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Wondering About Faith (Ephesians 2)

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Spockrates, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. Spockrates

    Spockrates Wonderer.

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    [​IMG]

    It would seem so. Although I understand the response of some Calvinists and others who say Peter's words should be interpreted this way:

    "Repent ... for the forgiveness of your sins [and then be baptized]."​

    If this was the Apostle's intended meaning, then repentance would be a cause of both God's forgiveness and baptism, but baptism would not necessarily be a cause of God's forgiveness. So the passage seems to be ambiguous.

    Another view is that of some Lutherans, who also believe we are saved by grace alone through faith alone:

    Q: Can you please clarify the Lutheran view of Baptism and its purpose? Does the child become a Christian when baptized?

    A: Lutherans believe that the Bible teaches that a person is saved by God’s grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ alone. The Bible tells us that such “faith comes by hearing” (Rom. 10:17). Jesus Himself commands Baptism and tells us that Baptism is water used together with the Word of God (Matt. 28:19-20). Because of this, we believe that Baptism is one of the miraculous means of grace (another is God’s Word as it is written or spoken), through which God creates and/or strengthens the gift of faith in a person’s heart (see Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Gal. 3:26-27; Rom. 6:1-4; Col. 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 12.13). Terms the Bible uses to talk about the beginning of faith include “conversion” and “regeneration.” Although we do not claim to understand fully how this happens, we believe that when an infant is baptized God creates faith in the heart of that infant. We believe this because the Bible says that infants can believe (Matt. 18:6) and that new birth (regeneration) happens in Baptism (John 3:5-7; Titus 3:5-6). The infant’s faith cannot yet, of course, be verbally expressed or articulated by the child, yet it is real and present all the same (see e.g., Acts 2:38-39; Luke 1:15; 2 Tim. 3:15). The faith of the infant, like the faith of adults, also needs to be fed and nurtured by God’s Word (Matt. 28:18-20), or it will die.

    Frequently Asked Questions | Doctrine - The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
    Notice the chain of cause and effect:

    1. Baptism causes one to receive grace.
    2. Grace causes faith.
    3. Faith causes salvation.​

    I find it fascinating that some Lutherans believe (2) and (3) cause one to be saved, but (1) does not. They must believe that the cause of a cause of an effect does not cause the effect! It seems illogical to me. Rather than faith alone, shouldn't Lutherans believe faith plus baptism saves us?

    The same seems true of some Calvinists. Some who carefully think Reformed Theology through come to the belief:

    1. Grace causes one to repent
    2. Repenting causes one to have faith.
    3. Faith causes one to be saved.
    Again, I find it fascinating that they believe (1) and (3) cause salvation, but (2) does not. They also appear to be of the illogical opinion that a cause of a cause is not a cause of the final effect! Once more, I don't yet see how this is logical. Remove the middle link from a chain of cause and effect, and it ceases to be a chain, I think. Rather than faith alone, shouldn't they believe faith plus repentance save them from hell?

    [​IMG]

    LOL! I should watch that film. I look up to Socrates. What I learned from him is the importance of trying to convince myself instead of others. Asking questions, listening to others and avoiding debate. Keeping my sense of humor and not taking my own opinions too seriously.

    Socrates didn't always find the truth, but he was able to discover the untrue in the opinions of himself and others. The Socratic Method is a helpful tool in testing the spirits to see which are from God, or at least for discerning the probable meaning of various scriptures. It's certainly a good way to help two people have a thoughtful conversation and think things through together.

    :)
     
    #121 Spockrates, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
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  2. Spockrates

    Spockrates Wonderer.

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    Sounds logical to me. But please let me be sure I understand. Are you saying works cause grace? Or do you rather think grace causes works?
     
  3. atpollard

    atpollard Active Member

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    You are playing dishonest semantic games.
    If FAITH ALONE saves, as you are using the expression, then:
    Christ's death in unnecessary ... the belief that God has saved me is all that I need.
    Repentence is unnecessary ... it doesn't matter whether or not I think that I have sinned.
    Baptism is unnecessary ... no action of any kind is ever required.
    Hearing the Gospel is unnecessary ... Just tell people that they are forgiven, and they are.
    I am not sure that belief in God is required ... It doesn't matter what I have faith in as long as I have faith.

