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    Christian Theology - Thread: Justification - Part 2

    1. #11
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      Your inability to be biblically accurate is shown by your response.
      Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios View Post
      Your heart is much better configured than your fallen human reasoning...

      Arsenios
      You think you are rightly dividing the word of God, but your premise that man freely chooses God is wrong and demonstrated throughout scripture. Merely study the word "chosen" and you will see your error.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios View Post
      Works come with being born...
      Good and/or evil is a human choice in this fallen life...

      Arsenios
      All humanity is born corrupted. There is only corrupted behavior, which means...it ain't good.

    3. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by DHoffmann View Post
      Wow this discussion is growing an arm and a leg.
      Works come after God justifies. the end
      I agree. I was just about to say that 1000 posts ought to be some sort of limit, not just the point at which the topic rolls over and starts anew.

    4. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryDay2 View Post
      Mark this moment. This may well be the only time have ever agreed with you
      MennoSota wrote "This is just bad logic on your part. Breathing is autonomous. God breathed..." and the quote above is your reply, friend ImaginaryDay2. "autonomous" - an interesting claim to make about human beings coming from MennoSota who appears to support Calvinism's endless war against autonomy.
      Pope Gregory I was well known for his alms to the poor, and he gave quite generously of the riches donated to the Church by the wealthy people of Rome. Everything from money to land was given to the poor in some fashion. He made clear to his subordinates that their duty was to relieve the distress faced by the poor.

      He ordered his clergy to go out into the streets to find and care for the poor in person.

    5. #15
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      Autonomous was a poor word choice. However, Adam somehow "responding" by breathing (suggesting a conscious effort to breathe) doesn't really align with basic anatomy. Breathing (taking breath in and out) doesn't require effort from us. Certainly there's the concept of a child holding his breath "until he turns blue", but no parent would worry as breathing would begin again on its own as a natural response of the body attempting to sustain life.

      Adam's body became able to sustain life. Adam did not sustain his own (in that scenario). I'm merely suggesting a better example could have been chosen

      Anyway, I'm not sweating it - Menno didn't even give me a 'like' for agreeing with him. :p
      I can't stop the world from turning around, or the pull of the moon on the tide...
      But I don't believe that we're in this alone, I believe we're along for the ride..
      - Dream Theater

    6. Likes Lämmchen liked this post
    7. #16
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      The Gospel of Justification. The view the RCC in 1551 officially anathamatized and condemned as heresy and has repudiated ever since:


      By "Justification" (narrow) we mean the ESTABLISHMENT of a new and different relationship with God, the GIVING of the divine gifts of spiritual life, faith in Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit. We do NOT mean all that results of these gifts and actions by God, what CHRISTIANS (those with the gifts of life, faith and justification) are called to do (that's Sanctification in the narrow sense) - in that, there is (and always has been) essential agreement between Catholicism and (most of) Protestantism. So the debate, the issue of the Reformation, the issue that so divides Western Christianity today has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with what Christians are called to do, those WITH life/faith/Holy Spirit/Justification (as the Catholic Church itself has so powerfully stressed, it's how one RECEIVES that.


      Lutherans teach that justification (narrow) is Sola Gratia - Solus Christus - Sola Fide as ONE, singular, inseparable doctrine. THIS is what the RCC so powerfully repudiates, this is what divides western Christianity and has for 500 years.


      Sola Gratia (Grace Alone). “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and all this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8, see also Romans 6:23, Titus 3:5, etc.). This places emphasis that our salvation (here in the sense of narrow justification) flows from God’s heart – not ours. It is the fruit of God's works/achievements - not ours. Grace in justification is God’s unmerited, unconditional love/favor/gift. God's mercy in NOT treating us as we deserve but of God's grace in giving us what we don't deserve and did not merit.


