[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, December 15, 2006

Getting Hypothetical

by Matthew

Supposing the conditions of salvation were explicitly set out in Scripture as:

1. Giving 14% of one's income to the Lord's work.
2. Going on a mission trip at least once in life.
3. Getting involved in street evangelism at least once a month.
4. Not listening to Heavy Metal music.
5. Wearing a suit to Church (or a dress if female).

It would seem that one must do works to get to heaven. However, a theologian explains that none of these are really conditions for getting to heaven. The sinner is justified by faith. However, because she is regenerate, she will not fail to do all five things in the list (the five pillars of Bogobogoism). God has given her the grace to live this life of holiness.

Now supposing that performing these works is a natural result of the saved person's regnerate nature; it does not alter the fact that she must exercise her will and perform them. if she does not do those things it will only show that she was never really saved. She must make her calling and election sure by going on that mission trip. She must avoid Heavy Metal music with fear and trembling (maybe you do that already!). Experentially there is little difference between those things being conditions and those things being results of her salvation.

Coming back to reality, obviously Calvinists do not list some mimial standard of holiness that is to be expected of the Lord's Elect. However, the Calvinist knows that if she is one of the elect, she will show fruits and do works (otherwise her faith must have been dead). The danger here is a kind of legalism whereby one must prove one's salvation ot oneself through works. A Calvinist may feel that an elect person certainly would give 14% of his income to the Church and certainly would get involved in street evangelism once a month. Thus, works and not the Lord's work can become the grounds of assurance.

26 Comments:

  • Excellent reasoning. I noticed a sly parallel to the 5 pillars of Islam. I've long felt that Islam has a synergistic way of salvation and not a pure works way, because the first pillar is sometimes stated as pure belief, that God is one and M is his prophet.

    Blessings.

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Friday, December 15, 2006 3:30:00 PM  

  • Thanks, Jodie.

    Interesting thoughts on Islam. Most Muslims are even more deterministic in their beliefs than Calvinists. Which shows that natural man does not always uphold free will, as some amateurs claim.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, December 16, 2006 3:05:00 AM  

  • The important difference between bogobogoism and Calvinism is that bogobogoism teaches one must do those 5 things listed and Calvinism teaches one will do those things. Hence, they are "requirements" under bogobogoism and "results" under Calvinism. Bogobogoism is teaching a semi-works based salvation and Calvinism does not.

    It doesn't make sense to me to require a Christian to do good works; it would be like requiring an apple tree to produce apples. This is how Calvinism views the believer. In fact, it is how Christ views the believer. Apple trees that don't produce apples aren't good for anything but kindling (and cursing).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, December 16, 2006 7:03:00 AM  

  • Actually, as I mentioned in the post, some Bogobogists hold that a Christians will do all the things in the list as a result of their regeneration.

    That does not alter the fact that the person must exercise their will and do the Five Pillars or they are not really saved.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, December 16, 2006 7:57:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    "...a kind of legalism whereby one must prove one's salvation to oneself through works."

    It's inescapable.

    And such a huge point of non-acknowledgement by christians that demand to see visible fruit from fellow believers no matter what stage of developement they are toward becoming more mature believers. The believer making demands on another believer to prove fruit or else be judged is simply requiring the younger believer to give sacrifices and offerings before the Lord that He has told us long ago that He is tired of.

    Thanks for that.

    Todd

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, December 16, 2006 2:42:00 PM  

  • Jared,

    a necessary result for which we are responsible for is the same as a condition

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, December 16, 2006 9:07:00 PM  

  • Todd, yes. But I think the idea that one looks to one's works to prove to one-self the reality of salvation is far worse than any requirement to prove it to others.

    Antonio, an important point and one easily missed.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, December 17, 2006 8:26:00 AM  

  • By their fruits you will know them.

    Evidence of salvation is correct doctrine.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at Sunday, December 17, 2006 5:00:00 PM  

  • dyspraxic fundamentalist

    The bogobogists who believe that the 5 pillars will (as opposed to "must") be done as a result of their regeneration would be ostrasized by the other bogobogists for attempting to reform bogobogoism. They would argue that their faith produces tangible results on the outside as well as on the inside.

