Question about salvation, repentance, obedience and works

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Question about salvation, repentance, obedience and works

#1

Post by cubeus19 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:52 pm

Hey everyone, recently I came across this website http://www.inplainsite.org/html/salvation.html

Which talks about the plan of salvation. Now some people believe we are only saved by faith alone. Some people, however say we are saved by faith and repentance. And others like the site above, say we are saved by faith and obedience.

Now my question is, is the "faith plus repentance", "faith plus obedience" formula the same as the "faith plus WORKS" formula? Because after all, doesn't it take effort on our part to properly repent or to repent enough, or in the case of obedience, doesn't it take much effort on our parts to obey enough or to properly obey God's commands?

Just like how it takes effort on our parts to do enough so called 'works" on our part to achieve a so called 'salvation' of faith plus works. And if that's the case and one is able to have faith plus properly obey and or properly repent, in the afterlife wouldn't they have something to boast about because they were able to put forth the effort to obey and repent? Which would then, go against Ephesians 2:9?

Again, how I understand the doctrine of salvation is as follows, you put your faith in Christ to save you from your sins so at death you won't face God's wrath and be sentenced to hell.

But it's not just mere faith or knowledge about Christ and what He has done, you put faith in Christ to save you specifically and it's the kind of faith that would naturally either immediately or over time produce "fruit" aka good works, outward repentance, and obedience. Such things from what I can tell are by products of proper and sincere faith not something additional we have to do ourselves on top of our faith.

Does that sound right? Let me know if that's right and also what you all think of people who seem to love to confuse things like the folks at the website I brought up. Goodnight.

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Re: Question about salvation, repentance, obedience and work

#2

Post by cubeus19 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:04 pm

Oh, something else I need to add to this is these other alternative salvation formulas like "lordship salvation" aka making Christ "Lord of your life" to be saved and the "following Christ" method of salvation that comes from the verses where Christ tells the apostles or even the rich man to sell all his possessions or to leave your job and former life behind and "follow Him".

Which to me that and the Lordship salvation methods again look just like a repackaged faith plus works type salvation just like faith plus repentance or faith plus obedience. We need to clearly understand that we as people can only do so much and when we don't have a set number or set amount as to how much good works we have to do along with our faith to be saved plus at how weak we are and how easily we still sin even as believers, we should then easily see that these formulas of salvation must surely be false.

Again we are saved by grace though faith, it's just that the faith we have must be genuine faith which would surely in and of itself produce good works, repentance, obedience, lordship and the act of following Christ. Goodnight.

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Re: Question about salvation, repentance, obedience and work

#3

Post by RickD » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:53 pm

Cubeus,

I think you have a good understanding of salvation by faith. The only thing I see is that the biblical definition of repentance is simply, "a change of mind". Repentance with regard to salvation is simply changing one's mind from rejection of Christ, to faith in Christ. This kind of repentance results in a change of behavior.
I believe some members here actually believed in "lordship salvation". So maybe they can speak more about how it's not biblical. IMO, scripture just doesn't support lordship salvation.
cubeus wrote:
But it's not just mere faith or knowledge about Christ and what He has done, you put faith in Christ to save you specifically and it's the kind of faith that would naturally either immediately or over time produce "fruit" aka good works, outward repentance, and obedience. Such things from what I can tell are by products of proper and sincere faith not something additional we have to do ourselves on top of our faith.
I think you said it pretty well there. :D
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Re: Question about salvation, repentance, obedience and work

#4

Post by jlay » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:13 pm

Well, this website, like so many others only makes the problem worse by being equally in error. It actually makes some very good points, but then makes some terrible errors.

Quote:
The message heard from way too many pulpits has been watered down to just "believe" and you'll be saved, pastors rarely calling for their congregations to sorrow over sin. Yet repentance, defined as a radical change in one's attitude toward sin and God, is presented as an absolute requirement for forgiveness in the Old Testament as well as the New. It was continually emphasized in the inspired preaching of the Gospel in the book of Acts.
Nowhere is sorrow over sin a requirement. And that is not what repentance means. We could never feel the appropriate amount of sorrow for our sin.
Not sure where this definition of repentance is found. The one being that 'repents' more than any other in the OT, is God himself. Is that saying that God needs a radical change in his attitude toward sin? These people have zeal without knowledge.

