Other things necessary for salvation?

General discussions about Christianity including salvation, heaven and hell, Christian history and so on.
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#31

Post by Jac3510 » Sat Mar 03, 2007 5:39 pm

Where have I suggested that we should let our faith just sit idly and not do anything with it? Of course we shoud, to quote another far better than myself, "press on to maturity." But while we are pressing on, let us not confuse the means of growth with the message of justification, lest we teach a works based salvation.

In other words, present the clear, unadulterated Gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone; once we are dealing with born again believers, let's disciple them.
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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Re: Faith etc

#32

Post by madscientist » Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:32 am

Jac3510 wrote: Not a good line of thought to take with a Calvinist, ms.
Well do i sound like a calvinist? Ah well i neevr intended that, plus i dont really know aht calvinism teaches... all i did was my theory of salvation and works etc. Not to sound calvinist or strong support for a theory! :) But just my opinion. Yes i belive it is God's work to save people, not man's, and it is God who has to give that option first, what role does free will play? And later mentioned something about love in B.W.'s post - about how we should love God etc, but isnt love a part of free will and therefore the decision to follow God our will to choose once after God has shown us he loves us? I may be completely wrong but that is what i think rigth now - all God's work, and God's grace is necessary for salvation; but on the other hand what if i was really proud and reluctant to be saved? Would God still save me? Then if such view as i adopted is wrong what the Bible and God say about free will and why do we get blamed for mnaking a stupid choice here if it is not our work? Yes... predestination vs. free will debate again I know...!! :) :roll:
"Love is only possible if a choice of either love or rejecting the love is given." One of the most true things id ever heard, not so long ago.

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#33

Post by Jac3510 » Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:27 pm

You misunderstood me. I meant the line of thought you were taking with PL, who is a Calvinist, in asking why people would be held accountable for their sins/rejection of God.
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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#34

Post by madscientist » Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:40 am

Jac3510 wrote:You misunderstood me. I meant the line of thought you were taking with PL, who is a Calvinist, in asking why people would be held accountable for their sins/rejection of God.
Ah sorry!! Well i misunderstood then... but hopefully its all ok now! :) :) BTW which line you meant exactly? when i quoted him some long time ago? Then was my point of view Ok or not (from a neutral point of view) before ypur post?
"Love is only possible if a choice of either love or rejecting the love is given." One of the most true things id ever heard, not so long ago.

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#35

Post by puritan lad » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:20 pm

While the Bible does guarantee the justification of true believers, it also guarantees their sanctification.

"Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it."
(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

If one is not being sanctified, he is not of God. If he claims otherwise, he is a liar and the truth is not in him (1 John 2:3-4).
"To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." - JOHN OWEN

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#36

Post by Jac3510 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:43 pm

madscientist wrote:Ah sorry!! Well i misunderstood then... but hopefully its all ok now! BTW which line you meant exactly? when i quoted him some long time ago? Then was my point of view Ok or not (from a neutral point of view) before ypur post?
I wasn't following the thread all that closely. I just noticed you challenging PL by asking what right God would have to condemn someone if He is responsible for their belief or lackthereof. I was saying that particular line of thought does not work with a Calvinst (which PL is). They (wrongly) believe that God chooses to one person believe and not another. As one Calvinst here in GA likes to say, "You weren't saved because you believed. You believed because you were saved!" When you challenge them on this, they go to Romans 9. When you challenge them on THAT, they run off to a million other texts. When you challenge them on THOSE, they run back to Romans 9. It's rather silly.

Other than that, I'll just say the same thing I've been saying all along. Salvation is through belief alone. When we regard God's promises to be true, we are justified. Therefore, we just have to know His promise is. According to the Gospel of John (and the rest of the NT, might I add), the promise is that Jesus is the guarantor of everlasting life, and all who believe in Him have it (John 3:15, 16; 5:24; 6:47; 11:25-26; 20:31).
puritan lad wrote:While the Bible does guarantee the justification of believers, it also guarantees their sanctification.
Fixed for accuracy.

