Calvin silenced by James2:24

#21

The way I read Romans, I see Justification as “being declared righteous in the sight of God,” which is done at once, based on Faith Alone (Sola Fide)

This, as opposed to a separate notion of “Sanctification,” which is a lifelong process by which we are actually made to be “righteous”

This seems to alleviate the sticky problem of Ephesians 2:8, which indicates salvation by grace. In fact, the structure of the sentence in Greek indicates Paul is actually shouting “ITS GRACE YOU FOOLS, NOT WHAT YOU DO”

Yet, this contrasted with his command to “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling” in Phillipians 2:12 which indicates a process of salvation.

The definition of the Greek Word for salvation (Soteria, used in Phil 2:12) is:

Future salvation, the sum of benefits and blessings which the Christians, redeemed from all earthly ills, will enjoy after the visible return of Christ from heaven in the consummated and eternal kingdom of God.

Fourfold salvation: saved from the penalty, power, presence and most importantly the pleasure of sin.

As opposed to the greek word “Sozo” used in Eph. 2:8 defined as:

“to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue”

Or, as I understand it, the definition of “saved” by faith in Eph. 2:8 is an “incomplete” salvation, i.e. you are now heaven bound, but in Phil 2:12 seems to be a more all-inclusive salvation, which would include a spiritual maturing.

The conclusion that I’ve drawn from these is Sola Fide for the Evangelical use of the word “salvation” i.e. you are now heaven-bound, but that our deeds are part of a conforming to the image of Christ, and maturing in Faith.

#22

Two points:

  1. Isn’t faith itself a work? By this I mean what we generally know as faith is not a condition but a decision. When born-again evangelicals insist that you must know the very moment you were saved, does it not presuppose not only that you are saved, but you acknowledged the fact? Is this not an action rather than a condition? Isn’t this why they have rituals surrounding this? “Come down to the altar if you want to be saved”, etc?

  2. When reading the words of Christ, doesn’t he constantly exhort us to “do” something rather than “believe” something? “Take up your cross and follow me” is an incitement to action, not belief.

I think you’re onto something when you say that the real issue is understanding of works.

#23

:hmmm: Interesting…and yet we have a verse like

2 Peter 1:5-9

**But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. **

This makes 2 Points:

  1. Genuine faith does not automatically produce good works. Otherwise, there would be no need of “diligence” in adding to one’s faith all the qualities listed.

  2. If a person lacks the qualities listed, that does not necessarily mean the person did not have genuine faith. Notice that Peter says that one who lacks these things "has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his old sins, " not that he was never justified to begin with.

God Bless,
Michael

#24

Romans 8:12-13

12 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.

1 Corinthians 9:26-27

26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

Galatians 6:7-9

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

God Bless,
Michael

#25

Faith is not a work.

Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

#26

Great!

Can you quote scripture that proves what you’ve said now.

The one you listed doesn’t.

#27

You seriously don’t see Faith being seperate from Works in Eph 2:8,9? :eek:

Rom 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.

Seems to be that Belief/Faith and works are polar opposites, no?

#28

Your right. No!

Now how do two people of faith resolve their differences in matters of faith if there is only one Truth?

#29

No.

The point Paul is making here is that Abraham was justified before he was circumcised. If Paul was saying that Abraham was justified at this point because of his belief, or faith alone apart from any obedience, that would be taking Genesis out of Context, and the Jews at the time would have known it.
Abraham had come to faith back in chapter 12. Abraham listened to God, and did what God commanded, that is Abraham had faith and obedience.
Paul is talking about a “false religiosity”, where the Jews thought they were saved just because they were circumcised and therefore ‘children of Abraham’. As John the baptist told the Pharisees in the third chapter of Luke: “And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.”

We are saved by Grace alone. All of our works are by the grace of God, they are not of our own doing. We can’t be saved by works which are done under our own power apart from God, and we must recognize this. But it is very clear in other passages in scripture that we must have works accompanying our faith to enter heaven. Protestants say that a living faith will have works which flow from it, while a dead faith does not.

But does this dead faith get you to heaven?

You might want to look at the sheep and goat parable in Matthew Chapter 25 to find the answer.

We are saved by God’s grace alone, and our response to this grace is faith working through love.