On that note, I would say that repentance never saves anyone, but it can certainly prevent one from being saved. Repent means "after thought," or to change one's thinking. For example, if a person believed that sin was not a problem for man, guess what? They need to repent. That is, they need to abandon that way of thinking. Or, let's say that a person knows they are a sinner, but they just believe that their sins are too heinous for God to forgive, guess what? They need to forsake such a thought. If they don't, guess what? That are unable to BELIEVE the Gospel. The word metanoia does not have an inherent subject or object, therefore context is always the key.
These knuckleheads further butcher the word. They quote Luke 13:3-5
"I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
The problem is they missed the key. Repentance has to do with thinking. All one needs to do when the word 'repent' occurs in scripture is find where something is mentioned regarding a way of thinking. The problem with the Pharisees was their mindset. They thought that they were better than those Galileans. And until they give up that mindset, they will not believe, and thus will perish.

Next they really make a mess of the word believe. Yes, faith and obedience are often used as interchangeable. However, they run the wrong direction on this one. For salvation we are commanded to obey the Gospel. That is we are to trust only in the efficacious work of Christ to save us, and nothing else. Not our performance, or following the law, or our commitment, level of sorrow, etc. If we think that our commitment contributes to salvation, we need to repent. And if we don't, then we will not be able to trust the Gospel for what it really is.

Then, and worst of all they actually say this,
Scripture warns over and over again that salvation is not a done deal.
What??? Run away. This is a sure sign that you are dealing with aberrant Christianity that will lead people into total confusion. This is your typical modern hodgepodge of prooftext. Discard and move on.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

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Re: Question about salvation, repentance, obedience and work

#5

Post by Gman » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:40 pm

cubeus19 wrote: Now my question is, is the "faith plus repentance", "faith plus obedience" formula the same as the "faith plus WORKS" formula? Because after all, doesn't it take effort on our part to properly repent or to repent enough, or in the case of obedience, doesn't it take much effort on our parts to obey enough or to properly obey God's commands?
In a nutshell... You have to describe what faith actually is. It's not faith PLUS works or repentance, it's more that faith IS works AND repentance. It's all part of the same ball game. Therefore, if you claim you have the faith, your works and repentance will follow because that is what faith is.. They are inseparable.
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: Question about salvation, repentance, obedience and work

#6

Post by jlay » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:12 am

y#-o
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Question about salvation, repentance, obedience and work

#7

Post by Jac3510 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:48 am

Gman wrote:
cubeus19 wrote: Now my question is, is the "faith plus repentance", "faith plus obedience" formula the same as the "faith plus WORKS" formula? Because after all, doesn't it take effort on our part to properly repent or to repent enough, or in the case of obedience, doesn't it take much effort on our parts to obey enough or to properly obey God's commands?
In a nutshell... You have to describe what faith actually is. It's not faith PLUS works or repentance, it's more that faith IS works AND repentance. It's all part of the same ball game. Therefore, if you claim you have the faith, your works and repentance will follow because that is what faith is.. They are inseparable.
In other words . . .
  • For it is by grace you are saved through [works and repentance], and this is not of yourselves, it is a gift of God. It is not of works, so that no one may boast.
Right, so we're saved through works and repentance, just not through works!

As another great scholar put it:
jlay wrote: y#-o
;)

More seriously, yes cube, faith plus anything is faith plus works, which means salvation is no longer by grace (Rom 11:6). Consider the following examples:

Gen 19:31-35: Lot leaves the OT pages drunk and sleeping with his daughters. If faith always leads to good works, then this guy is up a creek, right? And yet, the NT says he was saved, that he had real faith (2 Pet 2:7)
2 Sam 11: David, a man after God's own heart, commits adultery and then murders a man to cover it up. No one doubts that he was really saved, though.
John 12:42-43: The Bible says that these people believed, and yet it explicitly says that they refused to acknowledge Jesus because they loved men more than God. What are we going to do, say that God lied and that they didn't really believe?
John 18:15-27: Peter denies Jesus, three times. So, apparently, a person can have genuine faith and turn around and deny that they have faith.
Acts 8: Simon the magician believes the gospel (8:13), and yet he proceeded to sin so greatly that he was threatened with death.
James 2:14-21: James sites an instance of a man with dead faith, which he goes on to describe as a useless faith. But since when is a dead or useless faith not faith at all? Is a dead body not a body? The entire discussion in James 2 presumes that the man has faith, and Jesus says that everyone with faith is saved.

