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    Christian Theology - Thread: Can faith save him?

    1. #21
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      Sola Gratia - Solus Christus - Sola Fide is ONE, inseparable, united teaching for Justification (narrow). And yes, it is solidly biblical.

      In a sense, any part of this is incorrect is stripped of the others, so some will make a point that "Sola Fide" is incorrect; it is not our FAITH that is the reason for our justification (making Jesus irrelevant), but the divine gift of faith IS what in a sense accesses justification personally - and nothing else does (so the "sola" applies).

      Anytime that Grace is turned into nothing more than enabling SELF to be the savior of self.... any time Christ is turned into nothing more than a HELPER or OFFERER - then there is no justification, the Christian Gospel is destroyed and Christianity abandoned. And when Sola Fide is removed, we end up with universal justification (all saved) or universal damnation (all damned) - both unbiblical.

      True... faith in Christ's works for us is accompanied by OUR works toward others ("faith without works is dead") but this does not mean the two different works have the same function.
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

    2. #22
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      Quote Originally Posted by MoreCoffee View Post
      Where in holy scripture is it ever said that a man is saved by faith alone?
      [Eph 2:1-10 NASB] 1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

      [Jhn 3:16-21 NASB] 16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 "But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."

      [Rom 10:5-13 NASB] 5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. 6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: "DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, 'WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?' (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or 'WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)." 8 But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus [as] Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same [Lord] is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."

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    4. #23
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      Quote Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
      [Eph 2:1-10 NASB] 1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

      [Jhn 3:16-21 NASB] 16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 "But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."

      [Rom 10:5-13 NASB] 5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. 6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: "DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, 'WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?' (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or 'WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)." 8 But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus [as] Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same [Lord] is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."
      Did you notice that not one of those passages says "faith alone"?
      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. #24
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      Answer this: WHO is the Savior?


      IF you answer "Jesus"
      then Jesus is the Savior. Not you - not a bit, not at all, not now, not ever, not in any way or shape or form or manner. Salvation is entirely, wholly wrapped up in Jesus. It's entirely HIS work. HIS heart. HIS love. HIS mercy. HIS gift. HIS blessing. His life, His death, His resurrection. His Cross, His blood, His sacrifice. His righteousness, His obedience, His holiness. Not you. Not yours. You may have some other role in some other matter, but not this. The "job" of Savior belongs to Jesus. Not you.


      IF you answer "me" then you are the Savior. Not Jesus. Not a bit, not at all. Not now, not ever. Not in any way, shape or form or manner. Salvation is all wrapped up in YOU. YOUR works. YOUR will. YOUR love. YOUR efforts. YOUR merits. YOUR obedience. YOUR righteousness. YOUR holiness. YOUR sacrifice. Not Jesus. Not Jesus'. Jesus may have some other role in some other matter, just not this one. The Savior is you.


      Which is it? Try answering that. If you give the Christian answer, a LOT of Christianity falls into place.

      Jesus is the Savior is the centerpiece, the keystone of Christianity: remove it, and the whole thing crashes, and we end up with the falsehood of other religions: self slowly saves self with divine help - no need for a Savior, just enabling.

      Satan works overtime to make this very simple, very beautiful Gospel as muddy, as complex, as confusing, as uncertain as possible.... all to make Jesus as small as possible and self as big as possible.... all to destroy the Gospel and thus Christianity.... all to try to get us to look in the mirror rather than to the Cross. And sadly, the devil at times succeeds.


      Again, no one denies the the Christian (the Justified one, the one with the divine gifts of spiritual life, faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit) is called to great things - moral perfection, divine love, etc...... no one denies that the Christian is to do good works toward others..... no one has ever said that good works are bad or irrelevant (as some Catholics and Mormons falsely accuse of others), the issue is whether OUR works is the cause of salvation so that self is the savior of self - Jesus thus not the Savior (as one of my Catholic teachers said, "Jesus technically saves no one but rather makes it possible for all to be saved"). When Jesus is made merely a HELPER or OFFERER or DOOR OPENER then He is not the Savior - and honestly would require He not be called something it is believed He is not. No one denies that faith in Christ's works is accompanied by our works for others, what some deny is that THEREFORE our works are what actually saves us and Jesus is thus not the Savior; what some deny is that therefore BOTH works have the same function, purpose, result. Just because two things are joined and associated does not mean they have identical purposes, functions and result.


