[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)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Modern Fundamentalism and its Gospel Invitations / The Lordship Salvation Tendencies of Lou Martuneac

by Antonio da Rosa
We have already discussed Lou Martuneac's doctrine of repentance and perseverance of the saints, both of which are taken straight from Lordship Salvation books (See my post on Free Grace Theology: A Lordship Proponent and a Free Grace Advocate both say that Lou Martuneac is Lordship Salvation).

Lou has equated repentance with:
1) Sorrow and grieving over sins
2) Confessing one's sins
3) Turning from one's sins

Furthermore, Lou Martuneac's doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints is hardly any different (if indeed there is any differnce) than that espoused in the Westminster Confession of Faith. Although he believes that a Christian can be in carnal behavior (the WCF states this as well), Lou believes that fruits will be evident throughout one's life, and increase. He apparently believes in a temporary, spurious, or false faith, the same as Lordship Calvinism.

The following is an explanation from Lou Martuneac how he has invited the lost to be born again. The problems with this testimony of his are multitudinous. I would like to discuss the dangers of Lou's evangelistic style. Would anyone care to point out exactly what is wrong with this? There may be some people here who agree with this type of evangelism. Why do you?

I believe that we can identify several dangerous errors in this type of invitation.

For those of you who do not agree with this way of doing evangelism, please give us the reasons.

For those of you who agree that such a method of evangelism is correct, please tell us why you would think so.

Lou Martuneac:
Oh, if you all could have been in the room at the Primrose High School in Johannesburg where I taught the Biblical Studies class to over 300 high school students each week. There were four classes of 80-85 in each. After several weeks of groundwork on the Inspiration and Infallibility of the Bible I began a four week series on the gospel. There is too much for this post, but I will say that when I came to the matter of faith and repentance I taught and illustrated very clearly they are inseparable and necessary.

God blessed and more young people than I could have hoped or imagined responded once I began to give an invitation.

You might be interested to know how I conducted the invitation. The class was third hour, followed by a 30 minute school recess. I told each class that if any desire to be born again, they would have to leave the room, go out to the playground with everyone else and then return to my class where I would remain waiting.

My purpose was to let those young people go out among their peers and see if the conviction was so strong that in front of all of their friends they would turn back to the classroom with all of their friends knowing why they were coming back.

The ones who did return I met them at the door, and asked each, "Why are you here?" Most understood, some did not, some were just curious. Once I seated those who knew why they were back I asked again to make sure each knew they were lost, on the way to Hell, and understood that through faith and repentance they would be born again. Some of those seated still did not quite understand and I kindly dismissed them. I believe I was left with a group of young people who genuinely understood the gospel, and why they needed to be born again through the power of God in Jesus Christ.

Well, there is much more, but I promised to keep that event from South Africa brief.

LM


You can find the context of this by Lou at this link
http://www.sharperiron.org/showthread.php?t=3332&page=11&pp=7
Lou's post is the one dated September 20th, 2006, 07:25 PM.

29 Comments:

  • Antonio,

    Here's the first problem:

    "God blessed and more young people than I could have hoped or imagined responded once I began to give an invitation."

    Salvation is not something I get through an invitation, but something I recieve the moment I believe the Gospel is true.

    Second there's this:

    "My purpose was to let those young people go out among their peers and see if the conviction was so strong that in front of all of their friends they would turn back to the classroom with all of their friends knowing why they were coming back."

    You HAVE to be kidding me. This amounts to making a public profession of faith and dedication not only a condition for salvation, but a prerequisite. It's as if to say, "You have to prove you really want it and that you're really serious first." This is appalling. What is his Biblical basis for doing this?

    Finally, we get this doosy:

    "The ones who did return I met them at the door, and asked each, "Why are you here?" Most understood, some did not, some were just curious. Once I seated those who knew why they were back I asked again to make sure each knew they were lost, on the way to Hell, and understood that through faith and repentance they would be born again. Some of those seated still did not quite understand and I kindly dismissed them. I believe I was left with a group of young people who genuinely understood the gospel, and why they needed to be born again through the power of God in Jesus Christ."

    Not only was it necessary to take a stand in front of one's friends, but unless they were absolutely "committed" to whatever it is that Lou was trying to accomplish here, he dismissed them! Then, on top of all that, if someone didn't get it, instead of graciously explaining it again or from a different angle, he dismisses these kids! I am a youth minister and kids are my calling. I am beyond absolute fury right now after reading this. How dare this man turn young people away from faith in Christ simply because they didn't understand or weren't serious enough to meet Lou's standards. Did he ever consider that his presentation of the Gospel may not have been clear enough and the fault was NOT with the kids?

    Then to totally blow all hope of good coming out of this process, he tells them that faith is not enough! My goodness, this man wrote an entire book supposedly refuting this type of gospel preaching. Repentance, in his view, giving up known sins, is also a condition. Jesus doesn't give eternal life to the believer, but to the one who believes and gives up their sins. I can only say three things: works, works, works.

    You're right, typical fundamentalism. This event is a travesty and leads me on all the more to desire to reach our young people with the Gospel of Grace.

    Tom <><

    By Blogger Free Grace Guy, at Tuesday, September 25, 2007 6:19:00 PM  

  • Thankfully not all fundamentalists believe this way. I consider myself a fundamentalist, & I know of others who would also be outraged at such a thing. Curtis Hutson, who is with the Lord now, would be one such fundamentalist. He wrote an excellent article, sermon actually, called "Salvation, Plain & Simple" or something like this, that would refute such teaching. He espoused the "Change of mind" view of repentance, but was very clear that salvation was by grace through faith alone. Many of the early Dallas Seminary men were fundamentalists & believed in grace apart from works for salvation. Unfortunately, though, what passes for fundamentalism today does espouse such teaching. Sad indeed.

    Certainly these kids would have all kinds of questions about whether they were "serious enouogh" etc when they were "converted". No wonder the Bible conditions salvation on faith alone.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Tuesday, September 25, 2007 6:57:00 PM  

  • Ah The Lord speaking again David. I pass that Curtis Hudson tract out with the BBN invitation to listen cards to Mexicans. I have it in Spanish form. I have Dr Rices one in English. Those are my favorite tracts to pass out. Dr Rices tract does stress that we should turn from sin but he notes that we must ask God for a change of heart and it is the trust element that is the only thing that saves.

