1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Works vs Doctrine

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by iam1me, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2018
    Messages:
    528
    Ratings:
    +219
    Religion:
    Christian
    Many protestants tend to believe that salvation is not something to be earned, not something with any requirements on our end whatsoever. However, a comprehensive reading of the scriptures makes it clear that eternal life is a reward for our good works - and that without these works ones faith is meaningless.

    Worse still, the thing that most protestants do hinge salvation upon is doctrine. You must accept their particular set of core doctrines for salvation. With doctrines like the Trinity - you aren't even required to understand the doctrine - just assent to it. However, the scriptures present no such list of doctrines but rather, again, bases the Judgement off of our deeds.

    Consider the following passages:


    James 2:14-20 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that r]">[r]God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

    Romans 2:6-11 [God] will render to each person according to his deeds: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

    Matthew 16:24-27 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

    Matthew 7:21-27
    “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. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
    24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”


    Luke 6:43-46
    “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

    Luke 13:6-9 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
    8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
    There are many more such verses, but the above is a good sampling of the consistent teaching of the scriptures on the matter. That is not to say that there are no scriptures which (when take out of context) would not give the opposite impression. Most such scriptures stem from not reading Paul thoroughly. Note that the Romans 2 passage above is from Paul - he maintained along with everyone else that works are required.

    If you disagree with the notion that works are what result in salvation - but would assert that doctrine or something else is what secures one's salvation - please explain your view on the above scriptures and explain why you think differently.
     
    #1 iam1me, Aug 26, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
    • Like Like x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  2. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2018
    Messages:
    528
    Ratings:
    +219
    Religion:
    Christian
    Nope - I'm just reading the scriptures for what they say.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2018
    Messages:
    528
    Ratings:
    +219
    Religion:
    Christian
    The problem is particularly rampant among Protestants. As far as I'm aware, both Catholic and Orthodox churches maintain that works are essential for salvation. But I'm no expert on Catholic/Orthodox theology.
     
  4. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    13,387
    Ratings:
    +2,027
    I think James sums it up nicely at James 2:26 B .... so faith without works is dead.

    If No works were involved then Jesus would Not have given the instruction to tell the world about the good news of God's kingdom government of Daniel 2:44 as he mentioned at Matthew 24:14 and Acts of the Apostles 1:8 to carry his message on a grand international scale as it is being done today.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Windmills of your mind

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    29,303
    Ratings:
    +9,669
    Religion:
    Process of Spiritual Healing
    I was told faith is a gift and works are a result of faith. Since gifts aren't earned, works is discarded in relations to ones salvation.
     
  6. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2018
    Messages:
    528
    Ratings:
    +219
    Religion:
    Christian
    Yes, that is commonly said by Protestants in attempt to explain away scripture. However, nothing in scripture, logic, or experience can defend the idea that faith directly results in corresponding works. To the contrary, the scriptures constantly tell us to persevere - because it is simply not the case that your beliefs directly correspond to action.


    1 Timothy 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

    Temptation to sin doesn't go away when becoming a Christian - it is a constant battle to do what is right and good and avoid sin:


    Romans 7:21-25 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful natured a slave to the law of sin.
     
  7. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Messages:
    4,004
    Ratings:
    +1,061
    Religion:
    Itiswhatitis
    What Jesus did on the cross is more than enough. I cannot set my own works before the work of God. (John 6:29)

    The holy Spirit is being poured out so that people will bear the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23) Not so they can display the soiled tatters of their own self righteousness. (Isaiah 64:6) But the fruit of the Spirit in them bearing the fruit. Just as a plant does not need to think about bearing fruit. But the branches are naturally nourished through the vine and the result is the branch bears fruit. (John 15:5) The fruit of the Spirit is perfected through works (James 2:17) but this work begins in the Spirit and it ends in the Spirit. (Galatians 3:3, Zechariah 4:6) So then this goodness comes from God and not ourselves. (Philippians 3:9, Ephesians 2:8) But many do not have the holy Spirit even though they believe Jesus is the Savior. That's because they've never been told about the holy Spirit or they never sought for it from Jesus Christ who is the only One who baptizes in the holy Spirit. (Luke 11:13, Acts 19:2, Luke 3:16)

