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 Post subject: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? TheJack
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:31 pm 
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Just to begin I want to be sure that I'm not positing a strawman argument.

The way I understand it, the Protestant view of justification is as follows:

1) We believe in Christ (faith),
2) We immediately justified and thus receive "everlasting life"(blessing),
3) and then we live a life of faith (obedience).

IOW:
1) Faith, resulting in
2) Blessing, leading to
3) Obedience.

Is that, in a nutshell, correct?


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:04 pm 
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There is no such thing as "the protestant view of justification."

If you are asking about my view, then the answer is no.


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:11 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
There is no such thing as "the protestant view of justification."

If you are asking about my view, then the answer is no.



That's odd because it seems to me to me the very thing which you affirmed in the other thread.

Where exactly am I mistaken, that is, what part of the above pattern is not in accordance with your views?


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:37 pm 
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Take obedience out of it entirely.

Unbelievers are sometimes obedient and sometimes disobedient to the laws of God. Believers are sometimes obedient and sometimes disobedient to the laws of God. Obedience has less than nothing to do with where you spend eternity (although it has a lot to do with the quality of that eternity, i.e., greater/lesser rewards/punishment).

I could pick nits on words like "resulting in" or "thus," but I'd be fine with someone who believed your first two propositions.


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:41 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
Take obedience out of it entirely.

Unbelievers are sometimes obedient and sometimes disobedient to the laws of God. Believers are sometimes obedient and sometimes disobedient to the laws of God. Obedience has less than nothing to do with where you spend eternity (although it has a lot to do with the quality of that eternity, i.e., greater/lesser rewards/punishment).

I could pick nits on words like "resulting in" or "thus," but I'd be fine with someone who believed your first two propositions.



Ok, but this is where you lose me in regards to your view being in line with Scripture.

Take the case of Noah. God visits Noah and commands him to build the ark. Noah obeys and builds the ark. Noah is then blessed fir his obedience and was saved from the flood.

Then there's Abraham. God visits (then)Abram and commands him to move his household from Ir to the holy land. Abram obeys and is blessed with the land God promised.

Moses and all of Israel first had to believe God, they then had to eat the Passover (obedience), and then they are released from their bondage(blessing).

Naaman the Syrian had to believe God (faith), then dip himself into the Jordan river seven times (obedience), in order to be healed of his leprosy (blessing).

Even in the Gospels we see the same pattern repeated by Christ when he makes clay out of spittle and commands the blind man to wash his eyes in the pool of Siloam, where immediately his sight is restored. (John 9).

Faith, leading to obedience, resulting in blessing.

If God wanted to teach the world that all His blessings come to us through faith alone and that obedience is essentially meaningless in regards to justification, then why did God fill the Bible with examples of men and women who are never called to receive those blessings through faith alone but rather through faith and obedience?


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:07 pm 
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Where did I say all God's blessings come through faith alone or that God does not reward obedience?


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:02 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
Where did I say all God's blessings come through faith alone or that God does not reward obedience?


I'm not talking about any blessing but the blessing of eternal life and how we receive it.

You specifically said that the blessing of eternal life itself has "less than nothing" to do with obedience.

TheJack wrote:
Obedience has less than nothing to do with where you spend eternity....
 

If that's so then how do you explain Romans 2:7?

"God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life..."

St. Paul in Galatians to me clearly ties "doing good" with where we will wind up in eternity:

"Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.  And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart."(Gal 6:7-9)

And it seems to me that if God rewards obedience in regards to the quality of eternal life then it follows that eternal life itself is also contingent upon our obedience. And that is precisely what Paul referred to when he wrote that he came to bring about "the obedience of faith, for the sake of His name..."

In John 3:36 he uses both faith and obedience in the same verse:
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life, he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, for the wrath of God rests upon him."

It seems to me that instead of obedience having "less than nothing" to do with where we will spend eternity it rather has everything to do with it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:29 pm 
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Jon Snow wrote:
I'm not talking about any blessing but the blessing of eternal life and how we receive it.