    I do think harpin on ol Lou is not very beneficial. I still think people are getting saved even if he is using the Billy Graham method here. It is good though to always isolate that it is the trust and rest factor of Believing that is the only thing that is saving us though as Antonio does.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Tuesday, September 25, 2007 8:41:00 PM  

  • Tom, I am going to reply to your comments tomorrow. I just wanted to include something for the benefit of David Wyatt concerning fundamentalism.

    David,

    There is a great post over at Jeremy Myer's blog about fundamentalism.

    In one sense, I too, am a fundamentalist, which describes a person who holds to fundamental doctrines. Modern fundamentalism is a bit more complicated than that.

    Cruise over to Jeremy Myers's blog HERE and read what I mean. I am not referring to what fundamentalism used to mean, but its current and modern stigmas.

    Read also the comments, because Jeremy becomes even clearer what he means in them.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, September 25, 2007 8:54:00 PM  

  • I think this exploring the truth about Faith/ Works is so important because there are numerous denoms that lean too far on one or the other for their basis of 'supposed salvation'.
    We all must seek a balance in our understanding not only for our own sake but for those we come in contact with.

    I am a more conservative christian than I was in my earlier years... As a woman I have grown to love the protection of biblical modesty, sobriety,meekness, and submission both to the Lord and my husband.
    I can't express how monumental it has been for me and my family.But even when I did not embrace an outward appearance
    of repentance inwardly I was repentant; conversely there are many that embrace an outward appearance of repentance and they are not! For that matter do we not struggle in the flesh daily? At any given moment I may or may not be repentant in all my thoughts and actions.

    Many might at first meeting think of me as a type of Amish or Mennonite - Ana baptist christian but I must say NO to the error in some of their doctrine as they too are works with NO eternal security offered. Repentance and Lordship Salvation is preached. How sad it is for me when I meet these people drawn to these churches that practice such beautiful simple purity in so many ways yet stain the gospel with too many conditions for salvation. It breaks my heart.

    Nor do I consider myself a modern fundamentalist but a militant fundamentalist in the best sense of the term. An orthodox christian.

    Modern fundamentalism in my view is full of contradictions to the clear teaching of God's word.

    It should be examined and brought to light at every turn, new evangelicalism and ecumenicalism go hand in hand. I certainly do not want to be counted among them when the Lord returns!

    Jacinda

    By Blogger jacinda, at Tuesday, September 25, 2007 9:23:00 PM  

  • Guys I hope you don't mind me being here Ha ha... Please tell me if you do. I will understand.Seriously. I am just a mommy that loves docrine and hopes to pass that on to my kids.

    I can't tell you how much Fundamental Evangelistic Association has helped my husband and I put so very much that we were experiencing into perspective. They have ministered for over 75 years... 4 generations of men serving fundamentalist christians equipping them with up to date reports of the church scene.

    Pastor Matt Costella a thirty something guy is doing more and more of the ministry as his dad is getting older. You would really be able to connect with him. They offer much Free and have some of the best written materials for sharing that I have ever read.
    He has done a series on the emergent church that would knock your socks off. Anyway go to my bog to get the links if your interested. All you have to do is contact them and they will send out you requested topic and you can sign up for weekly sermons to come regularly to your home.

    Are you familiar with them Antonio? As they are in CA... Los Osos for a long time and now Fresno the last two years. The older guys actually have more of a compassion that I honestly don't know that Matt will develop but to hear his dad and recordings of his grandfather M.H. Reynolds you hear a conviction a sure knowing but also a real biblical love for others.

    BTW I love John Rice and his affiliates too. Like a father that I never met iykwim

    Have a great week and thanks for the encouragement.

    By Blogger jacinda, at Tuesday, September 25, 2007 9:43:00 PM  

  • OOPs Antonio I am sorry I don't know that I have read enough of your stuff to get the meaning of your term modern fundamentalism... So please don't take my comments as critical. i was thinking a long the line of modern guys like Jerry Falwell etc.. I think of them as the ones that the modern world looks at as stereotypical fundamentalists yet he doesn't represent the most accurate example of true fundamentalism in my opinion.

    Anyway I think I ought to go to bed and nurse the baby!

    Jacinda;^)

    By Blogger jacinda, at Tuesday, September 25, 2007 9:55:00 PM  

  • Jacinda

    "I think this exploring the truth about Faith/ Works is so important because there are numerous denoms that lean too far on one or the other for their basis of 'supposed salvation'.
    We all must seek a balance in our understanding not only for our own sake but for those we come in contact with."

    I do not think Paul was very balanced about salvation. He tells us we are justified by faith and not by works.

    I would beware of anyone trying to balance things out by introducing works into salvation, even if they do it in subtle ways.

    We are justified by faith alone for the glory of God's grace.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, September 26, 2007 5:11:00 AM  

  • jacinda,

    I would also beware of anyone who tries to convince you that saving faith does not involve faithfulness.

    By Blogger jared, at Wednesday, September 26, 2007 9:03:00 AM  

  • Matt and Jared,

    Thank you both for your concern for me.

    I see I made a broad statement without enough explanation.

    I do not believe we must do works for salvation but I do believe that in most cases we will do works because we are saved.

    This does not KEEP us saved but is a fruit of salvation.

    Yes, some will lead weak christian lives lacking the power of the Holy Spirit because of unwillingness to yield. But PTL most of us will grow in faith and works. And it is not of ourselves but the work that He is completing in us.

    I just meant simply that I was just as saved as a babe in Christ when I was more selfish and drawn more by the pull of the world ie priorities and decisions ...less tuned into God's Desires for me.

    The Bible does talk about how we SHOULD judge according to fruit and works that is Biblical but I also see that it is within reason that some that struggle and fall are just as saved as those that 'seem' nearly perfect in the faith.

    Those that fall do not loose their salvation because their works did not save them nor did their 'strong' faith.

    Example; just because there is doctrinal and practice conflict between Christians does not always indicate that some certain ones are NOT saved and others are... though I am sure in any group there are some that are not of the true faith. Resting in Jesus alone.

    Some are caught in error that is for sure; many are simply confused.

    "I do not think Paul was very balanced about salvation. He tells us we are justified by faith and not by works.