    Is that really what you think that John Calvin was talking about? Really?

    As I have stated several times, the issue is the necessity of good works to earn forgiveness.
    • At one extreme is the Judiaisers who taught that you must have faith in Jesus and fulfill all of the requirements of the Old Testement Law. (This is soundly rejected by scripture).
    • Closer to the battle lines of Cavinism and Arminianism is the belief that Salvation requires both Faith (an act of belief) and works (an act of obedience) to be acceptable to God. That act of obedience is usually defined as one or more sacraments ... like being baptized, confessing to a (Priest/God/Public) ... the details vary from church to church. I do not subscribe to this belief, but it is not without some scriptural support or internal logic. I can both respect it and agree to disagree with my brothers and sisters in Christ who hold this view.
    • On the Calvinist side of that line is the belief that salvation is the result the act of belief (and the work of God) without the necessity of any works (acts of obedience) from the person saved. The acts of obedience are the natural result of the changed heart. (Both the Arminian and Calvinist positions expect works to appear, they differ in whether forgiveness comes before or after the works.)
    • Somewhere off in the either is the belief that FAITH saves all by itself with no need or expectation of either Repentence or Works or ANYTHING ELSE (theoretically including either God or Jesus). The closest that one can come to this would probably be ... Jesus death covered all sins so everyone is saved no matter what they think, say, believe or do. That is NOT Calvinism. (If it was, then people wouldn't think that we are so mean.)
     
  4. atpollard

    atpollard Active Member

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    YMMV = 'Your Mileage May Vary' ... a reference to the disclaimer on an automobile advertisement.
    YMMV is generally used to convey something like:
    "I have found this to work for me, but it may or may not work for you."
     
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  5. Spockrates

    Spockrates Wonderer.

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    Atpollard:

    It appears I need to do some damage control. The word dishonest implies I know that what I'm saying is untrue. Please understand this is not the case. If what I say is not true, then I am deceived, and I am grateful to you for revealing this to me.

    My friend, I'm confused. I've said nothing about good works, only repentance, which I explained I believe might be a change of mind but not a change of behavior. So my understanding is that it is not a good work.

    I thought you were telling me Calvinists believe we are saved by grace alone through faith alone, and not through repentance. I thought you were telling me repentance is a prerequisite for saving faith but not a cause of salvation.

    Isn't that what you believe Calvin's words to mean? If not, please explain how I've misunderstood you, how I've been deceived. Please explain what Calvin really meant:

    We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is not alone.​
     
    #125 Spockrates, Apr 12, 2015
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  6. psychoslice

    psychoslice Veteran Member

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    If you keep the law, you had to do something to keep it, you are working towards grace, when you are one in God and no longer a sinner, then you are under grace.
     
  7. katiemygirl

    katiemygirl CHRISTIAN

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    Acts 2:38 seems very straightforward to me. I see no ambiguity in this verse whatsoever. One literally has to change the order of the words to fit their theology.

    If you look at church history, you will find that no one ever questioned the necessity of baptism, that is, until the time of the reformation. I realize that the church fathers were mistaken on many things, but on this one point, they exclusively were 100% in agreement for the first 1500 years of the church.

    Absolutely! They should also believe what Peter said in 1 Peter 3:21,

    "Baptism now saves you.!

    And confession! What does Paul say in Romans 10?

    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

    12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

    13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    Doesn't sound like FAITH ALONE to me! :)
    You really should see it. It's one of the funniest movies I've see. Bill & Ted have to do a school project, so they go back in time and meet diiferent historical figures.....I'll say no more. Hopefully you can still rent it.
    :)
     
    #127 katiemygirl, Apr 13, 2015
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  8. Spockrates

    Spockrates Wonderer.

