[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Soteriology Points

by Antonio da Rosa

Here are some points that will clarify my soteriology. This has already been posted on my blog some time ago, but I do believe that it will be relevent here in this thread of thought that I have been producing. Please read these statements carefully. It will answer the question that has been posed to me about what is the minimum content to the faith that saves.

If you need further clarification or have any questions, please feel free to respond in the comments section.

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"...and that believing ye might have life through his name"

1) Christ's "name" is everything who He actually is. This "name" represents everything who He TRULY is. Fill in ALL true Christology here: Everything that the Bible reveals Jesus to truly be and have done and everything that Jesus truly is that is not revealed in the Bible.

2) It is by virtue of His "name" (everything that He truly is and has done) that we can have eternal life. It is who He is and what He has done that has qualified Him as the Guarantor of eternal life to the believer in Him for it. It is His name that gives Him the authority and the ability to dispense eternal life.

3) Jesus is uniquely qualified to dispense eternal life by virtue of His name. On this authority He may dispense it to whomever He wishes. It is through His wisdom and council with God the Father that they have decided to dispense eternal life to those and only those who believe in Jesus for this gift.

John 1:12
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name

Acts 4:12
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

1 John 3:23
And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ

Matt 12:21
And in His name Gentiles will trust.

John 3:18
He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God

Acts 10:43
To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.

4) To this one condition of appropriating the gift of eternal life (faith in Jesus for it) God has been pleased to add no other.

Gal 2:16; 3:2
…knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified…. This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Rom 4:5-6, 16
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness… Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure.

5) Shorthand for faith in Jesus is to believe that Jesus is the Christ (in the Johannine sense) which as to content is that as the Christ Jesus is the Guarantor of eternal life to all who simply believe in Him for it.

John 11:25-27
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."
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You remember it, don’t you? “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’” (John 11:25-26). Her reply is a declaration that she believes Him to be the Christ. Martha said, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world” (11:27).

Notice here that to believe that Jesus is the Christ means to believe that He guarantees resurrection and eternal life to every believer. But now let us look at John 4. In that famous passage we have the Samaritans saying to the woman who had encountered Jesus, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world” (John 4:42).

Observe that the common denominator to both passages is the term “Christ.” On Martha’s lips He is “the Christ, the Son of God,” and on the lips of the Samaritans He is “the Christ, the Savior of the world.” This is not an accidental or insignificant difference.

In Jewish prophecy and theology the promised Christ was also the Son of God—that is, He was to be a divine person. Recall the words of Isaiah: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (9:6-7). But in Samaritan theology, the Messiah was thought of as a prophet and the woman at the well is led to faith through our Lord’s prophetic ability to know her life. Her words, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet” (4:19) are a first step in the direction of recognizing Him as the Christ. There is no evidence that she or the other Samaritans understood the deity of our Lord.

But they did believe that he was the Christ. And John tells us in his first epistle that “whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (5:1)! A full theology of His person is not necessary to salvation. If we believe that Jesus is the One who guarantees our eternal destiny, we have believed all we absolutely have to believe in order to be saved.
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(Zane Hodges, How to Lead People to Christ, Part 1 Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Autumn 2000)

6) Believing that Jesus is the Christ (in the Johannine sense) is the only soteriologically necessary condition for eternal life.

7) Most people will not find this bare proposition persuasive. They will require more information and quite possible need some of their questions answered. This would be a logical necessity in order to persuade them that the salvific proposition is true.

John 20:30-31
And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

8) Most people do not need every question that they may have answered before they are persuaded as to the truth of the salvific proposition. Answers to other questions or other information given may be sufficient to persuade one that the salvific proposition is true.

9) The assent to orthodox theology in general or Christology in specific, as important as this is to the regenerate believer, is no litmus test for assurance of one's soteriological salvation. The only basis for both the reception of eternal life and assurance of eternal life is believing in Jesus, who through His name, has given the promise to Guarantee eternal life to all who believe in Him for it.

