"Seven Reasons NOT to Ask Jesus into Your Heart"

General discussions about Christianity including salvation, heaven and hell, Christian history and so on.
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#226

Post by Kerux » Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:42 am

Not so quick there my friend. If what you say is true, ie "The word hina is often translated "that," but it is used to introduce purpose clauses. So, hina + the subjunctive does not mean that something "might" happen, but that the purpose of the previous statement is this. ....and that is the reason that his flesh is given over for destruction."

The unrepentant sinner is to 'be taken away from among' the believers for the purpose of making him realize that he cannot continue in sin, and, by having to deal with Satan and the destruction of his flesh, [whatever that entails], there is the hope that he will repent and that his "spirit will be saved in the day of the Lord."

Why would God want a Christian to be delivered over to Satan? If the sinner was a believer, God as Father would chastise Him, not destroy his flesh. Hebrews 12:6 'For whom the Lord loveth he chastens and scourgeth everyone whom he receiveth."

[There is another reason for putting away the unrepentant sinner from the other believers and that is so that they are not leavened. "Know ye not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?"]
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Of course, I believe my views to be true.
If I didn't, I would change my views.

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#227

Post by Jac3510 » Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:58 am

Kerux,

You are asking a theological question now, which is fine. But the problem is that you made an argument based on the way you read the English text which was flawed. You read the passage to say that the soul might be saved. What I pointed out is not a theological issue, but rather a grammatical one. The phrase "might be saved" is in the subjunctive mood. It does NOT mean that there is a possibility that he will not be saved. Grammatically, it gives the purpose for the previous phrase, in this case, the giving over of the person to Satan. You can interpret that how you will . . . but you have to base your theology on the text proper, which, in this case, is that this believer has been given over to Satan "for the destruction of his flesh," and the reason is that, in the end, his soul will be saved. We are dealing with a Christian here. The grammar leaves to room to argue otherwise. So, again, you can make whatever argument you want out of that, but your original position is simply incorrect.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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#228

Post by Kerux » Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:59 pm

We obviously take a different view.

I've stated my view and the reasons for, you yours.

There is more I could probably delve into given time and motivation, but I've spent as much time on the issue as I want to at this time, given other interests. Please don't take that as unwillingness to discuss the issue further, it just isn't a high priority for me at this time.

Others will have to decide for themselves, won't they?
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#229

Post by Jac3510 » Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:25 am

Kerux, this is not a matter of a different view. This is a matter of grammatical fact. It would be like me saying that 1+1=3, and then you correcting me, and my response being "Well, we just take a different view." The fact - not theological interpretation - is that 1 Cor. 5:5 uses the subjunctive form of swzw. The grammatical fact is that the subjunctive follows a hina clause, denoting a statement of purpose. If you want to disagree with the Greek grammar textbooks, feel free, but I'm not offering an opinion, Kerux. I am telling you how the grammar works.

If you look at your original argument:
Kerux wrote:His spirit 'may' be saved if he repents and turns to the Lord. The reason the man is to be put away, is to force him to consder his sin and repent.

We have the same problem today, but on a much much bigger scale. Unsaved people are allowed into fellowship as if they are saved, they live like the unsaved, because they are, but because they 'believe' and go to church and are 'accepted' into fellowship, think everything is okay with God.
Your position is that the person may not be saved if they do not repent, and you then argue about unsaved people being in the church. You have to find other passages to argue this, because Paul flatly contradicts you here by grammar.

God bless
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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#230

Post by Turgonian » Sat Aug 12, 2006 1:46 pm

Hi everyone, I'm new at the forum...

I read the first pages of this discussion and I'd like to add my two cents. Or rather, not mine, but those of the great apologist JP Holding over at http://www.tektonics.org. Ttoews was on to something when he said:
Your realization that you owe everything to Him is the natural, common sense response. It is the response that any believer will have. It is only in modern America that people could even contemplate that one could, on one hand, believe that the God of the universe gave up His life for that person's salvation, and on the other hand think that such belief would not require an accompanying response of love and obedience and remorse that such a sacrifice was needed. Why is "repent" used more? B/c its need is so obvious, so natural so demanded by common sense that its usage is not needed. It gets back to what I posted at the start...
Now allow me to quote Holding (http://www.tektonics.org/af/baptismneed.html):
"What must I do to be saved?" The question receives a different answer in every conceivable religious faith, and in this essay, we will pursue a single question: What is the Biblical view of the relationship between faith and works? Christian apologists rightly point to numerous verses that declare that faith alone is what saves, and not any external act (John 3:16, 18, 36; 11:25-6; Acts 16:31; Eph. 2:8-9; 1 John 5:1). We will show that in the Bible, works are to be understood as the inevitable product of a saving, living faith, and that it is not proper to say that we must perform works to be saved, but rather that we will perform works if we are saved. As Riddlebarger puts it (Christ the Lord, 104):

...(O)ne who has exercised faith in Christ, and is united to Christ by that faith, will repent and will struggle to obey and yield. But these things are not conditions for nor component parts of faith itself. They are the fruits of saving faith. They are the inevitable activity of the new nature.

We will then, by way of application, consider the role of baptism, the initial "work" of the convert, and its own role in the life of the believer. Then we will offer links below noting how various other faiths err in their use of the Bible on this subject.

SEMITIC TOTALITY CONCEPT

Behind much of the thought in the Bible lies a "peculiarly Semitic" idea of a "unitive notion of human personality." (Dahl, Resurrection of the Body, 59) This notion combined aspects of the human person that we, in modern times, often speak of as separate entities: Nausea is thought of as a condition of the soul and not the stomach (Num. 21:5); companionship is said to be refreshing to the bowels (Philemon 7); and the fear of God is health to the navel (Prov. 3:8). This line of thinking can be traced through the Old Testament and into the New Testament (in particular, the concept of the "body of Christ") and rabbinic literature.

Applied to the individual, the Semitic Totality Concept means that "a man's thoughts form one totality with their results in action so that 'thoughts' that result in no action are 'vain'." [ibid, 60] To put it another way, man does not have a body; man is a body, and what we regard as constituent elements of spirit and body were looked upon by the Hebrews as a fundamental unity. Man was not made from dust, but is dust that has, "by the in-breathing of God, acquired the characteristics of self-conscious being." Thus Paul regards being an unbodied spirit as a form of nakedness (2 Cor. 5). Man is not whole without a body. A man is a totality which embraces "all that a man is and ever shall be."

Applied to the role of works following faith, this means that there can be no decision without corresponding action, for the total person will inevitably reflect a choice that is made. Thought and action are so linked under the Semitic Totality paradigm that Clark warns us (An Approach to the Theology of the Sacraments, 10):

The Hebraic view of man as an animated body and its refusal to make any clear-cut division into soul and body militates against the making of so radical a distinction between material and spiritual, ceremonial and ethical effects.

Thus, what we would consider separate actions of conversion, confession, and obedience in the form of works would be considered by the Hebrews to be an act in totality. "Both the act and the meaning of the act mattered -- the two formed for the first Christians an indivisible unity." (Flemington, New Testament Doctrine of Baptism, 111)
This would answer Jac's objection, 'If someone has only the Gospel of John, can he still be saved?' Of course. People in those times wouldn't even come up with the idea that you could enlist in the service of a Lord and still act as if you were your own master!

