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Old 01-09-2010, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Prattville, Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlabamaStorm View Post
I see the Gospel differently. The sinner does absolutely nothing on his behalf for his own justification (being declared righteous by God). That is what it means to be justified by Christ alone.

Rom 5:8 and God doth commend His own love to us, that, in our being still sinners, Christ did die for us;
Rom 5:9 much more, then, having been declared righteous now in his blood, we shall be saved through him from the wrath;

Here is an excellent article by Samuel Richardson (although written from a limited or non-universal perspective) that gets to the concept of Justification by Christ alone with great clarity:

Justification by Christ Alone By Samuel Richardson

Our being imputed, or reckoned to righteousness (Christ's righteousness) happens when we believe the Gospel, or rather believe in God who declares righteous the sinner.

Rom 4:5 and to him who is not working, and is believing upon Him who is declaring righteous the impious, his faith is reckoned--to righteousness:

Rom 4:23 And it was not written on his account alone, that it was reckoned to him,
Rom 4:24 but also on ours, to whom it is about to be reckoned--to us believing on Him who did raise up Jesus our Lord out of the dead,

Not physically, but rather spiritually. All (all sinners) died spiritually in Adam:

Rom 5:12 because of this, even as through one man the sin did enter into the world, and through the sin the death; and thus to all men the death did pass through, for that all did sin;

Rom 5:18 So, then, as through one offence to all men it is to condemnation, so also through one declaration of `Righteous' it is to all men to justification of life;
Rom 5:19 for as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners: so also through the obedience of the one, shall the many be constituted righteous.

1Co 15:22 for even as in Adam all die, so also in the Christ all shall be made alive,
I won't try to convince you otherwise because, like you, I used to believe the same thing but I do know different now. I would like to share with you a website that may or may not change the way you look at the salvation Christ offers us.

Jesus words Only - Jesus words as the sole inspired portion of the New Testament Scripture.

The are two full books that you can read and I suggest you start with Jesus Words on Salvation and then move to the Jesus Words Only book. You will need your bible to go along with it because the study comes directly from scripture. They are both listed under the books section and you can read each chapter of the book online at this site.

You may be surprised at what you find there like I was and I'd love to know what you think once you've read them.
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyGrl View Post
I won't try to convince you otherwise because, like you, I used to believe the same thing but I do know different now. I would like to share with you a website that may or may not change the way you look at the salvation Christ offers us.

Jesus words Only - Jesus words as the sole inspired portion of the New Testament Scripture.

The are two full books that you can read and I suggest you start with Jesus Words on Salvation and then move to the Jesus Words Only book. You will need your bible to go along with it because the study comes directly from scripture. They are both listed under the books section and you can read each chapter of the book online at this site.

You may be surprised at what you find there like I was and I'd love to know what you think once you've read them.
Thanks for the link. Quite frankly, you do not need any new testament scripture to know God's plan of redemption for the sinner. The believers prior to Christ's death and resurrection were saved exactly like we are today. They believed that God justifies the sinner by Christ's work alone. They believe the Gospel. They believe the same Gospel we believe today. It's the same Gospel given by Jesus to Paul by revelation. And yes, I know that the author you've linked to does not believe this . But here is the Gospel in the OT:

It's foreshadow:

Gen 3:21 And Jehovah God doth make to the man and to his wife coats of skin, and doth clothe them.

It's plan in action:

