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Featured Is "salvation" possible under the Law?

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by CG Didymus, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Many Christians present Jesus as the "only" way to get into heaven. That everybody, without Jesus, is lost in their sin. That nothing they can do on their own is good enough. And, without accepting Jesus, God will send them to hell.

    So the question for Christians is: Prior to Jesus, was anybody "saved" under the Law? For Jews, was getting "saved", as believed by Christians, a concept that was ever part of Judaism?
     
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  2. David1967

    David1967 Well-Known Member
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    Or as they say in the south ,"Gittin saved!" Said with much perspiration , volume and spit. :)
     
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  3. atpollard

    atpollard Active Member

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    John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    Given Jesus words (above), I would argue that Jesus presents Jesus as the only way to get into heaven. So it isn't really "many" Christians who present this as the case, but all Christians. Those who do not believe what Jesus said is true should stop calling themselves Christians.

    Yes and no.

    Romans 4:3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

    Genesis 15:6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.


    Hebrews 11 (the whole chapter, but ending with)
    32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning;[fn] they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

    39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

    So from the perspective of Judaism, they probably see no need and the whole thing as a nonsensical question. However, you seemed to be asking for an opinion from a Christian perspective. From Christ looking back, it is the same as it ever was. People were never saved by their works of the law, but by the grace (unearned favor) of God, through faith.

    Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
     
  4. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Telescopic Toes
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    Technically its paid ministry who insist upon that, and the rest of the Christians drift away from that position. I suspect it is about money and uncertainty about job prospects.

    There are various things called 'Law', particularly when referencing letters by Paul. There is the 'Law of sin' within the person, a completely separate thing from Moses law. The sense of 'Law' is not just rules but is more like a description of reality. Rather than just rules its like gravity, a principle with effects. If you jump off of a cliff, then you will find that the law of gravity smashes you but not because you broke a rule. Its because gravity accelerates things. There's no observing policeman that smashes you for stepping off of cliffs. It just happens that you get smashed. This is 'Law' in Biblical parlance. It is cause and effect, not cause and punishment. You do thus and such, and thus and such results. If you sin then you reap the effects, not because of a rule but because the principle has effects. The law of Moses is a set of rules outlining a path to reach a particular destination and to overcome specific obstacles, much like a formula models gravity and a rocket has a trajectory. If you let the rocket veer off course then it no longer reaches its destination, not because you break a rule but because you change course. The Law of Moses has various goals, and keeping the law has effects.

    If I say to you "The Law has been changed" then I am saying reality has been altered. Its like saying "The nature of gravity has changed." Its not saying that we have switched rule books.

    If I say that "The Law is no longer in operation" then I am saying the world has ended. Its like saying time has reversed or up is now down. Its like saying we should do evil that good may result.

    If I say that "I am not following the Law" then I am saying that I am choosing a different path and/or a different destination.

    If I say "Saved under the Law" I am saying that someone has kept the law or is keeping it.
     
  5. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    So if Abraham and the others mentioned are considered "saved", then it was by faith or trust in God even though at times they "sinned". I know that somewhere Jesus says that if you love me you'll keep my commandments. So keeping rules, laws and commandments is expected, but it's the faith that makes a person saved or not saved?

    So with all the talk about how the "Law" can't save you, mostly by Paul, is kind of twisting things isn't it? If, prior to Jesus, a Jew had faith in God, that Jew should be saved right?

    But now what happens with the Jew that believes in God and follows the commands as best he or she can, but, because they are taught that Jesus is not the true Messiah, they don't believe in Jesus? If a Christian answers that those Jews are not saved, then what? God sends all Jews from the time of Jesus until now that didn't believe in Jesus to hell?
     
