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Christian - Once Saved Always Saved?

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by chris9178, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. prosecutor

    prosecutor Member

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    rmarchy, you neither understand salvation by grace nor do you understand works. The question has never been does the grace of God save us but the question to be answered is "When does the grace of God save us"? Even you have admitted that grace can only save those who believe. Are you not aware that "faith" itself is considered a "work"? (John 6:27-29) The very passage that teaches "by grace have you been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast" also teaches (next verse) "For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works......" (Ephesians 2:8-10). A person with an average intelligence can see that two types of works are taught in this text. "Works" that demand a reward (i.e. salvation is owed us for what we do) makes void the grace of God. "Works" that are the result of faithful obedience result in our receiving the grace from God that saves. What was done at the cross made possible for all of us to be saved. Yet unless we act on what was done, the cross is useless. You are very close to advocating "universal salvation". I mean by that, when Christ died on the cross that saved everybody whether they believe or not. The cross (grace) was God's part. Obedience is our part. We cannot be saved without both.
    Prosecutor
     
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  2. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    That, Prosecutor, seems to be a question that is based on a misunderstanding of grace. Sorta like the pot calling the kettle black.
     
  3. rmarchy

    rmarchy Member

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    Prosecutor, i'm not quite clear on what your saying. I said that works never issue IN our salvation. Good works will never get us saved. Good works are as filthy rags (or in the literal, as women's menstraul cloths) in God's view prior to our salvation. Good works result FROM our salvation. God is joyed when we do good works after we are saved. Faith is not a work. Of course we were created unto good works because God always wanted us to do good works. But Adam sinned therefore everyone born since Adam was a sinner with a sin nature. Adam became a sinner because he sinned, but we sin because we are born sinners.

    Religionists in general fail to recognize two things. First, that God is not glorified by His ability to bargain shrewdly with sinners, but by His infinite generosity in avalanching Grace (unmerited favor, undeserved kindness) to His enemies. Second, that the greatest motivation the Universe will ever witness is the unconditional, unretractable love from Christ at Calvary. To put it another way, at Calvary God credited your sins and mine to His Son Who had no sins, in order that He might credit His righteousness to us who had no righteousness. Peter wrote, "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18). If standing at the cross, in my mind’s eye, and seeing God the Son dying my death does not make me want to know Him better, love Him more, and serve Him faithfully, nothing will! God does not need the protection afforded Him by religion! He has never saved one person that deserved to be saved...and He never will!

    That there is a life-style that is appropriate for saved people is beyond dispute. The Pauline Epistles are full of exhortations to conduct ourselves befitting our exalted position as those whom God has saved and blessed. But the fact that those exhortations are there also proves that they are needed...that there are believers whose life-styles do not accord with the will of God for us as revealed in Scripture. This is true of all of us some of the time, and some of us all of the time.

    But the question is not, do all Christians always behave as they should? The question is, did Christ on Calvary’s cross fully satisfy the justice of God for us or must we contribute something to our salvation? Did Christ there die for all of our sins or must we suffer for some of them? Is salvation a totally free gift for us because bought and fully paid for by our Lord on His cross or is there still something that we must "ante up?"
    Protestants have proved that they can add as many things to Calvary as Rome does. How many times have you heard that men must "Repent and believe" to be saved? The Greek word rendered "repent" means to rethink. It is impossible to believe something that one didn’t believe a minute before without rethinking. These are two sides to one coin, but men read all sorts of things into repentance. Someone said that "to repent means to change your life...you must change your life!" He was giving lost people four or five things to do to be saved including changing their lives. God gives us one thing to do, believe. Believing is the only thing that you and I can do without actually doing anything. When I believe in the crosswork of Christ--His death for my sins--I stop doing anything and trust in what He has done!

    Faith is not a work. Faith is simply; believing God. It's not even believing IN God or believing ABOUT God, although that's implied obviously, but the definition of Faith in the Bible is: Taking God at His word. If God didn't say it, you can't believe it.