Isa 53:4 Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains--he hath carried them, And we--we have esteemed him plagued, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
Isa 53:5 And he is pierced for our transgressions, Bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement of our peace is on him, And by his bruise there is healing to us.
Isa 53:6 All of us like sheep have wandered, Each to his own way we have turned, And Jehovah hath caused to meet on him, The punishment of us all.
Isa 53:7 It hath been exacted, and he hath answered, And he openeth not his mouth, As a lamb to the slaughter he is brought, And as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, And he openeth not his mouth.
Isa 53:8 By restraint and by judgment he hath been taken, And of his generation who doth meditate, That he hath been cut off from the land of the living? By the transgression of My people he is plagued,
Isa 53:9 And it appointeth with the wicked his grave, And with the rich are his high places, Because he hath done no violence, Nor is deceit in his mouth.
Isa 53:10 But Jehovah pleased to crush Him, to make Him sick, so that If He should put His soul as a guilt offering, He shall see His seed; He shall prolong His days; and the will of Jehovah shall prosper in His hand.
Isa 53:11 He shall see the fruit of the travail of His soul; He shall be fully satisfied. By His knowledge the righteous One, My Servant, shall justify for many, and He shall bear their iniquities.
Isa 53:12 Therefore I give a portion to him among the many, And with the mighty he apportioneth spoil, Because that he exposed to death his soul, And with transgressors he was numbered, And he the sin of many hath borne, And for transgressors he intercedeth.

The happiness of those that believe this Gospel:

Psa 32:2 O the happiness of a man, To whom Jehovah imputeth not iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.

Gen 15:6 And he hath believed in Jehovah, and He reckoneth it to him--righteousness.

Psa 40:4 O the happiness of the man Who hath made Jehovah his trust, And hath not turned unto the proud, And those turning aside to lies.

No offense, but the web site you've linked to is absolute rubbish...LOL I've heard more truth proclaimed from drunken sailors staggering out of the bars of Bangkok late at night, perhaps even more truth...LOL

The author of that site needs to believe the Gospel, starting with the old testament scriptures. If he would like to toss out everything between Acts and James, including Paul and the gospel he proclaimed to the sinner, let the author do so. But it will not really change things. Unless he believes the Gospel (justification by Christ alone, be it OT or NT) he will remain, as yet, unregenerate.

The author also needs to remember that Christ meets us on how we view ourselves and our needs for His work on the cross. Those that see themselves as being righteous or having the ability to be saved by works, are given the terms to achieve this by Christ:

Luk 18:18 And a certain ruler questioned him, saying, `Good teacher, what having done--shall I inherit life age-during?'
Luk 18:19 And Jesus said to him, `Why me dost thou call good? no one is good, except One--God;
Luk 18:20 the commands thou hast known: Thou mayest not commit adultery, Thou mayest do no murder, Thou mayest not steal, Thou mayest not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.'
Luk 18:21 And he said, `All these I did keep from my youth;'
Luk 18:22 and having heard these things, Jesus said to him, `Yet one thing to thee is lacking; all things--as many as thou hast--sell, and distribute to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, be following me;'

Jesus also says this method is impossible for man to achieve, but yet still offers hope for them:

Luk 18:26 And those who heard, said, `And who is able to be saved?'
Luk 18:27 and he said, `The things impossible with men are possible with God.'

For those who have no righteousness of their own, and know they cannot achieve it, Jesus offers this:

Luk 18:13 `And the tax-gatherer, having stood afar off, would not even the eyes lift up to the heaven, but was smiting on his breast, saying, God be propitious to me--the sinner!
Luk 18:14 I say to you, this one went down declared righteous, to his house, rather than that one: for every one who is exalting himself shall be humbled, and he who is humbling himself shall be exalted.'

And further, to those not seeking to justify themselves before Christ, Jesus offers this:

Joh 9:35 Jesus heard that they cast him forth without, and having found him, he said to him, `Dost thou believe in the Son of God?'
Joh 9:36 he answered and said, `Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?'
Joh 9:37 And Jesus said to him, `Thou hast both seen him, and he who is speaking with thee is he;'
Joh 9:38 and he said, `I believe, sir,' and bowed before him.
Joh 9:39 And Jesus said, `For judgment I to this world did come, that those not seeing may see, and those seeing may become blind.'

Anyway, this is becoming a very long post, and it's getting late.

Have to give one more cheer for the home team. Thank-you Alabama and the Crimson Tide football team for a memorable year! Undefeated and BCS champs!

Last edited by AlabamaStorm; 01-09-2010 at 10:48 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlabamaStorm View Post
Do you make the distinction between justification (being declared righteous) by Christ's work alone and being imputed (or reckoned) with Christ's righteousness through faith?
I don't see what distinction there could be between the two, unless I've misunderstood your question. We are justified (declared righteous) through faith on the basis of the perfect merits of Christ alone.

