[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)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Is faith in Jesus of Nazareth saving faith?

by Antonio da Rosa

What I find difficult in the arbitrary distinctions of what would be trivial and what would be fatal in discussing the ontology of Christ in relation to saving faith is that the answers we hear are purely speculative. There is not one really scripturally sound objective answer coming from people. If someone has to believe that Jesus is God in order to be saved, exactly what would be the minimum information necessary to assent to in order to fulfill this condition? If you were to give me an answer, I could show you how slippery a slope such a consideration could become.

It would be no hard task to make a strong case that the disciples themselves, even after years of being with Jesus of Nazareth, did not grasp his divinity, and understood Him to be a man, though with exceptional power from God, who was ordained by God and appointed to be the Christ.

Let me ask a couple of questions and set them up.

Let us say that someone has these beliefs:

1) The Bible is the Word of God, with verbal and plenary inspiration.

2) The Bible is true.

3) Believes everything he reads in the Bible, convinced that it is true. These beliefs of his are based upon his interpretations of the Bible (everyone interprets the Bible as they read it!)

4) After reading the whole New Testament, this man does not believe (was not persuaded or convinced) that Jesus of Nazareth, whom the New Testament refers to over and over again, is God, but that Jesus was the most important prophet of God, was the Messiah, of the line of David and Tribe of Judah, King of Israel.

Then this man reads in the gospel of John where Jesus says that the believer in Him will never perish but have life and guaranteed resurrection and believes Jesus of Nazareth's words. This man reads John 6:47 and believes that by simple faith in Jesus that he has everlasting life. This man entrusts his eternal destiny into the hands of the one he finds authorized of God to guarantee his eternal destiny, namely, Jesus of Nazareth.

This man is not convinced that Jesus of Nazareth is God. He believes that Jesus has been authorized by God, annointed of God, to be the Messiah and the Guarantor of eternal life to all who simply trust in Him for it.

Why has he not placed his faith in Jesus of Nazareth? And if he has, why isn't he saved?

Philip believed that Jesus was the Christ, and as we know from 1 John 5:1, everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. This is how he described Jesus to Nathanael:

"We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote -- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."

Did Philip not understand Jesus to be the fruit of Joseph's loins? Jesus was introduced as a mere man who had a biological father! But Philip understood Jesus to be the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior of the World (c.f. Jn 4:42 M.T.), and remember: "whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God" (1 Jn 5:1)!

The person who we were just talking about has a great misconception about Jesus, that Jesus was merely a man who was the greatest of prophets, yet nevertheless, the annointed of God, who has been given authority and is authorized to give eternal life to all who believe in Him. In other words, God endued Jesus with power and authority and acts on behalf of God.

How can you say that this man is believing in a different Jesus or a different god when he simply has a misunderstanding and misconception about Him?

It is manifestly illogical to claim such.

The only genuine positions one may have of this scenario are:

1) The man is saved, having fully entrusted his eternal destiny to God's Christ.
2) The man is unsaved because, although he believed in Jesus of Nazareth for eternal life, he did not fulfill another co-condition of receiving everlasting life, namely assent to the orthodox doctrine that Jesus is God, therefore misses heaven by a doctrinal stipulation.

It cannot be that he has believed in anyone else but Jesus of Nazareth! You have to grapple with this. The only logical and genuine position you could have is that one MUST believe that Jesus is God in addition to trust in Him. But then it wouldn't be simple faith alone in Jesus alone but faith in Jesus plus faith in doctrine (as true and important as it is!). You cannot state that this man has believed into anyone else other than the true bona-fide Jesus of Nazareth spoken of in the Bible!

When I read through the Acts of the Apostles, I am struck by the fact that those who have some of their sermons contained therein do not emphasize the deity of Christ when they preached. For instance, Peter could say, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus both Lord and Christ" (Acts 3:36). This is the Lordship of Jesus that was granted unto Him by God, not the Lordship of Jesus by virtue of His divinity. God appointed Jesus to be Lord and the annointed King.

"Jesus of Nazareth" is emphasized 7 times in the book of Acts.