    There is an important difference between requirement and supernatural outcome. The only "must" for Christians is that they must have faith; and even that is not their own.

    Antonio,

    That doesn't make any sense. Something that is a result can't also be a condition by definition. Faith is the condition of salvation, works are the result of salvation. Does this mean works are a condition for salvation? Again, think about the apple tree: if it doesn't produce apples then why bother calling it an apple tree? Would you say that "producing apples" is a condition an apple tree must meet in order to be called an apple tree? If you're already calling it an apple tree then such a condition is meaningless except in determining whether or not the apple tree is good.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, December 17, 2006 7:05:00 PM  

  • Jonathan, you should write a creed.

    Jared, apple trees do not need to do anything to produce apples. It does seem that Christians need to be active in doing works. That does seem to complicate the distinction between 'inevitable result' and 'requirement.'

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, December 18, 2006 12:41:00 AM  

  • dyspraxic fundamentalist,

    It's not just a matter of appearance, it's the difference between confessing Christ with you mouth and confessing Him with your heart. FG teaches (according to Antonio's most recent post) that one can confess Christ with just his mouth and still find himself rightly judged when standing before God's throne; the entire Bible teaches otherwise.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, December 18, 2006 6:32:00 AM  

  • Although I know you disagree, I still think 2 John 7-11 is a good start:

    "For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
    Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.
    Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.
    If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting;
    for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds."

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at Monday, December 18, 2006 5:41:00 PM  

  • Jonathan, I shall watch out for those chaps!

    Jared, where did Antonio say anything about confessing Christ with the mouth. Would you care to quote him?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, December 19, 2006 12:33:00 AM  

  • dyspraxic fundamentalist,

    Sure:

    People just cannot get themselves to agree with the premise that full pardon from God, entrance into heaven, and eternal life have absolutely nothing to do with their behavior whatsoever...

    This is in direct conflict with Romans 2, 1 Corinthians 5, Ephesians 2, Colossians 1, Hebrews 13, basically all of John's first epistle but specifically chapters 1 and 4, not to mention it is grossly against the idea of "new creation in Christ."

    It's not that behavior gets you the pardon, it's that faith implies faithfulness and in the case of the believer that faithfulness manifests itself in the process of imitating Christ and being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. This includes, but is not limited to, living according to the truth that now abides in your heart, repentence of sin, loving God and your fellow Christians. In otherwords, confessing Christ with your mouth looks like living like the devil and that's precisely what Jesus came to save us from. You will be turned away from the gates of the kingdom if all you have to speak for your "faith" is a life of sin and the words of profession on your lips.

    Antonio said:

    If it is true that your eternity can be absolutely secure no matter what your behavior is (past, present, or future), then you can get fire-insurance and live like the devil.

    I happen to agree with that last statement.


    This is tantamount to saying that it only matters what you profess to believe ("these people honor me with their lips" says Jesus), not what you confess to believe; for what you confess to believe comes out in your life (Mark 7:21-23). Once again, a fruit tree that does not produce fruit is only good for kindling and cursing. It most certainly will not find a place in the kingdom, not even on the outskirts.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, December 19, 2006 8:34:00 AM  

  • Jared, I am confused. Antonio is talking about believing. You are talking about professing to believe.

    Are you reading something into Antonio's post?

    I cannot think of anyone who has spent more time than Antonio in arguing that the condition for eternal life is faith. I have never once read him say that a person can be saved by 'professing to believe.' In fact, Antonio acknowledges that there are lost people who profess to believe who do not believe at all.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, December 20, 2006 12:47:00 AM  

  • dyspraxic fundamentalist,

    It's not what I'm reading into Antionion's post, it's what I'm getting out of it. Antonio appears to be talking about faith but is, in reality, confusing the biblical distinction between a faith (i.e. belief unto conviction and confession) which saves and a faith (i.e. belief unto mere profession and lipservice) which does not save.

