Justified by Faith Alone cf. James 2:24


#1141

tgGodsway. You also said . . . .

Yes, we partake spiritually, but there is no evidence we partake literally.

Yet St. Paul says otherwise. Let’s go to 1st Corinthians 11:27-30 (with format changes mine for highlighting purposes) . . . .

1st CORINTHIANS 11:27-30 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of

profaning the body and blood of the Lord.

28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For any one who eats and drinks without

discerning the body

eats and drinks judgment upon himself.

30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.

Here is NOT what the Holy Spirit taught . . . . .

NOT 1st CORINTHIANS 11:27-30 (but a phantom verse) 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of

profaning a mere SYMBOL of body and blood of the Lord.

28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the symbol

eats and drinks without figuring out the symbolism.

30 That is why many of you are having difficulty getting this symbolism down.

Here it is again . . . .

1st CORINTHIANS 11:27-30 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of (?what?) . . . . .

The Holy Spirit: . . . . . . . . . . guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.
St. Paul: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.
The Catholic Church: . . . . . . guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.
Catholics: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.
Cathoholic: . . . . . . . . . . . . . guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.
Eastern Orthodox: . . . . . . . . guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.
TgGodsway: . . . . . . . . . . . . guilty of profaning something merely symbolic.


#1142

lanman87 mentioned . . . .

. . . . Eternal life is now a free gift from god through faith in christ (sic) and not a system of rules, rituals and sacrifices where we seek to earn eternal life. . . .

This of course is a partial truth (for example animal sacrifice is done away with).

And eternal life IS a free gift from God.

But once we are given that life AND have the Holy Spirit living within us, living that life out IS part of our acceptance of this gift (according to our state in life).

There IS Sacrifice involved.

Jesus' on Calvary for one.

Romans 12:1 tells us offering our bodies as a "sacrifice" is part of our worship.

Romans 6:3-5 tells us . . . .

ROMANS 6:3-5 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

And Romans 8:17 tells us this association with Christ's suffering and death is not "optional".

ROMANS 8:16-17 16 it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

This is NOT usual Protestant theology.

The kids won't typically be memorizing Romans 8:17 at Baptist Sunday School (at least if it is anything like MY Baptist Sunday School).

TgGodsway responded to lanman87's comment (here) with . . .

What you said here is the gospel truth, unfettered by weight of defiled religion.

Yet the Holy Spirit and St. James has a different definition of "undefiled religion" (and it includes “WORKING”)

JAMES 1:27 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Now I am not saying there is MORE than James 1:27 to defining religion. There is more. St. James never said this "ALONE" is "religion".

But my point is tgGodsway has been railing against "works" at least in a necessary salvific sense, then implies a definition of undefiled religion that the Holy Spirit Himself has asserted is wrong!


#1143

[quote="spina1953, post:1135, topic:442045"]
Hi mackbrislawn, I agree with yours and the reply you responded to. However there are those who go to Church more or less because they have to or its expected of them. There are those who attend Church but really are not there as soon as church ends they are outside gossiping about everyone forgetting everything that was preached to them in Church, so just going to Church i8n of itself does not make one religious which is why I agree with your thought religious means taking ones faith seriously. Acting on one's faith by doing something not for gain nor to be recognized for it but out of love for God. A person may know that they are doing good and have good in them but they also know that that goodness comes from God and they still hoe in God's promise of salvation knowing that it is God who in the end decides if they have been justified.

[/quote]

Yes. Some people go to church because it is a good social outlet, not because they really want to worship. They may look around for churches that provide that sociability. I heard of a Mormon who said he didn't believe any of it but Mormonism was a good club! (And it is, Mormons are very social and provide many programs for the family and even welfare.)

Although the community aspect of Christian life is vital--being a Christian is not a lone wolf sort of affair. "Do not forsake your gathering together." Christians all work together and help one another. Paul says, "Bear each other's burdens and thus fulfill the Law of Christ."


#1144

[quote="lanman87, post:1133, topic:442045"]
I think you can know if you have saving faith because you know what is in your heart. Only two know what is in your heart, you and God. That is one reason we balk at the idea of being saved by our works. Because God judges the heart. Our works fluctuate based on health, life situations, financial ability, family responsibilities and so forth. However, our hearts can be full of faith and love no matter the circumstances of life.

However, it is very biblical that our faith is expressed in our actions. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said : In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matt 5:16

I think "your light" refers to the Holy Spirit living with us and guiding us to have a Love for others that goes beyond anything we could do by ourselves.

So I would say one of the key reasons for our good works is to influence others that the Gospel is the truth and hopefully, influence some to accept the Gospel.

Boasting and showing off our piety is not for the Glory of God, it is to puff ourselves up. It is so folks will look as us and think, "Wow! what a great guy. He is a really strong Christian". However, when we serve others out of the Love of God in our hearts and do so in a way that exalts Christ (instead of ourselves) we are being faithful to the calling of the Gospel.

