Faith and works

General discussions about Christianity including salvation, heaven and hell, Christian history and so on.
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Faith and works

#1

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:27 am

From WLC over at reasonable Faith:
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/faith-and-works
Dear Dr. Craig,

This is with reference to Q # 303 (Brazilian fire and Salvation through work) and evangelical doctrine of Salvation through faith alone. I quite agree with your analysis that Salvation through works alone does not make much sense. If a person has spent first 70 years of his life in sin and then it would be very hard for him to do enough good deeds later on in order to outweigh the bad deeds he had committed till the age of 70.

Hence Salvation through Work alone seems to be an extremist idea to me. However, I feel that Salvation through faith alone is equally an extremist idea and does not make sense either. If our salvation hinges on faith in the risen Christ, why do we have to do good deeds? What is their benefit to us ?

You might say that there are objective moral values and they need to be followed regardless of the fact that they do affect our salvation or not. Bible and Jesus also teach us to do good deeds. I agree with these assertions but the question still lingers for a person like me and many others (people who are primarily concerned with the bottom line result) that why do we have to take moral commandments/values so seriously when ultimately they are not going to count in our 'scoring sheet' in the hereafter. Of course there are objective moral values and Bible & Jesus Christ teach us to be good human beings. But Bible/Jesus Christ teach us lot of good things and no Christian can claim to fully adhere to these teachings. This is what evangelical Christianity teaches us that whatever good we do, we cannot merit God's salvation which is an unmerited gift and comes with faith alone.

Suppose I am an evangelical Christian (by the way I am Muslim). How would you convince me not to commit adultery? There is a statement attributed to Jesus Christ in the Bible that "Whosoever sees a woman with lust has already committed adultery in his heart" and the way Christians have interpreted this statement is that here Jesus is setting the bar/standard which shows that no man can come up to the standard set by God. If this is true and it is the destiny of every man to commit adultery (I am assuming that no man is immune to lusting which I think is a fair assumption) then why not commit adultery which is sexual rather than adultery based on simple lusting? What's so wrong with this approach?

If I am an evangelical Christian, my salvation would not depend on act of adultery but on my belief in risen Christ. I will still get salvation no matter how many acts of adultery I have committed. Yes, I would feel sorry after committing such an act and I would ask forgiveness from God and seek strength of Holy Spirit but I am a sinner after all comprising of weak flesh. I will again commit such an act and will ask forgiveness. This process may go on till my death !

Of course I do not endorse adultery and I know most Christians (including evangelical Christians) live a moral & upright life but there seems to be no logical reason why they should continue leading such a life given their evangelical beliefs. The common sense (which I know is not always right!) seems to indicate that Salvation should be dependent on combination of faith and good deeds and good deeds can't be removed altogether from the criteria of salvation.

Appreciate your feedback on the above issue. Thanks

Muhammad

Pakistan
And Dr Craig's reply ( to which I agree 100%):
Thank you for your letter, Muhammad, and your sincere engagement with the Christian faith!

You first ask, “If our salvation hinges on faith in the risen Christ, why do we have to do good deeds? What is their benefit to us?” You anticipate correctly my answer: because we have certain God-given moral obligations and prohibitions to fulfill! We have such moral duties simply in virtue of being human, independent of our religious beliefs. A person who does good simply out of self-interest merely shows that he has not properly understood the moral life. Why not ask instead about what benefit there would be to others by your good deeds and by your being a good person--for example, a devoted husband and father or an honest worker or a loyal friend?

Of, course, there do accrue tremendous benefits to oneself as a result of becoming a good person who does good. Who wants to be a self-centered, ungenerous, dishonest, two-faced jerk? Is a person like that likely to attract a wonderful woman for a wife or to have a happy marriage? Will he win the affection and respect of others, including his own children? Remember that when we sin, we deviate from God’s perfect will for our lives and opt for mediocrity or worse, instead of pursuing all that God has for us. It goes without saying that there is tremendous benefit to pursuing the moral life God wills, even if we are sometimes called upon to sacrifice self-interest out of moral duty. But that having been said, those personal benefits are not why you pursue the moral life.