      In terms of narrow Justification (the attaining of spiritual life, faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit) we have only two choices: Looking to the mirror or to the Cross. It's not complicated. it's not rocket science. Christianity proclaims the Jesus is the Savior. Remove that....and Christianity is destroyed.





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

    6. #25
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      Quote Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
      I agree that there is a correlation between good works and a living faith and being alive in Christ, and I believe that I could defend the existence of a relationship from scripture. However, your statement goes far beyond any simple relationship (those with a living faith do good works) and claim a direct cause-effect relationship (one does good works to get a living faith).
      Christians do good works because that is what God called them to do. That is what saint Paul says in Ephesians 2:10. It is also what saint James says in James 2:14-26. There's not tension between doing good works and living the life of faith. They are the same thing. As the scripture says James 2:17 RSV So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. And keep in mind that saint Paul teaches the same thing in many passages:
      • Philippians 1:27-28 RSV 27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear omen to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.
      • Galatians 2:20 RSV I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
      • 1 Timothy 6:12 RSV Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
      • Hebrews 13:7 RSV Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith.

      faith alone, without good works, is dead. This is not a teaching found only in James chapter two. It is the teaching of the holy scriptures from cover to cover. Faith alone cannot save anybody but faith alive in good works does save all who are saved. Even the thief on the cross and an infant saved by grace are saved by faith working in love, if not their own faith and the works that it produces then the faith of the body of Christ and the work is produces in communion with Jesus Christ. No matter how one looks at it the truth is that faith without works is dead while faith completed by good works is living and active. Faith of this kind is fidelity to God.
      Can you offer scripture to support your position?
      I do not think the Apostles state what you claim.
      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.

    7. #26
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      Quote Originally Posted by MoreCoffee View Post
      Christians do good works because that is what God called them to do.....

      Yup. That's the Protestant position (they were excommunicated for that)

      Our works aren't what causes us to be Christians, it is what flows from being a Christian. Our works don't save, they reveal being saved. Our works aren't what causes us to have spiritual life, faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit - they are what happens when one HAS those gifts.




      There's not tension between doing good works and living the life of faith. They are the same thing. As the scripture says James 2:17 RSV So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. And keep in mind that saint Paul teaches the same thing in many passages:

      Correct. James is NOT saying that our works is what justifies us (thus denouncing Christ as the Savior and repudiating Christianity), he simply is noting that faith that IS faith (not just something SAID) is active, it is accompanied by OUR works toward others. He is NOT saying that OUR works are salvic whereas Jesus' was a joke - or perhaps merely a possibility-maker.

      What you are conveying is EXACTLY what Luther said and stressed so much in his presentation of "Sola Fide." And he was denounced by your denomination for it, in fact your denomination split all western Christianity over what Luther said on this.


      Faith alone cannot save anybody but faith alive in good works does save all who are saved.

      Ah, now you are sounding less Lutheran and more Catholic, lol.....

      Faith in Christ DOES save..... Jesus is NOT the irrelevant, meaningless, moot thing you imply.... His work was not worthless.... Sola Gratia - Solus Christus - Sola Fide IS justification (narrow). Your dismissal of Jesus here is troubling,

      What IS true is THAT faith (which DOES mean Justification because Jesus IS the Savior) is not alone, "We are saved by faith alone but faith is never alone" to quote a Protestant proverb, the divine gift of faith in Christ's works MEANS we have our works toward others. Your error is to suggest that the two works - Christ's and ours - have the SAME function, purpose, result. My car has an engine and an air conditioner - you can't buy one without those TWO things - and yes, the engine empowers the A/C. but they do not have the same function. And it's wrong to say the AC causes the engine to work.