    As a totally lost sinner I cannot change my life and make it pleasing to God. "Those that are in the flesh cannot please God" (Romans 8:8). All change must come from God after I have been saved.
    Some believe that they are to do the best they can and that Christ’s death will make up for what they lack. Others believe that Christ’s death provided some of their salvation and that they must contribute the rest. Either way, to be partly saved would be to be completely lost. Even if Christ’s death provided 99% of a person’s salvation he would still not be saved. 99% saved is 100% lost. If Christ effected 99% of my salvation I would be lost until I contributed the remaining one percent, and then I would have become my own savior. But God will not share His glory with another, and saving people who don’t deserve to be saved is what glorifies Him in Time and Eternity.

    Men may say, Believe and be baptized... Believe and pray...Believe and turn your back on sin...Believe and give your heart to Jesus...Believe and make a commitment to God...Believe and make Christ Lord of your life...etc. God says only--Believe! While God was still dealing with Israel as a nation, water baptism was a required demonstration of one’s faith--though the water itself saved no one. There are no required demonstrations of faith in the present Dispensation of Grace--it is simply Believe (trust) and be saved!

    "Lordship salvation," the teaching that one cannot be saved without making Christ the Lord of his life, is simply a euphemism for the ancient heresy of justification by works. It is the old Trojan horse with a fresh coat of paint. It robs God of His glory by compromising His grace. I’m aware that some "Lordshippers" teach that one is not saved by "making Christ Lord," but that all saved people do instantly "make Him Lord." God and Paul address the Romans as "saints." Had the Romans "made Him Lord of their lives" at the moment of salvation? They still had not presented their bodies living sacrifices at the time God and Paul wrote them exhorting them to do so (Romans 12:1). Could He be "made Lord" without their being made "sacrifices?" God and Paul address the Corinthians as "saints." They were "carnal" and "walking as men." Had they made Him Lord in order to be saved, or because they were saved?

    Actually, Scripture nowhere enjoins us to "make Christ Lord of our lives," either to be saved, or because we have been saved. Only the Father could make the Son Lord, and He has done that (Acts 2:36). But we are exhorted to present our bodies living sacrifices, not in order to be saved but because we have been saved. We would not need this exhortation if we had done this automatically at the moment of our coming to Christ. Unless and until we do this, we are actually rejecting His reign in our hearts and lives. All the talk about His Lordship does not change this fact.

    The appeal to already saved people to present their bodies as living sacrifices is made on the basis of "the mercies of God." These mercies fill the first eleven chapters of Romans, "The Handbook of Salvation." We are to become Christ’s slaves, in a practical sense, and serve Him daily... hourly because we have already been saved gratuitously, without any cause in us (Romans 3:23-24). This is our greatest responsibility and our highest privilege!

    No, God is not on Maxwell Street striking bargains with men. We must meet Him at Calvary, where He does all the saving and we do only all the being saved!
     
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  4. rmarchy

    rmarchy Member

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    It is truly the greatest blessing of salvation to serve the Lord. Many think it is freedom from condemnation, not being banished from the presence of God for eternity. That will be heaven by the way. If you gawk or have trouble serving the Lord here now in time, then know this; that which is declared of the believer will be an eternity of service for the Lord.


    Works can be a good thing or a bad thing. When we think of works, we think of action; and that’s very truly, but it encapsulates much more then simply what we do. Let me bring up the verse you brought up. When Christ was challenged about how to perform the works of God at point blank range in John 6:28, they asked Christ after they had seen Him perform mighty works, works that pointed to Him as their long anticipated messiah, their deliverer, they asked;

    John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

    And on a number of occasions, this was put forward. People were more attracted to the mighty works, then the mighty worker Himself. And so they were impressed by the feeding of the 5000, or they were impressed by the healing of the lame man, or by the raising of the dead. But those works were spoken of by the prophets as that which the messiah would work when God brought into place their deliverer, and they were disregarded in that aspect. The mighty works were just regarded for their might and power and so men lusted for the power that Christ had, and in that way did Him a disservice. So…

    John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
    John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    Christ is laying down a fundamental principle of not only service to God, but pleasing God. Until there is belief, until there is that trust in Jesus Christ, there is no pleasing God, whether it be the faith of Abraham who believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Well what did he believe God in? He wasn’t versed in the gospel we are versed in. But he believed what God communicated to him and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Or whether you are David, Romans says that the one principal of salvation has been, and has always been that the enemies of God are delivered on to salvation by the Grace of God through faith. That is not unique to our dispensation.


