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csuguy
April 27th, 2016, 12:30 AM
On this forum and elsewhere it is common place, if not the majority, that I find Christianity completely inversed. For instance: they assert that Christ did everything and that nothing is required of us. They attack the idea that anything is required of us, that we should do any good works or that salvation in any way is dependent upon our actions. They turn everything on its head - for they call themselves Christians: followers of Christ. Yet what they teach and practice is to do nothing, do not do the will of the Lord, do not do good deeds, ignore God's Law, do not follow the commandments. These teachings and commands, they say, have nothing to do with us.

As a result they do nothing, they continue on living worldly lives chasing money, success, power, etc. They effectively use Christ as a justification for this way of living. They pay mouth service to God and so feel justified in continuing to live ungodly lives. The scriptures say that God is Holy so we, his people, should be Holy. They say that Christ is Holy, so there's no need for us to be Holy...

Or, again, we find that their priorities are completely askew. They focus on believing the right things, paying allegiance to the right doctrines - these they say are essential to salvation, to being a true Christian. Like the Trinity. Yet they detatch belief from action. Though the bible declares that faith without works is dead, they do not understand that the role of our beliefs is to guide our actions - and that belief that is not acted upon is meaningless. They place all importance upon doctrines like the Trinity that they don't even claim to understand and call a mystery, and abandon the clear commands of God to love one another, to care for those in need, and to make disciples.

Is it just me, or do you all see this too? If you are among those who say that we should do nothing, that the teachings of Christ and commandments of God have nothing to do with us - how do you justify calling yourself Christian when you abandon everything?

heir
April 27th, 2016, 05:05 AM
On this forum and elsewhere it is common place, if not the majority, that I find Christianity completely inversed. For instance: they assert that Christ did everything and that nothing is required of us. For salvation, there is no work of ourselves Romans 4:4-5 KJV, Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV, Titus 3:5 KJV

There is a work of the ministry (1 Corinthians 3:10-15 KJV), but one cannot serve to be saved. One must be saved to serve. So my advice to every one is get saved and serve!

patrick jane
April 27th, 2016, 06:01 AM
=csuguy;4686884
Is it just me, or do you all see this too? If you are among those who say that we should do nothing, that the teachings of Christ and commandments of God have nothing to do with us - how do you justify calling yourself Christian when you abandon everything?


It's just you. We do good works and deeds and love our neighbor but that doesn't save us. We don't preach for people to do nothing. We can do nothing to gain salvation, get it ?

Danoh
April 27th, 2016, 06:44 AM
On this forum and elsewhere it is common place, if not the majority, that I find Christianity completely inversed. For instance: they assert that Christ did everything and that nothing is required of us. They attack the idea that anything is required of us, that we should do any good works or that salvation in any way is dependent upon our actions. They turn everything on its head - for they call themselves Christians: followers of Christ. Yet what they teach and practice is to do nothing, do not do the will of the Lord, do not do good deeds, ignore God's Law, do not follow the commandments. These teachings and commands, they say, have nothing to do with us.

As a result they do nothing, they continue on living worldly lives chasing money, success, power, etc. They effectively use Christ as a justification for this way of living. They pay mouth service to God and so feel justified in continuing to live ungodly lives. The scriptures say that God is Holy so we, his people, should be Holy. They say that Christ is Holy, so there's no need for us to be Holy...

Or, again, we find that their priorities are completely askew. They focus on believing the right things, paying allegiance to the right doctrines - these they say are essential to salvation, to being a true Christian. Like the Trinity. Yet they detatch belief from action. Though the bible declares that faith without works is dead, they do not understand that the role of our beliefs is to guide our actions - and that belief that is not acted upon is meaningless. They place all importance upon doctrines like the Trinity that they don't even claim to understand and call a mystery, and abandon the clear commands of God to love one another, to care for those in need, and to make disciples.

Is it just me, or do you all see this too? If you are among those who say that we should do nothing, that the teachings of Christ and commandments of God have nothing to do with us - how do you justify calling yourself Christian when you abandon everything?

Those of us who assert what you have clearly misunderstood, were not the first to assert it.

Romans 3:8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.

The damnation there, a reference to the exposure of YOUR same kind of assertion all these centuries later, as being the actual error in the issue.

On the other hand, don't feel too bad - error of some sort is ever par for the course, at some point within one aspect of the faith for or another each person - because finite minds will tend to slip up here and there as to their responsibility to be looking at things from the infinite not from the finite, 2 Cor. 4:18.

Thus, even among those who strongly disagree with your above error, and rightly so; there will be differences in understanding as to what consitutes what those good works which God hath before ordained that the saved, and as a result: sealed saint; should walk in, are, Eph. 2:8-10.

csuguy
April 27th, 2016, 07:34 AM
For salvation, there is no work of ourselves Romans 4:4-5 KJV, Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV, Titus 3:5 KJV

There is a work of the ministry (1 Corinthians 3:10-15 KJV), but one cannot serve to be saved. One must be saved to serve. So my advice to every one is get saved and serve!

God will render to each person according to their works. Those who do good shall be given eternal life. Those who do evil shall receive wrath (see Romans 2:6-11). Given this, do you propose that there is salvation apart from eternal life? If not then you must admit that salvation is dependent upon our deeds.

Paul here is consistent with the rest of the NT in asserting such. For James tells us that faith without works is dead and cannot save us. Christ tells us that only the one who does the will of the Lord will be saved, that we must lose our lives to save it. If we look at parables of the end times and judgement like the sheep vs goats in Matthew 25, they are judged by their actions with regards the least of these.

To say that our deeds, our works, have no barring on our salvation is quite clearly denounced throughout the NT - including Paul. But you ignore these clear teachings found throughout the NT in favor of cherry-picking this or that verse to give a false-impression of the requirements of salvation.

Yes - Christ is essential to our salvation, without which we would be doomed no matter what we did. But his sacrifice does not automatically lead to salvation for all - though he died for all. For the scriptures are clear that not all will be saved. Rather, through Christ we are given the right to become children of God, reborn. Whether or not we invoke this right is completely dependent upon our decisions here and now: how we live our lives.

In case you missed it I'll ask it again so that maybe you will answer this time: is there salvation apart from eternal life?

chrysostom
April 27th, 2016, 07:41 AM
For instance: they assert that Christ did everything

what do you believe Christ did for us?

csuguy
April 27th, 2016, 07:48 AM
It's just you. We do good works and deeds and love our neighbor but that doesn't save us. We don't preach for people to do nothing. We can do nothing to gain salvation, get it ?

If you don't preach to do nothing, then you aren't precisely the group that my post was targeting - because there are those who do explicitly say such things: http://theologyonline.com/showthread.php?117606-Helping-others/page2&p=4686062#post4686062. This is only one of numerous times I've heard such things on here and in person.

Though it is simply the teachings you subscribe to taken to their logical conclusion - for you all are constantly denouncing the idea that anything is required of you, mocking works and good deeds, even denouncing it as heresy. The natural result is that people like this will conclude that the idea that you are expected to do anything good is a negative thing, and so they conclude that you are to do nothing.

Additionally, even if you agree that good deeds are a good thing and do try to do them - yet the emphasis is still placed not on devoting ones life to God, but to believing the right things and fitting in good deeds into your otherwise worldly life as you have time. Even the priests are quite worldly - living very comfy lives off of tithes and offerings, while doing little to nothing for the poor and needy. But we are to seek the kingdom of God first - we should all be devoting our lives to carrying out God's will, not to chasing after that raise and such. Yet most people go to church, pay tithe, and that's the end of it.

Christ is essential to our salvation, without which no one would be saved. But it is simply contrary to the testimony of scripture that our deeds play no role in that salvation, that there are no requirements on our part. Hence eternal life is said to be the reward for good deeds (Romans 2:6-11), and that no one will be saved unless they do the will of the Lord (Matthew 7:21-29)

csuguy
April 27th, 2016, 08:00 AM
what do you believe Christ did for us?

Christ established the New Covenant with his blood, trapping sin in the flesh and giving us an opportunity at a new life in him. He died for all, and all shall be given life after death - and then the judgement shall come. Those who did good, taking care of the least of these, doing the will of God - these shall be welcomed into the kingdom. Those who did NOT do good but say things like "Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [e]take care of You?" - these shall be destroyed.

For eternal life is the reward of good deeds, and one must lose their life - devoting it to God - to save it.

It is a mockery of Christ's sacrifice to assert that he did everything, so nothing is required of us. They use Christ's sacrifice as a justification for continuing to live worldly, sinful lives. But this will not work. Like the man who built on the sand though instructed to build on the rock - they shall learn the errors of their ways too late.

csuguy
April 27th, 2016, 08:08 AM
Those of us who assert what you have clearly misunderstood, were not the first to assert it.

Romans 3:8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.

The damnation there, a reference to the exposure of YOUR same kind of assertion all these centuries later, as being the actual error in the issue.

This has nothing to do with what I've written in the OP. I never asserted that people are doing intentionally doing evil so that good will result from evil. Go back and re-read.



On the other hand, don't feel too bad - error of some sort is ever par for the course, at some point within one aspect of the faith for or another each person - because finite minds will tend to slip up here and there as to their responsibility to be looking at things from the infinite not from the finite, 2 Cor. 4:18.

Thus, even among those who strongly disagree with your above error, and rightly so; there will be differences in understanding as to what consitutes what those good works which God hath before ordained that the saved, and as a result: sealed saint; should walk in, are, Eph. 2:8-10.

Indeed, some error is to be expected. I've never expected people to be in full agreement with me, just as there are few if any I fully agree with. However, there are essentials that are common to us all that need to laid out for all to clearly understand and abide by. Hence we are commissioned with making disciples of all nations, teaching them to live according to the commandments and to do the will of the Lord. Unfortunately, many have been taugt that their deeds have no influence on their salvation - and as a result, they do little to nothing. This is a serious issue for the churches - and is one of the key reasons for its decline.

nikolai_42
April 27th, 2016, 08:12 AM
csuguy

Man wants to "do" quite a bit - or have an excuse to do nothing. That's just the way our fallen Adamic nature is. Either earn God's love, or have no requirement laid on us. The fact is, we were given 10 rules to follow and none of us have been able to do it. So no amount of trying is going to convince God to say "He's okay even though he hasn't been perfect". That's just Romans 3:23. What, then, did Jesus tell us we should "do" (bear in mind that He said this to the crowd that always wanted to "do") :

Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
John 6:27-29

So really, the whole foundation is not work in that sense. Neither is the goal our work. First of all, Jesus came to relieve men of the burden of works salvation - of trying to "do" to earn favor with God :

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Matthew 11:28-29

And what is the goal? Rest.

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Hebrews 4:9-11

So really, we aren't the ones working. If we really and truly believe God - if we are really in Him, that is, then we will work. We will fulfill that which He has already prepared for us.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

But remember, it all hinges on right belief. No amount of doing will get one here (to Hebrews 4:11 or Ephesians 2:10) - only true faith. Only the abiding Word of God will bring one to this. Only the work of God (which is predicated on the Word of God) will accomplish it.

And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
John 5:38

So you see, the foundation of it all is the Word of God abiding in a man. The work is God's. So when we see someone who bears no good fruit (and we need to examine ourselves as well), then the issue is not the works, the issue is the faith.

PureX
April 27th, 2016, 08:22 AM
It's just you. We do good works and deeds and love our neighbor but that doesn't save us. We don't preach for people to do nothing. We can do nothing to gain salvation, get it ?But you have to admit that csuguy has a point. By claiming that there is nothing we can do to gain salvation, we have justified doing nothing to gain it. And there is no small number of "Christians" on this site that, in fact, do nothing to improve their own spiritual condition. They even loathe the idea of being loving, and forgiving, and kind, and generous toward others. They revel, instead, in the idea of violence, and vengeance, and maximum punishments, and in the suffering of others. Love and forgiveness are ideals far from their minds and hearts.

And yet they proclaim their 'Christian faith' the loudest. And insult and demean anyone who dares to contradict their 'unquestionably righteous' religiosity.

