[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)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Does Romans 10:9, 10 Teach that One Must Understand the Resurrection IN ADDITION to Simple Faith In Christ for Eternal Life?

by Antonio da Rosa

There has been two basic lines of criticism against the gospel of John's sufficiency to articulate precisely and specifically the terms by which one may receive eternal life. The first one is Paul's discussion of his gospel as found in 1 Cor 15:3ff. You can find my response against this line of reasoning here on my blog:

The Difference between the Gospel Message and the Offer (or Promise) of Eternal Life

This shows that for Paul, the gospel message was not only the death and resurrection of Christ, but also Christ's burial and appearances to various people who could testify to the resurrection. These are all co-ordinate clauses describing Paul's message. It is inconsistent to assert that Paul's message is the content/object of saving faith in addition to faith in Jesus for eternal life but omit the burial and appearances. Are we to make sure that our potential converts check off these further historical facts in their doctrinal check-list, that once adhered to brings eternal life? I can't remember the last time I heard someone who advocates the gospel message of Paul to be the content of saving faith and insist at the same time that the potential convert believe in the burial and appearances to various people for eternal life.

Furthermore, no where in 1 Cor 15:3ff is there any indication by Paul that this message that he is re-declaring to the Corinthians is the CONTENT of saving faith. He makes it clear that it is "through" (Greek: dia) the gospel they are saved. The gospel contains, among other things, Christ's work on the cross for our sins, and His resurrection. It was by these acts of Christ that provision for our salvation was made. Therefore we were saved through the gospel. But we are saved BY grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Guarantor of eteranl life to the one who simply believes His promise to do so.

Anyone who believes that the gospel message is the object of saving faith, please make a case from 1 Cor 15:3ff or anywhere else for that matter. Paul was on the same page as John:

1 Timothy 1:16
16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.
NKJV

Ok, now on to Romans 10:9, 10

9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
NKJV

It is imperative to note here as we consider this text that almost everyone who professes any form of Christianity (except liberals!) believes that Jesus was raised from the dead. Does that make them saved? I doubt that you or I would say so. It seems obvious that this is Pauline shorthand for justification truth as indicated in earlier chapters. For instance:

Rom 4:23-25
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
NKJV

Paul does not mean to say that simple belief in the resurrection saves, and this is confirmed by the obvious reference to justification in 10a ("believes unto righteousness"). Thus to believe that God raised Christ from the dead really means here, for Paul, to believe in Him as the one who is the grounds for our justification before God.

This is functionally equivalent to believing that Jesus guarantees eternal life to the believer as presented in John.

Unless a person holds that everyone who believes that God raised Jesus from the dead is eternally saved, the meaning that I have proposed here is the one suggested in the immediate, as well as broader, context.

Will anyone here go out on a limb and put forth the proposition that ANYONE WHO BELIEVES THAT GOD RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD IS ETERNALLY SAVED? Speak now or forever hold your peace.

Even if the aforementioned does not persuade you, you must please remember a point of logic: Even if everyone who believes in the resurrection is saved (an assertion I only make for the sake of argument!), it does not follow that the one who just believes that Jesus provides eternal life is not. The positive affirmation only entails a negative if Paul says: ONLY THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN THE RESSURECTION ARE SAVED. On any reading he does not say this.

Antonio

16 Comments:

  • I am glad you dealt woth this one, seeing as people keep bringing it up.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, June 29, 2007 11:57:00 AM  

  • Antonio,

    An article in the most recent Chafer Theological Seminary (CTS) Journal spoke to your questions. The article is eighteen pages long so I cannot quote it at length. However, at the end of the article the author answers six questions (really objections) regarding his interpretation of Romans 10:9-13 which speak directly to your posting. I am going to quote one of those answers here which I believe speaks directly to you post.

    [Begin quote]

    Question #3: “In your understanding of Romans 10, the content of belief is Christ’s resurrection. The unbeliever must believe in Christ’s resurrection which results in receiving righteousness, i.e. becoming saved eternally. Does not this make Christ’s resurrection the means to heaven? If so, does everyone who believes in Christ’s resurrection go to heaven, even though even though he is not sure where he will end up when he dies?”

    Let me first address the word “must.” My exposition does not imply “must” but “may.” Romans 10:9-10 indicates that an unbeliever may believe in the resurrected Christ, and if he does, God will impute righteousness in keeping with his veracity and immutability. And, yes, this does make personal faith in the resurrected Christ a (not “the”) means to heaven because everyone, without exception, possessing imputed righteousness will go to heaven.