Holding immediately goes on to answer Jac's other objection: if the serving response is 'natural', why do Christ and Paul talk so much about maintaining moral standards? Wouldn't the believers maintain them automatically? He says the following:
The problem with this sort of objection is twofold. First, when appealing to the commands of Christ (like the Sermon on the Mount), they are correctly understood as commandments; yet they are not commandments alone, but a mirror that demonstrates our inability to meet up to God's standards. Romans 3:19-20 tells us, "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." The primary purpose of the law, and of the Sermon on the Mount, was condemnation, not salvation.

Second, as Horton observes, the argument used confuses the indicative (who we are in Christ) with the imperative (the command to respond to the indicative in a certain way). (Christ the Lord, 113) Paul does not merely issue commands; he rather calls upon the believer, in this and other exhortational passages, to be consistent with the new life they have in Christ:

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him... (Romans 6:1-8 )

If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Eph. 4:21-24)


Under the Semitic Totality paradigm, thoughts that result in no action are vain. When Paul encourages believers to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling," (Phil. 2:12) he is not telling us that we must do our part to be saved. We already possess that righteousness; what is needed is for us to come to terms with this and live consistently with it.
This is what ttoews has been saying all along. Works are not necessary to salvation (cf. the murderer at the cross), but true faith produces works. The people at that time would not need to be told. About baptism, Holding says,
We will see that the answer to the question, "Is baptism necessary for salvation?", is that the question is out of order. If there is any question that needs to be asked, it is this: "If you are saved, and you know what baptism means and that it was commanded by Christ, why would you not be baptized?" One does not become baptized to be saved; one is saved and is therefore baptized. Faith that is true inevitably manifests itself in obedience, and being that baptism is the first act declared for the believer by Christ, the true believer will gladly undergo baptism.
About repentance, Holding says,
Chamberlain blames the misunderstanding of "repentance" on early Latin mistranslations which were carried over into later translations. He describes the meaning rather in terms of "a complete change in mental outlook and of life design" [31] (as we may say, an "attitude adjustment") and a "similarity of mind between God and his people" [36]. Calvin himself called it a "change of mind and intention" [38]. So what does God expect of the repentant? Based on his analysis of the texts, Chamberlain concludes that the result of repentance is that one will put God at the center of one's life -- which also happens to match the description of faith as loyalty to one's patron. How interesting that once again, when we return to the first century, the pieces of the puzzle fall together most satisfactorily.
Sorry for quoting so much, but I'm still young and still learning -- and I'm learning a lot from this man. He's really a great teacher, putting the Biblical message in the context of the time in which it was written.[/b]

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#231

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:17 pm

I'm familiar with Horton's work. I appreciate him and his work, especially his reaction against MacArthur's strong Lordship approach. With that said, I still disagree for reasons I've already brought up in this thread. As to faith and works, it does little good to appeal to a Semitic worldview when Paul and John were both preaching to Gentiles especially. You can argue that they had a "faith that produces works" concept in their own mind, but you can hardly argue that Hellenistic Gentiles would have received their words the same way. The Greek word pisteuw, as demonstrated in one of my recent posts to ttoews, simply means "to regard something as true" or "to regard something as reliable." In general, in means "to trust" or "to believe." This is especially true when used with the preposition eis, which roughly means "into." The Gentiles were asked to trust God for their salvation, and they did, and they were saved through their faith. There is no indication that their faith necessarily would result in good works.

Darrell Bock takes a much better approach at trying to prove his argument than Horton. He sees a person who is justified (and thus positionally sanctified) as guaranteed to experience progressive sanctification. For proof, he appeals to the role of the Holy Spirit. In doing so, he correctly recognizes that faith, in and of itself, is just that - faith. It is a position that needs to be accepted among Lordship proponents.

With that said, I would ask you to review the brief word study provided on pisteuw and its Hebrew equivelant aman. The idea behind both of these words is certainty or assurance. I then would ask you this: how can you have assurance that you have "really believed" at the moment of faith? Is it not possible that your faith (in your view) was a false profession? If good works are a necessary result of conversion (contra Jesus' parable of the four soils), then how can we know our faith is real until we have produced good works? And, further, how can we know the difference in faith-produced-good-works and our "relative" good works, to borrow your terminology from the free will discussion?

If, then, faith is about knowing that you are saved, then how can you know that you are saved in your view with absolute assurance?

Finally, with regard to repentance, I would agree with what you have posted. It is exactly why I argue that repentance is not necessary for salvation. It does not mean "to change the mind," but it means "to change one's way of thinking" and thus "to change direction." Repentance results in the removal of judgment. This is true both for Christians and non-Christians, but it has absolutely no bearing on salvation. Further, the occasions of both the letters to the Corinthians prove that the doctrine that "real faith produces repentance" is false.

edit: not to overload you, but I want to see if I can make this crystal clear. If you assert that genuine faith produces works, then I don't see how you can avoid a salvation by works scenario. This is what I was getting at with ttoews. Consider two men who both profess to believe. One man believes in Christ to save him, and the other man believes in Christ to save him and produces good fruit throughout his life. The former man has not a single good work, and, in fact, falls away after only a few years of "professed Christian living." Which of these two men enter heaven? I say both. If you say only the second, then the difference between the two is none other than the second had works. Lordship proponents argue that the difference is not works, but the nature of the faith. However, the "nature" of faith is hardly a tangible idea. We all think our faith is real. In the end, you argue that true faith necessarily produces works. Thus, if one man has faith only, and another man has faith and works, and only the second man is saved, then it is clear that what saves is works! Therefore, in order to do good works so that we may be saved, we have to have a certain kind of faith. See the problem?
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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#232

Post by ttoews » Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:01 pm

Jac, it has been a while since we recognized a need to look at the greek for "believe" and so I would like to put the matter in its context.
You assert that "to believe" as Jesus used the term means to possess absolute certainty wrt a thing. As such, one cannot believe with reservations, for if one has reservations then one is in fact doubting and not believing. Further, there can not be levels of belief....just belief or doubt and nothing in between. This view of "belief" is not essential for your soteriology, but it is essential for the "objective" assurance of salvation that you have tied to your soteriology. If there are levels of belief or if one can believe with reservations then, one would legitimately ask, "Did I believe strongly enough to be saved?". If such a question is legitimate then your "objective" assurance is not possible. (I use quotation marks as I view your use of "objective" in that instance as an improper designation in any event).
2 - With all of this in mind, we come to our central disagreement, which is namely, "What is saving faith?" The word "faith," I'm sure you know, is the word pistos. .... If we look to the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TNDT) - widely recognized along with the BDAG as the standard in Greek lexicons - we see pisteuw, pistis, pistos, pistow, apistos, apistew, apistia, oligopistos, and oligopistia grouped together. (For the full article, see TNDT, vol.VI, p.174-228).....
A look at the Hebrew background for this word (as it translates in the LXX) is very helpful as well. Steven Waterhouse writes in his systematic theology Not by Bread Alone (Westcliff Press, 2003) on page 132:

Waterhouse wrote:
The Hebrew word for "to believe" is aman, which relates to our word Amen. In some verbal stems (qal/niphal), the word means "to be firm, to support, to be secure, to be faithful." B.B. Warfield, the great theologian from Princeton, said aman describes "whatever holds, is steady, or can be depended upon." This definition is based upon obesrvation of how aman is used in the Old Testament.