Here is another example:

Acts 10:38, 42-43
... how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him... And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins."

If someone believes that Jesus of Nazareth is sufficiently authorized by God to guarantee eternal life to the believer, why is it that it is said that one must also understand that Jesus is God in order to identify Him?

Does Peter fail in sufficiently identifying and referring to Jesus of Nazareth to his audience?

Antonio

22 Comments:

  • Hi Antonio

    Excellent post, and I'm sure Matthew would agree!!!

    one drink from the Christ
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, January 24, 2008 4:00:00 PM  

  • To believe Jesus is the Messiah, the King of Israel - is to believe He is God. Only God can be the Messiah. Only God can be the King of Israel.

    Isa 44:6 -
    "Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: 'I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.

    Pretty plain to see, isn't it?

    In Christ,

    JL

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at Thursday, January 24, 2008 5:39:00 PM  

  • Antonio said:

    "Acts 10:38, 42-43
    ... how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him... And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins."

    If someone believes that Jesus of Nazareth is sufficiently authorized by God to guarantee eternal life to the believer, why is it that it is said that one must also understand that Jesus is God in order to identify Him?

    Does Peter fail in sufficiently identifying and referring to Jesus of Nazareth to his audience?"


    Peter identifies Jesus as the Judge - of the living and the dead. Again, this can only reference God.

    Isaiah 33
    20 Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts; Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet home, A tabernacle that will not be taken down; Not one of its stakes will ever be removed, Nor will any of its cords be broken. 21 But there the majestic Lord will be for us A place of broad rivers and streams, In which no galley with oars will sail, Nor majestic ships pass by 22 (For the Lord is our Judge, The Lord is our Lawgiver, The Lord is our King; He will save us);

    Lord, Judge, Lawgiver, King, Savior.......... all God and only God.

    In Christ,

    JL

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at Thursday, January 24, 2008 6:10:00 PM  

  • Jon,

    Your logic is flawed. It can be logically demonstrated that someone can beleive that Jesus is the Messiah, the King of Israel, and deny that He is God. Belief that Jesus is the Messiah and the King of Israel does not necessarily lead one to believe that Jesus is God.

    And Jon, why is it you will twist scripture and import understandings to bolster your theology.

    Peter is clear. He distinguishes God and Jesus! He says that "God annointed Jesus of Nazareth". If Peter was emphasizing Jesus of Nazareth's deity, he would have phrased much differently. Jesus, as God, has infinite power. But it is said that God annointed Jesus of Nazareth with power and the Holy Spirit.

    You disregard context and language all to justify your new universalistic soteriology that can have someone trusting completely in his works for salvation yet make it into heaven by assenting to your mini-creed on the deity of Christ. What exactly must one believe about Jesus' deity in order to be saved? It is not as simple as you think for someone to come to the conclusion that Jesus is God when so many texts distinguish Him from God. One must de facto believe in the trinity, therefore, to be saved.

    The text says that Jesus of Nazareth was "ordained by God" to be judge. Peter is obviously NOT emphasizing the deity of Christ. He is emphasizing how Jesus of Nazareth was authorized and appointed to be the Christ, appointed to be the judge.

    And saying that things can only reference God, there may be a good argument for some of them. Yet nowhere is it disclosed that someone has to come to that theologically astute conclusion before he receives everlasting life!

    The president of the United States HAS to be a citizen of the US BORN here. I can trust President George W. Bush for something unaware of the aforementioned fact. It does not necessarily follow that to trust in the President that I have to know the things that make him the president!

    Simple faith in Jesus of Nazareth saves, my friend, whether you understand Him as God or not. Otherwise all of the evangelistic texts would be falsified.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, January 24, 2008 7:01:00 PM  

  • Antonio -

    Why is it that when someone disagrees with you, or should I say Zane, that their logic is flawed.

    It would be just as easy to say your logic is flawed since it can be logically demonstrated that someone cannot believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the King of Israel, and deny that He is God.

    Can you submit one area of theology that you differ from Zane Hodges on? I didn't think so. Follow God, not man.