10) Misconceptions are a part of life. It is impossible to clear up every misconception concerning theology and should not be attempted. The most spiritual man on earth at the present time without a doubt has some misconceptions concerning the real nature of theology.

11) Children have many misconceptions as well but as the Bible makes clear, only those who receive the kingdom of God as little children will enter.
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The theif on the cross said, “Lord, remember me”; and Jesus replied, “Today you shall be with Me in paradise.” After a life of crime, one of the three worst criminals in the nation – Barabbas had been released – this thief received assurance of Heaven.

He could hardly have known much about Jesus. He certainly had no notion of saving faith, let alone of the Trinity, the atonement, or the Second Advent. Yet, on the authority of Jesus, we know that he was saved… Surely entrance into Heaven does not require a degree from a theological seminary. The thief was saved in ignorance.”
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(Gordon H. Clark, Faith and Saving Faith, pg 16)

12) Misconceptions about the Person and work of Jesus Christ is peripheral to the salvific proposition as a soteriological necessity. Ignorance about Christological doctrine can prevent one from being persuaded as to the salvific proposition, but it will never prevent one from the reception of eternal life if one is persuaded as to the salvific proposition.

13) Misconceptions about Jesus do not necessitate such a one who may hold to them to be referring to a "different" Jesus. If a test to one's particular reference to an identity be that he not hold any misconceptions about this identity then specific reference to anyone would be made impossible. For what guarantee does one have that his conceptions about the person, that through his reference he intends to identify, are correct?

14) One fact about a reference could be all that is necessary to limit identity, though one fact may not be enough. There seem to be multiple facts in the salvific proposition and not just one. "Believe that Jesus is the Guarantor of eternal life to the believer in Him for it." Limit #1: the name of the reference is Jesus. Limit #2: the referent is a guarantor of something. Limit #3: the referent dispenses eternal life. Limit #4: this eternal life is dispensed on the basis of faith in the referent for the purpose of appropriating said eternal life.

There is only one Person in the universe who dispenses and guarantees eternal life to the believer in Him for it; the name of this referent is Jesus. This information satisfactorily identifies and limits reference to the true Jesus Christ.

The facts contained in the salvific proposition are of sufficient nature as to specifically limit the identity of its reference to the 2cd Person of the Trinity, God the Son, Jesus Christ.

15) Belief in Jesus Christ for anything else but the intended gift of eternal life will not necessarily be appropriated. The gift that Jesus guarantees in the salvific proposition is "eternal life" and not temporal deliverance, assured positive answer to prayer, or physical blessings. The faith in Jesus is for the purpose of appropriating the intended gift of eternal life.

15) The evangelist's endeavor is to get the potential convert to the point where he will entrust his eternal well-being to Jesus. It is to be used of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God to persuade such a one that Jesus guarantees his eternity. He does this by preaching the gospel message and other facts relating to Jesus, answering questions, etc. Our job in evangelism is to get the potential convert to believe in Jesus, the Guarantor of resurrection and eternal life to the believer in Him. Anything we do or say must point to Jesus and His promise to dispense eternal life to the mere believer in Him for it.

32 Comments:

  • We have discussed this point before but as you say, it is relevant here as well. In John 11:24 Martha verifies that she is already familiar with the doctrine of eternal life. Jesus’ words in Vs. 25 are a direct reflection of the circumstance, which He uses to once more define who He is. He is not setting a condition for eternal life. He is defining Himself to Martha who already believes in the resurrection and the Messiah. Martha’s reply was her affirmation of His identity having already understood what He would accomplish.

    If the knowledge of eternal life through Christ is the necessary belief for justification in the Samaritan example then they would necessarily have had to accept the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead and while I assure you I am no authority here it is my understanding that they did not. (http://virtualreligion.net/iho/samaria.html reference article No. 57)

    John 1:12 identifies the recipient as the one who receives Him, not the one who receives what He’s done and how He’s done it.

    We have numerous examples of the Apostles having to clarify doctrine concerning the means of grace and even the doctrine of eternal life but the common belief among all believers and in every recorded confession is that Jesus is the Christ or “anointed one“ and as we have already agreed, this is apposite to being the Son of God. This fact cannot be overlooked.