    This issue touches on the issue of assurance. I suspect that there will be many people in heaven who died not sure of where they would end up. Because of unsound teaching, they lost confidence that their place in heaven was secure. In fact the apostle John gave us 1 John 5:11-13 to provide sound doctrine, thus enabling believers to shore up their assurance of eternal salvation. Nevertheless, in the same way that the Holy Spirit gives assurance (initially) to one who believes in Jesus Christ for eternal life, so the Holy Spirit gives assurance to everyone who believes in the resurrected Christ for righteousness.

    John 16:8-11 indicates that one of the Spirit’s ministries to the unbeliever is to convince them regarding the matter of righteousness. The Spirit persuades: He does not enable an individual merely to wonder or suppose that he has deficient righteousness before a holy God. On the other hand, He persuades a believer that imputed righteousness prepares him for heaven. Thus, at the moment of faith in Jesus Christ, a believer will know [14] that he has righteousness or eternal life. Why? Because the Spirit works through the living and abiding word (preached or written) to implant such confidence within the new believer. However, I would not contend that mere faith in the historical fact of Christ’s resurrection is a means to heaven. The means according to Romans 10 is personal faith that the resurrected Christ will deliver on his promise of imputed righteousness. This is a very important distinction.

    [14] I derive the concept of “knowing” from the convincing ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-11). Cf. Eph. 1:18 “the eyes of your understanding having been enlightened.” When the Spirit enlightens one’s understanding, that individual does in fact understand. He knows: he is not left puzzling about the matter.

    Why Confess With One’s Mouth?
    (Romans 10:9-13)
    By George Meisinger
    CTS Journal, Fall 2006
    Pp 20-21

    [End Quote]

    Glenn W.

    By Anonymous GlennW, at Saturday, June 30, 2007 6:06:00 AM  

  • Glenn,

    as far as I can tell, Meisenger does not put forth any of these propositions:

    1) Everyone who believes that God raised Jesus from the dead is saved.

    2) An understanding of the resurrection of Christ is a necessity for eternal life or justification.

    If I am misunderstanding him, please correct me. This is the impression I get from the little you have quoted him on.

    He says not "must" but "may".

    He says not "the" but "a".

    If you read what he says carefully, Glenn, there seems to be an equivocation between how "resurrection" is used in the Question #3 and how its cognate is used in Meisenger's answer.

    The question states "...the content is Christ's resurrection"

    In the answer, Meisenger states "believe in the resurrected Christ"

    This is an equivocation, and let me tell you why.

    In the question the resurrection itself becomes the content to saving faith. In other words, a historical fact which is now part of orthodox doctrine, is put forth as the content to saving faith.

    Yet in the answer, Meisenger puts forth Christ (albeit who was resurrected) as the object.

    The bottom line is this, Glenn.

    When one trusts Jesus Christ, whether they know it or not, they are trusting in a resurrected Lord. When one believes into Jesus Christ, whether they know it, or understand it or not, they are believing into a Person who is 100% God in the flesh.

    When Meisenger says, "an unbeliever may believe in the resurrected Christ, and if he does, God will impute righteousness in keeping with his veracity and immutability," he could have easily ommitted the word "resurrected" and supplied the word "crucified" or "divine" or any number of adjectives, roles, or truths about Jesus Christ.

    At the end of the day, Jesus Christ guarantees eternal life to any and all who simply trust Him to do so, despite any shortcomings in their knowledge or understanding of Him, His nature, or His work.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, June 30, 2007 7:56:00 AM  

  • Antonio,
    You make some really good points. This post, combined with Jodie's post above, and the one currently up at your blog ... have given me a lot to think about. They are all very closely related, I think. You make a good case. When I looked at Jeremy Meyer's chart, it even helped me to see your point further.

    Hey, wasn't this post at the top of the blog just yesterday? ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Saturday, June 30, 2007 9:57:00 AM  

  • Antonio:

    You titled this article, Does Romans 10:9, 10 Teach that One Must Understand the Resurrection IN ADDITION to Simple Faith In Christ for Eternal Life?

    Allow me to pose a scenario, and a question.

    Let’s assume a soul-winner presents the gospel to a lost man, including Romans 10:9-10. The lost man is under conviction, and appears ready to acknowledge his sin and receive Jesus Christ to save him from his sins. So, the soul-winner may ask a series of clarifying questions before inviting him to pray and receive Christ, such as:

    1) Do you acknowledge you are a sinner and guilty before God (Rom 3:10,23)

    2) Do you realize there is a penalty for sin (Rom. 6:23a)?