Quote:
If you would, please post a scripture (or scriptures) that clearly state when a sinner is declared righteous (justified) before God and when the sinner is imputed with Christ's righteousness. This is a topic that came up some time back that has great impact on how one views the Gospel and Christ's work for the sinner.
The doctrine of justification by faith alone itself indicates that the imputation must be instantaneous. I say this because if the perfect obedience of Christ to the Law is imputed to us, then there is nothing we can do to be justified but to have faith, as Paul clearly taught. Since there is nothing we can do in terms of obedience, deeds, works, and so on, then it must be instantaneous.

Quote:
If you would also, give a scripture that defines what causes both of these events to occur (justification and imputation) and when they occur.
Interesting. If by "cause" you mean "what makes something happen," the answer becomes a bit complex. It is Christ's redemptive work that saves us. His blood satisfied the wrath of God for the sins of those who believe in him, and his perfect obedience to the law provides the righteousness that God requires of us. So, faith itself does not save. We are saved through or by faith, since it is an agent. To put it another way, faith is the "hand" that lays hold of salvation. I think of the woman who had the flow of blood, who thought to herself that all she had to do was touch Christ's garment. She was healed through that faith, but it was Christ who actually did the healing. I wrote a short piece on this here: The Hand of Faith «.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyGrl View Post
Jremy,

I think you are confused about the Gospel based on what I've read. Is it your belief that once you turn to Christ or you believe in Christ you are saved forever....no matter what you do or don't do from that point on?
Yes. But like I've pointed out elsewhere, true believers won't just do whatever they want and sin their hearts away, so your question is tricky. Paul wrote in Romans 6:1-7: "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin."

Elsewhere the Scriptures teach plainly that God is at work in the believer and will perfect the good work that he began in believers.

Quote:
If this is what you believe....then you are definitely not following the same Gospel I am.
I agree completely.

Quote:
It is my understanding that 3 things are required of us to gain and retain our salvation:

1. Repent of our sins and completely turn away from them
2. Live in obedience to Gods Commands
3. Produce Fruit
If all this is true, then I don't understand what need you have for Christ. You apparently don't need his righteousness imputed to you or his blood to take away your sins. After all, you can "gain and retain" your salvation by your own works. To your thinking, salvation is your work from start to finish. That, however, is another gospel and utterly alien to God's own thoughts as revealed in scripture. The Jews of old fell into this same error, as Paul pointed out in Rom. 10:1-10:

"1Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.
3For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
5For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness.
6But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: "DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, 'WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?' (that is, to bring Christ down),
7or 'WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)."
8But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
9that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."


Quote:
Jesus said these very things many times in his parables....even the most faithful believers were lost and sent to the outer darkness when they produced no fruit.
Then they couldn't have been "faithful believers," could they? Jesus taught in the parable of the sower and the seed that the one who is saved most definitely, without fail, produces fruit:

"And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty." (Matthew 13:23).

There are varying degrees of fruit, but the fruit will be produced.

Quote:
Or in the words of James.....faith without works is dead....or like having no faith at all.
Quite so. Therefore, those who produce no fruit at all are clearly demonstrating that they were never saved to begin with. Faith always produces works, according to James.

Quote:
Jesus was crystal clear that if the above things were not followed you absolutely could LOSE YOUR SALVATION
Ummm...NO. That is not what he taught. He never ever once in that passage referred to losing one's salvation. That is not the import or the purpose of that text.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ChristyGrl View Post
Christ made a way for us to be reconciled to God....he showed us how we can accomplish it.
That's it? That's the extent of Christ's saving work, just to show us how we can accomplish our salvation? If that is what you believe, then I have to wonder if you think that Christ's death on the cross was not a ransom for sinners, as he himself said: "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28) Is that what you believe?