    Some so-called Grace teachers make the distinctions between law and grace. They understand that God has different programs for different times as He progressively reveals His nature, because each dispensation ends in mans failure, God’s judgment, and God’s mercy. But each dispensation reveals a different aspect of God’s personality, of His character,


    (just like the many, many shadows or types of Christ in the Old Testament, ranging from people, positions, objects, and even animals, reveal His infinite character to us; He’s the bread of life born in Bethlehem [Bethlehem means literally in the House of Bread] John: 6:51; He’s the burnt offering in Lev. 1, the cornerstone of Isa. 28, the covert (shelter) – hiding place of Isa. 32:2, the door of John 10:29, the Sheperd of John 10:11, but He’s also the lamb of Rev. 5:6, the gate of Psa. 118:20, our Passover of 1 Cor. 5:7, He’s the rock of Matt 16:18, our Sabbath of Col. 2:16,17, the seed of Gen. 3:15, the temple of John 2:19, the lion of Rev. 5:5, the Author of Heb 5:9, the Bishop of 1 Pet 2:25, the merchantman of Matt 13:45, the mediator of 1 Tim 2, the King of Psa. 2:6, and the Judge of Acts 17:31, and the list goes on and on, to show us how infinite God is in His character.)


    and a different aspect of man’s failure. Example, the first dispensation which many people call Innocence, Adam and Eve in the Garden; what were its peculiarities? Well they had a perfect relationship with God. As a matter of fact they had the best Bible Teacher money can buy. In the cool of the evening, the theophony, the pre-incarnate Christ would visit them and instruct them in the things of God. They had no sin nature, sin had not entered in. So they didn’t have the battle that you and I have with the sin nature. They had free will. They had the opportunity to choose. Are they going to follow the precepts of God that they learned from His very mouth, or would they reject Him. They eventually reject Him and that ends that dispensation. Satan was present. Satan won’t always be present. The Millennial Dispensation will have a different peculiar challenge. Satan will be bound, and God will be ruling on earth from the throne in Jerusalem, Christ Himself, and yet they will still have to battle the flesh; And they lose that battle in the Millennium.


    So we have different battles we fight, but there are certain things that are present and that are static in every dispensation, and one of them is the character of God. Now there is a difference between Grace in a dispensation and the Dispensation of Grace, when grace is made manifest. Our unique position under the apostle Paul, it is in our dispensation that God’s Grace is made known, that DOESN’T mean it didn’t exist before Paul. Grace is part of God’s infinite character. It is EVER existed, before creation was, it existed. We know that because the pinnacle of Grace is the cross-work of Christ and the apostle John says in Revelation that the lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. Grace has ever existed. It wasn’t expressed until God could express it with the failing of man.

    But Grace was expressed even in the first dispensation when man failed, and God Himself who if He was simply infinite justice, which He is and ever will be, but if He exercised that justice in the garden, Adam and Eve would have been extinguished, and God would have still been God, yet God exercised Grace by slaying an innocent substitute and robe-ing them in the righteousness of another.


    Many people see law as a plan of salvation, saying we today are saved by grace, but under the Jewish administration, they were saved by keeping the law. REALLY? James says no one has kept the law. Else Paul tells us that the only one that kept the law was Jesus Christ. So then you have to believe NO ONE was saved, contrary to what scripture says.


    Look there are certain advantages that we have as Grace-age believers that the old-testament saints didn’t have. When we die, we are present with the Lord. We die and open our eyes on our beloved Lord Jesus Christ, we are in His bosom. The old-testament saint died and was sent to Hades (check the original). He was in Abraham’s bosom while he awaited; what? The old testament saints sins were only covered, atonement, they were covered, they were put away on a promissory note until Christ died and paid the penalty, paid the debt. But what did Christ do upon going down to Hades, He led captivity captive, He brought all those out of what we call Abraham’s bosom, and into His presence. The debt had been paid.


    To understand this, well… Understand the battle. Scofield wrote, and I love Scofield, but in one of his notes he wrote: the point of testing is no longer legal obedience as the condition of salvation (he was talking about how the grace believer is saved), but acceptance or rejection of Christ. Now that second phrase is completely correct, the point of salvation is acceptance or rejection of Christ, I would argue though that it has EVER been that, whether the old testament saint new Him as Christ or Yahweh or whatever. But that first point (no longer legal obedience as the condition of salvation), he has made keeping the law the way the old testament saint was saved. He disregarded Paul’s truth in Romans 4. You see because if you were saved and kept by keeping the law, David is roasting in hell at this very moment. David committed sins that weren’t covered under the Law sacrifices. Adultery wasn’t covered. You couldn’t offer any animal, bull or goat, to do away with the sin of adultery.