    But because they don't have the Spirit they seek to fulfill their own righteousness in ignorance of the righteousness of God. (Romans 10:3) Misunderstanding the Word of God; they apply it in only a superficial way. Some even make clean the outside of the vessel but inwardly are not yet clean. The true righteousness of God begins on the inside through the holy Spirit and the good deeds people do is the overflow from within them. (John 7:38) The anointing oil in Psalm 23 is the holy Spirit and the cup that runs over is the heart and soul full of the holy Spirit.

    Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. (Psalm 23)

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Windmills of your mind

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    29,303
    Ratings:
    +9,669
    Religion:
    Process of Spiritual Healing
    It's much more simple than quoting verses. Relationships are a two way thing. God does something for you and you do something for God. It's a tag team. Doesn't depreciate free gifts just puts more importance on thr act gratitude. More work from the believer.

    James says a lot about it, but then, I was told James wasn't a good book to use. It depends on the person.

    But protestants and other christians have some things in common. For some reason you guys like to argue over your own Sacred scripture pointing holes in each other's interpretation of scripture.

    I know jesus did not care for the Jews who disagreed with his father but he did says what you do for others you do for him. Y'all really putting jesus to shame.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2018
    Messages:
    528
    Ratings:
    +219
    Religion:
    Christian
    What Jesus did was to pave the way for us to be saved by establishing the New Covenant and becoming its High Priest. His sacrifice did not automatically ensure everyone would be saved- hence there is still a Judgement, which he will oversee.

    As for your John 6:29 reference - to believe in Christ is only one work of God. It does not do away with everything else that God and Christ has instructed of us. If you truly believed in Christ, you would do as he instructed. Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

    You carry the analogy of a tree bearing fruit too far by saying "a plant does not need to think about bearing fruit." A plant doesn't think period - that's not really the point here. The point is that a tree's worth is in what it does, in what it produces. So too are we judged by what we do, by what we produce. Also, those verses that you reference in passing don't say what you are implying they say.

    Take, for instance, John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
    Note that this verse is presents the production of fruit as a conditional matter. IF you remain in me THEN you will bear fruit ELSE you won't. So it is not an automatic process as you suggest - it is conditional upon us.

    Romans 8:5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.​

    And it is not as simple as simply receiving the Holy Spirit. A Christian must actively struggle and choose to do what the Spirit desires - facing off against temptation and sin.

    Romans 7:21-25 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

    Receiving the Holy Spirit does not mean becoming possessed such that your freewill goes out the window and you auto-magically become a saint who perfectly performs the will of the Lord. The Holy Spirit is a helper to us - not a controller of us.

    Romans 8:15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”​
     
    #9 iam1me, Aug 26, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  10. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2018
    Messages:
    528
    Ratings:
    +219
    Religion:
    Christian
    They told you James isn't a good book to use because it directly contradicts the theology you are being taught. This is why it is important to study what the scriptures actually teach rather than simply accepting whatever it taught at the pulpit.

    It is important to study the scriptures in order to understand what they actual teach, to understand God's Word. If you took the time to bother to read the Gospels you wouldn't be saying such things. Jesus - and subsequently his followers - were constantly debating the scriptures with others.

    Acts 17:2 As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures
     
  11. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Messages:
    4,004
    Ratings:
    +1,061
    Religion:
    Itiswhatitis
    Of course I'm saying you have to be connected to the vine. My point is fruit will come so long as you are connected to the vine. It is true for those who have the holy Spirit but are not connected. They also remain unfruitful. This is the person who received one talent and buried it in the earth. They did not invest in what they were given. So they remained profitless. How many times did Jesus say watch and pray? To remain connected is to watch(that is watch against the encroachment of sin) and pray. That is to seek the face of God. But you can think you have the holy Spirit and not even have truly received this Gift from God.
     
  12. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Windmills of your mind

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    29,303
    Ratings:
    +9,669
    Religion:
    Process of Spiritual Healing
    This is one of the biggest reasons I don't care for the Christian faith. One body of Christ that tear at each other isn't a debate.