That isn't what you said. You said:

    If God wanted to teach the world that all His blessings come to us through faith alone and that obedience is essentially meaningless in regards to justification, then why did God fill the Bible with examples of men and women who are never called to receive those blessings through faith alone but rather through faith and obedience?

Now, if you are saying that what you actually meant to ask why if God wanted to teach the world that some of his blessings come to us faith alone and that obedience is meaningless in regard to justification, then why did God have so many examples in the Bible of obedient people being blessed, I'd just point out the obvious: because some blessings come through faithful obedience.

Quote:
If that's so then how do you explain Romans 2:7?

"God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life..."

St. Paul in Galatians to me clearly ties "doing good" with where we will wind up in eternity:

"Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.  And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart."(Gal 6:7-9)

And it seems to me that if God rewards obedience in regards to the quality of eternal life then it follows that eternal life itself is also contingent upon our obedience. And that is precisely what Paul referred to when he wrote that he came to bring about "the obedience of faith, for the sake of His name..."

In John 3:36 he uses both faith and obedience in the same verse:
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life, he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, for the wrath of God rests upon him."

It seems to me that instead of obedience having "less than nothing" to do with where we will spend eternity it rather has everything to do with it.

I'm not going to engage you in this manner. I've already said why elsewhere, but to repeat: it is an absolute waste of my time for you to ask me about this verse and then when I answer it go "OH YEAH WELL WUT ABOUT . . ." and move on. I appreciate what you're trying to do, but your approach is fundamentally flawed. Unless you believe that there are contradictions in the Bible, the issue is whether or not John 3:16 (or 6:47 or 20:31 or Acts 16:30-31 or Gal 3:1-6 or Rom 4:1-4 or . . . well, you get the idea) do, in fact, teach that salvation is by faith alone.

I'm sorry if that isn't to your liking. If you really think that evangelical teachers and scholars haven't look at those passages, you're being ridiculous. There's simply nothing to be gained by jumping from verse to verse. If you are that interested in those verses, look them up in an evangelical commentary. Tom Constable might be a good source for you. You can read his stuff at http://www.soniclight.org. He has commentaries available for free on every book of the Bible individually. You could also try going to http://www.faithalone.org and search their journal and magazine. You can also search over at http://www.galaxie.com/journals. Those articles are not free, but I have a subscription and if you want to read an article, I can get them for you (and if someone is worried about the legality of it, I could even go through a formal ILL process). If you look through that database, I'd particularly recommend to you articles from Bibliotheca Sacra, the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, the Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Chafer Theological Seminary Journal, Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal, and the Journal of Dispensational Theology. So I'd say that you've got plenty of options in that regard.


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:54 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
Jon Snow wrote:
I'm not talking about any blessing but the blessing of eternal life and how we receive it.

That isn't what you said. You said:

    If God wanted to teach the world that all His blessings come to us through faith alone and that obedience is essentially meaningless in regards to justification, then why did God fill the Bible with examples of men and women who are never called to receive those blessings through faith alone but rather through faith and obedience?

Now, if you are saying that what you actually meant to ask why if God wanted to teach the world that some of his blessings come to us faith alone and that obedience is meaningless in regard to justification, then why did God have so many examples in the Bible of obedient people being blessed, I'd just point out the obvious: because some blessings come through faithful obedience.


That to me seems pretty convenient because then you can just simply pick and choose what blessings apply to whatever category.

It still remains for you to explain that there are in fact examples where more than faith alone is indeed tied to the blessing of eternal life.

IOW: he who believes in the Son of God(faith), and also to eats His flesh and drinks His blood(obedience), has eternal life and will be raised on the last day (blessing).

OTOH it makes little to no sense that for time immemorial God always has been shown to follow a certain pattern and now all of a sudden due to the advent of protestant theological study that pattern is no more.



