"Lordship Salvation"

Discussions surrounding the various other faiths who deviate from mainstream Christian doctrine such as LDS and the Jehovah's Witnesses.
DBowling
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Re: "Lordship Salvation"

Postby DBowling » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:05 pm

RickD wrote:Jac touched on this issue in his post here.

Yeah... I remember that...

Regarding Jac's 'back-loaded' gospel
There's a confusion here between "condition" and "precondition." Most people use the former in the sense of the latter, which I think is what's going on here. LS does not make works a precondition of salvation. It certainly makes them a condition of salvation (see the joke I told above). That's evident in the fact that the LS claims "where there are no works, there is no salvation."

So stated, that's just a back-loaded gospel. Strictly, a back-loaded gospel is not an aberrant Christianity as it is not a false gospel.

Back-loaded is Jac's term not Scripture's. But what Jac describes as a back-loaded looks like the Scriptural Gospel of Jesus Christ to me regardless of what label someone throws on it.

And the 'good news' is Jac appears to acknowledge that this is neither aberrant Christianity or a false gospel.

Regarding Jac's front-loaded Gospel...
That changes, though, when the LS is of the MacArthur camp. He doesn't just backload the gospel with conditions but in fact frontloads the gospel with preconditions. For them, "faith" doesn't mean "believe" or "trust." "Faith" means "to commit to" or "to pledge obedience to." In this case, they are requiring in addition to belief other conditions: a pledge/promise of obedience. For that reason, I don't actually think "lordship salvation" is a good term. We ought to be calling it "Commitment Salvation" or "I-Promise Salvation." At this point, I say that this is aberrant. Such a view is literally a false gospel.

Here is where things got a little heated...
Things went south in the discussion when we got into the question of whether or not commitment was an integral component of faith. Jac wants to strip commitment from the definition of Scriptural faith which is why he opposes the BDAG 3rd edition definition of pisteuo.
My dad and I discussed at length whether or not commitment was an integral part of faith, and my father (as a free grace proponent) wholeheartedly agreed that commiting to Jesus Christ was an integral part of trusting in Jesus. So the issue of commitment was one area where my father was in complete disagreement with Jac's position.
Now in fairness my dad's description of commitment and that of John MacArthur would probably differ somewhat. And we get back to the question of what level of commitment is even possible for an unregenerate person. But the fact of the matter is that commitment to Jesus is an integral component of trusting in Jesus Christ.

I do agree with Jac that 'pledging obedience to' Jesus is not an integral component of trusting in Jesus.

So I disagree strongly (and my father does too) with Jac's assertion that commitment to Jesus is an addition to faith and evidence of a false gospel. Jac's just dead wrong on that one.
Now I'm not going to say that Jac's going to hell because he's wrong on that particular point. I'll just say that Jac's position on commitment and faith is inconsistent with Scripture and leave it at that.

In Christ

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Re: "Lordship Salvation"

Postby Kurieuo » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:11 pm

DBowling wrote:
abelcainsbrother wrote:Sounds like I would also like to have a biblical conversation with your father also.I also like to discuss things without name calling and personal attacks.I try to avoid name calling and personal attacks and to me it is a sign of weakness and not strength when discussing things.
As far as Lordship Salvation I think a lot of the things it promotes are things a Christian would pretty much already choose to do if they are saved and being led by the Holy Spirit but they are not requirements when it comes to salvation. I believe that if a person is a Christian their fruit will show their faith but the difference is they are doing it because they are a Christian,not to remain saved,etc by doing them things and I think this is what the book of James was saying.

I pretty much agree with what you are saying here...

Even though I did use the word 'required' in my post it was not meant to be understood as any requirement for salvation. Neither my position nor the position of LS is that works are required to be saved.
The more precisely worded question is this:
Are good works a 'normative result' of being born again or are good works a 'necessary result' of being born again?