I could go on and on. The fact is rather clear. The moment a person places their faith in Jesus, they have everlasting life (John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47; 20:30-31, etc.). That faith may or may not go on to produce good works. It certainly should, and it will do so if the person abides in Christ (John 15). But there is no necessary equation between the two, and the Bible is replete with examples of believers falling into grave sin or not having any works or even denying that they believe in Jesus at all. So we know for sure that:

1. True believers can deny Jesus;
2. True believers can commit heinous sin;
3. True believers can die in their heinous sin;
4. True believers may not abide in Christ, and thereby not produce good works.

There is a connection between faith and works, but it is only this: the same faith that saves, if we abide in it, is the same faith that produces the fruit of the Spirit (see Gal 3:1-6). If a person is saved through their faith but then attempts through works to become righteous, then they have believed a false gospel, because not only does God not justify by works, but He doesn't sanctify by works, either. God saves--which is every aspect of the process of redemption, from justification and regeneration all the way up through glorification--by grace (which is, by definition, unearned (and thus unearnable) favor)) through faith alone.

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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Re: Question about salvation, repentance, obedience and work

#8

Post by RickD » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:16 pm

Gman wrote:
In a nutshell... You have to describe what faith actually is. It's not faith PLUS works or repentance, it's more that faith IS works AND repentance. It's all part of the same ball game. Therefore, if you claim you have the faith, your works and repentance will follow because that is what faith is.. They are inseparable.
Jac wrote:
If a person is saved through their faith but then attempts through works to become righteous, then they have believed a false gospel, because not only does God not justify by works, but He doesn't sanctify by works, either. God saves--which is every aspect of the process of redemption, from justification and regeneration all the way up through glorification--by grace (which is, by definition, unearned (and thus unearnable) favor)) through faith alone.
I think you two are basically saying the same thing.

Gman is just talking about when a believer's good works and repentance(feeling sorry), are a natural result of a believer being sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
The works a believer does are because God is sanctifying him. A believer doesn't show works in order to be sanctified.
John 5:24
24 “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.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Question about salvation, repentance, obedience and work

#9

Post by Jac3510 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:48 pm

Except Gman is probably saying that if a person doesn't have good works or feel sorry, then he doesn't actually have faith.

There is a huge difference in saying that works and repentance are the necessary result of faith and that they are the expected result of faith. Let's steal a Calvinist analogy and think of faith as a seed. Seeds are supposed to grow and produce plants and fruit. Suppose, though, that the seed doesn't grow? Do we conclude that it really wasn't a seed after all? Of course not.

People who tie works necessarily to faith then have to argue that we are not saved by grace through faith, but that we are saved by grace through some particular type of faith, that just any old faith won't do. It has to be a "true" faith or a "mature" faith or a "real" faith, and we know faith is true or mature or real or whatever when it produces works. They get around the argument that they are just preaching a works based salvation by saying, "No, because GOD gave me the works to do!" They don't realize that they are still preaching a works based salvation . . . they're now just saying that works that come from God and not man are still okay, because we get those works by grace, so we're still saved by grace. In such a view, salvation is by grace through works, and those works are produced by faith, and that faith (and thus works) are all given by grace.

It's perfectly . . . Catholic. (Literally. Feel free to ask Byblos.)

No, Rom 11 is clear. If salvation is by works (even works that God gives you), then it isn't by grace anymore. Whatever Gman means, the point to cube is clear enough: if we abide in faith, we produce works, but that doesn't mean that if we don't abide in faith that our faith isn't real. To say otherwise is to preach a works based salvation. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone. We can't sneak works into the back door here. If we do, Paul says that we are anathema (Gal 1:8-9).
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: Question about salvation, repentance, obedience and work

#10

Post by Furstentum Liechtenstein » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:27 pm

Jac3510 wrote:Rom 11 is clear. If salvation is by works (even works that God gives you), then it isn't by grace anymore ... We are saved by grace alone through faith alone. We can't sneak works into the back door here. If we do, Paul says that we are anathema (Gal 1:8-9).
Agreed. If works - any smidgeon of works - are required from a saved person, then all deathbed conversions are worthless. Therefore, the forgiveness Jesus offered to the repentant thief crucified next to him (Lk 23:42, 43) would be a lie.