    3) Do you believe Jesus died for your sins and rose again from the dead?

    [My scenario is not exhaustive, on the gospel, just enough for our discussion.]

    Here is my question to you: Do you consider asking question #3, and expecting an affirmative response to it, an “addition” to the gospel, i.e. creating “another gospel?”

    Please advise,


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Saturday, June 30, 2007 10:21:00 AM  

  • Lou,

    I find it hard to believe that you are going about this discussion in a good faith way.

    I posed within the confines of this post two challenges that you are not willing to take:

    1) Make an argument from anywhere in the Bible that the death and resurrection are put forth as the conscious and necessary content/objects of saving faith, including 1 cor 15:3ff.

    2) Go out on a limb and tell me that everyone who believes that God raised Jesus from the dead is eternally saved.

    Can you rise to this challenge? If you cannot, it doesn't seem right for me that you evade the issues.

    I will play by your rules for the time being, but it should be apparent to the impartial reader that you are in evasion mode.

    Have you read my post that is linked to in the opening post on this blog?

    It declares for the simple reader the difference between the gospel message and the offer (or promise) of eternal life.

    The minimalist gospel message presented by Paul as taken from 1 Cor 15:3ff:

    1) Jesus died on the cross for our sins
    2) Jesus was buried
    3) Jesus rose again from the dead
    4) Jesus appeared alive to many witnesses

    Now it is apparant to me that everyone in Christianity believes these statements (except liberals). Does that necessarily mean they are saved?

    No.

    Why?

    Believing these doctrinal statements does not necessarily and inevitably bring one to completely entrust his or her eternal well-being to Jesus Christ.

    You see, I preach the gospel message, Lou. I suppose from your posts that you do too.

    But when you get to the end, you ask questions concerning if they adhere to your doctrinal stances on hamartiology and Christology.

    And if they answer in the affirmative, in other words, if they have initialed each STEP in your doctrinal check-list, they are now worthy for you to get to the punch:

    They must now "pray to receive Christ".

    What does that mean? How does one do that? And what scripture would you use to justify the practice of "praying to receive Christ"?

    How does that prayer go:

    "Jesus I recognize I am a sinner and worthy of hell.
    I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and rose again from the dead.

    I accept you, Jesus. Come into my life and save me."

    And then after they did so, you would consider them saved! This is most unfortunate.

    No one gets saved through praying a prayer, asking Jesus to come into your life, making a decision for Christ, praying to receive Him, etc.

    That is not how people receive eternal life, and there is not one instance in the whole of the Bible where one "prays to receive Christ".

    You see, I preach the gospel and many other proofs and evidences that show that Jesus Christ is able, willing, sufficient, and authorized to impart eternal life to the believer in Him for it.

    When I get to the punch I tell them Christ's gratuitous promises:

    John 1:12; 3:16; 4:10; 5:24; 6:35-40; 6:47; 11:25, 26, etc.

    These simply put for the proposition that Jesus Christ is the Guarantor of irrevocable eternal life to the believer in Him for it.

    After doing so, I too will ask a question of two:

    Do you believe Christ in His promise?

    If they say no, I will address any questions or concerns they may have concerning Jesus' authority and unique ability to impart eternal life to the believer in Him for it.

    If they say yes, I then would ask, "If you believe Christ in His promise, what is now true of you?"

    If they answer something like "I have irrevocable eternal life" or "I am eternally saved" or "I have eternal life" I consider them saved.

    Salvation comes from faith in Christ and not through prayer.

    You asked a point blank question. I am going to be the gentleman and actually answer YOUR question:

    Your question #3 is part of Paul's gospel message. It is absent of 1/2 of his content, however. Preaching that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world and rose again bodily from the dead is the news I preach.

    Yet not as the object of faith.

    Jesus Christ in His promise is the object of saving faith.

    And if anyone believes Christ eternally saves them based upon His promise to do so to the believer in Him for it, I consider them saved, despite what they do or do not understand concerning Christ's person or work.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, June 30, 2007 11:48:00 AM  

  • Glenn,

    it occurs to me that you and Meisinger believe that there are at least two different ways to become eternally saved:

    1) Zane's way (in other words, through the Johannine terms)
    and
    2) Romans 10:9, 10 way.

    Am I reading you right?

    There are more than one way to receive eternal life/justification?

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, June 30, 2007 11:49:00 AM  

  • Antonio,

    Dr. Meisinger’s article is a long one and he does cover a lot of ground. I will post some more of his text (including the definition of terms he uses in the text) in the hope it will help illuminate some of these points for you.