Funny . . . did anyone know the phrase "true believer" doesn't occur anywhere in the Bible? :shock: Maybe that's because "Whoever believes has everlasting life." (John 6:47) Of course, Jesus could have been wrong. He really MEANT "whoever TRULY believes has everlasting life."

;)

edit: Don't take the sarcasm there harshly. You just get to the point where you see the same people saying the same things. Who really has time for this? I'm actually in a good mood. Just behind on the Greek/Hebrew is all . . . God bless! 8)
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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#37

Post by puritan lad » Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:01 pm

Jac,

What does John 3:16 actually say? It says "whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." It identifies those who are saved, but says absolutely nothing about the means of salvation (but John 3:3 does). Jesus did not say "cholose to believe in me and you will have everlasting life, but rather "whoever believes (already accomplished) in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 contrast the sheep who have everlasting life (those who believe) from the goats (those who do not believe, but are condemned already (John 3:18).

Your interpretation of John 3:16 contradicts the entire third chapter of John. It completely contradicts John 3:3-10.

One is not saved because he believes, but believes because he is saved.

What is required for salvation? You must be born again. Until that happens, no one will believe, be justified, or sanctified. When it does happen, all three are inevitable.

By the way, your idea that Simon Magus was threatened with physical death by the Apostle is utterly ridiculous.
"To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." - JOHN OWEN

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#38

Post by Jac3510 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:35 pm

"Believe" in John 3:16 should be taken as a gnomic present. A gnomic is used "in proverbial statements or general maxims about what occurs at all times." (See Wallace, GGBB, 523; Fanning, Verbal Aspect, 208.) Your view would require a perfect, or at least a perfective present. In fact, responsible Calvinists (like Wallace) argue that this is a Habitual (or Customary) present, thus rendering the verse "whoever continually believes . . ." Now, that is still wrong for a host of reasons, but it is far more acceptable than your attempt to label this an accomplished fact. That's just outside the syntactical possibilities for this word.

Anyway, it doesn't contradict the passage. Jesus had said in 3:3 a person must be born again - Nick asked HOW that could happen. Jesus explains that it happens when we believe, just as it happened in the OT (using an illustration Nick would recognize).

Again, 20:31 says that we have life BY believing - look at the verse:

"These things are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that by believing, you may have life in His name." I hate to be the bearer of good news, PL, but the only thing necessary for salvation is belief. If we believe, we HAVE everlasting life.

fakedit: You are wrong that the new birth is all that is necessary. Justification, sanctification, forgiveness of sins, glorification, propitation, redemption, adoption, and a host of other things are necessary. Now, the new birth IS necessary. But we are born again when we believe. And when we are born again, all those other things happen. But, again, I believe that your view of 3:16 is simply wrong.
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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#39

Post by B. W. » Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:22 pm

Jac3510 wrote:Where have I suggested that we should let our faith just sit idly and not do anything with it? Of course we shoud, to quote another far better than myself, "press on to maturity." But while we are pressing on, let us not confuse the means of growth with the message of justification, lest we teach a works based salvation.

In other words, present the clear, unadulterated Gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone; once we are dealing with born again believers, let's disciple them.
Okay - know I understand where you are coming from - sorry about that as I thought you were saying something else - "that there was no need to press on to maturity because of grace alone."

I see that you are not -- sorry about that Jac

See the following link below and go to first graph and note the years 1996 thru 1999 - the arrest rate dropped in our county. This was due to a decrease rate of repeat offenders.

http://www.co.larimer.co.us/compass/adu ... sts_cs.htm

This was during the time I was preaching in the local jail on pressing on to Christian Maturity as well as a few others. There was a drop in repeat criminal offenders returning to crime as the chart shows. Even the Sheriff recognized the effectiveness of the Christian Volunteers during these years and acknowledge it openly.

What I taught basically during those 2.5 years was the subject matter contained in Titus 2:11-15. The word of God had its effect.

Now the rate has increased due to a new crop of younger individuals taking over the previous crowds place. I was hired by the Sheriff Dept 6/99 and had to stop teaching there due to conflict of interest and legal church - state issues. Another story…

I am not saying that there was a drop in arrest rate of repeat criminal offenders due to me alone but was due solely to God and everyone involved in teaching God's word at that time. We taught that one must believe to be born again and by belief — we did not teach intellectual assent but rather the 'marriage faith' concept I mentioned on this thread.