Are you really saying that you don't see this? Because I think we all see it. But a lot of us just don't want to acknowledge that so many supposed Christians can behave this way.

jamie
April 27th, 2016, 08:26 AM
what do you believe Christ did for us?


He paid the penalty of the second death for all who are willing to accept him.

jamie
April 27th, 2016, 08:32 AM
It's just you. We do good works and deeds and love our neighbor but that doesn't save us. We don't preach for people to do nothing. We can do nothing to gain salvation, get it ?


In the parable of the talents, three men were given money to invest. Two of the men earned a profit, but one man rested, i.e., no profit.

nikolai_42
April 27th, 2016, 08:33 AM
But you have to admit that csuguy has a point. By claiming that there is nothing we can do to gain salvation, we have justified doing nothing to gain it. And there is no small number of "Christians" on this site that, in fact, do nothing to improve their own spiritual condition. They even loathe the idea of being loving, and forgiving, and kind, and generous toward others. They revel, instead, in the idea of violence, and vengeance, and maximum punishments, and in the suffering of others. Love and forgiveness are ideals far from their minds and hearts.

And yet they proclaim their 'Christian faith' the loudest. And insult and demean anyone who dares to contradict their self-righteous religiosity.

Are you really saying that you don't see this? Because I think we all see it. But a lot of us just don't want to acknowledge that so many supposed Christians can behave this way.

The primary difference between the one in Christ and the one not in Christ is faith in Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Those that want to justify themselves don't exhibit that. Those that know they can't do anything of themselves and are poor in spirit before God may seem the same on the surface but are entirely different. One uses grace as a license to sin - the other rejoices in the grace and mercy shown them by God. But that grace doesn't mean they will necessarily be approved by all men - rather, Christ promised that those who truly follow Him will find themselves hated by many. If the world hated Him, it will certainly hate His disciples. So the focus on being nice etc... - while it has some merit as insight how we treat others and want ourselves to be treated - isn't the final word on ones faith.

Danoh
April 27th, 2016, 08:35 AM
Romans 3:8 reads: And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), “Let us do evil that good may come”? [f]Their condemnation is just.


This has nothing to do with what I've written in the OP. I never asserted that people are doing intentionally doing evil so that good will result from evil. Go back and re-read.

Indeed, some error is to be expected. I've never expected people to be in full agreement with me, just as there are few if any I fully agree with. However, there are essentials that are common to us all that need to laid out for all to clearly understand and abide by. Hence we are commissioned with making disciples of all nations, teaching them to live according to the commandments and to do the will of the Lord. Unfortunately, many have been taugt that their deeds have no influence on their salvation - and as a result, they do little to nothing. This is a serious issue for the churches - and is one of the key reasons for its decline.

Nope - Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20; Acts 1 commission to the nations is via a redeemed Israel first, Acts 3: 18-26, under the Law, Matthew 23:1-3, Matt. 28:18-20; and is after Matthew 10:23, Isaiah 2:1-5.

Not for us, Acts 21:25; Rom. 6:14-15; Gal. 3:1-3, etc.

Of course, your responsibility as to my word (assertion) on all this is Acts 17:11-12.

You up for at least that much?

You that noble?

jamie
April 27th, 2016, 08:35 AM
By claiming that there is nothing we can do to gain salvation, we have justified doing nothing to gain it.


:thumb: This premise is simply a variant of Calvinism.

nikolai_42
April 27th, 2016, 08:42 AM
But you have to admit that csuguy has a point. By claiming that there is nothing we can do to gain salvation, we have justified doing nothing to gain it.

One thought on this particular point. The upshot of the alternative (that we can do something) makes us the captain of our own salvation (see Hebrews 2:10). Or maybe just the co-captain. But the issue there is that we then have some trust in our own selves, our own ability, our own goodness (however minimal that may be), our own will to guide us properly. We, then, in some degree, are trusting in ourselves. Many religious Jews of Jesus' day were spoken of as those that "trusted in themselves" (Luke 18:9) that they were righteous. If we don't think we are righteous and we recognize God as being perfectly righteous, then even one (seemingly) small blemish ruins us to stand before God. In fact, one small blemish makes us like the rich young ruler of Luke 18:18-27 who thought he wasn't so bad. But that pride ultimately kept him from coming to Jesus. And the conclusion of that situation? Jesus said that with man, for such a man to be saved was impossible - but with God all things are possible. And immediately before that, Jesus spoke directly to those ones that "trusted in themselves". What was the upshot? The one who lay before God without anything to offer except his uselessness. His utter depravity. His utter need for a Savior. He was the one that was justified before God since he himself could do NOTHING.

Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.
For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jeremiah 17:5-9

PureX
April 27th, 2016, 08:59 AM
One thought on this particular point. The upshot of the alternative (that we can do something) makes us the captain of our own salvation (see Hebrews 2:10). Or maybe just the co-captain. But the issue there is that we then have some trust in our own selves, our own ability, our own goodness (however minimal that may be), our own will to guide us properly. We, then, in some degree, are trusting in ourselves.As "children of God", and reflections of our Creator, and especially as Christians who believe in the spirit of God within us, we SHOULD trust in ourselves. We SHOULD trust in that divine spirit within us: the spirit of love, and forgiveness, and kindness, and generosity. And we should have faith in these qualities, within, to heal us and save us from ourselves, and to help us to heal others. We SHOULD be actively engaged in this mission.

It's the authoritarian religionists that preach that we should never trust in ourselves, but only do as they command. Because THEY have no faith in anything. Not in God, not in us, and not in the power of love to heal us and save us from ourselves. That's why they want to control everything and everyone all the time. That's why they are obsessed with blind obedience. They have no faith.

PureX
April 27th, 2016, 09:29 AM
The primary difference between the one in Christ and the one not in Christ is faith in Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Those that want to justify themselves don't exhibit that. Those that know they can't do anything of themselves and are poor in spirit before God may seem the same on the surface but are entirely different. One uses grace as a license to sin - the other rejoices in the grace and mercy shown them by God. But that grace doesn't mean they will necessarily be approved by all men - rather, Christ promised that those who truly follow Him will find themselves hated by many. If the world hated Him, it will certainly hate His disciples. So the focus on being nice etc... - while it has some merit as insight how we treat others and want ourselves to be treated - isn't the final word on ones faith.That's a distinction based on selfishness, from my perspective.

If the goal of being a Christian is getting one's self into heaven, then why should anyone else care about or respect Christians? They clearly aren't out to do anything for anyone else. And if one is not selfishly afraid for their own imagined afterlife, Christianity is meaningless.

Do you really believe that Christianity is a religion based on such selfishness and fear? Because I don't.

I think the salvation Christ spoke of exists in the here and now (and maybe in the afterlife, too). And it's the here and now that matters to me, and to most other people. A revelation that can't heal us and save us from ourselves in the here and now is of little interest or value to me, and to most other people. Because we need the salvation in this world, and in this time, and in this body. And that's what I believe Jesus was promising. But it doesn't just fall from the sky like magic fiery dust. We have to practice at it. Just as we have to practice at anything that we want to change for the better, about ourselves.

We have to practice at listening to that divine spirit within us. And we have to practice at acting on it: at forgiving others, and at caring about the well-being of others without wanting to control them. We have to learn how to love others without exceptions and expectations. It is our life's work, and in doing it, we will find ourselves healed, and saved from our own fallen natures.

But this TAKES EFFORT. It is spiritual WORK. And I believe every true Christian is being called to do it. And not to just sit in their church pews and proclaim their unquestioned belief in God. So they can presume themselves accepted into heaven.

nikolai_42
April 27th, 2016, 09:47 AM
As "children of God", and reflections of our Creator, and especially as Christians who believe in the spirit of God within us, we SHOULD trust in ourselves. We SHOULD trust in that divine spirit within us: the spirit of love, and forgiveness, and kindness, and generosity. And we should have faith in these qualities, within, to heal us and save us from ourselves, and to help us to heal others. We SHOULD be actively engaged in this mission.

Emphatically, no. Those who are truly Christ's will in no way trust themselves. They will know the difference between "Christ in you, the hope of glory" and "me" doing the work ("Not I but Christ"). That's why the scriptures can talk so plainly about "I" and "Christ" in separate terms even after one is in Him. The two are still clearly distinct to the believer.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

That's why we are to trust so implicitly in Him - because it is His work.

Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?
Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 2 Cor 3:1-5


It's the authoritarian religionists that preach that we should never trust in ourselves, but only do as they command. Because THEY have no faith in anything. Not in God, not in us, and not in the power of love to heal us and save us from ourselves. That's why they want to control everything and everyone all the time. That's why they are obsessed with blind obedience. They have no faith.

There are some that do that - yes. But to one in Christ, having a teacher and/or a pastor is a hedge - not a slight to one's autonomy. We certainly all do answer for ourselves, but the teaching and pastoring of the people of God is a ministry that is of the utmost important and was even in the days of Paul.

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 1:2

Even Paul would have suffered the charge of being overbearing in his pastoring, but he clarified to the Corinthian church what he was doing.

Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
2 Corinthians 1:24

Part of being a shepherd of the flock is having to rebuke. Paul told Timothy that at least twice (1 Timothy 5:20 and 2 Timothy 4:2). Today, however, many would say that this is infringing on "my rights" or being mean and unChristlike. Men want to stand alone - essentially unaccountable to any but (they say) God. But God tells us to submit to the authorities. So in taking the loner stance, one is really not heeding anyone but themselves. There will be abuses - yes. But if one really trusts God, then they will be able to weather those storms and emerge stronger in faith and more fruitful in good works.

jamie
April 27th, 2016, 09:49 AM
Nope - Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20; Acts 1 commission to the nations is via a redeemed Israel first...


I agree. We are the redeemed Israel according to Paul.

Paul said, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them and upon the Israel of God." (Galatians 6:15-16)

nikolai_42
April 27th, 2016, 10:07 AM
That's a distinction based on selfishness, from my perspective.

If the goal of being a Christian is getting one's self into heaven, then why should anyone else care about or respect Christians? They clearly aren't out to do anything for anyone else. And if one is not selfishly afraid for their own imagined afterlife, Christianity is meaningless.

Do you really believe that Christianity is a religion based on such selfishness and fear? Because I don't.

I think the salvation Christ spoke of exists in the here and now (and maybe in the afterlife, too). And it's the here and now that matters to me, and to most other people. A revelation that can't heal us and save us from ourselves in the here and now is of little interest or value to me, and to most other people. Because we need the salvation in this world, and in this time, and in this body. And that's what I believe Jesus was promising. But it doesn't just fall from the sky like magic fiery dust. We have to practice at it. Just as we have to practice at anything that we want to change for the better, about ourselves.

To the "here and now" need. There's no doubt. But you're assuming you know better than God what you need "here and now". You assume that physical well being (possibly) is essential here and now. You are assuming that you know what salvation should look like "here and now". You are assuming you know how you should respond "here and now" to God. God's salvation is eternal - and while it certainly does affect us in this life, the way it does isn't always as we would like it. The salvation God provides means we don't have our vision on the "here and now" nearly as much as we do the hereafter and eternity. It means we don't have a kingdom "here and now" that is passing away but a place in heaven that God is preparing for those that love Him. This existence certainly isn't unaffected by our salvation, but the way it affects us here is not necessarily the way man thinks it should. God is building for eternity, we can't see past lunch.

Look at the parable of the seed and the sower and notice that all the bad scenarios had something to do with something happening immediately. Right away. The seed first had to go in the ground and die and then come forth as new life - only then could it bear fruit. And it bears the fruit that God wants - and if it does, we are told that God picks that fruit and we are to bear more fruit. But to decide what that has to look like ahead of time is to presume upon God. The Lord's Prayer contains the phrase "THY Kingdom come...THY will be done on earth as it is in heaven". So there is an earthly extension, but it isn't our will and it isn't our kingdom. So if we, like those under the altar (Revelation 6:9-10), have to live an earthly existence that is anything but idyllic - and even go unavenged after death - who are we to question that salvation? We can't - because what is first and foremost in God's mind is an eternal kingdom. So when we are told to seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, we understand that we are looking for something that will make no sense to the natural man and will often perplex us even as children of God. Even Jesus struggled (as a man) when He came up hard against the cross. How much more, then, will we?