    [Begin Quotes]

    The terminology (Phase 1, Phase 2, & Phase 3) is employed to describe the progression of one’s experience or Israel’s experience with the Lord. From a progressive point of view, an individual, an individual or Israel enters the plan of God by faith at Phase 1. He then proceeds to live out his Christian experience (Phase 2) and ought to produce good works that God considers “righteousness” or righteous works. Finally, he is forever in heaven with the Lord in Phase 3.

    Why Confess With One’s Mouth?
    (Romans 10:9-13)
    By George Meisinger
    CTS Journal, Fall 2006
    Footnote [1] Page 8

    Question #5: “If a person understands that believing in Christ’s resurrection is the means to righteousness, how does he then conceive of righteousness as the means to eternal salvation?”

    This question seems to turn on the notion of “eternity” or “eternal.” The idea of eternity is implicit in Romans 10. In many passages, though certainly not all, John’s Gospel is explicit about eternal life. Romans 9 mentions “the eternally blessed God” (9:5) and since he promises imputed righteousness through faith in the resurrected Christ, it makes sense (even to an unbeliever) that God’s promise is likewise eternal. Eternality is seen in 11:29: “The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” These eternal gifts include imputed righteousness. Accordingly, eternity is implicit in Romans 10 for (a) nothing suggests that once God imputes righteousness, He will withdraw it, and (b) an immutable God gives the gift of righteousness, which is tantamount to eternal salvation (Phase 1). This gift is prerequisite to calling on the name of the Lord for deliverance (Phase 2) throughout one’s Christian experience.

    An unbeliever does not have to have a theological degree to put two and two together regarding this matter. Moreover, we should not underestimate the illuminating ministry of the Holy Spirit to enable an unbeliever to understand and believe Phase 1 content wherever he finds it in the Bible.

    Question #6: “How will an unbeliever understand this passage as you have, when he does not have a theological background?”

    Assuming that an unbeliever has only Romans 10, the answer is the same as the answer to question #5. As an unbeliever, one may look at Romans 10:9-10 and see that if he believes in his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, he will believe to righteousness. He would say to himself, “God promises that my faith is unto righteousness; I believe it, and so I have it. Over and out!” Furthermore, though it is true that many have become Christians by merely reading the Bible, e.g. a Gideon Bible in a motel room, this is not the norm. If someone does evangelism using Romans or Ephesians, he will inevitably use verbal explanation and/or exposition. The same is true of the Gospel of John. Finally, if the written Word is all one needs, why did God give the gift of evangelism? Does one with this gift merely hand the written Word to unbelievers and exhort them to read it?

    Why Confess With One’s Mouth?
    (Romans 10:9-13)
    By George Meisinger
    Pp 21-22

    [End Quotes]

    Glenn W.

    By Anonymous GlennW, at Saturday, June 30, 2007 12:39:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    As for you’re the two propositions you mention:

    1) Everyone who believes that God raised Jesus from the dead is saved.

    I felt that the end of the quote for Question #3 dealt with this:

    However, I would not contend that mere faith in the historical fact of Christ’s resurrection is a means to heaven. The means according to Romans 10 is personal faith that the resurrected Christ will deliver on his promise of imputed righteousness. This is a very important distinction.

    2) An understanding of the resurrection of Christ is a necessity for eternal life or justification.

    He never made this claim. I believe that his point is that “personal faith that the resurrected Christ will deliver on his promise of imputed righteousness” is a way but not the only way. Unlike Hodges, he does not claim that there is only one way to present the Gospel.

    As for his equivocating “resurrection” and its cognate, I believe his article is very clear on his use of terms and what they mean. My partial quotes are apparently not doing justice to his full article.

    Glenn W.

    By Anonymous GlennW, at Saturday, June 30, 2007 12:40:00 PM  

  • Glenn,

    Your responses make no sense in light of my comments to you. If you would like to continue to discuss this issue, which I am very happy to do, I would ask that you read my comments to you carefully.

    As for the propositions, I already acknowledged that Meisinger DOES NOT PUT THEM FORTH. In other words, because he does not assert them, the premise of my position is left untouched.

    What was that premise?

    It is not necessary for one to understand the resurrection IN ADDITION to simple faith into Jesus Christ for eternal life.

    I find Meisinger on shaky ground. He is teetering between two positions.

    He understands the strength of the Johannine (Zane's) position but wishes to be the bridge between it and traditional, old school FG.