My father and I disagree on that specific question
My father believes that good works are a 'normative result' of being born again.
I believe that good works are a 'necessary result' of being born again.

In Christ

Sounds like a possibly difference we had with Gman some time back.

He too appeared to argue that works were necessary, and anyone who loves God does so through the Law which is how we love God. This love for God was a part of our "faith".

I'll ask you a similar question. Let's say a person comes to believe in Christ, but immediately dies. They've not yet had time to do "good works". So then if such be necessary, it's now too late. Their faith is incomplete, mere belief.

That's a hypothetical of course, but if you say, "No, hang on... some such person may still be saved." then I'd argue you are now supporting that good works is normative. By "normative" I understand this to be less strict in that good works "ought to be expected" rather than "must be necessarily required."

So then, would you truly support that good works are necessary DBowling?
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: "Lordship Salvation"

Postby SoCalExile » Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:02 am

DBowling wrote:
SoCalExile wrote:The problem is LS does teach these things as salvific requirements for maintaining or evidencing faith, which is contrary to the Bible. Salvation is a free gift. It's like giving someone a car, saying it's a gift, then requiring them to pay in order to keep it (in the case of Arminian LS) or as evidence (in Calvinist LS) that they have a car! In either case, it's not really a gift.

Just to clarify...
LS does not teach that works are a salvific requirement for maintaining faith or keeping faith. That is a misrepresentation of LS.

LS teaches that Salvation is a free gift. End of story.
LS also teaches that when a person receives the free gift of salvation, he is 'born again', he becomes a 'new creation', and he receives the indwelling Holy Spirit.
LS doesn't teach that a person performs good works to keep or earn his salvation.
LS teaches that salvation enables a person to perform good works.

In fairness, I do have some problems with with some aspects of LS, and I have discussed some of the areas where I disagree with LS in this thread. (For instance, how is an unregenerate person even capable of total submission to the lordship of Christ?)
However, my disagreements with LS are with positions that LS actually hold and not misrepresentations and straw men that are contrary to core beliefs of LS.

In Christ

You're still trying to deny what the man who coined the term actually teaches in favor of what you want LS to be.
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Re: "Lordship Salvation"

Postby Byblos » Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:05 am

SoCalExile wrote:
DBowling wrote:
SoCalExile wrote:The problem is LS does teach these things as salvific requirements for maintaining or evidencing faith, which is contrary to the Bible. Salvation is a free gift. It's like giving someone a car, saying it's a gift, then requiring them to pay in order to keep it (in the case of Arminian LS) or as evidence (in Calvinist LS) that they have a car! In either case, it's not really a gift.

Just to clarify...
LS does not teach that works are a salvific requirement for maintaining faith or keeping faith. That is a misrepresentation of LS.

LS teaches that Salvation is a free gift. End of story.
LS also teaches that when a person receives the free gift of salvation, he is 'born again', he becomes a 'new creation', and he receives the indwelling Holy Spirit.
LS doesn't teach that a person performs good works to keep or earn his salvation.
LS teaches that salvation enables a person to perform good works.

In fairness, I do have some problems with with some aspects of LS, and I have discussed some of the areas where I disagree with LS in this thread. (For instance, how is an unregenerate person even capable of total submission to the lordship of Christ?)
However, my disagreements with LS are with positions that LS actually hold and not misrepresentations and straw men that are contrary to core beliefs of LS.

In Christ

You're still trying to deny what the man who coined the term actually teaches in favor of what you want LS to be.


Seriously, who cares who coined the term and what his intentions were.

SoCalExile wrote:It's like giving someone a car, saying it's a gift, then requiring them to pay in order to keep it (in the case of Arminian LS) or as evidence (in Calvinist LS) that they have a car! In either case, it's not really a gift.


