Your works gospel prevents you from understanding what God Himself achieved


#1

?"This post was taken from a thread on "Can people sin in Purgatory?" where it was taking the thread off topic.


#2

Oh jeez… here comes the boom…

by this teaching of “cooperation” on man’s part rather than “by grace through faith” (in Christ’s work alone) you depart from written and preserved, God-breathed, Apostolic teaching.

Is not “faith” participatory? If participation on our part is not required, how can faith be necessary? This is rather silly. Remember that in the very passage you are quoting, Paul says that we are created in Christ Jesus for good works (Ephesians 2:8-10). True saving faith is faith that works (Galatians 5:6); if your faith is not completed by good works, it is not saving faith (James 2:14-26). Thus to be saved by grace through faith to works is both the Catholic teaching and the Apostolic teaching.

He saves (saved) those who did repent (turn about) and believe His testimony concerning the accomplished, redemptive, once for all, work of His beloved Son

Here again you show our participation: believers must repent. What kind of repentance ministry is it to say, “cooperation on man’s part…depart[s] from written and preserved, God-breathed, Apostolic teaching”?

1 John 5:12 "The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life."

Those who believe God’s testimony concerning His Son have the (resurrected) life of the Son. And this life eternal.

Amen! This is common ground we have. We must believe, which is a participation in the saving work of God: “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:29).

“Passive” (faith) does not mean “forced upon.” It means nothing is offered in return; it’s non-participatory; it trusts wholly in the work of another. Salvation is a provision (of which every man is in dire need), God being the Sole provider.

If this “faith” is not a participation in the saving work of God, then it is unnecessary for salvation. For otherwise, we would be saved by something other than God our Savior: faith. That is blasphemous. The true way is that faith and works are participations in His work, just as it is written, “we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” (Romans 8:17).


#3

[quote=guanophore]You misunderstand. Human cooperation with the grace of God is what saving faith is. It is not a departure at all from what is written. Faith is a quality that God has given to man, and it is under the control of man. Man chooses to place his faith in something, or someone. When our faith stretches out to meet His grace, we are joined to His finished work on the cross. Saving faith is faith that works, and belief in Christ is the first work, and forms the basis for all the work that comes afterward.
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[quote=moondweller] Agreed. He saves (saved) those who did repent (turn about) and believe…
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[quote=guanophore]So! We are in agreement that faith is not passive. man must repent, turn about, and “believe”. This requires, among other things, a willful choice to place trust in Him. Catholics call this “cooperation with grace”. We are not saved against our will, but we will it. This is our “work” of faith.

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[quote=guanophore]This is such delightful Catholic teaching. Thanks for posting this. It is just refreshing to read.
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[quote=guanophore] Jesus ministry to reconcile the world to Himself is completely participatory. There are very few aspects of it in which we cannot participate. The fact that we trust wholly in His work does not mean we cannot participate in it. On the contrary, He wants us to be partakers of His grace.

In joining our sufferings with His, we make up what is lacking in His suffering.
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[quote=guanophore]It is very Catholic of you to say this!
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[quote=guanophore]No, there are no contradictions. If it seems that way, it is because you do not understant the Apostolic Teaching. That is exactly the point. According to the Apostolic Teaching, faith does not stop at the foundation, but goes forward to build mansions! Let’s back up. We agree that we are saved on the basis of faith. We agree that our works cannot save us, and that we are not saved on the basis of commandment keeping. so far so good?
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[quote=guanophore]Do you not agree that we can only keep the commandments by grace, through faith? would you not agree that our flesh is incapable of keeping the commandments, or obeying the gospel? I guess I cannot see any contradictions here. Perhaps you can help me. To me, keeping the commandments is faith working through love.
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[quote=moondweller] And you’re right back to works again.
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It is sad for me to read this. It seems that you are so blocked against seeing the whole gospel as complete and entire. It is as if you are somehow compelled to separate elements of it that were never meant to be separated. When the Apostle wrote “so faith, hope, and love abide…” he did not separate them. Why is it so important for you to do so? Why is it that there is no room in your soteriology for the grace that produces salvation to also produce the works that were prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them? It is like there is no room for works to emanate from grace. In your mind, somehow, obedience and love must emanate from the flesh…it is confusing for me. I don’t see how a person can obey Christ apart from grace. Maybe you can explain how this can happen by the flesh?

Keeping the commandments is not “works of the flesh” or “works of the law”. Keeping the commandments is a reflection of love for God. Faith does not abide alone, but with hope and love.

[quote=guanophore] The “works salvation” that you speak about exists only in your imagination. It is not Catholic Teaching, and cannot be found in any of the Apostolic faith communities, including those who are not united with the bishop of Rome. Such a soteriology has never been taught as part of Apostolic Tradition, whether written or oral.