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Hold everything lightly. If you don't, it will hurt when God pries your fingers loose as He takes it from you. -Corrie Ten Boom

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Re: Question about salvation, repentance, obedience and work

#11

Post by jlay » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:02 pm

Well said Jac.

It seems the church is not content to let faith be what it be. It must be some special faith in some special place that does some special thing, or else it twernt faith at all.
Today we are overrun with those sayin that faith (real genuine faith that is) produces good works, and if you aint seeing no fruit, aint no faith. So we gots us a bunch fruit inspectors.
Today's fruit inspector extrordianaires are Platt, Chan, and whoever the latest Lordship Salvation author is to come out with a book. People buy their books in droves, get all guilted up and make a few changes, then go right back to normal and wait for the next book, so they can start the process all over.

God does desire us to be a fruitful people. We should and we can. But I assure you, if you think that there is some burden to "prove" your faith by works, your produce is of your own resource, and of no value in the Kingdom.
If only people would trust that Jesus paid it ALL, and that there is nothing we have to do or must do other than trust Him alone for our salvation, we'd likely see more genuine fruit.

This came up in a Bible study the other night. Half the men were saying that real faith produces real works, no exception. So I asked, what are the works? "Whoever Loves me will obey my commands," they said. Alright, what are the commands?
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart." OK, men, who here knows beyond any doubt that they are loving the Lord with all their heart?" No hands go up. By the measure you judge, it will be measured unto you.
If you really, really believe that works are required (whether you slip em in the back door or not) then you will be judged by that measure. The Bible is pretty clear that no one passes that standard. Galatians 2:16

I wrote this in bonafide Southerneese.
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Re: Question about salvation, repentance, obedience and work

#12

Post by Byblos » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:13 pm

Jac3510 wrote:They get around the argument that they are just preaching a works based salvation by saying, "No, because GOD gave me the works to do!" They don't realize that they are still preaching a works based salvation . . . they're now just saying that works that come from God and not man are still okay, because we get those works by grace, so we're still saved by grace. In such a view, salvation is by grace through works, and those works are produced by faith, and that faith (and thus works) are all given by grace.

It's perfectly . . . Catholic. (Literally. Feel free to ask Byblos.).
First, one needs to distinguish between works of the law and works of love and charity as scripture makes that distinction very clear.

What Catholics term works of love and charity are summarized as follows:

Corporal works of mercy:

To feed the hungry;
To give drink to the thirsty;
To clothe the naked;
To harbour the harbourless;
To visit the sick;
To ransom the captive;
To bury the dead.

Spiritual works of mercy:

To instruct the ignorant;
To counsel the doubtful;
To admonish sinners;
To bear wrongs patiently;
To forgive offences willingly;
To comfort the afflicted;
To pray for the living and the dead.

Second, It's not getting around anything, actually it's very biblical (Ephesians 2:10) as these good works (of love and charity) are prepared for us to walk in after we are proclaimed heirs and adopted children of God. Those works are not meritorious of salvation itself but are meritorious of increased graces nonetheless. Does that mean if one does not do them they have lost their salvation? Of course not, and that is where we most fundamentally differ, i.e. in the belief that salvation can (or cannot be lost). How does one lose their salvation (I really hate to use this term anyway as I don't per se believe that salvation can be lost since one cannot lose what they don't have to begin with, but I digress). In any case, one 'loses' their salvation not by stopping to do the works of love and charity but by a conscious and willful decision to reject God's free gift. That's it in a nutshell. I, personally, for example, do not give this a second thought. I go about my every day life with the secure knowledge that Christ is Lord of my life and try to do what I believe to be God's will prepared for me. I quite often fail and miserably so, but the next day I pick myself up and try again. Do I ever feel the works I'm doing (or not doing) are meritorious of salvation? How could I? It would be like boasting that I saved myself from drowning for holding onto the flotation device God had tossed my way. My works of love and charity are His and His alone. My rejection of his free grace is mine and mine alone. Period. No more and no less.
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Re: Question about salvation, repentance, obedience and work

#13

Post by RickD » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:31 pm

Jac, I've seen you mention this a couple of times now. That if a believer abides in Christ, he will produce good works.

