Saturday, August 9, 2008

Is salvation by faith alone, or by faith plus works?

Answer: This is perhaps the most important question in all of Christian theology. This question is the cause of the Reformation - the split between the Protestant church and Catholic church. This question is a key difference between Biblical Christianity and most of the "Christian" cults. Is salvation by faith alone, or by faith plus works? Am I saved just by believing in Jesus, or do I have to believe in Jesus and do certain things?

The question of faith alone or faith plus works is made difficult by some hard-to-reconcile Bible passages. Compare Romans 3:28, 5:1 and Galatians 3:24 with James 2:24. Some see a difference between Paul (salvation is by faith alone) and James (salvation is by faith plus works). In reality, Paul and James did not disagree at all. The only point of disagreement some people claim is over the relationship between faith and works. Paul dogmatically says that justification is by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9) while James appears to be saying that justification is by faith plus works. This apparent problem is answered by examining what exactly James is talking about. James is refuting the belief that a person can have faith without producing any good works (James 2:17-18). James is emphasizing the point that genuine faith in Christ will produce a changed life and good works (James 2:20-26). James is not saying that justification is by faith plus works, but rather that a person who is truly justified by faith will have good works in his life. If a person claims to be a believer, but has no good works in his life – then he likely does not have genuine faith in Christ (James 2:14, 17, 20, 26).

Paul says the same thing in his writings. The good fruit believers should have in their lives is listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Immediately after telling us that we are saved by faith, not works (Ephesians 2:8-9), Paul informs us that we were created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). Paul expects just as much of a changed life as James does, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17)! James and Paul do not disagree on their teaching on salvation. They approach the same subject from different perspectives. Paul simply emphasized that justification is by faith alone while James put emphasis on the fact that faith in Christ produces good works.

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90 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

Man, I am basically done after 14 hours work. The hardest part was getting the router to work with this new computer. I am glad my Mom now has a good computer downstairs, which I will still use at times! We are sharing it.

Russ:)

Jeff said...

Russ,

14 hours?! Wow. I would have given up long before that.

I bet you feel relieved that its done.

Hardware is definitely not my thing.

thekingpin68 said...

It was more like 17 hours, and I still need a new anti-virus program...;)

jeleasure said...

Jeff,
Did you think you were going to slip this one by me?

Salvation is by faith alone.
If you look at the Greek word for "Righteousness" as used in Romans 6:13, is δικαιοσύνης (dikiasune).
The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament, by William Mounce says dikiasune is "investiture with what causes one to be in a right relationship with God".

Salvation, as used in Romans 6:13 is our investiture with Christ to have a right relationship with God.

Paul follows the idea of Righteousness, with holiness in Romans 6:19. The Greek word ἁγιασμόν Hagiasmon - the accusative, singular, masculine form of hagiasmos = 'sanctification, moral purity, sanctity.
Look what is at the root of 'hagiasmos'. Hagios - separate from common condition and use; dedicated. Hallowed; used of things, the sanctuary; and of persons, saints, e.g., members of the first Christian communities; pure, righteous, ceremonially or morally; holy. (These definitions are also from Mounce's Analytical Lexicon).

Let's plug this in, and look at it in context of scripture. Romans 6:19-22

" 19I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life".

First, Get saved. Then live a life of holiness. Holiness in the way of fulfilling Christ command to love one another. To meet out what Paul says is the only thing that matters; that is faith (in Christ) expressing itself in love (love for one another). And James, he does not say that when you get saved, you will evidence your salvation by love for one another. He writes "how can you say you love God, and you hate your brother?".
People need to have the correct perspective on salvation and holiness or they go about believing that when they are saved they are going to Heaven. And the fact that remains is that they "Must" love one another as Christ ordered. I wrote about all of this in Chapter Four, "Righteousness Unto Holiness" of my manuscript "Love One Another". It is love for one another that signs the signature of God's family. This is what is meant of holiness in the New Testament. James calls it a "Royal Law" in James ch. 2.
When written in the context displayed in your article, people develope the idea that love for one another is a suggestion. Because, after all, "I, the Calvinist am foreknown before the foundations of the world and I am predestined...".
That is another issue entirely screwey. Foreknown. Every person who has ever walked or has not walked this world is foreknown by God. It is not as if, God, turned His back and when he was paying attention, my wife had a child in her womb. God authored the soul that lives in that child. And you as well. All of us are foreknown by God. He predestined, meaning he chose to offer a plan of salvation to all whom He foreknew before the foundation of the world. There is noone who lives exclusively among us. If God chose all of His favorites before the foundation of the world, then Christ did not have to die for them. It would not matter.

satire and theology said...

He predestined...

I recently did a word study in context for Robert, and the concept of predestination. It mainly means to predetermine persons. Christ atoning work is for the entire world but applied to the elect. This can be found in the comments of latest thekingpin68post.

προορίζω: Strong from Romans 8: 29-30 and Ephesians 1: 5, 11, the word in its forms means to limit in advance, i.e. figurative, predetermine, determine before, ordain, predestinate. Strong (1986: 81).

Now the Strong's text uses the KJV, RSV, NAS, NEB, NIV, AND JB.

Bauer states that the word προορίζω in its form in Romans 8: 30 means decide beforehand, predestine of God someone. It is the same for Ephesians 1: 5. Bauer (1979: 709).

