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Featured Is "salvation" possible under the Law?

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

  1. Ben Avraham

    Ben Avraham Well-Known Member

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    I read your long post above while thinking on an equally long response to give you when a came about
    John 5:36-40 which you mention just above and, reading verse 39 which says that the Jewish authorities aka Pharisees, expert people in the Law of the Most High studied the Scriptures diligently because, as you claim above, they thought that by doing so, they would have eternal life. That's when I came to the conclusion that nothing is true of the whole thing. You can ask any other Jew here in this forum; there was not in the First Century neither today a single Jew who studies the Scriptures because by doing so he thinks to have eternal life. So, it is only obvious that the whole idea of the NT is Hellenist, not Jewish.
     
    #221 Ben Avraham, Dec 8, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
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  2. Ben Avraham

    Ben Avraham Well-Known Member

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    A friend who has publicly called me a hypocrite and brood of vipers and an enemy who somehow acted to harm me! There is absolutely no doubt! I'll be bitterly disappointed with my friend than with my enemy wherefrom only thorns are expected to come from. You can't see that because deep down you are moved by Christian preconceived notions.
     
  3. atpollard

    atpollard Active Member

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    Frankly, the answer is far simpler ...

    We disagree. I believe that the NT is true and you believe that what it says is false. Jesus was not a man, he was the Word made flesh. The 'brood of vipers' we're not his friends trying to help the poor errant rabbi, they were hypocritical enemies of the Most High who were trying to kill him.

    Thus you see Jesus actions as inappropriate and I see them as the judgement of God, just like an OT Judge or Prophet sent to correct an errant nation. I respectfully submit that the destruction of the temple suggests that Israel was not doing everything it should according to the covenant given to Moses, since the curses came to fruition. However, that is idle speculation on my part. God does as he pleases and does not consult with me.

    You and I have irreconcilably different perspectives.
     
  4. Ben Avraham

    Ben Avraham Well-Known Member

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    The NT which was the gospel of Paul was true to him and to you but only as long as you don't use it to vandalize the gospel of Jesus which was the Tanach. What you refer to as the "word made flesh" is not different from the "light made flesh" which Jesus himself in his Sermon of the Mount to a crowd of Jews said they were the light of the world. (Mat. 5:14) It means that the word made flesh can be seen through the same analogy of the light made flesh.

    Whether his friends were hypocrites or not, that was not what defined the transgression of the Golden Rule but the fact that Jesus cursed them with being what they would not like to hear. So, Jesus was the one who broke the Golden Rule, not they. You don't see Jesus' actions as inappropriate because you are slaved to your Christian preconceived notions.

    At least, you ain't kidding that we have irreconcilably different perspectives.
     
  5. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Are Christians doing all they can to promote the Kingdom of God? Or, are they hypocrites? If some poor sinner does get "saved" which church does he/she go to? With the Church so divided, how can anyone believe in any one of them as being the only one that is right? Does Jesus have "curses" for the lukewarm and the churches that have lost their "first" love?

    Unfortunately, Christians, and their churches, can be the worst witnesses of trying to convince people that Christianity and their Bible is the truth.
     
  6. atpollard

    atpollard Active Member

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    Sorry for responding piecemeal, it just saves me quoting your post in sections to identify which question each answer is specifically addressing, but I understand that your questions build to express a single point and will attempt to express a single point with my split responses.

    Probably not. Although it is probably worth pointing out the parable of the wheat and the tares at this point. Jesus said that there would be wheat (those destined to be gathered together and carried into God's storehouse) growing alongside tares, weeds that look like wheat when they are young, but very different when they mature (those destined to be gathered and destroyed). Thus when one looks at the Church, one sees the Visible Church, which is a 'garden' planted with a mixture of both 'wheat' and 'tares'. I do not offer this as an excuse, but just a caution that not everyone that calls them self a Christian really is one.

    Of the 'wolves in sheep's clothing' or the 'goats among the sheep' or the 'tares among the wheat', without a doubt and with 100% certainty.
    Among the 'true sheep' and the 'wheat' ... those whom Jesus calls 'his own' ... sometimes ... No point in putting lipstick on a pig and calling it a prom queen.
    I don't know where this concept came from that Christians are 'better' than other people, or somehow more 'innately good' or even (please) 'righteous'.
    Christians, I mean the real followers of Jesus ... as in 'my sheep hear my voice' or 'none may come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them' ... are 'HOLY'. An interesting word that means 'Set Apart'. That's it. We are set apart for God to use. He bought us, He claimed us, we are His property. We are NOT perfect. We are NOT innately good. We are NOT righteous (free from the tendency to do the wrong thing and need to ask forgiveness for it). So yes, from time to time, we are hypocrites.

