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Featured Works vs Doctrine

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

  1. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    It appears that either you really don't understand what I've been saying or you have decided to conflate what I've been saying to serve some sort of end. I, and some others here, have quoted pr paraphrased numerous verses to show that Jesus and the Twelve rather clearly taught that we are expected to live out the faith, not only with words but also with the actions that are dictated throughout the NT that for some reason you have chosen to ignore.

    Your approach is to justify a "rocking-chair religion" approach that Jesus clearly denounced. It's going through the motions, devoid of real love of Jesus' message of "agape" and all that God created. It almost seems like you believe that you can buy your way into heaven by simply having politically-correct beliefs minus any necessity of acting on the morals that Jesus and the Twelve taught, thus turning the Sermon On the Mount and Jesus' parables on their head since they focused so much on actions and not just words or beliefs.

    Maybe reread your way through the NT and focus on this question: What would Jesus and the Apostles have us do.
     
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  2. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Then I guess you have chosen to downgrade Jesus' response to the question asked of him "Which is the greatest Commandment of all?", whereas his response is to cite "agape" of God and neighbor. And you also ignore his Parable of the Sheep & Goats (Matthew 25), as the "goats" do believe about him but don't act on what Jesus taught them, namely the necessity out of love of all to help our "neighbor" when in need.

    By stripping out these elements, you have downgraded much of the gospel itself.
     
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  3. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    Favoritism is about being partial to people, especially but not limited to the context of judging people. For instance, when looking to hire a new manager, favoring your friends and family over more qualified candidates. Letting someone who is rich/famous/powerful off the hook for a serious crime, but throwing the book at others who commit the same crime. Prioritizing the wants and needs of the "beautiful people" over "less desirable" people. etc.


    Leviticus 19:15“‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.

    Ephesians 6:9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

    Colossians 3:25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

    James 2:1-4 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

    Romans 2:11 For God does not show favoritism.
     
  4. BilliardsBall

    BilliardsBall Well-Known Member

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    I agree 100% that Christians should live out their faith. I agree with the Bible 100% that living victoriously, sacrificially, communally, or sanctified cannot save a soul.

    Jesus doesn't judge us by what we do for salvation. IMHO, we are judged by Christ's substitution for us, we are judged by the cross and resurrection.
     
  5. BilliardsBall

    BilliardsBall Well-Known Member

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    I don't strip out anything. I adhere to the scriptures. My checkbook and my life do these things. But we are not saved by keeping great commandments, but by the blood of Christ. Are you seeking to strip away the cross and resurrection? You seem sure the good news is, "stop striving to do good works, trust in Jesus, then do the good works of Jesus," rather than "stop striving to be saved, accept a free gift (Romans 6:23, John 3:16, et al).
     
  6. BilliardsBall

    BilliardsBall Well-Known Member

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    Then let us ask a good question, based on favoritism:

    If God hates when the innocent are punished and the guilty set free, why was the innocent Christ crucified?
     
  7. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Actually I think that's more of a theological construct, but that's for another conversation on another day. IOW, symbolically it makes sense but not at the literal level.
     
  8. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    But if that's our main motivation is to be saved, then we're only doing as such for purely selfish reasons. "Agape" is not selfish.
     
  9. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    Christ chose to lay down his life for our sake.

    John 10:17-18 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

    This isn't favoritism in the least - this is selflessness, self-sacrifice. And he didn't die for a select few, but for all.
     
    #109 iam1me, Sep 8, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  10. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Bill this is the problem:
    We are NOT saying this. So who you witness to is not saying the same thing we are saying on this thread. And being an atheist doesn't one is automatically scripture dumb. Thats silly.

    But deeds are from and in christ. There Is No separation between salvation, Christ, god, and deeds. Without it, you are not acting in god of righteousness but of self.

    Not for God but in god, as from god, within him. Anyone can do anything for god (charity, teaching, etc) but if you seperate or from being righteous of god and in god, it's unrighteous works.