NT Greek

Word Detail
Word/Inflected Form Lemma Part of Speech Lexical Entry
προορίσας (1) προορίζω (5) Verb to determine beforehand, to predetermine, pre-ordain
Parsing Aorist Active Participle Nominative Singular Masculine
Related Words None found.
Context in Ephesians 1:5 κατενώπιον αὐτοῦ ἐν ἀγάπῃ ... ἡμᾶς εἰς υἱοθεσίαν διὰ
Strongs # 4309 to limit in advance, i.e. (figuratively) predetermine
Thayers at Crosswalk Thayer's
LSJ (from Perseus) Click For LSJ
Middle Liddell (from Perseus) Click For Middle Liddell

Word Detail
Word/Inflected Form Lemma Part of Speech Lexical Entry
προορισθέντες (1) προορίζω (5) Verb to determine beforehand, to predetermine, pre-ordain
Parsing Aorist Passive Participle Nominative Plural Masculine
Related Words None found.
Context in Ephesians 1:11 ἐν ᾧ καὶ ἐκληρώθημεν ... κατὰ πρόθεσιν τοῦ τὰ
Strongs # 4309 to limit in advance, i.e. (figuratively) predetermine
Thayers at Crosswalk Thayer's
LSJ (from Perseus) Click For LSJ
Middle Liddell (from Perseus) Click For Middle Liddell

Word Detail
Word/Inflected Form Lemma Part of Speech Lexical Entry
προώρισεν (4) προορίζω (5) Verb to determine beforehand, to predetermine, pre-ordain
Parsing 3rd Person Aorist Active Indicative Singular
Related Words None found.
Context in Romans 8:29 ὅτι οὓς προέγνω καὶ ... συμμόρφους τῆς εἰκόνος τοῦ
Strongs # 4309 to limit in advance, i.e. (figuratively) predetermine
Thayers at Crosswalk Thayer's
LSJ (from Perseus) Click For LSJ
Middle Liddell (from Perseus) Click For Middle Liddell

Word Detail
Word/Inflected Form Lemma Part of Speech Lexical Entry
προώρισεν (4) προορίζω (5) Verb to determine beforehand, to predetermine, pre-ordain
Parsing 3rd Person Aorist Active Indicative Singular
Related Words None found.
Context in Romans 8:30 πολλοῖς ἀδελφοῖς οὓς δὲ ... τούτους καὶ ἐκάλεσεν καὶ
Strongs # 4309 to limit in advance, i.e. (figuratively) predetermine
Thayers at Crosswalk Thayer's
LSJ (from Perseus) Click For LSJ
Middle Liddell (from Perseus) Click For Middle Liddell

BAUER, W. (1979) A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Translated by Eric H. Wahlstrom, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press.

STRONG, J. (1986) Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Pickering, Ontario, Welch Publishing Company.

satire and theology said...

Blogger, nice job of merging words.

jeleasure said...

Russ, you went right on by the qualifying word in Romans 8:9. That being, "Foreknew".

"That is another issue entirely screwey. Foreknown. Every person who has ever walked or has not walked this world is foreknown by God"

Foreknown, presents the problem for your defense of the doctrine and your word study. Basically because God foreknew everyone. And so, the concept of providing atonement is made available to everyone.

satire and theology said...

Ephesians 2: 8-10 makes it clear we are saved by grace through faith alone, and saved unto good works, which should be a result of salvation.

Works should be a sign of salvation, anyone without works is questionable. But, 1 Corinthians 3: 15 and perhaps Hebrews 6: 4-8 discusses believers who die in Christ with little works. This can be deduced with someone who has a death bed conversion, for example.

Jeff said...

Jim,

Did you think you were going to slip this one by me?

LOL!!

Salvation, as used in Romans 6:13 is our investiture with Christ to have a right relationship with God.

Romans 6:13 is not talking about how to get to Heaven. It is addressing those who are already going to Heaven. It is a call for the Christian to become in experience what he already is in position---dead to sin. Romans 6:5 says, "If we have been united with him like this in his death..." It is addressing those who already have the righteousness of Christ attributed to them. Likewise, verse 6 says, "For we know that our old self was crucified with him..." Again, he is talking to Christians here---those who are saved, born again, regenerated, and made holy in the sight of God, through the blood of Christ.

satire and theology said...

Russ, you went right on by the qualifying word in Romans 8:9. That being, "Foreknew".

"That is another issue entirely screwey. Foreknown. Every person who has ever walked or has not walked this world is foreknown by God"

Foreknown, presents the problem for your defense of the doctrine and your word study. Basically because God foreknew everyone. And so, the concept of providing atonement is made available to everyone.

I did not go by the word, from my Robert conversation it was not an issue.

No, it does change a thing. God's foreknowledge of all persons, does not mean in any way mean he has to, or does, elect/predestine all persons. The contexts of Romans 8 and Ephesians 1 show he has foreknowledge of all, and elects some.

The Reformed view is that the atonement is sufficient for all of humanity and effective for the elect.

Jeff said...

Jim,

The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament, by William Mounce says dikiasune is "investiture with what causes one to be in a right relationship with God".

Correct. Christians are made righteous through the blood of Christ. Our relationship with Christ, through faith, causes us to be in a right relationship with God. This is apart from any works.

Jeff said...

Jim,

Paul follows the idea of Righteousness, with holiness in Romans 6:19.

Yes, Paul is encouraging believers to 'walk out' what they have already been given (i.e., their position) in Christ. Believers are sanctified (made holy) through the blood of Christ. God already sees them as holy and righteous. Also, believers become more Christ-like (a process of sanctification) as they walk in obedience to Christ throughout their lifetime. And finally, believers will be fully sanctified following the death of their bodies, because no one can become perfectly sanctified by their works on this Earth.

Jeff said...

