its cumbersome processes…in the other…and remain intellectually consistent, IMO.

    Cross examination is a tedious process…Sophistry, Skepticism, Socratic Method, Induction, Deduction…you name it…all part of applying man’s logos (man’s reason) the “Science” you speak of…to Theo Logos.

    You can’t “part way” reason…it has a system…

    If the PP family doesn’t like the process…I suggest Believing on Child-Like Faith…and don’t say you are arriving at your conclusions via reason…(said as kindly as I can state it).

  315. Believe says:

    “I’m riding with AV…the Reformation is 500 years old and the material is available to study.”

    Yes, it’s there. And, I’m slogging through it…and have slogged through some of it in years past…we’re responsible for our Talent in our Vapor…

  316. Bob says:

    SHW:

    Per your #295 post:

    As always you have taken a scripture byte and used them out of context.

    First the Matt 19 reference with the rich young ruler. If you read it he did all the things you religious people would do and Jesus response was what? Give all your stuff away and follow me. His life was not in following Jesus’ commandments nor the commandments of the Torah, his was about money and wealth, not God!

    Luke 10 was about loving God and loving your neighbor. If you noticed the scribe, who was very much into following the commandments of God, like you, asked, “And who is my neighbor?”

    Well Jesus now tells the parable about the “good Samaritan” and the lawyer/law teacher answered after the parable correctly, HIS NEIGHBOR IS THE SAMARITAN! What a shock! The neighbor was the one in whom, according to tradition, they called lower than a gentile, the Samaritan!

    So the two scriptures you point out aren’t about keeping the commandments, they are about LOVING GOD first and then your life will fill the commandments and you will love your neighbor. Why? Because the law, God’s instructions, is written on the hearts and the natural response will be to do them.

    Please read the whole text please.

    But you want an easy answer for like the rich young ruler and the lawyer/law teacher, if I do this I am saved. Well then love God and receive what He has done through Jesus Christ.

  317. Bob says:

    SHW:

    You asked: “Where in Scripture does it state that the Jews used Scripture as the final authority?”

    I will answer with these words, translated into English, “it is written…”

    Go back and check out who says these things and your answer about the authority of scripture will come out.

  318. SHW says:

    Bob,

    These persons asked Jesus specifically what they must do in order to inherit eternal life. How did He answer them? He answered them specifically:

    “If you want to enter into eternal life, keep the commandments.”
    “Do this and you will live.” (keep/obey these commandments and you will inherit eternal life)

    It cannot possibly be stated any plainer than this.

    The reverse is also true:
    If you do not want to enter into eternal life, don’t keep the commandments.

    Matthew 19:16-19 “ow behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
    17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
    18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”
    Jesus said, “ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    Luke 10:25-28 “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
    26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”
    27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

  319. Michael says:

    Adam broke covenant, and after the Fall our ability to keep the law was lost, but the demands of law did not abate. God says, “Cursed is anyone who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them” (Deut. 27:26 esv). Again, in Deuteronomy 28:58 God’s law requires the people to “be careful to do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 30:10 requires us to “obey” the law and to “keep his commandments.” The older Reformed theologians regarded this language as a restatement of the covenant of works with Adam. Anyone who sought to present himself to God on the basis of law keeping (even Spirit-wrought sanctity) was under this standard. Like Adam, God’s adopted son Israel also failed.

    Jesus was just as emphatic about the demands of the law. In his dialogue with the self-righteous lawyer, he did not say, “Do your best,” but rather, after the lawyer summarized the law, Jesus said, “do this and live” (Luke 10:25-28). According to Jesus, the law must be “accomplished” and “fulfilled” (Matt. 5:18), it must be “done.” What the law requires must be performed (Matt. 5:19). He repeatedly described his own mission in terms of performance. “My food is that I should do the will of him who has sent me and that I might fulfill his work” (John 4:34). He became incarnate for the single purpose of performing that which he agreed to do from eternity (John 6:38-40; 17:3-6) and he testified to his performance of that law when he cried, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