    By Blogger Kc, at Friday, May 12, 2006 12:41:00 PM  

  • Excellent stuff, Antonio.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, May 12, 2006 1:55:00 PM  

  • Antonio, would you say that it is theoretically possible (however unlikely it may seem) for someone to believe in Christ and yet deny the very existence of God? In other words, could someone be an atheist at the very moment that he believed in Jesus? I ask purely out of curiosity, not as set-up for a debate.

    By Blogger Matt Waymeyer, at Friday, May 12, 2006 3:29:00 PM  

  • Believe in Christ in what respect? That He was an historical person? Yes.

    Believe in Christ unto eternal life/resurrection?

    As long as a person remains a stedfast atheist, persuasion of the salvific proposition would be impossible.

    The proposition is that Jesus guarantees eternal life and resurrection to the believer in Him for it.

    Correct me if I am wrong, an atheist does not believe in an after-life.

    As long as they remain a stedfast atheist, they would not be persuaded/convinced (remember, faith is the passive result of being convinced that a proposition is true) that Jesus guarantees their eternal well-being; they do not believe in an after-life.

    Matt, thank you for your question (although I believe that a critical reading of my post would have precluded this question).

    I would field any others as well, so feel free to ask away.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, May 12, 2006 6:13:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    Thank you for the graciousness of your response. I should have clarified that what I had in mind is a person who believes in some kind of impersonal, supernatural force or dynamic in the universe, but who denies the existence of any kind of personal, all-powerful being and creator known as “God.” (“Atheist” was perhaps not the best word, for it does indeed conjure up images of one who denies the supernatural.)

    To go on, this person does not believe in the afterlife in the sense of a “heaven” and “hell” as the Bible teaches, but he is open to the possibility that certain individuals (such as psychics, or even “religious” people like Jesus or Mohammed) may have been able to tap into this supernatural force and thereby channel either power (as demonstrated by healings) or knowledge (as demonstrated by psychic insights or prophecies) into their lives and teachings. After reading parts of the Gospel of John, this individual becomes convinced that Jesus was indeed one of these people, and he even becomes convinced that Jesus is able to give to him eternal life in the sense that he will live spiritually even after he dies, and one day he shall even be resurrected physically (even though he doubts that Jesus Himself was raised from the dead as taught in the Bible).

    If you ask him whether he believes that Jesus is the Son of God, he says “Yes, in the sense that I believe that He is the guarantor of eternal life to all who simply believe in Him for it, but not in the sense that he has some kind of special relationship to a being called ‘God,’ for I do not believe that such a being exists. But I am confident that this person Jesus is alive in the spiritual realm and has given me eternal life and that because of Jesus' promise I will eventually enjoy this eternal life in a physical, resurrected body.” Of course, he has all kinds of wacky beliefs about what eternal life will involve and about what he will do in this new physical body, but he definitely believes what he has said.

    In the end, what I’ve tried to describe is an individual who is an “atheist” in the technical sense, but who believes in Christ as the one who guarantees eternal life. What I’m trying to get at with this hypothetical example is whether you think that belief in the existence of God is absolutely necessary for salvation. With that in mind, would you consider such an individual to be a true believer in Christ? My purpose in asking is simply to clarify what you are saying, not to try to disprove anything you believe.

    By Blogger Matt Waymeyer, at Friday, May 12, 2006 8:17:00 PM  

  • The question had occurred to me, Matt.

    I am trying to think of a reason why that person might not be able to saved.

    How would you respond if Antonio said that person could be saved?

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, May 13, 2006 4:17:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    I don't have a response that I'm waiting to give. My purpose in asking is purely for the sake of understanding more precisely what he is saying. Obviously Antonio knows that he and I are worlds apart in our views on the gospel and salvation, but that's not really the point of my question. Anyway, I look forward to hearing his thoughts.

    By Blogger Matt Waymeyer, at Saturday, May 13, 2006 8:07:00 AM  

  • Hi Matt,

    There is a big difference between a philosophical naturalist and an animist. I don't believe real people straddle those two philosophies so blithely.