    This unfortunately ends up in a multi object/content requirement for saving faith.

    The following is the answer to a question I posed to Zane Hodges sometime in 2005. I think it might prove helpful in this discussion. Here is Zane's answer verbatim:

    ----------
    If a person believed that they had a completely righteous standing before God for eternity through faith in Christ, there is no reason to doubt their salvation. Still, the fact remains that Romans is written for Christians and John for the unsaved. For that reason, I prefer to follow the guidance of John in witnessing to the lost.

    If justification alone is presented, a hearer might conclude that there is no inward work of the Spirit as is clearly indicated by the concept of new birth (Jn 3). This would not prevent His salvation, but it would result in a less clear idea of what God was doing for him. After all, eternal life is something inward, and is not merely a judicial declaration like justification.
    ----------

    Whether or not one is believing into Jesus Christ for eternal life or for justification, the idea is necessarily present that what Christ is being believed in for consists of an irrevocable eternal well-being and felicity. In other words, at the moment of saving faith, one is absolutely certain of his eternal security.

    And it is abundantly clear that Dr. Meisinger believes the same thing: that at the moment of saving faith, one is absolutely certain of their eternal well-being.

    unfortunately, Meisinger uses a verse from Romans 10, which was written to believers, which uses a short-hand for justification truth that was presented in Romans 3-5.

    John was written for unbelievers with the express purpose of relating the specific and exact terms by which one can be absolutely certain he has irrevocable eternal life, IOW eternally secure.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, June 30, 2007 2:44:00 PM  

  • This is just silly....

    Do you have to have understanding that the Fire will burn you IN ADDITION to faith in the distance between you and it to keep you safe?

    You don't put your faith in something unless there is understanding of a need. If there is no need there is no faith.

    The Cross shows us the need, and the satisfaction of that need. The Cross IS the Gospel without it there is no salvation.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Saturday, June 30, 2007 3:10:00 PM  

  • Antonio:

    You wrote, "And if anyone believes Christ eternally saves them based upon His promise to do so to the believer in Him for it, I consider them saved, despite what they do or do not understand concerning Christ's person or work."

    My daughter arrives home this evening from China, and I have not seen her in almost a year. I will be busy with her and the family until Monday.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Saturday, June 30, 2007 4:08:00 PM  

  • Kevl:

    "The Cross shows us the need, and the satisfaction of that need. The Cross IS the Gospel without it there is no salvation."

    Well said.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Saturday, June 30, 2007 6:51:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    You said:

    it occurs to me that you and Meisinger believe that there are at least two different ways to become eternally saved:

    1) Zane's way (in other words, through the Johannine terms)
    and
    2) Romans 10:9, 10 way.

    Am I reading you right?

    There are more than one way to receive eternal life/justification?


    You are correct, that is exactly what he is saying.

    Also, I did misread your one statement regarding the two propositions (mea culpa). Dr. Meisinger does not advance the propositions as you have them written. When you wrote:

    1) Everyone who believes that God raised Jesus from the dead is saved.

    Dr. Meisinger does believe that "that mere faith in the historical fact of Christ’s resurrection is a means to heaven" is not enough to provide salvation. A person must also believe that "the resurrected Christ will deliver on his promise of imputed righteousness" and that is certainly is a different statement.

    The second proposition:

    2) An understanding of the resurrection of Christ is a necessity for eternal life or justification

    He does believe that a person's believing that "the resurrected Christ will deliver on his promise of imputed righteousness" will provide salvation but he does not reject Zane Hodges approach either.

    You also stated:

    In the question the resurrection itself becomes the content to saving faith. In other words, a historical fact which is now part of orthodox doctrine, is put forth as the content to saving faith.

    This is an incorrect summary of Dr. Meisinger's position. Once again, he states that:

    I would not contend that mere faith in the historical fact of Christ’s resurrection is a means to heaven.

    He directly states that believing in the historical fact is not enough.

    You also stated:

    When Meisenger says, "an unbeliever may believe in the resurrected Christ, and if he does, God will impute righteousness in keeping with his veracity and immutability," he could have easily ommitted the word "resurrected" and supplied the word "crucified" or "divine" or any number of adjectives, roles, or truths about Jesus Christ.

    You are trying to put words in his mouth here. If Romans 10:9-13 used the terms "crucified" or "divine" you would be right but the passage does not use those terms, it uses the term "resurrection."

    You said:

    At the end of the day, Jesus Christ guarantees eternal life to any and all who simply trust Him to do so, despite any shortcomings in their knowledge or understanding of Him, His nature, or His work.

