"Seven Reasons NOT to Ask Jesus into Your Heart"

General discussions about Christianity including salvation, heaven and hell, Christian history and so on.
ttoews
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#271

Post by ttoews » Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:34 pm

Jac...ol' boy. I was wondering what you were up to...now I know. I gave this a quick glance and it looks like a pretty good summation; though as you anticipate, I will want to tweak it a bit wrt my position. In any event, well done!

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#272

Post by ttoews » Sun Oct 08, 2006 6:14 pm

Jac, you wrote:
1. I assert that "Salvation is absolutely nothing more or less than the pure acceptance of the free gift of salvation offered by Jesus Christ. I can conceive of many people who would accept salvation but refuse to follow Jesus." (1). You argued that is not salvation, as God will not save those who mock Him. (2) You clarified later by saying, "In my mind, purporting to take the benefit of the cross while not loving the person who died on the cross is a form of mocking." (3) Thus, you argue a person must be obedient to God to be saved, later clarifying that this is a necessary result of "saving faith." You argued it is not a matter of works that save, but "it is about a certain quality of faith." (4) So, here we have seen my assertion against yours: I say salvation is by freely receiving, whereas for you, to receive requires some sort of subsequent obedience, love, repentence, etc.
we both would say salvation is freely received in that neither of us believes that a man can contribute anything to earn his salvation ... so again it is not that I say "to receive requires some sort of subsequent obedience, love...." Instead, I would say that to receive requires a faith that will produce some sort of subsequent obedience, love, repentence, etc.
2. Naturally, I accuse you of salvation by works. (5) The initial line of argument proved fruitless - I argued that if A->B, then the existence of B is a proper condition of the existence of A. (ibid) You reject that, and we can leave our readers to sort out the truthfulness of that claim. However, from here, the object of faith is up for discussion. I stated:
I wrote:
The problem is with the object of the faith itself. Your object is different from mine, and that is where my concern is. You say, "I have to trust Jesus for my salvation to be saved." Now, I use the same terminology, but we mean different things. For you, "trusting in Jesus" actually means "repenting of your sins and committing my whole self to the Lordship of Jesus Christ." After all, "real faith" does these things. Thus, if these are not present, then you haven't had "real faith." Well, my question is simple, what is "real faith" and what is it in?" (6)
I don't recall actually saying the bold bit...I would rather say that someone who possesses a saving faith will love Jesus. The object of my faith is Jesus, His work and His word. Works are not the object of faith but are the evidence of it. I think you compartmentalize too much. You separate one's faith in Christ for salvation from all other aspects of one's faith in Christ...in fact, you would probably assert that there need be no other aspect. I don't think one simply believes in Christ so as to receive eternal life and possibly discards all else. Instead one believes that Jesus is God, that He provided the perfect sacrifice, that He merits our worship, that we should love Him b/c He first loved us, etc. Such is what it means to believe in Him.
As an aside, this was never addressed by you, and it's one of the central arguments you have to deal with. Unfortunately, we got sidetracked by a couple of pages of discussion over the "Lord, Lord" passage. As good as that was, I think it got away from the primary argument, first, What saves, second (implied, but not stated yet, what is the nature of saving faith), and third, what is the object of saving faith? As an aside, it should be of MUCH interest to everyone that you have a problem with a person who "simply" believes. (7) This became the ground for what it means to "believe." For example, you assert that genuine faith is one in which the person loves Jesus (8 ).

3. Your basic idea of faith is one that necessarily produces good works. For example:
You wrote:
I would say that believers will (not may) produce good works in due course (as a result of God's Spirit at work)....in contrast, Jac says that true believers may or may not produce good works ever (9)

Now, it is at this point that we get into what it means to really believe. We all know the word pisteuw means "to believe." I noted that Webster means to believe is to regard something as true (10), and thus "uncertainty is not allowed." I therefore argue, and you disagree, that doubt and faith cannot coexist. (11)