Here is a title of one of the sermons I preached, “Grace ain't Cheap because it's free.” The thrust of the message was that Grace will cost you your sin — scripture text used was Titus 2:11-12.

The reason I bring this up is to show you the power of God and his word. It has an effect. I cannot teach people to 'just believe' but rather instead teach them to 'live what you believe.” That is the point of the cross — to lead people to Christ into a living relationship.

Fail to do this and no noticeable empirical change will take place. Those that attended our meetings back then, I still run into them and many have gone into ministry or now living better lives as parents and free from drugs, crime, and booze. They thank me for telling it to them straight — what it means to really believe.

Sadly — since 1999 to rate is ncreasing again due to new crop of younger gang bangers and persons learning to repeat offend all over again. Also, I do not think those involved in the Jail Ministry are teaching what we taught there anymore but have drifted to other venues. I think 'Rick Warren' Purpose Driven Life took over but I am not 100 per cent sure of this. PL is sure to get a laugh out of that :)

I left the Sheriff's Dept in 2006 to pursue a new career working with disabled population in our county.

The point remains — there is more to belief than intellectual ascent alone, more than dogmatic interpretations of predestination, more than what we realize: When you believe in Jesus Christ — you believe in a real person who will take you places and do things never thought possible — a relationship that is real and tangible to those that believe...
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#40

Post by Jac3510 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:29 pm

I appreciate your ministry, BW, and I would never want to trivialize it. But might I suggest that grace is not cheap, not because it costs us our sin, because rather grace is not cheap because 1) it is free to us while 2) it cost GOD everything?

Please note that the Great Commission is not to go out and simply evangelize the lost. It is to "make disciples." But in that, do not confuse discipleship with salvation. Faith IS "intellectual assent" if you want to insist on that terminology. "Faithfulness" is not, of course. Faithfulness does have the marriage idea you were talking about. But "faith" does not.

So, my question: are we saved through faith or through faithfulness?

Let me be VERY cautious here . . . people who believe in a works based (faithfulness based) salvation ARE going to be "good people." Why? Because they are trying to be faithful enough! But we all know that immoral behavior doesn't keep a person out of heaven. It will rob a person of both physical and spiritual blessing, and it will bring divine wrath in the life of a person (believer or not). But our faithfulness has nothing to do with our eternal destination.

Yes, let us press on to maturity, but in doing so, let us not confuse the Gospel of grace through faith with the false gospel of grace through faithfulness.
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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#41

Post by B. W. » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:38 am

Jac3510 wrote:I appreciate your ministry, BW, and I would never want to trivialize it. But might I suggest that grace is not cheap, not because it costs us our sin, because rather grace is not cheap because 1) it is free to us while 2) it cost GOD everything?

Please note that the Great Commission is not to go out and simply evangelize the lost. It is to "make disciples." But in that, do not confuse discipleship with salvation. Faith IS "intellectual assent" if you want to insist on that terminology. "Faithfulness" is not, of course. Faithfulness does have the marriage idea you were talking about. But "faith" does not.

So, my question: are we saved through faith or through faithfulness?

Let me be VERY cautious here . . . people who believe in a works based (faithfulness based) salvation ARE going to be "good people." Why? Because they are trying to be faithful enough! But we all know that immoral behavior doesn't keep a person out of heaven. It will rob a person of both physical and spiritual blessing, and it will bring divine wrath in the life of a person (believer or not). But our faithfulness has nothing to do with our eternal destination.

Yes, let us press on to maturity, but in doing so, let us not confuse the Gospel of grace through faith with the false gospel of grace through faithfulness.
In the sermon the main point was this - Grace is not cheap because it cost God everything - then from there - count the cost. Maybe I'll post a copy of the out line someday if the need arises.

Here maybe summed up the difference: Many teach faith is this manner —The bible is true because I believe it. Or you can say it this way — Because I have Faith therefore what the bible says about Christ's redemption is true. I do not teach this as it misses the import that Faith is active.