    You are correct and I believe Dr, Meisinger would agree with you as well.

    You said:

    It is not necessary for one to understand the resurrection IN ADDITION to simple faith into Jesus Christ for eternal life.

    I believe that the point is that believing that "the resurrected Christ will deliver on his promise of imputed righteousness" is simple faith.

    And then you stated:

    This unfortunately ends up in a multi object/content requirement for saving faith.

    The object is Jesus Christ, there are not multiple objects in view. His claim is that the apostle Paul is making it clear that believing that "the resurrected Christ will deliver on his promise of imputed righteousness" will produce salvation is Paul's clear message here. Couldn't it be that the Pauline and Johanine Gospel messages are complimentary instead of mutually exclusive?

    As for Zane Hodges claim that Romans is for believers I would say that Dr. Meisinger would disagree with that statement. In his paper he takes an extensive amount of time developing that Romans 10:9-13 speaks both to Phase 1 and Phase 2 issues (see above for definitions of Phases 1 and 2). I will not bother trying to summarize an detailed paper on the subject but his statements can be disputed by others of the free grace camp (such as Dr. Meisinger).

    You said:

    John was written for unbelievers with the express purpose of relating the specific and exact terms by which one can be absolutely certain he has irrevocable eternal life, IOW eternally secure.

    Okay, but God did not give the apostle John a monopoly on proclaiming the Gospel. Paul did it clearly and often even though none of his epistles were for the sole purpose of proclaiming the Gospel. I would be surprised if members of the Roman church failed to proclaim the Gospel to unbelievers in the exact manner that Pauls outlines in Romans 10:9-13. And if they did they were very much following the divinely inspired instructions given to them by the apostle Paul.

    Glenn W.

    By Anonymous GlennW, at Saturday, June 30, 2007 7:20:00 PM  

  • Glenn,

    Please be careful in reading my comments. You write this:

    ----------
    You also stated:

    In the question the resurrection itself becomes the content to saving faith. In other words, a historical fact which is now part of orthodox doctrine, is put forth as the content to saving faith.

    This is an incorrect summary of Dr. Meisinger's position. Once again, he states that:

    I would not contend that mere faith in the historical fact of Christ’s resurrection is a means to heaven.

    He directly states that believing in the historical fact is not enough.
    ----------
    I talked about equivocation. In the statement you quote me on, I was not referring to his response but to the QUESTION #3 that was asked of him. I will restate the question, taken verbatim from your excision of George's article:

    "In your understanding of Romans 10, the content of belief is Christ’s resurrection..."

    My point was that George equivocates from the question being the content of belief in the resurrection to his answer being faith in the "resurrected" Lord.

    Again, even if I were to adopt your view which is in line with Meisinger, the premise of my argument would still stand.

    "An understanding of the resurrection IN ADDITION to simple faith in Christ for eternal life is not necessary for saving faith".

    From all that I have read concerning Meisinger's position as you have quoted him, I am concerned. He seems to be making a case of "special pleading". He is stringing together a multitude of passages from Romans to make his point, in a somewhat hopeless mismash.

    You see, Paul has already gone into extensive discussion of justification truth in Romans 3-5. Does he add the resurrection as a content of faith in those chapters? No. The object is Jesus Christ alone.

    It is sufficient to say for Paul that justification comes to the one who believes that faith alone in Christ is the avenue for that justification, apart from adding any qualifying features to Christ, such as "resurrected" Lord, or anything else.

    But, let me add here, if one does not believe that they have irrevocable justification by faith in Christ, they have not believed unto eternal salvation.

    There is not more than one object or content to saving faith. There is not MORE THAN one way to receive eternal life, as you and George submit.

    There is but ONE way and ONE way only:

    Believing Jesus Christ as the sole guarantor of IRREVOVABLE eternal life/justification to the believer in Him for it.

    In other words,

    Faith in Christ is the avenue by which someone is assured, certainly, that they have irrevocable eternal well-being.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, June 30, 2007 8:52:00 PM  

  • Glenn, furthermore, what does Meisinger state the purpose of "confession with the mouth" is?

    Romans 10:9, 10 talks about a full orbed salvation which not only includes justification but deliverance from God's present temporal wrath.

    For a discussion on the Use and Abuse of Romans 10:9,10, refer to John Hart's excellent article:

    John Hart's Use and Abuse of Romans 10:9, 10 / WHY CONFESS CHRIST?

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, June 30, 2007 10:52:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home