    I would beware of anyone trying to balance things out by introducing works into salvation, even if they do it in subtle ways."

    Matt, My emphasis was not on balancing faith and works for salvation but balancing our thinking.
    I was a saved individual for many years yet but because my thinking was not instantly renewed the moment of salvation ( at 9 yo.) I had to let the word of God speak to me and renew my thinking as a young lady to receive not salvation but assurance and learn to yield to the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Personally know several families that are 'confused' and can't seem to get a grasp on eternal security. I feel drawn to them to encourage them to keep examining the scriptures so they can find that blessed assurance and teach that to their children so the next generation will be on target with this.
    It is so sad to think of the hundreds of kids that are privileged to have Christian parents ( of which I don't have) yet live in doctrinal confusion long enough that they in fact do not get saved themselves or perpetuate error as adults.
    I pray regularly that I do not get confused or drawn into the error. That is also why I enjoy these discussions because it keeps me sharp for the work that the Lord puts before me.

    I am sure *I* do not rest in my works. I rest in the saving work that took place at the CROSS nothing I did or did not do.

    Sisterly Love,
    Jacinda

    By Blogger jacinda, at Wednesday, September 26, 2007 2:10:00 PM  

  • Jacinda,
    Welcome to this blog!
    Thanks for that last comment.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, September 26, 2007 6:12:00 PM  

  • Jacinda is a friend that lives not too far from here - I haven't seen her in a long time, but it is nice to see her on the internet.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, September 26, 2007 6:13:00 PM  

  • Jared,

    If salvation is not by works and only by faith, but works (faithfulness in your words) are involved in faith, how do you then reason that salvation is not by works?

    Tom <><

    By Blogger Free Grace Guy, at Wednesday, September 26, 2007 6:20:00 PM  

  • As for putting a challenge to young people.

    Though I think the method this Lou M. used is extreme to say the least.

    I do like the idea of a bit of a challenge put to ones that we speak with.

    It was a dear brother very much my senior who has since gone to be with the Lord who put a challenge to me.

    Me a struggling young adult sitting at a Bob Evans coffee bar filling out an application for a job so I could get away from the persecution my Faith and Works brought on. What I mean is though I would have NEVER been considered the best example and I had some areas of confusion for sure! The Holy Spirit was at work.

    The Faith with Works that the Holy Spirit had produced in me showed enough to totally debased parents that they wanted me OUT. They, my mom in particular showed true HATRED toward me that she had not shown as much previously when I was doing things her way with less integrity.

    When Brother Taylor took the time to speak with me. I answered positively but I did not make it clear that I was trusting in Christ completely for my salvation. His challenge was "What will get you into heaven?"

    If we are gonna challenge let's challenge on the point of where is one placing their trust.

    I sounded that I was placing my trust at that time in the fact that I was trying to find the right church, trying to live honorably, trying not to be afraid of being out on my own etc... trying not to be confused!

    Did this brother send me away because I didn't seem to have it all right??? NO, he was a shepherd to me as a weak lamb and led me to a doctrinally sound church and introduced me to sisters and brothers that could build me up so I wasn't a shaky weak one ready to have wolves in sheeps' clothing tare at me with their false doctrine.

    Did I have instant understanding of everything that was said in a service or comments made directly to me? NO!

    Did my testimony instantly improve. NO!

    Was there still conflict with my peers ( my family ) Yes!

    Did I feel pressure to become more spiritually minded? Yes.

    I felt like I was in the purifying fire!
    But it was the Holy Spirit saying I want to make you into the likeness of the Lord Jesus... I finally knew that it wasn't this necessary process ( that I'd been on for years) that saved me but the work that was started way back as a child asking the Lord to come into my heart and thanking him for dying on the cross for all my sin!

    And yes I lost friends directly after that initial decision as a 9 yo. My longtime grade school playmate pushed me away because I didn't want to be so naughty any more. Again showing that faith and works produce fruit of the Spirit that stems from salvation.

    I remember saying to her "Now that we trusted Jesus in the VBS...I don't want to talk like that anymore."
    We'd both made professions of faith. Were we both saved? I don't know because I moved away a year later but she was mean to me all the time after that summer we'd gone to the VBS. And then I bumped into her at a children's activity in the community and she wasn't friendly. Though what happens in the heart is hidden and left somewhat a mystery what comes out of the heart is it's fruit.
    I think much is still a mystery. I have since 'led others to the Lord' and seen good fruit come out of their lives then later to see sin and death reigning in their lives.

    I think we can rest in the fact that if they are saved THEY ARE Saved by Grace not by works.

    We often want the comfort of KNOWING but is it for them or us?

    The most we can do in many cases where there is confusion is pray for them!And unless the Lord gives us opportunity to do more then we should rest in prayer.

    Turn them away when they are standing before you open to listening and studying the word NEVER!

    Jacinda

    By Blogger jacinda, at Thursday, September 27, 2007 5:08:00 AM  

  • Tom,

    Faithfulness does not equal works, rather works come from being faithful (that is, from having faith). The covenantal development of faith, beginning with Abraham, has always implied faithfulness (what sort of faith isn't faithful?). In other words, faith and faithfulness are correlative; a faith that is not faithful is no faith at all. It is important to keep in mind, here, that you can make a distinction between justification and sanctification, but you cannot properly separate them. The saving act of God renders both to the receiving individual in the same saving act.

    In answer to your question, salvation is not by my works, rather it is by the work of God. This work is brought to fruition via grace and faith, both of which are gifts. Let me ask you a few questions; could God's saving work result in anything less than faithfulness on the part of those saved? If so, then what do you do with Jesus' promise to keep (that is, uphold) those who are His? Is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit so impotent in your estimation?

    By Blogger jared, at Thursday, September 27, 2007 8:12:00 AM  

  • Jared,

    Thanks for the interaction. Below I quote what you said with my response:

    Faithfulness does not equal works, rather works come from being faithful (that is, from having faith).

    I think the first mistake you make is to equate the word faith and faithful. The word faith in Greek is “pistis” which means “faith, confidence, trust, belief.” The word faithful is “pistos” which can have two meanings. In one sense it is a description, so it is used as an adjective such as faithful, trustworthy, or reliable. It is used like this 59 times in the New Testament. The other eight uses are adjectival pronouns where people are describing as “the believing ones” or just “believers.” It is never used to describe someone as “the faithful one.” Your assertion that faithful=faith is not borne out by the New Testament. And yes, faithfulness is a work.