    One who "lives like the devil", as a general rule, does not have the former faith, rather he has the latter. He does not believe in any sort of meaningful way as far as eternal life is concerned and, thus, will not receive it. In other words, Antonio is saying it doesn't matter what you live like once you believe, which is essentially saying it doesn't matter what you believe, and what the NT teaches is that it does matter.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, December 20, 2006 9:49:00 AM  

  • Why doesn't 1 Thess 5:5-10 ever enter into these discussions?

    5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

    6Therefore let us not sleep (katheudo), as do others; but let us watch (gregoreo) and be sober (nepho).

    7For they that sleep (katheudo) sleep (katheudo) in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

    8But let us, who are of the day, be sober (nepho), putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

    9For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

    10Who died for us, that, whether we wake (gregoreo) or sleep (katheudo), we should live together with him.

    The KJV translates gregoreo as watch 21 times, once as be vigilant (1 Peter 5:8), and in 1 Thess 5:10, most translations translate it as "wake." (That's unfortunate).

    Sleeping (katheudo) is associated with the children of darkness and drunkenness in this passage (vs. 5-7). Watching (gregoreo) is connected with being sober (nepho) (v. 6,8). Regardless of whether the believer is watching or sleeping, he will live with the Lord (v.10). That settles this whole issue. And of course, that's where rewards come in, but this passage doesn't deal with that.

    Many Calvinists and Arminians say the meaning of gregoreo and katheudo changes from verse 6 to verse 10. They argue that katheudo takes on the meaning of death in verse 10, and that gregoreo suddenly means being physically alive. That's nonsense. Some Calvinists, however, acknowledge that v. 10 does deal with carnal believers (Daniel B. Wallace and others), but they still believe in perseverance. They may try to get around it by saying that believers can "sleep" to a certain degree, but Paul isn't interested in degrees in this passage. The amount of sleep is not the focus. The point is, whether you're living up to your position (as children of light) or acting like the children of darkness, your life in the Kingdom is secure. What isn't secure is your position.
    In chapter 4, the word for sleep used in connection to dead believers is koimao.

    I like what Vine's Expository Dictionary has to say"

    gregoreo translated "wake" in 1_Thess_5:10, is rendered "watch" in the RV marg., as in the text in 1_Thess_5:6, and the RV in the twenty-one other places in which it occurs in the NT (save 1_Pet_5:8, "be watchful"). It is not used in the metaphorical sense of "to be alive;" here it is set in contrast with katheudo, "to sleep," which is never used by the Apostle with the meaning "to be dead" (it has this meaning only in the case of Jairus' daughter). Accordingly the meaning here is that of vigilance and expectancy as contrasted with laxity and indifference. All believers will live together with Christ from the time of the Rapture described in 1_Thess_4; for all have spiritual life now, though their spiritual condition and attainment vary considerably. Those who are lax and fail to be watchful will suffer loss (1_Cor_3:15; 1_Cor_9:27; 2_Cor_5:10, e.g.), but the Apostle is not here dealing with that aspect of the subject. What he does make clear is that the Rapture of believers at the second coming of Christ will depend solely on the death of Christ for them, and not upon their spiritual condition. The Rapture is not a matter of reward, but of salvation.

    Read this.

    http://www.chafer.edu/journal/back_issues/v6n4_3.pdf

    By Anonymous danny, at Wednesday, December 20, 2006 6:32:00 PM  

  • danny,

    It doesn't "settle the issue" because first, the passage in 1 Thessalonians is one and should be understood in context with the rest of what Paul teaches throughout his epistles. Secondly, Greek is more than nuanced enough to allow for "sleep" in verse ten to refer to death (Paul has used it this way before in the same eschatological context) even though it is used differently in the precedeing verses.

    Of course, it seems to me that the most natural interpretation is that as children of the day (v. 8) even when we are sleeping, we are sleeping as children of the day who are awake and sober. The contrast of verse 5 (light/day with night/darkness) begins with "let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and sober" where we have added awake/sober to light/day. The next verse adds sleep/drunk to night/darkness. Verse 8 notes once again that we are children of the day which makes associating with anything related to the children of the night quite wrong. This verse implies that since we are children of the day, we can't also be children of the night. Why not? Because verse nice says that we (light/day) are not destined for wrath, implying that they (night/darkness) are destined for wrath. We are destined for salvation through our savior and they are not.