I would also say that another reason for works is to give evidence to each other that we are indeed children of God. 1 John 3:10 says 'By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother."

If someone claims to be a child of God the evidence is in how they live their life.

[/quote]

What you say makes a lot of sense. We practice righteousness to be children of God.

Here are some of my notions:
We use the term "saving" faith even though it is not a scriptural term. It seems to be invented to indicate a faith strong enough to overcome the trials and tribulations encountered by the Christian in his walk. (To endure the persecutions inflicted by the Romans!) I've previously used the example of the woman who was bleeding, because her faith was strong enough to enable her to do what she did, which was really quite remarkable when you think about it. She was unclean, and shouldn't be out in public at all, because she would defile anyone she touched. An unclean woman touching a man would be cause for scandal. Not socially acceptable. It would have been much easier to stay home, but she was determined, and touched Jesus' tunic anyway, and was healed. She had a "saving" faith, and therefore Jesus could say, "Your faith has healed you," even though it was the power of Jesus that actually did the job.

So it is okay to say we are saved by faith alone, if we mean faith alone in Jesus, as exemplified by her. Because we have faith in Jesus, we go to Jesus, and then do what Jesus says. Sure, our acts do express our faith, but we act not to express it, but to obey Jesus, whom we trust. Why do we obey Jesus? To be healed, to be saved. (The same way we follow the doctors orders.)

What is in our hearts is the most important, and God knows our hearts. We do too, or maybe we don't. We know of those who were strong in their faith, but later gave it up. To explain this, I guess we can fall back and maintain they didn't have a saving faith to begin with. But isn't that a cop out?

God knows what is in our hearts. But will our hearts change? If you admit that possibility, then does God provide means to sustain our hearts? For Catholics, yes. That's what the sacraments are all about. (Of course if one believes they are locked in to salvation, "saved," then of course the sacraments become meaningless, mere symbols.)


#1145

[quote="Cathoholic, post:1140, topic:442045"]
tgGodsway:

There you are Cathoholic I own you a response from last week. I sent it twice on this thread and it disappears. I will wait and send it another time.

The fact that you ignore how Paul uses the same figure of speech is shocking. As I posted on another thread, Paul never gave such instructions about the Eucharist. When he said, "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?... Did he mean blood literally... or spiritually... hmmmm. If it were literal, the Paul would be drinking real blood.

The literal application of blood was the Passover. It was a natural lesson given to a natural people. The New Testament stopped using natural lessons. Why? because God's people became spiritual. So that every object lesson is spiritual not natural. Jesus was the Passover lamb, ... but again... we know that He wasn't a real lamb. Spiritually speaking he was sacrificed like an innocent, male lamb. The N.T. transitions away from ritualistic thinking because our lessons are now spiritual.

If I showed you a picture of my wife and said, "here's my wife?" it would be a mistake to think that somehow, by virtue of a miracle imposed by others, she now has become the picture itself. This is irrational and heretical.

You also said . . . .

The fact that Christ "died once for all" is irrelevant with regards to the Holy Eucharist tgGodsway.

Why?

Because Catholics don’t teach Jesus is dying again or being sacrificed again.

The Eucharist is a “participation” or Koinonia in Christ. Not a re-sacrifice.

That’s WHY St. Paul can say . . .

1st CORINTHIANS 10:16-17 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? **The bread which we break, is it not a **participation in the body of Christ?

That's funny, I've read somewhere, about this thing called Transubstantiation. The miracle of the presence. I will go back and read quotes by Catholic leaders saying it is a re-crucifixion. I will check first before coming back.

Your answer to St. Paul tgGodsway would be something to the effect of . . . . .

But the Catholic answer to St. Paul’s question would be . . . .

Your answer of unbelief to St.Paul seems interesting to me from a person (you tgGodsway) who thinks ONLY their "belief" will get them to Heaven.

Why not at least "believe" St. Paul then tgGodsway?

[/quote]


#1146

Hi mackbrislawn, Thanks your reply. I don’t really know much about how Mormons go about their services or even most of other churches, but i was referring mostly to Catholic Churches where it seems many do go because they have to under pain of sin or because its expected of them. Many when Mass is over and go outside start gossiping about someone or others depending on what they think is going on. Now I’m not saying that one should not go because of it as one can always pray for them that they might see the light.

There are plenty of people who go for the right reasons and I’m not speaking about them as they do much good. yet, I tend to think it takes more than going to Church, one needs to put into practice what the hears in Church. I also think many others of different Christian beliefs do much good without tooting their horn.