    The covenantal development of faith, beginning with Abraham, has always implied faithfulness (what sort of faith isn't faithful?).

    What Scripture do you use to support this claim? Again, I point to the fact that the words “believe” and “faith” DO NOT carry the idea of faithfulness. To believe in God is to simply take Him at his Word. Faith is a persuasion or conviction I have that something is true. Faithfulness is a character quality where I am committed or am loyal to a person or idea. If faithfulness is implied, then works are implied as necessary to salvation.

    In other words, faith and faithfulness are correlative; a faith that is not faithful is no faith at all.

    Above you said that faith and faithfulness are the same thing. Now, they are simply related to one another. Which is it? Again, you are confusing a character quality with a persuasion of the mind.

    It is important to keep in mind, here, that you can make a distinction between justification and sanctification, but you cannot properly separate them. The saving act of God renders both to the receiving individual in the same saving act.

    The problem is that you don’t distinguish them enough. God does not give any believer the promise of a sanctified life (no purpose then to the warning passages). Again, please cite Scripture that proves your point.

    In answer to your question, salvation is not by my works, rather it is by the work of God. This work is brought to fruition via grace and faith, both of which are gifts.

    The fact that faith is not the gift, but salvation itself is the gift has been thoroughly established elsewhere and I will not go over it all here. Simply put, faith and grace are feminine in Greek and the word “that” is neuter, which means that it cannot be referring to either one of them, but to the concept of salvation as a whole. You say I am not saved by my works, but by God’s work. I’m not totally certain where you’re going with this, but I’m presuming that you mean a work of faithfulness in the life of the believer? Am I correct?

    Let me ask you a few questions; could God's saving work result in anything less than faithfulness on the part of those saved?

    Absolutely. See the believing Pharisees of John 12, the Corinthian believers some five years after coming to faith, Lot of the Old Testament, many other characters in the Old Testament, the Ephesian believers of Acts 19, not to mention the letters to the churches in Revelation.

    If so, then what do you do with Jesus' promise to keep (that is, uphold) those who are His?

    You don’t cite a Scripture passage here for me to respond to, but my answer off the top of my head is that His promise is to secure them eternally.

    Is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit so impotent in your estimation?

    The Holy Spirit is all-powerful, but he works WITH the will of man and NOT against it. You see, you cannot have love without choice. The Spirit will enable us to obey God, but we must choose it. Forced love is a contradiction.

    Please feel free to respond to my comments and we can continue to dialogue or if you do not wish to continue, I understand. God Bless you Jared.

    Tom <><

    By Blogger Free Grace Guy, at Thursday, September 27, 2007 7:44:00 PM  

  • Tom,

    Thanks for the reply.

    1. The development of "faith" does not begin in the New Testament, so while the Greek word pistis means "faith, confidence, trust, belief" that is not all the word connotes. As I mentioned, we must look back to how the word was historically to understand its full import in the New Testament. I have not equated faith and faithfulness, as you accuse, rather I see them as inseparable as is justification and sanctification. Faithfulness itself is not a work, it's a state of being in relation to works. You can be doing works and still not be faithful.

    2. Beginning in Genesis 15:6 (one of the most quoted verses concerning faith in the New Testament) we see Abraham believing and it being credited to him as righteousness. The Hebrew word for "believe" in this verse is aman and it means "to support, confirm, be faithful, uphold, nourish." It also means "to be established, be faithful, be carried, make firm" and "to stand firm, to trust, to be certain, to believe in." It is most often translated simply as "believe" but if we delve a little further into the Jewish understanding of "believe" and "faith" we come across two other words: emuwnah and emuwn. Both of those words have aman as their root (well, emuwnah has emuwn as its root, but the root of emuwn is aman) and they both carry the following meanings: emuwn - "faithfulness, trusting", emuwnah -"firmness, fidelity, steadfastness, steadiness." The Strong's numbers are 529, 530 and 539 if you want to do more research on your own. A concept of faith that does not imply/include faithfulness would be completely foreign to Jewish authors (and audiences) and it most certainly would not normally be used otherwise by the NT authors.

    3. You say that one of my problems is that I don't distinguish enough between justification and sanctification, to which I'm not entirely sure how to respond. I actually understand them to be ontologically differentiated: justification has to do with my legal covenant standing as I am declared righteous and sanctification has to do with my actual body/soul being made righteous. I'm not sure how you can be more distinct than that. What you must show is that the saving act of God does not include both. If you study the history of God's relationship to mankind from before the fall to the ascension of Jesus you will see that sin is not only a problem of righteousness, but also a problem of holiness. Salvation in Jesus restores our relationship fully, which means salvation brings righteousness and holiness (that is, justification and sanctification).

    Paul tells King Agrippa that he was sent "to open their [the Gentiles and the Jews, v.17] eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in [Jesus]." He goes on to say "that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance." (Acts 26:14-20). The entire epistle to the Ephesians doesn't make any sense if you don't understand the hand-in-hand relationship between justification and sanctification (this is especially true of chapter 5). The concept of faith that you seem to be setting forth ignores the the fact that Scripture teaches one story and that that story is of total redemption, not just of man, body and soul, but also of creation. This is the end that Jesus has secured for His people and He will deliver. John records His prayer for his people, "I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth... For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth." If Jesus' prayer is not answered by the Father, then who's prayers will be answered?

    4. The fact that faith is a gift seems clear to me: If salvation is a gift and salvation is through faith then faith must also be a gift. The ordo salutis starts with God and ends with God. He makes us alive and finishes our redemption. This is what I mean by saying that salvation is the work of God; for even my faithfulness is a result of His presence and activity (that is why my salvation is guaranteed).

    5. I assume you mean the Pharisees of john 12:19 and to presume that they were believers in Jesus is quite an eisegetical feat. The latter half of the chapter speaks of "rulers" who believed but were afraid to express their belief because of the Pharisees. The text says nothing about them being Pharisees and to presume they were is, once again, an exercise in eisegetics. Moreover, there is nothing in the text that says they weren't being faithful otherwise. As for your other examples (for they are largely the same), there's a difference between being faithful and being perfect. Just because someone sins does not mean they aren't being as faithful as their measure of faith allows.