I teach this emphasis: because the bible is true — I believe it. Or to say it another way, because Christ's redemption is true therefore faith becomes a reality. There is a difference. On one hand faith is taught in such a manner that it [faith] rest on the human agent to just ascent to creedal facts. The other way, faith is taught as a living reality that will change your life with all the empirical data needed to prove one has faith.

This has nothing to do with a works based salvation but rather grace. Because God demonstrates grace — it will have an effect on ones life that will turn them from darkness into God's glorious light of reflecting his image and likeness to where ever you have been assigned. I must pause and ask the readers — are you so reflecting or just talking? Therefore because Christ's redemption is true, faith becomes a living reality not empty assent to creedal factoids, as it is sadly taught in many churches today.

Jesus taught plainly the need to count the cost. Grace cost God and it will likewise cost us our comfortable darkness. Not teaching that faith is a reality to be lived has caused great harm to the cause of Christ. Many just believe but lack faith as evidenced by his or her un-Christ like behavior. In my humble bleated opinion and mine alone, such persons were never saved.

Grace cost God the Father a lot. We are called to take up our cross and follow God the Son — Jesus Christ. We are called to walk as he walked and be imitators of God. We are called to count the cost. Yes if we are really honest with ourselves to walk as Christ did revealing who God really is and imitating him as the bible teaches because it is true then grace will cost us what is dear to us — our darkness in exchange for eternal life which is 'knowing' the Lord.

To say Faith is merely intellectual ascent alone is in essence a works based salvation because it leaves the human agent unchanged and unchecked. Faith is a reality to be lived — not head knowledge. God the Holy Spirit reveals grace into the heart to convert the soul to live and be able to live in the reality of living faith. Faith is a journey. Its definitions are learned in the arena of life we all must tread. By this the elders obtained [living] witness, testimony as evidenced by their life course of living faith, Heb 11

Heb 11:39-40, “And having obtained witness through the faith, these all did not obtain the promise [epaggelia], God having foreseen something better concerning us, that they should not be perfected [teleioō] apart from us.” RV

If grace, the promise, does not covert the soul — what good is such faith?
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Now onto another matter - what happened to the feature to link too?

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#42

Post by Jac3510 » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:59 am

Well I'm certainly glad that you teach that we believe BECAUSE the Bible is true and not vice versa. And I am glad that you recognize that grace cost God everything. What I am afraid you are missing is that grace costs us nothing. It doesn't cost us our lives, our commitment, or sin, or devotion, or worship, or praise, not anything. Grace is grace, and grace is FREE.

Yes, we are to count the cost, but that relates to discipleship. It does not cost us anything to be saved. Salvation (in the eternal sense) comes when we believe Jesus' promise. In doing so, we are born again. "Going to heaven" or "getting saved" or "being born again" - whatever terminology you want to use here - is a matter of being persuaded that a certain fact is true. NOTHING MORE.

If you say that something else is necessary--be it commitment or worship or repentance or whatever--then you are are saying that Jesus' promise is not true. Jesus says, "Whoever believes has everlasting life." Others reply, "No, whoever believes and [insert condition] has everlasting life." See the first word there: "No"? That's the problem. You are saying Jesus is wrong. Such a person does not believe the Gospel.

God saves by grace or He does not save at all. We are not saved through our faithfulness. We are saved through our belief. Do remember that in the NT, there is no difference in belief and faith. They are the exact same word. Faith (belief) is being persuaded. Look at what Paul says on the subject:
  • Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." (Rom. 4:2-22, KJV)
Again, we SHOULD be faithful, and our lives SHOULD reflect changes. But those are matters of discipleship. If we do them, there are rewards, both here and especially in the hereafter. If we do not, then there is discipline and punishment, both in the hereafter and especially here. But we cannot confuse faith with faithfulness. I know that English makes a distinction between faith and belief and makes very little distinction between faith and faithfulness. It is the exact opposite in Greek. Faith=Belief<>Faithfulness.