Could you explain what you mean by " abiding in Christ", or "abiding in faith"? What exactly must a believer have to do to abide?
John 5:24
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Re: Question about salvation, repentance, obedience and work

#14

Post by Jac3510 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:06 pm

It's just to trust Him, Rick. The faith that saves is also the faith that sanctifies (Gal 3:1-6). Lots of Christians put their faith in Christ but then stop trusting Him to sanctify them. Instead, they start trying to please God. They start doing their best for Him. When they do that, they're just buying into a works-based sanctification. You can't save yourself. What makes you think you can reform yourself and be pleasing to Him (not you personally--generic "you" there).

If you trust Him to save you, you should trust Him to sanctify you. That's abiding in Him.

I would STRONGLY recommend listening to a sermon called Truth Faced by John Lynch. It is, hands down, the best presentation I have ever heard on this subject. I don't even know of a close second.

edit:

That was some beautiful southernese, J. Not only beautifully stated, but beautifully stated! :mrgreen:
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: Question about salvation, repentance, obedience and work

#15

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:01 pm

Jac3510 wrote:Except Gman is probably saying that if a person doesn't have good works or feel sorry, then he doesn't actually have faith.

There is a huge difference in saying that works and repentance are the necessary result of faith and that they are the expected result of faith. Let's steal a Calvinist analogy and think of faith as a seed. Seeds are supposed to grow and produce plants and fruit. Suppose, though, that the seed doesn't grow? Do we conclude that it really wasn't a seed after all? Of course not.
I think you and I are both on the same page here...
Jac wrote:People who tie works necessarily to faith then have to argue that we are not saved by grace through faith, but that we are saved by grace through some particular type of faith, that just any old faith won't do. It has to be a "true" faith or a "mature" faith or a "real" faith, and we know faith is true or mature or real or whatever when it produces works. They get around the argument that they are just preaching a works based salvation by saying, "No, because GOD gave me the works to do!" They don't realize that they are still preaching a works based salvation . . . they're now just saying that works that come from God and not man are still okay, because we get those works by grace, so we're still saved by grace. In such a view, salvation is by grace through works, and those works are produced by faith, and that faith (and thus works) are all given by grace.
This sounds good. There is nothing I necessarily disagree with.

So let's see if I can stir something up. ;) Just kidding, but just want to confirm some things.

From memory of our previous exchanges, what consists of "real" faith is that which differs between you and I. For you believe (correct me if mistaken) it is a intellectual assent to certain Christological truths alone, whereas I'm inclined to say "true" faith is conditioned upon a heart response to what God reveals of Himself.

So for you, one needs to understand the exact right truths and affirm them intellectually. If one does not bare fruit then this doesn't mean much at all about the security of a person's salvation -- they're saved although you believe they'll receive little reward in heaven. Whereas for me, I'd say they did not truly love God if they're directly opposing Him now (they never had a true heart for God), or otherwise because I can't see their heart I'd much rather remain silent and let God be judge since they could simply be undergoing a transformation internally that isn't open to external verification.

This also impacts upon the "once saved always saved" discussion. For, if one is saved based on a heart response, then this is intimately tied to who a person is. And who is a person is now, can be very different from the person 10 years from now. One might love God now and despise Him later. Yet, for me, one can be secure in their faith based on just knowing in the moment how they feel towards God and understanding their beliefs in a way that is immediate and requires no communication.

Whereas for you, if one ends up not saved, then they never had true faith (a true belief). For if they ever did believe truly, then they'd be saved once an for all. Someone who truly believes in Christ now, who then turns away 10 years later to become Christ's enemy and turn people against Him, is still saved according your beliefs.

Now that'll stir the discussion a little with all sorts of topics. :) Really, just interested to see whether my analysis is an accurate reflection of where you stand on the issues I've touched upon.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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