Quote:
When I repent and turn from my sins to Him, I can have a direct personal relationship with Him.
Based on what?--merely on the fact that you repented? What makes the relationship possible?
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Jremy View Post
I don't see what distinction there could be between the two, unless I've misunderstood your question. We are justified (declared righteous) through faith on the basis of the perfect merits of Christ alone.
Let's focus on this part first. There is a very clear distinction between being declared righteous (justification) by Christ alone and being imputed or reckoned to righteousness with Christ's righteousness through faith.

The sinner is declared righteous by God (without the faith of the sinner or anything else for that matter) and God does so strictly on the merits of Christ's work alone on behalf of the sinner:

Rom 4:25 who was delivered up because of our offences, and was raised up because of our being declared righteous.

Rom 5:8 and God doth commend His own love to us, that, in our being still sinners, Christ did die for us;
Rom 5:9 much more, then, having been declared righteous now in his blood, we shall be saved through him from the wrath;
Rom 5:10 for if, being enemies, we have been reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved in his life.

Now notice in the above, we are declared righteous in His blood and reconciled to God while being His enemies. This declaration of righteousness is not dependent on faith or anything else the sinner does. We know this because those of faith are not the enemies of God.

Now the second part: Imputed righteousness.

Imputed righteousness (or rather the reckoning of Christ's righteousness to our account) happens when the sinner believes the Gospel (our justification by Christ alone).

Rom 4:5 and to him who is not working, and is believing upon Him who is declaring righteous the impious, his faith is reckoned--to righteousness:

To be reckoned to righteousness is a distinct act from being declared righteous:

Rom 4:23 And it was not written on his account alone, that it was reckoned to him,
Rom 4:24 but also on ours, to whom it is about to be reckoned--to us believing on Him who did raise up Jesus our Lord out of the dead,

The term "it is about to be reckoned" clearly shows that our being reckoned with Christ's righteousness did not happen at our justification (being declared righteous), but rather occurs as a consequence of our being justified on account Christ's death and resurrection for us. We are reckoned to righteousness through faith when we believe the Gospel (the promise of our being justified by God on the merits of Christ's work alone). It is also exactly the way both Abraham, as well as David, were reckoned to righteousness.

I hope that made sense. Does it?
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Prattville, Alabama
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Jremy & Alabama....if salvation is as easy to obtain and retain as you purport by just having faith....what is the "cost we have to count" that Jesus spoke about when one wants to follow him?

And, how do you explain the parable of the sheep and the goats...seeing how they are all believers who call him Lord....why are the goats excluded from salvation and sent into the outer darkness? And did their faith alone save them?
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ChristyGrl View Post
Jremy & Alabama....if salvation is as easy to obtain and retain as you purport by just having faith....what is the "cost we have to count" that Jesus spoke about when one wants to follow him?
The Gospel and salvation did not come by easy. God had is own Son pay the price with His own blood. A very great cost to God indeed. To us sinners that know we are spiritually bankrupt and without hope apart from Christ, salvation is not only easy but rather free. However, believing it is not possible without regeneration by the Spirit. You have to give up your own righteousness, a great cost for most. A cost to great to bear!

Quote:
And, how do you explain the parable of the sheep and the goats...seeing how they are all believers who call him Lord....why are the goats excluded from salvation and sent into the outer darkness? And did their faith alone save them?
Natural Israel (the goats in the parable) have no faith in God's Son and only give lip service to God. Natural Israel (the natural descendent's of Abraham) rely on their own righteousness to save them. They did not believe the Gospel, but rather went about establishing their own righteousness before God:

Rom 10:1 Brethren, the pleasure indeed of my heart, and my supplication that is to God for Israel, is--for salvation;
Rom 10:2 for I bear them testimony that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge,
Rom 10:3 for not knowing the righteousness of God, and their own righteousness seeking to establish, to the righteousness of God they did not submit.

Did Israel not hear the good news? Yes, they heard the Gospel too:

Rom 10:19 But I say, Did not Israel know? first Moses saith, `I will provoke you to jealousy by that which is not a nation; by an unintelligent nation I will anger you,'
Rom 10:20 and Isaiah is very bold, and saith, `I was found by those not seeking Me; I became manifest to those not inquiring after Me;'
Rom 10:21 and unto Israel He saith, `All the day I did stretch out My hands unto a people unbelieving and gainsaying.'