    So we come to verse ten understanding that we are children of day/light and are to be awake/sober and that we are not children of the night/darkness and that we are not to be sleep/drunk. Having just affirmed these things, what sense does it make to then interpret "sleep" in verse ten in the same way it is interpreted in verse seven? Is Paul saying, essentially, that it doesn't matter since we're going to be saved anyway? This would be in direct conflict with what he wrote in his other epistles (especially Romans) and one thing Paul isn't is inconsistent.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, December 20, 2006 10:37:00 PM  

  • As a side note, kaimao and katheudo have basically the same lexical meaning. Granted that Paul uses kaimao exclusively (I think) as a euphemism for death, he did use katheudo as a euphemism for death in Ephesians 5 while quoting the Old Testament; obviously in the Septuagint it is also used as a euphemism for death.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, December 21, 2006 9:56:00 AM  

  • Jared,

    You said: Of course, it seems to me that the most natural interpretation is that as children of the day (v. 8) even when we are sleeping, we are sleeping as children of the day who are awake and sober. (end quote)

    Children of the day is positional truth. Anyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God who freely gives them eternal life (John 11:25-27, 20:31) has that life and is positionally justified and a child of light. Sleeping is contrasted to being awake in the passage Jared. When we are sleeping, we are NOT sleeping as children who are awake and sober. You can't be experientially watching and sleeping at the same time. As children of light/day, we are not to sleep like those of the night/darkness because it doesn't match our position as children of the light. Gregoreo and katheudo have taken on a moral sense in this whole passage Jared. The meaning wouldn't change in verse 10. Jesus' death on the Cross is so powerful that even if a child of the light forgets who he is (2 Peter 1:9) and lives like those of the darkness, he will live with the Lord. It's not about you. It's about Him.

    You said: Verse 8 notes once again that we are children of the day which makes associating with anything related to the children of the night quite wrong. This verse implies that since we are children of the day, we can't also be children of the night. Why not? Because verse nice says that we (light/day) are not destined for wrath, implying that they (night/darkness) are destined for wrath. We are destined for salvation through our savior and they are not. (end quote)

    Again, being light/day is positional truth Jared. We are no longer positionally night/darkness because we have been justified. But we can obvioulsy act like those of the night/darkness, because Paul sees it as being possible in this passage and many others. His whole point is to get them to realize their position as children of the day and live it out. He knows its possible for them to forget who they are and act like those of the darkness. Verse 10 is a theological statement demonstrating the sufficiency of the Cross. Again, it's not about you, it's about Him.
    Gregoreo ain't got nothing to do with metaphorically being alive. You won't find that in the NT.

    Yes, Jared. Some Christians (those who have believed that Jesus freely gives them eternal life) will live with the Lord regardless of their behavior, but they will not rule with Christ. Again, positionally we can't be night/darkness because we are justified. However, we can act like those who are positionally darkness/night (they haven't believed the gospel). That's why he says, let us not sleep like they do, but let us watch and sober because we are light/day. You're justified in position, so let it show in your behavior. But even those of the light can act like those of the night/darkness, and even if they do, they will enter the kingdom (v. 10). Of course, there in for a merciless judgment and loss of rewards in the Kingdom.

    Jared, read the context of Ephesians 5. Katheudo is used there morally too. And in that whole passage, he wants them to realize their position as light/day and live it out.


    5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

    5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. (referring to unbelievers - message - don't act like unbelievers who won't inherit the Kingdom. Believers committing these sins will inherit the Kingdom, but they won't receive the reward of the inheritance.)

    5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience (unbelievers).

    5:7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. (see that - Paul knows it is possible for believers to partake in sin with unbelievers)

    5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (just like 1 Thess 5. We are of the light positionally, so we should walk in the light experientially).