The point is, salvation doesn't always look like what we want it to. But that is because God is doing the building and He is looking well past our natural death.

So an attitude of submission to God is of primary importance - beyond whatever way we treat men. That (submission to God) is a far better judge of one's relationship to God.

As for salvation not just dropping from heaven - I point you back again to the scriptures I put up in response to the OP. It isn't our work, it is God's (which is what my answer in this post so far comes from).


We have to practice at listening to that divine spirit within us.

This, I think, is dangerous. Jesus said His sheep know His voice and they will not follow another. That doesn't mean "listen to your heart". Rather, it means we have His Word in our hearts (e.g. Psalm 119:11, John 5:38 etc...). Scripture being the primary means - but being confirmed and used by the Holy Spirit.


And we have to practice at acting on it: at forgiving others, and at caring about the well-being of others without wanting to control them. We have to learn how to love others without exceptions and expectations. It is our life's work, and in doing it, we will find ourselves healed, and saved from our own fallen natures.

No. You have it backwards. We do those things because we are delivered from sin. Because we have been healed and saved (Eph 2:10, Luke 7:47, multiple verses speaking of the liberty we have in Christ and how to use it etc...)


But this TAKES EFFORT. It is spiritual WORK. And I believe every true Christian is being called to do it. And not to just sit in their church pews and proclaim their unquestioned belief in God. So they can presume themselves accepted into heaven.

The one in Christ will not be content just to sit there and simply say "I'm saved". But the foundation is not our works. Your post seems to hint very strongly that that is, indeed, the foundation.

genuineoriginal
April 27th, 2016, 12:38 PM
The Apostle Paul argued against many errors in the faith of the early Christian church.

The two errors that seem to have been the cause of the most problems throughout the centuries are:

The belief that you could only gain salvation through following the Law.

Galatians 3:10-11
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

The belief that you could continue being wicked and gain salvation.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

So, if we cannot gain salvation through following the Law and we cannot gain salvation if we continue being wicked, what is left?

Faith.

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

This is not an empty belief, but an active living faith manifested in the way we live our lives, called walking in the Spirit by Paul.

Jamie Gigliotti
April 27th, 2016, 12:38 PM
The lie that has been spun has that one moment of trust, one moment of submission seals the deal.
The work that the New Testament condemns is the work that is of one's own effort, one's ability, one's own power to love to do good. Pride of the self, a losing proposition.
The work God requires is continued trust and reliance upon Him through Christ, His Spirit. Discipleship, relationship, intimacy with Christ. It is a daily effort, but really daily joy and peace.
The lie has taken away discipleship, which takes Him away, which takes away His power to have victory.
Discipleship to Christ continued growing faith and trust and submission brings His light and love and goodness through us to a starved world.

(Romans 6:22 and Galatians 6:8)

csuguy
April 27th, 2016, 10:22 PM
csuguy

Man wants to "do" quite a bit - or have an excuse to do nothing. That's just the way our fallen Adamic nature is. Either earn God's love, or have no requirement laid on us. The fact is, we were given 10 rules to follow and none of us have been able to do it. So no amount of trying is going to convince God to say "He's okay even though he hasn't been perfect". That's just Romans 3:23. What, then, did Jesus tell us we should "do" (bear in mind that He said this to the crowd that always wanted to "do") :

Some people want to do, others want to do nothing. Personally, I think people in general find the latter more appealing - getting everything for nothing. Hence it is such a popular view. But whichever the case, it doesn't matter theologically speaking. What matters is what we should do, what is God's will for us, how did Christ instruct us in this matter? We should do what is right, God's will for us is that we love him and one another, Christ instructs us to go forth and make disciples of all nations - teaching them to obey the commandments.



Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
John 6:27-29

So really, the whole foundation is not work in that sense.

Belief must be accompanied by works to have any meaning. As James says, faith without works is dead. We see the same thing taught by Christ:


Matthew 7:21-27 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [n]miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and [o]acts on them, [p]may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the [q]floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not [r]act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, and the [s]floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”

You, like, so many, fail to understand the importance of belief. You think that belief holds merit in of itself - but this is not so. For like the man who listened to his words and yet still built on the sand - what use is the Word of God to you if you refuse to act accordingly? Such a faith is dead and cannot save you, as James teaches.


Neither is the goal our work. First of all, Jesus came to relieve men of the burden of works salvation - of trying to "do" to earn favor with God :

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Matthew 11:28-29

And what is the goal? Rest.

This is a giant mis-application of scripture. That verse isn't talking in any way, shape, or form about people attempting to earn salvation or of Christ lifting that burden off of them. This is a perfect example of eisegesis - you are reading your views into the scriptures rather than studying the scriptures to learn what they teach.



There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Hebrews 4:9-11

So really, we aren't the ones working. If we really and truly believe God - if we are really in Him, that is, then we will work. We will fulfill that which He has already prepared for us.

Incorrect. While we do rest from our own works - this does not mean we stop working. It means we devote ourselves to doing the will of the Lord. This is, in part, what it means to be born again, to lose your so that you may save it. You put away your old self, your sinful life chasing after worldly things, and you devote yourself to what is good and spiritual. You were a servant of sin, now you become a servant of God, of righteousness.

Furthermore, that chapter in context is not speaking of that rest being here, right now - but urges us to work diligently now so that we may enter that rest which is promised. He even warns that in times past there have been those who were preached good news, but because of disobedience they failed to enter into that rest (v. 6). So, in fact, this chapter is telling us to be persistent so that we can enter the rest when the time comes, and not lose it due to disobedience - as you are advocating by teaching people that nothing is required of them.



For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

But remember, it all hinges on right belief. No amount of doing will get one here (to Hebrews 4:11 or Ephesians 2:10) - only true faith. Only the abiding Word of God will bring one to this. Only the work of God (which is predicated on the Word of God) will accomplish it.

And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
John 5:38

So you see, the foundation of it all is the Word of God abiding in a man. The work is God's. So when we see someone who bears no good fruit (and we need to examine ourselves as well), then the issue is not the works, the issue is the faith.

Strike three. Look at all the verses that speak of the end times and judgement like the parable of the sheep vs. goats in Matthew 25, read about the requirements of eternal life in Romans 2:6-11, or any number of other such passages. Belief is not the criteria upon which one is judged. God does not demand that you pay allegiance to doctrines X, Y, and Z. God is love, and the fulfillment of the Law is love - and this is what is required of us.



1 Cor 13:13 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

All the Law and the prophets rest upon the two greatest commandments: love God, and love your fellow man. This is the core of Christianity - not correct belief.

You are a perfect demonstration of the kind of Christian that I addressed in my OP: you think that what God cares about is your churches denominational handbook of beliefs. You don't even think acting on those is important - merely the mental acceptance of them is sufficient. Tell me: why does God care about your acceptance of these beliefs if not to act on them?

Furthermore, since you place it all on belief - such that one who doesn't believe these things is damned - what makes you think this belief merits salvation over one who doesn't believe, since that is where you draw the line?

csuguy
April 27th, 2016, 10:33 PM
The lie that has been spun has that one moment of trust, one moment of submission seals the deal.
The work that the New Testament condemns is the work that is of one's own effort, one's ability, one's own power to love to do good. Pride of the self, a losing proposition.
The work God requires is continued trust and reliance upon Him through Christ, His Spirit. Discipleship, relationship, intimacy with Christ. It is a daily effort, but really daily joy and peace.
The lie has taken away discipleship, which takes Him away, which takes away His power to have victory.
Discipleship to Christ continued growing faith and trust and submission brings His light and love and goodness through us to a starved world.

(Romans 6:22 and Galatians 6:8)

While the scriptures certainly put to rest the idea that the individual can save themselves independent of Christ and the mercy of God; you take it to an opposite extreme. The fact is that we can fulfill the Law, there is never a time when one must sin - it is always a choice, and there is always an escape. Even before Christ this was true, for when God gave them the Law he said this:


Deuteronomy 30:11-20 For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it [q]out of reach. 12 It is not in heaven, [r]that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, [s]that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.

15 “See, I have set before you today life and [t]prosperity, and death and [u]adversity; 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. 17 But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter [v]and possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your [w]descendants, 20 by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for [x]this is your life and the length of your days, [y]that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”[INDENT]

Read that again: "this commandment... is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. It is not in heaven... nor is it beyond the sea ... but the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it... I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live."

Recall now the promise of the New Covenant:

[INDENT]Jeremiah 31:31-34 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Is God's Law written on your heart and mind, or not? If so, then you are fully capable of keeping it and fulfilling it. However, if your mind is set on worldly things - then indeed you will be incapable of pleasing God.

nikolai_42
April 28th, 2016, 07:29 AM
Some people want to do, others want to do nothing. Personally, I think people in general find the latter more appealing - getting everything for nothing. Hence it is such a popular view. But whichever the case, it doesn't matter theologically speaking. What matters is what we should do, what is God's will for us, how did Christ instruct us in this matter? We should do what is right, God's will for us is that we love him and one another, Christ instructs us to go forth and make disciples of all nations - teaching them to obey the commandments.



Belief must be accompanied by works to have any meaning. As James says, faith without works is dead. We see the same thing taught by Christ:


Matthew 7:21-27 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [n]miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and [o]acts on them, [p]may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the [q]floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not [r]act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, and the [s]floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”

You, like, so many, fail to understand the importance of belief. You think that belief holds merit in of itself - but this is not so. For like the man who listened to his words and yet still built on the sand - what use is the Word of God to you if you refuse to act accordingly? Such a faith is dead and cannot save you, as James teaches.



This is a giant mis-application of scripture. That verse isn't talking in any way, shape, or form about people attempting to earn salvation or of Christ lifting that burden off of them. This is a perfect example of eisegesis - you are reading your views into the scriptures rather than studying the scriptures to learn what they teach.



Incorrect. While we do rest from our own works - this does not mean we stop working. It means we devote ourselves to doing the will of the Lord. This is, in part, what it means to be born again, to lose your so that you may save it. You put away your old self, your sinful life chasing after worldly things, and you devote yourself to what is good and spiritual. You were a servant of sin, now you become a servant of God, of righteousness.

Furthermore, that chapter in context is not speaking of that rest being here, right now - but urges us to work diligently now so that we may enter that rest which is promised. He even warns that in times past there have been those who were preached good news, but because of disobedience they failed to enter into that rest (v. 6). So, in fact, this chapter is telling us to be persistent so that we can enter the rest when the time comes, and not lose it due to disobedience - as you are advocating by teaching people that nothing is required of them.



Strike three. Look at all the verses that speak of the end times and judgement like the parable of the sheep vs. goats in Matthew 25, read about the requirements of eternal life in Romans 2:6-11, or any number of other such passages. Belief is not the criteria upon which one is judged. God does not demand that you pay allegiance to doctrines X, Y, and Z. God is love, and the fulfillment of the Law is love - and this is what is required of us.



1 Cor 13:13 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

All the Law and the prophets rest upon the two greatest commandments: love God, and love your fellow man. This is the core of Christianity - not correct belief.

You are a perfect demonstration of the kind of Christian that I addressed in my OP: you think that what God cares about is your churches denominational handbook of beliefs. You don't even think acting on those is important - merely the mental acceptance of them is sufficient. Tell me: why does God care about your acceptance of these beliefs if not to act on them?

Furthermore, since you place it all on belief - such that one who doesn't believe these things is damned - what makes you think this belief merits salvation over one who doesn't believe, since that is where you draw the line?

The issue is where the foundation is. I'm not saying we don't need works. But it is absolutely essential - the crux of the matter, really - where those works "come from". That's why the (seeming) overemphasis on belief and (seeming) underemphasis on works. We are not saved by works - but the one who is truly saved WILL work. That said, the kind of works that one does are going to be judged as whether founded on Christ or not. But you can't say that Abraham obeyed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Don't forget about those ones of whom Christ said "I never knew you". They did a whole bunch for Him (in His name) but were discounted...why? Not for works, but for faith (or rather, lack thereof).

