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  #1  
Old 19th August 2012, 08:06 AM
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Salvation by Faith and Works in the Old Testament

Just read this article. Seems to make a very good case. However, I do disagree that that the book of Hebrews and book of James were meant for some future dispensation. I think that the book of James was aimed at the messianic church before the Gospel of Grace was revealed.

It seems there is way too much explaining away of scripture to suggest that people were saved by Faith alone in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) in all ages. When I read Ezekiel chapter 18 among many other places, it seems patently clear that repentance from sin and obedience to the Law was necessary for eternal salvation. I have yet to hear a good explanation of Jesus parable of the Unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:21-35) that is consistent with Sola Fide and Eternal security.

Ruckmanite 1611: Dispensational Salvations

Ezekiel 18:4-32

4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,

6 And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman,

7 And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment;

8 He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man,

9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord God.

10 If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things,

11 And that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour's wife,

12 Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination,

13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.

14 Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father's sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like,

15 That hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour's wife,

16 Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment,

17 That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.

18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.

19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.

20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?

26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.

27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.

28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?

30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
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"The mingling of them [Law and Grace] in much of the current teaching of the day spoils both, for the law is robbed of its terror, and grace of its freeness. - C.I. Scofield

"Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that a man would stake his life on it a thousand times" - Martin Luther

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  #2  
Old 15th September 2012, 06:35 AM
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I looked through the article and can only say that it is basically what I might expect from something associated with the name of Ruckman. But let's leave that aside.

The New Testament clearly says that no one can do works such that God would find such value in them that the person would thereby be worthy enough to receive eternal life as a reward. All have sinned and cannot earn salvation. God gives us salvation by grace.

This did not simply become true in the present dispensation. It has always been true. If anyone in the Old Testament like Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, or Daniel were "saved" and went to be with the Lord after death, then they were saved by grace, not by any good works they may have done.

If salvation in the Old Testament depended on people working hard enough to get into heaven, then no one in the Old Testament was saved, including the ones I listed, including Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who Jesus said are included in the resurrection of the righteous in the kingdom of God (Matthew 8:5-13).
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Old 22nd September 2012, 10:35 PM
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Yeah, I'm not Ruckmanite at all. I don't think anybody was saved by their own good works ever. Once you've sinned a single sin, you are disqualified. However, it seems in the Law dispensation people needed to maintain a proper state of repentance in regards to their sins as well as make the proper sacrifices. However, mercy was only ultimately given because God showed mercy through the atonement he provided.
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"Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that a man would stake his life on it a thousand times" - Martin Luther
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Old 23rd September 2012, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by trident343 View Post
Yeah, I'm not Ruckmanite at all. I don't think anybody was saved by their own good works ever. Once you've sinned a single sin, you are disqualified. However, it seems in the Law dispensation people needed to maintain a proper state of repentance in regards to their sins as well as make the proper sacrifices. However, mercy was only ultimately given because God showed mercy through the atonement he provided.
I am glad you are not a Ruckmanite. I agree that no one earn salvation by their works. Once you've sinned a single sin, that is when one needs salvation!

As I read the Old Testament, the main idea is the same as it is today, a relationship with God. Jesus said that the law could be summed up in the idea of loving God and loving one's neighbor. Paul agrees with this in Romans 13:8-10. There are plenty examples of grace in the Old Testament.

Now this does not mean that the Old and New Testaments are identical. But the main difference to me has to do with ethnic focus. In the Old Testament salvation was by grace through faith as it is now. Paul reinforces this idea in Romans 4 when he finds support for his teaching about justification by faith in the lives of Abraham and David.

But how is a person supposed to express their faith? In the Old Testament faith was lived out in terms of Jewish culture. But that cultural exclusivity has been removed, and now people can live and express their faith in the boundaries of any ethnicity. It is not that Jewish culture was bad. It is simply that now the command is go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. The decision at the Jerusalem council was that the early Jewish believers should not require the converting gentiles to become Jewish.

Whether now or then, salvation has always been by God's mercy.
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Old 24th September 2012, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by trident343 View Post
When I read Ezekiel chapter 18 among many other places, it seems patently clear that repentance from sin and obedience to the Law was necessary for eternal salvation.
Hi Trident,

Even before the "gospel of grace" was preached men who were living under the Law were saved by faith and faith alone, as witnessed by the Lord Jesus' words here:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (Jn.5:24).
In His grace,

Jerry
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Old 25th September 2012, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by JerryShugart View Post
Hi Trident,

Even before the "gospel of grace" was preached men who were living under the Law were saved by faith and faith alone, as witnessed by the Lord Jesus' words here:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (Jn.5:24).
In His grace,