He goes on note that in the the word is applied especially to nurses and those who take care of children, as children are utterly dependant on these people. In the causative sense (the hiphil stem), he points out that the word does not mean "to be dependable," but rather "to consider someone or something to be firm, dependable, faithful, trustworthy, reliable." (133) And as a further note, "Verses that seem to contain the ide of trust often use the phrase to believe in." (ibid., see Gen. 15:6; Ex. 14:31; Num 14:11; Deut. 1:32; 9:23; 28:88; 2 Ki 17:14; 2 Chron. 20:20; Job 24:22; Psa. 27:13; 78:22; 106:24; Isa. 28:16; 43:10) He summarizes this section by saying:

Waterhouse wrote:
New Testment authors carry over these concepts of meaning of faith into their teachings. Therefore, we would anticipate that to them faith in God would mean to consider God to be secure, firm, dependable and trustworthy. Viewed from man's perspective this is called trust, confidence, dependance, and reliance. (emphasis original)
there is nothing here that establishes that one cannot believe with reservations or that there can not be levels of belief. For example, to be "dependable" is not the same as being "absolutely dependable". To "trust" someone is not to "absolutely trust" someone, and it is that qualifier "absolute" that you need in order to establish your concept of "objective" assurance. You are doing the exact same thing with the greek and the hebrew as you did with the english....and that is, you provide a few definitions, and then read those definitions as if the word "absolute" appears before each and every synonym for believe/belief.

Now, all of these ideas are wrapped up in the word pistos and its primary verb pisteuw. This leads me to my next point: we often translate the noun pistos into the noun "faith." The verb pisteuw is translated into our verb "believe." These are broadly correct, but notice that all the words in the group we are looking at - in Greek - are from the same root. Thus, the verb pisteuw means the action involved in the noun pistos!

In all of this, we see abosolutely on hint of ideas such as repentance or commitment built into pistos.
you have been side-tracked....the issues which caused us to look at the greek for "believe" were the issues that I framed at the start of this post...but since you have declared "we see absolutely on hint of ideas such as repentance or commitment built into pistos", tell me this, do we see absolutely any hint in the OT of the idea that one can "aman" in God w/o obedience accompanying such "aman"?
Of particular interest is the translation "to commit" or "to entrust" (cf. John 2:24). Even here, the idea is that Jesus refused to consider them reliable, that is, He refused to "relax" around them, if you will, and allow them to minister to Him. In all of this, it seems that there is no way to avoid the notion that "faith," or "to believe" means to "rely on" in an sense of absolute assurance!
perhaps you should consider these passages before you make such a conclusion:

1.Luke 17: 5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" 6 And the Lord said, "If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this sycamine tree, 'Be rooted up, and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.

note that the apostles view faith as something that may be increased, which if one substitutes in your concept of absolute certainty, then one has the apostles asking the Lord to, "Increase our absolute certainty." ...this doesn't exactly make sense.

2. Mk 4:40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Mt 14:31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "O man of little faith, why did you doubt?"
Matt 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
Mt 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.


note the progression that one can observe....no faith, little faith with doubt, faith w/o doubt and great faith. Such a progression in absolute certainty is not possible....as such, it appears to me that there is no way to avoid the notion that "faith," or "to believe" means to "rely on" in a sense that includes the notion that various levels of assurance/confidence exist

... All of these ideas hinder the biblical concept of faith in that the negate the certainty of the promise, which is the essence of saving faith, both in the OT and in the NT, as demonstrated above.
there is no issue as to the certainty of the promise (the issue is the effect of true reliance on the promise)...one can depend absolutely on God to do what He says He will do...that is why I am certain that a believer will receive the Holy Spirit and that the receipt of such a wonderful gift will not be w/o an effect. To throw your words back at you, I suggest that your ideas hinder the biblical concept of faith in that they negate the certainty of the effect of the Holy Spirit, which is so tied up with saving faith.

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#233

Post by Jac3510 » Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:50 am

I don't have time to respond in detail now, ttoews, but since you took the time to quote me and reply section by section, I couldn't help that notice that you didn't reply to:
I wrote:And so as not to rely to heavily on Waterhouse, the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT), edited by Archer (Moody Press, 1980) defines aman as "to confirm, support, uphold (qual); to be established, be faithful (niphal); to be certain, i.e. to believe in (hiphil)" (vol.1, 116) To quote from the comments on the word:
The TWOT wrote:This very important concept in biblical doctrine girves clear evidence of the biblical meaning of "faith" in contradistinction to the many popular concepts of the term. At the heart of the meaning of the root is the idea of certainity. And this is borne out by the NT definition of faith found in Heb. 11:1.

The basic idea is firmness or certainity. In the Qal it expresses the basic concept of support and is used in the sense of the strong arms of a parent supporting the helpless infant . . . In the Hiphil, it basically means "to cause to be certain, sure," or "to be certain about," "to be assured." In this sense the word in the Hiphil conjugation is the biblical word for "to believe" and shows that biblical faith is an assurance, a certainity, in contrast with modern concepts of faith as something possible, hopefully true, but not certain.
More later . . . but this definitely needs commenting, since it deals specifically with the certainity issue.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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#234

Post by Turgonian » Fri Aug 18, 2006 2:22 pm

I'm familiar with Horton's work.
Is that his real name? He calls himself Holding.
As to faith and works, it does little good to appeal to a Semitic worldview when Paul and John were both preaching to Gentiles especially. You can argue that they had a "faith that produces works" concept in their own mind, but you can hardly argue that Hellenistic Gentiles would have received their words the same way.
Can't I? I know for a fact that the Romans had an established patron / client system, and other Gentile civilizations probably had it too. I mean, it doesn't take much invention to come up with a social security system like that.
The Greek word pisteuw, as demonstrated in one of my recent posts to ttoews, simply means "to regard something as true" or "to regard something as reliable." In general, in means "to trust" or "to believe." This is especially true when used with the preposition eis, which roughly means "into." The Gentiles were asked to trust God for their salvation, and they did, and they were saved through their faith. There is no indication that their faith necessarily would result in good works.
That's an argument from silence...
Darrell Bock takes a much better approach at trying to prove his argument than Horton. He sees a person who is justified (and thus positionally sanctified) as guaranteed to experience progressive sanctification. For proof, he appeals to the role of the Holy Spirit. In doing so, he correctly recognizes that faith, in and of itself, is just that - faith. It is a position that needs to be accepted among Lordship proponents.
Yes, faith is faith. I never claimed anything else -- that would be illogical...
With that said, I would ask you to review the brief word study provided on pisteuw and its Hebrew equivelant aman. The idea behind both of these words is certainty or assurance. I then would ask you this: how can you have assurance that you have "really believed" at the moment of faith? Is it not possible that your faith (in your view) was a false profession?
Yes, it's possible... You say one can trust in his own repentance instead of in Christ. Well, one can also trust in his own faith instead of in Christ.
If good works are a necessary result of conversion (contra Jesus' parable of the four soils), then how can we know our faith is real until we have produced good works?
If faith is the only thing that counts, how can we be positively sure we believe strongly enough? And what about doubts?
I disagree with your interpretation of the parable. The Word is spread; some don't listen to it, some forget it, some think about it but don't do anything with it, and some accept it by God's grace.
And, further, how can we know the difference in faith-produced-good-works and our "relative" good works, to borrow your terminology from the free will discussion?
Easy! Good works produced by faith are accompanied by faith! Christ has forgiven your sins, you need not fear anymore, and that is why you try to please Him -- not to get right with God, because you already are!
If, then, faith is about knowing that you are saved, then how can you know that you are saved in your view with absolute assurance?
This assurance is given in a believer's heart by the Spirit. Which is not to say there are never doubts. Are you going to defend that all people who had doubts about their personal justification were unsaved?
Finally, with regard to repentance, I would agree with what you have posted. It is exactly why I argue that repentance is not necessary for salvation. It does not mean "to change the mind," but it means "to change one's way of thinking" and thus "to change direction." Repentance results in the removal of judgment. This is true both for Christians and non-Christians, but it has absolutely no bearing on salvation. Further, the occasions of both the letters to the Corinthians prove that the doctrine that "real faith produces repentance" is false.