TheJack wrote:
Quote:
If that's so then how do you explain Romans 2:7?

"God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life..."

St. Paul in Galatians to me clearly ties "doing good" with where we will wind up in eternity:

"Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.  And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart."(Gal 6:7-9)

And it seems to me that if God rewards obedience in regards to the quality of eternal life then it follows that eternal life itself is also contingent upon our obedience. And that is precisely what Paul referred to when he wrote that he came to bring about "the obedience of faith, for the sake of His name..."

In John 3:36 he uses both faith and obedience in the same verse:
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life, he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, for the wrath of God rests upon him."

It seems to me that instead of obedience having "less than nothing" to do with where we will spend eternity it rather has everything to do with it.

I'm not going to engage you in this manner. I've already said why elsewhere, but to repeat: it is an absolute waste of my time for you to ask me about this verse and then when I answer it go "OH YEAH WELL WUT ABOUT . . ." and move on. I appreciate what you're trying to do, but your approach is fundamentally flawed. Unless you believe that there are contradictions in the Bible, the issue is whether or not John 3:16 (or 6:47 or 20:31 or Acts 16:30-31 or Gal 3:1-6 or Rom 4:1-4 or . . . well, you get the idea) do, in fact, teach that salvation is by faith alone.


How is it "fundamentally flawed"? Because you say so? I present verses of Scripture which don't contradict Scripture but do contradict your opinion of what you insist Scripture says. Is it "flawed" because it contradicts your opinions, because they are passages which need to be parsed and dismantled in order understand the "proper meaning"? Because we need to haggle over what the meaning of "is", is?

As far as "contradictions" in the Bible, that's absurd. I see no contradictions between any verse of Scripture,
however I do in fact believe that there are contradictions a plenty in what you think those verses are saying. Which is precisely why I'm asking you about those inconsistencies in your opinion.

Quote:
I'm sorry if that isn't to your liking. If you really think that evangelical teachers and scholars haven't look at those passages, you're being ridiculous.


No, I just know that the common practice is to ignore them or explain them away. And I'm not about to tell Christ that, "well, those verses simply didn't fit my ideals or preferences so I just set them aside." If there are passages of Scripture which contradict what I may think is being said then I have to adjust and/or jettison my preferred opinions for what is in fact being taught. You know as well as any that the purpose of interpretation is to discover the author's mind and thoughts, not to merely bolster my own preferred ideas or tradition.

Quote:
There's simply nothing to be gained by jumping from verse to verse. If you are that interested in those verses, look them up in an evangelical commentary. Tom Constable might be a good source for you. You can read his stuff at http://www.soniclight.org. He has commentaries available for free on every book of the Bible individually. You could also try going to http://www.faithalone.org and search their journal and magazine. You can also search over at http://www.galaxie.com/journals. Those articles are not free, but I have a subscription and if you want to read an article, I can get them for you (and if someone is worried about the legality of it, I could even go through a formal ILL process). If you look through that database, I'd particularly recommend to you articles from Bibliotheca Sacra, the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, the Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Chafer Theological Seminary Journal, Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal, and the Journal of Dispensational Theology. So I'd say that you've got plenty of options in that regard.



With all due respect to the time you spent putting this together, why would I bother to bury myself in other's opinions of Scripture when 1) we're having a discussion here and 2) if everything that I am to believe is presented by the Bible itself? No doubt they may be useful as a novel way of curing any insomnia I may encounter in the future, but I doubt that they have anything new to say aside from what you have written or what I've heard more than a dozen or more evangelical protestant preachers preach on, all of which mainly forming the same echo chamber.