    Time is not permitting me to adress the last bit of your comment, I shall try and get to it a bit later.

    By Blogger jared, at Friday, September 28, 2007 1:05:00 PM  

  • Jared,

    Thanks for writing me back. It is good to discuss these things in a loving spirit as we have done so far. I will respond to your points with my numbers corresponding with your numbers.

    1. That is correct. Faith does not begin in the New Testament. Yet, the New Testament is fully authoritative in everything that it teaches and it, taken by itself, will not contradict the Old Testament. Paul defines what he means by faith in Romans 4:21 by stating that Abraham was strong in faith, “being fully persuaded.” This is in keeping with the core definition of the word and its usage in the New Testament. You are reading a preconceived concept into the word that is foreign to its usage. If Paul or any other NT writer wanted to convey faithfulness, they would have used “pistos.” Regarding your statement, “Faithfulness itself is not a work, it's a state of being in relation to works,” I simply ask, can a person be faithful who does not do faithful things?

    2. You conveniently left out the fact that the meaning of the word “believed” in Genesis 15:6 is determined by the stem which is Hiphil. With this stem, the word means to “believe in” just as it is translated. Besides that, when Paul quotes this verse in Romans 4:3 he uses the verb “pisteuo” which means to be persuaded, perfectly in keeping with the Hebrew and with his definition of faith in 4:21. Finally, the word the Septuagint uses to translate “aman” into Greek is the word “pisteuo” which is to believe something is true. The Jewish translators had the option to use “pistos” but used “pisteuo” instead because the content in Gen 15:6 is being convinced of a person’s testimony. To add the idea of faithfulness to it, again, is to go beyond the use of the word. And, regarding the Hebrew word “aman,” it and only it is used in words translated “believe” in the OT. The words that carry more of the idea of faithfulness are not used.

    3. Okay, I see that you believe they are ontologically differentiated. Thank you for clarifying that. But it’s also true that you don’t believe you can have justification without sanctification. You see them as both necessary for a person to make heaven their home. Since sanctification involves works, you therefore believe that works are necessary to make heaven one’s home. It looks like this:

    1. Justification and Sanctfication are necessary for one to arrive in Heaven.
    2. Sanctification includes works performed (Galatians 5:6)
    3. Works performed are necessary to arrive in Heaven.

    It’s simple logic that this is what you believe. Yet, justification is promised to the one who DOES NOT WORK (Romans 4:5), but believes. In order for that to be true, justification and sanctification must not only be ontologically differentiated, but be seen as two completely different things. Justification comes to the believer. At that moment the believer is endowed with the ability to be sanctified. But he does not receive a guarantee that he will be so in this life. Your quote from Acts 17 actually proves MY point. Jesus said that they “have been” sanctified (hagiazo is the perfect participle, meaning a completed action), not “are being sanctified” by faith in me. This is important because Jesus is referring to positional sanctification here. Those who repent (change their mind about Jesus) for forgiveness and turn from their sins (for an inheritance) will receive just that. Of course I believe in salvation body soul and spirit. Salvation in spirit is by faith alone in Christ alone, sanctification is by faith and works, and glorification of the body is guaranteed the moment we believe in Jesus. All I’m saying is that a sanctified life involves the decision of the believer to obey. It is NOT automatic.

    4. Here is your logic concerning faith being a gift:

    1. Salvation is a gift
    2. Grace and Faith are part of salvation
    3. Grace and Faith are a gift.

    The problem is that the second premise is false. Salvation is deliverance from Hell. Grace is the basis upon which salvation is given and faith is the condition on which it is received. They are not salvation themselves. The idea that God regenerates someone before they believe has absolutely no basis whatsoever anywhere in the New Testament, but is what naturally follows from Extreme Calvinism’s doctrine of total inability (another doctrine not supported by the Bible). You’ve said it again here, my faithfulness (by which you are implying works) is necessary for salvation. If my faithfulness is necessary for salvation, then you believe in a works salvation (and don’t try the cop out of “God is the one who does the works” because the entire New Testament says that we will be rewarded based on our faithfulness, which, in order for us to merit rewards, must mean that we are having a part in doing it). To your question on Jesus’ prayer I respond with a question: Jesus prayed that they be one, right? Well, are they? Nope.

    5. Whoops. My bad. I went off of memory on that one and should have looked it up. You’re right, it was the rulers. But the fact still stands that they were not faithful. Would you consider a man faithful to his girlfriend if he does everything he can to deny that he has feelings for her? I think you know what SHE would say. And you beg the question when you say that since the text doesn’t say that the weren’t being faithful, that they were! Of course being faithful, doesn’t mean being perfect. But publicly acknowledging Jesus has to be considered faithfulness as he does not seem to think a person is faithful who does not confess Him before men (Matthew 10:32-33). He may not acknowledge them with special recognition before the Father if they’re not faithful, but he still promises to save them (2 Timothy 2:13).

    In Him,
    Tom <><

    By Blogger Free Grace Guy, at Friday, September 28, 2007 3:20:00 PM  

  • Tom,

    Well there's "workarounds" for everything, now isn't there.

    By Blogger jared, at Saturday, September 29, 2007 11:42:00 PM  

  • Jared,

    What's that supposed to mean? If you are accusing me of avoiding the issue, it is only because your own argument has no substance or Biblical support. You are a typical Calvinist. Have your argument refuted by the clear teaching of Scripture and then, because you know you're caught, accuse the other side of evading the issue or not being true to the Word of God. You have failed to establish through word study your belief of faithfulness in the word faith and it is now a matter of public record. Don't accuse me of ANYTHING without providing evidence or demonstrating your case. If you want to continue to debate on the basis of the Word of God, then fine. If you want to accuse people of workarounds instead of dealing with their Biblical arguments, that's your issue, not mine.

    Tom <><

    By Blogger Free Grace Guy, at Sunday, September 30, 2007 10:35:00 AM  

  • Tom,

    Cool your jets, I haven't accused you of anything.

    What it means is that you have your scholars and I have mine and neither of us are going to admit that the other has valid points.