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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#43

Post by B. W. » Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:52 pm

Jac3510 wrote:Well I'm certainly glad that you teach that we believe BECAUSE the Bible is true and not vice versa. And I am glad that you recognize that grace cost God everything. What I am afraid you are missing is that grace costs us nothing. It doesn't cost us our lives, our commitment, or sin, or devotion, or worship, or praise, not anything. Grace is grace, and grace is FREE.

Yes, we are to count the cost, but that relates to discipleship. It does not cost us anything to be saved. Salvation (in the eternal sense) comes when we believe Jesus' promise. In doing so, we are born again. "Going to heaven" or "getting saved" or "being born again" - whatever terminology you want to use here - is a matter of being persuaded that a certain fact is true. NOTHING MORE.

If you say that something else is necessary--be it commitment or worship or repentance or whatever--then you are are saying that Jesus' promise is not true. Jesus says, "Whoever believes has everlasting life." Others reply, "No, whoever believes and [insert condition] has everlasting life." See the first word there: "No"? That's the problem. You are saying Jesus is wrong. Such a person does not believe the Gospel.

God saves by grace or He does not save at all. We are not saved through our faithfulness. We are saved through our belief. Do remember that in the NT, there is no difference in belief and faith. They are the exact same word. Faith (belief) is being persuaded. Look at what Paul says on the subject:
  • Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." (Rom. 4:2-22, KJV)
Again, we SHOULD be faithful, and our lives SHOULD reflect changes. But those are matters of discipleship. If we do them, there are rewards, both here and especially in the hereafter. If we do not, then there is discipline and punishment, both in the hereafter and especially here. But we cannot confuse faith with faithfulness. I know that English makes a distinction between faith and belief and makes very little distinction between faith and faithfulness. It is the exact opposite in Greek. Faith=Belief<>Faithfulness.

God bless
Then would you agree with me that discipleship is a neglected truth in much of the Church world? God's Grace instructs us to live and be a certain way. What I have seen is when one begins to overemphasize the truth about God's Grace then the result is a neglect of discipleship. With this a person can learn a state of helplessness and winds up sinning that grace abounds.

I do not think you teach this nor are overemphasizing grace at the exclusion of discipleship but we must be careful in explaining what the grace of God is for. I do not teach a works based salvation but have learned the need to instruct believers what it means to live for / in Christ. Those that do learn - learn who God is through their own personal relationship with Christ and their lives do change.

Those so taught also understand, through living experience, how the Lord graciously works through them and comprehend that it is the Lord's work — that infusion of grace that causes change. Their lives bear good fruit.

Please also never confuse good fruit as works to stay saved or become saved as that is not the case. God word does have an effect. Many people hunger for the Lord after becoming born again and sadly we leave them to starve due to fear of teaching works. So instead, its grace, and overemphasized grace is all they receive or taught and after while, sin looks good again.

As soon as a person believes then they should be taught sound discipleship — learning to walk as Christ and reflect this where they live and also within their church community. Sadly this does not seem to be the case for many today: instead, sin looks good — heck after all we have grace…

I would suggest reading Josh McDowell's book, “The Last Christian Generation” for more insight into this matter.
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#44

Post by Jac3510 » Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:56 pm

Hey, I am in FULL agreement on the discipleship issue. There is almost none of it in the church today for at least two reasons that I see:

1) Preachers minister to "felt needs" rather than teaching the whole council of God. Sermons are designed to make people feel better, to think positively, etc. Or they are "10 steps to overcoming anger," or "Three ways to find God's will for you life." This is not discipleship. This is man-centered ministry.

2) Seeing the moral laxity in our congregations, preachers assume that most of the Church (and perhaps in their own) are not saved. Passages that should be taught as instruction TO BELIEVERS are used evangelistically or, worse yet, as tests of salvation. "If you are saved," the sermon goes, "You will love the brethren." I heard a minister here a few weeks ago say that a true Christian hungers for God's word. If you don't, then that is evidence you are not saved. Again, this is not discipleship. It is evangelism (and evangelism wrongly done, might I add!)

To prove this second point, I've read several dozen books on preaching, the most recent of which is Power in the Pulpit by Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix. In this work, one step they encourage for sermon preparation is to identify the "Mode of the Text." That is, is the text Christian life or is it Evangelistic? Well, from my perspective, there are very, very few truly evangelistic passages in the Bible, and of those that exist, they are almost exclusively in John (with perhaps a few select exceptions from Galatians and possibly the first part of Romans).