What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Romans 4:1-8

nikolai_42
April 28th, 2016, 07:51 AM
@csyguy

Anticipating your bringing up James again, remember what Jesus said :

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
Matthew 12:33

A man (tree) is known by his works (fruit). So looking at this scripture, it should be obvious that good fruit does not come from a corrupt tree (or vice versa). Thus, changing a man's works doesn't change the man. But changing the man will (necessarily) change his works. We can worry all we want about someone acting a certain way or showing some sort of evidence - but in the end, changing that man's works is no different than taking medication to get rid of symptoms to an underlying illness. As long as that illness is there, you haven't dealt with the real illness (unbelief). Once that is dealt with, the symptoms (fruit or works) will line up.

That, really, is all James is saying. If you believe, you will evidence works. The Word of God elicits those works - the Word of God having active residence in a man.

Jamie Gigliotti
April 28th, 2016, 07:55 AM
While the scriptures certainly put to rest the idea that the individual can save themselves independent of Christ and the mercy of God; you take it to an opposite extreme. The fact is that we can fulfill the Law, there is never a time when one must sin - it is always a choice, and there is always an escape. Even before Christ this was true, for when God gave them the Law he said this:


Deuteronomy 30:11-20 For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it [q]out of reach. 12 It is not in heaven, [r]that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, [s]that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.

15 “See, I have set before you today life and [t]prosperity, and death and [u]adversity; 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. 17 But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter [v]and possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your [w]descendants, 20 by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for [x]this is your life and the length of your days, [y]that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”[INDENT]

Read that again: "this commandment... is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. It is not in heaven... nor is it beyond the sea ... but the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it... I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live."

Recall now the promise of the New Covenant:

[INDENT]Jeremiah 31:31-34 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Is God's Law written on your heart and mind, or not? If so, then you are fully capable of keeping it and fulfilling it. However, if your mind is set on worldly things - then indeed you will be incapable of pleasing God.

Let me clarify my point.

"I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can nothing." John 15:5
"...but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Phiilipians 4:13

It takes continued devotion, prayer, connection and worship of Christ, to be filled with Him to do what He desires, which is to do good, to love, to speak the truth in love, to make disciples. We are powerless without Him.

PureX
April 28th, 2016, 08:04 AM
To the "here and now" need. There's no doubt. But you're assuming you know better than God what you need "here and now". You assume that physical well being (possibly) is essential here and now.I am assuming that to love others as myself means to care about their well-being as I care about my own. And to care about their freedom as I care about my own. And to care about their existence in Earth as I care about my own. And I am not God, so I cannot presume to know how the suffering of others may be part of God's plan for them. So as a human being, I will want to alleviate that suffering. This isn't because I "know better than God", it's because I DON'T KNOW WHAT GOD KNOWS. All I do know is that love drives me to want to help others how I can, and to alleviate their suffering.


You are assuming that you know what salvation should look like "here and now". You are assuming you know how you should respond "here and now" to God.As a living human being, what other choice do I have? The 'here and now' and the limitations of me are all I have to work with. If I am to love God, I'm going to have to do it within these limitations, and using the abilities that I have. And I don't know what you think the alternative is.


God's salvation is eternal - and while it certainly does affect us in this life, the way it does isn't always as we would like it.But WE have no way of knowing what "eternity" is and how it will effect us. That's God's purview, not ours. You keep talking like you have some special knowledge that I know you don't have.


The salvation God provides means we don't have our vision on the "here and now" nearly as much as we do the hereafter and eternity.But the reality is that we have no vision at all of "hereafter and eternity". All we can see, for now, is the here and now. And it's within these limitations that we must love God, and our brothers and sisters as ourselves.


It means we don't have a kingdom "here and now" that is passing away but a place in heaven that God is preparing for those that love Him.That's just make-believe on your part. You don't know any of it to be true. And logic dictates that if God is eternal, so is salvation. Which means it is "here and now" just as much as it "there and then".


This existence certainly isn't unaffected by our salvation, but the way it affects us here is not necessarily the way man thinks it should. God is building for eternity, we can't see past lunch.That's all well and good, but you and I are men. Not gods. So the only effect we can see and know is the effect in the here and now.


The point is, salvation doesn't always look like what we want it to. But that is because God is doing the building and He is looking well past our natural death.I don't see how this excuses us from acting according to the information we have: loving others, and God through others, in the here and now. Because we don't have access to or knowledge of this magical existence beyond the here and now. And it looks to me like you're trying to use our ignorance of this magical hereafter to excuse us from doing what Jesus told us to do in the here and now: to love others, and to love God through others.


So an attitude of submission to God is of primary importance - beyond whatever way we treat men. That (submission to God) is a far better judge of one's relationship to God.It's not my business to judge men's relationship to God. Jesus never told me judge other men's relationship to God. He only told me to love them, and forgive them, and to be kind and generous toward them.

Nor did Jesus ever tell me to judge my own relationship to God. Only that it will be apparent by the way I treat myself and others: via love, or via selfishness.


As for salvation not just dropping from heaven - I point you back again to the scriptures I put up in response to the OP. It isn't our work, it is God's (which is what my answer in this post so far comes from).Then why did Jesus tell us to do it? I won't play "scripture wars" with you because I don't idolize scripture as if it came directly from the mouth of God, and therefor I don't care when quotes contradict each other. The truth is not defined nor contained by men's religious scriptures.

PureX
April 28th, 2016, 08:17 AM
The one in Christ will not be content just to sit there and simply say "I'm saved". But the foundation is not our works. Your post seems to hint very strongly that that is, indeed, the foundation.That foundation is love. Not religion. Not scriptures. Not proclamations of righteousness through faith. The foundation is love, being put into action by our faith in the power of that love to heal us and save us from ourselves, and to help us to heal others.

I think you're offended because I won't put your religion before love in terms of import. But I don't. I won't. And to do so, I believe, would be to miss the beauty of the forest for the confusion of trees.

csuguy
April 29th, 2016, 03:24 AM
The issue is where the foundation is. I'm not saying we don't need works. But it is absolutely essential - the crux of the matter, really - where those works "come from". That's why the (seeming) overemphasis on belief and (seeming) underemphasis on works. We are not saved by works - but the one who is truly saved WILL work. That said, the kind of works that one does are going to be judged as whether founded on Christ or not. But you can't say that Abraham obeyed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Don't forget about those ones of whom Christ said "I never knew you". They did a whole bunch for Him (in His name) but were discounted...why? Not for works, but for faith (or rather, lack thereof).

I couldn't disagree more: what you do, your actions, your works, these matter much more than your specific beliefs. The whole merit behind your beliefs, after all, is that they guide your actions. Belief/faith without action is dead and meaningless and will not save you.

Additionally, it IS us who do these things. We have freewill to choose to do good or evil, to choose to follow God or to chase after the things of this world. This does not change when you become a Christian - hence we are constantly told to persevere in the scriptures, and that only those who persevere in the faith, in doing the will of the Lord - only these will be saved.


Don't forget about those ones of whom Christ said "I never knew you". They did a whole bunch for Him (in His name) but were discounted...why? Not for works, but for faith (or rather, lack thereof).

Here is the passage in question:


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!’
The Wise and Foolish Builders

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.”

We can see here that the passage in question teaches the exact opposite of your interpretation. It emphasizes the necessity of works, of doing the will of the Lord. It says that only the one who does the will of the Lord will be saved. He then provides a parable to emphasize this point about two men who hear the Word of the Lord. The one who puts them into practice, who acts on them,is a wise man who is safe from the storm (judgement). The one who hears these words but does NOT put them into practice is as the foolish man - building on the sand despite being instructed otherwise. When the storm (judgement) comes, he finds destruction.

This pretty clearly settles the debate about which is more important: works or belief. Belief is important because it guides one's actions. But if you do not act on your belief, then what good does it do you? You are no better off than when you did not know. In fact, if you refuse to act on what you believe, then you are even worse off than before - for at least before you were ignorant. But if you know what to do and do not do it - then your conscious condemns you before God.

On the other hand, one who has not been preached the Word and yet does what is right - he demonstrates that the Law is written on his heart and mind before the Lord. (Romans 2:12-16) Thus it is possible for a believer to be damned, but a non-believer to be saved based upon what is in their heart and mind, based upon their actions.



What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Romans 4:1-8



James 2:20-24 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[e] and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

If one believes that is good - providing he acts accordingly. But if he acts contrary to his belief, then his conscious condemns him. Hence God gave the Law - so that it would condemn sin completely. Belief that is not acted upon cannot save you. Rather, the scriptures always speak of faith with the understanding that you are to act on that faith. To act contrary to your faith - that is sin.

If Abraham believed and then acted contrary to that faith - spitting in God's face - then you would not consider him righteous, but evil and foolish and fully deserving of any condemnation that resulted.

csuguy
April 29th, 2016, 03:37 AM
@csyguy

Anticipating your bringing up James again, remember what Jesus said :

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
Matthew 12:33

A man (tree) is known by his works (fruit). So looking at this scripture, it should be obvious that good fruit does not come from a corrupt tree (or vice versa). Thus, changing a man's works doesn't change the man. But changing the man will (necessarily) change his works. We can worry all we want about someone acting a certain way or showing some sort of evidence - but in the end, changing that man's works is no different than taking medication to get rid of symptoms to an underlying illness. As long as that illness is there, you haven't dealt with the real illness (unbelief). Once that is dealt with, the symptoms (fruit or works) will line up.

That, really, is all James is saying. If you believe, you will evidence works. The Word of God elicits those works - the Word of God having active residence in a man.

We are given freewill to choose good or evil, life or death. This is the battle we face, and it is not so cut-and-dry as you are either the good tree or the bad tree. For one who has historically been good may fall, and one who has historically been bad may repent. At any time one is free to do good or bad - and no matter how good you are there will always be temptations. Hence Christ was tempted - and one cannot be tempted with something they do not desire. Paul speaks of this struggle like so:


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[d] a slave to the law of sin.

We are fully capable of doing what is right, of not-sinning. At least, providing your heart and mind are set upon God, upon doing what is good and right, upon love. When God gave the Law, he said this:


Deut 30:11-19 this commandment... is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. It is not in heaven... nor is it beyond the sea ... but the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it... I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live.

So let there be no doubt that we have been presented with a choice, and that we are fully capable of making such decisions: to do good or evil, to obey or to sin, to live or to die.

csuguy
April 29th, 2016, 03:49 AM
It takes continued devotion, prayer, connection and worship of Christ, to be filled with Him to do what He desires, which is to do good, to love, to speak the truth in love, to make disciples. We are powerless without Him.

It is true that God strengthens us, guides us, and blesses our efforts to fruition. It is true that our very existence is completely dependent upon him. However, it is also true that God has presented us with a choice: to do good or to do evil, to obey or the sin, to live or to die (Deut 30). And he has enabled us to make these decisions ourselves, they are not too difficult for us. The Word of the Lord does not reside in heaven or hell - out of our reach - but is very near to us, in our hearts and minds that we may do what is right and good and holy, that we may live.

nikolai_42
April 29th, 2016, 07:25 AM
I couldn't disagree more: what you do, your actions, your works, these matter much more than your specific beliefs. The whole merit behind your beliefs, after all, is that they guide your actions. Belief/faith without action is dead and meaningless and will not save you. {Emphasis added}

I simply want to address one point here. Your focus is on works. You say it is all-important. But above you seem to have agreed with what I am saying (even if only tangentially and implicitly). That is, that your beliefs guide your actions. So as I read your statement above, I see a partial contradiction. On the one hand you are saying actions, works, deeds etc...are primary. But by indicating that beliefs guide actions, you have to admit that that places beliefs on a more critical plane. To use what may be an overly simplistic illustration - if one aims an arrow at a target and pulls the bow back and lets it fly in the direction of the target and the arrow misses the target, the arrow isn't responsible for where it ended up - the bow (and more directly, the shooter) is. Beliefs (bow) guide actions (arrow hitting target).

Do you believe one can work without believing appropriately first?