      See post 24. I hold that Jesus is the Savior. I reject what I was taught by my Catholic teachers on this: "God HELPS those who help themselves." "Jesus opened the door to heaven but you got to get yourself through it by what you do." "Technically Jesus doesn't save anyone but rather makes it possible for all to be saved." I agree with the ancient Creed: "We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ.... who for us and for our salvation...." "We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and GIVER of life." I reject that self saves self (with or without HELP), that Jesus is merely a possibility-maker or enabler or helper, that the Holy Spirit at most OFFERS salvation. I don't claim to know or understand all the dynamics here or how GOD gives all this, but this I know: Jesus is THE SAVIOR. And anything that undermines that.... and thus the Gospel and Christianity - I will reject. Luther was willing to die for the Gospel... so am I. And all the efforts of the devil to confuse things, entangle things, make Christ as small as possible and self as big as possible, to make self the actual savior, well.... they all must be called out and rejected. And I do NOT believe that any of the Apostles or biblical penmen denied Christ as THE one and only, all-sufficient SAVIOR.




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

    8. #27
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      I think I am getting this, Josiah...

      So if someone says to you as they did to Paul: "You just got bit by a deadly snake and did not die, so you must be a divine person,"... Then you tell them that all you do is BELIEVE in Jesus Christ... And if they tell you: "How can I believe as you do and not be harmed by deadly snake venom?"... Your answer to them is this:

      There is NOTHING YOU CAN DO...
      Jesus' work on the Cross will save you...
      BUT ONLY IF Jesus decides to save you...

      So when the person then asks:
      "How will I KNOW He has saved me?"
      You will not tell him to get bit by a snake...
      And if you live, you are saved...

      But instead you will say:
      "You will believe in Him and find yourself doing His assigned works."
      And you will hand him a Bible...
      And suggest he attend Church Sermons and Services...

      Or perhaps you will say to him:
      "BECAUSE you want to believe, you are already saved!"
      "So now you can begin repenting, because the Kingdom of Heaven is here and now..."
      I mean, what DO you say to someone asking:

      What can I DO to be Saved by Jesus Christ?
      You CANNOT say: "Start obeying Christ..." can you???
      You cannot have him DO ANYTHING, can you?
      You cannot even tell him to BELIEVE in Christ, can you?

      Can you even tell him to read the Bible???
      But no, that is a work, yes?


      Arsenios
      Last edited by Arsenios; 10-17-2018 at 08:27 AM.

    9. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by MoreCoffee View Post
      Did you notice that not one of those passages says "faith alone"?
      That's because God saves us by His gracious choice and then gives us faith to believe it.
      The cause is God. The effect is faith. The effect of faith is good works.
      MC, it seems you want to ignore God as the cause agent.

    10. #29
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      Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios View Post
      I think I am getting this, Josiah...

      So if someone says to you as they did to Paul: "You just got bit by a deadly snake and did not die, so you must be a divine person,"... Then you tell them that all you do is BELIEVE in Jesus Christ... And if they tell you: "How can I believe as you do and not be harmed by deadly snake venom?"... Your answer to them is this:

      There is NOTHING YOU CAN DO...
      Jesus' work on the Cross will save you...
      BUT ONLY IF Jesus decides to save you...

      So when the person then asks:
      "How will I KNOW He has saved me?"
      You will not tell him to get bit by a snake...
      And if you live, you are saved...

      But instead you will say:
      "You will believe in Him and find yourself doing His assigned works."
      And you will hand him a Bible...
      And suggest he attend Church Sermons and Services...

      Or perhaps you will say to him:
      "BECAUSE you want to believe, you are already saved!"
      "So now you can begin repenting, because the Kingdom of Heaven is here and now..."
      I mean, what DO you say to someone asking:

      What can I DO to be Saved by Jesus Christ?
      You CANNOT say: "Start obeying Christ..." can you???
      You cannot have him DO ANYTHING, can you?
      You cannot even tell him to BELIEVE in Christ, can you?


      Arsenios
      I admire your use of comedic argument.

      Will it work?

      I also admire your optimism
      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.

    11. #30
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      Arsenios


      Your truly weird post has nothing whatsoever to do with what I (or anyone) posted.....

      Correct, if one points to self as the reason for justification then they aren't pointing at Jesus, are they?

      I believe that Jesus is the Savior. That there is no other name under heaven by which any are saved. I believe that no one comes to the Father except though Jesus alone. Does this offend you or do you simply disagree? Do you find that funny or just irrelevant?

      Interesting you ignore everything I've actually stated on this.... and specially quote me saying things I've never said....
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

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