    Christ answers this question Himself, if you don’t like Paul, then read what Christ says in Matthew 12:3,4 about David. David ate the bread off the table in the holy place which required death. If you weren’t an officiating priest and you entered into the holy place, you were to be put to death. And Christ backs David up so to speak. Christ says well David ate the show bread, he’s not condemned. David committed murder, he lied, and committed adultery.
     
  5. rmarchy

    rmarchy Member

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    Remember salvation has always been as it is now purely a gift of God in response to faith. If Paul doesn’t make that clear in Romans 4, he goes back and takes Abraham. Abraham who predated the law and he said Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. That was some 50 years before he offered his son Isaac. Now either you have to believe that a person can be saved and lost a thousand times, or you have to disbelieve Romans 4 when Paul points out Abraham.

    But then if your’re still confused he points to David, who lived under the law and he says:

    Rom 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
    Rom 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
    Rom 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

    Don’t tell me that God doesn’t save by Grace in every dispensation. Grace is exposed in our dispensation by Paul, WHY? God takes His worst enemy on earth, A VERY RELIGIOUS MAN, Saul of Tarsus. He who has wreaked havoc on the church, who tried to destroy it, was going door to door taking husbands from wives simply because they trusted in Christ. And God comes down and saves Paul, His greatest enemy; it’s a picture of how we are all saved.


    John teaches, guess what, eternal security. If you want to point, there are a number of places in the Pauline epistles that you’ll find eternal security, but the fundamental passages, being in the FIST OF GOD. The believer is not in just the fist of God in that passage, if you read it carefully, there are two fists that are holding you; the Father and the Son, Christ, are holding you secure just like Noah’s ark. Even in Genesis there is Eternal Security. When they entered into that ark, because if you look at the Hebrew, you find out the word “kapher” that is translated pitch in the KJV is the same word for atonement elsewhere. Who shut Noah in? Did he close the door himself? God shut him in! And no matter what was happening in the outside world as God’s wrath destroyed the ungodly, the wrath didn’t touch what was in God’s ark, and it says that God was in the ark with them.

    Eternal Security is part of God’s plan in any dispensation. You cannot lose your salvation once you are saved, and God ever saves by grace through faith. The fundamental principal of service to God is found right there where Prosecutor pointed out in John 6, to perform the work of God first requires that you believe on Him who He has sent, the work of God that is performed in the believer. It cannot be performed in the unbeliever, the unregenerate man.

    1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    The knowledge of God in 1 Cor.2, is true about the works as well. There is a great contrast here between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of man. The natural man is the dead man. If you have not trusted in the finished work of the Son God for your salvation, you are dead to God, Ephesians chapter 1 and 2. You are an enemy of God, but not just that, you are an enemy of truth, of righteousness, you are a child of darkness, and you are opposed to the light. But the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God, that doesn’t simply mean that he doesn’t have an ear to listen to religion, that doesn’t mean he won’t go to church, or that he won’t even discuss theology with his saved neighbor. It means he doesn’t have the capacity for the deep things of God. The natural man doesn’t have the Holy Spirit residing in him, the “antennae” of God. That which teaches us, tutors us in the deep things of God as we take in His Word and put it into our soul. They are foolishness to him, now you have how the natural man views Him.

    Do you know how foolish it must have seemed to the Israelite, breaking out in boils, whose skin was turning red with a rash and he had a fever, and was near death, to hear the words of Moses? I fashioned a brazen serpent and put it on our banner staff. If you look at it, you will live, healed, cured, but you HAVE to look, JUST LOOK. That foolishness, God Himself became a man, because only God could pay the debt that was required of man. He imputed sin to Himself, and God died on a cross, in the person of Jesus Christ. That which could die of God is humanity, and all you need to do is look to live. They are foolishness to man. Neither can he know them, there’s no capacity because those things are spiritually discerned.

    1Co 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
    1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

    Don’t stop there, keep reading. Chapter 3 brings up another category and that is, the believer who acts as an unbeliever, who thinks as an unbeliever.

    Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

    See these believers were babes in Christ, but they were acting like the unregenerate, like the enemy, like people who couldn’t receive truth.


    1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

    1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

    This isn’t a compassionate passage. It’s an embarrassment. They were adults, in our day it would be the equivalent of an adult taking a baby’s bottle, even worse, there were no bottles of milk with a pacifier thingy on there, so you can draw the picture out J


    That’s the suggestion here, they were not able to bear it. After the teaching of the apostle Paul, you think that having Paul as a teacher would be precious, oh it would be. How about the disciples, they had Christ as their teacher, and yet they were ignorant of the very things He taught them for 3 ½ years. He says to them as they were walking to Jerusalem, they’re going to take me, beat me, ridicule me, spit on me, pluck my beard out, and put me on a cross, but in 3 days I’ll rise again. THEY DIDN’T GET IT. They were arguing about who was going to have a closer seat to Him in the Kingdom.
     
  6. true blood

    true blood Active Member

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    Can you give some examples of "sin"? If I go to work on Sunday, or Saturday if I'm jewish, am I in "sin"? Do I need saved again each week that I work some overtime? The only laws I'm aware of is my local city, state and federal laws. The only spiritual laws that exist is to believe Christ rose from the dead and to treat (love) others the way Christ does.
     
  7. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Prosecutor,

    I have only one word for your post: AWESOME! BRILLIANT! INSIGHTFUL! (Okay, three words.) I believe you hit the nail on the head. Your explanation was perfect. :)

    I'd just like to add a couple of thoughts of my own. First of all, I find it strange the extent to which people ignore the fact that the words "faith" and "faithfulness" are intrinsically related. It is impossible for a person to truly have faith in Christ without being faithful to Christ. When James said, "Faith without works is dead," this is all he was saying -- that faith without faithfulness is not faith at all, and isn't going to save anyone.

    People also speak of Christ's grace as a "gift" -- which, of course, it is. But, as you have pointed out, we need to do our part in order to receive that "gift." This in no way makes it any less of a gift. Christ is not obligated to give it to us under any circumstances. The fact that He does so willingly and voluntarily is what makes His grace a gift. When we, as ordinary human beings, give gifts (at Christmas, for instance), we give them to those with whom we have a close, loving relationship. We don't expect them to reciprocate; we just give because it feels good to give. But the fact that we don't give gifts to everyone we know, doesn't minimize the worth of the gifts we do give.

    Kathryn
     
  8. prosecutor

    prosecutor Member

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    Katzpur, thanks for the ("Okay, three words").

    true blood, what have you been reading from? The New Testament is filled with "spiritual laws." Take for example "church attendance". (your brought the subject up) To those who "abandon the assembling together", such is the meaning here and not the missing of assemblies because of work, sickness, or other possible reasons, the Hebrew writer followed by saying, "if we sin wilfully.....(Hebrews 10:24-26) To abandon God's people is a sin. The same Greek word translated here "forsake" (v.25) is also used in 2 Timothy 4:10 were Demas had "forsaken Paul." If such is not a sin, why did the Hebrew writer say it was?

    Prosecutor
     
  9. true blood

    true blood Active Member

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    "Faith without works is dead" is better said "Faith without action is dead" this is why a verbal confession is required for the new birth to take effect, it's not based on attending a church in a building built by hands. Believing in one's heart (faith) and confessing with one's mouth (work, action) and one receives sonship in the household of God. You are saying that we can buy our sonship by doing good things or must mature to keep it. It sounds really nice but that is not by grace but by works (the kind you are suggesting) lest any man should boast. However, if and when we do sin, all a son has to ask for is forgiveness and it shall be done. It comes down to a christian's birth and growth. Some babies in christ never mature for several reasons. They may never have been taught or never have learned any more than how to be born into the family or they may have even rejected the plan of development which must be carried out if they are to spiritually mature. The so-called "church attendance" can even retard a growth. It's not like spiritual maturity just happens spontaneously as a simple act of God. It basicly remains in our hands. And the facts are that we have done nothing to obtain what we have as sons of God. It is clearly all the work that God did through Christ. That seems to be the foundation. God in Christ did the work of giving us salvation and sonship rights and after spirtual birth with its inherent potential power we must follow God's plan if one is to out grow the Christian "baby stage". Why do you believe one is kicked out of the family for not maturing spiritually? That makes zero sense. In the human family, a baby matures step by step, day by day. But in God's family it takes more than just time for a baby to mature and many never do but they are still family members. We probably both agree that by staying in fellowship (not sinning) and by worshipping God in the spirit is the key to progressing beyond the early self-focused stage. Eventually a spiritually matured Christian will get to the point of accepting his or her responsibility which simply stated is to bear witness to the greatness of God and His Word unto those who do not know. The decision is to accept or reject birth and growth in the family.