    5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them (see - Christians can have fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness)

    5:13: But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

    5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light

    Unlike most in FG Jared, I believe inheriting the Kingdom (1 Cor 6:8-11, Gal 5:21, Eph 5:5) is the same as entering. However, these passages are quick references to unbelievers, who positional darkness shows itself in behavior normally. The point of these passages is for believers to be experientially righteous to match their position as children of the light, because it is shameful to act like the unbelievers who have no inheritance in the Kingdom. Believers who commit these sins will inherit the Kingdom, but they won't receive the reward of the inheritance (rulership/possession). Most in FG equate the expressions inherit the Kingdom and the reward of the inheritance (Hebrews, Colossians 3:25), but some of us in FG don't. All of us in FG agree that the unfaithful will not rule in the Kingdom (reward of the inheritance). However, not all of us see the expression inherit the Kingdom as referring to the reward of the inheritance/rulership. Some of us see inheriting the Kingdom as the gift inheritance all believers have. 1 Cor 6:8-11 is not a warning. The Christians were doing wrong (v. 8), acting like the positionally unrighteous who don't inherit (v. 9-10), but they were washed (v. 11) Again, Paul wants them to be holy in character like they are in position. 1 Cor 5:11 references believers committing the same sins as unbelievers in 1 Cor 6:9-10.

    By Anonymous danny, at Thursday, December 21, 2006 12:16:00 PM  

  • danny,

    You might as well argue for universalism. What, then, do we make of Nestorians, Arianists, Manichaens, Donatists, Pelagians, etc.? And this is all before the turn of the first millennium! I see and hear a great deal of disdain for anything and everything that has to do with the RCC, yet they believe "that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God who freely gives them eternal life." Mormons and JW's believe this as well, shall they enter the Holy City? How about advocates of Scientology?

    I am quite well aware that justification is a positional reality; that to be justified is to be declared righteous by the Judge. Scripture is plain enough on that matter. However, you're letting your eschatological bias skew your understanding of what this positional reality entails. Namely it entails exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit (the Holy Spirit which dwells in everyone who has faith unto salvation), living a life worthy of the call and loving God and your fellow man more than yourself. 1 John 4 and 5 make it transparently clear that anyone who continues in sin (i.e. lives like the devil) does not love God, is a liar and, thus, does not have life. It does not matter in the least what such an individual says he believes. He can have all the theological knowledge in the world, more than any man prior, yet if he merely professes to believe it will avail him nothing. He has only the appearance of eternal life but, in fact, will find himself on the wrong side of God's wrath in the end.

    No one is saying that believers can't or won't sin. What Antonio is saying is that it doesn't matter if they sin and keep on sinning because their grace is a license to sin. Paul teaches the direct opposite of this (Romans 6). Paul teaches that children of the light who commit acts of darkness are shamed because the light that is in them shows them their darkness and will drive them away from it (Ephesians 5). Those who continue in their darkness clearly don't have the light in them. In first Corinthians 6 Paul is reminding his brothers about who they are and what they have been called to; he is holding them accountable to bring them back to their faith. Why would he even be doing this if it didn't matter how they lived? The grace and mercy of God are not blank checks for sinning.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, December 21, 2006 10:06:00 PM  

  • First of all Jared, Catholics do not believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God who freely gives them eternal life. Neither do JWs, Mormons, or Scientologists. If you ask a Catholic if they believe that Jesus is the Christ and Son of God, they would say yes, but they are not connecting those titles with the free offer of eternal life. In John's usage of the phrase, to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, is to believe that as such, he gives me eternal life and Resurrection freely. Catholics don't believe that Jesus freely gives them irrevocable eternal life, therefore they do not believe that Jesus is the Christ, Son of God in the way John uses the expression. Catholics believe in salvation by faith, works, sacraments. They reason that the works necessary for salvation are given to us by the Grace of God. They unashamedly believe that these are meritorious works given by God for salvation. Therefore they do not have eternal life. Jared, those of us in FG are very clear on what a person must believe. They must believe that Jesus freely gives them eternal life in order to have it. A lot of people say they believe Jesus died for them, or that He is the Son of God, and yet they don't make the connection to the free offer of eternal life. A person must understand that Jesus freely gives eternal life, and understanding Jesus' death and Resurrection is the best way for them to realize this. Jesus, the one who died for our sins and was raised from the dead, freely gives eternal life to those who believe in Him for it.