We think of the Bible as a handbook on salvation. It is not. It is a handbook on who God is and what God is doing. THAT is discipleship.

So, yes, I do agree that there is a MASSIVE need for discipleship, but again, we cannot equate discipleship with salvation. Consider the following quotation from Pink that Macarthur uses approvingly:
Something more than believing is necessary to salvation . . . Those preachers who tell sinners they may be saved without forsaking their idols, without repenting, without surrendering to the lordship of Christ are as erroneous and dangerous as others who insist that salvation is by works and that heaven must be earned by their own efforts."
Or again, as MacArthur himself says on page 27 in the revised ed. of The Gospel According to Jesus:
The gospel Jesus proclaimed was a call to discipleship, a call to follow him in submissive obedience...It put sinners on notice that they must turn from sin and embrace God's righteousness. It was in every sense good news, yet it was anything but easy-believism.
My concern, B.W., is that we get so concerned with the progressive sanctification of our congregations that we incorporate it into the means of salvation. Grace is not cheap. Grace is not costly. Grace costs us nothing. It is absolutely free to those who simply believe, that is, to those who give mental assent to a single fact, that Jesus Christ is their guarantor of everlasting life. If we teach them anything else, i.e., that Jesus gives eternal life to those who repent or do good works or live faithfully or are baptized or (as innocent as it sounds) to those who pray to "receive Him into their hearts," we are teaching a false gospel.

Salvation through belief alone. Let's do discipleship, and let's do it sincerely. That is, after all, what the Great Commission is about. But lt's not mix up the two, or we fall under Paul's anathema in Gal 1:8-9.

edit: As an aside, I see a root problem here in that most preachers use the pulpit as a means of evangelism. I don't. I know every one of my congregation members, and know all of their conversion testimonies. I don't give a Gospel presentation in my sermons. Sunday morning is solely about discipleship. If a visitor comes in, I don't change the message. I may tack a brief explanation of the Gospel on the tail end for their benefit, but most of the time I reserve it for visitation. I want to get to know them where we can talk about what they have believed.

So, for me, evangelism is done person to person, face to face, knee to knee. It isn't done from the pulpit to the congregation. In my church, all you get is discipleship then. We do our evangelism outside. Is that the right approach? I think so, or I wouldn't do it. I guess we'll see.
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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B. W.
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#45

Post by B. W. » Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:12 am

Jac3510 wrote:Salvation through belief alone. Let's do discipleship, and let's do it sincerely. That is, after all, what the Great Commission is about. But lt's not mix up the two, or we fall under Paul's anathema in Gal 1:8-9.

edit: As an aside, I see a root problem here in that most preachers use the pulpit as a means of evangelism. I don't. I know every one of my congregation members, and know all of their conversion testimonies. I don't give a Gospel presentation in my sermons. Sunday morning is solely about discipleship. If a visitor comes in, I don't change the message. I may tack a brief explanation of the Gospel on the tail end for their benefit, but most of the time I reserve it for visitation. I want to get to know them where we can talk about what they have believed.

So, for me, evangelism is done person to person, face to face, knee to knee. It isn't done from the pulpit to the congregation. In my church, all you get is discipleship then. We do our evangelism outside. Is that the right approach? I think so, or I wouldn't do it. I guess we'll see.
With this I agree. In the Church I attend the focus is on the Gospel presentation is solely on discipleship and when visitors come in — that suffices for them as well. For new converts — these messages convert them as well however the Lord leads in these situations. Yes, grace does not cost us anything because of Christ work.

Ephesians 2:7-9, “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” KJV

But let us not forgot the context here…

Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” KJV

Now here is an actual case that happened many years ago which demonstrates the reality of this verse. In a Church one day a young woman who was stripper in a local strip and pole dance club came to Church one day. She was a single mother with a 10 month old child and no had no husband. She made a hefty amount of money doing her line of work.