    Anyone can Call Out to the lord but not all are saved unless they do righteousness in him and that means deeds as well.
     
  11. Oeste

    Oeste Well-Known Member

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    Read Ephesians 2:8-9 again. Salvation is a gift through faith. A "gift" is not "earned".

    You claim "...we must persevere in doing God's will to receive these". Since the scripture is pretty clear we HAVE BEEN SAVED (past tense), why do you speak as if those in Christ have not already received God's gift?

    In other words, for those who trust and believe in Christ the gift is given. Salvation is not a gift you must strive for, just beyond reach, waiting to be snatched away like a carrot before a donkey.

    works based salvation2.png

    If we still have to work for salvation then our salvation hasn't been received and we are not saved. Additionally, if we have to keep working, our salvation would not be a "gift" but more adequately described as a "labor":

    John is seeking work to feed his family when he comes upon a well dressed man at a bazaar. He eyes the merchant's fine meats, while the aroma from the cooking fires fills his nostrils.

    "You there!' the merchant shouts, "Would you like a gold coin?"

    "Gold coin"? the man looks about, thinking he might be speaking to someone else. "What must I do for this coin?"

    The merchant has a ready smile. "I can see you are a man of fine tastes. Consider the coin a free gift."

    The man is overjoyed, thinking he could by half the merchant's stock with such a prize.

    "Of course", says the merchant, "I can't give you a free gold coin just because you like my wares. I'm afraid there is some good and bad news...

    The good news is you can still earn your free gold coin when you learn to secure and display my wares, clean my quarters, take inventory and whatever other task I set before you."

    "And then I will earn my free gift?" asks the man.

    "Of course, says the merchant. The gold coin is yours to keep."

    The man is rather crest fallen that his free gift comes with attachments but he is ready to work and needs food to feed his family. He decides to venture one last question. "So what's the bad news?"

    "Oh, that", replies the merchant, looking rather nonchalant. "It's a lifetime commitment, and as soon as you stop working, I take my free gift to you away".​

    Perhaps @iam1me can explain how his conception of God's free gift of salvation differs from the merchant's conception of a free gold coin as illustrated here.

    I realize this was and still is a big issue between the Protestant and Catholic church back in the day, but I believe @Etritonakin, @BilliardsBall, @74x12 have correctly interpreted scripture here.

    I see you have some concerns about simply accepting Christ in faith...that this leads to salvation through simple mental assent. I'll address this on my next post.
     
    #111 Oeste, Sep 8, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  12. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    I've addressed this numerous times in this thread now, providing lots of scripture on that is very explicit that eternal life is the reward for good works which we must persevere to obtain. Rather than having me repeat myself, go to one of my posts where I do so and respond to those scripture passages. Until you all can properly acknowledge and accept such scriptures - you are merely cherry picking the scriptures.
     
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  13. Oeste

    Oeste Well-Known Member

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    I summarized your numerous addresses in the illustration above. Under a works-based scenario we are no more than donkeys before the carrot. Worse, we could be working for a Master who threatens to take our “free" gift away as soon as we stop “earning” it.

    I am sure this was not your intent. If so, can you tell us how your explanation differs?

    Also, can you be a bit more specific regarding the exact nature of the "works" you feel are required for salvation? I ask because you made the following comment regarding the thief on the cross:

    The thief went his entire life stealing, and at the last moment believed Christ. We all agree he was saved.

    The other person "does nothing" but go to church his entire life.

    There is no distinction here. If both believed, both are saved. In other words, if God accepts the heartfelt conversion of the thief then he will also accept the same from a churchgoer. He will accept it from a thief at the last moment, or accept it from a churchgoer at his first attendance.


    Who are these people who have done nothing? ALL works, whether good or bad, will be presented before God for testing.