    1. You can't base your understanding of how Paul understands the word "faith" (or "faithful" for that matter) on a couple verses from one chapter of one epistle (even if it is Romans). Paul was a Jew and any understanding of faith that doesn't take that into consideration isn't biblical by any means no matter how well you can support it lexically. You ask, "can a person be faithful who does not do faithful things?" to which I answer: sure, we do it every day as Christians and God is gracious and merciful to His children. The point here is that God's children hear His voice and are obedient to the extent of their faith. Once again we run into the equation: no obedience, no child (I'll get to your "simple logic" in point 3).

    2. I didn't "convieniently" leave anything out and, again, being completely ignorant of a Jewish conception of faith isn't going to help your case no matter what lexical argument you put forth. What you need to do is take a break from reading Scripture through the meta-lens of contemporary Western culture. To make matters worse, defining "faith, believe" (pisteuo, if you will) merely as being "fully persuaded" is a wholly modern way of understanding the sociological import of what Paul is writing to the church in Rome. My suggestion here is an etymological study of pistos/pisteuo. I think you will find that "trust" will take on a whole new (and more biblical) meaning for you.

    3. A little familiarity with how Jesus talks about the kingdom will go a long way in clearing this up. I recommend Matthew as a good starting point, especially the Sermon on the Mount. If God says you're righteous and you actually aren't, what does that make God? Sanctification is absolutely necessary for entering the kingdom of heaven, for no unrighteousness will enter. So, just how sanctified does one have to be? Well, completely. It's a good thing we are not only called righteous as we are heirs with Jesus, but that we are also made righteous through His work. Justification and sanctification walk hand-in-hand and they never let go of one another. You don't get "positional" sanctification without also being progessively sanctified (to whatever extent) in this life.

    4. Salvation is far more than deliverance from hell; it is deliverance from the old self, it is justification, sanctification and glorification all according to God's timing. The offer of salvation is gracious, but grace is not the basis of our salvation; the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus is the basis of our salvation. Grace is the means by which we obtain salvation through faith as a response to that grace. Salvation isn't a thing so grace and faith can't be "parts" of it. Your response here completely misses my point.

    5. No, the fact does not still stand that they were unfaithful; that is pure conjecture and gross extrapolation from actual text. Your example with the man and his girlfriend is not analagous to the situation with the rulers. John says they wouldn't confess their faith because of their fear of being thrown out of the synagogue by the Pharisees. The text doesn't say they did everything they could to deny that they had faith, just that they were afraid to do so around the Pharisees. Obviously this is not a healthy situation for them, but it does not preclude their faithfulness otherwise (assuming their faith is genuine to begin with).

    We can continue the "charade", if you so desire, but in my estimation you haven't even begun to (1) refute any of my points or (2) even bothered reading my comments carefully (I'm sure you think the same, hence my opening clarification). It seems clear from your last comment that you're just another free-gracer with an anti-everything-but-free-grace agenda. The body of Jesus is much bigger than the box in which you reside. Now I'm accusing you of something ;-)

    By Blogger jared, at Sunday, September 30, 2007 9:01:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Free Grace Guy, at Monday, October 01, 2007 1:55:00 PM  

  • Jared,

    I would simply suggest that YOU stop reading the Scriptures through the lenses of so-called scholars who do not believe in exegesis first, and then going to societal ways of thinking instead of the other way around. If your understanding of the words are correct then we might as well burn all of our English translations, since 99.999% of people who read the word believe (save the 0.001% that some how arrive at your conclusions) will understand it exactly as I have delineated. Or, maybe, according to your theology, God let it get translated that way because he predestined all English speaking people to hell. Yeah, that might be it.

    You fail to recognize that each book of the Bible stands on its own and that God wrote it so the average person could pick it up and read it and understand how to be saved. However, your position requires everyone in the Western hemisphere to have a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Literature and Linguistics in order to be able to grasp the simple message of salvation.

    Jared, I suspect highly that you are one of these guys who are too smart for your own good. You are a GREAT writer and God has blessed you with a wonderful mind, but as I found out while in Bible college, people take things that PEOPLE WITH NO EDUCATION were expected to understand and complicate it so much that the lay person doesn't get it anymore. This is the pattern throughout church history where the common man loses access to the Word of God.

    Please don't take this as a nasty criticism, because I am only talking about myself as well. I used to be one of these people who prided themselves on so-called scholarship and being in the "know" with the "current ideas." After going through so much study that my head spinned (and please note that my IQ is near 140!), I realized that the texts of the Bible are NOT this complicated to understand. I'm not denying that there are certainly parts that are difficult to understand, but the important stuff is clear. Nor am I denying the need for background information as I wholeheartedly believe in the grammatical-historical method. I just think that while you accuse me of being a free gracer at all costs, that it's the pot calling the kettle black in that your reformational, covenental theology informs your scholarship! An example of this is when you alluded to some of the rulers of John 12 as perhaps not really saved when the text clearly says they believed. Can you not see that that is perseverance theology read back into the text and that no where does John make a distinction between real faith and false faith? It's like Wilkin says in one of the articles he wrote - He amazes over how the commentators say a person that the text clearly says believed didn't really believe! The real issue is not what do the Reformation traditions teach or what do free gracers teach, but "what does the text say?" and I contend that it does not say what you say. I have pointed this out in two posts now and yet you do not respond to the clear, contextual usages of the words IN THE BIBLE, but go off about reading some sociological meaning into it. CONTEXT IS KING. Besides, faith cannot mean faithfulness because the text clearly says that God is faithful to the faithless (2 Timothy 2:13).

    Frankly, while you accuse me of not understanding you, I've encountered your theology and position previously with certain ones at Bible college. I know what you're going to say in response to my arguments and how you're not going to respond exegetically, but with the "you don't understand the culture" argument and how you see understanding someone's interpretation of history or some commentator or church father's opinion first, before careful exegesis of the text. If you will not deal with the way the words are used IN THE BIBLE ITSELF, then this discussion should end. "He that believes in Me has eternal life" (John 6:47). That's pretty clear no matter what culture you're in.

    I appreciate your dialogue and wish you God's best.