    In Christ,

    JL

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at Thursday, January 24, 2008 7:36:00 PM  

  • Well argued, Antonio.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, January 25, 2008 12:18:00 AM  

  • Jon, unless Antonio has changed his mind recently, he holds a different view of election from Zane Hodges.

    I am sure Antonio won't mind correcting me if that is not the case.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, January 25, 2008 12:20:00 AM  

  • Antonio I find your reasoning valid as well as your questions. I think your article here deserves a full response and much more than I can offer at the moment and likely much better than I could offer at all. I hope you won’t mind if I limit my response to a question on one point I find critical in your reply to Jon.

    You wrote:

    ”Yet nowhere is it disclosed that someone has to come to that theologically astute conclusion before he receives everlasting life!”

    Do you consider the spirit birth consequential to reason or to revelation?

    If by reason then I would have to agree it would be impossible to come to the knowledge of God in Christ but isn’t it the work of the Holy Spirit in our generation to reveal the Truth in us?

    By Blogger Kc, at Friday, January 25, 2008 3:09:00 AM  

  • kc -

    Beautifully stated!

    1Co 12:3 -
    Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at Friday, January 25, 2008 11:18:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Only Look, at Friday, January 25, 2008 1:18:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    Why dont you admit that you and Matthew are wrong here and some of your free grace brethren are correct and holding you accountable and change your mind. This doesnt mean you have to yeild up ground to MacArthur or some of the other Lordshippers, but it does mean that you have an opportunity here to let go and unwind some of that tension that you are pulling your brethren in and stop sending them in a direction that is going to damage the faith of others. You are indeed following men and it is unhealthy, but if you change your mind then you can have peace with some of these guys and be of a sound mind and agreement, but until then you are divided and trying to unite under two differant flags and a house divided against itself cannot stand. The gospel message is one message and you cannot claim to have unity and be sending a divided message. Your not really refuting the Lordship camp, you are actually help fuel them so that they can say, "I told you so", but they are wrong in some other areas.

    I hope you consider and get back into the Bible alone desiring the sincere milk of the word and not books. It may be good to go on a book fast and just read the bible for a while. Maybe step back and take a blog fast for about a month and just read through Genesis to Revelation and talk to God asking Him to help in every area. This is what I have to do. We are all human and Satan is very subtle at tricking us and consider that even you can get tricked as I have been in the past in some areas. That is why we need to get back under the feet of our good Shepherd and out from under the feet of our gurus at times. Truth is....you are off track here. Get into the word alone for a while. Hodges, Spurgeon, Luther and Calvin are all just dudes that needed God like we do.

    By Blogger Only Look, at Friday, January 25, 2008 1:22:00 PM  

  • Brian, if we are wrong, show us how.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, January 25, 2008 1:39:00 PM  

  • Bro. Antonio,

    You asked me to chime in brother, & here I am with bells on! (OK, enough of the PUN-ishing attempt at humor!)
    Seriously, I have said & still say that I do not necessarily see a problem with someone truly being ignorant of Jesus' deity at the point of their initial faith into Him (I like the way you put that, BTW). But, I do see a problem with someone being faced with His deity, & then flatly denying it, & still being saved, at the point of their so-called conversion. There is a large difference the way I see it between these 2 scenarios.
    As to your example of the person who says they believe the Bible & all in it to be true, but then does NOT believe that Jesus is God, seems to me to be illogical, or at least contradictory. There is quite a bit of clear teaching in the Bible that Jesus of Nazareth is God. Hebrews 1:8-9 comoes to mind right off the bat. Of course, there are others, such as some places in the Gospel of John where the Jews actually say that He being a Man (the way they saw it, that He was a mere man) making Himself out to be God. They knew very well He was claiming to be God. His "I Am" statements alone prove that in my estimation. So if this hypothetical man says he has read the Bible & believes everything in it, then he will also believe that Jesus is God, because Thomas calls Him so in 20:24-29. Yes, it took awhile for Thomas to see this, but He did.
    Another problem I see (& I could be wrong, I know) is that the slippery slope is not in having too much information about the Biblical Christ, but trying on purpose to give too little, & then confusing poorly grounded believers, & even unbelievers by saying such things as the Mormon "Jesus" & the Biblical One could be the same. Once anyone knows anything about the Mormon one, they know that he is definitely NOT the Biblical Jesus. Bro. Antonio, you are my brother in Christ, & I genuinely believe you are light years ahead of me in understnading & learning, but I respectfully disagree with you on this my brother. Thanks for letting me air this out, though. May the Lord bless you all.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Friday, January 25, 2008 4:30:00 PM  