    Remember, another way Jesus described getting eternal life was simply the promise of resurrection "on the last day". This is what it means for Christ to be guarantor of eternal life. He is the "Resurrection" and the "Life". Chapter 11 of John defines the content of what Jesus is promising.

    I would assume the guy was making sport~~or was so irrational that agreement with a proposition would be out of the question.

    Interesting hypthetical.

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Saturday, May 13, 2006 6:28:00 PM  

  • Excellent post, Antonio. 15 VIP points.

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Saturday, May 13, 2006 6:29:00 PM  

  • What if you discovered that he was not "making sport" and that he was totally sincere in the beliefs he claimed to hold? Would you consider him to be saved?

    By Blogger Matt Waymeyer, at Saturday, May 13, 2006 6:37:00 PM  

  • I know this is off topic but I am puzzled and would like you guys here to adress a particular scripture if you can.

    Matthew 22:1-14 gives a parable which is a description of God's chosen people. The Jews (original invited guests) dont 'come to the party' so others are invited (us gentiles) but one is found without proper clothing (not clothed in Christs righteousness and thus not saved) and is kicked out of the party.

    This passege ends with "For many are invited, but few are chosen".

    How does this fit with free-grace theology as opposed to calvinism and the doctorine of election?

    I'm not advocating one position or the other but would really be interest in how you guys here interpret this passage/verse. maybe in a new post?

    carl

    By Anonymous carl, at Sunday, May 14, 2006 6:08:00 AM  

  • Matt,

    I appreciate you are trying to flesh this out, so here goes.

    You wrote that this lunatic (let's be honest) would believe:

    ~that Jesus is able to give to him eternal life

    ~that Jesus will resurrect him physically

    ~that Jesus Himself was NOT raised from the dead

    ~that there is no God

    I think you're showing how wise God was in choosing the content of saving faith. I don't mind hypotheticals but in the real world people who deny the existence of God don't worry about their need for eternal life.

    In general though, only the Holy Spirit can overturn Satan's deception about Jesus. I think Scripture shows that He does that for people who follow the light they've been given. So Matt, I believe the Holy Spirit would not reveal the truth of Christ to people who are in active denial important matters.

    I would consider that person unsaved and potentially dangerous to the local body.

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Sunday, May 14, 2006 1:31:00 PM  

  • Again, there's a difference between denying the divinity of Christ and not knowing about it / not understanding it.

    The woman at the well was of a culture, as I understand it, that thought the Messiah would be a prophet and not God Himself. The fact that Jesus made an issue of his divinity with the Jewish people--who had better doctrine on the point--and did not press the point with the Samaritans speaks volumes. He told her something (the exact number of men she had been married to) that (I suspect) no one else on the planet knew. So she concluded he was a prophet (Jn 3:19) and asked her neighbors, "Could this be the Christ?"

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Sunday, May 14, 2006 1:59:00 PM  

  • Carl, Antonio did a post on that. It was the second post of this blog, I believe. Hence you will find it in our earliest archive.

    I am not sure I would agree with his interpretation, but it is definitely worth a read.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, May 14, 2006 2:19:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Matt Waymeyer, at Sunday, May 14, 2006 3:28:00 PM  

  • Jodie,

    You should meet some of the "hypotheticals" that I've met out there while doing cold-turkey evangelism. They make this guy look pretty sane and coherent! Lots of people have bizarre spiritual beliefs which include Jesus (albeit a warped and unbiblical view of who He is) as a key figure in their belief system.
    In fact, consider the pre-gnostics addressed in 1 John who denied that Jesus had come in the flesh.

    The more I've reflected on this, the more it seems clear that a more nuanced definition is still needed. The man I've described does indeed affirm the "salvific proposition" originally stated by Antonio. It is true, as you say, that he is not worried about his need for eternal life, but this kind of concern doesn't seem to be a necessary prerequite for believing the salvific proposition (e.g., if you offered me a gift of $10,000, I could accept that gift without a previous concern about whether or not I would ever receive such a gift, indeed without any previous knowledge that such a gift might even be available). Would you agree? Or would you say that only those who are burdened about where they will spend eternity can be saved?