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:26 pm 
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Jon Snow wrote:
With all due respect to the time you spent putting this together, why would I bother to bury myself in other's opinions

Because of the time that I--a (busy) human being who deserves the basic respect of taking his position seriously--spent putting it together. Because I know my position better than you do, and because I'm telling you that's how you get to know it. Because you wouldn't want to presume expertise on something you know nothing about. When we discuss metaphysics we are forever reading and quoting Aquinas (to take the obvious example). When we discuss free grace theology or dispensationalism, you will be referred to Zane Hodges, Charles Ryrie, Lewis Sperry Chafer, JB Hixon, Bob Wilkin, Joseph Dillow, Charlie Bing, Richard and Thomas Howe, and other such theologians. I'm simply not going to reinvent the wheel. The material is already presented elsewhere, and I'm not going to redo what has already been done so that you can read it from a different screen name.

It might also help you to understand my perspective on these discussions. I don't know why you post here or what you get out of this. I don't post here to debate Catholicism or defend my beliefs. And with all due respect to you, you don't know enough to challenge my beliefs. The only reason I respond to you is because you ask. The moment your asking turns into evaluations of my positions, I'm done. I look at you like I look at my theology students when it comes to talking about free grace theology. So just be clear about what you think your doing in talking with me and what you think I'm doing in talking with you. I'm not debating you. You don't know my position well enough to debate it. So if you care about knowing why I believe what I do, feel free to ask. If something doesn't make sense, feel free to ask. I've got no problem helping you come to an understanding of free grace theology. But if you really think that I'm going to spend my time debating it with you, then you don't understand why I'm even responding to you at all. That's not why I'm on these boards.


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:28 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
Jon Snow wrote:
With all due respect to the time you spent putting this together, why would I bother to bury myself in other's opinions

Because you are talking to a (busy) human being who deserves the basic respect of taking his position seriously. When we discuss metaphysics we are forever reading and quoting Aquinas (to take the obvious example). I'm simply not going to reinvent the wheel. The material is already presented elsewhere, and I'm not going to redo what has already been done so that you can read it from a different screen name.

Stop being lazy. It's disrespectful to me, to the people who have spent their lives studying this stuff, to yourself, and to your church (given the laziness with which you defend it).

When you decide you want to have a real conversation, let me know.


As as usual your trademark condescension strikes again. I can't imagine any Apostle, much less a professed teacher of any real quality, who is too "busy" to address honest questions, even those they may find mundane. No doubt there are such teachers that exist who spurn students for such inqueries, which I can't help but wonder about their professionalism and dedication to their vocation.

As far as being "lazy" I can't help but think of anything more "lazy" than giving someone the brush-off in the form of a litany of other evangelicals who you more-or-less agree(confirmation bias) rather than address his points yourself. Take your "position" seriously? Which "position" would you be referring to, exactly? That of your theology? Or that of your status?

For my part it has little to do with laziness and more to do with the fact that I've been there and done that and received nothing but basically unsatisfactory answers. If I can't get a satisfactory answer to what seems to me a very simple observation and question from you, what if anything am I to gain from anything of which you cited? I'm supposed to delve into a sea of pointless protestant babble and theological jargon and somehow mine the answer to my question from that? It'd be an utter waste of my time and energy simply to discover that they all say pretty much (or near enough) the same thing and repeat the same apparent error which it seems to me that you do.

If that's what it means to be "lazy", then whatever. As I've said before, I'm not impressed at all with the "don't you know who I am" approach to apologetics, I'm even less affected by their ad-hominems and attempts at ridicule.


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:22 am 
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And once again you prove yourself to be too arrogant to learn.

Welcome to the permignore list.


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:29 am 
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The protestant position as I understand it is that salvation is by faith alone & good works are only a sign that someone is already saved. Good works merit heavenly rewards but not salvation.

Does this represent your position The Jack?


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:35 am 
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TheJack wrote:
And once again you prove yourself to be too arrogant to learn.

Welcome to the permignore list.



That is definitely the pot calling the kettle black.

On the contrary, I have every desire to learn and no problem with being corrected, it's just too bad that I can't find anyone who can offer satisfactory answers to my questions.