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    You might be right. Though I fear I make no friends of those whom I ask about the relationship of faith and repentance. I suppose that's one downside of the Socratic Method. What is better--to keep my mouth shut when someone says something I think might not be true, or to ask them why they believe and express my doubts? I suppose I'd make more friends this side of eternity by saying nothing, but see more friends on the other side of eternity if I do speak up, even though what I say makes them unfriendly when I say it.

    But enough about me and the lonely task to which God calls me. Let's talk about what you think. But keep in mind that I'm going to ask some simple questions that aren't always so simple to answer. I wouldn't care about you or myself if I didn't! For the answers people give to my questions often show me when I'm mistaken too.

    :)

    Did Socrates ask Bill and Ted any questions they had trouble answering?

    Getting back to my questions for you, would you say that if Paul had intended to give a more complete list of prerequisites for receiving eternal life, his words in Ephesians 2 might have gone something like this?

    By grace you are saved, through faith, [and repentance, and confession, and forgiving others, and baptism, and other things]--and [these] are not of yourselves, they're the gift of God--not by works so that no one can boast. For we are God's work, created in Christ Jesus to do the good works God prepared for us to do.
     
    #128 Spockrates, Apr 13, 2015
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  9. katiemygirl

    katiemygirl CHRISTIAN

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    I'm confused. If God called the repentance of the Ninevites WORK, why do you say the opposite?
     
  10. katiemygirl

    katiemygirl CHRISTIAN

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    Your opinions are most welcome. I don't see your disagreeing as being unfriendly.

    I will have to read up on SO-CRATS methods.
    From your posts, I get the idea you are caught between calvinism and something else. Not sure what the something else is. I like that you've been able to discover on your own that faith can't be alone.

    From my own personal studies, I have made some amazing discoveries, and sometimes my discoveries don't agree with what I have been taught. Letting the Holy Spirit teach us is far better than the teachings of men.

    You never commented on what I wrote about baptism or the great confession. You also never responded to my post about grace, which I wrote a couple days ago.

    I believe you confused me with another poster in one of your responses to me. You actually said I was a calvinist. LOL. Fat chance! I am as far removed from John Calvin as one can get, although I do give credit to the reformers for the stand they took against catholicism.
    I don't remember.

    Nope, I think Paul said it exactly correct in the way He wrote it. I believe Paul's audience understood that the word FAITH is a synecdoche, a figure of speech used as a part to represent a whole.

    Paul's use of the word WORKS, in the majority of his letters, is referring to works of the Law. Galatians is a good example.

    There has to be a way to reconcile the words of Jesus and Paul. Jesus says one who does not do the will of the Father cannot enter heaven. Paul says saved not by works.

    What say you? How would you reconcile these two passages: Eph. 2:8-10 and Matthew 7:21?

     
    #130 katiemygirl, Apr 13, 2015
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  11. Spockrates

    Spockrates Wonderer.

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    Excellent! Instead of telling me I'm wrong, you first ask a good question. SO-CRATES would approve!

    :)

    My answer: I think repentance might not be a good deed because of what John the Baptist said:

    "Produce fruit in keeping with repentance."
    (Matthew 3:8 and Luke 3:8)​

    I'm thinking the fruit of repentance is what repentance produces, repentance is the fruit tree, and a tree is never the same as it's fruit. So if the tree is changing my mind about what behavior I should adopt and the fruit is the behavior I do, then repentance is not what I do, but is instead what I think.

    If this is true, repentance might be like faith. I might sacrifice my life as a martyr. This act of faith is not faith, because faith is what I think and not what I do. But such an act demonstrates my faith. As James said,"Faith without works is dead."

    So too, I might change my behavior and stop practicing a specific sin. This act of repentance is not repentance, because repentance is changing my mind, not changing my actions. But such an act of repentance demonstrates my repentance. We might say, "Repentance without works is dead."

    My opinion--whether it is true or not you will have to help me decide--is that both acts of faith and acts of repentance are outside evidence of inward realities. Adult baptism, then might be such an act of repentance. For I would never say getting baptised is repentance, but I would say the decision to get baptised is repentance. How about you?
     