Now, let's point out that here, you make an important assertion that you later deny:
You wrote:
Jac, if you want to appeal to the Webster's definitions to say doubt and belief do not coexist shouldn't those definitions at least read "total absence of belief" instead of "uncertainty of belief" and "absolute refusal to believe in the slightest degree" instead of "inclination not to believe"?
And again:
You wrote:
I believe that your difficulties stem from your desire to equate belief with absolute certainty. . . .
where in that definition from Webster's is there any indication that uncertainty is not allowed? "Having a firm conviction" is not the same as "having absolute certainty". Likewise "considering to be true" is not the same as "having absolute certainty". (12)
did I really deny this?....cuz it still sounds good to me at this time. Keep in mind that we got into a very technical issue here. You asserted that you had objective assurance of your salvation. I thought this was wrong and tried to show how you would lose this "objectivity" if your faith was anything but 100% certain or absolute certain. Now, as it turned out, I think I desposed of your claim to "objective assurance" in another way...but you should keep in mind that this was the context of much of what I said.
Now, against this, my view is fairly simple: "You either regard something as true or you don't." (13)
Because of this, you rightly ask me to prove that "pisteuvw" actually meant "believe w/o any reservations whatsoever". (14) I did exactly this, first, by quoting from the TWOT (15), which says:

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.
Interestingly, you never really dealt with this. You appealed to the Semitic view of totality, but never conceded that belief entails absolute certainty (16). Later, you tried to justify yourself as follows:
You wrote:
I agree that in the OT saving faith is a faith that is full of certainty. The same is true of the NT and, of course, the same is still true today. That, in part, is why I call saving faith a profound faith and not a simple faith. Certainty is also not the only characteristic of this saving faith. What you must keep in mind is that just b/c scripture describes saving faith as a faith with full certainty, does not mean other types of faith (lesser faiths) don't exist...in fact, scripture clearly talks about belief/faith that does not save and of levels of faith. (17)

So, you seem to agree, contrary to your claims earlier, that faith is fully certain ("full of certainty," as you put it),....
I probably could have been clearer...but again, I still stand by my earlier assertion which is that you have never produced a dictionary definition or a quote from a lexicon that supports the understanding of "absolute" certainty...and in particular, the understanding of "absolute" certainty necessary for your "objective" assurance.
.... and yet you go on to say, "Salvation requires knowing that you are saved" Where in the world did you get this idea from? ...It most certainly isn't my psoition." (ibid)Further:
You wrote:
I would stop short of absolute...full of certainty yes. Part of our problem is that you think saving faith is an instantaneous thing...that one only has to believe (with absolute certainty) the right things for but a moment and that fellow is saved. That (IMHO) is not the biblical concept of faith. Saving faith is not just a flash in the pan....and I don't think absolute certainty is always there. (18

Now, of course, I don't believe absolute certainty is "always there," but as you noted yourself, in my view, a person must believe at a point in time, and to believe, in the biblical sense, is to possess absolute certainty. On this point, Mounce, Bultmann, Baur, Louw, and Archer all agree with me. (19)
I am still looking for that phrase of "absolute certainty" in their work....and I still haven't found it. Unfortunately for you, when one is dealing with a technical issue such as this, this sort of technicality matters. I simply do not believe that the phrase "to regard as true" means the same as "to regard as absolutely certain". I have given you a number of examples as to when such a distinction exists....and again, it was that "absolute, no possibility of any doubt whatsoever" level of certainty that you needed to claim your "objective" assurance that I denied as being always there....but then again, you would deny that levels of certainty exist and would state that one can only believe with no possibility of any doubt whatsoever...and again I don't see any support for that assertion in the lexica
Therefore, my position is firmly established by the dictionaries: to believe is to regard something as true with absolute certainty.
I am still looking for that phrase "absolute certainty" in the dictionaries..... I saw the "regard something as true" bit, but the "with absolute certainty" seems to be your contribution
You have argued that to believe is to regard something as true with a degree of certainty so as to necessarily result in obedience for some unstated length of time.

4. Considering this, we come to the main problem with your position: to be saved, we must have absolute certainty of our salvation. However, in your view of "faith," no such assurance is possible. When Jesus says in John 6:47, "Whoever believes has everlasting life," I say, "Did you believe?" You say, "Sure." I say, "So do you have everlasting life?" You say, "If I really believed, sure."
I still don't see why "to be saved, we must have absolute certainty of our salvation." I would say that God values our love for Him above our "absolute certainty of our salvation."