    Maybe you are saying that believing this salvific proposition presupposes that a person believes other things as well, which brings us back to the original question: What are these other things? You wrote that "the Holy Spirit would not reveal the truth of Christ to people who are in active denial important matters," but if the "truth of Christ" is simply the fact that He is the guarantor of eternal life for those who believe in him for it, then it seems that he already does affirm this truth and is therefore saved (according to Antonio's article). I guess I'm still a little confused. Are these "important matters" things that must also be affirmed? If so, what are they?

    I'm catching an early flight out of town (and away from my computer) tomorrow, so I will have to sign off now. In the end, it seems to me that (a) Antonio would probably affirm that this guy is saved, although I'm not really sure; (b) the jury is still out with Matthew; and (c) you believe that the man is not saved because he does not believe other things which are either (i) the necessary prerequisite for believing for the salvific proposition or (ii) truths which must be believed in addition to the salvific proposition. Feel free to correct me for the benefit of your readers. I'll check back in a week to see if Antonio has weighed in.

    Thanks Jodie.

    By Blogger Matt Waymeyer, at Sunday, May 14, 2006 3:38:00 PM  

  • To Antonio, Matthew, and Jodie:

    I would just like to apologize and ask for your forgiveness! My approach and tone that I have recently been engaging you guys with has not reflected the love of Christ, but rather, many times, my own unbridled frustration. Please forgive me for this. I count you, my brothers and sister in Christ, and indeed "blog friends".

    I still strongly disagree with you though :~) on what has been communicated in these last three posts--but I also would prefer to continue to dialogue with you guys around these issues as I believe they have profound implications for all of us as we continually are growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ . . .

    humbly in Christ,

    Bobby Grow

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Sunday, May 14, 2006 4:38:00 PM  

  • Matt,

    I think you should re-read what I wrote a little more carefully. Both you and Adam seem to take my words and twist it even if you are not intending to.

    About (i) and (ii), there are no prerequisites and there are no extras.

    You don't have to believe in the Trinity or know much at all about Jesus to have eternal life.

    But that is different, at least in my mind, from actively denying the Trinity etc. I suspect that the Holy Spirit doesn't reveal the truth of Christ (as the provider of eternal life) to those who are actively resisting His leading, and I think He is not nuetral on the Trinity. I don't have a verse saying exactly this so it's possible I'm wrong on it.

    Matt, I certainly don't know at exactly what point the Holy Spirit stops leading a person toward the Gospel, but if they are resisting Him, He certainly may do just that.

    I have no problem with Matthew and Antonio disaggreeing here.

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Sunday, May 14, 2006 5:06:00 PM  

  • Bobby,

    I think I certainly helped by being so absolutist when I weighed in, I misjudged the situation and should have not been so devisive in my own tone and attitude. I need to disagree in a way that sheds helpful light rather than so much heat.

    So accepted and back at you and Brian as well.

    Thanks for your humble spirit.

    Thankfully in Christ,

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Sunday, May 14, 2006 5:14:00 PM  

  • Hey guys,

    I just want to weigh in. I am not mad and am glad to see the humility of Bobby, yet still feel that he was not to far out of place as his love is for the Lord and the implications of this is colossal. I still remain grieved, but love you guys. I still feel there is a danger here and truth is being sifted away at, so I am going to refrain from the debate, only as a testimony to the danger of even thinking that this truth is negotiable. I don't want to lead others into unbelief over what is their only hope of salvation. This is what is at stake. Not your understanding of a system of theology, but souls for eternity. They must come to grips with this truth and believe it.

    Jodie,

    Thank you. I have weighed this and my hopes are that you are a believer as you came to receive this truth at some point. Remember we musnt trust emotions or experiences, only our souls entrustment to the truth of the promise of His Son. I believe you believe this, but consider the danger of this system of theology as you are not holding up the truth of the Son of God as the Father requires for men to be saved.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Sunday, May 14, 2006 5:44:00 PM  

  • Thanks Brian,

    And you also sort of clarified what you disagree with as well, so thanks for that as well.