    For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. (1Cor 3:11-15)

    The scripture makes it very clear that only those who do not understand the word can have the word "plucked out of them". That is vastly different from eternal life which cannot be taken out of the hand of God:

    I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:28)
    Jesus is referring to believers. Also, this verse (Mat 13:18-23) has nothing to do with salvation but with reward, as later some of the crop produce 30, 60 or a 100 fold.
     
  14. Oeste

    Oeste Well-Known Member

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    I’ll now address some of the objections you’ve made, to wit:


    This is prooftexting (eisegesis).

    Your objection was not based on the scripture presented but on a doctrinal bias. You've obviously decided beforehand what the scripture should say, so any verse that says the converse should be discounted.


    Mental assent…a mere acknowledgement that Christ died for our sins or a verbal proclamation, a statement of faith, or perhaps a shout from the rooftops that “Jesus is Lord” is insufficient to be saved. What is missing from your analysis is the conversion and regeneration of the heart that comes with faith. That is, when the Spirit calls us we are “born again”, and without this regeneration we are not truly saved. (John 3:3). That is why many will come claiming they did great works in the name of the Lord, but Christ will rebuke them, saying “I never knew you”.

    So what of works? Works is how we know our faith is real. In other words, works are not the cause but the evidence of our salvation. James is not contradicting Paul, and Paul is not contradicting James. Works are a natural outcrop or fruit of the Spirit, but they do not justify us before God. How can they, when they are God’s works and not our own? (James 1:17) If they were our own work they would be consumed at the time of testing (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

    James never contradicts Paul’s dogmatic statement that salvation comes from faith alone. James simply states that if we have faith the Spirit is working within us, and we will have works to show for it. So works are the fruit of our regeneration, but there is no work we can engage in that will cause us to be saved. That work was done on the cross.

    It's very late and I don’t have much time to go into serious detail on this at the moment, but I think it would help if you consider the audience the apostles are addressing. James is addressing mature believers…those who already claim to be Christian. As such he challenges them, telling them point blank that if they have faith but not works their faith is dead. Paul on the other hand has a different audience. They are not believers but want to know how it is they might be saved. For these, a fulhearted belief in Christ is all that’s necessary for them to be born again. (Acts 16: 30-31; John 3: 1-21)


    I find your assertions a bit conflicted. When BilliardsBall stated there were over 150 verses stating belief in Christ alone was sufficient for salvation, you immediately claimed it was a “numbers game”:



    But when I pick out a particular verse, you call it “cherry picking’:


    So too many verses is "playing the numbers", and focusing on a verse or two is "cherry picking"!

    This seems inconsistent to me. Perhaps there's a magic number or formula that will help us hit the mark with you?


    I think we've done this. All you need do is look at the scriptural audience.

    For those who are looking to be saved, it is belief in Christ. This alone gets you saved by allowing a Spirit of regeneration in the believer. However James tells us not to be deceived. If we are truly saved (he is talking to believers) then our faith in Christ will bear fruit, through works of the Spirit. This attests that our faith is alive and not dead ("By their fruits you will know them").

    God promises our good works will stand the test of time. They are the "evidence" or a manifestation of our salvation but never the cause. Each saved person will receive their reward, but there are some saved who have no reward, whilst others will experience a dizzying compounding of effort.
     
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  15. Desert Snake

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    There are many problems, with salvation through works.

    Like, then works inherently override bad action, or belief...
    No...that doesn't work.
    Works are subjective. Very subjective.
    That doesn't work.
    But if you want Scripture,
    Romans 3:27
    And, referring to those verses in the book of James, that people post for the argument, bad news.
    Those are under the law of Righteousness, which...
    Romans 10:4
    Bible followers aren't.
     
  16. Desert Snake

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  17. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    For starters, you need to recognize that both gifts and works are in play - not one or the other like you present. Jesus died for all and established the New Covenant so that anyone maybe saved. This is an indisputable gift that we did not earn. However - as I'm sure you will agree - not everyone is saved. And thus we reach the first major problem with the no works perspective - there IS something that differentiates the saved from the unsaved. And the scriptures are explicit about what this something is, what we will be judged by: our deeds.