Jim,

Notice also that Romans 6:23 says ..."the gift of God is eternal life..."

A gift cannot be earned. No amount of works can get a person to Heaven. Faith in Christ alone is the only thing that gets anyone to Heaven.

Jeff said...

Jim,

And James, he does not say that when you get saved, you will evidence your salvation by love for one another.

Paul deals with the root of faith. James deals with the fruit of faith. James Chapter 2, for example, is not telling you how to get to Heaven. It is addressing those who falsely claim that they are Christians, when, in fact, they steal, like, sleep around, do drugs, are in and out of jail, etc.

What James is saying is that true faith will always show itself by its fruits. Faith, not accompanied by action, is not true faith. It is nothing more than a false profession of faith. James is talking about those who claim that they are saved, but in fact, they are not saved at all. Romans 1:5 talks about "the obedience that comes from faith." That's why faith without works is dead. Obedience is the proof of faith, so again, saying that you have faith, but proving otherwise by your actions, is merely a claimed faith, which is, in fact, a false claim. If you have true faith in Jesus, you're going to obey Him. Just saying you believe in God is not enough. "By their fruit you shall know them." James is saying that works is the true evidence for faith; James is not saying that works is a secondary requirement for Heaven. If you have true faith in Jesus, its going to change your lifestyle, language, habits, actions and way of living.

jeleasure said...

Jeff said,
Romans 6:13 "It is addressing those who are already going to Heaven. It is a call for the Christian to become in experience what he already is in position"

By what you have written here, why bother describing holiness?
Holiness is in what Russ described in Eph. 2:10. Is love not the "Royal Law" from James 2?
Is it not something we "MUST" do (as Jesus says). So, in essence. By what you have written here, you are saying this is accounted to us, and there is no need to fulfill the "Royal Law of Love" that is brought out in Ephesians 2:10.

jeleasure said...

Yourself and Russ are both attempting to understand and counter my understanding. I've given you the link to how I consider this issue. I'm not going to continue to argue with you about it, though. However, I will challenge you until you confess I am right. So, you and Russ, go ahead and say 'your right' heehee.

jeleasure said...

Jeff,
I am recording what I've read from a well respected teacher and writer. Russ often quotes him. His name is Wiliam Mounce.
And again, why is it that if I do not believe in election as you believe it it has to be damnable?
If I believe Christ died for those who will believe on him and have ever lasting life, why is that wrong? How is this damnable?
Christ commanded us to "Love One Another". How does this equate to damnable doctrine?
I am telling you and everyone of your readers that we are required to have love for one another. Without it, you are teaching damnable doctrine.

Jeff said...

Jim,

Is it not something we "MUST" do (as Jesus says). So, in essence. By what you have written here, you are saying this is accounted to us, and there is no need to fulfill the "Royal Law of Love" that is brought out in Ephesians 2:10.

I never said there was no need to obey God or to love God and people. You are making things up, and creating a straw man argument.

But it's funny that you should mention a verse that teaches Election.

Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

The Greek word for "workmanship" sometimes has the connotation of a "work of art." "Prepared in advance" carries forward the theme of God's sovereign purpose and planning, and teaches Election.

Jeff said...

Jim,

...why bother describing holiness?

Because, even though the Christian is holy and righteous in God's eyes, through the blood of Christ, the Christian still has a (fleshly) sin nature (as well as a new, holy nature), and the Christian will still sin. As long as we inhabit these fleshly, earthly bodies, we are prone to sin. In Christ, and through the Holy Spirit, the Christian now has a power to overcome sin that they did not have before. And the Christian now has a new desire to obey God, which they did not have before. Though the position of the Christian is one of holiness in Christ, the condition of the Christian is that they are still a sinner, and still have to deal with the weakness of the flesh.

Jeff said...

Jim,

However, I will challenge you until you confess I am right.

I confess that anyone who says that faith in Christ alone is not enough to get to Heaven is of the devil.

jeleasure said...

Jeff,
Then what I am saying in addition to what ever you believe that you have been basically calling me a heretic for , is that we must have love for one another to fulfill God's commands. And what is so bad, is you have criticised me for saying this. Works amount to the Love we have for oneanother.
Though you have not accused me of this, I am not refering to works that benefit, say a roach. I am saying that holiness, in the definition I provided earlier is produced in our works. What can our works be defined as? Love for one another. It is for one another that we were created. This being the image of God's family. How is this damnable doctrine?

Jeff said...

Jim,

And again, why is it that if I do not believe in election as you believe it it has to be damnable?

I did not mean that not believing in Election is damnable. What I was addressing was the belief that being saved (i.e., faith in Christ) alone not being enough to get a person to Heaven. That is what is damnable.

Jeff said...

Jim,

Christ commanded us to "Love One Another". How does this equate to damnable doctrine?
I am telling you and everyone of your readers that we are required to have love for one another.


Of course we are commanded to love one another, and to love God. But this can never get us to Heaven, because we will never do it perfectly here on Earth. Again, what I am saying is damnable is if you try to add anything (i.e., works) to faith in Christ, as far as getting to Heaven.

jeleasure said...

Well than you just called Paul a devil.
He said in Galations (you can look it up) "The only thing that matters is faith (in Christ) expressing itself in love (Love for one another).
And Jeff, you began judging me immediately without ever having read any documentation I have already provided on this issue. You, a man of God are calling another servant of God a devil.

Jeff said...

Jim,

I am saying that holiness, in the definition I provided earlier is produced in our works.