Now your objection is that my answer doesn’t “affect our salvation” and so has no “bottom line result.” Here I think your Muslim background has colored your interpretation of the Christian doctrine of salvation. Because in Islam the doing of righteous deeds in conjunction with the confession of faith is meritorious of salvation, you’re looking for some bottom line result. But in Christianity, good deeds are the necessary concomitant or outflow of sincere faith, not meritorious deeds done for the sake of salvation. Good deeds are the evidence of genuine, living faith, and in the absence of such deeds so-called faith is dead (James 2.17).

So you are terribly mistaken when you say, “If I am an evangelical Christian, . . . I will still get salvation no matter how many acts of adultery I have committed.” No! A person who lives a life of immorality while confessing Christ is a hypocrite whose faith is dead and useless. Good deeds are a necessary condition of salvation in a logical sense, in that, necessarily, if someone has saving faith, then he will do good deeds. Good deeds are not, as in Islam, a causally necessary condition of salvation, but they are a logically necessary condition of salvation. I recommend you read the transcript of my Defenders 2 lectures on the Doctrine of Salvation, part 10, where we explore further the relationship of saving faith and good works.

Your question, “Why not commit adultery which is sexual rather than adultery based on simple lusting? What's so wrong with this approach?” is bizarre. Of course, the sexual act is worse than the thought, for the woman involved is not wronged by your mere thought; but by your sexual act you have terribly wronged her by making her an adulteress. You should tremble before God for having so wronged her and derailed her life. All sin is evil, but some sins are much worse than others, and it would be crazy to think that you may as well commit an atrocity because you will probably commit a misdemeanor.

“How would you convince me not to commit adultery?” I once asked a minister how one might avoid falling into the sexual affairs which have snared so many Christian leaders. He replied, “Love of Christ is not enough.” I was shocked. I asked, “But if our love for the Lord is not enough to keep us from falling, what will?” His answer stunned me: “Fear.” Think of the consequences of such an act, how it will likely ruin your life, destroy your marriage, alienate your children, etc., etc. Notice that such consequences are not explanations why the act is wrong, Muhammad. You asked me rather how I would persuade you not to do something that is wrong. In order to convince you to resist a strong temptation, the grounds need to be very powerful, indeed, and fear is a great persuader.



Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/faith-an ... z3KfF5rL00

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Re: Faith and works

#2

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:34 pm

Cal and Aaron had argued their whole lives over whether or not you could lose your salvation. As it turned out, both died, and sadly, both wound up in Hell. This they found out as they bumped into each other walking down the street.

"Aaron!" Cal said, surprised. "I can't believe you are here. You were so worried you might not make it to heaven that you were always reading your Bible, were in church, gave money. I remember you spent a lot of time in soup kitchens for the holidays and, man, you were a great Sunday School teacher. So what happened?"
"Well," Aaron said sheepishly, "Turns out I got frustrated with the past few weeks of my life. I was very sick, and I couldn't understand why God would let that happen to me since I had always done what He told me to do. I took Job's wife's advice and . . . well . . . I cursed God and died. Lost my salvation and all. But what about you? You said you couldn't lose yours! Guess Calvin was wrong, eh? So what happened?
"Calvin, wrong? Pshh. Nothing like it. Eventually I just sort of fell away. It just turns out I was never really saved to begin with!"

----------------------------

tl;dr - salvation by works/Calvinism/Arminianism all mean exactly the same thing. Who cares if your theological system allows you to say that you didn't lose your salvation or that you did or that your works don't buy your salvation or that they do. If in the end a person's lack of good works and/or presence of evil works lands a person in Hell, then Jesus' sacrifice is null and void (so says Paul, anyway), and all the theologizing in the world won't change that.
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 and works

#3

Post by RickD » Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:42 pm

Jac's right. And WLC has missed the boat on this one. He is adding something to faith in Christ, for salvation. WLC is saying a presence of sin in someone's life means he wasn't saved.
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Re: Faith and works

#4

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:53 am

RickD wrote:Jac's right. And WLC has missed the boat on this one. He is adding something to faith in Christ, for salvation. WLC is saying a presence of sin in someone's life means he wasn't saved.
I don't think he is saying t hat at all AND don't forget Who he is directing this to, a Muslim.
Context is, as always everything.

It seems to me ( and I may be interpreting this wrong) that WLC is addressing an issue that many non-christians have with the whole (mis)understanding about salvation by faith alone.