Jamie Gigliotti
April 29th, 2016, 07:58 AM
It is true that God strengthens us, guides us, and blesses our efforts to fruition. It is true that our very existence is completely dependent upon him. However, it is also true that God has presented us with a choice: to do good or to do evil, to obey or the sin, to live or to die (Deut 30). And he has enabled us to make these decisions ourselves, they are not too difficult for us. The Word of the Lord does not reside in heaven or hell - out of our reach - but is very near to us, in our hearts and minds that we may do what is right and good and holy, that we may live.

I don't disagree, but would add that our choice to love the way that God does, Agape love, is based on us being loved first by Him and filled with His love, His Spirit. The choice to surrender to Him, to seek Him in Prayer and worship and intimacy precedes the choice to love as It enables the choosing to love as Christ does.

csuguy
April 29th, 2016, 10:44 AM
EDIT: Duplicate

csuguy
April 29th, 2016, 10:50 AM
{Emphasis added}

I simply want to address one point here. Your focus is on works. You say it is all-important. But above you seem to have agreed with what I am saying (even if only tangentially and implicitly). That is, that your beliefs guide your actions. So as I read your statement above, I see a partial contradiction. On the one hand you are saying actions, works, deeds etc...are primary. But by indicating that beliefs guide actions, you have to admit that that places beliefs on a more critical plane. To use what may be an overly simplistic illustration - if one aims an arrow at a target and pulls the bow back and lets it fly in the direction of the target and the arrow misses the target, the arrow isn't responsible for where it ended up - the bow (and more directly, the shooter) is. Beliefs (bow) guide actions (arrow hitting target).

Do you believe one can work without believing appropriately first?

Good - we both agree that beliefs guide your actions. So then, tell me, of what use are beliefs which do NOT guide your actions? What of beliefs that you act contrary to, that you ignore? Of what use are such beliefs? James says such faith is dead and cannot save you. Belief/faith only finds completion in action and apart from action is meaningless.

On the other hand, one who has not received the Law can do what is right. They become a law to themselves:


Romans 2:12-16 For all who have sinned [f]without the Law will also perish [g]without the Law, and all who have sinned [h]under the Law will be judged [i]by the Law; 13 for it is not the hearers [j]of the Law who are [k]just before God, but the doers [l]of the Law will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles who do not have [m]the Law do [n]instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having [o]the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

So you see, even one who does not have the Law of God yet can do what is right, becoming a law to themselves - even having that law written on their hearts and minds. When the judgement comes, their conscience will even defend them before God. Such a one can be saved, even while not believing, and a believer can be damned despite his/her belief - because their deeds were not in accordance with their proclaimed faith.

That is not to say that beliefs are not important - but, again, faith without works is dead and cannot save you. Only in action is belief made complete. We must understand that when the scriptures speak of believing Christ, it is implied that you are to follow the teachings and commandments of Christ. When it says those that who believe will be saved - it is implicitly understand that you are acting according to that faith.

heir
April 29th, 2016, 10:57 AM
That is not to say that beliefs are not important - but, again, faith without works is dead and cannot save you. Grace without works is not dead and we are most certainly saved by it!Ephesians 2:4-9 KJV
Only in action is belief made complete. Romans 4:4-5 KJV, Romans 11:5 KJV, Titus 3:4-7 KJV
We must understand that when the scriptures speak of believing Christ, it is implied that you are to follow the teachings and commandments of Christ.Romans 3:21-22 KJV

csuguy
April 29th, 2016, 11:02 AM
I don't disagree, but would add that our choice to love the way that God does, Agape love, is based on us being loved first by Him and filled with His love, His Spirit. The choice to surrender to Him, to seek Him in Prayer and worship and intimacy precedes the choice to love as It enables the choosing to love as Christ does.

Incorrect: that passage I referenced (Deut 30) was around long before Christ was sent for our salvation and reconciliation. Long before that, God said that the commandments are not too difficult for us, and not in heaven nor beyond the see - out of our reach. Even then God spoke of the Law being written on our hearts and minds so that we could choose to do what is right. And these people did not have the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Furthermore Paul speaks of Gentiles who never received God's Law (Romans 2:12-16): how such a one who does do what is right and good yet becomes a law unto themselves. At the judgement, their conscience will even defend them before God.

There is nothing that precedes our ability to do good. People like to emphasize the evil part of the Tree of Good and Evil that Adam ate from: but Good is there too. We know how to do both, though full knowledge of the good is found in Christ, so that even a non-believer is capable of recognizing evil and of doing what is right.

csuguy
April 29th, 2016, 11:03 AM
Grace without works is not dead and we are most certainly saved by it!Ephesians 2:4-9 KJVRomans 4:4-5 KJV, Romans 11:5 KJV, Titus 3:4-7 KJV Romans 3:21-22 KJV


James 2:14-20 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can [n]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, [o]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 [p]dead, being by itself.

18 But someone [q]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]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?

heir
April 29th, 2016, 12:00 PM
James 2:14-20 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can [n]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, [o]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 [p]dead, being by itself.

18 But someone [q]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]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?James was not written to us James 1:1 KJV!

nikolai_42
April 29th, 2016, 12:51 PM
Good - we both agree that beliefs guide your actions. So then, tell me, of what use are beliefs which do NOT guide your actions? What of beliefs that you act contrary to, that you ignore? Of what use are such beliefs? James says such faith is dead and cannot save you. Belief/faith only finds completion in action and apart from action is meaningless.

On the other hand, one who has not received the Law can do what is right. They become a law to themselves:


Romans 2:12-16 For all who have sinned [f]without the Law will also perish [g]without the Law, and all who have sinned [h]under the Law will be judged [i]by the Law; 13 for it is not the hearers [j]of the Law who are [k]just before God, but the doers [l]of the Law will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles who do not have [m]the Law do [n]instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having [o]the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

So you see, even one who does not have the Law of God yet can do what is right, becoming a law to themselves - even having that law written on their hearts and minds. When the judgement comes, their conscience will even defend them before God. Such a one can be saved, even while not believing, and a believer can be damned despite his/her belief - because their deeds were not in accordance with their proclaimed faith.

One question (about all I have time for at the moment). Are you saying (and this is simply to make sure I'm understanding you) that someone who doesn't know Christ can be saved by their actions and someone who does can be damned by their actions? I don't want to put words in your mouth, so if that isn't quite what you are saying, please clarify.



That is not to say that beliefs are not important - but, again, faith without works is dead and cannot save you. Only in action is belief made complete. We must understand that when the scriptures speak of believing Christ, it is implied that you are to follow the teachings and commandments of Christ. When it says those that who believe will be saved - it is implicitly understand that you are acting according to that faith.

csuguy
April 29th, 2016, 03:02 PM
James was not written to us James 1:1 KJV!

And here we see the same kind of thing I spoke of in the OP: you call yourselves followers of Christ, but you reject everything Christ taught and God's commands - saying that these things don't apply to you. So, tell me, how do you "follow" Christ if you don't believe what he taught applies to you?


Matthew 7:21-27 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [n]miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and [o]acts on them, [p]may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the [q]floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not [r]act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, and the [s]floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”

Retreating to Paul does not help you - for he teaches that eternal life is the reward for good deeds (Romans 2:6-11). I'll ask you once more: can you have salvation without eternal life?

csuguy
April 29th, 2016, 03:21 PM
One question (about all I have time for at the moment). Are you saying (and this is simply to make sure I'm understanding you) that someone who doesn't know Christ can be saved by their actions and someone who does can be damned by their actions? I don't want to put words in your mouth, so if that isn't quite what you are saying, please clarify.

Someone who believes in Christ can be damned, and someone who does not believe can be saved. Salvation is always through Christ. The key to understanding this is that we are judged by our actions.

Also, the mere mental acceptance of Christ is distinct from having a relationship with Christ, from Christ knowing you or you he. If you want to know Christ, for him to know you, then you must do the will of the Lord. If you do not, then Christ will say: ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:23)

The parable of the sheep and goats makes this distinction quite clear:


Matthew 25:31-46 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation 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 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 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 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [e]take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

What you see here is that Christ considers what you do or don't do to others, to the least of these, you have done or not done to him. This is how you know God, how you are known by God: you love him and you love your fellowman. Not with pretty words, but in truth and action. As Paul taught in Romans 2, even one who never received the Law of God can yet do what is right. And if they do right by the least of these, then they are known by God.

1 Cor 8:2-3 If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; 3 but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.

jamie
April 29th, 2016, 04:15 PM
James was not written to us James 1:1 KJV!


James was writing to the Israel of God not to the Israel of Jacob.

Jesus told the Twelve, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matthew 19:28)

The NT was written by Jews for Israel.

Lazy afternoon
April 29th, 2016, 05:08 PM
On this forum and elsewhere it is common place, if not the majority, that I find Christianity completely inversed. For instance: they assert that Christ did everything and that nothing is required of us. They attack the idea that anything is required of us, that we should do any good works or that salvation in any way is dependent upon our actions. They turn everything on its head - for they call themselves Christians: followers of Christ. Yet what they teach and practice is to do nothing, do not do the will of the Lord, do not do good deeds, ignore God's Law, do not follow the commandments. These teachings and commands, they say, have nothing to do with us.

Yes that is what heir and company teach.

LA

nikolai_42
May 2nd, 2016, 10:27 AM
Someone who believes in Christ can be damned, and someone who does not believe can be saved. Salvation is always through Christ. The key to understanding this is that we are judged by our actions.

Your first 2 sentences seem somewhat contradictory. Even with the supposedly clarifying third sentence, you said someone can be saved who doesn't believe in Christ - yet salvation is always through Christ?

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
I John 5:9-13

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:14-18

The fruit that we bear is what is outwardly shown - our works. So our works cannot be the determiner of our fruit - they are the fruit. It all goes back to something that is NOT works :

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
John 15:1-7

We don't abide in Christ by works if it is the works that are the fruit. Therefore, it is all founded on something beyond works. Works are important, but they are not the foundation. Christ Himself - and faith in Him - is the foundation.



Also, the mere mental acceptance of Christ is distinct from having a relationship with Christ, from Christ knowing you or you he. If you want to know Christ, for him to know you, then you must do the will of the Lord. If you do not, then Christ will say: ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:23)

The parable of the sheep and goats makes this distinction quite clear:


Matthew 25:31-46 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation 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 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 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 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [e]take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

What you see here is that Christ considers what you do or don't do to others, to the least of these, you have done or not done to him. This is how you know God, how you are known by God: you love him and you love your fellowman. Not with pretty words, but in truth and action. As Paul taught in Romans 2, even one who never received the Law of God can yet do what is right. And if they do right by the least of these, then they are known by God.

1 Cor 8:2-3 If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; 3 but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.

chrysostom
May 2nd, 2016, 10:32 AM
Salvation is always through Christ. The key to understanding this is that we are judged by our actions.

please explain how salvation is always through Christ

Totton Linnet
May 2nd, 2016, 08:49 PM
That foundation is love. Not religion. Not scriptures. Not proclamations of righteousness through faith. The foundation is love, being put into action by our faith in the power of that love to heal us and save us from ourselves, and to help us to heal others.

I think you're offended because I won't put your religion before love in terms of import. But I don't. I won't. And to do so, I believe, would be to miss the beauty of the forest for the confusion of trees.

God is too merciful to us to base our salvation upon love, the obedience of faith is the requirement......and the faith is a gift

csuguy
May 2nd, 2016, 10:50 PM
Your first 2 sentences seem somewhat contradictory. Even with the supposedly clarifying third sentence, you said someone can be saved who doesn't believe in Christ - yet salvation is always through Christ?

Christ died for everyone, not simply believers. As in Adam all die, so in Christ all shall live. Of course, we know that this is simply a precursor to the judgement: and there we are judged on our actions, not beliefs X, Y and Z. So it is through Christ that anyone is saved - but salvation is not the result of accepting some set of intellectually accepting some set of dogma.

To try to maintain such poses many problems. For example: what if someone lived as good a life as any saint, yet never knew who Christ was? What of all the people before Christ? What of all the people after Christ who never heard the gospel? What about someone who believes X and Y but not Z? Is it a sin that they didn't come to accept Z such that it should cost them salvation? Whereas someone who was born to the right family was just so happened to be taught X, Y, and Z from birth so that they accepted these things without ever thinking about them - are they guaranteed salvation thanks to the circumstances of their birth? Would not such a thing show partiality in judgement?