  • Also...the thing Thomas had such a hard time believing was the finished work of Christ. Unless he saw the nails he would not believe. Matthew you always make the case that when we take God at his word we are blessed even greater as Jesus said to Thomas who was just coming into the understanding of the whole fulcrum of eternity. How can you guys revert back to everything Christ worked into us all the way up to this generation and refine it to a point that even doubting Thomas will be able to get an edge over the verse Jesus made claim to in saying we are more blessed today for taking God at His word. It was the fact of the death burial and ressuretion of our Lord and it is at that point that Thomas understood fully His deity. Jesus had worked hard at refining this knowledge into the hearts and minds of His disciples who would boldly preach and teach the whole story to the rest of the world who would either receive or reject the record of our dear Saviour.

    Matthew I have read you more than once claiming that text where Jesus speaks to Thomas and by your own arguments you are now denying the authentic truth that Jesus made.

    Think about it Matthew.

    I cannot show you in my strength, but I can point you to the text you know well and prove that by its sound truth, that you and Antonio are quite wrong. All I have to do is take God's word by what He said to Thomas after he rose from the dead.

    By Blogger Only Look, at Friday, January 25, 2008 8:34:00 PM  

  • Brian, what does the icident with Thomas have to do with receiving eternal life.

    It is true that I have referred to that incident before to explain the nature of faith, but the issue there is not the content of that faith, but how it was exercised.

    We have faith for many things; we have faith in the truth of the Bible, in the truth of the resurrection and faith that God will answer prayer.

    However, those things are not saving faith. That is trust in Jesus Christ for the gift of eternal life.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, January 26, 2008 2:33:00 AM  

  • Because in God's patience and in that dispensation that Thomas was transitioning from he was being led to see what the object of our faith was. He was leading Thomas to see with his eyes and we are now told that we have an even more sure word than that in the written word of God. Peter says so. Man can either receive or reject this. This was the whole point and the death, burial and ressurection is the doorway we walk through in receiving eternal life...it is ludicrous to say that we can bypass that which Thomas had to see. They were living on credit and were coming to the light of eternal life and passing through the doorway as Jesus walked them through it. We are now told to either enter or not enter. There can be no eternal life without the death and resurrection of our Lord. Jesus calls us to enter in where He gained eternal life for us. How can you say there is some other way to meet him?

    All of this was written John says...so that we will believe and in believing have life through his name. Jesus is the refiner. Not Zane Hodges. His death, burial and resurrection refined into being the eternal life which we must receive on His terms and through HIs work alone. To say that we can refine what He has said and done into something else or somewhere else is gross error and will send someone down the wrong road and into the doubts and skepticisms that Thomas was tempted with and Jesus called him not to doubt but believe. It is a way that seemeth right but will end in destruction.

    He calls us not to doubt but to believe. What you all are doing in calling this a refined postion is taking the work and working it backwards somehow through the lens of Thomas' doubts and enlightening this as being true faith and true refinement.

    It is cleary error. I dont know what else to say in order to somehow persuade you. In truth only God can do this.

    By Blogger Only Look, at Saturday, January 26, 2008 3:01:00 PM  

  • Brian, do you think Thomas was unregenerate until His encounter with the risen Lord?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, January 27, 2008 1:12:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    I have yet to get your comment on this post.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, January 29, 2008 2:38:00 PM  

  • Hi Antonio.
    OK, I read your post and I grappled with it.