    Romans 10:9,10: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine hearth that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the hearth man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation"

    When this is done one has eternal life abiding within. It's the miracle of conversion, the new birth, a miracle of God where a man or woman becomes a new creation in Him.

    Ephesians 2:8,9:"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast"

    Ephesians 4:7:"But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ"

    All born again believers have the same righteousness, the same amount of faith and the same perfection before God. However the spiritual maturity level is a growing process. No one will lose their salvation for not maturing spiritually.

    I can go on and on about once saved always saved because I have the Word on my side. There has been no proof, no doctrine, no scripture from His Word that suggest we lose salvation at any time. I think the disagree comes from the responsibility aspect. Who wants more responsibility anyways? Who wants to renew their minds? Change their thinking patterns? And with 2500 plus denominations, who shall we listen to in order to accomplish the renewing of our minds? Philippians 4:8: says it best that whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if their be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    I doubt Christ wants Christians to tell immature Christians that unless they spiritually mature they risk being unsaved. Are you trying to bribe people? It's probably better to encourage and be honest. And where do you get the "cross" having anything to do with salvation? The scriptures states that for a man to believe with his hearth that God raised Jesus from the dead is believing unto righteousness and only after a person believes unto righteousness is it possible to confess Jesus as Lord. In this confession lies the salvation that a man or woman receives because he believes. Believing Christ died on the cross does not bring anyone salvation but believing in the resurrection from the dead, God imparts righteousness and then confessing Christ Jesus as Lord brings salvation.
     
  10. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I have never been able to understand why so many people refer to "being saved" in the present tense in the first place. Where does the Word incorporate this usage anyway? We have a promise of salvation when we first enter into a covenant relationship with our Savior, but the promise is contingent upon our faithfulness, as explained by both Matthew and Mark:

    Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (See also Mark 13:13)

    Perhaps you could explain how we can lose something we don't even obtain until "the end" and then only if we've proven faithful.


     
  11. true blood

    true blood Active Member

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    I believe you are quoting Jesus when he is talking to the twelve disciples prior to the day of Pentacost, the day the "new birth" became available. He's not addressing any of us.
     
  12. prosecutor

    prosecutor Member

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    true blood, are you saying any statement made by Jesus prior to Pentacost, "the day the 'new birth' became avaliable", does not apply to any of us?
    Prosecutor
     
  13. true blood

    true blood Active Member

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    If not all then for sure most, ya, Jesus himself stated he was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. Do you think he was addressing Gentiles? The wall of partition had not been torn. Also, before or as he was ascending up into the heavens he said the Father would send a comforter, and this comforter shall they listen to. In reply to Katzpur suggestion that all men hate us just isn't true. Jesus was clearly addressing his party, preparing his disciples, he spent alot of time doing that.
     
  14. prosecutor

    prosecutor Member

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    true blood, "most of what Jesus said applies to all of us." When speaking to His disciples (apostles) about the coming of the Holy Spirit, He noted that the Holy Spirit would "teach them all things and bring to their remembrance all that He said unto them" (John 14:26) Why bring up what was spoken personally to His apostles if such had nothing to do in what they taught others? The Sermon from the mount (Matthew 5-7) is dealing with those qualities expected of those who would make up His spiritual Kingdom that was established on the first Pentacost after His resurrection.(Acts 2) When you say that "most of what Jesus said does not apply to us today", you "do err and know not the truth". (I can't say "ignorance" because I might lose another point.)
    Prosecutor
     
  15. rmarchy

    rmarchy Member

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    Prosecutor, no offence, but you're getting things confused a bit.
    Your are not seeing that God prophecised an EARTHLY Kingdom, not a spiritual one. There's 2 distinctions in the Bible, an unprophesized heavenly sphere for the Body of Christ, and for the Jews and their prophesized EARTHLY Kingdom, right here on earth.