Will not God also save Israel? Yes of course, Israel too:

Rom 11:25 For I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, of this secret--that ye may not be wise in your own conceits--that hardness in part to Israel hath happened till the fulness of the nations may come in;
Rom 11:26 and so all Israel shall be saved, according as it hath been written, `There shall come forth out of Sion he who is delivering, and he shall turn away impiety from Jacob,
Rom 11:27 and this to them is the covenant from Me, when I may take away their sins.'
Rom 11:28 As regards, indeed, the good tidings, they are enemies on your account; and as regards the choice--beloved on account of the fathers;
Rom 11:29 for unrepented of are the gifts and the calling of God;
Rom 11:30 for as ye also once did not believe in God, and now did find kindness by the unbelief of these:
Rom 11:31 so also these now did not believe, that in your kindness they also may find kindness;
Rom 11:32 for God did shut up together the whole to unbelief, that to the whole He might do kindness.
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Prattville, Alabama
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Originally Posted by AlabamaStorm View Post
The Gospel and salvation did not come by easy. God had is own Son pay the price with His own blood. A very great cost to God indeed. To us sinners that know we are spiritually bankrupt and without hope apart from Christ, salvation is not only easy but rather free. However, believing it is not possible without regeneration by the Spirit. You have to give up your own righteousness, a great cost for most. A cost to great to bear!

Natural Israel (the goats in the parable) have no faith in God's Son and only give lip service to God. Natural Israel (the natural descendent's of Abraham) rely on their own righteousness to save them. They did not believe the Gospel, but rather went about establishing their own righteousness before God:

Rom 10:1 Brethren, the pleasure indeed of my heart, and my supplication that is to God for Israel, is--for salvation;
Rom 10:2 for I bear them testimony that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge,
Rom 10:3 for not knowing the righteousness of God, and their own righteousness seeking to establish, to the righteousness of God they did not submit.

Did Israel not hear the good news? Yes, they heard the Gospel too:

Rom 10:19 But I say, Did not Israel know? first Moses saith, `I will provoke you to jealousy by that which is not a nation; by an unintelligent nation I will anger you,'
Rom 10:20 and Isaiah is very bold, and saith, `I was found by those not seeking Me; I became manifest to those not inquiring after Me;'
Rom 10:21 and unto Israel He saith, `All the day I did stretch out My hands unto a people unbelieving and gainsaying.'

Will not God also save Israel? Yes of course, Israel too:

Rom 11:25 For I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, of this secret--that ye may not be wise in your own conceits--that hardness in part to Israel hath happened till the fulness of the nations may come in;
Rom 11:26 and so all Israel shall be saved, according as it hath been written, `There shall come forth out of Sion he who is delivering, and he shall turn away impiety from Jacob,
Rom 11:27 and this to them is the covenant from Me, when I may take away their sins.'
Rom 11:28 As regards, indeed, the good tidings, they are enemies on your account; and as regards the choice--beloved on account of the fathers;
Rom 11:29 for unrepented of are the gifts and the calling of God;
Rom 11:30 for as ye also once did not believe in God, and now did find kindness by the unbelief of these:
Rom 11:31 so also these now did not believe, that in your kindness they also may find kindness;
Rom 11:32 for God did shut up together the whole to unbelief, that to the whole He might do kindness.
Where did you come to the conclusion that Natural Israel were the goats....nowhere does the parable state this and is something you are incorporating into the verse to hang onto your faith only gospel. Jesus shows these both as believers (they both call him Lord)....and were separated based on their works of charity and nothing more. Their faith (i.e. they both called him Lord) did not save them. The goats, because they did no works of charity, were sent into the outer darkness.

I noticed, based on all of your posts, that you give Paul more authority in the matters of salvation than you do Jesus. Jesus states very clearly in his parables that we are required to have faith and works in order to maintain our salvation. If you produce no fruit whatsoever in your life...do you honestly believe you will be saved just based on your faith in Jesus even though it is contrary to everything Jesus taught??? Jesus said for us to count the cost....so I ask again....what is the cost we are counting if grace is like you said "salvation is not only easy but rather free."????

