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Old 12-25-2011, 10:06 AM
 
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In the following thread --> The Gross Misrepresentation of Romans 5:12 the following statement was made and question asked in response to something I said.

'One can boast in making the right choice...Where does it state that Hawyaw predestined those that used their volition to respond positively?...Do you even understand what Merit is?...'

But as it was somewhat off the topic of that thread, I decided to reply to it in a new thread. And so to that statement and question, here is my reply.

Merriam-Webster

Definition of MERIT

1 a obsolete: reward or punishment due
b: the qualities or actions that constitute the basis of one's deserts
c: a praiseworthy quality : virtue
d: character or conduct deserving reward, honor, or esteem; also: achievement

2: spiritual credit held to be earned by performance of righteous acts and to ensure future benefits

3 a plural: the substance of a legal case apart from matters of jurisdiction, procedure, or form b: individual significance or justification

Merit - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

One can not boast for trusting in Christ for eternal salvation and is so declared in the word of God.

Romans 4:2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God. 3] For what does the Scripture say? ''And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.'' 4] Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due. 5] But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as rightousness.'

Abraham was credited with righteousness; declared righteous simply by believing the promise of the Messiah. His faith was not something of which he could boast, for faith is declared not to be works.


In Acts 16:30 the jailer asked what he must do to be saved. 'and after he brought them out, he said, ''Sirs, what must I do to be saved?''

The simple answer to his question was ''Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved...'' (Acts 16:31)


Ephesians 2:8-9 declares faith to be not works and nothing of which man can boast.

Eph 2:8 'For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9] not as a result of works, that no one should boast.'

To be saved you have to do something. You have to believe on Christ. But believing on Christ is said not to be a work. It is not something for which you can take any credit. Faith is non-meritorious. For it is not the faith itself which saves you, it is the object of your faith which saves you. And Jesus Christ is the object of your faith. It is Jesus Christ who has the merit. Your personal faith in Christ is simply the means by which you accept God's offer of salvation.

All the faith in the world directed toward Allah will not save anyone because there is no Allah. Faith in Zeus will not save you for there is no Zeus.

But Jesus Christ IS real and He CAN save you.

Now can a person CHOOSE to believe on Christ for eternal salvation or CHOOSE not to? Of course, and is so shown in the Scriptures by the fact that salvation is offered. An invitation to come to Christ is given. An invitation can be accepted or it can be rejected.

In what are almost the very last words in the Bible, the invitation to come to Christ for salvation is extended in Revelation 22:17 'And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

That invitation is extended by Jesus in John 7:37 'Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ''If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38] ''He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ''From His innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.''


Anyone who wishes can respond to the call of the gospel message by placing his faith in Christ. And from eternity past God in His foreknowledge knew who would respond to the gospel and believe in Christ. And it is these who God predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.

God calls and draws through the gospel message.

2 Thess 2:14 'And it was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Those who hear the gospel are drawn through the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit.

John 16:8 ''And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; 9] concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10] and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; 11] and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

Can the convicting of the Holy Spirit be resisted? Of course it can.

Acts 7:51 ''You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.''

John 5:40 ''and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life.

In John 5:40 Jesus referred to those who were unwilling. Yet in John 7:37 Jesus said ''If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.''

God calls through the gospel message. The Holy Spirit convicts at the point of gospel hearing. Man can resist the Holy Spirit, or he can come to Christ through a positive faith response to the gospel. It is his choice.

It is those who God knew would believe on Christ who He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.


God does not desire that anyone perish as 2 Peter 3:9 states. Therefore God does not choose for some to be saved while choosing that others be eternally condemned. God desires that all men be saved as 2 Tim 2:4 states.

Therefore, God did everything necessary so that man can be saved. Man need only respond to the invitation, to the offer of salvation by making a personal decision to believe on Christ.


The alternative is the second death which is eternal separation from God in the lake of fire.

It IS the most important choice that every person will ever make.
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:46 PM
 
Location: top secret
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Somewhere in Titus (I forget exactly where) it says each man shall
be "judged according to his works"...
Well Ephesians says works don't matter "lest any man should boast".
Can someone explain this contradiction???
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:35 PM
 
Location: RV Park
7,543 posts, read 11,554,397 times
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Agreed but it's the grace of God that give him the faith. Giving glory to man is sinful.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:09 PM
 
20,299 posts, read 15,647,071 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GM1258 View Post
Somewhere in Titus (I forget exactly where) it says each man shall
be "judged according to his works"...
Well Ephesians says works don't matter "lest any man should boast".
Can someone explain this contradiction???
There is no contradiction because while man is eternally saved by grace though faith alone in Christ alone, the believer will be rewarded at the judgment seat of Christ for his spiritual production - his works.

1 Cor 3:12 Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13] each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. 14] If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. 15] If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.

The unbeliever however, will at the great white throne judgment at the end of the Millennium be judged on the basis of his deeds (Revelation 20:11-15), because having rejected Christ as Savior he was never imputed with God's perfect righteousness and must therefore depend upon his own relative righteousness from which his deeds come. And since man's righteousness is not compatible with God's perfect righteousness he must remain eternally separated from God in the lake of fire. The unbeliever will not be judged for his sins even though he has died in them as per John 8:24 because all of his sins were judged at the cross and cannot be judged again. Therefore the unbeliever is condemned on the basis of his deeds.