    The person who we were just talking about has a great misconception about Jesus, that Jesus was merely a man who was the greatest of prophets, yet nevertheless, the annointed of God, who has been given authority and is authorized to give eternal life to all who believe in Him. In other words, God endued Jesus with power and authority and acts on behalf of God.

    The only genuine positions one may have of this scenario are:

    1) The man is saved, having fully entrusted his eternal destiny to God's Christ.
    2) The man is unsaved because, although he believed in Jesus of Nazareth for eternal life, he did not fulfill another co-condition of receiving everlasting life, namely assent to the orthodox doctrine that Jesus is God, therefore misses heaven by a doctrinal stipulation.


    The other option is that he hasn't received Jesus with who(m) comes the gift of eternal life.

    You have to grapple with the fact that Jesus is more than just a name. How can I say that someone can reject Jesus and yet receive His gift all at the same time?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, January 30, 2008 8:58:00 AM  

  • ... discussing the ontology of Christ in relation to saving faith.... There is not one really scripturally sound objective answer coming from people.

    John 1:12 (received HIM)
    John 4:10 (WHO it is)
    John 17:3 (KNOWING Jesus Christ)
    1 John 5:20 (KNOWING HIM and being IN HIM, the true GOD, IS ETERNAL LIFE)

    This seems like it is describing a faith that is not trusting in His name while rejecting Him as He truly is.

    Antonio,
    Can you give me a Scriptural example of someone who, after the full revelation of God the Son (like in the time of the book of acts - this dispensation) denies things that the apostles taught about the Lord, yet they were somehow counted as converts?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, January 30, 2008 9:10:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    Jesus never says, "Believe that I am God." Never. He says "believe in Me" which is trusting in Him as the authorized agent of God, the Christ of God.

    You write:
    ----------
    You have to grapple with the fact that Jesus is more than just a name. How can I say that someone can reject Jesus and yet receive His gift all at the same time?
    ----------
    This person has entrusted his eternal destiny to Jesus of Nazareth. He believes that He is God's Christ, the Savior of the world, whom God has made both Lord and Christ, annointed of God with power and the Holy Spirit, ordained by God to be judge. He believes that he has everlasting life by faith in Jesus, the one authorized by God to guarantee everlasting life to the believer.

    How does someone "receive" Jesus, Rose? They do so by "believing in His name" (Jn 1:12). They are trusting in the authority of Jesus! They don't have to believe that He is God to believe that He has authority from God. Peter and Paul present Jesus, distinguished from God, and receiving authority, power, and appointment from God.

    "revieving" is passive. Just think about revcieving a blow. Was the action on your part? No. It was passive on your part.

    One passively receives Jesus when they believe in Him.

    One is not rejecting Jesus when they trust in Him for what He is asking them to trust in Him for.

    Men and women do not have to go through a theology class and take tests to make sure they have their orthodox doctrine down.

    If someone trusts in Jesus for everlasting life, they have the right thing in the right person, regardless if they have varied misconceptions.

    They have been persuaded that Jesus is trustworthy, appointed by God to be the Savior, so they trust in Him for it.

    These people are not convinced that Jesus is God. Thomas wasn't even convinced that Jesus was God until after the resurrection, and he was with Jesus for years!

    Jesus is more than just a name. He is the one who represents God. He is the one who was "made" Lord and Christ. He is the one "appointed" by God. He is the one "ordained" by God. He is the one "annointed" of God.

    These are true statements about Jesus of Nazareth.

    1) Why are these not sufficient identifiers of Jesus? Why are not they suficient to understand who Jesus is? If you believe that about Jesus, you understand who he is enough to trust Him for everlasting life!

    2) You say that someone rejects Jesus. Where does Jesus say, "I am God. You must believe this or you go to hell."?

    3) Show me somewhere where someone believed that Jesus was God other than Thomas who was ALREADY saved, because he already believed that Jesus was the Christ, and we know that whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God (1 Jn 5:1).

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, January 30, 2008 1:40:00 PM  

  • Rose, you write:
    ----------
    John 1:12 (received HIM)
    ----------
    What are you trying to say receiving Him means? Recieving Jesus is recieving eternal life, because Jesus IS eternal life.