    You said: Namely it entails exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit (the Holy Spirit which dwells in everyone who has faith unto salvation), living a life worthy of the call and loving God and your fellow man more than yourself. 1 John 4 and 5 make it transparently clear that anyone who continues in sin (i.e. lives like the devil) does not love God, is a liar and, thus, does not have life. It does not matter in the least what such an individual says he believes. He can have all the theological knowledge in the world, more than any man prior, yet if he merely professes to believe it will avail him nothing. He has only the appearance of eternal life but, in fact, will find himself on the wrong side of God's wrath in the end. (end quote).

    1 John is about abiding in, not having, eternal life. Knowing God in 1 John 2:4 has to do with fellowship, not salvation. 1 John 3:9 is a reference to the new man inside of you who is incapable of sinning (1 Peter 1:23). It is not saying that believers can't habitually sin. Anytime a Christian sins, because of his sin nature of course, he is experientially a child of the devil. The new man inside, however, cannot sin, and anytime a Christian sins, he is acting out of the old man. The man who hates HIS BROTHER in 1 John 3:15 is obviously a believer. Christians and non-Christians cannot be called brothers. Also, 1 John 5:13 looks back to verses 9-12, not the whole book. The expression "these things I have written" appears in 2:1, looking back to 1:5-10, and in 2:26, looking back to 18-25.

    1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

    The one who doesn't love his brother (only Christians can be called brothers) is not of God experientially, and is thus experientially of the devil.

    You said: No one is saying that believers can't or won't sin. What Antonio is saying is that it doesn't matter if they sin and keep on sinning because their grace is a license to sin. Paul teaches the direct opposite of this (Romans 6). Paul teaches that children of the light who commit acts of darkness are shamed because the light that is in them shows them their darkness and will drive them away from it (Ephesians 5). (end quote)

    Antonio never said that grace is a license to sin. Neither do I. However, some believers have used it as a license to sin, but they're in for it at the Judgment Seat. They will be denied the privilege of reigning with Christ (2 Tim 2:11-13), and will be ashamed at the Bema (1 John 2:28). 2 Tim 2:11-13 is an ABBA chiasmus. The outer two phrases are connected, and so are the middle two. If we endure (in word and deed) we will reign with Him. If we deny Him (in word and deed) we will be denied [the privilege of reigning with Him].

    You continued: Those who continue in their darkness clearly don't have the light in them. In first Corinthians 6 Paul is reminding his brothers about who they are and what they have been called to; he is holding them accountable to bring them back to their faith. Why would he even be doing this if it didn't matter how they lived? The grace and mercy of God are not blank checks for sinning. (end quote)

    You're definitely right that Paul is holding them accountable to bring them back. I agree with you there :) Why is he doing this if it didn't matter how they live? Because, as you and I agree, it is shameful for them, but also because Paul is aware of a negative review at the Judgment Seat that can lead to significant loss in the Kingdom. Those who do wrong will be repaid for the wrong they have done, and miss out on the reward aspect of the inheritance (Colossians 3:23-25). The doctrine of rewards is very real, an though a person who is justified by faith in Jesus may fall into sin and even justify it, he's in for it at the Judgment Seat. The Judgment Seat is not just an award ceremony. There will be scary wrath directed toward eternally redeemed believers. (Hebrews 10:26-39, notice the context of the sanctification in question, 10:1-18, and notice the connection between there no longer remaining a sacrifice for sins in 10:18 and 10:26.) The man in Hebrews 10:29 is definitely sanctified by faith and thus redeemed, but by drawing back to perdition, he will not "save his soul" which has nothing to do with going to heaven or hell.

    By Anonymous danny, at Friday, December 22, 2006 1:11:00 AM  

  • danny,

    You said:

    Antonio never said that grace is a license to sin. Neither do I. However, some believers have used it as a license to sin, but they're in for it at the Judgment Seat.