    Given my answer above and your question here, so what is the point? You have made the same mistake as the Jews that rejected Jesus. Their trust for their innate goodness and forgiveness was in the Temple and the Priests and the Law of Moses and the fact that they were descended from Abraham. You seem to be asking which Christian Denomination is the correct 'Tribe of Abraham' that will get you a free pass into ... whatever it is that you expect from God ... because of your membership in the 'club'. There is no correct denomination. There is no right Church. There is a person. God really became a man and he really walked the Earth and he really died for us. True Christianity is the reality that a dead man got up and walked and says that you can, too. His words are recorded in the Bible along with important advice from people who hung out with him and passed on what he taught them.

    It really is all about Jesus.

    1 John 5:9-12
    9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.


    There you go, the secret handshake to get you into the club. It ain't about me or you being perfect (or even good). It is about trusting in the Son of God to fix what is broken and make us better. Thus the 'curse' for those who walk away from the Son. If you put a plastic bag over your head because you have decided that you don't want any more of the air that God has provided, whose fault is it that you suffocate? If you walk away from the only source of Eternal Life that God has provided, then whose fault is it that you have no eternal life?

    Sad but true. Fortunately, it was never about the 'church people' but has always been about Jesus. It was never about the denomination, the Church is the people. The sheep whom the Father drew to the Son, who hear Jesus voice and listen, and are scattered across the Visible Church doing what we are sent to do. Each one, reach one, teach one.

    If the Father chooses to draw you, you will not be able to resist. If the Father chooses not to draw you, you will never want to come. It is ultimately, not our job to convince anyone of anything. We are to give an answer for the hope that is within us and to make a disciple of anyone whom Jesus chooses and trusts to our care. [FYI: This falls under giving an answer] :)
     
  7. Ben Avraham

    Ben Avraham Well-Known Member

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    Only under the Law is salvation possible.
     
  8. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Included in the "same mistake as the Jews" is that they were trying to do as they were told by their God. I don't know but didn't early Christianity try and keep "membership" to only one belief system? Didn't all other forms of Christianity get rejected as heresies? But now there are too many "Christianities" to know which one is right. They all use the Bible to prove they are right, so it makes Christianity and the Bible a joke.

    The Bible itself is hard to take serious when it tells stories of men doing miraculous things, like Samson, a blind man regaining his strength because his hair grew? And then he's strong enough to topple pillars? Didn't some prophet fly in a chariot? Didn't a cane turn into a snake? Didn't a snake talk? And then you have Jesus... walks on water, floats off into the sky, clones bread and fish to feed the multitudes... at his death, dead people came out of their graves, God spoke? Too many things that very well could be fictional.

    Yet, the basic things believe and be saved? Too easy. So doable. Except, what are the strings attached? What is the fine print? You've got to love God with all your heart and follow his commands. Who does that and who can do that? Has any Christian repented of all their sins? No, so, at best, every Christian has only repented to a degree. They have only trusted and believed to a degree. Who has given their whole heart? When Jesus says "Go and sin no more", what is he saying if that is impossible to do?

    Christians aren't perfect. They can't be perfect. And most sit back and pretend that all is well, when we all see that they are no better, and sometimes worse than people in other religions. So how can a person trust in Christianity and the Bible when believers fail so miserably at keeping it themselves?
     
  9. atpollard

    atpollard Active Member

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    Romans 10:8-11
    8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” [NIV]


    It says that IF you 1. declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and 2. believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead then 3. you WILL be saved. That means that God will handle all of the fine print details.

    You asked about the catch, here is the catch:

    John 3:16-18
    16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

    Look up the term 'monergism' if you really want to learn about the nut and bolt details of how it works.
    Personally, I suspect that you choose not to believe and like finding excuses to justify the decision you have already made.
    I just answered the question because I can't be sure.
     
  10. pearl

    pearl Well-Known Member

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    Ultimately, salvation belongs to God alone. The answer to your first question is yes. But salvation requires a heart converted to God, without which repentance is not possible.
     
  11. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    For one thing, where does that quote "The word is near you..." come from? Have you read it? Because Paul twists it. To me, it sounds like Moses is saying that the Law is something that can be followed. So why does Paul change what God said through Moses?