    And how does one receive Jesus? Remember, receiving is a PASSIVE action. When someone punches you in the face, you receive a blow? What did you do? Nothing. It was passive!

    In John 1:12, it is manifestly shown that receiving Jesus is the result of "believ[ing] in His name".

    What is recieving Jesus in your mind? please elaborate.

    Rose continues:
    ---------
    John 4:10 (WHO it is)
    ---------
    Who is Jesus, Rose?

    He is the Christ of God. What does "Christ" mean? Annointed. Jesus is the annointed of God. That is who He is.

    How was He described in this dispensation by the preachers in the book of Acts? Let us look at a couple of examples:

    "...God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36)

    "... the God of Abraham... glorified His servant Jesus" (Acts 3:13)

    "... God annointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good, ... for God was with Him" (Acts 10:38)

    "And He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness, that through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins" (Acts 10:42-43)

    "From this man's [David's] see, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior -- Jesus" (Acts 13:23)

    "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things..." (Acts 13:38).

    I could go on.

    How is it if I believe that Jesus is:

    1) the one God made Lord and Christ
    2) the Servant of God
    3) the one annointed of God with power and the Holy Spirit
    4) the one who God was with
    5) the one who was ordained by God to be judge
    6) David's seed who was raised up by God to be Savior
    7) the Man through whom faith in Him brings justification

    That I am not believing who Jesus is?

    Are you requiring that someone knows everything about Jesus before they can know who He is? Those 7 things (which are by no means exhaustive) ARE WHO JESUS IS.

    Maybe you need to require a semester of Christology for the potential convert before he can be persuaded that Jesus is authorized of God to impart everlasting life to the believer in Him for it.

    Rose continues:
    ----------
    John 17:3 (KNOWING Jesus Christ)
    ----------
    Bobby Grow once used this verse to try to object to my position. Here was my answer to him:

    (Begin me:)
    ----------
    Bobby, you are making a grave mistake in your assessment of John 17:3, for you are confusing the result with the condition.

    In verse 2 we have the Son dispensing eternal life, in verse 3 we have the description of what eternal life is.

    And this IS eternal life (not "And this is how one receives eternal life"), in order that they may know you, the only true God, and the one whom You sent, Jesus Christ.

    The result of the reception of eternal life is a true beginning, starting place, of the knowledge of God the Father, and of Jesus Christ. It is the inception, the genesis of a relationship.

    "know" is a polymorphous word and thus can be used in a variety of nuances. I can say "I know my teacher but I just don't know him" and it would be legetimate. Eternal life is the beginning of knowledge of the Father and Jesus that should be built upon.

    Eternal life is not a static entity, but is an experience that should be grown, which has great potentials.

    But again, you confuse a result with a condition, which is unfortunate.

    For all those who take a "more knowledge necessary" view, saying one must know a multitude of facts concerning the ontological nature of Christ and other Christological facts, you have yet to precisely enumerate them for us in a statement.

    Just EXACTLY what needs to be believed in order to be saved, and where does the bible support your answer?

    Antonio
    ----------
    Needless to say, it has taken you years to have your current astute conception of Jesus Christ. When one is born again, he may only know that Jesus is the authorized of God to give everlasting life to the believer. But his exercise of faith brings him into the genesis of a relationship with Christ and God. It is the starting point where he will learn about them. He know has the Holy Spirit, and through time, prayer, and study of the word, he will grow in his knowlege of Christ.

    Rose concludes:
    ----------
    1 John 5:20 (KNOWING HIM and being IN HIM, the true GOD, IS ETERNAL LIFE)
    ----------
    Yeah, Rose. Once someone believes in Jesus, He has eternal life, and God has given us the Holy Spirit so as to enable us to know Him, in the intimate sense that John has been describing throughout his epistle, to those who are already born again.

    Don't put the cart before the horse. This capacity for understanding and increased knowledge of God comes as a result of receiving everlasting life by simply believing in Jesus.

    I have been thorough and straightforward.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, January 30, 2008 2:11:00 PM  

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