  6. 12jtartar

    12jtartar Active Member
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    CG Didymus,
    There is much to think about, in your question.
    Let me see if I can make this whole idea clear to you.
    In the first place, all the things written in the Mosaic Law Covenant was a foreshadowing of the coming of the Messiah, Christ, Hebrews 10:1, then notice that the Law could not make anyone Perfect. The reason that the ones under the Mosaic Law could not be considered perfect, was because the blood of goats and bulls that was used to ratify the Mosaic Law Covenant could not completely do away with sins, Hebrews 10:4,11. The great sacrifice of Jesus did do away with sins completely, Hebrews 7:18,19,24,25, Acts 13:37-39. Consider Romans 3:20-26, where Paul is explaining just how God was not carrying out the law completely, because He was looking forward to the time Jesus would come to earth and give his life as a sacrifice for all who would accept this great provision, and show it, by becoming a footstep follower of Jesus, 1Peter 2:21, 3:18-21.
    Because of Jesus Ransom Sacrifice, all those who are not considerer evil by God will be resurrected back to earth, John 5:28,29, Acts 24:15.
    There is another thing to understand. The Bible tells us that no one who lived before Jesus gave his life for us will be resurrected to go to heaven. Remember, when Jesus died, the curtain, or vail, between the Holy and the Most Holy compartments was torn from top to bottom, Matthew 27:50,51. That curtain was a symbol of Jesus body, after his death some of Jesus followers would be resurrected to be Kings and Priests, in heaven, Hebrews 6:18-20, 9:2,3,6-9. Really, you need to read the whole 9th chapter. Jesus went to heaven, as a forerunner of his co- rulers who also have the heavenly hope. The Most Holy compartment was a picture of heaven itself, where Jesus went to present his sacrifice to God, Hebrews 9:23-26, 6:19,20.
    The ones that will be resurrected to heaven are explained at Matthew 11:11-13, where we are told that after John the Baptist, Jesus followers tried hard to enter the Heavenly Kingdom. Flesh and blood cannot enter the Heavenly Kingdom, 1Corinthians 15:50, but some of Jesus followers will go to heaven to be rulers over the resurrected ones here on earth and the ones who live through the Great Tribulation, meaning Armageddon, Romans 8:17, Philippians 3:19-21, Hebrews 3:1, Revelation, chapter 7, compares the number going to heaven as 144,000, with a Great Crowd that will be on earth. Also Revelation 5:6-10, 14:1-5, 20:4-6.
    Since I don't know how familiar you are with the Scriptures, I don't know how much to explain. Agape!!!
     
  7. atpollard

    atpollard Active Member

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    Just a point that you should not miss. Abraham was the father of Isaac who was the father of Jacob whose sons first went to Egypt. Some generations later, Moses was born and led the decendents of the sons of Jacob (renamed Israel) out of Egypt. Forty years later, they are dead and their children enter the promised land. Only THEN does Moses write the first five books of the bible and give the decendents of Israel "The Law".

    Abraham was saved (or not) a very long time before the Law was even written down. There was no tablet with 10 commandments for Abraham to read and obey. So Abraham ans Noah, who the bible describes as being 'righteous', we're both 'saved' before the law existed.

    I don't really see it as twisting things at all. Have you tried reading Romans in an easy to understand version like 'The Message'? It is a bad translation for splitting hairs about some specific word, but it is good to read fast and get a general overview of the big picture of what Paul is saying. Saving you was never the purpose of the Law. One of the best examples is the OT commandment "Do not murder". So we start feeling good about ourselves because we probably have not murdered any one. Then along comes Jesus in the sermon on the mount and tells us that as far as God is concerned, if you have ever hated someone, then you are already guilty of murder. See, the act of 'not committing murder' was never enough to win God's approval and save us. The Ten Commandments and the rest of the law was intended to point out that we couldn't even get that much right. Paul says it was meant to show us our sin and our need for forgiveness. Jew or Gentile. OT or NT. (Modern Judaism will disagree, I have no idea what ancient Judaism believed, I can only answer from the Christian perspective.)

    Not my problem. I don't mean to be flippant, nor am I hating on Jews. There is a verse in the bible that talks about having no business to judge another man's servant, he will answer to his own master. I am responsible for only two things.

    1. I am responsible to worry about my salvation. The condition of my soul. The forgiveness of my sins. The works God has created for me to do.

    2. I am responsible to give an honest answer to anyone who asks.

    So those Jews are God's problems and I know of no verses that suggest that God will be asking me what I think should be done, or asking anyone else, Christian or not, what they think should be done.

    In the words of Corrie Ten Boom "God does as he pleases and He does it right well."
     
  8. moorea944

    moorea944 Well-Known Member

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    The children of Israel in the wilderness was saved, but of course they all died. So what does "saved" means.... Saved into something? Saved out of something? Or saved as to set aside or apart for something to come....

    Look what Hebrews says about the "new covenant". Paul sums up the various answers to this question in Gal. 3:24: "The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ." The animals which they killed as offerings for sin had to be spotless - without blemish. These pointed forward to Christ, "a lamb without blemish" (1 Peter 1:19). The blood of those animals therefore represented that of Christ. They were accepted as sacrifices for sin insofar as they pointed forward to Christ's perfect sacrifice, which God knew he would make.

    On account of this, God was able to forgive the sins of His people who lived before the time of Christ. His death was "for the redemption of the transgressions that were (committed) under the first testament" (Heb. 9:15). All the sacrifices offered under the law pointed forward to Christ, the perfect sin offering, who "put away sin by the sacrifice of himself"

    We see in Heb 11 that some people in the OT were "saved" by faith and works.
     