    I didn't like finding things wrong with what Christians told me. I found it very troubling, and I wonder why so many Christians aren't troubled by their own teachings. But then Protestants are troubled by what Catholics teach. And each Protestant group broke off, because they were troubled by the previous groups beliefs. Christianity is divided on way too many things. One NT and so many different beliefs claiming to use it as their inspiration.

    But, tell me, when Jesus is quoted talking about salvation doesn't he tie in other things like be baptized? go sin no more? repent? even... follow my commandments? So who's finding "excuses" to justify their beliefs? Unfortunately, Christianity seems to be doing that. They pull things out of context from the Hebrew Bible and put them in their NT, which they then declare is "God"s Word".

    Is it? Is there a hell? Was there a virgin birth? Was the whole Earth flooded? Is the Earth young? Are all the other religions wrong? Is only Christianity right? Has Christianity always been the same or has it changed over time. Are some forms of Christianity considered to be false by other forms of Christianity?

    So you say "like finding excuses"? No, it's sad that it's so easy to find problems with what Christians say is the truth.
     
  12. atpollard

    atpollard Active Member

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    Christianity is not "Choosing to believe Christians" it is "Choosing to believe Christ."
    Believe or don't ... I'm not your mother.
     
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  13. Reggie Miller

    Reggie Miller Well-Known Member

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    What "salvation" was offered under the Law?
     
  14. allfoak

    allfoak Alchemist

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    Matthew 19:16-17
    16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”

    17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.
     
  15. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    There are 90 verses in the Tanakh dealing with "salvation", and they can be found here: Bible, Revised Standard Version

    There are other verses that support the above even though they don't use the word "salvation".
     
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  16. Reggie Miller

    Reggie Miller Well-Known Member

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    But who has kept the commandments?
     
  17. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    It is not expected that we can, according to the Tanakh, which is why there are procedures established to seek God's forgiveness and various penalties if we fail to do that.

    Is jay-walking the same as murder thus punishable by execution? Neither is the Law as such. Since there are different potential penalties for different violations, common sense should tell us that God doesn't view all the Laws as being the same, nor would they be dealt with in the same way.
     
  18. allfoak

    allfoak Alchemist

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    Jesus they asserted "was justified by fulfilling the Law. He was the Christ of God since not one of the rest of mankind had observed the Law completely. Had any one else fulfilled the commandments of the Law he would have been the Christ." Hence "when Ebionites thus fulfil the law they are able to become Christs" (Hippolytus Refut. Omn. Haer. vii. 34).
    A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography
    Ebionism and Ebionites

    We all must fulfill the Law.
     
  19. Reggie Miller

    Reggie Miller Well-Known Member

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    Correct. Only one person kept the law. That being the case, where is this salvation that comes from obeying the law?
     
  20. allfoak

    allfoak Alchemist

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    You missed the other part.
    The Ebionites understood that they too could become a Christ if they fulfilled the Law.
    Why would they think such a thing?
    It is because their is reason to believe that Jesus was an Ebionite.

    Yet, it is correctly pointed out by Prof. Hyam Maccoby in
    The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity, that: "The Ebionites are thus by no means a negligible or derisory group. Their claim to represent the original teaching of Jesus has to be taken seriously. It is quite wrong, therefore, to dismiss what they had to say about Paul as unworthy of attention." Prof. Maccoby then writes: "Consequently, if the Gospel of Matthew contains assertions by Jesus about the validity of the Torah, this is strong evidence that Jesus actually made these assertions, for only a persistent and unquenchable tradition that Jesus said these things would have induced the author of the Gospel to include such recalcitrant material, going against the grain of his own narrative and standpoint. If Jesus himself was an adherent of the Torah, there was no need for re-Judaization on the part of the Nazarenes in Jerusalem, who were simply continuing the attitudes of Jesus. But, in any case, several scholars have now come to think that the loyalty of the Jerusalem movement to the Torah is itself strong evidence that Jesus was similarly loyal. It is, after all, implausible, to say the least, that the close followers of Jesus, his companions during his lifetime, led by his brother, should have so misunderstood him that they reversed his views immediately after his death. The 'stupidity' motif characterizing the disciples in the Gospels is best understood as a Pauline attempt to explain away the attachment of the 'Jerusalem Church' to Judaism, rather than as historical obtuseness."
    The Ebionite Home Page
     
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