I John 5:9-13
John 3:14-18


Yes belief is good and important and leads to salvation - providing one acts accordingly. Belief must be accompanied by action, else it is dead and cannot save you - as has been established in this conversation many times. We see in the context of your referenced passages both faith and works together. For instance:


John 3:20-21 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.


1 John 5:1-4 Whoever believes that Jesus is the [a]Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the [c]Father loves the child [d]born of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and [e]observe His commandments. 3[B] For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is [f]born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.



I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
John 15:1-7

We don't abide in Christ by works if it is the works that are the fruit. Therefore, it is all founded on something beyond works. Works are important, but they are not the foundation. Christ Himself - and faith in Him - is the foundation.

First off, works are not the fruit - fruit is what results from work.

Second off, that passage simply reiterates the importance of works in our salvation. For it says: "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away... " Unless you propose that the responsibility for a branch being unfruitful rests with God, it is clear that the individual is responsible for bearing fruit - and if one does not, then they are taken away and burned. He goes on to emphasize this point further:


John 15:8-11 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so [d]prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

PureX
May 3rd, 2016, 07:54 AM
God is too merciful to us to base our salvation upon love, the obedience of faith is the requirement......and the faith is a giftObedience is all people have left when they can't muster any real faith. Because faith is a choice, not a "gift". The gift is the freedom to choose to live by faith, or not to. And then to choose what ideal we will place our faith in: love or self-centered fear.

The more we obsess over obedience, the further away from Christ we slide. Because obedience is based on blindness and fear. Not on faith in love.

Totton Linnet
May 3rd, 2016, 11:45 AM
oh ah but uh...the bible say it is a gift and not of ourselves...lest Purex should boast

genuineoriginal
May 3rd, 2016, 12:19 PM
please explain how salvation is always through Christ

John 14:6
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

PureX
May 3rd, 2016, 02:21 PM
oh ah but uh...the bible say it is a gift and not of ourselves...lest Purex should boastOh, ah, but, ah, the Bible was written by religious men promoting their own religious beliefs and ideas. And in this case, is simply wrong. Because even a little basic common sense tells us that we choose both the objective and the act of faith.

It's the freedom to choose that is the gift from God.

Totton Linnet
May 3rd, 2016, 03:55 PM
Oh, ah, but, ah, the Bible was written by religious men promoting their own religious beliefs and ideas. And in this case, is simply wrong. Because even a little basic common sense tells us that we choose both the objective and the act of faith.

It's the freedom to choose that is the gift from God.

So....the Chinese were free to believe in Christ any time they liked

genuineoriginal
May 3rd, 2016, 05:24 PM
Oh, ah, but, ah, the Bible was written by religious men promoting their own religious beliefs and ideas.

Good thing that is not true, otherwise there would be absolutely no reason to believe in God.

PureX
May 4th, 2016, 08:08 AM
So....the Chinese were free to believe in Christ any time they likedWe all are. The power of love to heal us and save us from ourselves, and to help heal each other is evident to anyone with eyes to see, a heart to feel, and a mind to think with. It's our path to choose, or not to.

PureX
May 4th, 2016, 08:10 AM
Good thing that is not true, otherwise there would be absolutely no reason to believe in God.Only for people who obey religion, instead of living by faith. If you had chosen faith, you could believe in God regardless of any religion.

But sadly, you didn't. And now your religion wants to keep it that way; so you'll remain "obedient", instead.

csuguy
May 4th, 2016, 08:26 AM
Only for people who obey religion, instead of living by faith. If you had chosen faith, you could believe in God regardless of any religion.

But sadly, you didn't. And now your religion wants to keep it that way; so you'll remain "obedient", instead.

If you had faith and believed, then you would choose to obey. If you have faith and refuse to obey, then what good is your faith? If you persistently act contrary to your claimed faith, then clearly it does not have any value for you - it cannot save you. Your faith is dead. At least the non-believer can claim, in good conscience, that they were ignorant; but a believer who acts contrary to his faith has no excuse.

James 2:19 You believe that [r]God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.

Romans 3:31 Do we then nullify [w]the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

Grosnick Marowbe
May 4th, 2016, 08:44 AM
Christ established the New Covenant with his blood, trapping sin in the flesh and giving us an opportunity at a new life in him. He died for all, and all shall be given life after death - and then the judgement shall come. Those who did good, taking care of the least of these, doing the will of God - these shall be welcomed into the kingdom. Those who did NOT do good but say things like "Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [e]take care of You?" - these shall be destroyed.

For eternal life is the reward of good deeds, and one must lose their life - devoting it to God - to save it.

It is a mockery of Christ's sacrifice to assert that he did everything, so nothing is required of us. They use Christ's sacrifice as a justification for continuing to live worldly, sinful lives. But this will not work. Like the man who built on the sand though instructed to build on the rock - they shall learn the errors of their ways too late.

You're just a simple "Worker" just trying to earn his way to eternal life. For that, I say good luck.

PureX
May 4th, 2016, 09:15 AM
If you had faith and believed, then you would choose to obey."Believed in" what? Religion? If I have faith in God, and in the power of God's divine love to heal us and save us from ourselves, what do I need to believe in some religion for? Who do you think I need to "obey"? I can simply choose to live by that ideal of salvation by divine love that I've put my faith in. No "obedience" is needed. No religion, either.


If you have faith and refuse to obey, then what good is your faith?Refuse to obey whom? God? God has given me a choice: to live by faith in His divine love to heal and save us from ourselves, or to live in fear and selfishness all my life. "Obedience" isn't on the menu. It's only religion that thinks obedience has anything to do with anything. And that's because authoritarian religionists keep trying to pretend that their religion IS GOD! So they can control everyone through fear and this obsession with blind obedience. Religion is not my God. Religion saves no one. It only traps people in their own delusions of righteousness and some 'magical' salvation in the hereafter.


If you persistently act contrary to your claimed faith, then clearly it does not have any value for you - it cannot save you.That's true. More true of religionists, though, who claim that God is love, and that love heals, but then immediately fall into religious idolization and false threats whenever they're challenged to act on it. Anyone can proclaim faith in some ideal, but faith is not the proclamation of the ideal, it's the acting on it. It's the living by it. An this is what so many religionists don't want to admit to, because they aren't willing to actually do it. So instead, they proclaim that faith is just the proclamation. Not the acting on it. That way they can excuse themselves for not living by it. And they can falsely convince themselves faith is "believing" instead of DOING. And many manifestations of organized religions promote this dishonest nonsense because they want to be the "divine authority": the stand-ins for God in people's lives. They're not interested in healing people through divine love, they're more interested in controlling people through blind obedience to their dictates. And so that's what you see all these religionists here on TOL preaching: blind obedience to the false God of religious authority. And "faith" as a proclamation, instead of action.


At least the non-believer can claim, in good conscience, that they were ignorant; but a believer who acts contrary to his faith has no excuse.The only people who are ignorant of the healing and saving power of divine love are people who, very sadly, have not experienced it. It is our responsibility to show them that love, so they can experience it for themselves, and will see that it is an option for them to live by, if they so choose. If believing in some religion helps us to do that, fine. But all too often, religion becomes "God" unto itself, and becomes obsessed with "obedience" to itself, and shows no love, mercy, or healing, at all.

genuineoriginal
May 4th, 2016, 10:56 AM
Only for people who obey religion, instead of living by faith. If you had chosen faith, you could believe in God regardless of any religion.
I live by faith in the God of the Bible.
You seem to think that the God of the Bible is not God.

Good luck with that when you stand before Him in Judgment before being thrown into the lake of fire.

PureX
May 4th, 2016, 11:12 AM
I live by faith in the God of the Bible.So … no Bible, no God. Right? By your own words.

That means that the Bible IS YOUR GOD, because without it, there is no God … for you. Your faith isn't in God, it's in the Bible depiction of God.


You seem to think that the God of the Bible is not God.Yes, I do think that. Because the men who wrote the scriptures didn't know any more about God than you, me, or anyone else, does. They were simply writing about God as THEIR CULTURE understood and related to God. And I know that their cultural understanding of God is not God, itself. And should it not be treated as though it were, or we become idolators.


Good luck with that when you stand before Him in Judgment before being thrown into the lake of fire.When reason fails, revert to fantastic threats … that's religion for you.

genuineoriginal
May 4th, 2016, 11:31 AM
So … no Bible, no God. Right? By your own words.
No, the Bible is the record of God's words.
His words are not recorded anywhere outside the Bible.


That means that the Bible IS YOUR GOD, because without it, there is no God … for you. Your faith isn't in God, it's in the Bible depiction of God.
My faith is in the Bible depiction of God because the Bible depiction is true and the Bible contains the words of God.

Yes, I do think that. Because the men who wrote the scriptures didn't know any more about God than you, me, or anyone else, does. They were simply writing about God as THEIR CULTURE understood and related to God. And I know that their cultural understanding of God is not God, itself. And should it not be treated as though it were, or we become idolators.
Since you thing the God of the Bible is not God, you cannot be a Christian.

Totton Linnet
May 4th, 2016, 11:42 AM
We all are. The power of love to heal us and save us from ourselves, and to help heal each other is evident to anyone with eyes to see, a heart to feel, and a mind to think with. It's our path to choose, or not to.

It is not evident to the one who understands the bible....none of the 10 lepers were able to cleanse either themselves or their fellows....your pretty philosophy works, until tragedy strikes

PureX
May 4th, 2016, 12:05 PM
No, the Bible is the record of God's words.
His words are not recorded anywhere outside the Bible.Thus, your belief in God is absolutely dependent upon your belief that the Bible somehow magically contains "God's words". Therefor, no magically inerrant Bible = no God exists, by your thinking. Without your belief in this magically inerrant Bible, you would have no faith in God's existence, at all. Isn't that true?

So really, it's your belief in this magically inerrant Bible that you are calling "faith in God". Not an actual faith in any God beyond and apart from the Bible depiction.


My faith is in the Bible depiction of God because the Bible depiction is true and the Bible contains the words of God.Yes, you are trapped by your belief in the magically inerrant Bible. Because your belief in God depends on it. Your faith is in your belief in the Bible, not in God. Because without your belief in the Bible, you wouldn't believe in God at all. You wouldn't even have a concept of God to believe in.


Since you thing the God of the Bible is not God, you cannot be a Christian.When reason fails, resort to condemnation. That's religionist's way.

PureX
May 4th, 2016, 12:16 PM
It is not evident to the one who understands the bible....none of the 10 lepers were able to cleanse either themselves or their fellows....your pretty philosophy works, until tragedy strikesThis discussion is not about feats of physical healing. It's about healing the spirit. But you're just groping for straws, now, I think, because you have no reasonable response to offer.

Most forms and expressions of religious Christianity have become spiritually bankrupt because their primary intent is to play the 'authoritative stand-in' for God, to mankind. They are not interested in healing anyone, physically or spiritually. They are only interested in establishing their phony "divine authority" and in imposing and maintaining our blind obedience to that phony authority by any means available.

genuineoriginal
May 4th, 2016, 12:19 PM
Thus, your belief in God is absolutely dependent upon your belief that the Bible somehow magically contains "God's words".
You doubt that God's words are in the Bible.
Others doubted as well.

Exodus 4:1
1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.

Therefor, no magically inerrant Bible = no God exists, by your thinking.
Don't project your false beliefs on me as if they were my beliefs.

Without your belief in this magically inerrant Bible, you would have no faith in God's existence, at all. Isn't that true?
No.
I believe God exists and the God gave us His word in the Bible.


So really, it's your belief in this magically inerrant Bible that you are calling "faith in God". Not an actual faith in any God beyond and apart from the Bible depiction.
You keep calling the Bible, "this magically inerrant Bible."
Why is that?

Is it because you can't believe in God, so you attempt to mock His word?

Totton Linnet
May 4th, 2016, 12:24 PM
This discussion is not about feats of physical healing. It's about healing the spirit. But you're just groping for straws, now, I think, because you have no reasonable response to offer.