    I've read the full Bible. "They" meaning individual people not a denomination or people preaching false scripture interpretation.

    There is truth in both points of view. Salvation is a gift, that's a given in scripture. What's also given is how works are interelated with salvation. Some verses says "faith alone" saves. Other verses say "faith without works is dead." Taken in isolation, you guys can quote scriptures all you want. The key is to make sense out of them in your own words and in your own conclusions.

    But debating sacred Scripture as if it were a sword is the last method of getting people to understand what you are saying.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2018
    Messages:
    528
    Ratings:
    +219
    Religion:
    Christian
    You've ignored a good deal in my last reply that I could just copy and paste in reply to you once more here. The primary problem with your position is this false idea that upon receiving the Holy Spirit you just auto-magically do good, you become a saint who carries out the will of God perfectly. This idea is fabricated and is simply not found in scripture or in real life experience. And attacking others by asserting that they must have not *really* received the Holy Spirit if they don't instantly turn into saints is just holier-than-thou non-sense.
     
  14. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2018
    Messages:
    528
    Ratings:
    +219
    Religion:
    Christian
    Disagreeing and pointing out others errors is not tearing into each other. Some people can't handle intellectually rigorous debates I suppose - they are far too emotional. Which is fine, everyone doesn't need to be a scholar - and ones measure as a Christian should not be the measure of their minds. There are more important things. However, such individuals should recognize their limitations and refrain from debate rather than try to shut down such debates because it makes them emotional.

    At any rate, if you read the scriptures then you know that Jesus and his followers were constantly debating the scriptures. To know that and to then turn around and say that when others debate the scriptures they are bringing shame to Christ is simply intellectually dishonest.

    And as far as the scriptures being a sword...

    Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

    Ephesians 6:17
    Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
     
    #14 iam1me, Aug 26, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  15. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    46,873
    Ratings:
    +4,385
    there are various levels of work

    and the Almighty can shame our best effort on our best day.....
    with the least of His own
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Messages:
    4,004
    Ratings:
    +1,061
    Religion:
    Itiswhatitis
    I think you're reading what I'm saying but coming to the wrong conclusions about what I mean. :)

    No, it's not easy just because you have the holy Spirit. I definitely did not mean to imply that it was easy. Actually it's a real battle. Jesus never said it was easy or that you would be perfect the minute you received the holy Spirit.

    Secondly, I can't just assume everyone has received the holy Spirit. No offense alright? Either you have received or you haven't; you know? It's not anything to be ashamed of if you haven't or anything to proud of if you have. It's something to rejoice about and something to be very happy about. But no one can deserve the holy Spirit or earn the holy Spirit. If anyone wants the holy Spirit they can have from God though. I'm 100% sure on that.

    Acts 2:1-4
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2018
    Messages:
    528
    Ratings:
    +219
    Religion:
    Christian
    If you recognize that it is a battle - then you should also recognize that good works are something you must choose to do of your own volition. Sin and temptation draw us away from doing good and towards selfish and greedy actions that benefit ourselves at a cost to others. Good actions benefits others, especially at a cost to ourselves.

    No you can't assume people in general have or have not received the Holy Spirit. However, neither can you use the presence or absence of the Holy Spirit to explain whether or not they have or will do good deeds. One doesn't receive the Holy Spirit by filling a quota of good deeds, after all, but through repentance for bad ones - through a promise change yourself and dedicate yourself to God. Whether or not one then persists in doing good or ultimately falls away and returns to sin, however, is up to the individual. If they persist in doing good it is because they persist, of their own volition, in doing good.
     
  18. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Windmills of your mind

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    29,303
    Ratings:
    +9,669
    Religion:
    Process of Spiritual Healing
    They all think like you interestingly enough. Every other christians don't know what they are talking about. Other christians are wrong in interpretation.

    All the negativity. Is there anything good about christians who don't hare your line of reasoning over the same text?

    Something genuine?