    Jodie :)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Sunday, May 14, 2006 6:33:00 PM  

  • Carl,

    I did a new post on the wedding feast as well.

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Sunday, May 14, 2006 6:36:00 PM  

  • Here's the post Antonio did.

    And there is also a new audio file by Hodges on it on a page on the GES web site.

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Sunday, May 14, 2006 6:47:00 PM  

  • Bobby, that is fine. You are welcome here.

    Matt and Jodie,
    I can see no definite reason why he could not be saved, but I think the fact that he has rejected God's existence does present a serious obstacle to his being receptive to the offer of eternal life.

    If he has rejected the the witness of natural revelation to the existence of God, he is a fool who is deceiving himself. This hardness of heart is likely to make him resist the Holy Ghost's rvelation of Christ through the Word. I very much doubt that his sinful will would be softened to receive the gift of eternal life without his also being softened to the existence of God. Belief in God is not a doctrinal condition of receiving eternal life, but the fact that God has revealed Himself through general revelation speaks of it's foundational importance.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, May 15, 2006 1:25:00 AM  

  • Yes Jodie I definately will continue to disagree. You guys in your arguments are denying the promise seed and you don't realize it. The whole question hinged on this truth when Jesus contended with the Jews insisting that they were Abrahams children and he told them their Father was the devil. This is serious and it grieves me that none can see this truth. Abraham believed God when told of this seed and it was counted to him as righteousness.

    Just one final question:

    How can you prove that this verse is true:

    "For by grace are you saved through faith, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast."

    if you say this one is false?:

    "If you do not believe that I AM you will perish in your sin."

    Again go read Romans 3 as well as Galations 3

    "Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It soes not say "And to offsprings" referring to many, but referring to ONE, "And to your offspring," who is Christ." Galations 3:16

    I cannot how perilously important this is. Other souls hang in the balance. It is the Person who must be believed in as he worked the work. It is the Holy seed of God.

    Abraham believed this and it was counted to him for righteousness. Will you guys believe this today?

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Monday, May 15, 2006 4:56:00 PM  

  • Do you remember in the Movie Star Wars Ben Kenobi whispered to Luke to trust his feelings as everybody else used the computer to miss the needle hole target on the death star?

    Well the exact opposite is true here. Trust the Scripture only. Nothing else on this or you will miss this narrow target as well.

    At the end of the day, no one else can give the final answer for you. Your own soul hangs in the balance and only you can answer God on Judgment day as to whether you believed what Abraham believed. Only the Holy Spirit can make us see this truth. I see this so clearly now and now I understand the call to repentance as an unrepentant heart will not believe this truth alone.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Monday, May 15, 2006 5:03:00 PM  

  • thanks matt ill check it out

    By Anonymous carl, at Monday, May 15, 2006 7:08:00 PM  

  • Jodie,

    Do you figure relentless, stedfast modalists will not be acted upon by the Holy Spirit unto His ministry of conviction that Jesus is the Christ (in the Johannine sense)?

    So you would make a non-denial of the trinity or the deity of Christ to be a universal logical (if not theological) requirement for eternal life?

    This is arbitrary hoolabaloo. What makes denying the divinity of Christ different than denying any other aspect about Him?

    So denial of a non-personal-soteriological truth will preclude one from both the Spirit's conviction that Jesus is the Christ (in the Johannine sense) and therefore eternal life?

    This chalks up to being just another theological requirement in the same vein as the Traditionalist, except here instead of an affirmation that is required, we have the prohibition of a denial as a necessary requirement.

    The only personal-soteriological truth that is both necessary and sufficient is that Jesus is the Guarantor of eternal life/resurrection to the believer in Him for it. Neither the Trinity nor the deity of Christ as objects of faith are salvific.

    So you would argue that denial of a non-salvific truth will preclude eternal life but ignorance would not. This seems rather inconsistent.