Last edited by ChristyGrl; 01-10-2010 at 03:03 PM..
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Old 01-10-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ChristyGrl View Post
Where did you come to the conclusion that Natural Israel were the goats....nowhere does the parable state this and is something you are incorporating into the verse to hang onto your faith only gospel. Jesus shows these both as believers (they both call him Lord)....and were separated based on their works of charity and nothing more. Their faith (i.e. they both called him Lord) did not save them. The goats, because they did no works of charity, were sent into the outer darkness.
The parable does not need to state it. Jesus said that those who did not believe that He was the Christ where not his sheep. It might have been harsh for me to call them goats (perhaps I could have said "other sheep" ?), but I don't think Jesus had this in mind:

Joh 10:24 the Jews, therefore, came round about him, and said to him, `Till when our soul dost thou hold in suspense? if thou art the Christ, tell us freely.'
Joh 10:25 Jesus answered them, `I told you, and ye do not believe; the works that I do in the name of my Father, these testify concerning me;
Joh 10:26 but ye do not believe, for ye are not of my sheep,
Joh 10:27 according as I said to you: My sheep my voice do hear, and I know them, and they follow me,
Joh 10:28 and life age-during I give to them, and they shall not perish--to the age, and no one shall pluck them out of my hand;

I also don't think it matters how one refers to Jesus if they do not believe the Gospel. The Jews also told Jesus that God was their Father. Jesus said otherwise, and perhaps gave another reason to call them goats:

Joh 8:41 ye do the works of your father.' They said, therefore, to him, `We of whoredom have not been born; one Father we have--God;'
Joh 8:42 Jesus then said to them, `If God were your father, ye were loving me, for I came forth from God, and am come; for neither have I come of myself, but He sent me;
Joh 8:43 wherefore do ye not know my speech? because ye are not able to hear my word.
Joh 8:44 `Ye are of a father--the devil, and the desires of your father ye will to do; he was a man-slayer from the beginning, and in the truth he hath not stood, because there is no truth in him; when one may speak the falsehood, of his own he speaketh, because he is a liar--also his father.

The Gospel is not based upon our faith, but rather the work of Christ alone. That is what justifies us before God. Let me ask you this: Did the tax-gatherer perform a work of charity? I don't think so, at least not the type of charity you and I would normally think of. Jesus said he was declared righteous, and further more this sinner (now justified) went back to his house, so much for being cast into outer darkness (unless he had a very dark house without windows...LOL):

Luk 18:13 `And the tax-gatherer, having stood afar off, would not even the eyes lift up to the heaven, but was smiting on his breast, saying, God be propitious to me--the sinner!
Luk 18:14 I say to you, this one went down declared righteous, to his house, rather than that one: for every one who is exalting himself shall be humbled, and he who is humbling himself shall be exalted.'

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I noticed, based on all of your posts, that you give Paul more authority in the matters of salvation than you do Jesus. Jesus states very clearly in his parables that we are required to have faith and works in order to maintain our salvation. If you produce no fruit whatsoever in your life...do you honestly believe you will be saved just based on your faith in Jesus even though it is contrary to everything Jesus taught???
I think Jesus outlines two path ways. One for the righteous (the self righteous) and one for the sinner (the one that knows he is a sinner). The path that leads to life (faith in Christ, the Gospel) and the one that leads to judgment (trying to produce our own righteousness, which ultimately leads to no righteousness). Jesus defines the requirements for both paths and for both groups. The path of law and the path of grace. I'm a sinner, and I know this, so I'll go down the path of grace every time. It's the only path available for me to go down.

However, many (or most) will head down the path of works seeking to justify themselves before realizing in the end it does not save. But God will ultimately put them on the right path.... They too will also be saved by Christ.

I give all scripture equal authority. I also believe that Paul's letters to the Church are directly from Jesus (as if Christ spoke the words Himself), and are inspired by the Holy Spirit.
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