edit: not to overload you, but I want to see if I can make this crystal clear. If you assert that genuine faith produces works, then I don't see how you can avoid a salvation by works scenario. This is what I was getting at with ttoews. Consider two men who both profess to believe. One man believes in Christ to save him, and the other man believes in Christ to save him and produces good fruit throughout his life. The former man has not a single good work, and, in fact, falls away after only a few years of "professed Christian living." Which of these two men enter heaven? I say both.
I say not.
If you say only the second, then the difference between the two is none other than the second had works.
No, one had saving faith, the other had only a professed faith.
Lordship proponents argue that the difference is not works, but the nature of the faith. However, the "nature" of faith is hardly a tangible idea.
That doesn't mean it's irrelevant or nonexistent.
We all think our faith is real.
The heart is exceedingly deceitful...
In the end, you argue that true faith necessarily produces works. Thus, if one man has faith only, and another man has faith and works, and only the second man is saved, then it is clear that what saves is works!
Faith comes into the heart. Someone who does not have a changed heart apparently has no faith -- and when I say 'faith', I mean 'saving faith'. You can't SEPARATE the two. I said faith comes into the heart, so let's compare it to a bullet and quote you again.
In the end, you argue that a bullet in the heart necessarily produces a hole in the chest. Thus, if one man has a bullet in the heart only, and another man has a bullet in the heart and a hole in the chest, and only the second man is dead, then it is clear that what kills is a hole in the chest!
And of course, the man without the hole who THINKS he's been hit by the bullet must indeed be hit by the bullet...

There is a good article here, which goes against the following view,
Now after you become a Christian you have another choice -- either to grow in grace, follow the Lord and become a spiritual Christian, or to remain a babe in Christ and live like natural men.
This is approximately what you're saying, isn't it? Tell me what you think of the article...

edit: Here's another one: Self-Delusion Exposed

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#235

Post by Jac3510 » Fri Aug 18, 2006 4:28 pm

Is that his real name? He calls himself Holding.
I should have been clearer. I was referring to Holding's quotation of Holton's work Christ the Lord. On the Lordship side, there are roughly two catagories of people: hard and soft-lordship advocates. The former is made up of people like Stott, MacArthur, and the late Bonhoefer. These people believe that in order to be saved, a person has to make a commitment of life to Christ. Saving faith is the renunciation of sin and the total submission of the will to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives. The latter group is made up of men like Horton and Bock. They believe that salvation is by faith alone, but they believe that a genuine faith results in good works, perseverance until the end, etc. While this is a much more tenable position, it is more dangerous in that it is more subtle in its rejection of the Gospel (as I understand things!). I'll cover this a bit more later.
Can't I? I know for a fact that the Romans had an established patron / client system, and other Gentile civilizations probably had it too. I mean, it doesn't take much invention to come up with a social security system like that.
No, I don't think you can. Semitic thought is very different from Roman thought. Semitic culture is far more holistic and experiential. Greek culture is more intellectual (they were particularly fond of drawing a strong distinction between body and soul). Roman culture was something of a mix, but in the end, they were a far more pragmatic people. To put it another way, they were more pluralistic than either the Greeks or Jews. The point is that, while the Jews made little if any distinction between body and soul (and thus thought and action), this was very strong and important distinction in Gentile thought of that time. Consider the Gnostic heresies of the second century onward, or the mystery religions that thrived during and around the first century.
That's an argument from silence...
I am telling you what the lexical meaning of the word is. If, for example, you asked me what the word "run" means, and I were to reply, "'To run' means to to go steadily by springing steps so that both feet leave the ground for an instant in each step time, in such a way as to guarantee exhaustion," you would rightly tell me that I was wrong. You would properly note that the last phrase was wrong. I can't tell you that you are putting forward an argument from silence.

Here's another illustration that happens in daily life. Have you ever heard someone say, "If he really loved her, then he would <insert>." This idea is based on the claim that genuine love always motivates a person to act in a certain way. However, that just is not necessarily the case. A person may genuinely love another but have no idea what that means so far as the way that should act. That doesn't mean they don't love. It means that they are selfish and are untrained. You can't accuse a person who says they love someone but doesn't act like it of putting forward an argument of silence. Love is what it is.

So, we return to our idea. The Greek word pisteuw means "to regard something as true." It means "to believe" or "to trust." It does not mean "to commit to" or "to submit to." There are other words that mean those things. Further, you cannot say that "real pistos (faith, the noun form of pisteuw - believe) results in commitment," or what have you. That just is not what the word means. Let me use one last example: I can thoroughly believe that if I step out in the way of oncoming traffic, I will be killed. Does that mean that I will never do it? And does that mean that if I do, in fact, step out that I didn't believe it in the first place? Of course not. In the same way, "believing in" Jesus has nothing to do, semantically, with our behavior whatsoever. To believe means just that: to believe.
Yes, faith is faith. I never claimed anything else -- that would be illogical...
Yes, well tell that to ttoews. Tell that to a hardline lordship guy. I want you to note especially, though, that Bock's argument is theological. It is not semantic. He does not assert that "faith means to repent." He believes that faith is exactly what I have just said - simple belief. He is arguing a theological position, that a person justified by God is guaranteed by God to be progressively sanctified. And THAT argument is based on his belief in the final perseverance of the saints. In other words, he believes that God will uphold the faith of all His elect until the end. He will work in them to bring about good works. Therefore, saving faith produces good works, not because it is a special type of faith (as opposed to some false type of profession), but rather because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Now, I have deep, deep problems with that position, but they aren't related directly to the debate ttoews and I have been having, nor to the discussion I have had with anyone else in this thread. The standard arguments here have been that "real faith" means more than just "belief." It refers to a belief that results in good works. That, my friend, is heresy.
Yes, it's possible... You say one can trust in his own repentance instead of in Christ. Well, one can also trust in his own faith instead of in Christ.
Again, I would encourage you to try to get people like ttoews and others in his camp to recognize that. I don't trust faith to save me. We are not saved by faith. We are saved by grace through faith. However, we are saved through faith and not through repentance. If we try to repent to receive grace, then we do not receive grace. It is granted only through faith, and only through faith alone.
If faith is the only thing that counts, how can we be positively sure we believe strongly enough? And what about doubts?
I disagree with your interpretation of the parable. The Word is spread; some don't listen to it, some forget it, some think about it but don't do anything with it, and some accept it by God's grace.
I don't believe there is such a thing as "believe strongly enough." You either believe something or you don't. Do you believe that London exists? Do you believe that your car will get you to work on Monday? Do you believe that your mother loves you? You will say yes to each of these, and the reason for that belief will be different in each case. However, in the end, the beliefs are just that: beliefs. You regard those things as factualy true.