So while eternal salvation is though faith alone in Christ alone, the quality of the believers spiritual life after salvation is rewarded at the judgment seat of Christ.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,965 posts, read 5,569,905 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GM1258 View Post
Somewhere in Titus (I forget exactly where) it says each man shall
be "judged according to his works"...
Well Ephesians says works don't matter "lest any man should boast".
Can someone explain this contradiction???
I don't think anyone can explain it, no. They can try. But it will remain a paradox.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:34 PM
 
20,299 posts, read 15,647,071 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by little elmer View Post
Agreed but it's the grace of God that give him the faith. Giving glory to man is sinful.
God provided man with three different systems of perception by which he relates to the world.

1) Empiricism which involves the 5 senses.

2) Rationalism which involves the mind.

3) Faith which involves trusting in someone or something based on what you know about that person or thing. Faith that the chair will not collapse when you sit on it because you know the structural integrity of the chair. Faith in Jesus Christ because of what you know about Him based on gospel information which you have received. But is up to you to exercise that non-meritorious faith in Christ. You must make the decision to trust Him. Or you can refuse to trust Him. You can come to Him for salvation or you can refuse to come to Him for salvation as the passages in the original post show.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,965 posts, read 5,569,905 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by little elmer View Post
Agreed but it's the grace of God that give him the faith. Giving glory to man is sinful.
God crowns man with glory. Are you saying God is sinful?
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:45 PM
 
648 posts, read 1,045,422 times
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"Man must choose to believe...."

Your whole premise is based on a falsehood: no one can "choose" to believe anything. Belief is an emotion. We cannot choose our emotions, rather, emotions *choose* us. Just try it. Think of your favorite food. You did not choose to love, for example, chocolate (just an example, mind you). Think of the first time you fell in love. No one wakes up one day and declares, "Today I am going to fall in love."

So as much as you obviously, fervently *believe* in the story of Jesus, please do not turn that devotion into a *must choose* for everyone else.

Thank you.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
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Mike: Its a very nice post, except you're off the mark on one small detail. God chooses us and gives us the new birth and he converts us. Many texts refer to this. The way Lutheran's see it, making a decision to believe in Jesus could be considered a righteous act. In Lutheran theology, the Christian is completely passive in conversion, only after conversion does he cooperate with God. I'll note a few texts for you.
Eph 2:4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, Eph 2:5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions
Tit 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit

Ro 9:15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." Ro 9:16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
Ro 9:18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden


In fact, the election or choosing in the New Testament is what God does, not man.  
 
2Th 2:13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth

Eph 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

Hope this gives you something to chew on for a few days.
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Old 12-25-2011, 10:01 PM
 
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You left out what Jesus said about what those who have faith in Him must do. "The man who has faith in me will do the works I do."

You also left out How he said that he gave the words His Father gave Him to those who follow Him, and He sent them into the world as His Father sent Him.

This would seem to exclude Paul who you quote so much but do not quote the Father or Jesus as much.

If he sent His followers as He was sent with the same words and mission, to continue in His words, how is it that I don't see any one using His words as there own and becoming the teacher He was like he wanted.

The reason is Paul.Here is a short example of what I give as was given to me by Jesus who sent me.

The reason I was born and the reason I came into the world is to testify to the truth. Anyone committed to the truth hears my voice.

Quote:
Psalms;
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple8 The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes; 9 the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true all of them just.

24:3 Who can climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 He whose hands are sinless, and whose heart is clean.

25:12 When a man fears the Lord, He will teach him the way he should choose. 13 He will abide in prosperity, and his descendants shall inherit the land. 14 The friendship of the Lord is with those who fear him, and he makes his covenant known to them.

28:8 The Lord is the strength of his people; the saving refuge of his anointed.

30:4 For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his works are truthful. 5 He loves justice and right;

34:10The Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for nothing is lacking to those who fear Him. The great grow poor and hungry but those who seek the Lord want for no good thing.

34:15The Lord has eyes for the just, and ears for there cry. When the just cry out, the Lord hears them, and rescues them from all distress.

34:22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him incurs guilt..

37:3Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. 6 He will make justice dawn for you like the light; bright as the noon day will be your vindication.

37:11The meek shall inherit the land, and delight themselves in abundant peace.
That's the word of the Lord who sent me. I came down from heaven to do His will not my own. Whoever chooses to do his will shall know about this teaching namely, whether it comes from God or whether Im speaking on my own.
Whoever speaks on his own seeks his own glory, but whoever seeks the glory of the one who sent him is truthful, and there is no dishonesty in his heart.

Truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.
Truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. Flesh makes flesh, spirit makes spirit. Do not be surprised that I tell you, you must all be born from above.

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when genuine worshipers will worship the Lord in spirit and truth, for the Lord wants people to worship him in this manner. For God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me even though he died he will come to life and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die. (BK of JN)

Those words and more were given to me by Jesus and I accepted them.

Jesus sent me. I am son of man. Jesus and I are One with the Father. He said His followers would be One with Him and the Father, but no one seems to accept His mission as He was sent, but I have. Follow the son of man and declare the glory of God.

Just as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them , it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.
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