You are wrong about me not being able to “see” also. I see all these things about which you write. I agree that one cannot become more pure that being in Christ. However, it is possible for one who is in Christ to fall from grace, and to fail to continue in HIm. For that one, his last state is worse than his first. If one persists in sin and disobedience, there is no purification that remains for sin. Sin separates us from God, and since nothing impure can enter heaven, the sinner will not enter either.
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#4

#5

No. The whole point of faith is to believe in something or someone other than yourself. In respect to divine salvation it’s believing in Someone else: “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”

If participation on our part is not required, how can faith be necessary?

If man’s participation was required, then it is faith that would be rendered unnecessary.

This is rather silly.

Only to a religious mindset.

Remember that in the very passage you are quoting, Paul says that we are created in Christ Jesus for good works (Ephesians 2:8-10).

The “we” in verse ten refers to those in verses 8-9 who have been saved (past, completed action): “by grace, through faith, as a gift, not as a result of works” (Eph. 2:8-9).

True saving faith is faith that works (Galatians 5:6); if your faith is not completed by good works, it is not saving faith (James 2:14-26).

Faith matures by works, demonstrated by Abraham, but neither salvation nor justification are completed by them.

Thus to be saved by grace through faith to works is both the Catholic teaching and the Apostolic teaching.

You corrupted it. A man is saved by grace through faith, as a gift, not as a result of works, and then, subsequently, “created in Christ Jesus FOR good works,” not BY them. To say that works effect one’s salvation nullifies what Paul previously stated in Eph. 2:8-9.

Verses 8-9 refer to salvation. Verse 10 to a new creation of those in verses 8-9.

Here again you show our participation: believers must repent.

No, unbelievers must repent and believe. Upon belief it is God Himself who does the saving “by grace, through faith, as a gift, not as a result of works

What kind of repentance ministry is it to say, “cooperation on man’s part…depart[s] from written and preserved, God-breathed, Apostolic teaching”?

One that abides in divine revelation.

Amen! This is common ground we have. We must believe, which is a participation in the saving work of God: “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:29).

Belief does not participate in God’s saving work. In Jn. 6:29 Jesus is referring to the “signs” that were preformed through Him as a witness to who He is, that they might believe that He is the Messiah.

It was through the gospel message preached after His sacrificial death and bodily resurrection that those same Jews were required to believe in Him as Savior (beginning at Pentecost). It was through their believing the message of His sacrificial work on the cross on their behalf that they would be savedby grace, through faith, as a gift, not as a result of works.” A work only He could accomplish and was qualified to perform.

If this “faith” is not a participation in the saving work of God, then it is unnecessary for salvation. For otherwise, we would be saved by something other than God our Savior: faith.

Salvation faith believes in the testimony concerning the finished work of Another.

The true way is that faith and works are participations in His work, just as it is written, “we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” (Romans 8:17).

Paul is not talking about salvation here. No man is saved through His own suffering, but through faith in the vicarious suffering and death of Another (Christ) on his behalf. No man can participate in that work. No man (being “in Adam”) could qualify. It was reserved for the incarnate Son Himself. And it is upon this work alone that God saves through faith alone.


#6

Moondweller: Do you think there is such a thing as a God willed work?

Do you think it would be possible for a person who had real genuine complete faith to sin and not do a work that God willed?

Does God suspend our freedom of will to do or not do works that He wills after we have faith in Him?

Do you think it is possible for genuine real complete faith NOT to continue THROUGH a work that God wills if we oppose god and sin?

Can you understand the concept of CONTINUANCE or NON CONTINUANCE of faith or do you think that real comple genuine faith ALWAYS and necessarily Continues?

And finally Moondweller: Can man ever COOPERATE with God?


#7

No, I don’t think that is 'the whole point of faith". Many people put their faith in themselves. Faith is a human ability to give mental and willful consent to something, or someone. By itself, it is neutral, and can be placed in Satan or self as well as in God. God has created us this way, and given us this gift, and it can be misused.

I agree that, when it comes to divine salvation, it is believing in someone else. But, Jesus states that doing that is a work. It is a work of God. It is something uniquely human that requires human response and action. That is the type of participation it is. It is not a passive thing, where God somehow reaches into the unrepentant person and forces that person, alienated from God, to believe. The person consents, and consent is an act of the will (a work) and that consent makes a person a participant in saving grace.

It is imposslble for a person to place faith without consent of the will (participation with grace). A religious mindset, or intellectual assent is insufficient. It must include conviction of the heart, repentance, and an act of the will to PLACE that faith in Christ. You have already previously agreed that a person must repent, which is a “work”. :shrug:

If this participation is not required, then I agree, faith is not necessary. God can save the whole world without any faith, if He wants.

If faith can mature through works, then it is a human characteristic that is under human control. The fact that it can mature by our own actions further demonstrates the point that it participates with grace to result in salvation.