Most forms and expressions of religious Christianity have become spiritually bankrupt because their primary intent is to play the 'authoritative stand-in' for God, to mankind. They are not interested in healing anyone, physically or spiritually. They are only interested in establishing their phony "divine authority" and in imposing and maintaining our blind obedience to that phony authority by any means available.

10 sinners cannot either cancel out their own sin and thus heal themselves spiritually nor can they cancel out each one the other fellow's sin....man has not healed himself spiritually in 8, 000 years despite all the religions and philosophies designed for that purpose.

Jesus saves

The Berean
May 4th, 2016, 12:28 PM
On this forum and elsewhere it is common place, if not the majority, that I find Christianity completely inversed. For instance: they assert that Christ did everything and that nothing is required of us. They attack the idea that anything is required of us, that we should do any good works or that salvation in any way is dependent upon our actions. They turn everything on its head - for they call themselves Christians: followers of Christ. Yet what they teach and practice is to do nothing, do not do the will of the Lord, do not do good deeds, ignore God's Law, do not follow the commandments. These teachings and commands, they say, have nothing to do with us.

As a result they do nothing, they continue on living worldly lives chasing money, success, power, etc. They effectively use Christ as a justification for this way of living. They pay mouth service to God and so feel justified in continuing to live ungodly lives. The scriptures say that God is Holy so we, his people, should be Holy. They say that Christ is Holy, so there's no need for us to be Holy...

Or, again, we find that their priorities are completely askew. They focus on believing the right things, paying allegiance to the right doctrines - these they say are essential to salvation, to being a true Christian. Like the Trinity. Yet they detatch belief from action. Though the bible declares that faith without works is dead, they do not understand that the role of our beliefs is to guide our actions - and that belief that is not acted upon is meaningless. They place all importance upon doctrines like the Trinity that they don't even claim to understand and call a mystery, and abandon the clear commands of God to love one another, to care for those in need, and to make disciples.

Is it just me, or do you all see this too? If you are among those who say that we should do nothing, that the teachings of Christ and commandments of God have nothing to do with us - how do you justify calling yourself Christian when you abandon everything?
Hi csuguy! I hope things are well with you.

As to your OP I think you may overgeneralizing a bit. I understand what you are trying to day. But I don't think Christianity is an monolithic as you say. I've been a Christian since 1998 and one thing I have learned is that Christianity is one incredibly diverse group of people in terms of beliefs and action. Sometimes it's seems quite overwhelming. I have met Christians who are:

King James Only people
Mid-Acts Dispensationlists
Cessationists
Seventh-Day Adventists
"Jesus is not God" people
Pentecostals
Word-Faith people
Catholics
"Paul" people
Social Justice Warrior Christians
etc...

How people can have so many diverse, and often contradictory, beliefs frome reading the Bible is simply beyond me. Given that, I know plenty of Christians who spend a a large postion of their lives in works of service for the Lord. This can be sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, feeding the poor and elderly, teaching the Bible.

I don't know where you live, what church you attend, or howm any Chrisitans you interact with but do you see a lot of Christians not doing any work for the LORD?

PureX
May 4th, 2016, 12:34 PM
Don't project your false beliefs on me as if they were my beliefs.I'm only mirroring your own proclamations. Your God IS the Bible's depiction of God. Therefor, without the Bible's depiction of God, you would have no God at all. So, your faith is not in God, but in the Bible's depiction of God.

It's very simple. You just don't want to acknowledge it. Your God is the Bible. That's why you have to pretend and insist that it's "God's inerrant words" on every page. Even though it clearly is not.


No. I believe God exists and the God gave us His word in the Bible.Yet it is the Bible that has given you your whole concept of God, and you do not conceive of the existence of God apart from the Bible. Not the other way around. So what you just posted is not really true. Is it. Your belief in the Bible comes first. And then the Bible tells you what to believe about God. So it is your Bible that is dictating your belief in God. Not God that is dictating your belief in the Bible. Why is it so hard for you to be honest about this, do you think?


You keep calling the Bible, "this magically inerrant Bible."
Why is that?Because it would require nothing less than a feat of divine magic for human beings write an inerrant book about God.


Is it because you can't believe in God, so you attempt to mock His word?No, it's because I don't believe in feats of divine magic. Especially when they are being used to justify using man's religion to define and speak for God.

PureX
May 4th, 2016, 12:43 PM
10 sinners cannot either cancel out their own sin and thus heal themselves spiritually nor can they cancel out each one the other fellow's sin....man has not healed himself spiritually in 8, 000 years despite all the religions and philosophies designed for that purpose.

Jesus savesAll sins have been "cancelled out". We are forgiven. The question is, do we know it? Do we accept this gift? Will we share this "gift" of forgiveness with others? And then live on in love, and kindness, and generosity with each other?

You're trying to impose impediments on us all that don't exist, because you pay too much attention to religion. (And not enough to the spirit.) Free yourself from the chains of religiosity (sin and guilt and blame), and live in the spirit of Christ (forgiveness and love).

Forget "obedience". It just leads back into the abyss of religion.

genuineoriginal
May 4th, 2016, 01:28 PM
It's very simple. You just don't want to acknowledge it. Your God is the Bible.
No, my God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, whose words have been recorded in the Bible.


That's why you have to pretend and insist that it's "God's inerrant words" on every page.
You must have me confused with someone else.


Even though it clearly is not.
Is that why you reject both the Bible and God?


Your belief in the Bible comes first.
Not true.
I rejected the Bible for many years prior to coming to a belief in God.
After I believed in God, then I read the Bible and believed it as well.


it would require nothing less than a feat of divine magic for human beings write an inerrant book about God.

Matthew 19:26
26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.


I don't believe in feats of divine magic.
Yes, I have already gathered from your statements that you do not believe in any god, much less the God that created the heavens and the earth.

genuineoriginal
May 4th, 2016, 01:29 PM
All sins have been "cancelled out".

Are you just making that up, or do you have a source for that belief?

PureX
May 4th, 2016, 02:08 PM
You got nothin', as usual. But I think I made my point.

genuineoriginal
May 4th, 2016, 03:25 PM
All sins have been "cancelled out".



Are you just making that up, or do you have a source for that belief?


You got nothin', as usual. But I think I made my point.
It is a valid question.

I believe in God and the promises from Him that are found in the Bible.

One of those promises found in the Bible is that my sins will be forgiven.

Since you reject the Bible, I would like to know where you are getting the belief that your sins have been "cancelled out".

PureX
May 4th, 2016, 06:55 PM
It is a valid question.

I believe in God and the promises from Him that are found in the Bible.

One of those promises found in the Bible is that my sins will be forgiven.

lSince you reject the Bible, I would like to know where you are getting the belief that your sins have been "cancelled out".You aren't the least bit interested in what I or anyone else thinks about God, sin, forgiveness, or whatever. All you care about is the fact that I assailed your delusions of Biblical authority and self-righteousness.

csuguy
May 4th, 2016, 07:27 PM
"Believed in" what? Religion? If I have faith in God, and in the power of God's divine love to heal us and save us from ourselves, what do I need to believe in some religion for? Who do you think I need to "obey"? I can simply choose to live by that ideal of salvation by divine love that I've put my faith in. No "obedience" is needed. No religion, either.

Your faith in God is a religion. It seems to have become popular for people to hold religious beliefs and then turn around and try to draw illusory distinctions between their belief in God, the supernatural, etc. versus others religious beliefs - claiming that their beliefs aren't "religious," as if it were a dirty word. Robert Pate is one on here who constantly attacks "religion" - but, as with everyone who fallaciously joins this line of reasoning, he simply constructs a straw-man which he identifies as "religion" and attacks it. Religion is very diverse and abstract, encompassing all manners of belief and practice. You might criticize this or that sect or specific religion, but it is quite difficult to pin-down and address religion as a whole.


Refuse to obey whom? God? God has given me a choice: to live by faith in His divine love to heal and save us from ourselves, or to live in fear and selfishness all my life. "Obedience" isn't on the menu. It's only religion that thinks obedience has anything to do with anything. And that's because authoritarian religionists keep trying to pretend that their religion IS GOD! So they can control everyone through fear and this obsession with blind obedience. Religion is not my God. Religion saves no one. It only traps people in their own delusions of righteousness and some 'magical' salvation in the hereafter.

You lack understanding. Love and faith are not contrary to obedience - but rather establish obedience to the Law. We obey not because of fear, but because we love God and our fellow man. We recognize that all the various commandments like do not murder, do not steal, make disciples, etc. are for our benefit and the benefit of those we love. By doing what is right and good, we can live in peace and harmony with one another, resolve conflicts, build each other up, and prosper as a whole. When someone is in need, you help them because you care about their well-being. You reach out to the lost of society so that they maybe brought back, and reconciled with God and man. etc.

While a healthy 'fear'/respect for God is a wise thing, that is not the fundamental basis of the commandments or the reason for our obedience. Rather, as Christ taught, everything rests upon love as its basis. Don't obey because of fear, obey because of love. This is what it means to set your heart and mind on the Spirit. When you make love the center of everything, the Law is not a burden to keep, but is quite natural. If you live for yourself, for worldly desires, then the Law is contrary to your heart and mind and it is impossible for you.


That's true. More true of religionists, though, who claim that God is love, and that love heals, but then immediately fall into religious idolization and false threats whenever they're challenged to act on it. Anyone can proclaim faith in some ideal, but faith is not the proclamation of the ideal, it's the acting on it. It's the living by it. An this is what so many religionists don't want to admit to, because they aren't willing to actually do it. So instead, they proclaim that faith is just the proclamation. Not the acting on it. That way they can excuse themselves for not living by it. And they can falsely convince themselves faith is "believing" instead of DOING. And many manifestations of organized religions promote this dishonest nonsense because they want to be the "divine authority": the stand-ins for God in people's lives. They're not interested in healing people through divine love, they're more interested in controlling people through blind obedience to their dictates. And so that's what you see all these religionists here on TOL preaching: blind obedience to the false God of religious authority. And "faith" as a proclamation, instead of action.

I agree with the sentiment, but must disagree with the use of the term "religionists" to describe this group of people. This is true of some religious groups, not of religion as a whole or even in general. I am religious and I'm most certainly not of that mindset - hence this thread.


The only people who are ignorant of the healing and saving power of divine love are people who, very sadly, have not experienced it. It is our responsibility to show them that love, so they can experience it for themselves, and will see that it is an option for them to live by, if they so choose. If believing in some religion helps us to do that, fine. But all too often, religion becomes "God" unto itself, and becomes obsessed with "obedience" to itself, and shows no love, mercy, or healing, at all.

Again - when you start trying to narrowly define religion like this, you are simply setting up a straw-man. Religion is too diverse. Different religions have different values, end-goals/dreams, etc. They most certainly don't all have love as their basis - few do in fact. Of the major religions I've studied only the Abrahamic Faiths do so, and then Christianity is the most explicit about it.

But yes, it is our responsibility to show them that love, to teach it too them. But love, properly understood, is not some emotional feeling. It is a matter of what you value and how you act upon those values. Namely: valuing the well-being of others, even over your own well-being. It means you try to live in harmony and peace with others, and seek reconciliation when conflict arises, but also are willing to fight and to die to when necessary. The greatest act of love is to give your life to save another. When start applying these principles to the various facets of life and carrying them through to their logical conclusions - you get God's Law. Love is the abstract principle, whereas individual commandments are the application thereof.

csuguy
May 4th, 2016, 07:37 PM
I don't know where you live, what church you attend, or howm any Chrisitans you interact with but do you see a lot of Christians not doing any work for the LORD?

I've been to many different churches and sects over the years. Mostly Protestant ones, which is where this philosophy is most rampant, but I've also been to Catholic and Orthodox churches. While certain indivuals maybe actively living the faith - as a whole, the churches have lost their way. They serve no purpose anymore. Churches today are little more than a Sunday social group with membership dues (tithe). They meet up for a few hours, pat each other on the back for believing the right set of doctrines, and they carry on with their worldly lives. This isn't what it means to be a Christian

The Berean
May 4th, 2016, 08:06 PM
I've been to many different churches and sects over the years. Mostly Protestant ones, which is where this philosophy is most rampant, but I've also been to Catholic and Orthodox churches. While certain indivuals maybe actively living the faith - as a whole, the churches have lost their way. They serve no purpose anymore. Churches today are little more than a Sunday social group with membership dues (tithe). They meet up for a few hours, pat each other on the back for believing the right set of doctrines, and they carry on with their worldly lives. This isn't what it means to be a Christian
There is some truth to that from my experiences as well. To me this is a distinction between the Chrisitan "religion" and the Chrisitan "faith". Superfically both look the same but when one delves deeper many striking differences are found.