Of course it's a gift you absolutely don't have to pay for. Does that mean you have no responsibility whatsoever towards the gift? At a minimum, well, you have to use it, drive it around, every week or so (maybe on Sundays :mrgreen: ) fill it with gas, and occasionally change the oil and check the tire pressure. You know, routine maintenance. Does doing so constitute that it's not a free gift any more or that you earned the car all on your own? That's just silly. It means you're a good steward of what God freely gave you. And more importantly, what happens if you completely neglect, abandon this free gift? You guessed it, it will wither and die.

P.S. All that to show that that was a horrible analogy you used socal. ;)
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Re: "Lordship Salvation"

Postby SoCalExile » Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:18 am

Byblos wrote:
Seriously, who cares who coined the term and what his intentions were.


Words mean things, and people agree to those meanings. Tossing those meanings in favor of using words to one's own fancy is to live in one's own fantasy kingdom...then to try to argue that other's are wrong because they do not conform to that fantasy, simply because they accept the stated definitions, is utterly silly and nonsensical.

By ignoring accepted definitions by the author, it makes it easier for those who wish to pretend that LS is Biblical.

Byblos wrote:Of course it's a gift you absolutely don't have to pay for. Does that mean you have no responsibility whatsoever towards the gift? At a minimum, well, you have to use it, drive it around, every week or so (maybe on Sundays :mrgreen: ) fill it with gas, and occasionally change the oil and check the tire pressure. You know, routine maintenance. Does doing so constitute that it's not a free gift any more or that you earned the car all on your own? That's just silly. It means you're a good steward of what God freely gave you. And more importantly, what happens if you completely neglect, abandon this free gift? You guessed it, it will wither and die.

P.S. All that to show that that was a horrible analogy you used socal. ;)


Except you're ignoring the details. LS is a salvific doctrine, hence the word "salvation" in it's title. Therefore, in our analogy, we are talking about the acquisition of the car, not the other stuff you mentioned. In a Calvinistic LS, you get the car for "free", but you still have to pay for it, or else you never had the car in the first place!

My analogy isn't horrible. What's horrible is your twisting of it to portray LS as something other than it's demagogues say it is.
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Re: "Lordship Salvation"

Postby Byblos » Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:39 am

SoCalExile wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Seriously, who cares who coined the term and what his intentions were.


Words mean things, and people agree to those meanings. Tossing those meanings in favor of using words to one's own fancy is to live in one's own fantasy kingdom...then to try to argue that other's are wrong because they do not conform to that fantasy, simply because they accept the stated definitions, is utterly silly and nonsensical.

By ignoring accepted definitions by the author, it makes it easier for those who wish to pretend that LS is Biblical.


First of all no one is ignoring anything, I was merely stating that the opinion of the person who coined the phrase is irrelevant. What is relevant is the current generally accepted definition of the term, irrespective of the original author's intentions. And second of all, I am not defending LS, only pointing out the inconsistencies in your analogy.

SoCalExile wrote:
Byblos wrote:Of course it's a gift you absolutely don't have to pay for. Does that mean you have no responsibility whatsoever towards the gift? At a minimum, well, you have to use it, drive it around, every week or so (maybe on Sundays :mrgreen: ) fill it with gas, and occasionally change the oil and check the tire pressure. You know, routine maintenance. Does doing so constitute that it's not a free gift any more or that you earned the car all on your own? That's just silly. It means you're a good steward of what God freely gave you. And more importantly, what happens if you completely neglect, abandon this free gift? You guessed it, it will wither and die.

P.S. All that to show that that was a horrible analogy you used socal. ;)


Except you're ignoring the details. LS is a salvific doctrine, hence the word "salvation" in it's title. Therefore, in our analogy, we are talking about the acquisition of the car, not the other stuff you mentioned. In a Calvinistic LS, you get the car for "free", but you still have to pay for it, or else you never had the car in the first place!


Of course it's a salvific matter. And according to your analogy you seem to be concluding that merely getting the car as a free gift guarantees your salvation no matter what you do with this free gift. I am merely pointing out that the free gift you received will be dead and buried unless you properly maintain it. I did not say anything one way or another on the status of your salvation so I don't blame you for drawing the wrong conclusions.