    Tom <><

    By Blogger Free Grace Guy, at Monday, October 01, 2007 2:28:00 PM  

  • Tom,

    Thanks for the compliments and criticims, though I hardly think I am "too smart for my own good." That won't happen until I start going to seminary! At any rate, I have just a few more questions and points which I will leave at your discretion to answer/address and to which I will not further reply:

    1. If I'm not supposed to let historical context and circumstance shape how I interpret Scripture, then postmodernism has truly invaded Christianity and I might as well "stick to my own kind", as it were, rather than engaging in the wider body as I am want to do. How we understand aman/pistis is, obviously, vital to our respective theologies. I would even go so far as to say that I largely agree with your definition(s), I just don't think they are complete. When Jesus says "He that believes in Me has eternal life" what does "believe" mean in this instance? If, as you say, it means "fully persuaded", well what does that mean? Convinced in your mind only? What of the body, heart, soul and spirit? More importantly, what does being fully persuaded entail if it does not at least entail complete trust?

    2. I think the real problem with your view is that Jesus doesn't stop at 6:47. Scripture was written millennia prior to this and there was still more to be written after these words were spoken. John goes on to point out that Jesus' words are "a hard teaching" (verse 60) and this is right in line with His 'theme sermon' (on the Mount). You're absolutely right that the words are plain, simple and clear; what's hard is what they say and what's harder is the life they produce. This is part and parcel to why Jesus tells His disciples that "no one can come to Him unless the Father has enabled him" (verse 65). This actually caused many of His followers to stop following Him. The way of the Messiah is not easy, even though it is simple and clear. So, my question here is, where have I complicated anything? I'm not the one who says eating is required for life? Not just eating and drinking, but believing. Jesus makes this point clear at the end of this chapter in John when Peter asks "To whom shall we go?" to which Jesus replies "Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!" Did not Judas believe and feast upon the body and blood of Jesus? Do you think this "devil" is in heaven? Obviously neither of us can know for sure (that's between Him and God, as is our own salvation) but I don't think he is.

    3. The reason I have, as yet, engaged you proof-text for proof-text is because proof-texting is bad theology. A perfect example of this is your clearly mistaken understanding of 2 Timothy 2:13. You say "CONTEXT IS KING" but here, and elsewhere I imagine (John 6:47 comes immediately to mind), you have not let it reign. I'll just hit the highlights:

    2 Tim 1:5 - Paul knows Timothy's "sincere" faith and knows that such faith has run in his family

    v.7 - Paul notes that the spirit God has given us is not timid, "but of power and love and discipline. He goes on to say that this spirit is why we aren't to be ashamed and the reason we suffer for the gospel.

    v.9 - God has saved and called us "with a holy calling, not according to our works" but for His own purposes (in Paul and Timothy's case, evangelism and leadership). God's saving and calling has nothing to do with any of our previous actions, our present actions or our future actions. Paul has every right and reason to be ashamed of his past but he isn't and he's clearly not afraid of the future because God's calling and saving are eternal.

    v.12 - This is a key verse; Paul believes and is convinced (odd, if believing just means being "fully persuaded") that Jesus is able to guard what he has entrusted to Him "until that day." What is it that Paul has entrusted to Jesus? What is it that Jesus is supposed to guard and which Paul is absolutely certain He will guard? I would submit that it is his very salvation. With the power of God on Paul's side, he cannot fail; this is true of all who have "sincere faith" as Timothy does. It should also shatter any notions of a faith that doesn't or can't preveil over sin, that is, it should shatter any notions of a faith that doesn't produce works (as James will teach us). This will become clear as we move along through this epistle.

    v.14 - Paul encourages Timothy to guard, with equal resolve as the One who is guarding his salvation, the treasure of the true gospel.

    2:2 - Paul (oddly?) tells Timothy to entrust (same Greek word) his teachings to "faithful men who will be able to teach others also." I should think this advice applies equally so to us today, does it not? Of course, this doesn't support my assertion that faith and faithfulness are tied together but given the context of chapter one it should be clear that the gospel is not to be entrusted to just anyone even though it should be proclaimed to all. It should also be clear by this point in the letter that Timothy is not your average pew-warmer (and, I gather, neither are you and me), though this is firmly established in Paul's first letter to him.

    vs.8-10 - Paul assures Timothy that neither Jesus, the gospel or the word of God are imprisoned and this is the reason he endures all things "for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.

    Now we have set the context for the statement in which we find in verses 11-13

    v.11 - The phrase "died with him" is not intended as an explicit reference to physical death. The Greek word translated here is used only two other times in the NT, once in Mark (where it does refer to physical death) and once more by Paul in 2 Corinthians. The use in 2 Corinthians is consistent with Paul's use here and denotes his notion of mortification (see Rom. 6:5, 8:36, Gal. 6:17, 2 Cor. 4:10, etc.). If we die as Jesus died then we shall have life as He has life.

    v. 12 - Paul has set the tone with Timothy by ascribing sincere faith to him and by telling him that the spirit received is not one of timidity and weakness. Consequently, then, to deny Jesus is self-evidence of lacking such faith and the presence of the empowering spirit. Paul is quoting Jesus directly (Mat. 10:33) and it seems clear that those who are denied will not be living with Him for they have not died with Him.

    v.13 - In verse 11 we have acceptance and in verse 12 we have rejection so what else is there? It seems straightforward, then, from the context that we have an "in the middle." The one who is faithless has not chosen one way or the other but in spite of such individuals Jesus remains faithful. Remains faithful to what? From the context we can see that Paul means Jesus remains faithful in (1) giving life to those who accept and (2) death to those who don't. Those who have not chosen one way or the other will not sway Jesus, "for He cannot deny Himself" which is to say that His "yes" means yes and His "No" means no.

    Paul then goes on to admonish Timothy on several points (1) remind those faithful men to whom he's going to entrust the gospel that they should not "wrangle about words" (2) That he (and those he teaches, I presume) "Be dilligent to present [himself] approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed." We've already seen that his faith and the spirit are also reasons not to be ashamed. Well, you can read the rest for yourself. I think I've made my point(s) clear enough. I apologize for the length but this is the way exegesis should be done. I know I have much to learn but I think I've a strong foundation. Pax.