  9. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    I can see that if a person has true faith in Jesus, that person would want to do the things, the "works", that Jesus wanted them to do. But, I also see that if a Jew believes in God and has faith in God, that person will try to follow the things that God said to do, the Law. Paul, to me, seems to try and make the Law something that Jews thought would save them.

    Related to this is the animal sacrifices. It seems to me that repenting and trying to do the right thing is what gets the person forgiveness, not the blood of the animals. I suppose it says in the Bible that the sins will be forgiven because of the animal sacrifices, but it must include with that repentance doesn't it?
     
  10. Ben Avraham

    Ben Avraham Well-Known Member

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    That is something I cannot understand because, how could the dead be the way to get into heaven? Jesus has been dead for about 2000 years already. Now, to say that no one can do any thing of his own, goes against what Isaiah said that we need to set things right with God so that our sins, from scarlet red become as white as snow through repentance and obedience to God's Law. (Isaiah 1:18,19) And Jesus himself said in his parable of the Richman & Lazarus that we must listen to "Moses" aka the Law to escape hell-fire (Luke 16:29-31) It is only obvious that it is up to us to do something to achieve salvation.

    Well, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets of the Most High were prior to Jesus and got saved under the Law. That's evidence that if we obey the laws, we are all saved from the troubles as a result of transgressions against the Law.
     
  11. savagewind

    savagewind Something, not nothing
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    Is salvation possible under the law?

    Matthew 19:24-26

    They say a person before Jesus can not ever be admitted to Heaven, but I think the people before Jesus ARE the people who have a place in Heaven. Hebrews 12:1

    Hell, on the other hand, is a man made design. People make their own hells, in my opinion.
    I think the only way for a person to not be saved out of his or her hell is if he or she caused hell for another who dies there.
     
    #11 savagewind, Oct 25, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  12. Ben Avraham

    Ben Avraham Well-Known Member

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    Not only hell but also heaven are man-made designs. It is up to people to make their own hell as well as their own heaven. We all have Freewill and the Lord does not intervene with the way we choose to live our lives. When Cain was contemplating to get rid of Abel, the Lord appeared to him in a vision and said: "Why are you distressed and why is your face fallen? Surely, if you do right, there is uplift. But if you do not do right sin couches at the door; its urge is toward you, yet you can be its master." (Genesis 4:6,7) Then, Cain chose to kill Abel. That's how Freewill works.
     
  13. savagewind

    savagewind Something, not nothing
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    I can't agree with you there. Heaven is to know God and to be happy with peace and harmony so a person can't make their own peace and harmony with God. Peace and harmony must go two ways.
    With anyone it must be two ways.
     
  14. rusra02

    rusra02 Well-Known Member
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    I do not believe the Bible teaches God sends unbelievers to hellfire to be tortured forever. That slander of God has turned many away from the true God. (Romans 6:23)
    Regarding righteousness and salvation from works of the Law of Moses,
    Romans 3:20-24 affirm: "Therefore, no one will be declared righteous before him by works of law, for by law comes the accurate knowledge of sin. But now apart from law God’s righteousness has been revealed, as the Law and the Prophets bear witness, yes, God’s righteousness through the faith in Jesus Christ, for all those having faith. For there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and it is as a free gift that they are being declared righteous by his undeserved kindness through the release by the ransom paid by Christ Jesus."
    As the Bible explains, neither Jews nor non-Jews can gain life through keeping the Law of Moses. God's provision to save us is the ransom paid by Jesus Christ; we can never earn salvation through good works nor by keeping the Law of Moses, IMO. (Galatians 2:16)
     
  15. Ben Avraham

    Ben Avraham Well-Known Member

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    You have all the right in the world to your opinion. I believe 100% that we can make our own peace and harmony with God. I think you still do not understand the power of Freewill. According to Prophet Isaiah in 1:18,19 it is entirely up to us to exercise our Freewill to set things right with God or not. Or according to Jesus himself, to listen to "Moses" aka the Law. (Luke 16:29-31)
     
    #15 Ben Avraham, Oct 25, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  16. savagewind

    savagewind Something, not nothing
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    What I meant was God has to AGREE with your idea of peace and harmony.
     
  17. Ben Avraham

    Ben Avraham Well-Known Member

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    No, God does not have to any thing. That is also up to us to gain His favor by obeying His Law.
    God's favor is conditional to our obedience to His Law.
     