SoCalExile wrote:My analogy isn't horrible. What's horrible is your twisting of it to portray LS as something other than it's demagogues say it is.


Your analogy simply fails, you'd do a whole lot better coming up with a different one. But you are certainly entitled to your opinion, however misguided it is.
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Re: "Lordship Salvation"

Postby DBowling » Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:52 am

Kurieuo wrote:I'll ask you a similar question. Let's say a person comes to believe in Christ, but immediately dies. They've not yet had time to do "good works". So then if such be necessary, it's now too late. Their faith is incomplete, mere belief.

That's a hypothetical of course, but if you say, "No, hang on... some such person may still be saved." then I'd argue you are now supporting that good works is normative. By "normative" I understand this to be less strict in that good works "ought to be expected" rather than "must be necessarily required."

So then, would you truly support that good works are necessary DBowling?


When a person puts their trust in Christ, they are saved. Period.
In your hypothetical question, if a person trusts in Jesus on their deathbed then they are saved.
I think even MacArthur would agree with that.

I have tried to be as explicit and clear as I can. Works are not 'necessary for' or a 'requirement for' salvation. Period.

However, Scripture clearly teaches that faith and salvation do produce fruit and that according to Eph 2:8-10 we are saved by grace through faith to perform good works.
Even the thief on the cross demonstrated the genuineness of his faith by his words on the cross.

Now do I consider my position that works are a 'necessary result' of salvation to conflict with my response to your hypothetical?
From my perspective, No

However, it would probably be worth my while to formalize why I do not think those two positions are in conflict.

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Re: "Lordship Salvation"

Postby SoCalExile » Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:14 am

Byblos wrote: First of all no one is ignoring anything, I was merely stating that the opinion of the person who coined the phrase is irrelevant. What is relevant is the current generally accepted definition of the term, irrespective of the original author's intentions. And second of all, I am not defending LS, only pointing out the inconsistencies in your analogy.


Not ignoring anything except what is the accepted definition of the term and the doctrines it entails, you mean. And yes, the source of those doctrines and the term is still alive and very popular, so yes, it is the accepted term. You can't just brush it away because you don't like it. :pound:

Byblos wrote:Of course it's a salvific matter. And according to your analogy you seem to be concluding that merely getting the car as a free gift guarantees your salvation no matter what you do with this free gift. I am merely pointing out that the free gift you received will be dead and buried unless you properly maintain it. I did not say anything one way or another on the status of your salvation so I don't blame you for drawing the wrong conclusions.

So you used my analogy on salvation to try to prove a point that wasn't salvific, yet it is? By trying to confuse the point, you've shamed yourself.

Fact is a "free gift" means free; if there's strings attached then it's not free. Yet the Bible does state that it's free, and LS effectively tries to state that the Bible has lied on this point, and that you must "maintain" salvation through works!

Yet the Bible states that salvation is not of ourselves or our works (Ephesians 2:8-9), and grace and works cannot be mixed (Romans 11:6). Thus, where is there a verse that states we must maintain our claim to eternal life?

Byblos wrote:Your analogy simply fails, you'd do a whole lot better coming up with a different one. But you are certainly entitled to your opinion, however misguided it is.

Well I can back these opinions with facts (which I have) and scripture. All the LS defenders here can do is claim that LS is something other than what the popular LS preachers say it is, and even what the inventor of the term says it is.

How anyone can accept such inherently contradictory teachings as consistent is beyond me. Why do so many professing Christians not believe God's word?
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Re: "Lordship Salvation"

Postby SoCalExile » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:11 am

DBowling wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:I'll ask you a similar question. Let's say a person comes to believe in Christ, but immediately dies. They've not yet had time to do "good works". So then if such be necessary, it's now too late. Their faith is incomplete, mere belief.