Are there times you could doubt you car, the existence of London, or the love of Mom? Of course, but would that change the fact that at one time you did, in fact, believe it? No. It is the same with faith. Jesus says that if we believe in Him for everlasting life, then we have it. So, the Gospel message is simple: Jesus offers everlasting life - do you believe in Him for it? Do you regard what He says as being true?

As for my interpretation of the parable, I'm just giving you what Jesus said. Let's look at Luke's version:
  • The seed is the word of God. 12Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved (Luke 8:11b-12, NIV)
The first group is not saved because they did not believe. However, the last three DID believe. Where does it say that these people were not saved? It does not. It says that they were unfruitful. And look at the context. The next parable is one about the rewards of fruitfulness and the cost of unfruitfulness (Luke 8:16-18). So, again, where does the text say that the other three are not saved, considering that in verse 12 Jesus ties salvation with belief, and belief with the germination of the seed?
Easy! Good works produced by faith are accompanied by faith! Christ has forgiven your sins, you need not fear anymore, and that is why you try to please Him -- not to get right with God, because you already are!
Unfortunately, it isn't so easy. You acknowledge that unbelievers do what appears to be good works. Suppose I profess to believe, but I don't have genuine faith (whatever that means). Naturally, I am quite certain I believe . . . I've deluded myself, but I think I've got it right. So, I go on doing "relative good works." How does that look any different from the person who has genuine faith and truly good works?

Or, put another way: an old lady is crossing the street. A professing believer (who doesn't really believe) helps her cross the street. The next day, a true believer helps her cross the street. How can you, I, or the believers themselves know which is true and which is not?
This assurance is given in a believer's heart by the Spirit. Which is not to say there are never doubts. Are you going to defend that all people who had doubts about their personal justification were unsaved?
Where does the Bible say that the Spirit gives us assurance? Rom. 8? The passage there is talking about the Spirit bearing witness, along with ours, to God that we are His children. The audience of the Spirit's witness is the Father, not our own souls.

Secondly, I suppose you believe you are saved. I certainly believe that I am saved. How do you or I know that this "assurance" that we have is from the Holy Spirit and not from our own deceptive hearts? How can we tell the difference?

Finally, I do not believed that we are saved by maintaining our faith in Christ. That would mean that we are saved BY faith (which we are not), and that we are saved by our own works - perseverance, in this case (and we are not). Salvation comes from a one time belief in God. If you later have doubts, that does not negate the fact that you believed at one point. However, it does mean that at the moment you are doubting you are, by definition, not considering the promise of God as reliable. Thus, you don't "believe" it (in the Greek and Hebrew sense of the word). Good thing you are still saved, though, so long as you actually believed at one point in time.
No, one had saving faith, the other had only a professed faith. [and following]
Like I said, what you are advocating is a very subtle form of salvation by works. Let me get back to the soft-lordship position and maybe you can see why I say that.

You believe that repentance and other good works are the necessary result of "saving faith." So, there is a difference between "faith" and "saving faith." At this point, there are only two routes you can go, both equally as flawed:

1) The difference between faith and saving faith is not the object of that faith, but it is in the nature of the faith itself.

According to this position, faith is some sort of energy or intangible idea. It is really the standard Calvinist view in that it sees faith as a thing, and specifically, this thing is a gift. Man does not have it; God gives it to him. One of the properties of this thing called faith is that it produces good works, perseverance, etc., and God makes sure that we always have it.

Now, if it doesn't jump out at you, the question is this: in this scenario, what are we saved BY? Here, we are saved by faith. We receive faith by grace, but it is the faith that saves. And yet further, this faith saves precisely because it causes us to merit our salvation. In producing good works, we become fit for the kingdom. Think very closely on this . . . the only real difference in the saved and lost person is that one has this thing called saving faith, which is not of himself. The unbeliever is incapable of doing good, and therefore he is unfit for the kingdom. The believer, having this faith, now can and actually does do good, and therefore, he is fit for the kingdom.

We then see two theological problems: the most serious is that you have advocated a salvation by works. We have merited our salvation. This is precisely the position of ttoews, though he will never admit as much. It is the position I held last year. The second problem is that it changes the object of faith from Christ to faith itself. Since faith saves, and not Christ, our faith is in our faith. Oh, yes, we believe in Christ to give us that faith, but the saving grace is in the faith. In fact, look VERY closely at the last sentence. "We believe in Christ to give us that faith." The first two words are actually in contradiction to the last two, which is why the position is ultiamtely false. You can't say "I have faith in Christ to give me saving faith." You can't say, "I believe in Christ so that He will make me believe."

A Calvinist preacher I heard here recently summed up the position very well. In arguing FOR this position, he said, "Dear friends, you weren't saved because you believed. You believed because you were saved!"

Any position that says we aren't saved because we believed is a heresy, because it is trusting something other that the promise of Christ for that salvation.

2) OK, so we see the first position doesn't work. There is yet another position, which is that good works result, not because of the nature of faith, but because of the necessary effects of the object.

This is the position of Darrel Bock. Here, we recognize that faith is not some "thing." It is a channel, and only that. It trusts Christ to save us. However, here, we argue that because of the effects of regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, good works necessarily follow.

The immediate objection is that there is simply no Scripture to support this view. In fact, we are told quite the opposite - we can quench and grieve the Spirit! (Eph. 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:19) But, the problems here are yet deeper. First, we return to the stock objection that you cannot know your faith is real until you produce good works, and even then, you can't know that you've produced enough good works. Now think about this: if the necessary result of the indwelling of the Spirit is that we WILL produce good works, then it is logically impossible for us, at some point, to fall away from the faith. The Spirit's indwelling will prompt us on to good works even in those times! But, there is the objective fact that people DO fall away. You don't know that you will still believe in ten years. You may hope you will. You may be really, really sure you will. But, you do not KNOW you will. After all, many a good "Christians" have stopped believing later in life. If you don't think so, go to any atheist board and talk to "former Christians."

What this means is that you don't know at the moment of faith that your faith is genuine. That means, by definition, that you've not trusted the promise of Christ. As I said to Byblos at one time in the past, Can you trust Christ for your salvation and not know that you have it? The answer is no. The definition of trusting Christ for salvation is knowing that you have it.

So, what then is a person trusting to give them assurance of their salvation? Answer: their works. I know I am saved by the fruit the Holy Spirit brings about in me. Trusting your works is the definition of salvation by works. If the words of Christ are not enough, then you have not trusted Him. You are then advocating a salvation by works.