Have it your way, it's no loss in my book, since it seems that you have precious little enough to offer anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:46 am 
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cjg wrote:
The protestant position as I understand it is that salvation is by faith alone & good works are only a sign that someone is already saved. Good works merit heavenly rewards but not salvation.

Does this represent your position The Jack?

Again, there's no "protestant position" on salvatio by faith alone. Some protestants don't even belief in faith alone, and among those who do it is explained very differently. The position you are talking about is typical of a Reformed type position. Those in my camp would not say that good words are a sign that someone is saved. Those who make that claim typically hold that faith is such a thing that by nature produces good works, so that if there is no works there is no faith (typical modus tollens). Yet on my view, good works do not indicate salvation and evil works do not indicate reprobation. That is because salvation and reprobation is related only to faith, and faith is not the kind of thing that by nature produces good works.

Now, we of course say that those who have faith ought to do good works, and that there are heavenly rewards for doing so. As such, you demonstrate your faith with good works. But, to be clear, your demonstration of your faith by your works does not mean that your works are a sign of your faith except in the loosest possible sense. Look at Matt 7:14ff to see why. Many will point to their good works as signs that they ought to be saved, but Jesus will condemn them regardless.

In this, then, the relationship between good works and faith is much the same as the test in Deuteronomy for the false prophet. If the prophet made a prediction that did not come true, he was a false prophet and did not speak for God and so should be stoned. This is analogous to the person who lives in sin. Such a person, a believer or not, is not living a life of faith and will be punished. Yet just because the prophet's sign came true, it did not follow that their message was true. That is, the truth of the prophecy was no sign of its divine origin. For that, Israel was to look at the content of their message. If this "prophet" taught people to follow other gods--if they taught heresy, you might say--then they were to be regarded as false prophets and stoned. This is analogous to the professing Christian who claims to be saved and points to his works as a sign of his salvation but whose faith is not in Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter what works those people have. They do not believe the gospel, and they are condemned. Yet the prophet whose signs prove true and who speaks true doctrine ought to be obeyed and is rewarded. Just so, the one who believes the gospel and works out his salvation with fear and trembling can expect eternal rewards.

I hope that helps clarify things. To keep it simple: whether or not one spends eternity with Christ or in Hell is only dependent on whether or not they have believed the gospel. The quality of that eternity--the greatness of their reward or the greatness of their punishment--is determined by their works (so 2 Cor 5:10). But due to the absolute disconnect between works and justification (in the pauline sense of the word), the former cannot be a sign of the latter.


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:44 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
cjg wrote:
The protestant position as I understand it is that salvation is by faith alone & good works are only a sign that someone is already saved. Good works merit heavenly rewards but not salvation.

Does this represent your position The Jack?

Again, there's no "protestant position" on salvatio by faith alone. Some protestants don't even belief in faith alone, and among those who do it is explained very differently. The position you are talking about is typical of a Reformed type position. Those in my camp would not say that good words are a sign that someone is saved. Those who make that claim typically hold that faith is such a thing that by nature produces good works, so that if there is no works there is no faith (typical modus tollens). Yet on my view, good works do not indicate salvation and evil works do not indicate reprobation. That is because salvation and reprobation is related only to faith, and faith is not the kind of thing that by nature produces good works.

Now, we of course say that those who have faith ought to do good works, and that there are heavenly rewards for doing so. As such, you demonstrate your faith with good works. But, to be clear, your demonstration of your faith by your works does not mean that your works are a sign of your faith except in the loosest possible sense. Look at Matt 7:14ff to see why. Many will point to their good works as signs that they ought to be saved, but Jesus will condemn them regardless.