    Debates are presenting statements of fact and supporting them with evidence. The "winner" is usually decides by a third party based on who presented a good argument/statement of challenge and whose support is accurate to their claim. It's not judging nor assumptions. No taking offense. No opinionated defense. All facts.

    An argument is something differently entirely. Like your post, it's based on opinion presented as facts. Support is based on interpretation and opinions. There is no third party to accurately say who is right or wrong. Both parties are convinced that the other is wrong.

    Debates challenge each other's facts
    Arguments challenges said others opinions

    With that said, how should I take your argument as a debate when your argument already judges and opinionated before any other person spoke against it?


    Also, debates you don't try to correct other people. RF says debate but really we are just presenting arguments over opinions. The challenge is how to converse in a calm way without correcting each other with emotions attached.

    Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

    I think you are reading into scripture and people's views quite literally. That doesn't help.

    Using sacred Scripture as a sword means using it as a means to harm other people. To kill them in context of their opinions. In this case, killing your brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Sword meaning weapon that kills. English metaphor.

    The verse above talks about the message being sharp and direct in its truth and statements. It's not saying the sword kills others but it talks about itself as a truth out of lies. It's a metaphor but used in a different context than how I used the word.

    You have to read and think about context. English is very very metaphoric and idiomic language. It requires the reader to think outside the box to draw conclusions. Since religion isn't science and it's very heated, unfortunately people miss out on that.

    Not assuming whether or not English is your native language. It just means look more into context as opposed to translated scripture to whom many of us don't speak the original language nor know the culture to which to speak authoritatively about any of its words.
     
  19. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2018
    Messages:
    528
    Ratings:
    +219
    Religion:
    Christian
    Everyone who doesn't agree 100% with everyone else's view points thinks that others are wrong. Which would be everyone. There's nothing wrong with that - that just means you need to debate to find the truth. Far worse would be to tell everyone to not just talk about things that they disagree about - because someone might be upset by it. Then no one learns anything, no wisdom is shared, and no ones false views are challenged.

    The most negative things on this thread have been said by you - such as by asserting that anyone who enters into scriptural debate is shaming Christ. A blind, emotional attempt at shutting up discussion because you can't personally handle it.

    And I guarantee you that I conflict with every Christian on something. There's nothing wrong with it. In the end, each of us must strive to understand these matters to the best of our individual ability. That is what it means to love God with all your mind. Differences are inevitable - for we all differ in our mental capabilities, our educational opportunities, and in the time we've invested into discussing these matters. There is no shame in being at a different place than someone else. The important thing is to strive to do your best and to share the wisdom you have gleaned with others. Debates are a natural venue for this.

    All debates are a matter of interpretation. The same evidence is generally available to both sides of a good debate - the difference is in how the evidence is evaluated and presented.

    A formal college debate or the like may have a third party arbiter - but debates in life are rarely so formal. And in such debates, what is being judged is not the truth of the matter - but the skills of the people making their arguments. They could hold a debate on whether or not the holocaust really happened, for instance, and if the person arguing that the holocaust didn't happen was the better at presenting his case - even if we all know it to be false - then he would be the winner in such a debate.

    Debates to discover the truth, on the other hand, are much more difficult to decide. It is a process of discovery and refinement - and there is often no final arbiter to indicate when we have hit upon the full truth of a matter.

    The intents of the debaters will vary. In debate clubs and the like, the purpose of debates is to refine one's ability to argue a point - even if the point is completely ludicrous. However, the ideal purpose of debating is to find and teach truth. It is the means by which people intellectually resolve their differences, which often involves correcting others.

    It sounds like you are the one getting overly literal here, not me. At any rate, the truth is not so kind as to agree with what makes people feel good. One who has dedicated themselves to God should serve him in truth - and that means accepting when you are wrong and changing your ways and view points.

    I'm well aware that it is a metaphor; it is you who needs to work on their reading comprehension.
     
  20. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Windmills of your mind

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    29,303
    Ratings:
    +9,669
    Religion:
    Process of Spiritual Healing
    Oooh. Youre debating with the wrong person. Maybe an idea of what you think I believe based on other people you speak with, I guess.

    But it's an accusation. That's not a debate
     
Loading...