By saying that you can produce holiness by your works, you are saying that you are perfect. You are saying that your works are as perfect as God's. You are, in essence, saying that you are sinless and never do anything wrong.

Jeff said...

Jim,

Well than you just called Paul a devil.

I am certainly not doing any such thing, because Paul would agree that salvation is by faith alone, and not by works.

He said in Galations (you can look it up) "The only thing that matters is faith (in Christ) expressing itself in love (Love for one another).

Yes, and Jesus Himself said that the two greatest Commandments are to love God and to love one another. But neither Paul nor Jesus were saying that this is the way to get to Heaven. Both of them would agree that our works can never be good enough to get us to Heaven.

And Jeff, you began judging me immediately without ever having read any documentation I have already provided on this issue.

I have read some of the pages on your website and have even left comments on there.

You, a man of God are calling another servant of God a devil.

When you are teaching that faith in Christ is not sufficient, then you are not serving God.

jeleasure said...

No, God said he predestined us for good works.
You were wrong on the issue of saying that I was asserting Christ salvation is not enough.
You confess that we must have good works.
I am stating, as Paul stated, we must have good works.
I don't know why you believe that holiness in the physical is perfection. We are to be in an upward trend to produce good works. As William Mounce has stated, it is the purity of the saints of the first Christian community. God expects a consistency of Good works that is described in Eph. 2:10.
Just tell me why.
Why is it important to God that we do good works?
I don't need you to teach me. I need you to know why, since your are calling me a devil for believing in Good works. And, what I have written in my manuscript discusses the need for Christ plus good works. Not good works without Christ.

Jeff said...

Jim,

Well than you just called Paul a devil.
He said in Galations (you can look it up) "The only thing that matters is faith (in Christ) expressing itself in love (Love for one another).


Paul disagrees with you:
"The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

Paul says that we are saved by faith alone, and not by our own works.

Jeff said...

(that last verse was Galatians 2:20b-21)

Jeff said...

Jim,

And, what I have written in my manuscript discusses the need for Christ plus good works.

So, if you are saying that, in order to get to Heaven, we not only have to have faith in Christ, but we also have to do good works, then you are saying that Christ's death on the cross was not enough.

Jeff said...

Jim,

Since you believe that we must not only believe in Christ, but also perform good works in order to get to Heaven, then how many good works must we do?

jeleasure said...

Jeff, you said in response to my accusation of you calling Paul a Devil for stating that the only thing that matters is faith expressing itself in love.

That Paul would say that salvation is by faith alone...

Then you site that Jesus said we must love God and one another.

And (I'M GOING TO SPELL IT OUT IN CAPS BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT BEEN READING THIS STATEMENT) I HAVE SAID SEVERAL TIMES THAT WE MUST COUPLE OUR FAITH IN CHRIST WITH LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER. PAUL SAYS IT,AND JESUS DEMANDS IT.

Jeff said...

Jim,

WE MUST COUPLE OUR FAITH IN CHRIST WITH LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER. PAUL SAYS IT,AND JESUS DEMANDS IT.

When you say, "we must," do you mean that 'we must' in order to get to Heaven?

Jeff said...

Jim,

The Great Commission is also a command. So, according to you, I suppose you must believe that if a saved Christian doesn't go out and tell the world about Jesus, then they are going to Hell, because they are not fulfilling the Great Commission.

jeleasure said...

Our lives must be punctuated by a consistency of living according to the Royal Law of Love, coupled with faith in Christ to have fellowship with God through our love for oneanother and our faith in Christ.
If you are looking for a dead line on how much good works we must do, then maybe you will be one of those who cast out demons in Jesus name, performed miracles in Jesus name and whatever else those in Mat. 7 claimed to have been doing.
God wants a life that strives for perfection. He is already aware of our tendency to fail. This is why He has sent the Holy Spirit to Aid us. Not pull strings.

Jeff said...

Jim,

Jesus Himself spells out exactly what 'good works' are required for us to get to Heaven:

"Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"
Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." (John 6:28,29)

That's it. Faith in Christ alone.

jeleasure said...

If a Christian does not go out and tell the world about Jesus. He is hiding his lamp under a rock. This is a parable.
To tell the world about Jesus is to not be ashamed. It is the greatest act of love for a human being, to help that person find his way back to the Father.
Yes, if it is within the persons ability to speak and testify of the Lord, but he does not, he is not fulfilling the great commission. He has failed his brother and he has no part in the Kingdom of Heaven.
The parable of the talents should tell you this. The master came and took what the worker did not invest. And punished the worker.

jeleasure said...

To excercise belief in Christ, one must also do what Christ has asked us to do.

Jeff said...

Jesus taught that faith alone saves a person:

"For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
(John 6:40)

Jim, I am certainly not saying that we are not to love God and love one another. Of course we are. You said, "a life that strives for perfection." Striving won't cut it. Jesus said, "Be ye therefore PERFECT, as your Father in Heaven is perfect. If you are leaning on your works, then your works must be perfect; "striving" is not good enough.

Jeff said...

Jim,

Yes, if it is within the persons ability to speak and testify of the Lord, but he does not, he is not fulfilling the great commission. He has failed his brother and he has no part in the Kingdom of Heaven.

So, let me ask you, have you told people about Christ every single time you had the opportunity? Have you never, ever, ever missed a single opportunity to tell someone about Christ? If you have missed even one single time, then, by your own judgment, you have no part in the Kingdom of God.

You are teaching a system of salvation by works, which the Bible condemns.

Jeff said...

Jim,

To excercise belief in Christ, one must also do what Christ has asked us to do.