    By Blogger jared, at Monday, October 01, 2007 5:28:00 PM  

  • Jared,

    With all due respect, if that is the way exegesis is done, we're all in a lot of trouble. You have so clearly ignored the rewards context of chapter two and misinterpreted it due to a simple misreading of the text itself. I could provide you with a verse by verse rebuttal from 2 Timothy 1:1 through the second chapter, but, to be honest with you, I just don't feel like it because I'd be wasting my time. As is typical with Calvinists, and I have seen this over and over again, they don't stick with the tight logic of the passage, but make loose associations between things where there is no connection. I mean, how you get that works necessarily flow out of faith from Paul's instruction to Timothy in chapter 1 is simply beyond me. That which he has entrusted to Him IS his salvation, I agree, but how that necessarily results in sanctification is not even alluded to in the text!

    Well, I'm not going to get into it anymore. I'm done. It's nice talking to you and I pray God reveal His perfect truth to you in your seminary studies. God bless.

    Tom <><

    By Blogger Free Grace Guy, at Monday, October 01, 2007 7:43:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Free Grace Guy, at Monday, October 01, 2007 8:31:00 PM  

  • Ya know, on second thought I cannot allow someone who may read this blog to believe that the previous "exegesis" was what the text really meant. For the benefit of all (including Jared) here is Tom Constable's fantastic commentary on 2 Timothy 2:11-13 taken from his study notes on 2 Timothy on www.soniclight.com:

    To encourage Timothy further to endure hardship Paul cited a commonly accepted and used quotation that encouraged believers to remain faithful to their Christian profession
    (cf. 1 Tim. 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; Titus 3:8). It may have been part of a baptismal ceremony, a hymn, or a catechism. It consists of four couplets, two positive and two negative. Each one represents a condition Paul assumed for the sake of his argument to be real, not hypothetical, since each is a first class condition in the Greek text.

    "Each protasis (the 'if' clause) describes an action of a believer."

    2:11-13 The first couplet (v. 11) is a comforting reminder that since the believer died with Christ (Col. 2:20; 3:1, 3) he or she has also experienced
    resurrection with Him to newness of life (cf. Rom. 6:2-23, esp. v. 8).

    This seems to be a better interpretation than the one that views this statement as a reference to dying as a martyr. The first class condition and the aorist tense of the verb synapethanomen, translated "died," argue for the former view.

    The second couplet (v. 12a) is also a comfort. If the believer successfully endures temptations to apostatize, he or she will one day reign with Christ(cf. 1 Cor. 4:8; Rev. 3:21; 5:10). While all Christians will reign with
    Christ in the sense that we will be with Him when He reigns, the faithful will reign with Christ in a more active sense (cf. Matt. 10:33; Luke 12:9). The Bible seems to teach that there are degrees of reigning (cf. Luke 19:11-27; Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21). The idea that all Christians will remain faithful is true to neither revelation nor reality (cf. Luke 8:13; 1 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 3:12; cf. 2 Tim. 4:4).

    The third couplet (v. 12b) is a warning. If the believer departs from following Christ faithfully during his or her life (i.e., apostatizes), Christ will deny him or her at the judgment seat of Christ (Matt. 10:33; Mark 8:38; Luke 12:9; cf. Luke 19:22; Matt. 22:13). The unfaithful believer
    will not lose his salvation (1 John 5:13) or all of his reward (1 Pet. 1:4), but he will lose some of his reward (1 Cor. 3:12-15; cf. Luke 19:24-26). To deny Christ clearly does not mean to deny Him only once or twice (cf. Luke 22:54-62) but to deny Him permanently since the other three human
    conditions in the couplets are permanent.

    "Denial of Christ manifests itself in various ways in the NT. It can consist in denying his name (Rev. 3:8) or faith in him (Rev. 2:13). It can thus take the form of forsaking or repudiating the Christian faith and its truths, particularly the truth concerning Jesus. In doing so one personally
    denies Christ (and the Father, cf. 1 Jn. 2:22-23). The denial can also manifest itself in the moral realm. Some may 'profess to know God, but by their deeds deny him' (Tit.1:16; cf. 1 Tim. 5:8). "In that great 'roll call' in glory, when the 'medals' are given
    out, we will lose our reward if we disown His name."

    The fourth and final couplet (v. 13) is another comforting reminder that if the believer is unfaithful to God Christ will still remain faithful to him or her. The present tense of the Greek word translated "faithless" denotes a continuing attitude. Christ will not renege on His promises to save us (cf. 1 Cor. 1:9; 10:13; 2 Cor. 1:18-20; 1 Thess. 5:24; et al.) even though we may go back on our commitments to Him (1 John 5:13). Christ's faithfulness to us should motivate us to remain faithful to Him (cf. Luke 22:31-32; John 21:15-22).

    The point of this quotation is that Christians should continue to endure hardship and remain faithful to the Lord in view of what Jesus Christ has done and will do.

    Some interpreters believe the references to denying the Lord and being denied by himrefer to unbelievers. However, there is nothing in the CONTEXT to indicate that Paul had unbelievers in mind. On the contrary he used "we" and "us," which without further
    explanation would naturally include Paul and Timothy. In the context Paul made frequent
    references to the judgment seat of Christ (1:12, 18; 4:8). This whole epistle constitutes an
    exhortation for Christians to remain faithful to the Lord in view of that coming event.

    (All emphasis mine)

    I rest my case.

    By Blogger Free Grace Guy, at Monday, October 01, 2007 8:42:00 PM  

  • I felt led to come back and make reference to James 2:14-26. I am glad I did so because I see there has been much dialogue here that I 'missed.'

    I scanned quickly and noticed that no one brought up this text. I hope it is a good addition to this discussion. I really have no added comment I think the verses speak for themselves.


    James 2:14-26 (King James Version)
    King James Version (KJV)


    14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

    15If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

    16And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

    17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

    18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

    19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

    20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

    21Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

    22Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

    23And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

    24Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    25Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

    26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    By Blogger jacinda, at Saturday, October 13, 2007 8:47:00 AM  

  • Hi Guys
    I tried to follow what you BOTH were saying in your discussion and a lot of it is clearly over my head. I am of very common IQ I am sure though I don't even know what it is;^)

    I am very simple in my understanding...

    I would be blessed to have you both comment on this text in James.

    Would you both oblige?

    Jacinda

    By Blogger jacinda, at Saturday, October 13, 2007 12:24:00 PM  

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