What needs to be done in order to be saved

Discussions surrounding the various other faiths who deviate from mainstream Christian doctrine such as LDS and the Jehovah's Witnesses.
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Re: What needs to be done in order to be saved

#31

Post by B. W. » Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:52 pm

cslewislover wrote:...I know I've had people think of me in not the greatest way before, we all have. I meant that if someone who says they are Christian, but then is deceptive towards you, lies to you, or more major things like that, I've thought it best to avoid them. I have talked with people, though, who have done this to me, and it has never lead to anything good. That's unfortunate. Other times, I find it too difficult to talk with them, or I hold back for some reason. We all make mistakes and have bad days, and I've found that a number of people whom I thought were Christians have not been forgiving toward me. I'm not sure what else you are referring to?
Just the roller coaster ride!

We all have ups and downs, good times and bad, people betray, others forgive. The Lord is taking each of us on an Omni-personal journey where we run into a wide array of people and circumstance and thru it all, the Lord shines through and we grow stronger in Him than in ourselves.

That is what I mean…sometimes it feels like a roller coaster.

The Lord will show us who to avoid and who to minister too, as well as how, all in his good time. The passengers on the ride maybe obnoxious, rude, or even the nicest of nice, remember it is the Lord that sees's us thru…and teaches us what to do…

Be blest CS!
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Re: What needs to be done in order to be saved

#32

Post by zoegirl » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:03 pm

Paul himself talked about this roller coaster ride when he spoke about doing what he shouldn't do and not doing what he should do. Romans 7:14-25

What did CS LEwis say? "We are too easily pleased"...

It is indeed a struggle and it is certainly a great lie to tell newbie CHristians that they will never struggle with sin again. But as PAul ended the above passage:
3but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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Re: What needs to be done in order to be saved

#33

Post by cslewislover » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:05 pm

Yes, it is a roller coaster ride. And I do love how Paul praises God there!
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Re: What needs to be done in order to be saved

#34

Post by zoegirl » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:12 pm

Canuckster1127 wrote:I'm sorry to be late to the party, but it seems to me that the framing of the original question and title of this thread assumes that we need to "do" something as a basis of salvation.

As I understand, all that is required for salvation to be provided was done by Christ and cannot be done by us.

The contingent action on our part is whether we choose to receive what is offered or not.

The age long debate of faith verses works has gone on since the time of Christ, until now, and will continue to go on until Christ returns. I've given up a long time ago, the need on my part to have everything relative to this discussion pigeonholed and systematized. It's not that it's not an important exercise to understand as far as we are able. It is that. But at some point the bottom line for me has become one of relationship with God.

Asking whether works are the basis or the fruit and what constitutes the minimal level of works to demonstrate that faith, etc. seems to me to be a futile matter. Paul in several places indicates the internal evidence of salvation is the witness of the Holy Spirit. That is a qualitative element based upon presence and relationship. It cannot be measured. It is either there, or it is not and the only people who can know that for sure are the person involved and God Himself.

There is no shortage of denominations, movements, etc. that are willing to attempt to define more into it. There are particular passages in scripture, which if isolated and focused on to the exclusion of others are used by some to attempt to move this issue from one of the presence of God within a person's life and heart from which springs relationship to a quantitative formula that removes all the mystery and turns salvation into a series of convenient steps with a checklist to go with it. Keep the checklists. Give me Christ and Christ alone.

blessings,

bart
Aw come on....you mean Reformed theology isn't the way to go (PCA, anyone?) ? :esurprised: ;)

Actually, in all seriousness, I really like your first couple of sentences...in all of what we have been discussing, we mustn't forget the power of Christ in us...shown so many times in the NT...
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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Re: What needs to be done in order to be saved

#35

Post by August » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:19 pm

zoegirl wrote: Aw come on....you mean Reformed theology isn't the way to go (PCA, anyone?) ? :esurprised: ;)
Hmm, want to expand some?
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Re: What needs to be done in order to be saved

#36

Post by zoegirl » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:26 pm

Oh it was just a quip about Bart's comment concerning "every denomination has their own...." (I have managed to take some minor offense at a couple of digs at Calvinism on FB, but I'm sure my reference was rather obscure)

Pretty firm follower of reformed theology myself and, of course, personally think it's the best. :ebiggrin: but I have certainly tried not to shove the CAlvinist in me onto others...that itself can bring about some pretty strong opinions.

I remember a former colleague of mine had a very good principle with regards to theology...anything that places the emphasis on the work of God is far preferable and more accurate than that emphasizing the part of MAn...