Did you see my comment regarding John 6:28,29? Jesus said that the only 'work' that is required for eternal life is belief in (i.e., accepting) Him.

Works are a natural result of salvation. They cannot be added as a requirement of salvation, because working your way to Heaven completely contradicts the reason why Jesus died for our sins. If we could 'work' our way to Heaven, then Jesus would never have needed to die for us. I think this is what you are not understanding, Jim.

jeleasure said...

Now you are side stepping the complete teachings of Christ.
Your quote says whoever looks to the son and believes on Him.
So, you are saying that Jesus was not refering to any part of what He commanded us to do, concerning love? Are you backpedling and now removing your confession that Jesus said the most important commands are to love the Lord and one onother?
If Jesus taught this, would this and we do not follow it, is this still belief in Jesus to not trust Him enough to follow all of His teaching?
And, by the way, are you attempting to break a personal best for comments? Displays of ignorance ought to be something you should hide.

jeleasure said...

Yes, I saw your comment.
I still say that if we only have faith in Jesus to do only part of what He asked, it is not faith at all. We either believe in Him completely, meaning to do what He commands and teaches. Or, we follow 99% and fall short.

Apparently, evidenced by your calling me a devil, works are not a natural outgrowth of salvation. In fact, if that were the case, Paul would not have sent Titus to Creet. They were horrible Christians that needed a good elbow check.

Jeff said...

Jim,

I am trying to show you that the Bible teaches that salvation is by faith alone.

Here's another example. John the Baptist said:

"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." (John 3:36)

Now, does John say anything about works also being required for eternal life in that verse? No.

Jeff said...

Jim,

Do you believe if a person accepts Christ into their heart, and then dies three seconds later, that they will go to Heaven, or will they go to Hell?

Jeff said...

Jim,

Apparently, evidenced by your calling me a devil, works are not a natural outgrowth of salvation.

I am really calling what you are saying as coming from the devil, if you are saying that faith in Christ alone is not enough to get a person to Heaven, because that is a lie from the devil. I do not mean to personally attack your character, but rather the message you are spreading.

Jeff said...

Jim,

We either believe in Him completely, meaning to do what He commands and teaches. Or, we follow 99% and fall short.

That is called legalism. You are then saying that we have to be absolutely perfect in everything we do, or else we will not get to Heaven. If that is the case, then there is no more need for forgiveness.

jeleasure said...

I already told you I believe that salvation is by faith alone.
I gave you the definitions of Righteousness, which Paul said preceeds Holiness which after is everlasting life. Romans 6:19-23

The problem you are having with me is that you are refusing to take that passage into consideration. You are refusing to accept William Mounce's definitions from The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament.
And to further confuse the issue, you brought into the discussion more peripheral issues than an octopuse has suction cups.

Jeff said...

Jim,

In fact, if that were the case, Paul would not have sent Titus to Creet. They were horrible Christians that needed a good elbow check.

So tell me: who, on this earth, do you know, who is absolutely perfect, and needs no motivation or encouragement to do the right thing?

Jeff said...

Jim,

I already told you I believe that salvation is by faith alone.

Yes, but do you believe that is enough to get a person to Heaven?

Jeff said...

And, by the way, are you attempting to break a personal best for comments?

You're the one who keeps leaving comments. I just reply to them. So, my comments are only a result of yours.

jeleasure said...

No Jeff,
Believing on Jesus' teachings has nothing to do with the Old Covenant. Jesus said, "My yoke is easy, and my burden is lite".
If you have read my blog item on "The Way, The Truth, The Life", which you have not, you would have seen that I have described what a Jewish Rabbi called His yoke. Jesus did not have a Yoke of memorizing and interpreting the Law as the Rabbi required of his students. His yoke is simply to beleive on Him and who sent him. This means that Christ teachings must be kept. And that is the burden. He said it was easy. That means, have faith in Jesus as being the Messiah and keep His commands. He ordered that His disciples keep His commands. So, does that make Jesus guilty of legalism?

Jeff said...

The problem you are having with me is that you are refusing to take that passage into consideration.

I have already made two comments about that section of Scripture.

Jeff said...

You are refusing to accept William Mounce's definitions from The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament.

Again, you are creating a straw man argument and making a false accusation. I already said I agreed with the definition.

jeleasure said...

Your comments to me out number mine 2:1.

You had eight comments for me before I was even on line this evening.

Your total to me to this point is 31. I have 14 addressed to you. And 1 to Russ.

And yes, I believe that Christ alone saves us. But, I don't believe that we will go to Heaven on our stating that we are Christians, alone. Jesus commanded that we love one another. You still have not told me why?

Why is it important to God, Jesus, Paul, James that we love one another? What would it mean to God if we have love for one another? I gave you the answer.

jeleasure said...

Your comments to me out number mine 2:1.

You had eight comments for me before I was even on line this evening.

Your total to me to this point is 31. I have 14 addressed to you. And 1 to Russ.

And yes, I believe that Christ alone saves us. But, I don't believe that we will go to Heaven on our stating that we are Christians, alone. Jesus commanded that we love one another. You still have not told me why?

Why is it important to God, Jesus, Paul, James that we love one another? What would it mean to God if we have love for one another? I gave you the answer.

jeleasure said...

Your comments to me out number mine 2:1.

You had eight comments for me before I was even on line this evening.

Your total to me to this point is 31. I have 14 addressed to you. And 1 to Russ.

And yes, I believe that Christ alone saves us. But, I don't believe that we will go to Heaven on our stating that we are Christians, alone. Jesus commanded that we love one another. You still have not told me why?