    Yeah, Antonio did say that grace is a license to sin by. He did so by endorsing this statement: "If it is true that your eternity can be absolutely secure no matter what your behavior is (past, present, or future), then you can get fire-insurance and live like the devil." Let me reword it a little more clearly and simply: "If it is true that you are saved no matter how you behave, then you can do whatever you want." That is not biblical. According to FG, what are those who use their security for a life of evil, debauchery and darkness "in for"? Oh, well, they don't get to reign with Christ. Great, so what? People who have lived lives like that, I'm guessing, probably won't be too broken up about not being able to reign with Christ. They will be ecstatic that they are being saved even though they never once helped a brother or loved a brother. In fact, maybe they even managed to murder a few of them and rape a few without getting caught by human authorities, not to mention lying, stealing, cheating, etc. all without ever once repenting (oh, except for when they believed that "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God who freely gave them eternal life"). Of course, none of that really matters since they have "fire insurance." Maybe they won't be reigning with Christ, but, hey, at least they don't get thrown into the lake of fire with the real sinners...

    Oh, you might want to brush up on your Catholicism, Mormonism and JW'ism. They really do all believe that "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God who freely gives them eternal life." They also happen to believe that once obtained it must be maintained (among various other beliefs) but what do those additional beliefs matter if they get the important one right? I mean, if they can live like devils after believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God who freely gives them eternal life, then what does it matter if they have a few additional beliefs about the eternal life they have received by believing?

    It looks to me like you're adding qualifying beliefs ontop of beliving that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God who freely gives them eternal life. You said:

    If you ask a Catholic if they believe that Jesus is the Christ and Son of God, they would say yes, but they are not connecting those titles with the free offer of eternal life. In John's usage of the phrase, to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, is to believe that as such, he gives me eternal life and Resurrection freely. Catholics don't believe that Jesus freely gives them irrevocable eternal life, therefore they do not believe that Jesus is the Christ, Son of God in the way John uses the expression.

    So, believers need to "connect titles" with the free offer? What does that mean? One needs to believe "that Jesus freely gives them irrevocable eternal life" and if they don't then they aren't believing in the same Jesus? They can believe that Jesus freely gives them eternal life but if they don't believe He gives them irrevocable eternal life then they aren't really believing? Odd, that's what Calvinists teach about those who don't abide in the truth...

    Your last paragraph doesn't make any sense. That's probably because you hermeneutic doesn't seem to be working within an interpretive paradigm of covenant.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, December 22, 2006 2:47:00 PM  

  • You said: According to FG, what are those who use their security for a life of evil, debauchery and darkness "in for"? Oh, well, they don't get to reign with Christ. Great, so what? People who have lived lives like that, I'm guessing, probably won't be too broken up about not being able to reign with Christ. (end quote)

    Jared, they will be in glorified bodies and sinless, and thus very much broken up about not reigning with Christ. Christ will cut into them at the Judgment Seat, and you can bet there will be real shame and real remorse. Reigning with Christ is a special intimacy with Christ they will miss, and they will be repaid for the wrong that they have done. Imagine falling into the hands of the living God for the wrong you have done.

    You said: Oh, you might want to brush up on your Catholicism, Mormonism and JW'ism. They really do all believe that "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God who freely gives them eternal life." They also happen to believe that once obtained it must be maintained (among various other beliefs) but what do those additional beliefs matter if they get the important one right? I mean, if they can live like devils after believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God who freely gives them eternal life, then what does it matter if they have a few additional beliefs about the eternal life they have received by believing? (end quote)

    Maybe I wasn't clear enough. A person must believe that Jesus gives them eternal life apart from any works of any kind, hence the term "freely." The fact that they are believing in Jesus for a maintenance-based salvation proves that they don't believe the gospel. You're supposed to believe in Jesus for what he offers, eternal life, realizing that it is apart from works. The very fact that these groups believe that once obtained, eternal life must be maintained, shows a works mentality. If they have always thought like this, they are not saved. However, a person can believe in Jesus for eternal life,get that life, realizing it is apart from works, and later get duped by Catholicism, Mormonism, etc. But most Catholics, JWs, and Mormons have never believed the faith alone message, most have always believed in faith + works from the get go, and hence are not saved. I would never assume that at one time they got it right. I will assume they always had this work mentality and are thus unsaved, and seek to prove to them eternal life is based on faith and not works-based maintenance.