No, it is just a commentary on your misunderstanding of salvation as something that happens once in time, for all time. This conception is not consistent with Aposotlic Teaching, which considers maturation in faith part of salvation also.

At least we are in agreement that one must repent and believe in order to be saved. What is puzzling is that you do not see this as human action. :shrug: God does not do this unto us as if we were marianettes!

I think we are in agreement on this part also. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. However, His death does not benefit those who do not participate in it by faith.

Acts 2:40-42
" And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers."

Do any of us imagine that the Apostle is suggesting it is possible to save ourselves? no, but those who choose to believe and “welcome” (human action and participation) God’s message of grace then immediately take action. They particpate in saving grace through baptism, then devotion to the Teaching, fellowship, breaking of the bread, and prayers. This is how saving faith has manifested itself from that day until this!

Yes. This is the work of God, that we believe in the One He sent. Placing our faith in Him, whether because we have seen His works, or without seeing, we yet believe, is something that human beings do. We choose to participate in the saving grace of God.

Yes, we can and do participate in His suffering and His ministry of reconciling the world to Himself. This is what it means to be “partakers of grace”. We become part and parcel of His salvific work. This is accomplished by grace, through faith.

1 Tim 4:15-5:1
" Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers."

Do any of us imagine that Timothy can, of himself, save himself or anyone else? No, but his close attention to the Teaching, and continuing in grace is salvific, both for himself, and his hearers.

James 5:19-20
19 My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, 20 you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins."

Does any of us imagine that our efforts to bring back a sinner from wanding (of themselves) can save his soul from death? Do we imagine that anything, apart from blood of Christ, can cover a multitude of sins? Surely not! however, by participating with grace, these things are worked out in us according to the design and will of the Worker, who is in us to will and to do His good pleasure.

1 Cor 15:1-2
"Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, 2 through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you — unless you have come to believe in vain."

We stand in saving grace, and we are also being saved continually by that grace, and IF we hold firmly to the message, we will be saved. The Apostolic teaching on salvation is past, present, and future, and it is conditional upon our participation, our perseverance. Otherwise, we have believed in vain!


#8

Is “understanding” necessary for salvation?


#9

Matthew 13
19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom
and **understandeth **it not
there cometh the wicked one
and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart
this is he that received the seed by the way side

parallel to Mt 13 is Luke 8
12 And they by the way side are they that hear
then the devil cometh
and taketh the word out of their heart
lest believing they should be saved

somehow ? understanding is necessary


#10

I wonder what moondweller’s take on Col 1:24 is? :smiley:


#11

On the one hand grace, alone, saves us. On the other hand, nothing unclean will enter heaven-duh? Therefore grace must somehow make us clean.

Reformed theology usually claims that we remain unclean but that grace covers our sins so that God doesn’t see them but that He does require us to at least believe in Him and the work Jesus did- for some reason which seems vague due to the fact that they say He asks for no cooperation from us.

Catholicism says grace helps us, with our cooperation, to actually become clean- by enabling us to become just. A just person is defined as one who, among other things, has faith in God and His revelation, is contrite and repentant for sin-who loves God and neighbor and shows it by doing acts of obedience and love compelled by Love-compelled by God.


#12

So in addition to faith one must now have understanding? Does this mean that those who go to a seminary have a better shot at salvation?


#13

I don’t think so…don’t know exactly how understanding fits into salvation process…

Acts 4:13
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John
and perceived that they were **unlearned and ignorant **men
they marvelled and they took knowledge of them
that they had been with Jesus

Luke 24:45
Then opened he (Jesus) their understanding
that they might understand the scriptures


#14

That’s a fair and honest answer. Indeed, it seems that we must have some comprehension of God in order to accept him and turn to him. But that comprehension must be available to babies, the mentally defective and all others who have very limited intellectual abilities. So obviously salvation is not based on an exam.


#15

This is addressed to the believer, the redeemed, one who is already saved by grace through faith. These will abide in the redeemed.

Why is it that there is no room in your soteriology for the grace that produces salvation to also produce the works that were prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them?

“Grace” doesn’t “produce” salvation. God Himself saves “by grace (unmeritoriously),” “through faith.” IOW, “not as a result of works.”

It is like there is no room for works to emanate from grace.

That’s right (Rom. 11:6). Not when it comes to divine salvation. That’s what makes grace, grace.

In your mind, somehow, obedience and love must emanate from the flesh…it is confusing for me.

God saves the believer based on only one work and that’s the finished, sacrificial work of Christ. The work He came into this world to do. It is to Him the sinner is to look with the eyes of faith, as the Hebrews in the wilderness looked, by faith, at the bronze serpent lifted up on a standard, and lived:John 3:14 “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.” (cf. Due. 21:8-9)You see, Christ Himself taught faith alone, even by example. Men are to look to Christ for salvation. It has nothig to do with “the flesh.”