Why is it important to God, Jesus, Paul, James that we love one another? What would it mean to God if we have love for one another? I gave you the answer.

jeleasure said...

Your comments to me out number mine 2:1.

You had eight comments for me before I was even on line this evening.

Your total to me to this point is 31. I have 14 addressed to you. And 1 to Russ.

And yes, I believe that Christ alone saves us. But, I don't believe that we will go to Heaven on our stating that we are Christians, alone. Jesus commanded that we love one another. You still have not told me why?

Why is it important to God, Jesus, Paul, James that we love one another? What would it mean to God if we have love for one another? I gave you the answer.

Jeff said...

Jim,

Believing on Jesus' teachings has nothing to do with the Old Covenant.

Wrong. Jesus said He did not come to take away any part of the Law. In fact, He referred to the Ten Commandments. Jesus showed that the Old Covenant was not just external, but internal, as well.

His yoke is simply to beleive on Him and who sent him. This means that Christ teachings must be kept.

You are contradicting yourself here. Which is it? Simply believe on Him, OR you can't get to Heaven unless you do good works?

Jeff said...

Your comments to me out number mine 2:1.

That's only because I address part of your comment with one of my comments, and then address another part of your same comment with another comment. That way, I keep each of my comments shorter.

Jeff said...

But, I don't believe that we will go to Heaven on our stating that we are Christians, alone.

Neither do I.

Jeff said...

You posted the same comment 4 times, Jim.

jeleasure said...

O.K., Enough with the insults and inflamatory language, please.
Straw man arguments don't exist.
If you agree with the definitions, then why are you still asking me what I believe?

Here it is:
I believe in Christ alone to save us. Romans 5:21
"21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord".

We must be made Righteous before we can be made sanctified.

Jesus saves us from the condemnation of the law. His sacrifice justifies us in the Eyes of The Father. However, we still must live our lives out on earth. How can we say, Jesus, forgive my sins and then go on sinning?
If we get saved and go on sinning there is no atonement. Therefore, even though we may say 'Lord, Lord' we still can not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jeff said...

Jesus commanded that we love one another. You still have not told me why?

Because He wants us to be like Him. But He knows we will never be completely like Him while we are on this earth. That's why He died for us. He knew that our works would always fall short, and that we could never get to Heaven by our works.

However, when you say that faith in Christ is necessary to get to Heaven, but so are good works, then that is like trying to mix oil and water, because they are opposite each other. Faith in Christ's sacrificial death for us on the cross is only BECAUSE we cannot be holy in our works. And if you say that works is necessary to get to Heaven, then those works must be absolutely perfect and flawless, in order to be good enough to get a person to get to Heaven. You must be just as perfect as God is, if you are trying to get to Heaven by your own good works. So its either faith, OR works, but the two don't mix. They contradict each other.

But again, works are the evidence of true faith. If a person has true faith in Christ, he will display good works, because He will have the desire to do so.

Paul had to instruct and reprimand believers because none of us have perfect works. And that's exactly why our works lend absolutely nothing to our getting to Heaven.

jeleasure said...

Jeff quoted me and gave the following answer.

But, I don't believe that we will go to Heaven on our stating that we are Christians, alone.

Jeff's response.

Neither do I.

So, why have you been calling me a devil?

Jeff said...

If you agree with the definitions, then why are you still asking me what I believe?

Because he's not saying what you apparently think he's saying. You don't understand him anymore than you understand the gospel, if you are saying that we must not only believe in Jesus, but we must perform good works in order to get to Heaven.

jeleasure said...

Jeff said,
"You posted the same comment 4 times, Jim".

The window was not closing to confirm that the comment went through.

jeleasure said...

Jeff said,
"if you are saying that we must not only believe in Jesus, but we must perform good works in order to get to Heaven".

This is exactly what I am saying. And is also the reason only six percent of all people who call themselves christians do not truly understand the core message of the Bible.

Jeff said...

I believe in Christ alone to save us.

But do you understand what the word "saved" means? It means we are saved from Hell (and from our sins) and we are going to Heaven!

We must be made Righteous before we can be made sanctified.

I don't think you understand what the meaning of these words are, either. "Righteous" means holy. "Sanctified" is the same as holy---to be set apart for God's use.

Jesus saves us from the condemnation of the law. His sacrifice justifies us in the Eyes of The Father

Right---which means that those who are saved from the condemnation of the law are going to Heaven! If we are justified in the eyes of the Father, then we are holy! Then we are righteous! Then we are sanctified!

If we get saved and go on sinning there is no atonement.

I think I see the problem. You are trying to force your Armenian beliefs into the Scripture. You believe that a person can lose their salvation, so you are trying to force the Scripture to say this, when in fact, the Scripture is not saying this at all. I think that's where the problem lies.

Jeff said...

f we get saved and go on sinning there is no atonement.

The Bible does not say this.

jeleasure said...

Jeff said,

"You are contradicting yourself here. Which is it? Simply believe on Him, OR you can't get to Heaven unless you do good works?"

It is the same thing, Jeff. If we believe on Christ, we are going to do the works He asked us to do. There is no contradicion.

Jeff said...

Jeff quoted me and gave the following answer.

But, I don't believe that we will go to Heaven on our stating that we are Christians, alone.

Jeff's response.

Neither do I.

So, why have you been calling me a devil?


Because a person stating that they are a Christian does not mean they are a Christian. That's exactly what James was talking about, which I have been trying to get across to you.

Jeff said...

If we believe on Christ, we are going to do the works He asked us to do.