In this, then, the relationship between good works and faith is much the same as the test in Deuteronomy for the false prophet. If the prophet made a prediction that did not come true, he was a false prophet and did not speak for God and so should be stoned. This is analogous to the person who lives in sin. Such a person, a believer or not, is not living a life of faith and will be punished. Yet just because the prophet's sign came true, it did not follow that their message was true. That is, the truth of the prophecy was no sign of its divine origin. For that, Israel was to look at the content of their message. If this "prophet" taught people to follow other gods--if they taught heresy, you might say--then they were to be regarded as false prophets and stoned. This is analogous to the professing Christian who claims to be saved and points to his works as a sign of his salvation but whose faith is not in Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter what works those people have. They do not believe the gospel, and they are condemned. Yet the prophet whose signs prove true and who speaks true doctrine ought to be obeyed and is rewarded. Just so, the one who believes the gospel and works out his salvation with fear and trembling can expect eternal rewards.

I hope that helps clarify things. To keep it simple: whether or not one spends eternity with Christ or in Hell is only dependent on whether or not they have believed the gospel. The quality of that eternity--the greatness of their reward or the greatness of their punishment--is determined by their works (so 2 Cor 5:10). But due to the absolute disconnect between works and justification (in the pauline sense of the word), the former cannot be a sign of the latter.


Curious. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing and I know that you asked that the conversation not be led by the phrase "Well, what about this? etc"

That said. James 2 comes immediately to mind as well as the fact that Jesus couldn't do much in a town "because of their unbelief" (Matthew 13:58).

How do you reconcile these with your theology : "That is because salvation and reprobation is related only to faith, and faith is not the kind of thing that by nature produces good works."

It has been my understanding, in accordance with the scriptures I referenced, that good works are not always an indication of the presence of faith but ...Good works are always the logical outcome of true faith. IOW, faith (by its nature) automatically inspires action and therefore is linked and required as evidence... Just as love, by its nature, inspires action toward the beloved. Good works cant produce faith ... but faith is verified as being genuine by action... and, as with love (God so loved...that he gave), the level of action correlates to the level of reward.


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:41 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
But, to be clear, your demonstration of your faith by your works does not mean that your works are a sign of your faith except in the loosest possible sense. Look at Matt 7:14ff to see why. Many will point to their good works as signs that they ought to be saved, but Jesus will condemn them regardless.



Matt 7:14
"For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."

:scratch:
How Jack winds up with this verse as the "reason" why obedience isn't a solid demonstration of faith can only be the result of his reading his preferred opinions into the verse.

In the context of the whole passage Jesus is preaching about perseverance, that it requires great effort to enter into the narrow gate and into life.

If anyone would doubt that obedience to God's grace is essential to faith being fulfilled see Eph 2:8-10 and Phil 2:12-13 as well as James 2.

And the assertion Jack makes that someone who follows the Biblical pattern of faith, leading to obedience, resulting in blessing, will "point to their good works as signs that they ought to be saved" is not only erroneous but absurd. It is preposterous to think that someone who has spent their life in humble obedience to God's grace and will and who has progessed so far in humility would suddenly be so foolish to claim that he ought to be saved upon his good works and not God's grace.

His statement overall is a good example of the doctrine of "faith alone" leading to it's erroneous but logical conclusion. And it completely ignores covenant theology altogether.


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:24 pm 
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EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
Curious. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing and I know that you asked that the conversation not be led by the phrase "Well, what about this? etc"

That said. James 2 comes immediately to mind as well as the fact that Jesus couldn't do much in a town "because of their unbelief" (Matthew 13:58).

How do you reconcile these with your theology : "That is because salvation and reprobation is related only to faith, and faith is not the kind of thing that by nature produces good works."

I address James 2 here:

An Exegesis of James 2:14-26
A Summary of James 2:14-26

I'd be careful not to overread the force of saying Jesus couldn't do anything because of the town's unbelief--the text isn't making a metaphysical claim about Jesus' power. But otherwise, we ought to just affirm that directly. They didn't receive a blessing because they didn't believe. It doesn't follow from therefore that if we do believe that good works necessarily do follow.