    You said: So, believers need to "connect titles" with the free offer? What does that mean? One needs to believe "that Jesus freely gives them irrevocable eternal life" and if they don't then they aren't believing in the same Jesus? They can believe that Jesus freely gives them eternal life but if they don't believe He gives them irrevocable eternal life then they aren't really believing? (end quote)

    As for connecting titles, if I share John 11:25-27 with an unbeliever, he would hear the expression Christ, Son of God, and I would explain Martha's response to Jesus' offer. He asked her if she believed that whoever believes in him would be Resurrected and never die spiritually. She responded "Yes, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God who is to come into the world." But of course, I don't have to mention the passage, I can go to John 3:16, 5:24, 6:47, or any of those passages which make it clear that believing in Him, apart from works, grants one eternal life. I want the person to understand that Jesus gives them eternal life by faith, and not by works. I want them to believe in Jesus for what he offers - eternal life. Does a person need to be conscious of the title Christ, Son of God? No, as long as they understand that eternal life is received by faith alone in Christ alone. But if I take them to John 11:25-27 and 20:31, I would make sure they understand the significance of the title. If a person believes in Jesus for a maintenance-based salvation, he is not believing the right proposition about Jesus. I never said they are believing in the wrong Jesus. However, they are not believing in Him for what he offers - eternal life apart from works. Usually people won't believe in Jesus for eternal life unless they first understand the Cross and that Jesus is God, so I make sure they understand the means by which he gives them eternal life. The more they know, the more likely they will believe.

    You said: Your last paragraph doesn't make any sense. That's probably because you hermeneutic doesn't seem to be working within an interpretive paradigm of covenant. (end quote)

    If you're referring to my Hebrews 10 discourse, I make perfect sense.

    Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    Hebrews 10:18: Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin

    Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins

    27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

    28He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    29Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith HE WAS SANCTIFIED, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    30For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, THE LORD SHALL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.

    31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

    There no longer remaining a sacrifice in verse 26 is good news amongst the bad news. Verse 18 and 26 are making it clear that Jesus' one-time sacrifice has ended the sacrifices under the Law. Still, the sanctified man who renounces the blood of the Covenant will fall into the hands of the Living God. Since Jesus paid his sin penalty, there no longer remains a sin sacrifice under the Law of Moses that can shield him from God's judgment.

    Jared, I would really like for you to read this two-part article on Hebrews 10:26 from Dr. John Niemela. I don't want to take up too much space in this comment thread, so if you don't mind, please read these so you can understand my position on Hebrews 10. Also, Dr. Niemela believes Hebrews 10:26-31 is referring to A.D. 70. I'm not sure about that, but he gives good reason for why Heb 10:18 and 26 are connected.

    http://www.chafer.edu/journal/back_issues/v4n4-Niem.pdf

    http://www.chafer.edu/journal/back_issues/v5n1a.pdf

    By Anonymous danny, at Friday, December 22, 2006 4:11:00 PM  

  • Jared, I just looked at my comment, and realized I still wasn't clear enough! LOL. Since Catholics, JWs, and Mormons believe in an "initial" salvation by faith, which must later be maintained by works, they are not saved. Believing in Jesus for "initial" salvation is not saving faith. In order to be saved, a person must believe that Jesus gives them a completed, maintenance-free salvation. They need to understand that the salvation Jesus gives is a permanent salvation that is not of works, not of themselves in any way, shape, or form. Don't forget to read the two-part series on Heb 10:26 by Dr. John Niemela :)

    By Anonymous danny, at Friday, December 22, 2006 8:09:00 PM  

  • danny,

    I suppose I just prefer a more consistent view than yours or Dr. Niemela's.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, December 24, 2006 9:21:00 PM  

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