That's it...nothing more, nothing less...
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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Re: What needs to be done in order to be saved

#37

Post by Canuckster1127 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:43 pm

I don't necessarily think Reformed theology is any better or any worse than most others.

Count me a babe in Christ. I've spent the better part of my adult life striving for right understanding, right action and right everything else and I've found the most effective thing is to put the focus on Christ and let the rest come as an expression of that. Grace is not antinomianism. The focus is not on our commitment or ability to "walk the walk" or "talk the talk". The focus of the early believers was on the person of Christ. I fear far too many systems and traditions have replaced Christ with what they want to emphasize about Christ.

I'm not really interested in debating a lot of things so much anymore. Not because they're completely of no value but because they pale in comparison with the person of Jesus Christ and the joy that comes with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I've had enough of having to be the "smart guy" who can explain everything and who has to be right or argue interminable with others and prove how smart I am and how right I am.

If I'm not living in relationship daily with Christ it's completely worthless.
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Re: What needs to be done in order to be saved

#38

Post by zoegirl » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:49 pm

oh it wasn't meant to be an "en garde" get ready to fight....it truly really was a poke and trying to be lighthearted...

much in the same way someone would respond..."wait, you mean ____________ (fill in any other denomination) isn't the right denomination?" in a fake surprised tone...

No, if there has been anything I've learned over the years both at my school, which has multiple denominations and here, it's exactly as you say.
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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Re: What needs to be done in order to be saved

#39

Post by Canuckster1127 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:51 pm

No offense was taken or intended. You're right. I have taken some swipes in FB at reformed theology. It's almost a lilttle cathartic after enduring many elements of it for the last 10 years. I probably cross the line for some at time, but I'm cooling off and returning to center, or at least I'm trying to.

:)
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Re: What needs to be done in order to be saved

#40

Post by sinnerbybirth » Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:37 pm

Canuckster1127 wrote:Count me a babe in Christ. I've spent the better part of my adult life striving for right understanding, right action and right everything else and I've found the most effective thing is to put the focus on Christ and let the rest come as an expression of that. Grace is not antinomianism. The focus is not on our commitment or ability to "walk the walk" or "talk the talk". The focus of the early believers was on the person of Christ. I fear far too many systems and traditions have replaced Christ with what they want to emphasize about Christ.

I'm not really interested in debating a lot of things so much anymore. Not because they're completely of no value but because they pale in comparison with the person of Jesus Christ and the joy that comes with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I've had enough of having to be the "smart guy" who can explain everything and who has to be right or argue interminable with others and prove how smart I am and how right I am.

If I'm not living in relationship daily with Christ it's completely worthless.
WOW Canuckster. There is more power in what you just said, than all the sunday school classes I've ever been to. I believe you have just shown what being Christ like really is. This is very rare for me to hear (I'm sorry, read) a Christian say something like this. Nice post man.

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Re: What needs to be done in order to be saved

#41

Post by B. W. » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:54 pm

Canuckster1127 wrote:If I'm not living in relationship daily with Christ it's completely worthless.
Praise the Lord!

Without him - we can do nothing!

One thing about the roller coaster - the riders are on the right track! Christ is in control and we move according to him...
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Re: What needs to be done in order to be saved

#42

Post by Different_Name » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:38 pm

Well, I've been out of town for the past couple days, and now I notice there's 3 pages of responses. Thank you all for your responses; they'll take a bit of time to get through, but I'm sure they will be insightful. :)

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Re: What needs to be done in order to be saved

#43

Post by Gabrielman » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:54 pm

Canuckster1127 wrote:I don't necessarily think Reformed theology is any better or any worse than most others.

Count me a babe in Christ. I've spent the better part of my adult life striving for right understanding, right action and right everything else and I've found the most effective thing is to put the focus on Christ and let the rest come as an expression of that. Grace is not antinomianism. The focus is not on our commitment or ability to "walk the walk" or "talk the talk". The focus of the early believers was on the person of Christ. I fear far too many systems and traditions have replaced Christ with what they want to emphasize about Christ.

I'm not really interested in debating a lot of things so much anymore. Not because they're completely of no value but because they pale in comparison with the person of Jesus Christ and the joy that comes with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I've had enough of having to be the "smart guy" who can explain everything and who has to be right or argue interminable with others and prove how smart I am and how right I am.