That's a hypothetical of course, but if you say, "No, hang on... some such person may still be saved." then I'd argue you are now supporting that good works is normative. By "normative" I understand this to be less strict in that good works "ought to be expected" rather than "must be necessarily required."

So then, would you truly support that good works are necessary DBowling?


When a person puts their trust in Christ, they are saved. Period.
In your hypothetical question, if a person trusts in Jesus on their deathbed then they are saved.
I think even MacArthur would agree with that.

I have tried to be as explicit and clear as I can. Works are not 'necessary for' or a 'requirement for' salvation. Period.

However, Scripture clearly teaches that faith and salvation do produce fruit and that according to Eph 2:8-10 we are saved by grace through faith to perform good works.
Even the thief on the cross demonstrated the genuineness of his faith by his words on the cross.

Now do I consider my position that works are a 'necessary result' of salvation to conflict with my response to your hypothetical?
From my perspective, No

However, it would probably be worth my while to formalize why I do not think those two positions are in conflict.

In Christ


Problem is that you are quoting only part of Ephesians 2:8-10, then taking that half-quote and applying a preconceived theology to it, without reconciling it to co-texts, such as Romans 4:2-8 and even John 3:14-18.

What Ephesians 2:10 is saying, in the context of the two previous verses, is that salvation is not of us, and not of works, to the point that even ourselves and our works are not of us, but what has been laid out for us, so we even cannot boast about what we manage to accomplish. Ergo, logically, if we can't boast in any of those things then how can lay claim to them in order to claim the right to be saved? Yet that's what LS effectively teaches: you must do works in order to claim that you are saved.

Remember John 3:14-15, which is a reference to Numbers 21, where the Israelites only had to look to the pole a single time to be saved from the serpent's bite, nothing else was required. Jesus saved us in the same way, that if we look to him, even once, we are saved from Satan's "bite". The Israelites did not have to keep looking, they did not have to look and do anything else. Period.
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Re: "Lordship Salvation"

Postby DBowling » Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:05 pm

Kurieuo wrote:I'll ask you a similar question. Let's say a person comes to believe in Christ, but immediately dies. They've not yet had time to do "good works". So then if such be necessary, it's now too late. Their faith is incomplete, mere belief.

As I mentioned in my last response I see no conflict between a genuine deathbed conversion and the principle of works being a 'necessary result' of faith.

First, below is the confirmation of my assumption that even John MacArthur's understanding of Lordship Salvation has no issue with deathbed conversions.
From the MacArthur New Testament Commentary - Matthew 16-23 (p 214)
The spiritual believer rejoices in the salvation of others, no matter what the circumstances of their conversion. If he sees someone come to Christ on a deathbed, after a life of profligacy and infidelity, he rejoices with the angels in heaven that one more sinner has repented and that God has again been glorified through His marvelous grace.


Now I think the alleged conflict is due to a fundamental problem in your hypothetical. I totally disagree with the premise of the following portion of the hypothetical.
So then if such be necessary, it's now too late. Their faith is incomplete, mere belief.

Works or the lack thereof have nothing whatsoever to do with the 'completeness' of faith. According to Scripture, works/fruit are a consequence of faith, not a component of faith.
So faith is complete and regeneration takes place before faith ever produces any works/fruit.

If, in your deathbed hypothetical, there is no opportunity for faith to manifest itself in the life of the new believer, that doesn't have any impact on the completeness or genuineness of the faith that led the person to be born again, because faith is 'complete' independent of any works and before it produces any works.

However, that does not change the Scriptural principle that faith does produce works/fruit and that given the opportunity works are a 'necessary result' of faith.

Hopefully that adequately addresses my position in regards to your hypothetical scenario.

In Christ

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Re: "Lordship Salvation"

Postby Kurieuo » Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:53 pm

Hi DBowling, I agree with deathbed conversions too, if the person's transformation is true. God doesn't need to see any works even if our good works counted because God knows the heart, right?