The Gospel of Grace is simple: Jesus offers everlasting life to all who trust Him for it. Have then, you believed in Jesus for everlasting life? If so, what do you have, by definition? If not, is there any other way to get it?

As for the article you referenced, I don't think very much of it. It is well written, but it is really nothing more than reformed theologians have been saying for four hundred years. I mean, his opening question is enough to through up a red flag big enough to catch the eye of every bull on the planet. He asked, "Are we sanctified passively, that is, 'by faith' only, without obedience to the law of God and Christ?"

What? Are we instead sanctified by obedience? Obedience is a work, and therefore, the author is arguing for salvation by works :p

Now, in reality, there are three types of sanctification: positional sanctification, which is by grace through faith alone, progressive sanctification, which is by grace through obedience (thus, the answer to his questions about fighting and persevering), and finally perfect sanctification, which is by our resurrection and perfection by God.

God bless
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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#236

Post by Turgonian » Sat Aug 19, 2006 4:19 am

Jac3510 wrote:Semitic thought is very different from Roman thought. Semitic culture is far more holistic and experiential. Greek culture is more intellectual (they were particularly fond of drawing a strong distinction between body and soul). Roman culture was something of a mix, but in the end, they were a far more pragmatic people. To put it another way, they were more pluralistic than either the Greeks or Jews. The point is that, while the Jews made little if any distinction between body and soul (and thus thought and action), this was very strong and important distinction in Gentile thought of that time. Consider the Gnostic heresies of the second century onward, or the mystery religions that thrived during and around the first century.
OK -- but every culture of the age knew that if you had a master, you'd better serve him. Especially if that master had set you free from your former slavery and inability!
I am telling you what the lexical meaning of the word is. If, for example, you asked me what the word "run" means, and I were to reply, "'To run' means to to go steadily by springing steps so that both feet leave the ground for an instant in each step time, in such a way as to guarantee exhaustion," you would rightly tell me that I was wrong. You would properly note that the last phrase was wrong. I can't tell you that you are putting forward an argument from silence.
OK. But if I say 'You'll be dead when someone shoots a bullet into your heart', and people start talking about the hole, they're always right. A bullet produces a hole. So the question is, which analogy is better?
Personally I think mine is a bit too morose. :lol:
Here's another illustration that happens in daily life. Have you ever heard someone say, "If he really loved her, then he would <insert>." This idea is based on the claim that genuine love always motivates a person to act in a certain way. However, that just is not necessarily the case. A person may genuinely love another but have no idea what that means so far as the way that should act. That doesn't mean they don't love. It means that they are selfish and are untrained. You can't accuse a person who says they love someone but doesn't act like it of putting forward an argument of silence. Love is what it is.
That is hardly a tangible idea, now, is it?
Someone who loves will act in a loving way. He may sometimes be harsh or seem unloving, but when he is too harsh, he will be sorry afterwards. Come on, Jac -- someone who loves and is asked by that person to do anything, will try to do that. You can't fiercely love someone and go against his/her demands completely. That's not real love, and love is what it is...
So, we return to our idea. The Greek word pisteuw means "to regard something as true." It means "to believe" or "to trust." It does not mean "to commit to" or "to submit to." There are other words that mean those things. Further, you cannot say that "real pistos (faith, the noun form of pisteuw - believe) results in commitment," or what have you. That just is not what the word means. Let me use one last example: I can thoroughly believe that if I step out in the way of oncoming traffic, I will be killed. Does that mean that I will never do it? And does that mean that if I do, in fact, step out that I didn't believe it in the first place? Of course not. In the same way, "believing in" Jesus has nothing to do, semantically, with our behavior whatsoever. To believe means just that: to believe.
Well, if I was lucky enough to get into the hospital, I'd be FURIOUS with myself for stepping into the road in the first place, and resolve never to do such a stupid thing again. By the way, your analogy didn't talk about the vast majority of people who seem to enjoy stepping into the road thoroughly.
I want you to note especially, though, that Bock's argument is theological. It is not semantic. He does not assert that "faith means to repent." He believes that faith is exactly what I have just said - simple belief. He is arguing a theological position, that a person justified by God is guaranteed by God to be progressively sanctified. And THAT argument is based on his belief in the final perseverance of the saints. In other words, he believes that God will uphold the faith of all His elect until the end. He will work in them to bring about good works. Therefore, saving faith produces good works, not because it is a special type of faith (as opposed to some false type of profession), but rather because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Sounds sensible to me.
Yes, it's possible... You say one can trust in his own repentance instead of in Christ. Well, one can also trust in his own faith instead of in Christ.
Again, I would encourage you to try to get people like ttoews and others in his camp to recognize that.
HEY! You're turning my words around! I was talking about your camp.
I don't trust faith to save me. We are not saved by faith. We are saved by grace through faith. However, we are saved through faith and not through repentance. If we try to repent to receive grace, then we do not receive grace. It is granted only through faith, and only through faith alone.
Oh yes. Repentance doesn't come before grace, but after.
I don't believe there is such a thing as "believe strongly enough." You either believe something or you don't. Do you believe that London exists? Do you believe that your car will get you to work on Monday? Do you believe that your mother loves you? You will say yes to each of these, and the reason for that belief will be different in each case. However, in the end, the beliefs are just that: beliefs. You regard those things as factualy true.

Are there times you could doubt you car, the existence of London, or the love of Mom? Of course, but would that change the fact that at one time you did, in fact, believe it? No. It is the same with faith. Jesus says that if we believe in Him for everlasting life, then we have it. So, the Gospel message is simple: Jesus offers everlasting life - do you believe in Him for it? Do you regard what He says as being true?
And what if you're drug-induced at the time (or brought into a trance by the kind of Arminian stand-up-to-choose-Jesus gatherings that I've seen) and are horrified the next day that you've been so stupid?
As for my interpretation of the parable, I'm just giving you what Jesus said (...)
OK, OK. But we have to take the whole Scriptural witness into account. I'll quote those texts in a moment.
You acknowledge that unbelievers do what appears to be good works. Suppose I profess to believe, but I don't have genuine faith (whatever that means). Naturally, I am quite certain I believe . . . I've deluded myself, but I think I've got it right. So, I go on doing "relative good works." How does that look any different from the person who has genuine faith and truly good works?
See here.
Secondly, I suppose you believe you are saved. I certainly believe that I am saved. How do you or I know that this "assurance" that we have is from the Holy Spirit and not from our own deceptive hearts? How can we tell the difference?
We start not only to flee sin, but to hate it as well. We hate doing sin because the one we're sinning against is God, and not for any other reason.
Finally, I do not believed that we are saved by maintaining our faith in Christ.
Neither do I. But I believe in predestination.
You believe that repentance and other good works are the necessary result of "saving faith." So, there is a difference between "faith" and "saving faith." At this point, there are only two routes you can go, both equally as flawed:

1) The difference between faith and saving faith is not the object of that faith, but it is in the nature of the faith itself.

According to this position, faith is some sort of energy or intangible idea. It is really the standard Calvinist view in that it sees faith as a thing, and specifically, this thing is a gift. Man does not have it; God gives it to him. One of the properties of this thing called faith is that it produces good works, perseverance, etc., and God makes sure that we always have it.