If I'm not living in relationship daily with Christ it's completely worthless.
I have to say in all seriousness this is a moving post Bart. Yes it is a roller coaster ride, and we all have our shares of ups and downs, but He is always in control, well said Bro! With all the arguing clouding the air lately, it seems things have been harder to see. Christ first, and putting Him at the center of our hearts and letting everything revolve around Him, that is the way it should be. Brings one to peace when they think about it.

God Bless you and thank you Brother!
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Re: What needs to be done in order to be saved

#44

Post by Different_Name » Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:02 am

Canuckster1127 wrote:I'm sorry to be late to the party, but it seems to me that the framing of the original question and title of this thread assumes that we need to "do" something as a basis of salvation.

As I understand, all that is required for salvation to be provided was done by Christ and cannot be done by us.

The contingent action on our part is whether we choose to receive what is offered or not.

The age long debate of faith verses works has gone on since the time of Christ, until now, and will continue to go on until Christ returns. I've given up a long time ago, the need on my part to have everything relative to this discussion pigeonholed and systematized. It's not that it's not an important exercise to understand as far as we are able. It is that. But at some point the bottom line for me has become one of relationship with God.

Asking whether works are the basis or the fruit and what constitutes the minimal level of works to demonstrate that faith, etc. seems to me to be a futile matter. Paul in several places indicates the internal evidence of salvation is the witness of the Holy Spirit. That is a qualitative element based upon presence and relationship. It cannot be measured. It is either there, or it is not and the only people who can know that for sure are the person involved and God Himself.

There is no shortage of denominations, movements, etc. that are willing to attempt to define more into it. There are particular passages in scripture, which if isolated and focused on to the exclusion of others are used by some to attempt to move this issue from one of the presence of God within a person's life and heart from which springs relationship to a quantitative formula that removes all the mystery and turns salvation into a series of convenient steps with a checklist to go with it. Keep the checklists. Give me Christ and Christ alone.

blessings,

bart
Actually that's quite an interesting answer. That the way to salvation is not to do anything but to leave everything to Christ. And it certainly has some truth to it and hearkens back to John 3:16's salvation through "believing" or trusting in the Son. The way you put it reminds me kinda of the first Harry Potter movie where the main characters became trapped in some substance called "Devil's Snare", in which the characters had to stop struggling and just relax and put their faith in the fact that relaxing would save them in order to get through it.

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Re: What needs to be done in order to be saved

#45

Post by Canuckster1127 » Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:30 am

I think that's an apt analogy.

The only works that relate positively in terms of Salvation is the finished work of Christ. Our works are an expression of the change that has taken place within our hearts and lives. As Christians I think we need to be careful as to how we approach that, and what that means. There are scriptural passages that make clear (particularly in James) that a faith that doesn't lead to change in heart and then a change in actions is dead and of no worth. We don't know and can't know a person's heart and so we tend to focus on those outward evidences and if we're not careful we can confuse cause for effect.

Honestly, there can be outward works without an inward change. Professionally, I spend a great deal of time and effort learning how to identify corelations between things and cause and effect relationships between things that result in changed behaviors and make for healthier organizations. We focus on behavior because it's what we can see and since it's all we see it's natural for us to be tempted to make it more than it is. It's just a lot easier to look at a person and their life and on that basis then decide whether that person is really a christian, or perhaps a back-slidden christian or whatever multitude of terms we want to use.

If you want evidence from scripture that outward actions are not necessarily indicative of inward change, just look at how Jesus interacted with many of the pharisees. Can you think of any other group that had more outward evidence yet Christ called them whitewashed tombs who looked good on the outside but inside were full of corruption.

Then too we have many differing views as to what those outward signs should be for those who have had that inward change. Some (including some here, and I'm not seeking to reopen that argument) look to things like the 10 commandments and decide that those should be the foundation or at least a strong indicator of how serious a believer is about showing their love for God and evidencing that change. Some go further and include dietary laws. Some focus upon the freedom we have in Christ and seek to remove the dynamic of rule keeping as in and of itself unecessary. It's a spectrum in which most believers fall somewhere in the middle. At one extreme is legalism. At the other extreme is antinomianism. Usually the arguments build from there between the two ends of the spectrum with nuances from either direction as to why this particular behavior or some other's absence is what should be being done.