Many people are part of the Christian "religion" living within the culture of Christianity. Lots of people go to church, attend church functions, even own a Bible. They tend to be very politcal and usually are politically and socially conservative. But these people tend not to read their Bible, never share the Gospel of Jesus Christ but will tell people their views on things like homosexuality and abortion, never pray or if they do pray it's only the typical "911, I'm in trouble, bail me out God" prayers. They never pray just to spend time with the LORD. I have had people tell me they are Christians but never read the Bible, never prayer, never share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My reaction is usually, "Really? Ok? :liberals: " It seems God is not much of a real priority in their lives.

People in the Christian "faith" seem to actively seek the LORD through prayer, pray for others, have a more servant's heart, worship, and study the Bible. They tend to be non-politcal. They want to have a deep and fulfilling personal relation with the LORD. That is usually their first priority.

genuineoriginal
May 5th, 2016, 12:16 PM
You aren't the least bit interested in what I or anyone else thinks about God, sin, forgiveness, or whatever.
You don't even know God, since you claim the Bible did not come from Him.

All you care about is the fact that PureX projected PureX's delusions of Biblical authority and self-righteousness onto genuineoriginal.
FTFY, and you are welcome. :)

Totton Linnet
May 5th, 2016, 01:06 PM
All sins have been "cancelled out". We are forgiven. The question is, do we know it? Do we accept this gift? Will we share this "gift" of forgiveness with others? And then live on in love, and kindness, and generosity with each other?

You're trying to impose impediments on us all that don't exist, because you pay too much attention to religion. (And not enough to the spirit.) Free yourself from the chains of religiosity (sin and guilt and blame), and live in the spirit of Christ (forgiveness and love).

Forget "obedience". It just leads back into the abyss of religion.

It takes two to deal, we don't have zippo until we close the deal.

PureX
May 6th, 2016, 06:54 AM
You don't even know God, since you claim the Bible did not come from Him.You're just proving my point with statements like this. To you, the Bible is the container of God. Without it, God wouldn't exist to us.

You have elevated a man-made book to the level of God, Himself. Even above, as you think that without the book, no one can know God.

PureX
May 6th, 2016, 07:01 AM
It takes two to deal, we don't have zippo until we close the deal.You're assuming that the prize is 'pie in the sky'. I'm looking at the prize that's is here and now.

In the here and now, the revelation and the gifts of Christ is free to anyone who is willing to accept them. Love and forgiveness heals us, here and now. Loving and helping others changes us, profoundly, here and now. It's not 'pie in the sky'. It's salvation from ourselves, from our fear and selfishness right here and now. With that, we no longer need to seek, nor fear, the "hereafter".

PureX
May 6th, 2016, 10:07 AM
When two entities love each other … I mean really love each other rather than just sharing mutual expectations of each other, neither of them demands from the other, and neither of them obeys the other. Because their relationship is not based on expectations of the other, but is based, instead, on mutual respect for, and concern for the genuine well-being of the other.

If I expect perfection from you, I am not respecting and appreciating who you are, because you are not going to be perfect. So that if I am then disappointed by your imperfections, that's my own fault. I created my own disappointment by expecting you to be what you cannot be. But if my interest in you is centered on you, instead of on myself, then I will not be at all disappointed to discover that you are imperfect. Because I will not have expected you to be anything but yourself, to begin with.

When Christians claim that God loves and forgives them, and then claim that God demands perfection from us, and would punish us when we fail to live up to that demand, they are lying. Because love doesn't expect or demand anything from the beloved but that they be who they are. Nor does love expect the beloved to "obey" any demands. God's love is free and unconditional. So is God's forgiveness. No 'obedience' of any sort is demanded, nor required, of us. None.

It is, however, up to us whether or not we accept that love and forgiveness, and then pass it on to others. Or we reject it and wallow in guilt and resentment and selfishness, instead. And it is in this choice that we find or lose salvation IN THIS WORLD. Which is where we need it most urgently.

ok doser
May 6th, 2016, 12:35 PM
You're just proving my point with statements like this. To you, the Bible is the container of God. Without it, God wouldn't exist to us.

You have elevated a man-made book to the level of God, Himself. Even above, as you think that without the book, no one can know God.

you're a retard

i used to drive an old ford van

i relied on Chilton's ford van repair manual to diagnose and repair it:
24163

Chilton's was my means of understanding how the van should work and pointed me in the right direction when I was trying to diagnose why it wasn't working - it was the book I used to understand the ford van and what it expected of me, what i had to do to make it happy and have a successful relationship with it

Never did I elevate the repair manual to the level of the van, although i certainly realized that without the repair manual, I wouldn't have had a clue how to keep it running

Totton Linnet
May 6th, 2016, 04:36 PM
You're just proving my point with statements like this. To you, the Bible is the container of God. Without it, God wouldn't exist to us.

You have elevated a man-made book to the level of God, Himself. Even above, as you think that without the book, no one can know God.

This is not the correct view of the bible, it is God's word written down. If you treated Jesu's word or the apostles and prophets as they spoke them with the contempt which you have for their words written down....how would you receive anything from the Lord?

Conversely treat the written word with the same awe and respect that you would have if Jesus spoke them personally to you, nothing would be impossible to you

Totton Linnet
May 6th, 2016, 04:38 PM
When two entities love each other … I mean really love each other rather than just sharing mutual expectations of each other, neither of them demands from the other, and neither of them obeys the other. Because their relationship is not based on expectations of the other, but is based, instead, on mutual respect for, and concern for the genuine well-being of the other.

If I expect perfection from you, I am not respecting and appreciating who you are, because you are not going to be perfect. So that if I am then disappointed by your imperfections, that's my own fault. I created my own disappointment by expecting you to be what you cannot be. But if my interest in you is centered on you, instead of on myself, then I will not be at all disappointed to discover that you are imperfect. Because I will not have expected you to be anything but yourself, to begin with.

When Christians claim that God loves and forgives them, and then claim that God demands perfection from us, and would punish us when we fail to live up to that demand, they are lying. Because love doesn't expect or demand anything from the beloved but that they be who they are. Nor does love expect the beloved to "obey" any demands. God's love is free and unconditional. So is God's forgiveness. No 'obedience' of any sort is demanded, nor required, of us. None.

It is, however, up to us whether or not we accept that love and forgiveness, and then pass it on to others. Or we reject it and wallow in guilt and resentment and selfishness, instead. And it is in this choice that we find or lose salvation IN THIS WORLD. Which is where we need it most urgently.

This is ok

It is where I am...but I got it all from scripture which you seem to have a low estimation of.

PureX
May 8th, 2016, 08:50 AM
This is not the correct view of the bible, it is God's word written down. If you treated Jesu's word or the apostles and prophets as they spoke them with the contempt which you have for their words written down....how would you receive anything from the Lord?

Conversely treat the written word with the same awe and respect that you would have if Jesus spoke them personally to you, nothing would be impossible to youThis is nothing short of scriptural idolatry. And like all forms of idolatry, it leads those who engage in it into ignorance and self-delusion. And it makes them ripe for the pickings by false priests and profits and cult-like churches.

Totton Linnet
May 8th, 2016, 10:54 AM
You cannot separate God from His word....the bible is His word written down

If you have doctrines which contradict God's word you are in trouble
If you have experiences which do not match bible experiences you are in trouble


...nobody during all the church age has ever done anything of lasting worth who were not true bible believing christians

genuineoriginal
May 9th, 2016, 10:26 AM
When two entities love each other … I mean really love each other rather than just sharing mutual expectations of each other, neither of them demands from the other, and neither of them obeys the other. Because their relationship is not based on expectations of the other, but is based, instead, on mutual respect for, and concern for the genuine well-being of the other.
If you think your relationship with God is based on a mutual respect without any need for obedience, you are quite mistaken.
If you actually respected God as God, then you would know that He is much wiser than you and would obey His commandments out of respect for His wisdom and His love for you.
Since you don't respect God as wiser than you and more loving than you, you will continue to belittle Him as part of your rebellion against Him.


If I expect perfection from you, I am not respecting and appreciating who you are, because you are not going to be perfect. So that if I am then disappointed by your imperfections, that's my own fault. I created my own disappointment by expecting you to be what you cannot be. But if my interest in you is centered on you, instead of on myself, then I will not be at all disappointed to discover that you are imperfect. Because I will not have expected you to be anything but yourself, to begin with.

When Christians claim that God loves and forgives them, and then claim that God demands perfection from us, and would punish us when we fail to live up to that demand, they are lying.
You have been taken in by the lie that God demands perfection.
He does not.
He does demand that you humble yourself and stop thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself as an equal to God.


Because love doesn't expect or demand anything from the beloved but that they be who they are. Nor does love expect the beloved to "obey" any demands. God's love is free and unconditional. So is God's forgiveness. No 'obedience' of any sort is demanded, nor required, of us. None.
You are trying to demand that God must forgive you no matter how much you spit in His face, but you rebel against any hint that you should do as He demands?
In other words, you expect God to bow down to you instead of you bowing down to God.


It is, however, up to us whether or not we accept that love and forgiveness, and then pass it on to others. Or we reject it and wallow in guilt and resentment and selfishness, instead. And it is in this choice that we find or lose salvation IN THIS WORLD. Which is where we need it most urgently.
If you do not humble yourself before God, you will not receive the forgiveness you demand that He give to you.

PureX
May 9th, 2016, 01:12 PM
If you think your relationship with God is based on a mutual respect without any need for obedience, you are quite mistaken.My relationship with "God" is based on whatever I choose to base it on. And you don't really have anything to say bout it. So your opinion is of little value to me, in this regard.


If you actually respected God as God, then you would know that He is much wiser than you and would obey His commandments out of respect for His wisdom and His love for you.You are just blindly assuming that the only possible way for me or anyone else to conceive of God is through your literalist interpretation of the Bible. But we humans can conceive of God any way that works for us. And billions of us choose not to use the literal biblical conception that you use. So you look kind of silly and selfish sitting there blindly proclaiming your own conception of God to be the only possible conception of God. It just exemplifies how you have trapped yourself in your own delusions of self-righteousness, and thus cut yourself off from the rest of humanity.


Since you don't respect God as wiser than you and more loving than you, you will continue to belittle Him as part of your rebellion against Him.No, I only pointed out that divine love is unconditional, and is therefor not based on expectations or demands for obedience. But you can't grasp that observation because your whole theology is based on Biblical authority and blind obedience masquerading as "faith".


You have been taken in by the lie that God demands perfection.
He does not.[/QUITE]I know God does not. In fact, God demands nothing. God loves and forgives us all, freely.

[QUOTE=genuineoriginal;4698026]You are trying to demand that God must forgive you no matter how much you spit in His face…God has already forgiven me no matter what I do. It's then up to me to choose how I respond to that gift.


In other words, you expect God to bow down to you instead of you bowing down to God.No one needs to bow down to anyone. You can't see this because your religion is based on authoritarianism, not on love and forgiveness.


If you do not humble yourself before God, you will not receive the forgiveness you demand that He give to you.We have all already been forgiven. No demands are needed, from us or from God.

genuineoriginal
May 9th, 2016, 01:15 PM
My relationship with "God" is based on whatever I choose to base it in.
Yes, you are not letting God have any say in it.

PureX
May 9th, 2016, 01:17 PM
Yes, you are not letting God have any say in it.God's "say" in how I relate to Him is in my heart, not your idolized religious book.

genuineoriginal
May 9th, 2016, 01:21 PM
God's "say" in how I relate to Him is in my heart, not your idolized religious book.

Jeremiah 13:10
10 This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.