Now, if it doesn't jump out at you, the question is this: in this scenario, what are we saved BY? Here, we are saved by faith. We receive faith by grace, but it is the faith that saves.
No, we are still saved by grace through faith. Calvin really didn't overlook those texts.
And yet further, this faith saves precisely because it causes us to merit our salvation. In producing good works, we become fit for the kingdom.
The Kingdom of Heaven is on earth, in the hearts of the elect. That is true. But no Calvinist will claim we MERIT our salvation. Our salvation -- our election -- was an unwarranted gift. And we still sin after we are saved. However, we do not live in sin anymore. Christ has set us free.
If you claim that Calvinists say or think salvation is merited, you're completely misrepresenting the position. Maybe you should read Spurgeon or something.
Think very closely on this . . . the only real difference in the saved and lost person is that one has this thing called saving faith, which is not of himself. The unbeliever is incapable of doing good, and therefore he is unfit for the kingdom. The believer, having this faith, now can and actually does do good, and therefore, he is fit for the kingdom.
This is just false. It's misrepresenting Calvinism. The Catechism of Heidelberg asks, 'Since we have been saved by Christ from our misery, without any merit of ourselves, only through grace (!!!), why do we still have to do good works?' The answer, 'Therefore, that Christ, after He has bought and freed us with His blood, renews us through His Holy Spirit into His image, so that we prove ourselves thankful to God for His mercies with our whole life, and He be praised by us. Then also, that everyone be assured personally of his faith from the fruits, and that through our godly walk our neighbours will be won for Christ too.' Where do you see 'fit for the kingdom', or 'salvation by works'?
We then see two theological problems: the most serious is that you have advocated a salvation by works. We have merited our salvation.
Yeah, we are really responsible for God's predestination...
Since faith saves, and not Christ, our faith is in our faith. Oh, yes, we believe in Christ to give us that faith, but the saving grace is in the faith.
Well, I've been subjected to Calvinist teaching for very long, but I've never heard that.
The saving grace is in God's election. Not in us.
In fact, look VERY closely at the last sentence. "We believe in Christ to give us that faith." The first two words are actually in contradiction to the last two, which is why the position is ultiamtely false. You can't say "I have faith in Christ to give me saving faith." You can't say, "I believe in Christ so that He will make me believe."
"I believe that Christ will give us that faith." Is this paraphrase better? In English it's possible to say it either way.
Any position that says we aren't saved because we believed is a heresy, because it is trusting something other that the promise of Christ for that salvation.
Look also at this article, when you're at it.
The immediate objection is that there is simply no Scripture to support this view. In fact, we are told quite the opposite - we can quench and grieve the Spirit!
We're not free from sin...
But, the problems here are yet deeper. First, we return to the stock objection that you cannot know your faith is real until you produce good works, and even then, you can't know that you've produced enough good works.
There is no 'enough'. Jesus has done 'enough'. I do not trust in my works. They are the expression of my gratitude. I know very well that if works after regeneration would save a person, I would have been damned more than once. I am no more under the Law. But God wants me to adhere to it anyway, because He instituted them and because they are good.
Now think about this: if the necessary result of the indwelling of the Spirit is that we WILL produce good works, then it is logically impossible for us, at some point, to fall away from the faith. The Spirit's indwelling will prompt us on to good works even in those times! But, there is the objective fact that people DO fall away. You don't know that you will still believe in ten years. You may hope you will. You may be really, really sure you will. But, you do not KNOW you will. After all, many a good "Christians" have stopped believing later in life. If you don't think so, go to any atheist board and talk to "former Christians."
Doesn't all this beautifully tie in with election and 1 John 2:19?
So, what then is a person trusting to give them assurance of their salvation? Answer: their works. I know I am saved by the fruit the Holy Spirit brings about in me. Trusting your works is the definition of salvation by works. If the words of Christ are not enough, then you have not trusted Him. You are then advocating a salvation by works.
Wait, wait. You're confused. Trusting works for ASSURANCE of salvation and trusting works for SALVATION are two different things. By the way, I believe it was Spurgeon who said we shouldn't examine too much what works the Spirit produces in us, because that would only confuse us.
Some people are enslaved, addicted to a certain sin, and are able to break with it through saving faith.

1 John 2:3-6 -- We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

1 John 2:19 -- They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

Galatians 5:19-25 -- The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Galatians 6:8 -- The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. [Here destruction is contrasted with eternal life -- not rewards!]

James 1:22 -- Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

James 2:14-17 -- What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

And the rest of James 2, basically.

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#237

Post by Turgonian » Sat Aug 19, 2006 5:29 am

Prayer of the Consistent Synergist

"God, I give you glory for everything else, but not my faith ... This is the one thing that is my very own that I produced of my fallen natural capacities. For this little bit the glory is mine. So I thank you Lord that I am not like other men who do not have faith. When you extended your grace to all men some did not make use of it, BUT I DID. While You deserve glory for all I have Lord, my faith was the one part that I contributed to the price of my redemption, apart from and independent of the work of Your Holy Spirit."

Prayer of the Arminian by Spurgeon

"Lord, I thank thee I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists. Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can turn to thee of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have, they might all have been saved. Lord, I know thou dost not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. Thou givest grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many that will go to hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Ghost given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not thy grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point; I made use of what was given me, and others did not--that is the difference between me and them."

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#238

Post by Jac3510 » Sat Aug 19, 2006 8:41 am

It seems you are more interested in defending Calvinism that Lordship salvation, which is what I'm arguing against in this thread. Lordship salvation is by nature a logical requirement of Calvinistic thought, but it is actually a byproduct of the position. It is a necessary byproduct, but it is a byproduct, nonetheless. So, if at all possible, in this particular thread, when you are dealing with my arguments, keep in mind I'm not thinking of only Calvinists. I know what they believe.

If you want to see why I object to Calvinism, we have a thread dedicated to it where I spend a considerable amount of time on the issue:

Is Calvinism a Heresy?

Ok, so rather than line by lining your post, we need to deal with a particular issue.

You argued that all cultures know that we need to obey our masters. I agree, but that has nothing to do with the Semitic world-view. Insofar as it goes, you cannot appeal to that world-view with reference to Gentiles, which is exactly what Holding was doing. The Greeks would not have equated "believe" with "a type of belief that necessarily produces commitment." Besides, if you are going to take Bock's view (as you seem to do later in the post), you don't even need this position anyway. Further, the argument is contradictory to that view. You can't have it both ways: either faith is this THING that has the quality of necessarily producing good works, or it is a channel, and the object of that simple belief produces good works. If you take the former, you have to deal with two issues:

First, the Greek and Hebrew words for faith simply do not mean what you are attributing to them (I'm going to ask you for lexical support for your position at this point, more than just a logical argument),

Second, the Greek culture simply did not think in terms of belief necessarily resulting in action (or any such holistic worldview) as already discussed.

If you take the second view, you can drop this argument, as it has nothing to do with the position you are now advocating. The reason is simple: if our good works are a result of the Holy Spirit, and not a result of "real belief," (a thing in ourselves), then it is immediately obvious that this idea has no parallel in the natural world. The Holy Spirit does not indwell us to do anything else. If the works are a result of Him, then you cannot say "well, the Greeks thought in holistic terms where action necessarily followed belief." There is simply no connection between the two positions.