    God has given instructions for reading and studying His Word in the Bible itself, and when we follow those instructions, all the imagined contradictions disappear, the fog of confusion lifts, and we see the way that leads to understanding and enjoyment of this precious gift from God-perhaps for the first time in our lives.


    The most basic rule God gives regarding the study of His Word is found in II Tim. 2:15: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." According to this verse, meaningful Bible study requires that we "rightly divide" it. But what does that mean? How do we "rightly divide" the Bible so that we can read and study and apply it to our lives intelligently in the way God intended? Let's see "rightly dividing" in action by looking at two messages, one by the Apostle Peter and the other by the Apostle Paul. Read along in your Bible and note the following things Peter preached in Acts.

    "Ye men of Israel . . . those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets… when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began . . . Ye are the children of the prophets . . . in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed." (Acts 3:1ff)

    While there are many things to learn from this passage, three points stand out. First, note that Peter (and the 11) addressed himself to the men of Israel, the Jews. The other nations came into the picture only in a secondary sense through Israel. Second, note that he went out of his way to stress that what he referred to was something they should have known about because God had revealed it through His prophets "since the world began". And third, note that he connected his message to the earth. Jesus was then in heaven only until Israel accepted Him as Messiah, at which time He would return to earth and usher in the "times of refreshing" for the world. Therefore, Peter spoke of a divinely originated purpose that involved the earth, a divinely originated program revealed since the beginning of the world, and a divinely originated people, the nation of Israel.

    Now read along in your Bible and note what Paul preached in Ephesians many years later:

    "For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery…Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit…that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ…the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God…that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God…" (Eph. 3:1ff).

    Comparing this with Peter's, it is startling to see that they are stated in similar but very contrasting terms. Note first that Paul addressed all men without regard for nationality, especially Gentiles. Second, note that he went out of his way to stress the fact that his message had been kept secret ("mystery" simply means secret) and had not been revealed before. Instead, it had been hid in God's heart (not the Old Testament) until God made it known to Paul through direct revelation. Third, note that his message involves the heavenly sphere and its ruling government there. Therefore, just as forcefully as Peter proclaimed a message that had to do with God's prophetic program for fulfilling His earthly purpose through His nation Israel, Paul proclaimed a message that had to do with God's mystery (secret) program for fulfilling His heavenly purpose through His Church, the Body of Christ.

    This is the starting point of "rightly dividing" the Bible; the dotted line we follow to cut straight the fabric of God's Word. Doing this, we place each passage in its proper context by making the same distinctions Peter and Paul made between the purposes of God (one for the earth and one for heaven), the programs of God (one revealed in prophecy and one kept secret until Paul), and the peoples of God (Israel and the Church), which work together unto the ultimate goal of displaying God's glory perfectly throughout the universe. With Israel's rejection of Jesus Christ, her Messiah, 2000 years ago, God stopped His prophetic clock, postponing for a 'time' the fulfillment of His purpose for the earth and, in a surprise move, started a new, secret program by which He would re-establish the heavenlies unto His glory through the Church. Therefore, we "rightly divide" the Bible when we recognize that Paul's Epistles consist of previously unrevealed truth that has to do with His purpose for the heavenlies and the Church, which pertain directly to us today. Start at Romans, study Paul's Epistles and view the whole Bible through the lens of his teachings. Then see if the Bible does not open up to display what God is really doing today, bringing satisfying joy to all who partake in that!
     
  16. rmarchy

    rmarchy Member

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  17. Snowbear

    Snowbear Nita Okhata

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    My understanding (not complete, I'm sure :confused: ) is that all I'm required to do to receive that gift is to accept it. Is more (the doing works part) required for salvation... or does that come later if my faith grows? (i.e. right now, I don't have the Faith to move a molehill with a shovel, much less that of a mustard seed needed to move a mountain just by asking :()
     
  18. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    I agree with Snowbear. It there are requirements for a promise of reward, the "gift" becomes compensation, wages, for your effort or your accepting a contract for future effort.
     
  19. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Which seems to indicate that Christianity could be described as being 'a binding contract between the Christian and God.'
     
  20. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    I understand the New Testament to be the new covenant. But contracts can be broken. If you are Christian, wouldn't you say the Old Testament covenant was broken?
     
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