They seem to believe that ALL that one needs to do is believe and have faith and they can do whatever they want and they will be saved.
We know this to be incorrect because if one DOES HAVE FAITH, that faith is given by the HS and it is the HS that starts the process of renewal in those with faith ( not those that simply SAY they do and truly do not).
That process is not perfect in the sense that since we are NOT perfect we will stumble and fall and more often than not, we will NOT do what Our Lords asks AND commands of those that DO have faith in Him.
That is VERY different than those that SAY they have faith and do not have it and simply sin, and sin is doing what is wrong KNOWING it is wrong and NOT CARING.
Yet, to an outsider it may LOOK exactly the same ( that is a believer falling and a person that simply SAYS they believe and sinning).

No one is adding anything to Christ's sacrifice or faith in Christ, what WLC is stating is that the faith we truly show in Christ, the belief in HIM as Our Lord and saviour Will/Should show signs of renewal in those that believe.

Lack of good works does NOT land anyone in Hell UNLESS they do NOT believe in Christ because it is our true belief in Christ that saves us from judgement based on our good works ( or lack there of).

It seems to me that in our desire to be clear that NO AMOUNT of good works makes us worth of salvation that we forget that good works are "expected" from believers IF the HS is truly dwelling in them.
Does that mean that believers do not sin? that they are shining examples of charity and mercy and love?
No, it means that the HS is IN them trying to make them that way NOT because they have to be that way to be saved BUT because they are saved by virtue of their faith in Christ.

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Re: Faith and works

#5

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:58 am

I think the crucial part is here ( again adressing a Muslim):
Good deeds are a necessary condition of salvation in a logical sense, in that, necessarily, if someone has saving faith, then he will do good deeds. Good deeds are not, as in Islam, a causally necessary condition of salvation, but they are a logically necessary condition of salvation.
It seems to me that WLC is make the clear distinction between good deeds the MUST be done to be saved ( Islam and submission to Allah) and good deeds done out of love for Christ because we are saved ( Christianity and the choice to have faith and believe in Christ).
He seems to be stating that good deeds are a LOGICAL byproduct of faith in Christ, they are not DEMANDED by Christ for salvation ( as they are in Islam with Allah).

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Re: Faith and works

#6

Post by B. W. » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:12 am

I agree with PaulS on this one. WLC is addressing Muslims and that context is how to understand Craig's response. I also do not see anywhere that WLC is adding works to faith in Christ, for salvation saying that a presence of sin in someone's life means he wasn't saved.

PaulS brings out the main point that good deeds are done out of love for Christ because we are saved and not that they must be done to stay saved or prove salvation. I recall how many times this has come up in the past regarding this topic of Faith and Works. The apostle Paul wrote these words:

Titus 3:4-8 NKJV, ...But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.

The phrase - renewing of the Holy Spirit in verse 5 brings clarity to this issue. Vines Dictionary defines the word translated as renewing as: "the renewing of the Holy Spirit" is not a fresh bestowment of the Spirit, but a revival of His power, developing the Christian life; this passage stresses the continual operation of the indwelling Spirit of God; the Romans passage stresses the willing response on the part of the believer."

In both OT and NT the principle is the same - For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

2 Timothy 2:19 NKJV, "Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity."

2 Co 6:14, 15,16,17,18, Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

Again..

Eph 5:11, And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

And..

1 John 1:6, If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

In W L Craig's response, he is addressing this concept to a Muslim and avoiding the Muslim mindset that works earn salvation while addressing the often used argument from Islam that Christians teach salvation as a license to freely sin as they please. The bible does not support the Muslim claim at all. Biblical Christianity teaches that: a person is saved by God's grace alone by faith, not our good works least anyone should boast and this makes us God's work in progress shedding the old life of sin for God working in us his good works by the Holy Spirit's renewal (Eph 2:8,9,10).

Sadly, in many fields of modern Christendom grace is taught as the means to never change as there is no need for inward cleansing change as one has his or her ticket to heaven so live any ol'dang way you please. Others tragically teach that one must do a laundry list of good deeds to maintain salvation or prove salvation and thus both leave their first love. Both points of view mix the ways of the world into their privet concept of faith and both leave Christ standing outside at the door knocking. Both don't answer the door by claiming they are wealthy and have need of nothing else. Both are blind and short-sided.