She heard the message of the gospel based on our topic and became a Christian. No one condemned her. The ladies in the church helped her in a loving manner. She was not told, 'hey, your are saved by grace now — so have a nice day at work and while there why don't you start witnessing to the other girls at the Club. Maybe you should start a ministry, Strippers, Lap dancers, and Poling for Christ. After all grace doesn't cost a thing.'

No, she was informed that following Christ will cost her this life style as well as her excellent source of income. The woman was sorrowful but understood that this was the right course and quit her job. Grace cost her former lifestyle as well as her lucrative career. She became a waitress as she had no skills or schooling for a better job. She began to suffer financially and raising a child alone. It was easier before as a sinner.

The ladies at the church chipped in and helped baby sit as well as collected money for her to pay her bills. She felt terrible at having to accept charity. Grace cost her, her pride. The ladies again helped her fill out application for college and scholarships. She went back to school. She had support from her sisters in church all during this time. She had no family support only the ladies in the church.

This time was very hard and difficult. She suffered hardship but grew into a strong Christian. Again, the cost of grace on her soul was difficult to bear. She admitted that life in the strip club was easier and was tempted to return to this life style daily. She did not because she saw the “kindness” χρηστότηi - chrēstotēs of the Lord in action within the church. Or the moral goodness, integrity, benignity, kindness of the Lord shown her by her sisters in Christ in the church [Eph 2:7 and note verse 10].

After college, she attained a job in another state and moved there. She had some type of science degree. Years later, I heard from one of her mentors that helped her that she was doing well, married, has another child. She met her husband at church and still attends. They both make ton's of money and are by all means blest.

It is not the money that she makes now that struck her mentor it was that she stated that she now uses here money to help single women in her church the same as she had been. She said it is not easy to do this and now understands the h-ll she put others through but by God's grace she will use the resources as an extension of the Lord's hand. Grace taught her living Faith. It did cost her, her selfish self, if it was not for God's grace teaching her to be rid of her selfishness, she would not be effective in helping others as she once was.

You see, it was by grace she was changed, by grace she endured, by grace she learned, by grace she gave up the old life, and by grace she remains. Grace does cost — this cost cannot be attain by works of self effort as it is grace that provides the ways and means to change. Again, second hand here — she supposedly said that the lesson's she learned by the things she suffered and went through prepared her to be a good steward of the blessing God eventually bestowed upon her.

She said something to this effect, “It is not the blessing from God one should seek rather seeking God's Grace to change is most important. To be in union with Christ,” she reportedly said, “is what Grace taught [her] and this union cost a cost well worth paying any price.”

Ephesians 2:10, “God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.” GNB

In the King James….

Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” KJV

So Grace does cost…

Mat 13:44-46, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” KJV

It takes grace to be able to do what Jesus says in these verses and those trained by grace understand that it is not by self effort that Jesus speaks of here. Those trained by grace understand the cost of following Jesus is impossible unless granted by God's Grace to perform.

What I see happen so often is that the overemphasized teaching of grace leads to neglecting what is means to follow Christ. For example, if that stripper gal came in a Church today and became saved then she is taught — its okay to remain a stripper as God can use you to witness and minister to the other women in your club and the patrons so start a, 'Strippers, Lap Dancers, Poling for Christ' Ministry.

You know what? The sad state of Christian Media would puff her right up. She would soon appear on TBN, Word, TCT, ION, Day Star, etc, and the 700 Club.

I can see it now: the host introduction, “Meet Mary Sue BePop Delux who has a new and dynamic ministry sharing God's Grace to women caught in the tangle of single motherhood and balancing this with her career where she blends a special unique ministry to the ladies and patrons in her profession: 'Strippers, Lap Dancers, Poling for Christ' Ministry. Mary, how did you start this exciting and much needed ministry for Christ?”

“Well Cat, I just wanted to share God's love and grace to all and when dancing I dance unto the Lord to such music as 'Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Are and Power in the Blood. This gives such new ministry to the Patrons as I show them my testimonies for Christ and his great love for them through me...”

Well Ms. BeBop that sounds like the Lord at work in your life to me…Your lovely testimonies I see serve the cause of Christ well!”

“Why thank you Cat…”

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