I don’t see how a person can obey Christ apart from grace. Maybe you can explain how this can happen by the flesh?

One is not saved by obeying Christ, he is saved through believing in Him. Faith (belief) is the condition for salvation, but when God saves He saves unconditionally.

Keeping the commandments is not “works of the flesh” or “works of the law”.

No one is saved by keeping ANY commandments. One is saved through faith. It is those who belong to Christ, whom He purchased (upon belief) with the price of His own blood, that are exhorted keep His commandments. But these redeemed, purchased by the blood of Christ (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23) belong to God’s household, and are of the Shepherd’s flock. You fail to understand the doctrine of redemption.


#16

The only real question is whether real genuine faith always and necessarily follows with God willed works.

The answer to that question is No.

Real genuine faith will always and necessarily follow with God willed works as long as we don’t raise an impediment to God’s grace.

When we do that we mortally sin–mortal sin is a fact–and since it is and since one can die in a state of mortal sin one cannot say that “faith alone” saves.

Only continuing faith which flows THROUGH God willed works and is not impeded by man’s exercise of the free will as he cooperates with God saves!

“Real genuine faith” saves as man cooperates with God in not IMPEDING it’s flow through WORKS that God wills!

God still does all the saving.

Man still cooperates. Man still exercises free will.

And CONTINUING faith does save!

Faith alone does not save because faith ALONE does not continue!


#17

Why is it that God will save people no matter what else, but he won’t save people without faith? Why is God “hung up” on faith, and nothing else? Why does he put one condition on salvation, rather than either none or many?


#18

How do spiritually dead people make themselves spiritually alive???

1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 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. Eph 2:1-10

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#19

Protestant define salvation as being saved from the guilt of sin. But Catholics see salvation as being more than that. It is being saved from the guilt AND the power of sin. The angel appeared to Joseph that the Christ should be called Jesus “because He shall save His people from their sins”. The angel did not just say that Jesus will save them from their guilt of sin but that he will save them from their sins themselves.

When seen that way, Eph 3:8, 9 make perect sense. We are not saved from the power of sin by sheer willpower, but by the grace of God working in us through faith. You ignored verse 10, in which Paul explained how this grace is able to save us from the power of sin: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do works…”

So we agree with you that in the flesh we are unable to please God. But by the grace of God, we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit.

It was through their believing the message of His sacrificial work on the cross on their behalf that they would be savedby grace, through faith, as a gift, not as a result of works.” A work only He could accomplish and was qualified to perform.Salvation faith believes in the testimony concerning the finished work of Another. Paul is not talking about salvation here. No man is saved through His own suffering, but through faith in the vicarious suffering and death of Another (Christ) on his behalf. No man can participate in that work.

Actually, the Bible does not teach anywhere that we have to believe in Christ’s sacrificial death on the the cross in order to be saved. We are not saved by first understanding the doctrines of propitiation, expiation, the atonement, justification by faith. Sheesh! By this way of thinking, a person would have to be a theologian before he can be saved!

No, instead, the Bible simply says we must believe in Him. It is as simple as that. It does not say that we must believe that His righteousness is inputed to us. It never even says that we must believe that we are going to heaven. The Bible has a much broader view. The Bible never says what we should believe in Him for. That is left open-ended. I must believe in Christ. period. That means that I must trust Christ for EVERYTHING. Not only must I believe Him for heaven, I must believe in Him for my current life. Not only must I believe that He will save me from the guilt of sin but also the power of sin. It means believing Christ in every aspect of my life. THIS is the type of faith that saves me. And when seen that way, works cannot be far behind. If I believe in Christ, I will believe everything He said. He said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. So if I believe Him, I will be a giving person. Jesus said that calling someone a fool would make one liable for hellfire. So if I believe Him, I wiill not call another person a fool. Jesus said that blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. If I believe Jesus, I will to be the meekest man on the earth.


#20

One is not saved by works (except Christ’s alone), but “through faith” in Christ and the work He accomplished.

Does God suspend our freedom of will to do or not do works that He wills after we have faith in Him?

No. But one is not saved "as a result of works,’ except Christ’s alone (Eph. 2:9)

Do you think it is possible for genuine real complete faith NOT to continue THROUGH a work that God wills if we oppose god and sin?

You’re confounding faith and works. God does not will anyone to work for salvation, but to believe in the finished work of His beloved Son.

And finally Moondweller: Can man ever COOPERATE with God?

The unsaved cooperate with God when He draws them and they turn from unbelief to belief in Jesus Christ. The saved cooperate with God when they walk in the Spirit and not the flesh. But God is the One who saved them both - “through faith, as a gift, not as a result of works.”

Jerry, why did the Pharisees keep questioning the blind man about how he received his sight? (1) The blind man stuttered? (2) They were hard of hearing? (3) They willfully refused to believe what was told to them? Which one?


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