I think the problem really lies in the fact that many of the fringe Christian churches, seem to have twisted notion of being justified and being saved the thinking more or less that once one says they have taken Christ as their personal savior nothing more needs to be done as they are already saved;sort of the easy way it seems to me. Then on top of that they condemn Catholic’s for a variety of reasons mostly from whatever they have heard, judging others for what they believe because they do not believe exactly as they do. yet, on the other hand most people are not that way thankfully.

I am like most people I struggle and I hope that when my time comes and I stand before God that I will be justified in His mercy and compassion. but till then I really do not know. So while I may fail most of the time I keep trying to do God’s will for me.


#1147

[quote="spina1953, post:1146, topic:442045"]
I am like most people I struggle and I hope that when my time comes and I stand before God that I will be justified in His mercy and compassion. but till then I really do not know. So while I may fail most of the time I keep trying to do God's will for me.

[/quote]

This is our struggle. Not to continue in doubt because of our sins, but convert our hearts with His love and Spirit. When we are turning from sin, that is our confirmation that His love is in us. We can Know that He is in us through our changed lives. So I would be careful not to think we cannot have realistic knowledge that we are saved. It's the danger of thinking we will never resort to the sin of denying Him and going back to our old state that the faith warns. But some good Scripture to give us hope and confidence in our salvation is 1st John! And the theme is really drilled in, over and over. We know Him when we keep His commandments.


#1148

I like what you said rcwitness. It is the love of God working in us and becoming a witness to us that gives us confidence that we belong to Him.


#1149

[quote="tgGodsway, post:1148, topic:442045"]
I like what you said rcwitness. It is the love of God working in us and becoming a witness to us that gives us confidence that we belong to Him.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#1150

[quote="tgGodsway, post:1148, topic:442045"]
I like what you said rcwitness.

[/quote]

We all do.

:)

OK maybe not literally all, but personally when I come on the internet (an activity I should probably try to only do for minutes per day) rcwitness is one of relatively few posters or bloggers whom I like to read. So I like to hope that others, even them awful Protstants, see what I see.


#1151

[quote="Peter_J, post:1150, topic:442045"]
We all do.

:)

OK maybe not literally all, but personally when I come on the internet (an activity I should probably try to only do for minutes per day) rcwitness is one of relatively few posters or bloggers whom I like to read. So I like to hope that others, even them awful Protstants, see what I see.

[/quote]

Thank you! That means a lot to me, coming from you!

[quote="tgGodsway, post:1148, topic:442045"]
-]I like what you said rcwitness/-]. It is the love of God working in us and becoming a witness to us that gives us confidence that we belong to Him.

[/quote]

If we were voting for a final post to finally close this over due thread, I'd vote for this little summary! :D


#1152

It is the love of God working in us and becoming a witness to us that gives us confidence that we belong to Him.

I have to concur with rcwitness.

Excellent thought here tgGodsway!


#1153

Hi rcwitness, I am not doubting God being able to save. For me I look to God’s mercy. I neither think my self perfect nor such a sinner that I can’t be forgiven. I hope hope and I have faith in God. What I try to do is whatever God’s will is for me. I can say I do not commit any mortal sins but like anyone venal sins can be done at times due to our fallen human nature, that does not mean go out and commit them but we all fall at times, its picking ourselves up and asking for the forgiveness God grants to us as only God knows our hearts. I believe God never turns His back on us its we who turn our backs to him. No matter how sinful one is God is always there ready to forgive because He loves so much beyond our understanding. I do think many of the saints knew they were close to God, and I think its because in some way or manor God allowed them to know by special graces He gave, not always just because they followed the ten commandments, but by how much love is given to doing God’s will. it not about how well one does it nor how big deed is done just how much love is given to it and done out of love for God. In the end we might think one is saved but no one really knows as only those who are in heaven or purgatory have actually been saved. God gave us the promise to be saved and I believe God will keep His promise but we have to keep our promise to do His will with love.


#1154

God WORKING IN YOU and through you (NOT our mere "works" on their own).

This excerpt (below) is from today's reading at daily (Latin Rite, USA) Mass . . . . .

1st THESSALONIANS 2:11-13 (NAB second typical edition) As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his children,
exhorting and encouraging you and
insisting that you walk in a manner worthy of the God
who calls you into his Kingdom and glory.

And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly,
that, in receiving the word of God from hearing us,
you received it not as the word of men, but as it truly is,
the word of God, which is now at work in you who believe.

usccb.org/bible/readings/083017.cfm

1st THESSALONIANS 2:11-13 (RSVCE) ** 11 for you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you 12 to **lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Thessalonians+2&version=RSVCE


#1155

[quote="rcwitness, post:989, topic:442045"]
Was Judas elected?

[/quote]

Hello rcwitness, I believe Judas was elected in several senses. He was elected to be a member of the Old Covenant People of God (which he was part of from conception). Further, Christ elected him to be one of his Disciples/Apostles.