    #131 Spockrates, Apr 13, 2015
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  12. katiemygirl

    katiemygirl CHRISTIAN

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    No I wouldn't say baptism is repentance, but I would say baptism and repentance are both responses to faith.

    Now let me ask you this. Why can't our mental decisions be considered works?

    If faith comes by hearing the word (Rom. 10:17), then doesn't it follow that faith is a work? Isn't hearing the word of God an action on my part? And don't I have to make a decision to hear? Isn't using my critical thinking skills a work of sorts?

    I also noticed in the Jonah story that the Nineveites believed God before they repented 3:5.

    One more question....Would God accept a mental decision to turn to Him without fruits of repentance? Is there any such example in all of the Bible?

    I see that the Ninevites were not forgiven UNTIL God saw their fruits of repentance.

    More to say but short of time.
     
    #132 katiemygirl, Apr 13, 2015
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  13. atpollard

    atpollard Active Member

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    The statement was made in challenge to some other position on justification, so to properly understand it we should start with what it was disagreeing with.

    THE OTHER SIDE - JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH PLUS WORKS

    FAITH AND WORKS:
    (Wikipedia) The Catholic view excludes sola fide as the sole grounds for justification, holding instead that grace, specifically, the form of grace known as "sanctifying grace", and which first floods the soul at baptism, which empowers both one's ability to believe and perform good works, is essential as the gateway to salvation, but not the only element needed for salvation (Eph 2:8-10). God's freely given grace is offered and also empowers both one's ability to believe and perform good works, both then becoming meritorious because they are joined to Christ's saving power of the Cross.(Phil 2:12-13) (Catechism of the Catholic Church Paragraphs 1987 through 2029) A Christian must respond to this free gift of Grace from God given first, ordinarily, in Baptism (1 Pet 3:21) by both having faith and by living in the light of Christ through love (Jn 3:16; 1 Jn 1:7)(Galatians 5:6) which perfects the Christian throughout their life (James 2:22). The Catholic position is best summed up in John 3:16, if one has the proper, contextual understanding of the word "believe". Believe, in context and in ancient Judaism, meant more than an intellectual assent. "To believe" also meant to obey, which is seen, in context, in Jn 3:36, 1 Jn 2:3ff, and 1 Jn 5:1ff. Without our positive response to grace offered, salvation is not possible.​

    Note several significant points ...
    Sanctifying grace (grace that saves) first enters the soul at Baptism
    Believe means to obey.
    Mere intellectual assent is not suffient to save a person ... they MUST be baptized and they MUST obey God's commands in order to be saved.
    Salvation is by Faith AND Works.


    THE REFORMATION - JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE

    MARTIN LUTHER:
    Hated the sale of indulgences and struggled with the issue of how much good works is enough.
    He lived in fear that he had not done enough and was, therefore, not saved.

    (Wikipedia) From 1510 to 1520, Luther lectured on the Psalms and the books of Hebrews, Romans, and Galatians. As he studied these portions of the Bible, he came to view the use of terms such as penance and righteousness by the Roman Catholic Church in new ways. (See Romans 4:1-5, Galatians 3:1-7, and Genesis 15:6.) He became convinced that the church was corrupt in its ways and had lost sight of what he saw as several of the central truths of Christianity, the most important of which, for Luther, was the doctrine of justification—God's act of declaring a sinner righteous—by faith alone through God's grace. He began to teach that salvation or redemption is a gift of God's grace, attainable only through faith in Jesus.​

    [I have turned to Martin Luther rather than John Calvin because I went looking for the quote "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is not alone." in the hope of reading it within its original context. I was not able to track down its source, but most who quoted it claim that it was a quote from Martin Luther and not John Calvin.]

    The question must be edited slightly to be:
    Please explain what Luther really meant:
    We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is not alone.

    So here goes nothing ...

    IN MARTIN LUTHER'S OWN WORDS:
    "Faith alone" is charged with saying that 'saving faith' does not need to produce works of obedience to Christ (it even has a name ... antinomianism).
    So what does Martin Luther say?