Both of these points of view leave out the fear of God - meaning - that respect and awe of God that He See's You, is with You, and within You. So would he approve of what you watch on TV, how one treats their husband or wife, children, etc and etc? Would he approve of where you go, what you do, what you read? He see's and knows, we cannot hide behind our woven contorted fig leaves of grace or prideful works to hide our continuing shame. We need a savior to cleanse us, freely and naturally. Guess what? The Holy Spirit will reveal to our conscience our weaknesses and sins and cleanse these from us one sin at a time one day at a time till we depart this life as he is preparing us for heaven. Soon the fruit of the Holy Spirit manifest in our lives in all areas we live, quite naturally and freely. We are HIS workmanship - HIS masterpiece. (Romans 12:1-3, Romans 12: 9-21, Job 28:28; Psalms 34:14, Proverbs 3:7; 2Co 7:1; Eph 4:17-22; Eph 5:1-11; Col 3:5-8; Titus 2:11-14; 1 Peter 1:13-19; 2 Peter 1:4-10, 2 Peter 3:14; 1 John 3:7-10)

Granted time, there should be a change of life course from a Christian's unsaved state into his/her save state of being in Christ filled with the Holy Spirit. One side argues that such change is unnecessary and the world mocks us all with justification because of this. The other side argues that one must work real hard doing do goodie legalistic works to maintain salvation that those outside observe by seeing hypocrites with the result of not desiring anything about Christ at all. Two wrongs do not make a right.
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Re: Faith and works

#7

Post by RickD » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:16 am

PaulS wrote:
It seems to me ( and I may be interpreting this wrong) that WLC is addressing an issue that many non-christians have with the whole (mis)understanding about salvation by faith alone.

They seem to believe that ALL that one needs to do is believe and have faith and they can do whatever they want and they will be saved.
But scripture says that all one has to do is believe on Christ. That's exactly what saved by grace, through faith means.
And we all do whatever we want every day! If I continue trusting in Christ, I will grow and mature as a Christian. If I want to stop trusting in Christ, and live by the desires of the flesh, I will reap what I sow in that regard. That doesn't mean I lose my salvation, or I was never saved.

It's funny that Muslims who believe all a Christian has to do is believe, understands biblical salvation better than many Christians who believe salvation is only kept by our performance.
No one is adding anything to Christ's sacrifice or faith in Christ, what WLC is stating is that the faith we truly show in Christ, the belief in HIM as Our Lord and saviour Will/Should show signs of renewal in those that believe.
I agree that a believer should show signs of being transformed by the HS. But in reality, if one doesn't continue to abide in Christ, one might not appear to be saved to others. That doesn't mean one was never saved. It just means one isn't continuing to abide/trust in Christ.

Look what Craig wrote here:
So you are terribly mistaken when you say, “If I am an evangelical Christian, . . . I will still get salvation no matter how many acts of adultery I have committed.” No! A person who lives a life of immorality while confessing Christ is a hypocrite whose faith is dead and useless. Good deeds are a necessary condition of salvation in a logical sense, in that, necessarily, if someone has saving faith, then he will do good deeds. Good deeds are not, as in Islam, a causally necessary condition of salvation, but they are a logically necessary condition of salvation. I recommend you read the transcript of my Defenders 2 lectures on the Doctrine of Salvation, part 10, where we explore further the relationship of saving faith and good works.
He said adultery, if committed enough by a Christian, is enough to lose salvation, or prove one was never saved to begin with. Whether or not Craig means what he says, I don't know. I can only judge what he says by what he actually says.
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Re: Faith and works

#8

Post by RickD » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:23 am

B. W. wrote:
I agree with PaulS on this one. WLC is addressing Muslims and that context is how to understand Craig's response. I also do not see anywhere that WLC is adding works to faith in Christ, for salvation saying that a presence of sin in someone's life means he wasn't saved.
B. W., reread what Craig wrote here:
So you are terribly mistaken when you say, “If I am an evangelical Christian, . . . I will still get salvation no matter how many acts of adultery I have committed.” No! A person who lives a life of immorality while confessing Christ is a hypocrite whose faith is dead and useless. Good deeds are a necessary condition of salvation in a logical sense, in that, necessarily, if someone has saving faith, then he will do good deeds. Good deeds are not, as in Islam, a causally necessary condition of salvation, but they are a logically necessary condition of salvation. I recommend you read the transcript of my Defenders 2 lectures on the Doctrine of Salvation, part 10, where we explore further the relationship of saving faith and good works.
He is saying that the presence of excessive adultery( however Craig defines that), is enough to prove one wasn't saved.
We all constantly struggle with sin. The book of romans shows the " civil war" that our spirit has with our flesh.