    Romans 2:6-11 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”a]">[a] 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.​

    Jesus summarized the entire Law as love the Lord and your fellow man - and love is what we are called to do. We are called to give our lives to God, doing his will.

    Matthew 25:33-40 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’​

    1 John 4:16-21And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.​

    James 1:22-27Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.​

    James 2:14-17 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.​

    Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”​

    Matthew 5:17-20 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.​


    First off, we really don't know much about the thief. It is fair to assert he was a sinner (like us) but apart from that we don't really know much of anything. However, even if we assume that he did nothing but sin without remorse his entire life up until this moment - it would still not be the same.

    Secondly, the difference is that the thief recanted and then he died, while we recant and then have our entire lives before us. The thief accomplished what little he was able to given his predicament when confronted with Christ, whereas most Christians accept Christ rather early in their lives and it is something with them from the day they are born. Even if they convert at a later stage in life, if they have years and years before them and they use this time to do nothing - then they are not devoting their lives to doing God's will, they are not persevering in the faith, they are not baring fruit, and they will not be saved.

    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!’ “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.”​

    Mark 8:35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.​

    Luke 3:7-14 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” 10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”​

    Matthew 7:15-20 Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.​

    Hebrews 10:36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.​

    James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.​
     
  18. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    Continuing my reply...

    That would be everyone who spends their days worshiping God with their mouth, but being completely unfruitful - even disgracing God's name. Like all those evangelical Trump supporters who exude hate and who serve the wealthy and powerful, contradicting Christ's teachings at every turn. You think they help those in need? No - they actively refuse to help them, and seek to deny them aid. They are not producing fruit. Or do you think sinful deeds count as part of what is being built such that anyone and everyone are saved?

    1 Cor 3 is speaking of one who actually builds. That means they had something to present for their life's work. So if you tried, and were unsuccessful, God will still accept it in his mercy. This is very different from one who does nothing their entire lives- one who has nothing to present.

    Matthew 13:18-23 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”​

    You are simply incorrect here. That passage is explaining the parable of the sower. The seed is God's word, planted in people's hearts by hearing it. There are those who hear but do not understand - having the word completely removed. However, there are others as well - those who have no root, who fall away when persecution comes. There are those who are worried about this life and of wealth, and these things cause one to be unfruitful - which would be most of our churches today. It is only when the seed falls in good soil that fruit is produced - and it is by their fruit that they we are recognized. One who does not product good fruit is cut down, destroyed.

    Matthew 7:19​
    Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.​
     
  19. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    To the contrary, it is you who is proof texting by ignoring this wealth of scriptures that contradicts your position. I have taken all of the passages which speak of the gift into account - for I properly recognize that both the gift and works are in play. Note that it is not enough to receive the word of God to be fruitful, it also depends upon the "soil" in which it is planted - that is to say, it depends upon the individual who hears the word. If they act on it, putting Christ's teachings into practice, then they will be fruitful indeed. If you hear Christ teachings, but do not put them into practice - then you will be destroyed.

    You are inverting the teachings of scripture: the scriptures are clear that eternal life is the reward for good works, not the testimony of one who has received eternal life. And, as the parable of the sower makes plain, it is not enough to receive God's word - it depends also upon the soil that receives it.


    One must take into account the whole of scripture in their analysis. You and Billiards are ignoring a trove of scriptures that contradict you.

    James doesn't say "If you are truly saved" (as if you were already saved): he says your faith must be accompanied by works, or that faith is dead and cannot save you (future).

    We are saved from the rightful judgement of our sins - and that Judgement is future.
     
  20. BilliardsBall

    BilliardsBall Well-Known Member

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    Since He died for all, salvation is a mental assent/repentance--I cannot save myself. After, come gratitude, then mighty works. Works cannot save and Galatians warns that those who add works to salvation aren't saved.
     
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