So, you don't know if you have REALLY believed, because your works may or may not confirm it. Let's just refer again to the Mormons, who I hope you would agree are not preaching a saving gospel.
works are evidence of my faith, but not the only thing I can turn to...
TO SUMMARIZE:

A) The gospel we preach is different. For me, it is simple belief. For you, it is "profound belief." Thus, the channel of salvation is different.
B) The terms of the gospel we preach are different. For me, it is simple belief. For you, it is a belief that results necessarily results in obedience, good works, etc.
C) For me, full certainty of salvation is required, because that is what belief is. For you, full certainty is NOT required, because that is not what belief is.
D) For me, salvation comes by a simple, one time act of belief. For you, salvation does not come from "flash in the pan" belief, but requires some sort of continuation and fruitation of that belief.

I think it is fair to say that is as good a summary as we are going to get. Let the reader decide. I simply say your gospel is a false gospel. You say mine is. Hey, clarity, not consensus.
a good summary Jac...I don't know what you mean by "channel of salvation". I might tweak it as follows:
A) The gospel we preach is different. For Jac, it is simple belief. For ttoews, it is "profound belief." Thus, the sort of belief is different.
B) The terms of the gospel we preach are different. For Jac, it is simple belief. For ttoews, it is a belief that necessarily results in obedience, good works, etc. Ttoews views the "simple belief" put forward by Jac as being insufficient and falls short of what Jesus meant by "believe in me" . Jac views the "profound belief" put forward by ttoews as adding something to the gospel and is therfore not the gospel..
C) For Jac, absolute certainty of salvation is required, because that is what belief is. For ttoews, absolute certainty is NOT required, because that is not the essence of saving faith. For ttoews belief in Jesus for salvation cannot be separated from such things as the belief that He merits our worship.
D) For Jac, salvation comes by a simple, one time act of belief. For ttoews, salvation does not come from "flash in the pan" belief, but requires some sort of continuation and fruition of that belief.

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Re: "Seven Reasons NOT to Ask Jesus into Your Heart"

#273

Post by Bradigans » Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:27 am

Interesting...

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Re: "Seven Reasons NOT to Ask Jesus into Your Heart"

#274

Post by Storyteller » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:29 am

I have always said that I believe in God and Christ is my Savior, and that is pretty much all I need to know. I have read this thread through a few times now and it`s quite startling.

It gives me fresh hope. I am one of those mentioned that won`t see the Kingdom of Heaven (a drunkard) BUT the thing is, I`m not, not really. I am a weak, sinful mortal human, at least that`s what I am right now but I don`t think that`s how God sees me. Not in the whole anyway, He sees my heart, He sees me as I will be. In my glorified form as well as my sinful state.
I believe, totally, utterly and completely in Christ. I believe totally I am saved.
As far as I can see the ONLY requirement for salvation is belief. Now Satan believes in Christ, we say. And, yeah, I guess he must but I don`t think that`s quite what is meant. I need to think some more on that one but I hold fast to the fact that Christ Himself said Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.… John 5:24,25

As for the repentance, I do repent, I want to repent, I think if you truly believe in Christ and the Holy Spirit is within you, it will naturally follow that repentance will fill your heart.
I believe the HS guides us all, steers us to live more like Christ, to direct us towards the heart of God.

Christ promised His yoke was easy. Matthew 11:30
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15

I don`t repent because I think I need to because if I don`t I won`t be saved. I repent because I want to.

I can live, knowing that Christ Himself, personally, loved me enough to die for me, loved me enough to take on all my sin so I could stand with God.
I`m just thinking that technically, I have no sins to repent for as Christ has already taken them onto Himself, for me. All I need to do is accept that gift and believe in His Word. That anyone who believes in Him will not perish.

(Not sure how cohesive all that is and there may well be tons of holes in what I`ve written but it`s all been typed "on the hoof". May add to it later, or tweak it but essentially that`s pretty much what I believe.
These users liked this post by Storyteller (total 3):
EssentialSacrifice (Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:17 am) • Jac3510 (Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:43 pm) • patrick (Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:27 am)
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof - Kahlil Gibran

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Re: "Seven Reasons NOT to Ask Jesus into Your Heart"

#275

Post by EssentialSacrifice » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:25 am

I don`t repent because I think I need to because if I don`t I won`t be saved. I repent because I want to.
because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love

somewhere in there is the hand of God. repentance is needful only in the eyes of forgiveness .... it has nothing to do with the innate desire to implore your God's forgiveness. really, quite a wonderful statement. kept in tact it will presuppose future sins and I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin. because you want to ! :D :amen:
Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love, and the future to God’s providence. -St Augustine

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