But, now consider there's a contradiction of sorts that seems incoherent if good works as you say are "necessary" versus simply "normative" (i.e., what we would expect). Necessary means they must be had, according to its true definition. If one can be saved with displaying such, then good works simply aren't necessary.

Now, you might say that just turning to God like the thief did on the cross is a work in and of itself. Well, not really in Jewish terms, but yes it displays something. What is that, an outer change being display or ultimately an inner change?

Nonetheless, let it be said that such turning isn't ultimately because of us. In fact, Scripture says we all turn away from God and there is none who seeks God. Our turning is ultimately an outworking of God's calling us, God's wooing us, and for whatever reason in who we are, some of us respond and become transformed by God where others don't and simply become hardened like Pharaoh.

Consider also Isaiah's words that our righteous works are like filthy rags to God. If true, then our good works should they be ours account for absolutely nothing when from us rather than God working through us. You agree no doubt, and it is perhaps a bit irrelevant since the issue then becomes God working in us should be visible or produce good works. (important to note then though, is that it's not our repenting that produces good works)

Even so, sometimes that visibility isn't seen, sometimes a person's spirit though willing can't overturn the massive burden of their carnal nature, who they are no longer but they nonetheless struggle against. A person who comes to Christ could be so entangled in their life and require so much healing, that they may not seem to move for years. Picture a person who is covered in vines metres thick. If they come to Christ in that state, it might be quite a while before any "good work" from God working in them becomes visible. Each vine must be cut away one at a time. Heck, they might die before any good work gets out.

Where I'd say the issue lies, is that it is ultimately like the "heart" or "head" thing. You know we can confess with our lips that Jesus Christ is Lord, like many false teachers or to be specific some of your televangelists out there... but such amounts to nothing if the heart isn't there or really has self-serving desires. That, I think, is what you're ultimately siding with.

Now if a person's heart does change, then this should normally flow through to their actions in real life, right? But, such may not be always the case so we should not make judgement about a person's heart based upon their actions... however some people are so charlatan like that they need to be pointed out. Sadly, the people often accused of not being Christian, living a life of sin and not really loving God, are perhaps those who are the most sincere and need healing. Those wicked Christians who accuse such of not walking according to Christ, are probably being most dishonest and covering a host of their own sins and present themselves whitewashed in front of others.

It would be nice to know who is really true and sincere versus those who are merely a charade, right? But, we must be careful to not demands to see change and works in others, indeed such can't be forced even if we tried -- for if God isn't working in us then he's not working in us. So any good work made visible to others is really ultimately white-washed but empty on the inside, much like the Pharisees were considered to be (Matt 23:27). There are many charlatans and snake charmers who make themselves righteous in appearance.

We're not judges anyway, except so far as a church is concerned or where love is at the forefront.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: "Lordship Salvation"

Postby abelcainsbrother » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:27 pm

I'm going to come at this from a different perspective.First off nobody can be saved unless the Holy Spirit draws them to Christ.This is why somebody on their death bed may not be able to come to Jesus at that time.It depends on how many times in their life the Holy Spirit drew them or convicted them to come to Christ and they rejected it or ignored it.There are only so many times the Holy Spirit will convict a person and only God knows.But just because somebody prays on their death bed does not mean they will be saved,the Holy Spirit must be drawing them and then they respond to it right then,otherwise it may not happen again.This is why today is the day of salvation if you feel the Holy Spirit drawing you.No draw,no salvation.It is all God's work and not man's efforts to be righteous.


And the Holy Spirit draws men to Christ by the preaching of God's word or by the word itself.As we preach God's word the Holy Spirit is at work drawing men to Christ and those who respond to it are saved.