So, which position are you going to advocate: the Jewish-holistic view that faith produce works, or the soft-lordship position of Bock where the Holy Spirit produces good works?

For clarity, I don't take either: I argue that believers are called to submit to the Lordship of Christ. If they do, there are rewards. If they don't, there is discipline. Souns a lot like what every society in the history of everything has said to its members . . . ;)

Now, I can't respond to the rest of your post, because you are trying to have things (there, anyway) both ways. You are defending both views, and you just can't do that. I need to know which position you are going to advocate so that we can talk about that one. I don't see any reason to talk about positions neither one of us hold to, do you?

However, I would like to see you deal with Jesus' interpretation of the parable of the seeds and soil. It is in 100% contradiction to what you are saying. I would also say that you can't argue "But we have to take the whole Scriptural witness into account" unless you want to admit that there are contradictions in the Bible. I'm sure you don't believe that. If Jesus says here, as I assert, that MOST saved believers will not produce good works, then you cannot argue "Yeah, but the rest of the Bible teaches that we will produce good works if we are saved!" You create a contradiction. Either you get this parable to line up with what you are saying, or you have no foundation to stand on.

Now, throughout this thread, I've provided a large bit of exegesis of almost every verse used in support of your position. I have shown why these verses do not support your claims, and why they actually support my claims. You have to do the same thing here.

So, on a final note, you mentioned what . . . six passages or so? Two from First John, two from Galatians, and two from James. Your understanding of John is wrong because the purpose of the book is not to provide tests of life. It is to provide tests of fellowship. 1 John 2:19 is referring to antichrists that came out of the Jerusalem church and were teaching an antinomian doctrine to these believers. 1 John 2:3-6 deals with fellowship ("to know" in Greek means, in this usage, to have intimate fellowship with), not salvation. We know that we are in fellowship with God (i.e., are abiding in Him, are in His good graces, are in proper fellowship with) if we are obeying His commandments.

In Galatians, as in the rest of the NT, to "inherit" the Kingdom is not the same as to "enter" the kingdom. The former talks about rewards. The latter talks about fellowship. Gal. 6:8 we could talk about for a good while. Anyway, Paul is talking to Christians and making an application of a general truth. Believers are perfectly capable of sowing into the flesh. If they do, they reap corruption. If they sow into the Spirit, they reap eternal life. Obviously, Paul isn't saying that works bring salvation. He is talking about the benefits of eternal life, so yes, rewards. Try to keep in mind the sowing/reaping analogy is taken from agricultural life . . . you can reap different amounts of eternal life, just as you can reap different amounts of corruption, based on how much you sow.

And as for James, he is not writing with any reference to eschatological salvation. Every verse on "salvation" is a reference to salvation from death and/or judgment. Every reference to "death" is a reference to physical death. The whole point of James is that if you live a good life, you will live longer and be happier and God will bless you. If you live selfishly, though, you will be disciplined by God and destroyed by sin. I would suggest that you look at the parallels between Jewish wisdom literature and James, and then ask yourself about James' relationship to his audience (who were they), and what was his relationship to Palestinian Christianity. Also, for fun, I would suggest looking up the five uses of the Greek word "to save" in James. Look at each of their usages. Also, while you are at it, look up the word for "life" and the word for "soul" (not "spirit"), and then look at how James is using them. I'm sure you'll find it a very englightening study ;)

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Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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#239

Post by Turgonian » Sat Aug 19, 2006 11:19 am

I have to think about your post. However, I wouldn't agree that 1 John is only about tests of fellowship. What about 1 John 3:6-10?

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

'To be of God', does that mean 'to be saved but going to be disciplined for not following commands'?
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#240

Post by ttoews » Sat Aug 19, 2006 11:50 am

Jac, at your request I will comment on the bit from the TWOT.
And so as not to rely to heavily on Waterhouse, the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT), edited by Archer (Moody Press, 1980) defines aman as "to confirm, support, uphold (qual); to be established, be faithful (niphal); to be certain, i.e. to believe in (hiphil)" (vol.1, 116)
I note G Archer holds the position that the basic theme of Micah is "that the necessary product of saving faith is social reform and practical holiness based upon the righteousness and sovereignty of God." (a Survey of Old Testament Introduction p.359)
Combine that understanding with the concept of Totality that Turgonian referenced and with what the TWOT states about OT "faith" and then I think one has the proper understanding of what the OT authors meant by "faith" .....


So from the TWOT we have the following wrt the OT concept of faith (as quoted by you):
The basic idea is firmness or certainty. In the Qal it expresses the basic concept of support and is used in the sense of the strong arms of a parent supporting the helpless infant . . . In the Hiphil, it basically means "to cause to be certain, sure," or "to be certain about," "to be assured." In this sense the word in the Hiphil conjugation is the biblical word for "to believe" and shows that biblical faith is an assurance, a certainty, in contrast with modern concepts of faith as something possible, hopefully true, but not certain.
From the Totality understanding we have (as quoted by Turg):
Thus, what we would consider separate actions of conversion, confession, and obedience in the form of works would be considered by the Hebrews to be an act in totality. "Both the act and the meaning of the act mattered -- the two formed for the first Christians an indivisible unity." ......Thus, what we would consider separate actions of conversion, confession, and obedience in the form of works would be considered by the Hebrews to be an act in totality.

As such, when the OT talked about faith it was talking not about simple belief, but was talking about a profound belief where one totally relied on God and unavoidably evidenced that belief by obedience....to which David adds in Psalms 51:.....15 Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. So yes, I very much agree that when Jesus tells Nic that he must believe in order to be saved, Nic, b/c of his familiarity with the OT understanding of "faith" would not have thought Jesus was talking about a mere simple belief....but Nic (like the other Jews who heard Christ's words) would have known that Jesus was talking about a "belief" that would necessarily result in obedience.

PS. In looking at your comments to Turg, it seems that you want to have things both ways. Wrt the concept of assurance you want to argue that the OT concept of belief entailed complete assurance and therefore the NT concept of belief would entail complete assurance b/c the NT concept flowed from the OT concept. On the other hand, wrt totality (that works will accompany belief) you want to argue that the OT concept of belief (if totality is right) was different from the NT concept of belief (which is only simple belief) and so the NT concept of belief doesn't flow from the OT concept. Well, what is it? Does the NT concept of belief follow from the OT concept, or not? I note that you base your claim for saying it doesn't on the fact that the audience for the NT was greek and not hebrew. That argument, if it works (and I don't think it does) would mean you can't import the OT concept of assurance into the NT concept of belief. The obvious problem with the argument is that the gospels record Jesus talking to Jews (mainly) and not gentiles. Likewise the epistles are not addressed only to gentiles....so your argument which goes:
As to faith and works, it does little good to appeal to a Semitic worldview when Paul and John were both preaching to Gentiles especially. You can argue that they had a "faith that produces works" concept in their own mind, but you can hardly argue that Hellenistic Gentiles would have received their words the same way.

....misses the point....cuz I want to argue that Jesus had a "faith that produces works" concept in His mind, and that is the way His Jewish listeners would have received His words.

BTW I have no problem with stating that assurance accompanies profound belief...it is just not the "objective" assurance that you think exists.

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