    The apostles also understood that God’s law requires performance. James notes three times that the law requires “doing,” not just “hearing” (James 1:22-27; 4:11). Paul likewise wrote, “For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified” (Rom. 2:13). This “doing” rather than just “hearing” is essential to understanding the perfect performance of his law which God expects of his image-bearers. The demand is not only for the absence of sin, but for positive performance of all requirements. This is how Paul interprets Deuteronomy 27:26 (in Gal. 3:10): “For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything which is written in the book of the law.'” Paul knew that because, in Adam, all have fallen (Rom. 5:12) and are “dead in sins and trespasses” (Eph. 2:1) we are no longer capable of making this performance. This is why he says, it is “evident that no one is justified before God” by law keeping (Gal. 3:11). The law is “holy, just and good” (Rom. 7:12) and it demands perfect compliance, but none of Adam’s children are able to meet that standard. Our inability to meet the standard does not, however, ease the standard.

    This is exactly why Jesus did not simply appear in history as an adult and promptly die. Nor did Jesus obey the law only as preparation for his passion on the cross. Rather, we should say with the Heidelberg Catechism (Q. 37) that he suffered “all the time he lived on earth,” and that he accomplished all the obedience I owed (Q. 60). Christ was born “under the law” (Gal. 4:4), to redeem those under the stoicheia (Gal. 4:3), that is, those under the law.

    The slogan “just as if I never sinned.” says too little. Our justification requires not only that he take away our sins, but that he provide for us a perfect performance of the law in our place. The gospel is not just that we are forgiven, but that believers are reckoned as law keepers because of Christ’s law keeping credited to us. Whoever trusts in Jesus and rests in his finished work alone is righteous before God. It is as if the Christian has performed all that the law requires.

    Will this teaching lead to lawlessness? “Never!” (Rom. 6:1). “We are not under law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). This is why we are Christians. We know the terrible and righteous demands of the law. It does not say “try,” but “do.” All thanks to Christ who has done for us.

    R. Scott Clark

  320. Believe says:

    …and here’s a thought that will really blow some circuits:

    Romans 13:1

    Could the “great falling away”…have been the Reformation?

    The Reformation was a rebellion against the authority of God’s church…(at least that is the opinion of some…)

  321. Believe says:

    ….and not necessarily my opinion…just opening up another discussion in tandem with the one we’re having.

  322. Michael says:

    Romans 13:1 refers to civil magistrates.

  323. Bob says:

    SHW:

    You are just too much:

    #330

    “However, there was also no impediment to prevent Adam from inheriting eternal life in the future. Adam had hope of inheriting eternal life sometime in the future.

    When Adam sinned, he lost spiritual friendship with God. Romans 5:12, Romans 5:18”

    *** How could Adam have hope for something he had no concept of? You are reading into scripture and taking out of context.

    *** Rom 5:12, 18 Say DEATH not lost “spiritual friendship.”

    “Since Adam lost the hope of ever inheriting eternal life, he cannot pass this “hope” of entering into eternal life down to his descendants.”

    *** He was removed from the garden, and a life of ease, and was sentenced to a life of hard work and a return to the ground. He passed death to his descendants. God gave them hope by promising one who would crush the head.

    “There is still a condition that must be met before we are given the right to enter into eternal life.

    What condition must each person himself fulfill before he is given the right to eat of the Tree of Life and have the right to enter into heaven?:

    Rev 22:14 you quote: “Blessed are those who do his commandments…”

    *** You must have a very different bible translation because it should say, “Blessed are those who awash their robes…” The Greek word here means WASH and in context Jesus is coming to render what every man has done. What were they to do? Wash their robes! The only question is how are they to wash their robes? There’s only one thing which washes people clean.

    Again read the context!

  324. Bob says:

    SHW:

    I hit my head when reading your stuff I think I am going to bleed.

    You did not read the context, the setting, the characters, the Jewish traditions, the Oral Law…

    Can’t say much more except, may you see and hear.

    Wiping my feet.

  325. Michael says:

    Closing this thread…move to the new one if necessary.