Keep in mind this passage from Genesis:

Genesis 26:1-5
… And Isaac went to Gerar, to Abim’elech king of the Philistines.
And the LORD appeared to him, and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you; for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will fulfil the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give to your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves: because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

Seems to me that God wants our faith to reflect Abraham’s faith which is described here as obeying his voice, keeping his charge, commandments, statutes and his laws.
To me that means faith and works, faith working out of love, faith and obedience or however else you might want to describe it.

#30

We seem to have fundamentally different definitions of faith.

Calvinator seems to define it negatively—“the opposite of works”. Does that mean faith = grace?

Is it fair to say the Catholic position is one that faith is the intersection of grace and works (God’s grace awakens our faith which drives our good works)?

#31

This is just rhetoric, intended to prejudice your reader. It proves nothing. One who is concerned with the genuine quality of his argument would elide it entirely so as not to waste his time and his readers’.

Jeremy

#32

Excuse me, Afterburned6387, what is a ‘Reformed Baptist?’

#33

[quote=Afterburned6387;2536617
]The implication here is that it is God’s doing, and you have no say in the matter
[/quote]

. This isn’t a gift we are free to accept or reject, the sentence structure indicates that it is something God does all on his own, without our involvement.

Second, the word used there for works is “ergon,” which means “work, deed, or action,” in no way would it indicate a “work of the law,” it just means more generally, any verb a person can do

We do have a say so.

We can either show love to others or we can choose not to show love to others.

To be Christians, we are to be a “Christ” to others.

You are right that Paul is saying “works”, he means all the works of the old testament, including the 10 commandment.
But what Paul is telling us here is that it is not by our own power that we accomplish these works.
These works are done by the grace of God.
We must still have works accompanying our faith, but we can’t do these works under our own power apart from God, we need his grace, and we must recognize this fact.
Paul didn’t tell us that we don’t have to follow the 10 commandments, because we still can’t commit murder, commit adultery or commit fornication.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

We have a choice when we become Christians, we can either be obedient to God by the way we live our Christian faith, or we can still live the way we did before our conversion. But when we live our Christian faith, it is because of the graces that God gives us that we can live a love full of love. We can’t do it on our own. If we think we can do it on our own then we are fooling ourselves, and our foolishness will be show to everyone on the last Judgment.

We don’t become “God puppets” when we come to faith, we still have free will. We can choose to show God’s love to others through our actions, or not.

#34

Ah, but True Faith works. Every person mentioned in the Hebrews 11 “Hall of Faith” had Faith that prompted them to DO something for God.

4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God translated him: for he hath had witness borne to him that before his translation he had been well-pleasing unto God: 6 And without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him. 7 By faith Noah, … moved with godly fear,** prepared an ark** to the saving of his house 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed

It wasn’t just their faith, but their response to that faith that mattered to God.

Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

…10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.

#35

Works is a response/evidence of true salvation by Faith. Works are not a requirement FOR salvation!

God takes out the heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh.

Luke 4:45 “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”

The heart is NOT stone and gradually changed to flesh based on it’s works.

It wasn’t just their faith, but their response to that faith that mattered to God.

…10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.

Again the response is evidence of salvation, not a requirement for the eventual attainment.

IF I am born again by God, am I not His child that very instant, Or must I perform a number of “works” to gain adoption?

#36

Matthew 10:22

But he who endures to the end will be saved

Romans 2:6-8

who “will render to each one according to his deeds”:7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath,

Galatians 6:7-9

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Revelation 2:26

26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations

A child can also be disinherited.

God Bless,
Michael

#37

Darn! You beat me to it!

What if the prodigal son never came home? Would his father not love him and want him home nonetheless? Would he maintain he never had a son at all?

#38

OK…

let me see if I get this straight.

Works will be evident if you have a true salvation by faith.
That is true salvation by faith includes works.
That is salvation is by faith and works, because if the works are absent, then it is not a true saving faith.

I have a question, what if the works are absent?

Can you be saved if you say you have faith, but you absolutely have no works, that is, you hate your neighbor?

You seem to say that you need works, but you don’t need works.

I really don’t’ think that you are far off of what the Catholic Church teaches, you are just into semantics here.

#39

If someone makes a deathbed conversion to Christianity is he saved? What works has he done? Faith alone means he will be saved even if he had no chance to do good works. Faith plus good works wouldn’t allow that result.

#40

I don’t know. Do you?

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