Quote:
It has been my understanding, in accordance with the scriptures I referenced, that good works are not always an indication of the presence of faith but ...Good works are always the logical outcome of true faith. IOW, faith (by its nature) automatically inspires action and therefore is linked and required as evidence... Just as love, by its nature, inspires action toward the beloved. Good works cant produce faith ... but faith is verified as being genuine by action... and, as with love (God so loved...that he gave), the level of action correlates to the level of reward.

I understand that is a typical view of faith. It's not one that I hold. I think that too many passages mitigate against such a reading, and on the other hand, there is no passage that says, "If you have faith, you will produce good works" or "Faith always produces good works." Just the opposite, in fact. The Bible exhorts those of the faith to do good works and warns them against not doing so and lapsing into sin. Those ideas are theological constructs invented by collapsing distinctions elsewhere and then reading them back into the definition of "faith," such that we actually end up denying to the word its lexical meaning of "(en)trust."

To be a bit clearer, good works are guaranted to those who abide in Christ. But I'm sure you are aware of the immedicate connection people make with this whole debate. In fact, I think a misunderstanding of that promise (a sloppy reading of it, to be more precise) is at the root of the "true faith always produces works" mentality. Notice that in John 15 Jesus does not say, "Whoever believes in Me will produce fruit." He says, "Whoever abides in Me will produce fruit." So unless we are going to make believing = abiding, and there is no lexical, textual, or theological reason to do so (and plenty of lexical, textual, and theological reasons against doing so) then believing in Christ and abiding in Christ are different things. The promise of fruit and good works is related necessarily to one but not to the other. It is, then, only the believer who abides in faith who can expect that (s)he will produce good fruit. Therefore, if a person is not producing such fruit, they can know that they are not abiding in faith. But from that it does not follow that they have (or had) no faith and that therefore they do not have eternal life. So once again, good works are not a sign of salvation.

And here's another article I wrote that may help clarify my thoughts:

Can real Christians live in sin?


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:55 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
Curious. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing and I know that you asked that the conversation not be led by the phrase "Well, what about this? etc"

That said. James 2 comes immediately to mind as well as the fact that Jesus couldn't do much in a town "because of their unbelief" (Matthew 13:58).

How do you reconcile these with your theology : "That is because salvation and reprobation is related only to faith, and faith is not the kind of thing that by nature produces good works."

I address James 2 here:

An Exegesis of James 2:14-26
A Summary of James 2:14-26



OR

Instead of taking the sort of hermeneutic approach like Jack takes above, which would make lawyers and politicians even blush, to force a soteriological idea alien to the author hinging almost his whole argument upon an argument from silence, how about we simply look at what James actually writes?

In verses14-17 to me James is clearly the idea faith and works have a role in our salvation unto eternal life by drawing an analogy to to a very real circumstance in our temporal lives. Verse 16 specifically echoes Christ himself in Matthew's gospel chapter 25, where those who did the least were handed over to eternal torment. If faith without works is barren and dead, then it makes little to no sense that a dead faith is a faith which justifies. Yet Jack apparently wants us to believe that this dead faith is sufficient enough to be "saved".

James(to me) is saying something very straightforward about not only our life here but in our life in eternity: in order to have life, eternal or otherwise, our FAITH must be active with WORKS, and in order for our works to be beneficial and fruitful, they must be founded upon our faith.

James affirms this in his final verse:
"For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead."

Faith is to the body as works are to the spirit. No parsing necessary.

There is no contradiction between James and Paul because Paul doesn't teach salvation by faith alone, neither does Christ.

Salvation is by grace (the grace of the New Covenant instituted by Christ) through faith. Being incorporated into Christ through baptism we are made alive in the spirit, through our continued cooperation with God's grace and obedience to God's will we do those works which help us grow in sanctity and be confoemed more closely to Christ.

Faith, leading to obedience, resulting in blessing.


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 Post subject: Re: The Protestant view of justification-is it Biblical? The
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:22 pm 
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"The Jack", just curious, are you a fan of Andrew Wommack or Joseph Prince?


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