Now you're contradicting your last statement. I believe that if we believe on Christ, we are going to do the works He asked us to do...not perfectly, but we now have a desire to do them, and we have the power to do them. Those good works are the proof of salvation, but are not added to salvation as a requirement for Heaven.

jeleasure said...

Jeff said,"So tell me: who, on this earth, do you know, who is absolutely perfect, and needs no motivation or encouragement to do the right thing?"

There is none perfect. This is the challenge. We must show ourselves to be of the family of God. This is done by accepting Christ as our atonement to present us as righteous. And our love for one another is the signature of God's family. This is why we will live in His kingdom forever. Our faith expressing itself in love as Paul says is the only thing that matters. This is the answer I have been looking for. Your answer suggest it. But does not zero in on it.

Good night.
Once more, so that there is no confusion, I will say, we must confess Christ as our savior to be free from the condemnation of the law.
Then we must live a life unto holiness. Then, in the end is ever lasting life. This is what Paul says in Romans 6:19-22

I don't know why I spent so much time on this issue. It is in the Bible,
Good night.

Jeff said...

And is also the reason only six percent of all people who call themselves christians do not truly understand the core message of the Bible.

Here in the United States, I would say that a large number of people who call themselves 'Christian' are not born again or regenerated, and do not know Christ. In other words, they may call themselves 'Christian,' but they are not Christians. They may go to church, or they may have been baptized, or they may even teach Sunday School, but they are not true Christians.

Jeff said...

Then we must live a life unto holiness.

But you just admitted that there is none perfect, and holiness means perfection. So, once again, you don't even understand what you are saying. You are completely contradicting yourself. Faith in Christ alone is the one and only thing that gets a person to Heaven. Good works are a proof of true faith. But good works cannot add a single ounce to your salvation. 'Good' works will not get you one inch closer to Heaven. Again, Jesus said the only 'work' that is required is to believe in Him. Isaiah 64:6 says that our moral 'works' are as filthy as a stinking rag to God. So how can we think that our works can add to our salvation?

thekingpin68 said...

Hello, boys.

It is Robert Mounce.

I have not and am not going to read all 76+ comments thoroughly. I have computer stuff to do for Mommy.

To be saved we are regenerated by God to believe/trust in Christ.

This does not require completely correct theology on ever single issue, but the right God must be worshipped.

The cults do not worship the Biblical God.

There are Christians that have a basically Biblical view of God and Christ, and yet do not accept justification/salvation by grace through faith alone. They believe in justification/salvation by faith.


Note: Historically most Roman Catholics and Orthodox believe in justification/salvation by grace through faith, but not by grace through faith alone. This is error in my view, but they can know the correct Biblical God, in contrast to the cults.

Russ:)

jeleasure said...

Jeff,
Just one more thing. Galations 3:13 says that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law.
When I say we are saved, I am, as Paul is here and in Romans 6:13,19-23 saying we are saved from the condemnation of the law. Then we must go on to to good works. These are the good works that are met out to evidence our love for one another.

jeleasure said...

Russ,
I am not in error.
What I am saying is salvation is in Galations 3:13. This is why we have life more abundant. We are free from the Law, and will not eternally be condemned by it.
What I am saying is we are saved by faith alone.
This is our righteousness. Then, as Paul says, Righteousness leads to holiness and the end is everlasting life. (Romans 6:19-21).
We are saved by faith alone. But salvation, according to William D. Mounce in the Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament says of the word 'justified' and 'righteous' it is the word "Dikiasune". It states 'to have investiture with what causes one to be in a right relationship with God'.
Our investiture in Christ is what makes the relationship with God available. This is what the law could not do.
So, I am saying that we are saved through faith alone.
I am not equaiting salvation with going to Heaven. It is salvation and glorification. We will be glorified because we have had faith in Christ (been saved from the condemnation of the Law and have had a relationship with God made available) and through our works, we have kept our relationship with God. Because Jesus says, If you love me, my father will love you also. How do we love Jesus? By keeping His commands. We have a relationship with Jesus by having love for one another. This is our works. It is what works toward perfection.
Perfection being that which God intended for us to be, His family.

Being His family comes from first being justified, then having love for oneanother. This is why we go to Heaven, because we are His family, and Heaven is where He has made our home. Christ said, I go to prepare a place for you.

jeleasure said...

Jeff said,

"I don't think you understand what the meaning of these words are, either. "Righteous" means holy. "Sanctified" is the same as holy---to be set apart for God's use".

So, according to what you just said here, when Paul says in one sentence,in Romans 6:19 "Righteousness leading to Holiness..." He is saying "Holiness leading to Holiness"

You clearly do not understand the distinction between the two. This was my problem over twenty years ago when I was a new Christian and a Baptist. When I learned the difference, I knew I needed to find a church that taught that there was a difference.

thekingpin68 said...

What I am saying is we are saved by faith alone.
This is our righteousness. Then, as Paul says, Righteousness leads to holiness and the end is everlasting life. (Romans 6:19-21).


We are saved by grace through faith alone. Ephesians 2: 8-10. Not as a results of works, but created in Christ for good works. Romans 5: 1, we are justified by faith with God through Christ. We are justified by the blood of Christ and saved from the wrath of God through him, 5: 9. We are justified as a gift by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ, Romans 3: 24.

thekingpin68 said...

Russ often quotes him. His name is Wiliam Mounce.

I quote Robert, often.

Thanks.:)

Jeff said...

Jim,

ust one more thing. Galations 3:13 says that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law.
When I say we are saved, I am, as Paul is here and in Romans 6:13,19-23 saying we are saved from the condemnation of the law. Then we must go on to to good works. These are the good works that are met out to evidence our love for one another.