    On Justification:
    (Wikipedia - quote from "The Smalcald Articles" by Martin Luther) The first and chief article is this: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification (Romans 3:24-25). He alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29), and God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works and merits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood (Romans 3:23-25). This is necessary to believe. This cannot be otherwise acquired or grasped by any work, law or merit. Therefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us ... Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered, even though heaven and earth and everything else falls (Mark 13:31).

    On Works:
    (Wikipedia - quote from "Luther, An Introduction to St. Paul's Letter to the Romans") [Saving faith is] a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn't stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing. Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an unbeliever...Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire!

    So the man who said "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is not alone." explained his position which should be understood in relation to the opposing view that he was responding to.

    FROM THE BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE:
    "Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour. Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God."

    (Note that no works are required ... it is by "faith alone" and not by "faith and works".)

    MY THOUGHTS ON FAITH AND WORKS:
    So I kept bringing up 'works' in relation to the quote you asked about because it is a quote all about works.
    From earlier in our conversation:
    • Ephesians 2:8-10 says "I have been saved ... by grace ... through faith ... not by works. Which as verse 10 points out, does not mean that "works" have no place in our life. It merely points out that good works are the 'fruit' of our salvation and not the 'root' of our salvation.
    • Closer to the battle lines of Calvinism and Arminianism is the belief that Salvation requires both Faith (an act of belief) and works (an act of obedience) to be acceptable to God. That act of obedience is usually defined as one or more sacraments ... like being baptized, confessing to a (Priest/God/Public) ... the details vary from church to church. I do not subscribe to this belief, but it is not without some scriptural support or internal logic. I can both respect it and agree to disagree with my brothers and sisters in Christ who hold this view.
    • On the Calvinist side of that line is the belief that salvation is the result the act of belief (and the work of God) without the necessity of any works (acts of obedience) from the person saved. The acts of obedience are the natural result of the changed heart. (Both the Arminian and Calvinist positions expect works to appear, they differ in whether forgiveness comes before or after the works.)


    MY FINAL CLARIFICATION:
    We are justified
    (Our relationship with God is restored ... we are born again, we are saved)
    by faith alone, (through Faith and Repentance ... internal acceptance and change without the need for external acts like Baptism)
    but the faith that justifies (real faith, true faith, honest faith ... not a simple outward show but an inner reality)
    is not alone. (will create in us a desire to obey God and be revealed through a change in our lives ... we want to please God and do good works).

    In practical real world terms:
    1. Some sinning Joe Bloke realizes that he both needs to be forgiven and wants to be forgiven (repents).
    2. So he cries out to God that he is trusting in the work of Jesus Christ to earn his forgiveness (trusts God's Grace using his Faith).
    3. He then goes and confesses his sins, tries to stop sinning and is baptized (performs works of obedience to God's teachings).
    Calvinists would claim that Joe Bloke is 'saved' after step 2 and goes on to perform step 3 not to obtain 'justification' but out of gratitude and obedience for the justification that he has received. He was saved by faith, and the works come later. If Joe Bloke has no desire to do step 3, then the Calvinists will wonder whether he actually did step 1 and step 2.

    Non-Calvinists would claim that Joe Bloke is saved at/after Baptism, since the act of obedience demonstrates the sincerity of his faith. He was saved by faith and works. There is no salvation/justification without step 3.

    That is the difference being discussed.
    That is what "justified by faith alone" or "justified by faith and works" is all about.
     