Jerry
As Protestants, it is uncomfortable to lose any grip on Sola Fide, but as you study the scriptures you realize that faith and works are not mutually exclusive. This is especially clear in the Old Testament. Read James or Hebrews chapter 11. Abel and Abraham offered the sacrifice God demanded, Rahab hid the Hebrew spies, Noah built an Ark. These were acts of Faith which were inseparable from salvation, but it was the faith behind the works that saved, not the works themselves.
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"The mingling of them [Law and Grace] in much of the current teaching of the day spoils both, for the law is robbed of its terror, and grace of its freeness. - C.I. Scofield

"Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that a man would stake his life on it a thousand times" - Martin Luther
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Old 25th September 2012, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by trident343 View Post
As Protestants, it is uncomfortable to lose any grip on Sola Fide, but as you study the scriptures you realize that faith and works are not mutually exclusive. This is especially clear in the Old Testament. Read James or Hebrews chapter 11. Abel and Abraham offered the sacrifice God demanded, Rahab hid the Hebrew spies, Noah built an Ark. These were acts of Faith which were inseparable from salvation, but it was the faith behind the works that saved, not the works themselves.
You failed to even attempt to address the words of the Lord Jesus which I quoted, words that prove that those who lived under the law were saved by faith alone.

It is the Word of God and the Word alone which brings life, as witnessed what the Lord Jesus said here:
"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (Jn.6:63).
Your thelogy denies the truth of both John 5:24 and John 6:63.

In His grace,

Jerry
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Old 25th September 2012, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by JerryShugart View Post
You failed to even attempt to address the words of the Lord Jesus which I quoted, words that prove that those who lived under the law were saved by faith alone.

It is the Word of God and the Word alone which brings life, as witnessed what the Lord Jesus said here:
"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (Jn.6:63).
Your thelogy denies the truth of both John 5:24 and John 6:63.

In His grace,

Jerry
I do no see anything in what Jesus said that suggests that People under the Law were always saved by personal faith in Jesus. He was addressing people who were physically around him at that time.
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"The mingling of them [Law and Grace] in much of the current teaching of the day spoils both, for the law is robbed of its terror, and grace of its freeness. - C.I. Scofield

"Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that a man would stake his life on it a thousand times" - Martin Luther
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Old 25th September 2012, 12:40 PM
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Passages like Luke 1 would apear to disagree:

5. There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
6. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Declared righteous before God in what sense? As to their WALKING IN ALL the commandments and ordinances of the Lord BLAMELESS.

But Luke 1 takes place under the Law. What then are we to do - ignore such passages?

Romans 10:

For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

Hunh?

As with the Pre-Trib Rapture, this issue is also a dispensational one; solved only by studying them out in Scripture in light of those higher ground writings committed to the Apostle Paul.


Romans 9:

30. What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
31. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
32. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
33. As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.


Romans 2:

25. For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
26. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
27. And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
28. For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

In short, righteousness under the law required works done in faith, from the heart, not mere, inwardly dead, outwardly professing works. This is why King David, despite his massive violations of the Law, was neverthelss the apple of God's eye. When, for example, he would screw up - as he often did - and a prophet of God would call him on it, he would heed - from the heart - that prophet and seek to make things right according to the Law.

The issue was faith - in what God had then required - which was works.

The issue was - were they blameless as to their heart of faith motive.

This was why the Lord could point out to the Pharisees why healing on the sabbath was not the sin their traditions had made it, as well as why he could point to King David having had taken of the Preistly bread to feed his starving men - the issue was a heart of faith - was the heart motive there?

The law had been meant, not as a means of righteousness, but of pointing out the existence of its opposite. And an obedient Jew would - under the Law - do those works that the law required - but from his heart, rather than as a mere outward show.

Romans 9:

31. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
32. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
33. As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.


They had the works, but not the faith. As a result, when their Messiah showed up, they were unable to believe on Him for they had never really kept the law by faith. For had they, they would not have been found ashamed to believe on Him:

John 5:

44. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
45. Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
46. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

47. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

Of course, that is the righteousness of the Law - works out of a heart which believed that the Law these people were under was God's will for them in Moses. But that was then.

Romans 3:

19. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.


"But Now" and "At This Time" - here, words signaling a Dispensational change in things:

21. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.


Danoh
Eph. 4:16

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Old 25th September 2012, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by trident343 View Post
I do no see anything in what Jesus said that suggests that People under the Law were always saved by personal faith in Jesus. He was addressing people who were physically around him at that time.
Unless I am reading into something wrong, you two are actually on the same page on much of this issue - salvation by faith alone, which then differed as to faith in what aspect of God's will at what particular time:

Works of Faith under The Law and the Prophets [Gen-Mal]

Works of Faith When Their Messiah was in their Midst [Matt - John]

Though you might disagree somewhat on these two:

Works of Faith In Their Messiah as Having Risen from the Dead [Acts 1-8/Heb-Rev]

Temporary, Dispensational Change between Acts 9 and Revelation:

Faith Without Works in Paul's Gospel [Acts 9-Philomen]

Danoh
Eph. 4:16
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