How can Craig draw a line between someone struggling with sin, and someone "living a life of immorality"?

Does he know everyone? Seems kinda presumptuous to me.
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Re: Faith and works

#9

Post by B. W. » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:58 am

RickD wrote:
B. W. wrote:
I agree with PaulS on this one. WLC is addressing Muslims and that context is how to understand Craig's response. I also do not see anywhere that WLC is adding works to faith in Christ, for salvation saying that a presence of sin in someone's life means he wasn't saved.
B. W., reread what Craig wrote here:
So you are terribly mistaken when you say, “If I am an evangelical Christian, . . . I will still get salvation no matter how many acts of adultery I have committed.” No! A person who lives a life of immorality while confessing Christ is a hypocrite whose faith is dead and useless. Good deeds are a necessary condition of salvation in a logical sense, in that, necessarily, if someone has saving faith, then he will do good deeds. Good deeds are not, as in Islam, a causally necessary condition of salvation, but they are a logically necessary condition of salvation. I recommend you read the transcript of my Defenders 2 lectures on the Doctrine of Salvation, part 10, where we explore further the relationship of saving faith and good works.
He is saying that the presence of excessive adultery( however Craig defines that), is enough to prove one wasn't saved.
We all constantly struggle with sin. The book of romans shows the " civil war" that our spirit has with our flesh.

How can Craig draw a line between someone struggling with sin, and someone "living a life of immorality"?

Does he know everyone? Seems kinda presumptuous to me.
He is speaking to a Muslim and often Muslims use the adultery argument against Christians in the manner which Craig wrote. WLC is thwarting that argument in a frontal parry once and for all. That is what he was doing. We can all read into things what others write. WLC is dealing with an Islamist here and dealt one of their main criticisms a death blow.

Adultery is Islam is outlawed only in certain instances but allowed nevertheless... read the quotes below...

http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Adultery_is_P ... d_in_Islam

http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/privileges.htm

WLC is wisely pointing something out to the Muslim he is responding too - the hypocrisy of Islamic law...

WLC is stating that a christian cannot justify adultery in any form or manner and those that do are what? Hypocrites whose faith is dead and useless (something to be repented of and never done again). He is making an equivalency argument - Islam justifies adultery. Christianity condemns it totally while providing a way back to God through repentance and fear of God not to do it again. Islam justifies it. Can you see what WLC is doing now?
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Re: Faith and works

#10

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:31 am

I see your point Rick and do understand, but:
Look what Craig wrote here:
So you are terribly mistaken when you say, “If I am an evangelical Christian, . . . I will still get salvation no matter how many acts of adultery I have committed.” No! A person who lives a life of immorality while confessing Christ is a hypocrite whose faith is dead and useless. Good deeds are a necessary condition of salvation in a logical sense, in that, necessarily, if someone has saving faith, then he will do good deeds. Good deeds are not, as in Islam, a causally necessary condition of salvation, but they are a logically necessary condition of salvation. I recommend you read the transcript of my Defenders 2 lectures on the Doctrine of Salvation, part 10, where we explore further the relationship of saving faith and good works.

He said adultery, if committed enough by a Christian, is enough to lose salvation, or prove one was never saved to begin with. Whether or not Craig means what he says, I don't know. I can only judge what he says by what he actually says.
Look at what WLC actually does say:
No! A person who lives a life of immorality while confessing Christ is a hypocrite whose faith is dead and useless. Good deeds are a necessary condition of salvation in a logical sense, in that, necessarily, if someone has saving faith, then he will do good deeds. Good deeds are not, as in Islam, a causally necessary condition of salvation, but they are a logically necessary condition of salvation.
IN short, how can one confess Christ and yet openly and knowingly lead a life of hypocrisy?

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Re: Faith and works

#11

Post by RickD » Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:38 am

I can see what you're saying, B. W. And if that's what he's saying, he has good intentions. Nevertheless, I still disagree with what he actually said.
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Re: Faith and works

#12

Post by RickD » Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:44 am

pauls wrote:
IN short, how can one confess Christ and yet openly and knowingly lead a life of hypocrisy?
Again, you and Craig are making a judgement about the hypothetical person who is an adulterer. Is he a hypocrite? Is he someone having a difficult time with sin?