What's so subtle, in my opinion and misleading is that it's not a question as to what end of the spectrum you fall on in this argument. I think the point is, the assumptions under that entire point of view are in and of themselves asking the wrong question and focusing on the wrong things. Go back and read the parables of Jesus himself. Look at how many of them were aimed at the Pharisees and that manner of living and thinking. Jesus came to free people from religious living following codes of conduct and radically changed the dynamic at work. Instead of coming to a temple where God physically resided (the holy of holies) and looking at the code of conduct (the Law) and examining oneself against that code (confession and self-examination) and then paying for that sin (sacrifice) by means of a priest (intercession) from which came posititional restoration (salvation) Jesus ripped the veil of that temple from top to bottom when he fulfilled that law and everything began to operate differently.

God now dwells within us. We are the temple(s) of God. We are all preists able to enter into God's presence because we're under the righteousness of Christ. The law no longer operates as a taskmaster rapping our knuckles when we mess up. The Law exists to show us our need for Christ; our sin which we cannot eradicate or remove from our hearts and lives on our own effort. That need in Christ is now gone, done and fulfilled. The purpose of the law has been fulfilled. It doesn't mean that the law is gone but it's a monument to that past system that has now been superceded by relationship with the God who gave it in this first place.

Some are more sensitive to these concerns than others. Paul had two things at least to say in the epistles and Acts regarding these types of situations. Those who don't recognize the work of Christ and who try to push down onto others legalistic living, such as the judiazers who tried to force circumcision and dietary laws onto new gentile converts, Paul had no patience with. He declared of them that he'd rather they mutilate themselves than continue to live under that old system when Jesus had ushed in a new age. Paul however recognized that there were true believers who wrestled with this whole element of freedom and who had sensitive hearts about things like eating meat offered to idols. He is not as condemning of them. He calls them weaker brothers and encourages others who realize that idols are not real and therefore there's no real harm in eating such meat to not use their freedom in front of those who wrestle with these issues. That's the "law" of love. We don't flaunt our freedom in front of those who wrestle. So apparently Paul sees a line. I think the line is when we move from looking at law keeping as the basis of our salvation rather than the fruit.

It's a matter of the heart. You can have 2 children in one family who both are well behaved and who obey their parents. Outwardly they are the same. They are both obedient. However each can function very differently in terms of how they generate that obedience. One can be terrified of the punishment that they will experience if they disobey. They can see their parents as severe, strict and punishing people and so they act in a manner so as to avoid that punishment. It's all about outward action and performance. That child acts respectful outwardly, but it's all about the performance. When not directly ordered to spend time in the presence of that child's parents they stay away and avoid just spending time getting to know those parents better. There's no real fellowship or love expressed beyond what is necessary to avoid punishment.

The other child in this same family loves their parents. They are convinced that their parents love them and care for them and so when that child "obeys" it's really not about the outward action so much as a genuine desire to be in a sustained relationship of love. That child doesn't worry about "punishment" because that child has complete trust that their parents will not do anything to them that is not rooted in love and genuine care.

That child doesn't need to keep a list of what they can do and what they can't do. For that child, the issue isn't what is allowable and what isn't allowable; the issue is what will bring joy to my parents and strengthen and maintain that relationship?

I think much of the confusion and source of fights and disagreement in the area of understanding what is necessary for salvation comes from confusing salvation with growing and maturing in that walk. We get concerned about outward performance. Or, we look at God and we assume some elements of God as out of balance with the love that I believe the Bible and Jesus shows is the primary characteristic of God that we need to be convinced of.

How do you see God?

Is God the loving Father that Jesus illustrated in his parable of the Prodigal Son who stands ready to run to you, arms extended to receive you when you want to return? Or is God like to ancient God Zeus (and I choose that image very deliberately) who sits upon the mountain waiting for you to trip up so you can serve as the target for his lightening bolt practice? The reality is that we all view God somewhere in between those two extremes, but Jesus appears to be telling us, and showing us by His sacrificial love, that God really IS that loving father who wants the type of relationship with us that is illustrated by that second child in the family I described.

All of these elements and illustrations are not unique with me or new. They are very Biblical. Knowing about them (head knowledge) and living them (heart knowledge) are very different things. The Pharisees had one and lacked the other. Jesus took them to task for it because they not only lived in that manner for themselves but they took others with them who trusted their leading.

I spent 20 years in formal ministry thinking I really understood this. The last 5 years outside of that are showing me I have very little real idea of what I talked about back then and I've been that first child who really just lives like a servant in the home, performing and outside the relationship of those parents who desire it so much, but my own misperceptions blind me to living in what is right there for me.

Anyway, sorry for the sermon but that's been rising up in me and I felt the need to get it out.

blessings,

bart
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