      Solus Christus (Christ Alone). “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). “There is no other name under heaven by which we may be saved” (Acts 4:12). “No one comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6). Christ IS our Savior and our salvation. It’s CHRIST’s perfect live, CHRIST’s perfect sacrifice, CHRIST’s triumphant resurrection! Christ is the object of our faith. In justification, it is not how much we believe or how good we believe but in Whom we believe; our focus is on the quality of Christ’s work rather than on the quality of our faith; HE is our certainty. We look to the Cross ( not in the mirror) to see the Savior. There is a life GIVER (as the ancient creed stresses) - and it's not dead self (1 John 5:11-12)


      Sola Fide (Faith Alone). “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved!” (Acts 16:30-31. Also see John 3:16, Acts 10:43, etc.). This proclaims that His grace and salvation are embraced by God’s gift of faith. Faith in this context means to trust or rely upon. It means to have active confidence or reliance especially upon something “unseen” or “unproven.” It too is the gift of God.



      For God so loved the world (Sola Gratia) that He gave His only begotten Son (Solus Christus) that whosoever believes in Him (Sola Fide) will not perish but has everlasting life (Justification, narrow) John 3:16


      "You were dead in your trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1)
      “God is love!” (1 John 1:8)
      “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but has everlasting life!” (John 3:16)
      “God shows His love for us in that while we were enemies, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
      "This is our testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life, whoever does not have the Son does not have life" (1 John 5:11-12)
      “God saved us not because of deeds done by us but in virtue of His own mercy, that we might be saved by His grace” (Titus 3:5),
      “For our sake God made Jesus to be sin who knew no sin so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
      “The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:23).
      “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your doing but it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
      “Everyone that believes in Christ receives forgiveness of sins through His name” (Acts 10:43)
      “Sirs, what must we do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:30-31)


      Our justification (narrow) is the result of GOD’S heart, will and work – not our own. Nor is this a mixture of our works and His works so that Jesus is PARTLY the Savior and we are PARTLY the Savior (synergistic Pelagianism), no, Jesus IS the SAVIOR. If it has to do with salvation (justification, narrow) then it's Jesus' doing and gift. We are to keep our hearts and faith focused squarely and only on Jesus who ALONE is THE Savior. How spiritual life is the gift of God. All this is the free gift of God, not because of what the Dead do for self lest any should have reason to boast of self and render Christ irrelevant in this regard.



      A word about faith…

      “For by grace you have been saved through faith in Christ, and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8
      “We are justified by faith” Romans 5:1
      “God justifies he who has faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 3:26


      The word “faith” in this context means to rely, to trust. In its use here, it means to rely on Christ for Salvation (and beyond). It is the means by which we embrace the promise and the work of Christ.

      Faith in this context is not just (or even primarily) a cognitive or mental thing, it means to place our trust, our life in another – to rely. When we ride in an airplane, we may not understand exactly how the plane flies – but we can board the plane and literally entrust our very lives to it. We may submit to surgery and to a surgeon whom we don’t even know (and who doesn’t know us) and have no idea what will happen – literally entrusting our very life to him/her. Trust is a key factor in lives (to not trust is to be paranoid). For a Christian, we trust our soul and much of our life to God. In salvation, we trust in His works rather than in our own, we look to HIS perfect life rather than our sinful one, to His death rather than the one we deserve. We are placing our lives in His loving hands.

      Faith is not our doing, it is the ‘gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8)



      SEE NEXT POST >>>>>>



      .
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

    8. #17
      Josiah's Avatar
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      A word about OUR works…


      As noted in the post above, the "debate," the issue of the Reformation, the issue that so divides Western Christianity is not now and never has been what is true for Christians, for those justified (narrow), for those with the divine gift of life, faith and Holy Spirit (an issue theologically called "Sanctification" narrow). Everyone has always agreed that once justified, once given those Gifts, MANY truths come into play - including a life of humility, a life of repentance, a life of loving, a life of morality, a life of good works toward our neighbor, etc., etc, etc., etc. and that indeed the Holy Spirit we now HAVE directs and empower such (so that the CHRISTIAN response is synergistic and progressive) and indeed God rewards CHRISTIANS for this and indeed the lack of such may suggests the lack of justification or eventually may result in our wrecking our faith and thus terminating this gift of justification. No disagreement there, as the Catholic Church itself has so powerfully stressed for over 500 years. That's not the debate. The debate is about the application of the "FREE GIFT" of God - of life/faith/Holy Spirit/Justification (narrow). The RCC called the Lutheran/Protestant view in the post above "heresy" - SO horrible it split Western Christianity over it.