Now once a person has been saved they become a new creature in Christ Jesus and they will be so changed that it will be the change the Holy Spirit did in them that produces fruit.It might surprise you to know that not everybody who prays can be saved,it matters if they are being drawn by the Holy Spirit and this is why there is no boasting in Christianity because it is God that does the changing which produces fruit in our life.Nobody who has truly been saved will change their self and those who do are just faking it,even if they don't know it.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: "Lordship Salvation"

Postby DBowling » Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:42 pm

Kurieuo wrote:Hi DBowling, I agree with deathbed conversions too, if the person's transformation is true. God doesn't need to see any works even if our good works counted because God knows the heart, right?

I agree...
The heart transformation is what really matters.
Works/fruit are just an outward manifestation of the heart.

But, now consider there's a contradiction of sorts that seems incoherent if good works as you say are "necessary" versus simply "normative" (i.e., what we would expect). Necessary means they must be had, according to its true definition. If one can be saved with displaying such, then good works simply aren't necessary.

Here is an example of what I mean by the term 'necessary result'.

If I hold a ball 4 feet off the ground and then I release the ball, I would say that a 'necessary result' of my releasing the ball is that the ball will fall towards the ground.
However, if a person with a gun shoots the ball at exactly the same time that I release the ball, instead of falling towards the ground the ball will be destroyed.

Now does this exception of shooting and destroying the the ball at the precise time that I release it mean that falling towards the ground is no longer a 'necessary result' of my releasing the ball?
I personally don't think so.
Even though this potential exception is hypothetically possible, I still think it is legitimate to say that falling towards the ground is a 'necessary result' of dropping a ball.

Using that description of 'necessary result', the following 5 statements represent my perspective.
1. Works/fruit are not necessary for regeneration.
2. Works/fruit are a necessary result of regeneration.
3. Works/fruit are not necessary for sanctification
4. Works/fruit are a necessary result of sanctification
5. Works/fruit are not necessary for glorification (resurrection and new heaven/new earth)

Now, you might say that just turning to God like the thief did on the cross is a work in and of itself. Well, not really in Jewish terms, but yes it displays something. What is that, an outer change being display or ultimately an inner change?

The thief's outward behavior was evidence of an inner heart change, and as you mention above the inner heart change is what truly matters.

Nonetheless, let it be said that such turning isn't ultimately because of us. In fact, Scripture says we all turn away from God and there is none who seeks God. Our turning is ultimately an outworking of God's calling us, God's wooing us, and for whatever reason in who we are, some of us respond and become transformed by God where others don't and simply become hardened like Pharaoh.

In my view illumination (similar I think to your wooing) and regeneration (becoming a new creation) are works of God in our lives... as is post-regeneration sanctification for that matter.

Consider also Isaiah's words that our righteous works are like filthy rags to God. If true, then our good works should they be ours account for absolutely nothing when from us rather than God working through us. You agree no doubt, and it is perhaps a bit irrelevant since the issue then becomes God working in us should be visible or produce good works. (important to note then though, is that it's not our repenting that produces good works)

I agree that Ephesians 2:10 'good works' are works that are initiated by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
However I would say that it is legitimate to say that faith/repentance does produce good works for this reason. Faith/repentance do lead to regeneration and the indwelling Holy Spirit, and since regeneration and the indwelling Holy Spirit produce 'good works', then you can legitimately say that faith/repentance lead to good works. (See Hebrews 11)

Where I'd say the issue lies, is that it is ultimately like the "heart" or "head" thing. You know we can confess with our lips that Jesus Christ is Lord, like many false teachers or to be specific some of your televangelists out there... but such amounts to nothing if the heart isn't there or really has self-serving desires. That, I think, is what you're ultimately siding with.

I think I've said this somewhere in this thread before.
There are two important points that LS makes that I think are sorely missing in some presentations of the gospel today.
1. The object of faith/trust that leads to being born again is the person of Jesus Christ, not our understanding of theological truths about Jesus.
2. When we trust in Jesus we are trusting him to do something in our lives, and that something that we are trusting him to do is save us from our sin. That means we are trusting him to deliver us from bondage to sin as well as deliver us from 'wages of sin'.

Hopefully that clarifies some of my perspectives.

In Christ


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