There's disagreement even among people who affirm the reality of falling from grace as to whether Judas was ever "saved" (at least during the period of his ministry with Christ). I think there is a good chance that Judas did initially believe and was saved--although Christ could see from the beginning that Judas was not not of the elect and Christ could see the secret sin that He knew would ultimately destroy Judas and cause him to become a thief and later betray Him (hence, Christ spoke of Judas as a devil from the beginning of his ministry with Christ). However, Judas' salvation is far from certain in my mind, and believe there are good arguments either way.

As for the question of election--a common distinction from Augustine forwards was of those "elected to the Church" (i.e. those elected to receive the initial grace of salvation) and the narrower circle within that circle of those "elected to glory" (i.e. those elected from the foundation of the world to receive the gift of faith and the gift of perseverance to the end). The term "elect" is typically used by the great theologians of the Church (such as Anselm and Bernard of Clairvaux) as the shorthand for "election to glory".


#1156

[Continued] While I generally agree with the Augustinian teachings on predestination, I believe it often focuses in an imbalanced way on the danger of presumption and the danger of looking into the secret counsels of God. While the Augustinian teaching is correct to condemn these things, I find that it does not with equal vigor emphasize what we should do--namely seek and acquire firm assurance of our election to glory through legitimate Scriptural means. Such Scriptural assurance does not require presumption or looking into that which God has hidden, but rather it is the natural result of knowing we have a Father who loves us so much that He gave His only Son to die for us.

This is the balance the Apostles had--while they warned against the dangers of presumption (e.g. "he that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall"), they generally treat each believer in their epistle as one elected to glory (i.e. elected to final salvation). Further, it is clear that the Apostles desire for each believer to share this conviction regarding their own soul and regarding the souls of their brothers and sisters in Christ.

So, while we must strive diligently to make our calling and election sure and always take heed lest we needlessly fall, we do so on the Scriptural basis that assurance of our "election to glory" is not some far off thing we can never expect to have (or, should never desire to have) in this life. Rather, assurance of one's "election to glory" is the Apostolic default for every believer (even for the new or weak believer), with the expectation that each and every believer will diligently grow and increase in this assurance of their election and final salvation throughout their life.


#1157

p.s. As many here are aware, the Calvinist belief that there is no such thing as falling from grace does not increase the assurance of final salvation--rather it focuses the "uncertainty" on whether or not you were ever saved to begin with. The Calvinist teaching is that we can only be assured of salvation in and through perseverance. As Calvinist theologian John Murray says in Redemption Accomplished and Applied: “…we may entertain the faith of our security in Christ only as we persevere in faith and holiness to the end”. Likewise, for those of us who believe you can fall away, you can only maintain and increase your assurance of final salvation in and through perseverance. (btw, as usual I must give a hearty amen to the Calvinist teaching on the necessity of perseverance, even if I disagree on the apostasy question).


#1158

This doesn’t sound Calvinist at all. Sounds Puritan. Falling from Grace is a real experience.


#1159

[quote="tgGodsway, post:1158, topic:442045"]
This doesn't sound Calvinist at all. Sounds Puritan. Falling from Grace is a real experience.

[/quote]

When I speak of "falling from grace" I'm speaking of the belief that we can lose salvation. While Luther and many other reformers held this can happen (while affirming the Augustinian position that the elect to glory will never fall utterly), Calvin and those in the normative Calvinist tradition deny that this is possible. Of course, everyone (Calvinist and non-Calvinist) believe that there are times when a believer may in a sense "fall from grace" inasmuch as they have moved further from God without actually falling from Salvation.

Despite the differences on this matter, there is strong agreement on the necessity of perseverance in holiness between the Augustinian tradition and the Calvinist tradition (noted ad nauseam in my previous posts in this thread).

This will have to be my last post on this thread for at least week or so. Have a great Labor's Day Weekend.


#1160

Okay Justasinner.

But the fallen from grace scenario requires a return to the intent of it’s author, in this case the Apostle Paul who was dealing with these Churches.

Context matters in my view. It is imperative we understand what Paul intended to mean. I would suggest his intent wasn’t about eternal life at all or how one maintains it.

The “YOU have been estranged” (=cut off) of verse 4 is in reference to those believers in the circuit of Galatian Churches.

Their issue was NOT about falling from grace into a state of worldliness and sinful living. They were guilty of falling from grace INTO the LAW.

In other words they fell from Grace down to the strict code of conduct found in the Law of Moses as a means of justification. It is in this context, Paul says, "they have been cut off. He didn’t say they had been cut off eternally, otherwise he would not have addressed them as “the Churches of Galatia” of 1:2. They were cut off in the sense of fellowship with God because they insisted on keeping the rules of the LAW as a means of receiving or maintaining a declaration of justification. see Gal. 3:1-11 Paul called it “another gospel.” 1:6

I’d be interested in hearing what you read from Calvin.


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