    #133 atpollard, Apr 13, 2015
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  14. atpollard

    atpollard Active Member

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    Just to keep everyone honest, wikipedia reports that Calvinist apologists claim (and Catholic apologists disagree) that the question may go back further than the Protestant Reformation:

    Clement of Rome (c. 30-100)
    “And we [Christians], too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”[29]
    Justin Martyr (d. 165)
    in his Dialogue with Trypho: “No longer by the blood of goats and of sheep, or by the ashes of a heifer . . . are sins purged, but by faith, through the blood of Christ and his death, who died on this very account.”[30]
    Didymus the Blind (c. 313-398)
    “…a person is saved by grace, not by works but by faith. There should be no doubt but that faith saves and then lives by doing its own works, so that the works which are added to salvation by faith are not those of the law but a different kind of thing altogether.”[31]
    Hilary of Poitiers (c 315-67) on Matthew 20:7
    “Wages cannot be considered as a gift, because they are due to work, but God has given free grace to all men by the justification of faith.”[32]
    Basil of Caesarea (329-379)
    “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord, that Christ has been made by God for us righteousness, wisdom, justification, redemption. This is perfect and pure boasting in God, when one is not proud on account of his own righteousness but knows that he is indeed unworthy of the true righteousness and is (or has been) justified solely by faith in Christ.”[33]
    Ambrose (c. 339-97)
    “Therefore let no one boast of his works, because no one can be justified by his works; but he who is just receives it as a gift, because he is justified by the washing of regeneration. It is faith, therefore, which delivers us by the blood of Christ, because blessed is he whose sins are forgiven, and to whom pardon is granted.”[34]
    Jerome (347-420) on Romans 10:3
    “God justifies by faith alone.” (Deus ex sola fide justificat).[35]
    Chrysostom (349-407)
    For Scripture says that faith has saved us. Put better: Since God willed it, faith has saved us. Now in what case, tell me, does faith save without itself doing anything at all? Faith’s workings themselves are a gift of God, lest anyone should boast. What then is Paul saying? Not that God has forbidden works but that he has forbidden us to be justified by works. No one, Paul says, is justified by works, precisely in order that the grace and benevolence of God may become apparent.[36]
    Augustine (354-430)
    If Abraham was not justified by works, how was he justified? … Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness (Rom. 4:3; Gen. 15:6). Abraham, then, was justified by faith. Paul and James do not contradict each other: good works follow justification.
    Augustine (354-430)
    “When someone believes in him who justifies the impious, that faith is reckoned as justice to the believer, as David too declares that person blessed whom God has accepted and endowed with righteousness, independently of any righteous actions (Rom 4:5-6). What righteousness is this? The righteousness of faith, preceded by no good works, but with good works as its consequence.”[37]
    Ambrosiaster (4th century), on Rom. 3:24
    “They are justified freely because they have not done anything nor given anything in return, but by faith alone they have been made holy by the gift of God.”
    Cyril of Alexandria (412-444)
    For we are justified by faith, not by works of the law, as Scripture says (Gal. 2:16). By faith in whom, then, are we justified? Is it not in him who suffered death according to the flesh for our sake? Is it not in one Lord Jesus Christ?[38]

    I have not looked at Church History close enough to have an opinion, but reading these snippets, the debate may predate the reformation by a millennium or more.
    In any case, I stand by my claim that it is a finer hair to split than many would suggest.
    Both expect Faith and Works to be present in a life, when God steps in is the main difference.
    We both start at the same place (sinners in need of a savior) and end in the same place (saved by Jesus work on the cross and the Holy Spirit continuing the work from inside us).
     
    #134 atpollard, Apr 13, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  15. katiemygirl

    katiemygirl CHRISTIAN

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    Your last paragraph was well said. I agree with you totally.

    No doubt you have been baptized, and no doubt you love the Lord and are doing His will to the best of your ability just as I am.. So we'll leave the rest up to the Lord.

    I have read the quotes you posted, and I don't see one of them saying that baptism is not necessary for salvation.

    They all say what the Bible says. We are saved by grace through faith.

    I think Augustine may have been the first to coin the term "faith alone?" I'm not sure. I'll have to check that out.

    I have read a lot of church history, and the church fathers overwhelmingly, going all the way back to the apostles, agreed that baptism was necessary for salvation. I especially pay attention to the apostolic fathers. The closer to the time of the apostles, the closer to truth is how I view it.
     
  16. Spockrates

    Spockrates Wonderer.

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    Agreed. Perhaps baptism is a response to both faith and repentance?