    The one thing the Spirit wants to convince the sinner of is that Jesus guarantees their eternal well-being.

    In time, through the Word of God, the Holy Spirit is able to clear up any misconceptions held by the newly regenerate one.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Monday, May 15, 2006 8:59:00 PM  

  • Antonio said:

    "So denial of a non-personal-soteriological truth will preclude one from both the Spirit's conviction that Jesus is the Christ (in the Johannine sense) and therefore eternal life?"

    How is the divinity of Christ, and the trinity, a non-personal soteriological truth? I would argue that these two points reflect the most initmate relational components of scriptures revelation and God's self-disclosure of Himself to us.

    Antonio said:

    "The only personal-soteriological truth that is both necessary and sufficient is that Jesus is the Guarantor of eternal life/resurrection to the believer in Him for it. Neither the Trinity nor the deity of Christ as objects of faith are salvific."

    Actually in the scriptures, the Holy Spirit is spoken of as the guarantor of eternal life (e.g. II Cor. 5:5; etc.); where, Antonio, do you see Jesus explicitly referred to as the guarantor of eternal life?

    In Christ,

    Bobby Grow

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Monday, May 15, 2006 10:15:00 PM  

  • Actually this:

    "The only personal-soteriological truth that is both necessary and sufficient is that Jesus is the Guarantor of eternal life/resurrection to the believer in Him for it. . . ." (quote from Antonio)

    is presupposed by this:

    ". . . Neither the Trinity nor the deity of Christ as objects of faith are salvific." (quote taken from Antonio)

    In other words it is creating a false dichotomy to argue as we observe above; i.e to separate the "who" (nature of Christ, and thus nature of God/trinity) from the "what" (what Jesus was able to accomplish because of "who" He is).

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Monday, May 15, 2006 11:22:00 PM  

  • Brian,

    I already commented on that verse and of course I believe that verse is as authoritative as any other verse. I think your passion on this is somewhat misplaced and I very much wish you would treat me more as a sister who you disagree with rather than someone to make up what they are saying as if I were a cartoon.

    About the verse and John's focus on divinity in general, for those Jews who knew that the Messiah would be God and chose to meet Christ on that divinity ground rather than the messiah-ship ground (needless to say that must have seemed like an easier thing to argue, since His [messianic] miracles were so hard to brush off), Jesus stood authoritatively on his divinity as that which must be believed along with his Messiahship. His listeners would become regenerate however, only because of their faith in his being the provider of eternal life and future resurrection. See John 20:30 and 31.

    Sorry, we disagree on this, I consider you a dear brother.

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Thursday, May 25, 2006 8:11:00 AM  

  • Antonio,

    I do see what you are saying but still stand by what I'm saying. I am saying something that is practical but I think it is very consistent with the Scriptures.

    I don't think the Holy Spirit exclusively shows the unregenerate the truth of Christ and eternal life. As you know, He also convicts of sin righteousness and judgment. An atheist would have to budge when these things were inwardly brought to his attention! If he doesn't budge, and rejects the Holy Spirit's inward witness, I don't think the Holy Spirit would move on to Christ's offer of eternal life. So I think what I'm saying is practical and I'm not being dogmatic about it.

    I am still standing firmly on Christ's claims of being the sole provider of eternal life and the sole provider of the Resurrection. (Bobby~~just a quick not to you, we call this His being the Guarantor of eternal life. I don't personally see that as a stretch to do so.) Antonio, I see this as the only thing one must believe to be saved.

    I believe in the Just as I Am message, but if an axe murderer, mid-axe-murder, isn’t brought to saving faith in Christ simply because one has to be responding to the Holy Spirit's work of convicting and revealing. I see the Holy Spirit as Personally working in the unregenerate’s thoughts, and this work must be responded to, not as a prerequisite to the gift itself but as a prerequisite to the Holy Spirit continuing His work of revealing the truth of God's Word.

    So I respect what your saying, Antonio, but that's where I stand right now in my understanding of God's Word.

    God bless

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Thursday, May 25, 2006 8:36:00 AM  

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