      On the one hand, Justification (narrow) is not the result of OUR works but rather JESUS’ works. He is the Savior; we are not. Because JESUS is the Savior, it is His works that bring about our salvation – not ours (or else, we’d be the Savior!). On the other hand, Scripture is clear that faith is never alone (James 2:17, Galatians 5:25, John 13:34, Philippians 2:13, Philippians 3:12-14). OUR works do not save us, but they result from our being saved – they are the result of our justification and not the cause of it. We love not so that God will love us, rather we love because God first loved us (Galatians 5:25, John 13:34, Hebrews 11:6). OUR works are not the cause of salvation but the result of salvation, and as such, are to accompany our lives as Christians. CHRISTIANS are called to great things! To absolute divine holiness... to love even as Christ first loved us... to service/ministry.... and much, much more! These are not optional! But these are what the justified are called to do, not what makes one the justified. The unregenerate are dead and can't do anything spiritual (cuz they are dead), but once GIVEN life ("I have come that they may have life....") then (and only then) can they begin to live and grow and mature. It's not the growing that makes one alive, but being alive means we can grow.



      Apart from Christ, we are "DEAD in our trespasses and sins." Life is not something the dead give to self, life is the GIFT of God given to the dead so that they have life. Yes, Justification (God's works for us) and Sanctification (our works for God) are inseparable, but association does not even imply causation. Yes, generally speaking, the living breathe but it is not breathing that causes one to be conceived and have life - it's having been given life that causes one to breathe.


      Messing this up undermines everything When Jesus is no longer the Savior, we’ve stepped outside of Christianity. When we are made our own Savior (in whole or in part), the result is not only a conflict with Scripture and the central affirmation of Christianity, but it results in one of two things: A “terror of the conscience” (as we realize we’re not the “savior” of self we need to be) or we become little self-righteous, condemning souls (because we think we are what we need to be). It results in the beauty and comfort of the Gospel being lost and our relationship to God undermined. In some circles, OUR works are added to the requirements of John 3:16 so that it reads, “For God so loved the world so that those who do “X, Y and Z” will not perish but be given what their works deserve, everlasting life.” The key factor then is not Christ but our performance of “X, Y and Z” – not His work but our work, WE become the Savior, not Christ. And we must worry if we’ve done “X, Y and Z” well enough (remember His call to perfection?), if we’ve done enough, if we’ve done well enough, if we’ve been sufficient. IF we answer “NO” the result is a “terror of the conscience” so that we never know if we are forgiven or saved or heaven-bound or not. IF we answer “YES” the result is often a prideful, self-righteous, condemning modern-day Pharisee. We must not mix our works with Christ’s works, the cause of salvation with the fruit of salvation. The result is the “peace that passes all understanding” and love that isn’t selfish and self-serving but truly of God.


      Jesus is the Savior! We are saved by His grace and mercy, by His life and death and resurrection! Our faith, our rest, our certainty are in Christ! Our peace, our confidence, our certainty are in Christ! So Lutherans (and most Protestants) proclaim. It resulted in the third largest split in Christianity in 1500 years.



      - Josiah




      .
      Last edited by Josiah; 05-21-2018 at 09:51 AM.
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

    9. #18
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      Martin Luther and Justification....


      Luther lived in a world where the common knowledge of Scripture (even among the clergy) was poor and when theological training of the clergy was minimal. Luther himself had pastors who had no clue as to the Gospel (or many other things, little knowledge of Catholicism). At the direction of his superiors, Luther became a professor of the Bible and gained a Doctorate in such (Becoming an official "Doctor of the Church" whose ministry was to instruct and correct the Catholic Church). He became a leading expert in biblical Hebrew and koine Greek - as well as Catholic doctrine, and a theology prof at the University of Wittenburg.


      In addition to the (largely ignorant) bad preaching/teaching in Catholic parishes around Germany (at least) that Luther witnessed.... there were the Indulgence Sellers, trying to sqeeze more money out of poor Germans to support the LAVISH lifestyle of the Catholic princes and to fund the crusades the CC was directing. Now, Indulgences themselves had never been theologically approved and the practice itself unexamined by the Church - but it was working, generating a LOT of money and thus was being blindly and passionately supported (the expenses of the Catholic princes mandated this money, and more). But the sellers were shrouding all this selling with theology - theology the RCC has NEVER examined and certainly NEVER approved, theology that contradicted Catholic theology, contracted the Council of Orange, contradicted what Catholic universities typically taught, was horribly Pelagian (a condemned heresy in the RCC at the time). Luther wanted to put a light on that.... to have a theological, academic, university discussion of the theology these Sellers were using on these poor, innocent (and often very ignorant) Catholic laity.... this idea that giving money to the RCC is what justifies. So, his 95 Thesis were written in academic Latin and were a call for the professors and students of the university to discuss the theology in what the Sellers were preaching. Long story short, it all got out..... and since SO many felt passionately about this, well....