  18. Hawkins

    Hawkins Well-Known Member

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    To give you the big picture,

    God's plan, as He gradually reveals to humans, is to build an eternity we call Heaven for His creatures such as the angels and humans living with Him forever. However God hates something which we call sin. God is said to be completely sin incompatible. Law is thus set up to address what a sin is, so that if any entities with freewill chooses to break the Law in a specified period of time then he's disqualified to enter the final Heaven. That's why there's a Final Judgment to legitimately and openly bring those qualified to Heaven. That's when the New Heaven and New earth starts to run.

    However under the influence of Satan, the first lineage of humans sinned when put in Eden (a place inside God's realm). Since then humans are driven out of God's realm, living in the current planet earth where Satan is literally said to be the god of this world. When humans are no longer inside God's realm, with Satan's influence being much stronger, no human can thus enter the final heaven by abiding the Law. This point is proven (by God) so it came the story of Noah. God's purpose for humans (to live the eternal Heaven) was defeated. Humans as a whole will fail the final judgment of God's Law. Thus the existence of earth serves no purpose but a pool of sins which God hates. It's thus time to destroy this pool of sins once and for all (by water).

    Satan thus triumphs as he has destroyed God's plan of bringing humans to Heaven. But it's not yet. God has Jesus Christ the savior. Through the blood of Jesus Christ God can now grant a series of covenants as a mean of salvation to humans. A covenant simply says, "since you humans can't abide by God's Law in full, you only need to abide by a set-aside set of rules (such as Mosaic Law) to a said standard, such that you will be saved by God's Grace through Jesus Christ. Each and every covenant serves the main purpose of identifying and thus separating the righteous from the wicked. The righteous thus will be brought to Heaven legitimately under open witnessing (of angels and saints).

    Satan (and his angels) on the other hand will stress his influence, humans will thus sin further to an extent that an older covenant may fail in identifying the righteous (the harvest). Then it is time for God to upgrade His covenant to a newer one by granting more Grace, such that His Elect (the righteous) will become savable.

    Romans 5:20-21 (NIV2011)
    20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,
    21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    The New Covenant brought in directly by Jesus Himself became the final covenant because it has the maximum Grace granted. Under this covenant, our salvation is measured by our faith alone. Faith in Christ becomes the only rule (unlike Mosaic Law) applied for us to be saved. You believe with Faith in a correct fashion then you will be saved (brought to the final Heaven) legitimately and openly.

    Whether one can fulfill what a covenant said will be judged by Jesus Christ Himself, because all the Grace is granted under His name. His blood gives Him the right to grant the Grace to anyone He wishes though He will judge fairly and He will judge what is deep inside your heart. The angels and saints will also be the witnesses to see if you have fulfilled the covenant. As for the New Covenant, Jesus will judge if your faith qualifies you to enter the final Heaven.

    If you are considered (by Jesus Christ) to fail the covenant, then you will be judged by the Law which will sentence you to death (the second death) with whatever consequences it brings.
     
  19. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    But it does beg the question as to whether Jesus actually said that? To me, it simply seems at odds with his general demeanor, and I think it's likely that these words were put into his mouth at a much later date since the gospels were written decades after he was crucified.

    There is no reference in the entire Tanakh about the necessity of having a particular belief in a messianic figure, plus the Tanakh puts far more emphasis on behavior versus having politically-correct beliefs beyond a basic belief in God.

    Instead, I believe his purpose was that of a messenger of sorts, particularly expressing the issues of compassion, justice, and authenticity (not going through the motions of religion) for all. It literally makes no sense to me that he would condemn those who believe in God and try and do their best to act morally.
     
  20. savagewind

    savagewind Something, not nothing
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    I think it is clear to me that the Jews were to believe in God their savior. When they requested a king, it is written that to do so was to reject God so God was to lead them.

    John 14:6 might mean that no one comes or goes to The Father except for the sake of Jesus.

    dia: through, on account of, because of
    Original Word: διά
    Part of Speech: Preposition
    Transliteration: dia
    Phonetic Spelling: (dee-ah')
    Short Definition: through, on account of
    Definition: (a) gen: through, throughout, by the instrumentality of, (b) acc: through, on account of, by reason of, for the sake of, because of.


    Jesus embodies all that is right and good.

    I believe John 14:6 means that nobody is able to approach The God if not for goodness and righteousness.

    It looks like Ego (Strong's 1473) can mean "ours" and eimi (Strong's 1510) can mean "is".

    Jesus answered, "Ours is the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except for the sake of me."

    Me can be anyone for righteousness. Jesus is the preeminent spirit for righteousness' sake.

    I can imagine that the Jesus could get trampled by people on their way to The Lord God.

    John 14:6 is a warning that you will never get there that way.
     
    #20 savagewind, Oct 25, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
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