Yes, but those works are not a requirement for Heaven. They are, as you said, an evidence of our salvation. And salvation includes a guarantee of Heaven.

Jeff said...

What I am saying is salvation is in Galations 3:13.

Being redeemed from the curse of the law includes being made sanctified and holy and righteous.

Verse 18 says, "For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise."

Getting to Heaven cannot be accomplished by trying to follow the law, because no human is able to do that. Works are an evidence of faith, but do nothing as far as adding to it, regarding getting ot Heaven.

Jeff said...

So, according to what you just said here, when Paul says in one sentence,in Romans 6:19 "Righteousness leading to Holiness..." He is saying "Holiness leading to Holiness"

You clearly do not understand the distinction between the two. This was my problem over twenty years ago when I was a new Christian and a Baptist. When I learned the difference, I knew I needed to find a church that taught that there was a difference.


According to the dictionary:
Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, in which it chiefly occurs, is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law.

The state of being right with God; justification; the work of Christ, which is the ground of justification.


Holiness is:
The state or quality of being holy; perfect moral integrity or purity; freedom from sin; sanctity; innocence.

Sanctify is:
to make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate.

God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. --2 Thess. 2:13 (This is another verse that teaches Election)

The ESV says,
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

The NKJV says,
But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.

The NCV says,
But now you are free from sin and have become slaves of God. This brings you a life that is only for God, and this gives you life forever.

The 21st Century KJV says,
But now, being made free from sin and having become servants of God, ye have your fruit unto holiness and the end, everlasting life.

The Darby Translation says,
But now, having got your freedom from sin, and having become bondmen to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end eternal life.

The NIV(UK) says,
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

The Holman Christian Standard Bible says,
But now, since you have been liberated from sin and become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification — and the end is eternal life!

The worldwide English New Testament says,
But now you have been made free from wrong ways and you have been made God's slaves. You are made good and you will live for ever.

The New International Reader's Version puts it quite well:
You have been set free from sin. God has made you his slaves. The benefit you gain leads to holy living. And the end result is eternal life.

Sanctification is a process which can only be participated in by one who is born again. And one who is born again has eternal life. A person who is born again, or regenerated, is sanctified and holy and righteous, in position, by the blood of Christ. But they still have a fleshly, carnal nature, so they still sin. Therefore, the Holy Spirit empowers them to resist temptation and obey God. They will not do this perfectly until they get to Heaven. That's why Paul and others commanded believers to obey God---but this command was not meant as a requirement for Heaven. No one will ever be perfect holy in their actions, thoughts and words here on earth; but the goal is to live your life as to be more and more Christlike, by spending time in His Word and in prayer. Once the Christian is taken to Heaven, however, the process of sanctification will be immediately completed, because, as I said, no one can complete that process here on earth, because we still have our fallen natures while we are on earth, and are still susceptible to sin.

Jeff said...

The Bible teaches eternal security for those who are saved.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Cor. 1:21,22)

The saved person can be assured that they are going to Heaven.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (I John 5:13)

Jeff said...

"Salvation includes that which is given, freely and finally, by God (justification); that which is continually imparted (sanctification); and that still to be attained (glorification)."
(p. 180, "The Portable Seminary," David Horton, General Editor)

"Paul saw his own failure to attain legal righteousness reflected in all men and due to the overmastering power (rule) of sin, which brought with it death. Salvation is therefore, first, acquittal, despite just condemnation, on the ground of Christ's expiation of sin (Romans 3:20-22); and, second, deliverance by the invasive power of the Spirit of holiness, the Spirit of the risen Christ. The faith that accepts and assents to Christ's death on our behalf also unites us to him so closely that with him we die to sin and rise to new life (6:1-11). The results are freedom from sin's power (vv. 7, 18; 8:2); and exultation in the power of the indwelling Spirit and assurance of sonship (8); and increasing conformity to Christ. By the same process death is overcome, and believes are prepared for life everlasting (6:13, 2-23; 8:11)."
-Reginald E. O. White (ibid, p. 181)

Anonymous said...

Say there Jeleasure, me thinks you've been reading too many books by the experts, we have one expert why mix things up? Its easy to get sidetracked from the simplicity that's in Christ. I dare say the road to hell is riddled with the footprints of scholars, humanists, atheists, wanna be Christians that know of Christ but don't know Christ. Righteousness is of God so put on that righteousness that is in Christ Jesus and read your bible....

Thanks,
anomaly

Jeff said...

Most of the above comments that I wrote were written in the early AM hours, very late, when I was extremely tired, and therefore grouchy. I also wrote many of my comments in haste. So I probably was not as tactful as I should have been, and I probably got more personal with my comments than I should have.

I don't apologize for standing against false doctrine, but I do apologize for anything which could be construed as negative personal remarks.

Jeff said...

I would just like to offer one last attempt to explain myself; not for the sake of argument, but hopefully, for the sake of clarification.

Saying that faith in Christ is not enough (i.e., that works have to be added) means that Christ's death on the cross was insufficient. This attacks the very foundation of Christianity.

Now, I do see a problem with easy-believism, and I believe that some false converts have resulted from 'praying a prayer of salvation' when they either never repented of their sins, or they simply didn't even understand what they were doing (and therefore the 'salvation prayer' was nothing more than a bunch of words, similar to the type of repetitious prayer that Jesus warned against), so there was never any actual regeneration that took place (i.e., they were never actually born again). However, that is very different from saying that works must be added to faith.