      What is often missed is that at first, Luther was 100% SURE that the Catholic Church - it's bishops, cardinals and even the very corrupt Pope - would be grateful for his correction as a Doctor of the Church, and would be quick and eager to reign in the Sellers and to correct this very horrible theology. He was very polite, patient, courteous.... and confident. Boy was he wrong. For very complex reason (some theological, more political, even more economic) the RCC sided with the Pelagian heresy of the Indulgence Sellers. And - while it took 40 years - eventually would dogmatize that errant view in order to underpin its fundraising and its errant view of Christian motivation, and (perhaps most of all) to "justify" (albeit retroactively) all the things it had said to Luther and Lutherans.


      For Luther, lifting high the Cross was critical. ANYTHING that undermined Jesus as THE SAVIOR, that undermined the Holy Spirit as the GIVER of life, was profoundly dangerous. The Chief Article of the Christian faith (he argued)... the Article of
      Faith that more than any other makes Christainity distinctive and true.... the Article of Faith on which the entirety of Christianity stands.... is that Jesus (no other - including the one you see in the mirror), IS (fully, effectually) THE (one and only) SAVIOR (not Helper, not Possibility Maker). Yes, we all agree, WITH the DIVINE GIFTS of life/faith/Holy Spirit/Justification narrow - MUCH comes into play but we all agree on that. What Luther was passionate to defend was the Gospel. He was excommunicated and this view anathematized.


      500 years later, that Indulgence Sellers theology IMO still reigns in popular Catholicism. It's what I was taught in the RCC. There are liberal Catholics who insist that all this was just political and economic - and should be forgiven (even though the RCC CANNOT repent for it all). Other liberal Catholics who insist that actually - in spite of decades of very, very careful discussions with Luther and Lutheran "Fathers", in spite of Luther being SO very careful to explain what he meant and didn't mean so that it was impossible to misunderstand him, in spite of all this, Catholic scholarship among the Catholic bishops was SO bad that they just didn't understand and thus made a mistake, actually Catholicism has no major problem with what Luther said on Justification: we word things differently, we stress different things, but they are very compatible. And there are modern liberal Catholics who now even preach Lutheranism on this point, although perhaps using the term "initial grace" in lieu of "justification" in order to swerve around the anathemas of Trent but saying the same thing Luther did. I reject these modern, post Vatican II, liberal "spins." I think Catholicism simply chose to dogmatize the theology of the Indulgence Sellers and noted that Luther was right: the RCC did radically disagree with the view discribed in post 16 above. THAT view is heresy and must be anathematized and is SO bad that the RCC had to oversee the third largest split in Christianity in 1500 years.



      Thank you.



      - Josiah




      .
      Last edited by Josiah; 05-21-2018 at 09:56 AM.
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

    10. #19
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      Staff Notice

      I'm already seeing some harsh responses on this new thread. It is okay to attack another's persons beliefs, but not the person.
      Questioning a person's logic or ability to be logical is insulting. Try to stick to attacking the belief and not the person. Try to be civil. No flaming allowed.
      here is the rule

      Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
      This is a Christian site and members are expected to act with respect toward others.
      Flaming or personal attacks will not be tolerated.


      This is going to be a much shorter thread and it will be closed if this cannot be followed. Just a warning

      Carry on

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      Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
      I agree. I was just about to say that 1000 posts ought to be some sort of limit, not just the point at which the topic rolls over and starts anew.
      How many posts will it take for people to give up adding human works to their justification before the Almighty God? How long will it take for people to admit that there is nothing good within their being and that all goodness is found solely in Christ and Christ alone?
      As long as people want to argue that it is "God...plus me" there will be a distinct disagreement. It can only be "God and God alone."

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