Insert any sin besides adultery. Is someone who struggles with sin a hypocrite who was never saved? According to what Craig wrote, yes.
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Re: Faith and works

#13

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:59 am

RickD wrote:
pauls wrote:
IN short, how can one confess Christ and yet openly and knowingly lead a life of hypocrisy?
Again, you and Craig are making a judgement about the hypothetical person who is an adulterer. Is he a hypocrite? Is he someone having a difficult time with sin?

Insert any sin besides adultery. Is someone who struggles with sin a hypocrite who was never saved? According to what Craig wrote, yes.
Look at WLC comment, he does NOT say adulterer, he says:
A person who lives a life of immorality ...
Note that while He address the adultery issue, He goes beyond it and speaks in general terms.
Lets be honest here, it does NOT seem to be the statement that people struggling with sin are not saved.
It seems to state that those the knowingly sin and profess in words only ( hence the hypocrisy statement) will not be saved by their faith.

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Re: Faith and works

#14

Post by Jac3510 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:32 am

PaulS wrote:They seem to believe that ALL that one needs to do is believe and have faith and they can do whatever they want and they will be saved.
That is "ALL that one needs to do." And yes, a person who has believed can "do whatever they want and they will be saved." The price for gross sin is not a loss of salvation or even proof you never had it. Put more directly, the price of gross sin is not hell (by whatever justification you choose). There are both temporal and eternal prices, but if the only price someone can think of to keep somebody from sinning is eternal damnation, then that someone doesn't understand the gospel.
We know this to be incorrect because if one DOES HAVE FAITH, that faith is given by the HS and it is the HS that starts the process of renewal in those with faith ( not those that simply SAY they do and truly do not).
I don't know that at all.

WLC is wrong here. He is making progressive sanctification a necessary effect of salvation. His logic, given that premise, is inescapable:

1. Those who have faith will necessarily experience progressive sanctification;
2. John is not experiencing progressive sanctification;
3. Therefore, John does not have real faith

The result of this kind of thinking is that it lets well meaning Christians like WLC find a place for works in the plan of salvation. They can say that works don't save, but if you REALLY believe, then you WILL do good works. So good works find a place as a necessary effect. And since that effect is necessary, then to deny the effect is to deny the antecedent (that one has faith).

I can put it even more clearly: everyone who is saved does good works; you don't do good works; therefore, you aren't saved.

See?

The mistake is to tie progressive sanctification to salvation as a necessary effect. In fact, we should tie progressive sanctification to abiding in faith as the necessary effect, and tie to to salvation as a natural effect. Thus, when a person puts their faith in Christ and does not abide in faith, they may absolutely do whatever they want. Want they are doing is unnatural. It will bring great consequences. It is even more sinful than that of those who are outside of Christ. But none of that means that they don't go to hell, and WLC needs to recognize this and drop this line of argument immediately.
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 and works

#15

Post by RickD » Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:41 am

PaulS wrote:
Look at WLC comment, he does NOT say adulterer, he says:
A person who lives a life of immorality ...
No Paul. It seems pretty clear he is referring to adultery. As B. W. Said, Craig is trying to refute what the Muslim is saying about adultery.
Look again at Craig's words:
So you are terribly mistaken when you say, “If I am an evangelical Christian, . . . I will still get salvation no matter how many acts of adultery I have committed.” No! A person who lives a life of immorality while confessing Christ is a hypocrite whose faith is dead and useless. Good deeds are a necessary condition of salvation in a logical sense, in that, necessarily, if someone has saving faith, then he will do good deeds. Good deeds are not, as in Islam, a causally necessary condition of salvation, but they are a logically necessary condition of salvation. I recommend you read the transcript of my Defenders 2 lectures on the Doctrine of Salvation, part 10, where we explore further the relationship of saving faith and good works.
I underlined it. Craig is saying that the Muslim is mistaken when the Muslim says that a Christian is still saved no matter how many times he commits adultery. It's clear in Craig's own words.
Maybe that's not what Craig meant. But I'm disagreeing with what he said, not what he may have meant to say.
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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