    Well, there is some disagreement about what works are. Catholics and some other Christians say Ephesians 2:9 is speaking of works of the Old Testament law, such as circumcision, animal sacrifice, not working on the Sabbath and so on.

    Many Fundamentalists and Evangelicals believe the works of Ephesians 2:9 are any good thing a person says or does to try to earn salvation as some kind of reward. Many--though not all--say faith is not such a work because it is something we think to receive eternal life as a free gift and not something we say or do to try to obtain eternal life as a reward for good behavior.

    Me, I'm not sure. Regarding hearing and seeing, it seems to me these are senses by which our minds receive information. So I'd say this has more to do with receiving from God rather than saying or doing something for him. So according to Evangelicals it meets the conditions for not being a good work or good deed.
    1. It is something thought, rather than something said or done.
    2. It is something received from God, rather than something done for him.​


    Yes, but I think this might be comparing apples and oranges. God's conditions for sparing an ancient community from certain disaster might not be the same as his conditions for sparing you and me from eternal damnation, I think.
     
  17. katiemygirl

    katiemygirl CHRISTIAN

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    Perhaps. But more than likely repentance, baptism, confessing Jesus, living a faithful life etc. are more a response to faith.

    I wonder if there is middle ground here between the catholics and the calvinist? Is it possible both are the extreme?

    Do you see baptism as something we receive from God or something we do for God? Do you see it as a good work done to earn salvation?

    Based on the verse below, who is doing what for who?

    Colossians 2
    11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

    Can't we consider baptism a gift from God to us just as faith and repentance are gifts? Is it possible that this is the middle ground? Isn't it pretty clear from this verse (and others) that the work being done is being done by God for us?

    I know what calvinists would say, but what say you?

    I don't think we're comparing apples and oranges. Hasn't the bottom line for salvation always been obedience, whether to the Law of Moses or to the Law of Christ? What good is a faith that doesn't obey? It's dead, is it not?

    I'm still waiting for someone to tell me how they can reconcile the words of Jesus with the words of Paul. Isn't doing the will of the Father work?

    Jesus -
    "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

    Paul - 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.
     
    #137 katiemygirl, Apr 13, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  18. atpollard

    atpollard Active Member

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    For what its worth, I think that is pretty slick.
    I like it.

    [As long as I can continue to believe that God has the power to justify ME before my head hits the water as well as after I emerge. :) ]
     
  19. Spockrates

    Spockrates Wonderer.

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    I do appreciate the time you took to investigate the relationship of faith and repentance, Atpollard. I hope that you will answer the question I've asked a few times: How can it be true we are saved through faith alone, since we are saved through faith AND repentance?

    I'm thinking (1) and (2) are examples of both faith and repentance. Please explain why this is the same as faith alone.
     
  20. atpollard

    atpollard Active Member

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    Jesus - "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
    • Jesus [amplified and paraphrased]: Talk is cheap. If you have been saved through faith (and repentance) then 'Show me the Fruit'! Why didn't you obey me and get baptized, making a public proclamation that you were putting your trust in MY works on the Cross. While we are on the subject, where is that Love that I told you to show ... especially towards your Brothers and Sisters. Bit of a harsh critic aren't you? Respect! Where was some of that respect for God that you were supposed to have. Dude, Didn't it ever occur to you that you felt no change and bore no fruit because you were throwing around my name, but you never bothered to take the time to actually meet ME, to trust in ME.
    Paul - 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.
    • Paul [amplified and paraphrased]: I know that you think that you are all that and a bag of chips because of who your father and grandfather were, and all of the money you spent doing all that stuff for God, and all those hours spent reading to the blind and serving in the soup kitchen. You need to know that all of that stuff is nice, but you will probably want to check that attitude before you step into His throne room. The bad news is that God isn't really all that impressed with what you did (I think He said something about 'filthy rags'). The good news is that he REALLY loves you, that He is pacing around hardly able to contain the joy at the prospect of hanging out with you, and He is really happy that you accepted His invitation.
    I am not sure those need reconciliation.
     
    #140 atpollard, Apr 13, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
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